My ship is more than just wood and sails. My ship is the culmination of years of knowledge, of secrets untold. My ship is a work of art, and a source of great power.
Captain Blymoth, an Auran Pirate
An ordinary pirate is a force to be feared. But an Auran Pirate makes their enemies tremble in their boots at the very mention of their name. What pirate wouldn't seize at an easy opportunity for more power? There is a legend among seafaring folk that if you sail far enough, you may chance to find a series of stone tablets, tablets engraved with runes by a race of the sea that lived many centuries ago. It is said that one who can master the use of these runes could create a web of magic around their vessel, one that would transform it from an ordinary ship, into a sorcerous force to be reckoned with.
The legends are true. Throughout history, some sailors have discovered this hidden knowledge, and ascended to take their own places in myth. Most often, (though not always) the trademark of these pirates is a magnificent flying ship, casting its shadow over the land far below. Auran Pirates are commonly known for lurking in the Elemental Plane of Air, and making raids on air elemental cities, and plundering for unready travelers to that plane.
But anyone who can master the patterns that the runes create can grasp this power for themselves.
BECOMING AN AURAN PIRATE
To become an Auran Pirate, you must already have some sort of knowledge with your vessel, and you must acquire knowledge of the runes that will be inscribed on your ship. You can do this either by tracking down one of the stone tablets with the knowledge written on it, or by learning from another Auran Pirate.
Profession(Sailor) 7 ranks, Knowledge(Arcana) 3 ranks.
Must be the captain or master of a ship.
Must uncover knowledge of the Sea Runes, either by questing for a tablet, or by learning from another Auran Pirate.
The Auran Pirate's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (Geography) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession(Sailor) (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival(Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex).
Skills Points at Each Level:
6 + Int
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Ship Runes|
|Rune-Scribed Ship, Yalfah, the Coterminous Dimension||1|
|The Elemental Crew||2|
|Conduct the Flow||3|
|Improved Engrave Blade||8|
|Power the Web||9|
An Auran Pirate gains proficiency with the Cutlass, the Scimitar, and the Falchion.
Rune-Scribed Ship (Su):
At 1st level, the Auran Pirate masters the art of scribing runes on their ship. These runes combine in a complex network of power. Though there are a very limited number of major runes, the ship is filled with minor runes to make the connected, to complete the pattern and make the other runes function. An Auran Pirate may choose one of the runes listed below at each of their levels in this class (not counting Yalfah), and scribe it on their ship, granting it a permanent effect. Your ship gains the effect listed under "Standard" for that rune. It takes one day to scribe each rune onto a ship, so a level ten Auran Pirate would need ten days to scribe all runes onto a ship. Only one ship at a time may have any given Auran Pirate's runes on it. If you attempt you carve new runes on another ship, the runes fade from your old ship.
Yalfah, the Coterminous Dimension:
All Auran Pirates gain the use of the rune Yalfah, the Coterminous Dimension
, at level 1. This rune is inscribed both on the ship, and as a small tattoo on the Auran Pirate, through which he can summon the ship. See Yalfah, the Coterminous Dimension
in runes, for details.
The Elemental Crew (Su):
At level 2, the Auran Pirate gains the ability to summon a crew of air elementals to aid them. Though it is likely that they have a mortal crew also, the air elementals act as a supplement, or as an entire crew in a pinch. The Auran Pirate gains a number of medium air elementals equal to their charisma modifier as loyal crew members. The Auran Pirate may converse with these elementals, though he does not gain the ability to actually speak Auran. These elementals may not leave the ship, and may only participate in helping to operate the ship, or battles fought directly on board the ship.
Direct the Flow (Su):
At 3rd level, the Auran Pirate gains the ability to mentally control the flow of magic through the runes of his ship to lend more power to a specific rune. As a full-round action, the Auran Pirate may select one of the runes inscribed on his ship, and direct the power of the ship towards it. For that round, the ship gains the ability listed under "Empowered" for that rune. After using this ability, the Auran Pirate must wait 10 rounds for the flow to return to normal before he can use it again.
