Airship Rules

Source: The Player's Guide to Skybourne

The following rules are mainly for games that take place in the Skybourne setting. However, it is easy to adept them to use in almost any other setting.

Not every team of adventurers will travel, and some that do will be content to simply catch rides as needed with the various airship pilots who crisscross the skies. For others, though, a ship is as vital to their career as a sword or spellbook, and is often the first piece of equipment they buy when they gain enough funds. For these men and women, a ship is the embodiment of freedom, giving them everything they need to traverse the skies in search of fame, fortune, and excitement. When a party gains their first ship, it can be a big step as well as a big adjustment. A whole new world of choices open up to the players, such as what role will each character play in running the ship, what improvements will they invest in for their ship, and perhaps the most important question of all: with the skies open before them, where will they go?

Optional Rules

The rules presented in this chapter are written to make use of three sets of optional rules: The Overland Round, Reputation, and Upkeep. While a GM is free to ignore these rules if they so choose, they are all designed to play an important part in the life of an adventuring crew, and many other rules included herein assume these rules are being used.

The Overland Round

While this chapter covers all manner of airship sailing and combat, a lot of attention is also given to the various activities a character can engage in as part of an airship crew, from cooking for their crew mates to gathering information for their next big haul. After all, while adventurers on Khrone may delve dungeons and fight for one nation or another, sometimes it can be just as much fun to run goods to a new market, practice piracy, or make modifications to a ship.

In a typical day of travel or downtime, a character spends 8 hours engaged in a primary activity, such as hiking cross country, crafting magical items, etc. Most of these activities specify that a creature cannot engage in them for more than 8 hours, or specify a penalty (such as the risk of fatigue when making a forced march) when engaging in them longer. Likewise, it is assumed most characters spend about 8 hours sleeping at night, leaving them another 8 hours of time for eating meals, gathering information, visiting shops, or doing whatever else they need to do that day.

The overland round system is a method of organizing a character’s activities during this average day, and is modeled after the combat round for ease of use.

With the overland round, it is assumed that a character will spend about 11-12 hours per day sleeping, eating, setting up or striking camp, tending to minor jobs, using the latrine, grooming the animals, etc. This leaves the average adventurer 12-13 hours, give or take, to use as they please during any given day. This time is divided up into 3 periods, which a character may spend on their activities for the day: an overland standard action (8 hour period), an overland move action (4 hour period), and an overland swift action (1 hour period).

  • An overland standard action is any activity that takes about 8 hours to complete. Examples of overland standard actions include dedicating a day to mundane or magical crafting, doing a full-day’s march, or overseeing a business.
  • An overland move action is any activity that takes about 4 hours to complete. Examples of overland move actions include dedicating 4 hours to crafting a magic item, preparing good quality meals throughout the day, gathering information via the Diplomacy skill, setting up and putting on a performance with the Perform skill, or exploring a town or marketplace looking for gear.
  • An overland swift action is any activity that takes about an hour to complete. Examples of overland swift actions include visiting a single shop, preparing spells, casting a spell or ritual with a casting time of up to an hour, gathering herbs or firewood, etc.

Note that the time used to engage in a single activity often does not need to be contiguous. For example, although a creature engaged in a day of travel spends 8 hours traveling according to the movement rules presented in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, this 8 hours is divided up during the day, with multiple breaks spent eating, using the latrine, scouting for better paths, etc. Therefore, a wizard spending a day traveling with his overland standard action and crafting a staff with his overland move action would spend most of the day walking, but would take breaks throughout the day such as during meals and in the evening to do his work on his staff.

This system is an abstraction, of course; it is certainly possible for a character to have no primary activity for the day and instead take up to 3 overland move actions, or to spend only 6 hours traveling and spend the extra time on an overland swift action. Likewise, a character who does not need to eat or has reduced sleep needs (such as a character benefiting from a ring of sustenance) would gain an additional overland move action per day. However, this system does serve as a shorthand for determining how many activities a character may engage in each day, and how long a character can dedicate to a single activity. As such, many activities presented later in this chapter (especially crew roles on a ship, such as serving as a ship’s pilot or preparing meals for the crew) are presented in terms of whether the action required to fulfill that role is an overland standard action (an 8 hour task), an overland move action (a 4 hour task), or an overland swift action (a single hour task).


An adventuring crew is nothing without their reputation. Reputation is what attracts jobs, crew members, and especially enemies to the PCs, and in the hands of an experienced crew it can be as invaluable as their ship. While a crew of minor adventurers is all but forgotten in the comings and goings of Skybourne, a crew with a good (or fearful) reputation will attract the patronage of kings, as well as the malice of those they oppose.

Reputation is different than prestige and faction rules, as well as the reputation awards included in Ultimate Campaign, but both of these systems can be used congruently with the Skybourne reputation system. Reputation: Reputation is a measurement of how well a creature is known, and is measured from 0 to 100. A PC’s reputation score is equal to their level + their Charisma modifier, plus any number of modifiers gained through their actions. Mythic characters also add their mythic tier to their reputation. In the case of an adventuring crew taken as a whole, use the Captain’s reputation or whichever character’s reputation score is highest.

A character’s reputation determines several factors, including how frequently they are recognized by others, how easily they can recruit crew and officers, and more. The GM is also encouraged to add their own benefits to having a high reputation, as wizards, merchants, and even kings will seek a character with a high reputation when they have need of an adventurer.

Fame and Infamy: In addition to a character’s reputation score, each character possesses a certain amount of fame or infamy with the various alignments. which represents how well their actions have endeared them to various people. Unlike reputation, fame and infamy are measured along two axis (Lawful-Chaotic and Good-Evil) and are measured on a scale of -100 to 100.

Possessing ‘fame’ with an alignment means that your actions are viewed favorably by creatures with that alignment, while possessing ‘infamy’ means your actions are viewed unfavorably. A positive score along the Good-Evil axis represents fame with Good and infamy with Evil, while a negative score represents fame with Evil and infamy with Good. Likewise, a positive score along the Law-Chaos axis represents fame with Law and infamy with Chaos, while a negative score represents infamy with Law and fame with Chaos.

A PC begins with fame equal to their reputation with any alignment they possess. A True Neutral character may choose any one alignment to gain fame with (with the appropriate Infamy as well), or may choose to begin with no fame or infamy at all.

While it must be noted that an alignment is not a ‘side’ in the traditional sense and each alignment includes multiple factions with different agendas (see Advanced Options below), a character’s fame and infamy represents that PC’s general reputation among those who associate themselves with that alignment. This is even true of Neutral characters, for although many individuals take no side in any cosmic struggle, they still belong to a settlement that practices either the civilized arts (Lawful) or savage rule (Chaotic), and where either violence, crime, and rule of force is discouraged (Good), or encouraged (Evil), and such individuals will still respond to a character’s fame according to their settlement’s attitude. The only truly Neutral locations are lawless border towns, wherein every individual crafts their own response to a character’s benevolent or fearsome reputation.

Whenever a creature gains reputation, they either gain or lose an equal amount of fame along either one or both axis, depending on the nature of the act and the location where it is performed. This represents both those who view the PC’s actions favorably and those who view the PC’s actions poorly. After all, no matter how beloved a character is, defeating marauders cements the PCs as enemies in the marauder’s minds, while service to a barbarian king is savagery in the minds of most Lawful citizens. Even events that could be considered wholly neutral, such as finding a powerful artifact, still increases a creature’s standing in the eyes of their allies, while cementing the PC’s place in the minds of their enemies as a terrible foe they must be wary of. Thus, when the PCs perform a deed not strictly associated with any alignment, he can often choose which ‘alignment’ he wishes to gain fame with.

The GM always has the final say when determining how a deed affects a character’s reputation, and many factors outside of the player’s control (for example, an enemy rogue spreading lies in town about the deed in question, or the PC winning an honorable duel but finding his opponent’s allies revile him) can affect how fame and infamy are changed.

Sample Reputation Events

Event Reputation Gained Alignment (Fame gained)
Provide minor service for another person. 1 As creature
Perform a great service for another person. 2 As creature
Perform a great service for a group of people. 4 As group
Perform a major service for a great number of people. 5 As group
Win a performance combat before a massive mob. 2 As settlement
Publicly succeed at a DC 30 or higher Craft, Diplomacy, Intimidate, or Perform check (no more than once per month). 2 As settlement
Earn a formal title (lady, lord, knight, and so on). 4 As settlement
Be appointed to a position in an organization (i.e., become a paladin elder, a member of the druid council, etc.). 5 As organization
Consecrate a temple to your deity. 3 As deity
Provide healing in a time of crisis. 1 Good
Perform a public, moving act of charity. 3 Good
Suffer publicly for performing good deeds. 5 Good
Be convicted of a non-violent crime. 1 Evil
Be convicted of a serious, violent crime or break a fundamental law. 3 Evil
Commit a public and high profile murder or act of treason against a Good government. 5 Evil
Build a farm or mine. 1 Law
Establish a new trade route, or perform a great mercantile act. 3 Law
Donate an item of great value and significance to a library or university. 5 Law
Destroy a farm or mine. 1 Chaos
Defeat a terrible beast (CR equal to your level +3 or more) in a great hunt by yourself. 3 Chaos
Establish a new Forest tribe or clan. 5 Chaos
Win a duel of honor against a worthy foe. 1 Player Choice
Craft a powerful magic item. 1 per 40,000 gp market price. Player Choice
Win a combat encounter with a CR of your APL + 3 or more. 1 Player Choice
Defeat a key rival in combat. 5 Player Choice
Publicly lose or flee from an encounter. 2 Decrease all Fame and Infamy
Violate your publically-known code of conduct. 4 Decrease all Fame and Infamy
Violate your publically-known code of conduct to such a degree you become an ex-member of your class. 5 Decrease all Fame and Infamy

Temporary Reputation: Along with the above permanent changes, it is possible for a character to perform deeds to temporarily increase their reputation in a particular settlement, usually for the purpose of recruiting crew or attempting to accomplish a story-based feat of reputation such as impressing a visiting princess. Likewise, sometimes factors outside of the player’s control affect how well their reputation is received within a particular settlement.

The following is obviously a guideline, and should not be considered a definitive list. For example, a warlord funneling refugees from his latest conquest into neighboring cities would gain a temporary bonus to their reputation as the survivors spread tales of his viciousness, while a paladin sending acolytes to aid a city after a natural disaster would likewise gain a temporary boost to their reputation in that city.

Temporary Reputation Increases
Circumstance Reputation Modifier
Allies or minions spread tales of your deeds before you arrive. +5
A minstrel spreads tales or songs of your deeds. +1/4 result of Perform check
You hold a feast in your honor or buy rounds at the tavern, making a display of wealth and power. Variable1
You have enemies in the settlement. +1
You own one or more structures in the settlement. +1 per structure
You don’t speak the primary language of the settlement. -5
The settlement is cut off from major shipping lanes and methods of travel. -10
The settlement is already home to a great hero whose reputation is greater than yours. -5

1: Increasing reputation in this way costs 10 gp x the new reputation score, and is cumulative for every point gained. Thus, increasing a reputation from 2 to 3 in this manner would cost 30 gp, from 3 to 4 would cost 40 gp, but from 2 to 4 would cost 70 gp (30 gp + 40 gp).

Effects of Reputation: Whenever a creature meets a PC for the first time, (or a PC meets a reputable creature for the first time), they may roll a DC 30 Knowledge (local) check to recognize the target creature, adding the target’s reputation to their roll as well as their Knowledge (local) bonus (or in other words, the DC is reduced by 1 for every point in the target’s reputation). If they do not know the target’s name (such as when attempting to recognize them by appearance alone), the DC is increased by 10. Of course, there are always exceptions: a character who was informed that the Hero of Dulach has one eye and is staying in the Dulach inn certainly needs no roll to recognize the one-eye’d man in the inn.

When a creature recognizes one or all of the PCs, that creature’s reaction towards the PC depends on the PC’s fame or infamy in whatever axis they or their settlement most associates with. A PC gains a +1 bonus to Diplomacy checks to ask favors for every 10 points of fame they have with that creature, and gain a +1 bonus to Intimidate checks made to force the target to do as they desire for every 10 points of infamy they have with that creature. If a creature associates with two alignments, the PC may gain a bonus to both Diplomacy and Intimidate with that creature, but bonuses to the same skill do not stack; only the highest bonus applies.

In addition, for every 20 points of fame the PC has with that NPC’s alignment, the NPC’s starting attitude improves by 1 step. For every 20 points of infamy the target has with that NPC’s alignment, the NPC’s starting attitude decreases by one step. This means that a character with at least 40 points of fame could be lauded as a hero by an entire town, while those with 40 points of infamy may find themselves run out of town by angry mobs unless they travel in disguise. If the PCs enter a settlement where they have both fame and infamy with that settlement’s alignment (fame in one axis and infamy in another), apply both. Thus, a creature with 40 fame and 20 infamy would have an effective fame of 20 for this purpose. If the PC has both fame or infamy in both axis, only the highest fame or infamy score applies.

GMs are also encouraged to decide their own benefits and detriments for fame and infamy, as dictated by their story; a creature with a high fame among Lawful people may be sought out by a Lawful ruler and entrusted with a special mission, while a character with infamous among Good creatures may gain a price on their head, and find that relatives of those he has wronged begin to seek him out bent on revenge.

Situational Adjustment: It must be remembered that the above rules are a guideline at most, and are never to be used in place of (or even worse, to limit) roleplaying. A gang of thieves may hate a famous paladin, but that doesn’t mean they can’t seek out his aid when a greater evil has usurped them and begun slaughtering the people they were only stealing from. Likewise, a Chaotic tribe bears little love for the encroachment of civilization, but a tribal leader may still decide to ally with a Lawful city to help him destroy an enemy tribe; a move that will earn him derision from his peers, but one he may still decide is necessary, especially if his tribe and the Lawful city can find common ground along the Good/Evil axis.

Aliases and Secret Identities: It is entirely possible that, through subterfuge, secret meetings, or even donning a mask and a hidden identity, a creature manages to hide some of his activities from the rest of the world. A crime lord, for example, may keep a very clean reputation in public and be praised for his charitable givings, even when he secretly kidnaps and sells slaves on the black market. At other times, a PC may don a disguise to accomplish deeds in private they could not do in public, such as battling evil under the title of the Crimson Terror, all the while keeping his true identity—and the identities of his loved ones—a secret.

At these times, a character’s actions only affect his reputation with regard to that particular identity or hidden group. In the case of the crime lord mentioned above, so long as his disreputable activities are never publically traced back to him and his charitable giving never hampers his underworld allies, he essentially has two reputation scores.

However, once his charity runs afoul of his underworld allies’ plans, or if the public discovers his connections to the slave ring, his reputation would immediately switch; the public would see him as a criminal (using the infamy with Good that his evil actions has generated) while his underworld allies would see him as an enemy to their expansion (using the infamy with Evil his good actions have generated).

Advanced Options

For players and GMs that wish a greater level of verisimilitude in their dealings with reputations, or for GMs that run up against a situation where the basic rules don’t quite meet his requirements, the following rules provide an added layer of adjustability to the reputation rules.

Reputation Distance: When a creature or adventuring crew gains reputation, their reputation only applies to the settlement in which they gained it. Thus, stopping marauders will certainly gain them reputation in the town the marauders were raiding, but it certainly won’t make them famous throughout the rest of the world (and, while the marauders will hate the PCs for their interloping, villains throughout the rest of the world certainly won’t know nor care who the PCs might be).

A creature’s reputation and fame/infamy count as being 10 less than it is (minimum: 0) in any settlement that is connected to, but different from, the seat of their renown. Settlements two steps removed would count these numbers as being 20 less, while settlements three steps removed would count them as being 30 less, and so on.

Two settlements are considered ‘connected’ if there is a major road or trade route that connects them. For these purposes, every district of a large city or metropolis (such as Claritas, Kettle Town, or the Mer Market in the city of Andrus) count as a separate settlement. In places with multiple settlements in close proximity (such as among Chaotic tribes), a settlement includes all neighboring settlements within up to 10 miles.

Thus, if a PC gained a reputation of 8 in Claritas (a district of Andrus), their fame would only be counted while within Claritas; to the rest of the world, he is still a nobody. Once his fame reached 11, however, it would be 11 in Claritas, and 1 in all other districts of the city. It would not yet travel to other places in the world, as their reputation in the Wall (the part of Anrus that houses the skyport) and in the Mer Market (the part of Andrus that houses the mer traders) is only 1. However, if that character’s fame were 38 in Claritas, it would be 28 throughout the rest of Andrus, 18 in every other major city (as Andrus has major trade routes with all other major powers, including across planes) and would be 8 in all smaller settlements connected to these major cities - the PC’s fame is such that even backwood towns have heard of him.

Likewise, if the PC’s reputation was 16 in a Forest tribe that regularly trades with the merfolk, it would be 6 in the kingdom those merfolk originated from. If it were 26, not only would it be 16 with the merfolk traders, but it would also be 6 with all the other merfolk kingdoms, as well as in the Mer Market at Andrus.

Divisions: Sometimes being the same alignment as another group isn’t enough to remain on good terms. Historically, some of the most bitter fighting and festering hatreds have been among those who claimed to fight for the same side, as small differences transformed into different camps, each with different views on how things should be. Sometimes, a GM may wish to sub-divide an alignment into competing factions, tracking the PC’s fame and infamy separately with each division. Usually in these cases, opposing factions treat each other as enemies in regard to the PC’s reputation, and might even be literal enemies along the other alignment axis.

Example: The GM decides that, in his story, the church of Espen is facing great internal strife; a group of heretics have gained traction among the church, attempting to change several points of doctrine. As the players provide aid for the church’s leaders and gain fame with them, they also gain infamy among this heretical faction, who begin to view the PCs as puppets to the orthodoxy. As the PCs reputation with the church grows, this group may try to persuade the PCs to join their side, and if the PCs refuse, may begin to see the PCs as at best an obstacle to their goals, at worst an enemy that must be dealt with.


Many options in this chapter, such as hiring crew and officers, have a gp cost. However, rather than listing a simple price point, these prices are listed as a price per month. This includes crew wages, food, and more, and, if using the alternate character upkeep rules outlined in the Gamemaster’s Guide, stacks with the character’s personal upkeep.

A player (or the team as a whole) must pay this price at the end of every month, or face the consequences (a loss of morale, fuelless engines, etc.). If you do not wish to use this system in a game, simply multiply a monthly cost by 12 to find it’s flat purchase rate; the player need never spend money on its upkeep again.

Airship Basics

Airships come in a multiplicity of sizes, designs, and capacities, from the smallest zeppelins to the largest warships. However, no matter what type of ship it is, they all use the same basic rules.

In many ways, an airship is akin to a creature; it has hit points, AC, and a customizable build, just as a player character does. At its best, a ship can become almost another member of the party, playing just as important a role in an adventure as anyone else. While a ship can be purchased and flown with a minimum of fuss, a crew willing to invest their time, talents, and funds into customizing their ship may find it as rewarding an endeavor as flying it into battle.

The following information breaks down many of the basic rules involving airships, many of which are expanded on later in this chapter, or in the Equipment section. While the following information is dedicated to airships, the following rules can easily be applied to any form of vehicle with only a few alterations (a wagon, for example, uses Profession (driver) checks instead of Profession (sailor) checks, horses instead of wind and an engine, and cannot rise or lower in altitude, but otherwise the same rules apply).

Hardpoints: When determining how large an airship is, the smallest unit of measurement is Hardpoints. A Hardpoint is a space roughly equal to a 10-ft cube. Hardpoints are not only used to measure the ship’s hull, but also its dirigible and sails, if it possesses them. The number of Hardpoints in a ship’s hull determines its hit points and carrying capacity, as well as how many rooms it can contain (which determines how much cargo, crew, weapons, etc. the ship can hold).

Decks: Sometimes, a ship is so large that it becomes impractical to determine its size or functionality in Hardpoints. When this happens, a ship begins to be measured in terms of Decks. A Deck is a series of 9 connected Hardpoints, usually but not always arranged in a 30 ft x 30 ft x 10 ft block. Note that the shape and arrangements of the Deck isn’t important; Decks, like tactical ship combat spaces, are an abstraction used to describe how large a ship is, and a Deck could be 40 ft. by 20 ft., 25 ft. by 35 ft., or a variety of other arrangements and still be considered a single Deck.

