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D&D 3.5 – Skyships

D&D Skyships

Cover Image for D&D Skyships

D&D Skyships is a supplement to third edition Dungeons & Dragons set in a universe of ships that fly between the worlds and of battles in the air and in space. What you will not find here is a setting with descriptions of new worlds to explore, monsters to defeat and new races defined. You will not find any new feats and very few new magical spells and magical items. There are also no maps or ship plans.

What you will find here is a basic set of rules compatible with Dungeons & Dragons v3.5 that will provide a foundation for taking your D&D adventures into space.

These rules are based roughly on Spelljammer.

Differences between the Skyship system and the Spelljammer system

The skyship system uses some of the best features of Spelljammer and discards or replaces others.

Crystal Spheres and Phlogiston

The original Spelljammer system had “Crystal Spheres” that in turn bobbed about in a substance called Phlogiston, or the Flow. The Crystal Spheres allowed each different AD&D product line to exist in its own sphere, and the Flow allowed for travel between them. The skyship system eliminates all of this and instead uses “planetary systems” and introduces “interstellar teleport” as a way to travel between them.

Gravity planes

In the original Spelljammer system, every object exerted its own gravity, but only objects of a certain size exerted enough force for a gravity plane to develop. Spherical objects attracted objects towards their surfaces uniformly. Objects with a more irregular shape developed a gravitational plane. This plane worked in both directions so that it was possible, for instance, to walk on the bottom of a ship. The skyship system drops this concept and substitutes a simpler one as explained in the “Gravity” section below. Basically, only very large (planet sized) objects have enough gravity to make any difference and the magical device that controls the ship (the helm) also magically creates gravity on board the ship.

Objects dragging air

The Speljaming idea was that all objects would drag air with them whenever they leave an air envelope. A typical human, for example, would drag enough fresh air with him to breathe for 2-20 turns. After that time ran out the air turned foul for a period of time and then became deadly and unbreathable. Larger objects (such as Spelljammers) would drag larger amounts of air that would stay fresh longer. The skyship system abandons this concept entirely. The magical devices that propel the skyships also create breathable air. A PC that leaves an air envelope doesn’t die instantly (refer to the “Vacuum Exposure” section below) but will not last long unaided.

The Spelljammer Helm

The Spelljammer system used a magical devise called a helm. It was a throne like chair and the mage that controlled it was required to be seated on it to control the ship. When he did so, he lost all of his spells. It effectively removed one PC from all rollplaying activity other than controlling the ship. The skyship system also uses a magical helm. It can be controlled by anyone that can cast magical spells. After the helm is activated the pilot is free to move around the ship. He doesn’t loose his spells and can attempt to cast spells while continuing to control the skyship. The pilot can even leave the ship and travel a short distance away without losing all control. Spelljammer had other types of helms as well. The skyship system has only one type of helm, although it isn’t required to be in the form of a chair. There is no reason other helm types couldn’t be added to your campaign if you choose to do so. Simply use the modifications made here as a guide.

Basic Concepts for D&D Skyships


Sailing ships are fitted with magical devices that give them the ability to fly through space. These ships are often called skyships. Some races on some worlds have been building skyships for a very long time. Many create them specifically as flying vessels. Some of these are designed to land on land rather than water. Some are designed to never land at all.


With few exceptions, vehicles capable of interplanetary travel are powered by a powerful magical device known as a magical helm. This magical item can be any shape or size. It is sometimes incorporated into the ship’s wheel. The only requirement is that it must be bolted securely to the ship’s deck. It is most usually created in the form of a large throne like chair.  The helm not only allows the magic user that activated it to control the vessel’s direction and velocity, but also provides an envelope of breathable air at a comfortable temperature and creates an artificial gravity that allows everyone on board to move about on the ship as they would if it were on the water.


A helm maintains breathable air at a comfortable temperature that extends 300 feet in all directions centered on the helm itself. This air provides forward pressure on the sails as if the ship were sailing in a moderate wind. This allows a crew of experienced sailors to maneuver the ship as needed. Without sailors manning the sails the ship can only move forward or turn in a very wide arc.

Beyond the bubble of air created by the helm lies the vacuum of space. Most planets have breathable air surrounding them out to 32,000 feet (about 6 miles).


A helm creates a magical gravity similar to normal gravity on the Earth. This magical effect extends to the edge of the air bubble (300 feet). This magical gravity pulls down in relation to the orientation of the ship. Anyone falling overboard will fall as they would on the Earth until they reach the edge of the air bubble. Ten feet beyond the edge of the magical bubble they will stop falling and simply hover there weightless in the vacuum of space (refer to vacuum exposure below). This will be true for anything dropped. If the ship is moving, anything that falls overboard will simply be left behind once it has left the ships gravity bubble. Anything thrown or fired from the ship will behave normally, as it would on the Earth, until it reaches the edge of the magic bubble. It will then continue in a straight line at its current speed forever, unless it hits something or enters another source of gravity.

If two or more ships get close enough to each other that their gravity bubbles touch, they will automatically orient themselves so that “down” on all ships is in the same direction. If a ship enters the gravity of a planet, it will orient itself with that planet’s natural gravity. This alignment of gravity fields occurs almost instantly with no adverse effects to anyone aboard the ship.

All planets, even small ones or large asteroids, have natural gravity. The effects of a planet’s gravity extend 32,000 feet above its surface. All planets have gravity roughly equivalent to that experienced on the Earth regardless of the size or mass of the planet. Not all planets are ball shaped. Some may be disk shaped. Others may be in the shape of a cube. Regardless of the shape of the planet, natural gravity (in this fictional universe) always pulls down toward each of the primary surfaces. This will be toward the center of spherical planets, or towards each of the major flat surfaces of a planet with flat sides.


It requires someone with magical abilities to control a helm. A player character must be proficient with magic and capable of casting magical spells. The person that controls the helm is called the pilot.  The more powerful the pilot, the faster he can fly the skyship. Player characters are considered to have a pilot level equal to the highest level spell they can cast. For instance, a 5th level Wizard or 5th level Cleric or an 11th level Paladin can each cast 3rd level spells, so they would each be a 3rd level pilot.

Activating a Helm

It requires a minimum of a level 1 pilot (as defined above) to activate a helm. The helm must be securely bolted to a skyship that is in reasonably good shape. If the helm is currently inactive it takes one hour to activate it. This is called powering up. During this time the pilot must remain in physical contact with the helm and maintain full concentration. The air and gravity bubble expands slowly out from the helm at a rate of 5 feet per minute until it reaches a radius of 300 feet. At this time it becomes fully activated. The pilot can not use the helm to move the ship until it is fully activated. Once activated, as long as the pilot is on the skyship he can control the ship with no need to keep in physical contact with the helm. A pilot may disengage from the helm at will at any time. A helm doesn’t loose all of its power the moment it is disengaged. As soon as it is disengaged it stops moving and floats in place. It then takes an hour before it becomes fully inactive. During this time, the air and gravitational bubble grows smaller at a rate of 5 feet per minute until, after one hour, it completely collapses and the helm again becomes inactive. Any pilot can re-activate a helm while it is in the process of powering down. The new pilot must remain in contact with the helm and maintain concentration while it powers up. It must power up for the same amount of time as it has been powering down.

A helm deactivates and begins powering down if the pilot is reduced to 0 or fewer hit points.

