Skull and Shackles
Ancient Explorer: You are a student of the ancient
history of Golarion, and you’ve come to the Shackles
to explore the crumbling and vine-choked ruins of the
cyclops empire of Ghol-Gan, which have lain abandoned
among the isles of the Shackles for thousands of years.
You gain a +1 trait bonus on Knowledge (history) and
Knowledge (local) checks, and one of these skills is
a class skill for you. In addition, you gain Cyclops or
Polyglot as a bonus language.
You went to a tavern called the Formidably Maid in
Port Peril last night to meet a contact who supposedly
had an old map of lost cyclops ruins to sell, but the drink
was stronger than you had expected and you passed out
before making the deal.
Barroom Talespinner: You grew up listening to tales
of adventure and piracy on the high seas and the sea
chanteys of old salts in dockside dives. You learned all
about what it’s like to be a pirate by talking with the
sailors on shore leave, and learned how to tell a tale (or
perform some other pirate entertainment) yourself.
You gain a +1 trait bonus on Diplomacy checks and one
category of Perform checks, and one of these skills is a
class skill for you. In addition, once per week you can
make a DC 15 Knowledge (local) or Intelligence check
to see if you know a popular legendary pirate tale, the
telling of which grants you a +1 trait bonus on checks
made to inf luence NPCs on the Wormwood.
You went to a tavern called the Formidably Maid
in Port Peril to earn a few coins with your tales of
the sea. The patrons seemed pleased with your
performance and bought you a few drinks. You
had just remembered a tale of an unfortunate
sailor who found himself press-ganged on a
pirate ship after his drink was drugged when
suddenly everything went black.
Besmara’s Blessing: You were born aboard
a ship at sea or down by the docks in a port city on an
auspicious day. Old salts and sea dogs nod knowingly
and say that Besmara the Pirate Queen, goddess of piracy,
sea monsters, and strife, has marked you for a greater
destiny. You don’t know anything about that, but you’ve
always felt more at home on the sea than on land, and
your keen eyes can easily pick out a sail on the distant
horizon. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Perception
and Profession (sailor) checks. In addition,
once per week you can reroll a Profession
(sailor) check and take the higher result (you
must announce that you are using this ability before the
results of the check are known).
You came to a tavern in Port Peril called the Formidably
Maid in search of your fate. You’re not sure how many
drinks you had, but they quickly went to your head and
you passed out on the table before you found your
destiny—unless it lay in the bottom of a bottle. Then
again, maybe you found your destiny after all…
Buccaneer’s Blood: One of your ancestors was an
infamous Free Captain of the Shackles, whose very name
struck fear in the hearts of those who sailed the seas in
search of an honest living. Piracy is in your blood, and
you’ve always longed to follow in your forebear’s footsteps
and plunder the shipping lanes. You gain a +1 trait bonus
on Intimidate and Profession (sailor) checks. In addition,
you gain a one-time +1 trait bonus to your Disrepute and
Infamy scores (see “The Life of a Pirate” in Pathfinder
Adventure Path #55 for details on the Infamy system).
You went to a tavern called the Formidably Maid, a
notorious pirate hangout in Port Peril, eager to start your
career as a buccaneer. While you were there, however, a
dashing and f lirtatious corsair caught your eye, and
after a whirlwind night of booze and romance, you found
yourself beaten senseless and stuffed in a sack, carried
off to who knows where.
Dockside Brawler: You grew up on the dangerous docks
of one of the Shackles’ numerous ports or anchorages,
and quickly learned that f ists often make a better point
than fancy words, especially when used the right way.
You’ve always preferred action to talk, anyway. You gain
a +1 trait bonus on damage rolls with brass knuckles
( Advanced Player’s Guide 176) and improvised weapons.
While drinking at a tavern called the Formidably
Maid in Port Peril last night, you got into a brawl with
some of the other patrons. You handled yourself well,
but a group of rough-looking characters ganged up on
you and overwhelmed you, knocking you unconscious.
Fortunately, you were able to conceal your brass knuckles
when you were press-ganged, and you begin the campaign
with them, regardless of your starting circumstances.
Eye for Plunder: You’ve always had a keen eye for the
glitter of gold or silver, and you’ve robbed enough rich
merchants and raided enough ships to have a feel for
where the most valuable plunder is hidden. You gain a
+1 trait bonus on Appraise and Perception checks to f ind
concealed or secret objects (including doors and traps).
