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Icelander 11-08-2008 05:43 AM

Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
We lack sailing ship data and the stats in Fantasy are worse than nothing. So here are my takes on the same vessels.

Dhows

Dhow, Baghlah (90’)
TL: 4
ST/HP: 160†
Hnd/SR: -3/2
HT: 11c
Move: 0,2/5
Ewt: 34t
Lwt: 128t
Load: 94t
SM: +8
Occ: 20
DR: 3
Range: -
Cost: $27K
Locations: 2M, O, S
Draft: 5’

Dhow, Sambuk (60’)
TL: 3
ST/HP: 138†
Hnd/SR: -3/2
HT: 11c
Move: 0,2/5
Ewt: 20t
Lwt: 70t
Load: 50t
SM: +6
Occ: 12
DR: 2
Range: -
Cost: $17K
Locations: M, O
Draft: 4’

The word dhow has been used to describe any of various lateen-rigged sailing vessels that were used in the Red Sea and along the coasts of the Indian Ocean. Dhows are associated with Arab traders in the mind of Westerners, but the vessel was constructed with timber from India and the word itself may be of Swahili origin. The Arabs that sail these craft refer to dhows by names specific to each type, determined principally by size and hull design, but the Western convention of identifying a vessel by its sail plan mean that the four principal types and various subtypes are all familiar to us merely as dhows.

These vessels typically had a raised poop, a raked stem, and one or two masts. They ranged in size from 300+ ton baghlahs and boums to jalboots of only 20 tons. The most common are probably sambuks, about 50 tons burthen (displacing about 70 tons). The two examples given here are a two-masted baghlah of moderate size and a single-masted sambuk with a crew of twelve, both fairly typical for a trading dhow in their size. Note that the statistics assume that the vessel is loaded with cargo. A dhow carrying no cargo can reach speeds of 11-17 knots (Move 0,3/7 or more), but is very hard to handle with such a small crew, suffering a -1 penalty to its Hnd. The draft will also be about 1-2‘ less.

Optional Modifiers: A dhow is not intended to sail against the wind and will make much less speed on that point of sail than a comparable vessel with a more versatile sail plan. Dhows also suffer a -1 to Hnd on any attempt to sail windward. Attempts to tack or veer a dhow are at a -2 to Hnd due to the limited crew size and the lack of provisions for such actions in the sail plan.

Notes: A length of 90‘ and a tonnage of 90 were somewhat incompatible with a crew of only 12. Also, the larger dhows had two masts by the time of the Age of Sail. The speed was fine for an unladen racing dhow (such as those used in the modern al-Shandagha race in Dubai, UAE), but much too optimistic for a laden merchant dhow.

Pirate Sloops

Pirate Sloop (50‘)
TL: 4
ST/HP: 153 †
Hnd/SR: -2/4
HT: 12c
Move: 0,3/6
Ewt: 28t
Lwt: 64t
Load: 36t
SM: +6
Occ: 43
DR: 10/5
Range: -
Cost: $56K
Locations: M, O, S
Draft: 7’

Pirate Sloop (75’)
TL: 4
ST/HP: 189 †
Hnd/SR: -3/4
HT: 12c
Move: 0,3/6,25
Ewt: 53t
Lwt: 120t
Load: 67t
SM: +7
Occ: 75
DR: 10/5
Range: -
Cost: $106K
Locations: M, O, S
Draft: 8’

These are typical Age of Sail sloops used by pirates in the Caribbean. The term sleep describes a single-masted vessel with a fore-and-aft rig and the mast further forward than the mast of a cutter. The word acquired connotations of tactical role later on and is today used for a vessel mid-way in size between a corvette and a frigate, but is here used in its original sense.

The sail plan of a sloop is designed to optimise performance when sailing against the wind (known as sailing windward or close-hauled), but also provides a workable overall compromise at all points of sailing. This makes it manoeuvrable and able to escape from ships with a larger sail area by turning into the wind. That quality, combined with a shallow draft, made it a desirable vessel for pirates in the Carribean ocean who were frequently hunted by much more powerful naval vessels. A pirate sloop has a larger crew than a similar merchant vessel, in order to be able to man the guns and board enemy ships.

Two examples are provided. One is a fairly typical pirate sloop, able to surprise and intimidate a merchant vessel but overmatched in a fight with nearly any naval vessel afloat. Generally, a sloop of this size armed for piracy or combat would carry 6-10 cannons, often only 3- or 4-pounders. Edward Teach‘s (the infamous Blackbeard the Pirate of TV and novel legend) Adventure might well have been similar to this ship. The larger one is at the top of the size range for sloops during the Golden Age of Piracy. It might carry anything up to a 15 guns, varying widely in shot weight. The Cost and Weight of the vessels do not include any possible armament.

Optional Modifiers: A sloop is optimised for close-hauled sailing and receives a +1 bonus to Hnd when sailing windward. This can only reduce a penalty, never provide a net bonus. A sloop is also able to maintain a higher speed close-hauled than other vessels of similar size and sail area. The size of the crew also gives a +1 to rapid tacking or veering of the vessel, but this is negated by the lateen sails which give a -1 to the same actions. The crew size can be reduced to 25 for the smaller craft and 45 for the larger one for a merchant sloop that does not carry as many cannon or expect to board enemies.

Notes: The length of the ‘Pirate ship’ at 75’ was unusually high for the tonnage given. The ratio of tons burthen to tons displaced was also strange, so I assumed that the weight of guns and shots had accidentally been counted in the Ewt (otherwise the ship couldn’t have carried 12 cannon at all). The speed was so far off that it must have been a typo.

Galleons

Galleons were large, multi-decked sailing ships used primarily by the nations of Europe from the 16th to 18th centuries. They had three to five masts, with the foremast and mainmast being square-rigged and the last mast using lateen sails. The hull was usually carvel-built. The term ‘galleon’ has been used for vessels ranging in size from around 100 tons to the largest ships afloat in their days which could reach 2000 tons displacement.

Galleons were an evolution of the earlier Carrack and Nao ship types, combined with influences from caravel design which resulted in more slender hull lines than those ponderous vessels (which could have a length-to-beam ratio of 2:1). The typical length-to-beam ratio of a galleon was 3.5:1 or greater and the height from keel to gunwales was half of the beam. Galleons were longer, lower and narrower than the earlier vessels and had a square tuck stern instead of a round tuck. One of the most recognisable features of the galleon was the ‘snout’ or head which projected forward from the bows below the level of the forecastle.

Galleons were used both for commerce and warfare from their invention. The popular modern image of them is as Spanish treasure galleons (the gargantuan Manila Galleons) bringing home gold and jewels from the New World, but during much of that time they were already eclipsed as front-line vessels. The Spanish, though, did retain some galleons in use until the 19th century.

Optional Modifiers: Typical galleons, with their high castles on deck, were more stable than the Carrack, but unweatherly compared to later ships. Penalising them by -1 to Hnd (and at the GM’s option also -1 to SR for ships with extremely high centres of gravity) in high winds would not be unfair. They are also poor sailors to windward and suffer a -1 to Hnd when attempting to sail close-hauled.

Galleon, medium (130’)
TL: 4
ST/HP: 295†
Hnd/SR: -3/5
HT: 12c
Move: 0.07/4.5
Ewt: 200t
Lwt: 490t
Load: 390t
SM: +8
Occ: 45+70
DR: 30/15
Range: -
Cost: $390K
Locations: 3M, O, 2S
Draft: 9’

This galleon is fairly typical for an ordinary Portuguese galleon and can be used to represent ships of nearly any nationality.

Galleon, English race-built (140’)
TL: 4
ST/HP: 309†
Hnd/SR: -3/5
HT: 12c
Move: 0.1/5
Ewt: 230t
Lwt: 670t
Load: 440t
SM: +8
Occ: 75+50
DR: 30/15
Range: -
Cost: $460K
Locations: 3M, O, 2S
Draft: 10’

This English two-decked race-built galleon was among the most cramped vessels of their age, packing an enormous mass of men and weapons in a hull just barely large enough for it. The forecastle has been razed and is only retained as low fighting platform with the highest point some 22’ high from the keel. This makes the ship faster and more weatherly, which proved crucial in naval battles of the time (along with superior gunnery). This ship is based on Sir Francis Drake’s Revenge.

Optional Modifiers: The English race-built galleons do not suffer the same penalty as normal galleons in high winds or when sailing to the windward.

Spanish Galleon (150’)
TL: 4
ST/HP: 341†
Hnd/SR: -4/5
HT: 12c
Move: 0.03/4
Ewt: 310t
Lwt: 930t
Load: 620t
SM: +9
Occ: 160+240
DR: 40/20
Range: -
Cost: $630K
Locations: 4M, O, 2S
Draft: 12’

This ship is a large Spanish galleon, one of the main fighting ships of the Spanish Armada.

Notes: The galleon given in Fantasy was too fast and drew too little water for such a large ship. It also had a crew that was far too small for Spanish practises at the time. Finally, the listed DR did not take into account the sheer thickness of the hull. The higher number is for the hull at the waterline, which could reach more than 2 feet of oak, and the lower number for the decking and castles. The stern uses the lower number.

More to come when I feel like it.

© 2008 Garðar Steinn Ólafsson
All rights reserved.

Mgellis 11-08-2008 08:51 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Thanks for posting these. Please post more. :)

I'm not sure I'd call the stats in Fantasy "worse than nothing" (that seems a little harsh), but one thing I've always liked about 4e GURPS is how easy it is to make new vehicles. In effect, very few vehicles at TL 8 or below have to be designed because you can use existing vehicles and all you really have to do is calculate the HP and guesstimate a few things like HT, Hnd, and SR. And for TL 9+ vehicles, if you need to figure out something quickly, you can often use TL 8 vehicles but make them better somehow (longer range, greater speed, higher DR, etc.).

