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"Preferred Pirates Setting?" Topic

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06 Sep 2022 6:59 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian20 Oct 2021 12:30 p.m. PST

Imagine that you've purchased an Age of Piracy ruleset which allows your games to be set in different contexts. Which would you prefer?

* strict historical context based on actual events
* generic historical context
* imaginary context based on history
* fantasy context including monsters and magic

Thresher0120 Oct 2021 12:35 p.m. PST

Generic historical context.

Late 1600s – 1720, or so.

rustymusket20 Oct 2021 1:20 p.m. PST

Generic historical context and imaginary contest based on history. ( as I understand what these are stating.)

Andrew Walters20 Oct 2021 2:05 p.m. PST

The problem with history is that pirates are just sea-muggers and have no incentive to fight. Search for merchants, intimidate the tar out fo them, take their stuff. Anyone with guns? You leave. So on top of the fact that they generally had quite small ships, there just aren't a lot of fights.

So the real question is, how far into fantasy do you want to go? Just give the pirates bigger ships and stipulate that they're going to fight? Add in some curses and superstitions? Undead? Creatures and super weapons? It's always a matter of degree.

As for the original question, I will happily play any.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2021 2:43 p.m. PST

I'm strictly in the "Hollywood" camp. Pirate history had that pirates had short brutal lives for the most part. I want a Captain Blood type for me.

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Oct 2021 2:44 p.m. PST

Generic historical. Not any Hollywood (though they are good fun too). Using Pieces of Eight rules. 1/450th for the sea fights (pirates versus merchants). 15mm for land raids.

Whatever floats your boat?



FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2021 4:53 p.m. PST

Hollywood for me although this is interesting.

whitphoto20 Oct 2021 5:40 p.m. PST


Mister Tibbles20 Oct 2021 5:41 p.m. PST

Hollywood for pirates, Westerns, 20's gangsters, British Colonialism, spy-fi (aka James Bond), sci-fi, and pretty much all else skirmish based. I don't care about the angst and guilt of the real world.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2021 6:14 p.m. PST

Space pirates, of course.

John the OFM20 Oct 2021 6:49 p.m. PST

Tavern brawls, along with the Three Musketeers (4 actually), Cardinal's Guard, more Pirates…

Tgerritsen Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2021 7:32 p.m. PST

What, no Space Pirates?

Legionarius21 Oct 2021 8:15 a.m. PST

The historical pirates of the Golden Age did not engage in any real battles as mentioned already in this thread. However, the English sea dogs, Drake and company, the Buccaneers of Henry Morgan, and the Dutch Sea Rovers sometimes sailed in small flotillas and attacked places such as Nombre De Dios, Panama, Porto Bello, Río Hacha, Santiago de Cuba, San Juan Puerto Rico, San Agustín Florida, and many smaller Towns. These attacks involved land actions more than sea fights but there were some of these as well, These actions were mostly taken against brave but mostly unprepared Spanish colonial garrisons. By the time of the so-called Golden Age of piracy, the towns, forts, and garrisons has become too strong against mere piratical expeditions, They were almost impossible to take even by large national forces. The British capture of Havana was one exception, playing the earlier period of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is much more interesting to me.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Oct 2021 2:46 p.m. PST

Pulp era novels. Hollywood pirates tend to be too much the misunderstood good guy. Pulp pirate novels include them just being rotten or hit early modern existientialist and nihilist themes. Is there good and evil? If so, so what?

It also creates the possibilty for non combatmonster magic, like voodoo, or the undead, and doesn't require it to be so.

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Oct 2021 8:18 a.m. PST

Zulupaul said it for me!

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2021 3:54 p.m. PST

Captain Blood for me as well.

Though I don't mind pirates as "the bad guys" either.

And a definite "yes!" on space pirates!

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Oct 2021 4:22 p.m. PST

I also like space pirates. I have several. But I want more from space pirates than Age of Sail pirates in space. (I think AosPiS is most space pirate anime.)

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian24 Oct 2021 10:37 a.m. PST

Errol Flynn, Burt Lancaster and Robert Shaw for me

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP24 Oct 2021 8:20 p.m. PST

I'd like to see a good movie made about Henry Morgan, a very interesting character. For the most part though it's the Hollywood types. In addition to Flynn there are good films with Tyrone Power and Paul Heinried. The bestest though is Robert Newton's Long John Silver! Smart as paint.

JimSelzer27 Oct 2021 10:54 p.m. PST

Hollywood all the way

Thresher0113 Dec 2021 7:42 a.m. PST

Caribbean, though the Gulf of Mexico, and Eastern Seaboard of the USA are looking like decent possibilities for expansion too.

Seamonsters and magic/voodoo ARE definite expansion possibilities. On, inexpensive, paper booklet rules set had an expansion for this, IIRC – e.g. voodoo. The GMs used to use nice looking vessels, and island terrain made with sand poured over a blue "sea" mat to make realistic looking play areas.

Sorry, can't recall the name, but maybe that will jog the memories of others. The rules were a very inexpensive, hardcopy booklet available by mail, for 25mm/28mm gaming.

Actually, there were a number of battles from the historical period, and other near misses back in the day, e.g. Blackbeard's final battle, that one in a small river/creek in South Carolina(?), or Georgia, IIRC, and another off the West Coast of Africa (Black Bart Roberts).

Richard Worley and his crew fought a battle against four other vessels in Charles Town Harbor. They lost.

Stede Bonnet reportedly fought a 5 hour long battle in the Cape Fear River, before eventually being captured and hanged. The pirate hunter, Rhett was actually seeking Charles Vane.

Black Bart Roberts chose to fight, and died in the battle:


He was one of the most successful pirates of all time, having amassed a small fleet of four vessels at their height of his power.

A Royal Navy frigate was looking for Blackbeard in the Caribbean (some reports say they actually sighted the frigate but avoided it – others say they narrowly missed an encounter with it), and that might have been a good scrap for the Queen Anne's Revenge and his other smaller vessels, if/when they had ever met, especially if the British sailors were suffering from the vagaries of illness which afflicted many men in the region back in the day. In some cases, large portions, if not the majority of troops were incapacitated, and some/many even died of disease in the harsh environment of the region, and due to mosquitoes, scurvy, etc., etc..

Pitting a frigate vs. the QAR and a couple of sloops, or a sloop and brig could certainly be interesting, if the pirates were cornered and chose to stand and fight, or if they suspected the British were undermanned and vulnerable.

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