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There are many fighting folk who sail the seas. Many of them crew pirate, privateer, and corsair vessels, skilled at spilling blood into the salt water. But the buccaneer stands out even among such worthies. It is not enough to be adept with violence – the buccaneer is the subject of tales spread among envious cohorts and terrified merchants and sailors.

As the buccaneer’s career in bloodshed advances, so too does the terror around their legend, giving the buccaneer a potent weapon indeed: fear.

Buccaneer Features
Fighter Level Feature
3rd Blooded Salt, Sea Legs
7th Dreaded Name
10th Signature Vessel
15th Signature Port
18th Flying the Colors

First Ship

All buccaneers have a history aboard a sailing vessel of some sort. No matter the task the ship is engaged in, there are always some aboard it who learn to fight on the rolling, wet decks, in defense of themselves and their ship. That ship is likely in your past – what was the ship’s purpose, and why did you leave it?

First Ships
d6 Ship Type
1 A pirate vessel, preying on fat merchantmen ships.
2 A smuggling vessel, full of forbidden cargo.
3 An exploration vessel, yardarm pointed toward the horizon.
4 A merchant vessel, heavy with riches.
5 A naval vessel, bristling with weapons and fighting folk.
6 A doomed vessel, brought low by fate, plague, or curse.

Blooded Salt

The buccaneer terrifies even other hardened seagoing folk, cultivating an appearance and demeanor equal parts terrifying and exotic. When you take the buccaneer archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with the Intimidate skill and improvised weapons found aboard a ship or on the docks: bottles, belaying pins, gaff hooks, and similar items, as well as any weapons that are attached as prosthetics.

As a bonus action, you may seek to terrify an opponent with an Intelligence of 4 or greater who is within 5 feet of you with a snarl, display of violence, or other intimidation tactic. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw, DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength or Dexterity modifier (your choice). Failure means the target is frightened of you until the end of your next turn.

Along with the normal benefits of fighting a frightened target, you gain the following additional benefits against such a foe:

  • Your melee weapon attacks inflict an additional +1d8 damage on frightened targets once per turn. This bonus increases to +2d8 at 7th level, +3d8 at 12th level, and +4d8 at 15th level.
  • When you reduce a frightened target to 0 hit points, your movement does not provoke opportunity attacks until the end of your turn.
  • At 15th level, you gain resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from any frightened attacker.

Sea Legs

At 3rd level, your experience with sailing vessels gives you proficiency with either water vehicles or navigator’s tools. Additionally, while aboard a water vessel or on docks and wharves, you may use your reaction to gain either a climb speed or a swim speed equal to your normal speed until the beginning of your next turn.

Dreaded Name

At 7th level, you develop a signature style calculated to intimidate your foes. You and your Game Master should come up with what this is: matches in your beard set alight, tearing off of your shirt to reveal gruesome scars, or setting your crew-mates to chanting a signature dirge or shanty.

Whatever it is, when you use your bonus action to perform this signature threat, all enemies with an Intelligence of 4 or greater within 30 feet must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw at a DC equal to 8 + your proficiency modifier + your Strength or Dexterity modifier (your choice) or become frightened of you for one minute. Those affected by this condition may attempt another save at the end of each of their turns to throw off the condition. After using this scare tactic, you may not use it again until you have completed a short rest.

At 12th level, the range of this ability increases to 60 feet, and you regain use of it every time you score a critical hit against a target.

Channel Divinity: Beacon of Courage

At 6th level, you can use your Channel Divinity to embody the inspiring power of your deity for those around you. As an action, you present your holy symbol and cry encouragement to those around you. Choose any creatures within 30 feet of you who can hear you to become affected by this ability for one minute. Those creatures become immune to the frightened condition. At the start of each of your turns, as long as you are not incapacitated, affected creatures gain temporary hit points equal to your Charisma bonus plus your cleric level. Any affected creature may choose as a reaction to no longer be affected by this ability as a sacrifice to gain advantage on one ability check or attack roll.

Divine Strike

At 8th level, you gain the ability to imbue your weapon strikes with divine energy. Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can cause the attack to deal an extra 1d8 damage of whatever type your weapon inflicts to the target. When you reach 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d8.

Signature Vessel

The ships you sail on become an extension of you. At 10th level, you gain the ability to designate a single sailing vessel as your signature ship. You must have sailed aboard a vessel for at least one month to do so, although if you have sailed in a position of authority, you may do so in half the time. While aboard a signature vessel, you gain the following benefits:

  • When taking a short rest, instead of rolling fighter Hit Dice, simply recover 10 + your Constitution bonus per Hit Die spent recovering.
  • Frightened targets aboard your signature vessel cannot perform opportunity attacks against you or your allies.
  • You can choose to turn a hit with a melee weapon attack against a frightened target into a critical hit. You must complete a short rest before using this ability again.

Avatar of Valor

At 17th level, you can channel the ineffable valor of your deity, becoming an avatar of courage in the world. You are permanently immune to any spells or other effects described as being based in fear or terror. Additionally, beacon of hope now has a duration of 1 minute when you cast it, instead of its normal duration.

The range of both your Overthrow Fear and Beacon of Courage Channel Divinity effects are increased to 60 feet.

Creatures that choose to sacrifice being affected by one of those effects may choose the normal benefits of doing so, or they may instead choose to drop to 1 hit point when struck with an attack that would ordinarily otherwise drop them to 0 or fewer hit points.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Death in Freeport: 20th Anniversary Edition, Copyright 2020, Green Ronin Publishing, LLC. Author: Chris Pramas.