Pirate (3.5e Class)

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Author: Spazalicious Chaos (talk)
Date Created: Nov 30, 2010
Status: done-ish
Editing: constructive only!
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Piracy is an ancient and time honored tradition of thievery that has been through various terms and names. Over time pirates have found they had common goals and problems, and in response have come together into an enormous infighting, back stabbing, treacherous criminal organization bound by the Pirates Code.

While any common rogue can claim to be a pirate and might pass for one, but where such claims fall apart is when the Code comes into play. The Code is that of a chaotic and evil society, purely in place to minimize the self destruction that plagues all such organizations, and only true pirates can ever be trusted to abide the Code, though interpretations vary on a nigh infinite margin.

Making a Pirate[edit]

The pirate is a diplomat and sneak, able to take on a variety of supportive and main roles. A pirates specialty guarantees it will be proficient in some mode of transportation other than walking, and their combined stunt and sneak attack abilities make them surpassingly effective flankers and duelists. At later levels they begin benefiting from the pirate community at large, able to recruit men, sell loot at enhanced profit, and replace or acquire equipment. At high levels the pirate can become essential for wilderness adventures, using sea turtles to bring himself and his companions out of the badlands and into civilized and helpful hands.

Abilities: Dexterity and Charisma. To a lesser degree Wisdom and/or Strength as well as Constitution.

Races: All races produce outcasts that later become pirates, though innately lawful races, such as dwarves and goblins, are far less likely to produce pirates than the more chaotic races, such as elves and orcs.

Alignment: Any Chaotic.

Starting Gold: 4d8 x10 (average 180)

Starting Age: Simple.

Table: The Pirate

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Pirates Code, Pirate Specialty, Trapfinding
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Evasion, Sneak Attack +1d6
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Stunt Attack 1/day
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Sneak Attack +2d6, Uncanny Dodge
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Pirate Trick
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Sneak Attack +3d6, Stunt Attack 2/day
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Snatch Steal
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +6 Improved Uncanny Dodge, Sneak Attack +4d6
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +6 Stunt Attack 3/day
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 Pirate Trick, Sneak Attack +5d6
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +7 Sea Turtles
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Sneak Attack +6d6, Stunt Attack 4/day
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Improved Evasion
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +9 Sneak Attack +7d6
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +9 Pirate Trick, Stunt Attack 5/day
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Sneak Attack +8d6
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Greater Sea Turtles
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Sneak Attack +9d6, Stunt Attack 6/day
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 Specialty Perfection
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Pirate Trick, Sneak Attack +10d6

Class Skills (8 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge Architecture and Engineering (Int), Knowledge Geography (Int), Knowledge Local (Int), Knowledge Nature (Int), Listen (Wis) Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Rope (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Pirate.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Pirates are proficient with all simple and martial weapons. They are also proficient with light armor but not with shields.

Trapfinding (Ex): As the rogue ability of the same name.

Pirate Specialty (Ex): At first level a pirate chooses a specialty and the associated skill from the following: Marine Corsair (Profession Sailor), Sky Marauder (Profession Pilot), River Rat (Profession Rafter), or Highway Man (Ride). A pirate has effective ranks in his specialty skill equal to his pirate level, which qualify for skill usage and prerequisites for feats and prestige classes.

Sneak Attack (Ex): At second level and every two levels thereafter the pirate gains sneak attack, as the rogue ability of the same name.

Evasion (Ex): At second level the pirate gains evasion, as the rogue ability of the same name.

Stunt Attack (Ex): Once per day at third level and for one additional time each day every three levels thereafter, the pirate may attempt a Jump, Tumble or Use Rope check to leave a target flat footed for until the pirates next turn. Action required to use the skill is unchanged, a failed attempt does use up the ability for that day, and the DC of the attempt depends on the skill used as shown below:

  • Jump: DC equal to that needed to clear the current effective height of target (i.e. it is easier to jump over a dragon that is crouching than one rearing up)
  • Tumble: DC as per tumbling through an enemies occupied space.
  • Use Rope: DC as for securing a grappling hook, adding both distance thrown for grappling hook target AND distance to be traveled for a rope swing.

If successful the pirate may make a single attack while performing the action.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At fourth level the pirate gains uncanny dodge, as the rogue ability of the same name.

