Maritime Adventure

Well, my PCs have shattered the Stone of Sakkara and are now planning a sea expedition to the distant realm of Valusia. The characters are 3rd and 4th level and have earned the favour of Bjorn Skullsplitter, a Viking Bandit King.

So I'm taking a look at the Maritime rules in ACKS. A longship runs about 15,000gp. Then they'll need a Captain (100gp/month), a Navigator (25gp/month), and 75 Sailors (between 225gp and 450gp per month, depending on the split of rowers vs. trained mariners). That's 350gp to 575gp per month just in wages.

They'll need provisions as well. Using the Domains at War value of 0.5gp per week to supply each soldier, that's about 175gp/month for provisions.

Does that sound about right? Even if Bjorn gifts the PCs with a vessel, they'll still have to round up a crew and provisions. Assuming a two-month journey, the group will need to spend between 1050gp and 1500gp for the expedition?

Anyone else undertaken a similar journey in their campaign?

Sand journeys in Dark Sun (which are very similar to maritime journeys, since you need to pay for food and water and haulage and such) tended to cost something in that general vicinity for that number of people.

Running a ship is very expensive. Buying passage is a lot cheaper. Sometimes even outright chartering is cheaper, as I recall. When you’re actually running a ship and paying for provisions and the like, you should also consider investing in trading goods to recoup costs (or, ideally, make a profit).

Looking at historical Viking longships, there is also the knarr - a single-masted cargo ship used for long journeys overseas. This is considered a "Sailing Ship, Small" in ACKS (p.47). A knarr costs 10,000gp, and has a crew of a captain and 12 sailors (probably should have a navigator among them, for oceanic travel). The monthly wages would be about 200gp and provisions would be about 30gp/month.

In addition to being economical, the knarr has the advantage of being fun to say. Knarrr.

There are some great pictures at of reconstructed ships. The Ottar is a knarr, the Roar Ege a byrding, and the Helge Ask a snekkja.

Hurry up and get that game goin Kelly!! We've been waiting and looking forward to it for awhile now! The Stone of Sakkara was an awesome module to play in...but its definitely time to get the voyage to Valusia going. See you soon. The Knarr is sweet!