- Category: Classes
- Published on Thursday, 10 February 2011 12:40
- Written by Aron Parisi
Role: Pirates best role is that of a skill monkey and combatant. Due to lack of access to heavier armor and good staying power, the Pirate favors opportunistic attacks, and fights that are biased in the Pirate's favor. PC pirates can function as tanks and weak skill ponies in a party. In combat, Pirates work well as tanks, meat shields, and archers or snipers.
Abilities: Pirates benefit from high Strength and Dexterity scores, which help out in combat, plus they are good for various class skills. A high Dexterity also gives a bonus to armor class since the Pirate is only proficient with light armor and shields. A high Intelligence score helps rack up skill points and is good for various class skills. A high Charisma score will help a Pirate out of certain situations. Like all warrior classes, a Pirate also benefits from a high Constitution score.
Alignment: Any. Most Pirates have little to no respect for the law, and tend to be selfish and greedy. Pirates who work in the service of a government or nation, however, are known as privateers, and can be lawful.
Pirates work well with other pirates, quickly forging comradery, especially on longer sea voyages. Healers are also a great asset to pirates and often respected. Although pirates may be comrades or buddies, that does not prevent them from stealing from, backstabbing, or betraying fellow pirates for a profit or anyone else for that matter. The only person a pirate might hesitate to steal from would be his healer.
Hit Die: d10
Class SkillsAcrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Knowledge (Nature), Linguistics (Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skill Ranks Per Level: 4 + Int modifier
|Level||Base Attack||Fort||Ref||Will||Special Abilities|
|1st||+1||+2||+1||+0||Sea Legs +1, Amateur Gunslinger, Gun and Sword|
|2nd||+2||+3||+1||+0||Evasion, Way of the Gun, Watch My Back|
|3rd||+3||+3||+1||+1||Sea Legs +2, Seagoing Talent|
|4th||+4||+4||+2||+1||Uncanny Dodge, Hearty Constitution|
|5th||+5||+4||+2||+1||Sea Legs +3, Low Blow +1d6|
|6th||+6/+1||+5||+3||+2||Way of the Gun, Seagoing Talent|
|7th||+7/+2||+5||+3||+2||Sea Legs +4, Leadership|
|8th||+8/+3||+6||+3||+2||Improved Uncanny Dodge, Iron Guts|
|9th||+9/+4||+6||+4||+3||Sea Legs +5, Seagoing Talent|
|10th||+10/+5||+7||+4||+3||Way of the Gun, Low Blow +2d6, Intimidating Presence|
|11th||+11/+6/+1||+7||+5||+3||Sea Legs +6, Pirate’s Fortune 1/day, Death Dealer|
|13th||+13/+8/+3||+8||+5||+4||Sea Legs +7, Death Dealer|
|14th||+14/+9/+4||+9||+6||+4||Way of the Gun|
|15th||+15/+10/+5||+9||+6||+5||Sea Legs +8, Seagoing Talent, Low Blow +3d6|
|16th||+16/+11/+6/+1||+10||+7||+5||Pirate’s Fortune 2/day, Death Dealer|
|17th||+17/+12/+7/+2||+10||+7||+5||Sea Legs +9|
|18th||+18/+13/+8/+3||+11||+7||+6||Way of the Gun, Seagoing Talent|
|19th||+19/+14/+9/+4||+11||+8||+6||Sea Legs +10, Death Dealer|
|20th||+20/+15/+10/+5||+12||+8||+6||Dread Pirate, Low Blow +4d6|
Class FeaturesWeapon and Armor Proficiency: Pirates are proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with light armor and the buckler. Pirates are also proficient with all types of firearms.
Sea Legs (Ex): Walking along the pitching deck of ship and climbing the rigging has given a pirate a knack for climbing, swimming, and moving across difficult surfaces. He gains a +1 competence bonus to all Climb and Swim checks as well as Acrobatics checks to move on narrow surfaces and rough terrain, including wet or slippery surfaces. At every odd-numbered level, this bonus increases by +1 to a maximum of +10 at 19th level.