Engrave Blade (Su):
Starting at 4th level, the Auran Pirate gains the ability to inscribe one of the Sea Runes on his blade. He does not need to choose a Sea Rune that he has inscribed on his ship. Once made, the only way to change your choice is to get a new sword. Once the rune is engraved, you gain the ability listed under the "Blade" section for that rune. This is an ability which is either personal, or particular to your weapon, it does not have anything to do with your ship.
Phantom Ship (Su):
At 5th level, the Auran Pirate can summon a ghostly version of his ship for a moment to assist his travel or smite his enemies. As a free action at the start of your turn, you can cause this ability to come in to play. For that turn, you act as though you were commanding your ship, as a ghostly version of it rises up underneath your feet. Even if it wouldn't normally fit in the space, it is its normal size and incorporeal, with the exception that any action you take with it can have it choose to be treated as solid. You could fire a cannon at an enemy, or charge him and suddenly ram him with the force of your entire ship, if your ship flies you could summon it for an instant to carry you to the other side of a chasm. The possibilities are nearly endless, but at the end of the round, the Phantom Ship fades away. You may use this ability a number of times per day equal to your charisma modifier.
Pirate Fury (Su):
Starting at level 6, so intimate is your connection with the web of force around your ship that you can tap its power to give yourself energy and life. Once per day per point of your constitution modifier, you may take the ship's power for yourself. All of its runes are temporarily disabled, (if it is not summoned this has no effect on it, as you may use this ability even when not on board) and you gain a +1 bonus to your attack, intimidate checks, AC, strength, and dexterity scores for each of the runes that was disabled by your fury. You also gain fast healing 5 as long as this fury is in effect. The fury lasts one round for each of the runes that was disabled, but when it is over, you are fatigued, and you must wait a minimum of one minute for each disabled rune before you can use it again.
Ghostly Crew (Su):
At level 7, you can call the shades of your crew up to assist you in combat in minor ways. You fight with the strength of an entire ship. You may use this ability once each day for each of your crew members, including the air elementals (though you may use it a maximum of no more than your class level times each day) as a free action. You may select one of these benefits, as if a crew member was helping you:
Improved Engrave Blade (Su):
- You treat an enemy as being flanked even when they are not.
- One of your crew makes an aid another check to help you with a skill.
- If one of your crew knows a buff spell, they may cast that on you.
- One of your crew makes an aid another check to help you in combat.
- Grant you an extra attack at your highest base attack bonus.
Starting at level 8, you may now engrave two runes onto any single blade.
Power the Web (Su):
At level 9, you have already learned how to take power from the pattern on your ship, but now you learn to give back. By powering the web of magic with your own life force you may cause all runes on board the ship to activate their "Empowered" power for one round. This costs you 20 damage and 2 ability damage to each of your ability scores. After you have used this ability, you may not use it again for ten minutes, or 100 rounds.
Prime Rune (Su):
At 10th level, you have learned how to center the entire pattern of runes around one single power. This rune is placed in a central position on your ship (bow, stern) and it becomes extremely powerful. Choose one rune that you have engraved on your ship, and its power switches from the "Standard" power to the power listed under "Prime" for that rune. You may not re-choose this rune without getting a new ship.
Yalfah, the Coterminous Dimension
Standard: When you are not using your ship, you may spend ten minutes contentrating on Yalfah. At the end of those ten minutes, your ship fades away, remaining in a pocket dimension and following you spiritually. At any other location at any time after that, you may spend ten minutes to re-summon your ship to your current location. At any time, a crew member may grasp the ship's wheel and concentrate on Yalfah, and be able to speak to you telepathically. You may not summon your ship into a place where it would either not fit or not be able to sail (if your ship only moves on the water, you must be by a body of water large enough to accommodate the ship before summoning it.)
