Custom Sailing Rules

Pathfinder’s approach to historic ship speeds is oversimplified. For these alterations, use ship specs as listed in the Skull & Shackles Adventure Path.

  • Ancient (Galley, Longboat, Etc.) Vessels analogous to this era move their listed speed (ex: 60 ft.) with the wind blowing at their backs or up to 45 degrees to port or starboard. Many such vessels use simple square sails to supplement their more readily available rowing speeds.
  • Medieval (Caravel, Carrack, Galleon, Etc.) Pure sailing ships from this era move their listed speed (ex: 90 ft.) with or perpendicular to the wind. They may also “beat” a 45 degree zigzag pattern against the wind, moving ½ speed and covering 150% of the distance normally traveled.
  • High Fantasy (Schooner, Sloop, Clipper, Etc.) Comparatively modern craft move double their movement (ex. 90 ft. becomes 180 ft.) with, perpendicular to, or while “beating” against the wind.

Other factors contributing to a ship’s net speed at any given time are the prevailing wind conditions… (more about Pathfinder’s weather here):

  • Light Ship can move 1/4 speed – divide daily travel rate by 4
  • Moderate Ship can move 1/2 speed – divide daily travel rate by 2
  • Strong Ship can move full speed
  • Severe Ship can move full speed – 50% hourly risk of hazard (Tempest Rising, p. 72-73)
  • Windstorm Ship can move full speed – hourly hazard
  • Hurricane Ship can move full speed – hazard every d20 rounds
  • Tornado …Bend over and kiss it goodbye!

The following is an adaptation of several Paizo random weather table sources… (results should be influenced/overruled by prominent global air patterns):

  • 1-55% Light wind (chance of rain 20%)
  • 56-65% Moderate wind (chance of rain 20%)
  • 66-80% Strong wind (chance of rain 50%)
  • 81-93% Severe wind (chance of rain 75%)
  • 94-97% Windstorm (chance of rain 75%)
  • 98-99% Hurricane (chance of rain 100%)
  • 100% Water Spout (chance of rain 100%)
  • Doldrums These special areas may last 1d4 x 1d8 days

Custom Sailing Rules

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