Pirates of Legend Qs

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Pirates of Legend Qs

Postby Verderer » Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:43 am

Hi Guys, been skimming the book for a time now, and it seems a couple of things could be clearer in the pirate rules. I wonder if anyone's got a better handle how these things go?

Firstly, the rules on reputation are pretty clear all the way to the application of reputation. It mentions taking a 'reputation test' but doesnt' specify how. Does this simply mean taking an influence skill check with reputation modifiers?

What about situations where the character meets some people without trying to influence them, I don't really see how this would be relevant in such a situation? Something like a 'reaction/recognition check' would seem to be be more appropiate?

And it also mentions reputation makes disguise tests more difficult, but again what about situations where the character isn't disguised in any way, ie. not trying to use disguise skill? One would think reputation would still be a factor even without the use of these two skills? Or is the a 'passive influence field' in effect for all the characters all the time?

The rules also mention that for a pirate reputation affects influence skill checks and the pirate's 'sway' over his/her crew. This sounds more like the regular skill test. But how else would the 'sway' factor work but the use of influence, since that is the only leadership skill in the rules? It all seems pretty vague.

Speaking of leadership, I am not sure I am entirely happy with having just influence to cover all leadership/persuation type tests. What about that dasdardly Baron Mendoza, who rules by fear and violence? A charm based skill doesn't seem appropriate for these type of leaders? Should I consider adding an advanced skill like Command (STR)?

Looking at the Reputation effects table, I see that Influence checks get a bonus or penalty based on the characters reputation. The bigger the reputation, the bigger the bonus/penalty? So for example, if your pirate is dealing with people who recognize you, it might easier or harder to influence them, depending on how they perceive you - favourably or unfavourably (maybe using the standing rule here)?
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Re: Pirates of Legend Qs

Postby soltakss » Sat Aug 15, 2015 4:44 pm

Verderer wrote:Firstly, the rules on reputation are pretty clear all the way to the application of reputation. It mentions taking a 'reputation test' but doesnt' specify how. Does this simply mean taking an influence skill check with reputation modifiers?
Entering a Port, p98, has a Reputation test (2D20 + Reputation) to see what happens when you enter a port.

The Misdemeanour Table on p 99 adds Reputation to a base chance to see if taking a prize has any retribution.
Verderer wrote:What about situations where the character meets some people without trying to influence them, I don't really see how this would be relevant in such a situation? Something like a 'reaction/recognition check' would seem to be be more appropiate?
Reputation affects all interactions. An Adventurer with Reputation 30 gets a +/- 25% to a number of skills. If he is trying to buy supplies, then he gets a +25% Commerce skill, as the trader is intimidated by him. If he wants to curry favour with the local Governor, he gets a -25% Influence because the Governor has heard all about him,but he gets a +25% to Seduce as the Governor's daughter has also heard about him.
Verderer wrote:And it also mentions reputation makes disguise tests more difficult, but again what about situations where the character isn't disguised in any way, ie. not trying to use disguise skill? One would think reputation would still be a factor even without the use of these two skills? Or is the a 'passive influence field' in effect for all the characters all the time?
Yes, Reputation is a factor once the Adventurer has one.

Use the +/- Modifier in the Reputation Effects table on p 19. If someone meets the Adventurer then they could roll on Lore (Pirates) with a positive modifier based on the Adventurer's Reputation to see if they recognise the Adventurer. So, someone with Reputation 30 gives a +25% bonus to any Lore (Pirates) or similar skill to recognise the Adventurer.
Verderer wrote:The rules also mention that for a pirate reputation affects influence skill checks and the pirate's 'sway' over his/her crew. This sounds more like the regular skill test. But how else would the 'sway' factor work but the use of influence, since that is the only leadership skill in the rules? It all seems pretty vague.
You could have a Leadership skill, or a Captain skill, they would work in much the same way. Your Reputation would affect them, as pirates are more likely to follow a captain with a strong Reputation than a weak one.
Verderer wrote:Speaking of leadership, I am not sure I am entirely happy with having just influence to cover all leadership/persuation type tests. What about that dasdardly Baron Mendoza, who rules by fear and violence? A charm based skill doesn't seem appropriate for these type of leaders? Should I consider adding an advanced skill like Command (STR)?
If he rules by fear and violence then he wouldn't last long as a pirate captain, to be honest. Pirates are quite democratic, they vote for things, to see if they like them. So, they vote to see if they want to go on a long voyage, vote to replace the captain if he is a problem and even vote to attack a prize.