Many numbers later in this chapter are determined according to the number of Hardpoints/Decks in a ship’s hull. While the number of Decks can always be multiplied by 9 to get the total number of Hardpoints a ship possesses, in most cases the numbers are interchangable; so long as a ship is being counted only in either Decks or Hardpoints, the numbers work the same no matter which is used. A ship can have up to 5 Decks per Location.

Locations: Because an airship is an object and not a creature, it is possible to destroy part of the ship without damaging the rest of it. For a ship with less than 5 Decks in its hull, this doesn’t matter as the ship possesses only a single hp pool and a single AC. Airships larger than 5 Decks, however, are treated as multiple interconnected Colossal-sized objects, each with its own armor class and hit points. If the ship possesses sails or a physical dirigible, each of these are their own Location as well (or Locations, if they are also larger than 5 Decks).

A Location cannot possess more than 5 Decks. If a ship’s hull, dirigible, or sails are larger than 5 Decks in size, they are divided evenly into multiple Locations (thus, while a hull with 5 Decks is a single Location, a hull with 6 Decks would become 2 Locations, each with 3 Decks each). Locations play an important part in vehicle combat; when targeting an airship, the attacker must choose which Location they will attack. In order to destroy an airship, each Location must be destroyed individually.

This rarely happens, though, as a crew engaged in ship combat will usually only destroy enough Locations to disable the ship so it may be boarded, or will target the ship’s source of lift to send it spiraling down to the canopy, regardless of how many Locations it still possesses.

Crew: Every airship lists the minimum number of crew required to fly it effectively, which is often determined by the needs of its engines. An engine manned by less than the required number of crew but no less than half produces half its power, while an engine manned by less than half but no less than 1/4th produces 1/4th its power. Note that these numbers indicate a single 8-hour shift; to sail an airship nonstop for 24 hours a day, a ship requires three times the number of required crew.

Vehicle Spaces: While creatures move on a grid of 5 ft. squares, vehicles use 30 ft. spaces when tracking movement and position. An airship occupies one vehicle space per 5 Decks in its total size (hull + dirigible, + sails), rounded up.

Size: A ship’s total size is its total number of Hardponts/Decks, including hull, sails, and dirigible, and is used to detrmine the vehicle’s CMB and CMD below, as well as how many vehicle spaces it fills. A ship with 1-2 Hardpoints is Large, 3-4 Hardpoints is Huge, 5-8 Hardpoints is Gargantuan, and 1-5 Decks is Colossal. A ship with more than 5 Decks is designated Colossal+; and is treated as a series of Colossal-sized objects joined together, as explained under Locations above. A ship uses these same distinctions when measure the size of its hull, sails, or dirigible individually, such as when determining each Location’s AC.

Hardness and Hit Points: Hull Locations have Hardness 5 and 30 hit points per Hardpoint or 270 hit points per Deck. Sails and dirigibles have their own Hardness and hp, as explained in the next chapter.

AC: As an object without a Dexterity score, each ship Location possesses a base AC based on its size, according to the chart below. This number is only a base, and is improved whenever a pilot is at the ship’s helm, as described later.

Ship Size Base AC
Large 4
Huge 3
Gargantuan 1
Colossal1 -3

1: When a ship’s hull, dirigible, or sails are multiple Locations large, each Location is considered its own Colossal-sized object. CMB and CMD: A ship possesses a CMB and CMD, just as a creature does. This starting CMB and CMD is dependent on the ship’s total size, according to the chart below.

Vehicle Size CMB CMD
Large +1 11
Huge +2 12
Gargantuan +4 14
Colossal +8 18
Colossal+ +1 per additional 5 Decks +1 per additional 5


While it is rare for a ship to use its CMB or CMD, extenuating circumstances (for example, a giant attempting to wrestle an airship out of the air) would use these numbers. In both cases, a vehicle adds its pilot’s piloting skill bonus to its CMB and CMD.

Base Save: It is rare that a ship will ever need to make a saving throw, but if one is called for, the ship pilot makes a piloting skill check as its saving throw.

Carrying Capacity

Just like a creature, a ship has a carrying capacity that determines how much cargo, weaponry, and how many crewmembers it can carry. If a ship is carrying a medium load, its speed and acceleration are both reduced by 1, and its maneuverability rating (discussed later) is reduced by 1 step. If a ship is carrying a heavy load, its maneuverability rating is reduced by an additional step. If these reductions would reduce the ship’s acceleration to 0, its acceleration also becomes one space per 2 rounds. If these reductions would reduce the ship’s speed to 0, it is simply too heavy to move under its own power.

A ship carrying less than 2 tons per Hardpoint or 18 tons per Deck in its hull is carrying a light load. A ship carrying less than 5 tons per Hardpoint or 45 tons per Deck in its hull is considered a Medium load, and a ship carrying up to 10 tons per Hardpoint or 90 tons per Deck in its hull is carrying a heavy load. While dimensions and density of cargo and all sorts of other factors determine how much weight can truly fit into any given space, for simplicity’s sake, assume no vehicle can contain more than 10 tons per Hardpoint or 90 tons per Deck. Each passanger, siege engine, or ton of cargo counts against a ship’s total weight allowance. While each individual creature varies in weight, assume a Medium creature, its gear and personal equipment weighs .2 tons. Siege engines list their individual weight.

Airship Sailing

In order for an airship to fly, it must possess a means of lift and propulsion. In most cases, this is accomplished through use of an airship engine.

There are two numbers from which most of a ship’s movement is determined from: The size of its hull (measured in Hardpoints/Decks) and the power rating of its engine. From these two numbers are calculated weight, mass, propulsion, base speed, and maneuverability.

While some of these factors are very similar, it is important to keep them all separate, as certain airship components can affect one without affecting the other (for example, although mass and weight are similar, it is important to keep them separate as a dirigible decreases weight, but not mass).

Mass: For our purposes here, a ship’s mass is equal to the number of Hardpoints/Decks in its hull.

Weight: For our purposes here, a ship’s weight is equal to twice the number of Hardpoints/Decks in its hull.

Propulsion: Every engine has a power rating, which represents how effective it is at powering an airship. A ship’s propulsion is equal to its power rating minus its weight, and represents how much of that engine’s power is left over to move the ship forward after lifting the ship into the air.

Base Speed: A ship’s base speed is the fastest the ship can travel under normal conditions, before modifiers such as winds, special maneuvers, etc. are factored in. For speeds from 1-10, it takes 1 point of propulsion per point of ship mass to increase the ship’s base speed by 1. From 11-20, it takes 2 points of propulsion per point of ship mass to increase the vehicle’s base speed by 1. This increases to 3 points of propulsion per point of vehicle mass from 21-30, etc..

Tactical vehicle movement is measured in 30 ft squares, and thus a ship with a speed of 8 can move a maximum of 240 feet per round. Overland movement, on the other hand, is measured in miles per hour. If the ship’s speed is reduced to 0 because of a damaged engine or other factors, the ship cannot move.

Table: Speed

Movement (spaces per round) Ft. per Round Miles per Hour Miles per 8 Hours Miles per 24 Hours
1 30 3.5 28 84
2 60 7 56 168
3 90 10.5 84 252
4 120 13.5 108 324
5 150 17 136 408
6 180 20.5 164 492
7 210 24 192 576
8 240 27 216 648
9 270 30.5 244 732
10 300 34 272 816
11 330 37.5 300 900
12 360 41 328 984
13 390 44.5 356 1,068
14 420 47.5 380 1,140
15 450 51 408 1,224
16 480 54.5 436 1,308
17 510 58 464 1,392
18 540 61 488 1,464
19 570 64.5 516 1,548
20 600 68 544 1,632

Maneuverability: All ships possess a maneuverability rating, which determines how easy it is to handle, and is determined by the ship’s overall size, including hull, sails, and dirigible. Just as with flying creatures, an airship can have a maneuverability of Clumsy, Poor, Average, Good, or Perfect. A ship that is smaller than Colossal has a base maneuverability of Average. A ship of at least Colossal size but with no more than 3 Locations has a maneuverability of Poor, while ships with more than 3 Locations has a maneuverability of Clumsy.

A ship’s maneuverability grants a bonus or penalty to all piloting checks made to control it, a dodge bonus to AC for all Locations (provided the ship is not uncontrolled that round), as well as determines how many 45 degree turns it can make in a round. A vehicle without a pilot cannot turn, and loses its bonus to AC.

Table: Maneuverability

Maneuverability Modifier to Pilot Checks Number of Turns per Round Dodge Bonus to AC
Perfect +8 8 +9
Good +4 4 +7
Average 0 2 +5
Poor -4 1 +3
Clumsy -8 0 (1 per 2 rounds) +1

Generally, a ship must move one space (30 ft) between each turn. Thus, a ship attempting 4 turns in a round would turn 45 degrees and move forward a space, turn 45 degrees and move forward another space, etc., until it has completed all turns. The exception to this rule is if the ship is moving at a slow enough pace that it is traveling fewer spaces than the number of turns it is making that round. If this happens, the ship may make 90 degree turns (2 turns in the same space) until it has used up all of its turns for the round. If the vehicle has a speed 1/4th or lower than the number of turns it may make in a round, the vehicle may turn as much as it desires in a single space, limited only by the total number of turns it may take in a round.

Turning more than the ship’s maneuverability normally allows is a special maneuver (see Airship Combat below).

Acceleration: In addition to the above, every ship also has an acceleration, which determines how much the pilot can adjust its speed (faster or slower) during a round. Acceleration is equal to 1/2 the ship’s propulsion divided by its mass, rounded down. If acceleration is ever reduced to 0, it speeds up or slows down by 1 space per 2 rounds.


Bigger/Multiple Engines: When a ship possesses multiple different engines (including sails), or multiple Hardpoints/Decks dedicated to a single enlarged engine, the power ratings of all these engines are added together when determining the numbers listed above.

Damaging an Engine: If an engine is reduced to half its total hit points, it gains the broken condition like any object. A broken engine only generates half its usual power, and if it consumes fuel, consumes twice its normal amount. An engine reduced to 0 hit points is completely destroyed.

Siege Engines

Because a vehicle is an object, a creature’s regular attacks rarely deal enough damage to matter; ranged weapons and energy attacks deal half damage to objects (before applying hardness), and it is nearly impossible to get close enough to an enemy vehicle to try attacking it meaningfully with a melee weapon. As such, ships, vehicles, and fortifications often employ siege engines such as catapults, ballistas, and cannons when waging war.

Like all weapons, siege engines have hit points, hardness, and can deal damage in the hands of an expert wielder. While much of the following information is similar to the rules presented in Ultimate Combat, some have been changed. Where the following differs from Ultimate Combat, use the rules presented below.

Proficiency: Siege engines are exotic weapons, and a creature must possess the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat for a given siege engine or suffer a -4 penalty to their attack rolls. (A creature with the Siege Engineer feat is proficient with all siege engines, including siege firearms.) A creature that is proficient in firearms is not automatically proficient with siege firearms, just as a creature proficient with crossbows is not automatically proficient with ballistas. Team: Siege engines are enormous and often require more than one creature to operate effectively. A group operating a siege engine is called a team. Every team has a team leader, who is the one who controls moving, aiming, or firing the siege engine.

Every siege engine has a minimum team number, which is the number of creatures who must work together to successfully operate the siege engine. This number assumes Medium creatures; Small creatures count as half for this purpose, while Large creatures count double. Operating a siege engine is a full-round action on behalf of the team, and a team reloading a siege engine can engage in no other activity at the same time. Siege engines require a number of rounds to load, and for every member a team is short of its required number, it takes an additional round to load and suffers a cumulative -1 penalty to attack rolls.

Constructing, Repairing, and Enchanting Siege Engines: A siege engine is a complex device requiring a DC 20 Craft (siege engine) skill check to build or repair. At least one creature involved in the process must possess the Gunsmithing feat to create a firearm siege engine.

Siege engines can be masterwork, increasing their Craft DC by 5 and costing an additional 300 gp. A masterwork siege engine can also be enchanted for the same cost as a normal weapon. The enhancement bonus of a siege engine applies on attack rolls as well as damage rolls, as normal for weapons.

Siege engines can be armored—treat the siege engine as a creature of its size to determine the cost of the armor. Masterwork siege engine armor can be enchanted for twice the normal cost to enchant armor. Armored siege engines have an armor bonus equal to that normally granted by the specific armor (shields have no effect on a siege engine).

Disabling Siege Engines: A siege engine is considered a difficult device to disable, requiring 2d4 rounds of effort and a DC 20 Disable Device check to do so. When a siege engine is disabled, it either doesn’t work or is sabotaged and stops working 1d4 minutes after use. Fixing a disabled siege engine requires a DC 20 Craft (siege engine), Disable Device, or Profession (siege engineer) check. It takes 10 minutes to fix the device, and the check can be retried if the fix fails.

Damaging Objects: Unlike normal ranged weapons, siege engines do not deal half damage when attacking objects.

Critical Hits: Siege engines attacks can deal critical hit damage, and can even deal critical hits to objects. Siege engines do not gain the benefit of Critical Feats the crew or the crew leader may have.

Misfires: A siege engine has a chance of misfire, similarly to a firearm. A roll of a natural ‘1’ on any attack roll made with a siege engine causes the weapon to automatically miss, and applies the broken condition to the weapon; the weapon suffers a -2 penalty to attack and damage rolls. A second natural ‘1’ destroys a broken siege engine.

A character with the Siege Engineer feat no longer suffers a chance of misfire on any siege engine for himself or any crew under his command (if he is fulfilling the role of chief gunner). Attacking with Siege Engines

Most siege engines are ranged weapons, although some melee options exist. Attacking with a ranged siege engine is very similar to attacking with any other ranged weapon, except as outlined below.

Direct-Fire Siege Engine vs Indirect-Fire Siege Engine: Siege engines come in two varieties: direct-fire siege engines, and indirect- fire siege engines. Direct-fire weapons launch their projectiles straight at their targets, similarly to how a bolt flies from a crossbow, and require no special rules to their use. Indirect-fire weapons, however, follow a set of special rules.

Indirect-Fire Ranged Siege Engines: Indirect-fire weapons are weapons such as catapults and trebuchets, which launch their projectiles in high arcs toward their targets. They typically lob heavier missiles and payloads than direct-fire weapons, but are much harder to aim. Indirect-Fire siege engines use Intelligence rather than Dexterity when determining the attack bonus of their team leader. In addition, because of their firing arcs, indirect-fire weapons can often completely bypass walls and other fortifications to drop their payloads directly onto their targets. However, this firing arc also means that they cannot fire on targets closer than a certain distance, listed in the weapon’s description.

An indirect-fire siege engine is very similar to a splash weapon, or a dropped object. An indirect-fire siege engine makes a touch attack (with a -10 penalty due to the difficulty of aiming the device) against a target square (AC 5), dealing damage to everything within that space. If throwing a Large-sized projectile (most indirect-fire siege engines throw projectiles two sizes smaller than the weapon itself), this instead targets a 10-ft square. If attacking a target larger than the ammunition used, the indirect-fire siege engine instead makes a touch attack against the target rather than against the target’s square.

If an attack made with an indirect-fire siege engine misses, the attack veers off-course, as if it were a splash weapon. Roll 1d8 to determine in what direction the shot veers. A roll of 1 indicates the ammunition falls short (toward the siege engine), with rolls of 2 through 8 counting squares clockwise around the target square. Roll 1d4 for every range increment at which the attack was made (1d4 if the target square is within the engine’s first range increment, 2d4 if the target square is within the second range increment, and so on). The total is the number of squares by which the attack misses. The ammunition deals its damage and any other effects to targets in the square it lands on.

At the GM’s discretion, many of these features might be ignored in special situations. For example, if a Colossal dragon is standing directly in front of an indirect siege engine such that its body is within the weapon’s firing arc, the GM may decide to simply treat the weapon as if it were a direct-fire siege engine for that attack.

Melee Siege Engines: A melee siege engine (including using ramming a vehicle into a target) is much the same as an attack with a direct- fire siege engine, except the siege engine must be adjacent to whatever it attacks.

Rock Catching and Rock Throwing: Once per round, a creature with the Rock Catching special quality that is the same size or larger than the rock (or projectile of similar shape) being hurled from an indirect-fire siege engine can attempt to catch it as a free action. As a readied action, such a creature may guard an entire ship location, moving wherever the rock may land in an attempt to catch it.

The creature must pass a Reflex save (DC 15 for a Small rock, 20 for a Medium one, and 25 for a Large rock, if the projectile provides a magical bonus on attack rolls, the DC increases by that amount). If successful, the rock deals no damage to the creature or ship. The creature must be aware of the attack in order to make a rock catching attempt. If a creature has the rock throwing special quality, rocks they throw are treated as being thrown from a direct-fire siege weapon for the purpose of damaging objects.

Mass Attack: When firing a massive number of siege engines simultaneously, it becomes much easier to make a mass attack. Rather than rolling each attack separately, a single attack roll is made on behalf of every weapon a crew controls. Likewise, rather than rolling all damage individually, it is much easier to find the average damage of each weapon (3.5 per d6, 4.5 per d8) and add them together.

Environmental Considerations

Altitude: An airship can sail anywhere from a few feet off the ground to as high as its engines and crew will allow, to a maximum of 25,000 ft (unless setting sail across space or the astral sea). However, while an airship may reach altitudes of up to 25,000 ft. it is very, very inadvisable to do so. Creatures not acclimatized to high altitudes (who’ve spent at least a month or more at over 5,000 ft) must pass a Fortitude save each hour of work they perform at a height over 5,000 ft (DC 15, +1 per previous check) or be fatigued. The fatigue ends when the character descends to an altitude with more air.

At 15,000 ft, all creatures also become susceptible to altitude sickness. After each 6-hour period a character spends at an altitude of over 15,000 feet, he must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 15, +1 per previous check) or take 1 point of damage to all ability scores. Creatures acclimated to high altitude receive a +4 competence bonus on their saving throws to resist high altitude effects and altitude sickness, but all eventually succumb.

At 20,000 ft, all creatures also suffer 1d6 cold damage every minute.

At 25,000 ft, all engines and sails cease to function except for alchemical engines and magical engines.

For these reasons, most ships stay at an altitude between 1,500 ft (above the Forest) and 5,000 ft, unless they have a specific reason to go higher.

Winds: Winds affect airships as assuredly as they do flying creatures. Wind applies a penalty to all piloting checks and Fly checks, depending on the severity of the wind in question.

No matter how large a ship is nor whether or not it possesses sails, all airships are subject to the force of winds. When moving directly against the wind, an airship subtracts the wind’s severity level from its speed, traveling backwards if this would result in a negative number. When moving in the same direction as the wind, an airship adds the wind’s severity level to their movement speed. Many airship crews will pay heavily for the services of a magic-user who can manipulate winds, as the benefits such a caster can provide to both the ship’s speed and combat abilities make them an invaluable asset.

Wind Severity
Severity Level Wind Speed Ranged Attacks Normal/Siege Weapons1 Checked Size2 Blown Away3 Fly/Pilot Penalty4
1 (Light) 0-10 mph -/- - - -
2 (Moderate) 11-20 mph -/- - - -
3 (Strong) 21-30 mph -2/- Tiny - -2
4 (Severe) 31-50 mph -4/- Small Tiny -4
5 (Windstorm) 51-74 mph Impossible/-4 Medium Small -8
6 (Hurricane) 75-174 mph Impossible/-8 Large Medium -12
7 (Tornado) 175-300 mph Impossible/impossible Huge Large -16

1: The siege weapon category includes all siege weapons included in this book, such as cannons, ballistas, catapults, and others. This also applies to boulders thrown by giants.
2 Checked Size: Creatures of this size or smaller are unable to move forward against the force of the wind unless they succeed on a DC 10 Strength check (if on the ground or another surface such as an airship deck) or a DC 20 Fly check if airborne. This check is made each round such movement is attempted. The wind’s Fly Penalty applies to Fly checks made for this purpose.
3 Blown Away Size: Creatures on the ground (or another surface such as an airship deck) are knocked prone and rolled 1d4 x 10 ft., taking 1d4 points of nonlethal damage per 10 ft, unless they make a DC 15 Strength check each round. Flying creatures similarly must pass a DC 25 Fly check each round or be blown back 2d6 x 10 ft. and take 2d6 points of nonlethal damage due to battering and buffeting. The wind’s Fly Penalty applies to this check.
4: Flying creatures and any piloting checks suffer this penalty to all such checks made in the wind.