If the pilot becomes unconscious or for some other reason is unable to provide the minimum concentration required to control the ship, it will continue at its current speed and direction.

Another qualified pilot can take over control of the ship by simply placing his hand on the helm while the existing pilot disengages. Pilots can not be removed from control of their ship against their will as long as they are in physical contact with the helm. If the existing pilot is not in contact with the helm and refuses or is unable to disengage, the prospective new pilot can gain control of the helm by maintaining contact with the helm and wining an opposed Willpower check against the current pilot.

Piloting the Skyship

The pilot is the individual steering the vessel and controls the general direction and speed of the skyship. He directs the ship’s general motion (fine maneuvering is provided by sails, rigging, and crew).

The pilot in a sense merges with the ship, he feels as if he is personally flying through space, and can perceive the world around the ship as if he were flying just above the ships highest mast. The pilot perceives damage to the ship as white flashes of pain, but takes no actual, personal damage in most cases. Sometimes, however, the pain is intense enough to cause unconsciousness; this is called “pilot shock” and is usually a result of a critical hit.

In many ways, piloting a vessel is instinctual, because the pilot feels he “merges” with the vessel he can generally control the vessel as easily as walking. The ship handling crew control all of the finer aspects of maneuver.

While flying the pilot retains his normal senses and can hold a conversation with those nearby. In general, piloting is no more difficult then walking so that anything a person can reasonably be expected to concentrate on while walking can be done while flying. This includes casting spells. Because it does require a bit of concentration to maintain control of the skyship, any spell he attempts requires a (DC 10) concentration check. A skyship always flies smoothly, so other spell casters do not require a concentration check due to the ship’s motion.

If a pilot leaves a skyhip that he is controlling it will stop moving and float in space at that location. He will not be able to make the ship move while he is off of it. He will regain full control once he returns. If the pilot travels more than six miles away from the ship the helm will disengage as described above.

Voyages often require several days or months of continuous travel aboard the skyship. The pilot requires 8 hours of rest or sleep each day. During this time and during the time he spends preparing his spells, praying, studying his spell books, meditating, etc. he can not control the ship. During those times the ship will continue at the same speed and direction he last set.

Vacuum Exposure

Beings exposed to the airless cold of space are not immediately doomed. Contrary to popular belief, characters exposed to vacuum do not immediately freeze or explode, and their blood does not boil in their veins. While space is very cold, heat does not transfer away from a body that quickly.

A character exposed to the vacuum of space can hold his breath for 2 rounds per point of Constitution. After this period of time, you must make a DC 10 Constitution check in order to continue holding your breath. The save must be repeated each round, with the DC increasing by +1 for each previous success. When you fail one of these Constitution checks, you begin to suffocate. In the first round, you fall unconscious (0 hit points). In the following round, you drop to -1 hit points and are dying. In the third round, your character suffocates.

In addition to the lack of air, you must also deal with the extreme cold which deals 1d6 points of lethal damage per minute (10 rounds), no save. At the end of each minute you must also make a Fortitude save (DC 15, +1 per previous check) or take 1d4 points of nonlethal damage. Those wearing metal armor or coming into contact with very cold metal are affected as if by a chill metal spell.

Characters (in this fictional universe) are not affected by radiation in any way. Whether this is because there is no radiation, or living beings are immune to it is left to your imagination.


Almost everyone on all planets can speak common. Also Elves speak Elvin, Dwarves speak Dwarven, etc. Sages have many theories to explain this, but the truth is that no one really knows why creatures on different planets would evolve to speak the same languages. Those who travel between the planets are just happy that they do.

Download the Skyship rules here (free): Skyships


70 responses to “D&D 3.5 – Skyships

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  4. William Cady February 25, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Any chance of getting a 5e version of this pdf?


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  6. Darin Crossland July 19, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    Fan of your work…

    Though, I honestly had to wait 1000 years stranded on Greyhawk before you were born to write about it. I believe it and your Skyship documents are fantastic!

    Ive had to pull a few favors in at the City of Brass to make FIVE interlinked helms (a single PentaHelm) for one TRULLY GARGANTUAN spelljammer craft found in an old edition module, S3 Expidition to the Barrier Peaks. The helms will be installed into the craft by the Efretti Engeneers Core so i can take the craft Ethereal before i drive the engeneers home.

    Thanks again, And if you need a lift ANYWHERE… Just give me a holler…
    Malagand Mamorphic.

    via Darin Crossland


      • Darin Crossland July 20, 2017 at 11:40 am

        … The character was unable to approach the Githzari… kind of a ling standing issue there (since 1983 or so been at war, lol)… so the lack of information on thier construction tequiniques wasn’t missed and myself and other amature game masters have always concidered that the githzari crafts had a “self destruct” that prevented thier falling into PC hands (also something that can turn the tides of a war). Smaller githzari craft were generally regarded as unencounterable outside of the large transports and accopanying warcrafts, and were always too fast to be “caught”.
        Though other minor mention within the D&D themeset gamesystem exist, yours finally brings to light in glorius fashion the style in wich it can trully be used. I only regret not actually having experianced the game systems that you draw upon in its writeup! lol

        Darin Crossland
        D&D, AD&D player and GM since 1981.


      • Ronny July 20, 2017 at 12:23 pm

        That all sounds like great fun. Thanks for sharing.


      • Darin Crossland July 20, 2017 at 12:44 pm

        pss: I know you state descriptions of planes and dimentions was beyond the scope of your paper, but the meer mention of “The Planer Bizzar” has me more than curious as to its location… lol 🙂


  7. Darin Crossland July 20, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    You Are Very Welcome… 🙂

    ps: I correct my poor naval terms… “selfdestruct”, i should have described more as “skuttle the craft”… 🙂


  8. Darin Crossland July 21, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    I do have a couple of gameplay queries and comments, noting interesting things for my own game and what is generally described. : )

    I have now finally noticed, that there seems to be a single helm for each craft from smallest to immence. I presume that the same style of “chair” is used in all cases and only the amount of imbued magic does. I support this concept in the nature of gameplay, but have to concider what I also am trying to attempt. The largest craft to my knowledge is some 200′ across and 100′ high and is described as a “citadel size” and continues with this concept of a single helm craft. The craft i wish to imbue with the helm is conciderably larger at 540′ across and some 220′ high.

    My initial querry is in a basic ruling, is still a single helm sufficent (increasing time and cost accordingly) in such a massive craft? Or is my presumption that magic has limits, and in order to have the craft move at even the slowest rates, that more than one helm be required? To continue just the train of thought, if one helm is sufficent, wouldtional helms increase manuverability and/or speed?


    • Ronny July 21, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      You are free, of course, to have your helms/skyships work any way you think is best for your campaign. The way I have described the helm is that it creates a magical “air and gravity” bubble that is a sphere with a radius of 300 feet. My assumption is that the magic to effect the movement of the ship also extends that far. That is plenty big enough to comfortably fit your ship if it is only 540′ across and some 220′ high. So only one helm would be required, but you might want to make sure it was mounted near the center of the ship.
      More to the point, say that you do have a ship that is larger than will fit into a 600′ diameter sphere, would it require more than one helm? I think not. You may need a more powerful helm, but more than one is not the answer. If you had more than one helm, you would require more than one pilot. For multiple pilots to coordinate their efforts to steer the ship could be problematic.
      I assume you are playing D&D 3.5. If you are playing fifth edition, you should be using the version I posted here:


      • Darin Crossland July 21, 2017 at 5:19 pm

        fhanTk you for your concice and very logical application of magic, i admit to having missed the point you make the realm of influence at 300′ was diameter and not radius but it was made mute by your further point of “stronger helm”. : )

        Thank you again,
        you probablynsaved me 3/4 a cubic meter of mithrel in costs… lol

        ps: as to the version of game… since i have played D&D since the ’80’s beginning with Basic Edition pretty much after Chainmail and have followed the game through its full lifetime of evolution, the version would be ALL. lol.


