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William Dampier, Seafaring Explorer

William Dampier, Seafaring Explorer
  • Alias: Buccaneer of the Seas
  • Gender: Male
  • Occupation: Explorer, Pirate, Privateer, Navigator, Naturalist
  • Race: Human
  • Religion: Varied beliefs, predominantly secular
  • Allies: Fellow explorers, sailors, scholars
  • Enemies: Rival pirates, adversaries in the Royal Navy
  • Abode/Base of Operations: Ships and various port cities
  • Nationality: English
  • Languages: English, regional languages encountered during voyages
  • Alignment: Chaotic Good
  • Affiliation(s): Royal Navy, Privateering Companies
  • Significant Others: Companions and crewmates on his voyages

In the pages of history, the indomitable figure of William Dampier emerges as a charismatic embodiment of adventure, exploration, and a curious mind. Hailing from England, Dampier wore many hats during his lifetime: explorer, pirate, privateer, navigator, and naturalist. A man of multiple roles, he would become renowned for the extraordinary feats he achieved and the diverse domains he ventured into.

Dampier’s legacy is woven with threads of daring escapades and scientific curiosity. He etched his name in the annals of exploration by becoming the first Englishman to set foot on the shores of what is now Australia, charting the path for future generations to follow. As if this achievement weren’t enough, he also earned the distinction of being the first person to circumnavigate the globe thriceā€”an accolade that placed him in the esteemed company of history’s most intrepid adventurers.

His journeys were marked by a unique blend of pirate bravado and scholarly inquiry. While his maritime exploits echoed with the tales of piratical derring-do, Dampier’s insatiable curiosity drove him to meticulously document the flora, fauna, and cultures he encountered. His travels yielded a treasure trove of observations that extended beyond maps and coordinates, encompassing the myriad wonders of the natural world.

One of Dampier’s remarkable contributions lay in his role as a linguistic bridge, introducing European audiences to a lexicon of exotic words hailing from far-flung lands. He was among the first English writers to introduce terms like “avocado,” “barbecue,” and “chopsticks.” His writings not only chronicled the taste of foods foreign to the European palateā€”flamingo and manatee, for instanceā€”but also unveiled the secrets of their preparation, such as the art of crafting guacamole.

Dampier’s voyage of exploration led him to befriend the shores of western Australia, where he made vital discoveries that would shape the course of history. However, his journey was not without its tribulations. An unfortunate court-martial, spurred by accusations of cruelty, marred his reputation. Yet, even in the face of adversity, his legacy endured.

Dampier’s narrative intersected with other tales of daring resilience. In a later voyage, he rescued Alexander Selkirk, a former crewmate who would later inspire Daniel Defoe’s iconic character, Robinson Crusoe. This act of compassion added yet another layer to Dampier’s multifaceted persona.

His reputation solidified when his book, “A New Voyage Round the World,” impressed the Admiralty and led to his command of a Royal Navy ship. His journey extended beyond the physical boundaries of oceans and territories, encompassing the uncharted waters of knowledge and discovery.

William Dampier’s story, like the winds that guided his ships, continues to sweep us into a world of boundless exploration, scientific inquiry, and the enduring spirit of human curiosity.

By Thomas Murray -, Public Domain,
By Thomas Murray –, Public Domain,

Medium humanoid (human), neutral

Armor Class 14 (natural armor) Hit Points 120 (16d8 + 48) Speed 30 ft.

14 (+2)16 (+3)16 (+3)14 (+2)16 (+3)14 (+2)

Saving Throws Dexterity +5, Wisdom +6, Charisma +5 Skills Athletics +4, Perception +6, Survival +6

Senses passive Perception 16 Languages Common, Navigation Tools

Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)

Explorer’s Expertise. William Dampier has advantage on all Wisdom (Survival) checks related to navigation, tracking, and wilderness survival.

Seafarer’s Knowledge. Dampier’s extensive maritime experience grants him advantage on Intelligence checks related to nautical navigation, oceanography, and marine life.

Legendary Seafarer. Dampier’s profound understanding of the sea allows him to add his proficiency bonus to any ability check involving nautical navigation or maritime lore.


  • Cutlass. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) slashing damage.
  • Pistol Shot. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 40/120 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d10 + 3) piercing damage.
  • Inspiring Presence (3/Day). As a bonus action, Dampier can bolster the morale of his allies within 30 feet. They gain advantage on their next attack roll or saving throw before the end of Dampier’s next turn.


Defensive Maneuver. When an enemy misses his with a melee attack, he can use his reaction to move up to half his speed without provoking opportunity attacks.

Legendary Actions

Dampier can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time, and only at the end of another creature’s turn. Dampier regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.

  • Command. He uses his Inspiring Presence ability without expending a daily use.
  • Precise Aim. He makes a Pistol Shot attack.
  • Sea Shanty. He begins singing a rousing sea shanty. All allies within 30 feet regain 1d6 hit points.


Cutlass, Flintlock Pistol, Navigator’s Tools, Seashell Collection, Traveler’s Clothes, Map of Uncharted Waters.

Currently in the World

William Dampier stands as a weathered figure, his lean frame bearing the marks of a life spent on the tumultuous seas. His salt-streaked brown hair, streaked with silver, falls untamed around his shoulders, blown by the ocean breeze. His sun-darkened skin speaks of endless hours under the unforgiving sun, with a network of wrinkles etching tales of both adventure and hardship on his face. His eyes, a shade of piercing blue, reflect the vastness of the oceans he has traversed and the mysteries he’s encountered.

Currently, Dampier finds himself perched on a makeshift seat aboard his ship, an old journal resting on his lap. His surroundings are a blend of the rustic charm of a ship’s quarters and the boundless expanse of the sea. Stacks of maps and nautical charts, weathered by time and use, are scattered around him, accompanied by an assortment of navigational instruments and collections of curious seashells. The rhythmic creaking of the ship’s timbers and the distant cries of seabirds fill the air, creating a backdrop of the seafaring life he knows so well.

Dampier’s mood is a mixture of contemplation and anticipation. His gaze alternates between the open journal before him, where he meticulously records his observations of the ocean’s tides and the creatures he encounters, and the endless horizon that beckons him onward. There’s a sense of eagerness in his posture, a readiness to set sail and uncover the mysteries that lie beyond the next wave. It’s clear that the allure of discovery and the call of the uncharted waters still hold him firmly in their grip.

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