Position on a sailing ship for someone who isn't interested in sailing


Advice


I'm looking for suggestions on a position for a crewmember on a sailing ship, who in fact, does not have any interest in sailing, ships, or the sea. And he does not have any skills useful for operating such a ship. No navigation, no piloting, no artillery magical or otherwise, no sleeping with other crewmembers, nada. The only thing this person would help with is fighting off boarding parties or sea monsters.

The reason I ask is because if the rest of the party decides to become sailors, I will go along with it instead of sitting on my butt doing nothing.


Ship ovseer or protector.


Ships of war have often included a varying number of marines for combat purposes who really didn't have much to do with the running of the ship, other than discipline.

Pirate ships during the 'golden age' of piracy were typically brimming over with extra crew for the sheer intimidation factor.

Grand Lodge

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Bunch of stuff. Entertainer. Steward (cook and keep the crew/guests happy). Fisherman. Marine. Quartermaster. Engineer. Lookout. Taskmaster.

Or just lash him to the bowsprit and make him the figurehead.


galley slave no experience necessary and interest is irellevant. in all seriousness though ships are a closed society deal and everyone pitches in. about the only job that like
y involves no sailing is sips cook.

Dark Archive

Captain?

Grand Lodge

Captain definitely needs to know about sailing. Unless he just bluffs constantly, I guess.


inmate on the brig?


Stowaway?


If the character is a martial character, they could help with manual labor and with maintenance and management of the ship's armory. A magical character can be of almost limitless use. Any character who can cast healing spells or remove disease is obviously useful.

Honestly, knowing what the character IS good at is probably more helpful for thinking of a fitting role than knowing what they're not good at.


Wycen wrote:
...And he does not have any skills useful for operating such a ship. No navigation, no piloting, no artillery magical or otherwise, no sleeping with other crewmembers...

Sleeping with people is a skill now?

Okay, being more serious now: Cook? Doctor? Entertainment? (Bards are good, but anyone with perform really) Cabin Boy? Deckhand, steward, purser, security officer, powder monkey... You've got a fair few choices. Some better than others I admit.


Assist the cook. The galley always needs potato skinners, dishwashers, fish de-boners, etc. Hungry sailors don't care if you're especially skilled at cooking, as long as they get to eat.

Grand Lodge

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Marine. A marine's job is to repel boarders and board other ships. He does not have to sail or do anything else. Also the owner of the ship does not have to know how to sail. This makes the Captain an employee which can lead to some interesting developemnts.


Cook. Always need a good cook. Or perhaps Quartermaster - tracking and monitoring ships supplies as well as cargo, including keeping it secure from sticky fingers.

An option you might like more though is Weapons Master. You organize boarding parties and train the crew to repel boarders. You are responsible for the care and dispensing of weapons as well as weapon training for the crew.


There are some good answers in here already but i'm surprised no one has said passenger.


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Yell at the crew to work harder, that's what most of the useless people on the ship did when I was in the navy.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Why don't you tell us your character's interests, and then we can see what they might be able to do on a ship.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There's always a need for someone to swab the decks and clean the bilges.


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Wycen wrote:

I'm looking for suggestions on a position for a crewmember on a sailing ship, who in fact, does not have any interest in sailing, ships, or the sea. And he does not have any skills useful for operating such a ship. No navigation, no piloting, no artillery magical or otherwise, no sleeping with other crewmembers, nada. The only thing this person would help with is fighting off boarding parties or sea monsters.

The reason I ask is because if the rest of the party decides to become sailors, I will go along with it instead of sitting on my butt doing nothing.

The word you're looking for is ballast.


Ship's doctor

Sczarni

Good suggestions so far.

Something no one has said yet: carpenter.


[realworld]Actually, since the ships carpenter needs to know how to do the specialties needed for construction on a sailing ship, he may know more about sailing than most of the crew. (My Dad was a boat-builder.)[/realworld]


Wycen wrote:

I'm looking for suggestions on a position for a crewmember on a sailing ship, who in fact, does not have any interest in sailing, ships, or the sea. And he does not have any skills useful for operating such a ship. No navigation, no piloting, no artillery magical or otherwise, no sleeping with other crewmembers, nada. The only thing this person would help with is fighting off boarding parties or sea monsters.

The reason I ask is because if the rest of the party decides to become sailors, I will go along with it instead of sitting on my butt doing nothing.

Don't knock being there to kill stuff. RL sailing ships thought it was important enough to carry marines and such, and they didn't have oceans full of kracken, aboliths, skum, and all the other "aquatic encounters" found in the bestiary.

People might gripe that you aren't pulling your weight, but the first time some -thing- from the deep pulls itself over the rail, and you put an axe in its misshapen skull, they'll change their tune.

Sovereign Court

There's even plain-jane deckhand. (regular sailor)

Back in the day, it was common practice (in for example, the Royal Navy) for press gangs to 'shanghai' unwilling people into service.

You get drunk and pass out in a brothel, in the alley, at the tavern.. and you wake up hundreds of miles out to sea with only a dim memory of big brutes sapping you with their clubs.

Altnernately, such a character could LEAD the press gangs.

Besides that, +1 for Master of Arms.

EDIT: It's also useful to differentiate between the PLAYER who has no interest in playing a sailing campaign, and a CHARACTER who has no interest in sailing on a boat. The difference leads to very different suggestions.


Cook, is the first thing that comes to mind, Sailmaker wasn´t mentioned yet.
What class are you playing ?
A bit more information on the campaign and group might be helpfull.


deusvult wrote:
Back in the day, it was common practice (in for example, the Royal Navy) for press gangs to 'shanghai' unwilling people into service.

