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Corsair: The Definitive D20 Guide to Ships
 

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Average Rating:3.9 / 5
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Corsair: The Definitive D20 Guide to Ships
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Corsair: The Definitive D20 Guide to Ships
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Thomas F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/27/2008 10:50:42
This is a great resource for sailing ships during the age of sail. Complete with easy to follow ship combat and ship statistics.

Positives: All-round well put together, informative and useful.

Negatives: I was hoping it would have rules for creating and/or customizing your own ships.

Definitely worth the money!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Corsair: The Definitive D20 Guide to Ships
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Mark A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/02/2007 00:00:00
An excellent product. Very good historical reference for games with good, useable artwork.

DISLIKED: I would have found more realistic artwork or each style of ship more useful. A picture is worth a thousand words. It you can show your players what something looks like, no other explanations are necessary.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Corsair: The Definitive D20 Guide to Ships
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Dave M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/16/2006 00:00:00
An excellent addition to my Skull & Bones campaign and, I've no doubt, to any campaign looking to use the seas more.


LIKED: The layout was crisp, but the best bit is the simplicity of the rules.

DISLIKED: There's nothing not to like!

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Corsair: The Definitive D20 Guide to Ships
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/27/2006 00:00:00
Corsair: The Definitive D20 Guide to Ships is a 64 page PDF (67 with Full color cover, credits & OGL notice page.) It features a system for sailing ships and shipboard combat focusing on the sailing ships of the mid-1600s and 1700s. It also includes rules for adapting the system for ships of earlier eras, and for the age of sail. The guide is made up of 7 chapters and an introduction. Chapter one provides for quantifying the abilities of a ships crew. Chapter two provides an overview of ships as represented in the system, along with stats for several types. Chapter Three provides rules on sailing, including how wind speed and direction affects travel. Chapter four describes the ship to ship combat system. Chapter six provides advanced rules covering topics such as ship repairs, legendary ship types, and crew improvement. Chapter seven provides a selection of rules modifications for adapting the system for sailing vessels in a fantasy situation or during different time periods. Finally, chapter 8 includes a set of deck plans for a brigantine ship, a ship record sheet and crew roster form round out the book.

Corsair quantifies ship combat and sailing vessels in two main ways. First, it quantifies ships by describing the crew as a gestalt entity based on the crewmen that comprise it, and second by defining a ships structural integrity, seaworthiness, and agility via a short-hand stat block. This makes it familiar and easy to use system similar to that presented for combat and monsters in the core rules. The sailing rules provide a decent amount of detail for handling sailing on the open seas, without bogging down land-lubbing dice chuckers with tons of unfamiliar minutiae regarding splice knots, rigging types, the difference between a bosun and focsale, etc. Basically, you get your ?Pirates of the Caribbean? fun without having to learn the history of sail. This is what most players are likely to be after.

The PDF itself is nicely laid out. It is laid out in two columns, with a clear readable font. It features blue gradient sidebars reminiscent of the sea. The cover is a nice full-color piece of a ship engaged in a battle. Pretty, but you will probably want to skip printing it to save on ink. The artwork is of decent to good quality, mostly line illustrations.

Overall, this is a solid product. It features enough detail and ship to ship combat fun to engage players in the imagined salt spray, without having to deal with the drudgery of sanding the barnacles of sailing minutiae. However, it is less use if your not using ships from the period on which it focuses. If you are looking to add sailing rules to your game and feature ships like those present historically from the mid-1600 to 1700s, this is a good buy.



LIKED: Fun ship to ship combat system without the drudgery.

DISLIKED: Limited appeal for other historical/non-historical periods.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Corsair: The Definitive D20 Guide to Ships
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Frank S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/23/2006 00:00:00
The single set of deckplans appear to be taken directly from this webpage, if I'm not mistaken, and have been recolored and relabelled: - http://members.aol.com/batrnq/Surprise/Surprise1.htm

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DISLIKED: Lack of any definitive rules that seperate this from mant other nautical rulesets.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Disappointed


Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Corsair: The Definitive D20 Guide to Ships
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Phillip L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/17/2006 00:00:00
This review is only for the pdf version.

If you have Skull & Bones and want a little more on ships, Corsair is the book for you. However, if you also get Buccaneers & Bokors issues, you will have a lot of redundant information here. There is still enough tidbits to make it worth getting in my opinion. This book has a comprehensive list of ships of the period and the equipment on and characteristics of those ships.

