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The Military Forces of Cormyr
Version 1.2, Annotated
By Jerry Davis
[Comments in brackets () are annotations that are not part of the document itself, but serve as asides to show general notes, reasoning or intent, or simply provide a quotation or canon reference for something. Later I may change these to numbered footnotes then collect them at the end of the document.]
3. BLUE DRAGONS
The Blue Dragons is the name applied to the men and women who crew the ships of Cormyr's Imperial Navy. The Imperial Navy is a relatively small but well-trained and professional fleet of sailing warships charged with protecting Cormyr's coast and commercial shipping from sea-based threats. Although fewer in number than their land-based counterpart, the Blue Dragons are equally professional and disciplined in the conduct of their duties. The traditions and culture of the Blue Dragons are just as long-held as those of the Purple Dragons, and their fame and reputation among the other seafaring peoples of the Sea of Fallen Stars matches that their land-based brethren have among the other nations and peoples of Faerûn.
3.1. General Makeup
Like the Purple Dragons, the men and women who serve Cormyr on the Inner Sea are volunteers who have sworn an oath of loyalty and service directly to the Crown of Cormyr. Unlike the navies of many other nations, Cormyr does not employ press gangs to impress common people by force into naval service nor do they use their jails as a source of recruits in lieu of imprisonment. The standards of physical fitness that young men and women must meet to become a Blue Dragon are as equally strict as those of the Purple Dragons. Life at sea is both demanding and difficult, so those who are not in prime condition are rejected lest they become a danger to their shipmates. Like the Purple Dragons, the Blue Dragons are open to both men and women who fit the qualifications, but proportionally fewer women enter this service than even become Purple Dragons. Not only do fewer women than men meet the physical requirements, but the cramped living conditions and lack of personal privacy on board ship are disincentives to many women. Still, there are some women who do join the Blue Dragons.
In game terms, all members of the Blue Dragons will have the same attributes as Purple Dragons: Strength, Dexterity and Constitution scores of at least 12. Like Purple Dragons, Blue Dragons do not advance in the Warrior NPC class because they are professionally trained fighting sailors. Instead, they will at least partially advance as Naval Fighters. (See section 3.5.1. of this document for the Naval Fighter base class.) Because of the entirely volunteer nature of the Imperial Navy and the nature of the naval service in Cormyr is very rare for rogues to join up; Cormyrean rogues who yearn for the sea will instead sail on merchant ships or privateers, or find their way to other ports to join a pirate ship.
All Blue Dragon sailors and officers who enlist or receive commissions as officers will receive training that will give them at least one level of Naval Fighter, although some who have certain specialties listed later will have levels in the NPC Expert class. More experienced Blue Dragons might be multi-classed Naval Fighter/Experts, and some may even have levels in prestige classes as well.
[Design Note: The Fighter class is not suitable for a fighting sailor. The Fighter class was clearly intended for land combat rather than sea combat; the class skills for the Fighter lack important skills needed for a life at sea. The rogue class, while having the right skills (and more than enough skill points), is in my opinion fundamentally unsuited in tone and flavor for a professional military/naval character. The Expert NPC class, while having no problem with the skills, has insufficient fighting abilities for a professional military seaman. Prestige classes are unsuitable as well, because they cannot be taken at first level yet a young man enlisting in the Navy as soon as he's old enough will receive training to enter service at 1st level. The only solution remaining to us is a new base class designed specifically for service on the sea. My goal here is to devise a general base class suitable for any fighting seafarer of any rank, just like the standard Fighter class is suitable for any land-based soldier or officer.]
3.1.1. Blue Dragon Ranks
Blue Dragons have an organized system of ranks to denote levels of authority and leadership ability. There are enlisted and officer ranks just as for the Purple Dragons, but due to the more technical requirements of service aboard ship, the rank system is somewhat more involved.______________________________________________________________________ Table 3-1: Ranks in the Blue Dragons Enlisted Ranks: Rank Rough Earth/U.S. equivalent ------------------ -------------------------------------------------- Sailor Seaman Mate rated seaman & Petty Officer Master Chief Petty Officer Officer Ranks: Rank Rough Earth/U.S. equivalent ------------------ -------------------------------------------------- Midshipman Midshipman Lieutenant Lieutenant JG, Lieutenant, Lieutenant Commander Commander Commander Captain Captain Flag Officer Ranks: Rank Rough Earth/U.S. equivalent ------------------ -------------------------------------------------- Commodore Rear Admiral lower half (1 star) Admiral Rear Adm. (upper half), Vice Adm., Admiral (2-4 stars) Lord High Admiral Admiral of the Navy (5 stars) ______________________________________________________________________
[Note: I'm not particularly happy with the names sailor mate and master for ranks, but seaman and chief have too much real-world connotation and rating is a more general category of man, not a specific rank.]
[C9410,p.47: We know commodore is a rank since Hector Dauntinghorn is stated as having this rank.]
[PoFS,p.34: We know admiral is a rank since Hazen Kelafin is stated as having this rank.]
Like the blades of the Purple Dragons, sailors make up the largest number of Blue Dragons and are all commoners. Most of these men and women will serve their entire careers in the Imperial Navy as sailors, with no guarantee of promotion. Unlike recruits in the Purple Dragons, who are directly enlisted into their permanent regiment and trained within it, a newly-enlisted Blue Dragon is given formalized training in a special training squadron based in Marsember before actually being assigned to an actively patrolling ship. This training squadron is made up of four obsolete carracks that are no longer fit for active service and have been replaced by galleons. These ships make excellent training vessels because of their decrepitude; the constant need for all manner of repair and maintenance provides a quick learning experience in all aspects of shipboard duty.
[VGtC,p.35 gives some detail of the training squadron. Nowhere else does it state that recruits are trained, so Marsember may be the only training facility for Blue Dragons. Galleons are new enough advancements in shipbuilding technology (if they weren't, Azoun IV wouldn't have been sailing a carrack to Thesk only nine years ago as per Crus,p.99-101) that I doubt any galleons are old or leaky enough to be relegated to the training squadron. Chalk this up to another bit of Volo's misinformed writings; obviously he's not knowledgeable enough to know a galleon from a carrack. It is rumored that more than one Blue Dragon laughed when reading this passage from Volo's Guide to Cormyr.]
This training squadron provides the Imperial Navy with approximately 240 trained sailors every year. Each year's recruits are all inducted on the first day of Mirtul so that they may train after the winter's ice has melted. Each training carrack has a reduced permanent crew of only 100 sailors and 22 marines (one lieutenant, one sergeant and two squads of marines), and the 240 recruits are divided evenly among the four ships to complete the crew. Training lasts for five months (Mirtul through Eleint), after which the trained sailors are assigned to active-duty ships during Marpenoth. These sailors will typically spend the following winter undergoing additional training on their assigned ships to ease them into their new homes and acquaint them with their new crewmates, so that they will be fully integrated into the ship's complement when the next spring arrives.
All newly-enlisted enlisted Blue Dragons will have the rank of Sailor for at least the duration of their training. Most will remain sailors after training and perform whatever labors are required on board ship, such as setting and hauling in sail, scrubbing the decks, fighting, and so forth.
The enlisted ranks of mate and master are sometimes collectively referred to as 'ratings' and are bestowed upon those who possess certain specific skills that are required for the handling and operation of the ship. Those sailors who have these skills may be given a specialist rating and made mate, if the skill is needed and there is a vacancy to be filled. This might happen immediately after training if the sailor possessed the required skill before entering the Imperial Navy and a vacancy is immediately open, or it might happen after some years of service as a common sailor. The Blue Dragons will often make special effort to recruit such skilled people with the promise of quick promotion to make sure their ships are properly crewed. Mates who serve for years and become experts in their specialties may, as vacancies occur, be promoted to master.
The particular jobs and skills that are required of rated enlisted personnel include but are not limited to sailmaking, carpentry, ropemaking, and boat handling. Except on the largest warships there is generally only one master of each rated skill, with the remainder of the specialists being the master's mates, or assistants. Rated personnel are generally called by their skill rather than their rank; for example, a master with the carpenter's rating would be called the ships carpenter, and his assistants with the rank of mate would be called "carpenter's mates." For all but the largest warships there will only be one master for each required skill with several mates under him, while the large war galleons may have as many as three masters for each skill and a correspondingly larger number of mates. A fuller listing of the rated specialties will be given in the next section.
Commissioned officers are those who command ship and its crew. Like Purple Dragon officers Blue Dragon officers can be either commoners or nobles, but regardless of their social class all will start out as midshipmen. The proportion of commoner to noble is different for the Blue Dragons than for the Purple Dragons, though. Somewhat fewer nobles are willing to become midshipmen for two reasons. The first reason is that the Purple Dragons are a larger force with more officer openings and are more visible to the people on a day-to-day, thus offering a greater chance to gain glory and reputation. The second reason is that all midshipmen, regardless of social class, are required to go through the same difficult and sometimes undignified training and apprenticeship before becoming lieutenants and many nobles view such as being beneath their station. The primary exceptions to this are the Truesilver and Dauntinghorn noble houses, which view naval service as an honor and a family tradition and the rigors of midshipmanhood as a rite of passage. The type of commoner that becomes a Blue Dragon officer is also different than the commoner who becomes a swordcaptain. Because berths as midshipmen are gained from ship captains rather than being bestowed by the king (see below for details), commoner midshipmen normally come from middle-class or wealthy families.
Midshipmen are essentially apprentice officers. In olden times (and even today in many other navies around Faerûn), midshipmen were appointed directly to a ship by the captain or higher-ranked officers without any prior training or experience and learned directly from the captain and his lieutenants on the job. Midshipmen's berths for young teenagers were usually arranged as a favor to a nobleman for his son or sometimes even purchased outright from the captain by the nobleman or sometimes a wealthy man for a son, after a meeting with the captain in which the captain decided the young man had the intellect and potential needed to be an officer. This is no longer the practice in Cormyr, though. It has been the policy for some time that prospective midshipmen receive at least some training in the Marsember training squadron before actually serving on board an active duty ship to ensure that they at least have the potential to become useful officers before putting them in a situation of real danger to the ship. Once a midshipman has received at least the minimal training required to insure he knows his way around a ship without being a threat to the ship or his crewmates, he is sent on to an active ship where he will learn how to be an officer and gentleman from the lieutenants and captain.
[Author's note: I decided to specify that midshipmen receive such training solely for the purposes of making sure that even midshipmen serving on an active-duty ship would be at least 1st character level, thus avoid having to introduce the idea of 0-level or half-level characters. If a player is going to play a midshipman as part of a sea-based campaign, assume he is 1st-level.]
Despite the fact that midshipmen are only apprentice officers and are under the close supervision of the lieutenants, they have real authority over the enlisted crew. Midshipmen may give orders to the sailors and expect to be obeyed, and the sailors are required to pay midshipmen the same respect they would any other officer. When they are not serving as part of a watch on deck, a midshipman's life is usually filled with study in the fields of seamanship, navigation and geography, and the traditions and regulations of the Imperial Navy.
Once the captain of the ship believes a midshipman has learned his lessons, he will recommend that the midshipman take the lieutenant's examination. The lieutenant's exam is an oral examination administered in port by a board of three officers of at least captain's rank. These exams generally are scheduled to occur once or twice a year as vacancies arise for lieutenants. In game terms, a midshipman should not be given the lieutenant's examination until he has achieved 2nd level. The examination should be composed of two skill checks each in Profession (Navigator) and Profession (Sailor) against a DC of 12; only one roll per check is allowed, and taking ten is not allowed. All four rolls must be passed in order to pass the examination, and if the midshipman fails he is sent back to his ship and captain and will not be sent back to re-take the examination until he has leveled again.
Lieutenants manage the day to day operations on board ship. They usually command the watches on board ship. A watch is the portion of crew on duty at a given time; each ship will have several watches that rotate periodically throughout the day to give each man time off to eat and sleep while keeping the ship constantly manned. Lieutenants can usually expect a lengthy term of service in that rank because promotions to commander or captain only happen as vacancies occur. Many lieutenants serve the entire remainder their careers in the Imperial Navy at that rank and never receive promotion. The promotion of lieutenant to ship-commanding rank is governed by several factors. Only admirals are authorized to promote lieutenants, but they usually do so on the recommendation of their captain. The captain's recommendation and the admiral's subsequent approval will depend on the lieutenant's demonstrated ability in the areas of seamanship (i.e. handling a ship in any condition of sea and weather), navigation, leadership, valor, and initiative. Successfully commanding a prize ship back to port is a particularly good way for a lieutenant to demonstrate these abilities. Social class is also a factor in promotion at this point; all other things being equal, lieutenants of noble birth are given preference to those of common birth. This is especially true for promotions directly from lieutenant to captain; nearly all such promotions are given to the noble-born when possible and only truly exceptional common-born lieutenants make this leap. Most common-born lieutenants who gain promotion are promoted to commander, given command of smaller ships, and spend the remainder of their careers as commanders. There is also a slight preference to promote lieutenants who have served as first lieutenants before those who have not, although this preference is not as strongly adhered to as those of skill and social class and a junior lieutenant who displays daring and valor (and gets noticed doing so) can often beat this.
The rank of commander is given to one who is assigned to command a small ship like a caravel, coastal runner, cog, or any ship that might be given an independent assignment but is not large enough to warrant a full captain. A commander is still called captain while on his ship, since he does hold the post of captain even if not the rank. A commander will never be assigned to serve on the same ship as a full captain, since the rank is one that commands a ship. The rank's origin comes from the old term 'master and commander' of a ship. Not every officer will hold the rank of commander during his career, as discussed above concerning a lieutenant's promotion. Unlike the lieutenant, though, no commander would ever be promoted straight to commodore, thus bypassing the rank of captain.
The rank of captain is given to one who fills the position of captain on the larger warships of the Imperial Navy. Gaining the rank of captain is a clear sign that one has "made it" in the Blue Dragons; it is an unquestionable indication of success and often considered the career peak of a naval officer. The captain is the king of his ship and master of all that happens onboard. While commodores and admirals have greater rank and authority and can give orders to captains, they do not have quite the same sense of mastery of his fate and vessel that captains have.