Mark

Icelander 11-08-2008 03:18 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mgellis
Thanks for posting these. Please post more. :)

If you had a choice, what would you prefer to see first:

a) Nordic knarr, longboat, dragon ship and great drakkar.
b) Caravel, caravel redonda and a later vessel built in the same style purely for warfare.
c) Early frigates and small galleons.
d) Early cogs, Hanseatic cogs and cogs designed for warfare.
e) Carracks and great ships.
f) Brigantines, pinnaces, brigs and snow-brigs.
g) Schooners, xebecs and xebec-frigates.
h) Cutters, corvettes and sloops-of-war.
j) Frigates and ships-of-the-line.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mgellis
I'm not sure I'd call the stats in Fantasy "worse than nothing" (that seems a little harsh),

If I use them, either as is or to work out the stats of related vehicles, I get a result that is historically nonsensicial and offends common sense. This breaks suspension of disbelief and hurts my gaming.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mgellis
but one thing I've always liked about 4e GURPS is how easy it is to make new vehicles. In effect, very few vehicles at TL 8 or below have to be designed because you can use existing vehicles and all you really have to do is calculate the HP and guesstimate a few things like HT, Hnd, and SR. And for TL 9+ vehicles, if you need to figure out something quickly, you can often use TL 8 vehicles but make them better somehow (longer range, greater speed, higher DR, etc.).

Mark

Not enough TL0-TL5 watercraft have been detailed to make it possible to use this method. I have to find sources for real world tonnage, speed, length, beam, draft and other data in order to make up my stats. This is work I'd rather not do, but have resigned myself to the necessity.

damon 11-08-2008 04:09 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
just ooc.. what is it in particular about the stats in Fantasy that is wrong? (i'm not disputing that they are, just wanna know exactly how)

robkelk 11-08-2008 05:07 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Icelander
If you had a choice, what would you prefer to see first:

a) Nordic knarr, longboat, dragon ship and great drakkar.
b) Caravel, caravel redonda and a later vessel built in the same style purely for warfare.
c) Early frigates and small galleons.
d) Early cogs, Hanseatic cogs and cogs designed for warfare.
e) Carracks and great ships.
f) Brigantines, pinnaces, brigs and snow-brigs.
g) Schooners, xebecs and xebec-frigates.
h) Cutters, corvettes and sloops-of-war.
j) Frigates and ships-of-the-line.

Yes, please. <g>

Okay, okay... What I'd be most likely to want to use right now are longboats or corvettes (it's a very odd game), so a) or h), please.

Icelander 11-08-2008 06:48 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by damon
just ooc.. what is it in particular about the stats in Fantasy that is wrong? (i'm not disputing that they are, just wanna know exactly how)

See this thread.

Crakkerjakk 11-08-2008 07:02 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
A and d for me.

Icelander 11-08-2008 07:04 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by robkelk
Yes, please. <g>

Okay, okay... What I'd be most likely to want to use right now are longboats or corvettes (it's a very odd game), so a) or h), please.

The type of vessels you're most likely to use are seperated by 700 years of technical development? And you're not likely to use a single type of vessel in between?

You're right. It's bizarre. ;)

Currently, I'm leaning in providing the ships that have the most connection to the vessels given in Fantasy first. That way I'll work out a framework so that I'm able to properly differentiate between similar vessels.

But I'll see whether anyone else has preferences.

Icelander 11-08-2008 07:06 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Crakkerjakk
A and d for me.

Definite cold weather bias for your choices, then. ;)

It's beginning to look as if I'll either have to ignore reader input and focus on what I'd like to do, or actually get around to finishing the Nordic vessels and damn my laziness.

I'm not sure which I prefer.

Mgellis 11-08-2008 08:50 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by robkelk
Yes, please. <g>

What he said. :)

I suppose if I had to pick, I'd say the later ships, the ones likely to be used in swashbuckling campaigns.

Mark

Icelander 11-08-2008 08:57 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mgellis
What he said. :)

I suppose if I had to pick, I'd say the later ships, the ones likely to be used in swashbuckling campaigns.

Mark

That would be b and c for GURPS Swashbucklers proper, with f and g fitting in spirit and being relevant for high piracy in the 17th-18th century.

The last two, h and j, are more properly post-Swashbuckling era and the others are earlier than most buckles were swashed, at least in the fiction that inspires such campaigns.

Icelander 11-09-2008 12:46 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Viking Ships

Not all vessels used by the Scandinavians of the so-called Viking Age were dragon-prowed longships. I realise that this is shocking and nearly as painful as the news that we didn‘t wear horned helmets and charge into battle naked and screaming, but it‘s the truth nonetheless.

The Danish and Norse were great traders and it is unlikely that most of their legendary voyages were made in longships. Those longboats were meant for warfare and carried a crew much too large to be practical in a trading or exploration vessel. Even when a large group of men set sail to settle a new land, it‘s probable that they did so in the seaworthy and versatile karves, not in dragon-prowed longboats that could not carry enough food and water for journeys of that length.

All Norse boats and ships of the period are constructed using the same clinker-built method. The keel is usually made of oak, with pine used for masts and decking. The most common vessels are boats known as færings (four-oarings), which literally refers to the number of oars used to propel the boat. They were used as fishing boats and sometimes carried by larger vessels as ship‘s boats. A larger færing is called a sexæring (six-oaring) Both types can reach lengths of over 20‘ and carry a similar single-mast as Norse ships.

Larger vessels may be broadly (for the purposes of gaming, at least), by divided into three types of ships. Knarrer and smaller trading craft such as the byrðing had rounded keels and higher freeboards, being designed primarily as sailing ships that carried cargo and having oars only as a back-up to the sails. Karves were all-purpose craft, adaptable for both war and trade. They were long and narrow, but not as narrow as a swift-running longship. The freeboard was also higher than on most longships.

The most famous vessels of the Vikings, the longships, ranged in size from the small snekkjas at just over a 50‘ to the monstrous 150‘ long Serpent-Ships of kings and great lords. No wreck of a longship over 120‘ long has yet been found, but enough evidence for their existence can be found in contempoary sagas to make it credible that such ships were used in warfare, at least.

Byrðing (46‘)
TL: 3
ST/HP: 86
Hnd/SR: -3/3
HT: 12c
Move: 0.1/5
EWt: 5t
LWt: 9.6t
Load: 4.6t
SM: +5
Occ: 6
DR: 3
Range: F
Cost: $5K
Locations: M,O
Draft: 3‘
Notes: Listed move is for under sail. When being rowed without a sail, Move is 0.03/2.5.

Byrðings are coastal trading vessels, probably used in the Baltic and the waters around Denmark. It is the kind of boat that might be used by a well-to-do farmer to travel to market. It has two to three oars on either side and a small open hold for cargo or personal belongings. This example is based on the Skuldelev 3 wreck, reconstructed as the Roar Ege.

Optional Modifiers: Byrðings are a small craft, open-decked with a low freeboard, and not intended for deep sea sailing. As such, Hnd penalties for weather and high seas are increased by 1 each. These penalties are cumulaltive when appropriate.

Knarr (52‘)
TL: 3
ST/HP: 115
Hnd/SR: -3/4
HT: 12c
Move: 0.2/6
EWt: 12t
LWt: 36t
Load: 24t
SM: +6
Occ: 8
DR: 5
Range: F
Cost: $12K
Locations: M,O
Draft: 4.2‘
Notes: Listed move is for under sail. When being rowed without a sail, Move is 0.02/2.

A knarr is a versatile, fast, seaworthy and cheap merchant vessel that can operate almost anywhere in the world. As such, it dominated trade over a large part of the known world for a very long time. Knarrer routinely crossed the North Atlantic carrying livestock and stores to Norse settlements in Iceland and Greenland as well as trading goods to trading posts in the British Isles, Continental Europe and possibly the Middle East.

The knarr was a merchant vessel and as such did not carry enough rowers to be as fast and manouverable under oar as longhips. There were only four oars on boar, for example. As sailing ships, however, knarrer were exceptionally fast and only needed a very small crew. This example is based on the wreck Skuldelev 1, reproduced as the vessel Ottar.

While knarrer were more comfortable than longships, long journeys in them still subjected their crew to hardship nearly undreamed of for a modern man. It was far from unknown for a large proportion of settlers‘ ships to be lost in transit and no man could be sure of returning to shore when he set sail on a knarr.

Optional Modifiers: Knarrer are amazingly seaworthy and capable of crossing great oceans, but they remain an open-decked vessel with little in the way of shelter. As such, any Hnd penalties for weather are increased by 1.

Karve (77‘)
TL: 3
ST/HP: 141†
Hnd/SR: -3/3
HT: 12c
Move: 0.2/7
EWt: 22t
LWt: 71t
Load: 34t (+5t ballast)
SM: +7
Occ: 35+35
DR: 5
Range: F
Cost: $44K
Locations: M, O
Draft: 3.3‘
Notes: Listed move is for under sail. When being rowed without a sail, Move is 0.1/3.

An all-purpose vessel useful for both war and trade, it has sixteen oars on each side and usually carries two sets of oarsmen that can spell each other at the oar. Karves are almost as seaworthy as knarrer and have the additional benefit of being a warship. As such, they are a very good vessel to go viking (raiding). Their cargo capacity is enough for the crew, weapons and armour and perhaps some seized loot on the way back. There is no proper hold and little shelter, howver, as in longships.

This vessel is based on the Gokstad wreck. Many reconstructions of it have been made, including the Viking and Íslendingur, both of which have sailed across the Atlantic to America. This demonstrates the seaworthiness of the design.

Optional Modifiers: Since karves are a open-decked vessels, any Hnd penalties for weather are increased by 1. Hnd under oars gets a +1 bonus when turn radius might
influence it.

Karve (80‘)
TL: 3
ST/HP: 141†
Hnd/SR: -3/3
HT: 12c
Move: 0.2/7
EWt: 22t
LWt: 80t
Load: 53t (+5t ballast)
SM: +7
Occ: 35+35
DR: 5
Range: F
Cost: $44K
Locations: M, O
Draft: 5.5‘
Notes: Listed move is for under sail. When being rowed without a sail, Move is 0.1/3.

This is the replica Íslendingur, with a deep draft for a Viking vessel and a much larger displacement than other replicas. This does not appear to affect the seaworthiness of the craft and enables it to carry enough food and water for a long journey.

Optional Modifiers: Since karves are a open-decked vessels, any Hnd penalties for weather are increased by 1. Hnd under oars gets a +1 bonus when turn radius might influence it.

© 2008 Garðar Steinn Ólafsson
All rights reserved.

