Sutler’s Base Prices

These are home port prices. In a small port, the Sutler will buy for 10 to 25% less, and sell for 10 to 25% more. This information should be available to all the players.

PAID FOR CARGO:

Barrel (empty barrel): 0
Big barrel (empty): 10
Cotton cloth (chest): 10
Flour (barrel): 5
Glassware (chest): 20
Gold (chest) . . . by the coins in the chest
Gunpowder (barrel): 30
Hemp (chest): 10
Mail (chest): 5
Molasses (barrel): 10
Muskets (chest): 30 . . . 10 muskets
Pistols (chest): 30 . . . 15 pistols
Rice (barrel): 5
Rum (barrel): 80
Sabers (chest): 20 . . . 20 cutlasses
Salt beef (barrel): 15
Salt cod (barrel): 10
Scroll, magic: By negotiation
Shrubbery (each): 5
Silk (chest): 100
Silver (chest): 200
Tobacco (barrel): 50
Treasure map: By negotiation

The following cargo cannot be offloaded at sea; you have to sail the ship to port.

Cannon: 100
Livestock: 100 x class of the ship
Rice (BIG barrel): 50
Rum (BIG barrel): 600
Timber: 50 x class of the ship

Routine Purchases

If you want something not on this list, roleplay it with the Sutler. Maybe you’ll get lucky. Maybe not.
Cutlass: 1
Pistol: 2
Musket: 3
2-handed ax: 2
Treasure map: Varies!
Digging tool: 1
Ship’s boat: 10
Sail and mast for ship’s boat: 5
Oars for ship’s boat: 2/pair
Cannon: 100

Buying and Selling Ships

This is a general guideline. The Sutler will take into account the condition of the ship (damaged prizes are worth less), the current demand for that type of vessel, the reputation of the pirate he is dealing with, the bribes he is offered, and perhaps other things as well. These are prices for a ship without guns. Standard price for guns is 100 each.

Class 1: Cutter (small, fast and nimble; vulnerable in combat): 300
Class 2: Regular ship with no center section (slow, cargo vessel): 550
Brig (smaller but faster): 450
Class 3: Wide ship with no center sections (slow, large cargo vessel): 800
Regular ship with 1 center section (cargo vessel or warship): 900
Class 4: Wide ship with 1 center section (cargo vessel or warship): 1,200
Regular ship with 2 center sections (fast, good warship): 1,400
Class 5: Regular ship with 3 center sections (schooner, very fast): 1,700
Class 6: Wide ship with 2 center sections (fast): 2,200
Class 7: Wide ship with 3 center sections (very fast): 2,700
Class 8: Wide ship with 4 center sections (huge and very fast): 3,500

Ships are not always available; you must take what you can get!

Post-Voyage Expenses

Debauchery

Use these rules only in a long roleplaying scenario; they take up too much time for most sail-and-shoot games.

You must pay your crew off after each voyage; give the money to the Sutler.

If you captured or looted no ships, or if your ship was sunk and you made your way back to port without it, you must pay 3 to each member of the crew.

If you captured or looted one ship, pay 6 to each member of the crew.

If you captured or looted two or more ships, pay 10 to each crewman.

Recruitment

Roll 3 dice, and modify as follows: Add your Reputation, and add another +2 if in a friendly port. Add the number of prizes you took on your last voyage (up to 3).

3 Two crewmen deserted, taking their personal weapons, and stealing a boat if the ship had any. You may roll again to see if you can recruit anyone.
4 A crewman deserted, taking his personal weapons. You may roll again to see if you can recruit anyone.
5-8 No recruits are available.
9 Three random pirates.
10 Five random pirates.
11-12 Seven random pirates.
13 Ten random pirates.
14-15 One of your existing crewmen (pick which one) has become Completely Loyal. You may roll again to see if you can recruit anyone else.
16-18 A seaman with a special ability (chosen randomly) is interested in hiring on. You may roll again to see if you can recruit anyone else.

The Sutler reaches into the box to see who is available. An able-bodied seaman, regardless of special talents, can be hired for 3 gold pieces. A seaman with a peg leg, or a hook hand, or both, can be hired for 2. Crew is not always available; you take what you can get.

A crewman comes with a pistol and a cutlass (hook-handed seamen come with a pistol, because they have a built-in cutlass). If he quits your service, you have to let him take with him the weapon(s) that he brought. Simplification: all men, regardless of what they are holding, may be assumed to have muskets.

