D&D 5E Nautiloid Crew


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DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
Is there an official 5E source that has a fully crewed Nautiloid? Looking for some guidance on it beyond "Crew 20".

Thanks in advance.
Not D&D5, but the old AD&D2 rules say skeleton crew of 10, maximum crew of 35; between two and five of these would have been illithids manning series helms (linked helms to capitalize on spell-like abilities in the absence of caster levels) keeping the ship moving. The AD&D2 material also has a much more reasonable total weapons crew of 8 rather than 14 (three ballistae, a catapult [mangonel], and a jettison).

Going by the deck plans, probably more than half of the crew would be slave labor; the "cellblock" in the D&D5 description is "slave quarters" in the original, while the "thrall quarters" were "officers' quarters;" I'm assuming at least two slaves to each cell for a total of 18. There is about 300 sqft dedicated to separate "crew quarters," however. The bits labeled "mind flayer quarters" in the D&D5 box are "staterooms" in the original, which suggests to me that additional mind flayers aboard are more passengers (or at best working the series helm in shifts) than crew.

Hope this is helpful. In general I've found that the old AD&D2 Spelljammer ship descriptions have much more useful detail than anything printed in the new box, unfortunately.
 




Not D&D5, but the old AD&D2 rules say skeleton crew of 10, maximum crew of 35; between two and five of these would have been illithids manning series helms (linked helms to capitalize on spell-like abilities in the absence of caster levels) keeping the ship moving. The AD&D2 material also has a much more reasonable total weapons crew of 8 rather than 14 (three ballistae, a catapult [mangonel], and a jettison).

Going by the deck plans, probably more than half of the crew would be slave labor; the "cellblock" in the D&D5 description is "slave quarters" in the original, while the "thrall quarters" were "officers' quarters;" I'm assuming at least two slaves to each cell for a total of 18. There is about 300 sqft dedicated to separate "crew quarters," however. The bits labeled "mind flayer quarters" in the D&D5 box are "staterooms" in the original, which suggests to me that additional mind flayers aboard are more passengers (or at best working the series helm in shifts) than crew.

Hope this is helpful. In general I've found that the old AD&D2 Spelljammer ship descriptions have much more useful detail than anything printed in the new box, unfortunately.
Of course it's worth noting that there was one significant change they made to crew function for the 5e interpretation, and that makes 2e numbers irrelevant.

In 2e, you needed crew to properly maneuver the ship. While a single spelljamming pilot could technically fly it by themselves, without a supporting crew (I think it may have been about half of what a comparable water vehicle would require) you do not want to be in combat or even trying to dock. (Exactly what these crew were doing and how it influenced the ships maneuvering is a rather difficult concept to figure out, with a paucity of information given.)

In 5e, you just need one person to fly the ship just fine. The additional crew are only the weapons operators (which were separate and additional to the required crew in 2e).

I personally like the 2e method of there actually being required crew, because I just don't think the 5e interpretation fits the naval feel or really makes sense in how crew are still presented as being people that know something about sailing ships rather than just soldiers who know how to fire siege weapons.
 

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
In 5e, you just need one person to fly the ship just fine. The additional crew are only the weapons operators (which were separate and additional to the required crew in 2e).
To be frank, with a gun crew of 14 out of a maximum crew of 20, it's a good thing you don't need a deck crew in D&D5; you apparently can't afford to carry them.

Have I mentioned that I'm really disappointed with the state of D&D product quality in 2022? I'm really disappointed with the state of D&D product quality in 2022.

Good post, point well taken.
 

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