My players are currently in a naval battle. The wizard used Disintegrate on the enemy warship's hull and now water is getting inside the ship.

I remember reading something about that in the Ghosts of Saltmarsh book, but when I tried looking for the rule I just couldn't find it again.

Are there any rules for how much water gets inside a ship per round and how much water a ship can take on before starting to sink?

We are using the stats for the Warship from Ghosts of Saltmarsh.


1 Answer 1


There are two places in Ghosts of Saltmarsh where sinking is dealt with (in particular sinking from a hole in a ship take an hour from the primary example given)

In the adventure (designed for 4-6, 1st level characters):

The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh

The section on

the Sea Ghost (in the sidebar)


[...] Holing Attempts to hole the ship and sink it requires the use of axes or similar implements applied with vigor. The undertaking takes 5 minutes [...]. If the hole is completed, the ship takes on water and sinks after an hour if the hole remains unrepaired.

This rule, taken in context, assumes that the party of characters in the adventure is taking part in this effort (ie 4-6, 1st level characters). If less characters were to attempt it the time taken should be appropriately extended.

This section is probably the most relevant section to your question as it specifically talks about creating a hole in the ship. 5 minutes of axing on a solid hull can create quite a sizable hole. This could easily be comparable in size to the hole created by the Disintegrate spell.

The other section that deals with sinking is in:

Salvage Operation

under the section on:

Death of The Emperor > Octopus Attacks > Sequence of Events > Rounds 3 through 20


the ship in this sequence is being actively attacked repeatedly by an enormous elder octopus intent on destroying the ship...

  • \$\begingroup\$ Seems rather short-sighted of the original authors to assume that their 5-minute axe-using method would be necessary in a world where a couple-second spell can instantly do it better. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 18, 2019 at 17:47
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @SouthpawHare distintegrate isn't an option the characters have available to them in the specific adventure quoted (it's designed for 4-6 1st level characters) \$\endgroup\$
    – illustro
    Jul 18, 2019 at 17:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Let us continue this discussion in chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – illustro
    Jul 19, 2019 at 10:03

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