Faerûnian Prestige Class : Great Sea Corsair

Plying the trade lanes along the southern coast of Faerûn, the Great Sea corsair is a master of the waves with a devil may-care attitude. Branded pirate by some and independent mercenary by others, the Great Sea corsair is a privateer who runs things her own way and gets payment for services up front. Those who pay a Great Sea can expect their own ships to sail safely, secure that they have a powerful naval force watching their backs. Ships that haven't bothered to contract with these privateers can anticipate - sooner or later and out of sight of land - to be boarded and plundered. Such is life on the Great Sea.

Rogues are most likely to turn their attention to the path of a Great Sea corsair, while barbarians, bards, fighters, and rangers do so less frequently. Occasionally a spellcaster might be attracted to life aboard a privateer's ship. Other classes either don't have the requisite skills or simply have no interest in such a drastically different lifestyle.

Great Sea corsairs enjoy one another's company. A number of them might carouse together when ashore, but few ever stray far enough inland to leave behind the tangy smell of salt and the soothing sound of crashing waves. Sometimes a Great Sea corsair takes up with other adventurers, especially if there is seagoing travel to be expected and treasure to be had.


To qualify to become a Great Sea Corsair, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:

Class Skills

The Great Sea corsair's class skills are Appraise, Balance, Bluff, Climb, Craft, Gather Information, Intimidate, Jump, Listen, Profession, Search, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Spot, Survival, Swim, Tumble, and Use Rope.

Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All the following are class features of the Great Sea corsair prestige class. The Difficulty Class (DC) for any required skill check is included where appropriate.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Great Sea corsair is proficient with simple and martial weapons and with light and medium armor. If he is wearing light, medium, or no armor, he can fight with two weapons as if he had the Two-Weapon Fighting feat. A Great Sea corsair most often fights with a rapier and either a short sword or a dagger in his offhand. If he has no magical means of swimming in armor, he usually goes unarmored, at least while aboard ship.

Patron (Ex): At 1st level, the Great Sea corsair must designate some merchant or political entity as her patron. This patron is a person or an organization that the corsair has served in some way. For example, if the Great Sea corsair has been hired by a Dambrathan noble to sink his rivals' merchant ships, then the corsair can designate the noble as a patron. The corsair gains a +2 circumstance bonus on Diplomacy checks when dealing with her patron. She gains a +2 circumstance bonus on Intimidate checks when dealing with any of her patron's adversaries, or anyone she is known to have pirated before (as inconsequential as a single ship and its crew to as daunting as an entire nation). At any point, the corsair can switch to a new patron, in which case the circumstance bonuses change accordingly. If the corsair ever chooses to forgo a patron altogether, she immediately takes a -2 circumstance penalty on all Diplomacy checks with anyone the DM deems appropriate, until such time as she establishes a new patron. A corsair without a patron is a mere pirate, unworthy of trust.

Fearsome Reputation: At 2nd level, the Great Sea corsair is developing a reputation on the high seas. At this point, he must decide whether to adopt the honorable pirate's code (avoid undue bloodshed and focus on cargo, nor mayhem) or take the more bloodthirsty, dishonorable approach. Unless he is going incognito, the Great Sea corsair gains a +2 circumstance bonus on Diplomacy checks (if honorable) or Intimidate checks (if dishonorable). Every two Great Sea corsair levels thereafter, this bonus increases by +2. Failure to live up to his reputation at any point may (at the DM's discretion) negate these bonuses.

Rope Swing (Ex): If a number of overhead ropes or booms are nearby (and on a ship, they almost always are), a Great Sea corsair of 3rd level or higher can grab one and swing up to 20 feet in a straight line as a move-equivalent action or as the movement portion of a charge action. if the Great Sea corsair makes a successful Use Rope check (DC 15), this movement doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity for moving through threatened squares. A successful Use Rope check (DC 25) allows the character to move tip to 20 feet through occupied squares without provoking attacks of opportunity. Failure in either case means the Great Sea corsair swings through the desired area but provokes attacks of opportunity normally. Rope swing can be used on land as well - in a room with a tapestry or chandelier, for example.

Players using the variant rules for Tumble should apply the same variant to rope swing.

Wind at Your Back: At 3rd level, the Great Sea corsair has become a master at eking every bit of propulsion out of the prevailing winds. Any ship he captains moves 1 mile per hour faster than normal.

Leadership Bonus: At 5th level, the Great Sea corsair gains a +2 bonus to his character level for the purpose of acquiring cohorts with the Leadership feat. Every two Great Sea corsair levels thereafter, this bonus increases by +2.

Shifting Deck: As a free action, a Great Sea corsair of 5th level or higher can attempt a Balance check (DC 15). Success negates any penalties for uneven ground, such as a ships deck in rolling seas, and any higher-ground bonuses that opponents might otherwise have. The DM may set a higher DC for checks involving particularly uneven or dangerous ground.

Come About: The Great Sea corsair's ability to maneuver a vessel is legendary. At 6th level, he gains a +4 insight bonus on Profession (sailor) checks.

Concealed Weapon Attack: A Great Sea corsair often hides small daggers up his sleeves or in his boots. At 7th level, a Great Sea corsair who doesn't already have the sneak attack ability gets it now at a +2d6 damage bonus, but he can use it only to make sneak attacks with concealed weapons. If the character does have the sneak attack ability from a previous class, the damage bonuses stack only for sneak attacks made with concealed weapons.

Hoist The Black Flag (Sp): The unique insignia of a Great Sea corsair of 8th level or higher is so well known that when it is displayed on a flag or banner, every ally within 50 feet of it gains a +2 morale bonus on attacks. This bonus lasts for 10 rounds after the flag is revealed, or until it is destroyed or lowered, whichever occurs first. Hoist the Black Flag may be used three times per day, and the Great Sea corsair must either hoist the flag personally or hand it to an ally who then hoists it.

Scourge of the Seas: A 10th-level Great Sea corsair's exploits have become so legendary that hundreds of able sailors are willing to sign on as his crew for no compensation other than a share of the booty. High-level Great Sea corsairs can use this influx of sailors to crew pirate fleets of up to a dozen ships. Any small city's dock district has enough sailors (1st-level warriors and experts) to crew a single ship, and a larger city can provide the crew for an entire fleet. This ability is separate from the leadership feat; crew members acquired with the scourge of the seas ability don't count as cohorts or followers.

Great Sea corsairHit Die: d6
1st+1+0+2+0Fight with two weapons
2nd+2+0+3+0Fearsome reputation +2
3rd+3+1+3+1Rope swing, wind at your back
4th+4+1+4+1Fearsome reputation +4
5th+5+1+4+1Leadership +2, shifting deck
6th+6+2+5+2Come about, fearsome reputation +6
7th+7+2+5+2Concealed weapon attack, leadership +4
8th+8+2+6+2Fearsome reputation +8, hoist the black flag
9th+9+3+6+3Leadership +6
10th+10+3++3Fearsome reputation +10, scourge of the seas

Source: Shining South

Realms Prestige Classes