Villainous Pirates (PFRPG) PDF

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Cruising the sea lanes in search of loot, captives and reputation corsairs’ predations strike fear into the hearts of merchantmen and sailors alike. So often, though, the sea wolves themselves are little more than one-dimensional enemies that exist only to fall before the PCs’ blades.

Villainous Pirates banishes this problem by presenting 30 Pirates of Note and nine Pirates of Renown ready for the time-crunched GM to quickly and easily insert into almost any campaign. Each pirate benefits from an extensive write-up including notes on their background, personality, mannerisms and distinguishing marks as well as a fully detailed stat block. Pirates of Renown also come with plot hooks making it easy to insert them into almost any campaign.

Pirates of Note are moderately famous pirates (CRs 3 – 7) that could serve as a crew’s champion, first mate or even the captain of a small vessel.

Pirates of Renown are famed freebooters (CRs 9 -13) that captain their own vessel. Known for their seafaring skills, battle prowess and love of loot they make fearsome enemies.

This product is a Dual Format PDF. The downloadable ZIP file contains two versions, one optimised for printing and use on a normal computer and one optimised for use on a mobile device such as an iPad.

For free samples, visit ragingswan.com/villainouspirates

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5/5

At 49 pages, with 7 pages going to the front/back covers, OGL, credits..etc. etc. We have here a collection of 30 pirates, ready to be dropped into an adventure for an evening, or added to a long running campaign as a crucial persona. Presented as either Pirates of Note (moderately famous scallywags), or of Renown (true legends of the waves who captain their own vessels, leading crews through the storm wracked waves), the assortment of personalities here will leave any GM with plenty to sate their appetite. Designed as support material for So What's The Pirate Ship Like, Anyway?, this addition to the line easily pulls double duty for those GM's running the current Skull & Shackles AP from Paizo, as you can never have enough piratical goodness in an adventure.

The PDF comes with a full contingent of bookmarks, and a linked Table of Contents as well (always a plus), in addition to the TOC, the pirates are listed by CR (which oddly the chart shows a full column for page number as well, but has no such information). Sadly the CR list is not linked, but that is a minor detail given the bookmarks. Immediately following each section (of Note or Renown) is a listing of each pirate by alignment as well. Format follows a dual column approach, with the occasional piece of B&W artwork, ranging from good to average.

Now, with 38 personalities I am not going to get into a listing exercise, but I do want to touch on a concern I could see people having, and that is that the race card has very much been played, in the best way possible folks. We have (in alphabetical order) at least one of each of the following races: angel (cassian), barghest, brownie, cloaker (evil laugh), dwarf, elf, ettercap, girallon, goblin, grindylow, half-celestial, half-elf, half-orc, halfling, hobgoblin, human, kapoacinth, lizardfolk, mercane, minotaur, poltergeist, quasit, sahuagin, sandman, serpentfolk, siren, tiefling, treant, undine, xill. As I said, there are plenty of races to work with here, so this will not be a collection of plain old human pirates with a few pointy ears thrown in for good measure...there's a healthy selection here folks.

After a quick bio page for the three designers behind this work (congratulations guys!) and a “How to use this book in your game” page, it is time to get down to meeting the pirates. The NPC's are presented with a few lines of backstory and physical description, as well as a hook or two apiece to integrate them easier. The statblocks themselves are not entirely Paizo Standard, but they are easily enough read that it is not an issue. The layout is slightly disconcerting, in that several times throughout the NPC statblocks a section of descriptive text will be broken by the next statblock, or not even be near its appropriate statblock. All of this, while not a huge issue, did make for a slightly odder than usual read.

Now, I know I said I wasn't going to get into particulars, but I must share a few that really stood out to demonstrate the uniqueness of some of these characters. Hacamabavan, a brownie witch, had his home used for a mast (pine tree), so he followed, becoming a secret member of the crew essentially. While they sleep he tends to the crews wounds, taking care of the “big folk” and traveling the world. How about a shaved headed female dwarven antipaladin? Hmmm? Even better, she still thinks she's doing good work, balancing the scales, punishing the wicked and such.

Qulerac, hands down, one of the coolest usages of a common run of the mill creature I have ever seen. A cloaker, a giant cloaker to be specific, who impersonates a sail on whatever vessel he hires on to. Talk about hiding in plain sight, that's genius! Following along the same vein, how about a kapoacinth impersonating a figurehead upon the front bow of a ship? Either of these creatures would seriously shift the tide of a battle quickly, and make any playgroup rethink their entire approach to a vessel, which is exactly what I, as a GM, am looking for in my NPC designs. Well done!

-edit
No one likes to see errors in a PDF, but I love to see a publisher step up and fix them when they are there. With the recent update (that took all of about a day, nice turn around), I am raising my final rating on this book to where it should have been in the first place, a 5. Well done!


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Sovereign Court Raging Swan Press

Is now available at the Paizo store!

