Plunder is a generalization of a large assortment of valuable but generally useless goods. Characters can also buy plunder if they wish, though those who do so risk becoming known as merchants rather than pirates. A party can buy 1 point of plunder for 1,000 gp. Plunder is valuable for two reasons: It can be sold for gold pieces, and it helps you increase your Infamy. 1 point of plunder is worth approximately 1,000 gp
Exchanging 1 point of plunder for gold requires a PC to spend 1 full day at port and make an applicable skill check. Regardless of how much plunder the PCs have, one PC must spend a full day trading to exchange 1 point of plunder for gold. The PC trading also must be the same PC to make the skill check to influence the trade. The larger the port and the higher the skill check, the better price the PCs can get for their plunder.
PCs seeking to win a higher price for their plunder can make one of the following skill checks and apply the results to the table below: Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, or any applicable Profession skill, like Profession (merchant). A poor result on a skill check can reduce the value of plunder. If the PCs are not satisfied with the price they are offered for their plunder, they need not take it, but a day’s worth of effort is still expended. They can try for a better result the next day.
Selling a general full hp ship is 5 plunder, damaged 1 plunder (usually to first capture a ship on the seas it must be damaged first to reduce its speed)
Crew wages: the PCs should simply deduct 1 point of plunder per controlled ship from their total each time they attempt to sell plunder. This represents the shares of the plunder paid out to the crew
Selling Plunder example, if a PC is unwilling to accept a mere 20% of the value of his group’s plunder when attempting to sell it in a hamlet, he can attempt to increase this percentage by 5% by making a DC 15 skill check. If he wants to attempt to increase the percentage to 30% (the maximum amount the hamlet can possibly pay), he must make a DC 20 skill check. Failure results in no increase, and this skill check can only be made once per day.
Infamy = Fame
Disrepute = Prestige
Group’s Infamy score can never be more than 4 × the PCs’ average party level.
A few things are required to gain Infamy: an audience, a deed to tell about, and a flair for storytelling. Proof of the group’s deed in the form of plunder doesn’t hurt either.
To gain Infamy, the PCs must moor their ship at a port for 1 full day, and the PC determined by the group to be its main storyteller must spend this time on shore carousing and boasting of infamous deeds. This PC must make either a Bluff, Intimidate, or Perform check to gauge the effectiveness of her recounting or embellishing. The DC of this check is equal to 15 + twice the group’s average party level (APL), and the check is referred to as an Infamy check.
If the character succeeds at this check, the group’s Infamy and Disrepute both increase by +1 (so long as neither score is already at its maximum amount). If the result exceeds the DC by +5, the group’s Infamy and Disrepute increase by +2; if the result exceeds the DC by +10, both scores increase by +3. The most a party’s Infamy and Disrepute scores can ever increase as a result of a single Infamy check is by 3 points. If the PC fails the Infamy check, there is no change in her group’s Infamy score and the day has been wasted.
No matter how impressionable (or drunk) the crowd, no one wants to hear the same tales and boasts over and over again. Thus, a group can only gain a maximum of 5 points of Infamy and Disrepute from any particular port. However, this amount resets every time a group reaches a new Infamy threshold.
Every point of plunder expended adds a +2 bonus to the character’s skill check to earn Infamy. The party can choose to spend as much plunder as it wants to influence this check.
Additionally, if a PC fails an Infamy check, the party can choose to spend 3 points of plunder to immediately reroll the check. The party may only make one reroll attempt
per day, and spend the plunder even if the second attempt fails—some people just aren’t impressed no matter how much loot you throw at them.
A group’s Disrepute can be spent to buy beneficial effects called impositions. To purchase an imposition requires 1 full day unless otherwise noted.
Disgraceful (10+ Infamy)
Permanent Boon: The PCs may choose one favored port (Port Peril). They gain a +2 bonus on all Infamy checks made at that port.
Despicable (20+ Infamy)
Permanent Boon: Once per week, the PCs can sacrifice a prisoner or crew member (a PC or named significant NPC) to immediately gain 1d3 points of Disrepute. This sacrifice is always fatal, and returning the victim to life results in the loss of 1d6 points of Disrepute.
Notorious (30+ Infamy)
Permanent Boon: Disgraceful impositions can be purchased for half price (rounded down). The PCs may choose a second favored port. They gain a +2 bonus on all Infamy checks made at this new favored port (??) and a +4 bonus on Infamy checks made at their first favored port (Port Peril).
Loathsome (40+ Infamy)
Permanent Boon: ???
Vile (55+ Infamy)
Permanent Boon: ???!!!
Cost 2 Yes, Sir!: For the next hour, the PCs’ crew completes any mundane tasks they’re assigned in half the expected time. This typically relates to Craft and Profession (sailor) checks made to prepare, maintain, or repair the ship, and cannot be applied to combat or more complex deeds like crafting magic items.
Cost 5 Captain’s Orders!: As a standard action, a PC on board her ship can cast fog cloud, heroism, make whole, quench, or whispering wind with a caster level equal to her character level.
Cost 5 Walk the Plank!: The PCs may sacrifice one crew member or prisoner to grant themselves and their crew one of two bonuses: either a +2 bonus on all skill checks or a +2 bonus on attack rolls. These bonuses only apply while on board the PCs’ ship and last until either the next day or when the captain leaves the ship. If a sacrificed character is returned to life, the PCs and their crew members take a –2 penalty on both skill checks and attack rolls for 1 day.
Cost 10 Get Up, You Dogs!: Every PC and allied character on the deck of the PCs’ ship is affected as per the spell cure light wounds, as if cast by a cleric of the PCs’ average party level. This imposition can only be used once per week.
Cost 5 Lashings!: The speed of the PCs’ ship doubles for 1 day.
Cost 5 Shiver Me Timbers!: While on board their ship, the PCs and their entire crew can reroll initiative or roll initiative in what would otherwise be a surprise round. The benefit of this imposition can be used immediately, but only once per week.
Cost 10 Besmara’s Blessings!: As a standard action, a PC on board her ship can cast animate rope, control water, remove curse, remove disease, or water breathing with a caster level equal to her character level.
Cost 10 Dead Men Tell No Tales!: While on board their ship, the PCs can use this imposition to automatically confirm a threatened critical hit.
Cost 5 You’ll Take It!: The PCs can spend up to 5 points of plunder in 1 day at 50% of its value (regardless of a community’s maximum sale %). This amount cannot be adjusted by skill checks.
Cost 5 Honor the Code!: The PCs and their crew gain a +4 bonus on all Charisma-based skill checks made against other pirates for the next 24 hours.
Cost 10 Master the Winds!: As a standard action, a PC on board her ship can cast call lightning storm, control winds, mirage arcana, or telekinesis with a caster level equal to her character level.
Cost 15 Chum the Waters!: For every Infamy threshold they possess, the PCs summon 1d4 sharks into the waters surrounding their ship. These sharks are not under the PCs’ control and viciously attack any creature in the water.