Little Spaces: Pirate Ships returns the Little Spaces series back to the roots of an original Little Spaces product – Shipwrecks. This time we deal with pirate ships and the folks you might find on board – pirates of course! We explored some of these ideas in our post for Talk Like a Pirate Day 2014…
How does it work? Well, this one mixes a bit of the older Little Spaces approach (sense/element/descriptor) with the Insta-NPCs approach (a collection of directed tables) to offer two different ways to use it. First, you can create piratey descriptions using the traditional route. And second you can turn around and use a different set of tables to help create some encounters to help fill in the gaps.
For instance, let’s say the PCs are out on the open water traveling across the ocean to their next destination, when on the horizon they see black sails and the Jolly Roger waving in the wind. Pirates!
A few die rolls give me Touch (Sense), Captain (Element), Shouting (Descriptor), and Neutral (Flavor). That leads to:
“As the ship closes, you hear the Captain shouting not at his own crew but towards your ship. ‘We’ll be boarding ye soon! Prepare to give us yer gold -n- silver or yer lives. There’s no negotiatin’!’ You can somehow feel, even at this distance, the sinister promise in his voice.”
Now I can turn around and generate an Encounter to follow. With another handful of dice I get – Coastal Waters (Place), Dealing with the locals (Event), Neutral (Flavor), and Swearing (Descriptor). That may lead to:
“Your pirate captors have your ship in tow and have dragged you back near the coast of a local island. As soon as you see land, you see a handful of small boats row quickly towards you and as they get closer you see them brandishing primitive blades and shouting in their native tongue. It doesn’t take long to see they have a bone to pick with the Pirate Captain, who is swearing at them until the air turns blue on deck…”
If it’s our PCs who have been captured by pirates and now face an attack by some angry locals, I wonder how they’ll play it? Will they use the event as an opportunity to escape?
Thousands of possible combinations will inspire an insane number of adventurous encounters and hidden dangers. Use your imagination to come up with intriguing ships bound for destinations unknown for your next game session!
Should your pirate (or captured) vessel wreck upon some foreign shore, be sure to check out Little Spaces: Shipwrecks for more ideas to explore!
This is the next in a series of short, system- and genre-neutral supplements from Moebius Adventures designed to encourage more creative descriptions in your games. Let us know how you use them at your game table!