Privateer (3.5e Class)

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Welcome to the ranks of the noble and patriotic Privateer, also known as the legal Pirate. You work for your nations well being during times of war by raiding, pillaging and plundering any enemy trade ships you can find whilst taking a small profit for yourself and crewmen. Whilst your pirate contemporaries may be hung and reviled by your countrymen you are welcome to set sail without worry of the ships under your kings flag, fearing only the harsh seas, the not-yet-hung pirates, sirens and maybe a leviathan or two, not to mention battle ships of other nations.

Making a Privateer[edit]

Abilities: Intelligence and dexterity are most important in being a privateer.

Races: Humans tend to become Privateers more often then most other classes but are by no means the only ones.

Alignment: Any non-Evil.

Starting Gold: 6d4 times 10 gp (Average 150 gp)

Starting Age: As Fighter.

Table: The Privateer

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Fighting Sail, Smell of Gunpowder in the Mornin'
2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 Born aboard
3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 Deck-runner
4th +3 +1 +4 +1 Uncanny Navigation, Take 'em Alive
5th +3 +1 +4 +1 Animal companion, Steady Stance
6th +4 +2 +5 +2 Leadership, Bonus feat
7th +5 +2 +5 +2 Just Christened, Letter of Marque, Leadership + 1
8th +6 / +1 +2 +6 +2 Luck of the wind 1/day
9th +6 / +1 +3 +6 +3 Great Captain
10th +7 / +2 +3 +7 +3 Ride the wind, Leadership + 2
11th +8 / +3 +3 +7 +3 At the Helm
12th +9 / +4 +4 +8 +4 Winds favor , Bonus Feat
13th +9 / +4 +4 +8 +4 Rake, Leadership + 3
14th +10 / +5 +4 +9 +4 First-Rate
15th +11 / +6 / +1 +5 +9 +5 Next to the Wind
16th +12 / +7 / +2 +5 +10 +5 Luck of the Wind 2/day, Leadership + 4
17th +12 / +7 / +2 +5 +10 +5 Commodore
18th +13 / +8 / +3 +6 +11 +6 Bonus feat
19th +14 / +9 / +4 +6 +11 +6 Leadership + 5
20th +15 / +10 / +5 +6 +12 +6 Sky Captain

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level; times 4 at 1st level)
Class skills include: Balance, Bluff, Climb, Craft, Diplomacy, Escape Artist, Gather Information, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (Geography), Profession (sailor), Profession (Pilot), Search, Sense Motive, Spot, Survival, Swim, Tumble, Use Rope.

Class Features[edit]

<-fluff about class features->. All of the following are class features of the <-class name->.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Proficient in light armor, simple, martial, and gunpowder weapons

Fighting Sail: A Privateer gets used to fighting on a ships deck using anything he can find to gain an advantage. A privateer can fight using ropes, buckets, etc. found on a ships deck as if he had the Improvised weapon feat.

Smell of Gunpowder in the Mornin': A privateer must be proficient in the use of ballistics on the ship. SoGitM gives a Privateer proficiency with gunpowder weaponry (cannons, muskets, pistols etc.) and a +2 circumstance bonus to attack rolls when using gunpowder weaponry on a ship in which he is commanding or, a crew member of.

Born Aboard (Ex): At 2nd level A Privateer adds his class level as an insight bonus on all Profession (sailor) or (pilot) checks. Allies within sight or hearing of a Privateer add an insight bonus equal to half this number on their Profession (sailor) or (pilot) checks respectfully.

Deck-Runner (Ex): After years of being on ships the Privateer has become accustomed to the constant sways of the ship granting him the ability to charge over difficult terrain that normally slows movement or through the squares occupied by allies blocking his path. This ability enables him to charge across a cluttered ship’s deck, leap down from a higher deck, or swing between two adjacent ships to get to his target. Depending on the circumstances, he might still need to make appropriate checks (such as Jump, Tumble, or Use Rope checks) to successfully move over the terrain.

Take 'em Alive: At 4th level the privateer has become adept at capturing the enemy to be tried at the courts. A Privateer gets Improved disarm as a feat even if he does not meet prerequisites for it as long as he is wearing light or no armor.

Uncanny navigation (Sp): On reaching 4th level, you develop an innate sense for detecting and avoiding maritime hazards. You add your Privateer level as a bonus on Spot checks to notice aquatic hazards and on Profession (sailor) checks to navigate safely through them.

Steady Stance: At 5th level He is not considered flat-footed while balancing or climbing, and he adds his class level as a bonus on Balance or Climb checks to remain balancing or climbing when he takes damage.

Animal Companion (Ex): A privateer Gains an animal companion as the Ranger ability. He may only choose between Birds or a small Monkey otherwise DM's discretion.

Leadership: At 6th Level the Privateer gains Leadership as a bonus feat.

