Sunday, May 17, 2020

Enthusiastic Pirate Bois: An OSR Wavecrawl rpg

Retro Science Fiction Art
Illustration from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
My players wanted to play a pirate campaign based off my GLOG-Hack, and quarantine has been doing wonders for my writing productivity.

I give you:

Enthusiastic Pirate Bois v1.1

ESP Player Reference + Character Sheet v1.1

EDIT (updated changes): 

Enthusiastic Pirate Bois v1.6

Enthusiastic Pirate Bois v1.6 (Core Rules for Players)

ESB Character Creation v1.6

The main source of inspiration was the excellent Counter-Colonial Heistcrawl, and the bones of the rules and classes are taken from Coins and Scrolls' Pirate GLOG. The sailing system is my own.

I've made edits and hacks along the way, including:
Expedition resources from The Scones Alone blog
Carousing rules from Jeff Rients
Usage Dice from The Black Hack 2E
Fast combat resolution and Company rules from Into the Odd
Haggling for sales price from The Ultraviolent Grasslands

The design principles were to make something:
- Quick to pick up
- Roll under
- No fiddly bonuses 
- Fast combat resolution
- Less math (with the exception of getting/spending loot because pirates love to count loot)
- NOT a generic Caribbean pirate-crawl

It includes
- Decadent slug-people
- Weirdly bureaucratic mole-men
- Systems for individual, crew and ship combat
- Loot tables
- Encounter tables for safe -> dangerous -> uncharted sea lanes
- A carousing table where you can drink so hard you forget your identity like the protagonist from Disco Elysium
- A retirement table where you can become Jay Gatsby
- Opium, colonialism, anti-colonialism (if you like)

Also I read The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and why has nobody ever made a game from that yet?

Races and islands were collaboratively written by the table. There's wizards in there because one of my players really wants to be a wizard but feel free to drop them if you don't want them.

I am inordinately proud of the random tables. I'll probably make an additional table in the future for random sea-ports/villages and rumours, but the rule-set is playable as is.


  1. This is excellent! The newer versions to are even more well polished. The sub-system for detachments, the flavorful tables. This is gotta be my go to piratical adventures hack!

  2. Aw thank you! Thanks for stopping by :)