Holding the rank of captain is a requirement for eventual promotion to flag rank; no officer would ever be promoted to commodore (to say nothing of admiral!) without having served with the rank of captain. Not only that, having the rank of captain is close to a guarantee of someday hoisting one's own broad pennant as a commodore, so long as the captain doesn't screw up badly or retire due to old age or infirmity. As openings in the commodore ranks arise the seniormost captains by time in rank are automatically promoted into the vacancies. Skill or renown are no longer a factor in promotion by this time, because it is assumed that one who makes it all the way to the seniormost captain in the Navy necessarily has the qualities of command and leadership.
Commodores are the lowest of the flag officers, so named because they fly broad pennants at the top of the mainmast of the ship they command their squadron from, and that ship is called the flagship. Commodores, like captains, are nearly guaranteed promotion to Admiral if they remain in service long enough. When a vacancy arises for an admiral, the seniormost commodore (the one with the longest time in rank) is promoted to admiral.
Admirals generally command the naval bases at which squadrons are based, although they usually have no authority over the defense of the city itself unless they are also assigned to be the overall garrison commander in a joint naval-land command. The responsibilities of an admiral's command generally extend only to the oversight of operations at sea and the repair and replenishment of his warships in port. During times of war or major operations, the admiral will sail in his own flagship to command fleets composed of multiple squadrons.
The Lord High Admiral is a singular rank in the Blue Dragons just as the Lord High Marshal is a singular rank in the Purple Dragons, but the Lord High Admiral is not equal or equivalent to the Lord High Marshal. The Lord High Admiral commands the entire Imperial Navy, but the Lord High Marshal is the overall commander of the entire Cormyrean military answerable only to the King and as such has authority over the Lord High Admiral. In practice the Lord High Marshal defers to the Lord High Admiral in matters outside of his expertise as a land commander, but when the Lord High Marshal gives the Lord High Admiral an order he speaks with the voice of the King and expects to be obeyed.
220.127.116.11. Warrant Officers
There are a few special skills that are required on-board ship that require enough training or have enough social status to elevate those having such skills above the standard enlisted ranks, yet are not actually in the chain of command because they are not trained as military officers. People having such special skills are made officers by royal warrant (such warrants are not personally issued by the king despite the 'royal' appellation), and are appointed to serve on ships by the authority of the Crown through the offices of the admiral. Examples of such positions are the ships purser, surgeon and chaplain. Each ship in the Imperial Navy will also have at least one war wizard serving aboard. As war wizards, they do not need royal warrants (or perhaps one could say their position as a war wizard is in itself a warrant), but on board ship they have the same social status as lieutenants. These warrant officers have not gone through the Blue Dragon training, and outside of their own specialties, warrant officers cannot issue orders to sailors nor may they ever command any ship or prize.
18.104.22.168. Privileges of Rank
The men and women of the Blue Dragons receive pay just as do the Purple Dragons, as they each are professionals in their chosen field of military endeavor. The following are the rates of pay as of the first day of Mirtul in the Year of the Gauntlet (1369 DR).______________________________________________________________________ Table 3-2: Blue Dragon Pay Rank Pay/Month ------------------ ---------------------------------- Sailor 12 golden lions/month (4 sp/dy) Mate 18 golden lions/month (6 sp/dy) Master 24 golden lions/month (8 sp/dy) Midshipman 36 golden lions/month (12 sp/dy) Lieutenant 45 golden lions/month (15 sp/dy) Commander 54 golden lions/month (18 sp/dy) Captain 63 golden lions/month (21 sp/dy) Commodore 96 golden lions/month (32 sp/dy) Admiral 108 golden lions/month (36 sp/dy) Lord High Admiral 120 golden lions/month (40 sp/dy) ______________________________________________________________________
Warrant officers, not having specific Blue Dragon ranks, vary in the pay they receive. All warrant officers are paid at least 30 golden lions each month (equal to 1 golden lion per day), but can be paid more depending on the degree of skill they demonstrate in their chosen specialty. The most skilled of warrant officers can make up to 60 lions per month.
There is a less distinct breakdown of specific privileges accorded to some of the specific ranks in the Blue Dragons than in the Purple Dragons. Masters can issue orders to the mates and sailors under them regarding the details of accomplishing a specific task, but only commissioned officers can direct that the tasks shall be done. Commissioned officers, and only commissioned officers, may command ships and give orders directing their overall operation. Midshipmen, although they are only commissioned officers in training, still wield authority under the supervision of the lieutenants of the ship. Lieutenants may command watches and divisions of the crew. Lieutenants, or even on occasion midshipmen if there is not a lieutenant to spare, may be given command of a ship taken as a prize.
Commanders and captains command small and large ships respectively; that is, they may hold the position of captain on an Imperial Navy ship. A ship captain is the absolute master of his ship and what happens onboard. He has the authority to promote any enlisted person, recommend civilian specialists for royal warrants to serve as warrant officers on board his ship, and recommend midshipmen for the lieutenant's exam. He has the authority to transfer any officer or crewman off his ship. Officers having the rank of captain may sit on the Lieutenants' Board and administer the oral Lieutenant's Examination to midshipmen. Captains may also recommend to their admiral lieutenants for promotion to ship-command rank when vacancies arise.
Flag officers command more than one ship and may give mission orders to captains. Commodores command squadrons of multiple ships, and admirals command fleets of two or more squadrons. Only full admirals may promote lieutenants to commander or captain or commanders to captain, but the promotion of lieutenants to a ship-commanding rank are usually done at the recommendation of captains when vacancies occur.
22.214.171.124. Ranks and Class Levels
Just as for the Purple Dragons, there is no fixed relationship between rank and class level. The same general guidelines apply to both, however. All Blue Dragons except for warrant officers will have at least one level in the Naval Fighter class due to the professional training they receive. Sailors can be of almost any level since many don't get promoted for their entire careers. Sailors of very low levels (1st or 2nd) might be considered "landsmen", sailors of low to lower-middle levels (3rd - 5th) might be considered ordinary seamen, and sailors of 6th level or higher might be considered able seamen (note that these are suggested as rough skill equivalents, not as actual ranks as existed in real-life navies). Since the higher enlisted ranks are more oriented towards skills, some rough guidelines can be established for this. Mates earn their ranks through some level of proficiency in their particular skill (e.g. carpentry, sailmaking, etc.) so mates should have at least 5 skill ranks in their particular specialty which means they need to be at least 2nd level. Masters should have no less than 10 ranks in their chosen specialty, which means they should be of at least 7th level.
There are somewhat better guidelines for the levels officers should have. Commissioned officers will have at least one level in the Naval Fighter class just like the enlisted sailors due to their professional training. Midshipmen will usually be of lower levels; by the time they have earned a few levels they should be able to pass the lieutenant's examination. Lieutenants should always be no less than 2nd level and commanders and higher should generally be no less than 5th or 6th level.
3.1.2. Naval Titles and Job Positions
Captain: The captain is a shipboard position as well as an actual rank and as a position refers to the individual who has command of a ship. When on board ship, the one who commands a ship is always called captain regardless of his actual rank. A lieutenant given command of a ship taken as a prize is called captain while on board the prize. A commander on board the sloop he commands is called captain, and of course an officer having the rank captain is called captain while on board his galleon. There can only be one captain of a ship; any officer having the rank of captain who visits a ship not his own is always given and honorary promotion and called Commodore, even if that ship be a prize commanded by a lieutenant or a sloop commanded by a commander. Ultimately all authority on board ship rests with the captain. The captain is as much an absolute authority on his ship at sea as a king is of a kingdom. Even if an admiral is on board a ship, the admiral may only assign the mission the ship is to carry out and the captain has the full authority over the details of how his ship and crew carry out that mission; despite their higher rank, Admirals by custom and tradition are not allowed to involve themselves in the routine operations of the ship.
Flag Captain: In squadron operations, the captain of the commodore's flagship is called the Flag Captain. The flag captain is normally privy to the plans and intentions of his commodore. If the commodore of the squadron should be killed or incapacitated, then the flag captain would assume acting command of the squadron until such time as the commodore is capable of resuming command or a replacement is appointed. The commodore may choose whatever ship of his squadron he wishes as his flagship, so there is no guarantee that the flag captain will be the seniormost captain of the squadron; the position is solely one of convenience for the orderly continuity of command. (Some commodores prefer to choose the ship with the seniormost captain as their flagship, while others prefer a particular ship or ship type, although all commodores will at least select a large ship commanded by a captain by rank rather than a commander. No commander by rank will ever have the position of flag captain.)
First Lieutenant: The most senior lieutenant on board (i.e. the one to hold the rank of lieutenant the longest) is called the First Lieutenant and is the captain's executive officer. If anything were to happen to the captain, the First Lieutenant would take command of the ship for the remainder of the voyage.
Purser: this officer is a warrant officer who acts as sort of a clerk for the captain. He is in charge of the ship's ledgers and accounts, and handles monetary receipts and disbursements. He is responsible for purchasing supplies for the ship and making sure the ship has sufficient supplies for whatever mission it is sent on. The ship's purser is always someone who is both literate and numerate, and can be expected to have ranks in Appraise, Profession (bookkeeper) and Profession (scribe).
Chaplain: this position is held by a warrant officer who is a cleric. The chaplain will tend to the spiritual needs of the captain and crew and will often help the Surgeon in tending to the crew's health as well. Most ship's chaplains also have levels in the Battlepriest prestige class. (See Thomas M. Costa's article Heroes of Cormyr, in Dragon #307, for more detail of the Battlepriest prestige class.)
Surgeon: The ship's surgeon is a warrant officer who is responsible for the health of the crew. He inspects the provisions the purser obtains to make sure they are fit for consumption, and he treats the diseases and wounds of the crew. Ship's surgeons will usually have levels in the Expert class with ranks in the Heal and Profession (Apothecary) skills (if the surgeon is a NPC), but some ships are lucky enough to have clerics serve as surgeons who can heal with spells (if the campaign is a sea-based one and a PC plays the surgeon). Clerics who serve as ship's surgeons are generally not battlepriests. Medical care can be a chancy thing on board ship, especially in the chaos of ship-to-ship battle where the surgeon is often overloaded with casualties in cramped, unsanitary, hurried conditions in which the noise of battle and the moving of the ship can be distracting. In such times, good care is necessarily replaced with rapid care; amputations are the norm for severe wounds, and if the surgeon is a cleric healing spells are usually reserved for officers.
Wizard: Every ship of the Imperial Navy will have at least one ship's wizard. These are always War Wizards. They are neither commissioned officers nor warrant officers, strictly speaking, and do not receive their pay from the Navy, but they are accorded the social status of a lieutenant. The wizard is under the captain's authority and must obey orders, of course, but captains usually ask the wizard to accomplish arcane tasks and don't micromanage exactly how the wizard plies his Art. The ship's wizard, being a War Wizard, is generally as independent-minded as he is allowed to be under ship's discipline and also serves as eyes and ears for the Royal Magician, giving some oversight to the captain's actions that some captains tend to dislike.
Boatswain: The boatswain (pronounced bosun) is responsible for the sail and rigging of the ship and for the discipline of the enlisted crew. The boatswain has the rank of master on most ships, but occasionally on larger ships may be a warrant officer. In such cases, a warrant officer boatswain will nearly always have served before as a boatswain with the rank of master. The sailmaker, ropemaker and quartermaster will generally be under his authority. If the captain decrees that an offense of a sailor merits some form of corporal punishment such as flogging, it will be the boatswain or one of his mates who administers the punishment. Profession (sailor) is the primary skill for this rating, and ranks in Intimidate often serve well in his role as disciplinarian.
Coxswain: The coxswain (pronounced coxsun) has the rank of master and is responsible for the operation and maintenance of all the small boats that a larger ship will carry, such as launches, rowboats, and the captain's gig. Whenever a boat is launched, it will be the coxswain or one of his mates whose hand is on the tiller. The coxswain himself will usually con a boat that the captain of the ship is on. Profession (Boater) is the primary skill for this rating.
Quartermaster: The quartermaster of a naval ship serves a quite different function than the quartermaster of a Purple Dragon unit despite having the same name. The quartermaster will have a rank of master, and is the "master of the quarterdeck". He or his mates are responsible for actually manning the helm and conning the ship (i.e. manning the wheel that steers the ship), is responsible for the ship's instruments (the compass and hourglass in the binnacle), and is responsible for hoisting the ships colors and signal flags. Although the officers of the ship will be the ones who mainly read the signals of other ships, the quartermaster and his mates are also expected to know how to read them. Profession (sailor) is the primary skill for this rating.
Carpenter: The ship's carpenter has the rank of master and is responsible for all repairs to the hull, structure or masts of the ship, and will have several mates to help him. The carpenter and his mates will have ranks in the carpentry, shipmaking, and woodcarving crafts. On larger ships, a wealthy captain may invest his own money in obtaining the services of an engineer (a NPC with ranks in Engineer as well as the wood-type crafts aforementioned) as a warrant officer to serve as the ship's carpenter.
Sailmaker: The sailmaker is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the ship's sails. If a ship's sails are too badly damaged by storm or battle, he is responsible for making new ones using canvas from the ship's stores. He has the rank of master, and will normally have a few mates to assist him. He may also be called upon to make flags. Profession (sailor) and Craft (sewing) are the primary skills for this rating.
Ropemaker: The ropemaker is responsible for the maintenance and repair of all the ships ropes. A large ship can easily have miles of length of ropes of various sizes for the rigging and stays that keep the masts and sails in place. He has the rank of master, and will normally have one or two mates to assist him.
Cook: Each ship will have one man designated as the ship's cook. On large ships the ship's cook may have the rank of master, but on smaller ships he is only a mate by rank and is assisted by a couple of more junior mates. The ship's cook is responsible for preparing the meals for the crew and the officers of rank commander and below. Profession (Cook) is the primary skill for this rating.
Steward: Officers who have the rank of captain or higher will have a steward to serve as a personal manservant. The steward is often a master by rank, but occasionally can be a civilian that a noble or wealthy commoner captain hires to act as his manservant. Captains of noble birth will often bring an experienced manservant from their house along to continue such service. In those cases where the captain brings a personal hireling as a steward rather than using a master, the steward is just a personal hireling and is not a warrant officer. (Only positions that are needful by the ship as a whole are given royal warrants.) The steward will cook the captain's meals from the captain's personal store of foodstuffs that is normally of higher quality than the crew's food, keep the captain's uniforms clean and repaired, and keep the captain's cabin as clean as he can, and generally fulfill the other functions that a manservant usually does. Profession (cook) is the most primary skill for this rating, but Craft (sewing) or Profession (butler) would be secondarily useful. A steward, whether a Blue Dragon master or a civilian hireling, will usually be assisted by one or two mates.
