PDA

View Full Version : Naval combat



Melyanna
06-23-2014, 06:36 AM
Hello!

It's time I try out the new forums (other than posting cheescake related comments in other threads, that is).

Has any of you tried naval combat?
My players characters are currently at sea, on board of Isabela's ship, and for the next session, I was planning a big naval battle.

I was planning to use the following Pathfinder rules to star with, then of course adjust them to AGE and Dragon Age specifically:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/other-rules/ship-combat/advanced-naval-combat
http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/mastery/fastPlayShipCombat.html

Have you tried naval combat in your DA campaigns?
Is there anything specific I should watch out for / something you did that worked really well?

Wired_Wolf
06-23-2014, 06:52 AM
Gonna pipe in here as more of a 'book mark' :) This may happen soonish in my campaign too...

shonuff
06-23-2014, 11:46 AM
I'd love to see how this turns out. One thing I would remember are the Primal wind/weather spells.

Melyanna
06-23-2014, 12:43 PM
I'd love to see how this turns out. One thing I would remember are the Primal wind/weather spells.

Good point!
Thank you :)

Lukahatt
06-23-2014, 04:06 PM
Good point!
Thank you :)

I was about to point mages, but not the weather/wind spells. The fire ones. The game has no rules for inflammable stuff, but common sense would dictate a good Fireball can devastate a ship - sails and masts on fire are really bad. An Inferno would sink a ship in a couple turns.

GlimmTheGnome
06-23-2014, 04:41 PM
Stormwrack for D&D 3.5 had rules for narrative ship-to-ship combat that didn't require a grid to track movement. It's been a while since I've looked at them, but I think it pretty much used opposed sailing skill checks and then just tracked the distance between the two ships based on whether they were advancing or fleeing. I'd probably go with something like that over a battle grid since open ocean isn't very interesting terrain anyways.

Melyanna
06-24-2014, 02:40 AM
I was about to point mages, but not the weather/wind spells. The fire ones. The game has no rules for inflammable stuff, but common sense would dictate a good Fireball can devastate a ship - sails and masts on fire are really bad. An Inferno would sink a ship in a couple turns.

Yeah, I was hoping to make my players absolutely scared of fire.
Their characters are all very efficient in combat (which makes them really cocky sometimes), so I am hoping to have elements and details that will make them realize that combat isn't the only thing they'll need to take care of / worry about.
The combo fire and wind seems pretty dangerous, now that I think of it...


Stormwrack for D&D 3.5 had rules for narrative ship-to-ship combat that didn't require a grid to track movement. It's been a while since I've looked at them, but I think it pretty much used opposed sailing skill checks and then just tracked the distance between the two ships based on whether they were advancing or fleeing. I'd probably go with something like that over a battle grid since open ocean isn't very interesting terrain anyways.

Good point. I think I'll just have quick schemes ready in case they surprise me with a clever maneuver, but otherwise it does make more sense to use a less detailed tracking system.

shonuff
06-24-2014, 06:05 AM
If it weren't my ship, I don't know if I would be overly concerned with fire. Yeah, your sails would prolly be shot, but I imagine any combat vessel would have some protection against fire. Likewise a cold spell, but alleviate some of the fire problems. I know mixing extreme temperatures isn't the greatest, but it probably beats burning alive. Or you could have a creation mage, with Shape Earth smother fire as necessary. Barring anything else, there are fire resistance runes - I'm sure there would be some translation for ships.

shonuff
06-24-2014, 06:17 AM
Addendum: and while admittedly Inferno would do nasty things to a ship, I'd be equally concerned about Decompose. Yeah, there's a 1 min. casting time, but there's no rule AFAIK about casting underwater. Frogman mages for the win?

kronovan
06-24-2014, 08:17 AM
This is challenging for DAGE since as you mentioned there's really no rules. I'd recommend adapting the rules from another system. Some possibilities are Parthfinder which you've already looked into and there's also the Savage World's Mass Battles system (good ship details in the Pirates of the Spanish Main setting book) that could be easily adapted. There was also a 3rd party Ship Combat PDF for Green Ronin's True20 system which could possibly be adapted, but I haven't seen it on any retail sites for a while. The Savage World system is very simple yet eloquent and would be the one I'd use if attempting this.

Just bear in mind that damage values don't line up well between DAGE and any of the those systems mentioned above, so you have some work cut out for you there.

Lukahatt
06-24-2014, 11:24 AM
If it weren't my ship, I don't know if I would be overly concerned with fire. Yeah, your sails would prolly be shot, but I imagine any combat vessel would have some protection against fire. Likewise a cold spell, but alleviate some of the fire problems. I know mixing extreme temperatures isn't the greatest, but it probably beats burning alive. Or you could have a creation mage, with Shape Earth smother fire as necessary. Barring anything else, there are fire resistance runes - I'm sure there would be some translation for ships.

But the thing is... there is no "combat vessels" on DA setting other than Qunari dreadnaughts. Even pirate ships like Isabela's, and basically all the others on the Felicissima Armada, are more of a transport galleon (is that term right? I suck at identifying ships) then a warship. And besides, wood is wood. Sure, you can say it's wet, and that thick wood is harder to combust, but that just means you need a stronger fire. A novice Fire Bomb? Not a problem. A Fireball with Mighty Spell stunt? Yeah. Woosh. Granted, it wont be cartoon-like where the ship's frame becomes ashes, but it would become an imediate necessity to put out that fire before it can spread.

And more on fire (but normal one, not magic). Arrows on fire would do negligible damage to the ship, but it can destroy sails really quickly. A sail-less ship is easy to overcome, harder to reposition and almost impossible to escape pursuers.

On the good side, since no one other than the Qunaris have gunpowder, no risk of a ship on fire actually blowing up (only cremating or sink and drowning people. Much better).

shonuff
06-24-2014, 01:18 PM
By combat vessels, I mean any ship that was designated for combat. The Siren's Call would be a combat ship because it was a pirate ship. Likewise a ship in one of the navies would be readied for combat, even if it were the same type as a merchant vessel. And fire was devastating, but there were also medieval ways of dealing with it - the Greeks, for example, used vinegar on Greek fire. And I don't think a fireball would necessarily cause a ship to catch fire - I've always viewed fireballs as concussive rather than flaming. Inferno, yes. While sails would burn, I don't believe they would go up immediately, and even then, I imagine most ships would have spares - like most well-provisioned ships could repair masts.

And I would call Isabella's ship probably a sloop or corvette... I suck at IDing ships, too, and most of that requires looking at number/type of sails. :) But I imagine that a pirate ship would be smaller/faster than it's prey.