Heroes of Freeport
Ships and Provisions
|Galley||30,000 gp||4 mph||80||-||150||15||500||20|
|Keelboat||3,000 gp||1 mph||1||6||1/2||15||100||10|
|Longship||10,000 gp||3 mph||40||150||10||15||300||15|
|Rowboat||50 gp||1 1/2 mph||1||3||-||11||50||-|
|Sailing Ship||10,000 gp||2 mph||20||20||100||15||300||15|
|Warship||25,000 gp||2 1/2 mph||60||60||200||15||500||20|
|Large Warship||65,000 gp||2 1/2 mph||150||150||425||15||1,200||20|
Cost: The ship’s cost in gp. Sometimes the description or the weapons section provides possible modifications for the ships. These are not included in the cost of the ship, nor are additions like rams or siege engines.
Speed: This is the fastest that a ship can move under normal circumstances.
Crew: A ship needs a crew of hirelings to function. Most crews contain skilled and unskilled hirelings in some mix; seasoned sailors mixing with new recruits or press-ganged land lubbers. As per the Player’s Handbook, one skilled hireling costs 2 gp per day, while an unskilled hireling costs 2 sp per day. Long-term operations like naval work pay less in exchange for guaranteed wages. Some crews sail not for pay, but for a share prizes and booty taken.
Crew activities that are performed en masse, like moving the ship or firing the guns, require at least half of the crew dedicated to them to be skilled hirelings. A significantly larger percentage of unskilled crew provides disadvantage on whatever task they are attempting or, in the case of moving the ship, reduces the vessel’s speed by 1 mph.
A vessel’s crew rating indicates the number of crew members needed to run the vessel in good spirits, using shifts to operate day and night. A ship can move using fewer crew members than indicated by the vessel’s crew rating. So long as at least half of the rating is manned by skilled hirelings, no penalties are incurred but, if the skeleton crew conditions persist, loyalty may be impacted. If less than half of the crew rating is met, the ship can move at 1 mph and cannot perform ship maneuvers or crew actions.
The DM tracks crew loyalty as a group, using the optional loyalty rules in the Dungeon Master’s Guide, chapter 4. Important, named crew members track loyalty individually. Pay and access to liquor are particularly important factors for loyalty in naval cultures. Disloyal crew members might desert when given liberty at a port or mutiny if things get particularly bad.
Passengers: The number of non-crew passengers the ship can carry. A vessel can also use this space for additional crew, marines, or other personnel.
Cargo: The amount of cargo (in tons) a ship’s hold can carry.
AC: The ship’s base Armor Class as an object. Reduce a ship’s AC by 2 if it is unmoving (becalmed or at anchor).
HP: The ship’s total hit points. A ship that takes damage beyond half its total hit points gains 2 levels of Ship Exhaustion. A ship that takes more damage than its total hit points gains the Sinking condition.
Repairs to a damaged ship can be made while the vessel is berthed. Repairing 1 hit point of damage requires 1 day and costs 20 gp for materials and labor. Repairs can be accomplished at twice that rate for an additional 10 gp per day of labor.
DT: The ship’s Damage Threshold. A ship has immunity to all damage unless it takes an amount of damage equal to or greater than its Damage Threshold, in which case it takes all the damage, as normal. Any damage that fails to meet or exceed the Damage Threshold is considered superficial and doesn’t reduce the ship’s hit points.
When ramming, a ship inflicts damage based on its own Damage Threshold; roll a number of d20s equal to half its DT rating. This is the damage inflicted on the rammed ship. The rammed vessel’s navigator can attempt an Intelligence (water vehicles) check with a difficulty equal to the ramming ship’s DT. Success reduces ramming damage to half.
The ramming ship also takes damage, half of the number actually inflicted on the rammed ship. The ramming vessel’s navigator may attempt an Intelligence (water vehicles) check against a difficulty of the rammed vessel’s DT. (This check automatically succeeds if the ramming ship is armed with a ram.) Success halves the damage to the ramming ship.
When calculating damage to the rammed ship and the ramming ship, each vessel’s DT applies its chance to negate the damage after the navigators’ checks are attempted.
Not all ships are created equally. Players looking for a ship that is faster, tougher, or more agile might consider adding modifications to their vessels. Each of the following ship improvements must be planned, built, or installed (as appropriate) by a group of skilled shipwrights. Creating anything larger than a keelboat must be constructed by a skilled team, not individuals employing the downtime crafting rules.
