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Review – Pirates of Legend
Mongoose Publishing recently released a new addition to their successful Legend RPG, bringing players to the high seas of the Caribbean. The new sourcebook is titled as Pirates of Legend, and it’s enable us to play in the golden age of piracy.
Pirates of Legend is the second sourcebook for the game which deals with a particular historical setting, and as with Vikings of Legend the developers produced a very good and complete work. From ship-to-ship combat (including boarding and vaporizing) to how officers affect the overall performance of the crew, or how to maintain your ship’s seaworthiness you may find every little information you may need to run a sea based campaign.
The supplement is divided into nine chapters, plus includes a short introduction and an index in the back of the book. As you may guess the first chapters are dealing with player characters, as there are a few things which are different from the basic Legend rules.
There are little changes with the basics of the character generation: some firearms skills were added, as well as a new Mariner background and some new Professions. On the other hand a pirate character has a Reputation and some Vices which sets them apart from “normal” characters.
Both Reputation and Vices add much rewarding roleplaying opportunities and favor to the game. For example, a character with high Reputation is feared on the seas and has a higher chance to be elected as a captain, while if you roleplay your Vices then you may improve your characters faster.
The third chapter is dealing with equipment and currency, but since there is nothing surprising here, so we could move along. Of course, it contains everything we need from muskets to peg legs.
The next and fourth chapter is about Crews and Sworn Companions and therefore a very important part of the book. I don’t want to spoil all details, but I think it’s maybe the best things in the supplement that officials could improve the crew’s performance (skills, morale and healing) based on their own skills. So if you put the right men into right positions that really matters here! On the other hand, if you are a captain or officer it’s increase your own Reputation.
Ships and the sea is the fifth chapter, and include the different ship types plus rules for regular maintenance and modifications. The characters also gain their starting ship here. (spoiler: it’s a sloop) I think that it’s a good thing that the basic ship statistics and rules are simple, but you may turn a ship unique and more fitting for your group easily if you want.
The next chapter includes many vital tables for the game about Piracy and plunder. So you can find random encounter and plunder tables, as well a table for weather on these pages. At least it’s make the work of the Game Master much easier!
The seventh and eight chapters are dealing with the “everyday life” of the pirates: combat, ports and trade. Combat includes ship combat, boarding actions, duels and everything else what is essential for any pirate campaign. And in the ports the players may sell their loot and rest, if the law is not after them there. Or they may even pillage the port itself!
The last chapter is about pirate campaigns from the classic historical to cinematic or even more exotic pirate campaigns involving fantasy or mythological elements.
I think that Pirates of Legend excellently provides everything we could ask for to run a sea-based Legend campaign, with memorable battles, plunder and trade, so what else could we want? So naturally, I give it 5/5 points.
If you are interested in Pirates of Legend, please check DriveThruRPG here.
Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros