The Xebec is a ship used by some more techologically advanced groundling cultures. Used in the same calm waters in which galleys are popular, the Xebec is actually an evolution of a galley hull, modified to be more maneuverable using sail as its primary means of propulsion, with oars being used only when becalmed. On the water a Xebec is known for its speed and maneuverability, and these are qualities which allow it to handle better in space than most groundling craft. The light construction of the ship, however, makes it vulnerable to attack.
When used to sail the seas, a Xebec will typically carry a crew of about 40-60 men, but in space this is usually reduced by half. This still strains the air envelope of the craft somewhat, however it allows journeys of reasonable length to be undertaken, while still providing a full fighting crew. Merchant Xebecs will sometimes operate with a a crew as small as a dozen men, however this is not common.
Ship Uses Edit
Corsair: Most Xebecs used on the seas function as corsairs, using their speed and maneuverability to capture prizes. While it can be outperformed by many purpose-built spelljammers, many Xebecs taken into space still serve in this function. When used as a corsair, a Xebec typically relies on a single volley with its bombards to force its opponents to surrender. This tactic has a relatively good success rate against merchant ships, but fails frequently against more combat-oriented vessels.
Merchant: Merchant Xebecs are relatively successful for groundling vessels. These ships usually carry a full complement of weapons and men in order to discourage attack, but sometimes they will operate with a much smaller crew, keeping the bombards loaded in advance and stationing but a single man at each weapon in combat. Merchant Xebecs operating with a small crew will sometimes reduce the number of bombards carried by half as well, gaining an additional 4 tons of cargo space. Like most groundling ships in space, the one advantage that the Xebec truly has over purpose-built spelljammers as a trader is that it can trade at groundling ports without attracting too much attention.
Other Configurations Edit
Giff Warship: The giff are fond of using modified Xebecs as light warships, since they were actually designed to carry bombards. In this configuration the Xebec's hull will be thickened to improve the AR to 8, and an additional 2 bombards will be mounted. This results in a Warship with a mere 2 tons of cargo space, making it unsuitable for long journeys. A Xebec used as a Giff Warship will not typically operate alone, and will instead be a part of a fleet which will usually consist of a mix of Xebecs, Sunfish, Galleons, Crab-ships, and sometimes the powerful Clippers.