Additional Crew Quarters: This translates into more space for a ship’s sailors to sleep and eat. The ship may support 10% more passengers than its base rating, but its cargo capacity is decreased by 10% of its base rating. If there is insufficient cargo capacity, this modification cannot be added. Cost: 20% of base ship cost.
Armor Plating: By attaching metal plates to the ship, the vessel’s DT increases by 5. This modification reduces a ship’s cargo capacity by 15% of its base value. If there is insufficient cargo capacity, this modification cannot be added. The armor plating slows the ship by 1/2 mph. Cost: 30% of base ship cost.
Broad Rudder: A wide rudder makes a ship more nimble, granting advantage certain maneuvers. Cost: 3% of the base ship cost.
Corvus: A ramp or set of ramps that can be lowered from a ship to facilitate boarding. A corvus has hooks on its end to secure it fast over the other ship’s rail and its own handrails so sailors can safely rush into a boarding action. These bulky devices reduce a ship’s cargo capacity by 5% of its base value. If there is insufficient cargo capacity, this modification cannot be added. Cost: 3% of the base ship cost.
Concealed Weapon Ports: A concealed weapon port is carefully crafted and disguised; it can only be recognized on a successful Wisdom (Perception) check made within 1/2 of a mile. Cost: 5% of the base ship cost.
Extended Keel: The ship’s keel is longer than usual for a vessel of its type. The ship’s measurements from bow to stern are 10% longer than normal, though cargo capacity is not appreciably affected. The ship is more stable, and provides advantage to certain maneuvers. This improvement must be installed at the time of the ship’s construction and cannot be added later. Cost: 10% of base ship cost.
Figurehead: Some ships sport fanciful carvings on their bowsprits. This modification is strictly cosmetic, with no real impact on game play. Players are encouraged to design their own custom figureheads, such as dolphins, mermaids, and other such creatures of myth. A proud figurehead adds 1 to crew loyalty while they are aboard (or within sight of) the ship. Cost: 3% of the base ship cost.
Glass Bottom: The bottom of the ship is inset with wide windows, permitting those inside to gaze into the ocean. The glass is thick enough and the individual panes small enough, that they don’t affect durability or performance. These windows help the crew see threats that come from below or identify terrain features immediately under the vessel. Cost: 5% of base ship cost.
Improved Sails: The ship’s rigging undergoes wholesale changes. Rigging configuration and careful engineering enable the sails to function more reliably. This vessel can ignore result # 10 on the Sailing Chase Complications Chart. Cost: 6% of base ship cost.
Increased Cargo Capacity: An efficient remodeling of the ship’s layout means more room for the ship’s stores. The ship’s cargo capacity is increased by 10% of its base rating and its passenger capacity is reduced by 10% of its base rating. If there is insufficient passenger capacity, this modification cannot be added. Cost: 15% of base ship cost.
Movable Deck: The features of the ship’s decks are designed to be moved to disguise the ship as an altogether different vessel. After pulling up dozens of kingpins, the crew can slide the stern castle forward on hidden rails, rearrange the position of the masts, extend the gunwales, lower the poop deck, transfer the ship’s wheel, and make other cosmetic changes such as a new figurehead and different-colored sails. Identifying the ship at a distance is nearly impossible when the configuration is modified. This upgrade provides advantage on a captain’s Charisma (Deception) check to achieve surprise. Cost: 40% of base ship cost.
Narrow Hull: The ship has been intentionally designed with a more slender hull, enabling it to slip through smaller spaces. The ship gains a +2 bonus on all opposed Navigation checks made for a chase. The ship’s beam (width) is decreased by 20%, and cargo capacity is reduced by 20% of its base value. If there is insufficient cargo capacity, this modification cannot be included. This improvement must be installed at the time of the ship’s construction and cannot be added later. Cost: 15% of base ship cost.
Ram: The ship bears a standard ram, usually sheathed in bronze or iron, mounted on its bow, usually at the waterline. Add 10 to the ship’s DT for the purpose of inflicting and resisting damage when the ship attempts a ramming maneuver. If a ramming ship ship is equipped with a the vessel’s navigation check to reduce impact damage to itself succeeds automatically. When ramming, the ship’s DT is increased by 3. Cost: 5% of base ship cost.
