Naval Combat

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Ibland hamnar skepp i strid mot en eller flera fiender, då övergår man till naval combat. Nedan finns reglerna för hur det fungerar med Pathfinder-reglerna.


Naval combat abstracts many of the mechanics of Pathinder to encourage a faster and more stream lined combat from a larger perspective. Thus some of the following changes are assumed.


When using a combat grid each square represents 100 feet instead of the usual 5 feet.

Time, Actions & Reactions[redigera]

Time and combat rounds functions much the same as in normal Pathfinder. One round is six seconds long and anything that could be accomplished in a normal round can be done during a round during naval combat.

During naval combat only players roll initiative to decide order. Enemies do not roll initiative and do not have dedicated rounds of their own. Instead enemy reactions are triggered when player attempt to perform their own actions, although in some cases this may be negated.

Possible player actions[redigera]

  • Ship Maneuver actions
    • Turn ship
    • Move ship
    • Force enemy movement
    • Ram ship
    • Board ship
  • Other actions
    • Fire/reload cannons
    • Repair ship
    • Regular Pathfinder actions

Possible enemy reactions[redigera]

  • Ship Maneuver actions
    • Turn ship
    • Move ship
    • Ram ship
    • Board ship
  • Other actions
    • Fire/reload cannons
    • Repair ship
    • NPC Officer actions

Ship health & areas[redigera]

Battle of Trafalgar

Ships has in general 15 HP per 5 square feet. Every ship is divided into several areas and the total HP is evenly distributed amongst these areas.

If an area takes more damage than half it's max health it becomes broken and a penalty (as detailed below) is applied. If the area looses all it's HP it becomes destroyed and a more severe penalty is applied.

Example: A sailing ship has 900 HP and 5 areas. Each area has 180 HP and becomes broken after taking 90 damage.

Common areas[redigera]

Broken: Speed reduced by half, -5 penalty to maneuver checks
Destroyed: Dead in the water, -15 on maneuver check
Gun deck
Broken: Guns -10 to hit
Destroyed: Guns disabled
Top deck
Broken: Guns -10 to hit
Destroyed: Guns disabled
Broken: -10 on maneuver checks
Destroyed: -20 on maneuver checks
Hull/lower deck
Broken: -10 AC (minimum 0)
Destroyed: -20 AC (minimum 0)

Maneuver Actions[redigera]

A ship can be steered and maneuvered to gain a strategic advantage. By performing various skill checks and other feats of heroism players can turn the battle in their favor, but failure to perform may lead the enemy to sieze the opportunity for themselves.

While the check required is situationally dependant the DC remains the same for all of them. Failure either means forfeiting the action while the enemy gets to act or damaging the ship while perfoming the maneuver.

Check: Depending on what maneuver the player wishes to take they can use a corresponding skill, ability score or other check to see if they succeed versus the DC listed below. If more than one action is allowed the second action always succeeds.
Action: 1 full-round action. Even if no or 2 maneuvers are performed it still takes the same amount of time.
Triggers reaction: Possibly; depends on check, se table below.
Maneuver Checks
DC Grade Standard Outcome Alternate Outcome
Maneuvers Enemy Reactions Maneuvers Enemy Reactions
Failure 0 1 1* 1
15 Success 1 1
25 Great Success 2 1 1 0
35 Outstanding success 2 0

*If this option is chosen the vehicle takes ramming damage to area of GM's choice (normally 8d8).

Turn ship[redigera]

Attempt to turn the ship 45°.

Common checks used: Acrobatics, Athletics, Engineering, Profession (Sailor)

Move ship[redigera]

Move ship forwards up to full speed.

Common checks used: Engineering, Knowledge (Nature), Profession (Sailor), Strength, Wisdom
Boarding can be a bloody affaire - Fall of Nelson

Force enemy movement[redigera]

Use tactics, superior seamanship and the environment to force an enemy to move forwards up to full speed or turn 45°.

Common checks used: Bluff, Intelligence, Intimidate, Knowledge (Nature), Knowledge (Geography), Profession (Sailor), Wisdom


Ram a nearby enemy inflicting your ship's ramming damage. The nearby ship must be within range of the current vessel's top speed.

Common checks used: BAB, Navigation, Profession (Sailor), Wisdom
Special: Ramming an enemy ship makes it vulnerable for boarding, giving opponents a +10 on boarding checks for 1 round made against that particular enemy.

Board ship[redigera]

Lock down a nearby ship and begin boarding it. The nearby ship must be within range of the current vessel's top speed.

Common checks used: Melee attack, Intimidate, Navigation, Profession (Sailor), Wisdom

Other Actions[redigera]

Repair area[redigera]

Repairing an area can temporarily increase the condition of a damaged area by one step. A destroyed area can be made broken and a broken area can be made healthy. Any damage taken by the area nullifies the makeshift repairs.

Action: Repair checks functions like maneuvers, requiring 1 full-round action and triggering enemy reactions based on the result of the skill check.
Triggers reaction: Possibly; See maneuver checks.
Common checks used: Engineering, Craft (Ships, sails), Profession (Carpenter, shipmaker)
Special: Repair spells add amount healed as bonus on check. Repair spells can be cast 1/round as part of the repair check.

Fire/Reload cannons[redigera]

Cannons can be fired in an outwards facing arc.

An officer can oversee multiple crews manning siege weapons such as cannon guns. All guns supervised must be on the same deck and be facing the same way.

When firing a cannon the target must be within a 90° cone facing away from the side the guns are fired from. The cone begins in the same space as the ship.

Check: Ranged attack. Use the gun crews' attack bonus when resolving hits, unless an officer supervised both the loading and firing (see below). When firing at a ship a target area must be designated.
Action: Overseeing reloading and firing a gun deck both requires a full-round action each.
Triggers reaction: Yes.
Special: If the character supervises both the loading and the firing they may substitute the gun crews' attack bonus with their own.

See also[redigera]