|Used Primarily By||Humans, elves|
|Cost|| Battle Dolphin: 77,000 gp
Dolphin Shuttle: 5,500 gp
|Tonnage|| Battle Dolphin: 70 tons
Dolphin Shuttle: 5 tons
|Hull Points|| Battle Dolphin: 70
Dolphin Shuttle: 5
|Crew (Min/Max)|| Battle Dolphin: 12/70 (total weapon crew: 6)
Dolphin Shuttle: 4/5 (total weapon crew: 0)
|Man-Days of Fresh Air|| Battle Dolphin: 8,400
Dolphin Shuttle: 600
|Maneuver Class|| Battle Dolphin: D
Dolphin Shuttle: C
|Landing - Land||No|
|Landing - Water|| Battle Dolphin: No
Dolphin Shuttle: Yes
|Armour Rating|| Battle Dolphin: 5
Dolphin Shuttle: 6
|Saves As||Thick wood|
|Power Type|| Battle Dolphin: Major helm
Dolphin Shuttle: Major or minor or boat helm
|Ship's Rating||As per helmsmen|
|Standard Armament|| Battle Dolphin: 2 Medium Catapults (crew: 3)
Dolphin Shuttle: None
|Cargo|| Battle Dolphin: 35 tons
Dolphin Shuttle: 4 tons
|Keel Length|| Battle Dolphin: 250'
Dolphin Shuttle: 40'
|Beam Length|| Battle Dolphin: 30'
Dolphin Shuttle: 15'
|Source||Legend of Spelljammer, The|
The graceful Battle Dolphin is the latest human ship to appear in any quantity in the void. It combines a number of design features that make it a highly versatile ship. The bulk of the Battle Dolphin is enclosed to protect the crew. While this limits the number of weapons emplacements aboard the Dolphin, most crews consider the protection to be worth it. The Battle Dolphin maintains an upper surveillance level which places it above the decks of opposing ships. Most importantly, the galleonlike portion of the upper deck can separate from the main ship and make planetary landings. This Dolphin Shuttle is designed for handling in space; however it appears to be a small groundling ship. This makes it easy to trade with groundlings without attracting undue attention. While the Dolphin Shuttle is very small, it carries far more cargo than most ships its size, making it very useful for short trading trips.
The crew configuration of a Battle Dolphin depends largely on whether the ship's owner can afford a second helm for the Dolphin Shuttle. If not, then a single major helm is used for both ships, and is mounted on the Shuttle. The Dolphin Shuttle becomes the bridge for the entire ship, and holds the command officers. If two helms are used, the Battle Dolphin bridge and officers are found on the officers' deck, necessitating a second crew for the Dolphin Shuttle. Typically in this configuration the first mate will serve as the commanding officer for the Dolphin Shuttle. The Battle Dolphin can operate with a surprisingly small crew for a ship its size, leaving room for a significant number of passengers or boarding troops, depending on the ship's use. While most Battle Dolphins are operated by human crews, the Imperial Elven Navy has deemed the ship suitable for elven use. Elven crews are arranged along strict military lines, and will always include a second helm for the Dolphin Shuttle.
Trader: The Battle Dolphin, despite the name, was actually designed to serve as a trade vessel. The main ship can carry large cargos between space ports, while the Dolphin Shuttle allows for easy trade with groundlings. The Battle Dolphin is an unpopular target for pirate attacks, since the ship is capable of defending itself adequately in ship-to-ship combat, and since it frequently carries large numbers of marines. The enclosed nature of the ship makes it impossible for even a sharp-eyed, experienced lookout to guess at how many warriors may be on board.
Warship: The versatility of the Battle Dolphin has made it a popular addition to many navies. While it is not as hard-hitting as the more common Hammership, it can still be highly effective in battle. Most importantly, a Battle Dolphin serves as an excellent support vessel while still being capable of defending itself, making an escort unnecessary. In a fleet, Battle Dolphins will most frequently serve either as supply ships, or as troop transports. Some military Battle Dolphins use Dolphin Shuttles that have been armed, typically with either a single medium catapult or ballista, in order to provide more versatility in combat. Elven Battle Dolphins usually carry several Flitters in addition to the Dolphin Shuttle, using the rear balcony as a docking area.
Adventurer's Ship: The versatility of the Battle Dolphin, along with the low crew requirements, makes the vessel popular with adventurers and other small parties. The ability of the Dolphin Shuttle to land on worlds without attracting attention is the primary attraction of this craft, however, since adventurers often have missions which require subtlety. At the same time, the powerful Battle Dolphin in orbit provides the firepower that is needed if subtlety fails. Most adventurers operate Battle Dolphins with fairly small crews, typically made up of the adventuring party itself, along with a few trusted retainers.
Narwhal: Since the Battle Dolphin is still a new ship, few other configurations have become common (although owners often change the weaponry to suit their needs). The exception to this is the Narwhal. The Narwhal adds a piercing ram attached to the forward bridge, removing the windows in the process. These ships tend to be used solely as warships, and often include extra weaponry. Narwhals can be truly deadly ships, and have quickly gained a dangerous reputation.
- Spelljammer reference: 1065XXX1903
- TSR reference: TSR 1065
- ISBN: 1-56076-134-2