Revised Port Rating System

by Leroy van Camp III

A long while back, Richard Pugh came up with a rating system for the ports of Wildspace. This system takes the concept and expands upon it, dividing the rating into three separate ratings: Personnel, Supplies and Spelljammer Facilities. These are ranked from zero to five, and provide a quick and easy way to annotate the capabilities of a port.

Of course the GM should not feel locked into these, as it is possible for a port to have a certain rating, but with a variance or two. For example, a port could have a Supply rating of 2, but still have a large selection of personal weapons. Perhaps an arms dealer has a base in the port.

These ratings can be annotated as P#/S#/F#, referring to Personnel, Supplies and Facilities. Some examples include the Rock of Bral (P5/S5/F5), Refuge (P4/S4/F5), Floating Ar (P4/S5/F3) in Mystara, and Waterdeep (P2/S5/F2) in Faerun.


The rating for personnel ranks the availability of people qualified to work on a spelljamming vessel. It does not reflect size; a small but dedicated spelljammer port is likely to have a better rating than a large groundling city, such as Waterdeep or Greyhawk City.

Initial wages refers to the wages the crewman asks for until a better port can be reached, since they know once this port is reached cheaper crewmen can be found.

0 No one with any sort of spelljamming-related skills whatsoever lives in the port, and people are unlikely to know anything of space at all.
1 No one that has any concrete skills, but some have related skills that could be more quickly trained than complete novices. The number of such individuals is small.
2 There are a few individuals that have spacefaring skills of the more mundane sort, such as riggers or marines, or a fair number with related skills that could be more quickly trained than complete novices, or a mix of the two. With the small selection, there will be little choice available, and the skill level is likely to be low to average (8-12), and initial wages demanded are likely to be high. It might be possible to find a helmsman or two, but only of low levels (1-4).
3 A large number of individuals with the more mundane skills, such as riggers and marines, plus a few with more specialized skills, such as engineers or astrogators. Selection and skill level of the mundane occupations improves, tending around average (9-13), and highly skilled individuals (skills rating 14-16) may be available, but in small numbers, and demanding higher wages. Skill levels of the specialized crewmen tend to befrom low to average (1-4). Low level helmsmen are likely to be available as well (see above).
4 The number of individuals with both mundane and specialized skills increases, enough that there are a large number of highly skilled individuals in the more mundane fields, and a few highly skilled specialists (skills rating 15-17). The number of low-level helmsman available increases, and mid-level (5-9) helmsman are likely to be available.
5 In such a port it should be possible to find someone to fill just about any position on the ship, from higher-level helmsman to highly skilled specialists, and even those who have certain specialized knowledge among the mundane occupations, such as experience with the more exotic ships and control types (i.e. the Triop). Initial wages will vary according to skill and experience, but due to competition and the vast selection, are likely to be lower.


Supplies is a ranking of the availability of the necessities for the day to day needs of a ship and its crew, such as food, water, blankets, tarps, as well as the niceties of life, like finer clothing and personal weapons. It does not include spelljamming ship-specific items like heavy weapons or sails.

Should the DM be so inclined, it would be possible to give various items a rank, indicating the port level required to find such an item. For example, a long sword might be a 3, while a smokepowder firearm would probably be at least a 4.

0 Supplies of any type, in any appreciable quantity, are not to be found.
1 Only the most mundane supplies – water and simple foods – are available, and then only in limited quantities.
2 Enough mundane supplies are available to outfit a small ship for a long voyage.
3 Mundane supplies are readily available, enough to outfit a medium sized ship for a long voyage, or several smaller ships, and more select supplies are also available in small quantities, such as personal weapons and armour, nicer clothing, and better food in larger quantities.
4 Comparable to a mid-sized town, just about any mundane supply is available in large quantities, and if not, it doesn’t take to much time to bring it in (1d4 weeks). Several large ships can be outfitted for long voyages. Weapons and armour can be bought in larger quantities, and more skill-intensive items, such as plate armour or jewelry, is available in small quantities.
5 In the same manner as a large town or city, just about anything non-magical can be found, including vast quantities of food and water, weapons and armour, and just about everything else found in the Players Handbook. Skilled artisans are available to do custom work in just about all fields.

Spelljammer Facilities

This ranks the availability of facilities for the repair, modification and design of spelljamming ships, as well as the availability of ship-specific items, such as heavy weapons. It is not an indicator of the number of ships that can be handled at once. It is possible to have a rank 5 facility that can handle only a couple of ships, and a rank 3 facility than can handle a dozen.

0 There is no support in any manner for spelljamming ships, nor anyone that knows anything about them.
1 There are no facilities dedicated to spelljamming ships, but there are those in town that have the skills required to repair sailing ships. Only repairs of the basic sort can be done, and will take considerably longer (double normal time).
2 The port has facilities designed for sea-going vessels, but a few skilled carpenters in town can understand the specifics of spelljamming vessels. Only the most basic repairs are possible. Heavy weapons and shot can be found in very limited numbers, and can be repaired.
3 The port has the capability of working on a ship in one manner, based on landing type (i.e. in water, on land, or a gravity plane), but the engineers are versed in the specifics of spacefaring vessels. Repairs of all kinds can be done, as well as basic modifications (i.e. rearranging internal space, adding additional framing,and so on), as long as the ship material is mostly wood. Only basic repairs can be done on ships with other materials. Heavy weapons can be found in small numbers, but more can be made over time.
4 The port has facilities for ships of all landing types, including dry-docks for some types of gravity-plane landing only ships. They can work with most materials, and can do any sort of repairs as well as most modifications. They can build the more common ships, such as Hammerships or Wasps, from scratch, and engineers can work with a customer to build new designs along similar lines. Heavy weapons are readily available, including a limited supply of the more rare kind, such as bombards and greek fire projectors. More exotic materials, such as ceramics, and more exotic designs, such as the Cuttle Command, are beyond the ability of the port, though.
5 The port has the capability of working with all materials, on all landing types (i.e. has dry-docks), and can do all kinds of repairs and modifications. All types of ships can be built, and there are engineers that can work with a customer to create new types of ships. Heavy weapons are in abundance, and specialized weapons are more readily available.