Even if he remained captain, he would do so because he has gained a formidable Reputation, so would get bonuses to his skills.
Have a look at Mutinies on p43 to see what happens to bad captains.
Verderer wrote:Looking at the Reputation effects table, I see that Influence checks get a bonus or penalty based on the characters reputation. The bigger the reputation, the bigger the bonus/penalty? So for example, if your pirate is dealing with people who recognize you, it might easier or harder to influence them, depending on how they perceive you - favourably or unfavourably (maybe using the standing rule here)?
Yes, exactly.
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Re: Pirates of Legend Qs

Postby Verderer » Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:06 pm

Great, thanks for clearing this up, soltakss! I will make a note of that page about harbor entry.

I didn't specify that Baron Mendoza would in fact be a dasdardly Spaniard, and not a pirate or privateer... maybe a pirate-hunter? I understand fully that buccaneers & pirates wouldn't stand for such despotic leadership for long. But maybe these rules would be best applied only to PC characters, and I can let narrative take care of the 'bad guys'?
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Re: Pirates of Legend Qs

Postby soltakss » Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:25 am

That would make sense.

However, anti-pirate captains would also be able to gain Reputation, in the same way as Pirates. They would gain it for capturing pirate vessels, capturing pirates with high Reputation, maybe for the extreme repression of pirates if they are bloodthirsty enough. So, if a pirate catcher enters a port, his Reputation might be enough for pirates to leave the port.
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Re: Pirates of Legend Qs

Postby Verderer » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:11 am

Yes, it would be nice to have the main enemies evolve too as the campaign progresses. But I'd probably prefer to wing it and have things happen according to the story needs, rather than apply strict rules to simulate progress. That would keep paper work for the NPC at minimum, and I can adjust the baddies as needed?

I was reading a bit more, this time about ships and sailing. There were a couple of things I didn't quite understand. About sail ships' speed: each of them seems to have a modifier to sailing speed which is expressed as plus or minus (or zero), and this figure is followed by knots. For example, the speed for Sloop is: +6 ft / 1 knot.

So the first number is added or taken from the actual speed which is determined by winds, ships position in relation to wind, sailing skill and sails used? But what is the 'knot' figure used for, I didn't spot anything anywhere in the rules that would use it?

If we look at Sailing Speed table which determined the base speed due to winds/position, we get feets and miles figure, ie. feets per round and miles per day? No knots here either? From this data, it seems that 6 feet/ccround = 1 knot = 12 miles/day?

If we take the galleon with -18 feet / -3 knots speed modification, and assume it used 'plain' sails (mod 0), then it would need moderate wind at it's back, or stiff quarter wind at the very minimum to move at all? Can this be right? Ok, assume the captain/crew make the shiphandling roll, and set full sails, so the galleon gets +10 feet speed, so it can get lumbering about even in light wind conditions (not against the wind naturally)? And if it prepared the sails for battle readiness, it would come at practical stand-still due to the whopping -28 feet modifier? Would it drift backwards?

Am I reading this right? I don't have any knowledge about sailing, except for playing Sid Meier's Pirates which is great fun, arh. :mrgreen:
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Re: Pirates of Legend Qs

Postby soltakss » Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:28 am

Verderer wrote:I was reading a bit more, this time about ships and sailing. There were a couple of things I didn't quite understand. About sail ships' speed: each of them seems to have a modifier to sailing speed which is expressed as plus or minus (or zero), and this figure is followed by knots. For example, the speed for Sloop is: +6 ft / 1 knot.

