Gnomish Airships Vehicle in Albion | World Anvil
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Gnomish Airships

These airships are the fastest way around without teleporting. Often used to carry luxury cargo, or to ferry wealthy people around.
The internals of the ship are divided between the passenger area, which is sized for "big people", and the crew area. The passenger area sits below the balloon, and in passanger mode is split into 6 lightweight cabins, a small commode and a dining area. The crew area is in the inside of the balloon, above the passanger area. It consists of a kitchen that serves both crew and passangers, some storage space for food and water immidiatly above the passanger area, 3 cabins for the crew, a crew common area and the cockpit.
The airship looks like a big enflated leathery brown bag from the exterior, with a small, shiny cabin below it.
The crew of the ship is simple. A single captain, who acts as pilot during the day, a navigator who plans the route and keeps them on course, an apprentice pilot who pilots at night, a cook who prepares meals for the passangers and crew, and acts as steward to the passangers, and an engineer/mechanic who manages the engines. Only the cook and captain are ever seen by the passangers, though all of them take watches while in port. There is sometimes an apprentice in their last year of training on board. All crew carry feather fall tokens.
Costs to run an airship: 700 gp/year crew pay, 700 gp/year crew expenses, 500 gp/year maintanance, 1 sp/mile fuel costs.
They fly through a combination magic and physics. The lifting bodies are filled with helium, and deliver around 80% of the lift. The last 20% is provided through magic, mostly a permanant levitate spell. This doesnt actually provide lift, but it reduces the mass of the rest of the ship, which accounts for the difference.
An airship can travel at a pace of 3 hexes per hour for all the sunlight hours in the day. At double the price, they can travel at 5 hexes per hour in daylight and 1 hex per hour at night.


The airship is propelled by a quad of air screws, mounted to the fore and aft in side pairs. These are powered with the burning of oil, but the efficiency of this is increased via magic. Each screw is mounted on a sponson, which can rotate 80 degrees in either direction, and each screw can run in reverse.

Weapons & Armament

The standard gnomish airship does not carry any weaponry, this is to help it travel freely. However, the engines, navigational system, and lifting system are all rigged to self destruct if opened. In addition, the captain has a hand crossbow, and there is an additional one for anyone standing watch while in port.

Armor and defense

The gasbags have special magically self sealing walls, and the cab has a thin layer of a light metal that protects the wood underneath, but it would not stand up to a serious attack.

Communication Tools & Systems

Most airships have a sending stone or two in the captains possesion. It communicates with their home base, but obviously is limited to only 25 words per day. Within the airship gas bag is a small, limited raven homunculus. If it is released, it will navigate back to home, which will tell base that the ship has been brought down.


The eyes of a gnome through the magically reinforced glass of the cockpit.
The airship also has a lodestone pointer, a magestone pointer, and a sextant in the crows nest. With these, it can triangulate its position, typically down to around 5 miles without landmarks. All airships also carry advanced maps, showing the land over which they travel with extreme accuracy to find their position if lost and to accuratly plot trips.
The above mentioned crows nest is a small mildly protected area on the top of the airship accessible from the gnomish part of the ship. From there, an experienced navigator can use a sextant to find their position based on the stars.
Owning Organization
Related Professions
Costs a 300000 gp to build each, but are rented for around 30000 gp per year + expenses
There are ~2000 in total
30 ft
60 ft
30 ft
When flying, +-50 kg. Without lift, 6 tons empty, 10 tons full
10 knots cruising, 15 knots emergency. Can rise/fall at 5 ft/round
Complement / Crew
5-6 gnomes
Cargo & Passenger Capacity
4 tons of cargo or 12 passengers.

Articles under Gnomish Airships


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