2012-08-18 Defending a Ship


Recently we played Crypts & Things and a giant kraken attacked our ship. The referee basically had various tentacles attack as separate monsters with the main body of the creature staying below the water. We had about 20 people on board, five player characters, the ship owner and his two kids and eleven henchmen, nineteen people in all.

The rule we used was simple: The target of each tentacle was determined by a d20. Every defender of the ship was assigned a target number. If an undefended target number came up the tentacle dealt automatic damage to our ship. As some of the crew died, more tentacles started damaging the ship. We determined that the ship had 10 hit dice. After the fight, we rolled for hit points to determine how broken our ship had been.

It worked very well.

The referee also had a system of determining how many tentacles were currently attacking. Incapacitated victims were thrown overboard and would drown. At one point a player character went down and I don’t exactly remember why he wasn’t thrown overboard. I think it was because another player character killed the tentacle before the end of the round.

After defeating half the tentacles, a morale check was made and the creature retreated. Lucky us! Our longboat was about 80% gone, if I remember correctly.



Simple rules and yet tense, I like it.

Jensan 2012-08-18 12:58 UTC

I am interested in ship rules currently. I like that a miss led to ship damage. I’ll use that – it’s hard to miss a ship. One could still use the hull points damage from B/X, where 5 hit points = 1 hull point damage (if I remember correctly), though I would be inclined to make 1d8 hit points damage = 1d8 hull points, if a large creature is attacking.

Jovial Priest 2012-08-18 13:50 UTC

Yeah, I remembered hull points existed but not much more and so I spontaneously proposed the system we ended up using. As I’m skimming the Spelljammer rules every now and then, it would have been cool to use the “real” rules. Oh well, the spontaneous rulings also worked and we felt a lot like defenders! :)

AlexSchroeder 2012-08-18 14:55 UTC

Sounds like a lot of fun!

Gavin 2012-08-19 05:54 UTC

It was. :)

The ship barely made it to the shore and we immediately formed a search party to find some natives…

AlexSchroeder 2012-08-19 10:02 UTC

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