2.1 BASIC CHARACTER GENERATION
Colonial and Naval characters are created in the same manner as French-born Flashing Blades characters, with a few small modifications. Skill choices, Martial Skills, Advantages, Secrets, Money and Equipment may vary, depending upon Background.
High Seas characters may choose from six possible backgrounds. Each of these differs from those of normal Flashing Blades characters as shown below.
A Colonial Rogue is similar to his
French-born brethren. He is a criminal sort of person (perhaps an escaped
A Colonial Gentleman may be the son
A Colonial Soldier is a member of
one of the two garrison regiments stationed to protect the French colonies in
A Marine is a Soldier in the Royal Marines Regiment. Marines are trained to fight at sea, and are stationed onboard warships and important government ships. Being a Marine is quite dangerous, especially since French Marines were expected to learn by experience. They had their initial training on land, although expected to serve at sea. Characters with this background are assumed to have spent enough time on ships to have 'learned the ropes.' Characters from other backgrounds that join the Royal Marines will always start as Recruits (not Troopers) and will be expected to fight at sea. Characters with Marine background are allowed to determine starting rank normally (just as Soldiers in Flashing Blades). The Royal Marines are recruited in both France and the Colonies.
A Sailor is a man trained to serve as a crew member on a ship. Most 17th Century Sailors grew up on ships, and were experienced by the time they reached adulthood. To reflect this, all Sailors start with Seamanship skill (without paying Skill Points for it). Sailors may come from France or the Colonies, but will be poorly educated either way (i.e. illiterate). At the beginning of the game, Sailors may choose
the type of vessel they wish to sail on: a Merchantman, Warship or a Privateer
A character who starts the game as a Pirate is a desperate individual who has taken up the most dangerous and criminal of all of the professions of the 17th Century. Although characters from other backgrounds may become Pirates at later times, a character from this background gains the ability to speak the Pirate Patois (see below). They are, however, very poorly educated, and start the game not only illiterate (unless they buy Literacy skill), but also with one less Skill Point with which to choose general skills.
There is no such Background as
'Colonial Nobleman.' This is because nearly all French nobles were born and
High Seas introduces a new skills to the list already compiled in Flashing Blades.
The pirates, smugglers, and other
cutthroats of the
2.4.1 New Martial Skills
High Seas introduces a new Martial Skills for characters with nautical backgrounds.
This skill represents expertise in the use of small cannon and swivel guns onboard ships. Characters must have Gunnery skill to learn to use ship cannons with a little practice. A character must have Gunnery at d10 in order to become a ship's Chief Gunner.
2.5 ADVANTAGES & SECRETS
Advantages and Secrets in High Seas are handled similarly to those in Flashing Blades, with the following exceptions:
* As no High Seas character may start as a 'colonial nobleman,' the advantage of 'Title' may not be chosen.
* Only Colonial Gentlemen may choose the advantage of 'Land,' and even then, with a -2 modifier to the roll. A 'villa' or 'estate' on the table is assumed to be a colonial plantation. A plantation requires only half the normal money for upkeep (due to slave labor), but may require a great deal of the owner's time, keeping records, organizing harvests, etc.
* Only a Colonial Gentleman or Colonial Soldier may choose to have a 'Gentleman's Lackey.'
* Only a
Colonial Gentleman may choose to be a Member of an Order. In this case, the
result will always be a 'Gentleman's Club.' The list of
*Colonial Rogues, Marines and Pirates may not have 'Code of Honor' or 'Religious Fanatic' as their Secrets.
26.1 Yearly Allowance
High Seas characters determine their Yearly Allowance at the start of the game, All Backgrounds receive a yearly allowance except for Pirates. A Pirate receives only a starting sum of money. and must fend for himself when it runs out. Colonial Rogues, Soldiers, and Gentlemen roll to determine their Yearly Allowances on the same tables as their French-born counterparts (listed in Flashing Blades). Marines and Pirates roll 1D6 on the tables provided below:
Roll †††††† Marine † Sailor ††† Pirate
1 †††††††††† 100 L ††† 75 L ††††† 50 L
2 †††††††††† 100 L ††† 100 L ††† 75 L
3 †††††††††† 150 L ††† 125 L ††† 75 L
4††††††††††† 150 L ††† 150 L ††† 100 L
5††††††††††† 200 L ††† 150 L ††† 100 L
6††††††††††† 250 L ††† 200 L ††† 150 L
High Seas characters outfit themselves
normally at the start of the game, buying equipment with their first year's
allowance. All of the normal equipment from the Flashing Blades rulebook may be bought. Prices in the
Support in the
The two new weapons introduced in High Seas cost as follows:
Hand Axe 8 L
Fighting Iron 14 L.
As in Flashing Blades, characters from some backgrounds begin the game with starting gear. This gear must be replaced by characters if lost or broken. Starting gear is listed below:
Sailors and Pirates start with sailors' knives (which count as daggers for game purposes).
Colonial Soldiers start with Fusiliers' armor and weaponry (see Flashing Blades).
Marines start with Fusiliers' armor, a cutlass, and one other hand weapon or matchlock musket (player's choice).
2.6.3 Monetary Conversions
The monetary system of High Seas is based on French
currency (Sous, Pistoles, Livres, etc.) just like Flashing Blades. The
1 Shilling = 2 French Sous
20 Shillings = 1 Pound
1 Pound = 2 French Livres
4 Reals = 5 French Livres
8 Reals = 1 Peso (a 'Piece of Eight')
1 Peso = 10 French Livres
1 Guilder = 10 French Sous (1/2 Livre)
2.7 COLONIAL SOCIAL RANK
High Seas incorporates the Social Scale used in Flashing Blades. Advancements in Social Rank may be attained as detailed in the rules for Flashing Blades, and in section 4.1.2 of these rules. High Seas characters have starting Social Ranks based on their backgrounds, as shown below:
Colonial Rogues and Pirates start at Social Rank 1.
Colonial Soldiers and Marines start at Social Rank 2 (although this may be greater, depending upon their starting military rank)
Sailors start at Social Rank 2.
Colonial Gentlemen start at Social Rank 6 (or Social Rank 7 for those who own plantations).
2.8 NOTES ON HIGH SEAS CHARACTERS
Excepting the additions and modifications listed above, High Seas characters are created and played exactly like their Flashing Blades brethren. In cases of doubt between these rules and those of Flashing Blades, always refer to the original rules (Flashing Blades) for clarification.
The Flashing Blades system for personal combat remains basically unchanged in High Seas. Turn Sequence, Actions, Rolling to Hit and Parry, Damage, the Optional Rules, etc. all work normally. Two new sections have been added to expand the Flashing Blades combat system for adventures at sea.
