Roles

Ranks aboard a ship

Swabs

A Rank is a permanent position aboard a ship. A Rank can only be assigned by the ship’s Captain. A Rank differs from a Role (see below) in that it persists outside of encounters, comes with an appropriate appellation or title and generally will not change hands as quickly. Any character can assume a Role temporarily but only appointed sailors hold Ranks. A character with a Rank is assumed to take responsibility for the ship/crew under their command for as long as they hold the Rank. Only a PC or an Able Hand may hold an officer Rank. And only a PC may hold the rank of Captain. NPCs without the ‘Able Hand’ trait can only hold sailor Ranks. A character with a Rank gains all the bonus abilities and penalties associated with that Rank as detailed below.

A Mythic PC may hold two Ranks at one time (no other character may do this), but they must sacrifice one point of mythic power. This point is spent automatically as soon as the second Rank is assumed and at the beginning of each day (or part day) that the Rank is maintained. This point may never be recharged through any means (in effect, the PC treats their maximum number of mythic power as one fewer). If the second Rank is relinquished, the point of mythic power spent may be recovered as normal the next time the character rests. Mythic PCs may acquire the Mythic Buccaneer universal path ability which allows them to hold more Ranks.

Able Hand: Able Hand is a special title given to the cohorts of PCs with the Leadership feat and certain important NPCs. Cohorts automatically gain the ‘Able Hand’ trait, other NPCs must be awarded the ‘Able Hand’ trait (usually through roleplay with that NPC or advancing them in some other way). Some NPCs will be deemed important enough to have this trait anyway (eg. Sandara). Able Hands may hold any position aboard ship apart from Captain.

Ranks_and_Roles_Table.PNG

OFFICER RANKS

Every Officer rank has a Downtime bonus which interacts with the Downtime rules and a Vacancy penalty, which comes into effect when no-one is currently filling that Rank (eg. if the current character is killed in battle or leaves the ship without leaving a Mate in charge). Some Ranks allow for the command over crew squads. Thus, the maximum number of crew squads available to a ship is limited to the number of appropriate Ranked officers aboard).

These Ranks can only be filled by PCs or Able Hands. Only one character can hold each rank (eg. you can’t have two Surgeons) per ship.

Captain:

The ultimate authority on any ship, his word is law to all on board. The captain chooses where to sail, what to plunder, and who fills the other stations aboard the vessel, among many other command decisions. Leadership often proves perilous, however, as a captain is, above all, meant to secure success for his ship and crew. Failing to do so increases the threat of mutiny. This Rank may only be held by a PC.

Master of the Ship: When an encounter starts you may begin the encounter with any one Role card you wish. During an encounter, you may strip any one sailor of his Role card(s) as a swift action.

Inspiring Figure: All squads aboard the ship add your Charisma modifier to their morale scores. You also add your Charisma modifier to the ship’s loyalty score. Your CMB and CMD are also used to calculate the ship’s CMB and CMD scores.

Leader: A Captain must see the bigger picture of the whole ship rather than focus on a particular area like the other officers. A Captain generally does not lead a squad of their own. While at port, once per day you may make a Diplomacy or Profession (Sailor) check to recruit new crew members.

Worries of command: Each week at sea the Captain must make a loyalty check at DC 10 to avoid a mutiny. The Captain may take 10 on this check, so must only roll when the loyalty modifier is negative.

Downtime: The prestige of owning a ship allows certain privileges at coastal towns. A Captain gains 1 free point of Influence commodity each time his ship docks at a port for the first time.

Vacancy Penalty: A ship without a Captain loses its stomach for the fight. A leaderless crew (including PCs and Able Hands) suffers a -4 penalty to all attack rolls and Will saving throws. NPC crew squads will automatically surrender when reduced to 75% strength (unless specific extenuating circumstances exist). This penalty does not apply if the First Mate has stepped in.

First Mate

You are second in command of the ship and answer only to the Captain himself. The Rank of First Mate is a particularly honoured and respected title but it comes with a lot of work. On larger ships, particularly in established Navies, the Captain typically delegates any and all tasks to you first and you must appropriately sub-delegate to the relevant officer or sailor. If the Captain is absent for any reason it is you who takes responsibility for the ship.

First among mates: Whenever the Captain is not present you may assume temporary command of the ship and follow all the rules for the Captain Rank as above (thereby negating the Captain’s vacancy penalty).

Right hand man: The Captain often keeps the you busy and there is often little time to relax before the next order is shouted at you. First mates often have to juggle several orders at once. You may have up to two Role Cards (see below) at any one time. You do not need to test to keep them until you receive a third.

Squad Commander: You may take command of and responsibility for one crew squad as long as you are not acting Captain.

Downtime: The prestige of being a First mate allows certain privileges at coastal towns. A First mate gains 1 free point of Influence commodity each time his ship docks at a port for the first time.