      • Ronny July 21, 2017 at 5:53 pm

        You may, then, want to read the fifth edition version of these rules. They are simplified somewhat and concentrate more on each individual PCs contribution to things like ship to ship combat.


      • Darin Crossland July 28, 2017 at 8:32 pm

        I am reading from and utilizing all versions of the information to compile a concise directive for myself to use in all other game systems regardless of dice base (3d6 or d20) of the game. : )


      • Ronny July 29, 2017 at 8:22 am

        I would be interested in reading your “concise directive” when you have finished creating it.


  9. Darin Crossland July 21, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    This gameplay I place seperatly… as will become apperent why… : )

    I noted by the documentation that during battle, the ships planes of axis come into alignment such that each crafts deck is “level and parallell to the opponent craft”… interesting… and sorry to say, a load of bollox. lol.

    It is quite the viewpoint of a 2 dimentional sailor used to port and stern commands exclusivly outside of bearing and speed. A true Astral Piolet concideres this limited, and rewards it with tactics, that if you survive… will wake you in a cold sweat.

    A common Githzarii tactic is to assume such a “fair” position, and then shifting course will CORKSCREW into a position counter and above the opposing vessle. Which is quite defenceless against the cannon fire and arrows raining down on it from above… or worse.. FROM BELOW! You can imagine if they try to fire back?

    I might recommend that other piolets of insufficent Astral Sailing be wary of these tactics and not be so locked into such dangerously suicidal piolet error.

    Malagand Mamorphic

    via Darin Crossland


    • Ronny July 21, 2017 at 5:50 pm

      I did that mainly to simplify ship to ship combat. You are of course free to ignore that rule if you prefer more complex combat.


      • Darin Crossland July 28, 2017 at 8:27 pm

        Ignore a Rule is not within my grasp, but reconcidering guidelines is. lol

        We found that a more complex flight path not only enhances game play realism, but it actually prolongs the combat sufficently to make it worth while without ruining it all with dice.

        Using the same direction and motion on hex maps was crudly adapted to third dimention playability by simply turning the hex directions 90 degs off plane of axis… thus the described bank/turn becomes a like description for climb and dive while still controlling the actual turn radius.
        Barrel roll manuvers were of course handled in a 4th axis and was basically dependant upon the size of the craft as to how much per hex woulkd be rotated.

        : )


      • Ronny July 29, 2017 at 8:24 am

        That actually sounds like a lot of fun. If you codify those 3D ship maneuver rules, I would love to see them.


      • Darin Crossland August 1, 2017 at 12:28 am

        lol… any more pss’s and ill have sprung a leak…

        but just gotta disagree with the whole 360° turn and velocity changes described in the 5th ed version of skyships… hrmmm… even a ship on star trek or star wars would rip itself apart, and they have inertial dampners… lol
        and while the sphere of influence has a gravity down, i not so sure inertia of that magnatuded could be handled by anything not nailed down… if you can shoot an arrow, you can be shot too.
        not to mention the validity of what would happen to the vectored forces on the sails and mast, only designed to be used in one direction… such a counter wind force to halt the craft dead might just shear the masts right off… lol

        just tell me its magic and to be quiet, lololol : )


    • Darin Crossland July 31, 2017 at 10:51 pm

      well, after looking at the 5th edition set of skyship rules for motion… i must say that they are pretty loose. lol. I use Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Aquatic and Naval combat rukes basically… with a 3d twist…(with relatioin to a dive under another craft to expose guns to its underside tactic)
      now i think the main issue that most might have is working in space and with the speeds that would apply there… we just made the hexes bigger in scale. A typical sea faring combat map has hexes 10′ across to reflect how a craft of 10′ per round velocity might move. So in order to have it still all make sence, if the craft is moving 10,000′ per round in space, that the space (hex) be also 10,000 feet across. Thus, the combat manuvers are the same on the game table, if not the same in imagination.
      And so, with that in mind, the flight path plane can be extended simply to include UP and DOWN to be equal to LEFT and RIGHT as manuvers. The height change is the most difficult to calculate without trignometry, and so was simplified to pure UP and DOWN manuvers change your height by 2\3rds your speed, and the impure UP&RIGHT, UP&LEFT, DOWN&RIGHT, and DOWN&LEFT were simplified to 1\2 your speed for the height change.
      There is only ONE dive, or DIVE&BANK manuver actually performed. After that, the craft is moving forward at a downward angle to the opponent craft. A strictly RELATIVE VIEWPOINT! The pilot decides for how long to continue forward before performing a UP manuver to make the ship planes parallell again in preperation of the strafing run. Once parallel, the pilot rolls the craft to expose its guns to the oponnents underside.
      While also in the forward motion of the dive, the barel roll can be executed, then the UP manuver to parallel the guns becomes actually a LEFT… and now were strarting to make my brain hurt. lol
      Needless to say, these manuvers are not easly done and involve quite a familiarity with the craft involved, pilot skill, and no small amount of spatial coordination. lol

      Last Point: What i have described here would make a airport traffic controler throw a fit. lol Much of haw we keep track of it all is based on thier radar screens. lol


      • Darin Crossland July 31, 2017 at 11:08 pm

        well, after looking at the 5th edition set of skyship rules for motion… i must say that they are pretty loose. lol. I use Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Aquatic and Naval combat rukes basically… with a 3d twist…(with relatioin to a dive under another craft to expose guns to its underside tactic)
        now i think the main issue that most might have is working in space and with the speeds that would apply there… we just made the hexes bigger in scale. A typical sea faring combat map has hexes 10′ across to reflect how a craft of 10′ per round velocity might move. So in order to have it still all make sence, if the craft is moving 10,000′ per round in space, that the space (hex) be also 10,000 feet across. Thus, the combat manuvers are the same on the game table, if not the same in imagination.
        And so, with that in mind, the flight path plane can be extended simply to include UP and DOWN to be equal to LEFT and RIGHT as manuvers. The height change is the most difficult to calculate without trignometry, and so was simplified to pure UP and DOWN manuvers change your height by 2\3rds your speed, and the impure UP&RIGHT, UP&LEFT, DOWN&RIGHT, and DOWN&LEFT were simplified to 1\2 your speed for the height change.
        There is only ONE dive, or DIVE&BANK manuver actually performed. After that, the craft is moving forward at a downward angle to the opponent craft. A strictly RELATIVE VIEWPOINT! The pilot decides for how long to continue forward before performing a UP manuver to make the ship planes parallell again in preperation of the strafing run. Once parallel, the pilot rolls the craft to expose its guns to the oponnents underside.
        While also in the forward motion of the dive, the barel roll can be executed, then the UP manuver to parallel the guns becomes actually a LEFT… and now were strarting to make my brain hurt. lol
        Needless to say, these manuvers are not easly done and involve quite a familiarity with the craft involved, pilot skill, and no small amount of spatial coordination. lol

        Last Point: What i have described here would make a airport traffic controler throw a fit. lol Much of haw we keep track of it all is based on thier radar screens. lol

        As for comparing manuvers and speed, if one ship moves 10′ per round and another moves 3’per round, how can we relate this to the map and manuvers. We simplify it to this logic, the slower ship requires 3 rounds to move one hex or to perform a single movement manuver… in the same time of three rounds, the smaller ship can perform 3 movement manuvers. Now you have the effect of the hulking mass turning ever so slowly, while the tug boat just rips around it like its standing still.

