We’ve all seen the movies. Being a pirate isn’t something you LEARN. It’s something that you CATCH.
Rather like measles.
Kid joins a pirate crew? Shortly he or she is a pirate. They’ll pick up everything, and probably be scrapping with the best of them, inside a week. They’ll be helping run the ship inside of two, and will probably be piloting it out of disaster, finding treasure, and running rescue missions in less than a month.
“Pirate” isn’t a profession, or a class, or even a feat.
It’s a Template, and it’s CONTAGIOUS.
That’s why Pirates are better than Ninja. Ninja… you have to train. Often for years. Pirates… you just need to get a crew together with one Pirate, and you’ll have an entire crew of Pirates inside of a couple of weeks, complete with an alcohol tolerance and liver problems that would normally require decades to build up.
Pirate (32 CP/+1 ECL acquired template):
- Proficient with all Simple and Pirate Weapons (Hand Axe, Rapier, Scimitar/Cutlass, Flintlock Pistols and Muskets, and Muzzle-Loader Cannons, 6 CP).
- Adept: Pays half cost for Acrobatics, Climb, Flamboyant Roguery, and Profession/Sailor (6 CP).
- +2 Template Bonus to Adept Skills (4 CP).
- Fast Learner, Specialized in Adept Skills (all are automatically bought up to HD+3) (6 CP).
- Mastery: A Pirate may “Take 10″ even under pressure with Acrobatics, Climb, and Profession/Sailor, Specialized/never covers any other skills no matter what the user’s intelligence bonus is (3 CP).
- Immunity/normal limits on skills, Specialized and Corrupted/only applies to the Adept skills in this template, only allows two special tricks per skill, tricks are usually DC 20 where relevant (Very Common, Major, Minor, 3 CP).
- Acrobatics Tricks: Erratic Movement (a Pirate may charge over hindering terrain, turn while charging, or even swing on ropes and such while executing movement-based maneuvers), Evasion (a Pirate may attempt a check after a successful reflex saving throw for half effect; a success negates the effect entirely).
- Climbing Tricks: Aerial Combat (a Pirate may roll to fight without penalty while balancing on spars, hanging from one foot, swinging from ropes, or on wildly rolling decks) and The Flynn Effect (a Pirate may roll to find a rope ready to hand when he or she needs one to swing on, avoid falling, or tie something up).
- Flamboyant Roguery Tricks: A Pirate may also select Block (Melee) and Weapon Kata (All Pirate Weapons) as martial techniques, evading the usual limit of four.
- Profession/Sailor Tricks: Shipboard Accident (a Pirate aboard a ship may roll once per round as a free action to cause an opponent to get entangled in a rope/get in the way of incoming missile fire/slip or trip on something on the deck/get hit by a boom/whatever) and Dimensional Piloting (DC 30 to pilot a ship into another realm, through the plane of shadow past a terrible storm, or some such).
- Innate Enchantment (9000 GP Value, 10 CP). In general, all abilities caster level one, spell level one, unlimited-use use-activated, personal only – for a base cost of 1400 GP.
- Burning Black Powder/Produce Flame (Corrupted, requires a “Flintlock” for a focus, 933 GP).
- Flashing Parry/Force Shield I (Corrupted, requires that the user have either a Dagger or Rapier in hand, 933 GP).
- Attuned to the Sea: +3 Competence Bonus on all Pirate Skills (Corrupted/requires that the user dress as an utterly stereotypical pirate. Covers the four Adept skills plus Appraise, Escape Artist, and Swim, 933 GP).
- And Iron Men/Immortal Vigor I: Provides +12 + 2x Con Mod HP. Everyone knows pirates are really tough (1400 GP).
- Unseen Servant: Pirates can get themselves untied, get a passing monkey to bring them the keys to the cell door, get impossible amounts of work done aboard while doing nothing but drink rum, row large boats by themselves, survive long falls, and so on. Some of them can even walk on water or float in the air while waving pistols… (2000 GP).
- Rugged Metabolism. Pirates are healthy and recover very very quickly indeed: Fast Healing I for 18 Rounds 2/Day, Relieve Illness 1/Day, Relieve Poison 1/Day, and Lesser Restoration 1/Day. From the Hedge Wizardry list on this site and The Practical Enchanter (1400 GP).
