Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Hastings, MN
    Gender
    Male

    Default Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    After the Nostalgia Critic's Top Ten Villain Song list reintroduced me to the awesomeness of "Shiver My Timbers" from Muppet Treasure Island, I've been interested in starting up a freeform pirate game. I'm trying to figure out what sort of a plot to set up though.

    I already know that I'm more interested in a fantastical pirate world, akin to the Pirates of the Carribean movies. Magic exists, but it's not the extreme CRAZINESS of One Piece, where everyone and their parrot's got some strange power. I'm hesitant to completely bar the PCs from having access to it, but I also don't want them to depend on it either.

    I also have an idea of how the PCs start out. Rather than the traditional "you all meet in a tavern," I had the idea of "you all meet in prison." The idea is that all of the PCs have been arrested for crimes real or fake, and are being held. At the start of the game, however, the island where the prison fort they're being kept in is attacked. I'm not sure who the attacker should be or why they're attacking yet (part of why I'm asking). The point is that the PCs use the chaos of the attack to escape the fort, and then they steal a naval vessel and begin their career in piracy.

    Finally, I've got some ideas for concepts in the world that the PCs could run into:

    The Black and White Doctor
    Spoiler
    Show
    This guy was kind of imagined as a slightly more benevolent version of Dr. Facilier/The Shadow Man from The Princess and the Frog. A charismatic "voodoo" magician who is a lot more powerful than he seems. Unlike his inspiration, however, he's not evil. Just amoral. His magic could help the PCs if they are willing to pay his prices (which, while different every time, are always a pain in the ass to pay), or he could use it to screw the PCs over if they tick him off or someone else pays him to mess with the PCs. A trickster figure, basically.

    I also had the idea of having him being one of several "witches" who inhabit the Caribbean-like world the PCs live in. Beings who have powerful magic, and are extremely dangerous to bargain with. One of them would definitely be a "sea witch," much like Disney's Ursula and the character from Andersen's original fairy tale. And if you are foolish or desperate enough to seek them out, be prepared for them to royally punish you by twisting your wishes to benefit them.


    The Hellriver Fleet:
    Spoiler
    Show
    This was an idea I had for the primary antagonists. It's basically five Flying Dutchmans, each of them named after one of the mythical rivers of the Underworld:
    • Styx
    • Acheron
    • Phlegethon
    • Cocytus
    • Lethe

    Yes, I borrowed that idea from Cervantes' swords in Soul Calibur 2. Each ship is crewed by the drowned dead and they basically are harbingers of doom at sea. They also attack ships that draw their attention. A pirate once made a legend for himself by actually fighting back and sinking one of them. However, the ship eventually returned and the pirate was punished for his insolence. The PCs could capture the ships one by one, eventually unearthing the dark secrets behind the fleet and gaining five very powerful ships in the process.


    I like these ideas, but I can't imagine every player will want to get involved with the occult and stuff, wanting instead to do the normal pirate stuff, pillaging and looting (but not raping, that's a line I won't allow the PCs to cross). Plus, I'm sure they'd want to fight other pirates, hunt for treasure and fight the navy too.

    I'm not sure how to build a solid story that incorporates so many disparate elements without directly ripping off Pirates of the Carribean or something. Perhaps some of the better story crafters here would be willing to offer insights into how to make a fun pirate campaign story? I would greatly appreciate any advice. Thank you.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Hastings, MN
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    So...none of yew landlubbers got any ideas?
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Hastings, MN
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    I don't actually have any players yet. This game is still in the hypothetical stages. It's certainly a viable idea, though I'd have to actually propose the game to see what people think of it.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Xallace's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Cocoon

    Default Re: Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    Well, can't have a game of pirates without a legendary treasure of which scores of rumors are told but few substantiated! Gotta make sure that's in there somewhere, even if it's not necessarily plot-significant, as it could provide some motivation for certain PCs. And remember, the treasure could be anything from non-existent to El Dorado to the Mother Lode from MegaMan Legends 2!
    (
    Spoiler
    Show
    The Mother Lode is a supposed super-treasure that could make the finder infinitely wealthy and/or stop energy needs forever. Legitimate and illicit sailors both are after it. Turns out the Mother Lode is actually a cache of all human DNA, kept to make sure the race never goes extinct.
    )
    Extended Homebrew Signature

    Spoiler
    Show
    Coplantor's Official Second-In-Command 2.0. It's alot like being Will Riker, but still with less alien women and also pirates.

    Quote Originally Posted by Avatars
    "Epic Abjurer" avatar by the astounding Fayt!
    "The-Fantastic-Protectimaton-MK-VIII" avatar by the wondrous KingGolem!
    "You-Know-You-Want-It" Paladin MD avatar by the mighty thelizard!
    "Eat-Steel-Vile-Flu" Paladin MD avatar by the sexier-than-I Dr. Bath!