        : ) Any Questions?


      • Darin Crossland July 31, 2017 at 11:16 pm

        ps: 6 consecutive dive or rise commands would result in a “loop de loop” manuver… lol


      • Darin Crossland August 1, 2017 at 12:02 am

        pss: movement relation to combat and inititive…
        while movement manuvers may take several rounds to complete on slow and massive vessles, loading and firing of weapons does not, so inititive must be divided into two applications, movement and combat.
        In relation to movement inititive, the faster craft always wins. In the case of equal speed, the more manuvarable wins. If both are equal or the same vessle, then dice may be used.
        The winning vessle performs as many manuvers as it is permitted until the last manuver in which it is concidered simultanious with the only manuver of the larger ship.
        To combat, it is still handled by normal inititive on every round… even rounds where a movement manuver is not yet complete… heres an gameplay example…

        Round0- large and small ship are positioned parallel to each other

        Round1 – small ship moves one hex forward to get out of the opponent cannon arc
        -large ship DECLARES A 3 ROUND turn1 to bring guns back onto small vessle
        Round2 – small ship moves forward and left and fires cannons and arrows at larger vessle
        -large vessle continues on turn2 and fires arrows at smaller craft only
        Round3 – small ship moves forward and left and fires cannons and arrows at larger craft
        – large vessle completes on turn3 and small vessle is still out of arc, arrows only

        Yah… it can get interesting, but once you know who moves how many times and when, gameplay moves quite smoothly… mostly… till we did 3D. lol


  10. Darin Crossland July 21, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    …and lastly… a querry into “magical physics” (oxymoron of the day) lololol

    With the helms control of up, down, and even sideways relative to the orientation of the craft… i really have to ask… Do we still need BALAST? lol


    • Ronny July 21, 2017 at 5:46 pm

      Yes, you need balast if your skyship is a “ship” that lands on water. When it is not under the control of the helm of course.


      • Darin Crossland July 28, 2017 at 8:21 pm

        Interesting, though i can not recal where I read of a sailing tactic… that out and about on the open seas a skycraft, on a sea faring adventure, came to be persued by a pirate ship. Not wanting to reveal the nature of the magical vessle in a non vessle enabled world, the piolet instead used the helm to keep the boat “in the water and upright” but to dramatically increase speed without requiring terestrial wind, thus leaving the pirate ship behind and completly baffled to thier own inadiquacies…

        Now myself, i can see a huge issue with the resistance of the water radically slowing the “flying speed through air” as it moves through water, but conceed that it would work to enhance sea faring speeds moderatly.

        it was also that procedure that had me wondering asto the depth of control the helm has when not otherwise told to do so, ie: upright without balast in the lower hold becomes mute in the force it takes to keep the ship intact if it was to fly in air,upside down or counter to gravity… or indeed, boyancy. 🙂


      • Ronny July 29, 2017 at 8:29 am

        Check my rules for Airship Speed – on the water. This does exactly what you are suggesting. If you activate and use the magical helm to propel the ship while it is on the water, you can go much faster than the ship could typically travel, and it creates it’s own wind!
        Of course, you can deactivate the magical helm and simply sail as any other ship would.


      • Darin Crossland July 31, 2017 at 9:57 pm

        Oh yes indeed, much faster… lol… you were a lot more generous than I… i also particularly enjoy mixing physics with magic, lol…

        as to the “makes its own wind”, well, that is just frought with perilous magic and physics interactions that could have detrimental effects in tactics… Ignoring the “closed loop of energy” could be difficult in tactical situations where such interactions have dramatic effect… of course, i could just be adding more of that complexity (depth lol) to it all… : )
        In gameplay, its ok, it really doent matter… here, ill try better to get my thoughts across…

        if we examine the tactic of “stealing the wind” that a terrestrial craft can do, that a larger sailed ship aproaches close to the aft of a smaller craft. The energy in the wind is literally used and “spoiled” by eddies to the point that the smaller craft in front. Its sails colaps from the lack of energy and direction.
        A simular reverse case of aerodynamics is the same senerio on a race track with cars. The front car experiances all the negative effects of drag, while a close rear car “drafts” the front car and actually increases into a passing vellocity using the same energy quotent and indeed passes its own drag onto the first car.
        ok, with all three points in mind, i begin to look at some of the tactics i have used in typical skyship combat… As mentioned before, the “barrel roll under” is a horrifying thing to behold as cannonfire rips into the underbelly of an opposing ship… just one of many tactics to “destory” a vessle, but what if its a large merchant craft loaded with goods? dont want to spill, burn and ruin the cargo and a long battle would have the same effect. Ive found it much more effective to “barrel roll over and cross masts”… if your a good piolet, and dont actually strike masts (which you will see has the same desired effect) or entangle the rigging (not easy)… the forces that act upon and from each helm for motion are collectivly cancled at a magical level.
        They both halt dead hard.
        most of the time… too small a craft, and you can have your mast blown off by the stronger helm of the other ship. lol
        Its as if, from my above example… the ship tried to draft the car. lol


      • Ronny August 1, 2017 at 9:23 am

        You present a host of issues. I’ll try to address as many as I can.

        1) As a rule of thumb, when calculating distances at an angle, such as how far is it between here and there if “there” is 60 ft horizontally and 20 ft up, I simply take the longest dimension (60′) and add half the shortest dimension (20′). When rounding everything off to 5′ increments, this works surprisingly well. I think it would also work for larger distances in space.

        2) Inertia? Forget inertia. This is NOT Newtonian physics, this is magic. Magic doesn’t work the way the actual universe works, it works the way that the person who created the magic thinks that it should work. That is how, for instance, when you drop an item off a shyship, or if you fall overboard, you fall as you would on Earth until you exit the magical gravity bubble, and then you stop. (I need to organize my thoughts on this better and write a post on this subject.) NOTE: This also applies to “makes its own wind”. I know that that wouldn’t actually work, but the person that created the magical helm thought that it would work, so it does. And it ignores any actual wind conditions.

        3) The same logic applies to turning in place. No inertia, so no problem. Your ship is effectively insulated from any of those concerns. The same applies to turning upside down, easy.

        4) Moving up, down, left, right in space? No, I think you simply point to the spot you want to travel to and go in that direction. You can, at the same time, orient your ship any way you choose. Now, for play-ability, your ideas may work better. I haven’t worked that out.

        5) I did loosen up the rules quite a bit for 5th edition, in keeping with this simpler, faster playing, rule set.

        6) Many of the issues you present (such as “barrel roll over and cross masts”) are why I settled on the ships automatically orienting themselves the same way when their air bubbles touch. But I do think it could be fun to run a 3D space fight as you describe. Perhaps I should think about it some more and publish a supplement for more “realistic” space battles. You have given me a lot of good ideas. Thanks for sharing.


