Black Hearts Under Black Flags
The following additional skills are available for use:
- Shipwright (Int)
- Endurance (Con)
- Piloting (Wis)
- Parlay (Cha)
Shipwright is the knowledge and experience required to build, service, and repair boats and ships, as well as common shipboard items (cannons, cargo winches, etc.)
- Determine the extent of damage to the hull from an attack
- Repair a weakened mizzenmast
- Identify the capabilities (speed, maneuverability, etc) of a ship
- Modify the sail configuration to improve speed or maneuverability in order to escape a pirate vessel
Life on a ship can be grueling, both physically and mentally. Voyages are long, rations are sparse, labor is unending, and sleep is oft-interrupted. Endurance is the ability to overcome exhaustion and the resulting physical and mental distractions in order to continuing performing your job over long periods.
- Keep constant vigil in the crow’s nest with little sleep
- Secure a broken sheet to maintain course by manually holding it in place while sailing through a storm
- Adjust sails and sheets for hours while attempting to escape a pirate vessel
In theory, Piloting is the knowledge to read charts and calculate headings, as well as the gut instinct to read the wind and currents adjust the rudder and sails in order to maintain course. In practice, Piloting is the ability to direct complex sailing maneuvers under pressure.
- Navigate your ship through a shallow channel without running aground on the reef below
- Perform evasive maneuvers so your ship can dodge a pirate vessel’s cannonade
- Outmaneuver a naval ship in order to bring your ship on a course to ram
Reliable information can be sparse on the high seas, so sailors almost unilaterally take to dockside taverns and inns and to trade news, rumors, and tall tales. If it happened on the seas, there’s a good chance someone will be talking about it—though whether anyone will believe the stories is a different matter. Parlay represents your ability to integrate into the crowd, swap information and gather rumors; this is your skill in the diplomatic arts with sailors, pirates, and lowlifes.
- You’re looking for information about a merchant vessel that was due in port a week ago and hasn’t arrived
- You want to spread a rumor of a heavily-loaded and lightly-guarded caravel set to sail from a nearby cove
- You seek an introduction to a famous pirate captain, through the appropriate channels