Vacancy Penalty: None (unless the First mate is acting Captain, see above)

Sailing Master

Often called Navigators on some ships. Responsible for setting a course and steering the ship, the Sailing Master has a hard job and is generally one of the most skilled members of the crew. Sailing Masters generally lead the ship’s Rigger teams.

Master of Winds: At the start of a naval encounter, the Sailing Master may make a Profession (Sailor) or Survival check to claim the weather gauge. This is a significant advantage over other ships involved in the encounter. Your Reflex save is also used to represent the ship’s Reflex save whenever nobody has the Pilot Role Card (see below).

Squad Commander: A Sailing Master may take command of and responsibility for one crew squad.

Downtime: Knowledge of weather patterns grants an insight into shipping lanes. When in a port, a Sailing Master may transfer any commodity FROM this port TO any other connected by shipping lane to this port (max 5 commodity per port per visit).

Vacancy Penalty: A ship without a Sailing Master risks getting lost or running into dangerous waters and finds it difficult to make the most of favourable winds. The ship’s maximum speed is reduced by 2 (to a minimum of 1). The ship may not claim the weather gauge (and loses any benefits it may have already from it). Finally someone aboard ship must make a DC 15 Survival check each day or become lost.

Chaplain

Charged with the spiritual wellbeing of the crew, the Chaplain is usually a priest of an appropriate faith (typically Besmara or Obad-Hai). Sometimes a Chaplain’s role is filled by a lucky mascot, shrine or other appropriate icon of luck and faith. A Chaplain is expected to take responsibility for burials of sailors, questions on faith, dealing with any encountered undead, general morale and anything else pertaining to spiritual matters.

Keep the faith: The Chaplain adds his Wisdom or Charisma bonus to the ship’s loyalty rating, whichever is higher. This bonus applies as long as at least half the crew share either the Chaplain’s alignment, the alignment of the Chaplain’s deity or worship the Chaplain’s faith.

Spiritual Health: This highest Will save modifier between you and the Ship’s Wizard is used to represent the ship’s Will save.

Squad Commander: The Chaplain may take command of and responsibility for one crew squad.

Downtime: The prestige of working as a Chaplain ingratiates you into the seafaring community. You gain +2 on all checks to earn the Magic commodity.

Vacancy Penalty: A ship without a Chaplain takes a -2 penalty to loyalty and each squad takes a -1 penalty to morale.

Ship’s Wizard

The Ship’s Wizard is concerned with the magical defence of the ship and the upkeep of any magical equipment. The Ship’s Wizard must also identify and assess any magical items found and deal with any magical threats including outsiders, enemy spellcasters or summoned creatures.

Battle mage: You gain a +5 bonus on checks to assume the Arcane Mage Role Card (see below). You may also take the ‘Magic!’ Mage action outside of encounters.

Spiritual Health: This highest Will save modifier between you and the Chaplain is used to represent the ship’s Will save.

Limited Squad Commander: The Ship’s Wizard may take command of and responsibility for one crew squad but only if that squad has the ‘Acolytes’ ability.

Downtime: The experience of working as a Ship’s Wizard ingratiates you into the spellcasting community. You gain +2 on all checks to earn the Magic commodity.

Vacancy Penalty: All crewmembers take a -1 penalty to saves vs. magic

Boatswain

The boatswain, or bosun (pronounced “bosun” either way), is the discipline officer on board a ship. Following orders from the Captain and First mate, the Boatswain administers the lashes, beatings and other punishments to sailors who deserve them, and often to those who don’t. A Boatswain walks the deck with a menacing glare ensuring the sailors work their hardest. He is also often the one responsible for recruiting new crew, be it through press-ganging or evaluation of those who sign up. At the start of the day, the boatswain and those under her weigh anchor, raise the sails and report on the general condition of the ship’s deck to the captain.

Position of authority: Boatswains are rightly feared by all crew on board. You gain a +2 morale bonus to intimidate checks.

Master of discipline: You add your Charisma bonus or your Strength bonus (whichever is highest) to the ship’s loyalty score.

Loud Voice: You gain a +5 bonus on all checks to assume the Deck Officer Role Card (see below).

Squad Commander: The Boatswain may take command of and responsibility for one crew squad

Downtime: When hiring crew, you may re-roll the Captain’s dice to see which kinds of crew are available once per visit per port. You also add Intimidate to the list of skills able to be used to recruit.

Vacancy penalty: A ship without a Boatswain takes a -2 penalty to its’ loyalty score

Surgeon

The surgeon is concerned with the crew’s physical health and wellbeing. He patches up injuries, ensures sailors eat healthily and deals with battlefield casualties. On some vessels (particularly smaller ones, or those from less civilised lands) the Carpenter and Surgeon are often one and the same.

Health and Wellbeing: All crew (including PCs and Able Hands) gain a +1 on Fortitude saves against disease or malnutrition.

