OSR: Pirate Artifacts

More ideas for the Pirate GLOG system (now released). In a low magic setting, a simple artifact or tool can change the course of an entire game. Consider the following items from the Pirates of the Caribbean films: not particularly impressive in a game with fireballs and dragons, but very powerful in isolation.
1. A compass that points to whatever you desire most.
2a. A cursed chest of gold coins. If any coins are removed, the person who removed them is cursed to a joyless, passionless, unending life until all the coins are returned.
     2b. An enchantment on the coins that calls to said unliving people if the coin touches seawater.
3a. A huge murderous vaguely controllable sea beast.
     3b. A black spot, cursed to draw said murderous sea beast to the bearer.
          3c. A device to wake up the sea beast and draw it (impossibly quickly) to the location.
4a. A piece of cloth with a key drawn on it that, impossibly, feels exactly like the actual key.
     4b. A chest with the heart of a very powerful magical figure and his submersible death ship.
5. A map that shows routes to impossible places.
6. Nine mundane items that collectively bind a sea god.
7. The fountain of youth. Requires cups and a mermaid's tear. Drains years of life from one person, gives them to another.
8. A sword that controls the rigging of a ship.
9. A method to put sunken or captured vessels into bottles, preserving them in a timeless diorama.
10. Pulp horror voodoo dolls.
Since your players may have seen the films, it might be useful to have "new" campaign-defining magical tools.
The Titans of Brahma
1. The 3 Faction Rule
Everything should have at least 3 sides: the PCs and 2 other factions. The other factions should have goals that are semi-sympathetic - the PCs could stomach allying with them - but mutually exclusive with the PCs' plans if followed to their logical conclusion.
E.g. There's a stone that lets you raise or sink an island, but only once. The PCs want to use it to raise the Isla del Big Heaps of Treasure. The Valois want to use it to sink the island of Wexland (or at least threaten to). And the slave republic of Lost Chains wants to use it to sink a major Valoch island to end their control of the region. Added layer of complication: the PCs have entrenched allies on the Valoch island and family home in Wexland.
So. The PCs don't want either faction to succeed, but they can work with them to gain information or a brief advantage.

2. Artifacts Are Environmental
A sword of +5 head-removal isn't an artifact you can build a campaign around. It's got one use; head removal, and only one person can use it. You can remove heads with a regular sword. 

Artifacts change the world, not the PC. They might have side effects that change the wielder, but they reach outwards, not inwards. They call, summon, lead, lift, drop, destroy, create, predict, etc.

3. Artifacts Are Legend Fuel
Get one and people will never forget you. They'll tell stories of what you did until the seas dry up and the land blows away. For a pirate, with no easy retirement prospects, temperamental heirs, and a near daily risk of death, a legend may be the only way to secure a permanent legacy.

Becoming a "dread" pirate is an informal process. It happens when people shorten your name to one word, like a curse. It happens when you enter a tavern and everyone stops moving, not to reach for their weapons, but to very carefully look for the exits. It happens when you run up the black and your flag causes sailors on the ship ahead to dive into shark infested water and swim for the nearest continent.
Igor Kieryluk

Example Pirate Artifacts

Some major, some minor.

The Seaglass Staff 
Carved from a single piece of green-grey glass. Almost primordial. Bits of rock are still stuck to it. Once per day, strike one end against a solid surface and the sea freezes for a mile in every direction. Not cold, not ice, just water solidifying like glass. Waves tower like mountains with snowcovered peaks. Ships are locked in place in the glassy plane. The effect lasts until the wielder drops the staff or chooses to end the effect.

The staff is currently in a bubble at the bottom of a sea trench. Water above, a thin wall of glass-water, then air, then a skeleton in gold robes clutching the staff. Sure, you can remove it, but a mile of water will come crashing down on your head. Hope you have a plan.

Captain Kale's Coin
A slightly bent gold coin with a front side, a back side, and a third side. Front has a skull, back has an eagle, third side has a blurred fingerprint and a bloodstain. Whoever owns it can name two outcomes and flip the coin. E.g. "Heads we go left, tails we go right" or "Heads says you're a liar". The coin is mundane and the results are random. The bearer can spend 1 HP to have the coin come up heads or tails. If the wager pertains to some imminent supernatural event, the coin lands on the third side. The coin can be given away or taken from the corpse of the bearer, but it can't be lost or stolen.

