Close
Close
Advanced Search

Captains and Cannons: A Ship Combat Guide in D&D 5eClick to magnify
Quick Preview
/gs_flipbook/flip.php?xml=/demo_xml/256983.xml&w=500&h=324
Full‑size Preview
https://watermark.dmsguild.com/pdf_previews/256983-sample.pdf

Captains and Cannons: A Ship Combat Guide in D&D 5e

ADD TO WISHLIST >
PDF
$7.99

Captains and Cannons: a Guide to Ship Combat in Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition.

This ruleset explains how to run a ship battle in your campaign. Whether you want to fight on lashed-together longships, blast enemies with the cannons of your carrack, or just ram rowboats, this ruleset has everything you need.

Designed to be scalable, flexible, fast, and easy to learn, Captains and Cannons is here to make your naval based campaign come true.

Includes:

  • Easy to learn rules on how to run ship combat encounters
  • 13 sample ships to use and adapt for your own campaign
  • 6 sample combat encounters, each with their own plot hooks, unique ship, and captains.
  • 4 sample "environmental challenges," complex weather patterns modelled after the complex traps in Xanathar's Guide to Everything.
  • List of ship equipment to upgrade and customise your vessel to fit your way of playing.

Reviews:

Mister Tarrasque: "If you're looking for a simple, yet deep ruleset to run a naval campaign, you should get Captains and Cannons."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJnuq3NpIyk

JVC Parry: "If you and your group are looking for a realistic way to simulate naval combat in your D&D game that adheres to the basic principles of D&D 5e combat then this is certainly the supplement for you! 4.5/5."

https://jvcparry.com/2018/11/21/review-captains-cannons/

Non Zero Sum Games: "For the cost of a fast-food meal you can have a supplement that you will access time and time again. 4.6/5"

http://www.nonzerosumgames.com/captains-cannons-a-dms-guild-review/

Contact:

Email: driftersgameworkshop@gmail.com 

Twitter: @drifterworkshop

pixel_trans.gif
 
 More from this Title's Contributors
pixel_trans.gif
 
 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
pixel_trans.gif
pixel_trans.gif
Reviews (8)
Discussions (24)
Customer avatar
Geoff P September 16, 2022 4:04 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Are there any actual plays or youtube videos peope have found of groups running this system? I'd love to see it in action!
Customer avatar
Caden R July 21, 2022 6:39 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hey there! Been running this, and it's been excellent, but I do have a question. What, if any, profiency and stat are added to attack rolls when using cannons?
Reply
Customer avatar
Jasmine Y July 21, 2022 9:51 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hey thanks for the support! Cannons work as martial ranged weapon attacks, so you can add Dex and relevant proficiency
Customer avatar
DM C June 28, 2022 7:47 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I like the system, but the speed of the boats seem way too fast. For example, the Fluyt with it's "typical" 170ft per round (6 seconds) means that it travels over 19mph. The fastest ship in Ghosts of Saltmarsh only goes 5mph and the Elemental Galleons of Eberron are said to only go 10mph. Your steamship has a top speed of 45mph at 400ft/round with a "typical" speed of 34mph.

I'd like to keep your system, but design my own ships and I was wondering how you determined the number of "sail stations" for each ship type? Thanks!
Customer avatar
John C May 18, 2021 7:41 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I have just taken a very quick skim through the rules and they are excellent! Exactly the right combination of precision and ease-of-use I was looking for. Can't wait to use this at my table.
Customer avatar
Tom F May 08, 2021 4:13 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Jeffrey, great work on this rule set. I’ve got a question about the crew bonus and how PCs can use it as a modifier.

If I’ve got three PCs and they’ve got a crew bonus of 7, can each PC add +7 to their crew action rules during that round, or do they have to share that +7 between themselves? (E.g one PC gets +4 to a sail action, so the other PC can use +3 to operate the weapons)
Reply
Customer avatar
Jasmine Y May 08, 2021 10:00 pm UTC
CREATOR
Thanks for the support!

They get the 7 each
Customer avatar
September 07, 2020 6:36 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Jeffrey, amazing work. I am working on a campaign right now and its shaping up nicely.

One question, how does the weather bonus movement work? Is the bonus applied to the speed at the start of the movement phase depending on the heading at the time? Or is the bonus applied to the speed unit at the moment of the turn?

Also, turning the ship 45 degrees means moving a speed unit, but speed units get smaller the bigger the ship, so the bigger the ship the smaller the turning circle. I was thinking of using 50% of the length of the ship as the turning speed instead.
Reply
Customer avatar
Jasmine Y September 08, 2020 4:52 am UTC
CREATOR
Hey there!