So the first number is added or taken from the actual speed which is determined by winds, ships position in relation to wind, sailing skill and sails used? But what is the 'knot' figure used for, I didn't spot anything anywhere in the rules that would use it?
Pirates of Legend p47 wrote:Speed: For rowed vessels, then this lists the speed at which the vessel travels per Crew Combat Round (30 seconds, or six normal rounds) or per 12 hour period. For sailed vessels, then a modifier is listed, describing how much faster or slower than average the vessel goes.
So, the +1 seems to mean that a Sloop travels 1 knot faster than an average ship.
Verderer wrote:If we look at Sailing Speed table which determined the base speed due to winds/position, we get feets and miles figure, ie. feets per round and miles per day? No knots here either? From this data, it seems that 6 feet/ccround = 1 knot = 12 miles/day?

If we take the galleon with -18 feet / -3 knots speed modification, and assume it used 'plain' sails (mod 0), then it would need moderate wind at it's back, or stiff quarter wind at the very minimum to move at all? Can this be right? Ok, assume the captain/crew make the shiphandling roll, and set full sails, so the galleon gets +10 feet speed, so it can get lumbering about even in light wind conditions (not against the wind naturally)? And if it prepared the sails for battle readiness, it would come at practical stand-still due to the whopping -28 feet modifier? Would it drift backwards?
Strictly, i knot is one Nautical Mile (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nautical_mile) per hour, so 1 knot travels 12 nautical miles in a 12 hour period, 24 nautical miles per day. Interestingly enough, the nautical mile was defined as one minute of arc on a meridian, which means that it depends on the size of the earth, it also means that it varies depending on where you are, but it is always approximately the same. A nautical mile is 1852 metres whereas a mile is 1610 metres, so a nautical mile is 242 metres longer than a standard mile, so over 24 hours a ship travelling at 1 knot travels nearly 26 miles.

A galleon is slow and lumbering compared to some ships. The -2 means that it travels 2 knots slower in a 12 hour period.

Using the table on p54, a ship travelling Before the Wind in Calm conditions travels 6 (nautical) miles in a 12 hour period, so a Galleon would travel 6-2=4 nautical miles. A ship travelling using a Moderate Wind as Quarter Wind travels 24 miles, so a Galleon would travel 24-2=22 miles.

In combat, a galleon has a penalty of -18 feet, so it would need a Stiff Wind, Before the Wind, to make any headway against another ship. Galleons are slow and lumbering, not the best ships for pirates to use. A galleon with Full Sails gets a +10, which means that it could make headway even with a Light Wind.

Bear in mind that these are for Combat, not open sailing. You use the normal speeds to determine whether the ship closes on its prey and then, when in combat, the relative speeds determine who is most maneuverable.

Galleons are not the most maneuverable, which is why Spanish galleons made easy prey for pirates, who tended to use other types of ship, such as the Brigantine. A pirate Galleon would use its cannons to rip away the sails of the other ship, reducing it no no movement, using the table on p54.
Verderer wrote:Am I reading this right? I don't have any knowledge about sailing, except for playing Sid Meier's Pirates which is great fun, arh. :mrgreen:
Pirates of Legend should be as fun.
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Re: Pirates of Legend Qs

Postby Verderer » Sat Aug 29, 2015 4:30 pm

Sorry I havent been able to respond earlier, haven't had my books handy to check the details...

But that's a good point about speed, that the distance it's for 12 hour period, didn't notice that before. You'd assume that ships can sail during the night too, especially on open seas?

Is there a particular utility for knots, because I haven't spotted them used anywhere else in the book, just on that one table? I mean, you have feet per round and miles, which should cover most situations? Or is there something else I haven't considered yet?