Roc Caller
A huge metal tube tied to the mast, attached to a horn and a set of bellows. Requires a great deal of pumping to build pressure. The tube produces a hideous wailing whine that calls a Roc, a bird larger than two elephants with the intellectual capacity and moral compass of a chicken. The Roc will circle overhead and attack anything that isn't making the correct droning noise, flying off when it's reduced below 1/2 HP or there are no more targets.

The Groaning Spyglass

A standard ornate spyglass, bent and dented, with a cracked lens. Look at something and twist the end of the spyglass. If you are on the water, you begin to move towards the target at a very accelerated pace. Waves break like the beat of a drum. You should probably reinforce your ship. Wind and tide are no matter. A half turn takes you to the horizon (~5 miles) in five minutes. A full turn takes you 100 miles in 10 minutes and involves a great deal of warping, bending, and folding of reality. Try not to hit an island. When you arrive, everyone has to spend 1d6 rounds staggering about and going "argh!" or "FUCK" or "bwah?"

The Extra Hour
A leftover piece of time from Creation. Try not to think about it too hard. When activated (there's a ritual), everyone near the object gets one extra hour. It's as though time has frozen for everyone else. The ritual participants could rob a fortress, assassinate a city, or walk into a volcano's heart.

Bound Name
A ritual, and a complex one at that. Bind your name (pseudonyms work) to a simple condition (holding a type of coin, holding a murder weapon, fully immersed in sea water, dying). Whenever someone speaks your name, anywhere in the world, while they meet the condition, you see through their eyes for a half second and get a general impression of their location. The closer you are, the more accurate the location. Don't pick too general a condition or you'll never see anything but impressions.  
Someone can inherit a name if they perform the ritual and kill the current name-bearer in the final step.


A horse's skull, bleached and carved with curses and symbols. In its inactive state, its effects have a radius of 1 mile. Active, they have a radius of 100 miles. Activating Faminecaller requires a ritual, and the ritual requires someone to deliberately starve to death out of spite, defiance, rage, or sorrow. Under its power, uncooked food rots in 24hrs. Crops grow just enough to offer hope. The flesh of beasts grows corrupt and full of worms, and even the worms carry only misery and disease. 

Dagger of Body-Switching

Stab a person (enough to draw blood and pierce flesh, but it doesn't need to be fatal). You switch bodies with them. They are holding the dagger. Seems simple enough... until you consider court politics in the 16th century. Plot twist: there are actually two daggers.

The Rebel's Stone
Turns rice into gunpowder. Change the crop to suit the plot, but the basic effect is dangerous enough. A short ritual can turn a warehouse into an apocalyptic bomb.

Moon Gate

As the moon sets, sail towards it on a calm sea, traveling along the silver path as you hold the moon gate before you. If everything works you'll end up on the foggy mercury oceans of the moon and steal heaps of pure silver from the white marble palaces of the moon lords.

Other Artifacts

If you're not using OSR Search... why?
20 ideas from Arnold K
20 more ideas from Arnold K
5 ideas and some theory from Scrap Princess
3 more and some additional theory notes from Scrap Princess
Whole bunch of little artifacts
from John Arendt

Black Auction items by Dunkey Halton 
15 ideas from Swords and Stitchery 


OSR: Class: Witch Coven

This is the probably one of the oddest classes I've written, but it's a good one. The Manse and I shared an idea a few weeks back. They went one way, I've finally got around to going another.
Anna Ryabova
You are a goat.
Technically, you are a goat and some followers, but we'll get to that in a minute.

You are a very bad goat. You're not a demon or a devil or an evil spirit. See, goats are naturally filled with a bit of evil and cunning, just like sheep are naturally filled with a bit of good and stupid. It's just the way the world was made. Goats act like lightning rods for wickedness. If enough wicked, small-minded, cruel, power-hungry, miserly, and sinful people die in a given area, bits of their souls get trapped in a goat. They go to the afterlife with slightly better chances.

