The Pirate Game
Infamy and Disrepute rules
Those sailing under the fearsome flag of a pirate vessel live by different guidelines than those protected by the laws of the Inner Sea’s nations. A pirate’s life, for the most part, depends upon a foundation of respect and reputation, a scallywag’s propensity for daring raids or flaming ruin having aftershocks extending far beyond the decks of his own ship.
There’s a difference between plunder and the gold pieces in a pirate’s pocket. While gold doubloons and fabulous jewelry can be plunder, pirates are rarely lucky enough to encounter a ship with a hold full of such treasures. Typically, there are trade goods, foodstuffs, spices, and valuables of a more mundane sort.
Plunder is valuable for two reasons: It can be sold for gold pieces (1 point of plunder is worth approximately 1000 gp) and it can be used to increase infamy.
It takes around a day to sell 1 point of plunder and selling it at a bigger port earns more bang for your buck. If you don’t like the amount that you are offered for your plunder you don’t have to accept but you do waste the day that you spent.
Remember that the stocking of the ship and the crew’s payment is also taken out of plunder costing 1 point when heading into port.
Some pirates only do what they do for the promise of wealth, being little more than brigands of the waves. Others do it for the reputation, fearsomeness, and power that comes with numbering among the most notorious scallywags on the seas.
Infamy tracks how many points of Infamny the crew has gained over its career. Infamy rarely, if ever, decreases, and reaching a certain Infamy thresholds provides useful benefits and allows others to be purchased using points of Disrepute. _A group’s Infamy score can never be more than 4 x the PC’s average party level.
Disrepute is a spendable resource—a group’s actual ability to cash in on its reputation. This currency is used to purchase impositions, deeds others might not want to do for the group, but that they perform either to curry the group’s favor or to avoid its disfavor. This score will likely fluctuate over the course of a pirate crew’s career and can go as high as the group’s Infamy (but never higher), and at times might even drop to zero.
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.
Before making an infamy check for the day, the party can choose to spend plunder to influence the result. Every point of plunder expended adds a +2 bonus to the character’s skill check to earn Infamy. Additionally, if a PC fails an Infamy check, the party can choose to spend 3 points of plunder to immediately reroll the check.
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