ED4 Design: Airships, Riverboats, and More

Discussion on the Earthdawn game line, errata, and feedback not related to playing or GMing.
Sangius
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Re: ED4 Design: Airships, Riverboats, and More

Postby Sangius » Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:00 am

I don't wish to pry, but I'd be totally up for an update ... :)

wsocrates
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Location: Michigan

Re: ED4 Design: Airships, Riverboats, and More

Postby wsocrates » Mon Aug 01, 2016 1:32 pm

Sorry Just found out 4th edition was alive and well. Please any update on this would be great.

Telarus_KSC
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Re: ED4 Design: Airships, Riverboats, and More

Postby Telarus_KSC » Sun Aug 07, 2016 4:36 pm

*WHEW* Sorry about the radio silence there. Real-life things happen, and I now understand how hard it is to get updates out to an audience in the middle of that stress.

So, UPDATE! I'm editing all my design notes together today and you all get a taste of what's to come.

I came up with a concept that ties all the weird optional rules from earlier editions together, like pushing speed/maneuverability, splitting fire, etc, etc.

Called "Officer Maneuvers" this mechanic allows the Captain of a ship to order his or her Officers to do special actions a certain # of times per Ship Combat turn - depending on the number of Successes scored on the Captain's Ship Initiative(5) test. You also get a free Officer Maneuver whenever an enemy Captain fails to score 2 or more Successes with their chosen Ship Maneuver against you (in previous editions a successful Maneuver against you meant you could not act against that ship with your Maneuver later in the turn - skipping turns wasn't fun). Officer Maneuvers can be used to modify your Ship Maneuver, and some can be used as a reaction to your opponent's Ship Maneuver.

Each Officer Maneuver can be performed by a given Officer position (meaning that character rolls the test), but the Captain and 1st Mate can fill in for any missing/wounded Officer. This fits nicely alongside the basic Ship Maneuvers (Assault, Ramming, Boarding, Breaking-Off, and a new one - Parley), gives a sense of back-and-forth "dogfighting" during the Ship Combat turn, and most importantly this gets characters other than the Captain making tests and involved in the action.

I will have more details once I edit all my notes and run them by Josh Harrison. Thanks for the interest everyone!

Telarus_KSC
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Re: ED4 Design: Airships, Riverboats, and More

Postby Telarus_KSC » Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:28 am

Hahahaha, my #TestAllTheThings brain just noticed that the "Ship Speed Table" in 1st edition was calibrated for a 6 second combat round, and 4E uses a 10 second combat round. That's going to take some number crunching. I'm also still editing together the Crew Attribute description, but have all the other Attributes done.

Here is a preview of the Chapter Header and the first 5(and a half-ish) Ship Attribute descriptions!

You will notice that some things have been moved around/condensed into the new Attributes. I hope that this whets your appetite for more.

In =Airships, Riverboats, and Vehicles= Telarus wrote:Welcome aboard, honored guests! Please allow me to show you to your quarters, then Master Jik’havas will explain how to use the oars while you listen to the delightful tunes of his drum…
- Captain Trenjor greets a new group of slaves aboard his vedette Intimidator

This chapter describes the various types of airships, riverboats, and other vehicles that characters are likely to encounter in their adventures as Ships. A Ship is any vehicle operated by a Company of namegivers (up to 300 individuals) for exploration, trade, and combat. A Ship allows a company to gain great rewards from coordinated effort.

The following material includes explanations of ship statistics, rules for ship and overland travel - including speed and navigational hazards, an overview of ship weapons and combat, and rules for constructing, repairing, and maintaining ships.

This section also includes descriptions of several different types of ships: crystal raider drakkars, the wooden airships of Throal, the paddle-wheeled riverboats of the t’skrang, the waterborne galleys and sailing vessels of the merchant cities, and the powerful stone airships and other strange vehicles of the Theran Empire.

...

Ship Statistics

All ships have six Attributes: Speed, Maneuverability, Armor, Health, Payload, and Crew.

Most of these Attributes are given as step numbers, and are used in the same way as a character’s Attribute steps are. Some ship Attributes, however, represent other characteristics of the ship, such as the amount of damage the ship can sustain before becoming derelict, its payload of weapons and cargo, or the strength of the ship’s armor. Each of these six Attributes is described more fully below.

The Ship Combat section, p. XX, includes specifics for how many of these Attributes are used in the game, and the Officer Maneuvers section, p. XY, details ways some of these Attributes can be increased for short periods. Always use the current Attribute step (modified by Wounds, Critical Hits, Officer Maneuvers, and so on) when making tests or using the Attribute as a Difficulty Number.

