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    Canonfire :: View topic - Lendore Naval Fleet - Do elves have unique naval designs
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    Lendore Naval Fleet - Do elves have unique naval designs
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    Master Greytalker

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    Sat May 17, 2008 9:38 pm  
    Lendore Naval Fleet - Do elves have unique naval designs

    I just found a group of articles on naval cultures - I lose everything even when it is on a hard drive Embarassed

    Before I make a fool of myself - Do races have unigue ship designs.

    I simply felt the olve of lendore would refine the common designs but I was curious as to the concensus. Opinions, rants, examples all are fair game.

    Btw; I will be submitting the articles mentioned above; I should mention for those hoping for stats and rule changes - sorry. I like to keep my articles stat neutral or better yet non-existent. My interest is in exploring the gameworld and its cultures not its rule set. Being vague allows an idea to be easily placed in any campaign without any extensive rule version changes.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sat May 17, 2008 10:00 pm  

    I wouldn' say that they Olve have refined versions of human ships- they have their own unique designs. As human cultures have their own naval designs, so should the races.
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    Sat May 17, 2008 10:20 pm  

    Ah naval tech...such a difficult but fun topic. IMC I have Lendorian ships as the fastest but hold less people vs humans slower ships, bigger compliment. Then there is the Uli navy. Watch out!
    GreySage

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    Sun May 18, 2008 4:46 am  

    Absolutely. Give the elves elaborate organic designs that could never be mistaken for human ships. Maybe their ships resemble crosses between trees and swans, decorated with Celtic knots and Rococo flourishes. Not quite so alien as the living ships they sail in Spelljammer, but their culture is ancient and has probably been sailing back and forth from the Spindrifts since long before the Oeridians settled the Solnor coast, so I'm sure they've had plenty of time to develop their own completely independent nautical technology. The Spindrift elves are supposed to be reclusive.

    One twist might be that elf ships are substantially less efficient than human (Oeridian/Suel) ships, but their long lifespans mean they're reluctant to change very quickly. They're sailing the same ships they were sailing 1500 years ago, even though those upstart humans can sail circles around them today thanks to ridiculous fads like triangular sails.
    Master Greytalker

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    Sun May 18, 2008 8:22 am  
    Re: Lendore Naval Fleet - Do elves have unique naval designs

    Crag wrote:
    Before I make a fool of myself - Do races have unigue ship designs.


    Sure they do, there's the elven destroyer, troll destroyer, ogre juggernaut, human battleship, gnome submarine, goblin giant turtle...
    Happy
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    Master Greytalker

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    Sun May 18, 2008 11:25 am  

    I think I'm with Mort; faster more maneuvable compared to slower but larger human fleets. Rasgon has a very interesting point how would the elves organic engineering be applied as naval technology.

    I don't think their would be many pure racial fleets - some races are more interested in naval matters or have access to the sea. Even among the naval inclined some cross cultural exchange would occur; even in the relatively isolated Lendore isles between elf and human inhabitants before the take over.

    What we do know rather then obsolete; the olve fleet of the lendore isles is very effective - sea barons, lordship fleets give them a wide berth and olve fleet sunk a couple curious scarlet ships apparently quite easily.

    Lets keep this going; develop effective fast fleet using organic tech.
    Ship types; better yet any elven names you can think up for them.

    Unique characteristics of olve fleet - hull regrowth, sails of elvenkind, aquatic elf crewmembers as scouts and underwater saboteurs, numerous spellcasters and protected archery platforms.

    Anyone else have any ideas; creative juices are flowing now.
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    Sun May 18, 2008 4:32 pm  

    IMC, the ships of the elves of the Lendor Isles are living trees - the hull is the trunk, two or three large branches are the masts (with smaller branches being effectively spars), and the leaves function as the sails.
    Of course, to make this work the ships are crafted by casters with plant growth in their spell list, and there really should be one in the crew of each ship as well for maximum peformance.

    Under the command of a proper (magically-talented) crew, these ships are capable of pretty amazing stuff, as the crew can re-configure the ship to the needs of the moment. Going into battle? Grow a ram on the bow. Need cargo space? Widen the beam. Need to be somewhere in a hurry? Lengthen the hull. Repairs are a snap (or at least as easy as casting a spell can make it).

    The generic ships of this type are mangroves, with slow work being done to 'breed' in some oak for toughness. But there are rumours of a select few with some treent ancestry...
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Sun May 18, 2008 8:23 pm  

    Just a different understanding of sail and hull design could make the elven ships much faster and more maneuverable than human ships. Say that elven sailmakers can see wind and so they understand how it actually flows over the sails, like we do now. That would give them a big leg up over humans if the latter's understanding of sail technology is comparable with the middle ages or renaissance. Same thing with hull design and materials.
    Kind of a radical example but try to imagine the Nina, Pinta or Santa Maria trying to outmanuever/outrun something like a 12 meter racing yacht or a Volvo Open 70 class boat whose design has been adapted for medieval naval warfare.
    Not that elves have computer designed aramid sails, carbon fiber masts, kevlar hulls or composite canting keels but they could have some rough equivalents that would blow anything else out of the water.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Mon May 19, 2008 12:09 am  

    That would make sense maneuverability-wise, but the Elves should be paying for it in the way of their ships being more fragile and be unable to carry as many troops/crew/weaponry. Best to keep the boats made of real material and not fully magical. That is too high magic for Greyhawk in my opinion. And besides, you have to consider any reason why it isn't the Elves who own the southern seas instead of the Scarlet Brotherhood. Fast and maneuverable Elven ships make a lot of sense, as they'd be able to get away from pursuit, launch lightning raids, and pretty much fight a naval battle on their own terms. As such, Elves might heavily favor the use of smaller, faster ships, though they could still have a few larger(from their perspective) ships that still have some speed, but lose some maneuverability. To counter-balance that though, these "Elven Dreadnoughts" carry a larger compliment of troops/crew/weapons. Maybe Elven warships don't ever sport rams due to their lighter construction methods for instance. Elves could maneuver to grapple anyways if they want to lock up with another ship, but would probably prefer to hang off at a distance and pepper the enemy with arrows and spells before doing so. Think of the race's battle tactics then design a ship to suit their needs.

    One thing I do hate is the penchant for making anything Elven superior to the same thing made by another race in all aspects- faster, more maneuverable, just as strong or stronger, and all with no downside whatsoever.
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    Master Greytalker

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    Mon May 19, 2008 1:08 am  

    This is really an interesting discussion you Greyhawkers have going. I've been reading and it is really insiteful.
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    Mon May 19, 2008 5:07 am  

    There is nothing wrong with making elves slightly superior - the beauty of that is precisely because it grates on you (and more importantly your players!) -- many resent someone who is effortlessly "superior" -- which is precisely a source of elvish-human friction (think vulcans and humans in Enterprise).