Yes, the movement bonus is applied at the start of the turn. So if you turn in a direction that would cause the weather speed bonus to no longer apply, and if that would reduce your speed to 0 or less, you'd be stuck.

And yes that is a biiiiit of a mechanical problem. It's solved by the Cumbersome trait that many of the bigger ships have which causes their turning speed to need two speed units instead of one, but using 50% of the length of the ship is pretty good too.
Customer avatar
Bryant K July 17, 2020 2:49 am UTC
PURCHASER
I had it and it disappeared
Customer avatar
Austin H February 19, 2020 11:01 am UTC
PURCHASER
Does this include a sheet of some sort to track the party's ship, with sections for upgrades, weapons, etc?

I'm assuming the sample ships are in stat block form. Is there a blank one we can edit? I'd like something simple and easy to read to give to my players, so I'm wondering if this supplement has something like that?
Reply
Customer avatar
Jasmine Y February 23, 2020 5:40 am UTC
CREATOR
Unfortunately not, I only made the statblocks for the ships provided.
Reply
Customer avatar
Austin H February 25, 2020 6:29 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks for the response. If you don't have plans on making one, maybe I can put something together. If the system isn't too complex, it shouldn't be too hard.
Customer avatar
Marissa T December 12, 2019 11:02 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I just started reading this and wanted to say thank you so much! This is the perfect mix of giving individual characters a role and the ship as a unit. I wanted to emphasize teamwork and make sure players wouldn't be bored while waiting to decide what to do as a group or having only one or two people leading the action, so this works out great in really making it a team effort. The environmental hazards are also a great way of mixing up encounters. Thanks!
Customer avatar
Jon C November 28, 2019 4:57 pm UTC
Hello,

I was going to buy this supplement, but Im also searching for something that covers sea travel, do you know something like that? Me and my friends are running a hexcrawl/sandbox and I wanted some like that for it. Also, which are the main differences between your supplement and d&d 5e ship rules?.

Ty!
Reply
Customer avatar
Jasmine Y November 28, 2019 8:33 pm UTC
CREATOR
Unfortunately I do not cover ship travel in the supplement, youll need to find something else for that.

The main differencr between my supplement and wotc rules is that mine places more emphasis on individual characters, rather than amalgamating them into a faceless ship.
Customer avatar
Adrian R September 10, 2019 12:26 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I'm really happy with this book, thank you so much for writing it so well!

I wanted to warn you that on page 39, the "ships" pricing has "cookie tastiness" left in.
Reply
Customer avatar
Jasmine Y September 10, 2019 12:33 pm UTC
CREATOR
Well that's just embarassing.
Reply
Customer avatar
David A October 30, 2019 8:59 pm UTC
PURCHASER
And just purchased this, going through things now as it is well reviewed, but noticed that the "Cookie Tastiness" is still there.
Customer avatar
Holger L August 23, 2019 7:05 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hey Jeffrey,

also a fan of your work and impressed of how easily the rule design in your product surpasses competition such as the Pirate Campaign Compendium from Legendary Games or Wizard's own Saltmarsh rules in my view.

I'm sending a crew to the Isle of Dread soon and guess what naval rules I will use. Also your Lizards of the Coast are an inspiring replacement for the pirate camp in that module.

I only have one question and one complaint for you.

1) How would you apply your group bonus variant rule for sailing if the group wants to man all sailing stations for max speed? Especially on larger ships with heaps of sailing stations it doesnt seem attractive to only use one sixth to one quarter of your crew via group bonus for sailing.

2) I really miss a section on battling giant sea creatures. How to aim for targets beneath the waterline? How to ram a Kraken? How can such a creature grapple or shove an objects with a "ship size" category?...See more
Reply
Customer avatar
Jasmine Y August 23, 2019 7:33 am UTC
CREATOR
Hi Holger,

Thanks for the kind words and for the support! It means a lot. I'll try to address your questions:

1. I'll admit I'm not entirely sure that I understand your question on this one. If I understand it correctly, you're concerned with a tradeoff between using sailors for performing Crew actions and using them for crew bonus? Remember, you dont have to use all of the crew members for crew bonus, you can assign some to Crew actions and use the rest for crew bonus. Crew bonus is mostly meant to just be a method of saving game time, rather than provide a mechanical advantage. Sorry if this isnt what you asked though.

2. Fighting large sea monsters was something I intended to include in a follow up book. I cancelled that book however when Saltmarsh was announced, under the belief that no one would want my rules anymore once WOTC released theirs. I ended up writing Hamunds Harvesting Handbook instead. For fighting a kraken though, although it will lose in a straight up...See more
Reply
Customer avatar
Holger L August 23, 2019 9:07 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hey Jeffrey,

thanks for your fast and thorough reply.