Skirting: For protection during naval maneuvers, this ship has a raised “bumper” rail running down the front of its keel and around the front and sides of the hull just above the waterline. Double the ship’s DT when resistant damage from being rammed. This vessel also ignores result # 1 on the Sailing Chase Complications Chart. This cannot be added to a ship with a ram. Cost: 20% of base ship cost.
Smuggling Compartments: The ship’s bulkheads are modified so that gaps between them can serve as hidden cargo storage areas. This does not change a ship’s cargo capacity. A smuggling compartment can hold anything that fits within a 5-foot cubic space. A difficulty 20 Wisdom (Perception) check is required to locate smuggling compartments in a search of the ship. Cost: 3% of base ship cost.
Sturdy Hull: The ship’s body has had additional supports and layers of wood added to it, making it thicker and more resilient. The ship’s base hit points are increased by 10%, but the ship’s cargo capacity is reduced by 10% of its base rating. If there is insufficient cargo capacity, this modification cannot be added. Cost: 10% of base ship cost.
Siege engines assault structures and people from a distance by propelling ammunition in some fashion. The following rules are a modified version of the siege engine rules found in Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat, and focus only on those siege engines that can be carried and used on board ships.
Siege Engine Basics
All siege engines in the Skull & Shackles Adventure Path use the following basic rules, unless stated otherwise in an individual siege engine description.
Proficiency: Siege engines are exotic weapons. The Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat allows a character to fire a single type of siege engine without penalty. A creature with the Siege Engineer feat (Ultimate Combat 118) is proficient with all siege engines.
Feats: Several feats presented in Ultimate Combat can be used with siege engines. These include the following: Master Siege Engineer, Siege Commander, Siege Engineer, and Siege Gunner.
Crew: The sheer size of a siege engine often necessitates a crew for its use. One person of that crew is the crew leader. Usually the crew leader controls the movement of a siege engine or designates its targets; sometimes the crew leader does both. Often the crew leader is required to take actions and make specific checks in order for a siege engine to function. The rest of the crew members are required to spend actions and make checks in order for a siege engine to function. The crew of a siege engine is in addition to the crew needed to operate the ship.
Constructing Siege Engines: A siege engine is a complex device requiring a DC 20 Craft (siege engine) skill check to build.
Magical and Masterwork Siege Engines: Siege engines can be masterwork, increasing their Craft DC by 5 and cost by 300 gp. A masterwork siege engine can be enchanted at twice the cost for a normal magical weapon. The enhancement bonus of a siege engine applies on attack rolls and targeting checks (in the case of indirect fire siege engines).
Disabling Siege Engines: A siege engine is considered a difficult device to disable, requiring 2d4 rounds of effort and a DC 20 Disable Device check to do so. When a siege engine is disabled, it either doesn’t work or is sabotaged and stops working after 1d4 minutes of use.
Repairing Siege Engines: Repairing a broken or disabled siege engine requires a DC 20 Craft (siege engine), Disable Device, or Knowledge (engineering) check. It takes 10 minutes to fix the device, and the check can be retried if the fix fails.
Defense and Hit Points: All siege engines are objects, typically crafted out of wood. A siege engine has a Dexterity of 0 (–5 penalty) and a further penalty based on its size. Each type of siege engine has its own hardness and hit points. Siege engines can be armored—treat the siege engine as a creature of its size to determine the cost of the armor. Masterwork siege engine armor can be enchanted for twice the normal cost to enchant armor. Armored siege engines gain an armor bonus to AC equal to that normally granted by the specific armor (shields have no effect on a siege engine), a hardness and hit points equal to that of the armor, and bonus hit points equal to the armor bonus × 5.
Assembling Siege Engines: Siege engines can be broken down for storage or transport and can be reassembled on a ship’s deck. A Large siege engine requires 1 hour and four workers to assemble. A Huge siege engine requires 2 hours and six workers to assemble. Each assembly worker must make a DC 10 Craft (siege engine) check; if untrained, the worker may not take 10. Assembly can be performed with at least half the required number of workers by doubling the time required. If fewer than half are available, the siege engine cannot be assembled.
Firing Siege Engines
Siege engines hurl massive projectiles in one of two ways: direct fire or indirect fire. Both take a number of actions to load or aim, and the basic rules are described below.
