A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement So What’s the Pirate Ship Like, Anyway?

So What’s the Pirate Ship Like, Anyway? by Creighton Broadhurst is a role playing game supplement published by Raging Swan Press. The supplement is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and is therefore covered by the Open Game License with some parts as a result being considered Open Game Content. This supplement covers pirate ships and Villainous Pirates is its companion supplement.

The supplement is available as a PDF from RPGNow at the regular price of $1.99 but was purchased at the greatly reduced price of $0.09 as part of a special bundle. This is a fifteen page bookmarked PDF. Two pages are Raging Swan’s standard plain front and rear covers, one page is blank, two pages are the front matter, one page is the Contents, stat blocks by CR and Foreword, one page is an ad for Villainous Pirates and the Open Game License and one page is a product list. The supplement comes in two formats, one optimised for print and the other for screen.

So What's the Pirate Ship Like, Anyway?The first page, Using the Tables, explains how to use the various tables provided.

Next is a page on Crew. This gives the normal complement of a pirate ship, with stat blocks for Pirate, Mate/Veteran Pirate and Master-At-Arms. Brief notes are made on other NPCs and creatures who may or will be found on board, such as the captain and other allies.

Table A: Ship’s Name (Subject) has a d100 table of 100 different results that can be combined with Table B, as well as a d100 table of 50 results of sample names.

Table B: Ship’s Name (Descriptor) is similar to Table A. There are also two d20 tables of male and female names for the captain.

Table C: Knowledge is a collection of tables on what may be known about the ship. There are two d10 tables of knowledge on the ship, one at DC 15 and one at DC 20. There are two similar tables for knowledge about the captain and another two for knowledge about past exploits.

Finally, there are three more d100 tables in Table D: Flags and Figureheads. Each has 50 results; one is for the symbol on the flag, one for the figurehead and one for pirate epithets.

So What’s the Pirate Ship Like, Anyway? in Review

The PDF is well bookmarked, with major and minor sections linked. The Contents is not as thorough but it is hyperlinked; navigation is therefore above average. The text maintains a two column format (although pages devoted solely to tables have three columns of tables) and appeared to be free of errors. There are a few pieces of black and white pirate- or ship-related stock art.

The addition of generic crew for a pirate ship is quite useful; they are low level but more important NPCs should be specifically created – or used from Villainous Pirates.

The name tables can be used to generate many names; the order of results can be changed, filler words added and results that make little sense discarded. The addition of already-made names helps GMs that are in a bit of a hurry. The various knowledge tables are nice; it’s just a shame that they aren’t longer. Similarly, the figurehead and flag tables help flesh out a ship, but there are other parts of a ship that could perhaps have been detailed.

The supplement will be useful in a pirate-themed campaign; it was published around when Paizo Publishing‘s Skull & Shackles Adventure Path was and will be useful for that. So What’s the Pirate Ship Like, Anyway? is a decent collection of tables for detailing a pirate ship and it can be found by clicking here.


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