Ships are considered Locations for the purpose of developing Pattern Items. Unless stated otherwise, airships have a Spell Defense of 16, while riverboats and other vehicles have a Spell Defense of 12.

Speed

Each ship has a Speed step that determines the speed at which it can travel. This is the ship’s cruising speed under normal conditions. Speed steps may vary among different types of vessels, and also depend on the environment. To reflect this in the game, lower the Speed of ships traveling against the wind (or against the river current) by –1. If a ship is traveling with the current (or with the wind), add a +1 bonus to its Speed.

A ship’s Speed step is used when making certain tests for the ship while it is traveling or in combat. Most ships can run faster for short bursts when necessary: the drummer on a galley can beat out a double time to the oarsmen, the ship can catch a strong gust of wind, or the riverboat's engineer can run the engine hot. See the Officer Maneuvers section for these rules.

The Ship Speed Table shows a ship’s actual speed based on its Speed step - in miles per hour, yards per 6-second combat round, and yards per 1-minute ship combat turn - as well as how far a ship can travel (in miles) during an eight- or sixteen-hour period. Most ships travel for sixteen hours per day under normal conditions.

Sailing Ships
The keeled sailing ships of the Aras Sea depend on the wind to push them along the water. A sailing ship’s base Speed step varies, depending on the strength of the prevailing wind and whether the ship is running with the wind or tacking against it. Appropriate Speed steps are listed in the Sailing Speed Table with the wind modifier applied. A sailing ship’s base Maneuverability step is usually the same as its base Speed step.

Maneuverability

A ship’s Maneuverability reflects how quickly it can change course, flank opponents and break off from an attack. A ship’s Maneuverability step is used when making tests for various maneuvers, and is also the Difficulty Number for certain tests made against the ship. An airship’s Maneuverability step can also be increased via Officer Maneuvers.

Armor

A ship’s Armor Attribute represents the vessel’s durability. This includes the actual thickness of the ship’s walls, how cleverly the ship’s design protects vital areas, and so on. The Armor rating reduces the damage of all attacks made against that ship, as described in the Ship Combat section.

Health

A ship has three Health ratings, just like a player character. A ship’s Wound Threshold is the amount of damage the ship can take from a single attack, after applying armor, before it suffers a Wound. Each Wound reduces the ship’s Speed, Maneuverability, Armor, and Ramming step by -1 each.

A ship’s Derelict and Destroyed ratings are the ship equivalents of a character’s Unconsciousness and Death Ratings. When a ship accumulates damage equal to its Derelict Rating, it may no longer move or fire and drifts uncontrolled. When it accumulates damage equal to its Destroyed Rating, it sinks or crashes.

Payload

A ship's Payload covers 2 factors: Cargo and Weapons. The ship’s Cargo rating represents the amount of crew, freight, and weaponry the ship can carry and still go at full speed. This rating is measured in duari, a barrel that is the standard unit of measurement used by every Trade Covenant on the Serpent River, as well as every trading company in Barsaive. A standard duari is a cask four feet tall and three feet in diameter, capable of holding 300 pounds of rice.

The ship's ''Weapons'' are given as a ''Ramming'' rating, and a set of weapon ''Batteries''. The Ramming rating represents the Damage step of the ship’s ramming attack against an opposing ship. The Batteries section gives the number and location of the Ship Weapon Batteries on that type of ship - along with the maximum number of weapons allowed in each Battery. The most common Ship Weapon loadout for the ship type is then listed. Normally, each Battery is fired as a single volley/attack test, as described in the ''Ship Combat'' section.

Every crew member or passenger aboard reduces the available space by 1 duari (2 for trolls, 3 for obsidimen, while windlings are counted as 1/10th duari). Fire cannons reduce space by 10 duari each (see the Ship Weapon section for duari cost of all ship weapons).

Each ship's Cargo rating is given as the current weight in duari based on weapons and crew to the left of a slash, and its maximum Cargo rating to the right. The gamemaster should then decide on the weight of any cargo an individual ship may be carrying. Every 20 duari a ship carries above its maximum Cargo rating reduces the ship’s Speed step by –1. If the Speed of the ship is reduced to zero through a combination of weight and combat Critical Hits, the ship is treated as if derelict.

Crew

Each ship has a Crew Attribute that represents the Company of namegivers operating the ship. A Company is a group ofof up to 300 namegivers working towards a common purpose. Most Companies are around 50-150 Namegivers strong. Companies are commanded by a captain or major ("captain-major") and are organized as one or more Units of similarly trained Namegivers.