Load Ammunition: In order for a siege engine to fire, it must be loaded with ammunition. Loading ammunition takes a number of full-round actions depending on the siege engine (this time can be reduced to move actions if the crew leader has the Master Siege Engineer feat [Ultimate Combat 109]). For example, a light ballista loaded by two creatures takes 1 round to load the siege weapon, since the creatures each take one of the two necessary full-round actions to do so.
Aiming a Siege Engine: Siege engines must be aimed in order to attack a desired target (in the case of direct-fire siege engines) or square (in the case of indirect-fire siege engines). Aiming takes a number of full-round actions depending on the siege engine. Aiming a siege engine with a diminished crew doubles the amount of time it takes to aim the siege engine. Each time a new target or square is chosen as the target of a siege engine’s attack, that siege engine must be aimed anew. For example, a light catapult aimed by two creatures would have to spend a turn aiming the catapult in order to fire it on the next round, since a light catapult takes two full-round actions to aim. If the same light catapult were instead crewed by three creatures, two could spend full-round actions aiming it and the remaining creature could fire it with a standard action.
Direct-Fire Siege Engines: Direct-fire weapons launch their projectiles on a relatively flat trajectory, allowing them to more easily target creatures or pummel barriers directly in front of them.
A direct-fire weapon uses a normal ranged attack roll, with the normal penalty for non-proficient use if none of the crew operating it have proficiency in siege engines. In addition, a direct-fire weapon takes a penalty on attack rolls of –2 per size category that the weapon is larger than the creature aiming it. Creatures with ranks in Knowledge (engineering) are not adversely affected by their size when firing direct-fire siege engines.
Sheer manpower can also reduce the penalties for size. Increasing the crew of these weapons by 1 or more can reduce the attack roll penalty for creature size: as long as an extra crew member is no more than three size categories smaller than the direct-fire weapon, it can reduce the penalty due to the aiming creature’s size by 2. For example, a Huge ballista fired by a Medium creature that is part of a crew of four (one more than the minimum number of crew members required) takes only a – 2 penalty on attack rolls, and a crew of five would negate the penalty altogether.
Indirect-Fire Siege Engines: Indirect-fire weapons launch projectiles in high arcs toward their targets. They typically lob heavier missiles and payloads than direct-fire weapons, but they are harder to aim accurately. Indirect-fire weapons can bypass many forms of fortification, delivering their payloads of solid shot, scatter shot, or even disease-ridden offal to targets on other ships.
Indirect-fire weapons use a targeting mechanic similar to that described for catapults in the Core Rulebook, hereafter referred to as an indirect attack. The following is an update to those rules.
Indirect Attack: To fire an indirect-fire siege engine, the crew leader makes a targeting check against the DC of the siege engine. This check uses his base attack bonus, his Knowledge (engineering) skill modifier if trained in that skill (or his Intelligence modifier, if not trained), any non-proficiency penalty, and the appropriate modifiers from Table 2. If the check succeeds, the ammunition of the indirect attack hits the square the siege engine was aimed at, dealing the indicated damage or effect to any object or creature within the area of its attack. Creatures may get a saving throw to limit the effect of the attack; this is typically based on the type of ammunition used.
If the attack misses the intended square, roll 1d8 to determine in what direction the shot veers. A roll of 1 indicates the ammunition falls short (toward the siege engine), with rolls of 2 through 8 counting squares clockwise around the target square. Roll 1d4 for every range increment at which the attack was made (1d4 if the target square is within the engine’s first range increment, 2d4 if the target square is within the second range increment, and so on). The total is the number of squares by which the attack misses. The ammunition deals its damage and any other effects in the square it lands on.
TABLE 2: INDIRECT ATTACK
No line of sight to target square – 6 Successive shots +2*
(crew can see where most recent miss landed)
- Cumulative +2 per previous miss (maximum +10) Successive shots +1*
(crew can’t see where most recent missed shot landed, but observer is providing feedback)
- Cumulative +1 per previous miss (maximum +5) Successive shots after a hit +10
Critical Hits: When a direct-fire siege engine scores a critical hit, it confirms the critical and deals critical hit damage just like any other weapon. If an indirect-fire siege engine rolls a natural 20 on its targeting check, it can also score a critical hit. The crew leader must reroll the targeting check to confirm the critical. If the confirmation targeting check is successful, the attack is a critical hit, and the siege engine multiplies its damage by its critical multiplier. Unlike normal attacks, siege engine attacks can deal critical hit damage to objects. Siege engines do not gain the benefit of critical feats the crew or the crew leader may have.