Master Healer: You gain a +5 bonus on all checks to assume the Support Officer Role Card. You may also take the ‘Assessment’ Support Officer action (crew only) outside of encounters.

Limited Squad Commander: The Surgeon may take command of and responsibility for one crew squad as long as they have the ‘Medics’ ability.

Downtime: There is often leftover materials aboard ship which can be put to good use. You may exchange a number of goods commodities at any port equal to your Intelligence or Wisdom bonus, whichever is higher. For each point exchanged, you receive one herbal healer or refill 1d3 uses of a healer’s kit. This can be done once per port per visit.

Vacancy Penalty: A ship without a surgeon is prone to disease and injury. Each week 1d6 sailors falls ill (roll on the squad injuries chart) and the entire crew (including PCs and Able Hands) take a -1 penalty to all Fortitude saves.

Engineer

The Engineer is responsible for the maintenance, operation and repair of the ship’s engines (if applicable). A ship without engines may not have an engineer.

Master Techie: You may begin any encounter with the Engineer Role Card as long as you are in the engine room at the start of the encounter (or end your first turn there). In addition, you may take the ‘Repair’ Engineer Role action outside of encounters.

Complicated Stuff: An Engineer must spend at least 24 (not necessarily consecutive) hours getting to know a new engine before it can be operated. This includes an existing ship getting a new engine installed.

Limited Squad Commander: The Engineer may take command of and responsibility for one crew squad as long as they have the ‘Greasers’ ability.

Downtime: There is always new parts and gear needed to repair the ship but also excess materials can be sold on at port. You gain a +2 on all checks to acquire Goods commodity.

Vacancy Penalty: A ship without an engineer cannot stop, start or alter the speed of the engine.

Master Gunner

Also called Master-at-arms on some ships (larger Naval vessels have two officers with distinct roles), the Master Gunner is responsible for the ship’s marines and gunners along with the weapons aboard ship. This includes cannon, catapults, ballistae as well as personal arms and armour of each crewmember.

Combat Drills: The Master Gunner can apply any of the following feats to the crew squad(s) they lead; Far Shot, Improved Initiative, Weapon Focus, Weapon Proficiency, Weapon Specialization.

Natural Gunner: You gain a +5 bonus to all checks to assume the Gunnery Officer Role Cards

Squad Commander: The Master Gunner may take command of and responsibility for one crew squad. The Master Gunner may take command of a second squad but only if they have the ‘Gunners’ or ‘Marines’ abilities.

Downtime: You can purchase Labour commodity at half price in any port where your ship’s infamy has spread (ie wherever an Infamy check has been attempted or GM’s discretion).

Vacancy Penalty: Without proper training, all crew squads suffer -2 to attack and defence. All firearms aboard ship (except those of PCs or Able Hands) increase their misfire rating by 1.

Carpenter

No matter what enchantments or alchemical unguents augment a pirate ship, its heart and bones are still wood. This simple fact makes the carpenter one of the most important positions aboard any vessel. Carpenters are chiefly responsible for maintaining the ship below the deck, finding and plugging leaks, repairing damage, and replacing masts and yards. As the crew member most skilled with the saw, the carpenter typically serves as a ship’s surgeon as well—bones cut just as easily as timbers.

Fireman: You are used to dealing with fires on the ship quickly and efficiently. You gain a +2 bonus to Reflex saves against fires and fire effects on your own ship.

Master Fixer: You gain a +5 bonus on all checks to assume the Support Officer Role Card. You may also take the ‘Assessment’ Support Officer action (ship only) and outside of encounters.

Limited Squad Commander: The Carpenter may take command of and responsibility for one crew squad as long as they have the ‘Fixers’ ability.

Downtime: You can often scavenge older parts of the ship to sell at port. Once per port per visit you may deal 1d6 damage per point of Intelligence bonus to the ship (ignores hardness, AC and DR). For each d6 rolled you acquire 1 free Goods commodity.

Vacancy Penalty: A ship without a carpenter is prone to rot and damage. Each day of sailing deals 1d6 damage to a random location (hull or rigging) of the ship. All locations also suffer a -2 penalty to hardness.

Quartermaster

Also called ‘Paymaster’ in some societies, the Quartermaster is responsible for all the items in the ship’s hold. This extends from plunder captured to pay for the crew, food and water stores and livestock. The Quartermaster is a powerful figure aboard a ship as he controls the crew’s pay. In non-military vessels, the Quartermaster often outranks the Captain (except in times of conflict).

Everybody’s Friend: Every member of the crew wants to be the Quartermaster’s friend. You gain a +2 bonus to Diplomacy checks against all crew on your ship (and on any other ship whose pay you control).

Pencil Pusher: A master of port administration, a Quartermaster can reduce the price of port fees by 25% with a DC 20 Diplomacy or Profession (Sailor or Merchant) check.