The first section is comprised of
new rules for two weapons introduced for shipboard combat: the hand axe (a
short tomahawk-like axe used for cutting ropes or as a weapon) and the fighting
iron (a flail-like weapon made up of three lengths of iron joined by chains). Although
common in the
The second section includes new rules for special shipboard combat situations. Some of these (such as the rules for Drowning) could be used in normal Flashing Blades adventures.
The hand axe and fighting iron are two typical, if brutal, shipboard combat weapons, Expertise in both is covered by the martial skill Fighting Weapons.
A hand axe weighs about the same as a cutlass. When hitting as a hand weapon, a hand axe gets +1 to hit. When thrown, a hand axe counts as a Thrown Brawling Weapon for range purposes. A hand axe may be used to parry at -1. A hand axe may also be parried by dueling weapons, daggers, and Two-Handed swords. A hand axe does 1d6 points of damage. Minimum Strength for a hand axe is d6.
A fighting iron weighs the same as a Great Axe and may range in size from 1.3 to 2 meters in length. It does d10 damage on a hit. A fighting iron may not be used to parry or block. It may be blocked by an improvised shield.
Any character that is not wearing a helmet, and is hit on the head with a fighting iron, must roll Vigor or will be stunned for a turn. Minimum Strength for a fighting iron is d8.
3.3 SPECIAL SITUATIONS
Fighting on shipboard may entail many special combat situations, For most of these, the Gamemaster must improvise rules. Five fairly common shipboard situations are dealt with below as a start:
Characters who are not used to fighting at sea will have difficulty at first. Only Pirates, Sailors and Marines are assumed to start the game with good 'sea-legs.' All others receive a -1 penalty to hit, and move at half speed when fighting onboard a ship. After a character has made three successful attacks while fighting at sea, he may attempt to make a roll against his Smarts to develop good 'sea-legs.' And lubbers will lose their 'sea-legs' after a few hours on land, but old salts are always 'at ease fighting at sea. A Landlubber may develop permanent 'sea-legs' if he learns the Boating skill.
Characters with Seamanship skill may move up, down, and around rigging at a rate of two meters per turn (+1 for Agility d8+, +1 for Acrobats skill). Characters who rush through a ship's rigging during combat or during a storm must make suitable rolls' against Dexterity to avoid falling (determined by the Gamemaster). Characters fighting in the rigging receive a -1 penalty on all attacks and parries, and must make normal Agility rolls each combat turn to avoid falling (+1 for Boating skill, +2 for Acrobat Edge). Characters with Boating at d8 and Acrobats may swing on ropes from the rigging of one mast to another, or to a ship's deck. Swinging about in a ship's rigging requires various Agility rolls (determined by the Gamemaster).
Recuperation at sea requires a special note because of the lack of good medical care and sterile facilities. Unless there is a physician aboard, recovering characters have a -2 modifier when rolling for Natural Healing.
4.1.1 The French Colonies
A brief description of each of the
major French colonies in the
The largest of the French colonies
was protected from Indian and British
colonial raids to the south by a garrison company at
Later (in the early 18th Century) a
string of forts, garrisoned by four new companies, were built to form a line of
The most important French colony in
the West lndies was French Hispaniola (
Besides the obvious material
benefits of colonial furs, tobacco, sugar, etc., the colonies helped to support
the French economy by providing raw materials for production, and markets for
finished French goods. Although the French colonies were not rich in gold and
silver (as were those of
French ports were protected by forts and garrisons (distributed as listed above). Much of the colonial population was well armed. With the constant threats of pirate raids, Indian attacks, and slave revolts, most towns developed well-organized militias.
4.1.2 Social Ranks in the
Social Ranks work the same in High Seas as in Flashing Blades. A French Colonial Social
Rank will be accepted in
Many new ranks and positions are introduced in High Seas to accommodate colonial characters. These may be incorporated into the normal Social Scale as shown below:
Rank ††† Positions
1††††††††††† (Colonial Rogues, Pirates)
2††††††††††† (Colonial Soldiers, Marines, Sailors
3††††††††††† Missionary, Chief Gunner, Master-at-Arms
4††††††††††† Ensign, Sail Master, Pilotís Mate
5††††††††††† 1st Officer, 1st mate, Pilot
6 †††††††††† (Colonial Gentleman), Pirate or Merchantman Captain
††††††††††††† Colonial Lieutenant Governor
8 †††††††††† Colonial Club Chief
9††††††††††† Fleet Commander
10 †††††††† -
11††††††††† Colonial Governor
12 †††††††† Admiral
No Social Rank beyond 12 is listed because there are no new ranks
4.2 COLONIAL MILITARY FORCES
4.2.1 New Regiments
Three new regiments are introduced in these rules. The exact breakdown in companies of each is shown below:
Regiment (and companies) †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††† Enlist. Roll †††††††††††††††††††††† Status
Colonial Garrison Regiment †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††† 7 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4
1 Company Monreal Garrison (fusiliers)
1 Company Fort
1 Company Fort La Salk Garrison (fusiliers)
1 Company St. Louis Bay Garrison (fusiliers)
1 Company Fort Mobile Garrison (fusiliers)
Royal Garrison Regiment †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††† 7†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4
2 Companies French
6 Companies Marines†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 8 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3
Colonial Soldiers may choose to start in either the Colonial Garrison Regiment or the Royal Garrison Regiment, and may pick their companies. Marines automatically start in the Royal Marines. Starting rank is determined normally.
Later enlistment in the colonial regiments by characters from different backgrounds is rolled for normally. Rank may be bought in the Colonial Garrison Regiment and the Royal Garrison Regiment, but all 'enlistees' in the Royal Marines start as raw Recruits. Marine Recruits receive their training 'hands on,' and are expected to fight at sea until they learn the ropes.
Ranks and positions advance normally in the colonial regiments, with the following exceptions:
(1) Subalterns in the Royal Marines are referred to as 'Ensigns.'
(2) A Captain in one of the Garrison Regiments will command his Garrison Company. He functions not only as a normal Captain, but also as commander of his garrison fort, and as a sort of police chief in the French settlements nearby.
(3) When a character from one of the
colonial regiments reaches the rank of Brigadier, he may return to
A Colonial Soldier or Marine who returns to France may transfer into a company in the regular French Army, provided it status is 4 or less, and that he successfully makes the normal enlistment roll. High Seas characters who transfer receive a rank in the new regiment one lower than that which they previously held (although never lower than Trooper).
4.2.2 Colonial Military Campaigns
Colonial Soldiers dd not engage in normal (continental) Military Campaigns. They do, however, participate in various colonial skirmishes and raids, as detailed below.