Airship Combat

When airships meet in combat, movement is measured in 30 ft spaces, rather than the 5 ft spaces common to creature combat. In most other ways, combat between ships is similar to combat between characters, with the following changes.


Unlike creatures, who may turn around whenever they wish to deal with threats on all sides, an airship travels in a single direction, and must make an effort to change course when it’s pilot wants to turn it around. As such, all airships have a forward side (the direction of the ship’s intended movement), a back side, as well as a left side (port) and a right side (starboard). A ship’s facing is important not only when determining what direction it is moving, but also when ship’s engage in combat, as most ship weapons can only fire out of a single side, and as such can only fire when that side is facing the enemy.

Move Phase and Advantage

When a ship becomes a part of a combat (when two ships battle each other, or an airship battles a creature), the ship or ships move separately from the creatures involved during a special ‘vehicle move phase’ that happens at the end of each round.

When two or more ships are engaged in combat with each other, a great many factors, from the pilot’s skill at catching thermals and turbulence, to the fickleness of winds, determines how well pilots are able to react to each other. As such, during the vehicular move phase, each ship’s pilot makes an opposed piloting check (Profession (sailor) in the case of most airships) to determine the order in which their ships move. An uncontrolled vehicle has a ‘1’ for the purpose of this roll. In ascending order (lowest to highest) each pilot declares how its vehicle will move. Vehicles with a higher roll are said to have ‘advantage’ over vehicles with lower rolls, as they are able to see how the other vehicle will move before declaring their own movement. Once all movement decisions have been made, the vehicles move to their new locations and facing, and the round starts over.

If two pilots tie with this roll, advantage goes to the pilot with the higher modifier for their pilot skill (Wis for Profession (sailor), etc.). If this still doesn’t decide a winner, determine who has the advantage randomly. If a ship has no pilot, it is considered ‘uncontrolled’. An uncontrolled vehicle cannot change direction nor accelerate/decelerate, and so can only move forward at its current speed.

Group Initiative

While a battle involving only a single vehicle can be handled like any other combat, things can become quite complicated when two or more vehicles, and their crews, become involved. When there are possibly dozens if not hundreds of creatures that may take actions, it becomes much easier to use group initiative.

With group initiative, each vehicle used its pilot’s advantage roll as that ship’s group initiative. After the vehicles move during their move phase in ascending order, each vehicle’s occupants then takes its initiative in descending order; vehicles with advantage have their crews move first. Each ship, then, has its own initiative order that applies to actions taken by its crew, and if a creature boards a ship in the middle of combat, it inserts itself into that ship’s initiative. For complete ease of play, some GMs might even dispense with rolling individual initiative altogether unless enemies have boarded a ship, the players simply declaring what actions they wish to take each round on their group’s initiative, acting in the order of who declares first. Actual initiative can then be rolled as normal once boarding begins.

Attacking a Vehicle

When attacking a vehicle, there are three options an attacker may choose from: they may attack a Location, they may attack a target aboard the airship, or they may make a ‘called shot’.

Attacking a Location: When targeting a ship, the attacker normally targets a specific Location. The attack is resolved against the Location’s AC, and a successful attack subtracts damage from the Location’s hit points. When a Location is reduced to 0 hp, it becomes wrecked (see vehicle conditions below).

Called Shots: Instead of targeting a Location, it is possible to directly target certain vehicle parts, such as its engine. When making a called shot, the attack is made with a -2 penalty, and damage dealt is subtracted from the component rather than the Location it is in. The component benefits from the vehicle’s Hardness.

Attacking Targets Inside a Vehicle: A gunner may also decide to target something inside a vehicle such as a siege engine or creature, rather than attacking the vessel or its components. If the target is atop the vehicle such as on a ship’s top deck, the attack is resolved normally, except the target gains a dodge bonus to AC equal to the vehicle’s dodge bonus (such as from its maneuverability or defensive actions taken by the pilot). If the target is inside the vehicle but is close to a window or opening (such as a wizard or cannon firing out of a gun port), the target also gains cover (gaining an additional +4 bonus to AC, etc.).

If the target is hidden inside the vehicle without any exposure to the outside, generally they are unable to be targeted. If extenuating circumstances would allow the creature to be targeted, they add the Location’s armor bonus, dodge bonus, and Hardness to their own, as the shot must get through the vehicle in order to reach them.

Altitude and Combat

For two ship’s to engage in combat, they usually engage each other at a reasonably similar altitude, so as to better facilitate their battle. However, sometimes a band of pirates will wait at a high altitude with the sun to their backs to descend unexpectedly on their prey, or a maneuverable ship will fly underneath a less-maneuverable target to hide in its shadow. At these times, altitude plays a significant role in combat.

Generally speaking, two ships will rarely engage in combat if their altitudes are more than 1000 ft apart; at a distance greater than this, if both ships are not closing to engage, they are engaged in a chase rather than combat.

In combat, altitude is measured in altitude ‘bands’, representing the altitude difference between two ships. An altitude band is about 50 ft high, and is measured from 1-20. If a ship is more than one location high, it takes up two altitude bands. As altitude bands are only designed to measure the distance between two ships, the placement of altitude band ‘1’ is an arbitrary distinction, and should be decided at the beginning of a combat, depending on where the ships are relative to each other. If ships in the combat fly higher than 20 or lower than 1, simply change where ‘1’ is and adjust the various ship’s altitude band to compensate the change.

When moving an airship up or down, an airship may descend any number of altitude bands equal to it’s movement speed without penalty, and may ascend an amount equal to 1/2 its movement speed without penalty. Ascending or descending more than this is a special maneuver, detailed below.

Because attacks made against a higher target are made against gravity and attacks made against a lower target are aided by gravity, attacks are affected differently depending on whether or not you are attacking a target above or below you. When attacking a target that is higher than you, every altitude band between the two ships counts as two 30 ft spaces when determining range, such as when calculating range penalties. When attacking a target that is lower than you, each altitude band only counts as one 30 ft space. While the above rules might make it seem wise to always descend on your target, this is not always the case, as you run the risk of the other ship riding your shadow.

Riding the Shadow: Riding a ship’s shadow means being underneath it. Allowing a ship to ride your shadow is very dangerous, as your own ship gets in the way of any attacks you might make against the enemy ship. So long as a ship is riding in your shadow, that ship has improved cover against you, gaining a +8 bonus to AC and a +4 bonus to Reflex saves made against any attack originating from your ship. While it can be difficult to ride another ship’s shadow (as the ship riding the shadow must often possess both advantage and superior maneuverability), the results can be particularly deadly, and many larger, less-maneuverable ships will fly low to the ground or employ flying creatures, escort ships, and bottom-mounted weapons to better guard their undersides.

Special Maneuvers

During the move phase, a pilot may move his ship however he wants, limited only by its speed, acceleration, and maneuverability. However, the pilot may also attempt one special maneuver each round during the vehicle move phase. A special maneuver could be anything from pushing the ship beyond its normal limits (climbing, diving, or turning more than it is normally allowed to) to performing other feats of expert piloting. Most special maneuvers require a DC 20 Profession (sailor) check to execute, with various modifiers depending on the severity of the maneuver attempted.

Sharp Turn: You may use expert handling to make more turns in a round, or sharper turns, than your ship could normally make. Determine how many extra turns you wish to make that round. If you wish to make an especially sharp turn (i.e., make two 45 degree turns in a space instead of only one) each additional 45 degree turn in the space counts as an extra turn for this purpose. Thus, a ship that can normally make 2 turns per round that instead wants to make 3 turns all in the same space would count as making 3 extra turns for this purpose (1 extra turn, +2 for making two additional turns in the same space).

The DC for this special maneuver is 20 for 1 additional turn, +5 for each turn beyond the first. If this check is made successfully, the ship turns as desired. If this check fails, the ship’s speed is decreased by 1, -1 for every 5 the check result was below the target DC, and the ship starts to roll (see rolling the ship under conditions below).

Dive: By dipping a ship down, you can descend much quicker than normal, adding your ship’s normally-horizontal movement to the distance it descends. When you dive, creatures standing on the deck of your ship must pass a DC 20 Reflex save or fall prone.

Making an airship descend isn’t hard, but making an airship dive safely and without going into freefall can be quite difficult. The DC to perform this maneuver is 20 + 1 for every space of horizontal movement sacrificed to increase the distance descended. If a dive is maintained for more than one round, this check is made at the end of the dive, with the DC determined by the total distance added to the ship’s descent. If this check fails, the ship stalls and goes into freefall (described under conditions below).

Climb: By turning a ship up, the pilot can ascend quicker than normal, adding the ship’s normally-horizontal movement to the distance climbed. Just as when diving, standing creatures must pass a DC 20 Reflex save or fall prone.

Climbing is similar to diving, except only half of the horizontal movement sacrificed is added to the distance climbed. Failing the pilot check causes the ship to stall and go into freefall (described under conditions below).

Defensive Piloting: You take evasive action, granting your vehicle an extra +1 dodge bonus to AC, +1 for every 5 points by which you exceeded the target DC (20).

Offensive Piloting: You maneuver your vehicle in such a way as to aid your gunners. Any attack roll made by a creature aboard your vehicle against a target not aboard your vehicle gains a +1 circumstance bonus to their roll, +1 for every 5 points by which you exceeded the target DC (20).

Other Combat Concepts and Options

Attacking from a Vehicle: Making ranged attacks and siege engine attacks from a moving vehicle is difficult, not unlike attacking from horseback. When using a ranged attack from a moving ship and targetting something not also onboard that ship (such as attacking another ship or firing at a creature as you fly past), the attack is made with a -4 penalty.

Mass Attack: When two vehicles do battle, there can be dozens if not hundreds of siege engines involved, and rolling an attack for each quickly becomes tedious. Instead, it can often be better to make a single ‘mass attack’ for each crew; roll a single attack roll and apply it to every siege engine that crew is firing. Likewise, rather than rolling damage for each weapon individually, it is often much quicker to assume each weapon deals average damage (3.5 per d6, 4.5 per d8) and add the numbers together for every siege engine fired.

Moving Through a Vehicle: Unless boarding has happened and tactical movement is important, movement through a vehicle is not tracked in specifics; a creature is assumed to be able to reach any spot in his location, or change which location he is in as a move action, and specifics such as which square a fire breaks out in is considered unimportant. When boarding happens and these things become important, the details of placement are subject to the GM decision and the ship’s layout.

Sudden Stops: If a ship comes to a sudden stop—its movement is reduced to 0 by crashing into a wall, having its propulsion destroyed, or in any way other than the pilot gradually slowing down—all creatures and items not bolted down are violently pushed toward the ship’s front, moving 15 ft (three 5 ft. squares) for every point in the ship’s speed before the sudden stop. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

At the end of this movement, all creatures and objects take 1d6 points of damage, +1d6 for every 5 ft of movement impeded by hitting a wall or another solid object. In addition, creatures must succeed at a DC 20 Reflex saving throw or be knocked prone. When not dealing with a specific layout, assume each creature moves 10 ft before hitting a wall.

Ram: When two ship’s enter the same space and altitude band, there is a chance they will crash into each other. Other times, a pilot may deliberately crash their ship into a building or creature in an attempt to destroy it. When a ship crashes into a creature, object, or another ship, they are performing a ram maneuver.

If two or more targets want to ram each other, the ram happens automatically. If both don’t wish to ram each other, the ram does not happen (unless there are extenuating circumstances as dictated by the GM, such as barrelling toward each other through a tunnel). When one party wants to ram and the other doesn’t, the pilot attempting to initiate the ram makes a piloting check as a melee touch attack against the target, with a penalty depending on the size of the vehicle he is piloting (-1 for Large, -2 for Huge, -4 for Gargantuan, -8 for Colossal and Colossal+) as well as the usual bonuses or penalties for maneuverability, etc. If both targets are vehicles of Colossal or Colossal+ size, the ram happens automatically if both targets are in the same space, as they are both simply too big and unruly to dodge.

When a ship rams a target that is its same size category or larger, the ramming vehicle comes to a sudden stop (see above) unless the ram is enough to completely kill/destroy the target. When a vehicle rams a target that is smaller than itself, it continues moving as it plows the smaller target out of the way. When a smaller target is pushed aside in this manner, it must pass a DC 20 Reflex save or be knocked prone (or, if it is a vehicle, begin to roll as described below). If two vehicles are both Colossal or Colossal+ and one has 3 or more times as many locations as the other, that vehicle is considered larger for this purpose.

A ram is considered an attack with a melee siege engine. A pilot is considered proficient if he has at least one rank in Profession (sailor). This proficiency does not qualify that creature to gain the Siege Engineer feat (although a creature who possesses the Siege Engineer feat is considered proficient with all vehicles for the purpose of performing ramming maneuvers).

When a pilot successfully rams their ship into a target, both the ramming vessel and the rammed target suffer damage according to each other’s size; the ramming ship takes damage according to the struck target’s size, and the struck target takes damage according to the ramming ship’s size.

Table: Ram Damage

Vehicle Size Damage
Medium 1d6
Large 1d8
Huge 2d8
Gargantuan 4d8
Colossal/Colossal+ 8d8

In addition, the speed and orientation of the ram increases damage, and determines what happens to a ramming ship’s speed. There are three ways a ship may ram a target:

Head-on Collision: When two ships ram directly into each other, their speeds are added together. Each ship suffers an additional 1d8 damage for every point of their combined speeds.

Side Collision: When one ship rams into the side of another ship, or when a vehicle rams into a creature or stationary object, both suffer 1d8 points of damage for every point of the ramming ship’s speed.

Back Collision: When one ship rams into the back of another ship, subtract the speed of the targeted ship from the speed of the ramming ship. Both ships suffer 1d8 damage for every point left in the ramming ship’s speed (minimum: 0).

If a ship is equipped with a ram, it deals +3d8 extra damage when performing a ramming maneuver and only suffers half damage itself when it rams into another target. If two ships ram into each other (a head-on collision) and both are equipped with rams, they both only deal half damage to each other. If a ramming ship is more than one location wide and rams a ship more than one location wide or long, both ships suffer ramming damage in every location struck by each other.

Vehicle Conditions

Sometimes, a ship gains a condition, not dissimilar to how a creature may become shaken, confused, etc. The following represent the various conditions that may be applied to a vehicle. Uncontrolled: When a ship has no pilot, or the pilot is unable to control the ship’s movements for one reason or another, that ship is considered ‘uncontrolled’. An uncontrolled ship is considered to have a 1 for its advantage roll during the vehicle move phase, and the ship can only move forward at its current speed. In addition, if a ship goes uncontrolled for more than 1 round, it has a 20% cumulative chance per additional round that it will begin to roll (see below).

Rolling: Sometimes, such as when a pilot attempts a sharp turn unsuccessfully, they can cause their ship to roll. When a ship begins to roll, every creature aboard must pass a DC 20 Reflex save to secure themselves or fall prone.

When a ship begins to roll, the pilot has one round to attempt to correct it with a DC 20 piloting check. If they fail (or if they are unable to make this check), then the next round the vehicle turns completely upside down. When this happens, creatures on exposed decks must pass another DC 20 Reflex save or fall out completely. It takes a DC 25 piloting check to turn the vehicle over again, assuming the pilot can still reach the controls.

On Fire: Fire is a dangerous thing, more so than almost any other danger found aboard a ship, as it can quickly spread and consume the entire ship itself.

A fire on a vehicle can be thought of as a creature whose size is measured in d6s. Any lightning or fire-based attack that deals more than 10 damage to a ship location has a 50% chance of starting a fire. When an attack causes a location to catch fire, it creates a fire with one d6 for every 10 damage dealt by the attack. If a fire is created by an action that doesn’t deal damage, the fire begins as a 1d6 fire.

Every round a fire is in a location beyond the round it was first created, it deals damage equal to its size to that location, then increases its size by 1d6 (a 3d6 fire deals 3d6 damage, then becomes a 4d6 fire the next round). If a fire ever reaches 10d6, it also spreads to all adjacent locations, which begin at 1d6 and increase as usual (if a secondary fire in an adjacent location is put out, but the original fire is still at 10d6 or higher, it will rekindle the fire in the adjacent location the next round, reset back at 1d6).

There are three ways to put a fire out: a crew can put the fire out, a magic user can attack the fire with magic, or the location can simply burn up; if a location is reduced to 0 hp, the fire instead deals damage to anything within that location. If nothing is within that location, the fire dies due to a lack of fuel.

To put a fire out, a character must spend a standard action to actively attempt to control the fire with blankets, a fire pump, or whatever else is on-hand. Alternately, if a character has access to area-affect frost/water magic (such as ice storm, or an explosive orb frost blast), they may attempt to put the fire out that way. For every 5 points of damage dealt to the fire, the fire is reduced by 1d6 (however, no matter how small the fire is, it will continue to grow by 1d6 each round until extinguished). This damage is cumulative: If a creature deals 2 damage to a fire one round, and 3 damage the following round, the fire will be reduced by 1d6. The following chart shows how effective various forms of control are.

Fire Control Method Damage per Individual Damage per Small Crew
Unarmed 1d4 8d6
Blanket/Water Bucket 1d6 12d6
Fire Pump 2d6 20d6
Frost Magic As Attack -

Any crew or individual attempting to put a fire out suffers fire damage equal to 1/2 the fire’s size every round they do so.

Stalled: Sometimes, often as a result of a ship climbing, diving, or remaining uncontrolled for too long, a ship can stall. When a ship stalls, it loses all sense of control, and is treated as uncontrolled even if it still has a pilot. During the vehicle move phase, the pilot of a stalled ship must make a successful DC 20 pilot check to take back control. Doing so only gives the pilot control on the movement phase after that successful check; a stalled vehicle always spends at least one round uncontrolled.

When a ship stalls, it also enters freefall.

  • Freefall: When an ship stalls, loses its source of lift, or is completely wrecked, it goes into freefall. A free falling object falls 500 ft the first round, and 1000 ft on all subsequent rounds until it crashes, or the pilot is able to end the freefall, such as by taking control after a stall.

Grappled: When two ships are next to each other, a character or crew aboard one ship and armed with grappling hooks and rope or similar tools can attempt to grapple the other ship. This involves a CMB check made as a standard action against the CMD of any crew or individual within the location they are attempting to board who is inclined to stop the grapple. If successful, the two ships become grappled together (this changes both ship’s speeds to 0, unless one vehicle is 2 or more size categories smaller than the other, or possesses 1/3rd the number of spaces or fewer, in which case the smaller vessel simply attaches to the larger vessel and goes along for the ride) and crew and individuals may cross from one to the other freely. To break a grapple between ships, another individual or crew must make an CMB check as a standard action to remove the grappling hooks, opposed by the CMD of the crew or individual best poised to prevent that action. Alternately, the pilot may attempt to break the vehicles apart by making a CMB check on behalf of the vehicle itself to force the ships apart. A grapple with a vehicle 2 sizes smaller or with 1/6th the number of spaces cannot be broken in this fashion.

Wrecked: A wrecked Location is a Location that has had its hit points reduced to 0 hp or fewer. Wrecked sails or dirigible cease to provide any benefit for the airship. When a hull Location is wrecked, all unattended objects or engines inside it lose half their hit points (gaining the broken condition), and none of its rooms continue to function: engines become useless, siege engines cannot be fired, kitchens can no longer provide food, and cargo falls out of the ship and must be recovered. A pilot suffers a -4 penalty to all piloting checks per wrecked Location. If an airship’s last hull Location is wrecked, the airship is nothing but scrap.

Crew Overview

In Skybourne, if the players own their own airship, it is naturally assumed they will fill the role of the primary officers aboard that ship, such as the captain, pilot, and quartermaster. On smaller ships this can be easy, as the PCs are likely to be the only crew present. On larger ships, however, being an officer can involve commanding and coordinating crews of dozens if not hundreds of other creatures.

