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D&D 3E
Pirates of the Dungeon 
12th-Mar-2004 11:30 pm
leonal
I'm trying to design a D&D campaign based off of piratical exploits in a late 18th century south Atlantic. I trying to find a race to emulate the British navy, and my first thought was elves, but elves seems too aloof and carefree to be straight-laced enough for the role. I thought of dwarves, but they don't seem to be the nautical type, nor do they give the same sort of feeling. I don't want to do humans, it seems overdone to make them to ones in lawful authority. I'm thinking maybe elven or dwarven subraces, something to fit the lawful antagonist in a mostly chaotic campaign.
Comments 
12th-Mar-2004 08:44 pm (UTC) - Lawful Elves!
A lawful elf subract makes a great "british" type. I say go for that. (IMC I have a drow-like in power race of elves that are lawful by design. They gain some spell-like abilities and good ability score adjustents, but they are vulnerable to charms instead of daylight.)
12th-Mar-2004 09:22 pm (UTC)
What about the poor, forgotten gnomes?? ^_^ One of the most straight-laced NPCs our group ever encountered was a gnomish captain. :) Besides, I think it would show your players that just because they're only 3-4 feet tall doesn't mean they'll take any crap. ;)
12th-Mar-2004 10:25 pm (UTC)
Why not humans?
13th-Mar-2004 01:01 am (UTC) - LOL, funny you should mention that..
..Because this sunday i'm playing in a Campaign about pirates. Class restrictions are fighter/rogue and race restriction human/gnomes. No armor, but you get your total melee attack bonus as misc AC. Because it represents ur ability to offensively defend yourself etc. Also i get a free +1 shirt for signin up to the Grey Skull (the ship). A free weapon of my choice sabre(used stats of rapier), rapier, daggers, etc. A free pistol w/20 shot. Yar, it's gonna be pretty cool :)
13th-Mar-2004 03:52 am (UTC) - Re: LOL, funny you should mention that..
I'm using Defense bonus rules from Unearthed Arcana. Are you doing away with the Combat Expertise Feat altogether?
13th-Mar-2004 06:05 pm (UTC) - Eh?
Combat Expertise Feat? I can't see that feat anywhere in the 3e PHB, is "Combat Expertise Feat" the exact name of the feat? Also i'm not DM, you'd have to speak with my DM.
13th-Mar-2004 08:12 pm (UTC) - Re: Eh?
3.5 renamed the Expertise feat as Combat Expertise. It lets you shift up to five points from your attack bonus to your AC.
13th-Mar-2004 01:27 am (UTC)
Why not just redeisgn the whole culture of elves? make the lawful now, with crazy social stigmas and houses and a class struture. If you like that concept go with it.

Although Dwarves on the sea is conceptually doable. Dwarven City-ships. Huge ships that take a dwarven lifetime to learn how to and then build. So big that they don't even seem to rock, and almost impossible to sink.....almost; they'd be slow as fuck and very fucking difficult to take down.
13th-Mar-2004 01:31 am (UTC) - The bigger the ship..
The easier it is to take down. You need an agile versatile ship.
13th-Mar-2004 05:35 am (UTC) - Re: The bigger the ship..
Actually, no. The bigger the ship, the harder it is to sink, because it has can carry more armour, and have more ballast compartments.

