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[Let's Read] Airships

The Discerning Gentleman

Has Transcended
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Can you have two separate engines?
It's possible to power a ship using more than one engine, but doing so causes a cumulative -2 circumstance penalty to all Profession Airship Pilot checks for each engine beyond the first. Though some ships can overcome this problem by installing an engine sync (the piloting components section will be discussed later), most airships are simply not capable of fully suppressing the stresses caused by the additional engines.
 

The Discerning Gentleman

Has Transcended
Validated User
*footnote - the engine cost is per power factor, engine hull points are per ton of engine size, and engine repair cost is per point repaired.

Arcane Engines
While most types of Airship engine are designed to produce energy, which is then converted into motive power by various spells embedded in the engine. This type of engine is primarily used by sorceres and wizards who can fuel it with their magic.
Bonus: Arcane engines are small and light, and do not require traditional fuel.
Penalty: None
Fuel Cost: None. It does require a link between an arcane caster and itself. The caster dedicates a number of spell slots to the engine while the link is in place. For every spell slots level, the engine produces 20 power factors for one hour. Forging a link requires the caster to place hands on the engine for 15 minutes, and allowing the arcane magic to work. The caster may then dedicate any spell slots at any time he wishes to the engine. Dedicating slots is a free action that does not provoke.

Size: 1 ton per 50 power factors or fraction thereof, 1 critical hit slot per 100 power factors or fraction thereof.
Catastrophic Failures Result: If the engine is reduced to zero hull points, it is considered to have suffered a catastrophic failure - any spellcaster currently linked to the engine suffers 1d4 damage / level of each dedicated slot.

Divine Engines
The divine engine is identical to the arcane engine, save that it uses divine energy for its source.

Next time, Elemental Engines (Air)
 

The Discerning Gentleman

Has Transcended
Validated User
Elemental Engines (Air)



This is apparently the "most common" of the elemental engines, providing excellent lift, but are prone to being damaged easily. The work by imprisoning summoned air elementals and converting their energy into lift for your ship. These engines rise higher than others, and their lifting capacity attenuates slower. The engine doesn't come with an elemental, but is later summoned by it's user.

Bonus: Does not suffer attenuation of lifting capacity as rapidly as others, and may rise up to 750' in altitude without difficulty. Gains +1 maneuverability rating.

Penalty: These engines are constructed of glass, crystal, and fragiles. This equates into a low hardness, and half the number of hit points of other engines of its size. It also requires a mage or cleric to cast Summon Monster or Heal spells when appropriate.

Fuel Cost: Energy is drawn from the life force of the elemental. When summoned it is trapped inside the engine until consumed, even beyond the spell's normal duration. An engine may hold up to 2HD of elementals for every 5 power factors of its capacity. For every hit point burned from the elemental provides the engine with 2 power factors for one hour. Bound elementals that are not fully consumed regenerate at 5 per hour of rest. An elemental may be fully restored with the Heal spell, but cure wounds type spells are ineffective. An engine burns one elemental at time, starting with the largest.

Size: 1 ton per 50 power factors, 1 critical hit slot per 100 power factors or fractions thereof.

Catastrophic Failure Result: If the engine is reduced to zero hull points, the elemental inside is immediately freed. The extraplanar rift formed (although only for a split second), causes 1 hull point of damage to the ship per 20 power factors of the engine.

Next time, Elemental Engines (Fire)...
 

The Discerning Gentleman

Has Transcended
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Elemental Engines (Fire)

These engines are good for speed, but are both that great at maneuverability. Like the air version, they do not come with an elemental when created. Military vessels prefer this type of elemental engine for their speed and destructive power. The engine itself can be used as a weapon itself against vessels approaching from the rear, and some alterations (covered in the Shipboard Weapons section later on) can allow the exhaust to be used as a fire projected missle weapon.
Bonus: increases maximum speed by 20 mph.
Penalty: due to the massive exhaust engines, maneuverability is decreased by 2. It also requires a mage or cleric to cast summon monster and heal spell when appropriate.
Fuel Cost: Taking the life force of fire elementals as fuel, the elemental remains trapped there until consumed, regardless if the spell's duration expires. The engine can hold up to 2 HD worth of elementals per every 5 power factors of its capacity. The larger elementals are always consumed first. Each hp burned provides two power factors for 1 hour. Elementals not fully consumed regenerate their hps at 5/hour of rest. The elemental can be fully restored with a Heal spell, although cure wounds type spells have no effect.
Size: 2 tons per 50 power factors, 1 critical hit slot per 50 power factors.
Catastrophic Failure Result: If the engine is reduced to zero hull points, it suffers a catastrophic Failure. The elemental becomes freed, causing an extra planar rift lasting less than a second, but causing 1 hull point of damage to the airship per 5 power factors of the engine. This also starts a 10' square fire centered in the engines former location.