In Skybourne, the term ‘officer’ refers to any creature, such as a player or important NPC, who can command crew or fulfill a vital role aboard a ship. While not all officers will fulfill a vital role, officers themselves perform the important function of coordinating and leading crew. An officer who does not fulfill a vital crew role is considered a lieutenant.

Sometimes, a PC may find themselves fulfilling multiple roles on the same ship. A captain’s job, for example, is hardly demanding until there is a decision to be made or an enemy to fight, and a captain can easily double as any other crew role. Likewise, a pilot must only spend a move action each round to pilot the vehicle, and thus could use their standard action to serve as head engineer at the same time. However, it’s often beneficial to have as many different crewman as possible fulfilling these vital roles, not only so they may specialize easily, but also so every member of the party can contribute to the success of the team.

The following are the vital roles an officer may fulfill aboard a ship.

Important Skills: Profession (sailor). A boatswain’s job is to oversee the ropes, rigging, and other aspects of sailing, as well as ensuring the boat remains in proper working order. The boatswain is in charge of everything that happens on deck, and is synonymous with the head engineer for an airship powered by sails. A boatswain can take the following action:

  • Aid Pilot: As a standard action, the boatswain can aid the pilot, precisely moving the sails to best suit the pilot’s needs. This requires a DC 20 Profession (sailor) check on the part of the boatswain, and if successful grants a +4 bonus to the pilot’s piloting checks for 1 round, +1 per 5 points the check exceeded this target DC. This may only be done if sails make up at least half of the ship’s total engine power, and only one boatswain/head engineer can take this action each round.

Cabin Boy/Girl
Important Skills: Profession (servant). A cabin boy/girl is usually a youth learning the ropes of ship command, but may just as likely be a professional valet, or indeed anyone trained to accomplish the hundreds of mundane tasks that helps a ship run smoothly, from polishing the captain’s boots, to keeping the carpenter’s tools in great repair, to delivering messages as needed throughout the ship.

As an overland standard action, the cabin boy/girl may use their Profession (servant) skill to aid all creatures aboard their ship. Many large ships will even have dedicated crews of of assistants, who the cabin boy/girl can lead in a crisis. Among ships equipped with cannons, these crews are often called ‘powder monkeys’, as their job often involves running shot from the powder room to the various ship’s gunners.

Important Skills: None. A ship’s captain leads the crew, and is often responsible for making the split-second decisions required during combat to keep a ship out of danger.

Being a ship’s captain does not often require skill checks, but a ship’s captain does make loyalty checks when such a thing is required. While captain is an important role on any ship, a captain has little to do between combats other than to set the course and inspect the crew. Thus, while the captain of a large ship will usually have underlings fulfill all other crew roles, a captain with the required training can easily fill any other crew role at the same time as serving as captain.

Important Skills: Profession (chef). A ship’s chef is in charge of preparing food for the crew, keeping them nourished and as happy as possible. While anyone can prepare meals of hardtack and gruel for a crew without spending any overland action, a ship’s chef may spend an overland move action to provide the benefits of their Profession (chef) skill for 12-13 people (a small crew). He may provide this bonus for 1 additional small crew per assistant, and double the number by spending an overland standard action instead of an overland move action. Larger ships often have crews under the command of the head chef, allowing him to provide bonuses for everyone on the ship, and giving him a crew to command during a crisis.

Head Engineer
Important Skills: Varies. An airship engine is a finicky piece of equipment even at the best of times, and requires a number of engineers to oversee its function, with one serving as the head engineer in charge of making engineering checks. An engine manned by less than its required number of engineers but no less than half produces half power. An engine manned by less than 1/2 but no less than 1/4th its required crew produces 1/4th power. An engine cannot funvtion properly if manned by less than 1/4 its required

The head engineer uses different skills depending on the engine in question (Craft (alchemy) for alchemical engines, Spellcraft for elemental engines, etc.).

As a standard action, an engineer can perform any of the following actions. While many engines possess a minimum number of crew to operate effectively, no one but a cabin boy may aid a head engineer with these checks.

  • Aid Pilot: As a standard action, the head engineer can aid the pilot, just as a boatswain can. This requires a DC 20 engineering check, and if successful grants a +4 bonus to the pilot’s piloting checks for 1 round, +1 per 5 points the check exceeded this target DC. This may only be done if the engine provides up at least half of the ship’s total engine power, and only one boatswain/engineer can take this action each round.
  • Emergency Repair: If an engine becomes damaged, the head engineer can attempt an emergency repair, making a DC 20 engineering check to grant the engine 10 temporary hit points, +1 for every 5 points the check exceeded the target DC. This can only be done if the engine is damaged, and cannot bring the engine’s hit points above its usual maximum. These temporary hit points only last for 24 hours.
  • Push/Overload: As a standard action, the head engineer can push the engine, increasing its power output by 1/2, but consuming twice as much fuel. Alternately, he can attempt a DC 25 skill check to double the power, but this deals 2d6 damage per Hardpoint/18d6 damage per Deck to the engine each round, that bypasses all Hardness. An engineer cannot make this action with an engine that doesn’t consume fuel, and must spend a standard action each round to maintain the effect.
  • Self-Destruct: An engineer can purposefully destroy an engine. This requires a DC 35 skill check with whatever skill is associated with that engine, and the engineer cannot take 10 or 20 with this check. If successful, the engine builds up pressure without creating power, causing the engine to heat up and explode. This takes 1d3 minutes. The effects of destructing an engine differs depending on the engine in question and are discussed in each engine’s entry in the equipment chapter. At any time before it explodes, the engineer can attempt to reverse the process with a DC 30 skill check. Doing so stops the self-destruct, but still inflicts damage to the engine equal to 50% of its total hit points.

Important Skills: Profession (sailor). A pilot is in charge of steering, and makes Profession (sailor) checks when called for to control the ship. While a ship with a large crew or several willing player characters may have multiple pilots and so may sail 24 hours a day, a small ship with only a single pilot can only sail for 8 hours per day (as the pilot’s overland standard action) and makes checks every hour beyond this as if performing a forced march. Most ships try to have at least 3 pilots at any given time, allowing each pilot to take an single 8-hour shift, letting them rest and spend their overland move action however they please. Every vehicle possesses a driving space, where the pilot must stand in order to pilot a vehicle.

A pilot must spend a move action each round to control the ship and can receive an aid another bonus from no more than one other creature (including the cabin boy) when making piloting checks, although some engineering checks can provide additional aid to a pilot. Because piloting checks are move actions, it only takes a move action to provide and aid another bonus for the pilot.

Important Skills: Profession (soldier). The quartermaster maintains discipline among the crew and oversees many of their day-to-day needs. It is the quartermaster’s job to keep the crew combat-ready, and he is often the one leading the boarding party when ship-to-ship combat begins.

Master Carpenter
Important Skills: Profession (carpentry). All carpenters work under the direction of the master carpenter, who makes Profession (carpentry) checks to repair the ship.

Sail Master
Important Skills: Profession (navigator). A sail master is in charge of setting a course for the ship and calculating its location at any given time. As such, a sail master is the one who makes Profession (navigator) checks on behalf of the ship. While navigating can be a simple task when good maps and obvious landmarks are available, it can easily become extremely tricky when one is working with shoddy or non-existent maps overlooking a sea of green.

Master Gunner
Important Skills: Profession (siege engineer). A master gunner oversees the ship’s gunners, and often is the one rolling the attacks rolls for the crews operating the ship’s weapons.

Important Skills: Heal. While magic is a wonderful option when it comes to healing, a ship often has more crewmembers than a single caster, or even an entire team of casters, can handle with their daily allotment. As such, the ship’s surgeon is an important member of the crew, treating illnesses and fixing minor injuries, as well as overseeing the recovery of injured crew members after a fight. Many large ships have entire crews under the command of the chief surgeon, to help him provide aid during combat.

Important Skills: Perform (any) or Profession (courtesan). Sometimes, a crew may spend days, weeks, or even months in the air at a time. During such times, a skilled musician, comedian, dancer, or courtesan can make all the difference. An entertainer can spend an overland move action to entertain up to 25 people (a medium crew), giving them a bonus to their loyalty equal to 1/5th the result of their skill check. The one making this check can entertain an additional 25 people per assistant helping them, and can double the audience by taking an overland standard action instead of an overland move action. Large vessels sometimes have entire crews dedicated to providing entertainment.

Hiring Crew

While it is perfectly possible for an adventuring party to sail the skies alone, often successful adventurers will find it beneficial to pad their numbers, either to help them pilot a particularly large ship, or to increase their strength when raiding their enemies. Hiring additional hands comes in one of two forms: hiring crews and hiring officers.


The average crewman (male or female) on any given ship is a low-level NPC, usually with levels in commoner, expert, or warrior. While they will fight for the PCs, they are unremarkable on their own and are much better suited to serving in siege engine teams, as part of an engine’s required crew, or in other menial tasks. A crewman is paid one silver piece per level per day, or 3 gp per level per month.

However, while the average crewman is unremarkable on their own, crewman rarely works alone. Instead, crewmen usually operate in groups, called ‘crews’.

Just as a swarm is a group of minuscule creatures that are treated as a single unit in combat, a ‘crew’ is a group of individuals who work together to fight or accomplish tasks, and in may cases are treated as a single, swarm-like unit. While individual members of a crew might have different feats, skills, or even racial and class makeups, these distinctions aren’t important; only the crew’s statistics as a whole matter.

A crew may be lead by an officer, and an officer may lead a single crew at a time. To lead a crew, an officer must be within sight or hearing of the crew. When an officer leads a crew, he grants several bonuses to that crew, including the ability to make certain skill checks on behalf of the crew. In addition, when an officer with ranks in Profession (soldier) leads a crew, he grants that crew a +1 dodge bonus to AC and a +1 morale bonus to saving throws, which both increase by +1 for every 10 points in the officer’s Profession (soldier) bonus. If the officer possesses ranks in Profession (siege engineer), he also grants the crew the benefits of any feats he possesses that augment siege engine use, and grants them a +1 bonus on attack rolls made with siege engines, +1 for every 10 points of bonus he possesses in Profession (siege engineer).

A crew is very similar to the Troop subtype, with a few minor alterations discussed below.

Crew Subtype

A crew is a collection of creatures that act as a single, swarm-like unit. A crew possesses whatever creature type the majority of its members possess, as well as a single pool of Hit Dice, hit points, initiative, speed, and Armor Class. A crew moves, takes actions and makes saving throws as a single unit. A crew possesses a variable number of composite units depending on its size, but generally assume a small crew has about 13 members, a medium crew has about 25 members, and a large crew has about 50 members. The following rules assume a crew is comprised of Small or Medium creatures; for a crew of Tiny or Large creatures, make any appropriate adjustements for size.

A crew fills a number of 5 ft squares depending on its size: 9 squares for a small crew (a 3 by 3 square), 16 squares for a medium crew (a 4 by 4 square), and 25 squares for a large crew (a 5 by 5 square). The exact shape of a crew is completely changeable; the crew may assume any configuration on the grid, provided the squares they occupy remain contiguous, to reflect the teamwork of the crew. Although a crew occupies such a large space, their members are all of a much smaller size category, and a crew can fit through any space large enough for its component members.

This also means the crew’s reach is only that of its component members based on their size and armements. Also, as a swarm, a crew may occupy the same space as another creature, and is considered to threaten all spaces it occupies, as well as those within its reach. A crew provokes attacks of opportunity as normal, and can make an attack of opportunity each round just as a creature can. However, a crew does not roll an attack when making an attack of opportunity; instead, it simply deals half its usual damage from its crew attack (see crew actions below).

Crew Traits: A crew is not subject to flanking, but it is subject to critical hits and sneak attacks if its component creatures are subject to such attacks. Reducing a crew to 0 hit points or fewer causes it to break up, effectively destroying the troop and killing its members (if a crew is reduced to 0 hp, and later healed, such as through rest, assume that casualties have reduced the crew by one size: a large crew becomes a medium crew, a medium crew becomes a small crew, and a small crew is completely destroyed). However, despite being a composite of smaller creatures, damage taken until the crew is reduced to 0 hp does not degrade its ability to attack or resist attack. If a troop is rendered unconscious by means of nonlethal damage, it disperses and does not reform until its hit point total exceeds its nonlethal damage. A crew is never staggered by damage. Generally speaking, a crew cannot be tripped, grappled, or bull rushed except by area effects that include such effects.

A crew is immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including both single-target effects or multiple target effects such as haste or other spells), but it is affected by any spell or effect that targets an area or a non-specific number of creatures (such as a bard’s Inspire Courage). A troop takes half-again as much damage (150%) from spells or effects that target an area, and takes double damage (200%) from a creature using the Whirlwind Attack feat. If a creature uses the Cleave feat, they deal a fourth again as much damage for each Cleave feat they possess (thus, a creature using Cleave deals 125% damage, while a creature with Greater Cleave deals 150% damage).

Crew Actions: A crew does not make normal attacks, and even when making an attack of opportunity deals automatic damage (equal to 1/2 its crew attack damage). Instead, a crew can perform a number of crew actions each round. The following crew actions are available to all crews, while certain perks and equipment can grant a crew additional potential actions.

Crew Attack: As a standard action, the crew damages all enemies within its reach without the need to make an attack roll, as determined by its level according to Table: Crew Level.

Combat Maneuver: As a standard action, the crew may attempt to trip, bull rush, grapple, or perform any other combat maneuver against a single target. This cannot target another crew, and provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.

Operate Siege Engine: If a crew is operating siege engines, they may reload and fire those weapons, as detailed in the Siege Engine rules from this chapter. Doing so is a full-round action on the part of the crew.

Operate Engines: As a standard action, a crew can operate an engine, allowing the engine to produce power for the airship.

Total Defense: A crew cannot fight defensively, but may choose to take a total defense action as a standard action, increasing their AC by 4.

High AC
In Pathfinder, swarms deal automatic damage, meaning a character clad in steel armor suffers the same damage as a character wearing no armor at all, unless the alternate Armor as DR rules are being used. While this may make sense for a swarm of insects, it lacks verisimilitude. For a more realistic alternative, increase every crew’s attack damage by 10, then subtract each target’s AC from the damage the crew deals to them.

Crew Statistics

A crew’s statistics are found using the average statistics of its members. A crew of mostly 1st level humans using swords is little altered by the presence of a couple 2nd level tatulani in their midst, but if most of that crew’s members were to begin wielding halberds, this would change that crew’s statistics accordingly.

A crew’s statistics are found by determining the crew’s average race, level, class, and equipment, and finally making adjustments for size.

Crew Race

The predominant race of a give crew grants it a number of abilities. While the crew itself counts as being of that race’s type and subtype, many of the specific traits associated with a race have little effect on the crew itself. Instead, a crew gains the following benefits depending on their race. While the members of a crew possess all racial traits from their race, many of these traits do not transfer easily to working as a crew, except for certian fringe situations as determined by the GM.

Aasimar: An aasimar crew gains acid resistance 10, cold resistance 10, and electricity resistance 10, and a +2 bonus to Perception, and darkvision 60 ft. They may make the following crew action.

  • Light: Once per day, the crew may glow as a standard action, causing the area within 60 ft of them to glow with bright light, and 60 ft beyond that to increase by one light level to a maximum of bright for 10 minutes per level, as the daylight spell. As a free action, they may throw their lighted objects to light a 100 ft radius area. Creatures harmed by bright light are affected as normal.

Alraun: An alraun crew gains darkvision 60 ft, a +2 bonus to Bluff checks, and they may carry an additional piece of equipment in hand at a time. An alraun crew gains the benefits of the alraun ability to detect poison and smell out blood and badly-wounded creatures.

Cecaelia: A cecaelia crew gains a 30 ft swim speed and the ability to breath underwater, as well as the cecaelia’s deepsight and pressure immunity traits. A cecaelia may carry two additional pieces of equipment in hand at a time, and gains the following two crew actions:

  • Tentacle Sense: As a swift action, a cecaelia crew that is swimming may grant itself blindsense 10 ft for 1 round.
  • Ink Jet: Once per day as a standard action, a cecaelia crew may fire a burst of ink. In water, this creates a 20-foot-radius sphere that provides total concealment and persists for 1 minute. On land, this blinds all targets within a 20 ft-radius burst centered within 50 ft. All targets within this area must pass a Fortitude save (DC 10 + level) or be blinded for 1 minute. The target may wipe its eyes out as a standard action to remove the blindness.

Cherufe: A cherufe crew gains a move speed of 40 ft, fire resistance 10, and low-light vision. In addition, the crew gains one of the following two benefits depending on whether the crew is made up of amet or zavr.

  • Amet: As a swift action, an amet crew can add 1d10 fire damage to a crew attack. As a standard action, an amet crew can throw lava at a 20 ft radius burst centered within 50 ft, dealing 1d10 bludgeoning and 1d10 fire damage to anything within that space (Reflex half, DC 10 + level). An amet crew can perform any combination of these in a day equal to 5 or less.
  • Zavr: A zavr crew adds its level to its crew attack damage.

Created: A created crew gains 1 additional perk. A created crew possesses a 25% chance of ignoring any critical hits or precision damage scored against it.

Cuazaj: A cuazaj crew gains the benefits of being Small-sized (+1 AC, +4 Stealth, -1 CMB and CMD) and gains a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against disease, mind-affecting effects, poison, and effects that cause either exhaustion or fatigue. The crew gains acid and electricity resistance 10, and a +1 bonus to natural armor. They gain vulnerability to both cold and sonic damage, and may take the following crew actions.

  • Cuazaj Lightning: Once per day, as a standard action, a cuazaj crew can deal lightning damage to all creatures within 15 ft of it. This deals 1d6 damage per level, and allows a Reflex save for half damage (DC 10 + level).
  • Breezeflight: A cuazaj crew may gain the benefits and detriments of breezeflight as a swift action, allowing them to make an Acrobatics check to jump. Note that a cuazaj crew does not gain a bonus to this Acrobatics check unless they possess the Acrobatic Training perk.

Dwarf: A dwarven crew gains darkvision 60 ft, as well as the dwarf weapon familiarity trait. It also gains a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison, spells, and spell-like abilities, as well as a +4 racial bonus to their CMD when resisting a bull rush or trip attempt while standing on the ground. A dwarven crew has a movement speed of 20 ft, which is never reduced from wearing armor or carrying a heavy load.

Elf: An elven crew gains low-lightvision, weapon familiarity as an elf, and is immune to magic sleep effects and gains a +2 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells and effects. It gains a +2 bonus on Perception checks.

Fenghaung: A fenghaung crew gains a fly speed of 30 ft with Clumsy maneuverability, and may always make Fly checks with their skill bonus. The crew cannot wear armor heavier than Light without losing its ability to fly, and cannot wield two-handed weapons. Fenghaung gain fire resistance 10 and low-light vision.

Gnome: A gnome crew gains the effects of being Small-sized (+1 AC, +4 Stealth, -1 CMB and CMD), and possesses only a 20 ft move speed. They gain a +2 racial saving throw bonus against illusion spells and effects, a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks, and a +2 bonus to their skill bonus and aid another bonus for one Craft or Profession skill (see perks). They gain low-light vision and gnome weapon familiarity. They also gain the following crew action.

  • Gnome Magic: Once per day, a gnome crew may attempt to confuse their enemies via dancing lights, strange noises, and minor illusions. All enemies within 60 ft must pass a Will save (DC 10 + level) or be confused for 1 round.

Goblin: A goblin crew gains the benefits of being Small-sized (+1 AC, +4 Stealth, -1 CMB and CMD), and darkvision 60 ft. They also gain the benefits associated with their clan; if creating a crew of mixed-clan goblins, this defaults to giving them a +4 to Stealth and Ride.

Half-Elf: A half-elf crew gains the same benefits as an elven crew, except instead of gaining proficiency with elven weapons, they instead gain 1 additional perk.

Halfling: A halfling crew gains the effects of being Small-sized (+1 AC, +4 Stealth, -1 CMB and CMD), and possesses a 20 ft move speed. They gain a +4 bonus to Ride checks. They gain a +1 bonus to all saving throws and an additional +2 bonus against fear effects. They gain a +2 bonus to Perception checks as well as halfling weapon familiarity.