Each month, a Colonial Garrison rolls a D6 to determine if it participates in some sort of 'Colonial Campaign.' On a roll of 6, it does. When there is a Colonial Campaign, roll another D6 on the table below and cross reference the colony with the roll to determine the exact nature of the Campaign:
1††††††††††† Indian††††††††††††††††† Indian††††††††††††††††† Slave†††††††††††††††††† Slave
††††††††††††† Attack††††††††††††††††† Attack††††††††††††††††† Revolt†††††††††††††††† Revolt
2 †††††††††† Indian †††††††††††††††† Spanish †††††††††††† English †††††††††††††† Spanish
††††††††††††† Attack †††††††††††††††† Raid †††††††††††††††††† Raid †††††††††††††††††† Raid
3††††††††††† Indian††††††††††††††††† Pirate††††††††††††††††† English††††††††††††††† Spanish
††††††††††††† Attack †††††††††††††††† Raid †††††††††††††††††† Raid †††††††††††††††††† Raid
4††††††††††† English††††††††††††††† Pirate††††††††††††††††† Pirate †††††††††††††††† Pirate
††††††††††††† Raid †††††††††††††††††† Raid †††††††††††††††††† Raid †††††††††††††††††† Raid
5††††††††††† English††††††††††††††† Spanish English††††††††††††††† Spanish
Raid †††††††††††††††††† Bombardment †† Bombardment †† Bombardment
6††††††††††† English††††††††††††††† Pirate††††††††††††††††† Pirate††††††††††††††††† Spanish
Raid †††††††††††††††††† Bombardment †† Bombardment †† Bombardment
An Indian Attack indicates that hostile Indians have attacked the settlement or fort guarded by the garrison. The number of Indians attacking is determined by rolling (1D20 x 20) and adding 200 (producing a number between 220 and 600). The settlement will be protected by the garrison company (200 men) and (2D6 X 10) civilian militiamen. Roll the three encounters as if it were a normal Flashing Blades Campaign. Determine Army Strengths by dividing the Indian forces by 20, and the French forces by 10. For example, if a fort with a garrison company (200 men) and 60 militiamen was attacked by 340
Indians, the French Army Strength would be 26 (260/10 = 26) and the Indian Army Strength would be 17 (340/20 = 17).
When rolling for individual results in an Indian Attack, roll normally. East coast Indians will not be mounted. Normal encounters will be armed with a spear (equivalent to a pike) or hand axe, and a bow. If a roll indicates an encounter with an Officer or Cavalier, the Indian will have a musket. There is no roll for Booty after an Indian Attack. If a garrison loses in the fight against an Indian Attack, each player character in the company (or militia) must attempt a Smarts roll. If the Smarts roll fails, he is captured (further adventures in this case are up to the Gamemaster).
A Slave Revolt may take place in the
When rolling for individual results in a Slave Revolt, toll normally. Slaves will not be mounted. Normal encounters will be armed with a club, dagger, or hand axe. If a roll indicates an encounter with an Officer or Cavalier, the slave will have a musket or two pistols. There is no roll for Booty after a Slave Revolt. If the French lose to the slaves, each French player-character must attempt a Smarts roll. If successful, he escapes on one of the ships in the harbor, and gets to another French island. If the Smarts roll fails, he is captured,
A Raid indicates that a foreign
power, or a pirate fleet, has landed or sent troops to the French settlement to
make a quick skirmish attack. There will be (1D20 x 20) + 100 enemy soldiers
(double this number against French Hispaniola). The French fort or settlement
will be defended by its garrison (200 men, or 400 men on
When rolling for individual results in a Raid, roll normally, but assume that none of the raiders will be mounted (substitute an Officer encounter for Cavalier). The roll for Booty at the end of a Raid has a -4 modifier. Raiders will hold the settlement only long enough to pillage and plunder (a week at most). Player-characters who look rich may be taken for ransom by the raiders, but otherwise, they will only be imprisoned until the raiders leave.
A Bombardment indicates that the garrison fort and settlement are attacked by ships from sea. The ships will attempt to bombard the colonials into surrender, and then plunder them. A Bombardment is handled according to the ship combat rules (section 6.4.8). Campaign results are not determined normally. The Gamemaster, must determine the number and type of ships and forts in a Bombardment, and run the battle accordingly.
4.2.3 Marine Duty
Marines may be stationed either on land (as additional garrison troops for forts) or at sea. For every two months served aboard ships, a Marine may spend one month at a colonial port. While garrisoned in the colonies, Marines determine Colonial Campaigns in the same way as Colonial Soldiers. Marine troops are added to the French total in Colonial Campaigns, but are usually stationed only in small numbers (twenty or forty).
At sea, Marines are assigned to serve as boarding and defensive troops on French Warships and Merchantmen. On a small or medium sized ship (such as a Corsair, Merchantman, or Small Warship) a squad of twenty Marines will be stationed. Larger vessels may have forty or sixty Marines (two or three squads). Warships may carry large numbers of Marines for raids.
On board Merchantmen, Marines are only defensive. Roll for normal encounters for the ship (as detailed in section 6.2.3). If a hostile encounter occurs, use the rules in section 6.4 to determine the outcome. On Warships, Marines may participate in Naval Battles (as boarders), or in land raids on foreign colonies'(as raiders). The design and use of naval battles are up to the discretion of the Gamemaster. If the High
Seas players are familiar with wargaming, the Gamemaster may wish to use some advanced rules for naval battles (see the beginning of section 6.4 for a list of good ship-to-ship wargaming rules). Otherwise, the rules in section 6.4 may be adapted for small naval battles.
Marine raids on foreign colonies should be handled as detailed in section 4.2.2. Marine raiders, however, may face varying numbers of defenders, depending upon the colony and the situation (as determined by the Gamemaster). After successfully taking a foreign port, Marines may roll twice for Booty.
4.3 SHIPBOARD RANKS
4.3.1 Signing On and Initial Duties
Sailors and Pirates start the game as members of a ship's crew. Sailors who choose to start on Warships are in the French Navy, and must serve six months every year aboard French ships. Otherwise, Sailors and Pirates are their own bosses, and may sign on to the ships of their choice.
A Sailor or Pirate signs on to a ship for a single voyage or period of time, and may leave for another ship at the voyage's end. Signing on is also the signing of a contract, determining pay (or share of booty).
Once a Sailor has signed on to a ship, he i s at the Captain's command for the voyage.
To serve aboard a ship, a character must have Seamanship skill, and must perform one of three duties: Gunnery, Sail or Helm.
Gunnery requires characters with Gunnery skill, to load and fire the ship's cannons, Sail requires characters with an Agility of at least d6 to manipulate the ship's sails. Helm requires characters with the Knowledge: Navigation skill, to man the helm and steer the ship. Regular Sailors, aboard a Merchantman or Warship are paid 5 L per month (8 L for those on Helm duty). Sailors aboard privateer and pirate vessels are paid in single shares of the total Booty.