In most sensible communities, these wicked lightning-rod goats are driven away or ritually killed, but people are forgetful and goats are valuable and sometimes things get out of hand.

Side Note: in some very good communities, the opposite effect applies to sheep. They get a little bit of virtue. It has no significant effect, but it does explain why wool sweaters occasionally, against all odds and in defiance of accepted traditions, ward off vampires and ghosts.

So you're a goat full of spare soul fragments and wickedness and all the petty cruelties of a community. One day, you realized you could think. Not long after, that you were smarter than most of the humans you've seen. And soon enough, that you could influence the world in dangerous ways.
Starting Equipment: none
A: Goat, Dark Powers, +1 Witch, 2 Spells
B: +1 Witch, +2 Spells, Goatly Phasing
C: +1 Witch, +2 Spells, Dark Ritual
D: +1 Witch, +2 Spells, Dark Majesty
I pray for the GM who allows you to multiclass, for I will not.

You are a goat. Do not roll for your race. Reroll Dex. at character creation and pick the higher result. You suffer no penalties for moving over broken or hilly terrain.

Generate your stats normally except for HP. Your HP is always 8 and will never increase. You cannot wear armour, carry items (a backpack would be beneath your goatly dignity), or manipulate things beyond kicking (d4 damage), goring with your horns (1d6 damage), or nipping (1 damage). You get 1 attack per round.

You want luxuries and power. Your ideal endgame retirement plans might resemble an opium den crossed with a silk merchant's warehouse and a brothel.

Dark Powers
At will, you can speak into the mind of a suggestible person. Strong-willed people will hear a faint buzzing or hissing. Your witches can't help but year you. You can only speak to one person at a time, as an intimate whisper.

Once per day,  you can:
-cause a minor horrible omen to appear. Statues weep blood, ashes spell out "DOOM", a bird falls out of the air dead, small children sing eerie songs, etc. Can't deal damage or provide some handy secondary benefit, like triggering a trap, but it will probably scare the bejeesus out of someone.
-appear to grow as large as a horse for 1 minute. You can only do this in dim light. It's clear to viewers that this is a trick of perspective, a horrible hallucination where your form grows larger or their perspective warps.
-appear as a naked goat-headed humanoid for 1 minute, with all the usual infernal accoutrements.

+1 Witch
You gain a witch follower (traditionally a woman but there's no strict restriction) to a maximum of 4 witches. Women in medieval societies are typically the easiest people to tempt with revenge, power, and the good life. Roll on the Horrible Peasant NPC generator for a name (use 50+d50), a distinct odour, appearance, and disposition.

A witch has the following stats:
HP: 3
Attack: 8
Defense: 12
Morale: 6 or 8 if you are standing next to them.
1 attack per round dealing 1 damage (punching/hitting things with a stick).
4 Inventory Slots

1 Magic Dice and 1 Spell Slot

Witches use your Save and your Wisdom for initiative. Witches can pool their magic dice to cast spells. To pool dice, they need to be within 10' of each other. They can commune with your goatly majesty for 1hr to move spells from your hideous frothing mind to theirs. You're their spellbook, effectively. All witches count as 1 character for the purposes of concentrating, initiative, etc. 

Attacks that target "that lot over there" or "the damn goat" will always hit a witch before it hits you, provided you are within 10' a witch.

If a witch dies you take 1 damage. If you still have at least 1 other Witch, you can recruit replacements after 3 days in a populated area. If all your Witches are dead, it takes 1 week to get 1 Witch back, plus 3 days for the rest of them. This might mean you're unable to cast spells or affect the world for a week, so hopefully you take good care of your followers. You also gain a Witch (to a maximum of 4) whenever you level, even past level 4. They just turn up. Maybe it's fate.

Witches are like hirelings. You control them, but the GM gets to see if they run from danger, panic, fail at their tasks, give up, or do unhelpful peasant things. In dangerous situations, they won't move more than 10' from each other without a Morale check.

