Typical boats with large amounts of their bulk submerged are useless in the Marshes because they just get stuck. Specially-built swamp boats have low, flat bottoms and can be bought in the city.
- Wood rafts, easily made by hand and very simple. Crew 1, Float 1, Bulk 1, Cargo 1. 5 gp.
- A simple dugout canoe, propelled by oars. Crew 1, Float 2, Bulk 1, Cargo 3. 45 gp.
- Airboats, a type of very fast boat with a large air propeller cunningly rotated by intricate machinery at its back that powers it forward. If the propeller takes any damage at all, the airboat moves as though uncrewed until repaired by a specialist. Crew 2, Float 5 (but only a +2 on stealth-related rolls unless you turn the propeller off), Bulk 3, Cargo 6. 500 gp.
- Swamp trawlers are large steam-powered boats with cabins and everything! Activating the fishing gear lets you catch enough fish to feed a whole adventuring party for a day, but Float is lowered to 2. No need to roll for environmental decay when you’re in the cabin. Crew 8, Float 4, Bulk 7, Cargo 20. 1250 gp.
You can upgrade your boat, too, and get it painted and named and all that. Here’s a few ways to do it.
- Glass bottom- The entire bottom of your boat is replaced with a pane of clear glass, so you can look down through the swamp’s waters. 100 gp, lose 1 Bulk, you can impress anybody with how cool it looks and spot underwater hazards more easily.
- Armor plating- Your boat is encased in thick, heavy plates of metal. Per 75 gp spent, gain 1 Bulk and lose 1 Float.
- Weapon port- For 175 gp, a ranged weapon port is installed into the boat, which permanently takes up 1 Cargo slot. It fires one projectile per round if somebody is using their turn to manually reload/fire it, and also has space to store about five extra projectiles at a time; any more will need to be stored as Cargo. Here are d4 weapon types- you have to pick which one the port is for when the upgrade is purchased.
2. Swamp muck cannonballs! The weapon port sucks up nasty swamp mud and shoots it out as gloopy cannonballs. They only deal 1d4 damage and they’re useless against other boats, but hey, they’re free.
3. Sunlight beam- By crushing packets of enchanted sands and herbs, the weapon port converts their magical energy into a beam of light that scorches foes. 2d6 damage, 150 gp for six packets. A well-learned alchemist can make the packets for free, but every time a homemade packet is fired, roll an easy alchemy check. On a failure, the packet explodes too early and instead of firing, your boat starts to sink.
4. Normal cannonballs. The old standby. They’re slow- you can only fire them once every 2 rounds- and they deal 3d6 damage. 200 gp for a crate of six of them.
- Mangrove-wood ship’s wheel- this enchanted ship’s wheel, carved with imaged of frolicking manatees, can be installed for 200 gp. It can be controlled mentally by anybody who is either specified during the purchase or spends a full day studying the runes. A person controlling the wheel can steer the boat and act as a Crew member if they are anywhere in a 100 foot radius of the boat.
- Figurehead- For 10 gp, a figurehead of anything you want is created and installed onto the ship. It looks very cool.
- Bigger boat- The boat is made larger. For each 150 gp spent, the boat gains 1 Crew, Cargo, and Bulk and loses 1 Float.
- Newfangled magic propulsion- for 300 gp, a magical propulsion engine is installed, taking up 1 Cargo slot. It constantly belches foul black tar. The boat’s Float stat is doubled. If the system takes any targeted damage, the propulsion system is useless until repaired by a specialist, and the Float stat returns to how it was originally.
- Truesighted spyglass- For 1000 gp, a magical spyglass embedded with glittering blue gems is installed onto the deck. While looking through it, you can see in darkness as though it were bright daylight. Once per day, if looking for something or someone hidden, simply speak its name. The spyglass will swivel to face in its direction. When looking through the spyglass, the hidden thing will appear illuminated by an outline of blazing blue fire.