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Urchin
Built By Neogi
Used Primarily By Neogi
Cost 1,800 gp
Tonnage 3 tons
Hull Points 3
Crew (Min/Max) 1/2 (total weapon crew: 0)
Man-Days of Fresh Air 360
Maneuver Class C
Landing - Land Yes
Landing - Water Yes
Armour Rating 4
Saves As Thin wood
Power Type Non-magical or lifejammer
Ship's Rating 1 or as per helmsman
Standard Armament Piercing Ram
Cargo 1.5 tons
Keel Length 5' radius (20' counting spikes)
Beam Length 5' radius (20' counting spikes)
Source Legend of Spelljammer, The

The Urchin is a spelljamming ship built and used by neogi.

DescriptionEdit

The Urchin is the neogi response to the elven Flitter: a light inexpensive craft which can be used either at the tactical level for support, or as an emergency vehicle. It is sometimes fitted with a spelljamming helm (a lifejammer is the usual choice for this), but it is more often used with a conventional engine, giving it a tactical movement of 1. The Urchin looks like the sea creature that is its namesake; a sphere with multiple spikes jutting from it in all directions. The pilot (along with any victim for the lifejammer, if such a helm is carried) sits in a separate central sphere encased in the spike sphere, weighted at the bottom so that the pilot will remain upright regardless of how the ball moves or rolls.

The spikes are sharpened to be used as rams against similarly small vessels, or as antipersonnel weapons. If the Urchin is on the ground, or on a ship's deck, it can be used to roll at creatures to impale them. When used in this manner, the Urchin has a movement rate of 12, and can move in any direction like a normal creature (this is regardless of the power source). Attack rolls are made using the pilot's THAC0, but a successful attack indicates that the victim is struck by 1d4 spikes for 1d6+4 points of damage each. If the Urchin is attacked with hand weapons, the attacker must survive 1d4 spike hits in order to attack the body of the craft. Alternatively the attacker can attack the spikes first. Each spike can take 5 hp of damage before being snapped off. Destroying 5 spikes reduces the Urchin's movement rate to 6 and allows one attacker to get at the body of the Urchin without risking assault. Destroying 10 spikes will immobilize the craft, allowing any number of attackers to strike at the body of the Urchin.

CrewEdit

The Urchin is primarily intended as a one-being vehicle, though 2 medium-sized figures can fit into it. Usually a lone neogi of the absolute lowest status (typically a young creature who has yet to claim a personal umber hulk slave, and thus has yet to be accepted as an adult member of the neogi community) will be its sole crew. Urchins carrying lifejammers will carry a single "passenger" who will be the helm's victim. Smaller victims are preferred for this, since space within the Urchin is at a premium.

Ship UsesEdit

Close-Assault: The Urchin is used primarily as a close-assault vehicle. Up to 20 of these ships can be carried inside a Deathspider (more commonly such a ship will carry 4-10 Urchins) and strewn like mines in front of other ships. Urchins are most effective against crew of ships with large, open decks, but they can also be deadly to small craft such as Flitters if they are able to ram them (most small craft are able to out-run or out-maneuver the Urchin in order to avoid ram attacks). Enclosed ships, such as the Nautiloid, have little to fear from Urchins.

Other ConfigurationsEdit

Snowflake: Urchins are not infrequently modified to serve as messengers between different groups of neogi. These craft are painted white, and have their spikes capped by bulbous metal or ivory sheaths in order to signify that the ship is not a threat. While the spikes are sheathed, the ship loses its attack capability, but the sheaths may be removed if needed. These ships, referred to as Snowflakes, are typically only used for sending messages over short distances, since the Lifejammer aboard is likely to kill the only available victim after only a single day, leaving the messenger without a source of fuel.

Gob: Sometimes Urchins are loaded with greek fire and deployed at close range. Once in an enemy's gravity field, they fall onto the vessel, crack open, and ignite; causing damage as two hits from a greek fire projector, plus normal crash damage. Such craft are called "Thrig'ki's Lovers" (an obscure historical reference used and understood only by neogi), or, more commonly, "Gobs" (used by neogi and non-neogi alike). Gobs are usually unpiloted and simply allowed to drift towards the enemy, but sometimes a charmed slave will be crammed in with the greek fire, and the Gob will move as a normal depowered Urchin. Gobs pose nearly as great a threat to the Deathspider carrying them as they do to the enemy, since a critical hit may ignite them while they are still aboard. Only a neogi captain who has offended his fleet owner will be ordered to carry them.

ReferencesEdit


  • Spelljammer reference: 1065XXX1903
  • TSR reference: TSR 1065
  • ISBN: 1-56076-134-2

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