Illithid Dreadnought (Spelljammer Supplement)

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Illithid Dreadnought[edit]

Built By: Illithids

Used Primarily By: Illithids

Cost: 90,000 gp

Hit Points: 900

Damage Threshold: 20

Crew: 20/100

Max ability modifier: +1

Landing—Land: No

Landing—Water: Yes

Armor Class: 16

Standard Armament:

  • 2 large catapults
  • 4 medium ballistae
  • 1 jettison
  • Piercing Ram

Cargo(tons): 210

Keel Length: 175'

Beam Length: 95'


The newest and largest ship in the illithid fleets, the Dreadnought represents the full exploitation of the pool helm's ability to move ships larger than 50 tons. The Dreadnought looks like a great snail shell laid on its side, resting on two hulls. The hulls are similar to the forward section of a standard Nautiloid. One of the hulls is known as the command hull, and contains the officers' quarters, while the other is the battle hull, and is used for ramming (although the command hull could also be used for ramming if needed). Both hulls mount catapults for assaults. The interior of the shell is a single great vault, similar to the interior of a Nautiloid. Walkways around the perimeter provide access to the ballista stations and the various officers' posts. The vault is lit with red hues and dominated by the glowing pool that provides the motive force for spelljamming. The captain's post is on a catwalk over the pool.

Ship Uses[edit]

Diplomacy: Dreadnoughts have only appeared very recently, and have so far been primarily used in large-scale mind flayer activity, in particular in cases where the illithids want to drive a particular point home. Usually in such 'diplomatic' missions, the Dreadnought will be escorted by 2-4 Nautiloids.

Exploration: Lone Dreadnoughts are beginning to be used as exploration craft, particularly in areas known to have active spelljamming races. A large, powerful ship, manned by mind flayers, tends to make a strong impression on newcomers to the spelljamming community. Illithid have used these impressive ships to open up very favorable trade agreements with several organizations already.

Other Configurations[edit]

Pirate Dreadnought: The first Dreadnoughts encountered in many spheres have not been actual representatives of the illithid, but various rogues, outlaws, and pirates who can use a great ship in their raids. It seems that these ships were not actually captured from the mind flayers, but rather the various shipyards building Dreadnoughts had no problem 'losing' a ship or two, which then found its way into other hands. Pirate Dreadnoughts are powered by major helms, and are typically stripped to make them more maneuverable (Max ability modifier raises to +2, while AC drops to 14). They also tend to have additional breaches in the main shell, behind which are mounted up to 6 light ballistae.

Heavy Dreadnought: This experimental version has its hull both thickened and plated, giving the ship an impressive AC of 18, but reducing max ability modifier to +0. The clumsy ship also boasts significantly upgraded weaponry, carrying 4 heavy catapults and 8 heavy ballistae. The cargo capacity of this dangerous vessel is reduced to a mere 12 tons, making it a short-range combat vessel. The Heavy Dreadnought is intended as a defensive craft for the most important illithid bases. In such a role, the Heavy Dreadnought would be badly out-maneuvered by most attackers, and would have to be supported by several Nautiloids in order to make it effective, with the smaller craft herding attackers towards the Heavy Dreadnought. The practicality of this ship has yet to be tested in combat.

Deck Plans[edit]

dreadnaught.gif |Source}}

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