The Pirate Setting for the StickGuy RPG

By Rob Lang

Winner of the 1KM1KT 2004 Setting Contest

"OOO-AARRR me Harties! SPLICE the mainbrace! SCRUB the decks! Be underway or I'll be a-feastin' on yer gizzards! ARRR!"
A Typical Captain Stickbeard Motivational Speech

The high seas have never been so dangerous and dyed red by blood the of sailors. The Doom Stick is part of the problem, a crooked pirate ship run by the thoroughly demented Captain Stickbeard. For years, this evil old crone has sailed the world in search of treasure and islands to plunder. Now, he's old and withered and his crew are getting ichy for a change of management.

Setting Overview

You're a pirate. On a pirate ship. You spend your time fighting, drinking and wenching. Sometimes, you drink, fight and then wench. In this setting, you make your Stickpirate and then spend games attacking ships and islands for treasure, women and grog. With each action, you will get new items, clothes and shiney stuff. You'll also lose things too, legs, arms, eyeballs, sanity, cheese. But fear not, pirates are resourceful types and wooden replacements are in fashion.


Shiver me timbers! Arrr! Splice the mainbrace and have his wallet! A pirate's life for me, etc etc. Being a pirate is great. More than great, it's brilliant. You get to do all sort of illegal stuff before cruising off round tropical islands. Brilliant. You can be any sort of pirate you like, below are some typical ones. You don't have to take any or all of the attributes, they're there to show you the sort of pirate it is!

StickPirate Types

Powder Monkey
This is yer typical pirate on the high seas. Grimey, dirty, nasty, unshaven and thoroughly mean. Not the sharpest tools in the box and as blunt as a hammer, these scurvey wretches are the mainstay of any pirate ship.
Special Ability: Fleetfooted. +1 to any running, jumping, swinging activity.
Positive Attributes: Violent, greedy, fearless...
Negative Attributes: Untrustworthy, ugly, poorly dressed, stupid...
Starting Equipment: Cutlass.
This sort of pirate gets all the wenches. Smooth, silver tongued devils who do a lot of carousing and very little fighting. More interested in how they look than how much loot they can carry. The dandys of the sea.
Special Ability: +1 to any intimidation or carousing.
Positive Attributes: Attractive, trustworthy, Good looking, well spoken, intelligent...
Negative Attributes: Obsessed with women, vain, foolhardy, talks too much...
Starting Equipment: Cutlass, Hat.
Originally paid by the King to secretly do their dirty work, the privateer is a cunning and devious pirate. They would steal from their own mothers if given the chance.
Special Ability: +1 to stealing or being cunning.
Positive Attributes: Will steal anything, survivor ...
Negative Attributes: Untrustworthy, coward...
Starting Equipment: Knife.
Cabin Boy
The Cabin Boy is always the last to get the blame for anything. Always thought of as too young and too innocent to be capable of the acts of an old sea dog. However, the Cabin Boy has the run of the ship and is courageous.
Special Ability: +1 to fighting.
Positive Attributes: Innocent looking, too small to attract attention, young...
Negative Attributes: Naiive, foolhardy...
Starting Equipment: Knife.
Now Draw Your Stickpirate
You chosen one of the above or made up your own, now draw the ole sea dog! If you give yourself a patch or wooden limb, then you start with a disadvantage. Ask the GM nicely if you have have another ability to offset this problem. If she says no, ask nastily and prod her with a pencil until she says yes. Alternatively, you can just wait until you have something blown off and get it replaced with some stuff.

The Stickiebean

The Stickiebean

The Stickiebean is a group of islands where Stickbeard likes to sail. He likes sailing there because there are lots of rich people and fat, bloated cargo ships to board. Or rich cargo ships with fat, bloated people to board. There's also a load of Navy types out there. The Stickiebean is a hot paradise, which Stickbeard likes particularly because of his arthritis. Above is an original map of the Stickiebean by that great pirate map maker "Flatulant" Fred Fowkes. All the places you need to know about are on there. We don't know what's off the side of the map so it's probably best to stay on it, lest you sail off the edge of the Stick.