Downtime: Once per visit per port, you may convert 1 point of plunder into 1,000gp worth of commodities (or vice versa) without paying the usual fees.

Vacancy Penalty: A ship without a Quartermaster runs a dangerous risk of mutiny as the crew cannot rely on a stable source of pay. The Captain may no longer take 10 on loyalty checks to avoid mutinies. Each week 1d6x100gp worth of stock or plunder ‘mysteriously disappear’. All crew squads have their morale reduced by 1.

Ship’s Cook

While the quartermaster normally allocates the rations, the cook and his apprentices make and distribute meals to the crew. Although some better-outfitted vessels employ skilled cooks to attend to the captain and the officers, many cooks are drawn from crew members who have suffered crippling injuries, allowing them to still serve even after such trauma. The Ship’s Cook usually answers directly to the Quartermaster.

Everybody’s Friend: Every member of the crew wants to be the Cook’s friend. You gain a +2 bonus to Diplomacy checks against all crew on your ship.

Downtime: You may use Profession (Cook) to earn gp or influence with a +2 bonus while at port.

Vacancy Penalty: A ship without a Cook suffers a -2 penalty to loyalty checks. The poor nutrition means that the Surgeon’s ‘Health and Wellbeing’ ability ceases to function. Each week 1d6 additional food rations ‘go missing’.

SAILOR RANKS

These Ranks may be held by any character and there is no limit to how many characters can hold each Rank. These Ranks do not offer as many abilities (if any) as the Officer Ranks but there is much less responsibility involved.

Mates

Mate refers to any member of the crew who is apprenticed to another. For example ’Boatswain’s Mate’ or ’Cook’s Mate’. The Captain’s Mate is referred to as ‘First Mate’ and is generally the second in command of the ship. Pirates raised to Mate status usually get treated better and paid more than the other swabs so it is a prestigious title given only to the most skilled and loyal of the swabs. Of course amongst pirate vessels, rules are more.. ‘guidelines’ and Mates often bear the brunt of the work and get the hardest time from the Captain.

Apprentice: Mates usually help out by taking the aid another action or just watching their officer’s back. When the Officer is away from his post for whatever reason you are expected to step in and fill the void. In such circumstances the vacancy penalty for that post does not apply but you are expected to fill all the duties instead. The only exception is that Mates cannot normally command squads (although they can be Squad sergeants).

Limited Squad Commander: Up to two Mates per ship may take command of and responsibility for one crew squad each. Only PCs or Able Hands may use this ability.

Cabin Boy/Girl

Servant to the captain and other officers, this low-ranking and typically young crew member assists other sailors in their duties and runs various errands across the ship, requiring him or her to gain a measure of understanding of almost all the ship’s roles.

Riggers

Riggers work the rigging and unfurl the sails. In battle, next to that of a boarding party, the riggers’ job is one of the most dangerous, as they pull enemy vessels near enough to board.

Gunners

Gunners clean, maintain and fire the ship’s weapons under the supervision of the Master Gunner. The position of Gunner is often quite an enviable one aboard a ship and others are often jealous of the Gunners.

Marines

Marines are trained specifically to board enemy vessels and resist boarding actions of other ships. They are often poor sailors but are heavily armed and armoured.

Greasers

Greasers are specialists who work aboard ships with an engine. Rarely leaving the engine room, they assist the Engineer to keep the complex mechanical devices operating.

Swabs

Any sailor who mops the decks or performs other menial tasks. Also used as slang for any low-ranking or unskilled crew member and make up the front line of boarding parties.

Roles aboard a ship

Naval combat is outlined in the Skull & Shackles Player’s Guide and in Ultimate Combat but they are collated here for convenience.

The rules above will be used apart from the changes outlined below.

The various officers roles aboard the ship determine which actions the ship and crew can perform each round. Thanks to sabedoriaclark for providing the basis of these changes. These rules also incorporate rules from Fire as she Bears! by Necromancer Games.

Naval combat

The following terms (Pilot, Gunnery Officer etc) are just there for illustration of the role being performed and are not descriptions of rank or position aboard a ship. If the Captain currently has the wheel in his/her hands then they are the Pilot for the purposes of these rules, if the Boatswain has taken temporary control of the ship’s weapons crews then they are the Gunnery Officer at that moment in time. The names of the roles below are just given to illustrate this.

Role Name Description Maximum number allowed Restrictions Typical people who use this Role
Pilot Controls movement of the ship 1 Must be at the helm Navigator, Sailing Master, Captain, First Mate
Deck Officer Commands the swabs and riggers 3 - Captain, Boatswain, First Mate, Master-at-arms
Gunnery Officer Commands the gunners and marines 2 Must be at different quadrants to each other if more than one Captain, Boatswain, Master Gunner, Engineer, Master-at-arms
Support Officer Fixes the ship and the crew 2 Typically one surgeon, one carpenter but often the same person Surgeon, Carpenter
Mage Protects the ship and crew using magic or faith 2 One arcane and one divine Chaplain, Ship’s Wizard, Sailing Master
Engineer Keeps the ship’s engines functioning 1 Ship must have an engine, must be in engine room Engineer, Carpenter, Ship’s Wizard

Each of these Roles have a number of special actions which can only be taken by the PC (or NPC Mate) in the role.

