Rules for boating down the River Agrier
in Ket Ket
Sailing the Agrier and Beyond
Our micro-campaign setting, Ket Ket, has a great and mighty river running through it. This river is responsible for much of the life and commerce in the land. It floods yearly, depositing rich soil and decaying plant matter, making farming possible. More importantly to the PCs, it is a source of travel. It’s possible they may wish to buy a boat or book passage on one. This blog post will help navigate that.
When it comes to ship combat, roll an unmodified 1d20 for each ship. That is when the ship moves. It’s up to the players to agree on the movement of any ships they employ.
Ships and Stats
AC: This is no different than AC anywhere else. This represents how tough the ship is to damage.
HP: This is how much damage the ship can take before it is in danger of sinking.
Speed: This is how many feet the ship can move in a round. Going against the current is considered difficult terrain.
Distance per Day: These are the number of hexes the vessel can travel through in one day. The first number represents going against the current, while the second number is going with the current. Any ship that just floats will get carried downstream at a rate of 3 hexes per day.
Turn: Turn is how far the ship must move before making a 45 degree turn. For instance, the Skiff must move 5 ft between each 45 degree turn. If it wanted to turn around, it would have to move 5 ft, turn 45 degrees, move 5 ft, turn 45 degrees, move five feet, turn 45 degrees, move five feet and turn the final 45 degrees.
Crew: The first number is the minimum amount of people needed to crew the ship. The second number is the maximum it can hold.
Crash: If a ship crashes into another ship, it does this much damage to both vessels.
Sink: When a ship loses all its hit points, place the sink dice on it. At the end of every combat round, roll the dice. If the result is a 1 or 2, reduce the dice size by 1. (A d12 becomes a d10, a d10 becomes a d8, etc.) If the dice is a d4 and a 1 or 2 is rolled, the ship sinks. This dice must also be rolled whenever a ship is at 0 hit points and additional damage would be done to it. Any ship that would be reduced to negative HP equal to the amount of its starting HP in one attack is instantly dashed to pieces and sinks.
A Skiff is a small vessel made of papyrus reeds. These ships were mostly used to fish and for short journeys, rarely being put out at sea.
|Distance/ Day||2 / 4|
|Crew||1 / 4|
The city of Khabra is known throughout the region for the seaworthy vessels it produces. The Khabra Ship is used by both traders and military alike, as it can hold a good number of people.
|Distance/ Day||3 / 5|
|Crew||5 / 30|
The Khufai is a Ket Ket funeral barge, normally reserved for taking God Emperors to their final resting place, from one side of the Agrier river to the other. There is a death cult in Ket Ket who worships Ozire, the god of the dead. They will sometimes use these vessels, crewing them with a mixture of the living and the dead.
|Speed||1 / 2|
|Distance/ Day||1 / 2|
|Crew||1 / 6|
Fire is a danger. If you’ve ran a D&D campaign for more than 20 minutes, it’s likely a PC has tried to burn something down. What does that look like when a boat and flaming arrows are involved?
First, it’s not just a matter of lighting an arrow on fire with your flint and steel and hoping for the best. In truth, it was really hard to make flaming arrows that worked (and still is.) The act of shooting them makes them want to extinguish. However, there are some historical documents pointing to their existence. Also, this is a fantasy game and flaming arrows are cool, so that’s a win.
First, the arrows must be prepared. The materials to do so cost 4 gp per arrow (making each arrow cost 5gp.) Think pitch soaked cloth and things such as that. Ten arrows can be prepared in this manner during a short rest. When used, they must have a source of fire nearby with which to light them. Having a source of fire on your boat can be just as dangerous to the side shooting the arrows…
Let’s talk about ranges. These arrows are now a lot heavier and a lot less aerodynamic. When using a fire arrow, divide all ranges in half. This means a longbow has a range of 75/300 and a shortbow has a range of 40/160.
Damage is going to change. For the sake of the game, we’re going to say that all that binding around the point of the arrow makes it a lot harder to penetrate it’s target. Instead of it’s normal damage, the arrow is going to do 1d6 fire damage. It’ll be the same for either type of bow. So why would anyone want to use fire arrows? Well, because something might just catch on fire.
If the arrows hit, roll their damage. If the result is a 4 or above, the creature or item is now aflame. It’ll take damage from the fire at the end of every turn. If it is a creature, it can take an action to extinguish the fire. Otherwise, that creature takes 1d6 fire damage each turn. Realistic? Maybe not, but creatures burning round after round and not being able to put out the fire will really change the game in ways that might not be fun.
What about an object though? This is going to go past the use of flaming arrows. Whenever an attack that does fire damage hits a flammable object (in this case, we’re mostly talking ships), roll the damage dice. For each damage dice that rolls a 4 or above, a fire starts. Leave the dice on the object to symbolize there is a fire in that location. It is only going to get worse from here.
At the end of every round, roll damage again. Just pick up the dice that represent those fires and roll them. If any of them roll max damage, the fire spreads! Upgrade the dice to the next side up (a d6 becomes a d8, a d8 becomes a d10, etc.) That’s the dice you’ll use for damage next turn. A fire can not become larger than a d20.
Any creature can take an action to attempt to extinguish the fire. To do so, they pick one fire within 5 ft of them (in other words, select one dice) and roll it. If it’s a 1-3, the fire goes down one dice size. If it’s not, well… better luck next time. This makes a fireball particularly devastating when it comes to ships. Fire damage does play into the sinking of a ship, forcing a sink dice roll if a ship is at 0 hp as mentioned above.