  11. Darin Crossland August 1, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    lol…. yup, its magic… hehehe… inirtia is in effect regardless of graviy as it is directly proportal to density (not mass/weight) and velocity… : )

    actually, you do describe a bit of inertia effect on your ramming manuver… : ) i just extended the the effect… for suprize situatioins where the pilot cannot adjust the “inertial dampner” in time… which fits with the collision effect of ramming/bashing and with the controlled tight turn and sudden stop effect you describe as part of normal helm operation… which is still malarky, heheeh…. : )

    I can think of many issues and concerns that result from not having a category system for manuverability… whats to, literally stop a piolet from hitting the brakes or literally spinning in a circle at combat/crusing speeds and thus cause any attached lines or boarding planks to be quite sheared off… also, if you fire ahead of a moving target (lead it) a cannon fire to where a ship will be in the eventual balistic path, its a simple matter to stop and go to have ALL FIRE MISS… thus; if you make it IMPOSSIBLE to match the speed or to have a target hold a predictable path of travel, you also make boarding or firing upon a vessle equally impossible.
    I dont believe Alpha, gammaworld or spacejammer utilize such either.

    this was something discussed at length, though we were concidering the fastest of flying crafts, the witches broom and just how hard is it to shoot something that can move like a hummingbird… we never even concidered having a huge sailing ship move like a hummingbird because its quite too fantastical… it is a flying barn after all… lolol If that were the case, all skyships would travel at the same speed as well… and doesnt quite fit with rate of speed increases for craft sizes… then it also follows to be mute about the shape of the craft at all, they are all the same, the only seperation is cost. then also listing any kind of manuvarability rating is contradictory to the 360 turn for everyone…

    please examine 2nd edition dungeons and dragons ruleset, dungeon masters guide pgs 50-54. : ) for movement and categories of manuverability… they explain itbetter than i could… lol its what i use, the rules. : )

    sorry,but it sits better in my mind not to dispose of universal constants… just because a peson believes the world is flat, the heavens revolve around the earth and magic exists – does in no way conclude that is the way it REALLY works. lol…


    • Darin Crossland August 1, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      lol… moving on… lol…

      about the 300′ radius sphere of influence… what was used to derive that size? The shape i understand, its the most effecient with regards to energy and entropy.

      I mean, as per having it only a few feet larger than the largest dimention of the craft (radius +total feet helm is from craft center) and thus making the magical power requirements different between helms, rather than defaulting the size for all helms?

      It would also add depth of gameplay in the “powerup of the shell. You state that the 300′ shell is fully powered in a hour, which works out to 1/2 foot radius expansion per round or 5′ per minute:
      300′ divided by 60 minutes equals 5′ per minute expansion
      and, if there are 10rounds per minute;
      5′ divided by 10rounds equals 0.5ft per round expansion

      Using a more apropriate shell size to craft size wouldnt effect the “power up rate” of 5′ per minute, it does effect that a huge warship(300′ shell) would take an hour to power up and get underway and a small sailing barge(60′ shell) be on its way in under 10minutes.

      Not to mention what would happen to a 300′ shell overlap at a space port, space dock or astral/etherial floating landmass where others have simular shells but are parked at 3d angles… astral gravity on bodies of land, that should be the basis of your gravity effect, fyi : )

      Then there could also be an “emergency takeoff” where the shell has reached a minimum size of 50-80% (to be able to encumpass the sails and all) and the craft is still in atmosphere but below 10,000 feet (lolol)… but that might be an item that a game master can look at when it happens too… lol…

      Timescale used is D&D standard, greyhawk ed1 et al.;
      1 hour=60 turns (60 mins)
      1 turn (1 min)=10 rounds
      1 round=6 seconds


  12. Darin Crossland August 1, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    i offer a few new magic items as well….

    The Pilots Interstellar Secant
    . it determines your position relative to the stars on any world body as a normal secant, but when pointed to a star specifically, it also provides teleport coorinants to that star in the form of images of the solar system (beyond planet orbits) to the pilot. In the case of etherial/astral travel and the spheres concept, pointing to and examining a sphere gives like images to transport to. This provides the teleport method, which is not permitted without having been/seen it before. : ) LoOpHoLe Fix… lol Extra cost to helm, 30,000gpv.

    Navigators Chart Of Spheres
    An interstellar map showing where you are and nearby (lol) star locations at a scale specified by the navigator. Map is absolutly relative in the plane of axis it shows, starts above the plane by 30° (above the ship) appear as green and stars below the plane 30° (below the shop) appear blue and in the 60° arc at the sides of the ship appear red (possible collision note). Extra cost to helm 100,000gpv.

    Telecope of the Quartermaster.
    Permits unlimited line of sight vision at any magnification that would permit sight of a interstellar planetary body at extreme range and magnification and to determine if there is life on that body (shown in green colors), the dominant alignment that exists there (black, grey and white) and any technological advancements (technology shows as blue). Extra cost to helm, 75,000gpv

    pssssss… i also looking into developing “space sickness” and “space madness”… the sickness is a vertigo thing between the eye seeing motion and the inner ear detecting none, very common… the other relates to how individuals would react to prolonged stays at sea/space… that might require some reading… : )


    • Darin Crossland August 2, 2017 at 7:38 am

      hahahahah… i feel stupid now…. lololol

      disregard the first two ‘new items’, lololol… they already exist in spelljammer… lol see legends… lol

      also, since i am now reading the spelljammer books… i can see a bit of what was drawn upon, and disposed of, from that game system… only crudly see anyways… lol… I tell yah, its an interesting game system… but i dont abide the loss of self will in the spelljammers sphere of influence (charm prevents leaving is bull cookies)…. : )


    • Ronny August 2, 2017 at 8:26 am

      I really like your magic items.


  13. Darin Crossland August 2, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    oh! wait, what?… hold the phone… you dont/didnt play?


  14. Darin Crossland August 2, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    spelljammer is dungeons & dragons, and requires no import or trasmographication… lol heres some extras for yah…

    tragic your not more familiar with 1st and 2nd edition rulkes (as written by Gary Gygax) via TSR, it fully explains the movement and manuverability Rules for both sea faring and areial combats and manuvers. They are duplicated in spelljammer niegh exectly. dmg 49-53.

    Skyjammer gravity is also much better im afraid than what you offer here. A Spelljammer gravity plane could be used in your bubble easly enough, just have it at the keels edge and it runs normal. I still like the fun it poses to have intruders bobing up and down in the gravity plane as they approach to board… makes for interesting archery, lol.

    There are indeed SEVERAL types of Helms! They all work the same way with the same powers, they just “charge and get magic” in different ways. They are loosly categorized into three groups, 1 to 50 ton craft, 50-100 ton craft, and 100+ ton craft.

    “Ton” is an arbitrary indication of the atmosphere that is with a craft. For each “ton” of craft it pulls with it “100 cu yards of atmosphere” which is fresh for 4-6 months per person. ie: a 20 ton skyship has 20 units of 100cu yards of air, so can have a total compliment of 20 persons abord for 4-6 months or a complment of 100 for 3-4 weeks.