- Inspiring Word. +1 Morale Bonus to Attacks, Weapon Damage, Saves, and Checks. Pirates ALWAYS have great morale, 1400 GP.
- Immunity/Dispelling and Antimagic (Common, Minor, Great, Specialized and Corrupted/only protects the innate enchantments in this template, 4 CP). Of course none of this stuff is “magic”! Pirates are simply subject to the Rule of Cool, not to mere physics.
- Template Disadvantages: Broke (Pirates tend to spend money when they’ve got it, and hide it – in part from themselves – to spend later when they get a lot), Hunted (the authorities are always after pirates), and Compulsive (one or another Pirates Code) (-10 CP).
Flamboyant Roguery Martial Art (Dex):
Some people aren’t happy with fighting sensibly. They want to swing on ropes while hacking at each other with swords, fight duels on pitching decks during raging storms, and otherwise act like they’re in a really bad movie.
This is Eclipse; never let it be said that you can’t do what you want.
Flamboyant Roguery is Specialized for Double Effect (one technique per skill rank)/the user cannot wear anything beyond leathers, is spectacularly obvious as a pirate or highwayman, and will find himself or herself drawn into insane adventures on a regular basis. It’s normally taken for use with any one Pirate or Highwayman weapon.
- Requires: Being a Blatant Pirate or Highwayman, ability to use some sort of “Firearm”.
- Basic Techniques: Attack 4, Defenses 4, Strike, Toughness 2, Synergy/Acrobatics, Synergy/Climb, and Synergy/Reflex Saves.
- Advanced and Master Techniques: Combat Reflexes, Sneak Attack I, Mighty Blow and (Combat) Expertise.
- Occult Techniques: Inner Strength x2, Light Foot and Touch Strike.
A specialized martial art is always iffy – but these are PIRATES. They’ve got to use a cheap trick to win somewhere along the way!
Eliki Montari (ECL 1 Kitsune Pirate)
Being a wild fox SUCKS BIG TIME. Sleeping in damp holes in the ground, hardly ever not hungry, things trying to eat you… Sure, once you were old enough to pick up a little magic, things got a bit better – but the only way to actually get comfortable was to move in with the humans.
Female Kitsune had it easy; they could just MARRY some human, and move in with him, and all was well! They just had to play up to the belief that new brides never had any idea what they were doing! Males… well, you had to find somewhere where you wouldn’t be expected to know much of anything about what was going on, and where no one would expect to know you, and where odd social gaffes were EXPECTED, and where the fact that you weren’t strong enough for serious physical labor would pass unremarked…
Picking up a berth as a “Cabin Boy” on some passing ship was the quickest way that Eliki found to do it.
As it happened, it was a Pirate Ship – and soon (very VERY soon) Eliki was a Pirate like the rest. Not so long after than, he’d managed to teach it to a couple of other wild creatures – and was off to be a Pirate on his own.
Sometimes with Gareth Tamson. Working together has worked out VERY well.
One-Tailed Kitsune (Age 106, 31 CP/+0 ECL Race): Full template over HERE.
- +4 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -4 Constitution, -8 Strength (0 CP).
- Occult Senses/Low-Light Vision and Scent, Corrupted/Kitsune are rather doglike, and have a hard time adapting to “normal” standards; they tend to find carrion attractive, like to eat various bugs and rodents raw, and so on. This often gives them away (8 CP).
- Celerity/+10 Ground Movement Speed (6 CP).
- Immunity/Aging (Uncommon, Major, Major). This gives a Kitsune a potential lifespan of about 1200 years, spreading out their aging across the ages. This is, however, Specialized; Kitsune may not use transformation to augment their physical abilities, totally conceal their true forms (there’s always some kind of clue), disguise their reflections in running water, or conceal their scents (3 CP).
- Universal Damage Reduction 2/- (3 CP).
- Immunity/the normal XP cost of Innate Enchantments (Uncommon, Minor, Trivial [only covers cantrips and first level effects at caster level one], Specialized/only to cover their racial abilities, 1 CP).
- Innate Enchantment: All effects unlimited-use use-activated at caster level one – for a base effective “cost” of 1000 GP per cantrip and 2000 GP per first level spell.