The Doom Stick

"Arrr, she be nearly the fastest vessel in these isles! Except the HMS Aichemess. And the HMS Cabbage. Oh, and the HMS Driftwood. Yes, yes, the HMS Brick aswell. Well, she be the fastest vessel called the Doom Stick in these here isles!"
The Quartermaster's honesty battles his his unshakable loyalty
The Doom Stick used to belong to the British Navy but they left it lying around and Stickbeard stole it. They should have nailed it to the port. It used to be called HMS Swiss-Cheese. The Doom stick has a crew of colourful characters, some of which are given here.

Captain Stickbeard (The Captain)

StickBeardBorn, they say, 100 years ago on the side of a volcano, Stickbeard is 90% evil and 10% wicked. He's lived for such a long time that he can't remember what nice is. He's also as mad as a spoon and he hates everybody. Including the crew. Greedy and nasty, Stickbeard is only still alive because he's just too belligerent to die.
Bonus Ability: Indestructable. The Captain can't actually die 'cos he's cursed. No-one knows this. He will die of old age but no-one knows when.
Positive Attribute: Nasty. Will do some horrible things.
Negative Attribute: Greedy. Will always go too far.

Mr Mister (Quartermaster)

Mr MisterMr Mister is the ship's Quartermaster. Sort of a second in command. His job is to get whatever the Captain wants and to equally share the booty amongst the crew. Mister was not really born to be a pirate and is far too nice. His secret hobbies include knitting and flower arranging. Captain Stickbeard makes him torture people the crew have kidnapped and punish the crew. Mister hates it and would rather sit with his feet up with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate. Everyone likes Mr Mister, except the Captain.
Bonus Ability: Female intuition. He always knows when things are going bad before anyone else.
Positive Attribute: Nice. People will help him out because he helps people out.
Negative Attribute: Too Nice. Doesn't like hurting or torturing and is bad at it.

Pikey Parsons

Pikey ParsonsAlmost as old as the Captain, Pikey is the ship's surgeon and carpenter. When he's not hammering nails in the mast, he's hammering nails into the crew. Pikey would really like to be the Captain and would have been, so he says, had it not been for a clerical error. Pikey is thoroughly nasty and really enjoys seeing people in pain. Sometimes crew die on the ship purely because Pikey is laughing to much to do anything about it.
Bonus Ability: Does +2 when hurting people, not neccesarily in a fight.
Positive Attribute: Twisted. Is not phased by nastiness.
Negative Attribute: Obvious Liar. He tells fibs and they're so bad, everyone knows.

Other Personages

The British Navy

"Pip Pip, Tally Ho! Let's rid the world of this criminal Pirate Scum!".
The British Navy have lots of ships sailing the seas. The ships have lots of navy types on them who get very angry when they see the black flag of a Pirate ship. Some of the ships are big, some are small. Some a run by ruthless Captains and others by useless fools. Let's look at some of the more famous ships in the British Navy.

H.M.S. Aichemess and Captain Swiftwank

Captain SwiftwankThe pride of the British Navy, this Man-O-War has lots of guns and about 50 sailors on board. It's fast too. Very fast. If you get spotted by it, it's time to bugger off sharpish. It's commanded by the honorable and only slightly rabid Captain Swiftwank. Swiftwank is the typical upright, uptight British Naval Officer. He's always smartly dressed, always knows what to do and upholds the law whenever he can. What makes it worse is that he's actually really good with a sabre. He hates Stickbeard as much as Stickbeard hates everyone else.
Bonus Ability: Good with a sword +2 in fighting.
Positive Attribute: Courageous.
Negative Attribute: A bit simple minded.

Governor Le Spleen

Le SpleenThe Governor of New Cornwall, one of the most important (and rich) islands in the Stickiebean. Le Spleen is bureaucrat and a socialiser. He's really good friends with Captain Swiftwank, the Captain of the Aichemess. Le Spleen has 4 daughters, each graced with either grace, charm, beauty or wit. None of them have more than one. They get into all sorts of trouble and are great for ransoming. Mrs Le Spleen is a force of nature. The least said about her, the better. We wouldn't want to put you off your lunch.
Bonus Ability: Marksman. He's rather good with a pistol. +1 to hit people.
Positive Attribute: Friendly.
Negative Attribute: Gluttonous.


When there's a fight, there's loot. Sometimes, you can get loot without the fighting but there normally is some sort of fisticuffs. It's what being a Pirate is all about.