    A human fleet is brutally effective, easily replenished with numerous lethal aggressive marines and sailors. An elven fleet could be graceful, beautiful and extremely effective in its home waters using familiar tactics but both the individual sailors and the ships themselves are treasures that took ages to create. Elves (at least relative to humans) have such longer (and probably richer) life spans than humans, they fear humans precisely because humans are so reckless and expendable while being far smarter and more social than orcs.

    As a historical analogy, no one was scared of the Russian army in comparable numbers in the Crimean War or War I or II. It is precisely the waves of easily replenished numbers (and reasonable native intellect unlike orcs) that made it so lethal. Watch the movie Enemy at the Gates and see the Russians charging fixed German positions with two or three Russians sharing a gun to get a sense of one potential elvish view of humanity. Or at least the view of isolationist elves.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon May 19, 2008 7:21 am  

    The sourcebook Stormwrack is incredibly useful to those who wish to run a campaign with naval aspects. In this book there is an elven made ship which I tend to think of as the type the elves of the Lendore Isles would sail. These ships are superior to human vessels but I tend to take the view along with those above that an elven fleet would be smaller than a human fleet and that the elven ships would take much more time and energy to create.
    For the elves, ships are not just tools, but they are works of art in their own right.
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    Mon May 19, 2008 7:56 am  

    I don't see any reason why elves ships shouldn't/can't be of markedly better design and efficiency - both speed and firepower - than human vessels. Their main drawback is obviously the lack of numbers, both of ships and of elves, compared to their human counterparts. The elves do not own the southern seas because they lack the numbers to do so, though they have more than enough to defend the Spindrift Isles, when combined with other factors.

    One could add such things as sea elves to the arsenal of the elven fleet, and - if one wants to go that far - why not beasts like the Leviathan and Kraken? Even creatures akin to the Verme from Return of the Eight might be under the employ of the elves of the Spindrift Isles. Perhaps the mages and priests of the Isles employ weather control from afar when battling opponents? That doesn't add to any discussion of an actual elven fleet and it's ships, but I mention them as possibilities for any campaign involving naval elves.
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    Mon May 19, 2008 9:17 am  

    Several factors MUST go into the discussion of ship-building. First, elven craftsmen approach each project not as a job, but as a work of art that has a practical purpose. But it is first a work of art. This is not to say they put masterwork quality into each item, but its got more flair to it than would an equivallent human tool. This is what makes the items in question Elven.

    Second, elves appreciate and care for beautiful things. This is why they like their homes to blend in with nature. Aside from the obvious protective benefit, it does not detract from the natural beauty of the landscape. This would extend to their ship building as well. The ship would react like an animal, a dolphin or hawk. It would glide along when at rest, moving slowly, and when urged to action, it would shoot along bringing surprising mobility and agility to bear. It would not be weak, but it would be supple - like a bow. It would strike hard - like a predator - but it would never seem able. The unschooled would underestimate it, and the experienced would fear it.

    Now then - design. I don't see trees. Ever. Trees do not belong at sea. Only mangroves have any bearing, and even then only on coasters (ships not meant for war or trade, but merely for transportation, and never meant to go out of sight of a coast - catamarans, etc). I don't see swans. Swans are for lakes and rivers, not oceans. Dolphins, sea and land birds of prey, fishing big cats, etc are what I see them fashinoing ships out in the shape of. You would not see an elven ship until it was upon you. It would be low to the sea, yet fully able to withstand the worst the sea could throw at them. Think scandanavian ships during the Viking Era. Easy to beach, since I don't see a need for Elven Warships to harbor on anything but a beach. Elven cargo ships would be based on whales, powerful, yet still graceful, and still deadly in the right hands.

    Anyway, just my thoughts.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Mon May 19, 2008 1:12 pm  

    Here is an example of a race-specific ship:

    http://media.pc.gamespy.com/media/748/748723/img_5290348.html

    This one is an early screenshot from Warhammer Online, and is of a Dark Elf dragonship. For those not in the know, Warhammer's Dark Elves are basically Elves who are utterly vile and evil. They revel in causing fear, pain and suffering, and it's not just a hobby for them- it's a national pasttime. Keak might even be freaked out by them, and he serves Iuz! Shocked Dark Elves have most of the things that regular High Elves have, but they've added a dark streak to most things. They are raiders, slavers, torturers, and revel in causing pain an misery; sort of the opposite mindset of the good Elves. All of these are notable qualities to look at when statting out anything for them, even a ship.

    As to Elves making use of leviathans, krakens, or other sea monsters, that is what the Scarlet Brotherhood is known for and is part of why facing them at sea is so dangerous. I'd expect Elves to make use of Sea Elf allies, plus any aquatic creatures the Sea Elves might be allied with, but this is straying away from what Elven and others' ships might be like.

    One thing that always stands out about D&D Elves is their quality of blending with the environment. Elves that take to the sea would be no different. Elven ship hulls might be painted in shades of blue-green and their sails made of pale gray or blue material to better blend with the sea and sky. Accents/decorated relief sculpture in the form of breaking waves or leaping dolphins, sea lions, hippocampus, and other sea creatures could be painted in white or be overlaid with white gold leaf or mother of pearl. Visually, I prefer the idea of a sea motif on Elven ships much better than Celtic knot work and swans a' la the Lord of the Rings movies. This would make such ships unique for Greyhawk, and not just a copy of somebody else's vision for another world.
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Mon May 19, 2008 1:36 pm; edited 2 times in total
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    Mon May 19, 2008 1:14 pm  

    Happy
    So, we could apply a similar psychology and idea to sky ships. I wonder... how effective, versatile, a sky ship could travel equally? on water?

    I would highly suggest a half decent book I have happened across and use as a reference for fantasy ships... this being an alternative to or "second resource" to the volumes of game books out there on nautical approaches.

    "Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World" by Lionel Casson.
    A comprehensive book, starting at the beginning of the basic watercraft and evolution to the Byzantine era, inclusive to sailing craft of the early dark ages 4th century. A very academic book, but if you do a little research thru it, you'll most likely devise an insight to add some historical realism to your fantasy game.

    I'm scoping several medieval related books... when I find a good one, I'll let you know. Wink
    Just a suggestion to expand ones nautical knowledge.

    Cheers,

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    Mon May 19, 2008 2:27 pm  

    Geez; if I knew it would set off such a debate I would have added a poll question Wink

    I don't have Stormwrack anyone who does plz feel free to reply and give us its take on elf naval design. I think a murky vision is happening - superior elven ship design providing more speed and maneuverability sacrificing close combat and large troop capacity.

    LGG entry for Lendore has artwork of an elven ship and it doesn't appear to be a living tree or modelled on an animal. Better designed and sail effeciency absolutely but I would like to include some unique magical aspects.

