Interest Check Pirates and Privateers, a Discussion

Bullroarer

Game Master
Sep 28, 2017
225
115
73
36
#1
At the suggestion of an experienced member, I went looking for any info on Pirates and Piracy in the SARP universe. What i found was......lacking. Based on my researching, no actual pirate plot got off the ground in the last five years. The only plot that even considered it was Ragnarok, though i haven't read the entire plot thread to find out if they did in fact do so.

That brings me to the discussion. Is there a reasonable IC space for pirates? I especially want the input from FM's, as they would be the most experienced and knowledgeable on their space. Your thoughts, for posterity.
 
Likes: Immortal Cyan

Whitehart

Well-Known Member
Mar 25, 2015
688
288
63
39
#2
The Nassau system is a fairly lawless area in SARp and really, the majority of piracy in SARP would largly be hindered by location. Piracy in say, Nepleslia is totally legit whereas piracy in Yamatai would be very difficult to be succesful. It all comes down to location and what kind of piracy you are looking to do.

Raiding ships? Gotta choose an area without a lot of immediate space support. It happens you just have to think ahead on where and the scale of piracy. Like all plots though, start small and work up, as you start (in your opinion) getting to larger hauls then get the FM's involved. As someone who has played and now running the Bounty Hunter plots, I keep my scenarios small enough scale that it won't necessarily impact the faction as a whole. And since gang wars happen all the time no one will notice when a group of mercs takes out a gang unless they start killing neighborhoods in the process.

Does this make sense>
 

Ace

Game Master
Feb 14, 2016
1,053
200
93
#3
I have a company that makes use of pirates for dirty work that can't be connected to them but so far haven't done anything to really RP it out.
 

Legix

Necromancer
Setting Submissions Mod
FM of Nepleslia
Game Master
Jul 20, 2016
1,960
1,785
138
32
#4
The Nassau system is a fairly lawless area in SARp and really, the majority of piracy in SARP would largly be hindered by location. Piracy in say, Nepleslia is totally legit whereas piracy in Yamatai would be very difficult to be succesful. It all comes down to location and what kind of piracy you are looking to do.

Raiding ships? Gotta choose an area without a lot of immediate space support. It happens you just have to think ahead on where and the scale of piracy. Like all plots though, start small and work up, as you start (in your opinion) getting to larger hauls then get the FM's involved. As someone who has played and now running the Bounty Hunter plots, I keep my scenarios small enough scale that it won't necessarily impact the faction as a whole. And since gang wars happen all the time no one will notice when a group of mercs takes out a gang unless they start killing neighborhoods in the process.

Does this make sense>
This is basically what I tried to hint at when the topic was brought up on Discord. Piracy in SARP exists, but the kinds you see in Star Wars (giant pirate lords) does not. Most pirates tend to operate on refined, smaller scales where they can slip under the pirate-hunting radar of the nations. It's really only due to the fact that various major powers dedicate military action at least to some degree to combat pirates with extreme force. And, realistically, pirates are fairly limited when it comes to matching the military might of even the smaller ships of Nepleslia, Yamatai, and other nations. This is why when I had a discussion ages ago, it was essentially pointed out most pirates would follow a "heist" mentality. They'd stake areas out, find targets, and plan ahead of time... and then jump and try to execute an almost lightning-raid before any help can come or the ship can escape (the lower rate of interdiction tech, response times of the militaries, and the general lack of jammer tech these days is partially responsible for this).

TLDR: There is IC space, but only for certain kinds. Regardless, your pirate gang should be starting fresh for the best slate and scale. It was something I talked to death before in the past to even find the loopholes (such as ground-operating pirates like the Fatnecks who grew so big they had to mix into the population to avoid annihilation) otherwise it would definitely be very tough without direct FM approval/a "do-anything" card and hand-holding of the plot.
 

Gallant

Praise the Sun!
Oct 28, 2006
2,777
615
138
29
Adventure & Intrigue
stararmy.com
#5
It was strongly implied that the original, founding members of the Asterian fleet were pirates or privateers hired by the Morioka clan. When they tried to affect elections on a planet in Nepleslia, they were ousted and fled back to Yamatai, and ended up being granted their own special sovereighty area - Asteria. So, viewed in a certain light, Asteria might have been founded by a legitimized "Pirate Lord".

