The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=23037.
From Blackbeard to Cpt. Jack Sparrow, pirates have always been and will always be cool! We even get excited when misshapen but loveable characters like Sloth get in on the pirate action. Playing a pirate at the gaming table is a safe and less expensive way to enjoy the taste of a dagger between our teeth than say dressing up as one at the Ren Fest. (Don’t ask me how pirates got to be part of Ren Fest, I really don’t know….) Confusion aside, 101 Pirate and Privateer Traits is an exceptional product that was done with a tongue and cheek sensibility that is mechanically sound and really interesting.
Wow! The content in 101 Pirate and Privateer Traits might cause your seafaring character to be epic and your GM to run an amazing nautical adventure.
Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
There were no surprises publication-quality wise from Rite Publishing on this one. All of the art was public domain and had cohesion that I have been hounding Rite Publishing to achieve review after review. Finding Pirate and Privateer art isn’t nearly as difficult as finding art for the more esoteric subjects that Rite Publishing tackled in the past. Even with the “easy” subject matter, Rite did a great job with this one. Not only was the art well selected, it was well matched with the traits. There were a few small editing mistakes and at this stage of the game those are mistakes that I will ding Rite for. The art used for the Undying Curse trait on page 13 blew my mind, subtle and really cool!
Value Add: 10 out of 10
If you are playing a nautical campaign this is a 10 out of 10, if you are playing a swashbuckler of any type this is a 10 out of 10. For you’re a normal, everyday, land-bound heavily armored type there is value, but not Bo Derrick value. This supplement is great for players who need some ideas for character development. The traits, while focused and cleverly named with Pirate and scurvy, sea sodden names, still have value for other types of characters. Each entry is written like a little story and could be altered with minimal time and effort to fit into landlocked campaigns. The naming conventions would be lost but the essence of the entries would still be solid. As a tool for GMs 101 Pirate and Privateer Traits is a must have! These traits will pimp out your PCs and make your NPCs feel less non!
Overall: 9 out of 10
In the beginning of this review I made it a point to mention the designer’s note at the beginning of the book and now I feel I owe it to tell you why. This note lays it out on the line. I have read many designer’s notes that sound more like excuses than information. This note laid out the purpose of this product and let you know that this isn’t your normal 1 or 2 to a stat kind of book. This book puts the traits firmly in the GMs hand while still giving enough mechanics information to make it all work. This is a smart person’s product that is well thought-out and fun to read. This is one of those products that you have to Sea, to believe.
[5 of 5 Stars!]