Generators Guide to Pirates and Seas [Updated]

"The Widow's Blush - A pirate caravel, with black hull and black sails. The ship is enchanted such that any non-black paint sloughs off, and sails slowly turn black within a day of being hung. The ship's crew is grim and brooding, partly due to their dark atmosphere."

Random Generators for everything pirates, swashbuckling and seafaring.

Fantasy Gen Guides - Pirates and Seas | Dark Fantasy | Dungeons | Dungeon Maps | Pets | Pathfinder 1e | Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay

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[Updated, originally Published March 2019].

Ships

ships | pirates & sailors | open sea | places | pdfs | more

Star of Heawold: This warship has a battle-scarred hull, and is pulled by a team of giant sharks. The ship's commander is a perceptive man named Ealhmun, who is hunting the sea monster which killed his family.

From fantasy Ship generator at donjon

Whether you're pillaging, pirate hunting or exploring the seas, ships will be involved.

Starting with ship names Seventh Sanctum has Pirates and Non-Pirate ships. Fantasy Name Generators has more pirate ship names

DND Speak's Ship Names and Description gives a short description of a pirate ship.

For details about the crew try the Pirate Crew Generator from Enead Games. And for more naming options there's a Crew Name generator

Pirate Crew

Pirates and other Sailors

ships | pirates & sailors | open sea | places | pdfs | more

"This pirate is female with green eyes, a fair complexion, and wavy brown hair in a mid-length braid. She wears a pair of mid-length trousers, a corset, and goes barefoot. She also wears a silver ring and a mid-length vest. She is missing an arm, is a little touched in the head, and is an excellent navigator."

From Pirate Character generator at springhole

For fearsome pirate names Fantasy Name Generators produced Darby "Nightmare" Law and Cassie "Yellow Teeth" Seymour while springhole.net introduced "Cutlass Breath Jenny" and "Blade Wilmot". Ennead Games has a Pirate Ship & Crew Generators which gives names and their positions on ship

DnD Speak's 100 Interesting Pirates provides

"Captain Syrian Blackhand, human captain of The Ocelot - Made a pact with the god of the seas. His ship is the fastest in the world, but every year he must return to the temple where the accord was struck and cut off one finger. His left hand has only the thumb left."

To round out marine characters add a tattoo such as a "faded tiger on the upper thigh from a tribal initiation". Or a charm like "A small gold charm with a hearth and two serpents on the front and the same on the back". Alternatively the might carry an aquatic item like "Shell Shield: Shield made from the shell of a giant clam or turtle. Standard stats at half weight."

100 Interesting Pirates

The Open Sea

ships | pirates & sailors | open sea | places | pdfs | more

"Today there will be lightning with a slight chance of drizzling rain and very slight winds from the southeast. Local guides' predictions are usually unreliable."

From the weather forecast generator at Chaotic Shiny

For creatures of the waves Fantasy Name Generators helps you name them with Sea Creatures such as "Chigrax" or "The Horned World Fish" and mermaids/mermen like "Nireta" or "Marsious". Or perhaps a giant sea turtle, "Romnal the Zaratan". Perhaps you'll meet something from the Aquatic Species Generator by Unorthodox Creativity.

You might want a sea travel event such as "The carcass of a dragon turtle, bloated with decomposition gases, floats on the surface. The sickening stench is notable a half-mile away." or something for the beach like "A shrine to a maritime deity, shells and ribbons laid at its idol’s feet. A tired, old, snappy priestess and her bored apprentice live in a shack nearby and maintain the shrine."

Last is a list of 20 sea encounters from 2 Minute Tabletop

20 sea encounters from 2 Minute Tabletop

The Places You'll See

ships | pirates & sailors | open sea | places | pdfs | more

In the abyssal waters of a black, gloomy sea lies what remains of the Cordelia, a ship potentially lost during a fight with pirates hundreds of years ago. She's in a rough, but decent shape, although damage at the hands of the sea starts to appear more and more. The barren depths aid in her preservation, but she's in the company of various aquatic beings who see her as their home now. They're a calm bunch in the safety of her waters. They're new inhabitants of a home lost to the tides and time.

From shipwreck descriptions at Fantasy Name Generators.

For an island to explore try the Polygon Map Generator or play around with Azgaar's Fantasy Map Generator.

To add detail to your island add try 100 Uncharted Islands. I got

"The palace of a cloud giant that fell from the clouds and into the sea. Untold riches line the halls, but nobody's ever returned to cash in on their fortune."

For something nearer civilisation try pirate coves such as "Skeleton Lagoon" or "Port of Booty". They might contain a treasure trove. My pirates buried

One large vase, one huge glass, one suit of gold plate mail, three gold coins, sixteen pairs of dark bronze boots and seven bird skulls.

Perhaps you'll visit the harbours of "Hasshaw Landing" or "New Meadow Wharf", visiting an inn such as "The Cursed Axe" and speaking to some of the patrons.

Island generator

PDFs

ships | pirates & sailors | open sea | places | pdfs | more

I have yet to find a generator for ship layouts but there are DriveThruRPG pdfs of a pirate ship and sailing ship

Then there is a a free pdf of Pirate Palaces

If you are after island map tiles I found a pdf, Tropical Islands - Map Tile Set.

Lastly there's a pdf of seafaring encounters at DriveThruRPG or I've produced a Sea Encounters pdf of random tables for D&D 5E at the DM's Guild along with a sea bundle.

Final Trinkets

ships | pirates & sailors | open sea | places | pdfs | more

To finish of the journey there's 100 items you can catch while fishing.

Recommendations Please!

I'll keep this guide updated so please suggest Pirate generators in the comments or on twitter to @DuncanThom

Fantasy Gen Guides - Pirates and Seas | Dark Fantasy | Dungeons | Dungeon Maps | Pets | Pathfinder 1e | Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay