5E How much does a ballista cost? A mangonel?
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  1. #1
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    How much does a ballista cost? A mangonel?

    So, my group is playing through Saltmarsh and is going to get a ship soon, and if they want to add some weaponry to it, how much should those things cost? Is this listed somewhere, or are there any good points of comparison?

    (Assuming they have the space and the crew capacity. Actually the crew capacity is listed for each weapon, although adding this crew would cut into a ship's passenger capacity. And I'd wager that many ships could squeeze in an extra weapon or two, maybe at the cost of some cargo space.)

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    How about cannons? And cannonballs? And the powder for a single cannon shot? (Point of reference: the DMG puts a musket at 500 gp. It's 3 gp for 10 bullets, which I have to assume includes the powder, because a bullet is a lead ball that is dirt cheap to produce. A powder horn is 35 gp and a powder keg is 250 gp.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by 77IM View Post
    So, my group is playing through Saltmarsh and is going to get a ship soon, and if they want to add some weaponry to it, how much should those things cost? Is this listed somewhere, or are there any good points of comparison?

    (Assuming they have the space and the crew capacity. Actually the crew capacity is listed for each weapon, although adding this crew would cut into a ship's passenger capacity. And I'd wager that many ships could squeeze in an extra weapon or two, maybe at the cost of some cargo space.)
    I couldn't find anything official, so here's some spitballing:

    A ballista, being described as a massive crossbow, does 3d10 damage. A heavy crossbow does 1d10 damage and costs 50gp. At the low end, I'd say a ballista costs 3x a heavy crossbow, or 150gp. Likewise, I'd say the ballista bolts cost at least three times a normal bolt, or 15 cp each. That seems low, so maybe they should be more like the costs of a spear or 1gp.

    Don't know if that's helpful, but maybe it's a good starting point...
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    May I add some items to this request/list? How much for:

    A ballista that fires dragon-spears?

    Mounting said ballista on the bow/stern of a ship?

    Is there a bulk discount?

    How much to hire an expert trainer in the use of these (and where did he get his training, anyway)?
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    If you want to go by 3.5e, here's the list from Stormwrack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DM Dave1 View Post
    I couldn't find anything official, so here's some spitballing:

    A ballista, being described as a massive crossbow, does 3d10 damage. A heavy crossbow does 1d10 damage and costs 50gp. At the low end, I'd say a ballista costs 3x a heavy crossbow, or 150gp. Likewise, I'd say the ballista bolts cost at least three times a normal bolt, or 15 cp each. That seems low, so maybe they should be more like the costs of a spear or 1gp.

    Don't know if that's helpful, but maybe it's a good starting point...
    This is exactly what we did in our campaign, we also cross referenced from 2E source books and came up with reasonable costs for the other stuff. We dont use any gunpowder ( yet!) so not a worry on that scope.

    Quote Originally Posted by DMMike View Post
    (and where did he get his training, anyway)?
    He got his training from a 0 level commoner NPC, because NPCs have no levels of experience...

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