A marine is a true fighter of the sea. He is not a sailor in the literal sense of that word and does not himself set sails or tend the ship, although he does need a basic skill at seamanship simply to learn the reflexes needed to move and work on a pitching heaving deck without getting sick or getting in the way of sailors (i.e. his sea legs). The marine specializes in fighting at sea at storming enemy ships or protecting landing parties of sailors. The ship-board marines are certainly not the only ones who will fight in a boarding action every sailor not needed in the rigging or at the wheel will be fighting too and are good at it but they are the specialized "shock troops" of sea fighting. A marine shares the basic melee techniques with his land-based Purple Dragon soldier counterparts, but there the similarity ends. Different reflexes and techniques are required for effective fighting at sea. A land-based soldier would make a poor sea solder, which is why marines exist.
[PoFS,p.34: Marines of Cormyr are mentioned as existing here. Marines of other Inner Sea nations are mentioned on pp.44,47,84,85,88.]
Marines have their own internal organization on board a ship, although this organization is not as tightly regulated (even in regulation) as the Purple Dragon TO&E. Marines use the same rank structure as do sailors, since they are part of the Blue Dragons, but they have different job titles for positions of leadership. Unlike any other job positions in either the Blue Dragons (or the Purple Dragons for that matter), marine leadership job positions do correspond to particular ranks.
Marines on board ship are organized into 10-man squads, each composed of nine marines of sailor rank led by one marine of mate rank whose job position of squad leader is called a corporal. Marines who have the rank of sailor are never called that they are always called Marine. If there are three or more squads of marines on board then there is one marine ranked master for every three squads whose job position is called sergeant. The leader of the marines on board a ship is always a lieutenant and commissioned officer by rank, and is called lieutenant. The difference between Marine lieutenants and regular naval lieutenants is that Marine lieutenants are not apprenticed as midshipmen. Marine lieutenants are promoted directly from corporal or sergeant when they show exceptional leadership ability and are literate; within those criteria, preference also is given to men who have received some degree of education and who can conduct themselves in polite society. Becoming lieutenant is the height of career advancement for a Marine; there is no higher rank a Marine can be promoted to. Because all marines start as enlisted and there is no prospect for high rank, almost all Marines are commoners. Only a very few nobles (almost always those who are disowned, rebellious, or far from the line of inheritance) place more value on a reputation of fighting toughness than on their social status.
[Note: in real life, the leader of a Marine detachment on board a large ship of the line was called a "captain of marines" and marines used similar ranks to the land-based army, but here I'm intentionally choosing to neither introduce yet another different meaning for 'captain' nor establish any connection with the Purple Dragons by using 'first sword', 'swordmajor' or 'swordcaptain' for the positions. That 'corporal' and 'sergeant' evoke real-world connotations is a lesser offense that the other two, in my opinion.]
In game terms Marines, like any other sailor, will start off most likely having levels in the Naval Fighter base class (see section 3.5.1), but a rare few may have levels of Fighter, Paladin or Ranger. (Those who do start with the land-based classes will need to use most of their skill points to get cross-class ranks in skills needed at sea like Balance, Profession (Sailor) and Use Rope.) Those intending to make a career being a Marine should take levels of Blue Dragon Marine as soon as they qualify, and no Blue Dragon Marine will earn promotion to corporal, sergeant or lieutenant without levels in this class.
(See section 3.5.2. for the Blue Dragon Marine prestige class.)
3.1.3. Knights and the Imperial Navy
As with the Purple Dragons, there is no direct correlation between being a knight and being a member of the Blue Dragons. Being knighted by the king does not automatically make one a member of the regular military, nor does being a Blue Dragon officer of any rank guarantee a knighthood. The king does on occasion knight Blue Dragon officers, but knights may only be officers. It is possible within the customs of knighthood that an enlisted sailor could be knighted and simultaneously be given a commission as a Blue Dragon officer no enlisted person can be knighted and remain an enlisted person but to date this has never happened in the Blue Dragons.
(See section 3.5.2. for the Blue Dragon Knight prestige class.)
3.1.4. Leaving the Blue Dragons
Members of the Blue Dragons will leave the service of King and Cormyr for the same variety of reasons as do Purple Dragons. Some Blue Dragons who leave the service join the crew of a Freesail ship to continue making a life at sea. Blue Dragons who leave the Imperial Navy due to injury or age will also receive mustering out pay just as Purple Dragons do, and are subject to the same recall to service upon a Royal Writ. The mustering out pay is the same, as well: three months pay at the Blue Dragons' current rank plus five golden lions per full year served.
3.1.5. Auxiliary Naval Forces
The Imperial Navy is the official naval instrument of the Crown of Cormyr, but it is not the only way the Crown has to enforce its will on the high seas. Having a sufficiently large fleet to enforce the King's Will on the seas would be prohibitively expensive in both money and resources, so the Crown supplements its own naval power by chartering and issuing letters of marque to privately owned ships. Such ships and their crews are called privateers. Privateers hunt pirates and raid the shipping of foreign nations at war with the chartering government. These actions are legal and protected at least in friendly waters, although privateers are often considered pirates by those hostile governments and when caught are often treated as such. (Hostile governments of lawful alignment usually recognize letters of marque as legal documents but treat privateers holding them with a more subtle lack of respect than considering them outright pirates.) Most governments that have any form of sea commerce charter privateers, and Cormyr's privateers are known as the Cormyrean Freesails.
[PoFS,p.4 describes what privateers are and where they are considered "legal" and "outlaw".]
The Alliance of Freesailors and the Cormyrean Freesails
The Cormyrean Freesails have their origins in the Royal Freesailors, which were founded in the Year of the Blazing Banners (1209 DR) by Crown Prince Palaghard as an alliance of privateers to sail alongside the Imperial Navy against the pirate fleet of Urdogen "the Red". After the battle was successfully concluded, the alliance of privateers became a mutual aid society known as the Alliance of Freesailors. This society still exists today, and most Cormyrean, Sembian and Impilturian privateers are members of the Alliance. The Lord High Admiral of the Cormyrean Imperial Navy is nominally the head of the Alliance even though many members are not Cormyrean, although the Alliance is chartered and sponsored by diplomatic agreement of several governments with commercial shipping on the Inner Sea and who have a vested interest in opposing piracy. Membership in the Alliance is by invitation only, and one of the preconditions of receiving an invitation is that a ship and crew have legitimate letters of marque from a sponsor nation. Since the Lord High Admiral of the Cormyrean Navy is the titular head of the Alliance the invitation must come from him or those he empowers to issue invitations. The traditional initiation includes an oath of allegiance to the Crown of Cormyr, but in actuality this tradition is only upheld for native Cormyreans and is not forced on non-Cormyreans. In practice, the Cormyrean King and Lord High Admiral have (and expect to have) little influence over non-Cormyrean members.
[PoFS,p.9 and SoFS,p.6 both give the year of the battle as 1209 DR, but CaN,pp.377-388 states that Dhalmass died as king in 1227 DR and that Palaghard II was his son and successor. Thus Palaghard had to be the Crown Prince at the time of the battle and the founding of the Freesails. PoFS,p.9 also uses this wording "The western fleet, sent from Suzail, comprised forces from Cormyr (including over a dozen of the new Cormyrean Freesails)..." which indicates the Cormyrean Freesails were very recently formed. I interpret this to mean the Cormyrean Freesails were organized concurrent to the Alliance.]
The Alliance of Freesailors have rules of conduct that they are expected to adhere to regardless of what land they are from. Freesailors must adhere to the laws of the sea that are commonly recognized among the civilized nations and may not act as true pirates themselves. They must also render aid to other freesailors in danger on the high seas (and only on the high seas; aid while ships are in port or crew on land is generally neither expected nor required), except when hostilities exist between their respective nations. For example, during times of peace a ship of Sembian freesailors would be required to come to the aid of Cormyrean freesailors in crisis on the sea, but if a state of war existed between Sembia and Cormyr each set of freesailors would be expected to be loyal and follow the orders of their respective nations. When coming to the aid of another freesail, it is prohibited by the rules of the Alliance for them to forcibly take or confiscate any portion of loot the other freesail might have on board as a "fee" for the rescue; such an act is considered tantamount to piracy and grounds for expulsion from the Alliance of Freesails.
When Freesails take prizes or retrieve loot from pirates, they are required to turn half (50% by value) over to the Crown. Originally it was supposed to be specifically given to the Crown of Cormyr, since it was that kingdom that founded the Alliance, but thus was quickly found to be unenforceable in cases where a freesail native to another country put to port in that country. This resulted in a change to the Alliance charter that required the 50% to be turned over to the authorities of the next port the freesail docked at, which resulted in Freesails almost universally putting into their own country's ports when they had prizes or loot if at all possible. If such a legitimate seizure happens within sight of a port of a nation sponsoring the Alliance, then it is expected that the freesail will put to port there. The other 50% by value of any prize or loot is shared by the crew, and each crewman's share is determined by his position, skill, and years of service. The master and commander of the ship usually takes one fourth of the remaining 50%, with the officers and crew sharing the remaining amount according to skill and time in service. Unlike in the Cormyrean Imperial Navy, for the purposes of dividing prize money no distinctions are made between officers and crew.
[PoFS,p.15 describes these details of the Alliance of Freesailors, and also states that in game terms the equitable split can be abstracted to one share per level, but this opens the possibility that a crewmember might get more loot than the commander of the ship if he has more levels and this is not believable in my opinion. Thus, I modified it slightly. The captain takes one fourth of the remaining half, and the rest of the crew divides the remainder proportional to their character level. The one fourth rule I copied from the British Royal Navy's 1808 revised regulations concerning prize money.]
The Cormyrean members of the Alliance of Freesailors and the ships they sail are widely known as the Cormyrean Freesails. The Cormyrean Freesails are roughly the naval equivalent of a land-based militia, and about 30 ships, or nearly half, of all ships of Cormyrean registry carry charters as Freesails. (Cormyr calls the letters of marque given to the Freesails 'charters' and such charters work similarly to charters issued to land based adventuring groups.) Cormyrean Freesails can potentially be found hunting pirates in any part of the Inner Sea where Cormyrean-flagged merchants sail, but they are especially active in the western and northern reaches of that sea and only infrequently sail the waters of the Vilhon Reach or near Chessenta, Thay or Mulhorand.
[EdG1 stated that my estimate of 26+30 ships being the fleet size was "spot-on" then in EdG2 he clarified that was the Imperial Navy and the Cormyrean Freesails combined. This leaves 30 ships being the number that carry Freesail charters.]
[PoFS,p.37 states that the Cormyrean Freesails "make up nearly half of the ships with Cormyrean registry.]
[SoFS,p.10: "As always, Cormyr seeks to defend all potential trade partners from piracy, which King Azoun IV sees as the greatest threat to the Inner Sea trade. The Cormyrean Freesails have been active throughout the western and northern sea...]
Freesailors do not generally have the rank structure that the Imperial Navy has. As with most private ships, there is a master and commander of the vessel who usually styles himself Captain (although professional Blue Dragons rarely use this title unless the master and commander of the freesail has earned their respect). There are a small number of ship's officers, usually appointed by the Captain, but there is no detailed or formalized rank structure as there is in the Imperial Navy.
Cormyrean Freesails in particular have rules in addition to the rules for Alliance members that are imposed by the King and Lord High Admiral of Cormyr. Cormyrean Freesails must have letters of marque specifically issued by the Crown of Cormyr. They must come to the aid of any legitimate vessel in need of it, and they must help patrol and defend the coast and waters of Cormyr against any threat. During time of war, Cormyrean Freesails must obey the orders given them by captains or flag officers of the Imperial Navy. Cormyrean Freesailors, generally being loyal and eager to help their homeland, have virtually halted piracy in Cormyrean waters and the western end of the Dragonmere, although the Neck and the Sea of Fallen Stars east of the neck are still beset with the scourge of piracy.
Cormyrean Freesailors are as superstitious and religious as any sailor plying the seas, but in particular Tymora is considered to be their patron deity. Selûne is also commonly worshipped among the good-aligned Cormyrean Freesailors, and of course Umberlee is paid respect as well to avoid her wrath.
[PoFS,p.17 gives the religious preferences of the Cormyrean Freesailors. Crus,pp.106-111 shows an example of Umberlee's wrath when not given tribute.]
The Cormyrean Freesails, being privately owned vessels, are made up of a variety of ship types. There are no war caravels of the same design that the Imperial Navy uses, but there are some older cogs, and even two coastal runners of the same design as that used by the Imperial Navy, but in the past few decades the brigantine has become the vessel for which Cormyrean Freesails are best known. The brigantine is a versatile and maneuverable vessel, powered by both oar and sail. Brigantines vary in size, from 100 to 120 feet in length, 20 to 25 feet of beam, and draw a draft of 2 feet. They will typically have a crew of 30 to 45. Cormyrean Freesails are traditionally named (whether directly or indirectly) after weapons or armor that past monarchs have used.
[PoFS,p.34: The Suzail shipyards "are the primary producers of the brigantines which have become the trademark vessel of the Cormyrean Freesails."]
[SoFS,p.15: "Cormyr's corsairs and privateers (which unofficially fight the pirates for reward from Cormyr) use lesser known titles for weapons used by Cormyr's rulers as ship names, such as Drake's Tooth (after Shiningbite, Queen Gantharla's sword) or Undying Gaze (after the eye-studded war shield of King Draxius the Never-Dying)."]
[EdG2: Ed Greenwood tells that "all of the caravels are Imperial Navy owned, and only the two coastal runners I haven't named are chartered Freesails (the named ones are Navy built and owned)."]
Cormyrean Freesails, not having the same standards as the Blue Dragons, are made up of a more diverse group of people. More Freesailors will have levels in fighter, rogue, expert and perhaps warrior than will have levels in Naval Fighter. Freesailors with ranks in Naval Fighter will typically be ex-Blue Dragons who quit and struck out on their own.