Amateur Gunslinger (Ex): Pirates have found a niche in their ruthless bloodthirsty tactics, which rely on not only vicious melee combat, but also punishing ranged attacks. As such, pirates have developed a knack for using firearms to their maximum benefits. At 1st level, the pirate gains Amateur Gunslinger as a bonus feat and can now take Grit feats accordingly.
Gun and Sword (Ex): Most pirates prefer the vicious melee combat that their cutlass provides them. However, sometimes a pirate needs to dispatch a distant foe while still engaged in cutlass duels. As such, at 1st level, the pirate can fight with both a cutlass and a pistol, as if he had the Two-Weapon Fighting feat. This applies only if the pirate is wielding a cutlass and pistol, and if the pirate is wearing light or no armor. The pirate cannot reload the pistol one-handed, but can utilize the pistol whip deed if he has it.
Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level and higher, a pirate can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the pirate is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless pirate does not gain the benefit of evasion.
Way of the Gun (Ex): As pirates have used firearms more and more, they have become more and more proficient with them. At 2nd level and every 4 levels thereafter, the pirate gains a bonus Grit feat, which expands his firearm proficiency. He must still meet the prerequisites of the feat. As an alternative, the pirate may take a ranged weapon combat feat, applying its bonuses to attacks with his firearm.
Watch My Back (Ex): A pirate is trained in fighting in closed quarters with comrades on his flanks. Whenever a pirate is fighting adjacent to an ally, he gains a dodge bonus to his AC equal to 1/4 his class level. He loses this bonus if he is denied his Dexterity bonus to AC or if he or his ally moves more than 5 ft. away.
Seagoing Talent: At 3rd level and every three levels thereafter, a pirate picks up a seagoing talent from the list below. Some talents may be taken more than once.
Acrobatic Assault (Ex): The pirate gains the ability to charge in situations where others cannot. He may charge over difficult terrain that normally slows movement. Depending on the circumstance, he may still need to make appropriate checks to successfully move over the terrain.
Acrobatic Mastery (Ex): A pirate may always take 10 on Acrobatics and Climb checks and never loses his dexterity bonus to AC for Balancing, Climbing, Running or performing other precarious stunts. Prerequisite: Acrobatic Assault
Animal Friend (Ex): The pirate gains an animal companion in the form of a tiny animal such as a parrot (treat as a raven) or monkey. This animal acts as a wizard’s familiar, except that the pirate cannot use the share spells ability unless he also has levels in a spell casting class or takes the major magic talent. His effective wizard is equal to his pirate level. If he has levels in another class that grants a familiar, the levels stack.
Bleeding Attack: As the rogue talent. Prerequisite: sneak attack.
Crippling Strike (Ex): This is equivalent to the rogue talent and follows the same general rules.
Deep Breath (Ex): A pirate is able to hold his breath for a number of rounds equal to four times his Constitution score.
Defensive Roll (Ex): As the rogue talent. Prerequisite: evasion.
Fast Climb (Ex): A pirate gains a climb speed equal to his base movement speed. Prerequisite: Acrobatic Mastery.
Feat (Ex): In place of a talent, a pirate may select any feat for which he meets the prerequisites as a bonus feat.
Improved Evasion (Ex): As the rogue talent. Prerequisite: Evasion.
Major Magic (Sp): As the rogue talent. Prerequisite: Minor Magic
Minor Magic (Sp): As the rogue talent.
Natural Swimmer (Ex): A pirate gains a swim speed equal to his base land speed and can always take 10 on Swim checks.
Opportunist (Ex): As the rogue advanced talent. Prerequisite: Pirate level 9+.
Resiliency (Ex): Once per day, a pirate with this ability can gain a number of temporary hit points equal to the pirate's level. Activating this ability is an immediate action that can only be performed when he is brought below 0 hit points. This ability can be used to prevent him from dying. These temporary hit points last for 1 minute. If the pirate's hit points drop below 0 due to the loss of these temporary hit points, he falls unconscious and is dying as normal.
