The Game: Privateers and PiratesThe publisher:
FJ Gaming, which doesn't seem to have a website.Degree of Familiarity:
None, just read the pdf.Books Required:
Just the one.
I picked this game up in a pdf bundle, like, three years ago, which might give you some sense of scale regarding how long I've been doing these damn characters. I just read through it, and it's...well, it's a pirate RPG. They go into a lot of detail about life on a ship and the piracy of the time and so on, and I have no idea how accurate it all is (and I don't care), but...
...well, the game isn't about
anything. Maybe I'm getting infected by all these hippie indie games I'm playing (and writing!), but the traditional model of RPGs is kinda meaning less to me these days. I like running NWoD because I'm really invested in it, but beyond that I'd kinda rather be playing games where the system is what it is for a reason. The old canard that "system doesn't matter" always secretly bugged me, because it felt like it should, but I never got into "builds" and the things that D&D and GURPS and Exalted
found important. I'd rather play a game where the system moves the story and helps you create the game, rather than just be a way to resolve individual actions.
Anyway. I'm gonna get out of my own ass now and make a character.
First of all, I'm told, I should decide on a concept. Okey-doke. Since there isn't a default setting here (there's a range, and some talk about "early" vs. "late" campaigns) I'll assume I'm making a character for the sample scenario at the back of the book. That ship has a Spanish captain, but the characters in this game are assumed to be British. So OK, my guy is English, born middle class (dad was a doctor). He was expected to follow in his father's footsteps, but he was always fascinated with the sea and the creatures therein. He might have been happy as a scientist or oceanographer, but one night he had a fight with his father, got very drunk, and woke up on a ship. He's learned enough since to be a competent sailor, but he's got a reputation as something of a softie. But he can also play doctor when necessary, so it's a bad idea to bust his chops too much.
OK, gotta decide name, nationality, religion, age and gender.Name:
Homer Market, known on the ship as "Mark," both because it's short for "Market" and because he's utterly gullible. Nationality:
Oh, Church of England, I suppose. Age:
Now, social status. Middle class.
Next, choose a number of skills plus specialities equal to the tens value of your Age doubled. Which is a clumsy way to say (age/10)x2, rounded off. Or 4, in my case. Let's see. Looking ahead to the example of chargen (and thank you for doing one), it turns out that I don't get 4 Skills and 4 specialities, I get 4 total. OK. So I take Healing (no specialty, he's not that good at it, Science with a specialty in Biology, and Signalling (he always had an interest in ships and he learned how to signal). That seems like it kind of sucks, but that's what you get.
Next I take Flaws. I'll take Compassionate and Reluctant. Basically I have to help people in need and I can't spend Drama points in fights that I started.
I get two Distinctive Features (again, a 10th of my age), so I pick...missing fingers (his pinky and half his ring finger on his right hand - turns out sharks bite even after they're landed!) and a scar on his left cheek (he has no idea; he woke up on the ship with a nasty cut).
I have four Drama points (2 because I'm middle class and one for each Flaw). I have 95 pounds to my name, which seems like a lot. Bet they want me to shop.
Well, not really. I may
spend money. I choose not to. Let's go get that gold ship!
I worry, in going through chargen, than it makes incompetent characters. Let's see. OK, so how this works is: You roll a d100 against a difficulty, and you want to roll high. If you have the skill and the specialty, you read the higher die as the 10s digit and the lower as the ones. If have the skill, but not the specialty, you state which is which before you roll. If you don't have either, lower is 10s, higher is 1s. I think this would make for frustrating game play, but I dunno, and I'm not really likely to get to play this game, either, so let's call it a day.