In addition, you begin the campaign with a selection
mundane trade goods worth 50 gp that you were able to
scrounge together during your first day on the Wormwood.
You found yourself relatively well off when you got your
share of your last voyage’s plunder, and decided to spend
a few of your hard-won coins at the Formidably Maid, a
popular pirate tavern in Port Peril. Maybe the shine of
your new wealth distracted you, however, because you
never saw the miscreants who slipped something into
your drink, knocking you out cold.
Ilizmagorti Native: You grew up in the city of
Ilizmagorti on Mediogalti Island, a pirate port infamous
for both the scoundrels who visit it and the feared Red
Mantis assassins who run it. You’ve been around pirates
all your life, but you’ve learned to be wary in your dealings
with people, as there’s no telling who might be a Red
Mantis in disguise. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Sense
Motive checks, and Sense Motive is a class skill for you. In
addition, your familiarity with the pirate’s life allows you
to make untrained Knowledge (local) checks regarding
pirates or the region of the Shackles.
Looking to make your fortune, you hopped aboard a
pirate ship in Ilizmagorti, and decided to celebrate your
safe arrival in Port Peril with a few drinks at a tavern
called the Formidably Maid. There were some suspicious-looking
characters there, to be sure, and you decided to
give them a wide berth, but as you left, feeling a bit woozy
from drink, you were set upon by thugs in a dark alley
and knocked unconscious.
Peg Leg: One of your legs was bitten off below the knee
by a shark when you were just a child, and was replaced
with a wooden peg leg (Pathfinder Player Companion:
Pirates of the Inner Sea 20). You’ve long since gotten used
to your prosthesis, however, and take none of the normal
penalties from having a peg leg. You’ve had to learn to
deal with the pain of your injury as well, and you gain a
+1 trait bonus on Fortitude saves. Ever since your accident
you’ve hated sharks, and you also gain a +1 trait bonus on
damage rolls against sharks and other animals with the
Your balance always gets a bit shaky after a few drinks,
and last night at the Formidably Maid—a tavern in Port
Peril—was no exception. That must be why you fell to the
f loor as soon as you tried to stand up. What happened
next is hazy, but you’re pretty sure you were dragged out
of the bar and onto a ship at the docks. At least they didn’t
throw you to the sharks…
Ship’s Surgeon: On a ship, a sailor often has to learn
multiple skills, and this rule certainly applies to you.
Your father was a woodworker, and you learned your
first trade from him. But on your f irst voyage at sea you
quickly found out that a carpenter is often a ship’s doctor
as well—after all, who knows more about sawing off limbs
than someone who saws wood for a living? People are a lot
bloodier than wood, that’s for sure, but you haven’t had
many complaints—those sailors who have enjoyed your
services are either happy to be alive or dead, and there’s
old salts who swear the peg legs you for made them are
better than the real legs they used to have. You gain a +1
trait bonus on Craft (carpentry) and Heal checks, and
Heal is a class skill for you.
You were between ships in Port Peril, and after
stopping for a drink at a tavern called the Formidably
Maid, you happened upon a damsel in distress in the
alleyway outside. Thinking you could help, you didn’t
notice the thugs hiding nearby, and they caught you
unawares. You’ve been on enough ships to know a press
gang by the blow of the sap on the back of your neck—you
just hope whatever ship you end up on needs a surgeon.
Although the majority of your equipment was taken away
when you were press-ganged, you managed to hang on to
a fully stocked healer’s kit, and you begin the campaign
with it, regardless of your starting circumstances.
Touched by the Sea: You’ve always felt the call of the
sea and your blood surges with the ebb and f low of the
tides. Perhaps one of your parents was a sailor or pirate,
or maybe one of your ancestors had a bit of aquatic elf
or undine blood in them. Whatever the reason, you’re as
comfortable in the water as you are on land. You gain a
+1 trait bonus on Swim checks and Swim is a class skill
for you. In addition, penalties on attack rolls made
underwater are lessened by 1.
You came to Port Peril in search of your destiny, and
after a few drinks at a tavern called the Formidably Maid,
you went down to the docks to take in a view of the sea.
The last thing you remember is a blow to the back of your
head and the waves rushing up to meet you.