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[Let's Read] Airships


Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
It might also melt rock ala the castle in Game of Thrones (from an earlier season). Use the burning smoke on a structure long enough and the result is liquid rock or fine ash.

Something else to keep in mind are new spells that allow casters to control clouds of smoke and possibly do magical things with them. Such as impose a unusual condition or inflict electrical damage.

The Discerning Gentleman

Has Transcended
Validated User
Creating the Engine
The main difficulty in creating an airship engine is the sheer number of arcane or divine matrices that need to be built to hold the power of the engine. Regardless of the energy source used by the airship, the creator must meet the following requirements:

Creator Level: 10th-level, Spells Known: Fly, levitate, Feats: Create wondrous item, Experience Cost: 100xp per 2,500 gp value of the airship engine.

Creating an airship engine is treated as a use of the Craft (Airship Engine) skill and requires an alchemical laboratory large enough to hold the completed engine (as well as a way to get the completed engine out of the laboratory!) To construct the engine, simply follow the steps below.

Crafting the Engine
1. Determine the base DC for crafting the engine, as determined by the engine type, listed previously.
2. Determine the market value of the engine by multiplying it's total power factors by the cost per power factor for the engine type.
3. Pay 10% of the market value of the engine, which provides the raw material for one week's worth of work on the engine, as well as the salary of the mage doing the necessary enchantments.
4. Make a Craft (Airship Engine) skill check (DC as determined by step 1).
If this check succeeds, multiply the result of the skill check by ten times the DC and add the total to the amount spent on materials for the week to determine the amount of progress made on the engine during this week. Add the progress from week to week until the total progress equals or exceeds the market value. If the check fails, then no progress is made, if failed by 5 or more, total progress is reduced by 2d10%, as damage was caused during construction.

Next time, Mounting Engines and Engine Operation...

The Discerning Gentleman

Has Transcended
Validated User
Mounting Engines and Engine Operation
Engines are almost always mounted at the rear of a vessel, in the bottom of the cargo Deck. The rear of the engine is always exposed, the energy to be transferred into thrust and lift. Engines do not operate on strict scientific principles, as they are magical devices. Because they actually burn fuel, their exhaust must be vented outside to avoid toxic fumes and possible fires below deck.
For game purposes, the exhaust generally trickles out as smoke, and a gentle flare of fire can be seen within the exhaust pipes. The exhaust doesn't put off enough to be seen by day or night, with the exception of wood burners.
Mounting the engine is fairly difficult, requiring laborers and engineers. It is possible to mount it on the bottom of the Airship, but this is usually done when the engine is too big to fit inside the ship. The problem is that they can be easily targeted by anyone directly underneath, without requiring a critical hit. This type of installed engine will have an AC =the AC of the ship it is mounted on.
The engine is installed in the same yard that the hull was built, and typically takes a month. This can be speeded up by working extra shifts.
Installing the Engine
1. Requires one engineer, and one laborer per 10 power factors.
2. Determine the DC for all Profession (Airship Engineer) skill checks by adding 10% of the power factors to the repair DC for it's type.
3. After the end of one month make the Profession check as determined in step 2. Can be modified by +5 if expert laborers are used, or -5 if unskilled laborers are used.
If the check passes, it was installed successfully. If it failed, it was not properly mounted, and another month must pass with another check at an accumulative -1 penalty per failed check. If the check failed by a natural 1, the engine looks properly installed, but suffers a catastrophic failure as soon as it accelerates to maximum speed.
Once the engine is successfully installed, the rigging and extras can be attached.
Repairing an Engine
Repairing requires Craft (Airship Engine) skill, by the DC of the type of engine as listed previously. The cost equals the number of hull points to be restored x the repair cost for the Engine type as listed previously.

Next time, Airship Templates: Armored & Aquatic...


Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
Of what I remember the example ships* are based on sailing vessels so there isn't that much creativity in their overall design. With the exhaust issue, I would think that someone would have come up with a torus with the engine in the middle. That prevents attacks from below (like the ground) from taking out the engine. It would need some shielding but that isn't much of an issue for an airship that can haul as much as these do.

* This only one of three Bastion books I ever sold. Into the Green, Doomstriders and this just didn't do it for me. Still love Oathbound and wish they would finish it.

