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Airship in campaign

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  • Airship in campaign

    I am running a Classic campaign, and the posse has an airship. What are people's thoughts and experiences in such circumstances?
    Maintenance costs? This can get prohibitive.
    Fuel costs? The posse better be rolling in the dough all the time with the cost of fuel cores.
    Public reaction?
    Monster attacks?
    Travel speeds and times?

  • #2
    Having an airship is like having a really good stage wagon. The posse can travel quickly, can travel in any direction, and can be difficult to catch for some foes; but it requires maintenance, signals wealth to bandits and merchants, turns money into travel time, and can break down leaving the posse stranded far from any aid.

    For an airship the problem of weather is greatly multiplied - fog and rain can ground the ship simply due to visibility (you do not want to crash into a mountain side), high winds (including high altitude winds) can ground the airship because the craft is too difficult to control, snow can ruin visibility and overload the craft with the weight of all that ice, and lightning can outright destroy it.

    Further, maintenance and refueling gets expensive, it's a monstrously large target for foes that can attack it, an airship is a distressingly fragile target for weapons that can affect it, and if it suddenly malfunctions then the characters are all stranded hundreds - possibly thousands - of feed away from safety.

    Arriving at a destination is pretty simple, since a dangling rope can be sufficient landing accommodations, but putting the ship down in an area it won't blow away, catch fire, or be stolen can be a real problem. Some days you just can't find a box canyon.

    ... If you've ever played Sunless Sea then you've seen how maintenance and repair can be interesting (and deadly) challenges without being a slog to play.

    Good luck!
    I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.


    • #3
      I'd consider your posse to have the "poor" Hindrance (can't remember the english name at the moment) to reflect the cost of using a airship.

      ​​​​​​Creatures like Devil Bats and the like will be really happy to have diner delivered while in flight.

      Maybe spare parts could be crafted only by S&R, giving you a way to delay the posse where you want them for the time you need.

      People seeing it would be amazed and défiant, but not necessarily hostile as long as the airship doesn't look too weird.

      Travel Time should be the same as by horse, with the bonus of not worrying about saddle sore.