Ideal Pirate weapon. Good for sticking people.
Effect: +2 to hurting people.
For poor pirates or those who like a bit of sneaky stabby fun.
Effect: +1 to hurting people.
Pretend you're a viking pirate.
Effect: +1 to hurting people. Can be thrown.
Only used by the British Naval types.
Effect: +2 to hurting people.
Effect: +3 to hurting people.
Great for shooting people up! Pick them up off the dead bodies of British Naval officers.
Effect: +1 but at a distance.
Pirate artillery. Good for taking out lots and lots and lots of people all at once! Difficult to find. Need to hands to fire (unless your power is very high).
Effect: +3 but at a distance.

Nailing you back together

After you've been in a fight or 6, you'll need to see Pikey Parsons. He'll soon nail any lost limbs, eyes or other squishy bits. Just get a friend to drag you over to the carpenter and he'll soon sort you out with the followin'.
Wooden Leg / Arm
So, that fight cost you an arm and a leg, did it! Pikey'll sort you out with a special one.
Lost a Leg -1 to all running, jumping and so on. +1 to kicking people in the plums.
Lost an arm -1 to grabbing things and shooting stuff.
This can be handy when you've mislaid yer hand.
-1 to grabbing hold of things (look, beer, wenches)
The old pirate favourite.
-1 to spotting things
Very Tight Bandanna
For keepin' brains in.
-1 to any thinking or brain rolls.

GM Stuff

If you're not a GM, please don't look below here.
If yee do, we'll string you up by yer gizzards!

First Things First

Stickpirate is designed to be run in a light hearted kind of way. You've probably guessed that. This section gives some new rules that will help you run interesting and different adventures on land and the high seas. I've also given an adventure at the end of the section.

In general, the pirates life is a live fast, die young approach to living. The players can expect to get bits blown off and wooden replacements nailed back on. Sooner or later, there won't be anything to nail back onto and so the pirate will die. Don't fret at this, let them make another!

New Rules

It wouldn't be a proper expansion without some more rules, would it? Fighting is done as it is in StickGuy:
  1. Everyone draws secretly what they're doing on a bit of paper. Keep it simple!
  2. Karma given for any particularly cool drawings.
  3. Those with a highest Power go first.
  4. Both attacker and defender roll D4. They both add this to their Power.
  5. Highest sum wins (use Karma to stop bad stuff happening, if you like).
  6. Lowest sum takes damage (see below).
Stickpirates take damage slightly differently to other Stickguys. If someone wins in the combat (above), then the person who lost takes damage. Here's how:
  1. Roll 2 * d4 and add together.
  2. Check which body part got hit (see table below).
  3. Change the StickPic to show the damage.
  4. Get a remedy from a Doctor as soon as possible!
Dodgy Damage Table
RollBody partEffectRemedy
2HeadFall over unconsciousVery Tight Bandanna
3Left LegHop about (unless no legs, then crawl)Wooden Leg
4Left Hand / ArmIf hand is gone, then armHook / Wooden Arm
5BodyLose 1 KarmaNothing
6Right Hand / ArmIf hand is gone, then armHook / Wooden Arm
7Right LegHop about (unless no legs, then crawl)Wooden Leg
8EyeTrouble with seeingEye patch

No more Karma!
If the StickPirate has been hit in the Torso too many times and they've lost all their Karma, they're unconscious.

Injured. Again. Am I dead?
If the Stickpirate has already been injured there and they have some of Pikey Parson's fixes, if it's arms and legs then no problem. He'll just fix some more on. If the StickPirate has a Very Tight Bandanna on their head and it gets hit, then they die. Only StickPirates are this tough. All other stick people are normal weaklings as per the standard StickGuy RPG rules.

Example Difficulty Table

StickPirates will get up to all sort of derring do and with buckle their swash on a regular basis. Here's a list of common StickPirate actions and how difficult they should be. Don't forget that for a StickPlayer to pass an action, they roll a d4, add it to their power. The GM then rols a d4, adds it to a number below and if the player is then over this number, they manage to do it.

