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.

The Pirate Code

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