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Pirates Campaign: Slave Hunting
A fantasy RPG campaign for Rolemaster and Midgard set in a pirates scenario.

Copyright Robert Wenner ©2001

Edited by Lowell R. Matthews for The Guild Companion

In this scenario, the PC's have to recruit new oarsmen for their ship.  Hassal, the captain, sets course for the Ikenga and wants to raid a small beach village.

[Note:  This scenario is somewhat rough cut and has highly variable aspects.  No long description of events can be given, as players may turn the plot in a totally new direction.  The GM should check the material carefully before using it, as some characters like Paladins may have problems with the given task.]

As the pirates are outnumbered by the villagers, and most sailors fear the voodoo magic of which they suspect every native to be capable, the PC's need a good idea to capture new slaves.

The Village

The village at the coast is lined with a 3-m (9'10") high palisade made from rough cut branches with an arm's diameter.  It encircles the 50-m (164') village perimeter.  There is a single gate and a path leading away from the village along the shore and a second path (meeting the first one at the gate) leading through the dense foliage.  The main gain is guarded by two warriors in insecure times.

In the area encircled by the palisade are placed 20 round huts without obvious structure.  A bigger hut in the middle of the village is decorated with feathers and strange paintings (it's the shaman's hut).  In front of this hut is the village's main meeting area, used for meetings and celebrations.  Here is the village's main common fireplace.

About 120 people live in the village, 30 of them being warriors.  The village is led by the old shaman Okawana.  The people live by fishing (four boats lie on the beach) and by gathering fruit from the tropical forest reaching up to the beach.  There is no farming and the only animals living in the village are some chickens.

The weapons used by the villagers are clubs (often fire-hardened and imbedded with sharp objects) and throwing spears (javelins).  Some hunters may use darts on small birds.  Essentially no metal is used; almost all tools and weapons are made from bone, wood, or stone.  Large round wooden shields are used in combat, most of them decorated with "magical" symbols.


Alone, the adventurers have no chance at all.  Neither a direct attack (too many enemies, palisade), nor kidnapping people one by one (takes too long, other villagers will be careful) will help.  After watching the village for some time, the PC's will notice other people watching as well.  These are warriors from another tribe who are planning to raid the village.  This other tribe has had previous dealings with slavers and will gladly support the PC's in exchange for metal tools and weapons.  This tribe has about 400 people (120 warriors).  If the PC's attack the wrong natives, they will be fought with much more force than they may have expected.  The greater tribe's shaman and some warriors speak some words of Scharidisch, the language of Eschar, and may make a deal with the PC's.

If the PC's cooperate with the second tribe, their shaman will first make a ritual dance celebration to prepare his warriors.  Then he will claim all prey for his tribe, except for people.  He also demands iron weapons for his ten best warriors (before the battle).

Robert Wenner

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