Sailors and Pirates may rise in Shipboard Rank as they progress. Openings on shipboard are made only by losses or signing off. During shipboard melee, the Gamemaster should keep track of what happens to the ship's officers (see section 6.4.7). In addition, on each voyage of two weeks or longer, roll 1D6. On a roll of 6, one of the ship's officers dies of disease (determine which one randomly).
When a ship comes into port at the end of a voyage, some officers may sign on to other ships, leaving openings for player-characters. Roll a D6 for each officer other than the Captain and the First Mate; on a roll of 6, he signs off the ship. Player-characters who are eligible for higher positions may also check for openings aboard other ships at port. Again, roll a D6; on a 6, another ship has an opening.
4.3.2 Gunnery Ranks
A number of ranks are available to characters specializing in Gunnery, as detailed below:
A Gunner's Mate supervises the crews of two cannons, He is chosen by one of the Gunners. When there is an opening for a Gunner's Mate, player-character must roll 7 or more on 2D6 to be chosen for the position. A Gunner's Mate is paid 6 L per month aboard Warships and Merchantmen, and receives a normal share of the booty aboard pirates and privateersmen.
A Gunner supervises the Gunner's Mates and the gun crews of half a deck. There are two Gunners per gun deck. When there is an opening for a Gunner, a player-character who is a Gunner's Mate will be chosen automatically by the Chief Gunner for the position. A Gunner is paid 10 L per month aboard Warships and Merchantmen, and receives two shares of the booty aboard Pirates and Privateersmen.
The Master-at-Arms keeps order below decks, and is expected to lead boarding parties in shipboard melee, A Strength of at least d8, and Command are required for this position. The Master-at-Arms is appointed by the Captain on Warships, Merchantmen, and Privateers, and is elected aboard Pirate vessels. When the position opens, any qualified player-character who Is a Gunner or Gunner's Mate will be appointed or elected (unless he is unpopular for some reason). The Master-at-Arms is paid 12 L per month aboard Warships and Merchantmen, and receives three shares of the Booty aboard Pirates and Privateers.
The Chief Gunner commands the gun decks, and appoints all of the Gunners and Gunner's Mates. The Chief Gunner is appointed by the Captain, and must have at least d10 Gunnery skill. A character must have the rank of Gunner or Master-at-Arms to be appointed Chief Gunner. If there is an opening, any qualified player-character will be appointed. The Chief Gunner is paid 16 L per month aboard Warships and Merchantmen, and receives three shares aboard pirate and privateer vessels.
After Chief Gunner, characters specializing in Gunnery may only continue into the Higher Ranks (detailed in section 4.3.5).
4.3.3 Sail Ranks
Characters that specialize in Sail may advance through three ranks, before progressing to the higher ranks:
The Sailmaster's Apprentice is a Sailmaster in training, who is specially chosen by the Sailmaster. If the position is open, a player character must roll 8+ on 2D6 to be chosen. The Sailmaster's Apprentice receives normal pay (only one share aboard pirate and privateer ships). At the end of each voyage he makes, the Sailmaster's Apprentice automatically receives one XP specifically to raise Boating. When he becomes a Master Seaman, he is qualified to serve as a Sailmaster himself (and to choose his own apprentice).
The Sailmaster (sometimes referred to as 'the Boatswain') is in charge of managing the ship's sails, and organizing the Sail crew. He must have d10 in Boating skill, and is appointed by the Captain. If there is an opening for Sailmaster, the Sailmaster's Apprentice, if he is qualified, automatically gets the position. The Sailmaster is paid 16 L per month aboard Warships and Merchantmen, and receives three shares aboard pirate and privateer vessels.
The First Officer of a ship is in
charge of keeping discipline on the top decks. He is appointed by the Captain
on a Warship, Merchantman or Privateersman, and is
elected on a pirate vessel. The First Officer must have Command and Knowledge:
The Pilot's Mate is the special apprentice of the Ship's Pilot. The Pilot's Mate must have a Smarts of d8 or more, and must be chosen by the Ship's Pilot. If there is an opening for Pilot's Mate, a qualified player character must roll 8 or more on 2D6 to be chosen for the position. At the end of each voyage he makes, the Pilot's Mate automatically receives one XP specifically to raise Knowledge: Navigation. When he reaches d10 in his Navigation skill, he is eligible to become a Ship's Pilot. The Pilot's Mate receives normal pay and only one share of the booty (aboard pirates and privateers),
The Ship's Pilot is the navigator of his ship, and he must have d10 in Knowledge: Navigation skill. The Ship's Pilot is appointed by the Captain, but a qualified player-character who is already Pilot's Mate will be appointed automatically when there is an opening, The Ship's Pilot is paid 20 L per month aboard Warships and Merchantmen, and receives three shares aboard pirates and privateersmen.
4.3.5 The Higher Ranks
After a character attains the rank of Master-at-Arms, Chief Gunner, Sailmaster, First Officer or Ship's Pilot, he may progress into the higher ranks:
The First Mate is a ship's second in command. It is the First Mate who signs sailors onto the ship, assigns duties, administrates, and keeps discipline (after the Master-at-Arms and the First Officer). To be First Mate, a character must have Boating d10, Command, and beLiterate as well. The First Mate is chosen by the Captain, If there is an opening, a qualified player-character must roll 8 or more on 2D6 to get the position (+1 if he is Ship's Pilot). The First Mate is paid 20 L per month aboard Warships and Merchantmen, and he receives three shares of booty aboard Pirates and Privateers. In addition, aboard Merchantmen bearing cargo, the First Mate is paid 5% of the profits at the end of the voyage.
The Captain is the commander of his ship, and has the power of life and death over his crew, while they are signed aboard, To Captain a ship, a character must have Boating d10, Command, he must be Literate, and have Knowledge: Navigation d6 and Knowledge: Battle as well. Aboard a Merchantman or Privateer, the Captain will be appointed by the owner. If the owner of a Merchantman or Privateer is qualified, he may appoint himself Captain. Captains aboard Warships are appointed by an Admiral, or by the King. If an opening for a Captain appears, the First Mate (if he is qualified) will be appointed. Otherwise a Captain will be chosen at the next port (qualified characters may attempt to roll 10 or better on 2D6 for the position). Aboard pirate vessels, the Captain is elected: each qualified character aboard rolls 2D6 (+2 for the First Mate) and the highest roll indicates election. The Captain is paid 40 L per month aboard Warships. Pirate Captains may claim five to ten shares of the Booty, while Privateer Captains get five shares, and must turn over five shares to the owner (he gets all ten shares if he is both the Captain and the Owner). Finally, Captains of Merchantmen receive 30% of the profits at the end of a voyage (75% i f they own the ship). There are no ranks beyond that of Captain, except for Naval Ranks, open only to Captains of Warships.
