The best pirate themed board game I ever played is Blackbeard by Avalon Hill.

I'm not sure if it's easily available anymore but it's a great pirate game. It's a little more historical sim (GMT after all) than game, but could be quite good if you have 4-5 that are really into it, but not as great solo (that is why I didn't bite).
And if I recall it can actually be played solo as well.

Black Fleet (2014) by Sebastian Bleasdale.

  • Mechanics: Area Movement, Pick-up and Deliver, Variable Player Powers
  • Average rating is 7.1125; rated by 2802 people. Weight: 1.9608
  • Board Game Rank: 578, Family Game Rank: 101

Port Royal : push your luck card game with pirate theme.
It's easy to explain, with quick turns and expansion which adds contracts cards as additional things to compete for (that even makes game playable solo or cooperatively), without adding complexity.
Its designed by (Alexander Pfister: Mombasa, Broom Service, Isle of Skye, Great Western Trail).
Another big plus for this game is that it has active participation for all players during every turn.
Highly recommended (both the base game and the expansion)


I am planning a wedding at the end of October, so this will be a tradiational fall wedding, but the things is I hate the color orange. It is a long story. But northern Massachusetts will be awash in color I truly dislike, orange.

Just because your wedding is in the fall, doesn't mean it has to be fall colors!

While I can't get around what it looks like outside, I would like to have more control of the way the colors look at the reception. I had a girlfriend who used deep cranberry red chocolatey brown for an October wedding, and it was really beautiful, though I don't want to just take her colors.

We want to pay homage to the season but not necessarily have it be the theme.

I really love browns/tans, reds and greens but I don't want to look too much like a Christmas wedding. I've been scouring Pinterest and other blogs but I can't seem to find a happy medium between the stereotypical Autumn and Christmas theme.

I am leaning toward a shade of purple, which looks great for weddings in fall in my oppinion. But some people have been telling me it isn't a wedding color.

My fiance tells me to have purples if I want purples!

He just doesn't want it to overwhelm the rest of a more neutral contrasting color palette.

We're doing purples, cream, green, and gold. I, too, didn't want a "purple wedding" (honestly I usually don't even like purple!) so most of the decor will be gold and cream, with a lot of greens from the florals. The purple will come from some of the flowers (going fairly neutral with pops of purple jewel tones) and the uplighting.

The bridesmaids aren't matching, so this is a nice palette for the girls minus the gold; each one gets to pick a different color.

I wanted to avoid feeling too "seasonal." Picking colors is hard! Seriously, it was the most difficult decision we've made so far. I think having a "Fall" themed wedding because it's Fall is just not creative - of course if that's what your into, that's fine - and there are so many ways to make your wedding unique.

I really enjoy the elegance that I feel Autumn has without looking like pumpkins and apples threw up all over the décor.

Right now my favorite color combo for a fall wedding are still the colors that fall in the range of cranberry and dusty light blue which combines a lot of aspects that I like.

No matter what colors you decide to go with for your fall wedding, I should note that one very important piece of information to keep in mind is that you're going to be in the midst of the fall leaves remember that yellow/orange/red's complimentary colors are purple/blue/green respectively.

Any of those colors pop and can contrast well when put up against their complimentary color.


I had everything: Ship Maps, Naval Combat System, An Archipelago, Plot points. My party didn't like the idea of being "trapped in a boat" "Boats should be means to go somewhere, not the adventure" it was a matter of personal taste you know.

Here's what happened so far and what will happen.

The PCs sided with their captain during a mutiny and were left for dead stranded on the coast of the mainland after the first mate successfully killed the captain. They managed to gain a ship after winning the favor of a local noble, and set off after their old ship to seek revenge against the first mate.

Hearing rumors that the first mate has headed off towards an island chain with the goal of reviving the captain as a zombie, the crew has set sail.

On the way to the islands they encounter a crazy storm and end up stranded on an unmapped island.

This is where we are now.

The plan is for the island to be the lost capital of an ancient sea empire which was wiped out when the volcano on the island killed all the inhabitants, Pompeii style.

Knowledge of the island has been lost since the magical defense that sprung up when the volcano erupted have kept the island from being rediscovered and nobody has been alive on the island to turn off the magical defenses. The only reason our PCs end up on the island is due to the freak storm that basically whirlpools them through the defenses.

I'm planning a super dungeon here in the lost capital.

The capital city is a series of concentric rings with each layer being guarded by tougher and tougher enemies which will be described as being part of the magical defenses of the city.

The only intelligent entity on the island will be the spirit of a mad wizard who was the only person to predict that the island would be wiped out by a volcano.

He fused his essence into an eternal flame that he kept in his mansion outside the city. He can't leave a small radius around his eternal flame and has slowly been going crazy and losing his memory after the last 1000 years of isolation.

I'm planning for the PCs to meet the wizard, who will help them after much craziness. The wizard will explain that magical items can feed his eternal flame and they can find items in the city. They will explore the first couple levels of the city and find items and possibly some form of magical boat.