Icelander 11-09-2008 01:34 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Longships

Not all longships are dragon ships, though nearly all dragon ships were longships (those few that were not would have been karves). Longship describes a shape of hull while dragon ship refers to a social and tactical role, i.e. the ships that went raiding. A ship could be a dragon ship while it carried out a raid on Ireland and then remove the prow to sail into London as a peaceful merchant.

As the existence of a dragon prow does not make a difference to the GURPS stats of a vehicle, I have chosen to present each type and ignore the consideration of whether or not that is considered a dragon ship.

Snekkja, Danish (54‘)
TL: 3
ST/HP: 63†
Hnd/SR: -2/2
HT: 12f
Move: 0.2/7
EWt: 2t
LWt: 6t
Load: 6500 lbs. (+1500 lbs. ballast)
SM: +6
Occ: 27+3
DR: 3
Range: F
Cost: $6K
Locations: M,O
Draft: 1.6‘
Notes: Listed move is for under sail. When being rowed without a sail, Move is 0.2/4.

The smallest vessel to be termed a longship, the snekkja is swift and handy. Its shallow draft allows it to operate where others ships cannot go and it is relatively cheap for a warship. Unlike some larger longships, a snekkja does not carry a complete fresh team of oarsmen and thus cannot maintain her speed under oars as long. It is also too small to carry supplies for a long trip.

While larger and more seaworthy examples existed in Norway and formed a major part of many invasion fleets to England, those vessels gave up some of the advantages of the design, such as the shallow draft. This then, is a Danish snekkja that is decidedly superior in the more protected waters of the Baltic, but somewhat too light to be taken for long voyages over the Atlantic. It based on the wreck Skuldelev 5, which has been reproduced as the Helge Ask and Sebbe Als.

Optional Modifiers: As a small open-decked craft, any Hnd penalties for weather are increased by 1 and due to its low freeboard; any Hnd penalties for high seas are increased by 2. These penalties are cumulative, if appropriate. Hnd under oars gets a +1 bonus when turn radius might influence it.

Snekkja, Norse (70‘)
TL: 3
ST/HP: 95†
Hnd/SR: -3/3
HT: 12c
Move: 0.2/7
EWt: 6.6t
LWt: 14t
Load: 5.2t (+2.2t ballast)
SM: +7
Occ: 31+4
DR: 3
Range: F
Cost: $14K
Locations: M,O
Draft: 2.25‘
Notes: Listed move is for under sail. When being rowed without a sail, Move is 0.2/3.5.

This is an example of the larger king of snekkja, a vessel that might have been used for longer sea voyages. The longships of William the Conqueror would have been very similar to this ship. It’s based on the Ladby wreck, reproduced as the Imme Gram, but differs from that reproduction in having only 15 pairs of oars (instead of the sixsteen that were chosen for that replica).

Optional Modifiers: As a small open-decked craft, any Hnd penalties for weather are increased by 1 and due to its low freeboard, any Hnd penalties for high seas are increased by 1. These penalties are cumulative, if appropriate. Hnd under oars gets a +1 bonus when turn radius might influence it.

Leidangskip (100‘)
TL: 3
ST/HP: 115†
Hnd/SR: -3/3
HT: 12c
Move: 0.2/6
EWt: 12t
LWt: 35t
Load: 23t
SM: +8
Occ: 45+45
DR: 7
Range: F
Cost: $24K
Locations: M,O
Draft: 3.5‘
Notes: Listed move is for under sail. When being rowed without a sail, Move is 0.15/3.

Unlike the other vessels provided here, this ship is not reconstructed from an archaeological find. Instead, it is a projection of what a standard longship of this size might be like, based on other wrecks and contemporary documentary evidence. This ship would form a standard part of Norwegian coastal defence and warfare, as the ship that each group of men was required to maintain for their own use when called out (similar to an Anglo-Saxon fyrd, but on water).

As such, it has room for twenty oarsmen on each side. It is broader and has a higher freeboard than the faster skeide, being classified as a busse (longship with a broader keel). This makes it able to carry more supplies and men than its more narrow-hulled cousin, but costs it some speed.

Optional Modifiers: Any Hnd penalties for weather or high seas are increased by 1 because of the open-deck and low freeboard of the longship. These penalties are cumulative, if appropriate. Hnd under oars gets a +1 bonus when turn radius might influence it.

Skeide (98‘)
TL: 3
ST/HP: 107†
Hnd/SR: -3/3
HT: 12c
Move: 0.2/7.5
EWt: 9.6t
LWt: 25t
Load: 15.4t
SM: +7
Occ: 61+20
DR: 5
Range: F
Cost: $30K
Locations: M, O
Draft: 3‘
Notes: Listed move is for under sail. When being rowed without a sail, Move is 0.2/4.

The skeide is a narrow-hulled and fast vessel built purely for warfare. It cannot sail long distances without revictualing (research showed that more than 5 days of water for the crew are prohibitively heavy) and while it can survive Atlantic gales, no captain would welcome the chance to prove it. But it is a marvellously fast vessel.

The ship has thirty oars on each side, each one manned by a single man. It does not carry a full replacement crew, but can manage enough extra oarsmen to allow some respite. As with all Viking vessels, though, the primary form of propulsion outside of battle is the sail.

This ship is based on the Skuldelev 2, reproduced as the Havhingsten fra Glendalough (The Sea Stallion from Glendalough), which is the holder of the current speed record for a Viking ship replica (13.4 knots), although claims abound of faster speed achieved by some of the competiors.

Optional Modifiers: Any Hnd penalties for weather or high seas are increased by 1 because of the open-deck and low freeboard of the longship. These penalties are cumulative, if appropriate. Hnd under oars gets a +1 bonus when turn radius might influence it.

Serpent Ship (150‘)
TL: 3
ST/HP: 190†
Hnd/SR: -4/3
HT: 12c
Move: 0.1/4
EWt: 54t
LWt: 118t
Load: 64t
SM: +8
Occ: 140+140
DR: 10
Range: F
Cost: $120K
Locations: M,O
Draft: 5‘
Notes: Listed move is for under sail. When being rowed without a sail, Move is 0.1/2.

A Serpent-Ship is a huge longship that usually serves as the flagship for a Norse leader. They are attested to in writings from the 13th century and purportedly existed as far back as the 10th century. Even so, their heyday was after the Viking Age proper had passed.

There is some dispute about their precise form, in that they appear to have carried as many oars as smaller longships, but unequivocally had a larger crew. This probably means a broader keel, but by how much is not certain. The freeboard was also reputed to be much higher than on other longships, according to one source ‘as high as a merchant vessel’. I have chosen to make this ship very broad and heavy compared to other longships, reasoning that cargo capacity and the ability to serve as a fighting platform for a large number of warriors trumped weatherly lines or a racy keel.

This vessel is meant to represent Ólaf Tryggjason’s flagship Ormr inn langi or a similar vessel for a later king. It carries 34 oars on each side of the ship and two men handle each oar. A full reserve crew stands by and serves as warriors in battle.

Optional Modifiers: Any Hnd penalties for weather are increased by 1 because of the open-deck. Hnd under oars gets a +1 bonus when turn radius might influence it.

© 2008 Garðar Steinn Ólafsson
All rights reserved.

Crakkerjakk 11-09-2008 02:59 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Icelander
Viking Ships

Not all vessels used by the Scandinavians of the so-called Viking Age were dragon-prowed longships. I realise that this is shocking and nearly as painful as the news that we didn‘t wear horned helmets and charge into battle naked and screaming, but it‘s the truth nonetheless.

Will you marry me?

Mgellis 11-09-2008 07:55 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Crakkerjakk
Will you marry me?

Far more important, could you write up a few dozen of these and send them into SJG and get them published (probably by e-23) as GURPS Sailing Ships of the World? Seriously, you should do this. It would sell. Your details are accurate and useful and your descriptive prose is both informative and quite readable.

Mark

robkelk 11-09-2008 10:35 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Icelander
The type of vessels you're most likely to use are seperated by 700 years of technical development? And you're not likely to use a single type of vessel in between?

You're right. It's bizarre. ;)

It's a Supers game with a few historically-knowledgable players taking part. They're knowledgable about different eras of history, hence the odd spread for their characters...

Thanks for the writeups!

Icelander 11-09-2008 11:21 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Crakkerjakk
Will you marry me?

You'll have to apply to my father.

He'll want to know whether you're the head of your family, how much land you own and whether you bring us any useful political allegiances. A gift of a fine sword or a fighting stallion might serve to sweeten his disposition.

Icelander 11-09-2008 11:37 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mgellis
Far more important, could you write up a few dozen of these and send them into SJG and get them published (probably by e-23) as GURPS Sailing Ships of the World? Seriously, you should do this. It would sell. Your details are accurate and useful and your descriptive prose is both informative and quite readable.

Mark

The problem is that while the details are reasonably accurate (as accurate as I can make them), each vessel is based on one or at most two primary sources and maybe a few secondary ones.

I demand more rigorous historical research and bibliography than that from SJ Games authors, so it is inconceivable that I should do less. If I ever submitted anything to SJ Games, I'd be forced to buy four or five reference books for each era that I planned to cover. And that would cost far more than I'd ever get paid for such a work.

The stats are also guesstimated when it comes to Acceleration and Cost. I don't have a system for calculating motive thrust, weight and finese ratio and thereby arriving at a precise Acceleration. I can find Move from reports of top speed for replicas, but those testing those replicas don't measure second by second Acceleration. And Cost has to figured by comparing the vessel to other similar ones, except that I don't really have a pool of similar vessels to compare it against, which makes my figures there shaky. I have the least confidence in the Cost stat in my write-up.

I'd also have to spend much more time than a quick write-up like this takes. I'm fine with using five hours of my day off to knock up something that I and others can use in a game, but for an actual publication I'd have to polish the prose. I'd also have to add more information about each vessel (beam, depth of hold, DR on more locations, etc.), some of which I already have, but some of which I might have to do considerable digging in order to find.

In order for such a book to be useful, there is also a need for at least simplified sailing rules, dealing with the speed rose and points of sailing, the weather gauge and similar subjects. Am I expected to write that too?