Ship Repairs

You may ignore all these in a simple sail-and-shoot game; keeping track of all damage ever taken can be time-consuming.

Rigging: You need pay nothing to repair your rigging unless it was reduced to 0 at some point during your voyage. In that case, pay (Class × 10).

Hull: Pay 3 for every hull hit you took, regardless of whether you did Damage Control. Otherwise, your ship may have permanent hidden damage.

Steering: Pay 10 for every Steering hit you took. Otherwise, your ship may have permanent hidden damage.

Investing Your Treasure

(c). If a player does not wish to carry his money around, the Sutler may allow him to invest it with a banker in port. The Sutler will roll 2 dice every time he returns to that port (no more than once a week), adding the pirate’s Reputation (and perhaps other factors) to the die roll. Subtract 1 from the roll in a Neutral port.

A natural 2 The banker ran off with your money. All reputation bonuses are ignored. You’re hosed.
3-4 You get back only 25%.
5 You get back 50%.
6 You get back 75%.
7-9 You get back all your money.
10 You make a profit of 10%.
11 You make a profit of 25%.
12 or more A profit of 50%!

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SUTLER

The Sutler is the referee in charge of buying and selling STUFF. The Sutler should be costumed and in persona if at all possible. Roleplay as much as you want. Feel free to have different personalities for different ports.

Yes, you can be bribed, but make it fun, and don’t let yourself be bribed into giving away BIG advantages. An extra crewman for a Coke or a quick backrub . . . that’s the proper scale of bribes.

Setting Up a New Player

If the new player is in costume, make sure he checks in with the Head Ref to get bonus points for costuming.

If you are using a simple setup, give each player:

  • A clipboard, with:
    • A record sheet for his ship
    • A blank movement plotting sheet
    • A ruler
  • The standard starting ship (usually a cutter)
  • A captain
  • A disposable cup holding the standard starting number of men (10 works well for a cutter)

If you are allowing a complex setup with options, give each player a clipboard with a setup sheet and let him choose what he wants. Then give him the appropriate ship, record sheet, figures, and weapons. He should keep the setup sheet, because it is his guide to the special abilities of the different kinds of pirates which he may choose.

Buying and Selling Goods

In Port Royale or other big, friendly ports, use the price sheet. Unfriendly or small ports can have prices at least 10% less favorable. In small and unfriendly ports, you can go all the way to 25% less favorable. Players should occasonally be tempted to sail to another port to get a better deal.

When someone wants to sell loot, they must turn in the slip(s) showing what you have, and enough chests or barrels to match. If they don’t have enough chests and barrels to match the card(s), assume they kept the most valuable ones (say, silks and silver) and abandoned the less valuable (say, gunpowder and molasses).

If someone wants something unusual, give them the chance to talk you into it. . . . if it seems like fun and won’t unbalance the game. Don’t be too cheap about these things; make them pay. If it’s something that can be expended or used up, give them some kind of marker. And it’s always OK to say NO.

An example of a request that should be granted: “I want to take the alligator we killed and sell it at port; alligators make good leather.” Sure, buy the alligator for a couple of dozen gold pieces. They won’t unbalance the game by hunting alligators; if they do, the GM can just stop putting out new alligators.

An example of a request that should not be granted: “I want to round up all the stray dogs around Port Royale and train them to be war-dogs to rush aboard enemy ships and bite everyone in a red coat.” In your dreams, matey.

Buying and Selling Ships

Ships can always be sold, though if a capture was very risky or foolish, or if a prize is being sold in its home port, the other GMs may alert you to offer very little for it. A sutler in a neutral port might even call the gendarmes, if he thought the reward would be greater than his profit from fencing the ship.

Give each ship buyer an appropriate record sheet (and get back the record sheet when a ship is sold). Remind him to name his ship.

Big ships should have figureheads; help the player pick a good one.

Ships may, if the Sutler and the other GMs are up for it, have hidden flaws (e.g., a dirty bottom that reduces her speed). Flaws may or may not reduce a ship’s price, and may or may not be fixable. If the player has an Old Salt look over the ship, flaws would be found. And captains with a high Reputation should not be cheated. . . .

Where to now?

These rules are not licensed or approved by The LEGO Group.
Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2010, 2011 and used with Steve Jackson’s permission.