Enables the character to swim with a degree of success that is determined by SL. This skill will also enable the character to use a combination of floating and treading water, to enable him to survive if stranded in the water beyond the sight of shore or hope of swimming there.
The character gains a one (1) point bonus to his CND Action Allowance from this skill, for its tonic effect on the character’s health and fitness.
Skill as a Swimmer will also make a character better able to hold his breath while swimming, diving, or otherwise engaged in various actions underwater. Taking one slow, easy single breath gives the character [(current CND Action Allowance) ÷ 4] Action Allowance points, PLUS (1 per 4 Swimmer SL’s). If the character has the time and inclination, he can boost the bonus due to skill to (SL) points, instead, but this requires that he first spend 2 Pulses per additional point to be gained in controlled hyperventilation to oxygenate the blood. For every 33ft. of depth underwater a character descends, his Action Allowance is cut in half. Any remaining gets multiplied back out as he ascends again.
In the tradition of the great pearl divers of the Orient and sponge divers of the Mediterranean, the swimmer is able to dive to depths of up to (STR) + [(CND ÷ 4) x SL] feet before his air supply is halved the first time due to the effects of pressure. After that point, the character’s points of Action Allowance are halved for every 33ft. of depth normally, as described above.
To determine the speed at which the character is able to swim, the player should compare his AGL score to table C-l.
The figure in the “Move” column denotes the number of yards the character is able to move in a minute. This should be recorded in the “Movement” box on the character sheet in the space labeled “Water”.
To this figure the player should then add (1 per 2 SL’s). The maximum speed bonus the character is able to earn due to SL is equal to his AGL score.
This should be divided into 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, and “zero” rates in the same manner as the movement rates determined in Step 4. of Part 1., but rounding to the nearest whole number.
These rates reflect conventional surface swimming only.
To determine the character’s swimming speeds when he swims underwater (totally submerged), the player should divide the “(yd’s/min)” rates from above by 2.
Underwater rates should be recorded on the second line provided for swimming speed entries, marked “(U).” The underwater speeds is effectively constant regardless of whether the character is swimming at a downward angle or climbing, for the purposes of the game. Divers of the Pacific isles, particularly pearl divers, commonly jump in carrying heavy stones in order to descend more rapidly, however, so this enables them to swim about at depth for longer periods.
A character’s ENC rates when swimming is equal to (body weight) x 0.8 (Extreme), x 0.4 (Heavy), x 0.2 (Semi), x 0.1 (Light) and x 0.05 (Zero).
IF the amount of weight carried upon his person while swimming exceeds his Extreme rate, he simply sinks, be borne to the bottom and held underwater until the excess weight should be shed, during which time he is subject to loss of CND Action Allowance points normally, and then drowning.
When towing floating or relatively buoyant burdens, laden rafts, unconscious compatriots (GM’s discretion), this ENC capacity is multiplied by his [(modified STA) x 0.1). The character’s capacity for movement (speed attainable while swimming) is impaired while so laden.
As done with the character’s regular movement rates in Step 9. of Part I., swimming speeds must be reduced to Pulse Move rates for use in battle and tactical situations, when those optional rules are in play (GM’s discretion). Here again for the player’s convenience a conversion table is provided.
Swim speeds do not account for the movement of the waters themselves. When swimming against a current, the rate of the water’s movement is subtracted from the character’s own speed.
The att. mod. for the use of this skill is based upon the character’s STR and AGL.
The character will have no problems swimming in any reasonably calm, still waters, and will require no check against his skill. The character will only be required to make checks on d100 against his skill to determine success (and earn SP’s) when he is swimming in rough waters such as high or storm-whipped oceans or seas, swift-moving rivers, testing the limits of his ENC while swimming, and so on.
The DV for swimming is determined by how rough the waters are and the speed of any currents. The base D V for moving waters is equal to the speed of the current in mph’s.
Mid-ocean currents usually run less than 1.2 mph’s. Currents faster than this are usually found in straits and narrows such as are found around Florida and the Bahamas, as fast as 5mph.
In rough, wind-whipped waters, and especially storm-whipped waters, the height of the swells or waves is the base DV for the character to swim or even float along without getting swamped, measured from the bottom of the trough to the crests. Wave heights of 3ft.-15ft. are common in the open ocean, and when whipped by storms can reach three times this. For the GM’s convenience this should be figured as an average measure, with the roll of 3D5.
IF the character fails a skill check under these circumstances, he will lose one Action while floundering. Once the character exhausts the full number of checks he is allowed in a row (as per Chapter 2. of Part Ill., pg _) to save himself, he will sink and begin to drown.
The DV for rescuing a floundering or drowning person is equal to the sum of the target’s att. mod’s in AGL and STR, +/- 1 for every point by which the floundering character’s STA is larger/smaller than the rescuer’s, respectively (as applicable).
The procedure for dealing with drowning are discussed in The GM’s Toolbox.
The world’s record according to Guinness indicates that divers have worked as deep as 1,400 ft. “free swimming for short intervals.” Those intervals would indeed be short, considering the fact that the volume of air in the lungs decreases by half for every 33ft. of depth. Thirty-three goes into 1,400 ft. a little over 42 times! However, unless the GM has finagled some way to get the PC’s into a position where water from a suspended source, like perhaps a mountain lake, is forcing a door open in a trap to flood a chamber with the pressure of the whole depth of the lake above them, the extreme pressure of such depths aren’t likely to enter play, any more than are the debilitating phenomenon of nitrogen bubbles forming in the bloodstream from too rapid decompression after experiencing great depths in the water, called the “bends.” The circumstances required to produce that affliction and its dire effects, which include rapid and excruciatingly painful death, just aren’t likely to happen in the framework of this medieval milieu, and it might even be considered unfair for the GM to even consider it. Any magicks which might even provide for the possibility are too likely to have been designed to prevent any such affliction, in the interest of the practitioner’s continued survival and good health.
D-l, Swimming Speeds (yards per minute)
D-2, Swimming Pulse Move, Tactical Scale
|2-5||1 mm||54-57||l.4 cm||110-113||2.8 cm|
|6-9||2 mm||58-61||1.5 cm||114-117||2.9 cm|
|10-13||3 mm||62-65||1.6 cm||118-121||3 cm|
|14-17||4 mm||66-69||1.7 cm||122-125||3.l cm|
|18-2l||5 mm||70-73||1.8 cm||126-129||3.2 cm|
|22-25||6 mm||74-77||1.9 cm||130-133||3.3 cm|
|26-29||7 mm||78-81||2 cm||134-137||3.4 cm|
|30-33||8 mm||82-85||2.l cm||138-141||3.5 cm|
|34-37||9 mm||86-89||2.2 cm||142-145||3.6 cm|
|38-41||1 cm||90-93||2.3 cm||146-149||3.7 cm|
|42-45||1.1 cm||94-97||2.4 cm||l50-l53||3.8 cm|
|46-49||1.2 cm||98-101||2.5 cm||154-l57||3.9 cm|
|50-53||1.3 cm||102-105||2.6 cm||158-160||4 cm|