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Airships

Many seek out modes of transportation that may shorten their travel times, and airships are often looked to as the primary mode of travel to bypass terrain of any kind. Not only that, they are also useful for war by conveying an entire army or even acting as a sky-high version of a fancy entertainment cruise. In this template, it will contain general information you’ll need to customize and build the airship that fits the needs of you or your party.

Size

The amount of squares determines the size of the airship and is representative of the usable space upon the airship, not the entire construction. If an airship has 48 squares, and a single deck, it means that creatures and cargo can occupy those squares. The walls on each deck are all 10-ft tall, and are constructed with the selected material. The height of the walls do not count towards restrictions for configurations when selecting what size airship you desire to build. Your airship size category is determined by the number of squares on your airship’s largest deck. If you have a deck that is 90 squares and another that is 48, you are still a Medium sized airship, despite having 138 usable squares for cargo and passengers.

Table: Airship Size

Size Category# of SquaresEngines Required
Fine2 - 6Dirigible only
Diminutive8 - 121
Tiny14 - 241
Small26 - 481
Medium50 - 981
Large100 - 1482
Huge150 - 1984
Gargantuan200 - 2488
Colossal250 - 44812
Massive450+24

Class

Airships have varying uses, some desire a quick vessel to get places, others a vast storage space, and even those that just enjoy the hobby of flying. Regardless of the reason you desire an airship, they fall under the classes detailed in Table: Airship Class (see below). Each class has a unique benefit and restrictions that are applied because of them. Choosing a class should be considered before determining the desired size of your airship, as the cost will change based on the selected class. A GM can alter these multipliers, benefits, and restrictions as necessary to fit the campaign setting. Alternatively, speak with your GM about the possibility of a custom class to suit the needs to be met, if one of the classes here do not.

Table: Airship Class

ClassCost MultiplierBenefitsRestrictions
Agile-25%Propulsion and Maximum Speed increase by 50%Only allowed a single deck and cannot have siege engines
Military+50%Double weapon capacity and can use Advanced and Artillery firearms in place of siege engines.Cannot use dirigible propulsion and must be made of iron, steel, or a stronger material
PersonalNoneNoneNone
TransportNoneGain a free deck for each purchasedHalf as many siege engines

Material

Depending on the material used to construct the airship, will be how much it costs to supply the material and labor cost to shape and install the selected material. The cost per square is calculated as a wall that is 10-ft high, 5-ft wide, and ½-in thick, to cover all desired edges of the square being assembled. Whichever material is used for the most squares, will decide which hardness to use from the materials. Calculate the HP of the airship by adding the number of squares per material, in example: An airship that is 48 squares, 20 are wood and 28 are steel. The airship has a hardness of 10 and total HP of 520 (20 squares with 5 HP, 28 squares with 15 HP).

Table: Materials

MaterialCost/SqWeight/SqHardnessHP/Sq
Wood20 gil75 lbs.55
Darkwood650 gil37 lbs.55
Iron/Steel175 gil1,020 lbs.1015
Mithral433,500 gil510 lbs.1515
Adamantine520,000 gil1,020 lbs.2020

AC Calculations

The airship’s base Armor Class (10 + AC Modifier) and hardness is based on its size, defenses, and its construction material. To calculate the ship’s actual AC, add half the current pilot’s Pilot ranks to the ship’s base AC. Touch attacks against an airship ignore its pilot’s Pilot skill modifier; thus, an airship’s base AC is its touch AC. An airship is never considered flat-footed. If the airship is not in motion, it has an effective Dexterity of 0 (–5 penalty to AC), and an additional –2 penalty to its AC.

Table: AC Modifier

# of SquaresAC Modifier
2 - 4-1
6 - 8-2
10 - 12-4
14+-8

Base Save

The airship’s base save modifier starts at 0 and without any modifications. All of the airship’s saving throws (Fortitude, Reflex, and Will) have the same value. To determine an airship’s actual saving throw modifiers, add half the pilot’s Pilot ranks to the airship’s base saving throw. An airship is immune to most effects that require a Will saving throw (though pilots, crew members, and passengers typically are not).

Maximum Speed and Acceleration

This is the fastest that an airship can move. When an airship has more than one means of propulsion, it may also have more than one maximum speed. If an airship has multiple methods of propulsion, both methods may apply their acceleration up to the highest maximum speed. In example: An airship has both dirigible and magicite engines, allowing for 30-ft from the engines, and 20-ft from the air current, for 50-ft of acceleration up to 100-ft of maximum speed. Table: Propulsion (see below) has the different methods of propulsion including: dirigible, mechanical engines, or magical engines. If your size of airship requires more than a single engine, you need the required engines times the required space listed below. In example: A Huge airship would require 24 squares in the middle of their airship dedicated to magicite engines.

Table: Propulsion

MethodAccelerationMaximum SpeedRequired SpaceHP/SqCost/Sq
Auracite40-ft120-ft4 squares in the middle408,000 gil
DirigibleAir currentDouble air currentDouble airship’s squares54 gil
Magicite30-ft100-ft6 squares in the middle201,500 gil
Mechanical15-ft50-ft4 squares in the middle15200 gil
Nethicite45-ft135-ft4 squares in the middle4012,000 gil

Pilot Check

Outside of combat, the base DC for all Pilot checks is DC 5. In combat, the base DC for all Pilot checks is DC 20. An airship without a full crew complement, but with at least half its crew, takes a –10 penalty on all Pilot checks.

