• Justin Handlin

Captains & Cannons



Captains & Cannons is a guide to ship combat in Dungeons and Dragons. One of the greatest things about 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons is its speed and accessibility. Rules are simplified, combat is sped up, and minutiae is abstracted in order to create a fast, flexible and easy-to-play game. This module attempts to simulate ship combat as close as

possible, while still maintaining the same speed and accessibility that made 5e such a success. Inside Captains and Cannons, the rules are intended to be as easy to learn as possible and are easily graspable by any player that can understand basic combat.


Note that these rules are not intended to replace the traditional flow of combat that players would be accustomed to in order to focus their attention on two ships doing battle. Instead, the rules are intended to be layered on top of traditional combat to allow players on the microscale to affect outcomes on the macro scale. As such, when reading this module, DMs are encouraged to imagine ways that the somewhat basic and straightforward combat between two ships can result in difficulties and challenges on the ships themselves that the players need to address. A fire breaking out on the deck, men being tossed overboard or a band of Sahuagin climbing the sides of the ship; all of these are potential ways to turn the players from ordinary crewmen, into heroes of the seas.


It's worth noting, that D&D has released a ruleset for naval combat in an Unearthed Arcana and expanded on the rules in the Saltmarsh books. But honestly, I wasn't super impressed with them. This Dmsuild product was much more lean and streamlined, that in my opinion fits the 5th Edition feel just perfect.


Beyond just new ships and details to go along with them. This product also includes detailed weather conditions and their impact on the ships at sea; from fog to water currents. This certainly something that can easily be overlooked, but the Drifters Game Workshop crew thought ahead and included it in the document.


My favorite part, and honestly, the part of this product that I've used the most is the Encounters section. In it, not only do you get encounters on the seas. But details on the boats, and more importantly, its crew. Captains and Cannons offer tactics of the ship in combat, detailed crew members and their motives, and cool captains such as Captain Chainedheart of the Drowned Maiden. Each well detailed to easily drop right into your naval stories and campaigns. If you're looking for a powerful resource for high seas adventures, I highly recommend Captains and Cannons. Get it Here!


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Character Concept:

Captain Jonathan Drake (Captains & Cannons)

Captain Jonathan Drake, the captain of the Torchrunner, was once the most lauded officer in the entire royal navy, having led multiple expeditions into uncharted waters and territories. Boisterous, yet charming, he dazzled both high society and the common folk with the tales of his daring and the exotic goods he brought back from his travels. On one trip however, his luck seemed to run out. Caught in a ferocious storm, Drake was shipwrecked on the coast of an uncharted island. The crew of the Torchrunner would have died right there on that beach, had it not been for the Red Dragonborn High Priestess: Shara Raelor. Whether through stroke of fortune, or twist of fate, the island was not deserted but in fact populated by a cult of Tiamat.


Monster Variant:

Spelleater

Origin Ghast:

New Feature:

Innate Spellcasting: Intelligence score

2/Day Counterspell

Devour Magic: A spell eater can project a cone of