Side Note: proper witches, who got their power all on their own, think goat-bound witches are deluded and weak. They're right. On the other hand, because you're a goat, chances are good your witches will spend money like water and live excellent decadent lives (and you'll live through them, vicariously). If a proper witch catches you, she might use you as a mobile spellbook and magic reservoir or she might make you pull her around in a cart.

Goatly Phasing
As long as you have at least one Witch, you can choose to stop existing. You're... elsewhere. The process takes 1 minute and requires deep shadows or total darkness. You fade with just your red eyes visible. You can't fade if you're being attacked, if you're falling, etc. You can fade back in with the same limitations. You walk in from the shadows, from behind a tree, from tall grass.

While faded, you can see and hear through the eyes of your Witches and sense their emotions. You can still speak to your witches, but you can't use any of your other Dark Powers.

Dark Ritual
Once per week, at night, you may lead your Witches in a ritualistic dance. You can do this every week but you probably shouldn't. Save it for times when you might really need extra power. You need an isolated area: a hilltop, a meadow, a basement, a ruined tower. Make up some mystical stuff about the full moon and the stars being right if it gets your Witches in a proper mood.

The ritual takes 1hr and must involve some boundary-pushing act for the Witches. You don't need to go into detail (please don't go into detail), but in general:
1. the first time the Witches do the ritual, just doing it will be enough.
2. the next time, doing it naked will be enough.
3. the next time, doing it naked and sacrificing a small animal will be enough.
This resets if all the Witches die.
If the ritual is interrupted by an outsider, it fails if the interloper lives past sunrise.

The ritual adds +1 MD for each Witch that participates (up to +4 total) to the next day's casting pool. No more than 5 MD can be used on any spell. In addition, for the day, the Witches can cast any spell you know as long, as you are present, without having to spend 1hr communing with you.

Dark Majesty

While you are present, your Witches have a Morale of 10. If you choose, one Witch will obey your whispered commands mindlessly, without fear or self preservation. The other Witches might not like this but they're hardly in a position to do anything about it.


Roll 1d12 randomly each time you gain a spell. You can't learn Wizard spells from spellbooks unless they're dark and weird. Your spells aren't witch flavoured, they're goat flavoured. Subtle difference, but it annoys actual subtle witches.

1. Telekinetic Shove
R: 50‘ T: creature or object D: 0
An object or creature within range is hurled through the air. Save to negate. A human-sized creature travels 10’ per [dice], and takes 1d6 damage for every 10' traveled. A creature thrown at another creature requires an Attack roll to hit and inflicts 1d6 damage for every 10' traveled. This spell will also blow open all the closed but unlocked doors in a room, shatter all the windows in a building, or knock the thatched roof off a peasant's shack.

2. Limited Flight

R: touch T: [dice] creatures D: [sum] minutes
Target creatures gain a fly speed equal to 2x their movement for the duration of the spell. Up to 4 witches count as 1 creature provided they hold hands or ride on broomsticks.

3. Bewitch
R: 50' T: creature of [dice]x2 HD or less. D: [dice] hours
Target creature regards you as a good friend. Save negates. If you invest 4 [dice] or more into this spell, the duration becomes permanent. They will, in a slow and dopey semi-aware state, obey any requests that do not directly harm them. When the effect ends, they will realized they've been bewitched. If you made them do anything embarrassing or harmful, they are immune to future Bewitching.

4. Curse
R: 50' T: mortal creature D: permanent
You inflict a Minor or Major curse on the target. For a minor curse, you must invest 2 [dice]. For a major curse, you must invest 4 [dice]. Dice used to cast this spell are automatically exhausted. You cannot dispel your own curses. Example curses are listed here.

5. Doom
R: 50' T: creature D: concentration
Target feels cold. If you invest 3 [dice] or more, and you loudly pronounce doom on them for the next 2 turns (without being interrupted or breaking line of sight), target dies on the 3rd turn. You need to truly hate the target for this spell to work, or convince yourself that you hate the target. Even a sliver of pity cancels the spell.

6. Goat Fog
R: 30’ T: self D: [dice] hours
You breath out a bunch of fog. Everything up to 30' away from you is obscured. Sunlight, wind, or heat dissipates the fog in 10 minutes. If you cast this spell with 3 or more [dice], other casters lose 1 MD while they remain in the fog. The fog smells like goats, oil, and sweat.

