Rules for Pirates!

Pirates! is a recurring game that spans over the course of many practices. Every week 5 Pirate Captains and 1 Navy Captain travel across the sea in search for treasure and glory. The Pirate Captain who has the most treasure at the end of the season will be crowned King of the Sea, unless the Navy is able to eliminate all 5 Pirate Captains. 

Pirates! Recurring Scenario

Pirates! is a recurring game that spans over the course of many practices. Every week 5 Pirate Captains and 1 Navy Captain travel across the sea in search for treasure and glory. The Pirate Captain who has the most treasure at the end of the season will be crowned King of the Sea, unless the Navy is able to eliminate all 5 Pirate Captains. 

In the event that all Pirate Captains are eliminated, the Navy is declared the victor and the seas remain safe from Pirates for another year.

Every Captain, including the Navy, starts out with the same equipment, ship, and crew size.

Sloop

  • Crew Limit: 25
  • Gold: 0
  • Weapons: Single Sword

How To Play

Make a Move

Making a move on the map consists of two parts: Hiring additional crew at 10 Gold per crew member and secretly writing a location on the map of where you would like to sail to. Each location allows a different action or has the potential for a different reward. After each Captain has chosen the location they will simultaneously reveal their destination to the others.

Multiple Captains can go to the same location, but this may invoke a scenario to decide who is able to receive the best rewards or perform their actions.

If a Captain participates in a fight, they must keep track of their total number of crew, which are treated as Rez’s. When a fight is about to commence, a Captain may choose to proceed with the fight or run away.

Proceed with Fight

If a Captain chooses to fight they must remain in the fight for at least five minutes. After the five minutes they can forfeit the fight and escape, unless their Captain is in the process of being captured. At which point, they must free their Captain before trying to escape.

Run Away

If a Captain chooses to run away from a fight, they forfeit all potential for rewards and lose their turn. The only fight that the Captain can not run away from is if they are attacked by the Navy.

Random Scenario

Throughout the game, we will have several random scenarios. Every Captain participates in the Random Scenario. Losses to your crew do not count and the Navy will not attempt to capture any Captains during a Random scenario, so everyone can play without fear. 

Random scenarios will vary, but those who are victorious will receive advantages or rewards.

Turn Order

  1. Hire Additional Crew Members
  2. Write Destination Orders
  3. Declare Any Attacks
  4. Reveal Destination Orders
  5. Resolve All Normal Actions
  6. Resolve Any Specific Attacks
  7. Resolve Navy Turn

Making Deals

Making deals and scheming is something that all Pirates do, but for the duration of the game several rules must be followed to ensure everything runs smoothly. 

Tradable Resources

GoldInformation, and Items are all viable resources that may be traded. Crew, Ships, and Out-of-Game Services are not tradable resources.

Exchange of Goods

The Game Masters, Don & Kane, must be notified of any exchange of goods or resources upon the completion of the exchange.

Trade Routes 1, 2 , and 3

Patrolling Trade Routes and plundering merchant ships is the standard method for acquiring gold as a Pirate.

There are three Trade Routes that merchants sail and each has a different difficulty and reward amount.

To plunder a ship, a Pirate Crew must win a Ship Boarding Scenario. If they are victorious, they win the reward along with half the total remaining merchants, rounded down, as crew.

Trade Route 1

  • Merchant Crew: 15
  • Reward: 50 Gold

Trade Route 2

  • Merchant Crew: 25
  • Reward: 100 Gold

Trade Route 3

  • Merchant Crew: 35
  • Reward: 200 Gold

Multiple Pirates can be on the same Trade Route but are not able to fight each other, unless specifically targeted. If the Navy sails to a Trade Route with multiple Pirates, they may choose who to attack.

Fort

The Fort is a military stronghold that if plundered, offers additional weapons for those who are victorious. 

To plunder the Fort, a Pirate Crew must win a Storm the Castle scenario. If they are victorious they are allowed to choose one of the following weapon types to use in future battles.

Fort

  • Soldiers: 35
  • Reward: Additional Weapons

Weapons

  • Daggers
  • Case
  • Long Swords
  • RBGs
  • Buckler
  • Cloak
  • Deathstick
  • Spears

*Loaner gear weapons will be split evenly amongst teams as needed. Any additional weapons must be supplied by crew members.

The Fort has several special rules that supersede previous rules:

A Pirate may flee from the Fort if the Navy is stationed there.

The Navy may stop at the Fort to receive 1 additional weapon, but then must eliminate a Pirate Captain before receiving another. 

The Navy may stop at the Fort to receive 15 additional crew, instead of their normal 10. 

City

The City is the center of commerce and industry. It is also the only location that builds suitable ships for pirating. 

Pirates may go to the city to purchase larger ships to increase their crew limit. The following ships are available for purchase.

Schooner

  • Crew Limit: 30
  • Price: 100 gold

Frigate

  • Crew Limit: 35
  • Price: 300 gold

Brigatine

  • Crew Limit: 40
  • Price: 500 gold

Galleon

  • Crew Limit: 45
  • Price: 1000 gold

Man-O-War

  • Crew Limit: 50
  • Price: 1500 gold

In the event that the Navy finds a Pirate Crew in the City, a Bar Room Brawl will ensue with the following special conditions:

A Pirate Crew must fight in the Bar Room Brawl and each member of the Crew (not each Rez) must escape from the Bar to end the fight.