I might be willing to do this if SJ Games was prepared to pay me the same as my regular job. Depending on what I'm doing, I charge $50-$100/hour, but I'd be willing to give them a favourable rate. If I thought that I'd get a return of more than $25 for each hour that I spent, I'd do it.

But that's out of the question. Role-playing authors do not make a living wage. Even the big and popular ones have to struggle. And I'm not a noble artistic soul that is willing to suffer for my chosen profession.

I'm a lawyer who chose what I do based on the ratio between actual work and the reward. ;)

Alistair 11-09-2008 11:59 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Icelander
The problem is that while the details are reasonably accurate (as accurate as I can make them), each vessel is based on one or at most two primary sources and maybe a few secondary ones.

I demand more rigorous historical research and bibliography than that from SJ Games authors, so it is inconceivable that I should do less. If I ever submitted anything to SJ Games, I'd be forced to buy four or five reference books for each era that I planned to cover. And that would cost far more than I'd ever get paid for such a work.

Ah - but there's also the other GURPS-heads who could help do the research and who probably already own the reference books you'd need.

I hasten to add I'm not volunteering myself - I've got a few Osprey books and some of Guilmartin and NAM Rodger's stuff but I'm a complete nautical novice...

Cheers

Alistair

Gavynn 11-09-2008 12:24 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Icelander
If I ever submitted anything to SJ Games, I'd be forced to buy four or five reference books for each era that I planned to cover. And that would cost far more than I'd ever get paid for such a work.

Well, I'd recommend a library, but my university's holding in the subject matter have been so poor I had to drop several hundred dollars into reference books, so my faith in them is a bit shattered.

Great work on the ship stats though! I will certainly bookmark them for my own reference! Thanks!

ravenfish 11-09-2008 12:41 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
If an e-23 supplement would require too many new reference book purchases, what about a Pyramid article? My understanding is that those are less rigorous. You could, in Pyramid, publish it as Gameable Low-Tech ships rather than Perfectly Accurate Low-Tech ships.

Myself, I like free stuff, but I'd pay decent money for a set of ships that, if not historically perfect, could at least be run in my fantasy games without ridiculous results.

Of course it's now an open question, with New-Pyramid replacing Old-Pyramid, whether an appropriate issue would appear in a reasonable amount of time- or even before Cabernet Chicks on Ice (Or whatever we're calling it now) comes out.

Alistair 11-09-2008 01:43 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
I realise I've come to things late, but why is it being called Cabaret Chicks on Ice?

ravenfish 11-09-2008 01:46 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Alistair
I realise I've come to things late, but why is it being called Cabaret Chicks on Ice?

My understanding (I missed it) is that, during a forum discussion of appropriateness of title, one of the SJGames folk said something to the effect of "Look- it doesn't matter if we call it GURPS:Low Tech, GURPS:Fantasy Tech, or GURPS:Cabaret Chicks on Ice at this stage."

Icelander 11-09-2008 07:37 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ravenfish
If an e-23 supplement would require too many new reference book purchases, what about a Pyramid article? My understanding is that those are less rigorous. You could, in Pyramid, publish it as Gameable Low-Tech ships rather than Perfectly Accurate Low-Tech ships.

There is something in what you say. If I could develop a two or three page rule system for sailing, simple but yet capable of giving concrete bonuses for choosing one type of vessel over another similar one, I'd be a happy man indeed.

Then I would propose several articles. First a generic one about using a modified version of the Action chase rules with sailing ships (and a little about oared vessels as well, I suppose). Then a Vehicles: Frigates and Ships of the Line (A Guide to the Naval Ships of the Napoleonic Wars) one for certain (if they'll allow me to make it about roleplaying in the Royal Navy, I'd write it for free), Vehicles: Viking Ships, Vehicles: Ships of the Age of Discovery (Carracks, Caravels and Galleons) and Vehicles: Pirate Ships of the Caribbean Sea. Probably a few more to fill in the gaps. Maybe Vehicles: Trade Ships from Cog to Clipper just to find an excuse to include the profoundly unglamorous ships somewhere.

These sound more like e23 products, though. Could model them so that the first product includes some rules and the major vessels necessary for fantasy GMs and the rest includes more specific eras for the historical GM. That would make the first product Vehicles: Sailing Ships.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ravenfish
Myself, I like free stuff, but I'd pay decent money for a set of ships that, if not historically perfect, could at least be run in my fantasy games without ridiculous results.

You'll get that on these forums, for free, just as soon as I finish writing up the other time periods. I promise that the stats will be as accurate as I can make them and I'll try to finish things before the end of next week.

The stats will be more accurate than those two sailing vessels we got in the Basic Set and certainly more accurate than Fantasy. Acc will be guesstimated based on the apparent relation between Move and Acc in Campaigns and Cost will be internally consistent and in the same ballpark as Fantasy. All other details should match historical evidence, as well as experimental archaeology if at all possible.

I'll even finish the list of historical vessels with a few examples worked out for my fantasy campaign, which might be useful for other GMs as well.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ravenfish
Of course it's now an open question, with New-Pyramid replacing Old-Pyramid, whether an appropriate issue would appear in a reasonable amount of time- or even before Cabernet Chicks on Ice (Or whatever we're calling it now) comes out.

Cabaret Chicks on Ice isn't even written yet. Authors haven't even been announced.

Based on the time it takes to get a good GURPS hardcover out, I'd say that we'll see more than enough Pyramid themes to cover any and all articles we want to write before we can even start dreaming about CCoI.

Icelander 11-10-2008 08:31 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Cogs

The vessels known as cogs probably trace their descent to open-decked Frisian coasters and first appeared around the mid-10th century. Many of the features of the early cogs were probably borrowed from Viking vessels, but the clumsy transports eventually outcompeted the sleek Viking ships and became the premier vessel of the North Atlantic and Baltic.

Until relatively recently, there was not enough evidence to reconstruct what historical cogs might have looked like. Around the beginning of the 20th century, people living in the areas were cogs had been extensively used were familiar with the term, but applied it indiscriminately to any merchant vessel of more than a century old design. It is only with archaeological finds such as the Bremen Hanse Cog and a number of later discoveries that a definite picture has formed of the primary transport ship of northern Europe during the medieval period.

Cogs were round-bellied transport ships that could carry a lot of cargo for a relatively small crew. The length-to-breadth-ratio was usually close to three to one. They had a high-boarded hull with a steep stem and straight keel. A solid, continuous deck was installed to protect the cargo from the elements and a ship intended for war might have one or two castles on deck.

Features common to all cogs include a single mast rigged with a yard sail, clinker outer planking at the sides of the hull, straight stem and sternpost (as opposed to the rounded Viking stem) and strong cross-beams, which usually protruded through the ship's sides and served to hold the sides together. The hull was built of overlapping plates of oak fastened together with iron rivets. Caulking was generally tarred moss that was inserted into curved grooves, covered with wooden laths, and secured by metal staples called sintels.

The first cogs still had an old rudder on the starboard side, much like Viking ships, but this was later on was replaced by a stern rudder. As the stern rudder is considered an important development in the history of sailing ships and one of the chief advancements of the cog class, no vessel is presented here with an older fashioned starboard rudder.

Optional Modifiers: While the clinker-built method makes it relatively easy to armour the sides and decking of the vessel simply by adding more timber, the hull is usually weak. As a result, the DR of a cog struck below the waterline (such as by reefs or rams) is halved (if two DR scores are given, use the higher DR before halving) and any HT checks caused by underwater damage receive a -1 penalty. Also, cogs are square-rigged, which makes them very difficult to sail into the wind. Unless a greater penalty is given for the vessel in question, Hnd is -1 to windward and speed is slower than a vessel with a lateen-sail or a full rig.

Cog, Early (60‘)
TL: 3
ST/HP: 192†
Hnd/SR: -3/4
HT: 12c
Move: 0.1/4
EWt: 55t
LWt: 91t
Load: 36t
SM: +6
Occ: 12
DR: 12/8
Range: -
Cost: $44K
Locations: M, O, s
Draft: 6‘

This is an example of the kind of cog that might be seen in the Baltic and the Atlantic around the Low Countries between the years of 1000-1200 AD. It is an inefficient design compared to later cogs and compared to knarrer it is heavy, slow and expensive. But the closed-deck provides added comfort to the crew for long voyages and protects the cargo from wave and weather, which is an important consideration when sailing the Atlantic Ocean.

Optional Modifiers: This vessel has a more primative square-rig configuration than later cogs and consequently Hnd is -2 to windward and speed is negliable compared to a lateen-sail or a full-rigged ship.

Cog, Standard (70‘)
TL: 3
ST/HP: 186†
Hnd/SR: -3/4
HT: 12c
Move: 0.1/3.5
EWt: 50t
LWt: 133t
Load: 66t (+17t ballast)
SM: +7
Occ: 14
DR: 15/10
Range: -
Cost: $40K
Locations: M, O, 2s
Draft: 7‘

This was the primary trade vessel of the 13th and 14th century, with some variation in size. While the earlier models could ill compete with knarrer on other points than comfort, these vessels can transport much heavier loads and hence enjoy efficiency of scale. In the 14th century, this vessel is somewhat outdated compared to the best cogs of the day, but it remained in use among people whose shipwrights were not as accomplished as those of the Hanseatic cities.

Hanse Cog, Small (50‘)
TL: 3
ST/HP: 171†
Hnd/SR: -3/4
HT: 12c
Move: 0.1/4
EWt: 37t
LWt: 64t
Load: 27t
SM: +6
Occ: 10
DR: 14/9
Range: -
Cost: $30K
Locations: M, O, s
Draft: 6‘

Hansa (or the Hanseatic League) was an alliance of trading cities and their guilds that established and maintained trade monopoly along the coast of Northern Europe, from the Baltic to the North Sea and inland. Their power reached its zenith during the 14th and 15th century, but most historians place the beginning of the League around 1158 AD (even though the name Hanseatic League is first mentioned in 1267 AD) and it existed in some form until the end of the 16th century. At its core, the power and riches of the Hansa cities stemmed from the mercantile shipping that they controlled.

This vessel and others of similar size were the standard trade vessels of the Hanseatic League in the 13th century. As cogs went, they were fast and shallow-drafted, but they were still not well-suited for anything but bulk transport. Undoubtedly some were used in warfare, but vessels of this size do not appear to have been purpose-built as warships.

