• Mark S. Cookman

13 Pirate Hunting Ships Plus Their Captains and Crews

War is coming to the pirates. The powers that be, whether they are kings, elves, clerics, or colonial barons, can suffer these scalliwags' assaults upon civilization itself no more. Pirate hunters are to be dispatched to seek out these evil men and put an end to them either by bringing them to the noose or by putting them to the sword. The ships below alternate between the HMS designation and simply a name, but they were all once British warships patrolling the waters of the West Indies from 1705 to 1722. The captains and crews are all fictional. I hope that you can find some use for these in your own nautical campaigns.

Here's a ship battle to fire you up. . .

BTW, don't miss your opportunity to see both seasons of Black Sails for free in case you have missed it. OK, without further delay here are 13 Pirate Hunting Ships Plus Their Captains and Crews. Enjoy!

  1. HMS Salisbury - a ship of the line with 54 12lb guns. Her captain is Elijah Taylor. He comes from a wealthy family and is looking to make his move up the ladder from this "little pirate war". He is hated by his crew who see him as a prissy brat. The ship looks to be recently damaged in a fight. The Salisbury's reputation is that of a very tough fighter; even injured she's a tough opponent.

  2. The Dragon - a ship of the line with 60 12lb guns. Her captain is the venerable Stanton Brooks. He has served in Royal Navy for 35 years; he is 52 now. He cares deeply for his crew and knows all their names. In return, they love and respect him like a father. The ship looks to be good shape overall, even if she is a little old. The Dragon's reputation is like the beast she's named after; ferocious and likely unbeatable.

  3. HMS Bonaventure - a ship of the line with 54 12lb guns. Her captain is Bailey Hall; a forgetful and absent-minded drunkard who should NOT be in command. His crew is lackluster at their best and mutinous at their worst. The ship's condition reflects the lack of discipline used to maintain her. The Bonaventure's reputation is that of a "loser's ship"; a place the Admiralty puts human refuse.

  4. The Panther - a ship of the line with 60 12lb guns. Captain Tyler Fisher is a war hero and veteran of numerous campaigns. He demands "As close to perfection as God will allow, nothing more." His loyal crew feel honored to serve with him. The ship is in excellent condition even though she has seen recent action. The Panther is a ship that ALL smart pirates run from.

  5. HMS Assistance - a ship of the line with 54 12lb guns. Her captain, Dylan Evans, is a high-spirited optomist. His leadership skills are excellent and his enthusiasm spreads easily to the crew. In general, the crew likes him, but some of the old salts whisper that you can never trust a happy captain. The Assistance is fresh from a refitting; her canvas and ropes still newish. Reports are that the gun crew on board her is the fastest in all the royal navy.

  6. The Advice - a ship of the line with 42 12lb guns. Her captain is Cael Harper, a tireless overachiever and harsh disciplinarian who demands more than is possible from his crew. The crew see their captain as a tyrant, but they still respect him more than fear him. The Advice is in excellent shape and only put to sea three years ago. Her crew is a group of veterans pulled from other ships.

  7. HMS Pembroke - a ship of the line with 54 12lb guns. Captain James Sykes grew up in the colonies that are at the heart of this pirate campaign. He is seen in the handbills as a local champion and defender of "honest men" against the "heathen pirates". Dark whispers say Captain Sykes and crew can be "rented" if the price is right. The Pembroke appears to be taking on water, there are signs of recent fires, and she is pitched about 20 degrees to port. Her crew are veterans who have served many years together and treat each other like family.

  8. The Arrogant - a ship of the line with 60 12lb guns. She is captained by William Lindsay. He is both smart and friendly, but he spends long hours alone in his cabin reading and practicing alchemy. His crew seems to like him perhaps because he is so distant. He often seems to them more like a passenger than their captain. The ship is poorly maintained because of the captain's lack of discipline, but the Arrogant has never lost a fight and never shied from one.

  9. HMS Scarborough - a ship of the line with 54 12lb guns. Captain Izayah Gates commands her with a puritanical hand. A dedicated religious warrior, Captain Gates has no time for any crew member who is less devoted to the complete destruction of these religious heretics than he is. The crew is full of crazy zealots who want to put all the pirates into the purifying fire of true righteousness. The Scarborough is in terrible shape; there is evident battle-damage and she is missing 1/3 of her guns. Even so the crew is anxious for a fight to prove their dedication to the cause.

  10. The Swallow - a small warship with 20 9lb guns. Her captain is Jarrett Flynn. Jarrett is a bossy micro-manager whose noble birth and spoiled upbringing have convinced him that he is better than everyone else he meets. His commission was "arranged" by the Admiralty through the forced retirement of a much-beloved, but aging Captain Jacob Snow. Captain Flynn believes that Captain Snow was a doddering old fool and that the ship is in much better hands now; he tells the crew this daily. Surpisingly, the Swallow is kept ship-shape at all times and the crew is eager to show off for their new captain, even if he is an ass.

  11. HMS Diamond - a ship of the line with 50 18lb guns. Her captain is Dexter Lynch. He's a dangerously clever tactician who is sometimes unorthadox in his methods, but he never fails to get results. Rumor is that he picked his own crew for the ship and that they are DECIDEDLY not standard and hail from ALL over the world. His crew of misfits and madmen are fiercely loyal to him though. The Diamond seems as though she just sailed out of harbor. All of her metalwork shines bright in the sun. They say those that cross swords with Captain Lynch don't live to tell the tale.

  12. The Lion - a ship of the line with 60 12lb guns. Captain Thomas Berry is the son of rich Fleet Street tailor. He is a cowardly poppinjay looking to profit from this pirate campaign by plundering the colonists himself, all in the name of "protection". The senior officers are on the take as well, but the junior officers and crew despise their crooked captain. The Lion is in superb shape, even if her crew is a little lackluster in the performance of some of their duties.

  13. HMS Pearl - a ship of the line with 42 12lb guns. Captain Jonathan Clarke is an ambitous career naval officer who is eager to perform well with his first "ship of the line" command. He lacks seasoning, but is a good commander overall. His crew respects him and follow his orders. The Pearl is an old ship that is overdue for a refitting, but she doesn't show her age. Her marines are said to be the toughest warriors in all of the royal services; they have taken 4 pirate ships and 2 pirate fortresses.

#dnd #DnD #pirates #dmadvice #gmadvice #rpg #pirate



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