    There can DEFINITLY be more than one Helm on a single craft. The one in use is the primary, all others regardless of type are backup to that primary and do Not require pilots though each may/may not have to be “charged”. “charging” can be one of four ways; a) justnas normal, by magic b) another mage joins c) magic items are made or destroyed d) lifeforce energy is used. The maximum size a SINGLE MAJOR helm can move is 700 ton, more like controled drift after 300 ton.

    Inertia is in full effect with manuverability. The only time it states that there is no effect from radical changes in vectors is when you “drop out of warp” or interstellar speeds down to combat/tactical… THAT is the only time it does not quantify.

    Helms can be Anything Inanimate. Cant be simpler than that.

    The helm converts magic to force on the sails and craft… NOT WIND! They are still in full effect of planitary forces though some is countered, weather isnt one. You still cant land in a hurricane. The buble is not impervious either. Comming into contact with an atmosphere that is toxic will swap 50/50 with it autimatically, the buble holds it in, it doesnt keep it out.

    A body or object doesnt fall out of the bubble in spelljammer, at least not right away. It will bob in the gravity plane until the craft and gravity plane leave it behind or if the craft is statioinary, the gravity plane gently nudges it outwards away from the craft until it leaves the gravity plane/bubble (the plane is a disk that is thicker in the middle, the vectors work for this phenominon). The gfravity plane extends out in equal size as the bubble.

    Since bubble size is directly related to the ton/cuyd of air that a craft “pulls” allong, the size of that bubble is also quite different than your stated 300′.

    wanna know more? just ask… 🙂 its what i do… 🙂

    Ignorance hasnt the stamina of Curiocity. : )


    • Ronny August 3, 2017 at 9:01 am

      It is good to know someone that is an expert on the Spelljammer rules. I did read them, but your observations are helpful.
      I have always said: “Just because I don’t know anything about a topic, doesn’t mean that I don’t have an opinion about it.” That seams to work for politicians. 🙂


  15. Darin Crossland August 4, 2017 at 9:12 am

    lol… Expert… lol I dont know nothing except that. lol.

    I’ve never really resticted myself to any one game system and so have pretty much played, gm, and crossover’ed just about everything enough times i can convert systems with ease. Even had to on the fly when gm of 50+ people at a time and someone pops up with a new doo-dad from another game systerm, lol.. D&D(about 21 defined world systems), Rolemaster/Middle earth (perhaps 2-3 world systems), Gamma world, Spell jammer (many many worlds), Battletech/Mechwarior (oh my giddy aunt the worlds), agent 007 (once, lol), and a few other really wierd one that went out of print decades ago with the programming lanuages i used to know… lol

    ok, was looking into posting the 3D stuff i have but its hand drawn images… i dont see anything on the postings about images..

    ok, on a quick math test… i checked your 60/20= 70 concept…. again, bolox… sorry… pythagothoriums theorum isnt a difficult math… a squared plus b squared equals c squared…. its closer to 60 than 70…
    Note: a very simple cure for this is a simple chart of X=distance, y=altitude as simple whole numbers (1,2,3,4,5….25) and where they intercect is the answer (c) to one decimal place.

    Example of use: Game master counts off the hexes of horizontal distance to “15 hexes” and notes that the target is vertically “5 hexes up”. Looking at the chart, X=15and Y=5, the answer C=15.8 (16) hexes distant, yet another target is “60 hexes distant” and “20 hexes down” is “63.2 hexes and closing”. The man that fell overboard is now “4 hexes back” and “3 hexes down” and is “5 hexes distant”.

    After you have the hexes, well,multiply that by your map scale if you want that measurement. And it works with every map system or scale. : )


  16. Darin Crossland August 4, 2017 at 10:17 am

    This can also be done with arbitrary coordinant systems as well…

    Orgin: X5 Y9 Z3
    Destination: X18 Y12 Z-3

    ABS(X18 – X5) = X13, ABS(Y12 – Y9) = Y3 ABS(Z-3 – Z3) = Z6
    Look on chart for X and Y for horizontal distance… (13.3 hexes)
    Look on chart for that horizontal distance as X, and Z as Y height… (14.6 hexes)

    Distance traveled: 15 hexes.

    : )


    • Ronny August 4, 2017 at 7:15 pm

      I’ll stick with mine. It works for your example too.
      13 + half of 3 (rounded down) = 14
      14 + half of 6 = Distance traveled: 17 hexes
      This is close enough for gaming use and I can do it all in my head.
      Some people enjoy making everything as accurate as possible, but I put a high value on fast and easy game play.


  17. Darin Crossland August 4, 2017 at 10:22 am

    quikie math… an average of the change in x and y then add the height change… lots more accurate and stupid simple accurate for the most part… : )


  18. Darin Crossland August 4, 2017 at 10:29 am

    … lol… then theres the old… 3/4/5 ruke… for every x of 3 and y of 4 theres a z of 5… : )


  19. Darin Crossland August 4, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    hrm… didnt think of it much before, but i have now… easiezst way to know how long/far it take to “slow to a stop”… is simply how long it took to get underway… both fight the same inertia and have to expend the same energy over the same time…


  20. Darin Crossland August 4, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    ie: if it took 2 rounds to come to full speed on the water, it will take 2 rounds to slow down on the water… but if they went underway inwater, it would take waters underway speed… but if they slow down in space, use the get undderway speed for space… gettit? : )


  21. Darin Crossland August 5, 2017 at 6:52 am

    well… GM should know everything. lollololol as douglas adams says… “thanks for all the fish”… : ) and … “Dont P A N I C” lol

    There are just SO MANY WAYS to skin a cat, and you always end up with a naked cat. lol

    Got much research done across the realms… Ye old module S3 Expedition to the barrier peaks has quite the spread for an introductory to sci-fi D&D. The starting text story describes, to those familiar with otherworldy lore, a colony of humans that existed in Battletech/Mechwarior. There the migration was called, “The Exodus”, a story of Kerinskies departure from the inner spheres to space beyond the perifery. Battletech confirms the story further in that at least one of the jumpships went missing and was reported lost to the realms.

    Looking at the images drawn for the S3 module of the craft buried in the hillside… well, pretty sure its a “Mule Dropship” that came off a “Starlord Jumpship” during the introduction text (both from Battletech/Mechwarrior). The craft had what D&D called monsters, but are also sentient beings from Gammaworld. Spacie weapons were brought over from battletech mostly.

    lol, and to that ‘slemiziol’, im adding in skyjammers and connecting the battletech universe to the flow subverse in an effort to extend the moduke for advanced and prolonged gameplay.

    If you think im an accuracy freek for finding shortcuts, you should have seen some of the players i had! They often proved that theres always someoine out there that knows more than you about a subject, including the page numbers to the rule within a game system your messing with… lol… So, i dont change rules EVER, nd only mess with Guidelines if i can manage it to be both realistic fantasy (bit of an oxymoron there) and accurate.

    As with accuracy your talking about is fine for space perhaps, the distances are huge and missle ranges are extreme, and open ended. Where in a planet, under normal game rules… a 2 hex difference in math would definitly attract the attention of every player. If scaled accordingly, such an error is quite multiplied.

    ie: in space, where ranges are 10* normal one or two hexes doesnt mattter, in terrestrial combat it does… change the range by as little as 10 feet, to as much as 60 yards!!! Even your own example was % of error. Then to that you put travel into your formula, and the players could end up having to travel a lot farther than thier rations would last… cant do it.lol


  22. Darin Crossland August 5, 2017 at 7:06 am

    ok, onto other subjects… lol that goblins been beaten to death, lol

    ok, now ive saved the hard for last… know of a method for calculating the mass of a ship or other skyjam object of flight? Since its so dependant on “moved mass”, it shoulda had some detail about how to calculate (even crudly) the mass of a given craft…

    lol… any concepts?