Next time, Energy Engines...
 

The Discerning Gentleman

Has Transcended
Validated User
Energy Engines
Similar in nature to elemental engines, these power plants derive their power from an extraplanar source. A pinprick portal to the positive energy plane allows a trickle of this potent energy to seep into the engines furnace. A second portal allows a trickle of negative energy to enter the furnace. When the two mix, they react violently and create a vast amount of energy considering the small size of the furnace. Because they require no fuel, these engines are used most often by airships that must travel long distances. Unfortunately, the engines are unable to generate energy quickly and require a great deal of time to lift an airship from the ground or to accelerate.
Bonus: Requires no fuel.
Penalty: Requires a whole hour to begin generating energy once turned on. It cannot accelerate faster than 10mph per round.
Fuel Cost: None.
Size: 1 ton per 25 power factors, 1 critical hit slot per 50 power power factors.
Catastrophic Failure Results: The unrestrained reactions between positive and negative energy immediately causes an explosion that collapses the links between the two planes, causing 1d4 hull points of damage per 5 power factors of the engine.


Next time, Fiendish Engines...
 

The Discerning Gentleman

Has Transcended
Validated User
Fiendish Engines

These engines belch of brimstone gas from their vent ports at irregular intervals, filling the ship with an acrid stench of sulfer that clings to the clothes and hair of those that work on it. The power of the Fiendish Engine comes from a pact with a demon lord, who allows a portion of his vassals' essence to be used as power factors for the airship. While making such a pact with a demon lord is difficult, it is far from impossible. A demon lord's agents on the material plane need ways to transport cargo and passengers, and find airships an ideal method, as it allows them to bypass mortal customs agents and other travel checkpoints.
The trade off for using a Fiendish Engine is the number of favors the vessel's operator must do for the infernal creature from which the airship gains it's power. Generally speaking, the more powerful an engine, the more dire those favors become. No good-aligned creature would ever use a Fiendish Engine, though there may be a few good-aligned airmen who serve on airships that receive their power from the infernal regions. Work is work, and as long as they aren't responsible for what goes on belowdecks, they can look the other way. (Really?)😲
Bonus: The fiends that power these engines are willing participants in the engines' process, allowing them to provide excellent maneuverability. All airships using this type of engine have their maneuverability rating increased by 2.
Penalty: While the infernal creature bound within the engine is willing to help the airship fly, it has no interest in allowing the engine to suck away all of its life energies, which reduces the power of the vessel. The power factors of an airship using this type of engine are limited to a maximum of 100, regardless of how many infernal creatures are bound into the engine. Only one Fiendish Engine may be affixed to a single ship.
Fuel Cost: None. The engine is powered by a demon or devil, depending on the patron who provides the power, that is chained to the furnace. The furnace slowly grinds away the demon's essence, creating the energy for the engine's magic to convert into power factors. The process is shockingly painful, and the screams of the fiend are often heard echoing through the airship, but the torture is nothing compared to the horrors the creature knows it's master will inflict upon it if it doesn't do as it was ordered.
The engine generates 10 power factors for a full hour for each HD of the bound fiend, up to the engines maximum rating. The fiend loses one HD per hour, so the engine slowly loses power throughout the day. The engine stops when the fiend is down to its last HD, it will not kill the fiend. The fiends HD are restored after a full 8 hours of rest. More than one fiend can be imprisoned in an engine, and multiple fiends can be burned at the same time, or in shifts, allowing some to rest while others work. Captains are given their fiends in the form of soulstones, which can be linked or removed from an engine as needed. Soulstones also prevent the fiends from escaping or causing other dangers.
The Captain of the vessel must continue to perform favors for his Fiendish ally if he wants to keep his ship in the air. At the end of every month, the Fiendish lord who provides energy for the ship takes accounting of the favors done for it in the previous month and provides energy for the next month as appropriate.
Size: 1 ton plus 1 ton per 50 HD of creatures the engine can contain, 1 critical slot per 100 power factors.
Catastrophic Failure Results: If the engine is reduced to zero hull points, it is considered to have suffered a catastrophic Failure. The engine immediately stops functioning, but there are no other ill effects, as the bound demons are quietly allowed to return to their home planes.


