Edges and Hindrances


New Hindrances

Branded (Major)
The character was caught committing acts of
piracy at some point in the past. He escaped the
noose but received a brand on his face labeling
him a pirate. He suffers –2 Charisma among nonpirates.
Any vessel he is on that is boarded by
privateers is thoroughly searched and the cargo
manifest scrutinized. If the character is caught
committing an act of piracy by authorities such
as the Spanish Guild or the British East India
Company, he is summarily executed.
Jingoistic (Minor/Major)
The character dislikes people from other
cultures and believes his own culture to be far
superior—a jingoistic Englishman, for example,
dislikes masaquani and grael as much as the
French or Spanish. He cannot help belittling
other cultures at every opportunity.
A character taking the Minor version has –2
Charisma among other cultures. The penalty
increases to –4 for the Major Hindrance.
Landlubber (Minor)
Not everyone in Caribdus is a sailor. For some,
the workings of a ship are incomprehensible.
The character cannot buy Boating with his
starting skill points. Although he can learn it
through advancements, the character never quite
grasps the basics and receives a –2 penalty to all
Boating rolls.
Seasick (Major)
Suffering from seasickness on Caribdus is a
big problem. The character must make a Vigor
check each time he boards a ship. On a success,
the character manages to control his sickness.
With a failure he suffers a –2 penalty to all trait
rolls until he spends an hour on dry land.
Woe betide the character when caught in a
storm! He must make a Vigor roll at the start
of each round until the storm abates or his
sickness kicks in. He still rolls if already suffering
seasickness—a failed Vigor roll increases the
penalty to –4.
Squanderous (Minor)
Your hero is particularly loose with his
resources, sometimes spending the equivalent
of a year’s pay in a single week of drunken
debauchery. The cost for carousing is doubled!
See page 38 for a complete description.

New Edges

Background Edges

Arcane Background (Magic)
Requirements: Novice, Smarts d6+, Human,
Kraken, Masaquani, or Scurillian

There is only one type of Arcane Background
available to player characters in Caribdus:
Magic. Such characters are called elemental
mages, and must choose a single element—earth,
fire, water, or air—to serve.

Mages’ power comes from the bound spirits
of these raw elements. Their spells are limited
and specialized, however, so young wizards
must choose carefully. Water wizards can
quench a crew’s thirst and heal their wounds.
Fire mages excel at pure destruction. Earth
mages are defensive in nature and handy to have
along when exploring the Thousand Isles. Wind
wizards serve utilitarian purposes, keeping
ships moving when becalmed or slowing foes.
See pages 50 through 54 for a list of available

Mages can master more than one element with
time and patience. See the Elemental Mastery
Edge for more information.

Requirements: Novice, Boating d6+, Fighting
d6+, Shooting d6+

The character served as a pirate in the past and
still retains some of his past booty. He begins the
game with a roll on the King’s Ransom entry of
the Booty Table (p. 104). Any relic found should
be determined randomly.

Natural Swimmer
Requirements: Novice, not available to
Aquatic and Semi-Aquatic races.

Your hero wasn’t literally born in the water,
but some might believe he was. He takes to it
like a fish and can hold his breath longer than
most others. Natural swimmers add +2 to their
Swimming rolls, add +1 to their Swimming
Pace, and can hold their breath 50% longer than
others of their species. In a world mostly covered
in 50 fathoms of water, this Edge can be quite

Kraken Bone Sword & Armor
Requirements: Novice, Kraken

Kraken who served in the Kraken Navy were
equipped with enchanted bone swords and
armor. A character with this Edge still retains
his gear from his service, or perhaps inherited
it from a fallen companion or relative.

The kraken bone sword and armor are formed
from the skeletons of long-dead sea beasts called
leviathans. The blade is a “long sword” that does
Str+d10 damage and weighs only four pounds.
The armor forms a rib cage and “bracers” along
the arms. It offers +3 Armor and weighs only 15
pounds. The sword does only d6 damage in the
hands of a non-kraken, and the armor offers only
+1 protection. Neither are considered magical
when worn by other races.

Combat Edges

Bilge Rat

Requirements: Novice, Agility d8+, Fighting

Scuttling around in the bowels of the ship
doesn’t suit every sailor, but this character has
learned to adjust to the cramped conditions
below deck.

The character no longer suffers the –2 penalty
when fighting below decks (see page 36). If the
weapon has a Reach value the –2 penalty applies
as normal.

Improved Bilge Rat
Requirements: Seasoned, Bilge Rat

The character can use any weapon below
decks without incurring the –2 penalty for
fighting in cramped conditions.

Close Fighting
Requirements: Novice, Agility d8+, Fighting

This Edge is for skilled knife-fighters such as
the doreen, who pride themselves on defeating
their opponents up close and personal.
Close fighters move inside most weapons’
reach, adding a bonus to his Parry equal to the
enemy weapon’s Reach +1 for that particular
foe. No bonus is granted if the foe is unarmed
or using a knife or other small weapon.

Example: A doreen with Close Fighting
battles a kehana with a cutlass (Reach 0). The
doreen’s Parry is raised by +1.

