Skull and Shackles
The Pirate Code
The Pirate code is a collection of written an unwritten rules that vary by ship and region, the following is an example of the average pirate code.
- Every member of the crew gets an equal share of treasure.
Anyone caught taking more than his fair share of loot,
or refusing to report its discovery in a timely manner,
shall be marooned. The captain receives extra shares of
any treasure, as do shipwrights, carpenters, and officers.
- Every member of the crew must tend to his own weapons
and keep them ready for battle.
- Anyone who shows cowardice in the face of the enemy or
deserts in battle shall be keelhauled or be marooned.
- No crew member shall hide his abilities from the crew.
A sailor who can perform magic shall use his abilities on
behalf of the ship.
- No crew member shall take a position on a new ship or talk
of leaving until each crew member has acquired at least
1,000 gp worth of treasure through his labors.
- No fighting is allowed between crewmates. Quarrels
shall be set aside until shore leave, at which point
grievances may be settled with violence on shore.
- All crew members must obey the captain and his officers.
- Any pirate found stealing from crewmates shall take 10
lashes and may be put ashore at port.
- The person who spots a sail shall have first pick of its loot.
- Any crew member who loses a limb in service to the ship
shall be paid 800 gp for its loss.
- Every sailor has an equal right to vote in decisions put to
the crew by the captain.
Furthermore, the following is an example of expected ship-board conduct
- No sailor is to play cards or dice for money while onboard,
nor use such things to take advantage of her
crewmates on shore.
- No sailor is to bring aboard a husband, wife,
child, person of ill virtue, or any passenger
unbeknownst to the captain. Both sailor
and passenger face marooning.
- Every sailor must do her fair share of
work, and neither shirk her duty nor pass
off work to another, lest she face 3 lashes.
Repeating this failure will result in further
A ship’s bard may rest 1 day per week, but
must stand ready to entertain on all others.
- Every sailor receives an equal share of food
and drink, and 1 ration of liquor every day.
- Any sailor found drunk on duty shall face
6 lashes. Any sailor too drunk to function
effectively during battle shall be killed.
- A sailor who suspects a hazard, be it storm
cloud, sea monster, or enemy ship, must
raise the alarm immediately. Any sailor
who sees an unfamiliar sea creature must
inform the captain immediately.
- A sailor shall not speak to any creature of the
sea without the captain’s permission.
- A sailor must not speak ill of the
dead lest they summon restless
spirits to the ship.