Rogue Crawl (Ex): While prone, a pirate with this ability can move at half speed. This movement provokes attacks of opportunity as normal. A pirate with this talent can take a 5-foot step while crawling.
Slow Reactions: As the rogue talent. Prerequisite: Sneak Attack.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Starting at 4th level, a pirate can react to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. He cannot be caught flat-footed, even if the attacker is invisible. He still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A pirate with this ability can still lose his Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action (see Combat) against him. If a pirate already has uncanny dodge from a different class, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.
Hearty Constitution (Ex): Traveling on a ship tests the stamina of anyone. In addition to facing seasickness, a pirate travels to exotic ports where he might be exposed to a variety of disease. Only the heartiest souls can withstand this life, so a pirate adds twice his Constitution bonus (if any) to Fortitude saves to avoid becoming nauseated or sickened or to avoid contracting any kind of disease.
Low Blow: At 5th level or higher, if a pirate successfully feints against an opponent, any attacks she makes in the same round deal an extra 1d6 damage. This damage increases by 1d6 every five levels. If a pirate can attack multiple times in the same round, the damage is applied to each attack separately. This ability counts as sneak attack for purposes of prerequisites or qualifying for feats.
Leadership (Ex): At 7th level, a pirate gains Leadership as a bonus feat. In addition, if the pirate obtains a ship, it counts as owning a stronghold when determining his leadership score. He receives no penalties for moving around a lot if he travels by his own ship.
Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): A pirate of 8th level or higher can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the character by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target does. If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from another class, the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the character.
Iron Guts (Ex): At 8th level, a pirate gains immunity to all effects that could cause him to become nauseated or sickened. Furthermore, he now adds three times his Constitution bonus to all Fortitude saves to avoid contracting any disease.
Intimidating Presence (Ex): At 10th level a pirate begins to develop his reputation as a merciless combatant, one whose exploits are enough to send lesser-armed ships running for safe harbor. He gains a +6 bonus to the Intimidate Skill. At this point he earns a moniker (if he chooses), such as Blackbeard or Bloody John, and is usually referred to by that moniker.
Pirate's Fortune (Su): Pirates are extremely skilled and lucky individuals. Once per day, a pirate of 11th level or higher may re-roll any failed attack roll, skill check, ability check, or saving throw. The character may take the higher of the two results. At 18th level he may use this ability two times per day.
Death Dealer (Ex): A pirate deals death without mercy. As a bonus feat at 11th level he gains Critical Focus. The pirate's expertise manifests in the form of bonus feats at 13th, 16th, and 19th level. The Pirate can choose any Critical feat for which he meets the prerequisites.
Dread Pirate (Ex): At 20th level, a pirate has made such a name for himself that people refer to him as "the Dread Pirate (name)." He gains a +6 bonus to Intimidate checks. This stacks with Intimidating Presence. In addition, whenever he travels within pirate-controlled areas, he does not need to worry about the cost of common material goods. The citizens provide...or else. His lack of mercy is something that is so widely known, that most people who meet him soil themselves. In addition, he gains a secondary cohort who is three levels lower than his primary cohort. The primary cohort is generally referred as the first mate while the secondary cohort is the second mate.
Ex-PiratesA Pirate becomes an Ex-Pirate whenever she has not been on a sea voyage for over six months. This is not because of a violation of some code of conduct, but because of a lack of recent information from the pirating world. The only way to regain pirate status is to complete a sea voyage of at least one month with either one or more pirates or three or more other ex-pirates, possibly longer or with more fellows for longer absences from pirating at the DM's discretion.
Author's Note: I based this on several pirate and pirate-like classes found both here and on the D&D wiki page, as well as a few modifications using the new rules from the Ultimate Combat playtest (basically, the Amateur Gunslinger/Grit stuff). I am looking to see if this is balanced, too strong, too weak, etc. See what people think of it. I am hoping to use this for a few characters for a convention game of mine, so it's not for a long-term campaign, just a small one-shot. Characters about 6th-10th level. Balanced? Unbalanced? Where? How? Suggestions for revision?
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