Sinister Adventures - Lou is running a little Age of Sail ship combat contest


3.5/d20/OGL

Sovereign Court Contributor

Hey all,

Some of you probably heard by now that I'm helping Nick Logue polish off his Razor Coast manuscript and get it to publication. As part of that, I'm running a little contest to see who can produce the best, short d20 ship-to-ship combat rules with an Age of Sail feel. You can read about the details here, but the short of it is: 5,000 words; no player left behind; must be OGL compliant; entry due by the end of March; winner to be included in the Razor Coast core book and perhaps receive other prizes (TBD).

To save you the click I've replicated the text of the link, below:

Quote:

Fire as She Bears! A Dark Challenge from Lou Posted at 2010/02/22 12:10

Grapeshot! Rigging! Long nines and the weather gauge. d20 ship to ship combat rules with an Age of Sail feel. Are they necessary to Razor Coast? No. Would they be cool? Yes, by the Kraken!

So, as newly minted editor, I'm issuing my own Dark Challenge. There is not a minute to lose, so I'm skipping the fanfare of the former challenges: not waiting on the webmaster, not getting art to pump you up. I hope you forgive me. After all, if you're reading this, I have to figure you're pretty hardcore!

Well, here's your chance to dazzle me with full broadsides of your gaming brilliance. Submit fun, easy rules for fighting a ship before March 25th, and I'll include the best rule-set in the core Razor Coast book and credit your RPG work.

I'll also see about adding some other prize as well, but we're pressed for time so no promises. Email your submissions direct to me as a Word document at: lou.agresta@mindspring.com. Be sure to include your name and email address in the header.

Winning this is harder than it might sound. Here are the design challenges.

The rules must:

1. Grant every player the opportunity to make fun and meaningful choices nearly every round of the ship to ship combat. Just like every player has the opportunity for a meaningful -- therefore fun -- action in party versus monster combats, so must every player have choices and actions in a ship to ship combat.

The worst, most boring thing in the world is for some players at the table to sit around twiddling their thumbs while some other player or players make all the choices and have all the fun. Failing this criteria is the death knell for your submission.

2. Incorporate the importance of "getting the weather gage". Not sure what that means? Weather Gage
3. Give smaller, faster vessels fought with pluck, skill and courage a fighting chance against larger, better-armed, slower vessels fought by arrogant morons.

4. Involve at least four kinds of guns: carronades as well as 6, 9 and 12 pound "longs". Not sure what that means? Naval Artillery

5. Include at least two kinds of shot: grape and ball.

6. Be submitted in a Word 97-2003 document with 1" margins.

7. Account for at least four characteristic of vessel: speed/sea worthiness, endurance under fire, strength of armaments -- also called "weight of guns" -- and quality of crew.

8. Be simple and fast for players to learn. If I can't figure it out scanning the rules in a half hour and explain it to players in 15 minutes? *queue sad trombone*

9. Be OGL compliant.

10. Remain D&D. We don't want an historical simulation or an Avalon Hill game! Remember that spells still work, monsters are summoned, etc.

11. Max rules length: 5,000 words.

12. Max length of a handy reference to all possible player actions: 2,500 words.

Avast and have at 'em!


Sounds intriguing. I will give it a go.

Now the main decision is whether to have it as sub rule set or try to integrate it directly with standard combat rules?

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Lou,

Do you have a level range that you want these rules to work for? Naval engagements for 3rd-level "pluck, skill, and courage" parties are going to be different from encounters where the ships of the line carry 15th-level druids and wizards.

"You have a battery of 9-pounders? We have a marine with wall of force and meteor swarm, and his mate just turned into a huge water elemental."

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32

Now you've got my attention! Fun!

Sovereign Court Contributor

Chris Mortika wrote:

Lou,

Do you have a level range that you want these rules to work for? Naval engagements for 3rd-level "pluck, skill, and courage" parties are going to be different from encounters where the ships of the line carry 15th-level druids and wizards.

"You have a battery of 9-pounders? We have a marine with wall of force and meteor swarm, and his mate just turned into a huge water elemental."

That's a good question. The short answer is, no. I don't have a level range in mind.

I think it is not unreasonable to suggest that a frigate with no magic is the equivalent or outclassed by a level X water-specializing mage with a summoned aquatic army. If your development work finds that to be the case, so be it!

Among other things, I want to see how you handle that design challenge.

Sovereign Court Contributor

James Martin wrote:
Now you've got my attention! Fun!

Hot diggity! Some more RPG Superstar attention! Can we get all 16 of you to submit?

Silver Crusade

My want for this book burns ever more brightly.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32

Louis Agresta wrote:
James Martin wrote:
Now you've got my attention! Fun!
Hot diggity! Some more RPG Superstar attention! Can we get all 16 of you to submit?

Well, maybe the eight of us who aren't currently biting our nails waiting to see who becomes America's Next Top RPG Superstar!

Seriously I've started working on the Rules Fu and I think I have a pretty good workable system. Next step is trying to work out all the fiddly bits.

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