I'm running a pirate setting campaign and I think it's time the party got a taste of ship-to-ship combat. But I'm not sure where I can find the specifics for this type of combat. Like the type of ships and the damage or hardness they have and how the rounds would work in this scenario. Any help locating rules for naval action?


1 Answer 1


The GameMastery Guide has naval combat rules that are so basic as to IMO be unusable. But then there are "advanced" naval combat rules published as part of the free Skull & Shackles Player's Guide, also on the d20PFSRD which are basic but functional.

Better more detailed but still easy to run rules are from the Fire As She Bears supplement meant to complement the Razor Coast mega-adventure from Frog God Games. (Disclaimer: I contributed to this book.)

I've been running a 5 year pirate campaign that uses a slimmed-down version of Fire As She Bears! that has stood the test of time quite well - you break up a ship into 10x10 squares and each has hardness and hit points. Here's a sample ship:

Sample Sloop (pirate ship)

Length 60’, Beam 15’, Height 5’, Draft 5’, Rig height 53’, 100 tons cargo

Hull: 12 sections (hardness 5, hp 60)

Masts: 2 (hardness 5, hp 60), foremast lateen, mainmast lateen

Decks: hold, lower deck, main deck

Crew: 40/20/10

Speed: 11 knots (110'/round)

Maneuverability: +2

Seaworthiness: +2

Armaments: 8 12-pounders (four on each side of the main deck), 1 9-pound chase gun, 8 swivel guns

Opposed Profession:Sailor rolls to maneuver, shoot at each other's ships (called shots to hit a specific segment). Loads of fun!

  • \$\begingroup\$ I recommend the Skull & Shackles Players guide as well, the regular sourcebooks don't really cover Naval combat well, but its expanded upon in Skull & Shackles. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sandwich
    Commented Jun 13, 2015 at 15:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would like to complement that Legendary Games (3PP) also has expanded naval rules that go well with mass combat rules. Look for Ultimate War book series. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented Jun 15, 2015 at 11:31

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