A ship’s Crew Attribute includes four factors: its Captain rating, Crew ratings, Crew Size, and Crew Units. A ship’s Captain rating represents the minimum talent or skill rank a captain must possess to operate that type of ship. The gamemaster can use this number as the Captain’s rank in relevant abilities to make tests for a ship when he has not fully fleshed out the captain’s abilities and statistics. The Crew rating represents the average talent or skill ranking of the ship's Officers to the left of the slash and of the average Crew member to the right of the slash. These can be used similarly to the Captain rating when making tests for the other Officers or Crew members who have not been fully fleshed out.

[Overview of Unit notation, reference to Units in Ship Combat]

daedalron
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Re: ED4 Design: Airships, Riverboats, and More

Postby daedalron » Thu Aug 11, 2016 5:43 am

Seems nice to me, for the moment. Apart from this specific part:

Every 20 duari a ship carries above its maximum Cargo rating reduces the ship’s Speed step by –1

I understand that this is made for simple calculations, but isn't it way too unrealistic ? What I mean is, it doesn't scale at all with the size of the ship. We don't have the values for the Cargo, but I guess they'll stay close to the previous editions.

A drakkar had a base Cargo of 120, and a speed of 10. So a drakkar can take an additionnal amount of cargo of almost twice his base cargo before being unable to move. Let's not even look at the airboat, which only had 3 base cargo. Even 20 duari, to reduce speed by only 1, is way too much for this one... ^^ A behemoth on the other hand had a base Cargo of 2000. So this ship can barely get 10% more cargo before having to stay put.

I understand that the maximum additionnal cargo might not be totally dependant on the size of the ship (and it would be harder to calculate that way), but with a rule like this, doesn't that make small ships like ants, carrying multiple time their payload without too much of a consequence (-2 speed, and a small drakkar more than double his cargo), compared to big ships which can barely improve their cargo ?

Telarus_KSC
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Re: ED4 Design: Airships, Riverboats, and More

Postby Telarus_KSC » Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:17 am

Ah, yes I had a note about that somewhere - thank you for the reminder! This is another one of those numbers that needs to re-scale with the Speed stat. :) Thank the Passions for Anydice.com.

daedalron
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Re: ED4 Design: Airships, Riverboats, and More

Postby daedalron » Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:52 pm

While you're "editing together the Crew attribute description", perhaps you should also decide what to do in case of a Captain who doesn't have the minimum skill rank listed, because let's face it, for sure one day, one of the PC will try to do it.

Should it be absolutely impossible to maneuver the ship at all in those conditions (not allowed to roll at all) ? Or should some heavy penalty be applied ?
Worded like it is, it seems to be the first option right now. Personnaly, I'm leaning towards the second option, as the basic principles to maneuvering a drakkar or a gallion are about the same, so I don't see forbiding the player to even try as fair. But of course, maneuvering a gallion is much harder, so I would give a big penalty if the PC doesn't have the skill rank required.

Telarus_KSC
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Re: ED4 Design: Airships, Riverboats, and More

Postby Telarus_KSC » Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:27 am

I have made excellent progress in the Crew rules and am posting the rough draft/1st edit pass of the revised Payload and Crew rules here. Lots of other neat stuff in the works around Hazards and Officer Maneuvers, so I hope this is a good teaser in that regard. The next post may take a little while, as I need to run further rules past Morgan and Josh to make sure everything is in sync. Have a good evening all!
Payload

A ship's Payload covers 2 factors: Weapons and Cargo.

The ship's Weapons are given as a Ramming rating, and a set of weapon Batteries. The Ramming rating is added to the current Speed step to determine the Damage step of the ship’s ramming attacks. The Batteries section gives the number and location of the Ship Weapon Batteries available - along with the maximum number of weapons allowed in each Battery - on that type of ship. The most common Ship Weapon load-out for the ship type is then listed. Normally, each Battery is fired as a single volley/attack test, as described in the Ship Combat section.

The battery location is noted as a number corresponding to ship-board directions and their arcs of fire: 1- Bow (arc facing forward), 2- Starboard-Bow to Midships (arc from forward to starboard), 3- Starboard-Stern to Midships (arc from aft to starboard), 4- Stern (arc facing backwards), 5- Port-Stern to Midships (arc from aft to port-side), 6- Port-Bow to Midships (arc from forward to port-side). For ease of play these match the directions of the Scatter Chart on p. 394 of the Player's Guide. These directions serve to help the players visualize the ship layout, and may be useful to groups running ship combat with maps. More information on using ship-board directions and the Scatter Chart can be found in the Hazards section.