In Asteria, due to the charter system we're using (if you find it, you apply a claim to the government to 'claim' it as your own) it's possible that piracy could become a legitimate issue on the frontier, where people might have rushed to stake their claims without adequate protection or resources. I was going for a Firefly-esque frontier in the Yugumo/Former Lorath & UOC area.

We also specifically felt that most FMs held on/hold on to their setting belongings a little too tightly (crushing anyone's dreams of, for instance, really interacting with government agencies who are always "super powerful" or "better technology"), and so it's been on the agenda to encourage people to use our setting as a target as well as an asset. If someone pitched a pirate plot to me (they've done this before), the only thing I ask is that you also, at the same time, flesh out the system/area/government agency that you're using as an antagonist. I think that's a reasonable request.
 

Legix

Necromancer
Setting Submissions Mod
FM of Nepleslia
Game Master
Jul 20, 2016
1,960
1,785
138
32
#6
It was strongly implied that the original, founding members of the Asterian fleet were pirates or privateers hired by the Morioka clan. When they tried to affect elections on a planet in Nepleslia, they were ousted and fled back to Yamatai, and ended up being granted their own special sovereighty area - Asteria. So, viewed in a certain light, Asteria might have been founded by a legitimized "Pirate Lord".

In Asteria, due to the charter system we're using (if you find it, you apply a claim to the government to 'claim' it as your own) it's possible that piracy could become a legitimate issue on the frontier, where people might have rushed to stake their claims without adequate protection or resources. I was going for a Firefly-esque frontier in the Yugumo/Former Lorath & UOC area.

We also specifically felt that most FMs held on/hold on to their setting belongings a little too tightly (crushing anyone's dreams of, for instance, really interacting with government agencies who are always "super powerful" or "better technology"), and so it's been on the agenda to encourage people to use our setting as a target as well as an asset. If someone pitched a pirate plot to me (they've done this before), the only thing I ask is that you also, at the same time, flesh out the system/area/government agency that you're using as an antagonist. I think that's a reasonable request.
Well, there you go. Free reign for pirates in Asteria as long as you flesh things out for 'em.
 
Likes: Gallant
A

ArsenicJohn

#7
USO is also an excellent place for pirates to show up. The western starmap is largely empty, so generally the same deal as Asteria. I would recommend fleshing out the space between 188604 and Yamatai/Nepleslia with a few star systems.

I am curious what the other FMs have to say. @Gunhand4171 @Ira @Soresu @Gunsight1 @Nashoba @FrostJaeger Would pirates be able to operate within any of your territories?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

FrostJaeger

On Hiatus
Site Supporter
Setting Submissions Mod
FM of Elysia
Game Master
May 1, 2015
1,979
1,001
158
the East Coast, USA
goo.gl
#8
Although pirates would be able to operate within the unsecured and (mostly) uncolonized Elysian Expanse, there wouldn't actually be anything for them to pirate - though the lack of any real Star Army presence in the region makes it an ideal location for a "secret base" or something; as for the rest of the Elysian Celestial Empire (Elysia Novus, Anakes, Artume, Keren, and Minyas), that same lack of any real Star Army presence means that yeah, piracy could definitely be a thing.

If anyone is interested about piracy in Elysian space, please contact me via DM or PM before making any posts - as there's some......benefits that said pirates could receive.
 
Last edited:
Likes: ArsenicJohn

Zack

Site Supporter
FM of Uso's Organization
Game Master
Jan 21, 2005
7,613
1,868
138
#9
Ragnarok was less a pirate plot and more of a PMC.

They did steal a planet though. So. Pretty successful as far as pirates go.
 

raz

A Princess of Yamatai
Necromancer
Setting Submissions Mod
FM of the Kudhacari
Game Master
Jul 21, 2005
2,704
1,639
138
30
I was everywhere.
#10
I am curious what the other FMs have to say. Would pirates be able to operate within any of your territories?
Yes, if I was able to guide the representation of stuff in my systems. Basically what all FMs already do with their creations, and have been doing for years.

