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Optional Rules


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Women. Female Player Characters can be degraded in any game (and often are) in the interests of 'being realistic', however, those who penalize a woman's statistics are not only unfair but unrealistic as well, and Pirates has a solution. Certainly, on an average women are physically smaller and thus not as strong as men, yet (as women know all too well) size isn't everything. In Pirates, at the option of the Player alone, her (or his) female Character can have the following modifiers, but he must take all or nothing; Brawn Score is reduced by -2 (to a minimum of 1), Endurance increased by +1 (to a maximum of 12), and as women are better at withstanding pain (the nature of child-bearing) they gain a +2 bonus to rolling against Damage for avoiding death when struck.

Loopholes. Pirates don't tell other pirates how to survive. So, as an optional rule, once a loophole is found and clarified to everyone's satisfaction, it is not to be plugged or fixed without the consent of the entire crew of current Players! Hence, each game may certainly develop their own handbook of loopholes, one that cannot be overruled unless the unanimous vote dictates it.

Weaponbreakers. These cunning devices were very much a part of the historical pirate world. Most often they were daggers or similar blades designed to catch other weapons in close quarters combat and snap them, rather than serving as effective striking weapons in themselves. They were cut from the Core Rules simply because they were too detailed and too specific to time eras. Indeed, they only came into use after 1660, an invention of the Buccaneers. However, if your Game Captain allows them, these devices have an Availability of 2 (4 in the Caribbean), a cost of 6 gold, and a Weight of 5.  To use a weaponbreaker requires a normal Attack Roll, but if successful, will break any one blade in the hand of his opponent.

Blacksmithing. Far be it from us to deny the power of a film to influence our genre. If one wishes for there to be a 'blacksmithing' Skill, it will serve as a Tradeskill, one's Level their chance in 6 of repairing any single broken weapon or piece of armor, with failure causing the pieces to be utterly destroyed. In addition, if one rolls an '8' on Table 65, instead of being a tavernekeeper, his career before piracy could have been that of a blacksmith, giving this Trade to him as a Suggested Skill.

Hunting. Not a skill that many pirates are learned at, but if one wishes, he may have 'hunting', or 'foraging' or simply 'skinning' as a Proficiency. The Skill's Level will be the bonus he offers to daily checks indeed for hunting and foraging inland. Note that only one Character's bonus can apply to any such roll, regardless of how many amongst the group have such a Skill.

Crew. When rolling to see if a particular NPC amongst the crew has a particular Skill, rather than roll dozens if not hundreds of times, the Game Captain may elect to use the following system. In this, the total Levels (of Experience) amongst the crew, divided by 10 (rounded up), is the bonus to a single roll to determine the highest Skill Level for a specific Skill amongst the entire crew. Thus, things are decided swiftly by a single roll, but the size and skill of the overall crew is accounted for.

Treasure. All that gold and silver and other swag takes up space in the hold! This was deliberately left out of the rules in order to keep the game fun, and realistically, pirates had little treasure to compare to the volume of space taken up by the necessities of a ship. Still, as this is a fantasy game, pirates may have a lot of treasure! If this option is taken, all coins take up 1 value of space in the hold for every 1000 gold value (rounded down). The tradeoff is that the sight of all that booty helps a crew's Morale by +1 for every 10000 gold captured at a time (rounded down).

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