My at-sea encounter tables have a subtable for the types of men aboard that ship on the horizon, but much to my shame I did not pre-gen any ships (and crews) for my first play-test. Definitely a mistake: Rolling up 1-6 ships and their officer corps (they’ll generally all have at least two Fighters of level 2+, and some possible mages and clerics thrown in) is not like rolling up a pod of whales. I decided to remedy this in advance of my next go-round.
For a more-or-less completely fleshed out pirate/buccaneer officer, doughty enough to have survived all the way to level 2 (or more!), I went with the following:
- Average hit points (4.5) per die, rounded up.
- Chain, sword, crossbow unless magic is indicated
- The Marsh/Cook rules for magic items (5% chance per level on swords, armor, miscellaneous weapons, potions, scrolls, miscellaneous magic, and rods/wands; results that cannot be used by a Fighter become no result)
- Dexterity assumed to be 9-12, Strength and Constitution 8-18
The STR and CON range was a bit of a problem- I didn’t want to deal with totaling three dice and re-rolling totals below 8 for the dozens of fighters I was sketching out; I also didn’t want to change the relative probability of results of 8 and over (not too much, anyway). Time for a weird table:
|1-13||1-3: 9; 4-6: 10; 7-9: 11; 10-12: 12|
|14-18||1-6: 13; 7-10: 14; 11-12: 15|
|19||1-8: 16; 9-12: 17|
|20||1-10: 8; 11-12: 18|
This gave me some variety in hit points from the CON bonuses, and some potential surprises in melee from STR.
If I cared less for the actual score than for the bonus, I would have disregarded the d12 roll in all cases but a 20, and rolled a d6 (1-5: -1; 6: +3).