Each year after being appointed
Captain of a Warship, a character has a chance for temporary promotion to Fleet
Commander. A roll of 9 or more on 2D6 is necessary to be appointed Fleet
Commander (+1 if the character has Knowledge:
After being a Fleet Commander three
times, a character will be given the permanent position of Admiral in
4.3.6 Naval Campaigns
Pirates and Privateers rove the seas in search of prizes, but only Warships take part in Naval Campaigns. Naval Campaigns will vary widely, depending upon the situation. The Gamemaster may use the rules provided in this section as basic guidelines.
For each month at sea, roll 1D6 for the assignment of a Warship:
Roll ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Assignment
1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Patrol
2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Search
3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Convoy
4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bombardment
5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Raid
6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Naval
A Patrol assignment indicates that the ship is to patrol French colonial waters, keeping an eye out for Pirates and enemy ships. For Patrols, simply roll on the Sea Encounter Table in section 6.2.3. If a hostile ship comes up as an encounter, the Patrol ship may fight or (if outnumbered or outclassed) go back to port for reinforcements.
A Search means the Warship has been assigned to look for a particular hostile vessel sighted in French colonial waters. The Gamemaster should specify the type of ship for which to search (e.g. a Pirate Corsair, a Small English Warship, etc.). Roll for normal encounters at sea. If a ship matching the description given appears, assume that it is the hostile ship that is the subject of the search.
On a Convoy assignment, the Warship must escort one or more Merchantmen through dangerous waters. Roll for normal encounters at sea.
A Bombardment result indicates that the Warship (and possibly others) is assigned to fire upon an enemy colonial fort or town. The Gamemaster must determine the strength of the target's defenses, the number of Warships assigned to bombard it, etc., and use the rules in section 6.4.8 to determine the outcome.
A Raid assignment means that the Warship is assigned to ferry Marines from a French colony, and land them near an enemy fort or town for a Raid (as described in section 4.2.3, Marine Duty). A Warship assigned to a Raid must wait to pick up the Marines again, after they have been defeated or after they have plundered the town. The Warship may have to fight enemy ships as it waits.
A Naval Battle result indicates that the Warship will be required to participate in a large scale battle at sea. The Gamemaster must determine the specifics of the battle situation, the strengths of the two sides, etc. Fleets under the command of Fleet Commanders or Admirals also roll on this table to determine their assignments.
Encounters at Sea
During a sea voyage, rolls are made to determine if a ship meets other vessels, friendly, hostile, or neutral. This roll is made on a D6 and a roll of 6 indicates that another vessel or vessels have appeared.
A roll for encounters at sea is made:
When an encounter occurs, roll 2D6 and read them sequentially to determine the result (e.g. a roll of '3' and '5' would be read as '35,' '2' and '1' would be '21,' etc.). This refers to the Encounters at Sea Table below:
Roll ††††††††† Encountered Ship(s)
11††††††††††††† A lightly armed French Merchantman
12††††††††††††† A lightly armed patrol ship (belonging to the nearest sea power)
13††††††††††††† A heavily armed Spanish Galleon
14††††††††††††† A heavily armed Pirate/Privateer Corsair
15 †††††††††††† A lightly armed Dutch Frigate (Small Warship)
16††††††††††††† A heavily armed English Merchantmen
21††††††††††††† A Spanish Convoy of 2 lightly armed Merchantmen and 2 heavily armed Small Warships
22††††††††††††† 2 heavily armed Spanish Galleons
23††††††††††††† 2 lightly armed Pirate/Privateer Corsair
24††††††††††††† A heavily armed Danish Small Warship
25††††††††††††† A heavily armed Spanish Merchantman
26 †††††††††††† A heavily armed Large Warship searching for Pirates/ enemy Privateers (belonging to the nearest sea power)
31††††††††††††† A lightly armed English Corsair
32††††††††††††† A heavily armed Portuguese Galleon
33††††††††††††† A small English fleet (1D6+1 Small Warships)
34††††††††††††† A heavily armed French Merchantman
35††††††††††††† A heavily armed Pirate/Privateer Small Warship
36††††††††††††† 2 heavily armed patrol ships (Corsairs) belonging to the nearest sea power
41††††††††††††† A heavily armed Dutch Merchantman
42††††††††††††† A small French fleet (1D6+1 Small Warships)
43††††††††††††† 2 lightly armed Spanish Merchantmen
44††††††††††††† A heavily armed Pirate/Privateer Corsair
45††††††††††††† A lightly armed Portuguese Merchantman
46††††††††††††† A lightly armed Danish Merchantman
51††††††††††††† A small Dutch fleet (1D6+1 Small Warships)
52††††††††††††† A heavily armed Spanish Large Warship
53††††††††††††† 2 heavily armed patrol ships (Small Warships) belonging to the nearest sea power
54††††††††††††† A lightly armed French Merchantman
55††††††††††††† A heavily armed English Large Warship
56 †††††††††††† A Spanish Convoy of 2 lightly armed Galleons and 2 heavily armed Large Warships
61††††††††††††† An English Fleet (2d6 Small Warships)
62††††††††††††† A French Fleet (2d6 Small Warships)
63††††††††††††† A Pirate/Privateer Fleet (2d6 Corsairs)
64 †††††††††††† A Pirate/Privateer fleet (1D6+1 Small Warships)
65††††††††††††† A heavily armed French Merchantman
66††††††††††††† Spanish Treasure Fleet of 1D6+1 Galleons guarded by an equal number of Large Warships
To determine how an encountered ship is armed, consult the table below:
Type of Ship††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††† Long Guns per Side †††††††††††††††† Chasers ††††††††††††††††††† Stern Guns †††††††††††††† Pont Guns
Lightly armed Corsair††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††† 1 D6 †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 0††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 0 †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 0
Heavily armed Corsair†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1D6+2 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2 †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2 †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1/side
Lightly armed Small Warship†††††††††††††††††††† 1D6+4 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 0 †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 0
Heavily armed Small Warship†††††††††††††††††† 1D6+10 †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2 †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2/side
Lightly armed Merchantman†††††††††††††††††††††† 1D6+2 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 0 †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2 †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 0
Heavily armed Merchantman†††††††††††††††††††† 1D6+6 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2 †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4 †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2/side
Lightly armed Large Warship ††††††††††††††††††† 2D6+2 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2 †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2 †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1/side
Heavily armed Large Warship †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2D6+8 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2 †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6 †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4/side
Lightly armed Galleon†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2D6+6 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2 †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4 †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2/side
Heavily armed Galleon††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2D6+12 †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4 †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6 †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5/side
Ships in fleets are always assumed to be heavily armed. The number of guns on each side of a ship will always be equal (for balance). Guns on encountered ships are assumed to be normal long guns rather than cannon royal.
