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    Buccaneer: Through Hell and High Water $15.00
    Average Rating:4.5 / 5
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    Buccaneer: Through Hell and High Water
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    Buccaneer: Through Hell and High Water
    Publisher: Fabled Environments
    by Mike C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 04/27/2020 16:26:24

    I play 50 Fathoms, SWADE, and I'm adding Buccaneer's ships and naval combat rules to my games. Finally ship combat rules that are fluid, tactical, and as personal as the players.

    In Buccaneer, ships have skills linked to attributes, and hindrances and edges. A ship with a superior (d8) rigging attribute might take rigging-based skills like Pursue and Run Silent, while a ship with d10 tonnage might take skills like Boarding and Ramming. Now add an edge like "Helmsman's Dream" and a hindrance like "Fire Trap".

    If your players want a unique ship that will call for unique battle tactics, Buccaneer has it. SWADE and 50F are pretty generic in this regard, and PotSM is more a system of vehicle movement with acceleration and turning arcs. IMO this has more drama.

    Battles are theater of the mind: The captain calls out orders, and crew tries to execute them AND take heroic (normal PC) actions. You're making skill rolls, so learning and playing this is fast. It adds hit location, like gritty damage, to every shot.

    The combined result really delivers a naval battle feeling in a fun and furious way. If that's all you take from this book, it's money well-spent.

    The book is huge (305 pages), rich with setting lore, edges, and character archetypes, and at least two other major features: A voodoo magic system (10 pages), with trappings and spells to feel utterly unique, and an adventure generator (28 pages), which generates adventures with a hook, classic challenges, and then escalating problems, a plot twist, and a reward. I haven't played using either yet but plan to fold them into my 50F campaign.

    Four stars instead of five because it really needed an editor.

    • The sloop on page 123 has "prow" as a stat. In the Ship section, it's not mentioned once in 15 ship examples.
    • The rules for attributes like Mastery and orders (skills) like Broadside are unclear when the ship takes Mastery damage.
    • The ships on page 110 have a "damage" stat, ranging from 1 to 2. It takes some digging to determine that this is the number of hit location cards the guns draw, and it's based on the number of guns, not the size of guns.
    • It really could have used summary tables for player skills, ship orders, edges, and hindrances.

    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Buccaneer: Through Hell and High Water
    Publisher: Fabled Environments
    by Cornelius W. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 08/21/2018 13:00:55

    Buccaneer: Through Hell and High Water is a pirate setting for Savage Worlds in the spirit of pirate adventure movies like Pirates of the Carribean rather than a realistic adaption of the age of piracy. So besides typical ships, weapons, maneuvers and places, it also adds mysterious Vodou powers, holy warriors, monsters and curses. For character creation, the setting delivers fully-statted archetypes for all relevant positions in a ship‘s crew with explanations what the job includes and where that position is in the chain of command. For miracle workers like Vodouisants and Priests, it also brings fully-statted archetypes and two new Arcane Backgrounds with their own different branches and organizations. It also includes rules for arcane crafting. The Edges and Hindrances are a big mix of new entries and ones that you might already know from other settings or companions. Not all of them might fit your style of play, some might not be detailed enough for novice gamemasters, but all in all it’s the best package I know for a pirate game in Savage Worlds, topped off with fitting setting rules. For ship battles, Buccaneer starts completely fresh and lets you design your ship and its crew like characters with new attributes and skills. It also brings a subsystem for ship battles – no need to keep track of single crewmen or all of the gunners anymore. This strays quite a bit from vehicle combat, mass battles and chases you might know from Savage Worlds which means that it doesn‘t bring stats for ships and weapons that you can use with the Savage Worlds core rules in case you don‘t like their new mechanics. I strongly suggest that you at least try it once – it plays smoother than it might look at the first glance. Another new set of mechanics is the Chaos Environment, which is like a supercharged Dramatic Task. Good for chaotic, dramatic scenes you might know from media of that genre. For Gamemasters, Buccaneer includes tips to run the game – with examples for the player‘s Buccaneer code and the workings of a Parlay –, a detailed summary of places, politics, organizations, relevant NPCs and an interesting bestiary. It also features a nice, atmospheric adventure generator, should you be looking for something like that. It does not include a plot point campaign, but there’s an extensive adventure in the book and, as far as I know, there are more adventure bundles to come. All in all, Buccaneer brings everything to the table you might need for a pirate game and makes a big effort to improve the rules where they would otherwise hinder or slow down the game. Well done!

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Buccaneer: Through Hell and High Water
    Publisher: Fabled Environments
    by Tod H. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 04/12/2018 15:37:50

    I played this game at Genghiscon in Denver. I had a blast. it did a great job of making me feel I was in a pirate movie (one of the good ones.)

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
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