Other Rules



Crew may be hired in any port of settlement or when another ship is captured. Hiring a crew requires 1 day and a successful check results in 1d4+2 new crew members. There are several methods of hiring a new crew described below. The party gets a bonus on recruitment checks based on their Infamy Threshold (+1 for each threshold).

  • Settlements (up to large town) or captured ships allow for one successful recruitment check.
  • Small or large cities (5,000 – 25,000 people) allow for two successful recruitment checks
  • A metropolis (over 25,000 people) can support three successful recruitment checks on a visit

Tall Tales of the Sea (bluff)

Promising riches and adventure on the high sea while downplaying the drudgery and risk of piracy you attempt to put one over on your new recruits by making a DC 20 bluff check.

  • Crew members recruited with empty promises begin as green quality sailors
  • Crew members recruited with bluff have the inspired trait

Now Hiring

A simple offer of employment requires a DC 20 diplomacy check.

  • Crew members who are simply recruited begin as regular quality sailors


Pressganged crew members are recruited by force (hit over the head), guile (drugged) or threat. Recruiting crew in this fashion requires a DC 20 intimidation check (on the crew members or port authorities).

  • Press ganged crew begin as green quality sailors
  • Press ganged crew have the hostile and disillusioned traits

Paying Crew

Whenever you exchange plunder for gold in a community, deduct one additional point of plunder (per ship) to represent wages for the crew.

Crew Quality


Green A crew that is more than 20% green suffers a -1 competence penalty on all shipboard checks. It takes two months of working on a ship to advance to regular quality.

Regular Regular crew have no bonuses or penalties. It takes four months of working for a crew to qualify for elite status.

Elite Elite crews members are highly trained and loyal. In order to maintain elite quality crew wages are double that of regular crews. A crew that is more than 50% elite gains a +2 cumulative morale bonus on all shipboard checks.


Inspired Crew members with this trait may become disillusioned after combat unless the party makes a DC 20 bluff or diplomacy check to re-inspire them. This trait is removed if the crew advances to regular quality.

Disillusioned Crew members with this trait have a 25% chance of deserting at the next port. This trait is removed from remaining crew member upon making port.

Hostile Crew members with the hostile trait suffer a cumulative -1 morale penalty on all shipboard tasks. This trait is removed if the crew advances to regular quality.



Stocking a sailing ship with food, fresh water and rum costs 200 gp/month.


Minor repairs and replacement of worn equipment costs 5-40 gp/month.

Docking fees

Docking fees and taxes in ports are usually based on the number of masts a ship has and vary from port to port.


Scurvy is a disease that leads to lethargy then death. It afflicts those who don’t consume enough ascorbic acid (or vitamin C), typically found in fresh food, such as citrus fruits and grog. Since fruit spoils quickly, shipboard meals
are normally created using preserved or created food, which has no ascorbic acid. Most ships stock grog to prevent scurvy since it lasts longer in storage.

Type disease, special (see below); Save Fortitude DC 11
Onset 2 weeks; Frequency 1/day
Effect 1 Con damage; Cure special (see below)
Special The first save happens after the onset time passes without consuming ascorbic acid. If the save is successful, a new save is made each day with a cumulative +1 penalty to the save. The cure for scurvy is drinking or eating ascorbic acid. If the disease is cured by remove disease, a save is made the next day at the base DC.

Rum Ration

Aboard many ships, half a pint of rum is distributed to each crew member at dusk. The rum is staggeringly strong, and is often watered down to make grog. Characters drinking the ration are affected as though they had taken an addictive drug. The rum ration is doled out more to keep the crew sated and docile than for recreation. While on merchant or navy vessels rum rations are strictly limited, on pirate ships, crew members can often request more rum if they please.

Shackles Rum Ration
Type ingested; Addiction minor, Fortitude DC 5
Price 2 sp
Effect variable; +1d4 alchemical bonus to Charisma and fatigued for 1d8 hours
Damage 1d3 Con

Shackles Grog Ration
Type ingested; Addiction minor, Fortitude DC 3
Price 1 sp
Effect +1d3 alchemical bonus to Charisma for 1d4 hours; prevents scurvy
Damage fatigued for 1d8 hours
Special additional doses extend the duration of fatigue by 1d4 hours, and inflict a cumulative -1 penalty on skill checks for 2d4 hours without adding any further bonus to Chraisma.


Anytime a character takes a drug he must make a saving throw, noted in the drug’s description, to resist becoming addicted. If a character makes the save, he is not addicted and the effects of the drug persist as normal. If he fails the save, he contracts the noted form of addiction (see below). Should a character take multiple doses of the same drug in a short period of time addiction becomes more difficult to resist. The DC of a drug’s saving throw increases by +2 every time a character takes a another dose of that drug while still suffering from ability damage caused by a previous dose. Keep track of how high this DC rises, even for characters already addicted to a drug, as it determines the DC necessary to overcome the disease.

Addiction manifests in three different degrees of severity: minor, moderate, and severe. Each drug notes what type of addiction failing a save against it results in. Each addiction causes a persistent penalty to ability scores, lasting for as long as the character has the disease. In the case of moderate and severe addictions, the character also cannot naturally heal ability damage dealt by the drug that caused the addiction.

Each form of addiction encourages sufferers to continue making use of the drug they are addicted to. While a character is benefiting from the effects of the drug he is addicted to, he does not suffer the penalties of his addiction disease. While he still receives the benefits of the drug and takes ability damage as normal, the disease’s effects are mitigated. As soon as the drug’s benefits expire, the disease’s effects return.

Minor Addiction
Type disease, variable; Save variable
Onset 1 day; Frequency 1/day
Effect –2 penalty to Con; Cure 2 consecutive saves

Moderate Addiction
Type disease, variable; Save variable
Onset 1 day; Frequency 1/day
Effect –2 penalty to Con and Str, target cannot naturally heal ability damage caused by the drug that caused this addiction; Cure 3 consecutive saves

Severe Addiction
Type disease, variable; Save variable
Onset 1 day; Frequency 1/day
Effect –2 penalty to Dex, Con, Str, and Wis; target cannot naturally heal ability damage caused by the drug that caused this addiction; Cure 3 consecutive saves

Curing Addiction

As addictions are diseases, they can be cured as such, through the use of spells like remove disease or by succeeding at Fortitude saves over time. Unlike with other diseases, an addicted character can only make a Fortitude save to overcome his addiction after a day of not taking the drug he is addicted to. The DC of this Fortitude save is equal to the highest addiction DC his drug use has reached (not necessarily the DC that addicted him if he has continued to make use of the drug while addicted). This DC decreases by –2 for everyday the character does not make use of the drug, to a minimum of the drug’s base addiction DC.

Depending on the severity of the character’s addiction, it might take two or three consecutive successful Fortitude saves to overcome the disease. Should a character take a dose of the drug he’s addicted to, he immediately relapses, causing the addiction DC to instantly return to its highest DC and negating any successful past saves.

Other Rules

Stuff and Shackles Carthorse