Empowered: If you empower Yalfah, for that round the ship phases partially into its pocket dimension, allowing it to pass through solid objects (though objects directed at it, such as cannon fire, will still effect it.)
Blade: The connection between your blade and your ship's pocket dimension is strong, and you may summon it from said dimension into your hand as a free action at will, and force it back into that dimension just the same.
Prime: You can make your ship pass between the pocket dimension and the real world as a standard action, though still not into someplace that it does not fit or does not sail.
Sorflux, the Welcoming Sky
Standard: Your ship gains the ability to take to the skies. Your ship may now fly at a maximum speed of 100 ft. per round with clumsy maneuverability. It is also treated as though it has the Hover feat.
Empowered: On the round that you empower Sorflux, your ship's speed triples and its maneuverability increases one step.
Blade: You gain the ability to fly under your own power at a rate of 10 ft. per round as long as you are holding on to your sword. In addition, your blade gains the throwing and returning qualities, with which you can throw and have it fly back through the air to your hand.
Prime: Your ship flies with excellence and speed such as has rarely been seen. You can fly your ship at 350 ft. per round with perfect maneuverability, and may take advantage of the Flyby Attack and Improved Flyby Attack feats. Finally, it may make turns during a ramming attempt.
Gulth, the Glorious Warfare
Standard: Your ship is a master of combat. You never run out of cannonballs, and the damage dealt by them counts as force damage. Further, all cannons gain a +2 to their attack roll to hit targets. Finally, when the ship physically rams objects, any damage that it itself would take as a result of the ram is halved.
Empowered: When you empower Gulth, all cannon fire has an area effect with radius of of 30 ft. that knocks creatures prone and causes them normal cannon damage. In addition, cannon damage for that round is increased by 1d6. Lastly, if you ram another object or creature, the bow of your ship transforms can transform into a row of sharp blades, causing piercing damage and increasing damage for the ram by 5d6.
Blade: You gain a +4 luck bonus all on all attack rolls and damage with the sword, and the damage you deal with the blade may count as force damage.
Prime: Your cannons shoot no ordinary cannonballs, but instead shimmer impulses of pure destructive energy. This acts as though each cannonball is a disintegrate spell cast by a 12th level spellcaster. All cannons gain a +4 attack bonus to shoot their targets. In addition, the instant that you ram or otherwise damage an object with the physical hull of the ship, the thunderous roar causes even more damage. Objects and creatures within 10 ft. of the impact take and additional 4d6 sonic damage.
Tulporoff, the Iron Shield
Standard: Your ship's hull seems to be made of iron. It gains 5 hardness and 5 AC. Creatures on board gain a +2 natural armor bonus to AC. The ship seems to be protected by a repulsion effect (DC 20) to any creature who tries to board it without permission.
Empowered: The round that you empower Tulporoff, the hardness and AC of your ship both increase by another 5. All creatures that you designate as friends gain a +3 to saves.
Blade: Your blade becomes very good at parrying attacks on its own while you fight. You gain a +1 bonus to AC for each +3 in your attack roll, on any round in which you are wielding your blade. Further, you become immune to trip attempts and cannot fall prone as long as you hold your blade.
Prime: Your ship is an impenetrable fortress of steel. The hardness and AC of your ship increase by another 5 and creatures attempting to enter without permission are blocked by a wall of force (though this wall does not interfere with attacks against the ship.) The hull and all friendly creatures on board are treated as having SR 20.
Sewsae, the Nurturing Embrace
Standard: Your ship and its crew members seem to shine with health. All friendly creatures on board gain a +5 bonus to resist disease and poison, and the ship is invulnerable to all natural and damaging situations, such as wood rot or barnacles getting stuck to the hull. Friendly creatures on the deck of your ship gain a +5 on saves against harmful weather, and ignore all effects of ordinary rain.
