The Pirate Setting for the StickGuy RPG
By Rob Lang
Winner of the 1KM1KT 2004 Setting Contest
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 OverviewYou'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.
StickpiratesShiver 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!
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 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
LootWhen 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.
Nailing you back togetherAfter 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'.
GM StuffIf you're not a GM, please don't look below here.
If yee do, we'll string you up by yer gizzards!
First Things FirstStickpirate 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 RulesIt wouldn't be a proper expansion without some more rules, would it? Fighting is done as it is in StickGuy:
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:
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 TableStickPirates 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.
Adventure: Blackstick's TreasureOverview
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.
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:
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:
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:
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 IdeasOne session not enough for ye, eh? Want more?
Here's some other pirate ideas.
Glossary and Phrasebook
Things that make you go Arrr!Like it? Link to it!
Now there be some other little tidbits you might be finding useful.
Thanks ToMany thanks to Keeton Harrington, Chris Gunning and Grifflik