Character Questions And Answers
Q) What 'points' does one use to measure his promotion?
A) Notoriety Points gained from the acts against his employer's enemies (the sheer value of the total attacks, not just the Points that stick to his personal name).
Q) Why is there no separate Skill for fighting aboard ship like there is in some other RPGs?
A) There are several reasons for this. Of course, when ships clash at sea, it's usually a rollicking war and not the flat-calm sea often depicted in film (if it was, then the windjammers couldn't catch each other to do battle in the first place), so you would think that the rocking ships would penalize rolls. If this were any other game than pirates, such a penalty and indeed a Skill to counter it would be in the rules, however, as most action here takes place at sea, and this is indeed a pirates game, it is simply assumed that all Characters are apt at fighting on board the uneven and shifting ground of a ship's deck, this difficulty already taken into account by the normal, abstract rules of the game. Of course, if someone wanted to specialize in fighting on board ship, he could ask his Game Captain about making such a unique Skill, offering him alone such a bonus, but that is left entirely to his Game Captain's discretion.
Q) Can one's Notoriety ever exceed 100 Points?
A) No, they cannot. Notoriety Points max out at 100. Moreover, one cannot use 'ghost points' above that limit to counter any penalties that may apply soon after reaching that pinnacle, such as the normal passage of time. Indeed, to maintain 100 Notoriety one must be constantly doing notorious deeds.
Q) Does a Musketeer's Special Ability of 'personal Initiative' apply when he is fighting alone?
A) It does indeed! The difference is that, should he lose the Initiative he can still attempt such a 'secondary' Initiative Roll and go first, but his enemies will still each get a Turn of their own, whereas if he wins the Initiative with the first, normal roll, his enemies, as always, get no Turns at all.
Q) If one has 'language' as a Suggested Skill, does this mean that his native language is automatically boosted up to Skill level 3?
A) Yes it does. And it stands to reason, as the Coasta Guarda, Gentlemen and Priests are the only Classes with 'language' as a Suggested Skill, indeed those kinds of people who would almost certainly be learned in their letters.
Q) As I have a low Notoriety, can I have someone else roll for finding crewmen, or just hire sailors?
A) You can, but you won't like the results. When a captain rolls to take on new crewmen, it is his Notoriety that counts because he is taking on pirates who are willing to trust to his reputation. One does not simply go into a taverne and announce he's hiring new pirates. It is a matter of the word getting around the wharfs, and seeing who trusts that name enough to show up. If someone else's Notoriety is used, the new crew will expect that person to be captain, and if he is not, they will know (the other crew will tell them at least) and they will leave. Similarly, one could indeed hire sailors to man a ship, but as they are not pirates, they will simply not fight nor participate in any piratical actions. Thus, one could easily hire on a few hundred men to sail his ships from one port to another, but as soon as a pirate sloop of ten guys appeared, the Player's hundreds would surrender. Altogether, the captain's Notoriety is what attracts the only men willing to be the pirates he wants and needs.
Q) If a captain has both a captain's coat and hat, does he gain +2 to his Charisma?
A) Only if the hat is ridiculously large.
Q) Why are there no charts for listing the bounty on someone's head for various crimes? My group is almost in a competition to see who can make his neck worth the most.
A) That last bit is the reason. Of course such competition is fun, and there's nothing stopping a Game Captain from assigning bounties for such a cold war contest between Players (perhaps using Characters' Notoriety Score as a measuring stick), but to list bounties and modifiers for such rolls in the books would not only limit the variety of atrocities the Characters might commit and thus plunder the game's future fun, but whatever is in a rulebook is seen by Players as a standard or something that must be done or used, and so such charts would encourage too much group dissension, even for pirates. Trust me; we had this rule in the original drafts, and adventures never got underway. However, this rule does indeed appear in the various Sourcebooks, proportioned according to their respective settings, but it still does not list specific crimes, but rather only provides a way to calculate a pirate's overall bounty value. This keeps things realistic but does not encourage finger-pointing for every individual little sin.
Q) Can someone save Creation Points earned from gaining Fears with each Level? Otherwise, it is pretty pointless to roll rather than choose a Fear, isn't it?
A) You are very right! Though Creation Points cannot be saved normally, if one declares ahead of time that he will indeed choose or roll for an additional Fear with his next Level, he can save up the Creation Points gained therefrom. Ah-ha, it pays to skulk around the website, doesn't it?
Q) Can any Ability Score ever be raised above 12?
A) No Ability Score can ever be raised above 12, nor dropped below 1.