Skull & Shackles
Most ships adhere to elements of the sample codes
presented below, with captains picking and choosing as
befits their individual inclinations.
• Every member of the crew gets an equal share of treasure.
Anyone caught taking more than his fair share of loot,
or refusing to report its discovery in a timely manner,
shall be marooned. The captain receives extra shares of
any treasure, as do shipwrights, carpenters, and officers
to lesser degrees.
• Every member of the crew must tend to his own weapons
and keep them ready for battle.
• Anyone who shows cowardice in the face of the enemy or
deserts in battle shall have his throat cut or be marooned.
• No crew member shall hide his abilities from the crew.
A sailor who can perform magic shall use his abilities on
behalf of the ship.
• No crew member shall take a position on a new ship or talk
of leaving until each crew member has acquired at least
1,000 gp worth of treasure through his labors.
• No fighting is allowed between crewmates. Quarrels
shall be set aside until shore leave, at which point
grievances may be settled with violence on shore.
• All crew members must obey the captain and his officers.
• Any pirate found stealing from crewmates shall take 30
lashes and be put ashore at port.
• The person who spots a sail shall have first pick of its loot.
• Any crew member who loses a limb in service to the ship
shall be paid 800 gp for its loss.
• Every sailor has an equal right to vote in decisions put to
the crew by the captain.
Some articles of a code of conduct mention the most
common punishment to be delivered if a sailor breaks a
specific rule. Others leave such matters to the captain’s
discretion. Punishments include whippings, being put
ashore at port, marooning, keelhauling, and death—
naturally, vicious and criminal captains tend to gravitate
toward more sadistic punishments.