  23. Darin Crossland August 5, 2017 at 7:11 am

    PSSSSSSSSSSsssssss… lol… oldtopic, found new info for explanations… wieght and mass…
    weight = mass * gravity… inertia = mass * velocity . : )


    • Ronny August 5, 2017 at 8:59 am

      Like I said before, with magic inertia, and therefore mass, is not important. 🙂

      All of this is interesting and could make a fun game, however it is not the game I had intended for my Skyship rules. There are several space combat rules you can find to do what you are wanting.

      The reason for my Skyships rules is for a group of adventures to travel in air and in space from one fantastic location to another and this might entail an occasional encounter with an unfriendly Skyship that they might have to fight. Especially for the 5th edition version of the rules, I want all of the rules to be from the point of view of the PCs and to keep it as simple as possible. How far away is the other ship? Can I hit it with my weapons or spells? When the two ships are close enough to reach them with weapons and spells, the easiest way to handle the combat is the way I describe it, with both ships automatically, magically, orienting themselves to share the same gravity field, the same “up” and the same “water level” as if they were floating on the ocean. The combat then becomes, for the most part, the same as if they were on water.

      If you want to expand my rules to use them as a basis for a more “realistic” space combat game, that is fine. It just isn’t what I had in mind.

      I had a couple of questions in that regard. First, if each combating ship can be at any orientation in relation to the other ship, I think I would want a ship that didn’t have any sails at all. And would install all my on-board weapons in such a way as to allow then to fire straight up, if required. If you are using the Spelljammers gravity plane system, it was my understanding that you could walk upside down on the bottom if the ship. If that is correct, is the gravity plane about the same location as the water level when the ship is afloat? If so, what happens below deck? Do all of the below deck ceilings become floors? Everything that is not tied down falls up? I think I would want to have two decks, one above the plane and a mirror deck below, otherwise, another ship could just come up from below and I would be powerless to prevent it from firing at the bottom of my ship.

      What happens if I fly my ship upside down in relation to the other ship and just above it? If my gravity plane is more powerful than the other ships, does everything on the deck of the other ship fall up onto my ship?

      What happens if I come at the other ship at an angle, so that the two gravity planes intersect with each other? What if I do this so my gravity plane intersects with the other ship? It looks like this might be an easy way to destroy the other ship.


      • Darin Crossland August 6, 2017 at 7:16 am

        Without 3D… your just on any black sea…

        Woot! Most excelent questions… 🙂

        “I think I would want a ship that didn’t have sails at all. ”
        Indeed. This is one of thefour forms of sail one can have when constructing adesigned skycraft; internal or folding sail designs. Also, at great cost to manuverability, you can decide to forgo sails entirely, but then your not turning very good either. Oars are also a possibility at cost to movement.

        “… install all my on-board weapons in such a way as to allow then to fire straight up”
        Yuppers. Actually, the dwarven balistics mount for crafts. Its a sturdy bar mounted cannon or balista that allows the unit to be “slid out over the edge of the deck to permit 360° use, or well, the 180° facing away from the hull anyways. lol.
        I would also recommend evasive manuvers if you see them going under, or for your mast and sails. Usually, a quarter turn in barrel roll (90°) is more than sufficent to keep an enemys guns from holing your hull or tangling your sails. It also permits you to bring your own guns to bear on the incomming craft.
        .Very many skyjammer craft use both dual decks and folding sails for a whole host of reasons. Having someone RAM YOUR SAILS is definitly one of them!

        Remember that balista and arrows stay notched, pointing up down or indifferently… cannons okn the other hand are loaded with extra wadding after the shot to keep the ball in the barrel if they have to aim at a downward angle. Up, is not an issue. 🙂 See data most commokn to cannons and muskets… lol its the first way a gun can missfire, is to have no shot in the barrel, lol hehehe…

        “is the gravity plane about the same location as the water level when the ship is afloat? ”
        The gravity plane is set at time of attachemnt and cannot be moved unless the chair is moved. It is not set to the chairlegs, lol Ifyou set the gravity plane at the main deck level, then yes, all below decks are inverted and the floor becomes ceiling. In jammers, this is taken advantage of and the craft itsekf was designed andbuilt with Two Upper Decks in mind for defence (see previous question and no more landfalls). Where if you set it to the lowest floor of thelowest deck, all decks have an orientation of down that is more typical in terrestrial crafts. The only effects this has really is in landing and loading cargo, lol. The gravity plane is uneffected by terrestrial water, though you might notice a wierd eddy current…

        . Also note, that invaders can use the bobing effect to board your vessle, so its probably a good idea not to have it level with an upper deck on a normal terrestrial craft.

        Hahaha. well, if you change the location of the chair and gravity plane while fully laden, then yea, hahaha, its gonna make a £¢®#€¥ of a mess, hehe… with the plane in place however, things stay “down or up” as the viewpoint dictates at the time of loading. hehe
        Transition from inverted decks is described as using ladders, where you climb down one plane and “flip over in the zero g of the gravity plane” and continue by climbing up the other side… a bit of mental imagination here. lol.
        Spelljammer rulebooks have interesting fun with the gravity well… lol…

        “…does everything on the deck of the other ship fall up onto my ship?”
        Ok, thats a touchy senario and the rules arnt too specific. But a loose answer is Yes. if you double the size of the smaller vessle and value is below half the size of the larger vessle, such a case can arise. Concider that a point at which dust migrates. The larger the difference between the crafts the more that can migrate. Concider the distance as well, the force of the lift increases by the square. This can have an additional effect of washing out the smaller craft gravity effect, and then you can have a boarding party use repelling ropes and decend from above onto the deck or your rigging.
        Also note the “landing description text” where small jammers land on huge ones. The smaller crafts gravity plane is washed away and the small craft adopts the larger crafts gravity to facilitate dual decks and landings on… same effect, just controlled.

        Making vector diagonal on intersection and oriented by comming at the other ship on an angle is mostly mute, since your looking at the interface of two spheres and a plane it changes the shearing angles, get creative with the vectors. Small enough didstance, and things can get interesting… including the thieft of atmosphere!!! (rules are disscussed in spelljammer for thiseffect). Generally, a diagnoal vector would weaken the effect of pull on items of the smaller craft and would not attract them per se, mostly due to the effects of “dragging oin the deck”…

        Intersection and gravity reversal effects areprobably a limited effect normally, but are going to be severly multiplied in your suggested system because of your 300′ fixed size shell of influence. I havehowever noted a substantial hole in logic in the presented spelljammer texts….
        Where normal spelljammer rules loosly state that this sphere is limited to the tons of the craft, which equate to 1 ton equalling 100 cubic yards of atmosphere at sea level. Thus a 10ton craft has a 1000cu yd atmosphere, that when we use V=4/3*pi*r*r*r (volume of a sphere) we get a shell that is 6 yards (18′) in radius or 36′ diameter. Perhaps large enough to hold the apropriate craft. However, since the volume goes up by cubes as the quantity goes up by squares, a problem becomes visible.
        A larger craft, a 100ton has 10,000 cu yards of air and a shell 13.3yards (40′ radius) or 80′ diameter. Might not fit inside… Imperfect it seems… humph. lol They also say its supposed to be enough air for the crew of the craft for 4-6 months… well, thats a streach. lol if theres anywhere in the skyjammer concept that is weak, its that area… for every system described.

