The Bosun

Naval Combat

You gain one maneuver per action, per turn.
The bosun controls the speed with which the ship moves, the boarding crew, and in-combat repairs upon the ship.

Full Ahead/Heave To
Full Ahead/Heave To is an action. The Bosun is in charge of determining the speed of the vessel by ordering the crew to lay on more sail or draw the sails in. This changes the ship’s speed by its acceleration up or down a step not exceeding maximum speed.

Look Alive
Look Alive is an action. The Bosun drives the crew to pay close attention to their jobs making the ship sail smoothly and well. With a successful DC 10 Profession (sailor) check you grant the Helmsman a +2 on Profession (sailor) checks to pilot the ship. This is basically an Aid Another, a good default for when the other actions don’t apply.

Take Cover
Take Cover is an action. The Bosun orders the crew protect themselves from incoming siege weapon fire, magical attacks, or to brace for the impact of a ram etc… the Helmsman receives a -4 penalty to Profession (sailor) checks to pilot the ship, and the Master at Arms receives -4 to attacks with siege weapons, but the crew gets +8 cover bonus to AC and +4 to reflex saves (replacing their normal cover bonuses as occupants of a ship).

Fix It
Fix It is an action. The Bosun uses this command whenever there is a mishap or problem on the ship either due to siege weapon damage or any other reason: a spar breaks, a sail flies loose, something catches fire, a siege engine misfires etc… This gives the helmsman and Master at Arms the same penalties as “Take Cover”, but with a successful Craft (ships) check (DC set by GM depending on severity of damage) the problem can be jury-rigged sufficiently to remove any penalties or prevent further damage.

Grappling is an action. Grappling is an action, and gives the Helmsman and the Master at Arms the same penalties as “Take Cover”. When the crew of one ship wishes to board an enemy ship and attack its crew, they must first grapple the other ship. To grapple, the two ships must be within 1 hex of one another (in other words, they must be in adjacent squares on the battle mat). If both Bosuns want to grapple, grappling is automatically successful. The two crews throw out grappling lines and draw the ships together. If both ships are reduced to a speed of 0 as the result of a ramming maneuver, they are also considered grappled.

If only one Bosun wants to grapple, she must make a combat maneuver check against the target ship’s CMD, using the base CMB of the ship plus the Bosun’s sailing skill modifier (or Wisdom skill modifier if she is using that ability to control the ship) as the total CMB of the grappling maneuver. If the check is successful, the target ship is grappled. On the next round, the two ships are moved adjacent to one another, and the speed of both ships is reduced to 0. If a ship has less than its full crew complement, the Bosun takes a –10 penalty on her combat maneuver check to make a grappling maneuver.

Breaking a Grapple: The Bosun of a grappled ship can attempt to break the grapple by making a combat maneuver check against the opposing ship’s CMD, but at a –4 penalty. If the check is successful, the crew has cut the grappling lines and the freed ship may now move as normal.

Boarding is an action. Once two ships are grappled, a crew can board the other ship. The Bosun with the highest initiative can choose whether to board the opposing ship with her crew first or wait for the opposing crew to board her ship. Characters boarding an opposing ship are considered flat-footed for the first round of shipboard combat, due to the difficulty of climbing over the ships’ rails and finding footing on the enemy deck. Characters using a corvus to board another ship are not considered flat-footed.

The Bosun

Syrik: Valhalla satheyo satheyo