Dungeon Master Assistance

A place to share thoughts and ideas about Dungeons and Dragons

D&D 5E – Nautical Adventures


Rules for conducting a seafaring campaign in D&D. Including rules for Ship-to-Ship Combat.

You can download a free copy here: 5E_Nautical_Adventures.pdf

This is a complete re-write of the Ship to Ship Combat rules I published before (3.5 version here).

In keeping with the spirit of 5e, this  is  not  about  conducting  massive  sea battles, moving small model ships around on a hex battle map exploring tactics and the intricacies of wind and sail. Rather this is about what the PCs can do with ships. Ship-to-ship  battles  do  take  up  the  majority  of  the  pages here, but the battles are from the point of view of the player  characters  on  board  their  ship.  Care  has  been taken to assure each payer has something to contribute each round of ship-to-ship combat. Each player controls one of their ship’s officers. That officer can be his or her PC  or  it  may  be  an  NPC  and  he  has  several  actions available to him that are specific to that officer.

I copied liberally from Wizards of the Coast’s 1997 publication “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons of Ships and the Sea”. I also got a lot of good ideas from Pathfinder’s “Skull and Shackles”  (their “Wormwood Mutiny” adventure path will work with these rules for those of you who want a good Pirates campaign.)
I also found a lot of good information in Kenzer and Company’s “Salt and Sea Dogs”.

A special thanks to Shawn at http://tribality.com/ for his series on Naval Combat for D&D 5th edition. He got me to thinking seriously about how to keep all of the players involved in naval combat.

6 responses to “D&D 5E – Nautical Adventures

  1. Keith March 20, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Awesome work!

  2. Keith March 20, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    I based my own homebrew ship document heavily from your book here Ronny. I skipped over most of the ship to ship combat stuff (for now but will revisit as my campaign progresses). I loved the feel of this document overall and its ease of play. Simply the best RPG naval companion I have ever read! BRAVO!

    2 thumbs way up and a critical hit to be sure!

    • Ronny March 21, 2016 at 11:14 am

      Wow! Thanks again, and tell all of your friends.
      Mine was in turn based in part on several different other peoples previous attempts. I tried hard to make it fit in well with fifth edition’s feel and ease of play. Keep me informed as your campaign progresses. Especially if you fell some of the rules need adjusting – I would be up to a release 2 of this if some things don’t work well.

  3. Michael Felton March 21, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    I just found this after starting a naval-based campaign using Shawn’s rules. This is a huge help. Excellent work. It’s the best full 5e homebrew supplement of any kind I’ve seen so far.

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