50 Fathoms Wiki

Edge Requirements[]

Boating d6, Swimming OR Climb d4, Knowledge: Navigation OR Repair d4

So, you wish to be a scourge of the seas of Caribdus, a veteran salt with numerous tales to tell each one taller than the last? Then mind you be aware of what a life on the four seas can do to those that sail them too long, for the sea is ever changing, and changes those who ply her.

Old Sea Dogs start the game with 20xp more than characters that do not have the edge - this means that they get to level up four times as the final part of their character generation.

Once character generation is complete (yes, all of it!) then they must draw a card from a fresh deck to determine what kind of misfortune has befallen your hero as they sailed the seas of fate ...

Two: Ill Fortune

This sea dog ran into something that has placed the Evil Eye upon him. He gains the Bad Luck Hindrance. If he had it already, he lucks out (he doesn’t get it again).

Three: Enemy

The Old Salt has had a run in with someone and they feel that their business is unresolved. Whatever happened, the Sailor is being hunted by someone that wants him dead. Or worse.

The GM gets to whip up some nasty foe to come looking for the poor sod. It’s something fairly powerful, certainly a Wild Card, and perhaps more clever than strong. It might look to make the hero’s life a living Hell instead of just springing out of the darkness one night.

Four: Blackmail

The Spanish Guild (red card) or British East India Company (black card) has something on the hero that could make him swing if it were revealed to the general public. They frequently recruit him for the roughest assignments, and “no” isn’t really an option. When they come knocking, these organizations don’t ask nicely, or twice.

Five: Addicted

The character would like to forget the things he’s seen. He has a Major Habit for alcohol, or a drug like opium.

Six: Haunted Dreams

The tar can never forget the horrors he’s experienced. They even haunt him in his dreams. Each morning the sailor must make a Spirit roll. If they fail, they suffer a level of fatigue, which will recover with a night of sleep (though they may lose it again if they fail their Spirit roll the next morning). This level of fatigue will never cause the Sailor to become Incapacitated.

Seven: Damaged Goods

An encounter in the past has left one of the character’s limbs maimed or entirely missing. Roll a d6. On a 1-3, he’s Lame; on a 4 he has the one Leg Hindrance, on a 5, the one Arm Hindrance and on a 6 the One Eye Hindrance. If the character is already Lame, then he suffers a further -1 to his Pace. If he already has a missing part that matches the one he's just lost again, roll a die. On a 1-3 they suffer no further injury. On a 4-6 they have lost BOTH parts.

Eight: Hideous Scars

One of the enemies this unfortunate hero encountered rearranged the hero’s face or some

other highly visible body part. He’s Ugly when the wound is visible.

Nine: Befuddled Mind

This salt’s mind isn’t what it once was. Roll a d6 on the table below

1: Absent Minded: The character tends to forget little details. He might eat raw coffee one day or forget to wear his pants the next. To remember an important detail, he must make a Smarts roll. If he fails, he can’t remember it.

2: Eccentricity: This Sea Dog becomes what we like to call an eccentric. Other folks just call him “crazy.” Maybe he smothers his food in vinegar or eats lots of bran to keep his digestive system clear (ugh). The condition is basically harmless and amusing, though occasionally annoying, lowering his Charisma by 1

3: Paranoia: An insidious whispering in the back of his mind convinces the hero that someone or something is evil, or trying to steal his belonings, and must be stopped. At first he may only talk badly about his “enemies.” Later on he might attempt to ruin or even kill them, should they give him a genuine reason to dislike them.

4: Phobia: The seaman develops a strange fear of something completely irrational and unrelated to his profession (his phobia does not prevent him from working). He suffers the penalties for a Major Phobia when in the presence of the feared object or environment. See Savage Worlds for a complete description of phobias and their effects.

5: Delusion: Everyone’s out to poison the sailor with soap, or so he believes. Or maybe all parrots are secretly a super-intelligent race that control sailors when sitting on their shoulders so they can conquer nations. He tells everyone about his beliefs, trying to convince them that he is right. His bizarre claims lower his Charisma by 2.

6: Schizophrenia: Any time any player draws a Joker, the character adopts a drastically different attitude. At one moment he might be passive and restrained. Later on he’s a raving madman. Choose a new Minor Hindrance for the poor sap teach time this occurs to reflect the change. Make sure the Hindrance is a mental instability rather than a physical handicap.

Ten: Jumpy

This lubber's seen things he shouldn’t have and is scared to be alone now. He’s afraid of the dark, afraid to wander be on watch alone, and so on. He’s so jumpy that all rolls are at -1 when he doesn't have a friend nearby that can reach them with a single (non-running) move.

Jack: Old Wounds

The last creature this old salt tussled with left a mark that won’t go away. The hero has some sort of old and unhealing wound that gives him the Anemic Hindrance. If the character is already Anemic then the penalty to their rolls is increased to -3.

Queen: Jonah

This poor sailor is terrible luck for those around him, when he's aboard ship, at least. His bad luck affects any ship that he boards for as long as he is aboard.. Anytime the hero rolls a 1 on his trait die (regardless of his Wild Die) when aboard a ship, something goes wrong that causes a wound to the ship or some other kind of dramatically appropriate mishap that will require 2d6 hours working on it and a successful Repair roll to fix.

This also applies to any group rolls that the Hero may be giving a bonus to. After all, he can't help but try and help out!

He's fine when he's on land, however.

King: Castaway

The hero was left castaway on an island in his past, and was rescued by luck, just before they died. They have never fully recovered and have a permanent case of 'the shakes' giving them a -1 to all Agility rolls and related skills.

Ace: Flashbacks

Long ago, this hero did something awful to survive an encounter with a foe. Ever since, they have been haunted by the memory of that day, and suffer flashbacks that can be caused by the most curious and apparently unrelated things. Any time this sailor is dealt a black Ace or Two for initiative, they are Shaken and must make their rolls to recover at -2.

Black Joker: Cursed

The hero’s very soul was damned by something they faced in the past. The player draws only one Benny at the beginning of each play session, or none if he has the Bad Luck Hindrance.

Red Joker: Blessed

This salt has managed to travel the world with little or no ill effect! Unfortunately they have begun to believe their own somewhat exaggerated tales – they gain the Overconfident hindrance and +5 fame, as they are always telling others of their exploits! If they are already Overconfident, then they gain the Arrogant hindrance instead.