About the ship stats and their relation to the table on page 54 (Sailing speed), from your example, it seems you've Subtracted the -2 knot penalty of the galleon directly from the miles (per 12hrs) figure? Is that really how it goes, because the stats talk about knots, but the speed table talks about miles? By both our reckoning, 1 knot is 12 miles, so you can't subtract them by 1:1 ratio, can you? This is where I hit the rocks. :oops:

I mean, if using the combat round rates the galleon would have a negative (!) speed in calm, how come it could move 4 miles during the 12 hour period?
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Re: Pirates of Legend Qs

Postby Lord High Munchkin » Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:35 am

Nautical miles and standard miles are different... it's just a simple calculation though.
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Re: Pirates of Legend Qs

Postby Verderer » Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:00 am

Yeah, one assumes we're talking about nautical miles here?

But if the table for wind speed says that in calm conditions a standard ship moves 6 miles / 12 hours, then this would be 6/12 = 1/2 knots, right? Since knots are miles/hour? So given the penalty of -3 knots for galleon, we get -2,5 knots?

If the wind is back then obviously the galleon wouldn't move at all, and if the GM desires, it might even drift backwards a little if the wind was coming from the front? Maybe not at 2,5 knots though?
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Re: Pirates of Legend Qs

Postby Lord High Munchkin » Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:34 pm

Yes, but 6 knots per hour, minus 3 knots gives a result of 3 knots....

You're reading "/" as divide... it's used often by Mongoose (and in this context) as "per".
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Re: Pirates of Legend Qs

Postby Verderer » Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:38 pm

Sorry, I dont think that is the case. I am not reading the slash as divide. The table clearly states 3 ft / 6 miles (for calm), it doesn't even use knots or hours anywhere? The ft is for combat round, and the miles is per 12 hour period (as it states above the table on the previous page).

Whereas the ship stats use format -18 ft / -3 knots (for galleon), which is why I keep banging about this little detail. The table uses miles after the slash, and the ship data uses knots. I don't see how this can work, as is? :(
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Re: Pirates of Legend Qs

Postby soltakss » Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:08 pm

Verderer wrote:Yeah, one assumes we're talking about nautical miles here?
Yes, all sea distances are nautical miles.
Verderer wrote:But if the table for wind speed says that in calm conditions a standard ship moves 6 miles / 12 hours, then this would be 6/12 = 1/2 knots, right? Since knots are miles/hour? So given the penalty of -3 knots for galleon, we get -2,5 knots?
The ship moves 6-3 nautical miles in 12 hours, so moves at 3 nautical miles.
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Re: Pirates of Legend Qs

Postby Verderer » Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:36 pm

I just can't seem to get myself understood, or I really don't get it myself.... :shock:

So you are subtracting the knots figure from the miles / 12 hours figure, and don't see this as a problem?
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Re: Pirates of Legend Qs

Postby soltakss » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:41 am

Verderer wrote:So you are subtracting the knots figure from the miles / 12 hours figure, and don't see this as a problem?
Yes, that is what I do and I don't see a problem.

Doing it the other way just doesn't work, for the reasons that you have described.

It is confusing to have one in nautical miles per 12 hours and the other in knots (nautical miles per hour).
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Re: Pirates of Legend Qs

Postby Verderer » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:16 am

Alright, thanks. I tried converting the feet per round (30 sec) figures into miles per 12 hours, and didn't get anywhere near the suggested figures. This system seems badly broken to me, I wonder how it's possible to print two editions of this book without fixing these?

I can't help wondering if some of the numbers are off due to unit confusion, why are feets used, for example, why not yards? Does this come from RQ rules? And the already mentioned knots/miles issue. It's all very confusing.

EDIT: speaking of RQ, it only now occurred me to check out Arms & Equipment for RQII / Arms of Legend, and sure enough, they both have similar ship stats and wind speed tables. Only they use meters and kilometers, NO knots! I will check these to see if they make better sense...
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Re: Pirates of Legend Qs

Postby Verderer » Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:38 am

Haven't had time to really hunker down and get my head around the Arms of Legend tables due to excessive workload, but one thing caught my eye, can anyone answer this one:

How long in seconds is one combat action? The speed of ships in Arms of Legend gives two values: meters per combat action; and miles per 12 hours? Call me daft, but that sounds a bit iffy, because aren't combat actions normally variable, and not a fixed thing? What I mean is, that a round is 5 seconds (I think), but you can normally have 2 to 4 combat actions in a round, right? So how do you define a combat action as a unit of time? It varies, doesn't it?
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Re: Pirates of Legend Qs

Postby soltakss » Sat Sep 05, 2015 6:36 pm

A Crew Combat round is 30 seconds (Page 83).

On page 53, it gives the speeds Speed per Crew Combat Round and Speed per 12 hour period.

So, on page 54, a ship sailing before the wind with a Moderate Wind gets 15ft per Crew Combat Round and 30 miles per day.

I suppose it could have said yards, but everything is in multiples of 3, so it was probably in yards at one stage in the writing process.

The speeds in crew combat rounds are given to work out how long it takes to close with another ship, or when maneuvering towards/away from/around other ships.
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Re: Pirates of Legend Qs

Postby soltakss » Sun Sep 06, 2015 4:17 pm

I've put the figures into a spreadsheet and it looks as though the rules as written actually work, but you have to be careful with the stats.

The figures in the Sailing Speed Table on p54 cover the distance travelled in a 12 hour period, in nautical miles.

The figures in the Sail Modifiers Table on p53 are in feet, which is not very helpful. I would just use the nearest 6 feet equivalents and treat 6 feet as 1 nautical mile. So, Full Sail gives a bonus of +10 feet, which is nearly +12 feet which is the equivalent of 2 nautical miles, or a Speed Bonus of 2 knots.

A Galleon with Full Sail has a Speed Modifier of -3 knots for being a Galleon and +2 knots for being at full sail, so it travels at a relative -1 knot to the sailing speed based on the winds.
If it is travelling Before a Light Wind, it should travel 18 nautical miles, but loses 1 nautical mile per hour, so over the course of 12 hours it travels 18-12=6 nautical miles.
If it is travelling Before a Fresh Gale, it should travel 54 nautical miles, but loses 1 nautical mile per hour, so over the course of 12 hours it travels 54-12=42 nautical miles.
Now, this means that a galleon travelling at Quarter Wind in a Light Wind has a net speed of 0 and does not travel, traveling at Half Wind with a Light Wind gives a negative speed, which also counts as zero. This means that a galleon is effectively becalmed with such winds.

A Frigate with Full Sail has a +2 knots for being a Frigate and a +2 for being at Full Sail, so travels 4 knots faster than normal travel using the winds, effectively adding 48 nautical miles in a 12 hour period.
So, a Frigate travelling under Full Sail Before the wind with a Fresh Gale travels a distance of 54+48=102 nautical miles in 12 hours.

Pirates of Legend p54 wrote:The rules assume all sailing ships travel at roughly the same speed, the heavier ships using more sails to offset their weight. In the event of one ship chasing another, the outcome of the race will depend upon the Boating or Shiphandling skills of the captains of either ship, and on the ship’s design and rigging.
I think that the ship's design and rigging counts more than the captain's Shiphandling, personally.
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Re: Pirates of Legend Qs

Postby Verderer » Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:15 pm

Good stuff, thanks for the trouble you've taken to sort this out Soltakss! I haven't been able to get much GMing done lately due to work pressures, but I will take gander as soon as I can. Currently my pirate wannebees are marooned on a deserted island, so the need for speed is not acute anyways! :wink:

I was considering using the speed rates from Skull & Bones sourcebook which is for d20, but still an excellent book for pirates & caribean horror, and happens to have the speed rates expressed in feet/knots too (absolute values, not modifiers). But I havent' done any comparisons yet.
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Re: Pirates of Legend Qs

Postby Verderer » Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:00 pm

Resurrecting this thread a bit, as I have two questions I hope people here can asnwer:

Firstly, what is the bonus a ship officer gives to a crew, it seems the PoL rulebook gives conflicting info? Is 10% or one fifth of a given skill?

Secondly, the ammunition consumption of cannon in ship to ship combat, I am assuming it is per cannon, so you multiply it times the cannon on board the ship (if they're all fired in anger?)

These questions came up tonight, as we're finally able to head to Nassau in our campaign.

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