Zeppelins (3.5e Equipment)

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Scales.png This page is of questionable balance. Reason: Zeppelins are not "intensely complex". There is an engineering hurdle - you need a light alloy for the frame, a method of producing a lifting gas, and a mechanism to make it go forwards (this page doesn't describe any of these). But learning to operate it shouldn't be much harder than learning to operate a ship. The reliance on goblins is bizarre. Piloting shouldn't be a binary yes/no based on Intelligence, it should be based on skill checks.


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Well, I won't deny that it's something no dwarf had ever thought of. But then again, you have to remember that no dwarf would ever even consider the idea. Going aboveground is bad enough. Leaving the ground entirely? Out of the question.
—Lewis Sevenstone, dwarf machinist

Soaring through the sky need no longer be the sole domain of birds and magicians. After many years of work, an ingenious group of goblin craftsmen and machinists have taken the concept of the hot air balloon and made it into a viable form of transportation- the zeppelin.

Originally developed by the goblins, the zeppelin is essentially an oversized zucchini-shaped balloon filled with lifting gas, with devices attached to allow the craft to move against the wind currents. They vary in size based on their form of construction and intended purpose, but for the sake of Size tables are almost all capable of being counted as Colossal. Their dimensions are universally 2 by 1 by 1, and the average length of a zeppelin is 100 feet. Due to their not-necessarily-reliable nature, they are almost exclusively privately owned, as few governments are willing to take the responsibility of handling the mess should something go wrong.

Zeppelins are the craftsmanship of the goblins, who for some time have been developing these contraptions. They are only affordable by well-to-do companies or extremely rich individuals, and as such tend to be manufactured with them in mind. Those zeppelins owned by companies are usually used to ferry goods and equipment over terrain too rough or dangerous for traditional methods of transportation, and tend to be highly utilitarian and basic. Those owned by individuals are almost exclusively used for pleasure- usually to host parties and events flaunting the individual's wealth- and as such tend to be ornately decorated and outfitted. No matter the type, a goblin is always required to act as the pilot, as no-one else has been able to figure out how the things work. It costs around 100,000gp to purchase a zeppelin, and about one-fourth that to secure passage on one owned by someone else. Maintenance of such a craft runs on average about 10,000gp a month- more if it is somehow damaged through combat or collision with the environment. Zeppelins move at 100ft (Average Maneuverability) per round and can carry (at maximum) 40 people.

Piloting a Zeppelin

Due to the intensely complex nature of a zeppelin, one usually has to be a goblin to have any idea of how to pilot the things- and even then, having an INT score lower than 10 will make such an act impossible. Non-goblins need an INT of at least 18 to have any hope of piloting such a craft.



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