Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Great Ships

Kurt Hockenbury was kind enough to send over a link to "The Triumph of the Passenger Ship"*. It's an amazing online collection at the University of Southern Maine covering the history of great liners that once sailed the seas, from their earliest days to the pinnacle of their development in the mid-20th century.  The exhibit is filled with useful resources ranging from copies of liner ephemera to detailed deckplans.

This is just a small section from one of the four cutaway views available. Unless you have naval experience it's hard to appreciate just how jam-packed an ocean going vessel actually is. These give you a good idea of the immensity of a ship's working spaces.

I would humbly suggest that a love of deckplans is one of the defining characteristics of gamers. In many ways a ship is just a floating dungeon, filled with potential adventure while being isolated enough to allow some control over story developments.

Being able to cross the ocean in a matter of hours is an amazing technological achievement. That said, seeing the luxurious appointments of a smoking room like this demonstrates that we gave something up in the process. Including the very idea of a room dedicated solely to smoking tobacco.

* Mr. Hockenbury actually sent this to me back in May. Somehow I managed to draft the post and then forget about it. My apologies to him for the delay.


CoastConFan said...

I am always a sucker for deck plans, be it ships, spaceships or airships. Don’t forget your posts of 2 Nov 2011 with tramps steamer plans and 6 Nov 2011 for airship plans and your 18 Mar 2012 Dornier Wal plans and don’t forget that Cthulhu has plans for you.

CoastConFan said...

As a side note, check out ship plan 65. Norddeutscher Lloyd, on this site, which is the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse. This vessel was rapidly converted from a commercial vessel into a commerce destroyer by the Imperial German Navy and was an early casualty of WWI. I did a post about his vessel and its history on 11 April 2012,

For those of you who want to play CoC in WWI, a most challenging time indeed, this is a good resource. Consider also a German U boat as in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The Land that Time Forgot, published 1918 as part of the Caprona or Caspak trilogy. Consider getting your travelers being picked up by a German commerce destroyer such as Kaiser Wilhelm de Grosse and ending up on Caprona island with the added fun of Cthonian ruins and perhaps a star appearance by assorted Mythos creatures. (Wikipedia has an article on Caprona, BTW) The resources of a ship run aground would make for a good start of a mini-campaign and these deck plans would be perfect. Frankly, I am a staunch Professor Challenger fan, myself.