    Living and transforming tree ships may be too much; even the superior dessign and sails would be sought and copied by any human sea power worth its salt. Perhaps some organic reason explaining their superiority. I like vulcan naturalistc approach but toned down; plant growth and special breeds of trees are important but the ships are not fully living.

    They are designed and built as individual works of art incorporating organic, craftmanship and magical means to acheive the superior performance. Also the reason for why it hasn't been copied by man.

    Specially breed trees for construction materials
    Special sails - modified cloak threads woven into the sail material
    Superior craftmanship and design
    Special oils to treat the wood to maintain its flexibility - instead of swabbing the deck - oil the deck. If it isn't done routinuely the ship degrades - wood cracks and splinters.
    Some recouperative aspects - active regenerative plant growth -
    If provided with plant growth spells
    Fresh water (elven ships seems to bloom after a storm)
    Rarer still a nourishing elixir - healing potion for ships

    Still no one with a knack for the elven languauge has suggested any names for ship types - elven equivalents for human ship types.

    Coaster (Local Merchant)
    Caravel (Explorer)
    Carrack (Troop Transport)
    Galleon (Warship)
    Cog (Merchant)

    Perhaps a ship that is quintessentially elven (ideas ?)
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    Mon May 19, 2008 2:42 pm  

    Slightly off topic, but might provide insight into the topic.

    This link, http://www.paabo.ca/uirala/ui-ra-la.html, discusses what appears to be a viable hypothesis, which is that the Finno-Ugric is the remnant of an early boat-people culture that spread over most of northern Europe before entry to the Indo-Europeans. Pretty interesting, IMO.

    Scroll down way down and you will see some rock carvings of some boats, scroll down further and there are some more. This is a sting of articles, so more info is probably presented in links. The argument is compellingly made that the boat culture, one that spread world wide, was derived in large part by the use of moose to make skin boats and that the moose head was kept on the skin, which eventually lead to the use of dragon prows in both Norse and Japanese boats, as well as other related examples.

    Google image "japanese dragon boat"
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    Mon May 19, 2008 2:59 pm  

    Crag wrote:
    I don't have Stormwrack anyone who does plz feel free to reply and give us its take on elf naval design.


    The elven wingship:
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon May 19, 2008 4:54 pm  

    Do elves have unique naval designs? Not really - but most of them do have "outies". ;-P
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon May 19, 2008 5:52 pm  

    Thanks for the pic Rasgon Wink
    Any description about the role or abilities of the ship?

    If so; I think we have found our distinctive elven vessel.

    If not; any thoughts on how to use the ship?
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    Tue May 20, 2008 6:54 am  

    Thats a beautiful vessel. As youd expect from elves, as much a work of art as a functional vessel.
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    Tue May 20, 2008 10:27 am  

    txwad wrote:
    Thats a beautiful vessel. As youd expect from elves, as much a work of art as a functional vessel.


    meh Confused It looks like a cog to me, or a generation or two beyond, with a few inefficiencies built in for cosmetics. If the sails had a surface area + or - 10 times them the frontal surface are are of the ship and there was a very long drop down keel to stabalize it, that might deserve the name "wing ship." Not particularly advocating that, just not impressed. YMMV
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    Tue May 20, 2008 12:33 pm  

    I'll agree with the Cog part, no doubt. The only way I'd see it as a fighting vessel is if below the waves there is a ram, which I doubt on a sailing ship.

    Its pretty, but I think the artist went a bit crazy with the artistic bit. But it is a beaut to look at.

    When I get home tonight I have some ideas for ship names and design/use notes. The biggest difference I see between an elven ship and a human ship is materials and aesthetics, not design changes. I see the humans having picked up on elven designs and improved or surpassed them, but at the expense of materials and as such not getting the exact performance out of even more advanced designs. Elven efficiency is the biggest reason I see the elves being better, not innovation. Effectively its their long outlook and desire for more beautiful materials and the willingness to put the time into getting them as their greatest strength. That and designers and craftsmen who let the wood become the ship, instead of forcing the wood into a ship.
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    Tue May 20, 2008 1:39 pm  

    Look forward to reading your ideas MikelAmroni Smile

    Personally I would avoid the ram altogether - rams evoke galleys which I think aren't suited to the solnor which I see akin to the atlantc. Besides elven combat philosophy would I think encourage arms length combat such as archers and spells rather then close combat boarding actions. Elves would desire to take full advantage of the superior speed and maneuver ability rather then get involved in a battle of attrition.

    Of course this enhanced design and materials benefit should have a counter balance such as reduced troop carrying capacity and less brute force - not as good in a close combat battle.

    This just came to me; for the uniquely elven ship how about a religious ambassadorial design - Lendore elves are deeply religious and their goal set by Sehaine as they see it is the reunification of the elven race. Why not design a ship to hopefully impress the distant elven communities they want to bring back into the fold.

    First impressions are important; a graceful artful diplomatic vessel would have real value to reopen contact with the disparate elven communities. Some subtle and not so subtle artful nods proudly depicting symbols of elven history and accomplishments to evoke cultural pride.


    Last edited by Crag on Tue May 20, 2008 10:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Tue May 20, 2008 9:07 pm  

    I wonder if the wingship is supposed to be hydrofoiling? That would make it fast but it would never stay upright. It is carrying a good bit of sail so it would probably be pretty fast in that respect also, although it wouldn't be able to point very high into the wind with that square rig, so there are plenty of other ships that could outrun it by pointing higher. No offense to the illustrator and art director, but actual naval architecture was probably one of the last things on their minds when they were conceiving this.

    Crag, when depicted in heraldry the Hebridean descendant of Norse longships, called a lymphad, is associated with the moon. For obvious reasons when you see a picture of one. That could fit in nicely with Sehanine's cult. Maybe elven ships are more primitive, something like longships but with a rudder instead of a steering board, and a more efficient rig than a square one. With a little work the dark elf ship that Ceb found could fit this fairly well. I found a clearer picture of it here. Just take the beak ram off and de-evil it some.
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    Tue May 20, 2008 10:44 pm  

    I don't know; any longships will obviously be associated with the northern barbarian suel. As for the drow ship it works given their connection with slavery and the more limited naval aspect of the underdark; I can be comfortable with the idea.

    Oar based vessels generally require physical brawn; well I don't subscribe to the rail thin elf image, I don't want a muscle bound image either. I suspect elven culture would view that endless repetitive physical labour rather primitive compared to the elegence of sails. What few pictures we do have of elven vessels are sail. For practical reasons; Lendore isles are quite a distance out to sea and the distant elven communities are columbus voyages.
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    Wed May 21, 2008 12:22 am  

    Crag wrote:
    I don't know; any longships will obviously be associated with the northern barbarian suel. As for the drow ship it works given their connection with slavery and the more limited naval aspect of the underdark; I can be comfortable with the idea.

