The Pirate Game
In the Skull & Shackles adventure path, the PCs take on the role of pirates, but they must make a name for themeselves in piracy, plunder, and disrepute to truly become infamous Free Captains of the Shackles. The most important thing to keep in mind when creating your character is that piracy plays a significant role in this adventure path – your character should want to become a pirate, or at least not be opposed to the idea.
Only Pathfinder edition books are allowed to be used in this campaign
Stats are to be generated by rolling 4D6 and rerolling ones. If you are not happy with the first set of six you roll, then you can disregard this set and try again, however you cannot go back and use the first group of stats.
Race and Classes
Characters of almost any race or class can be found in the melting pot of the Shackles, so long as they have a reason to embrace a life of piracy. The only class that is probably not a good fit for this adventure path is the Paladin.
A number of archetypes are especially suitable for use in the Skull & Shackles Adventure Path. The following archetypes from the Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player’s Guide are all good choices: aquatic druid (druid); rake, swashbuckler, thug (rogue); sea singer (bard); and water elementalist (wizard). The tempest druid archetype from Pathfinder Player Companion: Inner Sea Magic is also a good fit, while Pathfinder Player Companion: Pirates of the Inner Sea offers the buccaneer (bard), corsair (fighter), freebooter (ranger), and smuggler (rogue) archetypes. From Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat, the cad (fighter), daredevil (bard), pirate (rogue), and sea reaver (barbarian) archetypes all complement the themes of this Adventure Path, as do the sea witch (witch), shark shaman (druid), and storm druid (druid) archetypes from Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Magic.
The elemental (water) bloodline is a solid choice for a sorcerer in the Skull & Shackles Adventure Path, as is the aquatic bloodline or stormborn bloodline from the Advanced Player’s Guide.
Clerics, druids, and inquisitors that have some connection to the sea make a perfect fit for the Skull & Shackles Adventure Path. Details on Besmara—goddess of piracy, strife, and sea monsters—can be found in Pathfinder Adventure Path #55. Good domain choices include Charm, Liberation, Luck, Travel, Trickery, Water, and Weather, and useful subdomains include Curse, Deception, Oceans, Revolution, Storms, and Thievery. In addition, druids might be interested in the aquatic terrain domain from Ultimate Magic.
Favoured Enemies and Terrain
Good favored enemy choices for rangers in the Skull & Shackles Adventure Path include aberration, humanoid (giant), monstrous humanoid, and in particular, humanoid (human). For favored terrains, water would be the obvious choice.
Skills and Feats
Certain skills and feats will be particularly useful during the Skull & Shackles Adventure Path. First and foremost is the Profession (sailor) skill. Some sort of social skill—either Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate—will also be important, especially in the first adventure, and to gain Infamy throughout the campaign. Characters interested in using siege engines such as ballistae and catapults during ship-to-ship combat should strongly consider taking the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat to gain proficiency with siege engines and putting ranks in Knowledge (engineering).
Other skills that will be helpful are Climb, Craft (sails), Craft (ships), Craft (siege engine), Knowledge (engineering), Knowledge (local), Profession (cook), Profession (siege engineer), and Swim. Feats such as Athletic and Skill Focus can be useful, as well as feats such as Expert Driver, Sea Legs, Siege Commander, Siege Engineer, Siege Gunner, Skilled Driver, and Sure Grasp (all from Ultimate Combat).
Skull and Shackles Campaign Traits
Character traits are essentially half-feats that help customize a PC’s background and tie her to the themes and events of a particular adventure. Each character should begin play with two traits, one of which may be selected from the Skull & Shackles campaign traits. For general traits, see the Advanced Player’s Guide or the Character Traits Web Enhancement. Additionally, most Pathfinder Player Companion supplements contain racial, regional, and faith traits unique to Golarion and suitable for use by Skull & Shackles PCs. Check out the database for all current character traits.
Campaign traits are tailored to a specific Adventure Path and give your character a built-in reason to begin the first adventure in a new campaign. Campaign traits assume a lot more about your character’s backstory than do normal traits, and they are meant to help serve as inspiration for a player working to create a detailed and interesting history for her character. You have a certain amount of leeway in adjusting a campaign trait’s expected backstory once you’ve selected the trait that’s right for you; just be sure to get your GM’s approval before you run with a modified history.
Several new weapons with a pirate style or theme appear in the Skull & Shackles Adventure Path. Full descriptions of these weapons and more pirate weapons and gear are presented in Pathfinder Player Companion: Pirates of the Inner Sea or in the free Skull & Shackles Player’s Guide.
Please write out all your equipment on a separate piece of paper during character creation