Ship Traits

Awakened Ship
Some living-ships are awaken have an intelligence rating greater then 2, and can perceive their surroundings.
Prerequisites: Living Ship
Benefit: Roll 3d6 to determine the ship intelligence and wisdom score. The ship gains 5d4 skill points plus intelligence modifier. A living ship never has less then 5-skill points regardless of its intelligence penalty. Far fetched spacefarer tales tell of awakened ships that have class levels but there has been no verifiable report of this.

Burst of Speed
This ship can briefly increase or decrease its speed.
Prerequisites: Nimble
Benefit: The ship when traveling in a straight line can briefly increase or decrease its TM by two points, even if it exceeds its usual maximum. It can only do this only once every four rounds and cannot make any “quick turns” in the same round.

Covered ships are constructed without open decks-navigators and pilots must look out of portholes to take bearings.
Benefit: Crew are protected from most area effect spells, and gain +4 to saves vs. damage from a Ship’s Critical. Unless the covering is breached crew cannot be thrown overboard.

Figureheads help sailors overcome superstitious nature and fears.
Benefit: Crews aboard a ship with a figurehead gain a +2 morale bonus to fear effects.
Cost: Figureheads run from 60–300 gp cost, with typically the most expensive being a painted full figured female that is smiling (made of wood).

Freshen Air
Some living ships can freshen the air supply of the ship air envelope (example: the elven man-o-war).
Prerequisites: Living Ship
Benefit: The ship freshen the air envelope each day at a rate of 10 man-day per 1 ton of the ship’s sails. Each type of ship differs as to what portion of the ship freshens the air supply (the elven man-o-war sails refresh the ships air supply, other ships might have an organ that purifies the air supply).
Cost: An additional 10,000 gp per ton of sails used by the ship. A typical ship that is not topped out will have 1 ton of sails per 10 tonnage of ship.

Ghost Ship
The ship is an apparition that can manifest into reality.
Prerequisites: The ship perished with all crewmembers on board.
Benefit: The ship, crew and captain are now all undead. The ship has a Charisma score of 12–18 (10+2d4). The ship gains a defection bonus equal to its Charisma modifier. The ship also has 50% chance of being missed by any given ship.
Normal: Most captains of ships will never slay all crew that is aboard a captured ship least he spawns a ghost ship.

The ship is equipped with side mounted sails which it can use to glide while in atmosphere.
Prerequisites: Reinforced Frame
Benefit: The ship can glide unpowered while in an atmosphere. It will drop 10’ in altitude for every 50’ of forward motion.

Haunted Ship
The ship is haunted by either a friendly or more typically a unfriendly ghost or other form of noncorporeal undead.
Prerequisites: The ship must have someone die on board whose spirit is restless.
Benefit: While ship’s crew might not been keen being on board a haunted ship, other ship captains are likely to avoid dealing with a haunted ship.
Special: The DM should create the haunting spirit and determine its goals, in most cases this spirit is bonded to the ship. While boon at times, this ship modification is often a bane.

Horn Tubes
The horn tubes are used to communicate with remote areas of the ship.
Benefit: Horn tubes consist of two tubes that run into every room on the ship. There is a receiving tube as well as a sending tube. By blowing through the sending tube, the user alerts the operator and can ask to be connected to a specific room of the whole ship. The operator connects the two tubes together, and the two distant room occupants can communicate with each other. When the communication is over, the operator unhooks the tubes, and awaits another communications alert.
Except in the case of an all-ship bulletin, only two rooms can talk with each other. Three cannot be connected together. Also there is not limit to the number of communications that can occur at the same time.
Cost: These items cost 1,000 gp for an operator’s console that can hold tubes for 20 rooms (Ships that have more than 20 rooms must get more than one console, and there is no limit to the number of consoles that can be used on a single ship). Each pair of tubes costs 50 gp each. Each console takes ½ ton of cargo space.

Hide Plating
Hide plating consists of covering the hull’s outer surface with animal hides or similar materials. Using larger creatures is generally cheaper.
Benefit: This gives the ship a +1 Armor Class. In addition, certain types of hides, such as dragon skin, can be magically strengthened to +2 or even +3 at great cost.
Restrictions: Alignment and culture may restrict use of these materials at the DM’s option. (Most human and demihuman cultures would not allow the use of intelligent or near-extinct creatures.)
Cost: variable

Improved Ram
The ship has ram either an improvement of a blunt or piercing ram, or has an advance ram type.
Prerequisites: Reinforced Frame, Ram
Benefit: The ship can have a choice of the following ram types: blunt (with the added bonus that the ramming ship takes only half the ramming damage), claw, cone, and grappling. Other specialized improved rams can be created (with DM approval).
Special: Ships with grappling rams can halve damage for each claw so as not take this modification more then once (example: Scorpion). This modification can be taken more than once.

Improved Armor
The ship’s armor class is improved over what is normal for material and size.
Prerequisites: Reinforced Frame
Benefit: The ship is of advanced design and as such gain’s a +2 bonus to its armor class rating.
Special: This feat can be taken up to 5 times.

Landing (Land)
The ship can land on the ground without crashing.
Benefit: The ship is designed to land on the ground safely, most ship with this modification use only one side of a gravity plane (otherwise cargo, mass, sails and weapons would be crushed and crew members killed upon landing).
Normal: A spelljamming ship normally cannot land on land.

Landing (Water)
The ship can land on water without crashing.
Benefit: The ship is able to remain afloat on water surface and has some form of movement while in water (i.e., sails, mechanical webbed feet etcetera). Naturally if the ship takes on too much water it will sink.
Normal: A spelljamming ship normally cannot land on water.