How an encounter progresses once it is rolled up is determined by the actions of the player-characters (and their Captain) and the judgment of the Gamemaster. Merchantmen, Galleons, and Convoys encountered at sea will generally not bother other ships, and will try to evade if attacked. Corsairs will usually only attack Merchantmen, they will attempt to evade Warships and Patrol Ships. Solitary Warships may attack vessels which appear to be Pirates or Privateers or those belonging to an enemy power. If outnumbered, Patrol Ships may attempt to evade, in order to bring reinforcements, Fleets, although powerful at sea, are usually set upon some mission (a Raid or Bombardment, or perhaps a rendezvous at a naval battle). They will not take time out from their mission to engage other ships unless they recognize the other ship(s) as Pirates or enemy Privateers. A fleet will sometimes destroy a ship it encounters i f it fears that the ship will give away its presence in enemy waters.
4.4 THE CLERGY IN THE
4.4.1 Clergy Positions in the
The Clergy in the
Becoming a Student of Theology in
Alternatively, a colonial character
may become a Missionary, attempting to convert Indians and slaves in the French
colonies to Catholicism. A colonial character must study with a Pastor in the
colonies for two years before being ordained as a Missionary. A Missionary receives the benefits of
being a Priest, but may not advance in the Clergy. If a Missionary returns to
4.4.2 Huguenots in the
French Protestants did not fare well
After losing their
4.5 COLONIAL BUREAUCRACY
No self-rule was allowed the
colonies by the French Crown, so the
Colonial Bureaucracy was simply an extension of that of
STUDENT OF LAW
A character cannot study Law in the
colonies. To become a Student of Law, a colonial character must travel back to
Minor Officials in the Colonies may become Colonial Sheriffs and Aides to Colonial Lt. Governors, with the same benefits and duties of normal Provincial Sheriffs and Aides to Provincial Lt. Governors, respectively.
OFFICIAL OF THE REALM
Officials of the Realm in the
colonies may become Colonial Lt. Governors, Colonial Tax Collectors, or
Colonial Town Mayors. These positions are nearly identical to the normal
positions of Provincial Lt. Governor, Provincial Tax Collector, and (French)
Town Mayor. Colonial Lieutenant Governors are appointed in
A Colonial Town Mayor commands a small colonial militia, of 1 D6 x 5 men. A Colonial Town Mayor who actively recruits men for his militia (at a cost of 20 L per month of recruiting and training) will increase his force by 1D6 men per month. A Town Militia may not exceed sixty men.
Royal Officials in the colonies may
become Colonial Governors or Colonial City Mayors. These positions are
analogous to those of Provincial Governor and City Mayor in
Colonial City Mayors are stationed at large cities in. the colonies which are not the seats of Colonial Governors, These include Quebec, Trois Rivieres, and Tadoussac (in New France), Pensacola, Ouacha, and St. Louis Bay (in Louisiana) and Geava (on French Hispaniola). There are no Colonial City Mayors in the French Antilles because each of the islands is controlled by a Governor or Lieutenant Governor,
Colonial City Mayors have command over garrisons stationed in their cities (after the Colonial Governor). Each city has, in addition, a Militia of 1D6 x 10 men. A Colonial City Mayor may recruit more militiamen as detailed above, up to a total of one hundred men.
When a Royal Official is promoted
from his position in the colonies, he may choose to return to
Colonial bureaucrats who return to
4.6 COLONIAL CLUBS
Royal and Noble Orders may not be
joined in the colonies, and only two of the popular Gentlemen's Clubs of France
have branches there. There are two Colonial Clubs, however, which, although
they are of lower status than the French Clubs, cater to the elite gentlemen and
plantation owners of the
Minimum ††††††††††††††††††††††††† Entrance
Club †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Social Rank †††††††††††††††††††† Roll ††††††††††††††††††† Yearly Dues
The Black Cross †††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10+ ††††††††††††††††††† 20 L/year
The Boar's Head †††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 9+ ††††††††††††††††††††† 10 L/year
Club Sans Souci †††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 8+ ††††††††††††††††††††† 10 L/year
Maison Malnom †††††††††††††† 3 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7+ ††††††††††††††††††††† 10 L/year
The rules for joining and advancing
in clubs are the same as in Flashing
Blades. Note that the French Clubs are more difficult to join in the
colonies than in
4.7 BANKING & TAXES
The Banking system of Flashing Blades remains unchanged
in High Seas. Colonial
Bankers advance and make investments in the same ways as their French
counterparts. In addition, High Seas
introduces a system for direct trade
investment in Joint Stock Companies (as detailed in section 6.1). The French
Colonies are heavily taxed by the Crown. Add 10% to yearly taxes in the
Pirates & Privateers
Although High Seas is designed to encompass a variety of
First, it is important to clarify the difference between Pirates and Privateers. Pirates were cutthroats, who robbed and plundered ships at sea, and coastal towns and harbors, without commissions from sovereign nations. Privateers committed similar crimes, but under the protection of the European governments. Privateers were granted 'Letters of Marque' which permitted them to plunder enemy ships, and seek safety in the harbors of the issuing power.
17th Century Pirates were, for the
most part, desperate men: deserters, escaped convicts, renegade Privateers, and
various other villains.
Privateers often had more illustrious backgrounds than Pirates. All characters from the Sailor background have the option of starting the game as crewmen aboard a Privateer. A character who can afford to buy and outfit a Privateer vessel may start his own plundering expedition. If qualified, he may appoint himself Captain; otherwise, he must hire a Captain to command the ship. He must also receive (or buy) a Letter of Marque.
A Privateer Owner and Captain are limited in ways that a Pirate Captain is not. A Privateer may not menace the shipping of the nation which commissioned him, and must pay a set percentage of his booty (15% to 20%) to that nation. On the other hand, a Privateer Captain is not elected (as is a Pirate Captain) and cannot be booted out of his position by the crew (unless there is a mutiny). A Privateer vessel also has more safe harbors open to it than a Pirate.
5.2 PIRATE ARTICLES
As mentioned above, and in the preceding sections, many pirate Officers were elected, and most pirate ships had sets of Articles, as Charters or Constitutions for the crew. Not all pirate crews were democratic, but most were, and it was difficult for a less-than-outstanding Captain to become a tyrant. To reflect this in game terms, only a Pirate Captain with a Ruthlessness Rating of 10 or more (see below) may take absolute control of his ship.
Normal Pirate Articles contained a series of rules and regulations, and a set of punishments for various crimes (desertion, thievery and violence within the crew, disobeying orders, etc.). Pirate punishments reflected the brutality of their times, and often included marooning and/or death. Pirate Articles usually provided extra shares of booty for men who lost limbs or joints in boarding melee, and sometimes, shares for the families of Pirates killed at sea.