The ship combat rules and too relistic in my opinion, and can make for rather unimpressive results. I would have liked a little more give and take (although not realistic) as well as better maneuverability. However, overall a very good d20 Age of Sail type game.


LIKED: Very polished and complete rules sets. Ship creation and modifying rules a much needed addition to the Skull & Bones game. Maps of Brig very helpful!

DISLIKED: Not enough new info if you already have Skull & Bones. Illustrations could have been better, and only one ship (Brig) has a grid map.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Corsair: The Definitive D20 Guide to Ships
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Julie D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/26/2005 00:00:00
I purchased the print version of this product. I must say it is a wonderful addition to my seafaring arsenal. This is a clear and concise guide to realistic ships, complete with stats for everything from rowboats to Schooners to galleons. There are 20 different vessels described in all. You will also find complete, easy to follow rules for naval combat and the day to day sailing of the vessels, including what is involved in repairing a ship.

One of the cool things about this supplement was the "Legendary" template that can be added to a ship, making it more powerful. Make your vessel truly bard-worthy by adding this template to enhance the ship's stats. Or create the ultimate adversary by placing your evil NPCs on a ship with the "Cursed" template. There are also rules for advancing levels for the ship, and unique feats just for vessels.

The book is really designed for low-magic, no-magic settings, but it does offer a handful of spells designed for fantasy worlds. The spells are balanced and useful, but seem to have been more of an afterthought for the book. In a book exclusively about the ships themselves, I don't think the spells really needed to be added.

There are also some really nice floor plans of different levels of a brigadine vessel and a blank ship record sheet and a blank crew roster to help GMs keep track of all the info during a game.


LIKED: Clear, easy to use, and well researched.

DISLIKED: Would have rather had the spells replaced with more content on the ships themselves. It's not that I didn't like the spells. They just weren't needed.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Corsair: The Definitive D20 Guide to Ships
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by John S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/27/2005 00:00:00
The ship combat rules are good, though I prefer some of the narrative elements from 'Stormwrack'. The navigation rules are a bit more complicated than I liked (too many headings, for example), but they definitely work and are easy to pare down.

LIKED: Ship statistics; statting ships out like creatures instead of using the vehicle rules from WOTC.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Corsair: The Definitive D20 Guide to Ships
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Jeremy S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/26/2005 00:00:00
I have bought several RPG supplements that claim to be useful for a campaign that had naval combat. Two that come to mind are Spelljammer (yeah, it's space, but it had ships, and the combat was lousy) and Pirates of the Fallen Stars. Neither was very useful.

But, Corsair is very useful. The tech level is exactly what I had always hoped for the others to be, and it has materials on altering the tech level if desired.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Corsair: The Definitive D20 Guide to Ships
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Jorge M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/05/2005 00:00:00
Quick summary. The content material of this book is very good for any pirate or seafaring campaign. The delivery of this material however, is poor. Go on and read a different review now.

I cannot give a good rating to a product that has no page numbers for starters. That makes a mess when assembling the book printed out on both sides of paper (or whatever, this complaint does not even merit justification). The table for ship feats contradicts the text explaining when does a ship gain a new feat. How much experience is required to gain a ship level? Not stated. Then there are the typos (inexcusable at an age of automatic spell checking), and an instance of incomplete text where a sentence neither starts, nor ends (can you say cut and paste?). But of course there are no page numbers so I can't say on which page this occurs (actually, it's at the bottom of the page explaining fire damage, see how practical page numbers are?)

Finally there is not one good explanation or example for maneuvering during a battle. Does my ship get to use the broadside or aft weapons in this round? What about the enemy? What weapons will the enemy ship be able to fire this round?

I advise the publisher to correct this pdf and re post it because it has an obvious rushed-no-proof-reading-cut/paste look to it.


LIKED: Props on all the drawings. Very good illustrations. Interesting historical references make it an enjoyable read.

DISLIKED: See above.

QUALITY: Disappointing

VALUE: Disappointed


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Thank you for your opinion, despite the fact that your score seems a bit low for a complaint that is based entirely on page numbering.... One quick factual correction, however: The reason that there is no discussion of how much experience is required to gain a ship level is because the experience chart is standardized in D20, and isn't permitted to be included in products produced under the license. Just use the one that appears in the core rules.
Corsair: The Definitive D20 Guide to Ships
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Edward F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/02/2005 00:00:00
By far one of the best resources for a seafaring campagin I've seen. The statistics are realistic without overwelming the detail.
The rules for movement and atmospher effects are comprehensive and fluid.

LIKED: Crew size and crew complement information was very eye opening.

