I'm having a smidgen of trouble fleshing out a Lyrandar Dragonmark Heir / Windwright Captain's ship and crew. Does anyone have ideas about what an airship should look like / be called, the positions on it, and the colorful characters who fill them?
I am writing up a piratical campaign for Eberron, hopefully for the play by post forum (plug!) at this very moment, so I'll see what I can do.
The Eberron Explorer's handbook has a deck diagram of an airship, in case you want that. The sample airship has a complement of 150 and a watch of 20; that is, a capacity to house 150 sailors on the ship, and a minimum number of 20 sailors needed to keep it in the sky. So if you're looking to flesh out some NPCs, you want to focus on the command staff.
Key positions include:
a Helmsman (with the Mark of Storms, otherwise the ship won't fly)
a Chief Gunner (in charge of the men running the ballistas)
a Quartermaster (balances the books and keeps track of where the cargo is stowed)
and a Chief Deck Hand (the guy the captain yells at who then turns around to yell at all the sailors).
You might also want a Carpenter/Sailmaker.
If the ship is a pirate ship, you'd probably want someone martially oriented to lead the boarding parties, something like a Chief Man at Arms.
In smaller ships, one person may serve two roles. For instance, in my campaign, the Quartermaster is also the Cook, and the Navigator is in charge of repairs, being an Artificer.