Pirate Articles included provisions for the election and appointment of ship's officers. The Captain, First Officer, and Master-at-Arms were generally elected, while the First Mate, Sailmaster, Pilots and Chief Gunners were appointed by the Captain. Election is rolled for in the same manner as normal appointment (as detailed in section 4.3).
Pirate Articles also provided for the number of shares of booty due to each crewman after a successful engagement:
Rank ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Shares
Crewman (Gunnery, Helm or Sail)†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1
Gunner's Mate†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1
Master-at-Arms ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3
Chief Gunner†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3
Sailmaster's Apprentice †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1
First Officer ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††† 3
Pilot's Mate††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1
Ship's Pilot††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3
First Mate†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††† 3
Captain††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5 - 10
In addition, if a Physician is aboard, he receives two shares; a Ship's Carpenter (not a player-character rank) also receives two shares. If a Pirate crew becomes dissatisfied with an elected officer, or with an officer appointed by the Captain, it may give the Captain 'the Black Spot' - an official complaint mixed with threat. The 'Black Spot' is simply a piece of parchment or paper, blackened on one side, with a statement by the crew on the other. The 'Black Spot' may only be prepared by a majority of the crew.
The 'Black Spot' may demand a change of strategy or the deposition of one of the ship's officers. If the Captain ( or any other elected officer) disagrees, he may argue out his position with the crew. A Captain may attempt to roll his Ruthlessness Rating or below on a D20 to immediately squelch the crew's objections. If this roll is successful, the whole dispute is ended.
If a new election is demanded by the 'Black Spot' for one of the ship's officers, assume that the position has been made open. Any qualified character (including the deposed officer) may roll to obtain the position; the highest roll wins, A Captain may ignore the 'Black Spot' if he so wishes, at the risk of a popular mutiny.
5.3 LETTERS OF MARQUE
Any character who can afford to buy and outfit a vessel may become a Privateer, provided he can obtain a Letter of Marque. A Letter of Marque allows a Privateer to plunder enemy ships and towns, and receive safe shelter in friendly harbors, in return for 15 to 20% of his Booty (paid to the government that issued the Letter of Marque). A Privateer Captain (or Owner) is not elected by his crew, and may appoint the other officers as he sees fit. Privateer vessels do not have Pirate Articles, but they do have Charters, providing normal shares of booty for the various crewmen and officers.
5.4 RUTHLESSNESS RATING & THE JOLLY ROGER
As a Pirate or Privateer Captain continues to menace shipping, he will gradually develop a reputation to strike fear into the hearts of his enemies. In game terms, this is measured as the Captain's 'Ruthlessness Rating.' Ruthlessness Rating starts at 1 when a character becomes a Captain, or at 2 if the character served as First Mate under another Pirate or Privateer Captain of Ruthlessness 10+. Ruthlessness Rating may progress up to 20, depending upon the Captain's career. Ruthlessness Rating affects the game in the following ways: Recruiting: A normal ship in port may recruit 2D6 new crew members each week. If a Captain can make a successful D20 roll against his Ruthlessness Rating, however, he will recruit an extra
D6+1 eager Pirates or Privateers per week.
Morale: A Pirate or Privateer Captain may attempt to rally his men in Boarding Melee (see section 6.4.7) once, when they would normally surrender or retreat. If he can make a successful D20 roll against his Ruthlessness Rating, the troops will rally, and fight with one extra attack roll for one turn (i.e. a crew receiving six attack rolls would receive seven rolls for one turn, after being rallied).
Surrender: When a Pirate or
Privateer raises his flag (the 'Jolly Roger') at Short or
Pursuit: For every point of Ruthlessness Rating, assume that there is one enemy Warship out looking for the Pirate or Privateer Captain and his vessel, Despotism: When a Pirate Captain reaches a Ruthlessness Rating of 10 or more, he may roll a D20 against his rating at the beginning of each voyage he makes. If successful, he may take absolute control of his ship. A Captain who has absolute control may appoint all of the ship's officers, and may only be deposed by a mutiny.
Status: Within the world of Pirates
and Privateers, Ruthlessness Rating acts as a sort of social scale. After a
Captain's Ruthlessness Rating has reached 10, he may add a short title onto the end of his name (i.e.
Albert the Awful, Diego the Dreadful, Raoul the
Ruthless, etc.). After Ruthlessness passes 14, a character enters the 'Pirate Nobility) and may add a
noble Title to his name (not recognized outside of Pirate society) - i.e.
Morgan, Prince of the
Ruthlessness Rating increases on the basis of 'checks,' similar to those used in calculating normal experience. Unlike experience checks, however, more than one check on Ruthlessness may be received in a single adventure. Ruthlessness checks are earned for the following achievements.
Achievement ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Number of Ruthlessness Checks Earned
Taking a Merchantman†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1
Taking a Corsair††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1
Killing an Enemy Captain in Single Combat†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1
Taking a Mule Train†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1
Successfully Raiding & Plundering a Town††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3
Taking a Warship or Galleon†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2
The number of Ruthlessness checks required for Ruthlessness Rating to increase is shown below. As soon as a Captain's number of checks equals the number shown, raise his Ruthlessness Rating to the indicated level:
Ruthlessness Rating †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† No. of Checks Required
2 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1
3 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3
4 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5
5 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7
6 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10
7 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 13
8 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 16
9 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 19
10 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 22
11 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 26
12 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 30
13 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 35
14 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 40
15 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 50
16 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 65
17 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 85
18 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 110
19 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 140
20 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 180
When a character becomes a Pirate or Privateer Captain, and develops a Ruthlessness Rating, he must design his own flag. It is by his flag that he is identified to other ships. The flag may be a simple variation on the Jolly Roger (skull and crossbones) or it may be more elaborate. The design of individual flags should be left up to the players' and the Gamemaster's imagination.
5.5 PIRATE & PRIVATEER EXPEDITIONS
Pirate and Privateer Captains must be constantly organizing new expeditions, to maintain their good favor with their crews (for Pirates) or their sponsoring governments (for Privateers). These expeditions should generally be designed by the Gamemaster, using this section as a guideline. Pirate Expeditions may include plundering Merchantmen at sea, raiding or bombarding coastal towns, inland excursions, and treasure hunts.
Pirate crews (and often Privateer
crews as well) will usually congregate at 'pirate havens.' A haven is a safe
port where pirates may repair their ships and take shore-leave without fear of
capture. In the first half of the 17th Century, the
Within pirate havens, the Gamemaster may set up pirate expeditions by giving the player-characters 'tips.' A tip may be information on gold shipments, stranded Merchantmen, unprotected coastal towns, mule train routes, etc. Once the Gamemaster drops a tip, the players should be off on their next adventure.