Hanse Cog, Medium (77‘)
TL: 3
ST/HP: 178†
Hnd/SR: -3/4
HT: 12c
Move: 0.1/4
EWt: 44t
LWt: 132t
Load: 88t
SM: +7
Occ: 16
DR: 15/10
Range: -
Cost: $39K
Locations: M, O, s
Draft: 7‘

The continual evolution of the cog led to larger and larger vessels being built. This is an intermediate form of cog, with most of the vessel constructed using traditional clinker-built techniques, but the keel laid with carvel-built method. As a result, it’s light and handy compared to other cogs. It’s one of the most advanced hull shapes found in vessels that still remain recognisable ‘cogs’ and do not fit into the ‘holk’ category.

Many of the wrecks that have been found have been around this size and even during times when larger ships reached twice or three times the tonnage, a vessel such as this was probably the workhorse of the Hansa. It is very cheap for its capability and provides a stable archery platform if pressed into battle.

If sold outside the Hansa cities before the year 1400, it would probably go at a premium of 20%-50%, since the carvel hull represents the bleeding edge of technology. After the beginning of the 15th century, it slowly decreases in price as carvel-built holks become more widespread.

Optional Modifiers: Due to the carvel-built keel of this vessel, it uses its full DR 10 against underwater damage and does not receive a penalty on HT checks versus such attacks or hazards.

Hanse Cog, Large (70‘)
TL: 3
ST/HP: 248†
Hnd/SR: -3/4
HT: 12c
Move: 0.05/3.5
EWt: 120t
LWt: 320t
Load: 200t
SM: +8
Occ: 20
DR: 20/15
Range: -
Cost: $96K
Locations: M, O, 2S
Draft: 9‘

The ability to ship more cargo with a small crew led to an ever-increasing demand for larger cogs. Technical limitations of clinker-built hulls made this an expensive initial investment, but the savings on labour costs and economies of scale made up for it. But there were hard limits on how big one could make a classic cog. That eventually led to the abandonment of the cog as a transport vessel and its replacement with the holk, a carvel-built ship that incorporated many features of the cog into its design.

Optional Modifiers: The tall castles impose a penalty of -1 to Hnd if the vessel is exposed to high winds from the sides.

War Cog (80‘)
TL: 3
ST/HP: 290†
Hnd/SR: -3/4
HT: 13c
Move: 0.05/3
EWt: 190t
LWt: 370t
Load: 180t
SM: +8
Occ: 40+140
DR: 25/15
Range: -
Cost: $152K
Locations: M, O, 2S
Draft: 9‘

A large cog fitted as a warship. It features a thicker hull and a high sterncastle and forecastle that serve as firing platforms for crossbowmen or archers. While this is hardly a fast vessel, it can nevertheless be very hard for lower-decked vessels to board or sink.

Optional Modifiers: The tall castles impose a penalty of -1 to Hnd/SR if the vessel is exposed to high winds from the sides.

Cog Greatship (218‘)
TL: 3
ST/HP: 557†
Hnd/SR: -5/4
HT: 12c
Move: 0.02/2
EWt: 1350t
LWt: 2750t
Load: 1400t
SM: +10
Occ: 200+200
DR: 30/20
Range: -
Cost: $1,296K
Locations: M, O, 2S
Draft: 21‘

When the English warship Grace Dieu was built in 1418, it was the largest vessel in the world. It was certainly by far the largest clinker-built vessel ever attempted. Unfortunately, it never saw action and was quickly beached. It ended its days by burning down to the waterline after being struck by lightning.

Opinions are divided on whether it would have been useful in battle or not. It was certainly large enough to carry an enormous mass of soldiers (if accommodations are not needed, thousands can be packed aboard) and the imposing castles reached over 50’ from the waterline, which suggests that it would have been hard to do any harm to any archers inside them without cannon. On the other hand, the Grace Dieu was likely slow and sluggish, which might have made it irrelevant in battle. If the enemy could manoeuvre around it, the battle might be over before it could make its presence felt.

Optional Modifiers: The tall castles impose a penalty of -1 to Hnd/SR if the vessel is exposed to high winds from the sides.

© 2008 Garðar Steinn Ólafsson
All rights reserved.

Darkclaw 11-10-2008 10:55 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
I personally would like to see the Mediterranean and Ancient galleys and suchlike as you mentioned, for Barbary Pirates and Crusades naval action, if it wouldn't be too much effort.

It's been great stuff so far, keep up the good work!

Icelander 11-10-2008 11:28 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Darkclaw
I personally would like to see the Mediterranean and Ancient galleys and suchlike as you mentioned, for Barbary Pirates and Crusades naval action, if it wouldn't be too much effort.

'twill be considerable effort, I fear. I can't do the fusta without doing the galliot, I can't do the galliot without doing the galleas, I can't do the galleas without doing the great war galleys of Venice and other powers and I can't do those without doing the dromon.

And I can't do the dromon (all kinds) without having done the Ancient galleys first. Which leads me to decide that when I do the galleys, I'll start with the penteconter and work my way through history, leaving no era out.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darkclaw
It's been great stuff so far, keep up the good work!

Thank you. I'll try.

Icelander 11-11-2008 02:20 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Author's comments: Holks are coming, probably tomorrow. After them, I expect to tackle Carracks and Great Ships, as a natural progression. Caravels follow, as well as the exploration Galleons such as the Golden Hinde. After them it's off to the early Frigates (not related to the later naval vessel) and Fluyts.

I'm taking suggestions on what to finish after that. I want, ideally, to do earlier types before later, in order to ensure consistency, but as I've skipped the Ancient World and left out the Mediterranean, that might be hard. I could be persuaded to go old style and write-up the classical period and then move onto medieval galleys. That's pretty much the only way I'm going to be able to do the Galleas and smaller oar-and-sail ships such as Brigantines, Pinnaces and Xebecs.

Is anyone interested in writeups for the Forgotten Realms campaign I play? Shipbuilding technology there is at late TL4, with some TL5 innovations, but gunpowder is so expensive that it's rarely used except by fantastically rich people (firing a full broadside would cost about a tenth of the price of the ship).

I was planning a 'Frigate' (fast ship similar in size to a narrow galleon), an elven Schooner (a reworked Elven Ship from Fantasy), Caravel, War Caravel, Cog (really a Holk) and a Coastal Lugger. Probably more, since the tactical needs are very different from any century on Earth and there are therefore subtle differences in the design of the ships.

NB: Some stats given earlier have been changed. This is due to getting a better feeling for the consistency and relative performance. Mostly it was the two stats that I felt unsure about, Acceleration and Cost that were changed.

Edit: Added a new Cog Greatship, based on the Grace Dieu.

Phantasm 11-11-2008 07:29 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
These are excellent ship write-ups! Much better than my own, based off information gleaned from a pitiful selection of books in a small public library hourked through the G3e Vehicles with some handwaving for 4e stats.

Do you mind if I borrow (steal) the Viking ships and cogs for the northern reaches of my own fantasy setting?

Edit: One quick question for those of us who don't read Scandinavian characters. What's the "Latin" spelling for "Byrðing"?

Icelander 11-11-2008 09:59 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tbrock1031
These are excellent ship write-ups! Much better than my own, based off information gleaned from a pitiful selection of books in a small public library hourked through the G3e Vehicles with some handwaving for 4e stats.

Thank you.

Quote:

Originally Posted by tbrock1031
Do you mind if I borrow (steal) the Viking ships and cogs for the northern reaches of my own fantasy setting?

Well, I am providing them for free.

Just be aware that future work might bring minor changes to ship stats that I've already done, in order to maintain internal consistency. And if I ever decide to build upon this work and submit it to SJ Games, please buy the e23 or Pyramid issue. ;)

Quote:

Originally Posted by tbrock1031
Edit: One quick question for those of us who don't read Scandinavian characters. What's the "Latin" spelling for "Byrðing"?

You'd write it Byrding or Byrthing. It's a voiced fricative like the 'th' in 'themselves', 'father' or 'smooth'. In this case, most like the 'th' in 'father'.

Phantasm 11-11-2008 10:30 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Icelander
If you had a choice, what would you prefer to see first:

a) Nordic knarr, longboat, dragon ship and great drakkar.
b) Caravel, caravel redonda and a later vessel built in the same style purely for warfare.
c) Early frigates and small galleons.
d) Early cogs, Hanseatic cogs and cogs designed for warfare.
e) Carracks and great ships.
f) Brigantines, pinnaces, brigs and snow-brigs.
g) Schooners, xebecs and xebec-frigates.
h) Cutters, corvettes and sloops-of-war.
j) Frigates and ships-of-the-line.

Well, you've already done A and D (good work on those), as well as a few Galleons, so I'd like to see B, C, E, and J. Someone else mentioned Galleys, which are also something I'd like to see. No rush, though.

Out of curiosity, what are your feelings toward the various cannon listed in Fantasy? Valid, or poorly calculated?

Icelander 11-11-2008 10:40 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tbrock1031
Well, you've already done A and D (good work on those), as well as a few Galleons, so I'd like to see B, C, E, and J. Someone else mentioned Galleys, which are also something I'd like to see. No rush, though.

You're in luck, as noted above. Holks are next (a continuation of the Cog type, as far as history is concerned, even though it's not a linear technological advancement), then it's E and then B and C.

Quote:

Originally Posted by tbrock1031
Out of curiosity, what are your feelings toward the various cannon listed in Fantasy? Valid, or poorly calculated?

I haven't run the numbers yet. I was hoping that I wouldn't have to, since Kromm is editing David Pulver's Mass Combat and we might be more artillery stats therein.

A quick look suggests that the stats in Fantasy probably assume less powerful serpentine gunpowder. That means they might be accurate until the late 16th century, but after that, would need a boost in power.

Phantasm 11-11-2008 10:58 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Icelander
I haven't run the numbers yet. I was hoping that I wouldn't have to, since Kromm is editing David Pulver's Mass Combat and we might be more artillery stats therein.

A quick look suggests that the stats in Fantasy probably assume less powerful serpentine gunpowder. That means they might be accurate until the late 16th century, but after that, would need a boost in power.

