- Name: Ship's name
- Type: Ship's design, ie an eelship
- Tonnage: How man SJ tons the ship comprises. 1 SJ ton =100 cubic yds volume. literally the amount of displacement the ship takes up. Since this displacement also influences the amount of breathable air surrounding the ship in space, a ship's tonnage is also a reflection of both its crew capacity and requirements. One ton is not a measure of weight; instead, it is arbitrarily set to equal 100 cubic yards (2,700 cubic feet, a cube approximately 14 feet on a side). A mass that large will allow a single man to breathe comfortably for 4 to 8 months.
- Hull Points: A ship's "hit points"; nitial hit points of ships are 1d10 per tonnage of ship (plus any additional hit points for reinforced hull). This tonnage is 2,700 cubic feet in volume with the limitation that the ships is limited to following thickness depending on what material is made of: Wood 3 inches, Stone 2 inches, and Metal 1 inch.
- Crew: Min/Max. Min=helmsman+sailhands, Max=# man-sized creatures for 4 months air on most ships, on some ships this is how many the vessel can carry. A good rule is that Tonnage always represents how many
- Tactical Speed: A ships tactical speed (TS) is a reflection of the ship's speed and relative power, and to a lesser extent its maneuverability. A ship with high TS can move faster in a single round than one with low TS. The maximum tactical speed a ship can achieve dependents on the power of the helm. Each TS rating is equivalent to 150 feet of flight.
- Maneuverability Class: How maneuverable the ship is, "A" is best.Spaceship tactical maneuverability is similar to those of flying creatures, but do not function perfectly as a creature. They are rated as follows: perfect, good, average, poor and clumsy, with perfect being the most maneuverable. A rating of clumsy for a ship indicates that it is below minimum maneuverable standards. Such ships are usually converted sea craft modified for space travel and are outclassed by all craft built especially for space.
- Landing; Land: Can the ship land on the ground w/o damage
- Landing; Water: Can the ship land in the water w/o sinking
- AR: The ship's armor rating, how tough it is to hit and cause damage
- Armament varies from ship to ship. In a typical ship description, the standard armament is provided. Additional armament may be provided, though this cuts down on cargo space (the room that would normally be used for cargo is instead used to provide space for large weapons and their ammunition). The initial armament number reflects the number of armaments that can be built directly into the ship-further additions can be made with each weapon taking up a certain amount of tonnage, be it ½, 1 or 1½ ton. While a ship can have as much tonnage of weapon as can be fit onto a ship, it does become impractical for do so (i.e., lack of crew space) As a general rule armament does not exceed half the ship's total tonnage, this general rule allows some room for the crew's needs and provides enough breathable air for long voyages.
Armament falls into a number of categories, along the lines of the siege machinery it developed from:Catapult: blunt stone thrower; Ballista: extremely large crossbow; Ram: punches holes in ships; Bombard: very rare, expensive, and dangerous to use; Jettison: scatters debris; Alchemist Fire Projector: shoots liquid flame.
- Special Qualities: Some ships have special qualities that apart from the standard abilities of most ships. Some special qualities can include living, naturally restoring air quality, and being able to submerge.
Crew: Each ship has two crew numbers. The first is the number of individuals needed to run the ship under normal circumstances. The second is the number of individuals that the ship can carry without dangerously overloading its atmospheric envelope. For example, a ship with a crew rating of 10/35 requires 10 men to run the ship properly but it can carry up to 35 without endangering its atmosphere. If only one number is present, this means that the ship generally cannot carry passengers, but only crew.
When talking about maximum crew numbers and the air requirements of various races, man-sized races are assumed. For races and creatures that are not medium sized use the following to determine air consumption: ¼ man-days for tiny, ½ for small individuals, 2 man days for large, 4 man days for huge, 8 man days for gargantuan, and finally 16 days for colossal sized creatures. Crew listings are also less than those listed in the Player's Handbook and other sources for groundling campaigns. This is because the spelljamming helm frees up a lot of manpower otherwise needed (such as sailors and rowers). If a converted groundling ship is returned to earth, it will need its full crew to function normally. Air Capacity: The total amount of man-days worth of air that a ship carries.
- Saves As: Material the ship saves as on the item saving throw table
- Power Type: Method the vessel uses to traval through space. Power type defines the type of helm, engine, or other motive force that causes the ship to go through space. Most helms are powered by magical or other mystical energy that is converted it into motive force. In other words, the ships run on magic. Different power types have different limitations and capabilities. A ship with no power is adrift, unable to control its motion. A ship can have multiple power sources. The one "on-line" is the primary power source, while the others (including any spells) are back-ups.
