As the name suggests, the Launch is a small craft usually carried by a larger ship and used as a ship's launch. The Launch appears to be a small, open watercraft, with a single small lateen sail, and oars for maneuvering. A Launch is designed to be easily handled by a single person, and it will typically be maneuvered with either sails or oars, but not with both at the same time. The Launch has no internal cabins as such, however the aft quarter of the boat has a canvas cover supported by a fence, making a small 6' high cabin of sorts. This is intended to provide a sleeping area for any journeys of a day or more, and to provide some protection from the elements for any journeys into a planetary atmosphere.
Too small to be powered by a full-blown spelljamming helm, a Launch is usually powered by either a non-magical engine, limiting it to very short journeys, or by Oars of the Void, allowing it to travel greater distances. If 4 sets of Oars of the Void were used, a Launch could acheive speeds as high as SR 8, however this would require at least 5 men to operate, and that many Oars would cost 8,000 gp, which is far more than most owners would be able to justify spending for such a small craft. In fact, it is nearly unheard of for a Launch to be powered by more than a single pair of Oars of the Void. While the nation of Wa rarely uses Launches, instead preferring to use their Locusts, those few Launches that they operate are usually powered by Rudders of Propulsion.
A Launch typically has no crew of its own, instead being operated by crew from its parent ship. When powered by a non-magical engine, or by a Rudder of Propulsion, only a single crewman is needed to operate the Launch, however when powered by Oars of the Void, 2 men are needed. Usually only used for short journeys (long journeys with a Launch tend to occur only in emergencies), a Launch can easily carry 15 men.
Ship Uses Edit
Ship's Launch: The Launch is almost always used as a ship's launch. In such cases it will be used primarily for landing parties, but also for any miscellaneous duties as required, including serving as an escape craft when needed. The small size and low cost of the Launch means that it can be carried by almost any other ship, and frequently 2 or more Launches will be carried. Launches are usually carried on deck, lashed alongside the ship, or towed behind the vessel. Even ships as small as Dragonflies or Mosquitos often find it useful to carry a Launch.
Other Configurations Edit
The small, utilitarian Launch has no other configurations.