[PoFS,p.74: "Dalvar Corzon is an up-and-coming Cormyrean freesailor who has recently risen to the captaincy of the Gullswing by order of King Azoun of Cormyr." This would seem to indicate that the King has authority over the inner workings and organization of Freesail ships, but this is doubtful at best. Freesails are not part of the regular Imperial Navy but are simply chartered privateers, thus promotions or positions within the crew should not be subject to Royal control. At most, the Royal Court might have acknowledged a modification of the charter indicating Corzon has become the leader of the crew.]
The Cormyrean Freesails have established a forward operating base on the Isle of Prespur in the Inner Sea. The isle of Prespur is a strategically located island in the middle of the Inner Sea, a little over 120 miles away from Selgaunt and bearing Southeast by South (i.e. one point south of southeast) from that city. Prespur sits on the same undersea plateau as the Pirate Isles, the Hmur Plateau, but is separated from the nearest of that archipelago (the Dragonisle) by about 62 miles.
[SoFS,p.139: "The Hmur Plateau is the large subsea land mass from which juts the Pirate Isles and the Isle of Prespur."]
Prespur is a two-lobed island that runs roughly 42 miles long southwest to northeast and averages about 10 miles wide. Both Cormyr and Sembia have settlements on the island; Cormyr's on the southwest half of the island and Sembia's on the northeast half. The Cormyrean town of Palaggar is on the southeastern shore of the southwestern lobe which is the best harbor in the island and where the hills in the center of the island shield it from the predominant westerly winds. The Sembian town of Uarhold, smaller than Palaggar, is on the northeastern lobe of the island and is the home port for several Sembian Freesails.
[The physical shape and measurements of the island are based on the Forgotten Realms Interactive Atlas, which is a 2nd Edition source.]
Palaggar is a small town, barely more than a stronghold of the Freesails that is used as a forward operating base against the pirates and a safe harbor for damaged ships. There is a small shipyard here to support the Freesails, and new ships are built here when Freesails are not drydocked for repair. Roughly a squadron-sized collection of ships operate out of Palaggar, although the specific ships frequently change as Freesails move in and out. There are always at least a few Cormyrean Freesails docked here by mutual agreement among the Freesailors that their base of operations should be defended; the remainder of the ships are out taking care of business. There is no formal structure or one commander to this squadron-sized grouping of ships, nor any formal government of the town. The leadership of the town is in the hands of a council of Freesail captains. Because of this, Palaggar is a rather rough and wild town with a strong frontier feel.
The commander of the Cormyrean Imperial Navy, Lord High Admiral Ayesunder Truesilver, has long wished to at least establish an Imperial Navy presence at Palaggar, if not take actual control of the town, but at the current time the Imperial Navy simply does not have the resources to support such a naval base and his lobbying of the Royal Court for additional resources generally falls upon deaf ears. He does send regular resupply missions to Prespur during the summer to help the Freesails, but that's the most he can do until he can get additional support from the Royal Court.
[Two quotes from SoFS p.11: "The main island houses two small towns that act as the main ports and shipyards for Cormyr's Blue Dragons as well as the begrudging presence of some Sembian freesails as well (each group in separate towns on opposite ends of the isle). Palaggar is the Cormyrean shipyard and garrison town..." and p.8: "... the best shipbuilders reside in Prespur and work officially for Cormyr's crown." indicate a strong and official Cormyrean military presence on Prespur. However, Ed Greenwood's words strongly contraindicate this. In EdG2 he states "Cormyr patrols the Lake of Dragons and commands the Neck; beyond chasing pirates east of that narrow throat and providing ship escorts, they leave the rest of the Sea of Fallen Stars alone." In EdG3 he states "The 'fleet' based in Prespur is almost entirely chartered vessels", "So the 'real' Imperial vessels usually operate in the Neck and westwards, trying to make it a 'no go' zone for pirates and smugglers. Outside of these waters, they're most likely to be met with off the Sembian coast, escorting important ships. Regular resupply runs are made to Prespur...", and finally "So, yes, the navy IS being neglected." All of these quotes clearly contradict SoFS. In my considered opinion, there is no way in any of the Nine Hells that the Blue Dragons or any King less mad than Boldovar would put their main shipyard and the best shipbuilders of the Inner Sea in a place so far outside of Cormyr without permanently assigning a STRONG official military presence here to defend such valuable assets to do so would stretch believability several nautical miles past the shattering point! Given that Ed is the ultimate Realms authority, we simply must disregard much of what SoFS says about Prespur and Palaggar. The 26-ship Imperial Navy plainly and simply does not have the resources to maintain such a base.]
3.2. Organization and Makeup of the Blue Dragons
The ship is of necessity the fundamental unit of organization in the Imperial Navy one certainly can't sail half a ship. All ships will have similar internal organization as the same basic tasks are required to run any ship, and all higher organization will be made up of collections of ships into squadrons and fleets.
The quality of the Blue Dragon crews of the Cormyrean Imperial Navy is second to none in all of Faerûn, due to their training, experience at fighting pirates and smugglers, and the magical support received from the War Wizards assigned to the ships. The quality of the ships themselves is rather less uniform. Cormyr is one of the most advanced nations in terms of naval architecture and technology; only Sembia and Impiltur could effectively claim to equal Cormyr in this area (at least in the Inner Sea; Waterdeep and Amn might make similar claims for their own fleets). The Crown's primary interests lie on land, however, so the Imperial Navy suffers from a degree of Royal neglect. Some ships, mainly the newer ships built in Azoun's reign, are of excellent quality and are the largest and most advanced sailing ships on the seas. Other older ships are more in need of frequent maintenance, and only the skill and vigilance of their crews manage to keep them in fighting trim. Lord High Admiral Ayesunder Truesilver, the commander of the Imperial Navy, regularly lobbies the Royal Court to authorize more shipbuilding both to replace older hulls and to increase the number of ships the Imperial Navy sails.
The Imperial Navy is made up of 12 major warships that constitute her main battleline and 14 supporting smaller ships, for a total of 26 ships. The larger ships are made up of the galleons of various types and carracks which are all commanded by captains by rank. Until the reign of Azoun IV, the primary warship of the Imperial Navy was the carrack; indeed, when King Azoun IV sailed to Thesk in the Year of the Turret (1360 DR) to face the Tuigan Horde of Yamun Khahan his flagship was the carrack Welleran. Even as he sailed on the carrack, though, galleons were under construction as Azoun saw the need to see to at least some modernization of his fleet. Since then several galleons have been completed and replaced the older carracks, including the royal galleon Crown of Cormyr (which is the king's ship and the largest sailing ship in the Inner Sea), the Dragon and the Filfaeril, but as of the Year of the Gauntlet (1369 DR) the modernization program has stalled due to a lack of continued Royal attention.
The smaller ships of the fleet are the war caravels, coastal runners, training ships and supply cogs. The coastal runners are the newest and most advanced of these smaller ships, and have replaced older caravels which were then sold off to private interests some of which became Freesails.
[Crus,p.99-101: Azoun sailed on the three-masted carrack Welleran. I think it's a reasonable assumption that Azoun would sail on the best ship available at the time, which implies the galleon is a recent innovation.]
[PoFS,p.80 refers to "...the late Renaissance galleons of Cormyr and Sembia.]
[PoFS,p.85: "Galleons are most frequently used in Cormyr, Sembia, and Impiltur. However, they are not common even there." If galleons are not common then they must be only a minority of the ships. Since in real life galleons are the latest and most advanced of the ship types mentioned in FR sourcebooks, that implies the galleon is a recent development in shipbuilding. This, in turn, implies that Cormyr Sembia and Impiltur have the most advanced shipbuilding technology.]
3.2.1. Capital Ships of the Imperial Navy
Capital ships are the primary warships that a navy uses to fight other navies with. Capital ships are also sometimes called "ships of the line", and the collection of a navy's capital ships is sometimes called its "battleline." Cormyr's capital ships are made up of the royal galleon, war galleons of various types, and the older carracks. All of the galleons have carvel-built hulls (with flat-fitted planks over an internal framework), as do all of the carracks in full service, and all capital ships have full rigging utilizing both square and fore-and-aft sails for maximum maneuverability.
126.96.36.199. The Royal Galleon Crown of Cormyr
The Crown of Cormyr the newest and largest ship of the fleet is larger than a standard galleon at a length of 180 feet, a beam of 50 feet and a draft of 7 feet. It required approximately 2,500 trees to build her, which equates to 42 acres of woodland. Although she is fitted out as a warship and is kept combat-ready since it simply wouldn't do for any ship bearing the royals to be lightly defended, she is considered a floating palace due to the luxurious appointments. The great cabin at the stern of the ship is outfitted for the Royal Family and suitable provisions are always kept in the holds, so the ship is ready to embark with the King and his family at a moment's notice. The Crown of Cormyr is crewed by 350 Blue Dragons, and the crew breakdown is given in Table 3-3.
[VGtC,p.16: The largest ship based in Suzail is the Crown of Cormyr, a floating palace used by the Royal Family, while the largest warship is Dragon. Both of these are well-equipped with ballistae and firepot-hurlers. I don't specify the numbers of weapons on the ship because the only FR rule mechanics for the fitting out of ships are in PoFS and I'm not at all happy with those rules; ships in that book seem to be woefully underweaponed.]
[Dr250,p.47: the Crown of Cormyr would be a third-rate galleon by the rules here.]
During time of battle, 73 berths (7 squads, 2 sergeants and a lieutenant) can be made for marines when the Royal Entourage is not aboard (presumably the king would not bring non-combatant family and courtiers if he were sailing to battle). The crew breakdown does not include the captain's steward, nor the extra servants that would accompany any royal person on board ship.______________________________________________________________________ Table 3-3: Crew Breakdown of a Royal Galleon Captain (captain by rank) 1 Lieutenants 5 Midshipmen 9 War Wizards 3 Warrant Officers Purser 1 Chaplain 2 Surgeon 2 Engineer/Carpenter 2 Boatswain 2 Masters Coxswain 2 Quartermaster 3 Sailmaker 2 Ropemaker 2 Cook 2 Mates 62 Sailors 250 -------------------------------- Total Crew 350 Marines 73 Total Wartime Complement 423 ______________________________________________________________________
The Crown of Cormyr is kept in Suzail to be available at a moment's notice should the King need it unless the King personally grants permission for a cruise to exercise the crew, and is not considered part of any squadron or fleet unless the King himself leads it. The Crown of Cormyr is the flagship of the entire Imperial Fleet, but it is not the flagship of any commodore or admiral.
188.8.131.52. The Large War Galleon
The only large war galleon in the fleet is the Dragon, the third-newest ship and the largest true warship in the fleet. The Dragon, the premier warship in the Imperial Navy and unsurpassed in combat ability in the Inner Sea, is 170 feet long, 45 feet in beam, draws a draft of 6 feet, and is sailed by a crew of 325. The crew breakdown of an Imperial Navy large war galleon is given in Table 3-4.
[Dr250,p.47: the large war galleon would be close to a fourth-rate galleon by these rules.]______________________________________________________________________ Table 3-4: Crew Breakdown of a Cormyrean Large War Galleon Captain (captain by rank) 1 Lieutenants 5 Midshipmen 8 War Wizards 2 Warrant Officers Purser 1 Chaplain 2 Surgeon 2 Engineer/Carpenter 2 Boatswain 2 Masters Coxswain 2 Quartermaster 2 Sailmaker 2 Ropemaker 2 Cook 2 Mates 56 Sailors 234 -------------------------------- Total Crew 325 Marines 63 Total Complement 388 ______________________________________________________________________
184.108.40.206. The War Galleon
The heart of the Imperial Navy are the war galleons that have come into service after the crusade against the Tuigan Horde. These war galleons are 160 feet long, 45 feet of beam, have a draft of 5 feet, and are operated by a crew of 300. The crew breakdown of a typical Imperial Navy war galleon is given in Table 3-5.
[VGtC,p.16: The largest ship based in Suzail is the Crown of Cormyr, a floating palace used by the Royal Family, while the largest warship is Dragon. Both of these are well-equipped with ballistae and firepot-hurlers. I don't specify the numbers of weapons on the ship because the only FR rule mechanics for the fitting out of ships are in PoFS and I'm not at all happy with those rules; ships in that book seem to be woefully underweaponed.]
[Dr250,p.47: the war galleon, as a standard galleon, would be a fifth-rate galleon.]______________________________________________________________________ Table 3-5: Crew Breakdown of a Cormyrean War Galleon Captain (captain by rank) 1 Lieutenants 4 Midshipmen 7 War Wizards 2 Warrant Officers Purser 1 Chaplain 2 Surgeon 2 Engineer/Carpenter 2 Boatswain 2 Masters Coxswain 2 Quartermaster 2 Sailmaker 2 Ropemaker 2 Cook 2 Mates 52 Sailors 215 -------------------------------- Total Crew 300 Marines 63 Total Complement 363 ______________________________________________________________________
220.127.116.11. Fast Galleon
The fast galleon is a one-of-a-kind ship commissioned by Azoun IV, the second newest in the fleet, and which he named Filfaeril after his wife the Queen. At 160 feet in length the Filfaeril is just as long as the standard war galleon, but she's slimmer at only 35 feet in beam. The Filfaeril draws the same draft of 5 feet and has the same set of sail, and this combined with the slimmer beam makes this ship faster than any other of Cormyr's galleons. This speed is bought at the expense of crew and cargo space; the smaller hull doesn't have room for as many crew or marines and carries a lower tonnage of supplies so more frequent resupplying is needed. The Filfaeril's superior speed and equal maneuverability, combined with nearly as strong an armament as a standard galleon, makes her a highly effective warship especially in chases. The crew breakdown of the Imperial Navy fast galleon is given in Table 3-6.