ALL ACTIONS ARE FULL-ROUND ACTIONS UNLESS STATED

Full_Sail_Ahead.JPG

Pilot

You are in control of the ship’s movement and speed. You may only have one role at a time, if you are given this card while holding another role card, make a Profession (Sailor or Pirate) check at DC 15. If you fail, you lose any previous role cards. If you succeed, you may choose which role card to keep.

Pilot_Role_Table.PNG

Uncontrolled: this action may not be deliberately chosen. This happens if you fail a check to perform a manoeuvre or if no-one is at the helm of the ship. There is a 50% chance that the ship continues at its current heading and a 25% chance that it will move diagonally and a 25% chance that it will turn 45°. At the end of this movement, the speed has a 50% chance of being reduced by 1.

Full Ahead: the ship moves forward a number of squares equal to her current speed rating. This may be used to initiate a ram action.

By the Lee: The ship moves forward a number of squares equal to her current speed rating and may make 1 diagonal movement during this turn while maintaining the same heading.

Tack or Jibe: The ship moves forward a number of squares equal to her current speed while incorporating a 45 degree turn to port or starboard at some point during the movement. The ship must move at least 1 square before executing this turn.

Hard to Port/Starboard: as Tack or Jibe except the ship can turn 90 degrees and must move at least 2 squares before executing the turn.

Evasive Maneuvers: The pilot makes an opposed Profession (Sailor) check with a modifier based on the ship’s current speedvs. the pilot of the ship she is trying to avoid. If successful, the ship gains +4 to AC against all attacks from the targeted enemy ship but suffers a -8 penalty to all siege weapon attacks made for 1 turn. For every 5 by which the pilot wins this check, the AC bonus increases by +2. Also all crew on the deck (except the pilot) must immediately make a DC 10 Balance or Profession (Sailor) check or fall prone. This action must be combined with a ship’s movement action (possibly requiring a separate check).

Look Alive: you help another officer perform their duties. Select one officer and make a Profession (Sailor or Pirate) check at DC 10. If successful that officer gains +1 on their Officer Role checks for 1 round.

Piracy!: Activate an Imposition.

Relinquish Command: With a shout to the crew, you give another PC (or NPC cohort) command of the helm. That character becomes the pilot of the ship. Hand them this role card. No check required.

Deck Officer

You are in the thick of the action, barking orders to the crew. You may only have one role at a time, if you are given this card while holding another role card, make a Profession (Sailor or Pirate) check at DC 15. If you fail, you lose any previous role cards. If you succeed, you may choose which role card to keep. Actions marked with an asterix may only be activated once per round, regardless of how many deck officers there are.

Deck_Officer_Role_Table.PNG

More Sail/Heave to: Instruct the crew to increase/decrease the amount of sail catching the wind. At the end of the turn, the ship’s speed increases or decreases by 1. Profession (Sailor) DC: 12.

Put your backs into it!: Encourage or berate the riggers and swabs into working harder. Intimidate or Diplomacy DC 20 check, if successful the DCs for pilot’s sailing checks are reduced by 2 for 1 full round. For every 5 you beat the DC by, they are reduced by a further 1.

Take Cover!: You shout a warning to the crew to take shelter from incoming artillery or magical assaults. The entire crew may immediately go prone and take cover (PCs included), gaining +8 cover bonus to AC and +4 cover bonus to Reflex saves (replacing the standard cover bonuses for being on a ship) until their next actions. The crew squads aboard ship may not make attacks this round and the DCs for pilot’s sailing checks increase by 4 for 1 round. The gunnery officer also takes -4 on all gunnery checks for 1 round. No check required to activate Take Cover! but you must be able to shout loudly (ie not silenced ).

Boost Morale: Shout encouragement to the boarding parties. Target up to one crew squad per Cha bonus, then make a Perform, Diplomacy or Intimidate check DC equal to 15+(2x squad’s current morale) per squad selected. If successful, the squad gains +1 to morale for the rest of the encounter.

Mock Enemies: Target 1 enemy squad, then make a Perform, Bluff or Intimidate check DC equal to 15+(2x squad’s current morale). If successful, the squad gains -1 to morale for the rest of the encounter.

Sea Chantey: Start a popular sea chantey which quickly gets the whole crew singing along. These simple tunes are designed to aid timing and co-ordination. All crew (PCs and squads included) aboard the ship gain +1 to either checks or saves for 1 round. Once a chantey has started, its only a swift action to maintain it each round. While a chantey is being sung, bards can start bardic performances as a free action on their turn and the first round of which does not count towards their daily limit of bardic performance (maximum 1 free round per day per bard). No check required as these songs don’t typically contain much musical imagination, just crude lyrics and simple tunes.

