Spelljammer Spelljammer Crew Cost

thundershot

Adventurer
I’ve googled this and for every link I clicked I got a different answer. My group has finally made it into Wildspace. Though it’s more like Star Trek Voyager or Farscape in that they got shot across the galaxy with no idea how to get home. The denizens of the area have never heard of their world (or likely have a different name for it, like “backwater mudball”). Anyway, they’re finally in a position to hire a crew for their Galleon… I used the wonderful work @Stormonu did as inspiration for what crew they need, but the cost of such a crew is still baffling.

Using the only numbers I could find, a Helmsman costs 50 go per day, which seems steep, especially if you need more than one so they can take breaks. The War Captain’s Companion lists trained crew as 6 gp per day. So the majority of the crew could fall under that.

Using that as a starting point, and assuming the PC’s are merely funding this rather than becoming part of the crew, how much should specialty crew cost? The captain is the most important, so he or she would cost more than the helmsman. Then we have the First Mate, Bosun/Engineer, Navigator, Quartermaster, Medic, Cook, etc? I think this will start adding up quick. They may even decided to do some of the major things themselves..

Anyway, does anyone have any advice on crew costs?

Thanks!
 

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Most of those roles have costs in the PHB/DMG (Can't remember which) Also in Spelljammer the Helmsman is more important than the Captain as they have to be casters and only they can move the ship so they get to charge a premium.
 

Ferrousbones

Artificer
Most of those roles have costs in the PHB/DMG (Can't remember which) Also in Spelljammer the Helmsman is more important than the Captain as they have to be casters and only they can move the ship so they get to charge a premium.
DMG page 119.
A ship needs a crew of skilled hirelings to function. As per the Player's Handbook, one skilled hireling costs at least 2 gp per day. The minimum number of skilled hirelings needed to crew a ship depends on the type of vessel, as shown in the Airborne and Waterborne Vehicles table.
A galleon has 20 crew. So that would mean (3x50 gp per day) for the helmsmen, plus (17x2 gp per day) for the remaining crew, for a total of 184 gp per day.
 



Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
My group has finally made it into Wildspace. Though it’s more like Star Trek Voyager or Farscape in that they got shot across the galaxy with no idea how to get home. The denizens of the area have never heard of their world (or likely have a different name for it, like “backwater mudball”).
Just wanted to say love the campaign set up

Spelljammer didn't have great tables for rolling up random crap in wildspace. I wonder if folks know of a good resource for that? I am thinking of something along the same lines as Traveller system generation tables...
 

Ferrousbones

Artificer
Should note the crew score on spelljammer is the most people you can have on board before you start draining air at a faster rate. So you can have a smaller or larger crew.
Thanks for the reminder. Here is what the Astral Guide (page 24) says:
The standard crew complement for a spelljamming ship includes one captain to give orders, one spelljammer to pilot the ship, and one or more crew members to operate its weapons. Some ships carry extra crew (such as troops and back-up spelljammers) or passengers. A ship that has more than a standard crew complement will degrade the quality of its air supply more quickly.
A spellcaster typically charges at least 50 gp per day to operate a spelljamming helm.
So, with the Galleon's weapons: (2 ballistae with 3 crew each) + (1 mangonel with 5 crew) + (3 helmsmen) + (captain?) = 15 crew
(3x50 gp) + (12x2 gp or more) = 174 gp per day baseline
leaving breathing room for 5 party members
 

Ferrousbones

Artificer
Of course, the above is assuming max typical combat effectiveness.
If any of the party are spellcasters, they could fill slots to save a lot of gold.
Otherwise, they could fill some weapon operation positions when needed.
 

thundershot

Adventurer
Most of those roles have costs in the PHB/DMG (Can't remember which) Also in Spelljammer the Helmsman is more important than the Captain as they have to be casters and only they can move the ship so they get to charge a premium.
I'll keep that in mind.
DMG page 119.