[EdG1: Ed Greenwood gives some detail of the fast galleon Filfaeril here.]______________________________________________________________________ Table 3-6: Crew Breakdown of a Cormyrean Fast Galleon Captain (captain by rank) 1 Lieutenants 4 Midshipmen 6 War Wizards 2 Warrant Officers Purser 1 Chaplain 2 Surgeon 2 Engineer/Carpenter 2 Boatswain 2 Masters Coxswain 2 Quartermaster 2 Sailmaker 2 Ropemaker 2 Cook 2 Mates 40 Sailors 168 -------------------------------- Total Crew 240 Marines 32 Total Complement 272 ______________________________________________________________________
18.104.22.168. The Carrack
The carrack was the old mainstay of the Imperial Navy before galleons were developed. The carrack is the technological predecessor to the galleon and the Navy plans to eventually gradually phase this class of ship out in favor of the galleon, although those plans are not being actively pursued at the current time. The carrack used by Cormyr is 130 feet in length, has a beam of 30 feet, draws a draft of 5 feet, and is sailed by a crew of 150. The crew breakdown of a typical Imperial Navy carrack is given in Table 3-7.______________________________________________________________________ Table 3-7: Crew Breakdown of a Cormyrean Carrack Captain (captain by rank) 1 Lieutenants 3 Midshipmen 4 War Wizards 2 Warrant Officers Purser 1 Chaplain 1 Surgeon 1 Masters Carpenter 2 Boatswain 2 Coxswain 1 Quartermaster 1 Sailmaker 1 Ropemaker 1 Cook 1 Mates 24 Sailors 104 -------------------------------- Total Crew 150 Marines 32 Total Complement 182 ______________________________________________________________________
3.2.2. Supporting Ships of the Imperial Navy
The Imperial Navy also operates a number of smaller ships that serve to support the main battleline in major fleet actions and otherwise take on the bulk of the patrol duties. These smaller ships include war caravels, the newer coastal runners, cogs, and obsolete carracks that are used as training ships. Most of these smaller ships are carvel-built like the capital ships, but the cogs and one of the training carracks are older clinker-built hulls (meaning the hull is built with overlapping planks). These smaller ships are commanded by commanders by rank rather than captains. These smaller ships do not have smaller boats (such as rowboats or gigs), so they do not have coxswains or coxswain's mates serving on them.
22.214.171.124. The War Caravel
The Cormyrean war caravel is outwardly similar to merchant caravels (which are among the most common of merchant ships), but is fitted out for combat rather than hauling cargo. Like the carracks, the caravels have been slated for eventual replacement by the newer coastal runner but progress has been slow. The Cormyrean war caravel is 70 feet long, 20 feet in beam, draws 5 feet of draft, and is sailed by a crew of 40. Cormyrean war caravels are distinctive in that they bear long metal rams low on their prows. The crew breakdown of a typical Imperial Navy war caravel is given in Table 3-8.
[VGtC,p.35 mentions the recognizability of the metal rams of the two caravels in Marsember.]______________________________________________________________________ Table 3-8: Crew Breakdown of a Cormyrean War Caravel Captain (commander by rank) 1 Lieutenants 1 Midshipmen 1 War Wizards 1 Warrant Officers Purser 1 Chaplain 1 Surgeon 1 Masters Carpenter 1 Boatswain 1 Quartermaster 1 Sailmaker 1 Cook 1 Mates 4 Sailors 24 -------------------------------- Total Crew 40 Marines 11 Total Complement 51 ______________________________________________________________________
[PoFS,p.82: "The caravel is used by the nations of Cormyr, Sembia, and Impiltur extensively, and is somewhat less common in Turmish and Chondath. It normally has two masts and square sails; no oars are used. The normal crew is from 30 to 40 men."]
126.96.36.199. The Coastal Runner
The Imperial Navy has in the past couple of decades sailed a small fast ship it calls a coastal runner, but is known in some other lands as a xebec. These coastal runners are newer and more advanced ships than the older caravels, and are gradually replacing the caravels over time. The coastal runner is a lateen-rigged ship, which makes it maneuverable and capable of sailing in more unfavorable winds than a square-rigged ship. It is built narrow for speed indeed, it is one of the fastest sailing ships on the seas and has a shallow draft enabling it to travel in shallow waters, yet it is sufficiently seaworthy for blue-water travel as long as the seas aren't too rough. The coastal runner is 90 feet long, 24 feet in beam, has a 2 foot draft, and is sailed by a crew of 50. The crew breakdown of a typical Imperial Navy coastal runner is given in Table 3-9.______________________________________________________________________ Table 3-9: Crew Breakdown of a Cormyrean Coastal Runner Captain (commander by rank) 1 Lieutenants 2 Midshipmen 2 War Wizards 1 Warrant Officers Purser 1 Chaplain 1 Surgeon 1 Masters Carpenter 1 Boatswain 1 Quartermaster 1 Sailmaker 1 Ropemaker 1 Cook 1 Mates 5 Sailors 30 -------------------------------- Total Crew 50 Marines 11 Total Complement 61 ______________________________________________________________________
188.8.131.52. The Cog
The cog is too slow and relatively unmaneuverable to serve as an effective warship, but the Imperial Navy has need of supply ships and the cog serves adequately in this capacity. The Imperial Navy currently operates two rather old-fashioned clinker-built cogs as supply ships. There are no plans to replace these with more modern ships, as these normally serve the supply needs of the fleet. On those occasions where a greater supply capacity is needed, the Imperial Navy will charter additional ships for the duration of the need. These naval supply cogs are the most cramped and uncomfortable ships in the Navy to serve on, for they are considerably overmanned in comparison to merchant cogs. Merchant cogs usually sail with only a sailing crew and depend on port longshoremen to load and unload the ship, but the Imperial Navy requires its cogs to carry enough sailors both to handle loading and unloading for those situations where supplies must be disembarked without benefit of a port and to fight in defense of the ship if attacked. Imperial Navy cogs will never be seen alone at sea, as they are always escorted by warships to their destinations. Cogs vary widely in specific design, but the two in the service of the Imperial Navy are both of a class. The Imperial navy cogs are somewhat larger than the average merchant cog at 90 feet long, 25 feet in beam, and drawing a draft of 5 feet. The total number of crew is 90, and the crew breakdown of the Imperial Navy cog is given in Table 3-10.
[EdG1 mentions that two cogs serve with the Imperial Navy.]______________________________________________________________________ Table 3-10: Crew Breakdown of a Cormyrean Cog Captain (commander by rank) 1 Lieutenants 2 Midshipmen 3 War Wizards 1 Warrant Officers Purser 1 Chaplain 1 Surgeon 1 Masters Carpenter 2 Boatswain 1 Coxswain 1 Quartermaster 1 Sailmaker 1 Ropemaker 1 Cook 1 Mates 10 Sailors 62 -------------------------------- Total Crew 90 Marines 11 Total Complement 101 ______________________________________________________________________
184.108.40.206. The Training Ship
The Training Squadron in Marsember sails four obsolete carracks as training vessels. These ships are similar in size and general configuration to the carracks that serve as fighting ships, but they are older and in decrepit shape. One, the Ansiber's Wrath, is old enough to be clinker-built rather than carvel-built. These ships operate a reduced crew of 100 to make room for the recruits they train. The crew breakdown of the Imperial Navy training ship, not including recruits, is given in Table 3-11.
[VGtC,p.35 details the particularly sad shape of the Ansiber's Wrath.]______________________________________________________________________ Table 3-11: Crew Breakdown of a Cormyrean Training Ship Captain (captain by rank) 1 Lieutenants 3 Midshipmen 4 War Wizards 1 Warrant Officers Purser 1 Chaplain 1 Surgeon 1 Masters Carpenter 2 Boatswain 1 Coxswain 1 Quartermaster 1 Sailmaker 1 Ropemaker 1 Cook 1 Mates 24 Sailors 56 -------------------------------- Total Crew 100 Marines 22 Total Complement 122 ______________________________________________________________________
3.2.3. Organization Above the Ship Level
The Imperial Navy does not have nearly the depth of hierarchical organization that the Purple Dragons have because, as has been mentioned before, the ship (with tens or hundreds of crew) is the most basic unit of organization. A small number of ships under a single command is called a squadron (not to be confused with the cavalry or mounted airborne Purple Dragons), and two or more squadrons under a single command is called a fleet. As of the first day of Mirtul in the Year of the Turret (1369 DR), there are only two fleets and both are associated with Cormyr's primary port cities Suzail and Marsember and charged with their defense from sea-based threats.
There is no particular regulation structure to squadrons and fleets, and their structure has varied widely over the history of Cormyr depending on the tactical and strategic doctrines of the admirals in command. Currently, each squadron has a mix of capital and support ships at the direction of the Lord High Admiral. At some times in the past, squadrons have been composed entirely of capital ships or entirely of support ships, and at other times there have been no distinct squadrons at all except for ad hoc formations.
Unlike Purple Dragon general officers, the flag officers of the Imperial Navy do not have large staffs. Two reasons for this are that there is little room on board even a flagship for a large number of extra personnel and that much of the administrative work of the Navy is handled at the individual ship level by the Captain and his officers. Flag officers (commodore and admiral alike) will usually have a Blue Dragon lieutenant serve as their adjutant (essentially the same as a general officer's aide de camp), a steward to attend his personal needs, and a clerk to handle his correspondence and other administrative needs. The steward can be a Blue Dragon of master rank and the clerk can be a Blue Dragon of mate's rank, but more often admirals are wealthy enough to hire their own personal servants in these capacities. Since most admirals will be of noble station these personal servants will usually be servants from his house. Flag officers are also entitled to two Blue Dragon Marine personal guards at all times. When sailing on a ship, these guards will be drawn from the ship's complement of marines. When on land, the guards will be drawn from ships currently docked in port.
Most lieutenants view the position of adjutant to a flag officer with very mixed feelings, because their careers are entirely in the hands of that flag officer. Some admirals will give preferential treatment to their adjutants when vacancies for ship captains occur; other admirals keep their adjutants for the remainder of their career, which effectively ends the career advancement of the lieutenant.
3.2.4. Standards for Imperial Navy Vessels
The reigning monarch is responsible for naming Imperial Navy vessels. In the past these names were at the whim of the monarch. Past ship names have been the namesake of monarchs, heroes, and other more fanciful references. Azoun IV has decreed a standard naming convention for new ships built: all ships of the Imperial Navy are now named exclusively after historical rulers of Cormyr either literally or in reference to noted actions or nicknames. The only exception that Azoun has allowed for is the fast galleon Filfaeril named after his wife. The ships built before Azoun's decree have not been renamed to this standard.
[SoFS,p.15: "All of Cormyr's official naval vessels are named for the monarchy's rulers. Some are given fanciful like Valashar's Bane while others sport actual names such as Queen Besmra." VGtC.16 gives names that seem to break this pattern, though, with the coastal runners Blade of Espar and Lance of Wheloon on p.16 and the war caravel Thomdor's Fist on p.35 seems unlikely to refer to a past king. In EdG1, however, Ed Greenwood clarified that SoFS "got (as usual) edited to say something different from what they originally meant. From Sea of Fallen Stars: "All of Cormyr's official naval vessels are named for the monarchy's rulers" originally read: "All of Cormyr's official naval vessels are now named for the monarchy's rulers" and SHOULD actually read: "All official Cormyrean naval vessels 'set forth' (commissioned) in the rule of Azoun IV have been named for past rulers of the Forest Kingdom, with one exception: the ship named for his queen, Filfaeril.""]
There are other more long-standing naming restrictions due to tradition and sailors' superstitions. No ship of the Imperial Navy is ever named after a battle or contains words of ill omen such as 'doom'. The names of past ships are never reused, so for example there was never another ship named Valashar's Bane after the original foundered and sunk in a storm while trying to make passage through the Neck in the Year of Autumn Drums (389 DR). Variant names are allowed, but the exact same name or the same name with a number suffix is prohibited.
[EdG1 states these further naming limitations.]
[SoFS,p.19 speaks of the first Valashar's Bane and its loss.]
The Blue Dragons take pride in the appearance of the ships they crew, and keep them clean and squared away. All ships of the Imperial Navy bear smartly-rigged purple-colored sails and fly a white pennant bearing the crest of the Purple Dragon in purple. Every ship's gunwales (the upper edge of the ship's sides), mainmast and bowsprit are painted bright blue, and otherwise the hulls are generally painted dark blue (with one exception the Crown of Cormyr which is painted black) and are regularly cleaned of barnacles or other accumulated buildup under the waterline to make sure the ship sails at maximum performance. The Imperial Navy views purple sails as their personal naval heraldry and takes a very dim view of any other vessel bearing purple sails, and it is not unknown for Blue Dragons to harass such a ship until it proves itself legitimate. Most ships on the Inner Sea know this and avoid using purple sales, although some pirates use them as a ruse.
[Crus,p.100 states that the carracks of the expeditionary fleet are "spectacularly rigged". SoFS,p.16 has three relevant clauses: (1) "Cormyr objects to any who use purple sails, as they use it themselves and most folk assume that ships with purple sails are Cormyr's ships. (Some pirates count on that to disguise their vessels).", (2) "Most ships' hulls are painted in dull colors. Black, however, is reserved for official vessels owned by heads of state. (Such ships are often sent ahead of the actual vessel upon which a ruler sails, to attract the attentions of both pirates and assassins).", and (3) "Cormyr's official "Blue Dragons" navy paints the gunnels, mainmast, and the bowsprit a bright blue so pirates and blackguards know that the eye of Cormyr is on them."]
In addition to the sails and the standard of the Purple Dragon, Imperial Navy ships often fly signal flags to communicate with other Imperial Navy ships. There are a large number of flags with distinct patters that represent certain codes, and many combinations of at least four of these flags make up a complex coding system that is kept secret so that non-Blue Dragons cannot interpret the meaning.
[SoFS,p.16, discusses the flags flown by Imperial Navy ships.]
[SoFS,p.16: "Ships can signal other ships with their flags. Cormyr's ship flags all have the Purple Dragon facing away from the mast, the opposite side of the flag holding the captain's (or highest-ranking officer's) personal mark. To turn the flag around and have the dragon face the mast signals that the ship wishes to come alongside and talk. Most ships' flags have a symbol on one side that, when reversed, sends a similar message to passing ships.
Multiple flags on the main mast and from the stern of the ship communicate numerous things, though most powers wish to keep such codes secret so their enemies cannot decipher their meaning. Cormyr and Thay, most of all, use an elaborate system of no less than four flags beneath their main colors to signal other ships."]
[Crus,pp.101,109,110,111 mention that two-masted cogs were also part of the fleet sailing for Thesk, which are most likely just serving as troop transports rather than warships since cogs are even older technology than caravels. P.112 also mentions coasters as being part of the fleet.]
