Skull and Shackles
Ship to Ship Combat Variant
In order to give control of a ship to the party, rather than a single player in ship to ship combat, the following roles have been introduced to the existing ship combat.
Much as in the basic rules, the pilot’s initiative determines when that ship acts. The pilot rolls against all other pilots in the combat to determine who has the Upper Hand each round. The pilot should be the PC with the highest Profession (Sailor).
Alternatively the Bosun, First Mate, or Sailmaster. This role is for someone on the deck of the ship shouting orders to the crew, relaying info from the lookout to the pilot and so on. Imagine them standing in the bow or on the sterncastle with a spyglass. In my game this has ended up being the Captain.
A role for a bard. Alternatively a role for a Bosun or First Mate. This person is leading the crew in songs, or cheering them on, and generally trying to raise their morale. They should be someone with a high Charisma since they will mainly use Diplomacy, Intimidate, or Perform.
Master at Arms
Or Master Gunner, or Siege Engineer etc… This is a role for the person in charge of the all the siege engines on a ship. They do not actually fire the weapons (they have crew for that), but they rely on the Profession (siege engineer) skill to be successful.