A galleon has 20 crew. So that would mean (3x50 gp per day) for the helmsmen, plus (17x2 gp per day) for the remaining crew, for a total of 184 gp per day.
Three helmsmen? Hrm... They were thinking one and a PC could fill in if needed. I didn't argue since it sounded reasonable. Do they run eight hour shifts? Maybe they need a second one at least... The rest of the crew I'm using War Captain's Companion and going with 6gp/day. That accounts for being in space or something. lol
I'd toss a few officers at double rate into that
Captain and First Mate at the least.
Round it up to 200
Double sounds good.
Should note the crew score on spelljammer is the most people you can have on board before you start draining air at a faster rate. So you can have a smaller or larger crew.
I.... did not realize that. Somehow I missed that important section. It still works because they have a crew of thirteen not counting PC's. There are seven PC's' and the Ranger's owlbear. So maybe I'll tell them they need to drop one of the extra hired help.
Just wanted to say love the campaign set up

Spelljammer didn't have great tables for rolling up random crap in wildspace. I wonder if folks know of a good resource for that? I am thinking of something along the same lines as Traveller system generation tables...
Thanks! The campaign actually started with the Phandelver boxed set and moved over to a short jaunt to the Tortle Package adventure, and onto the Goodman Games Isle of Dread. Because of real life things keeping us from gaming for sometimes months at a time, they've spent years on the Isle of Dread. At the end of that, after stopping the Kopru from taking over the world, they found a Galleon buried under the island. They were just there to loot it when my nephew's character sits on the helm and activates it. Since it's been dormant for god knows how long, it went nuts and broke out and the aforementioned being shot across the galaxy... They ended up in the care of the Astral Elves, who repaired their ship and explained to them where they were and how the universe works. They set off to try to find a way home... Now they're about to do the Goblins Return module (updated to 5E). Isle of Dread and Goblins Return were some of my most memorable adventures when I was a teen, so it's great to share the updated versions (and my own twists) with my wife, kids, sister, and nephew.
Thanks for the reminder. Here is what the Astral Guide (page 24) says:

So, with the Galleon's weapons: (2 ballistae with 3 crew each) + (1 mangonel with 5 crew) + (3 helmsmen) + (captain?) = 15 crew
(3x50 gp) + (12x2 gp or more) = 174 gp per day baseline
leaving breathing room for 5 party members
I may have to adjust a few things. I have seven party members and an owlbear. I'll have to cut down to twelve crew. (I've been fleshing out the crew with some unique individuals). Fortunately I wasn't finished fleshing them out.
Of course, the above is assuming max typical combat effectiveness.
If any of the party are spellcasters, they could fill slots to save a lot of gold.
Otherwise, they could fill some weapon operation positions when needed.
I think everyone in the party except my son's Barbarian character has some spellcasting ability. They just wanted to make sure the ship had a crew so no party members had to be compromised if crap went down.

Thank you everyone for the responses! This is helping immensely! I hope this can help others as well.
 

Ferrousbones

Artificer
Three helmsmen? Hrm... They were thinking one and a PC could fill in if needed. I didn't argue since it sounded reasonable. Do they run eight hour shifts?
As I recall, the general consensus is 8-hour shifts, due to the following text from the Spelljamming Helm item:
While attuned to a spelljamming helm and sitting in it, you gain the following abilities for as long as you maintain concentration (as if concentrating on a spell)
I cannot recall where (rules or discussion), but there is at least a thought that concentration likely causes exhaustion beyond 8 hours. Thus expecting 3 helmsmen.
I may have to adjust a few things. I have seven party members and an owlbear. I'll have to cut down to twelve crew. (I've been fleshing out the crew with some unique individuals).
I think everyone in the party except my son's Barbarian character has some spellcasting ability.
In your case, I think the players could manage controlling the Helm themselves, and save the gold there.
As for the other weapons & crew, they could swap the mangonel for another ballista if they want to save 2 crew (3 actions to control instead of 5) and are willing to lose about 80 feet of normal attack range.
If you are ok with it, they could swap the mangonel and/or ballistae for cannons (3 actions to control like the ballistae, 600 normal feet range instead of 120).

Occupying only the helmsmen positions, their ship would only need 9-11 crew for weapons. If they occupy the aiming or firing positions, they could shave off another 3 crew.

Applying the above, the total occupancy of their ship could be 14-19 individuals, not counting extra positions.
Edit: misread as 7 total in party, not 7+owlbear, now corrected.
 
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