3.3. Overall Composition of the Blue Dragons
As stated before, there are a total of 26 ships in the Imperial Navy. These ships are divided up into two fleets: 14 of these ships are the Suzail fleet and the other 12 are the Marsember fleet. The royal flagship Crown of Cormyr, while it is fully fitted out as a warship, is not generally considered an active warship since it is usually kept docked at the Royal Docks in Suzail to be available to the King on demand. For this reason, some sources state that there are only 25 capital ships in the Imperial Navy rather than 26. Each fleet is divided up into a number of squadrons, each containing four or five ships. The royal flagship is not assigned to any squadron.
[Both GTR and C9410,p.55 state that the Imperial Navy has 25 ships, with 14 based in Suzail and 12 based in Marsember. These add up to 26, not 25. This error slipped by two different sets of authors and editors into by two different books. I resolve this discrepancy by keeping the Crown of Cormyr out of the squadrons and reserved for the King's use.]______________________________________________________________________ Table 3-12: Overview of Blue Dragon Naval Strength (as of 1 Mirtul 1369 DR) A. Ship Strength & Manpower: Num. Total Total Total Unit Type Ships Crew Marines Complement Capital Ships: Royal Galleon 1 350 73 423 Large War Galleon 1 325 63 388 War Galleon 5 1,500 315 1,815 Fast Galleon 1 240 32 272 Carrack 4 600 128 728 ----------------------------- ----- ------- ------- ---------- Total 12 3,015 611 3,626 Supporting Ships: War Caravel 3 120 33 153 Coastal Runner 5 250 55 305 Cogs (supply ship) 2 180 22 202 Training Ships (carrack)* 4 400 88 488 ----------------------------- ----- ------- ------- ---------- Total 14 950 198 1,148 ============================= ===== ======= ======= ========== GRAND TOTAL 26 3,965 809 4,774 * Crew numbers not including the trainees inducted on 1 Mirtul 1369. B. Manpower Breakdown By Rank & Warrant: Crew Marine Total Commissioned Officers: Captain 16 0 16 Commander 10 0 10 Lieutenant 75 26 101 Midshipmen 109 0 109 ----------------------------- ------- ------- ------- Total 210 26 236 Enlisted Personnel: Master 210 23 233 Mate 667 76 743 Sailor 2,713 684 3,397 ----------------------------- ------- ------- ------- Total 3,590 783 4,373 ----------------------------- ------- ------- ------- Blue Dragon Totals: 3,800 809 4,609 Non-Blue Dragons Serving On Ship: War Wizards serving on Ship 39 39 Warrant Officers 126 126 ----------------------------- ------- ------- Total 165 165 ============================= ======= ======= ======= GRAND TOTAL 3,965 809 4,774 ______________________________________________________________________
[PoFS,p.36: "Cormyr's Royal Navy (boasting thirty caravels and over 5,500 men)..." This cite is of highly dubious reliability for a few reasons. One, it's been explicitly stated elsewhere (including other cites in this same source) that Cormyr operates galleons and carracks, which are larger and more capable than caravels. Two, if the technology exists to build larger and more capable ships like galleons it would be absurd for the Navy to sail nothing better than caravels. Three, even if the Imperial Navy was made up of 30 caravels, that doesn't correspond with 5,500 men. This many men on 30 ships would average out to 183 men per ship, and caravels are nowhere nearly large enough to support such a crew. The manpower totals (backed up elsewhere by cites of 2,500 in Suzail and 2,200 in Marsember) plainly and simply mandate that the ships of the Navy have to have a significant number of larger ships. Four, in EdG1 Ed Greenwood specifically gives a list of the names and types of most of the ships in the Imperial Navy and only three of them are caravels. For these reasons the PoFS cite must be disregarded.]
The Suzail Fleet is composed of 14 capital ships, 8 of them capital ships and 6 of them supporting ships, which have a total complement of 2,570. These men and ships are commanded by Admiral Hazen Kelafin. One of the ships, the royal galleon Crown of Cormyr, is not assigned to a squadron but the other 15 ships are divided into three squadrons. At any given time, at least one of these squadrons will be anchored in port and at least one (and usually two) squadrons will be patrolling within a half-day's sail of Suzail. When a squadron is anchored in port, the marines of those ships are usually quartered in the Citadel of the Purple Dragon.
[GTR,p.43: "A 25-ship imperial navy patrols out of Suzail.", which I interpret to be the total number of ships of all sizes. GTR,p.55: Suzail maintains "14 ships of the Imperial Navy". C9410,p.12 and VGtC,p.16: Suzail is home port for 14 ships and crew of the Imperial Navy totaling more than 2,500 sea warriors.]
[PoFS,p.34: "Cormyr's Imperial Navy (see below) has its main home port here under the personal command of Admiral Hazen Kelafin, Royal Admiral of Cormyr." The 'royal admiral' rank gives an implication of command of the entire Navy, but several other sources clearly state that Ayesunder Truesilver is the head of the Navy, so I just make Kelafin an admiral and dispense with the 'royal' part.]
[PoFS,p.34: "Admiral Kelafin's marines are housed within the nearby Citadel of the Purple Dragon."]______________________________________________________________________ Table 3-13: Suzail Ship Strength and Manpower (as of 1 Mirtul 1369 DR) Num. Total Total Total Unit Type Ships Crew Marines Complement Capital Ships: Royal Galleon 1 350 73 423 Large War Galleon 1 325 63 388 War Galleon 1 300 63 363 Fast Galleon 1 240 32 272 Carrack 4 600 128 728 ----------------------------- ----- ------- ------- ---------- Total 8 1,815 359 2,174 Supporting Ships: War Caravel 1 40 11 51 Coastal Runner 4 200 44 244 Cogs (supply ship) 1 90 11 101 ----------------------------- ----- ------- ------- ---------- Total 6 330 66 396 ============================= ===== ======= ======= ========== GRAND TOTAL 14 2,145 425 2,570 ______________________________________________________________________
Current Squadron Assignments in Suzail as of 1 Mirtul 1369:
Not assigned to a squadron:Crown of Cormyr (royal galleon) [VGtC,p.16]
1st Squadron:Dragon (large war galleon) [VGtC,p.16]
Welleran (carrack) [Crus,p.99-101]
Filfaeril (fast galleon) [EdG1]
Warstrike (war caravel) [EdG1]
Edrel's Chain (cog) [EdG1]
2nd Squadron:Triumphant (war galleon)
The Helm of Serpents (carrack) [EdG1]
Blade of Espar (coastal runner) [VGtC,p.16]
Shield of Suzail (coastal runner) [EdG1]
3rd Squadron:Iliphar's Legacy (carrack)
Flame of Esparin (carrack) [Gar1]
Lance of Wheloon (coastal runner) [VGtC,p.16]
Sword of Arabel (coastal runner) [EdG1]
[Ships marked with a dagger () are ones I named.]
[VGtC,p.16: The largest ship based in Suzail is the Crown of Cormyr, a floating palace used by the Royal Family, while the largest warship is Dragon. Both of these are well-equipped with ballistae and firepot-hurlers. Two other ships of Suzail are small fast coastal runners Blade of Espar, Lance of Wheloon and they are active against pirates almost daily.]
[PoFS,p.34: The Basin in Suzail is a deep-water harbor. The shipyards near here "are the primary producers of the brigantines which have become the trademark vessel of the Cormyrean Freesails."]
[PoFS,p.34: "The easternmost harbor contains the Royal Docks and the Harbor Tower. Cormyr's Imperial Navy (see below) has its main home port here under the personal command of Admiral Hazen Kelafin, Royal Admiral of Cormyr. Admiral Kelafin's marines are housed within the nearby Citadel of the Purple Dragon."]
Suzail also boasts good harbor defenses. The narrow channel that leads to the Basin is equipped with excellent harbor chains that can quickly be deployed to block any ship passage, and three ballistae are mounted to guard both the channel and the nearby shipyards. The harbor towers of the Citadel of the Purple Dragons, guarding the Royal Docks, are defended by four well-placed catapults.
[PoFS,p.36: Suzail has an excellent set of harbor chains which can block the narrow channel to the Basin (supported by a deployment of three ballistae), and the Citadel of the Purple Dragon has an excellent brace of four catapults trained on the Royal Harbor area."]
The Marsember Fleet is composed of 12 ships, 4 of them capital ships and 8 of them supporting ships, which have a total complement of 2,204. These men and ships are commanded by Lord High Admiral Sir Ayesunder Truesilver (LG hm NvF11/BDK3), who is the overall commander of the Imperial Navy as well as the overall commander of the Marsember Garrison (the garrison is a joint command of both Purple Dragon and Blue Dragon forces) and the Warden of the Port of Marsember.
[GTR,p.53 and C9410,p.13 both state that Ayesunder is a Ftr14. I've converted him here to use the new classes from section 3.5 of this document.]______________________________________________________________________ Table 3-14: Marsember Ship Strength and Manpower (as of 1 Mirtul 1369 DR) Num. Total Total Total Unit Type Ships Crew Marines Complement Capital Ships: War Galleon 4 1,200 252 1,452 ----------------------------- ----- ------- ------- ---------- Total 4 1,200 252 1,452 Supporting Ships: War Caravel 2 80 22 102 Coastal Runner 1 50 11 61 Cog (supply ship) 1 90 11 101 Tranining Ship (carrack)* 4 400 88 488 ----------------------------- ----- ------- ------- ---------- Total 8 620 132 752 ============================= ===== ======= ======= ========== GRAND TOTAL 12 1,820 384 2,204 * Crew numbers not including the trainees inducted on 1 Mirtul 1369. ______________________________________________________________________
Current Squadron Assignments in Marsember as of 1 Mirtul 1369:
4th Squadron: commanded by Commodore Sir Hector "the Sailor" Dauntinghorn (LG hm NvF6/BDK3)Morningstar, (war galleon) [EdG1]
Mace of Fire, (war galleon) [EdG1]
Sea Snake, (war caravel) [VGtC,p.35]
Maskard's Caltrop, (cog) [EdG1]
[C9410,p.47: "Hector 'the Sailor' Dauntinghorn (LG hm Ftr9), a commodore in charge of an Imperial Navy squadron based in Marsember." This quote is evidence that squadrons do exist as naval units. I also converted Hector's class and level to correspond with the new classes introduced in this document.]
5th Squadron:Palaghard's Banner, (war galleon) [EdG1]
Rhigaerd's Gauntlet, (war galleon) [EdG1]
Thomdor's Fist, (war caravel) [VGtC,p.35]
Helm of Marsember, (coastal runner) [EdG1]
Training Squadron:Ansiber's Wrath, (training ship) [VGtC,p.35]
Queen Besmra, (training ship) [SoFS,p.15]
Hlombur's Blade, (training ship) [AJA1, VGtC,p.22]
Warrior King, (training ship)
[Ships marked with a dagger () are ones I named.]
[GTR,p.53 and C9410,p.13 both state there is a 12-ship detachment in Marsember, which I interpret to refer to just the capital ships.]
[VGtC,p.34 says that the Imperial Navy detachment of 12 major ships in Marsember are manned by "in excess of 2,200 trained sea warriors."]
[C9410,p.49: Ayesunder Truesilver heads the largest part of the Imperial Navy. Hmmm... elsewhere in this same book (not to mention other sources) it states that Marsember has only 12 ships while Suzail has 14. Largest part? Since several other canon cites contradict this and no others support this, disregard it as literally stated. I pay some homage to it by letting him (and Marsember) have more of the new galleons than Suzail has.]
[C9410,p.58: Ayesunder Trusilver is generally regarded as the head of the Cormyrean Navy. See notes on him in the description of the Marsember Purple Dragon garrison but in review there is no such thing "generally regarded head", as the commander of any major branch of the military will be specifically appointed by the government rather than having command by default or general acclimation, and this means that Ayesunder is a Blue Dragon officer.]
[According to the C9410,p.58, "Ayesunder Truesilver is the commander of these forces and is generally regarded as the head of the Cormyrean Navy." This is contradicted by another source (PoFS,p.34&36) and doesn't seem consistent with other facts. One would think that the overall commander of the fleet would be at the largest naval base, where the largest numbers of ships are, or where the military high command is, and that would be Suzail. There are more ships in Suzail, and even if Marsember's Starwater Keep is physically a bit bigger than the facilities of the Citadel of the Purple Dragon in Suzail, to use a real life analogy the commander of the British Royal Navy is in London, not Portsmouth. Still, all sources other than PoFS indicated he is the commander of the Imperial Navy so that's what I'm sticking with.]
Since the most recent pirate incursion in the Year of Moonfall (1344 DR), Marsember has improved its harbor defenses. Harbor chains were installed, but these are now in somewhat poor repair, and Starwater Keep has several ballistae and catapults to guard Starmouth Harbor and the islands nearest the keep, but distance and the city's landscape prevent them from being able to defend the southernmost islands and the western part of the city. Lord Admiral Truesilver has requested that additional catapults and ballistae be installed in the King's Tower to defend the western part of the city, but this has not yet been approved.
[PoFS,p.36: Since the most recent pirate incursions, Marsember has established some harbor chains, but like much in Marsember these are in poor repair. Unfortunately, while Starwater Keep has several ballistae and catapults, the topography of the city makes these virtually useless for defense of the outer harbor islands." Also, "The most recent significant pirate raid was on the city of Marsember in 1344 DR."]
[VGtC,p.35: "Most of the regular ships of the line stationed here are small, fast coast-boats, though two large and well-armed war caravels, the 'Sea Snake' and 'Thomdor's Fist' also call Marsember home. The visitor can easily recognize these two by the long, wicked metal rams low on their bows." There is some good information in this quote, but Volo's statement referring to small coastboats as "ships of the line" is not accurate. Indeed, when the first copies of the Guide were available in Suzail and Marsember, midshipmen had giggling fits and senior officers reacted in ways varying from laughter to consternation. One galleon captain was rumored to have remarked "Next time Volothamp Geddarm is in town, we'll keelhaul him first on a coastal runner then on my galleon! That'll teach him what 'ship of the line' means!" Also, coastal runners are actually larger than caravels; caravels can simply appear larger to the untutored eye due to their fore and aft castles which coastal runners do not have.]
