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Advanced Options: Fight Like A Pirate (PFRPG) PDF

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“Damn ye, you are a sneaking puppy, and so are all those who will submit to be governed by laws which rich men have made for their own security.” —“Black” Sam Bellamy, Pirate

Sometimes you just want, to paraphrase H.L. Mencken, to spit upon your hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. Of course, that’s frowned upon in polite society. But there’s nothing wrong with having a fantasy campaign where it’s a way of life, and characters spend a lot of time acting like pirates (or hunting pirates, or desperately trying to explain the differences between what they do and the activities of pirates). To help make such characters more interesting, here are ten archetypes to give a nautical flair to fighting classes ranging from barbarians to rogues. Also includes new equipment that could be of particular use to pirate-themed characters.

The Archetypes
The following archetypes are designed for fighting characters in campaigns with strong emphases on pirates, swashbuckling, and seaborne adventures.

  • Barbarian Archetype: Ex-conscript
  • Cavalier Archetype: Ship’s Officer
  • Fighter Archetype: The Marine
  • Gunslinger Archetype: Sea Dog
  • Inquisitor Archetype: Ship Hunter
  • Magus Archetype: Picaroon
  • Monk Archetype: Seaswain
  • Paladin Archetype: Crown Privateer
  • Ranger Archetype: Navigator
  • Rogue Archetype: Lookout

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Product Discussion (17)

Ya-harr! Ye'll be addin' this to your game masterin' set o' booty, I'll be willin' to wager!

Oooo, neat!

Dark Archive

Is there a sexy drunken pirate wench with a pet parrot archetype?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Got a question: the ship's officer archetype removes the mount ability from the cavalier and also replaces mighty charge and supreme charge, yet it leaves cavalier's charge and expert trainer intact. Was that intentional or is there something else going on here?

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

We left them in intentionally. There was some feel from playtesters that a little cavalry is no bad thing for a fantasy ship's officer. I didn't see it as a big deal, so I went with their consensus.

Expert trainer, in particular, could be used to create dolphin riders, or somesuch, and a lot of players seemed to want to retain that option.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ahh.... I see.

Thanks for the quick response.

I purchased this as I'm currently running Skull & Shackles for my players and was looking at implementing it soon. I saw the ship's officer archetype as something that would work with Captain Pegsworthy once I changed his class from fighter to cavalier (I'm still waiting on the pdf for Knights of the Inner Sea to drop next Wednesday to see what else I can do potentially, but I probably won't do anything more than what I've already done).

Got to say that for someone who's been suffering from pirate burnout due to the PotC films, I've been enjoying the S&S AP. I just wish this had been around during the character creation process. More than a few of my players would have enjoyed getting a glimpse of these archetypes. The sea dog (gunslinger) made me smile; Swing On the Yard-Arm and Drop The Boom practically scream derring-do and buckle swashing. I'm still looking over the document (the picaroon magus archetype is next up) but so far I'm liking these archetypes. The ones that have me the most curious are the seaswain monk and the crown privateer paladin. I already see uses for a monk NPC in my campaign, but it's the paladin that I'm really hoping to make use of. The idea of throwing them up against the Andoran ship sent to bring Captain Pegsworthy back to stand for the crimes he's committed with a paladin at the helm is making my smile even bigger.

And reviewed here, on DTRPG and sent to GMS magazine.

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

As always, thanks for the review!

As is my policy I won't debate you on your style preferences, but I do feel you made a factual error. The Ship Hunter's scuttle vessel ability specifies "The ship hunter must have line of sight of the vessel, which
must be the ship hunter’s current focus." Looking at Ship Hunter's Focus, we see "the ship hunter can focus on a single enemy ship within line of sight as a swift action."

So no range is given because it's already defined as line-of-sight.

Your other questions regarding how the scuttle vessel spell-like ability works are all answered by the core rules description of Spell-Like abilities:

"Spell-like abilities are subject to spell resistance and dispel magic. They do not function in areas where magic is suppressed or negated. Spell-like abilities cannot be used to counterspell, nor can they be counterspelled.

If a character class grants a spell-like ability that is not based on an actual spell, the ability’s effective spell level is equal to the highest-level class spell the character can cast, and is cast at the class level the ability is gained."

I'd maintain ability is thus perfectly useable as-written.

Thanks for the clarification Owen, mea culpa, I botched and I'm sorry for that.

HOWEVER: Suttle Vessel still does not specify what action (if any) scuttling a vessel is.

I found no default for these actions in the rule and there seems to be no ability/spell it is based on, so still: I don't know how the ability is supposed to work.

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

It's noted in two places.

First, on page 183 of the core rules, under Actions in Combat. You are sent there if you look at Standard Action, under Action Types on page 181.

"Standard Action Attack of Opportunity
Use spell-like ability Yes"

Then again on page 186, under Spell-Like Abilities

"The casting time of a spell-like ability is 1 standard action, unless the ability description notes otherwise."

Allr ight, I stand corrected. While I maintain that including the information in the pdf would have made the ability much more user-friendly, I'll immediately update my reviews.

Thank you for the clarification!

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

Endzeitgeist wrote:

Allr ight, I stand corrected. While I maintain that including the information in the pdf would have made the ability much more user-friendly, I'll immediately update my reviews.

Thank you for the clarification!

You are most welcome, and thanks for taking the time. :)

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just got this as part of the Razor Coast KS and noticed that there appears to be some crunch missing from the rules on the basket hilt.

page 8 wrote:
A basket hilt weapon increases your CMD against disarm and sunder maneuvers made against the weapon, and gives you a +1 shield bonus to AC when taking the full defense action.

Unfortunately, the entry doesn't say how much your CMD is increased against disarm and sunder.

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

1 person marked this as a favorite.

+1, like the shield bonus.

Hey again Owen or perhaps John since he is listed as the captain on this one...

Again, working on Herolab file and ran into a question regarding the Ex-Conscript archetype. The Close and Kill ability. It replaces Uncanny Dodge, Improved Uncanny Dodge and Trap Sense.

I notice that Trap Sense has an increase at level 18, but this Close and Kill ability only extends to 15. Intentional design decision or oversight or other?

Another item on the Cavalier archetype of Ship's Officer, there is the Pennant ability. It replaces and counts as the Banner ability, which is given at 5, 10, 15 and 20. There is however, a Greater Banner ability at 14th level. If we are replacing Banner with Pennant, should there be something that replaces Greater Banner with something related to the Pennant or does it not matter? Or am I overlooking something?

Never mind I see the answers above on these questions.(The Inspire Courage ability says that "This ability replaces the standard cavalier’s mount ability". How does this affect the Expert Trainer at level 4 since it is related to mounts as well.

Additionally, we have replaced Supreme Charge and Mighty Charge, but left the Cavalier's Charge at Level 3 again since it is related to mounts as well.)

Sorry for the lengthy list of questions.

Thanks for your patience. :)

Bump for follow up.

Came across another question on the Navigator this time. Does the Tradewinds ability replace anything at first level on the Navigator archetype? Didn't say that it did, but wanted to confirm.


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