Empowered: When you empower Sewsae, all friendly creatures on board gain a +3 morale bonus to attack rolls, AC, and saves. They also are all healed 1 ability damage to each of their scores and cured of the following status conditions: sickened, nauseated, dazed, fatigued, (exhausted creatures become fatigued). The ship itself gains fast healing 5 (stacks with other fast healing) for the round. Finally, creatures that were bleeding out instantly stabilize.
Blade: While you are gripping your blade, you are immune to level drain and ability damage (save that which you inflict upon yourself) and gain fast healing 1 which stacks with any other fast healing.
Prime: The ship and all friendly creatures on it permanently gain fast healing 5, which stacks with any other fast healing. All friendly creatures are immune to disease and poison.
Kardiav, the Excellent Navigation
Standard: You are nearly flawless at making your ship go where you want it to. You may name any location or person and the ship will cast discern location on it, and then begin sailing to get as close to the location you specified as possible. You do not receive the result of this spell, only the ship does. Even the most rudimentary protection against divinations will fool this spell.
Empowered: On a round when Kardiav is empowered, you will receive an overall vision of everything that is happening with ten miles of your ship. This is very much akin to a birds eye view, it is difficult to pick out specific details.
Blade: As long as your blade is in your hand, you gain a +3 insight bonus on all attack and damage rolls, and once per week you may use the blade of your sword to produce a scrying effect.
Prime: The ship gains an innate knowledge of the future and can steer itself to avoid possible obstacles. The ship knows 2 rounds ahead of time when it going to be attacked, and will make all attempts to avoid this attack. You sense that it is trying to avoid some attack and may command it to simply stay the course, if you like. In any case, the ship gains a +4 insight bonus to its AC at all times. Further, when you use the location finding ability of the rune, it will instead steer itself towards the destination which the object or creature will be at by the time the ship gets there.
Fanesh, the Devious Ghost
Standard: At will, you may surround your ship with a permanent Obscuring Mist effect stretching out to 1 mile away from the ship. Any friendly creatures standing in your ship can see through the mist, but other creatures cannot.
Empowered: When you empower Fanesh, the entire ship and all friendly creatures on it gain a +4 deflection bonus to AC. You gain the ability to use ghost sound with a range of twenty miles for that round, as a free action.
Blade: By pointing your blade, you can activate a telekinesis effect with a caster level of 5.
Prime: The ship becomes permanently incorporeal, taking all creatures on board with it. Creatures which board it become incorporeal also.
Posyne, the Entranced Mind
Standard: All creatures who board your ship must make a DC 20 will save or be under the effects of a charm person spell with regards to the captain (you.) In addition, all who watch your ship while it is sailing must make a DC 10 will save or be fascinated that round.
Empowered: All friendly creatures on board your ship which are already charmed must make a DC 15 will save or be Dominated for that round. All creatures looking directly at your ship must make a DC 20 will save or be dazed for that round.
Blade: When you fight, creatures that watch your blade act as though they are watching your ship sail: they must make a DC 10 will save each round or be fascinated for that round.
Prime: The ship begins to duplicate the sirens of lore. Any creatures within ten miles of your ship must make a DC 15 will save or immediately walk to try and find it. Further, any time your ship does a misdeed, creatures must make a DC 20 will save or not believe that your ship did anything wrong. You may turn off the first ability at will if you wish.
Agon, the Fearful Pennant
Standard: Any creature who sees your ship witnesses a horrifying sight, a ship out of nightmares, with bloodstained wood and rotted sails. They must make a DC 15 will save or take a -3 morale penalty to all rolls.
Empowered: All creatures who are in sight range of your ship who are already taking a morale penalty must make a further DC 20 will save or be effected by a fear spell as terrible wailing echoes from your ship and illusory blood pours down the sides.
Blade: Against any attacks by your wretched blade, foes automatically take a -4 morale penalty to AC.
Prime: All hostile creatures who view your ship must make a DC 25 will save or be forced to permanently try to move as far from your ship as possible, until it is out of sight.