Next time, Necrotic Engines...
 

The Discerning Gentleman

Has Transcended
Validated User
Necrotic Engines


These foul creations stink so strongly of rotting flesh and burning hair when in use that few creatures can stand to be aboard an airship that uses such an engine. By accelerating the rate of decomposition in dead flesh and bones, the engine is able to produce energy necessary to provide lift for an airship. Used primarily in vampiric boneships, these engines are never for sale on the open market, and fuel for them is somewhat difficult to find in areas where meat cannot be purchased. While it is possible for creatures of good alignment to use one of these engines, they would be restricted to using animals for fuel to avoid suffering a serious moral crisis.
Bonus: The necrotic engine creates a repellant stench that causes anyone not used to it to suffer -2 morale penalty to all skill checks and attack rolls while aboard one of these vessels.
Penalties: Only undead, asherakes, constructs, and GM specified creatures are able to withstand the stench of this engine for any length of time, others suffer the penalty above.
Cost: Note that the engine is limited by its fuel capacity regardless of its power factors.
Fuel Cost: The fuel for a necrotic engine is flesh and bone; the more powerful a creature the flesh is taken from, the more lift the engine can provide. To power the engine, the body of a deceased creature is placed into it's furnace. For every HD placed in the furnace, the engine produces 5 power factors for one hour. By severing limbs and shattering bones, it is possible to compress a body by a great deal, allowing the bodies of three large creatures, five medium creatures, eight small, or twelve tiny creatures to be crammed into the furnace at any one time. Note that bodies must be prepared no more than 48 hours before they are used for fuel.
It is possible to purchase beasts of burden or other animals for use as fuel, but they must be prepared prior to launch unless the owner of the airship wishes to transport livestock along with the rest of his cargo.
Size: 1 ton. The size of the engine doesn't change based on the power factors it can provide. The engine takes up one critical hit slot.
Catastrophic Failure Results: If the engine is reduced to zero hull points, it is considered to have suffered a catastrophic failure and immediately stops functioning. Other than truly horrific stench being released by the burning fuel of the necrotic engine, there are no other side effects from this failure.


Next time, Oil Burning Engines...
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
For those who don't know what asherakes are, they are an Oathbound race that first appeared in Minions. They are humanoid tigers with wings and weird skulls for heads. They are also one of the major slaver races on the Forge (setting of Oathbound), though not the most important by far.
 

The Discerning Gentleman

Has Transcended
Validated User
For those who don't know what asherakes are, they are an Oathbound race that first appeared in Minions. They are humanoid tigers with wings and weird skulls for heads. They are also one of the major slaver races on the Forge (setting of Oathbound), though not the most important by far.
Ah, yes, I was wondering what they were. Thanks for the clarification!👍👍
 

The Discerning Gentleman

Has Transcended
Validated User
Oil Burning Engines

Though more expensive than wood, fuel oil is readily accessible and far more portable than cords of lumber. It also burns cleaner and more efficiently, allowing airships with these types of engines to travel further on less fuel. Using the same oil as adventurers use in their lanterns, an oil burning engine is capable of generating enough power to lift even the heaviest of airships, though it can take a dangerous quantity of oil to care for the needs of large engines during extended journeys, which makes airmen more than a little nervous when dealing with these engines. An airship that goes into combat with an oil burning engine is taking a considerable risk - if that oil gets set alight, the destruction it wrecks on the airship knows no bounds and may very well leave the entire ship crashing to the earth in flames. Still, merchants enjoy the extra cargo space they get from burning oil instead of wood, and are not likely to give up their oil supplies any time soon.

Fuel Cost: Fuel oil costs 4gp a gallon, using roughly 1 gallon of fuel per power factor for an hour. One ton of space can hold approximately 500 gallons of oil.

Size: 1 ton per 10 power factors, one critical hit slot per 50 power factors.

Catastrophic Failure Result: If the engine is reduced to zero hull points, it is considered to have suffered a catastrophic failure. The space formally occupied by the oil burning engine is immediately consumed in flames as the fuel erupts and begins to spread. This fire automatically spreads 10' a round until it hits a bulkhead. At that point, the fire stops spreading in that direction for a number of rounds equal to the Hull's hardness as it burns through the wall. Once this time passes, the fire is free to spread passed the destroyed bulkhead. This type of fire can quickly gut an airship, burning through it's infrastructure and setting alight components as it blazes.

Next time, Vampiric Engines...
 
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