- Ship's Rating: The ship's tactical speed. 1 SR = 1 hex = 500yds in space
- Cargo: How many "SJ" tons of cargo the ship can hold. Cargo Space Is the amount dedicated to storage of cargo. Each ton of a ship's size reflects 2,700 cubic feet of space (typically 20 feet by 15 feet, and 9 feet in height) that may be used for carrying (nonliving or non-breathing) cargo. A 30-ton frigate will typically carry 7½ tons of cargo, about ¼ its normal tonnage. The remaining interior space is needed for crew, armament, and other necessities. For each “large” weapon added to a ship over and above its standard ordnance, a ½ ton is subtracted from the total amount available for cargo (the weapons and their ammunition occupy that space). Some ship designs not reflect 100 cubic yards per ton space in their design, these ship often not carry their full amount of cargo due to lack of space for such.
- Keel Length: Longwise length of the ship
- Beam Length: Crosswise length of the ship
Jammerhelms are the primary method of powering spelljamming vessels.
Ships are made up of the following sections: Main Hull, Engine Nacelle, and Modular Sections.
This is the main body of the ship. On most ships, this is where the decks are in. Some ships maybe built entirely in a solid hull. Other times, modular sections are used for the sake of versatility, or quick disposal - with atomic engines and chemical thrusters designed separate from the hull for this reason. Military ships are usually designed with sub-sections to maximize survivability. If one section is heavily damaged, the rest of the ship can function. Sub-sections are usually made up of a Forward Section, a Mid-Section (sometimes, an Upper and Lower Mid-Section), and an Aft Section.
Ion drives are safe enough to be build in the main hull. Atomic engines and chemical thrusters are designed to be separate from the main hull, so they can be discharged in the case of an emergency. In the case of chemical thrusters, the fuel can be highly combustible, and the explosion could send fragmentation into the main hull. Atomic engines don't explode unless armed to do so - as a self-destruct measure, and this order can only be given by the ship's commander (the captain or first officer) and the chief engineer. The primary risk of an Atomic engine is not a nuclear explosion, but a radiation leak or a meltdown. In both cases, the engine must be discharged, or the decks might get flooded with radiation. These nacelles are usually mounted on struts with demolition charges.
These sections are built independently of the main hull. In most cases, these are modular cargo bins used with freighters. Modular sections can be can facilitate the quick removal or attachment of specialized equipment and systems for the sake versatility, quick repairs or disposal. As useful as these sections are, military_ships generally avoid them because of the vulnerable nature of these sections. To risk of these sections (like attachable weapon turrets), are that they are prone to becoming fused into place, blown off, or cut off from the ship's power and control systems form damage of a lesser extent. The only exception to this, are the transport bins used with assault transports.
Unlike ship in most fiction, spelljammers don't have a "wet-navy" layout, but instead, have a more realistic layout that relies on ships' momentum to produce artificial gravity. This layout puts the "top" of the ship at the nose, and the "bottom" at the stern.
These are not standard for all ships, but are typical arrangements on most ships. Universally, there would be a Bridge on the uppermost deck, Engineering in the lower deck, and decks related to the functionality of the ships (quarters, life-support, cargo, and such) are stacked between them.
The typical deck layout (from the top to bottom) of a Civilian Ship:
- Forward (upper) Decks
o Bridge o Officer's Deck - Quarters and Living Area o Main o Life Support Deck
o Crew Deck(s) - Quarters and Living Area o Recreation Deck o typical for Spaceliners: o Luxury Accommodations Deck o Recreation Deck o Passenger Accommodations Deck o Storage Accommodations Deck o typical for freighters: o Cargo o typical for mining ships: o Intake Deck - raw material bay o Processing Deck - refinery o Outtake Deck - refined material bay
- Aft (lower) Deck
o Storage Deck o Engineering
The typical deck layout (from the top to bottom) of a military ship:
- Forward (upper) Decks
o Bridge o Officer's Deck - Quarters and Living Area o Main computer Deck o Life Support Deck
o Crew Deck(s) - Quarters and Living Area o Weapon Deck o Administration Deck - Security station and brig, medical bay, and weapons locker. o Recreation Deck
- Aft (lower) Deck
o Storage Deck o Engineering
Unless the ship is a droneship - which is controlled by computers - space ships need living crew to operate. The military is of a more regimented then the private sector, as military personnel have to deal with combat situations. Privately owned ships tend to have be more casual with their structure.
usually types of crew are:
- Captain - Acts as the Tactical Officer.
- First Officer - Acts as the primary pilot.
- Astrogator - Calculates course for Jump, acts as secondary Communications Officer.
- Communications and Operations Officer - As as nerve-center of the ship.
- Gunner - Controls the ship's weapons.
- Chief Engineer - Controls the ship's power and engine.
- Security Officer - Leads the Marines.
- Fighter Pilot
- Technician - Makes repairs to ship.
- Marine - Deals with boarding actions.
