Built By Arcane
Used Primarily By Gnolls, goblins, humans, illithids
Cost 145,000 gp
Tonnage 50 tons
Hull Points 94
Crew (Min/Max) 15/50 (total weapon crew: 8)
Man-Days of Fresh Air 6,000
Maneuver Class C (see below)
Landing - Land Yes
Landing - Water Yes
Armour Rating 1
Saves As Worst of bone or stone
Power Type Major or minor helm, or lifejammer
Ship's Rating As per helmsman or victim (see below)
Standard Armament Blunt Ram

2 Light Catapults (crew: 1)
2 Light Ballistas (crew: 1)
2 Light Jettisons (crew: 2)

Cargo 25 tons
Keel Length 135'
Beam Length 60'
Source War Captain's Companion

The Triop is a spelljamming ship built by the arcane and used by various spacefaring races.


The Triop is a relatively new ship to the spheres, but it has proven to be an opponent even the elven captains do not wish to engage. Its hard, chitinous shell is extremely difficult to penetrate. The ship has a few small open decks, but the weapons that protrude from these openings limit the amount of walking space.

The maneuvering fins of the Triop, often known as 'flip-fins', are capable of extremely rapid movements, which give the Triops some unique maneuvering characteristics. First, these fins can be rapidly jerked in order to increase or decrease the Triop's SR (even above the normal maximum allowed based on the helmsman) by 2 points for a single round. This ability can be used once every 4 rounds, and can only be safely used on a round in which the Triop travels in a straight line. If any attempt is made to turn in the same round that the SR is increased or decreased in this manner, the stresses will cause the Triop to spin wildly out of control, causing the vessel to face a random direction, and suffer both a Ship Shaken and Maneuverability Loss critical hit, as the Triop's fins are damaged. A Triop can also manipulate its fins to spin and face any direction, but only at the expense of 2 SR points. Only one of these two special maneuvers can be performed in any single 4-round period. If an attempt is made to make a second maneuver before the fins have properly recovered from a previous maneuver, then the fins will be damaged with an automatic Maneuverability Loss critical hit. It should be noted that a Maneuverability Loss critical hit from any source will damage the fins, preventing the Triop from performing any special maneuvers until the vessel is repaired.

The Triop's blunt ram is not a separate structure like most rams, but is instead made up of the entire frontal carapace of the vessel. This not only gives the ship a 45' wide ram, but it also braces the ship so well, and makes the ram so sturdy that it effectively acts as a bumper. This effectively reduces by 50% any damage that the Triop might otherwise suffer while inflicting a ram attack on an enemy ship.


Since the arcane sell Triops to many different races, the crew of the ship naturally varies greatly. Gnolls, goblins, and their kin tend to operate Triops with large crews which approach the maximum that can be safely supported by the air envelope. These crews are organized along standard tribal lines, with the females and children performing maintenance and housekeeping duties, the shamans performing as spelljammers (on those ships equipped with major or minor helms), and with the male warriors operating the ship and weapons, and fighting in any boarding actions. An illithid crew will be organized along the same lines as the crew of a Nautiloid; however such a ship will typically be equipped with a lifejammer helm rather than a series helm, and as a result more slaves will be carried to power the helm. Human crews tend to be heavy on warriors, but otherwise are very variable in organization.

Ship UsesEdit

Military: Most Triops operated by humans can be found serving in militaries. These vessels are used in the role of medium or heavy warships. While their ranged weaponry is relatively light, their maneuverability and powerful rams make up for this in the eyes of many commanders.

Reaver: Triops operated by goblins, gnolls, or related species serve as reavers, attacking any ships that they think they can take on, and plundering wherever possible. These ships are usually clanships, carrying females and children as well as warriors. Typical tactics include using the Triop's unique maneuverability to make sudden, devastating ram attacks, smashing a target to pieces. Once the target has broken up, the reavers salvage whatever they can from the debris, including slaves. Some human pirates operate Triops in a similar fashion, but this is uncommon, since human pirates tend to prefer to use vessels that allow them to take prizes intact.

Slaver: Illithid crews use Triops because the enclosed nature of the craft appeals greatly to their natures. When using a Triop, illithids are not usually actively hunting for more slaves, but are rather securely transporting slaves from one location to another; often taking slaves to be sold, or returning to an illithid base after purchasing new slaves.

Other ConfigurationsEdit

Heavy Weapons: The only common modification of the Triop that has yet appeared is a Heavy Weapons Triop. This ship simply replaces the light ballistas and catapults with heavy versions. This ship loses 12 tons of cargo capacity, but its heavy attack capability takes many by surprise.


  • Spelljammer reference: 1072XXX1902
  • TSR reference: TSR 1072
  • ISBN: 1-56076-343-4

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