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Rogue, Pirate

By Rembrandt - fAFXpfS8tdF_Eg at Google Cultural Institute maximum zoom level, Public Domain, Rogue, Pirate
By Rembrandt – fAFXpfS8tdF_Eg at Google Cultural Institute maximum zoom level, Public Domain,

The classic rogue of the high seas, the pirate serves aboard a vessel dedicated to plundering cargo from merchant ships.

The Quintessential Rogue
Author Michael Mearls
Publisher Mongoose Publishing
Publish date 2002

Pirates are often little better than bandits of the ocean, though some fight under the flag of a good-aligned nation, attacking smugglers, orc shipping, and hunting down pirate vessels. Pirates are adept at fighting aboard a ship and are excellent sailors, drawing on their experiences and knowledge as marines to make them valuable members of any adventuring party that operates on the high seas.

Adventuring: Pirates sometimes turn to adventuring if the ship they serve aboard sinks or their captain decides to pursue more legitimate business. Others discover a treasure map or stumble across some other reason to abandon the sea for a life on land. Pirates are at home on the sea, and many adventuring parties hire a privateer crew to ferry them across the sea.

Role-Playing: Pirates run a wide gamut of personalities. Those that engage in piracy for the thrill of chasing down defenceless merchant ships tend to be savage and capricious, given to random fits of cruelty and bouts of violence. These corsairs are little more than bullying thugs with access to a ship. Other pirates are honourable gentlemen, refusing to harm women, children and other innocents and seeking only to claim treasure and valuables they find aboard ships they raid. These buccaneers cut a dashing figure, wading into melee cutlass swinging, ready to take on the world for the right cause.

Bonuses: Pirates are at home aboard a ship or boat of any type. They receive a +2 competence bonus to Balance checks and a +2 competence bonus to all attacks when on a ship. They also gain a +2 competence bonus to all Knowledge (seamanship) checks. Pirates receive Knowledge (ocean lore) as a class skill, allowing them to recall marine myths, legends, and more practical information such as tides, laws, and the basic workings of a ship. Finally, the cutlass is a common weapon on the high seas and all pirates are proficient in its use. Treat the cutlass as a longsword.

Penalties: Pirates do not receive proficiency with the following weapons; Light Mace, shortbow, heavy mace, morning star, and quarterstaff. Pirates spend much of their time learning the ins and outs of sailing and ocean lore, leaving them little time to train at arms. fighters serving as marines aboard ship are expected to handle the bulk of the fighting duties while the pirate focuses on manning his post. Furthermore, few pirates wear armour while aboard ship. Pirates do not gain proficiency with any armour.

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