Bonus Feat: A Privateer gains a bonus feat at levels 6, 12, and 18.

Just Christened: At 7th Level the Privateer becomes captain of his own ship, the ship can cost no more then 10,000gp.

Letter of Marque: The Privateer has permission from one of the nations to raid ships form and enemy nation, and any pirate vessel he comes into contact with. This protects the Privateers vessel from any ships under the nation of which his letter derives.

Leadership bonus (Ex): Starting at level 7, the Privateers ability to Command becomes renowned making it easier for the Privateer to get followers. The privateer gets a +1 bonus to his effective character level when determining his Leadership score. This advantage increases every three levels after, + 2 at level 10, +3 at level 13, + 4 at level 16, and to a total of + 5 at level 19

Luck of the Wind (Su): Beginning at 8th level, you are able to cheat the fates on occasion. Once per day you can reroll a failed attack roll, saving throw, skill check, or ability check. You must reroll before the DM declares whether the roll results in success or failure, and you must take the result of the reroll, even if it’s worse than the original roll.On reaching 16th level, you can reroll twice per day.

Great Captain At 9th level the Privateer gains Great captain as a feat

Ride the Wind (Ex): At 10th level the Privateers control of his ship allows him to make better use of the wind increasing the speed of is boat by 20% (minimum of 5ft) and increasing the maneuverability of his vessel increasing the ships turning speed by 15%.

At the Helm (Ex): When at the helm you grant an additional +2 dodge bonus to the Armor Class of any vessel you steer or command. In addition, you can attempt saving throws using your save bonuses against spells or effects targeting your vessel. For example, if a dragon uses its breath weapon against a ship you are steering or commanding, you can make a Reflex save on behalf of the ship to halve the damage. (Normally, vessels are considered unattended objects and fail all saving throws.)

Rake (Ex): At 13th level, you increase your ability to handle a ship and maintain an advantage in naval combat.As long as you have the advantage, attacks against enemy vessels with your shipboard siege engines deal an additional die of damage on a successful attack. This die is of the same kind as the weapon normally deals: For example, a light catapult (normal damage 4d6) deals an extra 1d6 points of damage, while a ballista (normal damage 3d8) deals an extra 1d8 points.

Winds Favor (Ex): At this Level of Privateering, the Privateer may read the wind to such an extent he gets a +2 competence bonus to attack and damage rolls with Gunpowder weapons.

First-Rate: At level 14 a Privateer Acquires a Large ship that may cost no more then 40,000gp

Next to the wind (Ex): The Privateer may take 10 on any roll concerning profession (sailor, or Pilot) checks, even if he is under stress.

Commodore: At level 17, your phenomenal leadership skills allow you to assist the crews of allies’ ships as well as your own. You can use the aid another action to confer a +2 morale bonus on checks made by the crews of a number of additional ships equal to your Charisma bonus (minimum one extra ship) within signaling distance (1 mile in clear conditions). You grant a +4 morale bonus on allied captains’ Profession (sailor) checks to gain the advantage in combat, and they gain the same benefits you confer. In addition, when aiding the actions of your own crew, you confer a +4 bonus instead of +2 on a successful check.

Sky Captain: At level 20 a Privateer may take to the skies on an airship.


To become an Ex-Privateer, the Privateer must break the rules stated on his Letter of Marque. (eg. Attacking a ship from his country without due cause, they attacked first, or permission)

An ex-Privateer may not gain more levels in privateer until he has acquired a new Letter of Marque.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Privateer[edit]

Religion: <-description of how this class typically (but no exclusively) approaches religion including likely portfolios it would worship->.

Other Classes: <-How this class typically interacts with other classes and how characters of this class interact with characters of other classes->.

Combat: <-Typical role in combat->.

Advancement: <-Typical advancement options for characters with this class. Include desirable multiclass options->.

Privateers in the World[edit]

<-Some quote from a character of this class->
—<-NPC name->, <-race-> <-class->

<-Where characters of this class fit in a d20 world.->

Daily Life: Sailing the seas trying to claim ships and goods without being claimed themselves.

Notables: <-notable NPCs of this class->.

Organizations: They work for their nations and for investors who have the nations approval.

NPC Reactions: <-How NPCs react to PCs of this class->.

Privateer Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in <-the appropriate skills-> can research Privateers 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 <-common knowledge->.
10 <-not so common knowledge->.
15 <-rare information->.
20 <-very rare information->.

<-pluralized class name-> in the Game[edit]

<-How characters of this class fit in the game (PC and NPC) and what roles they play.->

Adaptation: <-Possible variant conceptions of this class.->.

Sample Encounter: <-DM placement for NPCs of this class.->.

EL : <-Encounter scenario and character info on sample NPC including stat block. The CR of the NPC is typically the same as the EL for the encounter.->.

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