Half-Orc: A half-orc crew gain orc weapon familiarity and darkvision 60 ft. A half-orc crew can make one standard action the round after being reduced to 0 hit points before dispersing, if not raised to a positive hit point number before the end of their action.

Human: A human crew gains 2 additional perks.

Leshy: A leshy crew gains low-light vision and all effects from the leshy’s plant body trait. They have a 20 ft move speed which is never reduced by armor or encumbrance. They gain vulnerability to fire, and the Endurance perk.

Merfolk: A merfolk crew gains a move speed of 5 feet, a swim speed of 50 ft, can breath underwater, and can’t be tripped. They gain a +2 natural armor bonus and low-light vision.

Sidhier: A sidhier crew gains low-light vision and a +1 bonus to all saving throws and to all skill checks. They are always treated as having a running start when jumping, and gain an aditional +2 bonus to Acrobatics checks. The crew gains access to the following crew actions.

  • Planar Balance: As a free action, a sidhier crew can stop all attempts to teleport, conjure creatures, or cross planes that happens within its occupied area + 5 ft, +5 ft per 5 levels. Any attempt to do the above requires the caster to pass a MSB check (caster level check in Core Pathfinder) against a DC of 11 + the crew’s level. This action may be taken a number of times per day equal to 1/2 the crew’s level.
  • Sidhier Desire: As a standard action, the crew forces all enemies within 60 ft to pass a Will save (DC 10 + the crew’s level). On a failure, the enemy cannot attack or take hostile action against the crew for one round, but may still take other actions as desired.

Tatulani: A tatulani crew gains a +2 bonus to a single Craft skill, and deals their regular crew attack damage, even when unarmed. They may have two additional pieces of equipment in hand at a time, and may wield oversized weapons as detailed in the Tatulani race description.

Tiefling: A tiefling crew gains resistance 10 to cold, electricity, and fire, and gain a +2 bonus to Bluff checks and Stealth checks. They possess darkvision 60 ft. and gain the following crew action.

  • Darkness: Once per day, the crew may cause the area they occupy and 20 ft around them to become darkened by 1 step, to a minimum of complete darkness, as the darkness spell, for 1 minute per level. As a free action, they may drop their darkened objects, increasing the size of the area to 60 ft around them.

Crew Level

A crew’s level is the average level of the creatures that comprise it. From a crew’s level are derived most of its basic statistics, as outlined below.

Table: Crew Level

Level CR Hit Dice HP Saving Throws Siege Engine Attack Bonus Skill Bonus CMB CMD Str Crew Attack Damage Perks
1 3 6 30 2 1 6 5 16 18 2d6+3 1
2 4 7 45 3 2 7 6 17 18 2d6+6 1
3 5 8 60 4 3 8 8 19 20 2d6+9 2
4 6 9 75 5 4 9 9 20 20 2d6+12 2
5 7 10 90 6 5 10 11 22 22 2d6+15 3
6 8 11 105 7 6 11 12 23 22 2d6+18 3
7 9 12 120 8 7 12 14 25 24 2d6+21 4
8 10 13 135 9 8 13 15 26 24 2d6+24 4
9 11 14 150 10 9 14 17 28 26 2d6+27 5
10 12 15 165 11 10 15 18 29 26 2d6+30 5
11 13 16 180 12 11 16 20 31 28 2d6+33 6
12 14 17 195 13 12 17 21 32 28 2d6+36 6
13 15 18 210 14 13 18 23 34 30 2d6+39 7
14 16 19 225 15 14 19 24 35 30 2d6+42 7
15 17 20 240 16 15 20 26 37 32 2d6+45 8
16 18 21 255 17 16 21 27 38 32 2d6+48 8
17 19 22 270 18 17 22 29 40 34 2d6+51 9
18 20 23 285 19 18 23 30 41 34 2d6+54 9
19 21 24 300 20 19 24 32 43 36 2d6+57 10
20 22 25 315 21 20 25 33 44 36 2d6+60 10

Level: This is the average level of the crew. A crew increases in level just as a PC does, but gains experience points much more slowly. A crew gains 1/10th the experience a PC would gain from whatever encounter or event they are involved in.

CR: This is the crew’s Challenge Rating.

Hit Dice: This is the effective Hit Dice of the crew.

Hit Points: The crew’s hit point pool. No matter how much damage a crew takes, its fighting ability does not diminish until it is dropped to 0 or fewer HP, at which time the crew disperses as its component creatures fall dying or dead to the ground.

Saving Throws: This is the crew’s base saving throw bonus for Fortitude, Reflex, and Will saving throws.

Siege Engine Attack Bonus: If the crew is firing siege engines (as opposed to simply serving on the team of an officer who makes the attack roll himself), this is their attack bonus with those weapons. If being led by an officer with ranks in Profession (siege engineer), the crew gains the benefits of that officer’s siege engineer feats, as well as a +1 bonus to their attack rolls for every +5 in that officer’s Profession (siege engineer) bonus.

CMB: This is the bonus the crew adds to their combat maneuver check when attempting a combat maneuver.

CMD: This is the crew’s combat maneuver defense.

Skill Bonus: Whenever a crew must make a skill check, their bonus is 0. However, certain perks grant the crew the ability to use their skill bonus when performing certain checks. A crew’s skill bonus is always equal to 5 + their level.

Str: This is the crew’s effective Strength score when working together to lift, carry, etc.

Crew Attack Damage: A crew not outfitted with specific weapon are understood to be wielding one-handed weapons such as daggers, improvised clubs, etc., and deals this amount of damage when performing a crew attack. Better armaments deal additional damage (see equipment below). If a crew is caught without weapons of any kind or has their hands full of other equipment, they deal half the listed damage with their crew attacks and provoke an attack of opportunity. (Note: for greater verisimilitude, increase the crew’s damage dealt by 10, and subtract an enemy’s AC from this number when determining how much damage the crew inflicts.)

Perks: This is the number of perks the crew possesses (see perks below).

Crew Class

For the most part, a crew is comprised of seasoned marines (warriors), skilled sailors (experts), or slaves (commoners).

A crew of marines (warriors) gains 2 additional hp per level, proficiency with all armor and weapons, and gains a +3 bonus to Fortitude and Reflex saving throws.

A crew of sailors (experts) gains 2 additional perks, as well as a +3 bonus to Will saving throws.

A crew of slaves (commoners) gains no benefits. Generally, a crew of slaves must be purchased (at 300 gp per level per small crew) or press ganged into service. If unwilling creatures are pressed into service, assume they begin as a level 1 crew of commoners. Although the plight of a slave is different from a freeman (they receive a massive morale penalty for being slaves, but because slaves are usually unpaid they suffer no morale penalty for being unpaid), the penalties and bonuses still stack up the same; treat a slave crew as if it were any other crew when determining the effects of payment on morale (see morale at the end of this chapter).

Crew Size

The statistics listed above assume a small crew, but a crew may also be medium, or large. While the exact number of creatures within a crew is variable, assume a small crew has about 12-13 creatures and weighs 2.5 tons, a medium crew has about 25 creatures and weighs 5 tons, and a large crew has about 50 creatures and weighs 10 tons. This means a medium crew is twice the size of a small crew, while a large crew is twice the size of a medium crew.

While a crew is considered the size of its composite members for most purposes, a crew does gain a few characteristics depending on its conglomerate size; Huge for a small crew, Gargantuan for a medium crew, and Colossal for a large crew.

A small crew possesses a natural -8 penalty to Stealth checks, and suffers a -2 penalty to AC due to its size. It does, however, possess a +5 natural armor bonus. Collectively, this means a small crew possesses an AC and flat-footed AC of 11, with a touch AC of 8.

A medium crew possesses a natural -12 penalty to Stealth checks, and suffers a -4 penalty to AC due to its size. It does, however, possess a +10 natural armor bonus. Collectively, this means a medium crew possesses an AC and flat-footed AC of 16, and a touch AC of 6. A medium crew also gains a +2 bonus to CMB and CMD, and its hit points and Hit Dice are doubled. This does not, however, grant any of the usual benefits associated with having more Hit Dice.

A large crew possesses a natural -16 penalty to Stealth checks, and suffers a -8 penalty to AC due to its size. It does, however, possess a +20 natural armor bonus. Collectively, this means a large crew possesses an AC and flat-footed AC of 22, and a touch AC of 2. A large crew also gains a +6 bonus to CMB and CMD, and its hit points and Hit Dice are quadrupled. This does not grant any of the usual benefits normally associated with having more Hit Dice.

Crew Equipment

The average crew is assumed to begin play with no equipment or armor, and to wield daggers, clubs, and other simply-acquired one-handed weapons. However, the players may also choose to purchase better equipment for their crews. Generally speaking, a crew can carry armor and 5 items, including their initial improvised weapons. However, a crew carrying 4 items is considered encumbered with a medium load, while a crew carrying 5 items is considered encumbered with a heavy load. Just as a creature, a crew can only hold two one-handed items or one two-handed item at a time, including their weapon. Changing what weapon they are wielding or drawing out another item for use is a move action, which can be combined with a move action used to move. It takes 13 of an item to equip a small crew with it, 25 of an item to equip a medium crew, and 50 to equip a large crew. For example, to equip a medium crew with longswords would require 25 swords, with a total market price of 375 gp. Enhancement bonuses from equipment or bonuses from masterwork items only apply if the whole crew is equipped with them.

Armor: When equipping a crew with armor, the crew gains that armor’s bonus to their AC, also suffering movement restrictions if the armor in question is medium or heavy, and suffering the armor’s armor check penalty to any physical skills they undertake. Shields count as a separate item, and also affect the crew’s AC and armor check penalties as normal.

Weapon: Wielding better weapons than their initial improvised clubs and daggers increase the damage the crew inflicts with ther crew attack. If a crew is equipped with a weapon that deals 1d8 or 2d4 damage for a medium creature, the crew deals an additional +2d6 damage. This bonus damage increases to +3d6 for weapons that deal 1d10 damage, and +4d6 for weapons that deal 1d12 or 2d6 damage.

A crew gains the benefits of any weapon quality their weapon possesses.

  • Reach: If wielding a weapon with reach, the crew increases their attack range as normal. A crew wielding a reach weapon can still attack adjacent targets with a reach weapon, but they deal half damage as not all crew members can strike the close target.
  • Ranged: When a crew makes an attack with a ranged weapon, they do not deal damage to adjacent targets as they usually would. Instead, they deal their crew attack damage to a 10-ft radius burst (20 ft radius for a medium crew, 30 ft radius for a large crew) centered anywhere within 5 of the weapon’s range increments. A successful Reflex save (DC 10 + level) halves the damage. If using a firearm, crossbow, or another weapon that requires reloading, these weapons must be reloaded between every attack. These attacks provoke an attack of opportunity as normal for ranged attacks.


Generally speaking, any item can be used by a crew, so long as they possess enough of them. Some of the most common crew items are listed below, but with GM permission any item a crew can carry could be used by that crew.

Alchemist Fire: As a standard action, a crew can throw vials of alchemist fire, dealing 6d6 fire damage to a 10 ft radius area (20 ft radius area for a medium crew, 30 ft radius area for a large crew), centered within 50 ft. Alchemist fire costs 260 gp for a small crew, 500 gp for a medium crew, and 1,000 gp for a large crew. A crew can possess up to 5 alchemist fires as a single item.

Camping Gear: A crew can carry tents, bedrolls, wood for fire, and other gear necessary to set up a camp. If a crew is not carrying gear when sleeping overnight outside of a ship or settlement, they are fatigued the next morning, and suffer a -10 penalty to Perception checks made to avoid being surprised in the night. Camping gear costs 100 gp for a small crew, 200 gp for a medium crew, and 400 gp for a large crew.

Carpenter’s Tools: A crew with the Carpentry Training perk requires carpenter’s tools to perform their crew actions. These are considered a one-handed item. Carpenter’s tools cost 65 go for a small crew, 125 gp for a medium crew, and 250 gp for a large crew.

Chef ’s Kit: A crew with the Chef Training perk requires a chef’s kit to perform their actions. A chef’s kit is considered a one-handed item, and cost 65 gp for a small crew, 125 gp for a medium crew, or 250 gp for a large crew.

Entertainer’s Outfits: A crew can wear entertainer’s outfits instead of armor to allow them to accomplish the crew actions gained by the Entertainer Training perk without holding instruments. Entertainer’s outfits cost 39 gp for a small crew, 75 gp for a medium crew, or 150 gp for a large crew.

Grappling Hooks: Grappling hooks allow a crew to grapple another ship. As a standard action, the crew makes a CMB check against the CMD of any crew within the Location they are attempting to board through. If successful, the two ships become grappled together (this changes both ships’ speeds to 0, unless one ship is 2 or more size categories smaller than the other, or occupies 1/6th the number of spaces, in which case the smaller ship simply attaches to the larger ship and goes along for the ride). To break a grapple between ships, another individual or crew must make an MSB check as a standard action to remove the grappling hooks, opposed by the CMD of the crew or individual best poised to prevent that action. Grappling hooks and the necessary rope costs 25 gp for a small crew, 50 gp for a medium crew, and 100 gp for a large crew.

Healer’s Kits: A crew with the Surgeon Training perk requires the crew to be holding a healer’s kit to use some of their crew actions. Healer’s kits are considered one-handed items, and cost 650 gp for a small crew, 1,250 gp for a medium crew, and 2,500 gp for a large crew.

Healing Potion: A crew equipped with basic healing potions can, as a standard action, heal itself for 50 hit points. This number is doubled for a medium crew, and quadrupled for a large crew. Healing potions cost 650 gp for a small crew, 1,250 gp for a medium crew, and 2,500 gp for a large crew. A crew can possess up to 5 healing potions as a single item.

Instruments: A crew can handle an assortment of instruments, which are considered one-handed items. These allow a crew that possesses the Entertainer Training perk to accomplish their crew actions. Instruments cost 65 gp for a small crew, 125 gp for a medium crew, or 250 gp for a large crew.

Oil: A crew equipped with oil can throw the oil as a standard action, covering a 10 ft radius area (20 ft radius for a medium crew, 30 ft radius for a large crew) centered within 50 ft. Creatures within this area who attempt to move do so at half speed, and must pass a DC 10 Acrobatics check or be unable to move. If they fail by 5 or more, they fall prone. Even if they succeed at this check, they are considered flat-footed on any round they attempt to move. Creatures that do not move on their turn do not need to make this check and are not considered flat-footed. If the oil is lit on fire during a subsequent round, it burns for 2 rounds as a low fire, dealing 2d6 damage (3d6 for a medium crew, 4d6 for a large crew) each round to anything within this area. If used within an airship, this causes that airship Location to catch fire, with the fire growing and dealing additional damage to the location on the 3rd and all subsequent rounds. Oil costs 2 gp for a small crew, 4 gp for a large crew, and a crew may carry 5 of them as a single item.

Sunrod: A crew equipped with sunrods can, as a standard action, illuminate an area 30 ft around it to normal light and increase the light radius 30 ft beyond that by 1 level to a maximum of normal light. As a free action, they may drop the sunrods to increase the area to 60 ft around them, but the area then becomes unmoving. Sunrods costs 26 gp for a small crew, 50 gp for a medium crew, and 100 gp for a large crew. A crew can possess up to 5 sunrods as a single item.

Crew Perks

Every crew possesses a certain number of perks, just as a creature possesses skills and feats. While many perks directly relate to a particular feat or skill, they are not the same; a feat or skill represents an individual’s training, while a perk represents a crew’s overall training, as well as how functional they are at working as a group. A crew gains 1 perk at 1st level and an additional perk every 2 levels thereafter (3rd, 5th, etc.). In addition, some races and classes grant additional perks.

Acrobatics Training: When taking the Total Defense action, the crew gains +6 AC rather than +4. The crew may use their skill bonus when making Acrobatics checks.

Carpentry Training: The crew is trained in Profession (carpentry). When aiding an officer, they add a bonus of 10 + 2 per level to that officer’s Profession (carpentry) check, to a maximum of +24. This maximum increases to +50 for a medium crew, or +100 for a large crew. When not aiding an officer, the crew uses their skill bonus when making the check, and adds their aid another bonus above to their roll. In addition, the crew gains the following crew action.

Emergency Repairs: As a standard action, the crew or the officer leading that crew makes a Profession (carpentry) check aided by the crew’s aid another bonus. The location gains a number of temporary hit points equal to 1/2 the check result, which last for 24 hours. These temporary hit points cannot increase the location’s current hit points to be higher than its total hit points (in essence, a location cannot gain more hit points through this crew action than it has lost in combat). These temporary hit points do not stack with itself, but a crew can take 20 on this check when not in combat. However, only true repair can permanently fix a damaged ship. A crew must possess carpentry tools to use this action.

Chef Training: The crew is trained in Profession (chef), and may assist a head chef, allowing him to provide his bonuses to up to 12 small crews per small crew with this perk. The crew may also perform any of the following actions as a standard action. When a Profession (chef) check is required, they may use their skill bonus, or the bonus of the officer who leads them, whichever is higher. A crew must possess a chef’s kit to use these actions.

  • Pepper Spray: The crew throws spices, flour, and other such things into the faces of their enemies. Make a single Profession (chef) check against the CMD of all adjacent enemy targets. If you exceed the CMD of such a target, the target is blinded for 1d4 rounds, unless they spend a standard action wiping their eyes.
  • Refresh: The crew passes out refreshment, stimulating concoctions, and smelling salts. Make a single Profession (chef) check against a DC of 20. If the crew or any adjacent allies are fatigued or sickened, these conditions are alleviated for 1 round if the check is successful, +1 for every 5 by which the check exceeded the target DC. If the target is exhausted or nauseated, these conditions are instead reduced to fatigued or sickened for the designated number of rounds.
  • Powder Throw: The crew throws water, flour, and oil. Make a Profession (chef) check against the CMD of any adjacent invisible target. If you exceed the target’s CMD, it is outlined, negating the benefits of its invisibility. The target may recast or otherwise re-apply its invisibility to turn the materials covering it invisible as well, but otherwise invisibility is effectively ended for that target.

Cleave: The crew deals an additional +25% damage against other swarms and crews.

Climb Training: The crew can use their skill bonus to make Climb checks.

Craft Training: A crew with this perk is skilled at a Craft skill. This could be Craft (alchemy), Craft (weapons), Craft (sculpture), or any other. Each crew (assuming it has the facilities, see Rooms in Chapter 5: Equipment) can either be directed to aid an officer with their crafting, or to craft on its own. When aiding an officer with crafting, the crew provides a bonus equal to 10 + 2 per level to a maximum of +24. This bonus doubles with a medium-sized crew and the cap increases to +50, and quadruples with a large-sized crew and the cap increases to +100. If directed to craft on its own, the crew makes a check using their skill bonus and adds their Aid Another bonus listed above to their result. (Note: An officer can only gain aid from a single creature when meeting the DC necessary to create the item, but may gain aid from an entire crew when determining the amount of work accomplished per day or week.)

Defensive Training: If a crew is armed with reach weapons, they may take the total defense action and still deal 1/2 damage to adjacent enemies, as some of the crew defends, and the rest attack from the back row. If the crew is armed with ranged weapons they may likewise take this action, dealing half damage to the enemies within the ranged attack’s area.

Dodge: The crew gains a +1 dodge bonus.

Endurance: The crew gains the benefits of the Endurance feat.

Entertainer Training: The crew is trained in either a Perform skill or Profession (courtesan), and may increase the number of people an officer may provide loyalty bonuses for to up to 12 medium crews per small crew with this perk. In addition, they may perform any of the following crew actions as a standard action. When a Perform or Profession (courtesan) check is required, they may use their skill bonus, or the bonus of the officer who leads them, whichever is higher. A crew must possess instruments or entertainer’s outfits to use these crew actions.

Intimidate: As a standard action, the crew insults and threatens their enemies, using their performance to create a sense of doom in their enemies. This is the same thing as an Intimidate check made to demoralize all targets within 30 ft., but the crew makes a Perform or Profession (courtesan) check instead of an Intimidate check.