Mishaps and Misfires: Rolling a natural 1 on an attack roll with a direct-fire siege engine or a targeting check made by an indirect-fire siege engine produces a mishap. Usually a mishap applies the broken condition. A siege engine with the broken condition takes a – 2 penalty on attack rolls, targeting checks, and damage rolls.
If the creature that serves as crew leader has the Siege Engineer feat, that creature does not generate a mishap on a natural 1 when firing the siege engine.
TABLE 3: SIEGE ENGINES
Siege Engines Cost Dmg Critical Range Type Crew Aim Load
Large Direct-Fire Siege Engines
Ballista, light 500 gp 3d8 19–20/×2 120 ft. P 1 0 2
Large Indirect-Fire Siege Engines
Catapult, light 550 gp 4d6 ×2 150 ft. (50 ft. min.) B 2 2 3
Huge Direct-Fire Siege Engines
Ballista, heavy 800 gp 4d8 19–20/×2 180 ft. P 3 2 3
Firedrake 4,000 gp 6d6 — — fire 3 2 5
Huge Indirect-Fire Siege Engines
Catapult, standard 800 gp 6d6 ×2 200 ft. (100 ft. min.) B 3 2 3
Springal, arrow 1,000 gp 3d8 ×3 100 ft. (50 ft. min.) P 3 2 3
Corvus 100 gp — — — — 1 — —
Siege Engine Qualities
Siege engines are presented in the following format on Table 3.
Cost: This value is the siege engine’s cost in gold pieces (gp). The cost includes gear needed to work the engine as well as gear for upkeep. Typical ammunition costs and weights are given in the siege engine descriptions.
Damage: This entry gives the damage typically dealt by the siege engine. Unlike normal ranged weapons, siege engines deal full damage to objects. Siege engines do not deal sneak attack damage or any other kind of precision damage.
Critical: The entry for this column notes how the engine is used with the rules for critical hits (Core Rulebook 144). Unlike normal ranged weapons, siege engines can deal critical damage to objects as well as creatures.
Range: Any attack at a distance greater than that listed in this entry is penalized for range. Beyond this range, the attack or targeting check takes a cumulative – 2 penalty for each full-range increment (or fraction thereof ) of distance to the target. Some siege engines have a minimum range for effectiveness, listed in parentheses after its range.
Type: Like weapons, siege engines are classified according to the type of damage they deal: B for bludgeoning, P for piercing, or S for slashing. Some siege engines deal energy damage. In those cases, the type of energy damage is listed instead.
Crew: This column gives the number of Medium creatures needed to properly operate the siege engine.
Aim: This column gives the number of full-round actions required to aim a siege engine. If the siege engine is being controlled by less than its normal crew complement, the number of actions it takes for the crew to aim the siege engine is doubled.
Load: This column gives the number of full-round actions required to load a siege engine.
Siege Engine Descriptions
The following siege engines are available.
Ballista: A ballista resembles a massive crossbow, and its power is provided by twisted skeins of animal sinew used as torsion springs driving a pair of adjustable arms. A cord attached to both arms is winched back and a projectile is loaded into a grooved slider for release. Ballistae are direct-fire siege engines.
Light: This common type of ballista, also called an arbalest or scorpion, is Large, maneuverable, and often mounted on ships. Light ballistae have a hardness of 5 and 50 hit points. Light ballista bolts cost 10 gp each and weigh 10 pounds.
Heavy: These Huge siege engines are commonly used as castle defenses, as well as on large warships. Heavy
ballistae have a hardness of 5 and 100 hit points. Heavy ballista bolts cost 30 gp and weigh 20 pounds each.
Catapult: Catapults are stone-throwing siege engines powered by winched arms that run through torsion skeins, and hold their payload in a cup that swings up and over the weapon when released. Catapults can hurl a variety of different types of ammunition (the damage given is for stone projectiles; other types of ammunition can be found in the Special Siege Engine Ammunition section, below). Catapults are indirect-fire siege engines.
Light: These catapults are Large and often mounted on wheels. The targeting DC of a light catapult is 15. Light catapults have a hardness of 5 and 50 hit points. Light catapult stones cost 10 gp and weigh 50 pounds each.