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Hastings, MN
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    Oh right! Forgot about that!

    I'll start cooking up some ideas.

    One of my potential players wants her character to have been experimented on by aliens. I have no idea how to respond.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Xallace's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Cocoon

    Default Re: Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    Quote Originally Posted by Archpaladin Zousha View Post
    One of my potential players wants her character to have been experimented on by aliens. I have no idea how to respond.
    A) There are no aliens, try mad scientists, wizards, or the Hellriver Fleet.
    B) There are aliens, it was an isolated incident and everyone thinks she's crazy.
    C) There are aliens, sorta. They're from the moon. They're here because the Lunar Gods have a score to settle with the Earth Gods.
    Extended Homebrew Signature

    Spoiler
    Show
    Coplantor's Official Second-In-Command 2.0. It's alot like being Will Riker, but still with less alien women and also pirates.

    Quote Originally Posted by Avatars
    "Epic Abjurer" avatar by the astounding Fayt!
    "The-Fantastic-Protectimaton-MK-VIII" avatar by the wondrous KingGolem!
    "You-Know-You-Want-It" Paladin MD avatar by the mighty thelizard!
    "Eat-Steel-Vile-Flu" Paladin MD avatar by the sexier-than-I Dr. Bath!

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Hastings, MN
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    Quote Originally Posted by Xallace View Post
    A) There are no aliens, try mad scientists, wizards, or the Hellriver Fleet.
    B) There are aliens, it was an isolated incident and everyone thinks she's crazy.
    C) There are aliens, sorta. They're from the moon. They're here because the Lunar Gods have a score to settle with the Earth Gods.
    She IS crazy though. Because the aliens experimented on her.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Knaight's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    I would note that non-existent locations are really fun for a searching campaign. One of my current campaigns actually focuses on a group going for El-Dorado. Its just that it is in the future, demons are real, everyone wants it, and law and order in South America is a distant memory. Except for Brazil and Venezuela, there it is just corrupt. You can have several organizations collecting information on where it is, and if you include opposed ones, you naturally create conflict. And if the general plot is just a backdrop in general, you can have them all running circles around each other, so you can focus on the changes in characters as all this happens.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
    -- ChubbyRain

    Current Design Project: Legacy, a game of masters and apprentices for two players and a GM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    DwarfBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    For your kickoff scenario, the classic reason to attack a jail is to bust somebody out.

    Of course, maybe the attack is actually an assassination attempt on one of the prison staff, using the jailbreak as a diversion/smokescreen for the real goal.

    Or perhaps the prison was built on top of some buried MacGuffin, and just happened to get in the way.
    I am not crazy! I prefer "reality impaired".

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Xallace's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Cocoon

    Default Re: Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomLunatic View Post
    Or perhaps the prison was built on top of some buried MacGuffin, and just happened to get in the way.
    The Treasure! Turns out the prison was built over the Treasure the whole time and this one group figured it out, but of course they get stopped in the process. But, there are all sorts of clues throughout the rest of the game as to who the group was and why they attacked, until the PCs figure out the Treasure is there, and everything comes full circle.
    Extended Homebrew Signature

    Spoiler
    Show
    Coplantor's Official Second-In-Command 2.0. It's alot like being Will Riker, but still with less alien women and also pirates.

    Quote Originally Posted by Avatars
    "Epic Abjurer" avatar by the astounding Fayt!
    "The-Fantastic-Protectimaton-MK-VIII" avatar by the wondrous KingGolem!
    "You-Know-You-Want-It" Paladin MD avatar by the mighty thelizard!
    "Eat-Steel-Vile-Flu" Paladin MD avatar by the sexier-than-I Dr. Bath!

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Scandinavia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    Don't forget that every pirate has to have performance song and a tendency to use it at ...critical moments.
    Last edited by Asheram; 2010-02-28 at 07:16 AM.
    Boats are like nuts, the outside is hard but the inside is usually good to eat.


    And remember, things can always get worse.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Default Re: Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    Haha, the bard in my campaign has the ACF that lets him use perform checks instead of move silently checks (I know, doesn't make sense to me either). I think I'm going to rule that it's that song .

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Jolly Steve's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nich_Critic View Post
    Haha, the bard in my campaign has the ACF that lets him use perform checks instead of move silently checks (I know, doesn't make sense to me either). I think I'm going to rule that it's that song .
    Or he could be playing the 'dum dum DUM' plucked strings sound effect that represents tiptoeing in cartoons.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Default Re: Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    Quote Originally Posted by Archpaladin Zousha View Post
    She IS crazy though. Because the aliens experimented on her.
    How about alienist from complete arcane? IF she's a wizzard that'd fit. Other than that you could get together and homebrew something similar from which another base class would benefit. Perhaps some caster progression and a special spellist to choose from like assassin or blackguard?

