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  1. #1
    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    Pirates in Aebrynis

    Yarrrrrrr! Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intern...e_a_Pirate_Day).

    How have you used piracy in your campaigns? Were the pirates just a nuisance to trade routes? Was a pirate king a regent? Was a pirate king a rival guildmaster? Was piracy used as an official law enforcement/military power by a lawful regent against neighbouring domains (or even guilders in their own province)? Or have you just seen piracy as an illegal activity that only chaotic regents would exercise?

    For thar be much t' plunder on those seas.

    Sorontar
    Last edited by Sorontar; 09-19-2013 at 12:03 AM.

  2. #2
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Do vikings along the Taelshore count?

    What about if you are merely defending yourself (albeit profitably)?

    I mentioned them a bit in PS Danigau but haven't used Brecht/Vos pirates in practice.

  3. #3
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    1. I remember trying to write a piracy rule vs. the existing Trade Route rules in 2e days. No idea what it was anymore, I guess it was a Character or Court Action?

    2. I ran a short campaign that started in Talinie and moved to Siren's Realm and Stjordvik (I think?), chasing a Rjurik reaver. It had something to do with a priest who had the critical information, but that's all I remember.

    3. I started a game once with my wife as the pirate queen of (whatever the unclaimed island south of Anuire is, I don't have a map with me), and the other players as her court/vassals/lieutenants. I actually aimed to run some of the Slavers series, so I actually started them at the beginning of the last module, waking up stripped in a dungeon cell. They were to fight their way out, find their stuff, etc. It only lasted the one session, IIRC.

    4. I ran a year-and-a-half-long campaign that featured the PCs as passengers on a Brecht merchant ship that was sailing the long way around the continent. I figured if parts of the Great Bay froze over, why not send the unoccupied ship on a Spec.Trade mission to warmer waters in the winter? One PC was an officer, the rest passengers. Four were elf or half-elf women, the other two were human males. Pretty soon, the party bought their own small boat for their own sailing about.
    Pirates were in the game, mostly as opposition. There was a fight with at least one shipful off the Isle of the Serpent, and a big battle with three of the Yeninsky Brotherhood when they got around to that side of Cerilia. I believe I closed with running the "Bloodsilver" adventure from Dungeon magazine, moved to the border of the Raven's land, as the closing adventure.
    Given the plethora of high-Cha females in tropical waters, the joking developed into naming the campaign "Feywatch." This campaign featured some of the best role-playing I've ever seen, especially the romance between two PCs (their players were 1 veteran and 1 total newb, it was fantastic). This was early 3.5 days, right as the "Stormwatch" book came out, so I was able to use it. Three of my players were veterans, 1 hadn't played since 1e days, and two had never played before. Five of six were female, which also skewed the game somehow.

    5. I have a vague idea of doing something someday with Mairada(?), the southeastern island that is still run by the Anuireans. Preferably with an anti-piracy paladin.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jaleela's Avatar
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    How have you used piracy in your campaigns?

    Yes, I've used pirates in my campaign. From minor nuisances to major threats in both the deep ocean and along the coasts of Cerilia, Aduria, and Djapar.

    Were the pirates just a nuisance to trade routes?

    The pirates are used in every sea and along every major trade route in the campaign. Sometimes they will harass villages, taking captives and either ransoming them or carrying them off to a port that still deals in slavery.

    Was a pirate king a regent? Was a pirate king a rival guildmaster?

    Some pirates, like the captain of the black arrow, are regents with a small holding somewhere in the land(s) where they lair.

    In some cases, they are not. They tend show up as "Trade matters" or "Monsters and Brigandage". Sometimes they are an adventure hook.

    Was piracy used as an official law enforcement/military power by a lawful regent against neighbouring domains (or even guilders in their own province)?

    One of my players issued letters of mark against the ships of another regent. It didn't work out well for him as the ships he was going after belonged to the Magian. It ended with a "death plague" ship entering his harbor.

    Or have you just seen piracy as an illegal activity that only chaotic regents would exercise?

    A little bit of both. But I tend to plan for pirate involvement against regent navies and trade routes. One pirate king was so brazen, that he managed to kidnap the imperial heir and demand a Prince's ransom for his safe return. The pirate remains at large.

    I also make use of Highway men. Who also are similar and work well as random encounters or agents to disrupt trade on the major land routes.
    d'estre bons et leaulx amis et vrais ensemble et de servir l'un 'autre envers et contre tous

  5. #5
    Senior Member cccpxepoj's Avatar
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    1. I played Brecht merc/pirate once, i did good as long as the campaign was about exploring islands and plundering i did good, but then the GM moved the game toward some horor themed shadow world adventure that introduced sanity rules, afterwards i went nuts as jack sparow and somehow became awnsheg/alien (don't ask why or how)
    That is when we learned not to mix genres, as pirates of caribean/birthright/star craft wasn't the best of ideas.
    2. Pirates of Grabentod and Zweilunds played the major role in one of my adveture capaign that lasted about 2 years. I used them as the decisive factor in the ongoing major Brecht-Vos war.
    Last edited by cccpxepoj; 09-20-2013 at 10:46 AM.

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    Not much yet, but I've recently started a new campaign focused on exploration/colonisation of a new continent west of Cerilia, and I'm sure pirates will play a large role. My players are in change of a newly-founded and rather vulnerable colony, so the trade routes back home will be very important to their survival.

    Of course piracy would be a huge problem there, and potentially with a political aspect as well, if the different colonies try to use the pirates against each other – maybe even with an independent pirate state somewhere trying to play the other colonies off against each other and taking advantage of the situation

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jaleela's Avatar
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    On the Magian's Medieval History Resource List, I had posted this book:

    Pirates are a threat to merchantile ventures. to find out exactly how ruthless pirates can be, from the taking of goods to the taking and leading the entire population of a town away in chains... I give you:

    Empires of the Sea by Roger Crowley.

    It is about the struggle between the Holy Roman Empire and the Ottaman Empire in the Mediterranean 1480 - 1570. While late Medieval, it covers some of the deals that western powers made with pirates like Barbarosa. Very nasty stuff. Might work well for anyone using the captain, Sari bint Bédize, of the Black Arrow in Cities of the Sun (Ariya, pg. 14).
    d'estre bons et leaulx amis et vrais ensemble et de servir l'un 'autre envers et contre tous

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