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Balancing the Buccaneer

Title is pretty self-explanitory. I'm slowly working on creating a pirate-themed campaign, but the more I think about it, the more necessary the Buccaneer class becomes. My goal is to work towards creating a semi-custom Buccaneer that still captures the theme and feeling of the original, but fits better into the current URealms setting. Let's start with some general things about the class:

Lack of Regular Abilities: The Buccaneer class is very heavy in Limited and Companion cards, with Haunt being the only offensive Regular Ability. This isn't necessarily an issue, just something that could be adjusted by changing a card or two.

Wordiness: This was brought up at one point in season 2, but a lot of the cards for this class are very wordy and complicated. Again, not necessarily a huge issue, but simplifying some of the cards may be beneficial.

Now, let's move on to each individual card:

buccaneer ----> custom card
Adjusted to have 100 less gold.

As Duke Daring proved, this card can be very powerful or very detrimental. I don't think this one needs any alteration.

A cheap roleplay spell. Again, nothing problematic with this, a GM just needs to be good enough to determine what constitutes breaking the contract.

Since one of the main draws of Buccaneer is the building of a pirate crew, I'd say this one is also fine to be left alone.

Also fine and the only offensive regular ability this class gets normally, the GM just needs to interpret it properly.

Jollyroger ----> custom card
Changed so that Players don't have control of their character taken away from them (created by @GypsyCow )

parleythepiratecode ----> custom card
Changed from something that could ruin the GM's encounter to something much more balanced, while still keeping true to the theme (created by @GypsyCow )

This card is probably fine, fits the theme excellently.

A little wordy, but otherwise a fine card in my opinion. firstmate may need to be looked at, but otherwise this is fine.

This card is very silly and I like it a lot.

secretweapon ----> custom card
Changed to facilitate the removal of Legendary Companions and replaced with a fun and thematic Limited (created by @Tripleat )

Very similar to Avast Ye Maties, but I think it works just fine.

weightedanchor ----> custom card
Transformed into a Regular Action that still sticks with the original concept, but doesn't end up being the same thing as Cleave (created with input from @GypsyCow )

And that's everything. Hopefully some of you have input on this, I think GMs and campaign designers could benefit greatly from having the Buccaneer back in the game!


  • @RedDashLion
    For secret weapon I say it would be better of you make it a passive instead of a regular abilities
  • @Phendrix Excellent point, also makes sure the quartermaster can't use it with first mate haha. Do you think it's balanced enough though?
  • It would be cool if Weighted Anchor created rough terrain wherever it hits, as if the buccaneer is dragging the anchor back and it rips up the ground.
  • @GypsyCow Ooh yeah I like that concept, I'll add that when I make the new cards, thanks! Any ideas for what could replace Parley?
  • edited October 2017
    @RedDashLion This is my take on Parley

    custom card

    "Call Parley with a Target. Neither you nor the Target may use abilities on or basic attack one another for this round of combat. If your Target breaks Parley, they must Death Roll and you gain 5 Bonus Actions to use against them. If you break Parley, you must Brutal Death Roll."

    The concept of calling Parley as a pirate captain is too good to remove from the class entirely, but this version of the ability turns it form a potentially encounter-breaker to a way to buy yourself a round of immunity from a big target.

    Brutal Death Roll for breaking Parley might be a bit harsh, but I think considering the power of the spell and the identity of the class it's justified.

    Note that the card specifically says "cast abilities on or basic attack"; this means that the Buccaneer is free to use Jolly Roger (or any other way to grant Bonus Actions) to deal damage.

    P.S. Any help getting the card to display properly would be appreciated, I have no idea how to link them properly.

  • @GypsyCow This is actually really cool. Brutal Death Roll is, well Brutal, but I agree that it's probably fair, anything less and you'd just break the Parley every time. I think I'd maybe consider adding something along the lines of "You may not use this ability on a Target you have damaged this round" since otherwise you'd attack it for a ton of damage before using it."

    Also the card is displaying properly, you might just have to refresh a few times, I've had that problem before too.
  • Okay, I've added the new versions of Jollyroger, Parley, Secret Weapon, and Weighted Anchor. Only thing I'm not sure on is the gold cost of Secret Weapon, might be a little high for a one-time use ability.
  • @RedDashLion 300 gold might be a better price for Secret Weapon. It has limitations that are somewhat harsher that the 300 gold Spellthief card that provides a legendary spell. 
  • @GypsyCow Yeah that's what I was thinking, I'll adjust that eventually
  • edited October 2017
    @RedDashLion I'm planning a pirate campaign for my URealms group soon, so I'll play test these changes and let you know how they feel.

    Edit: Made a slight change to Jollyroger while I was setting up the class that I thought was funny and thematic.

    custom card

  • @GypsyCow I like it haha. And hopefully the test goes well, I appreciate your help!
  • Me and my friends were thinking the same thing (@Faron cause he was looking for this forum) we ourselves were actually straight up removing the secret weapon ability entirely. We thought of a new limited called Cannon Fodder, basically throw and adjacent ally/companion at a Target, 99 to target, 50 to the one being thrown. I honestly love the name, ability just sounds fun too
  • @Tripleat I agree, that sounds super creative and is also really thematic for the class. To be honest, Secret Weapon always felt like it was just kinda there and didn't fit the class all that well. If you'll let me, I'll include it as the new replacement!
  • @Tripleat Looks good! I'll add it in a bit
  • edited October 2017
    @RedDashLion Testing the Buccaneer Class in a few hours, here's hoping it plays well. I have included @Tripleat 's Cannon Fodder, with a slight change stating that the Quartermaster cannot resist (in line with Jollyroger) and takes no damage from being thrown. 
  • @GypsyCow Very cool, hope it goes well!
  • @RedDashLion ;Reporting in after doing some Buccaneer play testing with my players. Quartermaster seems balanced out of the box, especially since First Mate requires using a regular action to make use of the Buccaneer's Limited Abilities (which I adapted to a house rule regarding all Ally limiteds after a certain Bard at the table made the first round of combat last over an hour by himself). Cannon Fodder is really fun and my players seemed to like the roleplay aspect of throwing an ally at somebody (good job @Tripleat ). Haven't been able to test Parley yet, as my Buccaneer didn't buy the ability, but I might slip it onto an NPC when we return to the crew.
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