Inspire: As a standard action, the crew may bolsters the efforts of their allies. Make a DC 20 Perform or Profession (courtesan) check. All allies within 30 ft. gain a +1 bonus to one attack roll made before the start of the crew’s next turn. This bonus increases by 1 for every 5 by which the check exceeded the target DC.

Distract: Through riotous singing, seductive dancing, or other performance, the crew steals the attention of their enemies. This is the same as Intimidate above, but rather than being shaken, the targets become staggered.

Feint Training: The crew is skilled at throwing a target off-balance. As a move action, the crew can make a feint check against every target within range. The crew uses its skill bonus when making this Bluff check.

Gunnery Training: The crew is proficient with all siege engines. If lead by a master gunner who is also proficient with all siege engines, they gain an additional +1 to all siege engine attacks they make.

Maneuver Training: Choose a single combat maneuver. The crew no longer provokes an attack of opportunity when performing that maneuver, and gains a +2 bonus to that maneuver. This perk may be taken multiple times, applying to a different maneuver each time.

Perception Training: The crew is trained in Perception, and may make skill checks for that skill.

Power Attack: The crew deals an additional amount of damage equal to its level.

Quick Draw: A crew with this perk can switch their held items as a swift action, rather than a move action.

Rapid Reload: A crew with this perk may reload light crossbows as a free action, or heavy crossbows as a move action. If trained in firearms, they may load a one-handed firearm as a move action, or a two-handed firearm as a standard action.

Sailor Training: Any sails operated by this crew gain a +1 bonus to their power produced.

Servant Training: The crew is trained in Profession (servant). When aiding an officer, they add a bonus of 10 + 2 per level to that officer’s Profession (servant) check, to a maximum of +24. This maximum increases to +50 for a medium crew, or +100 for a large crew. When not aiding an officer, the crew uses their skill bonus when making the check, and adds their aid another bonus above to their roll. In addition, the crew gains the following crew action.

Aid Other: As a standard action, the crew can aid a different crew with any action they take that round, be it aiding a gunner crew with their siege engines, aiding a neighboring crew with a skill check, etc. The crew makes a Profession (servant) check using their Skill bonus or the skill bonus of the officer leading them, whichever is higher, granting the crew they are aiding a +1 bonus per 10 points in this check to any siege engine attack rolls, skill checks, combat maneuver checks, or any other action they take for 1 round. The crew using this action must be adjacent to the crew they are aiding.

Stealth Training: The crew is trained in Stealth, and may make Stealth checks. Note that a crew gains bonuses/penalties to Stealth not only for the size of the crew, but also for the size of its component creatures.

Surgeon Training: The crew is trained in the Heal skill. If providing long-term care, a small crew can provide care for 6 small crews, 3 medium crews, or 1.5 large crews at a time, or Heal Deadly Wounds on a small crew in 1 hour, a medium crew in 2 hours, or a large crew in 4 hours. Medium crews double the number of crews they can tend and halve the time needed to Heal Deadly Wounds (minimum: 1 hour).

Large crews quadruple the number of crews they can tend, and divide the time needed to Heal Deadly Wounds by 4 (minimum: 1 hour). In addition, the crew gains access to any of the following crew actions. When a Heal check is required, they may use their own Skill bonus, or the bonus of the officer who leads them, whichever is higher.

First Aid: As a standard action, the crew bandages all allies within range, stopping bleeding and making them stable. This requires a Heal check, as normal. If used within 2 rounds of a crew being destroyed and touching the spaces where that crew fell, this can stabilize that crew, allowing it to be healed and returned to active duty in the future without suffering a reduction in size or being irrevocably destroyed. A crew must possess heal kits to use this crew action.

Anatomy Strike: If a crew with Surgeon Training is flanking an enemy with itself (this includes occupying the same space as an enemy and also being in a space adjacent to him), it may make a Heal check as a swift action against the target’s CMD to do one of the following to the target.

Only one effect and one target may be selected per round; a crew cannot select another crew with this action. Unlike other Surgeon Training actions, a crew does not need to possess heal kits to perform this crew action.

  • Head Strike: The target is confused for 1 round.
  • Leg Strike: The target is knocked prone.
  • Arm Strike: The target drops what it is holding in its hands.
  • Torso Strike: The target suffers nonlethal damage equal to the result of the Heal check minus the target’s CMD (minimum 0).

Treat Poison: The crew may also treat poison, as the Heal skill, for all creatures within range. This functions in all other ways as the First Aid crew action listed above. A crew must possess heal kits to use this crew action.

Swim Training: The crew can use their skill bonus to make Swim checks.

Toughness: The crew gains +2 hit points per level.

Two-Weapon fighting: As a move action, a crew with this perk can make a crew attack that deals 1/2 damage. This crew attack can only be used if the crew has already used a standard action to make a crew attack, and cannot use the same weapon as was used with the first crew attack.

Unarmed Combatants: When a crew with this perk makes a crew attack without holding a weapon, they deal their full crew attack damage and do not provoke an attack of opportunity. They may do this even if their hands are occupied with other items, and this can allow a crew with the two-weapon fighting perk to make their second crew attack even if they aren’t holding a second weapon.

Weapon Training: Choose one type of weapon the crew is not proficient with. The crew becomes proficient with that weapon. A crew with access to firearms to train with may select firearms with this perk.


Sometimes, a team will find themselves short of filling all the roles they’d like, and will need to hire additional officers. Other times, a party might command such a large number of crews that they will need lieutenants (officers who do not fulfill a particular role) to help command them all. In both cases, unless they have cohorts to fulfill that role, they will need to discover someone they want to make an officer, and pay them accordingly. An officer is paid 1 gp per level per day, or 30 gp per level per month. An officer may accept magic items or other awards in place of payment at the GM’s discretion, provided the item or award is relevant and useful to the officer in question.

An NPC who becomes an officer is essentially joining the party as hired help (although their job might simply be to watch the ship while the PCs are adventuring). While a crew is a group of low-level characters treated as a single unit, an officer, no matter how low level he may be, becomes his own unique unit, and can lead crews, fill vital ship roles, and will expect to be paid and treated fairly according to his new position.

While the average crewman is a creature with NPC class levels such as expert, warrior, or commoner and advance in level very slowly, an officer gains experience as a cohort does, and often gains levels in PC classes. An officer could stand with the PCs in battle, provide support, guard the party’s interests when they are not present, or provide any number of other aiding actions. Once an NPC has gotten a taste for command, they are usually never willing to return to being basic crew, and if dismissed from their post will leave at the next safe port to seek their fortune elsewhere.

NPC officers are also sometimes called henchmen or henchfolk, and the same rules can be used to hire any number of helpful NPCs from bodyguards to thieves to managers to sages.

Generally speaking, the captain of a vessel must be at least 3rd level to hire an officer, and no NPC officer can be of higher level than the captain (otherwise, the officer might begin to wonder why he isn’t the captain himself).

If the PCs choose to promote someone through the ranks from a crewman to an officer, that creature begins with the same class, level, and build as the crew he was a part of (although he may certainly go through retraining at the hands of the PCs to adjust his class or abilities, as outlined in Ultimate Campaign). Otherwise, they will need to hire outside help, as outlined below.

Hiring Help

If the PCs decide to hire a crew or an officer, they must first find capable creatures, either through story events or through recruiting. Recruiting depends greatly on the size and location of the settlement, as well as the reputation of the PC or PCs doing the recruiting. Of course, a GM may alter these numbers if he deems them necessary.

Size: Unless the PCs aren’t going to pressgang people into service (see Other Methods below), the size of a settlement details the maximum number of officers and crew the PCs can attract. As always, 2 small crews can create a medium crew, or 4 small crews can create a large crew.

  • Tribe: 1 officer, 1 small crew
  • Village: 2 officers, 1 small crew
  • Small Town: 3 officers, 2 small crew
  • Large Town: 5 officers, 3 small crews
  • Small City: 10 officers, 5 small crews
  • Large City: 25 officers, 10 small crews
  • Metropolis: 50 officers, 20 small crews

Location: Additionally, a settlement’s location affects how many people can be hired. Particularly stable locations such as a kingdom on a floating isles count as being one size category smaller, while places that attract seekers of fortune such as air stations and towns built on trade routes count as being one size larger for this purpose, as there are often taverns and other locations already built where potential crew and officers can meet to discuss business and look for work.

Reputation: A PC looking for people to hire attracts a percentage of the settlement’s maximum equal to the highest reputation score among the PCs. If their reputation isn’t high enough, they may make a Diplomacy check to gather information on potential candidates, adding 1/2 their check result to their reputation for this purpose. The PCs can also always use temporary measures such as hiring minstrels or buying rounds at the tavern to increase their effective reputation for this purpose.

Other Methods: The above rules relate to finding willing officers and crewmen to hire, but especially when dealing with crews, there are always other methods. Crews of slaves may be purchased, and PCs with an evil bend may simply pressgang people into service, using kidnapping to create slave crews without bothering to pay. Unlike the above methods, pressganging is limited only by the total number of able-bodied people in the settlement.

To pressgang a crew, the captain or another PC makes an Intimidate check representing 4 hours spent quietly finding and coercing targets, gathering 1 level 1 commoner per point in the check (i.e., 1 small crew per 13 points in the check, 1 medium crew per 25 points in the check, or 1 large crew per 50 points in the check). A captain may double their check result and cut the time required to 1 hour, but doing so is without subtlety, and changes the entire settlement’s attitude towards the PCs to hostile and often results in mods running the PCs out of town.

Crews gathered in this fashion suffer a -10 penalty to morale; if the PCs do not have enough strength or loyal crews to keep them in line, they will likely find their new recruits revolting on the spot. This penalty lessens by 1 for every month the crew has been in service without revolting; as even pressganged sailors can grow accustomed.

Hiring Officers: Officers cannot be pressganged, and must be hired through negotiations. Both a prospective officer and the PCs must agree to work together, and it is considered poor manners (if not outright criminal) to enspell a prospective officer in any way, even with divination magic such as detecting their alignment or thoughts. Searching or restraining the applicant in any way results in the applicant leaving at the earliest opportunity.

While the negotiations in question are largely up to the GM and should be roleplayed, as a general guideline, treat any prospective officer’s starting attitude as indifferent and a PC must increase their disposition to friendly (requiring a Diplomacy check with a DC of 15 + the prospective officer’s Charisma modifier). When an officer does enlist, the PCs must immediately begin to meet their upkeep and payment.

Building Officers: Technically speaking, the GM is in complete control of the any potential officer’s race, class, attitude, etc., but the following tables can help a GM quickly assemble a potential officer before the PCs begin negotiations. Obviously, these numbers should be altered to fit the location. For example, when recruiting from a monastery, the PCs would almost exclusively find monks and clerics.

Officer Race Percent Roll
Aasimar 1-4
Alraun 5-9
Cecaelia 10-12
Cherufe 13-16
Created 17-20
Cuazaj 21-23
Dwarf 24-31
Elf 32-36
Fenghaung 37-42
Gnome 43-50
Goblin 51-56
Halfling 57-65
Half-Elf 66-69
Half-Orc 70-73
Human 74-82
Leshy 83-85
Merfolk 86-87
Orc 88-91
Sidhier 92-95
Tatulani 96-97
Tiefling 98-100
Class Division Percent Roll
Core Classes 1-30
Base Classes 31-50
Advanced Classes 51-60
Occult Classes 61-65
Spheres of Power Classes 66-85
Other Classes 86-100
Core Classes Percent Roll
Barbarian 1-7
Bard 8-17
Cleric 18-27
Druid 28-32
Fighter 33-48
Monk 49-55
Paladin 56-60
Ranger 61-68
Rogue 69-83
Sorcerer 84-89
Wizard 90-100
Base Classes Percent Roll
Alchemist 1-20
Cavalier 21-42
Gunslinger 43-50
Inquisitor 51-60
Magus 61-70
Oracle 71-80
Summoner 81-90
Witch 91-100
Advanced Classes Percent Roll
Arcanist 1-10
Bloodrager 11-20
Brawler 21-35
Hunter 36-40
Investigator 41-50
Skald 56-70
Slayer 71-80
Swashbuckler 81-90
Warpriest 91-100
Occult Classes Percent Roll
Kineticist 1-10
Medium 11-25
Mesmerist 26-45
Occultist 46-70
Psychic 71-90
Spiritualist 91-100
Spheres of Power Classes Percent Roll
Armorist 1-5
Elementalist 6-12
Eliciter 13-17
Fey Adept 18-25
Hedgewitch 26-40
Incanter 41-55
Mageknight 56-70
Shifter 71-77
Soul Weaver 78-85
Symbiat 86-90
Thaumaturge 91-100
Other Classes Percent Roll
Artisan 1-20
Aspect 21-25
Channeler 26-35
Dilettante 36-55
Spiritualist 56-65
Vauntguard 66-85
War Dancer 86-100
Level Percent Roll
1 1-35
2 36-55
3 56-70
4 71-80
5 81-85
6 86-90
7 91-94
8 95-97
9 98-99
10 100
Alignment |~ Percent Roll
Lawful Good 1-5
Lawful Neutral 6-15
Lawful Evil 16-20
Neutral Good 21-30
True Neutral 31-70
Neutral Evil 71-80
Chaotic Good 81-85
Chaotic Neutral 86-95
Chaotic Evil 96-100
Personality/Quirk (roll twice) Percent Roll
Middle Aged 1-2
Old 3-4
Youthful 5-6
Mean-spirited 7-8
Overly-generous 9-10
Inquisitive 11-12
Optimistic 13-14
Pessimistic 15-16
Narcissistic 17-18
Virtuous 19-20
Foul-mouthed 21-22
Sociopath 23-24
Arrogant 25-26
Violent 27-28
Prone to crying 29-30
Speaks with a lisp 31-32
Unnaturally bright hair 33-34
Large scar 35-36
Thick accent 37-38
Stunningly beautiful 39-40
Lazy eye 41-42
Owns a pet baby animal or dinosaur 43-44
On the run from the law 45-46
Has no memory 47-48
Suffering from a random drug addiction 49-50
Suffering from a random mental disorder 51-52
Flirtatious 53-54
Jilted lover 55-56
True love died 57-58
Hates the opposite gender 59-60
Gay 61-62
Overly effeminite 63-64
Overly masculine 65-66
Maternal 67-68
Married (won’t join without spouse) 69-70
Unnatural eyes 71-72
Cursed 73-74
Collects coins, trophys, or other items 75-76
Excessive number of backup weapons 77-78
Smells of pipe smoke 79-80
Alcoholic 81-82
Speaks to spirits only he/she can see (may or may not be real) 83-84
Attempting to pass as a higher social class 85-86
Never removes gloves 87-88
Heavily tattooed 89-90
Missing a hand 91-92
Missing a leg 93-94
Missing an eye 95-96
Possesses a random item of great sentimental value 97-98
Roll Twice and Take both Results 99-100


When the PCs gain officers or crew to follow them, they must feed, pay, and house them. While PCs may put up with terrible living conditions and frightening adventures without a word of complaint, NPC crew and officers are not nearly so controlled, and any PC who mistreats their crew runs the risk of them leaving, or worse.

Every crew and officer possesses a Loyalty score, which is used to determine what they will and won’t do. A crew or officer’s loyalty score is equal equal to the Captain’s level + his or her Charisma modifier, with the following modifiers.

Permanent one-time modifiers (added when crew or officer joins)
The captain is of the same race +1
The captain is of the same alignment (per spectrum) +1
The captain is of an opposed alignment (per spectrum) -5
At least one PC possesses the Leadership feat +3
Crew was pressganged -10 (lessens by 1 per month)
Temporary modifiers
Double pay +2
Quadruple pay +4
Half pay -2
No pay -6
Double rations +2
Half rations -2
No rations -6
Time sailing -1 for each month without landfall
Charmed1 +10 vs Mutiny
Dominated1 +15 vs Mutiny
Battles within last month +2 per victory, -2 per defeat
The captain offers a gift/signing bonus/etc. (per 200 gp value) +1 (lessens by 1 per month, bonus halved for a medium crew, and halved again for a large crew)
No captain (captain is killed or captured and no PC steps up to take his or her place) -20
Head chef bonus2 1/10th last Professon (chef) check.
Head entertainer bonus2 1/5th last Perform or Profession (courtesan) check

1: It is difficult to enspell an entire crew, but not unheard of. However, if a crew or officer should ever overcome the charm/domination effect, the bonus instead becomes a permanent penalty of equal amount, making a mutiny all too probable.
2: A head chef or head entertainer can provide this bonus for only a limited number of people, as described in their entries under ‘Crew Roles’ earlier in this chapter.

Loyalty Checks

At several specific times, it falls to the captain or the officer in charge of a crew to make a loyalty check. At these times, the captain or officer rolls a single d20, adding each crew or officer’s loyalty scores to the roll, but only in respect to that particular officer or crew (if a crew has a loyalty of 10 they add 10 to this roll for their personal result, while a crew with a loyalty of 8 would add 8 to this roll for their result). These results are compared to the DCs below, depending on the check being made.

Check DC
Avoid a mutiny per month 10 (can take 10)
Prevent a rout (crew or officer at 50% health) 25
Prevent a Rout (crew or officer at 25% health) 35
Engage a creature with a CR 5 or more higher than the highest-level officer 25

Mutiny: If the mutiny check ever fails for a crew or officer, that crew or officer instantly becomes hostile to the captain and PCs. If enough people failed their mutiny check that they believe they could overpower the PCs, a mutiny instantly happens. If the crew or PCs who failed their check do not believe they could succeed, they will instead slip away at the earliest opportunity, such as while on shore leave.

Rout: If a crew or officer routs, they immediately become frightened; they will run away or surrender, whichever ensures the largest chance of survival. This frightened condition is the result of a conscious effort on their part, not magic or Intimidation. As such, even creatures immune to fear are subject to this effect, as they simply decide the fight before them isn’t worth their life.

Airship Engines

Engine Type Cost per HP Cost per Deck Power per HP/Deck Weight (HP/Deck) Required Crew Crafting/Dis. Dev. DC Hit Points per HP Hit Points per Deck Special
Sails 25 gp 225 gp 1 .2 t / 1.8 t 1 per Deck Craft (cloth) 10 20 180 Unprotected, liftless, special
Steam 175 gp 1,575 gp 9 5 t / 45 t 1 per Hardpoint Craft (mechanical) 20 50 450 -
Alchemical 500 gp 4,500 gp 15 4 t / 36 t 1 per Deck Craft (alchemy) 25 80 720 -
Elemental, air 1,000 gp 9,000 gp 20 2 t / 18 t 1 per 5 Decks Special 30 270 Special, maneuverable
Enchantment 5,000 gp 45,000 gp 10 - None Special - - Hidden, maneuverable, special
Spell 7,500 gp 67,500 gp 75 1 t / 9 t 1 per 5 Decks Special 100 900 Hidden

Wiki Note: HP, above, refers to Hardpoints instead of Hit Points. This is to help fit the table on the page.

Special Qualities
Hidden: A hidden engine does not use external components such as exhausts or turbines to power the vehicle, and as such cannot be attacked from the outside.

Liftless: A liftless engine cannot produce lift. It can propel the vehicle forward, but cannot be used to overcome an airship’s weight to allow it to fly.

Maneuverable: If a vehicle is powered exclusively by maneuverable engines, its maneuverability increases by 1 step.

Unprotected: An unprotected engine does not benefit from the vehicle’s Hardness.

Engine Types


An alchemical engine is a particularly powerful and sophisticated engine, but unlike the steam engine which may use anything that burns, an alchemical engine must use specifically- prepared fuel in order to function. This makes the alchemical engine a powerful, but also expensive, method of travel. An alchemical engine is also dangerous; if an alchemical engine is ever destroyed, it immediately explodes as if it had been subject to a self-destruct.

Fuel: An alchemical engine burns 1/6th a ton of fuel every 8 hours per Hardpoint, or 1 1/2 tons every 8 hours per Deck. This equates to 1/2 a ton per day per Hardpoint, or 4 1/2 tons per day per Deck. Alchemical fuel costs 30 gp per ton.

Self-Destruct: If an alchemical engine self-destructs (or is destroyed), it deals 10d6 force damage per Hardpoint and 10d6 fire damage per Hardpoint to the location and everything within the engine room.