Improved Close Fighting
Requirements: Novice, Close Fighting

Close fighters train to go for vital areas
and weak spots for quick and lethal kills.
The attacker adds a bonus to his Fighting
roll equal to his enemy’s Reach +1.

Dirty Fighter
Requirements: Seasoned

There is no honor among thieves, and
Caribdus has more than its fair share of scurvy
dogs. Those with this Edge will do anything to
win out in a fight.

This scoundrel is particularly good at tricks.
He adds +2 to all Trick maneuver rolls.

Really Dirty Fighter
Requirements: Seasoned, Dirty Fighter

The knave is extremely skilled in tactical
deceit. By describing the trick and spending
a Benny, he may automatically get the drop
on any single opponent.

Oversized Weapon Master
Requirements: Seasoned, Fighting d8+

The character may use two-handed melee
weapons with one hand. The minimum Strength
for using the weapon still applies as normal.

Ramming Speed!
Requirements: Seasoned, Boating d8+

When all else fails, a ship can be used as a
weapon. The captain receives a +2 bonus to
perform a Ram maneuver if captaining the
vessel. In addition, the ship takes only half
damage from ramming attacks it delivers (one quarter
if the ship is fitted with a ram).

Leadership Edges

Board ‘Em

Requirements: Novice, Command, Throwing

The character is a master at judging when to
launch grapples against enemy vessels. When he
leads the boarding party group Throwing rolls
to grapple an enemy vessel receive a +4 bonus.

Master & Commander

Requirements: Seasoned, Smarts d8, Boating
d10+, Intimidation d8+, Command, must be sole
Captain of the vessel when the Edge is used

Crews who serve under these skilled leaders
add +2 to their Boating rolls.

Power Edges (also see Magic)

Elemental Mastery

Requirements: Seasoned, Arcane Background

Elemental mages choose a single element
when first starting out. As they advance in
experience and wisdom, they may slowly learn
to master other elements as well. There is a steep
price to pay for this, however.

Elemental Mastery may be purchased as
an Edge at any time (after becoming at least
Seasoned), but it may only be taken once per
Rank. (Legendary characters may take the Edge
every other time they advance instead.)
Unfortunately, the elemental spirits are jealous
creatures. Each additional element mastered
subtracts 1 from all of the mage’s Spellcasting
rolls. If an earth mage begins to learn the secrets
of water, for instance, the earth spirits become
offended and distant. A character who knows
two elements suffers a –1 penalty, and one who
knows three suffers a constant –2 penalty.
Spells that may be learned by multiple schools,
such as elemental manipulation, are automatically
known for all schools. If a water mage takes
Elemental Mastery (Fire), for example, he can
now use the elemental manipulation spell for both

A key Q&A from Clint on the Boards

: When all four elements have been
mastered, the character is called an archmage.
At this point he has managed to strike a balance
between earth, fire, water, and air. The spirits are
appeased and he no longer suffers any penalties.
He may also choose spells from any of the four
elemental schools.
There is only one known archmage on all of
Caribdus, Tressa the Red (though it is rumored
several kraken archmages may yet live). Tressa
lives in a magical island atop a geyser in the
Teeth (see page 48).

Professional Edges


Requirements: Novice, Boating d6+, Climbing
d8+, Throwing d8+

Many captains instill courage in their men
by offering additional rewards to the first man
to board an enemy vessel. Few survive to claim
their prize. Through skill and luck the character
has survived dozens of boarding actions and
feels empowered by the adrenaline rush.
All Climbing and Throwing rolls involving
ropes are made at +2. Anytime he is the first
allied character to board an enemy vessel he
receives a Benny.

Rope Monkey

Requirements: Seasoned, Agility d8+,
Climbing d10+
Rope Monkeys are those sailors who may as
well have been born in the rigging. They always
seem to know just the right rope to cut and pull
to swing to some other part of the ship and
can ride the lines down to avoid an otherwise
nasty fall.

Rope Monkey has two functions. The first is
to allow a character on the exterior of the ship
to move to any other exposed part of the ship
by swinging from the rigging.


Requirements: Novice, Smarts d8+,
Knowledge (Metallurgy) d8+, Repair d8+

Gunsmiths can repair broken firearms and
cannons given fire, metal, suitable tools, and a
Repair roll. This takes four hours per device, or
half that with a raise. They may also use molds
to make shot for these weapons (see page 26).

This counts as the character’s movement and requires a Climbing
roll. If successful, he moves to any other external
area of the ship. He may not move further this
action even by “running.” With a raise, he can
move and gains momentary surprise on any foes,
adding +2 to any Fighting attacks and damage
rolls for the round. This can also be combined
with a Trick maneuver.

Mark of Torquemada

Requirements: Novice

The dread inquisitor Tomas de Torquemada
controls a legion of underlings to help him in
his nefarious quest—the complete extermination
of all Caribdus’ mages. Those who pledge
themselves to his cause, honestly and truly,
are made inquisitors and painfully branded
upon their left breast with the sign of the cross.
From this day forward, the character gains the
Improved Arcane Resistance Edge (which is not
otherwise available in this setting).
The Edge comes with a price though.

