>>I don't think that starting
>>characters would be the entire crew for a ship.
>Well, they are. Too late to change that and, I would have thought, the
>obvious default for a campaign. Sure, it means you are relatively minor
>and inexperienced by the standards of ship's crews, but that's why your
>hero band has to grow and develop in ability. It wouldn't be much fun to
>be a member of somebody else's shipboard Hero Band, now would it?
Realistically, though, it's unlikely that a complete set of novices would suddenly acquire a ship of their own and go sailing in her.
Far more likely that an experienced captain would hire replacements for dead/retired/missing crew, and they'd gradually learn the ropes and be trained in the needed skills... until after many years of experience, they were ready to be captains themselves.
Of course, the concept of an inexperienced crew *can* make an interesting start to the campaign... Perhaps the rest of the crew just died in a plague/killed by mermen, and the survivors have to steer the ship to safety? Perhaps pirates attacked their village, got themselves killed, and now the clan owns a fine new ex-pirate ship and doesn't know what to do with it? Or maybe the PCs come from a village that has just been visited by Dormal, and they're inexperienced because *everyone* except Dormal's own crew is inexperienced?
All interesting campaign concepts... but not "normal" ones.
The other simple alternative, though, is to have an NPC Opener on the ship. If that's all (s)he does - cast the Opening ritual - it wouldn't be too disruptive.
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