    Oar based vessels generally require physical brawn; well I don't subscribe to the rail thin elf image, I don't want a muscle bound image either. I suspect elven culture would view that endless repetitive physical labour rather primitive compared to the elegence of sails. What few pictures we do have of elven vessels are sail. For practical reasons; Lendore isles are quite a distance out to sea and the distant elven communities are columbus voyages.


    I agree Crag with the comments about leaving the longships to the barbarian suel. I've always assumed drow got their slaves by raiding villages, using carts, wagons, that sort of thing, although I suppose there is little reason that they couldn't familiarize themselves with ships as well. In regards to the other elves however, I wonder if perhaps they would have acquired some knowledge of the waters from their brethen, the aquatic elves. Perhaps they would be able to shed some light on ship development for the land bearing elves.

    I do picture elves having signficantly different archetecture for their ships, but such would in my opinion (for what it is worth), be primarly cosmetic in nature as opposed to physically superior or inferior to the sailing of other races. Elves may have been sailing longer than anyone else but because they are a land dwelling race (far more than humans for example) this could say that they are not overly interested or that they excel at ship fairing skills. The elven shipping skills could easily be said to be less than spectactular for this reason. They would be good enough to reach and populate other lands via boat, but at the same time, this doesn't mean they have to be particularly advanced at it.

    As far as naval combat is concerned, I believe the elves would utilize magic as a quick tactic to eliminate other waterborne threats. A couple of well placed fireballs would do wonders to another ship. Also elves would rely on their archers. I also feel that they would have excellent heavy weapons such as advanced ballistas and possibly catapolts.

    I think the elves would have oars in use as a backup means of moving the ship when the wind fails them. Would it be possible that such rowers wouldn't be elves, but rather some other race which willingly cooperates with them. Something that is willing to do the hard, muscle heavy labor? If so, what would they be?
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    Wed May 21, 2008 3:24 am  

    Just another reference to consider: the Teleri, Tolkien's Sea-elves, had ships with great jewelled swan motifs.
    In the HarperCollins illustrated version of the Silmarillion, they look similar to viking long ships in design, but with a lot of elven fluff.

    Scott
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    Wed May 21, 2008 6:15 am  

    I didn't mean that Ceb's dark elf ship be used by the drow I just meant that the basic design, with the modifications I mentioned, might make a good model for an elven longship. There aren't alot of oars on that ship and it carries a good bit of sail so they would probably be relied on more when winds fail and for maneuvering in tricky places. We don't know of the Thillonrian Suel having been mariners of any great ability before they settled there so its possible they could have copied elven designs in making their longships.
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    Wed May 21, 2008 12:53 pm  

    Smillan gets me. It's just an example of a race specific ship, and it is best understood if you are familiar with the Dark Elves of the Warhammer world. That being said, the Dark Elves of the Warhammer world have a lot in common with Drow, and I plan on painting some of the soon to be released minis as Drow.

    The development team hasn't done the High Elf ship yet, but its important to know that the Warhammer world's High Elves are simply the "good elves". Warhammer only has good elves, being represented by High Elves, and evil elves, being represented by Dark Elves. High Elves will likely have a dragonship motif not too dissimilar to that of the Dark Elf ship, but it will be a lot happier looking and colored in pale tan wood tones, white, and blue, with red polished gem work here and there(that is a Warhammer world High Elf motif). This will be different from the old Man-o-War naval combat game, where High elves had ships like massive catamarans fitted for war. Those are just examples of the kind of thing that could be done for the Greyhawk races.

    Lastly, I'll have to second the dislike of that elven ship design from Stormwrack. It is some pretty bad concept art as it is full of flaws. The sail edges would basically cause the sails to tear, the ship has a ram but no means to back water(i.e. oars to back away rom a holed enemeny vessel) and so the ship would be capsized/dragged down into the depths with the ship that it rammed. Some artists know their stuff; some not.
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    Wed May 21, 2008 3:19 pm  

    I would use the ship stats and substitute a more valid illustration based upon these stats. As stated above by others a ship must have oars in order to ram without it being a suicide mission. This illustration also has many other issues from a physics standpoint. The illustration could be used from a mythological standpoint; after all if it was a bard who drew this to show to the characters of a given campaign, it would not be the first time that an artist sacrificed a factual representation for one more romanticized.
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    Thu May 22, 2008 7:55 am  

    I was not sure if there was a ram. That fish mouth looks like a kind of ram, but with the purpose not of poking a hole but using the whole ship to grapple, or bite another. Hard to get out of that one.

    I was a video yesterday, I think on CNN's web page, of a flying fish that stayed in the air for 45 seconds. Hold your breath or watch the video to see how long that is. A small ship like versions of that would be s cool "wing ship". Gust of wind type magic and massive sail to get the speed up, with a sail shape and mast system to turn the sail into a glider.
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    Thu May 22, 2008 9:13 am  

    The front of the wingship looks like a bottle opener! Laughing
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    Thu May 22, 2008 10:15 am  

    Another possibility is the Elves having developed something like tubular sails where wind direction is not a problem. Or a more logical idea in a fantasy world, having air elementals bound into their sails.
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    Thu May 22, 2008 10:41 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    That being said, the Dark Elves of the Warhammer world have a lot in common with Drow, and I plan on painting some of the soon to be released minis as Drow.


    Nifty. Glad to see I'm not the only one who wanted to bring in other fantasy style motifs to warhammer, although mine was wanting to use Black Orcs ala the Uruk-Hai. Alas I have never gotten into Fantasy orks, and 40K orks don't ever need anything that orderly thrust upon them.

    Cebrion wrote:
    The development team hasn't done the High Elf ship yet, but its important to know that the Warhammer world's High Elves are simply the "good elves". Warhammer only has good elves, being represented by High Elves, and evil elves, being represented by Dark Elves. High Elves will likely have a dragonship motif not too dissimilar to that of the Dark Elf ship, but it will be a lot happier looking and colored in pale tan wood tones, white, and blue, with red polished gem work here and there(that is a Warhammer world High Elf motif). This will be different from the old Man-o-War naval combat game, where High elves had ships like massive catamarans fitted for war. Those are just examples of the kind of thing that could be done for the Greyhawk races.


    There was a galley style ship in the older (6th edition) high elf codex that I always thought was nice. Slim lines, sail powered, dragon motif (although their entire CULTURE has a dragon motif so no big deal there) no ram, and with repeating ballistas mounted aboard with high elf sea guard as crews (spearmen/bowmen - thematically a good combo, in practice a waste of points).

    I wanted to make one of those strictly to be able to use as a display piece, although there are some rules for a shore assault using ships.