Living Ship
The ship or a portion of it is alive be it a plant, animal or mineral base life form.
Benefit: The ship heals 1 hit points per day per HD that the ship has. Living ships do not have limbs (a limb would require the ship to have the improved ram ship trait), nor do they have senses to perceive the outside world, and at best have intelligence rating of 2 (roll 1d3-1 to determine intelligence).
Even living ship do not have a Constitution rating.

The ship has a reputation for being very lucky.
Prerequisites: Ship was designed and blessed by a priest with access Luck Domain and has the skill: Profession (shipwright).
Benefit: The ship gains the power of good fortune, which is usable once per day. This extraordinary ability allows the ship to reroll one roll that was just made. The result of the reroll must be taken, even if it is worse then the original roll. This reroll may be applied to any of the ship’s weapon (including it ram), or to a sailor making a skill check that is critical for the ship to make, or any other roll the DM sees fit.

Minimal Crew
The ship requires less crew than what is needed to man the sails.
Benefit: The ship only requires half the crew normally needed, minimum of 3.

The ship is very maneuverable.
Benefit: The ship’s maneuverability rating is increased by one

Hull plating consists of covering the hull’s outer surface with a stronger material than the hull, usually metal scales or plates.
Benefit: Ship gains a +3 armor bonus, but its MC Rating is reduced by one.
Example: A 60-ton giff Clipper ship is plated with iron. Its Armor Rating changes from 16 to 18, but its MC is reduced from Poor to Clumsy. The plating costs 24,000 gp.
Cost: 400 gp per ton of ship (The metal plating is 1/8 of an inch in thickness.)

Quick Turn
The ship is can change direction very rapidly
Prerequisites: Burst of Speed and Nimble
Benefit: The ship can spin to face any direction at a cost of 2 TR. In a melee game, this movement must take place at the beginning or end of movement.

The ship has ram
Prerequisites: Reinforced Frame
Benefit: The ship gains the benefit of having a ram to use as a ships weapon. The ram can either be blunt or piercing. Special: Ships can take this ship modification more than once (example: Illithid Dreadnought, which as two rams).

Reinforced Frame
The ship is less likely to suffer a critical hit
Benefit: When determining if a critical threat is a critical hit, the ship with reinforced frame is considered to have +4 AC bonus only for the purpose of resolving the critical hit.

Reinforced Hull
The ship is more durable then normal.
Benefit: The ship gains +2 hit points per hit die.
Normal: The ship has normal hit points for its type.
Special: A Ship may gain this ship modification more than once.

Ship of the Line
A ship of the line built to perform better then most ships.
Prerequisites: Reinforced Frame, 40+ ton ship
Benefit: The ship gains +1 initiative bonus and +1 dodge bonus to AC.

This ship is very fast.
Prerequisites: Ship has minimum sails that either: follow the gravity plane and/or follows the keel and/or place at very rear of ship (example: Eagle Ship)
Benefit: The ship’s TR is increased by one

The ship is able to remain submerge under the water for an extended period of time.
Prerequisites: Landing (Water), Reinforced Frame, the ship must be air tight
Benefit: The ship is able to remain submerged for an extended period of time. The ship has 4 man-days worth of air per tonnage of ship.

Topped Out
The ship has extra sails.
Prerequisites: Sails
Benefit: The ship increases their maneuverability class by one. The ship’s minimum crew is increased by 4.

Unique Quality
The ship has something that is very unique about it. I may have built into it a unique weapon, like the Giff Great Bombard or the Gnomish Bola Ship.
Prerequisites: Reinforced Frame
Benefit: The ship has something unique which breaks normal ship construct by just a bit (i.e., swapping out one ship modification for another) or a weapon that is just plain strange. DM must approve all such unique qualities and no ship should have more two.

The ship is said to be “unsinkable” because of its superb construction or material used in its construction.
Prerequisites: Reinforced Frame, Reinforced Hull, and 80+ tonnage in size.
Benefit: The ship gains the following advantages: +1 to ships hardness and AC and it gains 20 hit points.

Common Ship Modifications by Race

Each race has particular ship modifications that are found on nearly all their ships. Below is a list of such ship modification by race.

Aarakocra: +1 TR; +1 AC with wood.
Beholder: Unique ship design and weaponry.
Drow: Adamantite hulls and repair facilities to work this material.
Dwarf: Increased armor, when working with stone or gems materials this modification can be taken 6 times
Elf: Freshen air and living ship
Giff: Reinforced frame, also lots of bombards
Gnome: Horn tubes and unique device
Goblinkin: +1 AC or MC
Halfling: +1 AC or MC
Human (general): +1 AC or MC, or one special (example: Triop and Vipership).
Human (groundling): -1 AC, MC clumsy when standard rigged.
Human (Wa): +1 MC
Illithid: +2 AC with thick wood; has MC as if rigged without standard rigging.
Lizard Men: +1 AC.
Mercane: Average of +3 overall, on any stat or combination of stats; any mods
Neogi: +1 MC; grapple-ram; lifejammer
Scro: +1 AC or MC; claw-ram; usually doubles up on assigned crew.
Thri-Kreen: +1 MC; ships MC “perfect” if under 4 tons.
Vodonoi: Weapons have double range if manned by Enforcers/Destroyers; no alchemist fire.

Ship Traits

Ad Astra Per Arcana DungeonMasterLoki DungeonMasterLoki