April 25, 2013

Stellar Piracy

The Hulks & Horrors rules mention pirates as a relatively common occurrence while surveying systems, but outside of the "Sentient Crew" encounter at the top of every table leaves the specifics up to the DM to adjudicate. I say why adjudicate when you can roll on a sweet table during system generation! Append this to your system generation process and roll out the six-inch mass drivers. And dice.
Step 3a: Determine Pirates in System
Roll 1d4, on a 1 pirates have a large presence in the system.
Roll 1d6 for each orbit, on a 1 pirates have a base at this location. Terrestrial/Dwarf: 1-2 on surface, 3-4: on moon, 5-6: space station. Gas Giant: 1-2 cloud city, 3-4 on moon, 5-6 space station. Belt: 1-2 hollow asteroid, 3-4 space station, 5-6 repurposed hulk. Deep Space Station: inside station. Artificial World: 1-5 inside construct, 6 space station.

Check for pirate encounters each time a PC vessel moves to a new orbit. Roll 1d6, on a 1 pirates have detected your vessel. If this orbit contains a pirate base an encounters occurs on a 1 to 3. The lead vessel of the crew will hail the PCs, roll on the Pirate Reaction table to determine their attitude.

Pirate Reactions (1d6)
1-2: Attack, the pirates make dire threats and engage.
3-4: Extortion, the pirates demand 1d6x1000 credits to ensure safe passage, parties unable to pay will be attacked.
5: Neutral, the pirates are kind of bored and looking to chat.
6: Friendly, the pirates are willing to impart the PCs with some system data or an item if they have the cash.

Pirate Encounters
Roll 1d3 for the number of vessels in the encounter. Roll 1d5 for the Hull Class of each pirate vessel. The total value of each should be no more than (1d4 + Hull Class) x 100,000 credits. That number is entirely arbitrary and possibly terrible, I ain't got time to stat those ships for you.


  1. Nice pic of the Arcadia. Captain Harlock was one of my favorite "Japanimations", back when I was a kid in the '80s.

    1. Thanks! All the ships in those series are amazing, really solid design coupled with funky flair (trains! galleon back-ends! skulls on everything!)