    Ah Warhammer, the creativity, the fun, the expense....
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    Thu May 22, 2008 10:43 am  

    BTW, I haven't forgotten to do the names, but Milledgeville, GA (where I live) got trounced on at 5:30 Tuesday, and Power was out till midnight, and internet was out till this morning (work and home). And finals...I am quickly growing to dislike finals.
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    Thu May 22, 2008 4:28 pm  
    Alothean Elven Coaster Merchantman Ship

    I'm going to post each ship individually, starting with the merchant class ships. Crag, your ambassadorial ship will be last. Happy None of these are final, please feel free to nit pick, criticize, show spelling mistakes, etc. The names are based on the name roots in Races of the Wild, which is the only non-tolkien source I have for elven names. I used to be quite good at using Sindarin to produce names, so far seem to be doing well with this one too. Smile

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    The Alothean merchant coaster is a common sight among coastal and island elven communities. Its name literally means Rider of the Gate of the Sea, though its less poetic name is the less ambitious Surf Rider. These low sided ships are shallow hulled, but are wide, allowing for them to be beached at night. Because of the nature of how it hauls cargo, lashed to the deck, it is not meant for extremely long voyages away from land, although a prepared captain can certainly accomplish it with a disciplined crew.

    Each ship is highly individual in its appearance, and there is no standard. Shipwrights and the merchants who employ them worry more about their own desires than a set sort of plans. That said, certain design specifications are universal, including the wide bottomed hull, jointed hull plating, and the use of light, but sturdy woods.

    It is not just the quality of the wood, but the skill with which the ships are put together. Unlike human-made ships which must be constantly patched in transit, the alothean must only undergo maintenance once every few nights. The hull plates are tight fitting, and sealed with a waterproof sealing developed by elven mages eager to save their precious spell books and scrolls from water damage.

    The lower sides do increase the need for bailing during storms, but it is not uncommon for minor enchantments to placed on the ships to help in that regard as well. An invisible servant with a bucket can accomplish much.
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    Thu May 22, 2008 4:33 pm  
    The Yalisean Elven Long Range Merchantman ship

    The Yalisean, the far reaching elven trader, is a well known elven ship. While those in the immediate area of the elven kingdoms may know the alothean, everyone who has ever dealt with elven seafarers knows of the yalisean class of ships. Its name literally means "Rider of the Path of Breezes". Its more common translation is "Wind Rider". While this ship can be beached, it is not the widely accepted practice it is with the alothean.

    The human cog seems to be a logical outgrowth of this class of ships, though it boasts none of the craftsmanship that makes the yalisean such a durable and sturdy ship. The process of fitting each hull plate together seamlessly is used in this and all elven ships, and it is also sealed like the alothean. While it does not boast the elven cloth sails of military and exploration vessels, it still boasts elven quality in its sailcloth. It does not tear as easily, but it is still serviceable and stands up well to the rigors of the sea.

    The human cog is more technically advanced in its surface, and how much it can hold. An elven merchant will never outhaul a human merchant using one of these ships. But the elven merchant will spend less on maintenance than the human would. Because of this the elf will profit more.

    Like the alothean, each yalisean is highly individual. Even two ships, made for the same merchant, at the hands of the same shipwright, will be different. It is a common held elven belief that each ship is a unique individual, and therefore must be approached individually. While the overall design is largely the same for the entire class, the nose designs and a host of other details will be different. This has produced a wide variety of ships, and some have proven awe inspiring, if a bit ineffective. [insert the stormwrack ship here]

    Still, given its role, the yalisean is a effective and beautiful ship that typifies elven naval technology. Artistic, but practical; less advanced, but more efficient; lighter, yet sturdier.
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    Thu May 22, 2008 4:34 pm  
    The Coryanar long range elven explorer vessel

    The Coryanar is a slightly newer (by elven standards) class of explorer ship that is well suited to the uncertain nature of exploration. Sturdy enough to handle any storm it comes across, and light enough to be drawn ashore for those times when it is necessary. They are small enough to be taken very far up a river, yet hold up well on the rolling seas. Painted sea green to match the ocean, and with sails that closely match the cloaks elves are so famous for, it does not draw attention to itself, unless it makes its way into a port.

    The name Coryanar means Glorious Sea Path, and is perhaps an overambitious name. But given the loving craftsmanship that goes into each ship, one could hardly deny the possibility of it coming true. In any case, it is a morale booster for the elven crews who live, sleep, and fight on these ships.

    Some enterprising militaries have used these ships effectively as scouts and to land forward elements beyond slower forces. While not meant for battle, it acquits itself well enough. A few lucky pirates have managed to get a hold of one of these ships, and while they are not going to bring manpower to bear (the ships are far too small for that), they can pull off some daring raids, simply because of the same stealth measures that the elven explorer so prides.
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    Thu May 22, 2008 5:09 pm  

    MikelAmroni wrote:
    BTW, I haven't forgotten to do the names, but Milledgeville, GA (where I live) got trounced on at 5:30 Tuesday, and Power was out till midnight, and internet was out till this morning (work and home). And finals...I am quickly growing to dislike finals.


    You live in Milledgeville? No kidding? I grew up in Warner Robins and went to Macon State College (Though it was Macon Junior College back then). Hope y'all are recovering from the storm.

    The ships look good. The alothean sounds kind of like the Norse knarr, which is along the lines I was thinking for a small merchant ship although I wouldn't really classify a knarr as a "coaster" since they crossed the N. Atlantic to Greenland and Iceland fairly easily. When you say "jointed plates" are you describing clinker construction or something else?
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    Thu May 22, 2008 5:11 pm  
    Kethlia Elven Military Pursuit Vessel

    The Kethlia class is a sleek elven vessel known for its speed and agility. Humans are known for their galleons, having long ago largely abandoned oared galleys. The elves have taken the galley, a sturdy ship, and harnessed the wind to make it an agile and daring warship. Unlike the civilian commercial fleet, warships are more uniform in nature, although unique artistic expressions still show up. All elven warships have eyes painted on them, and the nature of those paintings is highly personalized by her crew. It is common practice for the crew of the ship to paint on her eyes, though most shipwrights will carve in eyes before the ships are ever given to a crew.

    The sides are crenellated, like a castle, to allow for a wider range of fire for the elven archers and ballista crews, while providing cover. A standard feature of elven ballista bolts is a clay pot to hold alchemist fire for use in combat. Loading the ballista bolts with alchemist fire is cheaper and easier than equipping every warship with a wizard, although it is rare the warship that does not have a spell caster of some sort. Another common feature is a metal lined tray near every archer station, which is used to hold flames with which to ignite arrows with. Because of the risk of self exposure to fire, wands of create water are common items aboard elven warships.

    The same techniques used in the creation of civilian ships are used on military ships. Because of this, they are far sturdier than their weight would suggest. Indeed, a kethlia can be complete submerged in a heavy storm, and come up still sailing. The inner holds, where the marines are kept during transport, can be completely sealed during a storm. While not exactly water-tight, it holds out far more water than it lets in.