- Cantrips: Dancing Lights, Flavor*, Ghost Scent*, Ghost Sound,
- First Level Effects: Beglamourment*, Disguise Self, Enhance Attribute/+2 Charisma, Enhance Attribute/+2 to non-charisma attribute of choice, Expeditious Retreat, Humanoid Form*, Hypnotism, Jump, Magic Fang (allows them to bite for one point of damage), Pass Without Trace, Produce Flame, Silent Image, Speak with Animals, Tactile Illusion*
- That’s 32,000 GP – or 33 CP – worth. This is Specialized and Corrupted for reduced cost however, reducing the cost to 11 CP:
- Kitsune take damage from Dispel Magic and Antimagic effects – generally 1d4 per level of the caster up to 10d4 (once per minute for antimagic fields). Even a “young”, single-tailed, Kitsune is far, FAR, past a foxes “natural” lifespan – and only their shapeshifting magic keeps them alive. Dispelling that is a terrible shock – and while an antimagic field is slower, a Kitsune who fails to escape one will soon perish.
- Kitsune Magic is an expression of concentration and fox instincts. When they are frightened, overcome with emotion, or injured, they must make a concentration check to avoid losing control and dropping effects which require even moderate concentration – such as all their illusions. They cannot escape their instincts without renouncing their magic either; when confronted with something that would trigger their instincts – angry dogs, distracting food, chances for sex, and similar short-term diversions – they must make a DC 15 willpower check to resist giving in.
- Disadvantage: Social Outcast, mostly unprotected by the law and generally considered untrustworthy (-3 CP).
Pirate Template (32 CP/+1 ECL).
Pathfinder Package Deal (Free):
Basic Attributes: Str 2, Int 12, Wis 16 (18), Con 10, Dex 22, Chr 12 (14). (Purchased: Str 10 (2), Int 12 (4), Wis 14 (6), Con 14 (6), Dex 16 (10), Chr 12 (4). Kitsune: +4 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -4 Constitution, -8 Strength, +2 Cha (Magic), +2 Wis (Magic), +2 Dex Pathfinder).
Available Character Points: 24 (L0 Base) +10 (Disadvantages; History, Untrustworthy, and “Uncivilized” (he’s confused about many social items as of yet)) +0 (Pirate Captain Duties) = 34 CP.
Basic Abilities (4 CP):
- Hit dice: 3 HP (L0 Free) +12 (Magic) +0 (3 x Con Mod) = 15 HP. (Net DR 3/-).
- Skill Points: 1 (Purchased, 1 CP) +3 (Int Mod x 3) + 6 (Fast Learner) = 10 SP.
- BAB: +0 (0 CP).
- Fortitude: +0 (0 CP) +0 (Con) +1 (Mor) = +1
- Reflex: +1 (3 CP) +6 (Dex) +1 (Mor) +2 (Syn) = +10
- Will: +0 (0 CP) +4 (Wis) +1 (Mor) = +5
- Proficiencies: None.
- Initiative: +6 (Dex)
- Move: 50
- Armor Class: 10 +6 (Dex) +4 (Shield) +4 (Martial Art) = 24.
- Usual Attacks:
- “Pistol” (Produce Flame): +8/+8 Touch Attack (+0 BAB +6 Dex +1 MA +1 Mor), 1d6+1 (Flame) +1 (Morale), 120′ Range. May add +2 levels of Elemental Manipulation metamagic to it.
- Rapier +10 (+0 BAB +6 Dex +1 MA +1 Mor +1 Enh), 1d6+6 (Dex) +1 (Mor) +1 (Enh), Crit 15-20/x2, 2d6 Sneak Attack.
Known Martial Art Techniques (15): Attack 1, Defenses 4, Synergy/Reflex Saves, Toughness 1 (3/- total), Combat Reflexes, Mighty Blow, (Combat) Expertise, Weapon Kata (Pirate Weapons), Block (Melee), Inner Strength, Light Foot, and Touch Strike.
Special Abilities (30 CP):
- Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills for +2 SP/Level (6 CP).
- Enthusiast, Specialized and Corrupted/only for Pirate and Kitsune Themed Relics for 3 CP worth (3 CP).
- Create Relic, Specialized and Corrupted/one and two-point relics only, only with points from Enthusiast, only personal relics (2 CP).
- Use of Seven Charms and Three Talismans (Shaping Package, 6 CP). Normally uses
- Talismans: Rune Weapon (+1 Keen Rapier), Traveling Pack (holds 20 pounds with no weight, what you want is always on top, nicely weatherproof), Sigil of the Divine (functions three times / day, can add +2 to any single roll after the roll is made, reduce hit point or attribute damage/drain by three points, or reduce the duration of a negative condition (including Surprise) by four rounds.
