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Saltmarsh: Tell Me About the Vehicle Rules

Reynard

Adventurer
I do not plan on running the Saltmarsh adventures but my D&D campaign is about to have an extended nautical phase. What does Saltmarsh offer in the way of rules? Is it there enough to justify the cost of the book solely for the vehicle rules and whatever else is presented?

Thanks.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
No, if you just going to use the boat rules. I was hoping dm's guild would release Appendix A as a separate thing.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
I'm also interested in this, and would like to add if there are any 3rd party recommendations abotu navel rules that's also oif interest. I'm about to start running a nautical / undersea campaign with a world that has been flooded over centuries and the mountaintops are now an archipelago that is all the above-sea-level land left.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
I'm also interested in this, and would like to add if there are any 3rd party recommendations abotu navel rules that's also oif interest. I'm about to start running a nautical / undersea campaign with a world that has been flooded over centuries and the mountaintops are now an archipelago that is all the above-sea-level land left.
By any chance, are you going to include Kevin Costner, Dennis Hopper, and an unlimited supply of cigarettes?

(Seriously, though, a fully aquatic campaign world is one of those ideas I have toyed with for decades and never executed ... tell us how it goes!)
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
I do not plan on running the Saltmarsh adventures but my D&D campaign is about to have an extended nautical phase. What does Saltmarsh offer in the way of rules? Is it there enough to justify the cost of the book solely for the vehicle rules and whatever else is presented?
There is the UA article that first explored the new ship rules: https://media.wizards.com/2018/dnd/downloads/UA_ShipsSea.pdf

The DMs Guild supplement seems quite well thought of: Captains and Cannons: A Ship Combat Guide in D&D 5e - Dungeon ...https://www.dmsguild.com/.../Captains-and-Cannons-A-Ship-Combat-Guid...

And this on DriveThru RPG also looks promising: NAVAL COMBAT (5E) - Running Sea Encounters for Ships & Monsters - Tribality Publishing | DriveThruRPG.com

The thing that bothered me most about the UA article was the continuing classification of vessels using humans as a size reference. Thus a small boat is listed as gargantuan. It just doesn't sit right with me. And I don't understand the rationale as most creatures that would threaten a boat would need to be gargantuan from the get go. I know that it's because of mapping it to a grid, but really it's all going to scale down below 1" - 5ft anyway if you want to get a couple of ships on a mat :)

Anyhoo... I'd also have liked there to be a weather system. Basically a way for the wind to pick into a storm or to drop to a becalmed state. To make navigation across the sea more interesting.
 

Celebrim

Hero
I've always found that since I have done a lot of reading on the Age of Sail, that for any given system I'm the problem player that always insists that we need new rules because the existing ones are so unrealistic.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
I've always found that since I have done a lot of reading on the Age of Sail, that for any given system I'm the problem player that always insists that we need new rules because the existing ones are so unrealistic.
So, when can I buy your sailing rules on DMsguild? :D
 

Celebrim

Hero
The best system I've found is go to a site that keeps historical weather almanacs, pick a real world city similar to the climate you are interested in (say San Juan Puerto Rico), pick a year in the database, and pick a date corresponding to the approximate point in the year your campaign is currently set. Then just roll the date forward or switch locations as needed. You get accurate realistic weather data, sometimes down to the hour. (And the fact that real weather is more granular than daily is one of the like 3 things that makes weather simulation with a lightweight system really hard.)

navigation
Get a really big very detailed map. That's the number one thing. Now get two of them, and keep one behind the screen. Hex maps are best because you can use the easiest simulation of getting lost by tracking drift from intended hex based on a failed skill check without getting out the protractor and ruler.

Logistics
Or dear. Let's put it this way. My GM and I are writing a computer program to track this for the current campaign. How much detail do you want?

One thing you really have to consider when you get into a nautical campaign is that it's going to be a BIG sprawling campaign. You can start out with the party in a Yawl and either a couple of NPCs or no NPCs depending on how competent the characters are at sailing a boat. But sooner or later, the player's are going to want ships that look something like those in Captain Blood or Pirates of the Carribean, and at that point you are in for it. Because that's like 200 NPCs. And no you can't sail a 32 gun frigate to Tortuga with just 2 people. It can't be done.
 

Celebrim

Hero
I looked at the UA ship rules from a while back. Are the ones in GoS essentially the same?
What I've seen in of the 5e ship rules is that they are heavily inspired by the 1e Pathfinder rules.

I'm not happy with the 1e Pathfinder rules.

Although I should say, I've read about 10,000 pages on the history of the Great Age of Sail, with a particular eye toward implementing realism in an RPG. So my standards of what a sailing simulation should handle are probably a lot pickier than your average player/GM.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Although I should say, I've read about 10,000 pages on the history of the Great Age of Sail, with a particular eye toward implementing realism in an RPG. So my standards of what a sailing simulation should handle are probably a lot pickier than your average player/GM.
Yeah, we need an emulator, not a full simulator :)
 

Hexmage-EN

Explorer
The "Of Ships and Sea" UA is pretty close to the actual rules, but Ghosts of Saltmarsh has extra details for things like ship upgrades and hazards.
 

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