Dawngleam is the easternmost coastal town in Cormyr and is right at the western side of the Neck, the strait that connects the Dragonmere to the Inner Sea. This is a strategic location from which to observe seagoing traffic entering and leaving the Dragonmere and to interdict pirates and smugglers. With this in mind, the Crown of Cormyr is investing significant resources into building a major garrison and port facility here. A full kadrath of the 1st Wheloon Infantry Regiment is stationed here at all times, and different kadrathen of that regiment are rotated through Dawngleam twice a year. The Blue Dragons are in the process of constructing a port and shipyard, and during the time the Neck is not frozen the Imperial Navy maintains a continual presence of several ships here to defend the town and construction work from pirates. The sailors of these ships also help in building the new quays and shipyard. War wizards are also helping build up the town into a port; teams of them are using the spell Create Road Surface to improve the roads of the town. (This spell is already being used to replace the cobblestone roads of Suzail and Marsember.)
Since the port is not yet finished and the waters freeze during the winter, no squadron of ships is yet permanently assigned here, despite the continual presence of ships during the non-winter months.
[VGtC,p.83: The Cormyrean Navy is in the process of establishing a base in Dawngleam for use against pirates operating in the Neck.]
Create Road Surface
Level: Sor/Wiz 5
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Long (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Area: Up to a 100 sq. ft. per level surface (S) that is 1/4 ft (3") deep.
Saving Throw: See text.
Spell Resistance: No
This spell transforms a muddy road surface into a hardened dark road surface suitable for hard-wheeled vehicles. The spell will not work on a dry surface; the dirt of the entire area affected must be thoroughly wetted into mud. The depth of the transformed road surface will not exceed 3 inches, but the area of the surface is shapeable by the caster within the area limit of the spell. Magical mud is not affected by the spell. Creatures that are in the mud within the area of effect are allowed a Reflex save to escape before the area hardens; failure means the creature's feet are trapped within the road surface and must be dug out. The resulting road surface has the same hardness and hit points as stone.
Care must be taken in choosing the ground on which the road is to be created. If the roadbed underneath the hardened surface will not support the road (e.g. if the road is built over top of swampy land or quicksand) the road will collapse once subjected to a load.
Material Component: a handful of gravel or finely crushed hard rock and a cup of tar.
[VGtC,p.84: In footnote 5 Elminster notes that the spell turns the mud into a substance very similar to asphalt.]
3.4. Operations and Tactics of the Blue Dragons
In times of peace, the ships of the Imperial Navy generally restrict their operations to the Dragonmere. Some ships will stay close to the ports of Suzail and Marsember to keep those ports and the nearby coasts safe from pirates. At least one squadron will always be in port at (or at least within visible range of) Suzail and Marsember to keep them safe from any sea-based threats. Other squadrons will patrol the coastal waters of Cormyr (especially the vicinity of Dawngleam) or the Neck to deter or find and suppress pirates and smugglers who avoid the cities. Particular effort is made to dominate the Neck since it is a chokepoint and the only way in or out of the Dragonmere. There is nearly always some Imperial Navy presence in the neck, so Cormyr is generally aware of any ship entering or leaving the Dragonmere.
Imperial Navy ships are rarely seen eastward of the Neck, but when they are they will most likely be either escorting important ships to foreign ports or on supply missions to the Cormyrean Freesails on the Isle of Prespur. There are usually three of these supply missions per year; one immediately after the ice in the Neck breaks up, one just before Midsummer, and one at the end of Eleint. These supply missions are short-duration missions sail there, unload, and return.
[EdG3: "So the 'real' Imperial vessels usually operate in the Neck and westwards, trying to make it a 'no go' zone for pirates and smugglers. Outside of these waters, they're most likely to be met with off the Sembian coast, escorting important ships. Regular resupply runs are made to Prespur..."]
In wartime or in large scale anti-piracy operations, all ships except those needed to protect Suzail and Marsember would be sent out along with all of the Freesails that can be gathered in the time allowed to fight the enemy. Historically, Cormyr has always sought to build coalitions with other civilized kingdoms in such matters to increase the force available. Just two examples of this are the coalition to defeat the pirate Urdogan in the Year of the Blazing Banners (1209 DR) and the Alliance against the Tuigan Horde in the Year of the Turret (1360 DR).
Any Imperial Navy ship patrolling Cormyrean waters also regularly inspect any fishing ships they find to make sure they have paid the required fee; fishing in Cormyrean waters without paying a fee to the Crown is illegal. First offenders who make believable claims they did not know of the fee are escorted to the nearest port to pay the fee or are escorted out of Cormyrean waters at their choice. Second offenders or first offenders who are not convincing often find their ships seized as prizes.
[SoFS,p.15 states that fishing in territorial waters without paying the authorities is illegal and that this is actually enforced in Cormyr and Sembia.]
All Imperial Navy ships are required to render whatever aid is possible to any vessel in distress without undue risk to itself. If the vessel in distress cannot be saved from sinking or destruction, then the Navy ship is required to at least save as many of the crew as possible and return them safely to the nearest port.
Every officer and sailor relishes the duty of anti-piracy patrols, not only because they are the primary source of action they experience but because successful actions against pirates mean prize money. Whenever possible, pirate ships are boarded and captured rather than sunk so that whatever loot is aboard can be confiscated. The ship's purser will catalog and store all cargo confiscated from a pirate ship for return back to Cormyr. If the rightful owner can be ascertained the property will of course be returned, but the crown rewards half the value of the cargo to the crew of the ship that captured her. Usually the cargo itself is retained by the Crown and the crew paid in currency, but on occasion the crown might allow officers or crew to purchase minor magical items or works of art using their share of the prize money. If the prize money itself in not sufficient to cover the value of the item, wealthy officers sometimes will make up the difference from their own pocket to obtain such items. Rarer and more expensive items, like works of art or especially powerful magic items, are always kept by the crown rather than sold to officers. The palace has its own art collection, and the War Wizards are loath to let powerful magicks slip from their grasp (and keep in mind every ship has at least one war wizard aboard so the war wizards will know of any such prizes).
A pirate ship, or a foreign warship in time of war, becomes a prize ship once captured. After the cargo is confiscated and as much as possible is transferred to the capturing ship, the captain will assign one of his commissioned officers (a lieutenant if one can be spared, or a midshipman otherwise) will be given command of the prize and ordered to sail her directly back to a Cormyrean port. Once the prize ship safely reaches port, the ship is turned over to the authorities and the prize crew awaits the arrival of their ship. If the prize ship is of suitable quality and the Imperial Navy needs more ships, the Crown may keep the ship and refurbish it for use; otherwise the ship is sold to a legitimate buyer. In either case, half the value of the ship is awarded to the crew of the capturing ship as prize money to supplement the value of any cargo. An officer who successfully sails a prize ship back to port also increases his chance for promotion to a command rank at some later date!
All prize money is divided among the entire crew of an Imperial Navy ship and the flag officer directly commanding the ship, although not equally. The flag officer directly commanding the ship (usually a commodore) receives one eighth of the prize money, the captain of the capturing ship receives one fourth, the commissioned officers and war wizards share one eighth, the warrant officers and masters and marine sergeants share one eighth, and the mates sailors and marine (troops and corporals together) share three eighths.
Operations of the Imperial Navy are generally restricted to the summer months, as winter ice is a serious problem in the Dragonmere. The Neck (the shallow strait linking the Dragonmere with the rest of the Sea of Fallen Stars) freezes for up to five months out of the year, from middle-to-late Marpenoth to early-to-middle Tarsakh. The coast near Suzail has a tendency to freeze, although the waters of Marsember never freeze due to the warmth produced by the rotting filth at the bottom of the canals. Ship traffic through the Neck generally stops by the first day of Marpenoth and doesn't resume until at least mid-Tarsakh. Even after the ice breaks up during the first half of Tarsakh, fierce spring storms make seafaring difficult.
[Numerous cites support the idea of a winter freeze:
C9410,p.12: "However, the sewage has the positive effect of inhibiting ice from forming during winter, keeping the city's commerce lines open." This refers to the canals of Marsember, and implies if not for the filth in the canals they would freeze in winter.
VGtC,p.37: The following refers to the canals of Marsember: "Their stench is incredible during hot, dry summers, and the heat of unseen things rotting in the depths keeps their steaming waters clear of ice even in the coldest winters."
VGtC,p.39 "The Breaking is a wild feast held to celebrate the arrival of the first foreign ship into port after the ice breaks up..."
SoFS,p.8: "After the spring storms each year, many ships from Cormyr, Sembia, and other ports make mad dashes east toward Thesk and Aglarond, for fortunes can be made by those who arrive in port first."
PoFS,p.49: "Unfortunately, for nearly half the year the Neck (the narrow portion of the mouth of the Lake of Dragons) is frozen, preventing any ship traffic from entering or leaving Teziir."]
3.5. Game Information
3.5.1. New Base Classes
The Naval Fighter is not just any sailor, he is the seafaring equivalent of the fighter. Naval Fighters will be professionally trained naval personnel serving in national navies, marines, or pirates who focus more on their fighting ability than on the other more roguish aspects of piracy. The Naval Fighter is a cut above the average sailor who serves on merchant ships, privateers or lesser pirate ships; he is the stalwart defender of law and commerce on the high seas who protects average sailors on such ships or the cruel and hard-bitten pirate who preys upon them.
[Whenever a NPC is listed as having levels in the Naval Fighter class, it will be abbreviated as NvF just as the standard base classes have three-letter abbreviations.]______________________________________________________________________ Table 3-15: The Naval Fighter Base Class Attack Fort Ref Will Level Bonus Save Save Save Special ----- ------------- ---- ---- ---- --------------------------- 1 +1 +2 +2 +0 Bonus Feat 2 +2 +3 +3 +0 Bonus Feat 3 +3 +3 +3 +1 4 +4 +4 +4 +1 5 +5 +4 +4 +1 Bonus Feat 6 +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 7 +7/+2 +5 +5 +2 8 +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 Bonus Feat 9 +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 10 +10/+5 +7 +7 +3 11 +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +3 Bonus Feat 12 +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +4 13 +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +4 14 +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +4 Bonus Feat 15 +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +5 16 +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +5 17 +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Bonus Feat 18 +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 19 +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6 20 +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 Bonus Feat ______________________________________________________________________
Adventures: Most naval fighters ply their trade at sea in the same way (and with the same variety) that land-based fighters do on land. Naval fighters who are more lawfully-aligned or idealistic will usually be members of some government's navy. Others hear the call plunder on the high seas and become pirates. Still others who are profit-minded yet not desirous of running the extra-legal risk of a life of piracy will become naval mercenaries or privateers. Whatever their particular ethos, though, ultimately most naval fighters are drawn by the lure of adventure and seeing faraway lands.
Alignment: Naval Fighters may be of any alignment, but since the cramped and crowded conditions of life on board a ship at sea requires discipline as a survival tactic, lawful naval fighters are more common than chaotic ones. Good Naval Fighters often want to protect their home from threats coming from the sea, Lawful Naval Fighters will often want to enforce the laws of the sea and bring pirates to justice. Pirates who are naval fighters will be of evil (more common) or chaotic (less common) alignments, depending on the nature and motivations of their piracy. Because pirates in general tend toward chaos pirate ships will consist of a variety of other classes such as rogues, and on such ships it is the naval fighters who will maintain discipline and keep the more chaotic crewmen in line.
Religion: Many Naval Fighters will worship the same gods as fighters do, while others will worship the gods of the sea, travel, or moon and stars.
Background: The Naval Fighter is specifically a professional military man of the sea, and as such has often served in the navy of a seafaring nation or on a pirate ship that makes a profession of fighting at sea. A Naval Fighter enters this life because he hears the call of the sea and of adventure; he wants to get away from the land of his birth, to smell the salt air and see far horizons not blocked by trees or mountains, and to see new lands and sights.
Races: Humans and elves are the most common Naval Fighters. Dwarves rarely enter naval service because they tend to dislike life on the water, preferring more solid surroundings. Half-orcs who are raised in orcish society also rarely are found in naval service because orc societies are generally not large or advanced enough to support sea commerce or a navy to protect it.
Other Classes: The Naval Fighter fills the same niche at sea that a Fighter would on land, and similarly relies on others for magical support and healing. He is also capable in the skills needed for life at sea, but sometimes must rely on others for other skills. Because life at sea requires close cooperation at close quarters with the rest of the crew for success and even survival, the Naval Fighter recognizes the value of teamwork even more than the Fighter.
GAME RULE INFORMATION
Abilities: Strength is important for Naval Fighters for combat abilities. Constitution is important not only for the hit points they need to survive combat but also for the strong stomach needed to avoid sea sickness and digest old and somewhat spoiled or buggy food on extended voyages. Dexterity is important for gaining one's sea legs and making sure one can get around in the close quarters of a ship without disturbing the others at work.
Hit Die: d10
The Naval Fighter's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Jump (Str), Profession (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Use Rope (Dex). See Chapter 4: Skills in the Player's Handbook for skill descriptions.
Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) × 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the Naval Fighter.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The Naval Fighter is proficient in the use of all simple and martial weapons and light and medium armor. Naval Fighter's are not trained in heavy armor since they'd quickly sink if they fell into the water, nor are they proficient with shields because of the cramped quarters on board ship and the need to keep one hand free for handholds on a moving ship.
Bonus Feats: At 1st level, the Naval Fighter gets a bonus feat in addition to the feat that any 1st-level character gets and the bonus feat granted to humans. The Naval Fighter gains an additional bonus feat at 2nd level and every three levels thereafter (5th, 8th, 11th, etc.). These bonus feats must be drawn from the following list: Ambidexterity, Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Dodge (Mobility, Spring Attack), Exotic Weapon Proficiency*, Expertise (Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Whirlwind Attack), Improved Critical*, Improved Initiative, Improved Unarmed Strike (Deflect Arrows, Stunning Fist), Power Attack (Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Sunder, Great Cleave), Quick Draw, Sailfalling, Sea Legs, Seamanship, Swinging Bull Rush, Swinging Charge, Weapon Finesse*, Weapon Focus*.