    A common enchantment for these ships is a variation of the enchantment used in slippers of spider climb. While not normally active, if commanded, everyone on the deck will find themselves rooted to the deck if it is submerged or a wave swells over the rails. The elven philosophy of taking care of well trained artisans and professionals extends to sailors as well.
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    Thu May 22, 2008 5:18 pm  

    smillan_31 wrote:
    MikelAmroni wrote:
    BTW, I haven't forgotten to do the names, but Milledgeville, GA (where I live) got trounced on at 5:30 Tuesday, and Power was out till midnight, and internet was out till this morning (work and home). And finals...I am quickly growing to dislike finals.


    You live in Milledgeville? No kidding? I grew up in Warner Robins and went to Macon State College (Though it was Macon Junior College back then). Hope y'all are recovering from the storm.


    My wife just got her associates from Macon State. :) Yeah, we're okay. We didn't get hit as bad as Macon. We only had one tornado, and not directly near me. Macon got hit by several, including Macon State.

    smillan_31 wrote:
    The ships look good. The alothean sounds kind of like the Norse knarr, which is along the lines I was thinking for a small merchant ship although I wouldn't really classify a knarr as a "coaster" since they crossed the N. Atlantic to Greenland and Iceland fairly easily. When you say "jointed plates" are you describing clinker construction or something else?


    The Knarr is actually very near to the style I was thinking of, though not precisely. A variation on that ship was used throughout Northern Europe by a variety of traders and explorers. And it is a coaster. Just because the norse were crazy insane and had a lot better discipline than many others doesn't make it NOT a coaster. It just makes them extraordinary. Happy

    Think a higher sided knarr. As for the jointing method I was alluding to, think dovetailing, but with some innovation (that I am not going to bother detailing or inventing) that allows for flexibility, yet tensile strength. So closer to a barrel than clinker construction. That smooth a finish would allow it to scream through the water. Or at least that's the logic behind it all. Cool

    --Edit-- To be clear, the ship CAN be used as a more long ranged vessel, but its cramped, uncomfortable, and open to the elements, which is what usually keeps it closer to home. You could certainly have a younger elven merchant building his fortunes with one of these, and it would be a much easier ship for an adventuring party to handle.

    Also, one thing on all the ships, I assumed rudders, though I left ambiguous enough so that steering boards could be used if desired. Even if the commercial fleet doesn't use rudders, I think the military fleet will universally. In fact it could be one of the individual traits of the ships. Some have rudders, others steering boards.


    Last edited by MikelAmroni on Thu May 22, 2008 5:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Thu May 22, 2008 5:19 pm  
    Elsharyl Elven Military Transport Vessel

    The Elsharyl class military transport, called the “Huntress of the Green Ocean”, is an intimidating ship. Where the kethlia engages in cat and mouse tactics with their prey, the elsharyl swoops in for the kill. After softening up the enemy ship with missile fire, the “Huntress”, as it is most often referred to, grapples with the ship and releases elven swordsmen to decimate the remaining crew. While this ship is more devastating, and most often results in a captured ship, it is the least common ship in the elven navy. Finding good marines who excel is close combat is not impossible, but these assignments are not for green troops.

    Like the kethlia, the elsharyl is based what is thought of as an oared ship. Biremes and Triremes are often seen as the inspiration for these ships, though in truth, they predate both designs. They do use a wide based dual hull design, though each hull is slender and cuts through the waves easily. The sails are the most advanced in the elven navy, but despite their complexity and size, the class remains the slowest warship in the elven fleet. It retains more agility than an equivalent human ship, but it is ponderous compared to the kethlia.

    When not used as a marine transport, they are sometimes used to move the elven land armies. This is the more known capacity of the ships, and what most seafarers expect from these ships. When an assault ship closes for combat where the crews normally shy away, the enemy ships rarely fathom their peril. It is these ships that are called in to capture and cripple pirates in elven waters.

    One would think that a warship would not be a target for pirates, but the normal army troops transported aboard the vessels have no experience fighting at sea, and many times end up being demoralized long before they can be defeated normally. This is not a slight to the brave elven infantryman, but rather the simple facts of battle at sea. It’s hard to hit your target when you’re hurling your lunch all over the deck. While capturing the vessel is hardly ever the goal, raids for stores of elven weapons and common magic items are not uncommon. Anyone who has tangled with an assault Elsharyl will never see the ships as easy pickings.
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    Thu May 22, 2008 5:40 pm  
    Casalyn Elven Passener Transport Vessel

    The Casalyn is a variant to the more common yalisean. Indeed some maritime scholars refuse to accept that it is a separate ship class. Where the yalisean can be retrofitted to provide expansive cabin space, the casalyn is designed with passengers in mind, although it does sport a respectable hold. Where a normal ship provides an open room that common sailors bunk together in, the casalyn uses cabins for a large portion of its passengers. Crew still use common rooms.

    The Casalyn’s name means “Herald and Bringer of Harmony”, though it is more commonly known as the “Herald of Harmony.” Because its purpose is neither trade nor war, it is designed differently from the keel up. The typical yalisean is designed around its hold, and easy access to that hold is the primary concern. The primary design consideration for the casalyn was providing living space for elven dignitaries while journeying to far away lands. The use of steel mirrors and ingenious construction has made each cabin bright, and the use of a wind-scoop funnels air below deck, makes it far more comfortable than it might otherwise be. This wind-scoop is open at both ends of the ship, and therefore provides no impediment to movement. During storms water will blow in, and can dowse the inhabitants of the cabins, so each room can seal off their ship. It is a well known secret that any conversation made near one of these vents can be heard along the length of the shaft.

    Because the cabins are ventilated and lighted by indirect means, the designers did not put portholes in the cabins at all. It is common in these ships for each room to be lit by a fixture in the ceiling that has had light cast upon it. Shutters can shut off the light for sleeping, but it shines continuously. Some ships do not have this, but their passengers usually want them. Its performance profile is similar to the yalisean, though it tend to ride higher in the water (due to its lower cargo capacity), and therefore is often more maneuverable.
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    Thu May 22, 2008 7:01 pm  

    MikelAmroni wrote:
    My wife just got her associates from Macon State. :) Yeah, we're okay. We didn't get hit as bad as Macon. We only had one tornado, and not directly near me. Macon got hit by several, including Macon State.


    Excellent. Good to hear. Yeah, my Mom still lives in WR and told me that Macon State got closed down due to the tornado damage.

    smillan_31 wrote:
    The ships look good. The alothean sounds kind of like the Norse knarr, which is along the lines I was thinking for a small merchant ship although I wouldn't really classify a knarr as a "coaster" since they crossed the N. Atlantic to Greenland and Iceland fairly easily. When you say "jointed plates" are you describing clinker construction or something else?