Is there supposed to be some kind of new method of FMing we're all supposed to be considering? Because I haven't seen any new concepts in this thread at all.
 

raz

A Princess of Yamatai
Necromancer
Setting Submissions Mod
FM of the Kudhacari
Game Master
Jul 21, 2005
2,704
1,639
138
30
I was everywhere.
#11
Sorry to double post, but I only saw the shade slinging and didn't really address the actual thread creator's question. Sorry!
Is there a reasonable IC space for pirates? I especially want the input from FM's, as they would be the most experienced and knowledgeable on their space. Your thoughts, for posterity.
Most of the replies seem to have missed the core of this question, too. Piracy exists in SARP and I don't think anybody is disallowed from running pirate operations even in Yamataian space. But there are IC consequences for trying and your ship/characters/equipment could get destroyed or imprisoned for doing so.

The old Bounty Hunts plot dealt with tons of underworld places. The Back Moon near Halna and Bastia on Morant in the already-mentioned Nassau system were part of that fleshing out and they're really cool "havens" that already exist. They also hint at the extent of pirate dominance in the core sector, which is minor. We have hubs where criminals operate at the fringes rather than city-state pirate kingdoms started by criminals where criminality has replaced regular society and government.

There's certainly more room for the latter but, just generally because of how the setting is, pirate operations and/or kingdoms are going to have a hard time without visiting deep space lanes far away from any of the colored boxes on the map.

tl;dr: You can do whatever you want and try to pirate but the possible IC consequences essentially guarantee failure without extreme "Ocean's 11" planning montages.
 

Ametheliana

Number One
Staff
Site Supporter
Necromancer
FM of Nepleslia
FM of the Iromakuanhe
Game Master
Jun 18, 2016
6,404
6,568
153
#12
My character Aashi Nath is a fully fledged, RP'd privateer PC. She started off as a pirate in her Pre-RP, then went to USO as a pirate/hotel builder, then went looking for the lost ship in her bg story (I did this RP alone), then she hooked back up with her boyfriend, got married in her homeland, and was offered a job as her wedding by someone from the government of her homeland that offered her a contract to hunt their enemies. Privateers get commissions from their governments or similar for the enemies/ships/installations they take, which is fundamental in understanding them.
 

Ira

Ser Spit
Game Master
Nov 26, 2008
2,763
482
113
34
New Orleans, LA
#13
Well, Vice employs pirates for their own ventures.

I’d imagine a set wiki on pirates would simply describe known havens, state that pirates are varied.

Pirates likely get charters from the major factions in order to operate. Strong pirate groups likely develop into fiefdoms that can At times look like a small country.
 

Wes

Founder & Admin
Staff
FM of Yamatai
Game Master
Jan 27, 2003
27,334
6,227
153
Atlanta, GA
stararmy.com
#14
In EVE terms, Core Yamatai is highsec space, but there are also lowsec parts of Yamataian space (particularly the South were you have independent star systems in Yamataian territory yes which are not actually claimed by Yamatai (e.g. there's no government or the government there isn't joined with Yamatai despite being surrounded by the YSE). In general, the closer you are to population centers, the higher security is. Yamatai has a reaction force of starships literally idling waiting for the next major event to respond to, which can show up in minutes if a distress call is sent out. This actually happened in the Halna system in Floodwaters's plot Concordia Veil but the pirates actually escaped, at least temporarily, because it took 10 minutes for the Star Army to arrive and the pirates were done in 2 minutes. Pirating in Yamatai is all about knowing when un-escorted ships with valuables are making stops in poorly-guarded places, and getting those valuables and leaving before government attention can be raised. Also keep in mind you don't have to make your move in space -- ships landed at a spaceport are much easier to board. In a best case scenario you trick or hack the cargo movers and get them to deliver stuff into your hands without firing a shot or even threatening anyone. For example pretending to be the guy who's supposed to sign for the delivery.
 

Ametheliana

Number One
Staff
Site Supporter
Necromancer
FM of Nepleslia
FM of the Iromakuanhe
Game Master
Jun 18, 2016
6,404
6,568
153
#17
Nigiyaka is right next to a system with a pirate planet. I specifically placed it there to facilitate pirating and crime RP. I would like to do something myself with the smuggling/pirates already there, but if you wanted to bring your own in to the port, planet, and/or system to cause trouble, I would love that!
 
Likes: Wes