Sedlor, the Marvelous Facility
Standard: The ships interior is twice as big as it should be. Many rooms appear which you wouldn't normally see on a ship, some of which seem to have no purpose. In addition, the interior is kept spotless, as if someone was constantly using prestidigitation to clean it, and food does not spoil while belowdecks on your ship.
Empowered: In the round you empower Sedlor, many of the objects below deck spring to life as animated objects, though they go back to being ordinary objects at the end of the round. These may be used to help with any immediate task, or to fight off intruders.
Blade: Your sword never gets soiled by any means, and is kept perpetually at the peak of sharpness. This means effectively that it gains a +2 to the physical damage it deals, and it gets a +4 to resist sunder attempts. In addition, you may use the sword to call up a rope trick effect as a standard action, wherein a wooden pole with a ladder carved into it falls out of nowhere, allowing you to enter the rope trick effect. Inside, you find a small but comfortable lounge, with stuffed armchairs and a polished wooden table. Even if the lounge is wrecked, it is pristine when you next enter it. By activating the power of your sword you may retract or extend the pole out of the rope trick.
Prime: Fresh food automatically appears in the storerooms when needed. All facilities below deck are upgraded to rich finery, as if the ship were a mansion. In fact, anyone who spends the night resting in such luxury gains a +2 morale bonus on all checks the following day.
PLAYING AN AURAN PIRATE
|Sidebar: The Connection Between Pirate And Ship|
|The connection between an Auran Pirate and his ship is extremely strong, reinforced by the fact that they are bound by the magic of the Sea Runes. If one is destroyed, the other begins to die also. If the Auran Pirate dies, for one minute, the ship is able to sustain itself. The next minute, all of the powers granted it by its runes are disabled. The next minute, it will take 1 damage each round, and every minute after that, the damage per round will increase by 1 until the ship is destroyed or the Auran Pirate revived. If someone else takes control of the Auran Pirate's ship, the Pirate may choose to disable all runes that grant the ship benefits at will, unless they are under some enchantment by the new owner of the ship. If the ship is destroyed, the Auran Pirate takes 10 lethal damage and instantly falls unconscious. They are thereafter exhausted until they are able to get a new ship. Re-inscribing a ship takes one day for each rune that must be scribed, and the Auran Pirate must get a new binding tattoo.|
An Auran Pirate can be played in many different ways. Although he is less suited for a dungeon crawling campaign, some of the abilities that the class has allows it to make use of its ship in various ways even when the ship isn't physically around. For the most part, playing an Auran Pirate works very well in a larger scale game, but less well in a small scale, small adventuring party game. However, it could easily be adapted to work that way-- perhaps the adventuring party is the crew of a small ship and they adventure on both land and sea.
For the most part, in the open, the Auran Pirate hopes that they have their ship. This will likely turn the tide of the battle simply by joining in. If the Auran Pirate cannot directly summon their ship, or if their ship is boarded by enemies, they will fight melee, taking full advantage of their blade powers.
An Auran Pirate might simply go into a class to improve their skills as a captain, such as Legendary CaptainSW
. They might also improve their melee skills with a class like fighter or barbarian, or swashbuckler.
An Auran Pirate has a full crew and a ship that they can call upon with ease, and most likely a small stash of 'liberated' goods.
AURAN PIRATES IN THE WORLD
Never before has our town suffered an attack like this! The ship just swoops out of the clouds, engraved with runes all over, and blasts at the walls of the storehouses.
Tuddy Smith, Mayor of Pinnacle
Auran Pirates are perceived just as regular pirates are-- as lawbreakers and thieves. However, the mighty vessel and mastery of runes that they command make them much more feared. That's not to say that all Auran Pirates are bad, there are some who tell of captains who saved entire villages from monstrous creatures that threatened them.
On a day-to-day basis, most Auran Pirates without a party will simply enjoy life on their ship, making occasional raids to get supplies and valuables. Many Auran Pirates continue to research the Sea Runes, in an attempt to make them more powerful. Auran Pirates who have steady companions may leave their ship behind, adventuring to further the aims of the party but using the ship whenever possible.
