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[Let's Read] Airships

The Discerning Gentleman

Has Transcended
Validated User
PILOTING COMPONENTS


After the hull, engine, and rigging have been constructed and installed, it's time to take a look at ways to steer your Airship. The simplest, and most basic method involves a massive fin rutter mounted below the engine exhaust at the aft of the Airship, which directs the ship using air resistance. More advanced steering mechanisms involve mounting the engine on a rotating block, allowing the pile to directly push the ship in the correct direction by manipulating engines exhaust and thrust. The most advanced methods use a number of smaller engines mounted along the side of the ship, each of which is triggered when needed by the pilot. Every Piloting component has its own benefits and drawbacks. Each of the available Piloting components is described in more detail below, along with price information. Piloting components are installed when the hall is built, and require no separate installation work.

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Air Oars
Air oars are essentially similar to oars used for propelling ships through the water with the exception of a few key differences. Air oars are not fitted with paddles, but wide sails that collapse through a special mechanism when the order drawn forward. When the oars are pulled back, the sales open up to catch the air. Oars provide excellent thrust and maneuverability, but are easy to damage, and require a sizable number of crewmen to operate. One pair of oars is generally employed perr size category of the airship.

Cost: 1000 GP per size category of the Airship.
Bonus: + 3 to maneuverability, + 20 to acceleration
Hull Points: 1 per 5 tons of hull size
Crew Requirements: 4 per size Category of the vessel
Space Requirements: 2 tons per size category of the vessel
Critical Components Spaces: 1 per 2 size categories of the vessel
 

The Discerning Gentleman

Has Transcended
Validated User
AIR RUDDER, BASIC

Similar in functionality to the rudder used on a sailing ship, air rudders resemble sails mounted along the rear or bottom of the Airship. These are directly connected to the wheel of the Airship and provide the main source for steering available to the pilot. The basic air rudder consists of a wooden frame and canvas sails attached to the back of the Airship, just below the engines. A complex linkage between the airship's wheel and its rudder is found below decks, allowing the pilot to control the Airship from on the deck. The basic air rudder is always as tall as 1/3 of the airship's length or width, whichever is greater.
Cost: none
Maneuverability Bonus: +0 (but reduces the maneuverability of the vessel by 2 if destroyed)
Hull Point: 1 per 10 tons of hull size
Crew Requirements: pilot only
Space Requirements: one ton just below the wheel
Critical Component Spaces: 1 per 3 size categories of the vessel

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AIR RUDDER, FLEXIBLE

The flexible rudder is an Elvish Innovation that allows an Airship to maneuver more adeptly in calm winds, but which is much less effective in windy conditions. The flexible rudder also requires more crewmen, as it relies on a sail-like rigging to facilitate rapid maneuvers. This rigging is located in the same area as the linkage between the wheel and the rudder, making the crewmen completely dependent on the command of the pilot, as they cannot see the direction the Airship is taking.

Cost: 50 GP / 10 tons of the vessel
Maneuverability Bonus: 3
Hull Points: 1 per 10 tons of hull size
Crew Requirements: Pilot plus two crew members per 50 tons of the vessel
Space Requirements: 1 ton + 1 ton per 50 tons of the airship, located just below the wheel
Critical Components Spaces: 1 per 3 size categories of the vessel

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ALTITUDE CRYSTAL

Pilots must keep a constant eye on the altitude of their airships if they want to keep them from cracking up on the side of a mountain or making an unexpected splash over a lake. The altitude crystal is a small gem, usually a ruby, or other colorful stone, which levitates inside a crystalline tube that is marked to denote altitude bands from 50 ft to 1000ft. At a glance, the Pilot can tell the altitude of his Airship, allowing him to avoid potentially lethal impacts with the Earth. The crystal provides a + 2 circumstance bonus to any piloting skill checks the pilot makes when the vessel is within the first two altitude bands (between 0 and 100 feet). It also prevents collisions with the ground due to haze.