The ship’s Cargo rating represents the amount of crew, passengers, freight, and weaponry the ship can carry and still go at full speed. This rating is measured in duari, a barrel that is the standard unit of measurement used by every Trade Covenant on the Serpent River, as well as every trading company in Barsaive. A standard duari is a cask four feet tall and three feet in diameter, capable of holding 300 pounds of rice.

Every crew member or passenger aboard reduces the available space by 1 duari (2 for trolls, 3 for obsidimen, while windlings are counted as 1/10th duari). Use the Crew Roster to determine these space costs. Fire cannons reduce space by 10 duari each (see the Ship Weapon section for duari cost of all ship weapons).

Each ship's Cargo rating is given as the current weight in duari based on weapons and crew to the left of a slash, and its maximum Cargo rating to the right. The gamemaster should then decide on the weight of any additional cargo an individual ship may be carrying. Every 3 duari a ship carries above its maximum Cargo rating reduces the ship’s Speed step by -1. If the Speed of the ship is reduced to zero through a combination of weight and combat Wounds, the ship is treated as if derelict.

Crew

Each ship has a Crew attribute that represents the company of namegivers operating the ship. A Company is a group of of up to 300 namegivers working towards a common purpose. Most Companies are around 20-200 Namegivers strong. Companies are commanded by a captain or major and are organized as one or more units of 2-30 similarly trained individuals.

The Crew attribute includes four factors: Crew Success LevelsCaptain rating, Crewrating, and Crew Roster.

Crew Success Levels

A ship's Deck Crew must generate a certain number of successes with their relevant ability per turn for the ship to maneuver and respond to the captain's wishes. The relevant ability for each ship is listed as an attribute of the Deck Crew in the Crew Roster, such as "Deck Crew (Pilot Boat)". The gamemaster may vary the "turn" length depending on the situation in play - in engagement and combat a turn is 1-minute long, while during long-distance pursuit a turn could be 10-minutes to 1-hour long, and a 4-hour "watch" turn is recommended during travel in unknown territory.

Each crew member assigned to the Deck Crew department with at least 1 rank in the relevant ability grants one automatic success per turn, plus one more success for every 5 ranks in the relevant ability. The Crew rating numbers can be used for unnamed officers and crew, and these success totals should be tracked on the Crew Roster for easy of play.

In order to model the effects of crews of different skills on each ship, this is given as four Crew Success Levels. Each success level confers a specific status on the ship, as described below. A crew must generate equal or above the number of successes to be considered operating at that success level.

The Full Crew success level is the number of successes a double-watch of Deck Crew with an average ability rating under 5 will provide. Meeting or exceeding the Full Crew rating provides the same benefits of a Crack Crew, along with a +2 modifier to any Ship or Officer Maneuvers rolled this turn.

The Crack Crew success level is 75% of a Full Crew, and allows the ship to speed up, increase maneuverability, or perform risky maneuvers (see each relevant ability's description in the Player's Guide for details). The ship must have a Crack Crew rating in order to use the Officer Maneuvers that increase speed or maneuverability.

The Skeleton Crew success level is 50% of a Full Crew, and represents the minimum crew successes needed to operate a ship at it's base Speed and Maneuverability steps. This usually represents one watch's worth of crew members under the acting Officer-on-Watch, Engineer-on-Watch, Pilot, and Bosun. The Crew Rosters break available crew members into an even number of Deck Crew Units, and it can be assumed that half of these are active on watch while traveling. The Captain or Officer-on-Watch may use the "All Hands on Deck" maneuver to call up crew who are not on watch in hazardous situations or combat.

The Stalled success level is 25% of a Full Crew. This represents the minimum successes needed to prevent the ship from going totally adrift. If the current number of successes is above the Stalled level, but below the Skeleton Crew level, the crew can only keep the ship steady in the current and maneuver very slowly. A Stalled ship has a base Speed and Maneuverability of 2, and Stalled ships with 2 or more Wounds are functionally adrift. Ships which are adrift are completely uncontrolled and at the mercy of the environment, and adrift airships will slowly fall to the earth in calm weather.

Ship combat or other hazards may affect the Deck Crew with casualties, or other situations may arise where a ship's crew cannot automatically generate the number of successes required for a certain success level. In these situations the officers may use the "Look Sharp, Men!" maneuver to increase the current number of success. The rolled successes last until the end of the turn.