Pirate Trick (Ex): At fifth level and every five levels thereafter a pirate gains an ability from the list below:

  • A Sea Witches Gift: The pirate chooses any two first level spells. May may cast each one once per day. Spell DC is equal to 10+ the Pirates level. This ability can be gained multiple times, either with two additional daily uses, two new first level spells, or one daily use of a second level spell.
  • Pirate Pockets: The Pirate carries an amount of unspecified gear with a value in gold equal to the pirates level. Whenever the pirate uses this ability, the items cost is subtracted from his pocket pool, which does not replenish until the pirate spend gold to bring it up to maximum, preferably the gold of others.
  • Whale of a Tale: The Pirate gains Bardic Knowledge, as per the bard ability.
  • Talking... Ferrets?: The Pirate gains a Familiar, as per the wizard ability.
  • Sharks and Sailors DO Mix: The Pirate Gains an Animal Companion, as per the ranger ability.
  • Motley Crew: The Pirate has a lesser version of Leadership, gaining followers whos total levels to not exceed the Pirates Pirate Levels and whose individual levels are no more than half the Pirates own levels.
  • Be-Wenched: The Pirate gains a lesser form of Leadership, gaining the ability to call a Cohort of the gender the Pirate finds attractive.
  • Booty Master: A pirate who defeats a foe that requires random treasure to be rolled, the pirate can roll for his own random treasure and chooses which horde the defeated foe has.
  • High Functioning Drunk: A Pirate never suffers negative effects for intoxication, and gains his Dexterity modifier has a dodge bonus to AC and Reflex saves when intoxicated.
  • Foul Breath: An intoxicated Pirate gains a breath weapon in a 15 foot cone, forcing all within the cone to make a Fortitude save or become nauseated for 1d4 rounds. Prerequisite: High Functioning Drunk
  • Pirates Breath Weapon: An intoxicated Pirate can breath on his weapon and spark it as a full round action, giving the weapon the Flaming quality for a number of rounds equal to twice his Pirate level. Prerequisite: High Functioning Drunk, Foul Breath
  • Making It Up As You Go: As a full round action the pirate can set up a trap of a level equal to one quarter of the his Pirate levels. This trap must be supported by the environment (no pit trap in a preconstructed dungeon, for instance), and anyone who sees the Pirate set the trap can automatically avoid it, though they may still be lured or otherwise forced into it. Prerequisite: Pirate Pockets

Snatch Steal (Ex): At seventh level a pirate has mastered the art of literally stealing the shirt off some ones back. Any attack the pirates makes can also be made with a free slight of hand check. Success indicates the pirate has stolen one item of the targets body.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At eighth level the pirate gains improved uncanny dodge, as the rogue ability of the same name.

Sea Turtles (Sp): At eleventh level a pirate becomes very difficult to get rid of. Once per week he may cast Teleport, as the spell, though he always rolls for location as if his destination is false. In addition, the pirate loses the use of this ability for a week if he ever tells the truth about how he got where he is after using this ability.

Improved Evasion (Ex): At thirteenth level the pirate gains improved evasion, as the rogue special ability of the same name.

Greater Sea Turtles (Sp): At seventeenth level the pirate becomes impossible to abandon. A pirate may now use Greater Teleport once per week, though he still must not tell the truth about how he get to where he is, as per standard Sea Turtles.

Specialty Perfection (Ex), (Sp): At nineteenth level a pirates skill reaches its pinnacle. Herein the pirate changes it's specialty title to include Captain, and gains the benefits below:

  • All: The pirate adds 30 ft of movement to any vehicle or mount he controls, and may control the vehicle or mount as a move action.
  • Marine Captain: Improves the maneuverability of any craft he commands one step and may use Control Winds as a spell-like ability once per day. Caster level equals pirate level.
  • Sky Captain: Improves the maneuverability of any craft he commands one step and may use Air Walk as a spell-like ability once per day. Caster level equals pirate level.
  • River Captain: Improves the maneuverability of any craft he commands one step and may use Control Water as a spell-like ability once per day. Caster level equals pirate level.
  • Highway Captain: Improves the hit dice of any animal, magical beast, vermin, or elemental mount he rides by four and may use Commune With Nature as a spell-like ability once per day. Caster level equals pirate level.

