Pirating is dangerous business! Yet the allure of wealth beyond measure and the hope that the Fountain of Youth could be found drove hundreds of men into the Caribbean in the 1650s to seek both. Port Royal, Jamaica was the den of pirates and the haven of evil — the base of many pirates.

That is until the English took command of Port Royal and declared piracy a crime.

Pirates, still seeking fame and fortune and perhaps eternal life, face the hempen jig. The Hempen Jig is slang for being hanged for the crime of piracy.

Despite the English’s vigorous enforcement against piracy, hundreds still remain at large and are actually thriving.

You are part this world in Port Royal. Perhaps you are an English Naval officer hell-bent on capturing pirates. Or, perhaps you are a pirate trying to make money, pillage women and become famous. Either way, do you have what it takes to avoid the Hempen Jig?


We will be using Savage Worlds RPG rules but on a much simplified basis. For scenes in which you describe something that requires a skill, please make your skill roll offline (we are going on the honor system here) and just adjust your narrative depending on your success or failure. For contested rolls against NPCs, I will roll for them and let you know if we have to tweak a scene (things don’t always go the way the heroes like).

For combat scenes, we are not going to roll for every attack on every round. Instead, we are going to simplify the rolls like this:

1. Make your attack roll offline (honor system)
2. When you post, use the narrative to explain whether you missed or hit a devastating attack (aces with raises, etc.) then convert all that into a scale of 1-10 (10 being the most devastating hit) and post that the number in brackets in your post.
3. You can add +1 to your 1d10 number if the skill would have been used.
3. I will roll a “defensive” roll on 1d10, add any +1 for relevant skills and compare it to your posted bracketed score. Range and cover can also each add +1 to the defensive number.
4. If both numbers are the same, it was a stalemate scene with no one having the advantage.
5. If the offensive number is higher than the defensive number, the attacked has the advantage for that scene and gets a +1 to their next offensive roll.
6. If the defensive number is higher than the offensive number, the defender has the advantage and gets +1 to the defensive number.
7. If the spread is over 5, the other side is defeated (not always death, but could be fleeing, capture, seriously wounded or death).
8. If the fight continues, just repeat the process.

Here is an example, player A swings a club at player B. Player A’s attack dice is 1d6 and he rolls a 4. His narrative description also talks about taunting Player B and acrobatics [so imagine a post that has the player talking smack, doing a surprise tumble to flank Player B and then the club swing] and each of those skill uses add +1 to the 4 bringing the offensive number to 6. As the moderator, and the person running Player B, I read the post and roll a defense number 1d10. I have the “block” edge and “fighting skill”, so I will add +2 to the defensive number. I rolled a 2 +2 =4. So I post Player B’s post knowing that Player A got the best of me during that round but since the spread between 4 and 6 was only two, the next round of the scene is standard with no additional bonuses.

This system is fluid and there will be scenes in which we kind-a-make it up as we go along. I do not want to bog down the story-telling with lots of rolls, which is why these rolls happen offline and your narrative works in the results.

For scenes with powers, guns, etc., just go with your gut on how to add your bonuses.

Hempen Jig

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