Ship-to-Ship Combat

Ship Type AC hp Base Save Maximum Speed Arms Ram Squares Crew
Keelboat 8 60 +4 30 feet 1 2d6+6 2 4/15+100
Longship 6 75 +5 60 feet 1 4d6+18 3 50/75+100
Sailing ship 6 125 +6 60 feet(sails only) 2 3d6+12 3 20/50+120
Warship 2 175 +7 60 feet 3 3d6+12 4 60/80+160
Galley 2 200 +8 90 feet 4 6d6+24 4 100/150+200

When ships themselves become a part of a combat, things get more unusual. The following rules are not meant to accurately simulate all of the complexities of ship-to-ship combat, only to provide you with a quick and easy set of rules to resolve such situations when they inevitably arise in a nautical adventure, whether it be a battle between two ships or between a ship and a sea monster.

Preparation: Decide what type of ships are involved in the combat (see Table 7–49: Ship Statistics). Use a large, blank battle mat to represent the waters on which the battle occurs. A single square corresponds to 30 feet of distance. Represent each ship by placing markers that take up the appropriate number of squares (miniature toy ships make great markers and should be available at most hobby stores).

Starting Combat: When combat begins, allow the PCs (and important NPC allies) to roll initiative as normal—the ship itself moves and attacks on the captain’s initiative result. If any of the ships in the battle rely on sails to move, randomly determine what direction the wind is blowing by rolling 1d8 and following the guidelines for missed splash weapons (Core Rulebook 202).

Movement: On the captain’s initiative count, the ship can move its current speed in a single round as a move-equivalent action for the captain (or double its speed as a full-round action), as long as it has its minimum crew complement. The ship can increase or decrease its speed by 30 feet each round, up to its maximum speed. Alternatively, the captain can change direction (up to one side of a square at a time) as a standard action. A ship can only change direction at the start of a turn.

Attacks

Ship Statistics

A vast variety of boats and ships exist in the real world, from small rafts and longboats to intimidating galleons and swift galleys. To represent the numerous distinctions of shape and size that exist between water-going vessels, Table 7–49 categorizes seven standard ship sizes and their respective statistics. Just as the cultures of the real world have created and adapted hundreds of different types of seafaring vessels, races in fantasy worlds might create their own strange ships. GMs might use or alter the statistic above to suit the needs of their creations, and describe such conveyances however they please. All ships have the following traits.

Ship Type: This is a general category that lists the ship’s basic type.

AC: The ship’s base Armor Class. To calculate a ship’s actual AC, add the captain’s Profession (sailor) modifier to the ship’s base AC. Touch attacks against a ship ignore the captain’s modifier. A ship is never considered flat-footed.

hp: The ship’s total hit points. In addition, all ships have a hardness rating based on their construction material (hardness 5 for most wooden ships). At 0 or fewer hit points, a ship gains the sinking condition as described above.

Base Save: The ship’s base save modifier. All of a ship’s saving throws (Fortitude, Reflex, and Will) have the same value. To determine a ship’s actual saving throw modifiers, add the captain’s Profession (sailor) modifier to this base value.

Maximum Speed: The ship’s maximum tactical speed in combat.

Arms: The number of siege engines (Core Rulebook 434–436) that can be fitted on the ship. A ram uses one of these slots, and only one ram may be fitted to a ship.

Ram: The amount of damage the ship inflicts on a successful ramming attack (without a ram siege engine).

Squares: The number of squares the ship takes up on the battle mat. A ship’s width is always considered to be one square.

Crew: The first number lists the minimum crew complement the ship needs to function normally, excluding those needed to make use of the vessel’s weapons. The second value lists the ship’s maximum crew plus additional soldiers or passengers. A ship without its minimum crew complement can only move, change speed, change direction, or ram if its captain makes a DC 20 Profession (sailor) check. Crew in excess of the minimum have no effect on movement, but they can replace fallen crewmembers or man additional weapons.

Ship-to-Ship Combat

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