Well, that works for me. I wasn't sure if I should whip out the chapter from Vehicles (for 3e) that deals with weapon design and hope for the best, or not. (The setting I'm leeching these ship stats for has tech that spans the equivalent of the 1000-1600 AD range; the largest nations are TL 4, two of which have galleons with cannon, with TL 3 Viking Orcs - I just called them the "Northern Raider Clans" - to the far north. Gunpowder's rare and fairly new to the setting, so serpentine powder works.)

Phantasm 11-11-2008 11:12 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Icelander
Hanse Cog, Small (50‘)
Hanse Cog, Medium (77‘)
Hanse Cog, Large (70‘)
War Cog (80‘)

I'm wondering if the length of the medium cog is a typo, or if the large cog was just that much wider and taller?

Icelander 11-11-2008 11:19 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tbrock1031
I'm wondering if the length of the medium cog is a typo, or if the large cog was just that much wider and taller?

The latter.

The large cog is based on the Doel Cog wreck, while the medium cog is baesd on the Bremen Hanse Cog wreck. The former is much rounder in the hull than the latter.

'Medium' and 'large' refer to the cargo capacities, not the apparent size.

Note, however, that the beam of the 'medium' cog is similar to the large cog. The hull of the large cog is just taller and rounder, hence allowing more cargo. Note the superior sailing qualities of the 'medium' cog.

RyanW 11-11-2008 02:04 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
One of my players in a fantasy campaign just created a character who was part owner of a merchant vessel (largely for the background of his wealth and independent income). This thread is extremely useful and well timed. Thanks.

Icelander 11-11-2008 02:14 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by RyanW
One of my players in a fantasy campaign just created a character who was part owner of a merchant vessel (largely for the background of his wealth and independent income). This thread is extremely useful and well timed. Thanks.

What's the TL? What's the climate like? Are the trade routes he sails in the open ocean, like the Atlantic, or is it a more covered sea like the Baltic? Perhaps the Med?

If you give me more information, I might have a vessel that fits better than the cogs already given. Or would a cog perhaps be just the vessel you were thinking about?

Quinlor 11-11-2008 03:06 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Thank you very much for your work!

My current fantasy campaign (early TL 4) sees a lot of naval action. The characters own a ship based on a caravel, but carracks and galleons are also common, as well as dhows and galleys in different part of the world.
I have mostly handwaved the stats of the ships (it’s a cinematic, swashbuckling game), but your work gives me a much better basis to handle that.

Icelander 11-11-2008 03:14 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Quinlor
Thank you very much for your work!

My current fantasy campaign (early TL 4) sees a lot of naval action. The characters own a ship based on a caravel, but carracks and galleons are also common, as well as dhows and galleys in different part of the world.
I have mostly handwaved the stats of the ships (it’s a cinematic, swashbuckling game), but your work gives me a much better basis to handle that.

You'll have your caravels, carracks and galleons soon enough. Galleys will take longer, unfortunately, but they'll eventually show up, never fear. ;)

Icelander 11-12-2008 04:18 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Holks

Holks were a type of medieval sea craft somewhat similar to a cog and appear to have mostly replaced them during the 15th century. Many sources, however, still refer to holks as cogs or improved cogs and there is little archaeological evidence of precisely what the holks looked like. Their basic shape appears to have been a wide and heavy cargo vessel with curved stem and stern, making for a distinctive banana-like profile. They had the same kind of high castles as found on the cogs and the freeboard was similarly high. Later types of holks used a sail-plan that is identified with the vessel, a foremast with a square sail and a lateen sail aft, maybe with a square-rigged mainsail if the vessel was three-masted.

The ancestors of the holks were probably river or canal boats known as hulcs, reverse-clinker built and tracing its ancestry far into the past. At first not well adapted for deep sea travel, the vessel type was already quite advanced from its roots when carvel-built technology appeared in northwest Europe. Makers of hulcs were well placed to adopt the new method for their vessel and the resulting hull type is now known as the holk.

In the fourteenth century the holk existed alongside the cog. The divergent lines of development eventually led to the holk rivalling and eventually supplanting the cog as a major load carrier in the medieval economy, but the causes of that remain obscure. Certainly it is possible, as here is posited, that the carvel construction adopted for holks was better adapted to building larger and stronger hulls than the old clinker-built method. But it is far from certain, and in any event, some later cogs were built with a similar method combined with clinker-built techniques. But whatever the reason for the change, much of northwest Europe used the holk as its primary transport vessel until the advent of caravels and carracks. Even then, elements of holk design found their way into the design of those carracks and thereby later ships such as the galleon and full-rigged ships of the line.

Optional Modifiers: The weakest points of a holk’s hull would be the stem and stern. The usual solution was the support it with clinker-built additions, but these areas would still remain weaker than the carvel-built main hull and keel. Since the structure of most hulls tends to reinforce the stem, the frontal DR of the vessel is unaffected, but the lower DR given applies to the stern as well as the thinner superstructure decking.

While they were better sailors than their predecessors, the cogs, Holks still had a very high centre of gravity. A gale blowing from the side should penalise SR by -1. All holks with two or more masts have one lateen sail which aids them in sailing to windward, but the speed on that tack is still less than that of a completely lateen-rigged vessel or a later ship-rig.

Holk, Early (70‘)
TL: 3
ST/HP: 172†
Hnd/SR: -3/4
HT: 12c
Move: 0.1/4
EWt: 40t
LWt: 97t
Load: 57t
SM: +7
Occ: 14
DR: 15/8
Range: -
Cost: $41K
Locations: M, O, 2S
Draft: 7‘

A contemporary of the cog, this holk is a single-masted vessel that there is no clear reason to prefer over a cog of similar size. It is not much faster than a normal cog and the hull is only slightly stronger for its weight. But it is nevertheless competitive with the best vessels of the day, depending on the personal tastes of captain and craftsman.

Optional Modifiers: A square sail makes it difficult to sail into the wind. Hnd is -1 to windward and speed is slower than a vessel with a lateen-sail or a full rig.

Holk, Transitional (85‘)
TL: 3
ST/HP: 221†
Hnd/SR: -3/4
HT: 12c
Move: 0.15/4.5
EWt: 84t
LWt: 204t
Load: 120t
SM: +7
Occ: 16
DR: 20/10
Range: -
Cost: $82K
Locations: 2M, O, 2S
Draft: 8‘

This is a two-masted vessel that appeared near the turn of the 14th and 15th century. As such, it is marked TL 3, but continued in use during TL4. It is a reliable cargo hauler with uninspiring lines by later standards, but it can carry a lot of cargo for little cost and sails faster and better than a typical cog. It was during this time that the cogs started to be overshadowed.

The castles of this vessel are not particularly large compared to some cogs or even later holks. Nevertheless, the ship can carry enough soldiers in a pinch to make it a viable warship, especially in the absence of effective artillery.

Holk, Medium (98‘)
TL: 4
ST/HP: 230†
Hnd/SR: -3/4
HT: 12c
Move: 0.15/5
EWt: 95t
LWt: 245t
Load: 150t
SM: +8
Occ: 20
DR: 20/10
Range: -
Cost: $90K
Locations: 3M, O, 2S
Draft: 10‘

If the earlier holks overshadowed cogs somewhat, this vessel is a clear advancement in its size category. It is fast and handy, but doesn’t require a crew much larger than a cog, and it can transport a similar amount of cargo. If not for the top-heavy design, the voyages of discovery could have been taken somewhat earlier and in holks instead of caravels.

While the speed and weatherly qualities of this vessel would seem desirable in a man of war, they were incompatible with the higher castles of purpose-built warships of the era.

Holk, Large (120‘)
TL: 4
ST/HP: 275†
Hnd/SR: -3/4
HT: 12c
Move: 0.1/4.25
EWt: 163t
LWt: 408t
Load: 245t
SM: +8
Occ: 25
DR: 20/10
Range: -
Cost: $160K
Locations: 3M, O, 2S
Draft: 10‘

A bulk hauler in the style of the largest cogs, this vessel was responsible for a drop in prices of imported wine and other goods from abroad in northern Europe. While neither as sturdy nor are large as the carrack, this vessel transported an extremely high proportion of cargo to its lightweight, as well as requiring a crew that was not much larger than that of other roundships of the day.

War Holk (120‘)
TL: 4
ST/HP: 301†
Hnd/SR: -3/4
HT: 13c
Move: 0.1/4
EWt: 213t
LWt: 413t
Load: 200t
SM: +8
Occ: 30+160
DR: 25/12
Range: -
Cost: $190K
Locations: 3M, O, 2S
Draft: 10‘

This is a purpose built warship based on the large holk. It has a strengthened hull and taller castles, with accommodations for a large number of warriors. The later carrack is essentially a combination of hull shapes from the Mediterranean with the deck arrangement of ships like this. Its weakness lies in its lack of speed and the high centre of gravity, as with other cogs and holks.

© 2008 Garðar Steinn Ólafsson
All rights reserved.

Phantasm 11-12-2008 04:28 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Your Large Holk is missing the ST/HP figure.

Icelander 11-12-2008 04:33 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tbrock1031
Your Large Holk is missing the ST/HP figure.

So it is. It's 275, in case it matters. ;)

I've fixed it.

Diomedes 11-12-2008 04:36 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
What are the superstructures? Castles and crow's nests for large and small ones?

Also, the Baghlah dhow has a hit location Su. Is that a typo, or just a location I'm not familiar with?

Icelander 11-12-2008 04:39 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Diomedes
What are the superstructures? Castles and crow's nests for large and small ones?

S is an enclosed hull, sometimes multi-decked, sometimes not. s are castles. Crow's nests are part of M, as far as I can read the examples in Campaigns.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Diomedes
Also, the Baghlah dhow has a hit location Su. Is that a typo, or just a location I'm not familiar with?

In Fantasy, for some reason, the S location was written Su. I've accidentally imitated it there.

Phantasm 11-12-2008 04:40 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Diomedes
Also, the Baghlah dhow has a hit location Su. Is that a typo, or just a location I'm not familiar with?

I believe "Su" was used in Fantasy to indicate Superstructures, which was a change from Campaigns.