DISLIKED: Ship measurments are lacking to non-existant

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Corsair: The Definitive D20 Guide to Ships
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Stephen W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/02/2005 00:00:00
I don't know the difference between port and starboard, and if someone asked me to tie anything more complicated than my shoes, we'd be sure to have a nautical disaster on my hands.

Nonetheless, I've enjoyed reading games about ships and the sea, and Corsair is a PDF publication of open gaming content naval rules for the d20 system. The book focuses on ships and fighting tactics from the 17th and 18th centuries, before the Age of Fighting Sail of Nelson and his adversaries.

Corsair describes the different types of ships available, provides rules for the conduct of the crew, and describes how combat can be managed. Obviously, this doesn't cover strict historical details, but it does simulate the crash and thunder of cannon, ramming and boarding attacks. The rules for ship fires have an ominous sense of finality to them.

These rules seem to be reasonably complete for the purposes I can identify, but also seem quite familiar. I feel as if I've read the same concepts in other sourcebooks. That's probably not surprising overall, though ? there are some concepts that simply must be addressed to meet the requirements of the subject and the expectations of the readers and there's no discussion of a game world to enhance the description of the game rules. The book is necessarily a little blander for the lack of flavour text.

The art in the book is well-chosen, and the layout is clear and easy to follow. All it needs are some running headers and page numbers to help the harried naval GM find the right rule on the fly.

While the bulk of the rules deal with a "realistic" naval campaign, there is a chapter on the use of magic and the rules of non-human navies, such as the ships of the elves, and other section on creating magical and monstrous ships by applying the monster templates from the Monster Manual. The idea of a vampire ship appeals to the author, and reminds me of a short story I once read. That's a keen idea.

If the sea is where you want to go, Corsair has the rules to keep you afloat.

LIKED: Clean layout, high-level abstraction of naval and crew combat.

DISLIKED: No running headers or page numbers to help me find the right spot.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Corsair: The Definitive D20 Guide to Ships
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Michael M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/21/2004 00:00:00
ships ships ships, greatness. while i haven't had a chance to look at the other d20 ship books to compare them to, i am impressed with this one.


LIKED: the deck plans, if you need deck plans this book has them brother.

DISLIKED: seems like there could have been more info on crews and how they impact the running of the ship. like having a good trained crew vs. an untrained green crew.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Corsair: The Definitive D20 Guide to Ships
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Andrew M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/06/2004 00:00:00
'Corsair' is well put together and highly readable. As advertised, it targets the time of the Golden Age of Piracy: Sloops, Schooners, Galleons, Corvettes, Frigates and more make up the ships detailed. While this is not high fantasy material it seems very portable and I can see someone converting a First Rate Ship of the Line into a Melnibonean Battle Barge.

It has in depth descriptions of the various classes of ships complete with good classic ship illustrations; this is a rich section that I was surprised to find missing in ?Skull and Bones?. The rules are tailored to work explicitly with the D20 system and seem playable while covering mass combat, cannons, sailing, storms and weather? They lean away from the Hollywood style of close range broadsides for a more realistic approach where you start firing at longer ranges (start thinking along the lines of the first half of ?Master and Commander - Far Side of the World?).

A nicely done set of ship plans (including a cross-section) plus a crew roster and ship record sheets round it out. If you have any desire to run a campaign at sea or even just do a little maritime adventuring I highly recommend this product.


LIKED: Corsair rules and examples are clear and concise, rooted firmly in D20 game logic. The material is dense yet readable and well organized. The ship descriptions are rich with game detail and illustrations.

DISLIKED: There are some minor problems. The ship plans are labeled as a Brigantine but look more like a frigate. While the quality of the ship illustrations overall is good there are some pictures of people that are fairly low in quality, while not that bad a problem they detract from an otherwise outstanding product. The only real annoyance for me is the blue tint on the page edges, which did nothing to make a black and white print of this product look any better.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Corsair: The Definitive D20 Guide to Ships
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Karl T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/29/2004 00:00:00
If you're thinking about taking your campaign to the open seas, you can hardly do better than Adamant Entertainment's "Corsair" -- It provides a broad ruleset for ships and sailing that will serve you well. This is an excellent demonstration of the 'plusses' of the OGL -- Author Gareth-Michael Skarka has woven premium open content into the guide.

LIKED: Solid basis for a seafaring campaign. An excellent value. Legendary Vessels & Ship Feats are cool.

DISLIKED: I liked everything. More is better, tho..... so even more pages (it has 67 pages already) of ship stats and ship plans would be icing on the cake.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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