    MikelAmroni wrote:
    The Knarr is actually very near to the style I was thinking of, though not precisely. A variation on that ship was used throughout Northern Europe by a variety of traders and explorers. And it is a coaster. Just because the norse were crazy insane and had a lot better discipline than many others doesn't make it NOT a coaster. It just makes them extraordinary. Happy


    Okay. I'll give you that. Smile Serioulsy though, clinker construction gives knarrs greater strength than carvel planking, which is basically what you're talking about (Though the dovetailing of the planks is an interesting idea).

    MikelAmroni wrote:
    Think a higher sided knarr. As for the jointing method I was alluding to, think dovetailing, but with some innovation (that I am not going to bother detailing or inventing) that allows for flexibility, yet tensile strength. So closer to a barrel than clinker construction. That smooth a finish would allow it to scream through the water. Or at least that's the logic behind it all. Cool

    --Edit-- To be clear, the ship CAN be used as a more long ranged vessel, but its cramped, uncomfortable, and open to the elements, which is what usually keeps it closer to home. You could certainly have a younger elven merchant building his fortunes with one of these, and it would be a much easier ship for an adventuring party to handle.

    Also, one thing on all the ships, I assumed rudders, though I left ambiguous enough so that steering boards could be used if desired. Even if the commercial fleet doesn't use rudders, I think the military fleet will universally. In fact it could be one of the individual traits of the ships. Some have rudders, others steering boards.


    What kind of rig were you thinking? If you're not too familiar with the different types check out this page. That's a good rundown of the traditional rigs although that website has some non-traditional rigs. I like the look of the modified lateen/junk on Ceb's elven ship. The only problem is that with a traditional lateen rig, when you tack (turn the bow through the wind) the crew would actually pass the spar behind the mast from one side to the other. That would be almost impossible to do on the dark elf ship with that forward raked mast putting the majority of the spar forward. I'd reverse that by raking the mast abaft which would also make it easier to pass the sail around the mast. Because of that maneuver and just its design, tacking a lateen rig is notoriously slow, but it does have the advantage of being able to sail closer to the wind than a square rig.
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    Thu May 22, 2008 7:39 pm  

    smillan_31 wrote:
    Okay. I'll give you that. Smile Serioulsy though, clinker construction gives knarrs greater strength than carvel planking, which is basically what you're talking about (Though the dovetailing of the planks is an interesting idea).


    One thing that always got me about clinker construction, and I am no scholar of maritime science, so this may be a common misconception, is that it would tend to leak. Obviously done right it doesn't, but that was my understanding of the problems with sailing ships until sealants came full circle. But the look I wanted was a smooth hull that defied human attempts to duplicate. Even if they were taught the techniques, it would take them beyond their years to master the shaping of each plank. In my head, I had smiliarities between elven shipwrights, and the "dreamer" surfers who feel that making a board means letting the board come to life, not carving it out of wood. Its that kind of difference in philosophy that I am basing everything on. Time wise, an elven ship takes the same time as a human ship, but the craftsman working it spent decades learning how to cut the joints and how to choose the wood.

    smillan_31 wrote:
    What kind of rig were you thinking? If you're not too familiar with the different types check out this page. That's a good rundown of the traditional rigs although that website has some non-traditional rigs. I like the look of the modified lateen/junk on Ceb's elven ship. The only problem is that with a traditional lateen rig, when you tack (turn the bow through the wind) the crew would actually pass the spar behind the mast from one side to the other. That would be almost impossible to do on the dark elf ship with that forward raked mast putting the majority of the spar forward. I'd reverse that by raking the mast abaft which would also make it easier to pass the sail around the mast. Because of that maneuver and just its design, tacking a lateen rig is notoriously slow, but it does have the advantage of being able to sail closer to the wind than a square rig.


    To be perfectly honest, I hadn't thought much about it. You're probably right, though looking at that site you linked I've got to ask about the Una rig. Its wing like structure might seem to fit the elves, but I'm not sure how effective it would be giant sized enough for a galley to use. I know it works well enough for Windsurfers, but there is a serious difference in mass/sail size between a windsurfer and a galley sized sailing ship.
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    Fri May 23, 2008 12:45 pm  

    MikelAmroni wrote:
    One thing that always got me about clinker construction, and I am no scholar of maritime science, so this may be a common misconception, is that it would tend to leak. Obviously done right it doesn't, but that was my understanding of the problems with sailing ships until sealants came full circle.


    Clinker built boats do leak more if left to dry out for extended periods of time, but that's more of a modern problem since previously, most clinker built boats were working boats that were in the water constantly. If kept wet a clinker built is as dry as (And some claim even drier than) a carvel built boat.

    smillan_31 wrote:
    What kind of rig were you thinking? If you're not too familiar with the different types check out this page.


    MikelAmroni wrote:
    To be perfectly honest, I hadn't thought much about it. You're probably right, though looking at that site you linked I've got to ask about the Una rig. Its wing like structure might seem to fit the elves, but I'm not sure how effective it would be giant sized enough for a galley to use. I know it works well enough for Windsurfers, but there is a serious difference in mass/sail size between a windsurfer and a galley sized sailing ship.


    That's not necessarily the case. Look up some images of a Volvo Open 70. It's closer to an una rig than a marconi. More winglike. There are even wishbone booms on some larger yachts. Could elves come up with some innovations like this given the material limitations? Maybe, but there is still the problem of the tremendous heel a boat with that size sail would have. An Open 70 has a 5000 kg keel bulb, something a beachable boat isn't going to have. This is not to say you can't go with an una shaped sail, but you won't be able to get the sail area that most una rigs have on one sail. I might go with something like a shorter una rig on a main mast and a smaller one on a mizzen mast.
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    Fri May 23, 2008 5:00 pm  

    Mikel: Very nice job on the ships, especially how you describe them as only being similar to a certain type of real world ship to establish a basic visual comparatively. The "they are sorta like this, but not really" feel of the descirpion, plus the unique construction methods and the uses/tactics of each ship make for a good read.

    The only thing I am not keen on is the ship with the eye. The Greeks did that for two reasons. They thought it made the ship look like a giant leviathan itself so that "sea monsters" wouldn't attack it, but they also thought it acted like a divine guiding eye on voyages, looking out for danger and guiding theship to safe port. The eye is just too close of a tie-in for my tastes. The rest is very good though.
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    Sat May 24, 2008 4:35 am  

    Cebrion: Thanks for the good review. My basic idea was that even if the elves didn't make those original designs, they likely improved them. They are not as advanced as human ships, but the simple fact of elven craftsmanship is the deciding factor between a subpar ship and an excellent ship. Human ships made with similar techniques would be faster and stronger still.

    Cebrion wrote:
    The only thing I am not keen on is the ship with the eye. The Greeks did that for two reasons. They thought it made the ship look like a giant leviathan itself so that "sea monsters" wouldn't attack it, but they also thought it acted like a divine guiding eye on voyages, looking out for danger and guiding theship to safe port. The eye is just too close of a tie-in for my tastes. The rest is very good though.


