|carborundum RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32|
|Turin the Mad|
Of the four environment books I am in possession of (Frostburn, Sandstorm, Stormwrack and Dungeonscape), Stormwrack and Dungeonscape are the 2 best ones. All 4 are good for the environmental goodies, although Frostburn plain and simple has some stuff in thier that is rather mystifying in terms of magic items and a few of the spells.
Stormwrack can certainly add a great deal to the STAP, but it isn't necessary by a long shot.
absolutely , i began the STAP in june and 2 of my players took races out of Stormwrack (an Aventi rogue,and a Darfallin Ranger/chaos monk). The ship combat/navagation rules are excellent, and the feats, and items are usefull for any game that takes place on the water. I plan on using the "aquatic" template on several monsters in the SWW , which is coming up next for our crew .STAP is playable without Stormwrack of course , however ship to ship combat might be tricky without it.
hmmm, I don't know if its worth the purchase.
The races options are interesting but hardly innovative, as are some of the prestige classes (Dread Pirate,) which unfortunately also include the very unbalanced/broken Storm Caster. Use with care and foresight
The magic and feats section add nothing much besides some weak flavour.
The nautical rules are a sad joke though ( although with my family being professionally sea-faring people, I am in a sort of privileged position ), as are the encounter tables, weather rules and some such.
The maritime battle rules are pretty incomplete in scope and also ridiculously random, leaving the players pretty little way of actually influencing the result, as well as ignoring most of the factors affecting actual naval conflicts.
The maps and layouts of ships may just be useful to some, but there is equally good material available online for free ( WotC's download section even features the self-same maps from the book ), and with the STAP providing the large map of the Sea Wyvern, you already have the one map you actually need.
A bunch of themonsters are nice, but only if you intend to provide additional sidetracks for your group.
Overall, the weakest (by far) of the environmental books, barely a 2/5 IMO
I do not have it, though one of the players does. I did allow the Aventi as a race option so it is handy to have around. I also think at least two NPCs have PC from Stormwrack-Scarlet Corsair and Dread Pirate (?other book?). Most of the adventures are land based so it is not necessary, but as I sold my pcs on a pirate campaign, I will be adding more pirates and that means more ship to ship which means Stormwrack.
It is not needed, but does relate a lot of the color to the AP. If you were planning on buying splash book, and you are planning a STAP campaign then Stormwrack is the book to buy. If you were not planning on buying a book spend the money on minis, chips & soda, eye-patches & peglegs, crit hit or item deck cards, JP soundtrack or whatever else you use to make the game more fun for your players. ...hmm did I say in short...
Said pc is going for the Stormcaster-and I thought it looked good.
Not to threadjack, but why do you think it broken Vikingson?
It has the degree of realism that a jacuzzi has in simulating the open sea
Which stands (as far as I can tell) in stark contrast to the quite realistic rules about Cold and heat presented in "Frostburn" and "Sandstorm"
And, looking at the information provided in the STAP itself, it is not even needed (which was the OPs interest, if I recall correctly ).
If you are in need of adequate rules for ships, effects of weather and crew take a look at "Corsairs" by Gareth-Michael Skarka, from Master Kit. The Seafarer's Handbook (Fantasy Flight Games) has some useful information too
Dread Pirate is from Complete Adventurer, not Stormwrack.
They're actually quite good for the AP, since a lot of their abilities remain useful even off a ship, and they don't have to pay for their ship either out of pocket. Provided you let the Sea Wyvern count for the ship Class requirement.
Stormwrak's rules are really only majorly useful during Sea Wyvern's Wake, and possibly occasionally in Gaping Maw. If you don't have the book, it's easy to use what the magazine provides to do the job. I'd really only recommend the book if you want to majorly expand the sea voyage stuff.
From what i've seem I think I'll get the book as i have a major boarding action and fighting from another pirate ship. The SW will be boarded from another pirate ship with about 40 pirates. What the PC does not know is that within the SW are their other higher lvl character(10 lvl mim) from another adventure posing as deck heand/traveller NPC undercover to escape from a pursuer. I love to see the expression on their face when they realize that the NPC are their old character. But of course I'll let them sweat it out as to how to oppose such numbers.
Just a quick aside - ship to ship combat in DnD and with "Stromwrack" in particular can get pretty one-sided, if (hopefully the party's) arcane caster lobs a fireball in the hostile ship's rigging - both ripping through the sails (hence the ship's sole source of propulsion - quickly rendering it stationary ), the shrouds ( ropes required for moving the beams, yards and sails... usually tarred hemp, excellent stuff for being set aflame ) and the mast and yards themselves.
Given the fact that unattended ignitable materials (everything in the masttops basically) need to roll a reflex DC 15 save or go up in flames... without any bonus t save, that is...
....and fire spreading to the adjacent 5' sections of combustible material every round, one quickly has a brutal pyre hanging above the heads of anyone on decvk, dripping hot burning tar and embers from above.
Even if the ship does not go down in flames - it won't be going anywhere anymore ----> no masts, no sails, no propulsion..
Same goes for a fireball aimed squarely into the crowded masses on deck, ready for boarding action.
And do not consider yourself safe just because players do not have fireball loaded.... my group cast "shatterfloor" (MoF and SC) into the masts, pulverizing everything in one viscious blast of sonics...
so, ship board combat basically can boil down to - who is in Fireball/AoE spell range first...
Playing teh attack during a rainsquall might help about the fireball, but it is not a universal recourse.
True for the opposition - also true for your PCs ? They just might not be interested in getting boarded and blast the other ship to smithereens if they get the opportunity. And a "scinmtilliating sphere" electricity type AoE might clear the crowded ranks quite well, without overly damaging the ship...
|Fiendish Dire Weasel|
One of my PC's (a water shugenja) came up with a particularly nasty but effective way to deal with a ships crew without hurting the ship.
He cast wall of water, but shaped it such that it created a 10' thick layer of water over the whole deck of the ship. Makes it tough to steer a ship when you have to come up for air, and most of the crew couldn't swim. OOPS! :)