7. Fear
R: 50' T: creatures up to [sum] HD D: 0
Target creatures must Save vs Fear or take a morale check, or flee from you. If you cast this spell with 4 [dice], creatures unused to supernatural occurrences (peasants, domesticated dogs, etc.) must also Save or age 2d10 years.

8. Hold Person
R: 50' T: creature D: concentration, up to [sum] rounds
Target creature is locked in place. You must maintain concentration for this spell to work. Target can breathe and move their eyes, but cannot swim, fly, or perform any other action. If the creature is particularly willful, blasphemous, or a spellcaster, it may Save each round to break free, with a penalty equal to the [dice] you invested.

9. Spontaneous Generation
R. touch T: object D: 0
You hand another creature a nonmagical object. They must willingly take it from you. The maximum size of the object depends on how many dice are invested in the spell: 1 [dice]: pebble-sized, 2 [dice]: grape-sized, 3 [dice]: bucket or helmet-sized, 4 [dice]: person-sized. Up to [sum] rounds later, at a time you chose, the object permanently turns into vermin: maggots, spiders, centipedes, and slime. The creatures aren't hostile or venomous, but their bites itch and they probably don't want to be held.

10. Cure Light Wounds
R: touch T: creature D: 0
Target creature heals [sum] HP. It costs 2 HP to remove one negative HP. This spell cannot remove Fatal Wounds, cure diseases, or heal lost limbs. 

11. Illusion of Youth 
R: touch T: creature D: [dice] days, or, if [sum] > 12, permanent (until death)
Touched creature is cloaked with an illusion that makes them appear to be in their physical prime. The illusion can be popped with a solid blow.

12. Witchlight

R: [dice]x1 miles T: self D: [sum] hours
Small glowing lights flow from your fingertips. They are as bright as a match, but you can always see them, even in bright sunlight or pitch darkness, at any distance up to 1 mile. The lights guide the caster to an object, person, or location that they believe will result in the emotional state named when the spell is cast. If the caster names "love", they will lead to the nearest sexually compatible person of similar age. If the caster names "joy" they might lead to a well of nitrous oxide, or to a pile of treasure, or to a crude goblin joke scrawled on a wall. The lights have a dry sense of humour.
Witch Coven Mishaps
1. MD only return to your pool on a 1 for 24 hours
2. You, the goat, take 1d6 damage.
3. You, the goat, and your witches take 1 damage.
4. One witch spends 1d6 rounds screaming, twitching, and frothing.
5. Nearest faithful and sensible NPC who is not aware of your coven becomes aware of your coven.
6. Spell targets you (if harmful) or enemy (if beneficial) or fizzles (if neutral).

Witch Coven Dooms
1. One witch dies. Messily.

2. All your witches die. Lots of screaming and wailing and bursting. Nearest faithful, sensible, and powerful NPC who is not aware of your coven becomes aware of your coven.
3. A wrathful team of 1d10x10 demons, angels, inquisitors, bishops, and peasants all arrive at once to put an end to your wretched life of vice and crime. While they hunt you, you cannot use your Goatly Phasing ability.

Mechanical Notes on the Witch Coven

It's a complicated class. Possibly impractical.
It might seem overpowered. It's got most of the benefits of a wizard and a few more on top. The core downside is that you're trying to manage up to 4 NPCs (with bribes, threats, promises, etc) to do your goatly bidding. Hopefully the GM will make that interesting and give each witch a useful personality.

Also, you keep stealing people from villages. That'll eventually cause trouble.
Also, people want to burn your coven. If they're smart, they'll burn you too.
Also, without witches, you're just a goat.

If you're going to use this class, consider not including wizards in your game. See how it goes.

Handy Character Sheet

Because tracking 4 Witches should be made as easy as possible.


OSR: GLOG Pirates Megapost

Whew! Finally done!

Main Rulebook

The classes and main rules are based on Arnold K's GLOG, mutated and altered as usual. The sailing, exploration, and cargo rules don't use the GLOG directly. If you want more GLOG content, check out the G+ group here.