@1)
An example: A party of 5 player characters command a galley with 25 npc sailors. Group bonus is 25/5=5, no crew remaining. A successfull sail crew action with this bonus speeds the ship easily up to 30 ft.. A second player character could double that with another sailing action.
But this is still way below the max speed of 75 ft. which can potentially be reached by using all 15 sailing stations individually.

Does that help?
Reply
Customer avatar
Jasmine Y August 23, 2019 1:04 pm UTC
CREATOR
...See more
Reply
Customer avatar
Holger L September 02, 2019 9:09 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hey Jeffrey,

sorry for my late reply. Yes, I'm positive that helps. We'll run with your suggestion.

Thanks again!
Reply
Customer avatar
Gabriel F October 21, 2020 8:04 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Jefrey,

I really enjoy the book too. And i kind had the same question as Holger L. For some reason i can't see your answer here.
Customer avatar
Martijn H June 11, 2019 5:16 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hey Jeffrey!

First of all, this book works, it's great, best DnD buy for me this year <3
I have one question though, if you wouldn't mind? I have a player who is REALLY into crafting. I even made a crafting system with ingredients, DC and crafting times for all available official tools just for him. But now we have this pdf for ships, he wants to try and upgrade the ship they have (he has proficiency in carpentry tools, smithing tools and sea vehicles). He wants to make extra weapon slots and upgrade the ship's hit points and speed. How possible is this without becoming unbalanced, if at all? And what would the pricings be in your mind for doing such a thing? I'm sorry if my question is alot! :o

Again, you did AMAZING work, thank you!
Customer avatar
Colby M June 10, 2019 7:10 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I'm very interested in this ruleset but am wondering if it covers rules for boarding other ships or repelling boarding actions form enemies. I am planning a pirate campaign and would like my PCs to be able to loot and possibly capture other ships if they so wish. Thanks for your attention.
Reply
Customer avatar
Jasmine Y June 10, 2019 9:26 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hey there, thanks for the interest in the book!

There are no explicit rules for boarding because in my experience when writing this, introducing those rules became too mechanical and actually depreciated the experience of boarding.

What these rules do however is integrate seamlessly with regular combat. That way you can have a ship battle going, while at the same time board the enemy ship as individual characters.
Customer avatar
Rick K May 28, 2019 6:43 am UTC
PURCHASER
I just wanted to say that this product is excellent in every way. I am running an updated version of the Greyhawk world in which my players are traveling to the Isle of Dread and eventually to the newly released Saltmarsh adventure. I wanted to add some high-seas adventure, both on the Plane of Water (for Isle of the Dread) and on the Azure Sea when they travel to Saltmarsh in The Domarj. I wasn't sure where to begin and was thinking about ginning up my own ruleset. And then I came across this. The information you provide here is detailed, very easy to use, and just what I needed. Thank you so much! You just made my job much, much easier.
Customer avatar
MARGARITA P April 22, 2019 6:17 pm UTC
PURCHASER
This product looks interesting, but I had a question:

Currently, my campaign is a naval one focused around the players managing the crew of a ship, which will expand into each one managing the crews aboard their own individual flagships. this leads to a dynamic which I want to keep which is players hunting down skilled NPCs to add to the crew of there ship, or pillaging a naval fort to take the cannons and mount them on their ship.

I look at another ship based ruleset: https://www.dmsguild.com/product/236198/Ships-Are-People-Too-A-Guide-to-More-than-Naval-Combat and although it is an awesome idea, it did not work in my setting as it restricts the more granular management of a ship and its crew, for example, cannons can misfire, and now you are down a cannon, find a skilled gun crew, and the cannon they are manning will never blow up and reload faster, but the other cannons will not, so you need to find a lot of skills NPCs.

Apologies for this being so rambly and thank you...See more
Reply
Customer avatar
Jasmine Y April 23, 2019 12:37 am UTC
CREATOR
Hi there, and thanks for your interest in the book.

A big focus of this ruleset was to give more focus on the crew than on the ship (since that's what D&D is all about). As such, it focuses more on what the crew does during their turns, and then translates that into ship actions.

We also have things like crew bonuses that you would be able to adapt to your idea of recruiting specialised crew members, and a consideration was made in this book to accomodate big sea battles, so your desire for individual party ships would work.

That said, please feel free to let me know if this book was not up to your standard if you buy it, I would always appreciate the feedback.
See 16 more
Browse Categories
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!















Product Information
Mithral seller
Community Content
Author(s)
Rules Edition(s)
Pages
41
Format
Original electronic
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
pixel_trans.gif
Original electronic format
These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Last Updated:
February 08, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on October 24, 2018.