Engineering Skill: Craft (alchemy). An alchemical engine requires one engineer per Deck in order to function properly.

Elemental, air

An air elemental engine functions by draining the lifeforce of an air elemental and transforming that power into fuel. The engine consumes 1 hit point per Hardpoint per hour, and cannot contain more than 1 Large air elemental per Hardpoint (for this purpose, a Huge elemental is equal to 2 Large elementals, a Gargantuan elemental equal to 4 Large elementals, etc.).

Elementals heals 1 hit point per Hit Die per Day, as normal for creatures. If an elemental is completely consumed, it dies. Elementals summoned via summon monster spells cannot be used as fuel for an elemental engine, but an air elemental-esque eidolon and companions from the Conjuration sphere who possess the Elemental Creature (form) talent for electricity can.

There are 2 ways an air elemental may be bound to fuel an elemental engine: unwillingly, or willingly. The decision of whether an air elemental engine is powered by unwillingly-bound elementals or willingly-bound elementals is made at engine creation, as it determines the method in which the engine is designed. Unwillingly-bound elementals are hidden away inside the engine, and cannot speak, be seen, nor influence the world around them.

As such, they also cannot be targeted by attacks or magic, friendly or otherwise. Willingly-bound elementals on the other hand, are usually allowed to speak and interact with creatures and objects in the engine room with them, and have the added benefit of being able to receive magical healing or even help fight boarders who stumble into their room, although they are likewise subject to being attacked. Willingly-bound elementals may even leave the engine room if they so desire, although doing so causes the engine to cease working.

Any air elemental may be unwillingly bound, but in order for an air elemental to be willingly-bound, often a contract must first be forged with them, such as via the planar binding spell, or by being an eidolon or companion with the Conjuration sphere.

An air elemental engine is fickle and prone to damage, but because of the nature of the elemental in question, an air elemental provides twice as much power as normal when applying the power toward overcoming weight (each point of power used to overcome weight overcomes 2 Hardpoints/Decks rather than 1).

An air elemental engine appears as a series of metal conduits surrounding a series of white crystals, which surround the vehicle with winds when in use. It requires one crewman for every Deck beyond the first in order to run properly.

Fuel: An air elemental engine must be powered by the life force of air elementals. No other elemental type will do.

Self-Destruct: When an elemental engine explodes, it deals 10d6 force damage per Hardpoint to the location and everything inside it. In addition, the elementals inside the engine are set free, which if they were bound unwillingly, will likely rampage on those who held them trapped and attack whatever they can.

Engineering Skill: Spellcraft or Use Magic Device. An elemental engine requires 1 engineer per Location to function properly.

Air Elemental Engine
School Conjuration (Conjuration Sphere); CL 10

You construct an air elemental engine.

Craft Rod, lesser planar binding or Conjuration sphere, Cost 500 gp per Hardpoint, 4,500 gp per Deck


Perhaps the simplest, albeit most expensive, method of flight is to simply enchant the airship with the ability to fly. While this carries many advantages (the airship needs no crew, and the engine requires no space and cannot be targeted to bring the ship down), this can be a prohibitively expensive option, as the size of most airships makes this a monumental task, well-outside of the range of most spellcasters and adventurers.

Note that, rather than taking up Hardpoints or Decks, the enchantment engine is instead placed on a Hardpoint/Deck, which means an enchanted Hardpoint/Deck can still contain other rooms, or even other engines. If that Hardpoint or Deck is destroyed, the enchantment is destroyed with it.

Fuel: None

Self-Destruct: An enchantment engine cannot self-destruct.

Engineering Skill: An enchantment engine does not need an engineer.

Flight Enchantment
School transmutation (Telekinesis Sphere); CL 10

The Hardpoint/Deck gains the enchantment engine.

Craft Rod, fly or Telekinesis sphere, Cost 2,500 gp per Hardpoint, 22,500 gp per Deck


Rather than occupying Hardpoints or Decks inside the vehicle, sails and rigging are attached to the outside of the vehicle in order to catch winds and propel the vehicle forward. This means that sails form their own Location or Locations, increasing the vehicle’s size for the purpose of determining how many spaces it occupies, maneuverability, ram damage, CMB and CMD, but not increasing its mass, weight, number of rooms, or other components that strictly depend on the ship’s hull size.

Sails cannot be used to sail directly against the wind, and if a vessel attempts to do this the power of their sails is reduced to 0 (although an airship can often zig-zag its way in order to effectively travel against the wind despite this problem). When traveling in the same direction as the wind, the sails add 1/2 the wind’s severity level to their power per Hardpoint/Deck. This stacks with the other effects of wind on an airship.

Sails do not provide lift, only propulsion. As such, if an airship cannot overcome its weight through other means, its sails will not allow it to fly. Because sails must be attached to the outside in order to function, they are unprotected, and do not benefit from the airship’s Hardness when negating damage.

You cannot attach more Hardpoints/Sails to an airship than twice the number of Hardpoints/Decks in its hull.

Fuel: Sails need no fuel, but require at least a little wind to function; sails cease to function in areas of complete stillness.

Self-Destruct: Sails cannot self-destruct.

Engineering Skill: Profession (sailor). Sails require one engineer per Deck to function properly.


A spell engine consumes magic of any type, transforming it into a magic field that propels the vehicle forward. A spell engine is a large magical object, often taking the form of an enormous floating crystal or series of crystals each the size of a man, with a crown-like attachment that is worn by the one supplying fuel.

Fuel: To power a spell engi5ne, the head engineer or another magic user must sacrifice their magic. Every spell point sacrificed allows one Hardpoint of engine to function for a number of hours equal to the caster’s casting level. For every spell or spell slot sacrificed to the engine, one Hardpoint will function for 4 hours per level of the sacrificed spell slot. These numbers are divided between the entire engine (thus, a 4th level spell would make a 1 Hardpoint engine function for 16 hours, a 2 Hardpoint engine function for 8 hours, etc.).

Because spell engines function by creating a magical field, they needn’t connect to the outside of the ship through any vents or turbines, making them very difficult to target from the outside.

Self-Destruct: When a spell engine self-destructs, it deals 10d6 force damage per Hardpoint to its location and everything in it.

Engineering Skill: Spellcraft or Use Magic Device. A spell engine requires one engineer per Location to function properly.

Spell Engine
School Transmutation (Enhancement Sphere); CL 10

You construct a spell engine.

Craft Rod, fly or Enhancement sphere, Cost 3,750 gp per Hardpoint, 33,750 gp per Deck


A steam engine burns wood, oil, coal, wood or peat in order to boil water, which is used to turn turbines and propellers to make a vehicle move. While not a particularly powerful type of engine, it remains popular due to its low-cost both for construction and fuel.

Fuel: While a steam engine could burn any or all of the materials listed above, each of which have their own costs, sizes, and efficiencies, for simplicity’s sake, a steam engine burns 1/3 tons of fuel every 8 hours per Hardpoint, or 3 tons per 8 hours per Deck. This equates to 1 ton per 24 hours per Hardpoint, or 9 tons per 24 hours per Deck. Steam engine fuel costs 10 gp per ton.

While the crew may always purchase dried wood or coal or oil from a mine or market, it is also possible for someone to gather fuel from the Forest or another source with a DC 15 Survival check as an overland move action. Gathering improvised fuel in this fashion produces 1 ton of fuel per person, but because this wood is green and not prepared, it burns half as efficiently, using up 2/3 tons per 8 hours per Hardpoint, etc..

Self-Destruct: When primed to self-destruct, a steam engine inflicts 10d6 points of fire damage per Hardpoint to its location, and to anything inside the engine room.

Engineering Skill: Knowledge (engineering) or Craft (mechanical). A steam engine is finicky and requires constant attention to feed and stroke the fire. As such, it requires at least 1 engineer per Hardpoint to function properly.


Every vehicle is built with a certain number of Hardpoints or Decks, representing how much internal room it possesses. These Hardpoints and Decks may be used to carry crew, cargo, hold weapons, house the engine, or be put to any number of other uses.

With the exception of the engines previously listed, the following represent the various rooms that may be constructed inside a vehicle. While every ship comes with certain internal rooms already built, it is always possible to remodel a vehicle’s rooms at a later time. Building a room is handled the same as crafting any mundane item, with a Craft (airship) DC of 15.

Mixing Decks and Hardpoints: Even when a ship is large enough to be measured in Decks, there are some rooms that simply have little need to be bigger than a Hardpoint or two. In these cases, a Deck can be dedicated to miscellaneous use, allowing up to 9 Hardpoints of various rooms to be contained therein.

Multiple Shifts: Some rooms (alchemy labs, workshops, and kitchens) are designed to fascilitate various Craft and Profession skills. While each room can only hold a certain number of workers at one time, it is possible for these rooms to be used in up to three 8-hour shifts, with different groups using the same room at different times. This does not allow a single creature to gain three times the Aid Another bonus for his check; each group makes its own check, often with its own officer heading up the project.

Alchemy Lab

200 gp per Hardpoint, 1800 per Deck

An alchemy lab provides an alchemist with all of the tools they need as well as a dedicated space to conduct experiments and craft items. An alchemy lab provides space for up to 3 people to work simultaneously per Hardpoint. A small crew requires 4 Hardpoints to work, and a alchemy lab Deck can facilitate a medium crew and up to 2 officers serving as project leads. An alchemy lab counts as an alchemist’s lab for all who use it.

Animal Pen

0 gp per Hardpoint, 0 gp per Deck

An animal pen is used to house creatures onboard the ship. While animals could be kept in pens in a cargo hold for a single quick trip, an animal pen gives them room to move around while keeping them contained and out of the way of the rest of the crew. 1 Large animal may be kept in a single Hardpoint of animal pens (or 2 Medium animals, 4 Small animals, etc.) if desired, an animal pen can be installed with an outside door, such as when an animal pen houses giant birds or other flying creatures, which must be deployed quickly in a fight.


50 gp per Hardpoint, 450 gp per Deck

A brig is a space containing cells, chains, and manacles for holding captives, slaves, or crew members serving a punishment or sleeping off drunkenness. Each Hardpoint of brig is a cell, which comes with chains, an average lock, and 2 sets of common manacles. Greater locks or additional manacles must be purchased separately.


25 gp per Hardpoint, 225 gp per Deck

Bunks contain beds for sleeping, small lockers and chests to house personal effects, and space for clothing and other needs. 6 people can live in each Hardpoint dedicated to being a bunk. This means it takes 2 Hardpoints to house a small crew, 4 to house a medium crew, and 8 to house a large crew. A Deck of bunks can house a large crew and up to 6 PCs or 1/2 a small crew.

Captain’s Quarters

100 gp per Hardpoint (minimum 2), 900 gp per Deck

A captain’s quarters are similar to a set of personal quarters, but much more luxuriant. While some captains are content to have a personal room like their officers, others use these special quarters as displays of wealth and status, both to set themselves apart from the rest of the crew, and to impress special guests to their ship. A captain with a set of captain’s quarters at least 2 Hardpoints big gains a +1 bonus to their leadership score in relation to their crew, and a +2 bonus to Diplomacy checks made against someone inside their quarters. If the captain has an entire Deck dedicated to being a captain’s quarters, these bonuses increase to a +2 bonus to leadership and a +4 bonus to Diplomacy checks. Each Hardpoint of captain’s quarters can also have an additional use, just as each Hardpoint of personal quarters can.

Cargo Bay

0 gp per Hardpoint, 0 gp per Deck

Cargo bays are the easiest and cheapest rooms, as it is simply open space. While an airship’s maximum capacity is determined by its total number of Hardpoints and Decks, without enough cargo space the vehicle won’t be able to carry much of anything. A vehicle may contain up to 10 tons of cargo or equipment in each Hardpoint of cargo space or up to 90 tons per Deck.

Secret Compartments: You may install secret compartments in cargo space, allowing you to hide some goods from prying eyes. It takes a DC 20 Perception check to detect these compartments during a search of the ship, and each compartment can hide up to 1 ton of the room’s cargo. A secret compartment costs 500 gp each, and only one may be gained per Hardpoint.


50 gp per Hardpoint, 450 gp per Deck

While siege engines could simply be carried inside a cargo hold, only a gunport possesses the rigging and port holes necessary to fascilitate their use in combat, as well as efficient use of space to allow the crew to fire and reload them easily during combat. The number of siege engines a gunport Deck or Hardpoint can hold is listed in each weapon’s description.


50 gp per Hardpoint, 450 gp per Deck

A hanger is a space within a ship designed to house a smaller ship, and includes straps to secure the vessel, as well as a door and expulsing mechanism (such as a runway or runners) to aid the vessel in exiting. A ship cannot house more Hardpoints/Deck’s worth of vehicles than it has Hardpoints/Decks dedicated to being a hanger.


100 gp per Hardpoint, 900 gp per Deck

While a crew can eat their rations without a kitchen, a kitchen is needed to allow a chef to make Profession (chef) checks to provide better quality meals. A single Hardpoint dedicated to being a kitchen can facilitate a head chef and up to 2 assistants at one time +3 more assistants per additional Hardpoint. A small crew requires 4 Hardpoints of kitchen to use, while a Deck of kitchens can fascilitate a head chef, one primary assistant + a medium crew at one time.

A head chef can provide his bonus to up to a small crew, plus another small crew per assistant. When working with a small kitchen, a head chef can choose to provide quality meals for a smaller group (such as only the officers) rather than for the entire crew.


500 gp per Hardpoint, 4,500 gp per Deck

A library is a space filled with books, chairs, tables, and other materials necessary for research. Every Hardpoint dedicated to being a library is built to facilitate a single Knowledge skill or the Spellcraft skill (such as when crafting a magical item). Spending an hour researching in a library grants a +3 bonus to answering a single question related to that Knowledge skill. A library dedicated to Spellcraft grants a creature a +3 bonus to Spellcraft checks made to research spells or craft rituals or magic items.

A Deck-sized library grants a +4 bonus instead of a +3, and applies to all Knowledge skills as well as Spellcraft.

Personal Quarters

50 gp per Hardpoint, 450 gp per Deck

Unlike bunks that are designed to fit as many people in them as possible, a set of personal quarters guarantees a measure of privacy, and contains chests with average locks, larger beds, etc.

A set of personal quarters is designed to house a single creature of Medium size or smaller, and has room for one other thing. This could be a second person (such as in the case of a married officer), a Mediumsized or smaller animal companion, an alchemy lab, a workbench, etc..

Unlike a Hardpoint dedicated to being an alchemy lab or workshop, these add-ons to personal rooms can only facilitate one person at a time. A successful Profession (servant) check can still be used to aid that one person, however. These extra bits are not included in the price of the room, and should be bought separately, if such a purchase would be necessary (purchasing a set of artisan tools, an alchemy lab, etc.). Officers expect personal rooms as part of their position, and an officer staying on a ship who does not get their own personal room suffers a -2 penalty to their loyalty score.

Personal Quarters do not come in Deck size; rather, a Deck of personal quarters contains enough space for 9 individual personal rooms. Alternately, a personal room can be multiple Hardpoints large, Such as when dealing with larger creatures, or when enticing another crew’s officer to join you.

Powder Room

20 gp per Hardpoint, 180 gp per Deck

A powder room is a special place where black powder can be stored. Storing gunpowder in this fashion helps keep the powder dry and more effective, although it can be a potential hazard if even one spark should catch the contents on fire. Every Hardpoint dedicated to being a powder room can hold up to 500 cannon shot’s worth of black powder, or up to 4,500 shots per Deck.

When a ship stores its gunpowder in a powder room, all of its cannons deal +1 damage. However, if a powder room should be destroyed by fire or enemy cannon fire, it explodes, dealing 4 damage per shot to its Location.

Sick Bay

100 gp per Hardpoint, 900 gp per Deck

A sick bay is a portion of the ship designated for use by the ship’s surgeon. Using a sick bay counts as possessing a healer’s kit and surgeon’s tools for all Heal skill uses, providing a +2 bonus to Heal skill checks and a +3 bonus to checks made to treat wound or deadly wounds. In addition, patients recover an additional 1 hp per level when having deadly wounds treated, and an additional 1 hp per level and 1 point of ability damage when receiving long-term care, when they can stay in a sick bay. A sick bay can fascilitate up to 4 people at a time, either as patients, surgoens, or surgeon’s assistants.


50 gp per Hardpoint, 450 gp per Deck

A workshop is a space dedicated to the use of a particular Craft skill. Every workshop can be dedicated to only one material or type of creation, including leatherworking, blacksmithery (including weapons and armor), woodworking (including non-cannon siege engines and fletching), masonry, or anything else agreed upon by the GM. Every Hardpoint dedicated to being a workshop can facilitate up to 3 workers. This means a small crew requires 4 Hardpoints to work, and a Decksized workshop can facilitate a project head, a primary assistant, and a single medium crew.

Siege Engines

Direct-Fire siege engines

Name Size Req. Hardpoints # per Deck Cost DMG Critical Range Type Team Reload Time Hardness Hit Points Weight Ammo Cost (per shot) Ammo Weight (per shot)
Ballista, light Large 1/2 18 350 gp 2d8 19-20/x2 120 ft P 1 (12 per small crew) 1 round 5 30 0.2 t 5 gp 5 lbs.
Ballista, medium Large 1 9 500 gp 3d8 19-20/x2 120 ft P 2 (6 per small crew) 1 round 5 50 0.4 t 10 gp 10 lbs.
Ballista, heavy Huge 2 4 800 gp 4d8 19-20/x2 150 ft P 3 (4 per small crew) 2 rounds 5 100 1 t 30 gp 20 lbs.
Ballista, great Huge 3 3 1,200 gp 6d8 19-20/x2 180 ft P 4 (3 per small crew) 2 rounds 5 150 2 t 40 gp 25 lbs.
Ballista, gate breaker Gargantuan 4 2 2,000 gp 8d8 19-20/x2 210 ft P 6 (2 per small crew) 3 rounds 5 200 4 t 50 gp 30 lbs.

Indirect Siege Weapons

Name Size Req. Hardpoints # per Deck Cost DMG Critical Range Type Team Reload Time Hardness Hit Points Weight Ammo Cost (per shot) Ammo Weight (per shot)
Catapult, light Large 1 9 550 gp 4d6 x2 150 ft. (30 min.) B 2 (6 per small crew) 1 round 5 50 0.5 t 15 gp 60 lbs.
Trebuchet, light Large 1 9 800 gp 4d6 x2 210 ft. (90 min.) B 3 (4 per small crew) 1 round 5 50 3 t 15 gp 60 lbs.
Catapult, medium Huge 2 4 800 gp 6d6 x2 210 ft. (90 min.) B 3 (4 per small crew) 2 rounds 5 100 1 t 30 gp 110 lbs
Trebuchet Huge 2 4 1,000 gp 6d6 x2 300 ft. (150 min.) B 4 (3 per small crew) 2 rounds 5 100 6 t 30 gp 110 lbs.
Catapult, heavy Gargantuan 4 2 1,000 gp 8d6 x2 300 ft. (100 min.) B 4 (3 per small crew) 3 rounds 5 200 4 t 40 gp 120 lbs.
Trebuchet, heavy Gargantuan 4 2 1,500 gp 8d6 x2 400 ft. (200 min.) B 6 (2 per small crew) 3 rounds 5 200 8 t 40 gp 120 lbs.

Ballista: Resembling a massive crossbow, a ballista’s power is provided by twisted skeins of animal sinew used as torsion springs driving a pair of adjustable arms. A cord attached to both arms is winched back and a projectile is loaded into a grooved slider for release. Ballistae are direct-fire weapons.

Catapult: Catapults are stone-throwing siege engines powered by winched arms that run through torsion skeins, and hold their payload in a cup that swings up and over the weapon when released. Catapults can hurl a variety of different types of ammunition (the damage given is for stone projectiles; other types of ammunition can be found later in this chapter). They are indirect-fire siege engines.

Trebuchet: Trebuchets are similar in form to catapults, with the payload placed into a basket, cup, or sling at the end of a long lever, and a counterweight (often with crew or animals pulling attached ropes) close to the fulcrum. The leverage imparted by a trebuchet allows it to hurl massive missiles that scatter to a number of squares around the target square based on the size of the trebuchet.

