Tuesday 21 May 2013

Step by Step - "And a Bottle of Rum"

“And whatever happened to your youngest, dear?” asked the elder tradesman. “What was his name? William?” 

The mature woman’s eyes lit up at the mention of her son. “Billy?” She said with a smile. “Billy’s gone on the account me thinks. He said he was off to join the navy but I doubt ‘tis so. Always was a bit of a free spirit. Now if you’ll buy me a drink we’ll be on our way to a right, fine, evening.”

As the tradesman went off to the bar, Irene wondered whatever happened to her youngest boy, Billy.
In a small English Settlement in the Caribbean Billy Pink was playing Farobank and doing quite well. He had watched his five hundred Gold Pieces grow to six hundred and still had twenty on the table.

“Three,” the banker said. “Winner, to the Captain...” The banker continued as he slid 40 Gold Pieces towards Billy. “Bet the turn Guvnor?”

Billy tossed 20 more on the table and waited as the banker drew a card. “Two,” he said, taking Billy’s money. “Another game sir?”

Billy tossed back the last of his ale and shook his head. As he left the tavern he noticed three fellows abruptly get up and head his way.


“And a Bottle of Rum” is the latest title for Two Hour Wargames scheduled to be released before the end of the month. Here’s a step by step rundown of how you generate your character. “Rum” is more than a game about sailing ships. There are rules for adventures when you’re onshore as well as rules for ship combat. There are even Big Land Battle rules when you want to play games with a large number of units and figure.

In the game you start as a pirate captain in the Caribbean around the 1600’s or Golden Age of Pirates. Or if you prefer a bit of fantasy you can start your career in the continent of Lemuria.
In either case you use the following steps to create your Captain and get going. Generating your character will take about 15 minutes and require some dice rolling. I decided to create my first character, Captain Billy Pink. Here’s how I did it.


As Billy is a Player Character and not run by the game mechanics I chose to make him a Star.

I make him Reputation 5. Think quality. At Rep 5 Billy’s pretty good.

I decide he is English.

As a Star he gets two Attributes. Attributes are recognizable traits that help to define the characters. All characters have one Attribute based on their Class (profession) while player characters and player Grunts (crew members) can have individual ones if desired. I choose the first, Initiative. This gives Billy a +1 to his Rep for Activation when he is alone. This is a double dip Attribute as he counts it when alone onshore and when he is the Captain of a ship when he is the only ship in his fleet.

The next Attribute I roll for and get lucky, another good Attribute. Wary counts a +1d6 bonus when taking the In Sight Test.

Billy also gets Brawler (+1d6 in melee) for being a Pirate as well as a +1d6 when taking the Charge into Melee Test when fighting Big Land Battles.

I choose the Pirate Class. I could have chosen Military, Pirate Hunter or others but hey, it’s a pirate game. 

For weapons Billy has two Pistols and a Sword.

He is allowed to recruit his first band of Grunts and rolls quite well, scoring three Rep 5s and one Rep 4. The only concern is that the Rep 5s may decide to go off on their own if given the chance.

Billy starts with Fame of 0 and Personal Loyalty of 5. These are given and no rolling is required.

I take the remaining Items (7) in Gold Pieces. He also gets 500 to start with.

I choose to start in an English Settlement in the Caribbean, with a low Activity level of 2.

Billy goes to the shipyards and finds out that there are two 4th Rate Merchant ships available for purchase. One would cost 500 Gold Pieces, almost all of what Billy has and the other 650 Gold Pieces.

I decide I’ll take Billy Carousing in the Settlement and play some Farobank. In “Run” there are rules for playing this 17th Century card game using d6. Easy to learn and there is some skill if you choose to use Bonus Dice. But I don’t like using them as they may come in handy later.

So I play some Farobank and win 120 additional Gold Pieces. However, when you are finished Carousing there is a chance, depending upon the Day Part and other factors such as winning at Farobank, of you being robbed. Yes, you guessed it, I rolled for Billy and he was going to get robbed.

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