Barges are used to carry large shipments of bulk cargo, such as ghost rock. Barges are unpowered and must be pushed or towed by another ship (see Tugboat). They are not very maneuverable nor particularly seaworthy, so they are typically encountered in the relatively calm waters of the Maze’s main channels. The hull acts as Armor + 3. Treat all critical hits during vehicular combat as Chassis or Crew.
Common Weapons: Most barges are unarmed when carrying cargo. Empty barges can be fitted with nearly any weapon imaginable and carry the crew to man them.
The Rockies have a number of “war barges” they use inareas with pirate problems. The walls have been built up to resemble a small, floating fortress, complete with firing parapets and cannon ports. Even the boldest Maze Rats think twice before tangling with one of these vessels. Heavily armed and armored barges are also used by many toll booth operators, to ensure that they actually collect the fees they’re charging.
Acc/Top Speed: 0/0; Toughness: 13 (3); Crew: 2+100;
Cost: $1000 Notes: +50% to fuel consumption; –2 to Boating rolls; –1 Acc and Top Speed.
Cost: Small: $30,000; Large: $75,00
These are ocean-going ships used to carry all sorts of cargo. The freighters that frequent the waters of the Maze normally arrive filled with food and merchandise and leave with a heavy load of fundaments.
Smaller freighters are maneuverable enough to leave the main channels and service many of the more remote mesa towns. Most carry a steam launch to ferry goods to towns along dangerous or extremely narrow channels.
Large freighters serve the same function as their smaller cousins, but lack the speed and maneuverability to safely leave the main channels. These ships call on Lost Angels and Shan Fan and trade with some of the major towns along the West and North channels.
Common Weapons: Most small freighters carry a Gatling or two for protection; one cannon is common. Large freighters carry at least a pair of Gatlings. Matched pairs of port and starboard cannons are common, with another set fore and aft. Ships that spend a lot of time away from the main channels are better equipped—Gatlings are standard, and the larger ships may have any number of side-mounted cannons.
Acc/Top Speed: 4/10; Toughness: 13 (3); Crew: 6+14; Cost: $30,000 Notes: Travels 25 miles per pound of ghost rock.
Acc/Top Speed: 2/5; Toughness: 16 (5); Crew: 12+28; Cost: $75,000 Notes: Travels 10 miles per pound of ghost rock.
These armed patrol ships are common among the three navies fighting for control of the Maze. There are quite a few in civilian hands as well—the Rockies and the various rail barons own a whole mess of them. Though they can’t match the Maze runner in speed and maneuverability, gunboats are rugged and reliable.
Common Weapons: Minimum armament for these ships is a pair of wing-mounted Gatlings and a pair of port and starboard mounted cannons. Most have an additional stern mounted Gatling and “bow chaser” cannon to boot.
Acc/Top Speed: 8/20; Toughness: 12 (2); Crew: 8+10;
Cost: $40,000 Notes: Travels 30 miles per pound of ghost rock.
These ships were designed for use in the Maze and are much smaller and more maneuverable than standard ironclads. Their heavy armor and low freeboard make them vulnerable to the currents of the Maze. The vast majority of these ships are in the service of one of the three navies in the Maze, but a few have been seen flying railroad colors.
Common Weapons: The most common weapon configuration for these ships is three muzzleloader cannons mounted port and starboard, and another two cannons mounted fore and aft. More are possible.
Acc/Top Speed: 5/15; Toughness: 18 (7); Crew: 12+20; Cost: $100,000 Notes: Travels 10 miles per pound of ghost rock.
This is a fast and maneuverable ship capable of quickly closing with the enemy for a boarding action. It is little more than a hull and an engine; the boarding party waiting on the rear deck of the boat is fairly exposed.
Common Weapons: Most crews carry a number of pistols, a sword or knife, and the occasional scattergun, thus preparing for hand-to-hand combat. Some crews like to have a sharpshooter or two aboard to pick off any enemy gun crews they can put in their sights. The knife boats have a two-man crew that stays aboard during the fighting. One man pilots while the other mans a Gatling gun mounted on the starboard side.
Acc/Top Speed: 20/40; Toughness: 8 (2); Crew: 2+13; Cost: $5000 Notes: Travels 50 miles per pound of ghost rock.
The Maze runner is a ship specifically designed for use in the canyons of the Great Maze by Smith & Robards. It’s a speedy number with independently geared side paddlewheels. These can rotate in opposite directions, allowing the ship to pivot in place.
The Maze Runner has an open rear deck with bench seats and a partially enclosed driver’s cockpit. There’s room for cargo or bunks in a small bow cargo hold.
Common Weapons: Those who can afford one of these babies usually like to protect their investment—a Gatling gun or two is the norm. A fully tricked-out Maze Runner direct from the Smith & Robards factory also mounts a cannon and a trio of steam Gatlings.
Acc/Top Speed: 10/30; Toughness: 10 (2); Crew: 3+5; Cost: $15,000 Notes: Travels 30 miles per pound of ghost rock.
These are the most common boats encountered in the Maze, the real workhorse of the everyman. They are lifeboat-sized craft powered by a small steam engine (think African Queen).
Most mining towns have at least one of these boats around for supply runs and taking mined fundaments to the Rockies’ collection ships. Many larger ships carry one as a lifeboat, and the majority of the ferry services also use these useful little boats.
Common Weapons: Usually only the personal weapons carried by crew and passengers. In a pinch, you could fit a Gatling in the bow.
Acc/Top Speed: 4/10; Toughness: 8 (2); Crew: 1+7; Cost: $2000 Notes: Travels 40 miles per pound of ghost rock.
One of Smith & Robards’ latest offerings, the steam sled has gained instant popularity in the Maze. The sled is a small ghost-rock boiler mounted on a large pontoon. Two high-speed screws propel the sled through the water. The crew sit on the pontoon in front of the boiler.
Common Weapons: Normally only the driver’s personal weapons.
Acc/Top Speed: 20/40; Toughness: 5 (1); Crew: 1+1; Cost: $3000 Notes: Travels 80 miles per pound of ghost rock.
Tugs are short, stubby craft with over-sized engines. They’re not fast, but they are powerful. They usually have a small cabin on deck for the crew and are maneuvered from a tall conning tower that allows visibility all around the ship. Tugs are used to push ore barges through the Maze, and occasionally to help heavily-laden freighters away from the docks. Whenever a tug is encountered, roll 1d6–3. The result is the number of ore barges the tug is pushing. Each full barge subtracts 1 from the driver’s Boating rolls, reduces the tug’s Acceleration and Top Speed by 1, and increases fuel consumption by + 50%. Halve these penalties for empty barges (rounded down).
The Rockies have a few tugs dedicated to towing the war barges mentioned earlier. No one likes to see one of these steaming toward their town. It’s a sure sign that trouble is brewing.
Common Weapons: Most tugs carry some weapons to defend the barges. Gatling guns mounted on the roof are the most common, and a bow and stern cannon are typical. The crews of most tugs are well-armed too.
Acc/Top Speed: 5/10; Toughness: 12 (2); Crew: 4+10; Cost: $10,000 Notes: Travels 25 miles per pound of ghost rock.