When a Pirate or Privateer successfully takes a ship or coastal town, there will be booty. Booty is split into shares for a ship's crew, according to the Articles or Charter of the ship, Warships, and other Pirates and Privateers will normally carry little cargo. One ton on each such ship will be taken up by supplies.
Another one to three tons will be taken by jolly boats. Half of what remains will be filled with powder and shot. On a roll of 5 or 6 on a D6, the ship will carry one type of cargo in the rest of the hold, Merchantmen and Galleons will carry normal supplies, one to three jolly boats, and one to three tons of powder and shot. The rest of their holds are normally filled with two types of cargo. Roll 1 D20 to determine each type on the table below: Divide the number of empty cargo tons between the two types of cargo evenly. Cargo may be sold at pirate havens, for the normal prices listed in section 6.3 of these rules.
Coastal towns which are raided or bombarded into surrender will have 1D6 different types of cargo in town (with 1D6 tons of each) as well as 2D6 x 1000 Livres in ransom money. Add 1500 Livres for each Small Fort defending the town; 3000 Livres for each Medium Fort; and 5000 Livres for each Large Fort. Forts which are destroyed or taken may also be plundered for half of their guns, and 1 D6 tons of powder and shot each.
Roll ††††† Cargo
3 †††††††††† Textiles
4 †††††††††† Livestock
7 †††††††††† Iron
11 †††††††† Gems
12 †††††††† Sugar
13 †††††††† Tobacco
14 †††††††† Furs
15 †††††††† Wine
16 †††††††† Rum
17-20†††† No Cargo; only ballast
The Owners, Captains and Investors in Merchantmen may risk the hazards of sea travel in order to make profits on sea trade. At the beginning of a Merchantman's trade voyage, percentages of the final profits must be agreed upon. Normally, they are as shown below:
The additional 20% of the profits is subtracted for various expenses. Note that, if the Owner is qualified to be the Captain of a Merchantman, he may appoint himself to that position, and take a 75% share of the profits.
The Owner of a Merchantman must pay for the ship's construction, and outfitting. He must supply wages for the crew and purchase cargo himself. Of course, a group of player-characters may get together and pool their resources for a Merchantman, but the expenses are still high. In order to make ends meet in sea trade, the Owner(s) of a Merchantman may elect to form a Joint Stock Company.
The first step in forming a Joint
Stock Company is obtaining a Charter from the French government, Charters may
only be granted in
Once a Charter is obtained, the Owner of a Merchantman may start his own Joint Stock Company. If one of the player-characters organizing the Company is not a Banker, a qualified Banker must be hired (for a 5% share of the profits, deducted from the Owner's normal share). After the Company is fully organized, it may sell shares of Stock. Each 'Share' equals 1% of the profits of all voyages made by the Joint Stock Company (this is deducted from the Owner's percentage). When a Joint Stock Company starts, 1% shares may be sold for 500 L each. At a later time, the Company Owners may wish to buy back the Stock in their Company, in order to reap the full profits. Stock may be sold at a rate of 2D6 shares per month, and bought back at a rate of 1D6 shares per month. The price of Stock in a Company may drop (if
the Company is unsuccessful) to as low as 100 Livres per share, or rise (if the Company is very successful) to as high as 1000 Livres per share, Fluctuations in the value of stock are determined by the Gamemaster.
Each time a Merchantman sets out on
a new voyage, it may purchase cargo, for sale at another port. Expenditures for
cargo normally come out of the Owner's pocket (or from the money gained by
selling Stocks in the Company). The value of cargo varies from one place to another.
Basic costs in
Value in † ††††††††††††††††† Value in † ††††††††††††††††† Value in †††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††† Value In
Lumber†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 200 L/ton††††††††††††††††††† 150 L/ton††††††††††††††††††† 100 L/ton††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 100 L/ton
Foodstuffs††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 100 L/ton††††††††††††††††††† 150 L/ton††††††††††††††††††† 200 L/ton††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 200 L/ton
Textiles†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 100 L/ton††††††††††††††††††† 150 L/ton††††††††††††††††††† 250 L/ton††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 300 L/ton
Livestock††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 400 L/ton††††††††††††††††††† 600 L/ton††††††††††††††††††† 500 L/ton††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 600 L/ton
Copper†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 200 L/ton††††††††††††††††††† 150 L/ton††††††††††††††††††† 250 L/ton††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 200 L/ton
Tin†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 300 L/ton††††††††††††††††††† 300 L/ton††††††††††††††††††† 350 L/ton††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 350 L/ton
Iron††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 500 L/ton††††††††††††††††††† 600 L/ton††††††††††††††††††† 650 L/ton††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 650 L/ton
Mercury†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4000 L/ton†††††††††††††††† 5000 L/ton†††††††††††††††† 4500 L/ton††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4500 L/ton
Silver†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6000 L/ton†††††††††††††††† 5000 L/ton†††††††††††††††† 6000 L/ton††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6000 L/ton
Gold††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10000 L/ton†††††††††††††† 8500 L/ton†††††††††††††††† 10000 L/ton†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 95000 L/ton
Gems††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 15000 L/ton†††††††††††††† 13000 L/ton†††††††††††††† 15000 L/ton†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 14500 L/ton
Sugar††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 400 L/ton††††††††††††††††††† 100 L/ton††††††††††††††††††† 350 L/ton††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 300 L/ton
Tobacco†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 600 L/ton††††††††††††††††††† 150 L/ton††††††††††††††††††† 400 L/ton††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 300 L/ton
Furs†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 800 L/ton††††††††††††††††††† 800 L/ton††††††††††††††††††† 150 L/ton††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 600 L/ton
Wine††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 800 L/ton††††††††††††††††††† 1000 L/ton†††††††††††††††† 1000 L/ton††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1000 L/ton
Rum †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1000 L/ton ††††††††††††††† 800 L/ton †††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††† 900 L/ton †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††† 850 L/ton
A Merchantman may carry up to twenty-four tons of cargo in its hold (although allowances must be made for powder and shot, crew rations, and jolly boats). When a Merchantman comes into a port to sell its cargo, roll a D6 for minor fluctuations in price due to local demands (add one to this roll if the Captain, or the Owner (if he is aboard), has Persuade d10 skill). Roll once for each type of cargo the ship carries:
Roll ††††† Result
1††††††††††† There is very little demand for the cargo; probably a large shipment of it arrived recently on another ship: reduce cargoís value in this port by 20%
2††††††††††† There is poor demand of r the cargo; reduce cargoís value in this port by 10%
3 or 4†††† There is normal demand for the cargo; it may be sold for the normal value
5 †††††††††† There is good demand for the cargo; increase the cargo's value in this port by 10%
6††††††††††† There is excellent demand for the cargo; there has not been a shipment of it for a long time; increase cargoís value in this port by 20%
It takes about a week in port to unload cargo for sale, and to buy new cargo and reload the ship