Ship Combat

Work in progress

Ship’s Critical Hits: Ships with an active helmsman count as magic items. Ships without an active helmsman do not get a saving throw.

  • *There is a Reflex saving throw with a DC of 10 plus the damage (in hp) for all characters hit due to a Ship’s Critical Hit.
  • *There is a Will saving throw against Spelljamming Shock, with a DC of 10 plus hp. For non-standard Helms this is a Fortitude saving throw with the same DC; the actual helm will not be damaged, just the ability to use it.

When collateral damage occurs, roll on the table below for each collateral damage result. Apply each result to the ship as applicable. If the result is inapplicable (“Hah! You can’t destroy the spelljammer helm! You blew it up last turn”, shift up to the next higher entry on the list.


Roll Result
1 Loss of 10d10 Hit Points
2 Deck Crew Casualty
3 Interior Crew Casualty
4 Ship Shaken
5 Siege Weapon Damage
6 Deck Crew Casualty
7 Hull Holed
8 Maneuverability Loss
9 Loss of 20d10 Hit Points
10 Ship Shaken
11 Fire
12 Loss of TR
13 Deck Crew Casualty
14 Siege Weapon Damage
15 Ship Shaken
16 Hull Holed
17 Maneuverability Loss
18 Loss of 20d10 Hit Points
19 Loss of TR
20 Spelljammer Shock

Definition of Effects

  • Loss of 10d10 or 20d10 Hit Points: This loss is in addition to the initial damage. In some cases it may cause the ship to break up or force another critical hit check. Multiple rolls for the same attack are cumulative.
  • Deck Crew Casualty: One exposed crewmember is struck and suffers the same as the ship. Choose the target randomly from exposed crew. All characters within 5 feet of that individual must make Reflex save DC 15 or take damage from shrapnel from the shattered deck or catapult shot. Damage from this shrapnel is 1d12 hit points of damage.
  • Interior Crew Casualty: Same as Deck Casualty, but everyone aboard is a potential target, including prisoners, the captain, and spelljamming mages. This reflects not so much the effect of the missile itself, but shattered parts of the ship’s interior bouncing around during combat.
  • Ship Shaken: Ship rings from the blow of the attack. All characters not sitting or otherwise firmly tied down (the spelljamming mage is considered secure) have a chance to fall to the deck, disallowing any attacks or spell use that round. All on deck NPCs and PCs have to make a Reflex save DC 20 to maintain their balance.
  • Siege Weapon Damaged: One siege weapon (chosen randomly) is inoperable until repaired. Its crew is unharmed.
  • Hull Holed: The attack punches a hole in the ship where there was none before. The DM chooses which part of the ship is holed (either by random roll, according to the situation between the ships, or whatever would make things more interesting at that point).
  • Fire: A fire starts somewhere in the ship, as determined by the DM! In cases where it is physically impossible for a fire to start (all the lights are magical, there is nothing flammable onboard, and everyone is wearing cloths made of rock), go to the next entry. A fire onboard as a result of this critical hit (as opposed to greek fire or magic) inflicts no damage the first round, but may spread.
  • Loss of TR: The TR of the ship drops by one TR for 1d10 rounds while the helmsman readjusts his balance and senses to the new damage level. Additional losses are cumulative, to a minimum of 1 TR. If a ship with a TR of 1 receives this result, go to the next entry.
  • Maneuverability Loss: The ship drops one MC for 1d10 turns. A ship with “perfect” maneuverability drops to “good” MC rating, a “good” MC rating becomes “average”, and so on. A ship with maneuverability rating of “clumsy” cannot lose any more maneuverability so the next entry is taken instead.
  • Spelljammer Shock: The spelljamming mage must make a saving throw versus spells or fall immediately into a coma, which lasts 1d4 days. In cases of serial helms, all creatures linked up must save. In cases of foundries, artifurnaces, furnaces, and “unknown drives” (such as the neogi’s), the drive itself is rendered nonfunctional 1d4 days (no saving throw allowed). If no replacement is available and the mage fails his saving throw, the ship immediately becomes SR 0 and can only move in a straight line at its present speed.

Ship Combat

Ad Astra Per Arcana DungeonMasterLoki DungeonMasterLoki