Mystaran Skyships in Spelljammer, Part VI: Dragon-Drawn Longship

I struggled how to make use of this unique ship, Oberack’s Dragon Prow Longship, into something that isn’t unique in Spelljammer. Then the idea came to me: scale it up, and crew it with Frost Giants!

Name: Dragon-Drawn Longship

Built By: Frost giants
Used Primarily By: Frost giants
Cost: 15,000 gp (dragons not included)
Tonnage: 15 tons
Hull Points: 15
Crew: 1 giant/4 giants
Maneuverability Class: D
Landing—Land: Special
Landing—Water: Yes
Armor Rating: 8
Saves As: Thick wood
Power Type: None or major or minor helm
Ship’s Rating: 1 per two dragons or as per helmsman
Standard Armament:
2 Medium ballistae (1-FP, 1-FS)
Crew: 1 giant each
Cargo Capacity: 11 tons
Keel Length: 165′
Beam Width: 55′

Description: This vessel, one of the few true giantish vessels in wildspace, is simply a small (for frost giants) longship tethered to a quartet of captured white dragons. When launched without a helm from a small asteroid, these ships have an SR of 1 for every two dragons pulling it. Most vessels have helms, however, and use the dragons for improved maneuverability and their breath attacks. The dragons must be adults or mature adults (age categories 6 or 7), although some old dragons are used to lead younger ones. Younger dragons do not have the power to pull these ships, and older dragons tend to be more resistant to cooperating with the other dragons. While the helmsman is typically the one who directs the dragons, this need not be the case. To direct the dragons, a giant needs the Animal Handling (White Dragon) proficiency, which is a special proficiency for frost giants. If the driver is not the same as the helmsman, there is a flat 5% chance per round that they get their signals confused, temporarily dropping maneuverability to F for one round. In addition, should any of the dragons be slain while pulling this ship, they must be cut lose of maneuverability drops to G due to the drag of the corpse. If there are only two or three dragons pulling the ship, maneuverability drops to E; with one or none, the ship returns to its natural rate of F.

In addition to the dragons, there are two medium ballistae mounted near the bow; these weapons each require a single giant to operate them. A stockpile of boulders is also close at hand for all giants onboard to make use of. With the four dragons and the giantish crew, the air envelope is strained, making this a strictly short-range raiding vessel. As such, the ship is often packed with up to an additional half-dozen giantish warriors who provide additional artillery. These vessels are often outfitted with runners, allowing them to land on packed snow, ice, or other non-rough flat surfaces (such as sand).

Some of these vessels are enchanted by frost giant runecasters or illusionists to have the illusion of another dragon, making the whole grouping appear as a clan of dragons flying together. These ships are especially popular with frost giant followers of the Demon Prince of Wrath, Kostchtchie, who grants his priests abilities that allow them to control white dragons better than followers of the traditional frost giant patron, Thrym.

Other Configurations

Red Dragon-Drawn Longship: Not to be outdone, some fire giants have duplicated the frost giant ships, using red dragons instead. Such vessels can pack in a maximum of twelve fire giants, and are drawn by dragons of no more than age category six; older dragons become too territorial to work together.

Miniature Dragon-Drawn Longship: Some humans, inspired by the ships of the giants, have made their own versions on a smaller scale. These ships are drawn by dragons of age categories 3 or 4, and almost always require charm magic. See below for statistics.

Micro Dragon-Drawn Longship: One current resident of the Rock of Bral swears he saw a small longship in Faeriespace, crewed by tiny sprite-like creatures and drawn by pseudodragons. Most people scoff at this idea, pointing out that the fellow is frequently intoxicated, and has been as long as anyone on Bral has known him.

Ship Cards:

longship-01

longship-02

On the deckplan above, each square should equal 18 1/3 feet, not 5 feet, to be appropriately scaled for frost giants. Those who wish to use the human-scaled ship (as the original was) can use these statistics:

Built By: Humans
Used Primarily By: Humans
Cost: 4,000 gp
Tonnage: 4 tons
Hull Points: 4
Crew: 1/4
Maneuverability Class: D
Landing—Land: Special
Landing—Water: Yes
Armor Rating: 8
Saves As: Thick wood
Power Type: None or major or minor helm
Ship’s Rating: 1 per two dragons or as per helmsman
Standard Armament:
2 Light ballistae (1-FP, 1-FS)
Crew: 1 each
Cargo Capacity: 3 tons
Keel Length: 45′
Beam Width: 15′

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One comment on “Mystaran Skyships in Spelljammer, Part VI: Dragon-Drawn Longship

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