Naval Encounters for D&D 5th Edition

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Ahoy lubbers! Part 1 of this series covered basic naval combat, Part 2 looked at some more advanced options and Part 3 provided more ideas on how to run a sea battle. Each week, my players and I visit the Seas of Vodari, my homebrew world of islands. In part 4, I wanted to conclude the series with a simplified and streamlined look at how I handle Naval Encounters for D&D 5e after playing a D&D 5e seafaring campaign for almost a year now. My goal for these updated rules is to prioritize player actions and speed up encounters versus simulating realistic naval combat. This article collects and updates much of the content of the previous entries and provides some specific scenarios for naval encounters.

If you are looking for more realistic naval combat, Pathfinder Skull & Shackles and Part 2 of this series are a good place to start.

World Building – Part 7: Letting Your Players into the World

Now that we’ve examined creating a world by giving it history, religion, geography, technology, magic, people and places, the really scary part comes next. It’s time to let your players into the world! In this final article in the series (Part 7), I share how I let my players into my own fantasy world, before the paint had even dried, with details on the good and bad.

World Building – Part 6: Filling Your World

A world is just an empty place without people, places and things to fill it and bring it to life. My favorite fantasy worlds feel lived in and are places I want to explore even more. Last year, I decided it was finally time to tackle building my own fantasy world and in this article (Part 6), I share how I started filling my fantasy world, called Vodari, with detail. I am a rookie world builder, but that didn’t stop me from taking my ideas and turning them into my own world that my players and I are visiting each week. This article looks at the player options I provided and how I filled the world with people and places.

World Building – Part 5: Geography

There are tons of examples of fantasy worlds that came to life from someone’s imagination when they decided to put their ideas onto a map. My favorite fantasy worlds feel real, even when they are fantastical. Geographic details such as maps and weather can add dimension and space to your setting. Last year, I decided it was finally time to tackle building my own fantasy world and in this article (Part 5), I share how I sketched out a map and starting figuring out the geography of my fantasy world called Vodari. I am a rookie world builder and map maker, but that didn’t stop me from taking my ideas and turning them into my own world that my players and I are visiting each week.

World Building – Part 4: Making Your World Work

From Asgard to Zothique, there are many, many richly imagined worlds that have been created for books, games, movies, television and even just for fun. My favorite fantasy worlds feel like a real working place with their own currency, food, technology and magic. Last year, I decided it was finally time to tackle building my own fantasy world and in this article (Part 4), I share how I came up with details to make my seafaring world of Vodari feel more like a real place. Since this was my first crack at world building, I started small with just minor changes to the way a typical fantasy world works and added in a little gunpowder to allow for muskets and cannons.

World Building – Part 3: Religion

From Asgard to Zendikar, there are countless examples of richly imagined worlds in books, games, movies and television. My favorite fantasy worlds feel like a real working place. Your tabletop RPG adventures deserve an amazing setting that feels like a real working world too. Fully working out the details for the religions of your world is an important piece of building your world. Last year, I decided it was finally time to tackle building my own fantasy world and in this article (Part 3), I share how I came up with the details of the religions of my world.

World Building – Part 2: A History for Your World

Atlantis, Westeros, Wonderland, Neverland, Oz, Panem, Camelot, Discworld, Barsoon, Pern, Shannara, Middle-earth, Narnia and countless other fantasy worlds provide the backdrop for adventures. Your tabletop RPG adventures deserve a setting with a rich and detailed history. Last year, I decided it was finally time to tackle building my own fantasy world and in this article (Part 2), I share how I developed the history of Vodari.

World Building – Part 1: The Big Picture

Atlantis, Westeros, Wonderland, Neverland, Oz, Panem, Camelot, Discworld, Barsoon, Pern, Shannara, Middle-earth, Narnia and countless other fantasy worlds provide the backdrop for adventures. Your tabletop RPG adventures deserve a setting with a rich history, exciting locations, terrifying monsters and colorful people. Last year, I decided it was finally time to tackle building my own fantasy world and I thought I would share what I learned from my triumphs and tribulations as a rookie world builder.

D&D 5e Aquatic Campaign – Monster & Hero Race Options

I run a weekly game D&D 5e game in a seafaring setting called Vodari. For this week’s Nautical Nonsense column I wanted to gather up all the aquatic monster races and hero races in one handy list that I draw on for my campaign. My groups spends most of their time above the surface of the sea, but there is plenty of fun to be had down below too (and we’ll get there soon). If you are looking to run some aquatic fun, hopefully these notes will be helpful.

Naval Combat Rules for D&D 5th Edition – Part 3

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Ahoy lubbers! Part 1 of this series covered basic naval combat and Part 2 looked at some more advanced options. For part 3 of my series on naval combat, I wanted to really dig in with more ideas on how to run a sea battle. In part 4, I will provide a final battle demo using most of the content below.

Pathfinder’s Skull & Shackles is an excellent system for adding realistic naval combat to a d20 game and it can be run pretty much as is for D&D 5th edition (if you want cannons, you’ll need to convert heavy siege engines). For my game, Skull & Shackles is not the right fit. My current campaign has a heroic/swashbuckling feel with gunpowder. My naval combat preference is for something focusing on the heroic actions of my players, versus a realistic simulation. As always, pick and choose what works to create the feel you desire, from a tactical sea battle to a narrative challenge that happens to be on a boat.