View Full Version : Eberron Airships and building a base [4e]

2009-10-18, 09:10 PM
So, I'm currently running an Eberron campaign that is going to last over the paragon arc. I started the game at 9th level because it's our group's first foray into paragon territory, and helps get them used to the Eberron campaign setting.

Anyway, I'm planning to set them up with an Airship as a means of travel, and a base of operations that they can expand over time. I was wondering if there's either any sort of guide for building a player stronghold, or if there is anything out there for good items that would be useful in a stronghold. Should I have them put anything in upkeep for the base? I was thinking they might be able to get hirelings that would have various things that they could do for them.

Also, I swear I had seen stats either for an elemental galleon or an airship for 4e Eberron. Although this could be a misfire of my memory thinking of the airship in the adventurer's vault. Maybe it was a dragon article?

So, short version:

1. Things useful for a PC group's HQ? Any ideas or things you've tried with a group for using hirelings/underlings?

2. Airships. Modify the Adventurer's vault, or is there something out there and I'm not going crazy?

Requiem Star
2009-10-19, 08:12 AM
The only stats I've seen for airships that are detailed are in 3.5. But that doesn't mean that they have to be your airships. For instance, my players once took an airship from a villain and it became their base of operations. Why set up shop in one location and worry about two locations getting attacked? There was more than enough space on board for each person to have their own cabins and whatnot.

So the first thing I did was pull a number out for monthly expenses. The ship required an NPC skeleton crew at the minimum to navigate the ship and watch it while they were exploring. I allowed the players to increase this amount if they wanted the crew to be more loyal, better armed, and whatnot. Very quickly they were paying about 10% of their money to upkeep of the ship. This counteracted their getting bloated by loot nicely.

Having an airship for a base eliminates some aspects... for instance terrain over long distances becomes pretty moot. Any encounters are usually aerial ones. I also had to really become flexible. One of my players wanted to kill the king of Karnath... not because he was a vampire but because the character was a Cyrian who loathed him and convinced the players to fly to Karnath and attempt to kill Kaius. Before the travel distance would have put them off.

Fortunately that failed, but they did manage to make themselves international terrorists for that side quest. They also realized he was a vampire so... yeah. Fun times all around.

Something else I learned... threaten the players and not their ride. My players quickly became pissed when I had a dragon or some other airship flying underneath them attacking their very expensive air ship. It was much more satisfying for them to have enemies try to board so they could make a more traditional fight of it.

Also, don't 'crash' their ride just to run them through that dungeon in Xendrik you've been dying to play. They can smell railroading a mile away. Make sure that if they crash it's as a consequence of their actions.

Ultimately they also poured a lot of money into that ship so that in the end it could not only fly teleport and planar shift as well and was sentient! One of the players actually made a warforged character that served as the shell of the elemental bound in their ship to join the party on their adventures. At that point they were in epic levels, but it gave them something different to pour their time and money into. So there are lots of fun possibilities.

2009-10-19, 06:42 PM
Well, the group is already going to be on semi-shaky ground with the Twelve, and some of the Powers That Be. I've got a Paladin from Thrane who basically defected toward the end of the war, and two Eladrin who manifested the Mark of Making and Mark of Passage the time of the Mourning event, and blame the Twelve for the Mourning Event. There's a good chance that the final adventure in this arc (we haven't decided if Epic is too time consuming or not, and I'm not sure if I can write/plan stuff at that scale) will be them having a big battle to defend their Feyspire in Darguun, and I don't have any problems with them flying around.

I'm not planning on trashing the ride, I want to see what they can do with it. I have no problem with them running around with it, but it's not like you can easily dock it at every single place in Eberron, so they'll still have to do some stuff on foot.

I guess I'm interested in them maintaining the base (at first) to see if they invest anything into it. Because they're probably going to do a not-quite-Helm's Deep scenario at the end, I thought it would be neat if over time they could build up some NPCs or other types and bring them along.

Although that bit with the Warforged gives me an excellent idea. I'm thinking I might have the bound elemental be able to be talked to, one party member specifically knows primordial or whatever it is that they speak.

Not sure if I'll go planar with anything, but those are some pretty good ideas as well, thanks. I'll have to dig through other books and see what other kind of items I'd be willing to toss to them.

2009-10-22, 03:30 AM
For myself, I'm going to be adding a warforged character that was the avatar of a ship, but he mutinied, and now he captains the ship that he is. Thank you, people.

2009-10-22, 03:52 AM
There are stats for an airship in the Adventurer's Vault. I think it's meant for around early paragon, as well. You should be able to use it's stats for any kind of medium-small airships. Really, though, there's no hard and fast rules for any of this kind of stuff, so you should talk with your DM about it all.

2009-10-25, 01:16 AM
Well, I am the DM for the group, so it's pretty much my call, I figured I'd try and make sure I wasn't missing something obvious, and then just wing it from there.