Tiny Pirates is the most recent “small” Tiny D6 game. And by “small,” I mean that it does not contain any Micro-Settings, like Tiny Dungeon or Tiny Frontiers do. Even without any Micro-Settings, this book is well worth your time and money. Let’s take a look.
It clocks in at 77 pages, which is significantly larger than the other “small” books that don’t have Micro-Settings (Tiny Gunslingers and Tiny Living Dead). The pdf is 77 pages.
Up first, is The World of Tiny Pirates, which is only a couple of pages long but gives you a brief overview on what the game is about.
Next, is How to Play. If you’re familiar with other Tiny D6 games, this is pretty much the same chapter that’s in every Tiny 6 book. Not much new to see here, except a nice sidebar about the X Card and another on Cinematic Ammo.
If you’re not familiar with Tiny D6, the gist is this: you roll 2d6 and if you roll a 5 or 6 on either die, you succeeded. If something is giving you an Advantage, you get to roll 3d6. If something is giving you a Disadvantage, you only get to roll 1d6. If you hit, you do one point of damage and armor plays no part (which works very well with the setting).
Up next, is Ship Rules. I was surprised to find this before character creation rules but after reading it through, it makes sense that’s its first. The Ship Rules are brand new to Tiny Pirates, and they rock. They clock in at 15 pages, so that’s a pretty good-sized portion of the book. I look forward to trying them out!
Next is Pirate Creation. While some Tiny D6 games have Heritages (races) and some have Archetypes, Tiny Pirates has Roles, which is what position you have on the ship. It might be the Captain, the Pilot, or the Ship’s Doctor. Every Role has a unique ability associated with it. Then you select two Traits. For those not familiar, Traits are kind of a combination of Attributes and Feats (to use D&D vernacular). Some examples include Strong or Tracker. Tiny Pirates has only a few new Traits that aren’t in other Tiny D6 games, and I was actually surprised to see that some didn’t make it into the game. It’s easy enough to house rule in any Traits not in the book.
Finally, we have For the Game Master, which is also in all of the Tiny D6 books. I was expecting this chapter to be the “same old, same old” but was pleasantly surprised to find some new content. There’s a new Optional Rule: Collaborative Campaign, which could easily be used in any Tiny D6 game. The Sample Enemies section stats out 18 nasties to swing your cutlass at. Of those 18, I’ve only seen 1 before. Some of the enemies are even supernatural in origin in case you want to have magic and the supernatural in your game.
The final two pages (not counting the character sheet) is the Optional Rule: Duels. They seem like a solid addition and would definitely make the game livelier.
One minor squabble, and I stress, it is minor. There’s a couple of times the book talks about magic and it refers you to Tiny Dungeon. While this isn’t a big deal to me because I have it, not everybody does. It’s just a pet peeve, but I think a core rulebook should be complete in and of itself, without referring you to another core rulebook.
As with all the Tiny D6 games, Alan and company have written a solid product. I’m very happy with this game and it left me wanting more, but I’m just greedy that way. I would also be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to Chris Yarbrough for the art. The art tends to be just a little on the “cartoony” side but I think it’s a perfect fit for the tone of Tiny D6. I like it.
If you like Tiny D6 games, there’s a lot of new content you’ll like. If you like pirate RPGs that are rules light, you’ll like this game. Job very well done!