Well, here it is a year since my last equipment post, and I might as well pick up where I left off. Here is the shipbuilder's table:
I can honestly say this is the first time I've been happy with this table. It's a frustrating problem, calculating details into the making and price of ships so that they have more 'guts' to them than just a name and a price. Ultimately, it would be nice to have deckplans for ships too, which complimented the figures above - alas, however, I am not much of a draftsman, and I do not have the time. I'd make an effort if someone bought one of these or seized one, but players are notoriously uncomfortable with sea adventures, since one bad storm comes up and the party is drowned.
Several of these items do serve as weapons - a marlinspike, or a serving mallet or a belaying pin, for instance. I think probably the rule would be that previous experience with a dagger, warhammer or club would serve as proficiency with these 'weapons.'
The above table is based on prices in Lubeck, where the online party happens to be at the moment. Thus, most ship items are available. The "No." column above is meant to indicate the number of such items which may be purchased per party member per week. More information about the elements of the table can be found here, and of course I'm available for questions.
I haven't much to say, I suppose, despite this table representing a hell of a lot of work. I have added an additional 'area' for purchases - the Dockside:
(I've dropped the blue and pink columns as they were blank for this particular representation - normally they'd be present).
This shows the element I intend to work on hardest this year regarding the equipment tables: hireling costs. I've never had a decent set up for these, not being quite sure how to calculate them. However, I've had some ideas this last few months, and I'll be implementing them going forward. I'll be updating those in the past as much as possible, once I get through these others I did not do last year. I think the prices above are most reasonable. They are much, much less than they would be in other parts of the world, since Lubeck exists just off centre of shipbuilding activity in Europe in the 17th century. It used to be the center in the 14th, but that has since moved to Amsterdam.
As I reflect upon the last year, I have tried and continue to try to produce meaningful additions to the rules of the game, in addition to simply talking. I am now in my 5th year of blogging, and I am proud that I am not simply reworking the same tired rules I was putting up in 2008. I have a lot of new places to go, and new work to do, including ideas that I've had that never reached fruition (the hex generator, which I will get back to someday, is a good example), and things I've never mentioned.
I hope these tables offer something insightful to the DMs who read this blog, and encourage them to write more elaborate rules that go farther than I have gone. If you do, take your time, get into the real details and don't worry that it is getting too complex. My online blog proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that what the best players really want is a more detailed, complex world that pulls them in as deep as possible.