Grapple/Break Grapple: As long as the ship is within 30 feet of another (ie 1 square away on the battlemat), make CMB check using the ship’s CMB plus your WIS or CHA modifier vs the enemy ship’s CMD. If successful the enemy ship moves into contact with your ship (same headings). If you pass the check by 5 or more, you may move a crew squad onto the enemy ship for free also (see Boarding Action below). If your ship is already grappled, you can attempt this action with a -4 penalty to instead break the grapple, allowing the pilot to move you away.

Boarding Action!: As long as the ship is currently grappling an enemy, one crew squad can move over onto the enemy ship and begin attacking the enemy crew. Profession (soldier or pirate), Intimidate or Diplomacy DC 10. This action may be performed as a swift action instead as you board the ship yourself.

Look Alive: you help another officer perform their duties. Select one officer and make a Profession (Sailor or Pirate) check at DC 10. If successful that officer gains +1 on their Officer Role checks for 1 round.

Piracy!: Activate an Imposition.

Relinquish Command: With a shout to the crew, you give another PC (or NPC cohort) command over a section of the ship. That character is granted a Deck Officer Role card. If there are no Deck Officer cards remaining, you give them this card instead. No check required.

Gunnery Officer

This role is filled by an officer who oversees the loading and firing of the ship’s gun batteries. He may be found on any of the gun decks the ship may contain (this is usually the Master Gunner, Master-at-arms or Boatswain). Each round, the Gunnery Officer must declare which section of the ship he is commanding (fore, aft, port or starboard) and thus may only affect weapons being fired from that quadrant. There can be up to two Gunnery Officers at any one time, but they cannot affect weapons from the same quadrant as each other. You may only have one role at a time, if you are given this card while holding another role card, make a Profession (Sailor or Pirate) check at DC 15. If you fail, you lose any previous role cards. If you succeed, you may choose which role card to keep.

Gunnery_Officer_Role_Table.PNG

Load, aim, FIRE!: Supervise the weapons crews and point out likely targets. Target 1 siege weapon equal to your INT bonus +1 (minimum 1) then make a Profession (Siege Engineer) at DC 10 or a Profession (Soldier or Pirate) DC 15. Each selected weapon gains +2 on attack rolls for 1 full round. If you fail this check, the weapons gain no bonus but may otherwise act normally.

Prepare Broadside: You instruct the weapon crews to load their weapons and wait for your signal. Make a Profession (Siege Engineer, Solider or Pirate) check at DC 12 if successful, all weapons crews in your quadrant are formed into a broadside and count as a single weapon for the purposes of Gunnery Officer abilities. When this broadside fires, take the average dice result of each weapon rather than roll individually. This lasts until any one of the weapons makes their next attack or you leave that quadrant, whichever comes first. If you fail this check then 1d3 weapons fire off before your signal (they still make attacks as normal but with a -2 penalty from all the confusion) and the broadside is not formed.

Steady…FIRE!: You call out an opportune target and instruct the weapon crews to wait for your signal. Select 1 weapon per INT bonus (minimum 1) and make a Profession (Siege Engineer, Soldier or Pirate) check at DC 20. If successful, the weapon fires and deals double damage against vehicles or structures it hits. If you fail the check, the weapon fires but takes -2 on all damage rolls.

Repel Boarders: You instruct your weapon crews to concentrate on defending the ship rather than firing the guns. Choose a crew squad and make a Profession (Soldier or Pirate) check at DC 10. If successful, the selected squad gains -2 attack and -3 damage but +2 defence for 1 round. All siege weapon attacks take -4 penalty for 1 round.

Attack!: You instruct your weapon crews to concentrate on attacking the enemy crew rather than firing the guns. Choose a crew squad and make a Profession (Soldier or Pirate) check at DC 10. If successful, the selected squad gains +2 attack and +3 damage but -2 defence for 1 round. All siege weapon attacks take -4 penalty for 1 round.

Work the Rigging: You instruct your weapon crews to concentrate on maneuvering the ship rather than firing the guns. Make a Profession (Sailor or Pirate) check at DC 10. If successful, the pilot gains +2 on all ship movement checks. All siege weapon attacks take -4 penalty for 1 round.

Look Alive: you help another officer perform their duties. Select one officer and make a Profession (Sailor or Pirate) check at DC 10. If successful that officer gains +1 on their Officer Role checks for 1 round.

Piracy!: Activate an Imposition.

Relinquish Command: With a shout to the crew, you give another PC (or NPC cohort) command over a battery of guns. That character is granted a Gunnery Officer Role card. If there are no Gunnery Officer cards remaining, you give them this card instead. No check required.

