Author Topic: Houseules 11 - Privateers  (Read 634 times)

Offline Richelieu

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Houseules 11 - Privateers
« on: 15:31, Sunday 04 Jul, 2010. »
PRIVATEERS

During peacetime France does not maintain a standing navy. A few privateers patrol the shipping lanes guarding French merchantmen. Unlike the army, the navy has no frontier and neither does it have the resources to permanently post a fleet on both coasts.

To overcome this privateers act in the Kings name under a royal commission. In wartime the navy is assembled by issuing commissions to independent captains and by commissioning additional royal warships.

The crown issues a Letter of Marque granting a ship the right to prey upon vessels of a specific nationality. Whilst this is piracy against the ships concerned, if intercepted by a French warship, the captain and crew will be recognised as a legitimate warship. Privateers are given license to harass enemy merchantmen and seize their goods as plunder as if they were on campaign. Occasionally several privateers may form a rag tag flotilla and operate together in which case the largest, most heavily armed, vessel is judged to lead.

Letters of Marque must be purchased from the Minister of Shipping (5, d6). If there is no Minister of Shipping, which may be the case in peacetime, the King can be approached instead (7, d6). The Cardinal has also been known to issue them. Letters remain valid until used or peace is declared. A naval officer aboard a royal warship cannot act as a privateer unless he resigns his commission.

When a privateer is commissioned it equates to column 10 on the regimental tables. Royal warships begin in column 6. The ship's captain is equivalent to the colonel, the commander or 1st officer is equivalent to a lieutenant colonel, a lieutenant or  2nd/3rd Officer is equivalent to a major, a midshipmen is equivalent to an army captain, a boatswain is equivalent to a subaltern and the ratings are considered to be enlisted men.
 
Whenever a crewman or officer rolls for a title or medal, the ship has a chance that month that its reputation will elevate it to the next regimental column with all of its associated modifiers. Naval engagements gain an automatic -1 Death mod. Privateers/navy do not need horses but when normally the horse would die at the front (roll is equal) then the officer will take a grievious wound which, in most cases will kill the character, but with healthy individuals they may lose an arm or a leg.
 
Marine officers need horses for land engagements but may volunteer to for ship duties. Obviously they only get their regimental modifiers if they are able to volunteer a command (majors +) or if they have been able to influence the commanding npc to do so. A marine captain may replace a midshipman in the chain of command, and usually will come under the command of the 1st or 2nd Officer. Marines use tactics on land and seafaring in ship-to-ship battles.

Ships
Each ship has a maximum cargo capacity for the storage of plunder. A ship must dock in a port and refit at the end of each season and at this time all plunder is sold and converted into cash.

Different ships handle differently in battle, which modifies the commanding officer’s battle result. A ship’s captain may choose to break and run if a battle goes badly. Privateer vessels may escape in coastal waters when they might otherwise have been destroyed. The roll is made on a 2d6 and must be equal to or below the value of the ship’s speed. Fleeing battle negates the chance for MiD or plunder. Royal warships may not flee in the face of danger.

Pirates
A privateer may turn rogue and become a pirate. Any act against a French merchantman is piracy and will be dealt with. A royal warship will be commissioned to hunt the pirate down, and if they aren’t blown out of the water, the pirate will be brought back for hanging. Pirates do not receive trial. Ships that become pirates no longer receive MiD. Further, they cannot dock in French ports without being fired upon. They may dock in some foreign ports.

Royal Pardons can be gained from the King or the Cardinal (7, d6). The pirate must have a go-between. If the petition fails the go-between will be arrested for piracy and hanged in the following month without trial.

Pirate hunters
Any navy officer who commands a ship may be appointed as a pirate hunter. One pirate hunter is appointed each time a French merchant is seized. They must hunt the pirate until he is caught. If they sink the pirate or bring him in they receive 50% of the pirate’s total booty and get an automatic MiD plus Promotion. Pirate hunters are excused from all other requirements whilst they conduct their mission and may only return to port to refit before embarking again. They continue to do so until the pirate dies, is caught, is pardoned or retires.

Sinking ships
A ship is deemed to have been sunk if the battle outcome kills eight out of ten of the officers aboard. If a ship is sunk it does not necessarily mean it is lost with all hands. Any people who survive their death roll will either be picked up by a warship as captives, be rescued by a friendly merchantman, end up marooned or will wash ashore somewhere.

« Last Edit: 15:57, Sunday 04 Jul, 2010. by Richelieu »
"I want those musketeers, not excuses!"

Offline Richelieu

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Re: Houseules 11 - Privateers
« Reply #1 on: 15:42, Sunday 04 Jul, 2010. »
Sorry guys I can't post the table, for some reason the server thinks the file is too big, but its only 28KB
"I want those musketeers, not excuses!"