Contrary to popular urban legend they did not pressed random landlubbers, it would be counterproductive - someone without any sailing experience is of little use on ship. Their targets were sailors serving on merchant ships. Merchantmen paid more and had less strict rules so they were much more popular choice for sailors. Being regular sailor on a royal ship was poor interest so everyone avoided that forcing the creation of press gangs.

Quote:
EDIT: It's also useful to differentiate between the PLAYER who has no interest in playing a sailing campaign, and a CHARACTER who has no interest in sailing on a boat. The difference leads to very different suggestions.

This is a very important distinction.

Liberty's Edge

You wouldn't need a lot of skill in order to be a cook or a deckhand. A lot of sailing for a deckhand is simply listening to instructions given to you by more experienced crew. The skills involved are mostly along the lines of, "help pull this rope until I tell you to stop." You could also serve as a lookout and/or keep watch at night. All of this stuff is fairly unskilled.

Silver Crusade

The character may start with no interest in going to sea or being a sailor-- however, if he goes along to sea with the rest of the party....

Time to start learning, bubba. Or, just be the anchor or the guy who got left behind at some port or another (and roll up a new character who is more enthused about the prospects of the seafarer's life).

Silver Crusade

Drejk wrote:
deusvult wrote:
Back in the day, it was common practice (in for example, the Royal Navy) for press gangs to 'shanghai' unwilling people into service.

Contrary to popular urban legend they did not pressed random landlubbers, it would be counterproductive - someone without any sailing experience is of little use on ship. Their targets were sailors serving on merchant ships. Merchantmen paid more and had less strict rules so they were much more popular choice for sailors. Being regular sailor on a royal ship was poor interest so everyone avoided that forcing the creation of press gangs.

Drejk--

Back in the day, less-scrupulous press gang leaders and/or press gangs desperate for bodies and having trouble finding suitable people, did impress plenty of random landlubbers into the service of the Royal Navy. These 'random landlubbers' weren't much good at working the sails and getting up high in the tops... but they were just as trainable as anyone else, for the vast hordes of men needed to feed the cannons on the gun decks. For a fighting ship, all those guys down on the gun-decks, keeping the cannons firing in battle and/or pulled up to join the marines in boarding parties (and to repel boarding parties, when the time came), were a very necessary part of the crew, and it didn't matter whether they knew a d**n thing about sailing or not.

So, not as useless-- and not as excepted, especially in war-time, as you might think.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Lots of jobs for those with no sailing skills. Below are some positions that don't requires skill ranks in Craft or Profession (which is what I am assuming why this thread exists - you don't want to dump feats or skill points into be a nautical-based character)

Quartermaster (just ability to organize stuff and requisition or scrounge stuff)

Ship's Marine (any martial oriented character)

Master of Arms (look after the armory)

Cabin Boy (gopher for the captain)

Bilge Rat - clean out the bilges


Doctor - Pretty much anyone with more than 5 ranks in heal

Bosun - Oversee the onboarding and offboarding of cargo (Not the same as Quartermaster, but sometimes is)

Ship's Wizard - You can guess what they do.


rpgsavant wrote:

Bosun - Oversee the onboarding and offboarding of cargo (Not the same as Quartermaster, but sometimes is)

I think bosun is another word for boatswain, the highest-ranking sailor and overseer of those.


Siege weapons. That way you can take out your dislike for sailing on the other ships.


Supercargo (manages cargo- usually the buying and selling of it)) , Purser (ships bookkeeper, handled disbursements, rations, paymaster), Cook, Marine, Chaplain, Surgeon. These are roles that could be filled by landlubbers.

Note that the Quartermaster on a ship is the navigator. On land he fills the role that the Purser does at sea..


RedPorcupine wrote:
rpgsavant wrote:

Bosun - Oversee the onboarding and offboarding of cargo (Not the same as Quartermaster, but sometimes is)

I think bosun is another word for boatswain, the highest-ranking sailor and overseer of those.

Close, they're generalists, but experienced sailors. They oversee repair and maintenance over the majority of the ship (rigging, sails, sealant, paint, etc). Usually very experienced sailors, they'd be in charge of small groups of men and probably among the top ranking non-officers on the ship.


I'm playing a summoner. So I'm not spending the few precious skill points I get on becoming a competent sailor and my spells are focused on protecting me and my eidolon. I chose the Gills evolution so that my eidolon could swim for me if it ever was needed and that was BEFORE this ship was impounded and put up for sale.

The idea of being a simple passenger I do like.


Here's a fun one: Chaplain.

Buy a fistful of holy symbols, a couple of books of prayers, and spend your time 'blessing' various crewmembers and/or bits of the boat.


Your eidolon will prove itself usefull enough i´m sure and if this " boat-thing" lasts, you might be able to scounge up some kind of air/propulsion-capable spell and be everybodies hero.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Wycen wrote:

I'm playing a summoner. So I'm not spending the few precious skill points I get on becoming a competent sailor and my spells are focused on protecting me and my eidolon. I chose the Gills evolution so that my eidolon could swim for me if it ever was needed and that was BEFORE this ship was impounded and put up for sale.

The idea of being a simple passenger I do like.

Er, you're a Summoner and you think you need a reason beyond being the ship's Summoner to be there?

1. Use Magic Device skill, get wands of CLW.

2. Take the cantrips Light and Mend. Unlimited uses of either give HUGE benefits for any ship.

3. Summon Monster...ye gods the uses of Summon Monster...

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