Pirates Code: The following are all strictures of the pirates code. Following each stricture in parenthesis are common interpretations of the Code, as it is practiced by most pirates (aka the Chaotic Evil variety):

  • A pirate must give a share of loot taken to all parties involved, and fair compensation to losses in the taking. (Most pirates draw up a contract that detail what constitutes a share, as well as specific compensation for specific circumstances. Of course, they also take care to ensure they take enough slacker casualties to increase their own wealth. Those not under such contracts take every measure to maximize their own take, running from via classic scams to hiding treasure.)
  • A pirate may not take hostile action during a negotiation, and obey all terms of said negotiation. (Pirates often make excellent use of poor wording during negotiations, turning the tables on any agreement. Also, many pirates also use negotiation to position their crew, which is not technically a "hostile action" and mere prudent thinking.)
  • A pirate shall maintain his equipment to be battle ready at all times. (Often obeyed to the letter.)
  • A pirate who falls behind shall be left behind. (While many pirates follow this part to the letter, some good pirates can and do rescue companions that get left, as the Code says absolutely nothing against going back, only stopping in the middle.)
  • A pirate shall defer to his captain in matters of command and shall not betray his captain, in the exception of a captain no longer fit to command. (Pirates prey upon their captains to find any weakness, thus the longest lived captains are the strongest or most clever of their kind. However, captured pirates get around this part of the code by "resigning" their former captain and crew.)


Any pirate who violated the Pirates Code or becomes lawful in alignment loses access to sea turtles, and greater sea turtles. The pirate may regain their lost abilities through an atonement cast by a cleric with at least 5 levels in pirate. Keep in mind that pirates have no restrictions on multiclassing, and therefore does not ever violate the name of piracy to do so.

Epic Pirate[edit]

Table: The Epic Pirate

Hit Die: d8

Level Special
21st Stunt Attack 7/day
22nd Sneak Attack +11d6
23rd 5N Aura
24th Sneak Attack +12d6, Stunt Attack 8/day
25th Pirate Trick
26th Sneak Attack +13d6
27th Stunt Attack 9/day
28th Sneak Attack +14d6
29th Epic Sea Turtles
30th Pirate Trick, Sneak Attack +15d6, Stunt Attack 10/day

8 + Int modifier skill points per level.

5N (Nautical Negation of Nefarious Nocturnal Nuisances) Aura (Ex): An epic pirate has had it up to HERE with the supposed awesomeness of ninjas, despite the fact that by now he kills twenty of them before breakfast as a light morning workout. Any creature, spell or class (up to level 20) that has Ninja, Assassin, Darkness or Shadow as a type or in it's name loses access to all of their special abilities whenever they are within 60 feet of a Pirate, or up to indefinite range if they actually target the Pirate specifically. Any attempt to activate an ability provokes a Yawn of Opportunity, healing the Pirate of 1d4 Hit Points per hit die of the idiot in question.

Epic Sea Turtles (Sp): The Pirate may use Teleport Without Error once per week, though the dishonesty regarding the use of the previous Sea Turtles abilities still apply.

Half-Elven Pirate Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Rapier, Dagger, Light Crossbow.

Skill Selection:

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Appraise 4 Int
Balance 4 Dex 0
Bluff 4 Cha
Climb 4 Str 0
Escape Artist 4 Dex 0
Hide 4 Dex 0
Jump 4 Str 0
Move Silently 4 Dex 0
Slight of Hand 4 Dex 0
Swim 4 Str 0
Tumble 4 Dex 0
Use Rope 4 Dex

Feat: Dodge.

Gear: Leather Armor, 50 ft silk rope with grappling hook, thieves tools, backpack, bedroll, water skin, 1 days trail rations, flint and steel, boot sheath for dagger, hooded lantern, 3 pints of oil.

Gold: 2d8 gold, 2d10 silver.

Campaign Information[edit]

To include pirates into your campaign is to include a form of organized crime. For pirates to work as presented above, they need established histories and fronts as an organization or several organizations. Multiple would be more realistic, as it must always be remembered that pirates are a chaotic and evil society. A good 60%-80& of pirates encountered as NPCs will be chaotic evil.

If you are incorporating pirates into an existing world, they can make excellent additions to any thieves guild. They share many of the same skills as other guild members, and their skill sets make them ideal for smuggling and wilderness theft, both long standing traditions in thieves guilds. They can also work as an opposing force to an established guild, for many of a pirates and thief's interests overlap.

