The Pirate Game
To maintain the obedience and effectiveness of their crews, most captains enforce strict schedules and shipboard laws upon their vessels, all maintained by the swift dispensation of brutal punishments. The following presents (in order of severity) the variety of typical nautical punishments, which the PCs have the potential to face or inflict during their piratical careers. Most of these sentences are meted out just before the evening meal, at an event typically referred to as the bloody hour. Victims are tied to the whipping post on the main deck and their backs stripped for punishment—with penalties doubled for those who resist.
Rope Bash: Little more than an admonishment – and occcasionally used as a sign of endearment – a rope bash is a single attack with the hefty, sealed end of a ship’s rope.
The Lash: Attacked with the whip, tied down during the bloody hour.
Cat-o’-Nine-Tails: Leaves much more wicked wounds than a normal whip, it is often simply referred to as the cat.
Confined in the Sweatbox: A cramped metal box left on deck and exposed to the sun, a sweatbox is terribly confining and replicates unbearably hot conditions. Victims typically spend 8, 12 or even 24 hours locked up in the sweatbox.
Keelhauling: The most frightful of pirate punishments is keelhauling, as it generally ends in death – often by decapitation. Being keelhauled involves being tied to a rope looped over the ship’s keel and dragged down one side of a ship, underwater across the barnacle encrusted hull, and up the other side. Keelhauling takes several rounds and can be done either fast or slow