You’ve had your warning shot across the bow, a Galleon (or three) are closing-in to board and capture your ship as a prize. You refuse to strike colors. You will outmaneuver the enemy and escape pursuit.
Set the Threat equal to the number of players plus a half D8. A DefMod One may be added for any characters aboard of level three+ or DefMod Three for characters of six or more level. This table uses a Panic Clock that counts down, usually from three, each complete round of player actions. If the result reaches zero, the battle is lost as you are caught or the crew surrenders; continue with capture ultimatum or Digressions. You must defeat the Threat before then to escape.
King: Tunnel vision, the battle noiseless in the moment as you see your one foe, a swordsman of renown on the quarterdeck of the distant ship. Test your skills, man! Success and dispatch a Threat. But fail and fall with a vicious wound. Difficulty: 9 Advantage: Swaggering: Tenacious Pistol Fire (R)
Bane King: A veteran knows where to stand to not just avoid taking a wound but to protect his buddy in the battle. Choose someone. Fail and the selected character takes a vicious wound. Difficulty: 11 Advantage: Brawler
Queen: Lines Foul as the ships collide and fight the surf. Direct the men to free the ship. Fail and decrease the Panic Clock. Difficulty: 8 Advantage: Lordly.
Bane Queen: Spoils to the winner as you capture a young enemy officer who boldly tried to swing from ship to ship. Might as well take his purse. Success and reduce the Threat. By attempting the roll at Diff+5, you gain possession is a letter of credit as the dead won’t need such. Difficulty: 9 Advantage: Seize Swordarm (Q)
Knight: Bullets never strike the Hero. Stand Firm and direct the action. Success and reduce the Threat or gain a Tactics Pip (+1). But fail and your next card is a Bane. Difficulty: 6 Advantage: Dashing
Bane Knight: Guns never strike the guy hiding under a table. Let others be heroes and direct the action. Success and reduce the Threat or gain Catbird Seat (+3). But fail and suffer vicious wound. Difficulty: 7 Advantage: Cunning
Knave: Rammed and jolted by the enemy vessel. Fail and fall overboard. You either drown or suffer vicious. Difficulty: 13 Advantage: Sailor.
Bane Knave: Exhaust your powder, mostly spilling your horn in nervous tremor. Fail and suffer vicious. Difficulty: 10 Advantage: Pistoleer
10: Glower and cower the enemy Master of Arms. Success and reduce the Threat. Difficulty: 8 Advantage: Stout
Bane 10: Getting socked seems bloody bad, as you take a rather gnarly swinging turnbuckle to the cheek. Fail roll and knocked unconscious. Regardless, spit out a tooth for bonus Personal Events (below level three). Difficulty: 9 Advantage: Feigns (I)
9: Marines of the enemy line up at the rail and volley fire. Fail and suffers vicious. The difficulty drops by four if you opt to hide behind another character who instead suffers the wound. Difficulty: 13 Advantage: Better Valor (C)
Bane 9: Fire in your hold; direct the crew action before they decide all is lost and surrender. Fail and DefMod raises by one. Optional, risk vicious on failure and join the effort to douse the flames to reduce Difficulty by three. Difficulty: 9 Advantage: Captain-Ship's Pilot
8: Rumble in the ship belly as misfire explosion rocks the gunports. Should you worry? Fail and Panic Clock is set to one (one more round from your position). Regardless, lose a Ship Trait. Difficulty: 10 Advantage: Gunner
Bane 8: Honor the Smonner. Disperse a boarding party led by a fine rascal of noble demeanor; could be the kinsman of a tyrannical gang boss. He disarms you, but allows you to pick-up your sword. Look-see, he dropped his rapier next…Honor demands you let him retrieve his blade. Optional, kill him as he bends over. Success to reduce the Threat, but in failure be noticed and marked as criminal by a rival faction (could be Growth). Decline and the next player’s event becomes a Bane. Difficulty: 12 Advantage: Hilt Punch (M)
7: Eyes on the prise; watch the enemy tiller for his tack and redirection. Perchance, do miss the pistol fumble and tool fall from above. Fail and knocked Unconscious. Difficulty: 7 Advantage: Pugilist
Bane 7: Headed right in the bread basket; deflect a swinging spar crossing your midsection, as your ship radically tacks across the wind. Fail and knocked Unconscious. Difficulty: 8 Advantage: Effective Spurning (H)
6: Launch coals into the enemy masts and sheets. Success, and reduce Threat. But fail and your swivel guns warp from overheat; lose a Ship Trait. Difficulty: 10 Advantage: Apothecary
Bane 6: Increvable!! – Bullets rip through your coat. Swords break on contact. The enemy sees you as unstoppable. Success and reduce Threat. Regardless, you suffer vicious wound (as you’re delirious from pain). Difficulty: 6 Advantage: Flamboyant Moves (J)
5: Best pilot will prevail, but you can’t stay-up round the clock forever at the wheel. Fail and knocked unconscious (you may be also dead-drunk). If the ship has three skilled pilots, Difficulty drops by seven. Difficulty: 12 Advantage: Cards-Dice
Bane 5: Guns blaze, men scream; bleeding bodies litter the deck. All look to you for hope. Success and reduce Threat. But fail and all will blame you for this carnage; DefMod increase by one. Regardless, become scapegoat. Difficulty: 9 Advantage: Rabblerouser
4: Maneuver into the debris field or shallows. They wait for you to emerge. Success and reduce Threat. Fail and ship loses Trait. Difficulty: 10 Advantage: Navigator