By the way, I'm currently collecting all of the ships so far into an OpenOffice spreadsheet. If it's okay with Icelander (it is his work, after all), I'm probably going to put it up someplace and link it when I get it finished.

Icelander 11-12-2008 04:47 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tbrock1031
I believe "Su" was used in Fantasy to indicate Superstructures, which was a change from Campaigns.

By the way, I'm currently collecting all of the ships so far into an OpenOffice spreadsheet. If it's okay with Icelander (it is his work, after all), I'm probably going to put it up someplace and link it when I get it finished.

Eh... I've got all the ships in a Word-document (along with more detail on each type), but I'm not sure I want them on the 'Net proper*.

I'm still pondering whether to send a manuscript to SJ Games and this thread alone could be too much exposure for them to consider publishing the work, let alone if it's posted somewhere else.

*As opposed to here on the friendly forum where only a determined searcher and forum denizen will find them.

RyanW 11-12-2008 08:18 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Icelander
What's the TL? What's the climate like? Are the trade routes he sails in the open ocean, like the Atlantic, or is it a more covered sea like the Baltic? Perhaps the Med?

It's a custom TL3 setting, roughly equating to France circa 13th century. The character hasn't really entered play and his background isn't fully fleshed out, so it could be on the equivalent of the North Sea or the Med. If the North Sea, the cog fits perfectly. Like I said, though, it isn't a naval campaign, merely a bit of character background.

tshiggins 11-12-2008 08:45 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Icelander
If you had a choice, what would you prefer to see first:

(SNIP)

This is very well done.

I've never seen any RPG stats for junks, anywhere. However, as I look at the design, they seem some of the most seaworthy vessels ever built.

I know you've apparently focused on European craft, thus far; what do you think of tackling the Chinese vessels?

Icelander 11-13-2008 05:41 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tshiggins
This is very well done.

I've never seen any RPG stats for junks, anywhere. However, as I look at the design, they seem some of the most seaworthy vessels ever built.

I know you've apparently focused on European craft, thus far; what do you think of tackling the Chinese vessels?

I mean to include a section on Other Cultures, such as the dhow (two examples already done), feluccas, junks and more. I can't promise when that will be done, though.

Icelander 11-13-2008 09:49 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Icelander
Quote:

Originally Posted by Diomedes
What are the superstructures? Castles and crow's nests for large and small ones?

S is an enclosed hull, sometimes multi-decked, sometimes not. s are castles. Crow's nests are part of M, as far as I can read the examples in Campaigns.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Diomedes
Also, the Baghlah dhow has a hit location Su. Is that a typo, or just a location I'm not familiar with?

In Fantasy, for some reason, the S location was written Su. I've accidentally imitated it there.

Actually, upon a review of how the Basic Set presents the vehicle hit location of "Superstructure" S and s, I've altered my definitions.

The superstructure of a ship is not the same as the GURPS term 'superstructure'. Instead, it is folded into the 'Body' hit location.

I've edited the stats so that S describes a large castle or other raised component of the vessel and s describes a smaller structure that does not affect the structural integrity of the hull.

fredtheobviouspseudonym 11-13-2008 11:21 PM

3rd ed Low Tech
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tshiggins
I've never seen any RPG stats for junks, anywhere. However, as I look at the design, they seem some of the most seaworthy vessels ever built.

Had, IIRC, a large & a small junk and some Arab ships as well.

nik1979 11-14-2008 12:22 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Great Write up icelander!

I wish I saw the earlier discussion when I was running a fall of constantinople. I was wondering why the fantasy stats of the galley weren't making sense compared to all those I could get my hands on (Other than osprey books, those stats online etc.).

I had several naval battles and needed some good sets of stats to set up a "Sid Meier's Pirates" style of turn based ship combat. In the post mortem, I found that players liked the ship combat and the mix of naval and boarding tactics. The challenges in naval tactics, character athleticism (balance, jumping, and movement), Close Combat, and Resource management (time, labor, and supplies) could be better systematized for greater enjoyment of the players and further simplified for GMs.

Icelander 11-14-2008 11:18 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nik1979
Great Write up icelander!

I wish I saw the earlier discussion when I was running a fall of constantinople. I was wondering why the fantasy stats of the galley weren't making sense compared to all those I could get my hands on (Other than osprey books, those stats online etc.).

Well, I have little or no knowledge of galleys. I've been researching though, and I hope to include a section on both in my finished work.

Quote:

Originally Posted by nik1979
I had several naval battles and needed some good sets of stats to set up a "Sid Meier's Pirates" style of turn based ship combat. In the post mortem, I found that players liked the ship combat and the mix of naval and boarding tactics. The challenges in naval tactics, character athleticism (balance, jumping, and movement), Close Combat, and Resource management (time, labor, and supplies) could be better systematized for greater enjoyment of the players and further simplified for GMs.

The Chase rules could be modified for, eh, well chases. I'm not sure about a combat system. I'll take a look at Spaceships and see if anything from it could be plundered.

tshiggins 11-15-2008 11:39 AM

Re: 3rd ed Low Tech
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fredtheobviouspseudonym
Had, IIRC, a large & a small junk and some Arab ships as well.

What had those?

Agemegos 11-15-2008 03:46 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tshiggins
I've never seen any RPG stats for junks, anywhere. However, as I look at the design, they seem some of the most seaworthy vessels ever built.

They have that reputation.

nik1979 11-17-2008 01:24 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tshiggins
This is very well done.

I've never seen any RPG stats for junks, anywhere. However, as I look at the design, they seem some of the most seaworthy vessels ever built.

I know you've apparently focused on European craft, thus far; what do you think of tackling the Chinese vessels?


Speaking of Chinese ships, Zheng He ships would find many uses in Fantasy Games because of the tall tales regarding their size.

fredtheobviouspseudonym 11-17-2008 01:29 AM

Re: 3rd ed Low Tech
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tshiggins
What had those?

Per subject line the GURPs 3rd edition "Low Tech."

Phantasm 11-17-2008 09:45 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nik1979
Speaking of Chinese ships, Zheng He ships would find many uses in Fantasy Games because of the tall tales regarding their size.

You're refering to the 9-masted junks refered to in various accounts, right?

tshiggins 11-18-2008 08:35 PM

Re: 3rd ed Low Tech
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fredtheobviouspseudonym
Per subject line the GURPs 3rd edition "Low Tech."

<Reaches over, pulls Low Tech off the shelf.>
<Pages through it.>

Didn't think so. The latest Chinese vessel with stats is the shachuan, which pre-dates the junks by several hundred years. The junks evolved out of that vessel, but it existed circa 800 c.e., whereas the proper junks didn't exist for another 200-300 years.

nik1979 11-18-2008 09:13 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tbrock1031
You're refering to the 9-masted junks refered to in various accounts, right?


Yup. But I've read in wiki that it is contested that these ships really existed. I've read the same things about the structural limitations of wood for ship building in another source. Since (in my readings) there are no hard facts (or good sources) about it, it would suit fantasy quite well for the overly cirtical skeptics.

Zheng He's Fleet's other ships seems interesting though. They seem to have more accessible sources which makes them doubly more likely to get GURPSified.

fredtheobviouspseudonym 11-18-2008 11:23 PM

3rd ed Low Tech
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tshiggins
<Reaches over, pulls Low Tech off the shelf.>
<Pages through it.>

Didn't think so. The latest Chinese vessel with stats is the shachuan, which pre-dates the junks by several hundred years. The junks evolved out of that vessel, but it existed circa 800 c.e., whereas the proper junks didn't exist for another 200-300 years.

True -- but IMHO the distinction isn't so much as to make much of a difference in game terms. The shachuan should be in the ball park.

Or, there's a junk in GURPS WW II "Motor Pool" (also for 3rd ed.)

MrId 11-19-2008 10:13 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
I did these designs a while back and they might be useful. The "Yrth-Viking" ships are based on the Skuldelev vessels from Denmark, but increased in TL and with triangular as opposed to square sails. All stats are 3e, but should be easy to convert to 4e. They are very similar to the vessels already posted.

Yrth Viking Ships

Pentekonter

martinl 11-19-2008 10:24 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
This is probably mean and horrible of me to even suggest, but:

Wouldn't it be fun if we could get a GURPS Spaceships style construction system for sailing vessels?

(Not that Ice isn't doing good work or anything.)

robkelk 11-19-2008 04:57 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by martinl
This is probably mean and horrible of me to even suggest, but:

Wouldn't it be fun if we could get a GURPS Spaceships style construction system for sailing vessels?

(Not that Ice isn't doing good work or anything.)

Why not use the same system for both?

After all, I'm sure that somebody out there is still playing Spelljammer or Space:1889, and that somebody might even want to convert the game to GURPS...

Snargash Moonclaw 11-19-2008 06:38 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by martinl
This is probably mean and horrible of me to even suggest, but:

Wouldn't it be fun if we could get a GURPS Spaceships style construction system for sailing vessels?

(Not that Ice isn't doing good work or anything.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by robkelk
Why not use the same system for both?

After all, I'm sure that somebody out there is still playing Spelljammer or Space:1889, and that somebody might even want to convert the game to GURPS...

That's a project I've recently resurrected - I had started trying to put one together when I first started working on my setting since it has a strong nautical/maritime element. I'm hoping to be able to develop something relatively easy to use which can engineer known stats for historical hulls (output should be pretty close to Icelander's data on those) so would generate original/fantasy designs in keeping/balance with the historical ones. Initial discussion was in this thread and further discussion: more in depth regarding what GURPs already has to work with (material HP/DR tables, etc.) here One of the primary determinants of the system elements would be how ship-to-ship (ranged) combat is handled, whether with cannon or earlier mechanical siege engines - HP/DR, HT, maneuverability, etc. are only really meaningful when someone is trying to destroy the vessel. If you're simply trying to get from point A to point B, all that really matters is ship's compliment, provisional range for that compliment (plus any extra people above that), speed (as seen in terms of per day) and cargo capacity. If anyone is interested in this, I would welcome collaboration on the project.

For those interested, there is some conversion for Spelljammer to GURPs 3e already done, although I don't believe the ship construction system from the War Captain's Companion was converted, all published hulls have been GURPsized here. I haven't looked for Space: 1889 conversions, I had the original rulebook for it back when I was looking into running some 3e GURPs Steampunk (all old gaming sourcebooks were left behind w/my ex').