Settings and Islands

All files are included in this Google Drive folder. If I add any more, I'll update the maps and post them here. Adding more islands to this setting is trivial.

1. The "Core" region - The Merabaha Islands

2. Golden Isles

3. Chult

4. Yoon-Suin and the Ape Archipelago

5. Isle of Dread

Originally, Hot Springs Island was going to be added to this chain, but I decided to go with a more low-magic setting. HSI is excellent but it's got lots of planar politics and magic all over the place. The Lapis Observatory made its way onto the Isle of Dread, and I'll definitely use bits and pieces of the book in other locations.

Further Reading

Richard G's Countercolonial Heistcrawl notes (this post and others) is the best place to start. It covers everything I could possibly cover in an introductions and more: why pirates work, how to disrupt or manipulate nations, what a pirate state might look like, etc.

Dunkey Halton's Comache Hexcrawl notes for similar ideas and approaches.

Jeff Russel's "The Sages Say" monster generator is good for sea monsters and other weird beasts.

The Yoon-Suin G+ community.

Sheep and Sorcery pirate tables.

Playtest Status

As per Lungfungus' request.
The classes have been tested. Not all the Weather Witch Workings have seen play. Ship combat has been tested, though I may still fiddle with the numbers. Pirate Democracy rules were tested in a completely different game with plenty of interesting consequences.

I'll probably put up a separate PDF of ships, upgrades, and magic items at some point.

OSR: Pirate Exploration Sailing + Many Tables

All these tables will be collected in the GLOG Pirate book. They're just posted here for quick reference, other projects, etc. Having a good sailing table or three is always useful.

Exploration Sailing

This map lists all the major locations in the known world. They exist outside the reach of the Old World powers for the time being. They are places piracy can flourish.
Lines in black are well charted routes. Lines in grey are uncharted.

No rolls are required to move from one area to another. However, roll on the Sailing Event Table, applying any of the following bonuses:
+5 if the ship doesn’t have anyone with the Navigation skill
+5 if the ship doesn’t have anyone with the Sailor skill
+5 if setting off during unfavourable weather
+5 for an uncharted route.
+5 for each point of Cargo over capacity.

And any further bonuses that the GM might care to inflict for a leaky ship, a cursed crew, a doomed voyage, etc.

Sailing Event Table

1d10+ Bonuses  Result 
1-5 Smooth Sailing. Arrive in the time listed minus the ship’s Speed in days. 
6 A standard passage. Arrive in the time listed. 
7 Encounter at sea. Roll on the Sea Encounter Table. 
8 Inclement weather. Roll on the Weather Table. 
9 Supply issue. Roll on the Supply Table. 
10 Dire weather. Roll on the Weather table with a +5 bonus. 
11 Deep trouble. Roll twice on the Sea Encounter table, combining both results.  
12 Rising concern. Roll on the Weather Table with a +5 bonus and the Sea Encounter table, combining both results. 
13 Calamity. Roll twice on the Supply Table. 
14 Off Course. Roll twice on the Supply Table. Arrive somewhere else in +1d6 months. 
15 Doom. Roll on the Weather table with a +10 bonus, the Supply table, and the Sea Encounter Table. Ideally they all happen at once. 
16+  Apocalyptic. Roll on the Weather table with a +10 bonus, the Supply twice table, and the Sea Encounter Table.  Arrive somewhere else in +1d6 months. 

Supply Table

1d10  Result 
1 Torn sails. A gust of wind or careless sailors shred one sail. Arrive 1d6 days late. Reduce speed by 1 until new sails purchased or made. 
2 Barnacle growth. Ship is coated in seaweed and barnacles. Reduce speed by ½ until careened. 
3 Rotting supplies. Can still feed the crew but lots of “disco rice” (maggots) in the bread, green sheen on the meat. Low morale. 
4 Snapped rigging. Ship cannot attempt Maneuvers until repaired. 
5 Badly stowed cargo. Water leaks into the hold. Cargo is damp.  
6 Out of gunpowder. Enough left for 1d6 cannon charges / 1 round of shooting in ship combat / 1 boarding action. 
7 Shifting cargo. Ship leans, then takes on water. Ship is now Swamped, requires considerable pumping to right. Cargo is completely soaked. 
8 Holed. Crack in the hull. Throw out weight (1d6 Cargo or 2d6 Crew/Marines HP) to lighten the load to make repairs. 
9 Out of fresh water. Unless it rains or you reach an island, lose 1d6 Crew HP each day after 3 days. Everyone dead by 6 days. 
10 Fire! Ship is on fire. If everything is going well, noticed immediately. If not, noticed in 1d20 rounds. See the Critical Hits table.  

