What is it?

A Complete Guide to Nautical Campaigns is as complete a set of new rules designed to run fast paced, fun, and action packed naval games in a 5th Edition RPG. It started as a small add-on for my home game featuring sailing ships. As we used it, we realized there was so much more to the nautical world that the 5th Edition rule books didn’t include. We changed ship versus ship rules to be faster and more engaging. Then we added aquatic ships. Then port rules. Then customized ship building. Then magic items. Then ship upgrades. We even added rules for managing large crews and mass crew combat. 

 

And it’s all done. The book is just over 170 pages without illustrations. It was written, tested, and rewritten by an amazing team of play testers and editors. It is ready to launch. 

 

Key Features

 

Races – We add 5 new playable Aquatic races. The fun Seabolds, the nomadic Merfolk (our own version), the Imperial Aquatic Elves (our own version), the dangerous Sharkhaan, and the mysterious Clawfane

 

Expanded Roles Aboard a Ship – We have added in so many new and fun things for PCs to do whilst in command of a ship. No more sitting and waiting for ship combat to happen. Down time is now full of things for a crew and the PCs to do. 

 

Crew – A massive overhaul of the existing 5th Edition approach, we have dynamic crew systems, rules for improving them, recruiting them, undead crew, and so much more. We wanted the crew to feel like they were more than just background NPCs but to not get in the way of a good story. 

 

 

Crew – A massive overhaul of the existing 5th Edition approach, we have dynamic crew systems, rules for improving them, recruiting them, undead crew, and so much more. We wanted the crew to feel like they were more than just background NPCs but to not get in the way of a good story. 

 
 

 

Ships Stores – supplies, food, water, medicine, repairs – our easy to track system makes sure the ship feels alive and like a living space, and gives the DM a massive opportunity for adventures by using the stores the put the squeeze on the PCs. 

 
 

 

Ship Combat – A complete overhaul of the existing system. Our biggest focus was maximizing the fun, reducing the redundant rolling, and including every single PC aboard in combat fun. Our approach was to make it fast and exciting. 

 
 

Ship Actions – We have over 78 ships actions – called Orders in the book – designed to allow any PC the opportunity to make a difference in ship engagements. Attack actions, evasive actions, buffing actions, and magic actions. No wizard in the party, no problem! We have actions for down time too – so that even when sailing for weeks across the bright blue, there is something to do.

 
 

Fleets – We have fleet rules, Admiral roles and actions, and even include blockading a port. This is mass combat on a massive scale. No more hand-waving and vague approaches. Having and Admiral comes with costs, but also improves your fleets chance of taking a port, sinking a titanic monster and more. 

 

33 Unique Ships (we stretch goaled up) – We have so many ships – Human, Elvish, Orcish. Goblin. Merfolk, Lizardfolk, Dwarvish, Gnomish… the list goes on. Each with it’s own deck plan, mini-adventure, and more. We even have three different ports for your PCs to blockade if they are brave enough. 

 

 

Building your own ship – Customized rules for building your own sweet ride, but be warned, it’s not cheap! This is for the true enthusiast, although not so technical that you’ll need to divide your beam by your breach… or whatever it’s called. Remember – we wanted it fast and fun. 

 

 

Ship Upgrades – Our ships scale with your PCs. High level PCs should have ships that match their power. We quickly found that a level 15 mage has no need for a ship… until now. With the magic items we’ve added, and the upgrade options included in the book, a ship just suddenly got a whole lot more terrifying. 

 

 

Sea Monsters – And with greater ships, come bigger monsters. We have rules on how to make titanic monsters. Truly massive beasts that require a ship or two to bring down. Rules from upgrading existing monsters, or making your own mean that you will have more than just a kraken up your sleeve.

 

Great GM Sidebar – And each section features dozens of little side commentaries from Guy Sclanders, author of the book, and host of How to be a Great GM on YouTube. The sidebars include insights, thoughts, and ways in which the section can be used and added to your game. 

 

Costs – How much does it cost to sail from here to there? We’ve got tables and tables of costs, one ton of cargo – not a problem. We have done the work to give you easy to reference charts so that when PCs ask these kinds of questions you can simply answer them.

 

Ships, and what is new about them in A complete guide to Nautical Campaigns.

Ship combat – A complete guide to Nautical Campaigns

Pre-order Special

As part of the pre-order you will get the following with the book for Free:

  • PDF Action Cards
  • Hard Copy Only: Your name in the book in list of NPC captains
  • Printable DM Screen with all the tables, charts, and useful bits to run a nautical campaign.
PDF Pre-order Hard-Cover Pre-order

Will this book work with non-5th edition systems?

Will there be PDF Ship Sheets?

 

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