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Alright so the basics here are pretty simple. I want to have pirates, but in the sky, pretty much what you expected from the title there. BUT, and it is a big one, there is this little problem I keep running in to where my ships just will not float in the sky, no matter how many times I try explaining to them that pirates in the sky need to have ships in the sky. It is becoming quite frustrating. So, I decided to strap balloons and propeller/jet engines to my ships, which lifted some of them but others still won’t get with the program. So how can I fix this?
On a more serious note. I have thought of using some sort of super-dense cloud to give my ships more buoyancy, which would give the added bonus of the large ships only functioning when they are on one of these clouds, but I also want my planet to stay as earth-like as possible and I don’t know if that can happen with clouds like this. So my question is, how can I justify large, floating airships capable of carrying large payloads?
Here’s the details.
- The planet needs to be as close to earth-like as possible.
- The ships come in multiple sizes, shapes, masses, and are all held aloft by zeppelin-like balloons. (Think the game Guns of Icarus.) The size will range from a small attack craft (think a good size pontoon boat) to much larger ships (such as a ship-of-the-line). Each will be crewed by the appropriate amount of people, from 10 at minimum to a couple hundred, and attack will be done with firearms, flamethrowers, cannon, and the like. The ship must be able to carry the people, weapons, and enough supplies to stay in the air for about a week.
- The less handwaving necessary the better. If I can get away with having some natural phenomenon in the atmosphere cause this then that will be great. If I have to use some unobtainium then fine. Inventing new physics is iffy but doable. However, absolutely no magic needs to be involved.
- The tech level is kind of a steam-punk style 1700-1800’s BUT there is some really advanced tech lying around, it just can’t be reproduced yet.
- These ships need to be tougher and faster than real world ships, blowing up otherwise instantly being destroying if they are shot at is also to be avoided if possible. Some are designed to carry cargo, others a designed for pleasure, and some are designed for combat, which are the ones I’m focusing on for the purposes of this question.
I don’t need specific designs for each ship, just a way to make this idea work on the most earth-like world possible. Feel free to ask me to clarify any of these points or add any new information.