Standard: These Huge catapults are too large to be transported in one piece, and require assembly. The targeting DC of a standard catapult is 20. Standard catapults have a hardness of 5 and 100 hit points. Standard catapult stones cost 15 gp and weigh 75 pounds each.
Corvus: A corvus is a boarding device that features a hinged counterweight system for mounting a bridge vertically on the side of a ship, with a hooked end to grab onto a target ship. A corvus is usually 10 feet wide and 15 feet long. It has a hardness of 5 and 10 hit points per square. Using a corvus requires a DC 10 Profession (siege engineer) check as a full-round action, provided the corvus is in the correct position, which is within the length of the corvus and adjacent to another ship. If the check fails, the corvus fails to catch on the target and must be reset (a full-round action). Once a corvus is attached, it takes a Strength check as a full-round action to dislodge the corvus. Alternatively, if the corvus is attached to a ship, the pilot of either ship can make a sailing check as a standard action to dislodge the corvus (a check that succeeds by 5 or more destroys the corvus). The base DC for either of these checks is 15, and the DC increases by 5 for every Small or Medium creature currently standing on the corvus. If a corvus is disengaged while creatures are standing on it, those creatures must make a DC 15 Reflex saving throw or fall. Succeeding at the saving throw allows them to move to the nearest area of safe ground, but such movement provokes attacks of opportunity. A corvus cannot be armored. A corvus does not count toward a ship’s maximum number of siege engines.
Firedrake: These Huge siege engines are often mounted on wheels. This apparatus fires gouts of alchemist’s fire in either a 60-foot line or a 30-foot cone (siege crew leader’s choice). Targets in the area take 6d6 points of fire damage (DC 15 Reflex save for half damage); those who fail their saves also catch on fire. A firedrake with the broken condition that suffers a further mishap explodes, dealing its damage to all creatures within a 20-foot-radius burst (DC 15 Reflex save for half damage). Firedrakes have a hardness of 10 and 70 hit points. One use of firedrake ammunition costs 200 gp and weighs 20 pounds.
Springal: A springal uses a torsion-cranked composite paddle to strike a firing rack containing multiple arrows, which rain down in an arc over a burst area. Springals are indirect-fire siege engines that affect the targeted square and a 15-foot burst around that square. One use of arrow springal ammunition costs 20 gp and weighs 10 pounds.
Special Siege Engine Ammunition
The following kinds of ammunition can be used in select types of indirect-fire siege engines. The ammunition description specifies which types of siege engines can use the special ammunition. The costs and weights on Table 4 are for individual uses of special ammunition.
TABLE 4: SPECIAL SIEGE ENGINE
Ammunition Cost Weight
Alchemist’s fire 200 gp 10 lbs.
Chain shot 50 gp 30 lbs.
Liquid ice 400 gp 20 lbs.
Plague bundle 80 gp 20 lbs.
Smoke shot 250 gp 20 lbs.
Alchemist’s Fire: This is either a hard, ceramic container of alchemist’s fire that can be used as ammunition in catapults, or a ceramic bulb of alchemist’s fire mounted on the tip of a ballista bolt to be fired from ballistae. When it hits its target square, it deals 4d6 points of fire damage to each creature and wooden structure within 5 feet of the target space, and each creature must make a DC 20 Reflex saving throw or catch on fire (wooden objects automatically catch on fire). Every creature and wooden object within the area between 5 and 30 feet of the target space must make a DC 20 Reflex saving throw or take half the fire damage, but does not catch on fire. On a siege engine mishap, this ammunition explodes before it is launched, dealing its damage to the siege engine and all nearby creatures and wooden objects as if one of the spaces of the siege engine (crew leader’s choice) were the target square. This alchemical fire ignores the hardness of wooden objects.
Chain Shot: Made of two small catapult stones chained together, this ammunition can be fired from catapults. Chain shot is especially good at tearing through sails and rigging, dealing double its normal damage to that form of propulsion. It deals normal damage to a creature, and if hit, the creature must succeed at a DC 20 Fortitude saving throw or be knocked prone. Chain shot is relatively ineffective against ships themselves, dealing only 2d6 points of damage for a light catapult, or 4d6 points of damage for a standard catapult.
