by Robert J. Schwalb
Airships provide swift and relatively safe travel at a modest price for passengers, but such voyages are not without their dangers. Storms can whip and fling an airship to the ground. Prowling pirates descend from the great cloudbanks to strike passersby in the air or on the ground, while larger, deadlier monsters may regard an airship as a meal. This article presents a sample, customizable encounter to demonstrate the sorts of aerial enemies one can find in the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons adventure.
The clouds pile up into great fluffy mountains that rise high above you and drift in the warm breeze. Below, you see the world in miniature, its farms and fields forming a patchwork tapestry stitched by greenery and threaded by narrow roads. That view is broken by a shout from a crewman which draws your eye to starboard. There you spy a magnificent vessel, equal in size and speed to your own, breaking through a cloudbank.
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About the Author
Robert J. Schwalb is an award-winning game designer who has contributed design to or developed over one hundred roleplaying game titles for Dungeons & Dragons, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, A Song of Ice and Fire RPG, Star Wars RPG, and the d20 system. Some of his more recent work for Wizards of the Coast can be found in Monster Manual 3, Player’s Handbook 3, and Martial Power 2. In addition, he’s a regular contributor to both Dragon and Dungeon magazines. Robert lives, works, and will probably die in Tennessee.