Weather Table

1d10/1d20 +Bonuses Result 
1-5 Gentle breeze.  
6-7 Moderate breeze. 
8 Fresh breeze. 
9 Strong breeze. 
10 Thunderstorm. Rain, lightning, nervous sailors. If ship is below ¼ HP, is now Swamped. 
12 Becalmed. Delayed +1d6 weeks and roll on Supply table. 
13-15  Gale. Thunder and lightning. If ship is below ¼ HP, is now Swamped. 
16-20  Major Storm. Violent winds, lashing waves, lightning. Ship takes 1d6 damage. 
21-22  Extreme Storm. Thunderbolts and towering waves. Ship takes 2d6 damage. 
23-24  Hurricane. Ship is blown to a random location. Roll on the Supply table. All PCs take 1d6 damage. 
25+  Legendary hurricane. Ship ends up in a random location, ½  mile inland, with 0 HP. All PCs take 2d10 damage.  

Sea Encounters Table

1d50  Result 
1 Small fishing vessel. Blown out to sea or from a small island. Usually will flee from larger vessels.  
2 Merchant hauler. Random flag. Empty.  
3 Merchant hauler. Random flag. Roll for cargo. Damaged and slow. 
4 Merchant hauler. Random flag. Roll for cargo. 
5 Merchant hauler convoy. Unprotected. 2d6 ships. Random flag. Roll for cargo. 
6 Merchant hauler convoy. Protected. 2d6 ships + 2 Customs Frigates. Random flag. Roll for cargo. 
7 Privateer customs frigate. Random flag. Will sink ships of an enemy flag (see the Who’s At War Now? table, pg. 25). 
8 Pirate sloop. Flying a random flag. Might be enemies, might be allies.  
9 Pirate cutter. Flying a random flag. Might be enemies, might be allies.  
10 Pirate fleet. 2d4 sloops. Flying a random flag. Might be enemies, might be allies.  
11 Pirate hunter in a customs frigate disguised as a merchant hauler. Flying a random flag. Licensed to kill pirates. 
12 Secret diplomatic ship. Coastal cutter with vital papers from a random nation. Will burn them if they spot pirates. Papers reveal next war. 
13 Pirate bait. Empty merchant hauler with everything nailed shut. Lurking pirate hunter in a customs frigate over the horizon, waiting. 
14 Rowboat with 2d10 castaways. Survivors of a shipwreck. 50% will be willing to join a pirate crew. 
15 Plague ship. Merchant hauler full of dying plague victims, drifting across the seas. Carries warning flags. 
16 War fleet. Random flag. 3 customs frigates, 2 coastal cutters, 2 merchant haulers. Off to raze a port to the ground, set up a colony, etc.  
17 Mutinous crew. Ship in the middle of an internal battle. 1. merchant hauler, 2. coastal cutter, 3. pirate cutter, 4. merchant sloop. 
18 Diplomatic envoy on a lavish merchant hauler. From one end of the map to another, bearing rich gifts, peace offers. 
19 Groaning noises. The sea hums and glonks and booms like a drum.  
20 Sea flies. Buzzing off a huge mat of seaweed. Will get into food, open wounds, and lay painful red eggs. 
21 Swarm of squid. Delicious if caught. 
22 Screaming eels. Not dangerous unless the ship is leaking. Too many teeth. The screaming drives people to madness. 
23 Fog bank. Can’t see more than 30’ in any direction. 
24 Ancient lighthouse or tower on a small island. Did the rest of the island sink? Safe place to anchor. 
25 Floating wreckage. Signs of a battle, a storm, or a shipwreck? 
26 Empty sloop. No sign of the crew, no boats. What were they fleeing? Plates with food still on them. 
27 Pod of whales. 3d10, spraying water into the air. 
28 Pod of dolphins. 3d10, racing in front of the ship.  
29 Lone albatross. Killing it might bring down a curse on the ship, but it also looks delicious. 
30 Gigantic human corpse, 50’ tall, floating 20’ underwater. How did it get there?  
31 Flocks of seabirds. From a shit-covered stump of rock in the sea. They land on the rigging and shit everywhere. 
32 Seaweed cluster. Ship becomes entangled. Someone has to go in the water to get it free. Roll: 1. sharks, 2. giant crabs, 3. sea lice, 4. tiny harmless fish. 
33 Dead whale, bloated and reeking. 3d6 sharks circling. 
34 Jellyfish swarm. Remarkably dense. They glow at night. Could be a bad omen. 
35 Giant sea snake. Ignores the ship unless there’s blood in the water. 
36 School of flying fish.  
37 Lights in the evening. Could be a distant shore, another ship, or a bad omen. They move strangely. 
38 Small island. Closer, it’s clear it’s actually a giant turtle with palm trees and grass on its shell. 
39 Whirlpool. Frantically navigate away. 
40 Unexpected small island. Hopefully you were paying attention. 
41 Rocky shoal. Ship takes 1d6 damage, is now stuck. Will lift off in 1d6 hours. 
42 Sandbar. Ship is now stuck. Will lift off in 1d6 hours. 
43 Large sandbar. Ship is now stuck. Throw out weight (1d6 Cargo or 2d6 Crew/Marines HP) to float off. 
44 Sharp rocks. Islands like tree trunks of obsidian. Will shred an incautious ship.  
45 Illusion of land. Green trees, sandbar. Lures the ship off course.  
46 Boiling sea. Deep volcanoes. Ship begins to sink as the water becomes less dense. Flee!  
47 Small island with mermaids. Colony of 2d100. Will try to get sailors into the water. About as bright as parrots but excellent mimics.  
48 Enormous shark. Way, way too big, way too many teeth. Might try to eat a small vessel. 
49 Enormous murderous sea monster. Like the ones on the edges of a map. Snake-dragon-turtle-squid-dog.  
50 Ghost ship. Unreal, shimmering, sailing against the wind with tattered sails. 
Alexander Komarov