Playing a Pirate[edit]

Religion: Pirates prefer gods of theft and luck. However, due to their exposer to the harshness of the wilderness many pirates take up the worship of elemental and natural forces and gods. In fact, many a pirate crew has a druid in the place of a cleric serving the role of a spiritual advisor.

Other Classes: Paladins and pirates do not mix. Period. The ideals of a pirate conflicts almost completely with those of a paladin. It is the very rare party that includes a pirate and a paladin. Pirates get along well with most of the other classes, particularly the "everyman" classes like rogues and fighters. Pirates hold a healthy respect for rangers and barbarians, often tainted with a "there go I but for the grace of the gods" attitude. Bard+pirate= kick ass party in many cases. Monks, cleric and wizards always seem cloistered and way too esoteric for most pirates to be completely comfortable around them, though the raw power and natural fury of the sorcerer and druid are almost irresistible to the pirate.

Combat: Pirates are much like sewer rats- vicious when backed into a corner. Pirate prefer to gang up and flank enemies, but only when they can't just sneak up and slit a throat. Using their environment a pirate can be surprisingly effective in a stand up fight, using their stunt attack to leave their enemies open.

Pirates in the World[edit]

Come about, lads! We'll take these bastard for everything they got and more! For glory! For our freedom! AND FOR TREASURE!!!
—Taylor Jannorson, half-elf pirate

Pirates are the combat sneaks and smugglers that stalk the wilds and prey upon those who have anything worth taking.

Daily Life: Pillaging, drinking, flogging, wenching. Just another day on the job.

Organizations: Pirate have formed their own society over the decades, becoming their own dark criminal underworld of an organization. While the pirate world is fractious, full of infighting, and cut throat in any of its dealings, the underhanded work of piracy churns on. While pirates rarely work together in units larger than a few ships, great threats to piracy have caused them to unite into navies that destroy nations, all under the influence of an elected pirate king.

NPC Reactions: To most of the world, pirates are dangerous louts and bullies that can be kept reasonably calm if you keep the ale flowing. Almost no one trusts pirates, with the exception of a few naive and innocent people that have been spoon-fed stupid stories of good pirate stealing form the rich and giving to the poor or the monsters or some other happy bunny bullshit case.

Pirate Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge Local can research pirates to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

<-the appropriate skills->
DC Result
5 There are men who travel across the world, stealing the world treasures and trading them among themselves. While they go by many names, the most universal is Pirate.
10 Pirates are smugglers and sneaks, all with a affinity for some craft or riding. They are also well connected with one another, and can call on each other for aid.
15 All pirates are bound to a set of rules called the Pirates Code. The Code keeps pirates and their society from ripping itself apart, though the chaos is barely maintained.
20 This high a result allows research of individual famous pirates and their exploits.

Pirates in the Game[edit]

If you are looking for smugglers and thieves, but find that rogues just aren't fitting the bill, the pirate is your next best bet.

Adaptation: This class only needs adaptation if you want to include or eliminate a Pirate Specialty. For example, if there are not airships on your world, you may want to eliminate Sky Marauder. But if a desert culture has weird bullshit sand skimming craft, it would be more than fitting to create a "Sand Buccaneer" specialty.

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Facts about "Pirate (3.5e Class)"
Allowed AlignmentsChaotic Good +, Chaotic Neutral + and Chaotic Evil +
Article BalanceUnquantifiable +
AuthorSpazalicious Chaos +
Base Attack Bonus ProgressionModerate +
Class AbilitySneak Attack +
Class Ability ProgressionOther +
Fortitude Save ProgressionPoor +
Identifier3.5e Class +
Length20 +
Minimum Level1 +
Rated ByNolanf +
RatingRating Pending +
Reflex Save ProgressionGood +
SkillAppraise +, Balance +, Bluff +, Climb +, Craft +, Diplomacy +, Disable Device +, Disguise +, Escape Artist +, Forgery +, Gather Information +, Hide +, Intimidate +, Jump +, Knowledge Architecture and Engineering +, Knowledge Geography +, Knowledge Local +, Knowledge Nature +, Listen +, Move Silently +, Open Lock +, Perform +, Search +, Sense Motive +, Sleight of Hand +, Spot +, Survival +, Swim +, Tumble + and Use Rope +
Skill Points8 +
SummaryA smuggler, thief, and general villain that is merely one part of a grand organization of crime. +
TitlePirate +
Will Save ProgressionGood +