Cannon: Cannons are crafted of metal—some are cast in one piece, others welded with iron bands—and mounted either in the ground or on wooden frames. Cannons use black powder to propel their projectiles with great force. They are direct-fire weapons.

Ram: A ram increases the damage a ship deals when performing a ram by 3d8, and cuts the damage in half that the vehicle sustains.

Firearm Direct Fire Siege Engines

Name Size Req. Hardpoints # per gun deck Cost DMG Critical Range Type Team Reload Time Hardness Hit Points Weight Ammo Cost (per shot) Ammo Weight (per shot)
6 lbs. cannon Large 1/2 18 4,000 gp 4d6 x3 150 ft. B and P 2 (6 per small crew) 1 round 10 50 1 t 25 gp 6 lbs.
12 lbs. cannon Large 1 9 6,000 gp 6d6 x3 210 ft. B and P 3 (4 per small crew) 1 round 10 70 2 t 30 gp 12 lbs.
18 lbs. cannon Huge 2 4 10,000 gp 8d6 x3 270 ft. B and P 4 (3 per small crew) 2 rounds 10 100 4 t 50 gp 18 lbs.
24 lbs. cannon Huge 3 3 20,000 gp 10d6 x3 330 ft. B and P 5 (2 per small crew) 2 rounds 10 150 8 t 75 gp 24 lbs.
32 lbs. cannon Gargantuan 4 2 25,000 gp 12d6 x3 390 ft. B and P 6 (2 per small crew) 3 rounds 10 200 12 t 100 gp 32 lbs.

Other Siege Engines

Name Size Req. Hardpoints # per Deck Cost DMG Critical Range Type Team Reload Time Hardness Hit Points Weight Ammo Cost (per shot) Ammo Weight (per shot)
Ram varies - - 1,000 gp +3d8 x2 - B and P - - 10 50 1 t - -


Special Weapon Components

There are several special components that may be outfitted to a siege engine to make it easier to aim, easier to move, or even allow it to reload itself. Each price listed is for a Large weapon; multiply each price by 2 for Huge weapons, 4 for Gargantuan weapons, and 8 for Colossal weapons.

Weapon Component Price Craft DC
Wheels 10 gp Craft (siege engine) DC 15
Weapon swivel 100 gp Craft (siege engine) DC 25
Bottom mount 100 gp Craft (airship) DC 20

Wheels: By attaching wheels to a siege engine, the siege engine may be much more easily moved. A team may move the weapon 5 a 5 ft.step, or 10 a move action. Spending a move action moving a vehicle prohibits the team from spending a full-round action to reload it. A siege engine cannot be moved by less than 1/2 its required crew.

Weapon Swivel: A weapon swivel allows a siege engine to rotate quickly, allowing it to fire in any direction when installed onto a ship, rather than only off one of the vehicle’s facings. A weapon mounted on a swivel cannot fire through other parts of the vehicle (the weapon must be on an open-air Deck or in a gunport with no surrounding rooms or locations), and a siege engine cannot be equipped with a weapon swivel and wheels at the same time.

Bottom Mount: A bottom mount attaches a weapon to the bottom of the vehicle rather than to the top or sides. Even a ram can be attached in this fashion, as this creates a blade that a vehicle can use to ram a target directly beneath it. A weapon with a bottom mount does not suffer any penalty when attacking a target riding the vehicle’s shadow. Like any other weapon, however, it cannot hit targets outside of its facing (down). A bottom-mounted weapon can be combined with a swivel to attack targets in any direction, but suffers a -8 penalty when attacking a target in a higher altitude band (in essence, targets below them do not get cover, but targets above them do).

A siege engine must be placed in the bottom-most Hardpoint/Deck of a vehicle to be bottom-mounted.


A dirigible is a device that supplies lift for an airship, decreasing the ship’s weight by an amount equal to the size of the dirigible, thereby decreasing how much power it takes to fly. Usually, this takes the form of a large canvas bladder filled with hot air or light gases. Like sails, dirigibles are measured in Hardpoints and Decks, but do not occupy space inside the vehicle, instead forming their own Location. This means that, like sails, a dirigible increases a ship’s size for the purpose of occupying spaces, maneuverability, ram damage, CMB, and CMD, but does not increase the ship’s hull size for determining its mass, weight, number of rooms, etc.. A ship cannot possess more than 6 Hardpoints/Decks of dirigible per Hardpoint/Deck in the ship’s hull.

Dirigibles are an inexpensive way to help an airship fly, and it is not uncommon for smaller, cheaper ships to be lifted exclusively by dirigible. However, doing so may be risky, as a dirigible has little in the way of Hardness or hit points. Especially among pirates, it is a common tactic to target an airship’s dirigible in combat to cripple its engine’s capabilities, or even to send the ship spiraling to the canopy below where it’s goods can be recovered later.

Cloth: A cloth dirigible is a balloon that is often inflated with air heated by a burner. A cloth dirigible may be deflated and reinflated (each at a rate of 1 round per Hardpoint), and stored within the vehicle when not in use.

Rigid: A rigid dirigible is stronger than a cloth one, and is attached to an exoskeleton that makes it unable to collapse.

Magic: Much more expensive than a physical dirigible, a magic dirigible isn’t truly a dirigible at all, but is rather an enchantment laid upon the ship to make it weightless. This has the advantage of not occupying space, meaning it does not form a Location and cannot be attacked. Like all magic, however, it is susceptible to being dispelled.

Extra Cost per Hardpoint Cost per Deck Hardness Hit Points per Hardpoint Hit Points per Deck
Dirigible (cloth) 25 gp 225 gp 0 15 135
Dirigible (rigid) 50 gp 450 gp 3 20 180
Dirigible (magic) 250 gp 2,250 gp - - -

Magical Dirigible

Aura transmutation (Enhancement); CL 10th

The vehicle gains a magic dirigible.
Craft Rod, levitate (or Enhancement Sphere), 125 gp per Hardpoint, 1,125 gp per Deck.


The following represent several of the most basic chassis for airships available. Each ship, after purchase, can easily be customized with whatever equipment the purchaser requires. At the GM’s discretion, used ships might be available for purchase at a lower price, but often with customized internal components, and often with small penalties to speed, AC, or maneuverability reflecting its age and previous use.

Airship Cost Size Minimum Crew
Coaster 180 gp Huge 1
Skidder 2,285 gp Gargantuan 1
Falcon 3,095 gp Colossal 3
Lantern Fly 21,600 gp Colossal+ 2
Steamclad 13,050 gp Colossal+ 6
Arcania 227,520 gp Colossal+ 2
Goliath 248,275 gp Colossal+ 101


Gargantuan Wood Air Vehicle
Space 1 vehicle space; Cost 130 gp
Size 5 Hardpoints; Hull 1 Hardpoint

Hull 9 AC (+5 Dodge, -1 size); 30 hp, Hardness 5
Sails 9 AC (+5 Dodge, -1 size); 40 hp, Hardness 0
Dirigible 9 AC (+5 Dodge, -1 size); 30 hp, Hardness 0

Attack ram (4d8)
CMB +4; CMD 14
Speed 2 (w/wind: +1 per severity level)
Acceleration 1
Maneuverability Average

Propulsion sails (2 Hardpoints, 40 hp); Power 2 (w/ wind: +1 per severity level).
Mass 1 Hardpoint; Weight 0
Controlling Device steering wheel
Driving Space 1 space in the front of the airship
Required Crew 1 (1 pilot/sailor)

Equipment Weight 0.4 tons
Light Load less than 2 tons
Medium Load 2 to 4.9 tons
Heavy Load 5 - 10 tons

Cargo Bay (1 Hardpoint, uncovered, 10 tons)

Cloth Dirigible (2 Hardpoints)

The coaster is possibly the cheapest airship in existence, and as such still sees extensive use despite its rather humble design. The coaster is primarily used for making short-distance runs, such as delivering small cargo or a few passengers from one end of a city to another. Among the wealthy, many youth purchase a coaster when they first begin learning the art of airship sailing, as its small size means it only requires a single crewman to simultaneously steer the ship and work the sails.


Gargantuan Wood Air Vehicle
Space 1 vehicle space; Cost 1,185 gp
Size 6 Hardpoints; Hull 2 Hardpoints

Hull 9 AC (+5 Dodge, -1 Size); 60 hp, Hardness 5
Sails 8 AC (+5 Dodge, -2 Size); 80 hp, Hardness 0

Attack ram (4d8)
CMB +4; CMD 14
Speed 2 (w/wind: +1 per severity level)
Acceleration 1
Maneuverability Average

Propulsion sails (4 Hardpoints, 80 hp); Power 4 (w/ wind: +2 per severity level).
Mass 2 Hardpoints; Weight 0
Controlling Device steering wheel
Driving Space 1 space in the front of the airship
Required Crew 1-2 (1 pilot, 1 sailor)

Equipment Weight 0.8 tons
Light Load less than 4 tons
Medium Load 4 to 9.9 tons
Heavy Load 10 - 20 tons

Bunks (1 Hardpoint, 6 crewmen); Cargo Bay (1 Hardpoint, uncovered, 10 tons)

Magic Dirigible (4 Hardpoints)

The skidder is a larger version of the coaster, and while it is still primarily used for short trips, a skidder comes equipped with living quarters, allowing its crew to make extended journeys. While the use of a magical dirigible makes it more expensive than other sailing ships, it also allows it to stay small and maneuverable, making it well worth the cost in most eyes.


Colossal Wood Air Vehicle
Space 1 vehicle space; Cost 1,620 gp
Size 45 Hardpoints; Hull 9 Hardpoints

Hull 0 AC (+3 Dodge, -8 Size); 270 hp, Hardness 5
Sails 0 AC (+3 Dodge, -8 Size); 360 hp, Hardness 0
Dirigible 0 AC (+3 Dodge, -8 Size); 360 hp, Hardness 3

Attack ram (8d8)
CMB +8; CMD 18
Speed 2 (w/ wind, +1 per severity level)
Acceleration 1
Maneuverability Poor

Propulsion sails (18 Hardpoints, 360 hp); Power 18 (w/ wind: +9 per severity level).
Mass 9 Hardpoints; Weight 0
Controlling Device steering wheel
Driving Space 1 space in the aft of the airship
Required Crew 3 (1 pilot, 2 sailors)

Equipment Weight 3.6 tons
Light Load less than 18 tons
Medium Load 18 to 44.9 tons
Heavy Load 45 - 90 tons

Cargo Bay (9 Hardpoints, 5 uncovered, 90 tons)

Rigid Dirigible (18 Hardpoints)

The Falcon is one of the most recognizable airship designs in the world, and many variants of it have been produced over the years by different shipwrights, each one with its own style depending on the needs of the captain and the flair of the shipwright. Although the falcon is too large for the pilot to simultaneously work the sails, it can still fly with a very small crew. The basic falcon comes with no standard internal rooms for ease of customization; in addition to crew quarters, many captains will fit this ship with artillary, additional engines, etc.

Lantern Fly

Colossal+ Wood Air Vehicle
Space 3 vehicle spaces; Cost 20,000 gp
Size 15 Decks; Hull 15 Decks

Hull 2 AC (+5 Dodge, -8 Size); 1,350 hp, Hardness 5
Dirigible 2 Locations, 2 AC (+5 Dodge, -8 Size); 900 hp, Hardness 3

Attack ram (8d8)
CMB +10; CMD 20
Speed 8 (11 pushed, 13 overload)
Acceleration 4
Maneuverability Average

Propulsion Air elemental engine (2 Decks, hp 540); Power 40 (60 push, 80 overload).
Mass 5 Decks; Weight 0
Controlling Device steering wheel
Driving Space 1 space in the front of the airship
Required Crew 2 (1 pilot, 1 engineer)

Equipment Weight 36 tons
Light Load less than 90 tons
Medium Load 90 to 224.9 tons
Heavy Load 225 - 450 tons

Air Elemental Engine (2 Decks); Captain’s Quarters (2 Hardpoints); Cargo Bay (2 Decks, 1 uncovered, 180 tons); Kitchen (1 Hardpoint); Personal Rooms (5 rooms, 5 Hardpoints); Sick Bay (1 Hardpoint)

Rigid Dirigible (10 Decks)

The lantern fly is a moderate cargo vessel, and is named for the large air elemental engine that sprouts from the back, which lights up with electric power when active not unlike a lantern fly. While the standard lantern fly carries no weapons, the ship is easily customizable to fit the captain’s needs. However, its powerful but fragile engine means most captains try to outrun trouble rather than fight it.


Colossal+ Wood Air Vehicle
Space 3 vehicle spaces; Cost 12,975 gp
Size 15 Decks; Hull 15 Decks

Hull 3 Locations, 0 AC (+3 Dodge, -8 Size); 1,350 hp, Hardness 5

Attack ram (8d8)
CMB +10; CMD 20
Speed 1 (2 pushed, 4 overload)
Acceleration 1
Maneuverability Poor

Propulsion steam engine, (5 Decks, 2,250 hp); Power 45 (67 push, 90 overload)
Mass 15 Decks; Weight 30
Controlling Device steering wheel
Driving Space 1 space in the front of the airship
Required Crew 46 (1 pilot, 45 engineers)

Equipment Weight 225 tons
Light Load less than 270 tons
Medium Load 279 to 674.9 tons
Heavy Load 675 - 1,350 tons

Brig 1 Hardpoint; Bunks 2 Decks; Captain’s Quarters 2 Hardpoints; Cargo Bay 7 Decks, 630 tons; Kitchen 1 Hardpoint; Personal Rooms 5 Hardpoints; Steam Engine 5 Decks
Location 1:
Steam Engine (3 Decks); Cargo Bay (2 Decks, 1 uncovered, 180 tons)
Location 2:
Steam Engine (2 Decks); Cargo Bay (3 Decks, 1 uncovered, 270 tons)
Location 3:
Cargo Bay (2 Decks, 180 tons, 1 uncovered); Bunks (2 Decks, 108 crewmen); Personal Rooms (5 Hardpoints, 5 rooms); Kitchen (1 Hardpoint); Brig (1 Hardpoint); Captain’s Quarters (2 Hardpoints)


The steamclad is a large ship powered by steam engine, originally developed by alchemists looking to escape the Forest but has since been repurposed for other uses. While not particularly powerful, the steamclad has remained in use as a short-range airship with significant cargo space, often used by merchants and traders. While the ship does not come standard with weapons, sails, nor a dirigible, many pirates refit these ships to become more battle-worthy, sacrificing maneuverability for a dirigible and sails to increase speed, and cargo space for a great assortment of weapons.


Colossal+ Wood Air Vehicle
Space 3 vehicle spaces; Cost 227,720 gp
Size 15 Decks; Hull 15 Decks

Hull 3 Locations, 0 AC (+3 Dodge, -8 Size); 1,350 hp, Hardness 5

Attack ram (8d8), 54 light ballista (27 left facing, 27 right facing, 1 round reload, 2d8, 19-20, range 120 ft.)
CMB +10; CMD 20
Speed 11 (15 pushed, 19 overload)
Acceleration 5
Maneuverability Poor

Propulsion spell engine (3 Decks, hp 2700); Power 225 (337 push, 450 overload)
Mass 15 Decks; Weight 30
Controlling Device steering wheel
Driving Space 1 space in the front of the airship
Required Crew 2 (1 pilot, 1 engineer), 108 gunmen

Equipment Weight 37.8 tons
Light Load less than 270 tons
Medium Load 270 to 674.9 tons
Heavy Load 675 - 1,350 tons

Brig 1 Hardpoint; Bunks 3 Decks, 162 crewmen; Captain’s Quarters (2 Hardpoints); Cargo Bay 5 Decks, 450 tons, Gunport 3 Decks; Kitchen 1 Hardpoint; Personal Rooms 4 Hardpoints; Sick Bay 1 Hardpoint; Spell Engine 3 Decks
Location 1:
Spell Engine (1 Deck); Cargo Bay (3 Deck, 270 tons); Gunport (1 Deck, uncovered, 18 light ballista)
Location 2:
Spell Engine (1 Deck); Bunks (3 Decks, 162 crewmen); Gunport (1 Deck, uncovered, 18 light ballista)
Location 3:
Gunport (1 Deck, uncovered, 18 light ballista); Spell Engine (1 Deck); Cargo Bay (2 Deck, 180 tons); Personal Rooms (4 rooms); Kitchen (1 Hardpoint); Brig (1 Hardpoint); Captain’s Quarters (2 Hardpoints); Sick Bay (1 Hardpoint)

54 light ballista (27 port, 27 starboard)

Among professional delvers, no vehicle is more sought after than the arcania. The arcania is designed to be a well-rounded ship, and can simultaneously travel at high speeds, carry a significant amount of cargo, and pack sufficient weapons to make quick work of enemies. While it is far too expensive to see regular use in most militaries, professional delvers will sometimes fly the arcania as a mark of pride and power.


Colossal+ Wood Air Vehicle
Space 50 vehicle spaces; Cost 187,225 gp
Size 250 Decks; Hull 50 Decks

Hull 10 Locations, -2 AC (+1 Dodge, -8 Size); 1,350 hp, Hardness 5
Sails 20 Locations, -2 AC (+1 Dodge, -8 Size); 900 hp, Hardness 0
Dirigible 20 Locations, -2 AC (+1 Dodge, -8 Size); 900 hp, Hardness 3

Attack ram (8d8), 90 medium ballista (45 left facing, 45 right facing, 1 round reload, 3d8, 19-20, range 120 ft.), 4 heavy trebuchet (swivel, 3 round reload, 8d6 x2, range 400 ft, minimum 200 ft), 6 gatebreaker ballista (swivel, 3 round reload, 8d8 19-20 x2, range 210 ft.)
CMB +57; CMD 67
Speed 3 (4 pushed, 5 overload, w/ wind: +1 per severity level)
Acceleration 1
Maneuverability Clumsy

Propulsion sails (100 Decks, hp 900 per location, 20 locations), alchemical engine (5 Decks, 3600 hp); Power sails: 100 (w/ wind, +50 per severity level) alchemical engine: 75 (112 pushed, 150 overload)
Mass 50 Decks; Weight 0
Controlling Device steering wheel
Driving Space 1 space in the aft of the airship
Required Crew 106 (1 pilot, 100 sailors, 5 engineers); 330 gunmen

Equipment Weight 272 tons
Light Load less than 900 tons
Medium Load 900 to 2,249.9 tons
Heavy Load 2,250 - 4,500 tons

Alchemical Engine 5 Decks; Brig 1 Deck, Bunks 15 Decks, 810 crewmen Captain’s Quarters 1 Deck, Cargo Bay 10 Decks, 900 tons; Gunport 15 Decks; Kitchen 1 Deck; Personal Rooms 1 Deck; Sick Bay 1 Deck
Location 1-5:
Alchemical Engine (1 Deck); Cargo Bay (2 Decks, 180 tons); Gunport (2 Decks, 1 uncovered, 18 medium ballista)
Location 6-8:
Gunport (1 Deck, uncovered, 2 gatebreaker ballista); Bunks (4 Decks, 216 crewmen)
Location 9:
Gunport (1 Deck, uncovered, 2 heavy trebuchet); Bunks (3 Decks, 162 crewmen); Personal Rooms (1 Deck, 9 rooms)
Location 10:
Gunport (1 Deck, uncovered, 2 heavy trebuchet); Sick Bay (1 Deck); Kitchen (1 Deck); Brig (1 Deck); Captain’s Quarters (1 Deck)

Rigid dirigible (100 Decks), 90 medium ballista (45 port, 45 starboard)
4 heavy trebuchet (w/ swivel), 6 gatebreaker ballista (w/ swivel)

The goliath is the great warship of the skies. A gunboat of incredible size, the goliath can batter its enemies at a distance from any direction with the gatebreaker ballista and heavy trebuchet mounted on its top deck, or pull in close and destroy its enemies with a barrage of its medium ballista. A goliath is rarely seen except in the employ of governments and warlords who can afford its price and have use for such gunboats, and the deployment of even one goliath is cause for alarm among their enemies. When a goliath is outfitted further with additional enchantments, cannons, and magical weapons, it can truly become a ship of legend.

This website uses cookies. See the Legal & OGL page for important information. Any material NOT covered by the Open Game License Version 1.0a is covered by the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.