Slothjemian Spelljammers; Dragon-class Frigate

The 80-ton Dragon-class frigates are the backbone of the Slothjemian spelljamming fleets. Not as quick or maneuverable as a corvette these ships are unflinchingly tough and pack a tremendous punch. If they are unable to run down and grind an opponent into dust with its ram then they can unleash a devastating broadside attack with nine medium cannon on each side of the ship. In addition to these measures there are two more medium cannon mounted facing forward in the forecastle, two light cannon mounted facing aft on the gun deck, and a total of eight medium ballistae on the main and stern castle decks along with a medium catapult on both the forecastle and stern castle decks. As is typical of Slothjemian spelljammers they are heavily crewed due to their weaponry and thus do not do much in the form of long-range activities.

As in the Drake-class corvettes there are large cargo doors (1) to allow freight to be loaded into the gun deck and cargo hold. There is considerably more room in the Dragon-class ships though for crew. Crew junior officers share a large cabin (2) in the fore of the cargo deck. Petty officers share quarters nearby (4) as do the chief petty officers (3). General freight is stored in the main hold (5). The ship’s marine complementDragon Class have a number of cabins for enlisted men (6 and 7), noncommissioned officers (8), and officers (9). There is also a small brig for prisoners (10).

Foodstuffs for the crew are stored in twin rooms (11 and 12) on the forward part of the gun deck. The forward powder magazine (13) is heavily shielded to keep fire sources and sparks out, as is the aft powder magazine (15). The bulk of the gun deck (14) is dedicated to the medium cannon that give the Dragon-class frigates their fearsome reputation, and among the guns their crews bunk in hammocks or on the deck. The artillery officers have a cabin (16) just behind the aft powder magazine. More food storage is provided in cabins (17 and 18) to the rear of the vessel on the gun deck. In the very rear of the ship is where the non-commissioned artillery officers have their quarters (19).

The forward battery is in the front portion of the forecastle structure (20). The rest of the forecastle is devoted to the galley (21). The bridge (22) and helm are placed to give the commander and helmsman the best possible vantage point in the stern castle structure. The navigation and chart room (23) sits between the bridge and the executive officer’s cabins where the ship’s commander (24) and helmsmen (25) bivouac.

On the deck of the stern castle is mounted an adjustable “dragon wing” sail to aid in maneuvering that stands about 70’ tall when fully extended. Like the Drake-class corvettes the Dragon-class frigates also have lower adjustable “dragon wing” sails that extend downward from just below the gun deck at an angle. Even with these aides the vessel is not notably easy to turn, giving it a maneuverability rating of “D”. Because of its sheer size the Dragon-class requires a major spelljamming helm in order to function. This coupled with the more powerful mages and clerics that usually end up being selected to serve as helmsmen can make the frigates even faster than a corvette.