When I began this Pirates of the Spanish Main campaign, I decided that I wanted my PCs to have a chance to catch up to the grossly overpowered embedded setting NPCs -- beyond legendary characters like Captain Blackheart and Jack Hawkins -- so I allowed everybody to simply take an NPC archetype from a list I made of roughly even-powered archetypes from the PotSM and Solomon Kane bestiaries and then take additional Hindrances to customize the character. This allowed for really quick character creation and gave me the ability to start throwing tougher opponents at the PCs immediately.
(I like to use a lot of Wild Card NPCs; it just isn't fun if the bad guys go down with one good hit.)
The cast includes:
Kurokawa Nana (Robin EB) - a Skilled Duelist (PotSM p. 224). As her name implies, Nana is Japanese. She was inspired by the discovery a year or so ago of a katana in the ruins of Port Royal (as seen in this documentary). Her backstory is that she was exiled to Sado Island by her family after running off with the wrong man, kidnapped by Chinese raiders, and then embraced the pirate life. She mutters profane curses in Japanese at inappropriate times and her katana makes her an incredibly deadly combatant.
Elias Cordwinder (David) - a Thief (PotSM p. 245). Elias arrived in the New World as an indentured servant, but at some time before the campaign began he stole something from someone that put a $5,000 bounty on his head. He is almost D&D-ish in his incessant pocket-picking, but his skills come in handy. Elias has made a lot of money on the side during his adventures and easily has the deepest pockets of any of the crew.
Captain Wendy Darling (Wendy) - a Veteran Pirate (PotSM p. 237). Once, Wendy lived a peaceful life with her lover, Tiger Lilly, but then tragedy struck and Tiger Lilly was hanged for crimes she didn't commit. Wendy took to the sea and carved a bloody place for herself amongst the buccaneers. Now she's discovered that the cruel magistrate who did her wrong has become governor of Jamaica.
Johnny McSliceathroat (George) - A Veteran Marine (PotSM p. 232). Johnny is a straightforward man who is pretty good at slicing throats. His nautical skills are a welcome relief in a crew full of landlubbers. He is also the only crewman without any Hindrances.
"The Mad Arab" (James) - ??? Apparently, I didn't explain the character creation process sufficiently to my brother, because his skill list and Edges don't match any of the accepted archetypes. Well, if he ever makes it back for a second game session, I'll just have him redo his character. I think a Solomon Kane gypsy would fit his character concept best -- a European-turned-corsair-turned-mystic-turned-bomb-maker. Weirdo.
Gunter Jacob von Heimlich (Thomas) - A Courtier (PotSM p. 235). Nobody understands why an Austrian courtier is running around with pirates, but it might have something to do with the way Gunter schtupps every serving wench he can get his hands on. His unbridled arrogance and annoying habit of insulting everyone he meets got his arm chopped off in their first adventure, but he always wanted a clockwork arm anyway. His obnoxious behavior now has him wanted by Governor Rafael el Duque de Moreno y Rivera for seducing his sister and the Spanish Inquisition for consorting with a necromancer.
Kit Rackham (me) - A Typical Privateer (PotSM p. 238). My GM NPC. He's mainly there to suggest piratical things to do and make sure everybody keeps to the code (or, at least, knows what the code is). He hates the Spanish.
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