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Caerdwiccan Pirateby Andrew Theisen
The Straits of Barbarossa are known throughout the Sea of Dawn as a haven for pirates and corsairs of all sorts and stripes. The region is distant enough from its imperial overlords to provide a measure of protection to the lawless buccaneers, yet is near enough to the major trade routes to provide a sufficient livelihood for their illicit occupations.
Though all manner of pirates frequent the ports of Caerdwicca, there exists a special breed of seagoing scallywags who call the nation their home. They are a strange mixture of nautical rogue mixed blended with the clannish nature and warlike ways of their distant forebears from the highlands of the world of Laterre. Each ship is a family unto itself- clan tartans fly freely from the masts of their vessels; crews are bonded by ties closer than blood. The sight of these vessels is enough to panic even the most hardened of mariners- the bloodthirsty battle cries of kilt wearing, woad painted Caerdwiccan Pirates is unnerving to say the least.
Fighters and barbarians are most likely to become Caerdwiccan Pirates, though rogues are certainly not unknown among their ranks. Bards, too, occasionally pursue the pirate life, where they are known as skalds.
Clerics of maritime gods sometimes become pirates, as do druids that focus on the element of water. Sorcerors and wizards are unlikely to be Caerdwiccan Pirates, due to the highlanders' tendency to distrust and fear magic. Paladins and monks never become Caerdwiccan Pirates, owing to their lawful natures.
Hit Die: d10
To qualify to become a Caerdwiccan Pirate (CPr), a character must fulfil the following criteria.
Alignment: Any non-lawful.
Feats: Brawler, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Bastard Sword), Mariner, Power Attack.
Knowledge (Sea Lore): 4 ranks
Profession (Sailor): 6 ranks
Swim: 4 ranks
Special: The Caerdwiccan Pirate must be inducted into the crew "family", either be being a blood relative of one of the crew, or by being adopted by the captain of the vessel.
Sea Legs, Reckless Abandon
Berserker 1/day, Rope Monkey
Life is Cheap
Lungs of Legend
Berserker 3/day, No longer winded after rage
The Caerdwiccan Pirate's class skills (and the key ability for each) are: Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (shipbuilding, sailmaking) (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Intuit Direction (Wis), Knowledge (boating, cartography, Freeport legend or history, geography, navigation, sea lore) (Int), Profession (sailor) (Int), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Use Rope (Dex).
Skill points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
Weapon and Armour Proficiency: The Caerdwiccan Pirate is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, but no type of armour or shields. Wearing armour on the high seas is suicidal, and it is avoided by any pirate worth his salt. Caerdwiccan Pirates are most fond of their tremendous claymores (as bastard sword), but other common pirate weapons include the cutlass (as scimitar), the boarding pike (as shortspear), the belaying pin (as club), and the gaff (1d4, x3).
Berserker: Beginning at 1st level, the Caerdwiccan Pirate may enter into a terrible battle frenzy. This ability functions like the barbarian rage ability, granting a temporary +4 to Strength and Constitution, a +2 morale bonus on Will saves, and a -2 penalty to AC.
The bonus to Constitution increases the pirate's hit points by 2 points per character level, but these points go away at the end of the rage. While raging, the Caerdwiccan Pirate cannot use skills or abilities requiring concentration and patience (including such skills as Craft, Handle Animal, and Intuit Direction). He may use any feat he has except for Expertise, item creation feats, metamagic feats, and Skill Focus (if tied to a skill requiring concentration).
The berserk fury lasts a number of rounds equal to 3 + the pirate's (newly improved) Constitution modifier. The pirate may end his berserk fury prematurely. At the end of the fury, the pirate is fatigued (-2 to Strength and Dexterity, can't charge or run) for the duration of that encounter (unless the pirate is 10th level, when this limit no longer applies). The pirate may only fly into a fury once per encounter, and only a certain number of times per day (as indicated in the table above).
In all other aspects, this ability is identical to the barbarian rage ability, as depicted on p. 25 of the Player's Handbook.
Sea Legs: A pirate spends years at sea, and learns to stay on his feet during fair weather and foul. A Dawn Sea Pirate gains a +2 competence bonus to all Balance checks. Furthermore, a successful check allows a full move instead of a half move. A failed check still means no movement at all.
Reckless Abandon: No one fights quite like a pirate. Scorning armour, the pirate defies death with style and panache. Due to his fearlessness and swashbuckling demeanour, the pirate adds his Cha bonus (if any) to his Dex bonus to modify his Armour Class. This bonus is lost if the pirate wears any armour. You can't look fearless while hiding behind a tower shield!
Rope Monkey: Experienced seamen can climb rigging and ropes with the speed and dexterity of monkeys. Starting at 2nd level a pirate retains his Dex bonus to AC while climbing or fighting on rigging, ropes, or even masts. Furthermore, opponents gain no bonus to hit in these circumstances.
Highland Chant: When the Caerdwiccan Pirate sings his war chants across the decks, it inspires his allies to greater deeds. This ability functions as the bard's inspire courage ability (p. 28 of the Player's Handbook).
This bonus lasts a number of rounds equal to the pirate's Charisma bonus, and a pirate may chant a number of times per day equal to his pirate level.
Cleave: At 4th level, the Caerdwiccan Pirate receives this feat for free.
Life is Cheap: In the chaos of close-quarters shipboard fighting, pirates must be quick to survive. Foes must be dispatched with alacrity, and pirates learn effective if messy techniques to do so. At 5th level the Freeport Pirate can perform a coup de grace as a standard action instead of a full round action.
Lungs of Legend: At 7th level a Freeport Pirate learns to survive underwater for extended periods of time. He can hold his breath for a number of rounds equal to quadruple his Constitution, instead of double Con as normal. See page 85 of the DMG for full rules on drowning.
Great Cleave: At 8th level, the Caerdwiccan Pirate receives this feat for free.
Fearsome Reputation: By 9th level such is the pirate's reputation that many foes flee at the mere sight of him. By announcing his presence and taking a dramatic action (like holding up the severed head of an enemy, for instance), a Caerdwiccan Pirate achieves the same effects as a fear spell cast by an 9th level sorcerer (use the pirate's Cha to determine DC). This is an extraordinary ability that can be used twice a day.
(Here are the two feats mentioned in the requirements section):
Your people are renowned sailors, and your "sea legs" enable you to maintain sure footing in even the most treacherous conditions.
Regions: Caerdwicca, Trikelios.
Benefit: You get a +2 competence bonus to all Profession (sailor) and Balance checks.
You know how to pummel your opponents into unconsciousness with blunt objects, such as clubs, barstools, or leaden steins of ale.
Prerequisite: Base Attack Bonus of +1 or higher.
Benefit: When using a bludgeoning weapon in combat, you can choose to inflict subdual damage to your opponent instead of normal damage, with no penalty to your attack roll.
Normal: A character using weapons that inflict normal damage (rather than subdual damage) in combat receive a -4 penalty to their attack roll, as they attempt to check their swing, use the flat of their blade, or otherwise strike non-vital areas.