Pirate fleet to large to manage?

New(ish) GM here, I going to be running Pirates of Drinax soon. I'm worried about the size of the traveller's fleet. At the start they have the harrier, but as their fleet grows how do they manage it? Sure they can split up between ships, but once the fleet exceeds the party size, how am I going to manage it? I was thinking a passive income per month, but that doesn't address issues like the pirates taking damage, failing to get loot, time between reports, or being arrested. how did you solve this in your game?
 

Arkathan

Cosmic Mongoose
The extras guard the base, or players take over npc's in the other group and alternate resolving missions
 

Stingray_tm

Mongoose
Handwave it. Only keep track of the things that directly affect the Travellers and their personal ship. Assume that the hired crews of other ships of the fleet take care of getting their ship flying on their own.
If you want to evaluate what kind of influence the overal fleet has, maybe use something abstract like total tonnage to decide if an effect takes place.

This is still supposed to be a RPG with the player characters as the stars and not a business simulation game. It should be "Sid Meier's Pirates. IN SPACE!!!" instead of "Transport Tycoon. IN SPACE!!!"
 

Iracundus

Mongoose
Stingray_tm said:
Handwave it. Only keep track of the things that directly affect the Travellers and their personal ship. Assume that the hired crews of other ships of the fleet take care of getting their ship flying on their own.
If you want to evaluate what kind of influence the overal fleet has, maybe use something abstract like total tonnage to decide if an effect takes place.

This is still supposed to be a RPG with the player characters as the stars and not a business simulation game. It should be "Sid Meier's Pirates. IN SPACE!!!" instead of "Transport Tycoon. IN SPACE!!!"

Unless if you incorporate GURPS Far Trader.

The economic viability, operational logistics, and cash flow issues of piracy are cans of worms in themselves.
 
I'll be starting Pirates in a week or two and have thought about this.
1) First I am going to let players use alternate characters so they can pursue missions in different places at the same time. It means they will be able to keep on top of all the different plots
2) Ships sent off to carry out routine piracy will make some skill checks based off the captains skills to determine how they do they are unlikely to be either highly succesful or fail disasterously

But basically make sure that anything the players don't want to be interested in is resolved with a few dice rolls
 

adzling

Banded Mongoose
Our PoD campaign, 1 year in, suffers from this.

The PCs have bought/ stolen/ recovered a total of 5 ships and over time recruited enough crew to run them all.

We have decided to manage it by splitting their fleet into 3 small "flotillas", each with a separate mission:

1). A team
Harrier + Far Trader "Q " ship with concealable turrets, heavily modified for boarding.
This is where their main characters reside and this is the main flotilla for running the PoD missions and any piracy they want to engage in.

2). B team
Far Trader + 100 ton aslan scout vessel
This flotilla is the "B" team and engages in trade and diplomacy (specifically taking the imperial trade pact planted on the treasure ship from system to system to bring them into Drinaxian alignment).
This flotilla also runs into the Patrons & Opportunities mission stubs found at the end of PoD core book.

3). C team
100 ton scout
This vessel is the "C" team and runs errands, small amounts of trade and generally any emergency pick-up stuff that the two main fleets cannot manage/ get to in time.

While real-time communication between fleets is impossible we permit email messages (at jump 1 speed) between them to simulate the irregular mail packet network operating in the Reach.

Benefits: this arrangement enables us to swap the gm chair quite easily. The players have complete agency. It is highly efficient from an in-game perspective to have both a diplo fleet and a pirate fleet.

Downsides: A lack of focus on the PCs themselves. While they have main PCs on the A team they pickup alts or even NPCs when we're playing the B or C team.
 

Garran

Banded Mongoose
Going back to the OP, the PCs aren't meant to run all of the ships themselves. While that might work as long as they only have one or two, the story assumes that they will shift into the role of part-time admirals as their fleet (and the power of Drinax) grows. They'll still have a flagship for their own activities (which may or may not be the Harrier), but the other ships will be off doing whatever they're assigned to do and reporting in here and there, with the PCs only needing to get involved when orders change, or if a captain reports a problem (or opportunity) that they can't deal with on their own.
 

Condottiere

Cosmic Mongoose
If your players are experienced and mature enough, they can have extra characters that wholly or partially crew the other ships, if they feel that the adventures they could have with them would be interesting enough.

Or stretch their acting abilities by taking over the non player characters, and try to play them as per their personalities and capabilities.

Other than that, results can be adjusted by how capable they appear on paper, with time lags as to reports of their performance percolate back to the primary group.
 
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