- Fight Crew - Makes repairs to fighters.
- Captain - Acts as the primary pilot. (usually the ship's owner)
- First Mate - Acts as a secondary pilot or operations officer. (usually the a co-owner)
- Astrogator - Also acts as a secondary operations officer. (maybe a co-owner or freelancer)
- Engineer (maybe a co-owner)
- Gunner (only found on armed ships)
- Crewman - They usually unskilled staff or a specialist (almost always an employee or owner's relative)
Spelljammers have two main speeds; "Spelljamming Speed" is very fast, 100 million miles per day. Think of it like lightspeed or warpdrive, you can only attain this speed when you are at least 12,500 yards from any object of 10 SJ tons or more in size. Conversely, coming within 12,500 yards of any object 10 SJ tons or more in size will immediately and uncontrolably slow you to tactical speed. With very rare exceptions all SJ helms move at this speed when "spelljamming".
"Tactical speed" is much, much slower. 17 mph or 500 yards per round per ship's rating. Ship's rating is determined by the helm, and the level of the helmsman. Higher level, higher SR. Some spells, proficiencies and magic items can increase it as well.
Ships travaling at spelljamming speed are immune to collisions with small objects. When a ship travelling at SJ speed encounters an object of volume less than required to drop it to tactical, that item is "picked up" by the ship's envelope. That object then bounces up and down in the gravity plane until it stabilizes. Once it's resting on the plane, it starts to drift outward towards the edge. When it reaches the edge, it is "let go", and is left behind in the ship's wake.
This protection doesn't work at tactical speed, objects enter the air envelope with their velocity intact. This permits ship to ship combat at this speed (otherwise bolts and catapult shot would be useless) and also makes travel through certain astroid fields and crowded shipping lanes hazardous.
Within most crystal spheres navigation is not difficult, just a more complicated version of terrestial navigation by the stars utilizing three diminsional instruments.
Philogiston Navigation is much more difficult, there are precious few landmarks or navigation aids in the flow. So how does one get from place to place? The easiest method is to follow a flow river. There are many major flow rivers through the philogiston, since most crystal spheres remain in relatively stable positions within the flow one can navigate by counting the spheres passed as one follows the river. Travel to sphere's outside a major flow is much more time consuming and difficult: the navigator must first determine his/her exact position within the sphere to be departed, then he/she must determine at what angle from the sphere the destination sphere lies and plot a direct course to it. Obviously this method is very risky, though some navigators are so good they hit everytime. It can take from 10-100 days to travel from sphere to sphere within the Flow. Atmospheric Movement
Travel within planatary atmospheres is a very tricky buisiness, spelljammers are are not really designed to stand up to the stress caused by wind and weather and in many ways landing on a planet is the most dangerous maneuver a spelljammer might routinely attempt.
When a spelljammer is caught in a storm the vessel must make a saving throw versus crushing blow each turn. This save can be modfied in several ways. If all sails are taken down and secured (reducing the ship's MC to "F") then the save is made at +4. Additionally, if the helmsman has the Spelljammer proficiency, he can add +1 to the roll. Regardless, if the roll fails the ship suffers a random critical hit. Since some of these can be disasterous for a vessel within a gravitational field (such as spelljammer shock) atmospheric traval is often considered quite dangerous. Stronger storms impose penalties on the save, the DM informs the crew of this as appropriate.
Even when the wind is calm spelljammers are limited to a move of 24 in the atmosphere, the rough equivalent of SR 1. If the ship is pushed beyond this limit the vessel must make a saving throw again for each turn spent beyond SR 1, further more, the roll is penalized by the amount over. A vessel flying at SR 4, for instance, would have a -3 on the save. Positive modifiers can be used here as well when appropriate. Again the ship suffers a random critical hit when the save is failed.
Crew cannot normally work on deck when a spelljammer is moving faster than SR 3. The windspeed is simply too great. Anyone on deck of a ship moving SR 3 or faster must make a save vs paralyzation or be blown clear off the deck.
Spelljammers are inherently less maneuverable within the atmosphere, all MCs are reduced by one level. All spelljammers can hover, however, though they can't turn while hovering.
Note the saving throws for speed and weather are cumulative. If a ship is traveling through a hurricane at SR 6 that vessel would have to make two saves each turn, not one.
Finally, nearly all planetary bodies of size D and larger have several bands of very high winds in the upper atmopshere, similar in most respects to the Earth's jet streams. Passing through this band, whether on landing or take off requires a saving throw versus crushing blow as well. Again, if the save is failed a critical hit occurs.
Ship's suffer damage in this way often enough to keep spelljaming interference within most world's affairs to a minimum. All the major campaign worlds, (Oerth, Krynn, Mystara, Toril) possess such a band of high winds. A few planets smaller then size D have it as well