Since piloting an airship outside of combat is easily accomplished by taking 10 on the skill check, Pilot checks are not normally needed. Almost every character can do it with relative ease; the DCs are given only to adjudicate special situations that may come up in your game.

If a pilot lacks the proper skill to control an airship, the pilot can always make a Wisdom ability check (1d20 + Wisdom modifier) instead of the Pilot check. A pilot can even take 10 (when outside of combat) or gain the benefits of the aid another action when using Wisdom instead of the ship’s normal Pilot skill.

Control Device

Every airship has a control device for steering. A control device is typically an object with object immunities and resistances. When a control device gains the broken condition, all Pilot checks take a –10 penalty. When a control device is destroyed, an airship cannot be piloted until the control device is repaired. Airships using the dirigible and nethicite methods of propulsion require a steering wheel, and can be used in any adjacent or current square it occupies. Airships using magicite and auracite still have a control device, but are not mandatory to use for Pilot checks unless it gains the broken condition.

CMB and CMD

The airship’s base CMB is the airship’s size modifier and CMD is 10 + size modifier. To calculate the ship’s actual CMB and CMD, add half the current pilot’s Pilot ranks to the ship’s base CMB. an airship is never considered flat-footed. If the ship is not in motion, it has an effective Dexterity of 0 (–5 penalty to CMD), and an additional –2 penalty to its CMD.

Table: Size Modifier

# of SquaresBase CMBBase CMD
2 - 4111
6 - 8212
10 - 12414
14+818

Ramming

An airship can also attempt to ram a target if it has its minimum crew. To ram a target, the airship must move at least 30 feet and end with its bow in a square adjacent to the target. The ship’s captain then makes a Pilot check— if this check equals or exceeds the target’s AC, the ship hits its target, inflicting damage to the target, as well as minimum damage to the ramming ship.

The damage is based on the airship’s size category (see Table: Ramming below). An airship outfitted with an actual ram siege engine inflicts an additional 3d6 points of damage to the target and the ramming airship suffers no damage. If the pilot’s combat maneuver check exceeds the target’s CMD by 5 or more, the target takes twice the ship’s ramming damage. If the combat maneuver check exceeds the target’s CMD by 10 or more, the target takes twice the ship’s ramming damage and the target’s speed is immediately reduced to 0. Regardless of the result of the combat maneuver check, the ramming ship’s speed is reduced to 0.

If an airship collides with another airship or a solid object (an immobile structure with a hardness of 5 or more), it also makes a ramming maneuver, regardless of the pilot’s intent. There is no combat maneuver check for this ramming maneuver; its effects happen automatically. When an airship makes a ramming maneuver against a solid object, to determine how much damage both the solid object and the ship take, allow the ship to enter the solid object’s space. The ship will only travel through that space if the damage is enough to destroy the solid object; in all other cases, the ship takes the damage and its speed is immediately reduced to 0 as it comes to a sudden stop directly in front of the solid object.

Table: Ramming

SizeDamage
Fine1d4
Diminutive1d8
Tiny2d8
Small4d8
Medium6d8
Large8d8
Huge10d8
Gargantuan12d8
Colossal14d10
Massive16d10

Siege Weapons

An airship may have additional weapons aboard, up to as many Large direct-fire siege engines as a quarter of total squares. If desired, you can fit half as many Huge direct-fire siege engines instead. These siege engines may only be on the port (larboard) and starboard sides of the airship, and are in banks of half the allowed maximum siege engines. In example: An 80 square ship would be allowed 20 Large siege engines in banks of 10. Alternatively, the airship can have 10 Huge siege engines in banks of 5. Table: Siege Engines and Table: Ammunition below have the costs and crew requirements for the weapons available on an airship.

Table: Siege Engines

Siege Engines (Large)CostDmgCriticalRangeTypeCrewAimLoad
Ballista, Light500 gil3d819-20/x2120 ft.P102
Cannon6,000 gil6d6x3100 ft.B and P213
Siege Engines (Huge)CostDmgCriticalRangeTypeCrewAimLoad
Ballista, Heavy800 gil4d819-20/x2180 ft.P323
Cannon, Fiend’s Mouth9,000 gil8d6x3150 ft.B and P313
Firedrake4,000 gil6d6Fire325
Manticore’s Tail1,000 gil3d619-20/x260-ft. coneP304

Table: Ammunition

AmmunitionCostWeight
Ballista, Light10 gil10 lbs.
Ballista, Heavy30 gil20 lbs.
Cannon30 gil25 lbs.
Cannon, Fiend’s Mouth45 gil30 lbs.
Firedrake200 gil20 lbs.
Manticore’s Tail120 gil120 lbs.

Crew

Required crew to keep the airship functioning. A full crew complement is calculated based on the propulsion method selected. If using a dirigible, it requires a crew member for every 30 squares of dirigible and a pilot. All other propulsion methods only require a pilot as minimal crew. Any crew aboard the airship above this minimum may operate the weaponry as crew to load, aim, and fire. Siege weapons have their required crew listed.

Airships