Sunday, 18 October 2020

The Why of Ships

It's sometimes important to know about passing ships. In a coastal village, sails on the horizon could mean raiders, or vital supplies arriving. Sometimes your characters need passage, no questions asked. Sometimes they need an unreasonable amount of flammable oil in a hurry, for perfectly legal activities. Sometimes, heh, it's a funny story, but they're stuck without a ship of their own because they set the vessel and its crew on fire completely by accident and there's no-one left to say otherwise.

That ship on the horizon is:

  1. A fishing boat 
  2. A freighter carrying goods to market 
  3. A smuggler 
  4. A military patrol vessel 
  5. A pirate 
  6. A fast courier 

Its distinctive feature is:

  1. An elaborate figurehead
  2. Coloured sails
  3. An unusual flag
  4. A motto emblazoned on the hull
  5. An unusual crew makeup
  6. A strange passenger

The captain is:

  1. A drunk 
  2. A scoundrel 
  3. A strict disciplinarian 
  4. Deeply religious 
  5. Deeply morose 
  6. A lunatic 

Their misfortune is:

  1. Damaged 
  2. Low supplies 
  3. Disease on board 
  4. Blown off course 
  5. Short-handed after a failed mutiny 
  6. Short-handed after a successful mutiny 

The closest ports are:

  1. Allies 
  2. Enemies 
  3. Neutral 
  4. Closed to them 
  5. Open but may confiscate their goods 
  6. Under the influence of a rival
They know:
  1. The location of a nearby island with timber, game and fresh water
  2. Passwords to make military ships ignore them
  3. The location of a cache of supplies, guns and money
  4. A colonial governor's humiliating secret
  5. A safe route through an archipelago dotted with dangerous reefs
  6. Market prices across all ports within a week's travel

No comments:

Post a comment