Torquemada knows what is in a person’s heart,
and does not impart his brand to those with no
intention of fulfilling their duties. The character
is expected to bring Torquemada a minimum of
one mage every six months. Those who fail are
not banished, but are sent after more powerful
targets to regain the High Inquisitor’s trust.

Rope Monkeys may also use this ability in
forests with tall trees. In that case, the Climbing
roll is made at –2 and the character may
reposition himself within d10”.

A foe who wants to take his free attack at
a Rope Monkey swinging out of melee must
subtract 2 from his roll. The same applies to
characters with First Strike—they suffer a –2
penalty to their Fighting roll.

Rope Monkeys may also make a Climbing
roll any time they fall from a ship’s rigging (and
are conscious). Success means they take half the
usual falling damage by grabbing onto ropes as
they tumble. With a raise, the sailor manages to
slide down a rope and suffers no damage.


Requirements: Novice, Persuasion d8+

A character with this Edge is skilled in
buying and selling large lots of cargo for resale.
Commodities on the Master Trading Table (page
43) cost 25% less.

Requirements: Seasoned

Scouts have learned to watch the signs and
trust their instincts when it comes to navigating

Anytime the Game Master draws a face card
while traveling (indicating a random encounter
has occurred—see page 59), a Scout may make
a Notice roll at –2. If successful, he detects the
hazard, creature, or situation at the earliest
opportunity, likely giving his party time to avoid
it or at least attack it on their own terms.
Scouts also gain +2 to Notice rolls made to
avoid surprise in tactical situations. (Make this
a cooperative roll if there are multiple Scouts.)

Master Merchant

Requirements: Novice, Merchant
The merchant now sells cargoes for 25%
more than listed on the Master Trading
Table (page 43).

Ship’s Carpenter
Requirements: Novice, Boating d6+,
Knowledge (Carpentry) d6+, Repair d8+

The character may use his knowledge of
carpentry to repair damage to a ship without
taking it to a dry dock. The ship must still be
careened, however (see page 37).


Requirements: Novice, Shooting d8+, may not
have the All Thumbs Hindrance

Some characters have a natural affinity with
firearms, or have trained for years to load
quickly even while under fire.

Characters with this Edge can reload a
firearm in a single action. They may walk while
reloading, but may not run. The Edge does not
apply to cannon, only to personal arms.

Repairing each wound requires a successful
Repair roll, takes 1d4 days, and requires a half
cargo space worth of timber per wound. With a
failure the time and materials are ruined. With a
raise, the time is halved. A number of crew equal
to the ship’s base Toughness are required. Time
can be halved with double the crew, or time is
doubled every time that number is halved.
Critical wounds require a successful Repair
(–2) roll and take 1d6 days to fix.


Requirements: Novice, Agility d8+, Boating
d6+, Throwing d8+

Although the norwhale is the most wellknown,
there are other species of whale
swimming beneath the seas of Caribdus. Their
bone, flesh, and fat are tradeable commodities
in most settlements—but first you have to catch
them. Whalers earn their living hunting these
behemoths, stripping their carcasses, and selling
the components.

A whaler’s main weapon is not his harpoon
but his knowledge of whales. Any fool can
throw a harpoon—the trick is knowing when
to throw it and where to aim. A whaler gets +2
to Throwing rolls and inflicts +4 damage against
aquatic creatures of Size +3 or greater.
See page 44 for details on the grisly practice
of whaling.

Treasure Hound
Requirements: Novice, Luck

Some scalawags are just luckier than others
when it comes to finding treasure. If there’s
a single Treasure Hound in a party, the GM
increases the value of Booty generated from the
Booty Table by 25% (page 104). Even better, the
chance of finding magical items is increased by
10% as well! Multiple Treasure Hounds in a
party have no additional effect.

Social Edges

Requirements: Novice, Smarts d8+

Your sailor knows that fools and their money
are soon parted. The total price for carousing is
halved (page 38). He also adds +2 to his Smarts
rolls to avoid getting drunk.

Good or Bad Reputation

Requirements: Veteran

Whether the character is branded a hero
or villain, he has earned a reputation across
Caribdus. He may add his Charisma to
Intimidation or Persuasion rolls. A negative
score is treated as positive for this purpose (and
the character has a bad reputation).

Weird Edges

Storm Chaser
Requirements: Novice, Boating d8+

When the weather is at its worst the character
is at his best, seeming to read the storm like he
would a book. Such characters are respected
for their skill but feared for their love of a good

The character receives +2 to all Boating rolls
made during a storm. In addition, the character
may draw two cards each round during a storm
and keep the best card. If the character has the
Wind Sense Edge as well he draws three cards

Wind Sense

Requirements: Novice, Smarts d8+, Boating

The character has an almost supernatural
knowledge of air and wind. He can sense
changes in the weather and wind direction long
before they actually happen.

If the character is piloting a ship he gains
+2 to Boating rolls during Contact, using his
knowledge of the winds to outrun and catch

In addition, the character may draw two cards
each round during a storm and keeps the best. If
the character has the Storm Chaser Edge as well
he draws three cards.

Edges and Hindrances

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