        We should put out heads together and come up with a practical and accurate method of determing shell size to boat size/shape/mass… some jammers are described as having ijnternal atmospheres much smaller in volume than required for the mass of the jammer…
        it might need to be a function of size and mass… needs thought.

        “…like this might be an easy way to destroy the other ship.”
        Yes. But no marenier would ever concider skuttling avessle as the first option. No matter the case, capture and retreval are always the first option, usually. Who would waste a chance at a craft worth THOUSANDS OF GOLD!!! Using gravity as a weapon doesnt work in space, it wouldnt be enough force really to tear a vessle apart. Its mostly used tactically for boarding, lifting a chest of gold off another ships deck is not likly as though the effect of gravity is widespread and distant, it isnt that strong.

        AND fyi… GRAVITY IS DEPENDANT ON MASS/DENSITY… just saying… cant ignore mass, cant ignore inertia… lol heheh

        It is a common tactic though to destroy the sails and disable the ship quickly.

        On the point we been discussing about “same plane of interaction regardless of altitude” is so much the mute point actually… its all a point of view if you regard the gravity as uncommon or as a point of view.
        There really is no Up or Down without a common referance of the two ships. Thier flight planes are irrelivant, lol. From the viewpoint of any one of the ships, they are flying true and the other is off course… its a simple matter to align thier planes of interaction for the berief moment of combat only. Other than that, its still 3d even if the brain cant get it… lol its the same senario if your sailing on the sea or ocean, and firing at a flying creature or one swimbing at depth… lolololol

        after all, most height differences between bowshot and target in space is really just a matter of “aim up” more than “tilt ship” right? 🙂


      • Darin Crossland August 6, 2017 at 10:30 am

        “If you want to expand my rules to use them as a basis for a more “realistic” space combat game, that is fine. It just isn’t what I had in mind”

        opps, sorry, my bad…

        Your document was valuble in that it directed me to the potential sources of published information for gameplay concepts, not its use in gameplay per se or as a replacement ruleset. Its an oversimplification of a ruleset made by gary gygax that has been in use longer than we both have been playing. Its true value to me is an introduction to Novice Or Begginging Players as a prelude to handing them more detailed rules and explanations as situations arise. Its use would be next to nominal for experianced players. Sorry.


  24. Darin Crossland August 6, 2017 at 7:38 am

    ps: Combat manuvers and tactics i describe are… LEARNED AFFAIRS IN THE SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS LIFE… lol… I wouldnt expect any player or character they manage to be familiar with these kind of 3D tactics. Everyone (in reality) has a fixed viewpoint of dimentions of function, thus; all interactions are psycologically determined as horizontal as that is what the player has been in thier entire lives. Ypou reach out.. walk forward.. see horizon…
    Areospace and NASA and other orginizations spend at least 3 months of the training time literally teaching astranaughts how to WORK THE BRAIN IN 3D… 🙂 to live without horizon… is not an easy thing for the mammilian brain. lol

    …to understand that something can get u from the under… some cant take it. lol

    The ones that survive the training gointo history books, the oines that dont, never make mention. You know niel armstrong, but who was the guy that got washed out for barfing in the centrifuge or passing out? right? lol


  25. Darin Crossland August 6, 2017 at 7:55 am

    hrm… the only thing comming to mind oin shell size is to do a half of yours and a half mine… where the shell is a fixed size, but the size is twice that thelength (or greatest measure) of thecraft in diameter… lol


  26. Darin Crossland August 6, 2017 at 7:57 am

    … why amiso interested… to answer questions in a senario where you have a captured helm… but its a small one from a rowboat or skiff… do you think its “fair gameplay” to be able to put that skiff helm on a 200′ long 400 man warship?

    I dont.


    • Ronny August 6, 2017 at 8:27 am

      I have no problem with different helms of different power for different size ships. As for as the size of the effected area, the size I came up with seemed to me to work well with most ships. And the math was easy. 🙂
      I agree the effect should be large enough to completely enclose the craft. Beyond that, I don’t really have a good reason for any size over another. Perhaps twice the ship size would be a good place to start.
      I wanted to typically place a magical helm on an existing sailing ship. All of the things you are saying about the usual changes to a ship to accommodate a gravity plane are some of the reasons I came up with a completely different system. With my gravity bubble system, the ship still functions, for the most part, the same on or off the water.


      • Darin Crossland August 6, 2017 at 8:41 am

        all true, the size fix is really for fair gameplay… it could be just as easy as saying the size is a fixed number at from when the helm was made magically, the owner specified it and paid a fee, bada bing, its 300′, its 20′, its what they can afford really, lol.
        Its a rule to have a fixed size per helm so that such so you dont go spending cheep coin on small helms and drop them oin warships. So needed a easy and logical fix.

        For the air part, im sure i can get players onbiard with having a “magical air supply that doesnt run out because its magic”, because they know that chalenging that kind of ruling will just get them “Dead over Time”… lol


  27. Darin Crossland August 6, 2017 at 8:21 am

    ok, a full example of…

    A captian of a vessle (A) decides he has enough of this zipping about of craft (B) and decides to “ram vessle B’s sails and rigging” to disable craft B and minimize the ram damage to his own craft(A). Expending the movement points craft (A) closes on craft (B) and orients so his hull and faces towardss craft (B).
    The pilot of craft (B) ‘feels/senses’ where the other craft is, its attitude, facing, and motion. Its not a hard thing to see what the fool it going to attempt. Craft (A) takes evasive manuvers. A few thoughts present themselves…

    Senario #1: (B) can defencivly roll 90° in such a way as to bring the sails and masts out of the direct path and bring guns to bear at the underbelly of craft (A) and fire at very near to point blank range (auto max damage).

    Senario #2: (B) can move in such a way as to increase altitude and force a collision, essentially a normal hull to hull ram, and go to boarding parties and close quarters combat.

    Senerio #3: (B) can again alter corse to DRAMATICALLY increase altitude, bringing craft (A) keel above the maindeck of craft (B), reversing the manuver and having the captian of craft (A) actually end up scraping his own rigging off on the bottom of craft (B).

    The most important rule of combat situations, be it land, sea or air. Sword, bow or tossed rock….



  28. Darin Crossland August 6, 2017 at 8:32 am

    orientation of gravity plane on that bottom hull cannonfire… if the cannonfire actually opened the hull up… would the contents fall out?

    if the gravity plane is at water line mark (or midship horizontal), then no. since the lower decks would be inverted… essentially blowing a hole in its ceiling.
    If at keel level so all decks have normal gravity, then yes and no, and yes and no, and yes and no… hehe… essentially, the item in question would “bob between the two vectors”… being pulled down into the plane, passing through, going as far as it can with INERTIA then being pulled back into the plane on the other side to repeat it in mirror image.
    So while the attacking crew wouldnt be crushed by falling cargo, the cargo however is still possibly provided a way out of the hold to drift away as so much jetsum and flotsam.

    : )


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