Cargo and Loot

Each point of Cargo a ship carries could be one of the following. Merchant vessels will have holds full of 2 types of cargo. Distributions for 3d6 and 1d10 are listed. 1d10 is for quick rolling, 3d6 for potentially enormously rewarding cargoes.

Eg. A fully loaded merchant hauler has 6 cargo. The GM rolls 3d6 and gets 14 and 3. Half the cargo is household goods worth 150gp total, but the remaining cargo space is full of treasure worth 15,000gp. Hopefully the crew of the merchant ship can escape the PCs or trick them into taking only the cutlery.

Table of Cargo

3d6  1d10  Result  Value 
Bars of gold and coins. Gems. A king’s ransom in chests.  5,000gp
Silver and gold coins.  1,000gp 
Gunpowder, muskets, pistols. 500gp
6 1 Indigo 200gp
7 2 Lumber, nails, ropes, pulleys.  50gp
8 3 Rum 100gp
9 4 Cutlery, plates, ceramics, glassware.  50gp
10 5 Cotton 50gp
11 6 Sugar  200gp 
12 7 Tobacco  200gp 
13 8 30 slaves  900gp 
14 9 Household goods. Cutlery, plates, ceramics, glassware.  50gp 
15 10 Clothing, worked cloth.  50gp 
Cattle 15gp
Opium  1,000gp 
Spices. 5,000gp
A ship can carry any amount of Cargo over its capacity, but each point over imposes a +5 bonus on the Sailing Events Table (pg. 27). In general, it’s best not to overburden the ship. If a ship throws its weapons over the side, it can carry an additional 1 cargo for each weapon slot emptied. 1 cargo = 30 passengers in cramped conditions or 10 in decent conditions.