Action Difficulty Table
Saying "Arrrr"-2
Climbing a rope0
Firing a cannon0
Firing a cannon accurately2
Steering a ship2
Making fire using flint box3
Convince Pikey Parson to do surgery on you mate3
Swinging on a rope from one ship to another3
Dragging another unconscious StickPirate back to your ship4
Sliding down a sail using your knife to slow down4
Climbing onto a ship from a little boat4
Drinking 10 pints of ale and still able to walk6
Working out the cost of things6

Adventure: Blackstick's Treasure

Cap'n Blackstick buried his treasure before his ship was sunk by the H.M.S. Aichemess and bits o' the map have been found 'ere and there. The Doom Stick is after the loot but so is the Governor, who's after a new hat. The Doom Stick will sail from place to place, where the players get in fights and find more clues. They will even have a battle with the H.M.S. Aichemess before getting to the Treasure.

Scene 1 - The Hook
Sailing out somewhere amongst the Little Islands. About 6pm. Just after tea. And cookies.

Cap'n Stickbeard to the crew:
Gather round and listen good or I'll cut off yer noses with a lump of this 'ere cheese. While in port, I 'erd that our ole competitor, Blackstick, 'ad been driven into the Whirlpool of Doom and ne'er sailed out. 'Fore he did, 'e buried that horde of his somewhere and we's gunna find it before them landlubbers get their perfumed fists on it. We's gunna sail up to Port Monkey and see what knowledge we can squeeze out. Someone must know summink! A dabloon to anyone who gets hold of anything of any use.
Raise the sail! Batten down the Llama! Cut them there waves and prepare for all speed or I'll feast on your encyclopaedias!
The players will all need to lend a hand at getting the Doom Stick moving, they should be climbing ropes, or steering. Anyone not working will get a mouthful from the Cap'n.

Scene 2 - Port Monkey
Port Monkey is a dark and crooked little place, perched evilly on the edge of the island of St. Andgreaves. StickTravel Brochures list it as 'quaint' with 'individual charm'. It's a favourite of the crew as the governor is weak and has little to do with the town. You can get away with murder there and people frequently do. The Doom Stick will sail in at evening, where a the town's festivities will have already begun. Most of the crew will go ashore to womanise and drink booze but the player team will be driven by money. The Doom Stick sails at dawn and they must be on it. After it sails at Dawn, it will sail at Catherine. Haw Haw. While wandering the streets is a good time to throw a couple of drunken ruffians at the team.

Scene 3 - Boot and Groin Tavern
Time is short, so they'll be wanting information at this point. Most of the Stickpeople in the Tavern will be sticked out of their faces. However, there is a quiet old man with a wooden stick leg sitting in the corner. He will only talk to them if they've got some gold, so they might have to go and rob someone first. The old man is called Sticky Dicky and will constantly go off on a tangent. Here's what he knows, read it out if you like or make up your own way of saying it:

Sticky Dicky's Information:
Some time back, be it 3, no 4 days. Was it after I lanced me boils? That was Tuesday. Or was it Wednesday? Tuesday. Well, that was 3 days ago, not counting today, not that you would. Where was I? Oh, Blackstick. Well, see, I knew a fella who knew this lass who slept with this chap who once had a dog who was stole by Blackstick. The wee pup was so upset at being separated from his master that 'e howled day and night, so the story goes. Well, Blackstick, being a man of some character, returned it to this chap. In return, Blackstick told him a little limmeric that might come in handy one day:
Down at the base,
of Dicky's Face,
Sits a big rock,
That looks like a...

I think that was it. Or was it sock? Or croc? Can't remember. Summint like that. The chap was 'appy to get 'iz dawg back but would have much preferred gold, rather than a silly rhyme. I says now like I says then, he's a lucky man for not havin' his family jewels handed to him!
I comes to 'ear of it on account of me name. Now I's told you.
This should lead them to a nob-shaped rock under the Cliffs of Richard. Sticky Dicky has also told this to some sailors on the H.M.S. Aichemess but they were too simple to pick up the hint. If the players are having trouble, given them a hint - Cliff - Face... Richard - Dick... It's only supposed to be fun, after all! When they return to the ship, only the player to says the limmeric to Stickbeard will get the dabloon. The others will get nothing.

Scene 4 - En Route, Intrigue and Horror!
There's three routes to the Cliffs of Richard. One goes past two ports of Merrium and Stanley where the British hang out. One goes past Merrium and past a huge Sea-Serpent that is reputed to live there. That is the last resort. The other is on the open seas past the Whirlpool of Doom. Mr Mister (The Quartermaster) will nicely give the players the task of steering the Doom Stick. Captain Stickbeard wants to go past the Whirlpool of Doom.