Cost: 3,000 GP
Maneuverability Bonus: none
Hull Points: none
Crew Requirements: pilot
Space Requirements: none
Critical Component Spaces: 1
 

Nate_MI

Hail Tzeentch!
Validated User
ALTITUDE CRYSTAL

Pilots must keep a constant eye on the altitude of their airships if they want to keep them from cracking up on the side of a mountain or making an unexpected splash over a lake. The altitude crystal is a small gem, usually a ruby, or other colorful stone, which levitates inside a crystalline tube that is marked to denote altitude bands from 50 ft to 1000ft. At a glance, the Pilot can tell the altitude of his Airship, allowing him to avoid potentially lethal impacts with the Earth. The crystal provides a + 2 circumstance bonus to any piloting skill checks the pilot makes when the vessel is within the first two altitude bands (between 0 and 100 feet). It also prevents collisions with the ground due to haze.
Huhn. So the crystal acts by distance from the surface, not sea level/air pressure? How does it work if, say, another airship comes up underneath it?
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
The sensor trips but unless the pilot is extremely distracted, they will understand what the reading actually means.
 

wheloc

He's trying real hard to be one of the good guys.
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Huhn. So the crystal acts by distance from the surface, not sea level/air pressure? How does it work if, say, another airship comes up underneath it?
It provides a + 2 circumstance bonus to any piloting skill checks that would happen to result from another airship coming up underneath it ;)
 

The Discerning Gentleman

Has Transcended
Validated User
DRAG CHUTES

Possibly the fastest method of turning, drag chutes have the distinct disadvantage of only being useful once every few rounds. Composed of woven spider silk, the drag chutes are deployed whenever a turn is called for, and then reeled in when they are no longer needed. Unfortunately, a drag chute can only be used to turn a single direction in a round, as it is simply thrown over the side and allowed to pull the ship around as air resistance fill the chute. Once a drag sheet is deployed, it must be drawn in during the following round (requiring three crew members per size category of the vessel) and may not be deployed again for two rounds for a size category of the vessel. Optionally, a drag chute can be cut away requiring only one crew member, but ensuring that the shoot cannot be used again.

Cost: 300 GP per size category of the vessel
Maneuverability Bonus: + 5 (only turns one direction per round)
Hull Points: 2 / size category of the vessel
Crew Requirements: 3 per size category of the vessel.
Space Requirements: 1 ton per size category of the the vessel.
Critical Components Spaces: 1

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ENGINE SWIVEL
By mounting an engine on a swivel, and Airship gains a great deal of maneuverability. This connects the engine directly to the wheel of the Airship, allowing the pilot to directly control the way the force of the engine is used to steer the ship, rather than relying on other mechanisms to swing the ship around. While one of the most expensive methods for steering the ship, it is also one of the sturdiest and least likely to be damaged by a critical hit.

Cost: 2,000 GP per size category of the vessel.
Maneuverability Bonus: +3
Hull Points: +5 / size category of the vessel.
Crew Requirements: none
Space Requirements: none (occupies the same space as the engine)
Critical Components Spaces: 1

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ENGINE SYNC

An engine sink balances engine output for an Airship with multiple engines. It is a small magical device that runs between all the engines and is never directly handled by the pilot or crew. An engine sync removes the -2 cumulative penalty to profession (Airship pilot) skill checks caused by a ship having more than one engine.

Cost: 2,500 GP per engine
Bonus: eliminates penalty for multiple engines
Hull points: 5
Crew Requirements: none
Space Requirements: 0
Critical Component Spaces: 1

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Next time, Propellers, Steering Engines, and Turbines...
 

Nate_MI

Hail Tzeentch!
Validated User
ENGINE SWIVEL
By mounting an engine on a swivel, and Airship gains a great deal of maneuverability. This connects the engine directly to the wheel of the Airship, allowing the pilot to directly control the way the force of the engine is used to steer the ship, rather than relying on other mechanisms to swing the ship around. While one of the most expensive methods for steering the ship, it is also one of the sturdiest and least likely to be damaged by a critical hit.
I call shenengians on this bit of fantasy engineering. Making it so your engine is connected to your vessel only with a swivel mount, instead of with several reinforcing struts, sounds like a great way to have it torn off in the first good hit. Hell, it sounds like a good way for the engine to tear itself off!
 
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