The Squid Ship (officially the Cephalopod-class Brig, although even most scholars refer to it by its more common name) is wideley considered to be one of the best human ship designs in space. Many scholars believe that the original design for the Squid Ship was created by revolting prisoners of an illithid slave-world, who fused together elements of sea ships and illithid designs. The tructh behind this tale is unknown, but it is widely believed. The simplicity of handling which the Squid Ship provides, combined with good armour and weaponry, make it one of the most popular vessels in its size class.
The Squid Ship's simple design allows a relatively small crew to handle the rigging and maneuvering. The captain is usually found on the aft deck, where he gets a good view of the rest of the ship. The helm is located below the captain's station, and communication is often achieved with the use of a simple speaking tube. Typical positions aboard a human Squid Ship include a captain, first officer, helmsman, and navigator. A weaponmaster is often included as well, to command the weapon crews. Lizard man crews tend to include a captain and a shaman for a spelljammer, while other positions will be filled as needed by whomever is available.
Ship Uses Edit
Trader: The bulk of Squid Ships are free traders, privately owned vessels that travel from planet to planet, speculating on goods in an attempt to gain the greatest profit possible. A trader usually has a core crew of 12-20, although captains often hire extra hands when travelling through areas of space where combat is likely.
Piracy: Squid Ships are a favorite choice for reavers, pirates who roam far from any base, looking for easy plunder. The crew of such a ship will usually number 25-35 men, allowing the Squid Ship to lie in wait for prey ships for a long time. Pirate Squid Ships usually carry at least one spell-caster in addition to the helmsman. This extra spell-user is usually of lower level than the helmsman, and will support the crew in battle (often being placed in dangerous situations).
Military: The simple design and size of the Squid Ship makes it a common choice for human space navies. The Squid Ship is a good, versatile military ship, able to handle patrol, attack, and defensive duties equally well. Military Squid Ships will often upgrade their ballistas to the heavy variety, and will sometimes carry additional weaponry in the forecastle. When operating close to a base, it is not uncommon for a military Squid Ship to carry extra marines for use in boarding actions.
Free Adventuring: The size of the Squid Ship, along with its ability to land on water, makes it ideal for adventurers exploring newly-discovered worlds (and bringing back the more profitable parts of them). These versions are often modified for better armour, or for more maneuverability, depending on the temperaments of the users.
Other Configurations Edit
Alternate Ram: Pirates and others preferring boarding actions to ship-to-ship combat often replace the distinctive piercing ram of the Squid Ship with a grappling ram. These vessels usually carry a full complement of marines.
Lizard Man Incubators: Prior to the introduction of the Bloatfly, lizard men tribes preferred the Squid Ship for use as an incubator for their eggs. Many of these Incubators have yet to be replaced by Bloatflies, and can still be found in close orbit around fire bodies to ensure that the carried eggs are properly warmed, producing stronger, more intelligent offspring. These ships have a flooded cargo deck, in which various plants and algae grow, both to replenish the air envelope and to provide the proper environment for the eggs.