    The basic logic behind the eye was very similar to that actually. A ship is a near living creature with its own personality, quirks, etc. But the eyes are the window to the soul, and the soul of a ship is her crew, hence the crew traditionally paint the eyes of a ship. Its a small matter and can be left off if enough folks don't like it.
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    Sat May 24, 2008 5:14 am  

    smillan_31 wrote:
    Clinker built boats do leak more if left to dry out for extended periods of time, but that's more of a modern problem since previously, most clinker built boats were working boats that were in the water constantly. If kept wet a clinker built is as dry as (And some claim even drier than) a carvel built boat.


    Fair enough. Could a dovetailing effect make clinker construction better? Of course there is something to be said for elves making inferior technology as efficient as better technology. If humans have clinker construction, they would look in derision at the elven technique and be mystified how they could make it work as well as they do.

    smillan_31 wrote:
    That's not necessarily the case. Look up some images of a Volvo Open 70. It's closer to an una rig than a marconi. More winglike. There are even wishbone booms on some larger yachts. Could elves come up with some innovations like this given the material limitations? Maybe, but there is still the problem of the tremendous heel a boat with that size sail would have. An Open 70 has a 5000 kg keel bulb, something a beachable boat isn't going to have. This is not to say you can't go with an una shaped sail, but you won't be able to get the sail area that most una rigs have on one sail. I might go with something like a shorter una rig on a main mast and a smaller one on a mizzen mast.


    Hmm, so the galleys, which cannot beach, could use the Una style sails, and have a keel bulb. I think a wishbone style una sail set up could give the wing effect I think we all would see well on elven warships. The transport would use a lateen/junk rig, and that would be an outgrowth of the sails on the alothean, and why it is so not maneuverable, although I do see elves using silk rope, or a hemp equivalent for their rigging. That's not in the write ups and is more my own view, and would only be the case hard core in my own campaigns. Yes this drives the price of rigging up, but I feel the strength of silk rope would be necessary for the strain elven sail design would bring, especially those that use una style sails.

    Smilian, can you do up a description of the sail types as it would have to be used (both the Junk/Lateen rig and the dual Una/single Una) without being overly wordy? I want to add it into the description of each ship, and don't want to include two paragraphs describing just the sails, even if they are that cool. Cool

    Maybe a specific description for each ship. Once we get it all right, we can post it as an article, co-authored.
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    Sat May 31, 2008 3:38 pm  

    Actually the reason I started the thread was because I had written a series of articles; needed some elven help.

    I have no problem sharing the glory; Your fine descriptions fit very nicely with what I have written - Wink

    MikelAmroni I will send you the articles; always nice to have a second set of eyes look them over before submission.
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    Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:59 am  

    If you guys want to go in together on the article then by all means do so. Combine the best of two minds so to speak. If the submission is substantial, consider offering it up for the Oerth Journal. We might be able to get some ship art done for it too. Cool
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    Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:10 am  

    rasgon wrote:
    Absolutely. Give the elves elaborate organic designs that could never be mistaken for human ships. Maybe their ships resemble crosses between trees and swans, decorated with Celtic knots and Rococo flourishes. Not quite so alien as the living ships they sail in Spelljammer, but their culture is ancient and has probably been sailing back and forth from the Spindrifts since long before the Oeridians settled the Solnor coast, so I'm sure they've had plenty of time to develop their own completely independent nautical technology. The Spindrift elves are supposed to be reclusive.

    One twist might be that elf ships are substantially less efficient than human (Oeridian/Suel) ships, but their long lifespans mean they're reluctant to change very quickly. They're sailing the same ships they were sailing 1500 years ago, even though those upstart humans can sail circles around them today thanks to ridiculous fads like triangular sails.


    (I've seen FR stuff suggesting strong ties between groundling and spacefarer elves and DL stuff implying little to no contact between groundling and spacefarer elves.) I'm not sure how much contact the various elves of Oerth have with their spacefaring cousins, but the Imperial Navy are a pretty powerful organisation and like to make contact with various groundling elf leaders.

    From an Oerth elf point of view, the main thing is that their might be a group of SJ elves helping to bring new ship designs from one elven group to another. They would not be using spaceferer elf ship designs (especially as those ships are not optimised to fly in the air or sail on the sea). But information sharing among elves could help to boost their ship technology and design above the ships built by other races.

    Assuming any of these elves are friendly to outsider elves (and have contact with spacefarers). In fact, you would only need spacefarer contact with a small number of elves if those elves freely shared designs with other elven groups.
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    Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:07 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    If you guys want to go in together on the article then by all means do so. Combine the best of two minds so to speak. If the submission is substantial, consider offering it up for the Oerth Journal. We might be able to get some ship art done for it too. Cool


    Since Ceb brought it up Wink

    Can articles posted here become OJ or do you have to submit them first to the OJ - How does that work.

    Is it one or the other or can it be both?
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    Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:03 pm  

    It is one or the other. If an article comes to 5 pages or more and would scroll on forever on a web page, I'd rather see it in OJ.

    This would be a good opportunity to turn the article on ships into an article on the the Spindrift Isles which also features their ships in detail, if you have an interest in doing so. It depends on how much you want to do, but keep in mind that there is no page limit for The Oerth Journal submisions.
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    Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:31 am  

    Crag wrote:
    Actually the reason I started the thread was because I had written a series of articles; needed some elven help.

    I have no problem sharing the glory; Your fine descriptions fit very nicely with what I have written - Wink

    MikelAmroni I will send you the articles; always nice to have a second set of eyes look them over before submission.


    Heh, sorry, when I get going, I get going. Its one of those things. After all, names are cool, but why is it named that? And well, that leads into other things, and well, you end up like we did.

    Replying to you on the articles tonight. Happy
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    Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:44 am  

    Very interesting thread.

    There seems to be a lurking question - have the elves ever enjoyed advances superior to those of humanity. Are the elves the old, advanced race? Or are they contemporaries of humanity, no older and not necessarily any more advanced. I like my elves an older race which has advances greater than those of humanity. Like the ancient Chinese, they could have ruled the world had they exerted themselves, but they for cultural reasons did not do so.

    With that said, I like the idea of living ships for the elves. Maybe not trees as such but organic all the same. In battle, fighting an elven ship is literally like fighting a living thing.

    Because elves are scattered in the Flanaess, I see no reason one cannot up the magic quotient. It will not overpower the setting or its feel, IMO, because elves are so scattered. To this end, harnessing air or water elementals is a viable idea, IMO.

    After all, if you want just another naval encounter, you don't need elves for that. If elves are rare, encounters with them should be memorable. Or why bother with elves at all?

    Anyhoo. For some possible examples of elven craft see:

    Seas of Blood: Fantasy on the High Seas
    Ships of War (including elves)
    Ships of the Elves
    Ships of the Goblinoids

    All are denominated "Travellers Tales" products from Mongoose Publishing.
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