# Space on a Ship

How much space/weight does a person take up on a ship. Is it just 200 stone as in the passenger's section of the merchant rules or is that just living space for a person comfortably? We just got a ship and all of out henchmen and the players would max out the ship's weight along if its 200 stone so that seemed silly. The DM ruled 70 stone per person but was wondering if there is a math to it.

This is a little off-topic, but this thread keeps showing up as "new" even after I've viewed it, which keeps making me think there's a new post in the 'Ask the Autarchs' subforum when there really isn't. Is there any way to fix that?

You can use the Forum Tools in the bottom right corner of the main forum page to Mark All Topics Read, which fixed it for me.

Actually on topic: I am not an Autarch, but my understanding is that crew do not consume cargo space (except in terms of supplies such as food and water), and 200 stone is the amount required for a comfortable transit of a passenger and relevant supplies. In terms of ‘just stack them in there’ minimum space required per person, I’d say probably about 20 stone, with greater amounts of dedicated cargo space indicating greater levels of comfort.

Consider a small ship, with 10000 st of capacity. It has dimensions of (roughly) 25' by 80', and a single lower deck for cargo. So that implies that it's carrying a density of 5 st per square foot, or 500 st for 10x10 square. That's only possible since cargo is in crates that can be piled to the ceiling.

How many passengers do you really want to try to squeeze into a 10x10 square? Human bodies just can't be packed with anywhere near the efficiency of crates, and that's what the 200 st per capacity reflects. It's the opportunity cost of giving up the floor space footprint.

Unless your passengers are gelatinous cubes or something, in which case you literally CAN stack them to the ceiling. :-)

[quote="EHamilton"]

Consider a small ship, with 10000 st of capacity. It has dimensions of (roughly) 25' by 80', and a single lower deck for cargo. So that implies that it's carrying a density of 5 st per square foot, or 500 st for 10x10 square. [/quote]

At 200 stone per person, you're putting 2.5 people in that 100 square feet. I've fit a dozen people and a table into that amount of space. Thankfully, supplying them for a longer than a single meal was not required.

I think Aryx has this about right.

I think it’s worth noting that I wasn’t thinking of ‘give them their own room’ so much as ‘bunk beds with about a foot of clearance between them’.

An average person is about three feet wide, so if you take a 10’x10’x10’ cube, you can fit approximately 3x3x3, or 27 people, if you’re cramming them in as tightly as they can survive. Round down to 20 to make the conditions humane, though still extremely uncomfortable, and that’s about 25 stone per person.

For anything that a modern person would identify as an acceptable living space, yeah, 200 stone definitely sounds about right.

[quote="witness"]

I've fit a dozen people and a table into that amount of space. Thankfully, supplying them for a longer than a single meal was not required.

[/quote]

I still think the issue is that they are sleeping prone and have possessions along -- the usual fighter has a pile of armor and weapons to sleep beside, in case of a nighttime sahuagin raid! That makes 40 square feet of floor space (a 4 foot by 10 foot rectangle, say) seem about right. Otherwise, you'll have the rivets on your cuirasses poking you all night.

I agree that sailors with minimal gear can sleep a bit tighter, though I still think that a factor of ten improvement is overstating it. Maybe a factor of 4 to 6, with double row of high and low hammocks.

I imagine that Hammocks allow for a lot more space. Rewatching PotC Dead Mans Chest when Jack goes down to get more rum all the crew are in hammocks which don't looks as packed as I imagined.

[quote="Demons_eye"] I imagine that Hammocks allow for a lot more space. Rewatching PotC Dead Mans Chest when Jack goes down to get more rum all the crew are in hammocks which don't looks as packed as I imagined.  [/quote]

The use of hammocks might be regarded as a bit ahistorical in a medieval fantasy game. They were really a New World invention, and didn't come into common European use until a century after Columbus brought them back from the West Indies. Though admittedly it wouldn't be the only anachronism to leak over from the Golden Age of Piracy into rpg settings.

[quote="EHamilton"]

I imagine that Hammocks allow for a lot more space. Rewatching PotC Dead Mans Chest when Jack goes down to get more rum all the crew are in hammocks which don't looks as packed as I imagined.

-Demons_eye

The use of hammocks might be regarded as a bit ahistorical in a medieval fantasy game. They were really a New World invention, and didn't come into common European use until a century after Columbus brought them back from the West Indies. Though admittedly it wouldn't be the only anachronism to leak over from the Golden Age of Piracy into rpg settings.

[/quote]

That wouldn't be too much of a bother for our games. Players concently are adding in modern ideas: longships in a non-viking area, Nationalism, Rights as living beings (Beastmen/Monsters are cool sometimes), and much more. At the end of the game I was running the mechinist was making a howitzer basicly. The next game is set roughly 30 years in the future had changed a lot because of these things, slavery of any kind was basicly outlawed because of that breathing time.

Lately I've been looking into data on wooden ships (and smaller water vehicles) to generate statistics for them. As a starting point I've been using a spreadsheet of GURPS (3rd ed.) Vehicles to calculate some benchmarks and comparing them to GURPS 4th ed., OD&D and real world data.

One thing that stands out is that the limit on cargo is quite dissimilar on smaller crafts than on larger ones. (Square-cube law and all that.) On small vessels the volume is limited, on large ones the mass (buyoance from displaced water). So in general on smaller vessels any accomodations will be more cramped.

The value of cargo space per passanger in ACKS (200 stone) is roughly one tun (one ton of mass and a roughly a cubic meter of volume). As such it's probably more of a measure of cargo space lost than cargo mass lost (one passanger only weights around 20 stone). There are around 30 tuns to a 10' dungeon cube, and fitting that many people into such a space would be cramped (stacking 6 bunks/hammocks of 2.5'x7.5' in 5 layers remind me of the chicken-wire bunks of the Walled City).

As a comparison GURPS: Vehicles has 1-4 people per 10' cube for cabins and 10 people for bunks/hammocks. GURPS: Traveller has 1-2 people per stateroom (an old Traveller standard) and 6-16 people in bunkrooms, but requires an extra 10' cube for other facilities and access for both. BTRC's VDS has 1-3 people in quarters and up to 13 in bunk rooms per 10' cube.

Looking at these values the 200 stone/passanger should really be the minimum and in small or open topped vessels will only be feasible by having people sleep under tents on the deck or bottom of the craft. For anything more comfortable or even luxurious, allocate more cargo per passanger (and the fee should be increased in similar proportion if you're paying for passage instead of owning your ship). Maybe 200 stone for steerage (20 gp), 600 stone for third class (60 gp), 3000 stone for second class (300 gp) and 6000 stone for first class (600 gp) equivalents or something in the neighborhood.