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Hastings, MN
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    Quote Originally Posted by KurtKatze View Post
    How about alienist from complete arcane? IF she's a wizzard that'd fit. Other than that you could get together and homebrew something similar from which another base class would benefit. Perhaps some caster progression and a special spellist to choose from like assassin or blackguard?
    This is a freeform game though. She basically wants to play a younger version of a character she played in a space pirates RP we were both involved in. In that RP, she was thousands of years old thanks to the original experiments on her, and she had become something of a cross between a pirate and a mad scientist, taking slaves and experimenting on them for her own depraved purposes.

    In this RP, she basically wants to show how that character got her start.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    The following link should give some hilarious inspiration. In other words, don't forget sea shanties.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AawQvD8L_h4

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Hastings, MN
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    I was hoping to run a more serious RP, but those clips make me realize you can never really take pirates seriously.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Hastings, MN
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    Quote Originally Posted by jackattack View Post
    If you are going to have buried treasure, remember to have a reason for it to be buried.

    It's actually in the lost treasury of an ancient people.

    It was too big for the pirates who stole it to get away with, so they hid it but never managed to come back. Many pirates would pack a small ship with lots of men, then try to take over a large ship. If the large ship was sinking, they might put the treasure on their own small ship, which could have been severely overloaded. If they had to flee, they might transfer the treasure to a hidden location (or throw it overboard).

    It (or some portion of it) is (magically?) dangerous, so it was buried for safety reasons.
    Good points. Here's my current idea for this treasure:

    The Dragon's Hoard
    Spoiler
    Show
    Many years ago, pirates were much more powerful than they are today. The entire archipelago was sort of considered sovereign territory of the pirates, led by a fearsome captain who today is only known as "The Dragon," for his terrifying prowess in battle and the massive wealth he obtained in his career.

    The Navy could do nothing against The Dragon. Every time they managed to track him down, his large fleet of pirates ensured that any would-be pirate hunters were nothing but tinder and meat for Davy Jones' Locker. So the Navy decided to bring him down by other means. They secretly met with the other captains in The Dragon's "pirate navy," and they agreed to pay them a massive amount of money if they betrayed The Dragon and killed him. Not only would they recieve a generous stipend from the Navy, they'd claim The Dragon's treasure and gain freedom from him to boot.

    Eventually The Dragon called a conclave of the captains who worked for him to plan strategy for a battle. The captains took this opportunity to attack The Dragon. Despite The Dragon's legendary skill, and the fact that he killed many of the betrayers, he eventually succumbed and was killed. The remaining captains gleefully boarded The Dragon's ship, hoping to find his wealth, but it couldn't be found. They tortured The Dragon's crewmen to learn the location, but they didn't know it either.

    Eventually, the traitorous captains returned to the naval liason who hired them, hoping their stipend would at least offset some of the problems. When the Navy learned that the captains did not have The Dragon's treasure, they responded with a volley of cannon that sank the remaining conspirators. The whole plot had been a Navy scheme to not just end The Dragon's control of the region but seize his wealth as well.

    The Pirate Navy that The Dragon had assembled quickly disbanded following The Dragon's murder and the Navy's subsequent betrayal of the remaining captains. They began to bicker over who should succeed The Dragon. After long hours of debate and several sea battles, the various pirates broke away and tried to make names for themselves. Many of them attempted to look for the lost treasure of The Dragon, believing it would give them the clout they would need to once again unite the pirates. But to this day, it has never been found. But since then, pirates from all over the world have looked for The Dragon's Hoard, as well as the Navy, who believes that by capturing the treasure they can ruin the legacy of The Dragon forever.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tyndmyr's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    I strongly suggest checking out 7th Sea. It's probably the single best pirate/swashbuckling system Ive ever seen, and it comes with a terrific campaign world. Even if you choose to use the D&D system, the world behind it is quite impressive.
    Back from a lengthy vacation from Giantitp. I've been dabbling with 3d printer technology and game design, PM if you're curious.

    "World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimization."

    New: Tyndmyr has a game shop!

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Hastings, MN
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    I'd prefer not to have to buy more books if I can help it. Trying to preserve my funds.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    On A Boat
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    Are ye gonna have any variety of firearms in this hur campaign, Cap'n Zousha?

    Also, what edition shall yer vessel be sailin' upon?

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Hastings, MN
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    As I'd said in the OP, I'd been originally considering a freeform game, so editions wouldn't matter. And as for firearms, yes, there would be firearms. They're pirates, not viking raiders.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    On A Boat
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    Wicked.

    And I know it's cliche, but I've always wanted my Pirate character to square off against something that resembles a Ninja, for old time's sake.

    So, maybe if you're willing to throw some exoticism in there, a rival Ninja clan wouldn't be out of the question?

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Hastings, MN
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Swashbucklers and Sloops (Building a Pirate Campaign)

    Well, I'd been planning this for a different forum (There's a link to it in my sig).
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •