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Ragabash
2008-11-12, 02:17 PM
As I've mentioned in a couple of previous threads, I'm working on an idea for a campaign starting in the bronze age. I'm curious if anyone could help me out with what ships, out of those listen in the Arms and Equipment Guide, Stormwrack, and the core books would be found in such an era, and how (comparatively) common they would be. If there are any listed other than the dugout and canoe that would be found in stone age cultures that you could point out that would be helpful, too (not everyone in the setting will have learned metalworking yet).

Thanks in advance to anyone willing to take the time to help me out!

Krrth
2008-11-12, 02:19 PM
There's some stuff on ships at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronze_Age...Don't know if it will help or not.

bosssmiley
2008-11-12, 03:17 PM
Osprey books (http://www.ospreypublishing.com/ancient_world/) - your essential geek primer on all things militaristic

John Warry's Warfare in the Classical World (http://www.amazon.com/Warfare-Classical-World-Encyclopedia-Civilisations/dp/0806127945) is also worth a look. It covers everything from the Homeric era to about 500AD.

edit: AD&D Historical Reference series.

Texas Jedi
2008-11-12, 03:21 PM
For the most part I would keep them simple. All most all boats at the time would not have been able to handle the open sea. They would have been limited to coastal area, lakes, and rivers.

I would use things like the viking longboats that were just powered by oars. I think at the time they were just coming up with sails.

If they lived along the coast and were a merchant people (Carthaginian, Phoenicians, Polynesian) they might be further along. I might be getting my ages mixed up though these examples might be the iron age.

Satyr
2008-11-12, 03:37 PM
Check the according Gurps books. For roleplaying games, these are normally the best reference for most settings, even if you do not play with Gurps. In your case, you are probably interested in Gurps Lowtech and Greece.

TempusCCK
2008-11-12, 04:05 PM
About the most advanced thing you're going to have in a bronze age in terms of ships are a trieme, prodominantly oar powered, requiring many men, and maybe a sail if you're extremely inventive. Boats will be primarily made of rope and wood (duh) and you're not going to have much in the ways of combat except maybe for some shooting bows and hopping over to the others guys ship to stick your crummy sword in his crummy gullet faster than he does it to you.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-11-12, 04:09 PM
Boats will be primarily made of rope and wood (duh) and you're not going to have much in the ways of combat except maybe for some shooting bows and hopping over to the others guys ship to stick your crummy sword in his crummy gullet faster than he does it to you.Wand of Fireball.

Durendal
2008-11-12, 04:21 PM
Specifically from Stormwrack i think the dugout, war canoe, coracle, and a scaled down version of the trireme are good choices.

Bronze Age means were talking Minoan, Ancient Egyptian, and Hittite level tech, which is all pre-bireme. Although the Ancient Egyptians did have some decent ships (http://www.artsales.com/Ancient%20Ships/gEgyptianGalleons.htm).

Ragabash
2008-11-12, 04:28 PM
While I appreciate the book suggestions, I'm really looking for ships that appear in the books I have. Buying gaming books while currently unemployed (I don't have my SÚcu number yet, anyone in France knows what I mean), is a good way to end up with a very annoyed wife.
So, no new gaming books for the time being, sadly.

TempusCCK
2008-11-12, 04:28 PM
Wand of Fireball.

Eh, I meant from a historical perspective. If he's got fireballs in his bronze age campaign, that's his deal.

Ragabash
2008-11-12, 04:40 PM
Eh, I meant from a historical perspective. If he's got fireballs in his bronze age campaign, that's his deal.

There is definately going to be magic in the campaign (I won't go into background, but oral histories in the campaign tell of the Age of Sorcerer Tyrants that was ended partially due to people finding out that magic could be learned), but I am definately looking for this from a historical and not theoretical point of view at the moment.

Thiel
2008-11-12, 04:46 PM
For the most part I would keep them simple. All most all boats at the time would not have been able to handle the open sea. They would have been limited to coastal area, lakes, and rivers.
You might want to check out the Ra (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thor_Heyerdahl#The_Boats_Ra_and_Ra_II) expeditions before you go any further.

fusilier
2008-11-12, 07:44 PM
A public library might also have some useful books about the history of ships.

Taking a quick glance at the GURPS Low-Tech book, plank construction developed during the bronze age, allowing larger ships (than dugouts and canoes). These ships were usually powered by square sails and/or oars. It doesn't look like they had triremes, but they did have oared warships. Steering was achieved in large ships either through two large paddles at the rear of the ship, or, later, rudders. Unfortunately, I don't have the D&D books, so I don't know what ships are appropriate.

If D&D has oared warships and merchant ships, they will probably be close enough.

As far as weapons are concerned, I think most bronze swords would count as short swords (and maybe something similar to a cutlass?). Bronze axes also existed. Armor was usually bronze, even into the iron age.

Ragabash
2008-11-12, 07:58 PM
As far as weapons are concerned, I think most bronze swords would count as short swords (and maybe something similar to a cutlass?). Bronze axes also existed. Armor was usually bronze, even into the iron age.

I have all the information I need on weapons, this thread is specifically about ships. Not that I don't appreciate the input, though.

Egiam
2008-11-12, 08:04 PM
I love the idea of elves with javelins on triremes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trireme

Ravens_cry
2008-11-12, 08:08 PM
I love the idea of elves with javelins on triremes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trireme
I always thought of the elves as being kind of Greekesque.

Egiam
2008-11-12, 08:19 PM
Crete style sea elves might be a fun homebrew, but should be on that forum.
I can easily imagine elven hoplites hopping of a ship and forming into a Phalanx fighting orcs with bronse axes. Read The Illiad for more ideas on how to do the god-humanoid relationship and Theogony for cosmology. Man, the more I think of it the more I want to run it!