Phantasm 01-07-2009 03:31 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Icelander:

Do you have any stats for a 75' caravel? I'll be starting a TL4 game soon that takes place on board one, and I could use some stats.

Icelander 01-07-2009 03:49 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tbrock1031
Icelander:

Do you have any stats for a 75' caravel? I'll be starting a TL4 game soon that takes place on board one, and I could use some stats.

I'll take a look.

I don't think I was up to that tech level when other matters occupied my interest, but it's not that far from the cogs, so I should be able to fix it. Matter of fact, I think the caravels were up next.

wajdi 01-21-2009 04:24 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Just a weird question from left field: what is the effect of sea-growth on the ship's bottom? Say. . . ship's owner/master has neglected to careen and scrape the bottom.

Icelander 01-21-2009 04:34 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wajdi
Just a weird question from left field: what is the effect of sea-growth on the ship's bottom? Say. . . ship's owner/master has neglected to careen and scrape the bottom.

The ship is certainly slower. Copper-bottomed ships tended to be faster than earlier ships because growth accumulated more slowly and scraping was easier.

A freshly-scraped ship will be able to outsail a similar ship that has been at sea for several months.

I think the precise effects on speed vary too much with circumstances to make it useful to give a number, but I wouldn't find 10% incredible. In general, the variation is a knot or maybe two.

Phantasm 01-21-2009 04:58 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
ETA on the caravel information? My game's starting on the 31st, and I'd like to be able to present basic stats by then. I figure I'll be using some of the earlier galleon and carrack designs you posted for some of the other traffic in and around the starting port, including one ship that'll halt the caravel in "international" waters prior to leaving civilization completely.

Icelander 01-21-2009 05:33 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tbrock1031
ETA on the caravel information? My game's starting on the 31st, and I'd like to be able to present basic stats by then. I figure I'll be using some of the earlier galleon and carrack designs you posted for some of the other traffic in and around the starting port, including one ship that'll halt the caravel in "international" waters prior to leaving civilization completely.

I can promise it before then.

I've had other games take priority of my free time, sorry.

pyratejohn 01-22-2009 10:40 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wajdi
Just a weird question from left field: what is the effect of sea-growth on the ship's bottom? Say. . . ship's owner/master has neglected to careen and scrape the bottom.

I've seen a reference that gives about a 20% decrease in speed due to marine growth on a hull. I know in the period SOP in the RN was for ship's laid up in harbor to be cleaned once every three years. But an Act of Parliament in 1708 stated that fast ships were to have their bottoms cleaned once every four months.

Marine growth was combated in a variety of ways through the period: the white stuff, the black stuff, the brown stuff, tallowing, wood sheathing, lead sheathing and copper sheathing.

Phantasm 01-22-2009 02:26 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pyratejohn
Marine growth was combated in a variety of ways through the period: the white stuff, the black stuff, the brown stuff, tallowing, wood sheathing, lead sheathing and copper sheathing.

And let's not forget the most popular cleaning practice of all: keelhauling. ;)

pyratejohn 01-22-2009 02:31 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
http://www.instantrimshot.com/

Icelander 01-31-2009 01:06 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
As promised, but in a very incomplete format with little to no flavour text. Expect edits of this post as I revisit the entries with a little more inspiration. The stats should be accurate, though.

Caravels


A caravel is a relatively small ship used for the voyages of exploration. It was celebrated for its manoeuvrability and weatherly qualities. First recorded in use by the Portuguese, the vessel is associated with both them and the Spanish. Most examples were two- or three-masted lateen-rigged ships, but later ships could be four-masted and many larger ships were at least partially square-rigged.

Etymology variously suggests Roman, Greek, Italian or Arabic origin for the term 'caravel' (and the vessel so named). The supporters of an Arabic origin point to a small ship made in the Muslim territories Algarve and Maghrebe to suit Atlantic sailing conditions. This vessel, known as a qârib, was well equipped to travel in shallow waters and was used as a fishing boat, coaster, and light warship. It is possible that this vessel eventually evolved into later caravels, but there is far from any consensus on the subject.

From humble beginnings as a coastal fishing boat, the caravel developed into one of the most important vessels not only for the history of the Iberian peninsula, but for the world as a whole. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the caravel enabled Europeans to traverse the wide oceans and reach the New World. Bartolomeu Diaz, Vasco da Gama, and Christopher Columbus all sailed in caravels and so did many lesser known explorers of the period. The vessel was seaworthy, could be managed by comparatively few people and handled well in coastal waters.

The distinguishing features that identify a vessel as a caravel are a gently sloping bow and single stern castle, a carvel-built hull and two or more masts with one or more lateen-rigged. Generally, at least the mizzen-mast was lateen-rigged and in the vessels known as caravela latina, the mainmast was lateen-rigged as well. The caravela redonda was rigged in a similar manner to a carrack, with a square foremast and mainmast, but a lateen-rigged mizzen-mast.

No archaeological evidence in the form of a preserved hull has been found, so modern reconstructions of caravels rely on the iconographic record, written treatises on shipbuilding, port records and ethnographic parallels.

Caravelão latina (78‘)
TL: 4
ST/HP: 156†
Hnd/SR: -3/4
HT: 12c
Move: 0.2/5.75
EWt: 30t
LWt: 80t
Load: 50t
SM: +8
Occ: 14
DR: 12/6
Range: -
Cost: $60K
Locations: 2M, O, S
Draft: 10‘

Caravelão is the dimunative of caravel and refers to a two-masted vessel in the classic style of caravels. This example is fairly typical for a 15th century vessel, presented here in a latina format, or with lateen sails. The beam is 21.5’ and the draft is fairly deep for such a light vessel. This would be typical for ships making voyages of exploration on the open sea and this ship is based on the replica Boa Esperança.

Caravelão redonda (78‘)
TL: 4
ST/HP: 156†
Hnd/SR: -3/4
HT: 12c
Move: 0.2/6
EWt: 30t
LWt: 80t
Load: 50t
SM: +8
Occ: 14
DR: 12/6
Range: -
Cost: $60K
Locations: 2M, O, S
Draft: 10‘

This is the same vessel as above, except that the sail configuration is square. This allows for more speed when sailing with the wind, at the expense of the ability to tack closer to the wind.

Optional Modifiers: A square sail makes it difficult to sail into the wind. Hnd is -1 to windward and speed is slower than a vessel with a lateen-sail or a full rig.

Caravel, exploration (73‘)
TL: 4
ST/HP: 165†
Hnd/SR: -3/5
HT: 12c
Move: 0.2/6
EWt: 35t
LWt: 85t
Load: 50t
SM: +8
Occ: 18
DR: 12/6
Range: -
Cost: $70K
Locations: 3M, O, S
Draft: 7‘

A three-masted, square-rigged vessel that is fast and handy. This vessel is based on the replica caravel The Matthew, which in turn is based on the ship John Cabot took from Bristol on his famous voyage.

The beam is 20’ and freeboard is 5’.

Optional Modifiers: A square sail makes it difficult to sail into the wind. Hnd is -1 to windward and speed is slower than a vessel with a lateen-sail or a full rig.

Caravela latina (68‘)
TL: 4
ST/HP: 178†
Hnd/SR: -3/5
HT: 12c
Move: 0.2/6
EWt: 44t
LWt: 100t
Load: 56t
SM: +8
Occ: 27
DR: 12/6
Range: -
Cost: $88K
Locations: 4M, O, S
Draft: 7‘

To many, Columbus’ Niña is the iconic caravel. While no plans or archaeological evidence exist, a modern reconstruction using the best data available was built in 1988-1990. When Columbus got the vessel, she was lateen-rigged, but he changed the sail plan before his first voyage. This is the original sail-plan.

The Beam is 17.3’ and freeboard is 5’.

Caravela redonda (68‘)
TL: 4
ST/HP: 178†
Hnd/SR: -3/5
HT: 12c
Move: 0.2/6.25
EWt: 44t
LWt: 100t
Load: 56t
SM: +8
Occ: 27
DR: 12/6
Range: -
Cost: $88K
Locations: 4M, O, S
Draft: 7‘

This is the Niña with the square-rigged sail plan that she sailed with under Columbus.

Optional Modifiers: A square sail makes it difficult to sail into the wind. Hnd is -1 to windward and speed is slower than a vessel with a lateen-sail or a full rig.

© 2008 Garðar Steinn Ólafsson
All rights reserved.


I meant to include the Portuegese Man O'War and a caravel-cog, as well as perhaps some later examples of caravels as they merge into the nao/carrack, but I didn't have the time or inclination right now. Apologies.

Quinlor 01-31-2009 07:50 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Thank you very much!
This stats are very usefull for the game I run.

Phantasm 01-31-2009 07:37 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Ice, you are a genius! (I'd add a little more to that, but it'd get blanked out. ^_^_v ) And just in time for my game, no less! The caravel redonda is just what I needed.

joncarryer 09-19-2010 07:46 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
This thread is absolutely fantastic. Thanks for the work you've put into this Icelander. I wonder if you would be able to answer a question that I've been unable to (definitively) through my own research. Having stats for viking ships is great, but what about their co-evals? Your notes on the cogs say that they developed out of copying the scandinavian ships, so they show up around the 10th C or so. What would the Franks, Anglo-Saxons, etc. have been sailing around in during the 6th to 9th centuries? Would they just have been using emigrated Mediterranean ships like galleys and such?

Icelander 09-19-2010 10:31 PM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by joncarryer (Post 1050993)
What would the Franks, Anglo-Saxons, etc. have been sailing around in during the 6th to 9th centuries? Would they just have been using emigrated Mediterranean ships like galleys and such?

Galleys are not practical for the Atlantic Ocean, no.

Anglo-Saxon ships of that period would be very similar to Viking ones. As for the Franks, I confess that I have no specific knowledge of them, but would expect their vessels to have more in common with Viking vessels than Mediterranean ones.

vicky_molokh 09-20-2010 03:57 AM

Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives
 
Skimming the thread, I see complete write-ups. IIRC the latest 'Ships PDF came out recently, and includes rules for building sailing ships (water lines + sails + oars + flat top deck). Compatibility?


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