Support Officer

The Carpenter is usually part of the ship’s boarding parties or defence crews during a battle as repairing the ship properly takes days of coordinated work from the crew, but sometimes damage can be limited during the heat of battle. In many ships the Surgeon and Carpenter are one and the same, but some larger crews differentiate them more. Up to two officers may fill this role. You may only have one role at a time, if you are given this card while holding another role card, make a Profession (Sailor or Pirate) check at DC 15. If you fail, you lose any previous role cards. If you succeed, you may choose which role card to keep.

Support_Officer_Role_Table.PNG

Fix it!: You may make a Craft (Carpentry or Ships) check to ‘jury-rig’ one single piece of damage the ship has taken. Jury-rigging removes all penalties for that particular piece of damage for the remainder of the encounter but will still need proper fixing later. For example if the ship has sprung a leak or the mast has broken or a sail has torn, these all count as separate pieces of damage. The DC of each repair is set by the DM depending on the severity but is usually around 20+ and always takes 1d6-1 full rounds to fix (minimum 1 round). You can call some of the crew to help you, gaining +4 on your checks but -4 to the Pilot and Gunnery Officer’s Role checks for the duration of the repair.

Triage: During ship combat, many sailors take injuries. Prioritising those with the most severe injuries and disregarding those who cannot be saved can mean the difference between a crew being wiped out in a single battle or living to fight another day. When a crew squad, PC or NPC takes damage and rolls on the injury chart, you may apply triage to that squad or character as a full round action. Make a Heal check at DC 15, if successful you may re-roll any injury result made by that squad or character before your next turn (you must keep the result of the second roll, even if worse). Both support officers can make this action in one round if desired.

First Aid: When a PC or NPC is brought below 0 hp, you may as an immediate action move up to your speed (provoking attacks of opportunity as normal but ignoring difficult terrain for a crowded ship) and make a Heal check (at DC 25) to perform first aid or expend an appropriate healing spell, item or ability (minimum 1st level spell or equivalent). This affects a PC or NPC normally. Alternatively this can restore one crew member who has the ‘knocked out’ or ‘flesh wound’ injury to full health. They immediately re-join their squad as normal. You may perform this action after combat has ended. You may only patch up each crewmember once per day.
You must have the spells prepared and be able to cast them (either from a scroll, wand or prepared spells). This counts as a full-round action on your next turn as well and you are flat-footed during that round.

Assessment: As a standard action, you can examine another ship and make an assessment of the status of either the ship itself or the crew. You may only make such a check once per day per ship. You must have line of sight to and a clear view of the ship (eg. telescope if far away). Make a DC 30 Perception check (+10 if you are aboard the ship). If successful, you learn either;

  • The basic understanding of the status of the ship’s crew, you know if they are suffering from any obvious diseases or maladies, the percentage of crewmen lost to battle and the approximate number of squads and officers aboard the ship. The GM will tell you a figure which is within 10% of the correct value. If your skill check beats DC 40, the GM will tell you a figure which is within 1% of the correct value.

  • The basic understanding of the status of the ship, you know the percentage of hp damaged suffered by the rigging and hull sections of the ship, how many weapons it has, the approximate size of the hold and the likely country of origin of the ship. The GM will tell you a figure which is within 10% of the correct value. If your skill check beats DC 40, the GM will tell you a figure which is within 1% of the correct value and you will also be able to identify the likely port of origin of the ship.

Look Alive: you help another officer perform their duties. Select one officer and make a Profession (Sailor or Pirate) check at DC 10. If successful that officer gains +2 on their Officer Role checks for 1 round.

Piracy!: Activate an Imposition.

Relinquish Command: With a shout to the crew, you give another PC (or NPC cohort) command of the protection of the ship her crew. That character is granted a Support Officer Role card. If there are no Support Officer cards remaining, you give them this card instead. No check required.

Mage

The ‘Mage’ is a catch all term for a spellcaster who aids the ship using their magic. It could be a wizard who launches fireballs at the enemy’s sails, the cleric who acts as spiritual counsel for the crew or a druid who uses nature herself to confuse and destroy the enemy. Up to 2 spellcasters can be designated as a ‘Mage’ for the purposes of this role, (one arcane discipline and one divine discipline). This is usually the Ship’s Wizard, Chaplain or Sailing Master. You may only have one role at a time, if you are given this card while holding another role card, make a Profession (Sailor or Pirate) check at DC 15. If you fail, you lose any previous role cards. If you succeed, you may choose which role card to keep.

Mage_Role_Table.PNG

First Aid: When a PC or NPC is brought below 0 hp, you may as an immediate action move up to your speed (provoking attacks of opportunity as normal but ignoring difficult terrain for a crowded ship) and make a Heal check (at DC 25) to perform first aid or expend an appropriate healing spell, item or ability (minimum 1st level spell or equivalent). This affects a PC or NPC normally. Alternatively this can restore one crew member who has the ‘knocked out’ or ‘flesh wound’ injury to full health. They immediately re-join their squad as normal. You may perform this action after combat has ended. You may only patch up each crewmember once per day.
You must have the spells prepared and be able to cast them (either from a scroll, wand or prepared spells). This counts as a full-round action on your next turn as well and you are flat-footed during that round.