The magical items that the PCs gain from the city can be sacrificed to help the wizard gain some of his memory. The wizard will ask for help to find the elements of a super weapon called "The Tear of Sea" which this ancient sea empire was in the midst of constructing when they were destroyed. This super weapon had the power to control the sea after being soaked in sea water.

The longer the Tear was allowed to sit in the ocean the more power it absorb to the point where it could cause things like tsunamis.

Anyway it turns out the the first mate at the the very beginning, the one they have been chasing is after the same thing. The captain actually had royal blood from this ancient sea empire and he is the key to unlock some of the components of the sea weapon.

I'm planning for this island they are stranded on to become their home base. The capital city will have many levels so that it's impossible for low level characters to fully clear. I imagine the the PCs will go off on adventures, chasing after the back-stabbing first mate, getting clues towards the Tear of the Sea and getting stronger along the way.

Then they can return to their home base and clear out some more levels of the capital, gaining some more magical items from this ancient sea empire.


My sister wants a Xena themed birthday. Yes. That old show, staring Lucy Lawless. She absolutely loved the show and wanted to relive some of the excitement she got from it.

Thankfully they made a lot of merchandise for the show, so craigslist and ebay have been really go to me. And she has her old collection still.

We've come up with a couple of ideas, Aphrodite's love potion (just a bottle of bubbles with a bubble wand), and pin the tail on Joxer, for example but we're falling a little short. I was hoping that the lovely community here could maybe assist me with some fun party ideas for my Xena party.

We could could go all old school gaming and break out your N64 and Xena fighting game and have a tournament.

As an offshoot of that idea, Xena and Gabs like to play the twenty questions game. I forgot the episode (it was in one of the earlier seasons) but Gabs was trying to guess someone that Xena had killed, but it was Callisto who killed him. To which, Xena replied, "but she was in my body at the time."

Depending on your audience, you could do a "Name that Quote" game where you take important and/or memorable quotes and try to guess who said it. She doesn't think that her friends will be able to handle this one though.

Give everyone a character name that they put on their forehead and then they have to ask questions to figure out who they are


FATE is solid as a Pirate game. The rules are free and available online in various forms.

In a matter of Days/Weeks, the official FATE3.0 book is being released. The Release Candidate of it was sent around last week for proof reading.

FATE is based around one simple principle (Everything is a Character!), you build the ships the exact same way you build people. They then have quirks and personality - they suck at some things, and are great at others (Ships have skills, turning, shooting, etc.). You can resolve Ship vs. Ship combat exactly as you would person vs. person. The ship gets a "Stress Track" the same as person would, except you wouldn't take "Consequences" like 'sprained ankle' or 'gut wound,' they would be 'torn sails' or 'cracked mast.'

Also, FATE asks you, as the GM, to choose what skills are available to players in your world (space ship piloting is not needed in a game in ancient Rome, etc.) so you just customize the skill list to represent pirate skills.

When I run Gurps I tend to throw out 90% of them anyway, but I find many people run Gurps exclusively for the optional grindy-ness.

Some prefer one over the other - either is a giant tool box to put together exactly the game you want.

If you don't want just pirates, maybe you want pirates in giant sea-faring robots, pick up "Gurps Mecha" as well, etc. The Razor Coast supplements for Pathfinder are really good. Fire As She Bears will also be helpful for Ship to Ship combat. Both are available through Frog God Games or the Paizo website.


Keep it simple and have like a popular port act as a mission hub. This is how I would start you first game.

You can also play Rolemaster Pirates and GURPS Swashbucklers. Crazy amounts of info on the time period and lots of plot hooks for both gritty real world pirate games and high-fantasy voodoo-everywhere campaigns!

Step 1

Advise players to create characters that would join a pirate crew.

Step 2

Write a list of a bunch of names on a sheet of paper. Have male, female, place names, and ship names. You'll use these for ad libbing.

Step 3

Come up with 5 or 6 minimally planned missions.

When it comes time to play:

Give the players plenty of swashbuckling moments, Some players may not be so interested in treasure, and more in adventure, but hey it's pirates so don't skimp on it either.

Game 1

Your mission as a GM is to get the players into the party and recruited by the captain. Work with the character backgrounds before the game so you know the best way to blackmail, bribe, or otherwise motivate the characters. These plots can be shared or individual.

Game 2

Now that they are all on the ship, have it stop in port at a new location. The captain needs the characters to do some things for him to "pay rent" or perhaps start completing the main story arch (start building a magical weapon to destroy evil, or prepare for a battle, or track down leads towards a murder or kidnapping). To do this he'll have 3 options how the characters can help. Give the players 3 of the 6 missions from above and they pick one. Try to balance role play and role play.

Game 3

Remove the used mission and replace it with another. The players still have 3 missions to chose from. You can also create a new one and add it to the list.

Game 4

Rinse and repeat. I usually try to balance 50% role play and 50% roll play. Separately I try to balance throw away side missions with progressing towards resolution of the main story arch.

The number one rule of improv is "Say Yes". Allow your players freedom but provide motivation for them to stay within this structure. It will make your life as a DM much easier.