Yarr! I be needin' the plans fer pirate ships!
March 26, 2007 9:55 PM   Subscribe

Where can I get deck plans for pirate ships? Websites are welcome, a good book or two of many different ship plans would be ideal.

I'm planning to run a roleplaying game which will be all about PIRATES! And what good is a pirate game without lots of pirate ships? And for these ships, I need -maps-; layouts of all the decks, what rooms are used for, and so forth.

I've Googled and turned up a ship or two here and there, but most of them are for modern-refitted ships which have big cozy passenger cabins and places for engines; Bah!

And some of the sites have the top deck plan view, but that's not enough; I need the underdecks as well, so we can fight, 5-foot-step by 5-foot-step, up and down gangways and in and out of holds.

The RPG supplements I have seen usually only have the top deck, or are hopelessly weird (magic ships with big wings?!) or too ancient in design (triremes, etc).

I just want plain ol' PIRATE SHIPS, and I want all the decks of them, from the crow's nest to the bilges. Yaaar! Any links to such plans are welcome, but if someone knows of a good single book or two with lots of different ships and their layouts, that would be great!

Thanks in advance!
posted by Rubber Soul to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Play some http://www.puzzlepirates.com for inspiration. They have lots of different ships. Though, it's a pretty good role playing game about pirating itself...
posted by ill3 at 10:11 PM on March 26, 2007

Best answer: This review of the D&D supplement Stormwrack seems to suggest that it has 5 deck plans and the stats for 20 ships. A google search brings up Ships of the Goblinoids, complete with some free PDF plans you can download off that page. If it's a ship your campaign will be spending a lot of time on, it might be easier in the long run to make up your own plans...
posted by tim_in_oz at 11:02 PM on March 26, 2007

Pirate ships were not purpose-built. In the "great age" of Piracy in the Caribbean, most of them were captured galleons which were repurposed as pirate ships, usually by upgunning them.

Any deck plan you can find for a galleon should serve you fine.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:08 PM on March 26, 2007

Best answer: This rpg.net thread has a lot of arguing and confusion, as is par for the course, but also has a number of book recommendations and helpful links. This thread also has some stuff. And here's a page with deck plans of the HMS Surprise (from the Aubrey/Maturin books).
posted by inkyz at 11:49 PM on March 26, 2007

Best answer: I thought of a couple of historic ships projects I'd heard of. Would this cutaway of the Mary Rose be any use? She might be a bit early. The Duyfken is a bit closer to the what I'm guessing is the period, though the build your own cutout plans seem to be missing. They might go back up.
posted by Abiezer at 12:21 AM on March 27, 2007

Best answer: You need this book.

You also need to read at least SOME of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey Maturin books, because otherwise you might not get a feel for what it's like to live and fight on a ship. Not exactly your time period, but pretty good.

Basically, there are no rooms on a ship. Its two or three extremely narrow decks(like five feet of headroom on each) where everyone hangs there hammock at night, and then a hold. Any temporary walls are easily taken down, and usually have to be in order to fight the ship.
posted by OldReliable at 6:38 AM on March 27, 2007

Best answer: This thread is from a forthcoming MMO I've been following. The developers are encouraging users to submit ship plans for inclusion in the game. Yet, the ships must be based on true real-life designs. So you will find a ton of stuff in this thread, from books and resources, to 3-D models you can download and open give you have the right software.
posted by poppo at 6:51 AM on March 27, 2007

Build your own pirate ship out of cardboard.
posted by Frank Grimes at 5:25 PM on March 27, 2007

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