You can check out some sample pirates here!

The Exchange

Woohoo! I've been looking forward to seeing what David and John did alot.

Liberty's Edge

I can't get to the preview at work, but I do have a couple of quick questions:

What sources were used in building these stats? Just the core rules or the APG and UC, UM, etc as well?

All kinds of races or predominatly human?

I'm looking at this for my Skull & Shackles camapign. Interestingly enough in book 3 there are loads of 'notorious pirates' detailed but not with stat blocks. This would be a nice accessory for my bloodthirsty group who is as likely to talk to another ship as attack them. Thanks in advance!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

DM Jeff wrote:

I can't get to the preview at work, but I do have a couple of quick questions:

What sources were used in building these stats? Just the core rules or the APG and UC, UM, etc as well?

All kinds of races or predominatly human?

I'm looking at this for my Skull & Shackles camapign. Interestingly enough in book 3 there are loads of 'notorious pirates' detailed but not with stat blocks. This would be a nice accessory for my bloodthirsty group who is as likely to talk to another ship as attack them. Thanks in advance!

For some reason, I can't get the preview to work at my work either, but as one of the designers on this project, I can tell you there is a lot of variety, from humans, to demi-humans, to monsters. On the 13 I designed, I did pull from the core book, APG, UM, UC (I even got a samurai in there!) and bestiaries 1 and 2 (I don't think I had the 3rd one yet as this was written a few months ago). Also, while the backstories of the NPCs are "pirate themed", you can drop a lot of these statted creatures into just about any campaign. For example, I've already used the pirate, Green Riskarr, a lizardfolk fighter, as a generic shocktroop in my Kingmaker campaign.

Liberty's Edge

John Benbo wrote:
I can tell you there is a lot of variety, from humans, to demi-humans, to monsters. On the 13 I designed, I did pull from the core book, APG, UM, UC (I even got a samurai in there!) and bestiaries 1 and 2 (I don't think I had the 3rd one yet as this was written a few months ago).

Perfect, thank you! Made a sale.


The samples alone were enough to make me want ths one.

Sovereign Court Raging Swan Press

Eric Hinkle wrote:
The samples alone were enough to make me want ths one.

And with that, my evil trap springs shut...

Sovereign Court Raging Swan Press

DM Jeff wrote:
John Benbo wrote:
I can tell you there is a lot of variety, from humans, to demi-humans, to monsters. On the 13 I designed, I did pull from the core book, APG, UM, UC (I even got a samurai in there!) and bestiaries 1 and 2 (I don't think I had the 3rd one yet as this was written a few months ago).
Perfect, thank you! Made a sale.

Please let me know what you think about the mix of villains. Were there too many odd/unique/different pirates? Not enough? I'm wondering what the normal/abnormal mix of NPCs I should have in a product. Any opinins are gratefully received.


Just grabbed this over on RPGNow, will be putting up a review as soon as I am done devouring it Creighton


Reviewed here and at RPGNow

Sovereign Court Raging Swan Press

Wow! Thanks for the awesomely fast review - three hours has got to be a record! I'm sorry you found errors - I hate typos and such like. I will take another look at this file over the weekend and get a new version up ASAP.

Irrespective of the errors, I'm glad you enjoyed the supplement!


Trust me, I know how annoying errors can be, they drive me nuts when I'm proofing my own PDF's, lol. Am glad to hear you're going to give it another pass though, will be happy to up my rating after you update.

And how can one not enjoy this work? There are some true moments of design brilliance in here.

Sovereign Court Raging Swan Press

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I've just uploaded an updated version of Villainous Pirates that I hope solves most/all of the problems you encountered with the file. Once again, thanks for the review - I appreciate any and all feedback (but particularly that which lets me make my stuff better!)


Review changed to reflect updates. Much appreciation for the update, as the design here was so worth the 5 stars. Well done guys!

Sovereign Court Raging Swan Press

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks very much. I appreciate you taking another look so quickly!


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

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Awesome, 2 5 star reviews! Thanks, guys! Maybe we can convince Creighton to do a either a follow-up or something else "Villainous." There's some races out of Bestiary 3 that I'd to utilize.

Sovereign Court Raging Swan Press

Thanks, Thilo. I'm delighted you liked it so much!

Sovereign Court Raging Swan Press

John Benbo wrote:
Awesome, 2 5 star reviews! Thanks, guys! Maybe we can convince Creighton to do a either a follow-up or something else "Villainous." There's some races out of Bestiary 3 that I'd to utilize.

How about Villainous Pugwampis?

The Exchange

Huzzah!

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

Awesome review, Rollme Some! Thanks very much!

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

Thanks very much for the review, DM Jeff. It's jolly decent of you.

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

Hooray. Thanks for the jolly in-depth review, Feros. I much appreciate your thoughts and if/when I do a version 2 I'll be sure to take another look at the text.

Thanks!

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