Liquid Ice: This hard, ceramic canister filled with alchemical liquid ice can be used as ammunition in catapults. When it hits its target square, it deals 4d6 points of cold damage to each creature within 5 feet of the target space, and each creature must make a DC 20 Fortitude save or become entangled for 1 round. Every creature within the area between 5 and 30 feet of the target space must make a DC 20 Fortitude saving throw or take half damage. On a siege engine mishap, this ammunition explodes before it is launched, dealing its damage to all nearby creatures as if one of the spaces of the siege engine (crew leader’s choice) were the target square.
Plague Bundle: This hard, ceramic canister is filled with a noxious mass of diseased carrion and offal that can be used as ammunition for a catapult. It deals only half damage, but every creature hit by it is exposed to filth fever (Core Rulebook 557). A GM might allow a plague bundle to inflict other diseases.
Smoke Shot: This hard ceramic sphere contains two alchemical substances separated by a thin barrier, much like a smoke pellet (Advanced Player’s Guide 185) in larger form. It can be used as ammunition in catapults. When smoke shot hits the target space, it deals 2d6 points of damage to any creature in that space, and the substances mingle and then create an area of foul but harmless yellow smoke radiating 30 feet from the target square. Treat the effect as a fog cloud spell. On a siege engine mishap, the ammunition explodes before it is launched. Its effect is centered on one of the spaces of the siege engine (crew leader’s choice).
The muzzle-loading design and weight of cannons place design constraints on the length and size of naval guns. Muzzle-loading requires cannons to be positioned within the hull of the ship for loading. The hull width, guns lining both sides, and hatchways in the centre of the deck also limit the room available. Weight is always a great concern in ship design as it affects speed, stability, and buoyancy. Not every ship can carry as heavy a weight of cannons as its commander might wish. Following are some variant cannon sizes.
Cannon: (Large Object, AC: 19, HP: 75). A cannon propels a 42-lb. ball at great range and with tremendous destructive potential. The barrel of a cannon is typically 12 feet long, with a calibre of 7 inches and a weight of about 6500 lbs. Firing requires 240 charges of powder. Ranged Weapon Attack: + 6 to hit, range 600/2,400 ft., one target. Hit: 44 (8d10) bludgeoning damage.
Carronade: (_Large Object, AC 19, HP: 90). A carronade is a large, short ship gun that fires massive shot for short distances. Carronade round shots weigh 68 lbs. each and require 500 charges of powder. Ranged Weapon Attack: + 4 to hit, range 300/1,200 ft., one target. Hit: 60 (11d10) bludgeoning damage.
Culverin: (Large Object, AC: 19, HP: 60). A 5-inch bore cannon used to bombard targets from a distance. The Culverin has a relatively long barrel and a light construction. It fires solid round shot projectiles with a high muzzle velocity, producing a relatively long range and flat trajectory. Firing the 20-lb. ball requires 110 charges of powder. Ranged Weapon Attack: + 6 to hit, range 750/3,000 ft., one target. Hit: 33 (6d10) bludgeoning damage.
Demi-Cannon: (Large Object, AC: 19, HP: 60). A mid-sized siege weapon, slightly larger than a culverin but smaller than a regular cannon. The barrel of a demi-cannon is typically 11 feet long, with a calibre of 6 inches and a weight of about 5000 lbs. Firing the 32-lb. ball requires 180 charges of powder. Ranged Weapon Attack: + 6 to hit, range 450/1,800 ft. Hit: 33 (6d10) bludgeoning damage.
Demi-Culverin: (Large Object, AC: 19, HP: 50). Smaller than a regular culverin, this gun’s barrels are typically about 12 feet long with a calibre of 4 inches. Shots require 45 charges of powder to fire their 8-pound ammunition. The demi-culverin has an exceptional range, accuracy, and effectiveness. Ranged Weapon Attack: + 6 to hit, range 750/3,000 ft. Hit: 27 (5d10) bludgeoning damage.
Hand Culverin: (Small Object, AC: 16, HP: 30). Sometimes called a “swivel gun,” this small culverin is often mounted on the ship’s rails, in a crow’s nest, or at other secure landings along the masts. Manned by a single gunner, this weapon is most often used against enemy crew. A hand culverin’s bore is 2 inches in diameter and requires 50 charges of powder to fire. Ranged Weapon Attack: + 4 to hit (personal scale), range 80/320 ft. Hit: 11 (2d10) bludgeoning damage.