Bane 4: Assigned below deck, shifting weight, uprighting barrels, directing the gunnery. Fail and suffer vicious wound. Difficulty: 5 Advantage: Juggler-Acrobat -OR- Special Case, Difficulty: 7 Advantage: Automatic Reload (B)
3: Brilliant bungler the enemy appears to be. Order course correction and rake one of the enemy pursuit ships. Success and reduce Threat. Regardless, Ref may allow battle to shift to Boarding Actions if Panic Clock is at one. Difficulty: 9 Advantage: Hunter
Bane 3: Where’s your Hat? Damn, your purse is split. One of your boots has no heel. Select something on your person. Success and reduce Threat. Fail and other players get to rename your character, something silly. Difficulty: 12 Advantage: Spy
2: Smoke and confusion. All twas deception; now you see me, now you don’t. Success and reduce Threat. Difficulty: 11 Advantage: Gesticulate Garment (K)
Bane 2: Silence dog your infernal whimpering; your stench of terror wetting pantaloon is distraction enough. Fail and DefMod raises by one. Regardless, everyone loses a make-roll. Difficulty: 9 Advantage: Uncontested Dagger Thrust (S)
Ace: Not Smitty!!! – A beloved member of the crew has his head completely blown asunder. Wipe a tear away and brush his remains off your sleeve. Fail and suffer vicious wound; were you perchance a blacksmith? Regardless, gain Ship Trait. Difficulty: 6 Advantage: Armorer
Bane Ace: Make your escape in one of the jolly boats. Optional, success and your character leaves combat unharmed; you even get rescued later with possibly no resentment. Silver-tongued rogue that you are? Decline roll and lose all remaining make-rolls. Difficulty: 5 Advantage: Repartee (P)
Magician: Weather is rough; option to lose a half D8 ship traits and end this action. However, remain and DefMod increases by one.
High Priestess: Gain a skill of your choice; should be justified by the perils and engagement at sea.
Empress: Until the deck reshuffles, ignores Major Tarot.
Emperor: Make a bold act. You can cancel the DefMod by your next event upon success.
Pope: Soul-crushed with defeat. The battle is a series of several boarding attempts. Your next event also determines your ultimate escape from enemy capture. Fail and doomed to Digressions, regardless of overall outcome. You still take actions for the entire length of the battle, but that failed outcome means you are later found missing.
Lovers: Conduct an infamous act, often execute prisoners captured in one of the enemy attempts to board. You can halve the Threat (round-up) by your next event upon success.
Chariot: Receive unexpected aid from enemy impressed soldiers or slaves. Gain either Tactics Pip (+1) or a make-roll to be sued in this battle. Choose now before your actual event (minor Tarot) is drawn.
Justice: One or more of the enemy ships breaks pursuit. The Panic Clock is raised to ten. (Or maybe can be ignored.)
Hermit: Discover a secret to the present mission or greater campaign. Ref decides after battle ends.
Wheel of Fortune: reshuffle the deck.
Force: You are overwhelmed by a massive cross ships assault. Everyone takes one card even as Repulsing, then continue here where you left off. No DefMod is applied for those extra cards.
Hanged Man: Trouble aboard your own as men decide the enemy is the fairer friend. Take one card event of Mop-Up to prevent mishap from your loyalists in mutiny within your ranks. Ref may assess loss of Ship Trait on Tony class vessel.
Death: Extremely bloody affair. All vicious wounds count as two for you alone. Either, someone must volunteer to join you. Else, any combat vicious instead slay. Death of Character Digression is allowed or soak-off by culling Ship Traits. Inverted, the penalty allies to all player characters.
Temperance: Become cautious. The Difficulty of all rolls drops by four. However, you may not reduce the Threat further in this action.
Devil: Settle an intrigue. The next event success means you remove an enemy, either random Jo aboard (no worry) or some person of the campaign. Fail and make an enemy of the man’s relatives. Somewhere there is a Buccaneer, reading a letter, steaming and now hunting to end your life.
Tower of Destruction: Maimed! Choice to lose a half D8 skills right now from brain mandage. Or, suffer minus one to all your dice rolls for the next half D8 levels. Choose than roll. Describe your injury and character attribute. Loss of eye perhaps?
Star: Cancel one future Major Tarot in this battle. There are some nasty ones but decide for yourself when to use this result. If you end the battle with this bonus no played, you lose all your swaggering.
Moon: Suffer personal mishap and lose all your Traits for the rest of this adventure. You probably have a stench that just won’t quit.
Sun: Choice to gain a Trait or a half D8 swaggering.
Judgment: Premonition…the next Knight encounter will be hostile and initiate battle. Inverted, the Knight that arrives later will seem friend and be treated as such, but while he serves the group, until the mission ends, the negative Quest pip (minus one to all dice) applies.
World: Flee ashore, briefly. Maybe you had to raid a small encampment for shot, powder, stores, what have you. All take one card on Skirmish Run & Gun. If in the final tally, the enemy has slain more men that you, a random player takes a vicious wound.
Fool: A personal event happens within the engagement. The result will tend to be irresponsible, but let the actual event created (drawn) dictate the end consequences good or bad.