Treasure Island

Every Pirate needs a place to store their treasure or try to find some and every Pirate does so on Treasure Island.

A Pirate may spend their turn on Treasure Island looking for Treasure or Burying Treasure.

Search for Treasure

To search for Treasure, a Pirate Crew will pull from the deck of Treasure Cards to discover how much treasure they’ve found. 

In the event that two or more Pirates Search for Treasure at the same time, they must fight in a Treasure Chest scenario. The winner draws a card and the loser sails away with nothing.

Bury Treasure

A Pirate’s treasure that is stored on their ship is at risk of being stolen or lost. A Pirate can spend a turn burying a secret amount of treasure on Treasure Island that is safe from enemy hands, but it is also out of play until retrieved.

Pirate Settlement

A Pirate Captain can spend their turn at the Pirate Settlement. No fighting can take place at the Pirate Settlement and the Navy would never dare get too close. A Pirate Captain will also receive 3 Crew members for free each turn by resting at the Pirate Settlement.

Other Locations

There are several other locations available to explore and each holds worthwhile treasures, or untold misfortunes.

A Pirate Crew can sail to any of the following islands, except Khael Roa (it will be announced available only twice) and experience what the island has in store.

Isla de Sombra

Few dare go near the Island of Shadow, for all who go there have been lost. Will you make a deal with Haute for untold power? And at what price?

Falaise de Fluer

The Flower Cliffs protect all but the bay, which leads to a mysterious jungle. Within a sea hag has magical items ready to sell.

Redmond

A large settlement of colonists, not a place you’d typically find pirates. Receive side quests that can earn additional money in between turns.

Khael Roa

An ancient Incan temple is only accessible twice a year, but may have ties to El Dorado. Khael Roa is inaccessible until announced by the Game Master.

Special Action: Attacking Another Captain

A Captain may attempt to hunt down an enemy Captain and attack them specifically.

To do so, a Captain must announce their intention to attack a specific Captain before the movement destinations have been revealed. They may then attempt to guess where the targeted Captain intends to move this turn. The targeted Captain must answer truthfully with a “Yes” or “No”.

After the answer has been given, the attacking Captain must then declare a destination to travel to, even if they answer was “No”. If the attacking Captain travels to the same destination as the targeted Captain, they may still attack. Otherwise, the attacking Captain proceeds as normal.

If multiple Captains attempt to attack the same Captain at once, they must all announce their intention and together may make only one guess at the targeted Captain’s destination.

A scenario is choson the victor receives 1/2 of the available gold on the defeated Captain’s ship(s).

If the Navy targeted a Pirate Captain and loses, the Navy must spend their next turn at the City to get repairs.

If the Navy targeted a Pirate Captain and wins, they automatically capture the Pirate Captain and take them to the City the following turned to be executed.

Specific attacks happen after all normal turns have taken place.

Special Event: Mutiny

A Captain can only control their crew when they are present. Otherwise, the responsibility falls to the First Mate.

In the event that a Captain misses three practices total, the First Mate will attempt a mutiny to take control of the ship.

Forces will be divided between them and a Mutiny Scenario will ensue.

If the Captain wins, they will remain in control of the ship and select a new First Mate. 

If the First Mate wins, they will take control of the ship and select a new First Mate to replace them.

Playing the Navy

The goal of the Navy is to be the enemy of the 5 Pirate Captains and to eliminate each of the Pirate Captains by the end of the season.

The Navy doesn’t worry about gold or crew. Each turn, the Navy receives 10 new crew automatically, up to their ship limit. They then choose a destination they believe the other Pirates may go to. If they successfully locate a Pirate, they can attack the Pirate Crew and attempt to capture their Captain. The scenario will vary depending on the location where the Pirate is found. The Navy always goes last.

How to Eliminate a Pirate Captain

During a scenario that the Navy participates in, other than the random scenarios, the Navy can capture the Captain by escorting them to their Rez Point or by targeting a Captain specifically and winning in the chosen scenario.

The Navy can force a Pirate Captain to follow them by taking a hold of the Pirate Captain after they have been killed with one hand and then walking them back to their Rez Point. During which the Pirate Captain may start their Rez Count to Rez.

The Pirate Captain must be submissive as long as they are being held, but the Navy holding the Captain may not fight while they are controlling a Pirate Captain. In the event that the Navy holding the Captain, dies or releases the Captain to fight another, the Captain is then free to rejoin the fight or run away.

Executing a Pirate Captain

In the event, that a Pirate Captain was captured successfully, the Pirate’s following turn must be spent at the City for a public execution.

The Pirate Captain’s crew, led by the First Mate,  has one last chance to save their Pirate Captain. If they are victorious in the scenario, the Captain lives to fight another day. If they are defeated the Captain is eliminated and the crew is disbanded from the game. During the execution, the Navy may continue playing and attacking other ships, or may participate in the execution by traveling to the City.

As reward for eliminating a Pirate Captain, the Navy ship will then be upgraded to the next largest ship along with 1 additional weapon to use.

Ready to set sail?

Check out these

recent comments

  • Rachel Hillary Kovacs on Do Runners Exist?I really want to argue the classic definition that runners are just newbies too nervous to engage, blah blah blah,…
  • Miren Folley on Do Runners Exist?Dang, so many good things to think about as I keep developing my own theory. Veron, I very much like…
  • Edward on Do Runners Exist?I think a major issue we have is that we changed the definition of a runner but left the name.…

Forum Comments