- Charms: Catfall Boots (land on your feet, negate one die of falling damage, the next two become nonlethal), Amulet of the Stallion, All-weather Cloak, Ditty Bag, Firebox, Luncheon Pot, the Ocean’s Arms (cannot sink, almost cannot drown).
- Mystic Companion (6 CP) with a +2 ECL Template (Half effect – +1 ECL – only, the Pirate Template, 3 CP), with an Additional Companion (6 CP), all Specialized/the companions have definite minds of their own, want shares of treasure, and often bring trouble home with them, 7 CP). His companions are a Wolverine and a Leopard, who normally share his magical shift to a anthropomorphic human form – although there are always giveaway traits.
- Finesse: Uses (Dex Mod) instead of (Str Mod) when fighting with Flamboyant Roguery (6 CP).
- Sigil of the Forest Night (1 CP Kitsune Relic): Three levels of Clerical Package Deal Spellcasting (The Hidden One), with the Components restriction added (spells cannot be cast while wearing armor), Specialized/the Hidden One is well aware that Eliki isn’t at all dedicated – it’s a pact – and will only renew his spells once a week or so when Eliki holds a small ceremony in his honor and makes an offering (which will need to become larger as the spell levels available to him increase). Eliki has the Thievery and Luck Domains [The Thievery Domain grants +2d6 Sneak Attack. L0: Prestidigitation, L1; Personal Haste, L2; Knock, L3; Shrink Item, L4; Tricky Fingers (Skill Mastery/+10 Competence Bonus to thief skills). The Luck domain grants one daily use of Luck] (8 CP).
- Hat of the Pirate King (1 CP Pirate Relic): Advanced Presence/“Dashing Rogue”. +4 to Charisma-based skill totals and an Aura of Animation; small objects in the immediate area will shift around to help him out; ropes will drop into his hand, curtains will billow out to hide him, small objects will get under opponents feet… the user may pick one such occurrence per round as a free action. Corrupted/relies on the user’s existing swarms of unseen servants, and will not work without them.
- My God That’s A Big Gun (1 CP Pirate Relic): Metamagical Theorems/Multiple & Elemental Manipulation and two levels of Streamline, all Specialized and Corrupted/only to enhance his Produce Flame effects (8 CP).
- Acrobatics +15 (3 SP* +6 Dex +3 Comp +3 Path).
- Appraise +8 (1 SP +1 Int +3 Comp +3 Path).
- Climb +5 (3 SP* -4 Str +3 Comp +3 Path).
- Diplomacy +10 (1 SP +2 Cha +4 Presence +3 Path)
- Escape Artist +13 (1 SP +6 Dex +3 Comp +3 Path).
- Flamboyant Roguery +15 (3 SP* +6 Dex +3 Comp +3 Path).
- Gather Information +10 (1 SP +2 Cha +4 Presence +3 Path).
- Perception +10 (3 SP +4 Wis +3 Path).
- Perform/Oratory +10 (1 SP +2 Cha +4 Presence +3 Path).
- Profession/Sailor +13 (3 SP* +4 Wis +3 Comp +3 Path).
- Stealth +10 (1 SP +6 Dex +3 Path)
- Swim +3 (1 SP -4 Str +3 Comp +3 Path).
*Free from Pirate Template.
Eliki… is actually quite powerful there; A high-end race coupled with an optimized template and a specialized martial art make him a pretty good combatant and his magical talents are – like any other kitsune – fairly extensive. Just as importantly… when it comes to a fight, his two companions are pretty good themselves.
Future development? Well, Eliki wants to be a pirate king; so more companions to fill out his crew a bit, augmented bonus (add (Cha Mod) to (Dex Mod) when computing AC and Reflex Saves), bonus uses to go with his domain-based Luck, a Reputation, and Mystic Artist/Oratory (to inspire his men) are probably in order. Outside of that… a fairly standard mix of light-duty casting and moderate melee abilities should keep him relevant as levels increase.
- The Chthonic Invested (Acquired or Inborn Template. 32 CP/+1 ECL) (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- “Ghost” of the Chosen Ones at Eclipse Level Four (ruscumag.wordpress.com)