Sunday, August 4, 2013

Four Magical Items

Recently during a trip to the used book store, I found a title by Benerson Little--ow History's Greatest Pirates Pillaged, Plundered, and Got Away with It. I'm always excited to find new additions to my piratical library, and this one has proven to include tales of scallywags not so thoroughly covered in other texts. As a result, it has inspired four new legendary items for use in a Skull & Bones campaign.


Four Magical Items

Corso's Rapier

In his volatile but not-too-well-documented career, the Spanish captain known as Juan Corso racked up an impressive string of victories. He started out by harassing logcutters and turtle hunters operating around the Bay of Campeche, but eventually expanded his operations to include much of the Spanish Main and the Caribbean Sea. Throughout all of these he captured numerous vessels and hundreds of crew members from the enemies of Spain. The Spaniard developed a reputation for ruthless and cruelty rivaled only by the deeds of his hated pirate enemies. Indeed, it was a voyage in search of Sieur de la Salle, who led an expedition to settle somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico, that led to Corso's death after being shipwrecked on the coast of Florida. According to the tale, after the crew made its way to a desolate wilderness shore, only a handful of sailors survived--and only by resorting to cannibalism were they able to do so. It is believed that someone must have claimed his rapier and managed to pass it along to a new owner.

In game terms, Corso's rapier functions as a +2 weapon, and is bane against Dutch, English and French sailors.

De Tineo's Pike
According to legend, it was an otherwise little-known Spanish lieutenant by the name of Garcia de Tineo who slew the notorious corsair Arouj "Kheir ed-Din" Barbarossa. Even so, the event was immortalized on the coat of arms of that family, and the weapon that he used, a boarding pike, became an heirloom. In game terms, this weapon functions as a boarding pike +1 of wounding. As far as is known, this item is still in the possession of the Spanish family in question, but there is always the possibility that someone could substitute a fake in order to abscond with the real thing.

Jol's Peg
Cornelis Jol was a Dutch captain born in 1597. During his highly active career he made numerous voyages to the New World to do battle with Spanish and Portuguese ships and settlements. It was during one of these that he lost his leg, replacing it with the pegleg from which his nickname Houtebeen is taken. Jol died from Malaria on the island of Sao Tome. Some believe that his trademark wooden leg was not buried with him, but instead passed along among the sea rovers as a relic.

In game terms, Jol's peg reduces penalties for having a pegleg from -10 feet movement and -2 to Reflex saves and various skill checks, to -5 feet and -1, repsectively.

Sharp's Dice
Among other reasons, the buccaneer captain Bartholomew Sharp has a reputation as an extraordinarily lucky gambler. It is said that he won most of the games of passage that he played, even though the chance of winning in that game is fifty-fifty. Ironically, the freebooter died in prison while serving a 
sentence for debst incurred.

In game terms, these two six-sided dice grant their user a +2 enhancement bonus to any Profession: gambler checks made. Additionally, once a day, the character can choose to re-roll a result from throwing the dice during games of chance.

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