Viking Vessels

December 19th, 2012

Joshua Zaback

Magic Market Archive

            Hello everyone, and welcome to another great edition of Magic Market, where we bring you the best new magic items each and every week. As you may have heard by now, it’s Viking Week here at Necromancers of the Northwest. Now you may be expecting a slew of legendary items stats for Mjölnir or for Gungnir, but as it’s Viking Week and not Norse Gods Week, I’m afraid I’m going to have to disappoint you.

            Now apart from their gods, Vikings were renowned for their skills in warfare, so you might be expecting a load of new magic weapons. Well again, I’m afraid I’m going to have to disappoint you; after all, we’ve done a whole lot of new weapons, which any Viking would be proud to call his own. But once we get past the whole bloodthirsty warrior thing, we might remember that Vikings were also well known for their nautical achievements and seamanship. We’ve also been talking a lot about sailing here at Necromancers of the Northwest, and are even now plotting to completely overhaul and re-imagine virtually every facet of the Pathfinder nautical experience (so keep your eyes peeled). Looking over ships currently available in Pathfinder, there seems to be a distinct lack of nifty magical ones, so, without ranting for any longer, here you go.


Dragon Ship

Dragon Ship

            While “dragon ship” is a common colloquial term for Viking longships of all kinds, few are so deserving of the name as this vessel. Where ordinary longships would have oars, a dragon ship features two massive crimson draconic wings which sweep along the ship of their own accord. While the ship has no sail, a massive armored canopy protects exposed crew from missiles. At the head of the ship, the bow has been carved into a perfect replica of a great wyrm dragon.

            A dragon ship is an ordinary longship in all ways except as follows. Because of the animated dragon wings, the pilot can effectively take 10 on any sailing checks he makes to control and maneuver the dragon ship. The sailing skill for the dragon ship is Spellcraft. The armored canopy grants cover to all crew on the deck of the dragon ship against missiles and siege weapons fired from a range of 30 feet or greater. Additionally, up to three times per day, the dragon-like head of a dragon ship can breathe fire in a 90-foot cone. Ships and creatures caught within the fire must succeed on a DC 19 Reflex save or suffer 13d6 points of fire damage. Flammable substances that take damage catch fire.


Sky Ship

Sky Ship

            Though this ship appears to be little more than an ordinary longship, it belies a very powerful enchantment which allows those who propel it to maneuver it through the air. Doing so is difficult but often can mean the edge in a battle. Because of this ability to fly, sky ships are prized by sea raiders who wish to attack land-bound targets.

            A sky ship functions identically to a mundane longship, except as noted here. If a sky ship is being propelled by oars, the rowers can attempt to cause the ship to fly. The sailing skill DC to cause the ship to ascend 30 feet is 25. The DCs of all sailing checks made while the ship is flying are increased by +5. If the rowers cease rowing, the ship immediately falls, taking fall damage as normal. If a sky ship drops on to another ship, it deals ramming damage to the other ship, as well as to all crew on the decks and any sails. The sky ship also suffers additional damage equal to the target ship’s ramming damage. Both the ships and the crew on the decks of the target ship may attempt a Reflex save (DC 18) for half damage. Following the crash landing, the two ships are considered grappling.


Swift Ship

Swift Ship

            This magical longship may not offer a direct advantage in firepower or maneuverability, but its ability to reach incredible speeds makes it incredibly valued by anyone from pirates and smugglers in need of quick getaways, to the warships that hunt them down, to simple merchants who just want to reduce the amount of time it takes their shipments to travel.

            A swift ship functions identically to an ordinary longship in all ways, except that the maximum speeds of each of its propulsion methods is three times the normal amount. This increase to maximum speed does not affect the ship’s acceleration.