Notables: Captain Blymoth
is, above all else, a good man. He spent his life as captain of a mid-sized fishing vessel, but after hearing of the Sea Runes, spent years searching for them, and in doing so, became a brave man. Now he sails his sturdy ship into ports, listening for word of local troubles, and attempts to vanquish them with the might of his ship, no matter that the people call him a pirate and prosecute him for helping him. Ivan Faramore
is a name which is much more feared. A pirate by trade, he is the one type of person that many would hope never would have acquired the Sea Runes. But he did, and now his flying, ghostly ship is something that gives many towns discomfit. Everyone knows that if they see the phantom of his emblem, a fist dripping with blood, that they ought to lock themselves in their homes and guard their valuables jealously.
For the most part, Auran Pirates are rare enough that it is impossible to have an entire organization of them. But the closest to it is a floating trade city in the elemental plane of air known only as Wavesbreath
. Seeing the city from a distance, your view is marred by countless creatures docking and departing the great city, and it is said that one who can reach Wavesbreath could find many strange trinkets stolen from all over the universe. If there was ever a place that an Auran Pirate would dock, it is Wavesbreath, and many have gotten their start there when they learned the magic of the Sea Runes from another pirate. Many of the walls in Wavesbreath are scratched with strange symbols, the attempts of mad and desperate men to figure out the Sea Runes on their own, working only on scant glimpses of the marvelous flying ships that the Auran Pirates are known for.
Most NPCs will not have heard of Auran Pirates. It is relatively rare for one to discover the secrets of the Sea Runes. However, there are some ancient tales that are passed down about mystical, rune-carved ships, and as such, the sight of your ship is likely to provoke wonderment, and in some cases, fear. Those who know more about Auran Pirates will be at least wary of talking to you, since for all they know, you could have as many morals as a common pirate, but with much more ability to cause damage.
AURAN PIRATE IN THE GAME
The Auran Pirate can alter power in different ways depending on what kind of game it is. If it is a non-PvP, seafaring game, their powerful ship will increase the power level of the entire party relatively significantly. Indeed, those who choose for their ships to fly could be able to use this ability anywhere that is open. On the other hand, these ships are bound to attract attention from the local authorities, so it is easy to keep an Auran Pirate from using his ship for any and all problems.
This doesn't make the Auran Pirate utterly useless off their ship, they have a variety of powers that they themselves can use, and the "Phantom Ship" ability allows them to occasionally make use of their ship's power in locales such as dungeons.
It is easy to work the occasional Auran Pirate into your campaign, as those who discover the Sea Runes are rare enough that your PCs likely would never have heard of them. If the flying ships are a problem, it is simple to remove Sorflux, the Welcoming Sky
, from the runes list. You could even change the "pirate" flavor of the class, to create perhaps a royal navy where studying the Sea Runes is a requirement, or a privateer who uses the Sea Runes to great effect for his noble nation.
If there are Auran Pirate NPCs in your campaign, there are many different ways that the PCs could encounter them. Perhaps they see a strange ship, carved all over with runes, docked in a port city, and try to learn more. Perhaps they meet the captain of such a ship in battle, as he tries to plunder a good-hearted town. They could even hear rumors of the Sea Runes, and enlist such a great captain to help them in their sailing ventures.
The PCs are passing through a small town, when a ghostly ship with a blood red flag flies over the village. With cannonballs exploding against the defenseless buildings, it is up to the PCs to make their way onto the flying ship and do battle with its doubtlessly vile crew.
Ivan Faramore is a bloodthirsty Auran Pirate, the fight between him is aided by his low level crew. He is much more dangerous if his ship is directly engaged.
CE Male Halfling Barbarian 4/Auran Pirate 6
: Listen +, Spot +,
20, touch , flat-footed ()
ft. ( squares)
Str 14, Dex 16, Con 15, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 11