As they set off on their journey, Pikey Parsons will try and convince the team that going to the Whirlpool is dangerous and they will all die, much better to go past the ports of New Cornwall. Pikey is trying to get the team to follow him so that he might get rid of the Captain. The player team decides. If they choose Whirlpool, then they will get tied up in a big storm and just get through, if they choose the other way, they will be fired upon by the big guns at Port Stanley.

Scene 5 - Base of the Cliff's Of Richard
The Doom Stick will anchor away from the Cliff's and they will row in. Two boats will be sent. One with the player team and the other with another team. Treat this as a race. Both will want to be there first.

At the base of the cliffs is a big rock that has been carved into a nob. It points to a crack in the cliff face. The nob can be moved if need be but the clue is in the cliff face. Written in stickblood on a leather codpiece is the following rhyme:

To the north is her face,
And a dangerous place.
To the south lies her bits,
And there Stanley sits.
Between her peaks,
Where the earth leaks,
I like to go,
Not far from the snow.

This should lead them to the two mountains on New Cornwall. Right in the middle of them. As they row back to the Doom Stick, they notice another ship on the horizon. A ship of the British Navy! The first person to give the Cap'n the leather parchment will get a dabloon.

Scene 6 - Prepare to be borded!
The ship that follows them is the H.M.S. Driftwood (Captain Bigstick). It will catch up as the Doom Stick is not very fast. The ships will come up along side each other, canons will be fired and boarding will commence! A big ole fight. If the Doom Stick wins, then the other ship will be sunk, all the crew killed and Captain Bigstick will have to walk the plank. If not, then the players will need to get off and row to New Cornwall! Somehow, Cap'n Stickbeard will survive in another boat and row too.

Scene 7 - The Secret River
Not marked on any map is a secret river that leads all the way up into the mountains of new Cornwall. It's not on the map for any reason except "Flatulant" Fred Fowkes was not actually a very good map maker and left of rivers as a rule. In fact, he just didn't like rivers. He thought they made the landscape look untidy. Anyway, whatever boat they are in, they will sail up this river until they get to a massive waterfall. Here, they will find the H.M.S. Aichemess moored up! There will be a few crew on board. Captain Stickbeard will want to take the Aichemess and also get the treasure.

If they succeed, the Doom Stick will be scuttled and the player team will set off for the mountains, through jungle and across plains.

Scene 8 - Big Showdown
The crew of the Aichemess will have been at the treasure site for hours by now and will have nearly finished digging it up. There will be lots of them so the players will need to think up a way of splitting up British Navy (using the jungle, no doubt). Captain Swiftwank will be there but he'll run off when things are looking bad.

When they open the treasure box, they will find the following note:

Dear Mr. Pirate,
Sorry you've gone to all this trubble but oi 'ave already pinched the gold. I 'ad it away months ago. Or was it a year? When did I get me leg? A year. Yes. A year. Anyways, I got it already. Haw haw. By now, I will be livin' a loife of luxury 'n' relaxation.
Your 'umble servant,
Sticky Dicky

They may be peeved by now. Sticky Dicky will already have legged it if they want to go back. Cap'n Stickbeard will give them nothing for the loot but will console them with the gain of the new Doom Aichemess!

Other Adventure Ideas

One session not enough for ye, eh? Want more?
Here's some other pirate ideas.
  • Kidnap the Governer's Daughters.
  • Looking for buried treasure.
  • Raid a small port.
  • Fighting the British Navy on them there open seas.

Glossary and Phrasebook

  • AAARrrr!. Used at all times as an exclamation, shout of joy, battle charge or proclamation of love.
  • Family Jewels. Testicles.
  • Fisticuffs. A fight.
  • Gizzards. Guts of birds and can't be found on humans. Cutting them out normally requires most of the stomach to be lacerated in the pointless search.
  • Grog. Alcoholic beverage.
  • Nob. The male genitalia.
  • That it be Pirate for 'Yes'.
  • Wenching. Finding women and doing what's natural.
  • You have Women's [insert body part here], my Lord.. Said when trying to suggest to someone that they're not really a very good sailor.

Things that make you go Arrr!

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Thanks To

A Rob Lang Setting Many thanks to Keeton Harrington, Chris Gunning and Grifflik

V1.1 [2004.09.13] © 2004 Rob Lang