How easy is it for a fast, agile ship like a cigarette boat to take out a battleship or an aircraft carrier? Not very easy at all.
13th-Mar-2004 06:01 pm (UTC) - in REAL life
Armor or no armor, a few cannonballs will sink a huge ship. It's unlikely a ship will be wearing armor strong enough to rebound freakin' cannonballs anyway, otherwise it'd prolly sink without the help of a few cannonball injurys. Also it's harder to maneuver a huge ship, and so much easier for a smaller agile ship. If the ship can maneuver to a point where the huge ships cannons can't reach, which i assure you it probably could being the faster ship. Also it probably could before the huge ship could get in range and then maneuver to a firing position because it's so slow. Dart in, fire a few, and dart out. The agile should would be on the freakin horizon to anyone looking through a spyglass on this HUGE dwarven ship. Assuming that is, they haven't sunken yet.
13th-Mar-2004 06:08 pm (UTC) - Re: in REAL life
Another note; This is how pirates took out huge heavily armed ships in our RL past. With small, agile ships.
13th-Mar-2004 08:37 pm (UTC) - This isn't real life bub.
Yet remember this is D&D. A few well-placed Shield spells will slow down a ship's sinking. One may not normally consider Dwarves as using magic, but that's beside the point. Also, it may be built in such a way that a cannon-ball will not sink it, but it is only floating due to magic. Having a wizard pirate sneak up and disable the magical engine would make for an interesting aspect of the campaign, I'd think.
14th-Mar-2004 03:41 am (UTC) - Re: This isn't real life bub.
Or they can try and disable the shield generator on Endor.
14th-Mar-2004 03:52 am (UTC) - Excuse me for assuming?
But i thought he'd like to get the feel of real life pirate campaign? Instead of some stupid unrealistic bullshit. That goes for all the people who replied to this. Anywho, forget what i said then, because it's obviously all void when it's UNREALISTIC right? The pirate campaign i'm playing in is trying to keep it to as much realism as possible based on our actual past. Which is probably why he put class restriction human/rogue.
14th-Mar-2004 03:55 am (UTC) - Blah
Fighter/Rogue*
14th-Mar-2004 03:57 am (UTC) - Oh and i forgot to mention
Race restriction human/gnome; hence no BS-sized ship, and all that other crap that guy was prattling on about.
14th-Mar-2004 10:09 am (UTC) - Re: Oh and i forgot to mention
Well, I'm allowing all races and classes in this game, though I'm discouraging those that require a lawful alignment.
14th-Mar-2004 02:32 am (UTC) - Re: in REAL life
OK, if this dwarven city-ship has arcs of fire that it's not covering, then this is a serious design flaw. The reason real life ships had such arcs was because they needed to be long and thin to be manoeuverable (which is not a concern for a city), so that it was hard to mount cannon on the front or back. So, you have your small, agile ship needing to approach in the teeth of cannon far bigger (and thus longer ranged) than than anything that they can carry, then turn to present a broadside before it can fire.

Then, bear in mind that the very size of the Titanic was the main reason it was considered unsinkable: It below the waterline it was divided into many compartments, and it was only that a long rip was made along the entire length, opening up every compartment, that made it sink. Imagine a city-ship with a thousand such compartments, which can float so long as 750 of them remain: how long will an attacker have to spend trying to sink it?

Also, a ship the size of a city could easily carry a foot thick layer of steel without being too heavy to float. This ought to make small cannonballs (as carried on small, agile ships) bounce off pretty well. If floatation is still a problem, well, magic can help out.

And most pirate ships preyed on vessels smaller than themselves, so that they would have better firepower and more crew. Bear in mind that pirates rarely wanted to sink ships, as this would put the booty on the seabed where they couldn't get to it. There certainly were instances where they took on bigger ships, but they were few and far between, and they rarely won.
14th-Mar-2004 04:00 am (UTC) - Re: in REAL life
I advise you to read Shogun, some great insight there, mainly on japanese history, but you'll get a feel for what i mean by agile ships.
13th-Mar-2004 03:21 am (UTC)
I'd use elves. Just watch the arrival of the elves in Two Towers a couple of times and you'll have no problems melding them with stiff upper lip Brits. :)
13th-Mar-2004 06:09 am (UTC)
What about Hobgoblins?

The have greater agility and stamina than humans (+2 Dex, +2 Con), have human-level Intelligence and Wisdom, are lawful evil, and have Fighter as a favored class.

They're also listed as having "a strong grasp of strategy and tactics", and respond well to strong leaders.
13th-Mar-2004 06:42 am (UTC)
why not halflings
13th-Mar-2004 06:51 am (UTC)
See, I always imaged Elves as being the perfect example of the empire-British. They're incredibly straight-laced, without a sense of humor, and believe themselves to be in all ways better than everyone else. Comes from reading Dragonlance first I guess. It actually takes more effort for me to image and makes elves as carefree as many people think of them. So I say go with the elves; I think the feeling will work as long as you play them right.

Though I do think the suggestion someone gave of gnomes is interesting... ;) Only because the idea of a 3' admiral is just... funny. :p
13th-Mar-2004 09:16 am (UTC)
Gnapoleon Bonaparte?
13th-Mar-2004 04:04 pm (UTC)
Exactly ;)
13th-Mar-2004 09:30 am (UTC)
Umm...i don't know where you are going with this..but Minotaurs (at least from the Krynn perspective) are natural born helmsmen and sailors.
They can be pretty lawful. Well..minotaur law. law of the sea. etc.
13th-Mar-2004 03:49 pm (UTC)
It's your world, so you can declare that the races act any way you want. You don't have to go for the stereotypes unless you want to. Hell, could throw in civilized centaurs with stiff upper lips and that'd probably work just fine.

One suggestion I would like to make, one that I've discussed with a friend before, is giving half-elves an actual culture instead of saying they're just scattered around wherever. That way, you can say they act however the hell you want (as stated in the above paragraph) and keep the other races for other things.
16th-Mar-2004 09:12 am (UTC)
Why not make georgia populate BY elves and have humans begin raiding....
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