Captain rating

A ship’s Captain rating represents the minimum talent or skill rank a captain must possess to command that type of ship. The gamemaster can use this number as the Captain’s rank in relevant abilities to make tests for a ship when he has not fully fleshed out the captain’s abilities and statistics. The First Mate will also have this rank in the relevant ship ability (other ability checks for a First Mate use the Officer side of the Crew rating).

Crew rating

The Crew rating represents the average talent or skill ranking of the ship's Officers to the left of the slash and of the average Crew member to the right. These ratings can be used similarly to the Captain rating when making tests for the other officers or crew members who have not been fully fleshed out. If a character has not been detailed, assume all attributes are step 5 for the purposes of skills and talents.

Crew Roster

The Crew Roster lists the officers, crew, and passengers on the ship. These are described as Units assigned to different crew departments. The roster is also used to determine theduari cost of everyone on-board for the ship's Payload attribute - but does not include mounts or other animals, which are usually listed as cargo.

A Unit is a group of 2-30 namegivers with similar training working together. Units have a Unit Size attribute - which includes any officers assigned to that unit, and a Unit Step based on the Unit Size attribute using the Attribute Value to Step columns of the Characteristics Table (Player's Guide, p.63). Following the Unit attributes is a brief description of the Unit members. A crew department of over 30 individuals is split up into multiple Units (minimum Unit size of 2).

An example set of officers are listed for the ship types in this book, along with the Officer positions that are filled by each person - as duties on-board a ship commonly overlap. Individual ships may have very different sets of Officers from the examples given, and gamemasters are encouraged to make reoccurring ships and their crews unique and memorable.

The Command Crew department is given first - these are the ship's officers who are not dedicated members of another department. This includes the Captain, Captain's Mates, Quartermaster, Engineer, Sergeant-at-Arms, Surgeon, Carpenter, and others. See theOfficers and Officer Maneuvers section for more information on each position's responsibilities and associated Officer Maneuvers.

The most important department on a ship is the Deck Crew, who are directly responsible for the moment-to-moment operation of the ship. This department is commanded by the Captain when he is on deck, or the Officer-On-Watch in his absence, and includes all sailors and engine-room crew-members actively running the craft. Two special Deck Crew Officer positions - the Officer-on-Watch and the Engineer-On-Watch - are filled by Officers of the Command Crew. These are usually the Engineer and First Mate, allowing them to provide automatic successes towards operating the ship.

The Deck Crew has two other dedicated Officer positions, the Pilot and the Bosun. These positions are not considered part of the Command Crew, and the officers usually have a pilot or bosun's mate to fill in during the alternate watches. The Captain is not normally considered part of the Deck Crew for success level purposes, as he has authority over all departments on the ship, but on smaller ships with few Captain's Mates he may fill the role of a Deck Crew Officer.

Deck Crews usually work alternating 4 hour watches while traveling, allowing a ship with twice the listed Skeleton Crew to travel for 16 hours each day. As noted in Crew Success Levels, if the number of automatic successes provided by the Deck Crew falls below certain ratings, the Officer-on-Watch may need to roll to generate more successes.

Deck Crew assignments may change as needed, with more than a single watch called to action in "All Hands on Deck" situations like storms or combat. If the First Mate's crew starts on-watch in these cases, then off-duty officers like the Second Mate, Engineer's Mate, Carpenter, or even passengers with the appropriate ability may be assigned to the Deck Crew to provide additional successes. Most of the time a ship's Captain is able to freely change crew assignments, but in combat or other stressful situations this must be done when declaring the Ship Maneuver for that turn, or by using an Officer Maneuver.

Other crew departments are not found on every ship, and the Command Crew will also vary depending on the departments on the ship. Some other departments include the Men-At-Arms (dedicated soldiers less familiar with working on the ship), the Steward's Crew(galley crew mostly found on larger ships), and the Passengers department. Ad-hoc crew departments may be formed as part of an Officer or Ship Maneuver, including the Gunner's Crew (which may be a permanent part of watches on larger ships), Damage Control Crew,Surgeon's CrewBoarding PartyAway Party, and others given in the Officer Maneuvers section.

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kosmit
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Re: ED4 Design: Airships, Riverboats, and More

Postby kosmit » Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:16 am

Telarus_KSC wrote:4E uses a 10 second combat round.



Wait, whaaaaaat? xD

Also it would be nice if ship rules could include example plans for different types of ships :)
Duvvelsheyss


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