The Discerning Gentleman

Has Transcended
Validated User
I can respect that. I really needed something emphasizing airships for my RL campaign, and this is the only pure supplement I could find. It gave me a lot of ideas to build from though, which is what most splats do for me anyway. We just can't be afraid to color outside the lines!😄

The Discerning Gentleman

Has Transcended
Validated User
Airship Templates:
Once your ship's structure is decided upon , you may wish to add a template. Some can be added after construction, but many must be added during the ship's construction. These types will have an asterisk in the title.

Putting armor on the sides and bottom of an airship is a difficult and expensive task. Unfortunately, this increases the weight, making it handle poorly.

Benefit: AC is increased by 4.

Penalty: The ship is treated as if it were a size category larger for determining maneuverability. Colossal+ have a base maneuverability of -1 when this template is applied.

Cost: 10,000 gp per size category.

Most ships are designed to land on solid ground. This template shores up all potential leaks and allows it to float on water, and also provides the necessary mechanisms to sail upon the waves. This template is essential for ocean voyages, and can disguise an airships true nature.

Benefit: Can land and sail on water. Non-aquatic airships take in water at a rate of one ton a minute/per size category. Each ton of water reduces the power factors by 1. If it fills up completely, naturally, it sinks.

Penalty: Cannot have bottom mounted turrets. Requires an extra wheel, taking up 10x10 area of deck space.

Cost: 1,000 gp per size category.

Next time, Covered Airships...


Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
If you want to see a picture of an asherak, look at the cover (one page 1 of this thread)- they are flying around the sunshadows (I think that is what the ships are called).

The Discerning Gentleman

Has Transcended
Validated User
Military vessels, especially those designed to transport troops rather than engage in combat themselves, have a great need to protect their crews from hostile fire. Covered vessels are constructed without open decks - navigators and pilots must look out through ports dotted along the edges of the vessel to take bearings.

Benefit: The crew never suffers damage from a critical hit. In addition, crewmembers are never lost overboard if the ship heels over. The crew is also protected from most area effect spells, including fireball, etc...

Penalty: All navigation and piloting skills checks suffer a -4 penalty due to the decreased visibility. This type of Airship cannot have sails and suffers from reduced maneuverability, taking no benefits from wind.

Cost: 5,000 gp per size category.

The Discerning Gentleman

Has Transcended
Validated User
Using hot air or other lighter gases can assist in lift, thus reducing the weight of an engine needed. While this reduces the maneuverability, it also brings down the cost of the engine by a huge amount.

There are two types of dirigible - rigid and semi-rigid. Rigid have bladders constructed around framework of wooden struts or some other supportive material, which reduces the amount of lifting gas, but they are a little easier to control.

Semi-rigid dirigibles are simply a massive bladder filled with gas. Ropes and other loose restraints keep it in place. These types contain a huge amount of lifting gas, but are difficult to control. Note that a semi rigid can lift an airship off the ground with no Engine at all.

Benefit: rigid reduces the weight of the airship by one ton for every 100 gp spent on the bladder, up to a maximum of 75%. Semi-rigid offer up to 100% weight reduction and cost 50gp per ton of weight reduced.

In both types you must reduce the airships weight by at least 50% or the dirigible is too small to do any good.

Penalty: For every 25% by which the airship is reduced, a rigid reduces maneuverability by one, and semi-rigid reduce maneuverability by 2.

Cost: 100 gp per ton of weight reduction for rigid, 50gp per weight reduction for semi- rigid.

Space Required: The dirigible bladder is always equal in length and beam to the Airships sails. The bladder has a volume equal to twice the tonnage it reduces.

The dirigible is a huge Target and takes up one critical slot per ton of weight. It also has one hull point per ton of weight reduction and takes up 5 square ft. On the deck (for anchor ropes, burners, or gas canisters) for every 50 tons by which it reduces the ship's tonnage. When the dirigible suffers 25% or more of it's total hull points, it begins to lose gas and provides 10% less weight reduction every round until it provides no weight reduction at all.

Keeping Bladders Inflated: for every 100 tons by which the bladder reduces the tonnage, it requires one ton of wood to stay inflated for 4 hours. This can be obtained for 50gp. Gas- filled require one canister per 100 tons of reduction per 4 hours. A case of 8 canisters takes up 1 ton of space and costs 500gp.

Next time, Anti-Grav Dirigibles...
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