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.


  1. The loot table reminded me of this from the Secret Santicore a few years ago.

  2. From reading this, I can tell the most important thing to pack for a sea-voyage is my random tables, Skerples. Thank you for making these. If I ever run a pirate campaign, this will be the first place I come to.

  3. These tables are great, my PC's are about to board a month-long trip through hell on the wild wet ocean. Thank you!