Magic!: The Mage may use their magical talents to distract the enemy or boost the effectiveness of their own crew. The Mage targets an enemy ship then makes an opposed check using either Profession (Sailor) or Spellcraft against the enemy Mage (or Pilot if they don’t have one). The Mage must also expend a prepared spell slot (gaining a bonus to the check equal to the spell’s level) or one of the following class abilities (each granting a +1 on the check): bardic music, lay on hands, channel energy, wild shape, summon monster, judgement, cantrips/orisons (spells become expendable for the rest of the day). If successful the Mage chooses one of the following penalties to apply to the enemy ship (if you win the opposed check by 10 or more, you may choose two different penalties to apply):

  • All officers take – 4 on profession (sailor) checks

  • -4 on all siege weapon attack rolls

  • ship takes – 4 AC and saves

  • 1 squad takes – 2 attack and defence

Boost Morale: Provide spiritual encouragement to the boarding parties. Target up to one crew squad per Cha bonus, then make a Knowledge (Religion) check DC equal to 15+(2x squad’s current morale) per squad selected. If successful, the squad gains +1 to morale for the rest of the encounter.

Look Alive: you help another officer perform their duties. Select one officer and make a Profession (Sailor or Pirate) check at DC 10. If successful that officer gains +2 on their Officer Role checks for 1 round.

Piracy!: Activate an Imposition.

Relinquish Command: With a shout to the crew, you give another PC (or NPC cohort) command over the spiritual and magical defence of the ship. That character is granted a Mage Role card. If there are no Mage cards remaining (or if they have the same magical discipline as you), you give them this card instead. No check required.

Engineer

The Engineer is a specialised officer who is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the ship’s engine, whether the engine is powered by a standard fuel source such as coal or slave labour or by alchemical compounds or even magic. The exact skill used to work/repair the engine depends on its’ type. This is usually a Knowledge (Engineering) check, but may be substituted for a different skill depending on the type of engine;

  • Steam Engine: Craft (Engines)

  • Alchemical Engine: Craft (Alchemy)

  • Magical Engine: Knowledge (Arcana)

  • Manually powered: Intimidate or Strength

The rules below use the term ‘Repair’ to represent this skill. Only a ship with an engine may have an engineer. You may only have one role at a time, if you are given this card while holding another role card, make a Profession (Sailor or Pirate) check at DC 15. If you fail, you lose any previous role cards. If you succeed, you may choose which role card to keep.

Engineer_Role_Table.PNG

Fix it!: You may make a Repair, Craft (Ships) or Profession (Sailor) check to ‘jury-rig’ one single piece of damage the ship or engine has taken. Jury-rigging removes all penalties for that particular piece of damage for the remainder of the encounter but will still need proper fixing later. For example if the ship has sprung a leak or the engine has flooded or a pipe has burst, these all count as separate pieces of damage. The DC of each repair is set by the DM depending on the severity but is usually around 20+ and always takes 1d6-1 full rounds to fix (minimum 1 round).

Repair: The Engineer is responsible for repairing any damage to the ship’s engines. When damage cannot be jury-rigged, the engineer must effect full repairs. Repairing the engine requires a Repair check at DC 25 and repairs 10 hp of damage to the engine. You may take 10 but not 20 on this check. These repairs take one full day and generally require the engine to be deactivated to perform (GM discretion).

Overload: The Engineer can make a Repair check at DC 25 to increase the propulsion output of the engine. This increases the speed bonus it provides by 2 for 1 minute but deals 10% of the engine’s maximum hp as damage to the engine.

Self-Destruct: The Engineer can attempt to overload the engine with dangerous amounts of pressure. This requires a DC 35 Repair check. If successful, the pressure builds up over 2d20 rounds (rolled secretly by the GM) after which the engine violently explodes, dealing 20d6 damage to everything in a 100ft. radius (plus an additional 10d6 fire damage if steam, alchemical or magically powered) [DC 30 Reflex for half]. At any time during the build-up any character may perform a DC 15 Repair check as a full-round action to cancel the self-destruct but this leaves the engine with only 90% hp remaining and the broken condition.

Look Alive: you help another officer perform their duties. Select one officer and make a Profession (Sailor or Pirate) check at DC 10. If successful that officer gains +1 on their Officer Role checks for 1 round.

Piracy!: Activate an Imposition.

Relinquish Command: With a shout to the crew, you give another PC (or NPC cohort) command of the ship’s engine(s). Hand them this role card. No check required.

Roles

Orithia- Skull & Shackles Kid_Dangerous