Some of the bonus feats available to a Naval Fighter cannot be acquired until the Naval Fighter has gained one or more prerequisite feats; these feats are listed parenthetically after the prerequisite feat. A Naval Fighter can select feats marked with an asterisk (*) more than once, but it must be for a different weapon each time. A Naval Fighter must still meet all prerequisites for a feat, including ability score and base attack bonus minimums. (See Chapter 5: Feats in the Player's Handbook for descriptions of feats and their prerequisites. Feats marked with a dagger () are new feats of the Naval type, the descriptions of which are in section 3.5.4. of this document.)
Important: These feats are in addition to the feat that a character of any class gets every three character levels (as per Table 3-2: Experience and Level-Dependent Benefits in the Player's Handbook). The Naval Fighter is not limited to the list given here when choosing those feats.
3.5.2. New Prestige Classes
Prestige Class: Blue Dragon Marine
All those who make a career sailing the seas especially those who serve on navy ships accept the occasional fight as part of their chosen career. Some sailors, though, put aside the tasks of tending to sail and rigging in order to hone their fighting skills to a fine edge. They specialize in fighting on board ship and practice the distinct skills of fighting on a rolling, pitching deck. Some of these fighting sailors follow the calling of service to their King and Country to use their finely honed melee skills to defend the ships of their land and take the fight to pirate and enemy ships, and these sailors are called Marines. The Imperial Navy of Cormyr recognizes the value of such specialized fighters and employs Marines on every ship in its fleet. These Blue Dragon Marines are highly disciplined professionals in their chosen calling, and are acknowledged by nearly all on the Inner Sea as the toughest and most skilled of fighting men on the waves, and have earned the respect or fear of all but the most foolhardy seamen.
Blue Dragon Marines are almost exclusively Naval Fighters by training as they are obviously drawn from the ranks of the Blue Dragons. An occasional marine might have started as a regular fighter or paladin who knew from the start they wanted to be Marines and didn't want to bother with the other skills life at sea requires, but such marines had to expend extra effort to learn how to live at sea. Barbarians don't have the necessary discipline for naval service, and other classes don't have the necessary fighting prowess needed by a professional naval military person.
Hit Die: d10
Alignment: Any nonevil and nonchaotic
Base Attack Bonus: +4
Skills: Balance 4 ranks, Jump 4 ranks, Swim 2 ranks
Feats: Weapon Focus (any martial weapon), Sea Legs
Special: Membership in the Blue Dragons.
The Blue Dragon Marine's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Cormyr local) (Int), Swim (Str), Survival (Wis) [Use Wilderness Lore if playing 3.0], Use Rope (Dex).
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the Blue Dragon Marine prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The Blue Dragon Marine is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, medium armor, and shields.
Bonus Feat: At 1st level and every second level thereafter (3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th), the Blue Dragon Marine may choose a bonus feat from the Naval Fighter's list of bonus feats from the following list: Ambidexterity, Athletic Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Dodge (Mobility, Spring Attack), Exotic Weapon Proficiency*, Expertise (Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Whirlwind Attack), Improved Critical*, Improved Initiative, Improved Unarmed Strike (Deflect Arrows, Stunning Fist), Point Blank Shot (Far Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Shot on the Run), Power Attack (Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Sunder, Great Cleave), Quick Draw, Sailfalling, Sea Legs, Seamanship, Swinging Bull Rush, Swinging Charge, Two-Weapon Fighting (Improved Two-Weapon Fighting), Two-Weapon Fighting (Improved Two-Weapon Fighting), Weapon Finesse*, Weapon Focus*, Weapon Specialization*.
Some of the bonus feats available to a Marine cannot be acquired until the Marine has gained one or more prerequisite feats; these feats are listed parenthetically after the prerequisite feat. A Marine can select feats marked with an asterisk (*) more than once, but it must be for a different weapon each time. A Marine must still meet all prerequisites for a feat, including ability score and base attack bonus minimums. (See Chapter 5: Feats in the Player's Handbook for descriptions of feats and their prerequisites. Feats marked with a dagger () are new feats of the Naval type, the descriptions of which are in section 3.5.4. of this document.}
Toughness (Ex): Blue Dragon Marines are tougher than normal and harder to incapacitate. This feature works exactly like the Toughness feat, adding 3 hit points to the Marine's total.
Hard to Wound (Su): Blue Dragon Marines have a reputation of being able to take wounds and pain and keep fighting, but the most experienced veteran Marine become so tough that it's harder to actually seriously wound him. He gains Damage Reduction 3/-.
Weapon Specialization: Starting at 1st level Blue Dragon Marines are able to take Weapon Specialization as a Bonus Feat just as Fighters are.______________________________________________________________________ Table 3-16: The Blue Dragon Marine Base Class Attack Fort Ref Will Level Bonus Save Save Save Special ----- ------ ---- ---- ---- ---------------------------------- 1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Bonus Feat 2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Toughness 3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Bonus Feat 4th +4 +4 +4 +1 5th +5 +4 +4 +1 Bonus Feat 6th +6 +5 +5 +2 Toughness 7th +7 +5 +5 +2 Bonus Feat 8th +8 +6 +6 +2 9th +9 +6 +6 +3 Bonus Feat 10th +10 +7 +7 +3 Hard to Wound ______________________________________________________________________
Prestige Class: Blue Dragon Knight
Just as the Purple Dragons are famous across the lands of Faerûn in part because of the actions of their Purple Dragon Knight leaders, so are the Blue Dragons and the Cormyrean Imperial Navy they serve famous all across at least the Sea of Fallen Stars in part because of the heroism of the Blue Dragon Knights. Blue Dragon Knights are exceptionally skilled and commanding ships and leading them in actions. Nearly all are naval fighters, as few other classes are present in the Imperial Navy especially in leadership roles.
In general, NPC knights will be commanders of ships, squadrons or fleets, although it's not entirely unheard of for lieutenants to become knighted. Player characters who are not in a naval military campaign will be retirees from naval service. A character's specific level in this class has no specific relation to his military rank, except that he must be an officer; there are never any enlisted knights. On the rare occasion an enlisted person might be knighted he will also be simultaneously promoted to lieutenant. Other than that, there is just the general guideline that higher-ranked knights tend to have higher levels.
It is not necessary to have this prestige class to serve in the Blue Dragons, or to even be an officer in the Blue Dragons, but most high-ranking officers do have levels in it.
Hit Die: d10
Alignment: Any nonevil and nonchaotic
Base Attack Bonus: +4
Skills: Diplomacy or Intimidate 2 ranks, Profession (Sailor) 4 ranks.
Feats: Leadership, Seamanship
Special: Membership in the Blue Dragons and a formal knighting by the reigning monarch of Cormyr.
The Blue Dragon Knight's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Cormyr local) (Int), Profession (Navigator) (Wis), Profession (Sailor) (Wis), Swim (Str).
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the Blue Dragon Knight prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: the Blue Dragon Knight is proficient with all simple weapons, light armor, medium armor, and shields.
[Note: The following class features use the same names as the Purple Dragon Knight class features, but the specifics have been changes to be appropriate to naval warfare.]
Rousing Call (Su): The knight shouts loudly a rousing exclamation (typically "For Cormyr!") that that rallies his shipmates to a cooperative effort and gives all his shipmates who hear the shout a +1 morale bonus on their next attack roll in either melee or ship combat, or on any ship-wide Profession (Sailor) check (e.g. for ship maneuvering). Traditionally, this rallying cry is used when an enemy ship is about to be fired upon or boarded or when some major ship maneuver is about to be done to catch or evade an enemy ship. This mind-affecting ability may be used up to three times per day.
Inspire Courage (Su): This ability has the same effect as the bard ability of the same name. The knight makes an inspirational speech, bolstering his shipmates against fear and improving their combat abilities. To be affected a crewman must hear the knight speak for a full round. The effect lasts as long as the knight speaks and for 5 rounds after the knight stops speaking (or 5 rounds after the crewman can no longer hear the knight). While speaking, the knight can fight but cannot cast spells, activate spell completion items or word-activation items. Affected crewmen receive a +2 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 morale bonus on melee or ship-weapon attack and weapon damage rolls.
Oath of Victory (Su): Once per day, the knight (particularly if he's a captain) can select a single ship within visual range and swear an oath to defeat it. For the duration of the encounter (until the ship is either defeated or it's clear the knight's ship will not be able to engage the ship in combat) the knight has a +2 bonus on all rolls involving ship-handling or maneuvering checks intended to engage the challenged ship in combat. The effect is negated immediately if the knight engages a different ship in combat or deliberately maneuvers to either disengage from or avoid ship combat.
Not Yet Begun To Fight (Su): Once per day, a knight can inspire his crew to a heroic effort, temporarily increasing their vitality. The knight and a number of crewmen within 20 feet of the knight gain 2d10 temporary hit points. The knight can affect a number of crewmen equal to the knight's class level + his Charisma modifier and the effect lasts an equal number of rounds. If the number of crew in that area exceeds that limit, then those closest to the knight are affected.______________________________________________________________________ Table 3-17: The Blue Dragon Knight Base Class Attack Fort Ref Will Level Bonus Save Save Save Special ----- ------ ---- ---- ---- ---------------------------------- 1st +1 +0 +2 +0 Rousing Call 2nd +2 +0 +3 +0 Inspire Courage (1/day) 3rd +3 +1 +3 +1 Oath of Victory 4th +4 +1 +4 +1 Inspire Courage (2/day) 5th +5 +1 +4 +1 Not Yet Begun To Fight ______________________________________________________________________
3.5.3. New Uses for Existing Skills
All checks using Profession (Navigator) gain a synergy bonus of +2 for each 5 ranks of Knowledge (Mathematics) the character has.
3.5.4. New Feats
You can use a dagger, awl or other small slashing or piercing weapon thrust through a sail to slow your fall.
Prerequisite: Proficient with weapon used,
Benefit: If you are falling within arm's reach of a sail you may use a small weapon to drag through the sail and allow that resistance to slow your fall. This does damage the sail and reduces its usefulness, but the height of the sail does not contribute to the distance fallen for the purposes of determining falling damage. If you deliberately jump and use this feat, success is automatic. If you are unintentionally falling and just happen to be next to a sail and have a hand free to grab a dagger, you must make a Reflex saving throw (DC 10), and off-hand penalties apply if the free hand is your off-hand. On land, this feat could also be used on tall tapestries or sturdy cloth hangings.
Sea Legs [Naval]
Experience living onboard ship has improved your sense of balance and stability.
Prerequisite: You must have spent at least 3 continual months at sea.
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus to all Balance and Climb Rope skill checks and a +2 bonus to any checks involving motion sickness.
You are exceptionally skilled in the operation of a sailing ship. You know the best way to set sail for any condition of wind and weather, how to tack to get the best speed in unfavorable wind conditions, and have a fair sense for what weather is coming.
Prerequisites: Profession (sailor) 4 ranks, Survival 4 ranks.
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus to all checks for Profession (Sailor) involving the setting of sail or piloting the ship to maximize the ship's performance and safety or any opposed check against another ship to outsail them, and a +2 bonus to any Survival check that involves predicting the weather.
[Note: for those playing 3.0, use Wilderness Lore in place of Survivial.]
Swinging Bull Rush [Naval, General]
You can execute a bull rush by swinging on a rope and impacting on your target with both feet.
Prerequisite: Jump 4 ranks.
Benefit: You must begin by grabbing a rope that is securely tied to a point high above your head (hereafter called the anchor point) that is not directly over your head, and you must begin your swing at a point that is vertically higher than the target you wish to rush. (Imagine you are the weight at the end of a pendulum to visualize this.) A swinging bull rush uses an opposed Dexterity check rather than a strength check (since gravity governs the swing of the rope and that is constant, but the defender could dodge since you can't change direction once the swing has started). For each full 5 feet you swing before impacting with your target you add a +1 bonus to the opposed Dexterity check for the bull rush, unless your swing takes you underneath the rope's anchor point and upward again. (This means, of course, that the maximum bonus is to be had if your target is standing directly beneath the anchor point of the rope.) Each full 5 feet you swing upward past the lowest part of the swing subtracts one from the bonus, and if you do not first hit your target your swing will stop at an equal horizontal distance from the anchor distance that you started from.
For example, you are on the forecastle of a ship and are holding a rope that is anchored 20 feet horizontally from where you are standing. Your target is standing below you on the main deck. If your target is standing 15 feet from you, your swinging bull rush would give you a +3 bonus. If your target is standing 20 feet from you directly under the anchor point your swinging bull rush would give you a +4 bonus. If your target is standing 25 feet from you 5 feet the other side of the anchor point your swinging bull rush would have a bonus of only +3 because you have started to swing upward again and slow down. If you were to miss your target entirely, your swing would continue until you were 20 horizontal feet the other side of the anchor point (i.e. 40 feet from where you started double the horizontal distance between your starting point and the rope's anchor point), then at that point you'd start to swing back the way you came unless you let go of the rope. Each individual swing of the rope takes a full round to complete. A failed Strength roll means you missed your target and continue your swing. A successful swinging bull rush also does 1d4 points of damage to the target per two full points of bonus to the opposed Dexterity check; for example, a swinging bull rush that has a +4 bonus would if successful cause 2d4 points of damage to the target.
If you beat your defender's roll and choose to move with him, unlike the ground-based bull rush you can only push your target back up to an additional 10 feet (for a total of 15 feet) since after that the momentum of your swing (being governed by gravity rather than your own strength) will be halted. If you do not wish to move with your target, you must let go of the rope at the moment of impact.
Note that a swinging bull rush provokes an attack of opportunity in every square you move through (if opponents can reach you vertically as well as horizontally), unless you also have the improved bull rush feat.
Normal: You cannot perform a bull rush while swinging on a rope.
[Note: the mechanics may be a bit more complicated than published versions of this, but it's more physically accurate. Alternative rules to this feat could be found in the same-named class feature of the Corsair class in "Power Fantasy" in Dragon #306, p.34.]
Swinging Charge [Naval, General]
You can attack an opponent while swinging past them on a rope.
Prerequisite: Dex 13+, Jump 4 ranks.
Benefit: You can make one melee attack on an opponent with one hand while holding a rope with the other hand and swinging past him. The action is similar to a swinging bull rush (see feat above) except that you swing past the opponent and do not impact with him physically. The entire swing and attack counts as a full-round action, and provokes an attack of opportunity in every square you move through (if opponents can reach you vertically as well as horizontally), unless you also have the improved bull rush feat.
Normal: Without this feat, you cannot attack while swinging on a rope.
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