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  1. Privateers and privateering should be more than just a career choice, and Naval Action offers up a perfect opportunity to flesh out what has otherwise been a rather simple mechanic in other games (PotBS) Privateer ventures were more than just going out and hunting anything around you, there were rules and regulations, and if you broke these rules, you were deemed a pirate (whether it was your fault or not, a la William Kidd) Privateers were also major investments, often times being funded by members of the monarchy or powerful magistrates. In short they were major gambles: Anyone who sponsored a Privateer expedition would receive a cut of the spoils. If the privateer was unsuccessful, then the investors lost money. So I suggest that a Letter of Marque System be implemented, allowing any independently operating captain (basically anyone not serving in a Navy) to become a privateer. Here, I will be describing the two methods of being considered for privateering, as well as the process of getting an LoM Privateer: Individual vs. Expedition First you have to decide if you will pour your own resources (and gold) into becoming a privateer, or will you seek out sponsors for an expedition? Individual LoMs are easier to come by, are somewhat expensive, and are the most risky concerning the player: the player provides their own ship, crew, and repairs, but all commissions are split between only the Crown and himself at the end of the contract. Expeditions are a bit loftier: the player is provided a ship and crew for the duration of the contract, but they will split all earnings between themselves, the crown AND all investors at the conclusion of the contract. These contracts are usually longer, and the ship tends to be larger than a normal, individual privateer, and an expedition will have a larger operating area. Lastly, any investors can either be default NPC investors (available 24/7) or players looking to invest in expeditions, ideally at a lower commission price than the NPCs (and you thought speculating on markets was nerve-racking) Obtaining a Letter of Marque Getting one's hands on a Letter of Marque should be a rather simple endeavor; a player will simply need to speak with a local magistrate about a LoM, and will recieve one if available: Availability of LoMs will be based on Quota for overall active LoMs in a Nation Status of war Individual player's level/rank/notoriety Enemy activity in area where LoM is being issued Now, LoMs are not free; an initial buy-in will be required first, and then you will only receive a percentage of pay from your spoils. (individual LoMs are cheaper than Expeditions, and expeditions rely on sponsors to purchase) EDIT: Free LoMs may be offered by belligerent Governments immediately following an outbreak of war. these will be limited however, and it will be first-come-first-serve. Once you get an LoM, you are ready to sail and make your [legitimate] fortune... But there's some limitations: "There are a few provisos, a couple of quid pro quos" -Genie Regulations of an LoM Each LoM is somewhat unique as to what it does and does not allow: Historically, an LoM was valid only for attacking explicitly stated Factions. For example, if England was at war with both France and Spain, but a LoM only stated the attacking of French ships, then attacking a Spanish ship would be considered out of the bindings of the LoM (and could even be construed as Piracy). So LoMs will only allow the attacking of specific factions, and there are limitations on who can be included on an LoM: A nation must be at war with the host nation to be eligible as a target. if peace is declared between the two nations on the LoM, the LoM is declared null and void. Multiple nations can be listed on an LoM The more possible target nations are listed on the LoM, the more expensive it become (so a LoM listing only french targets is cheaper than an LoM listing both French and Pirate targets) Yes, pirates must be listed on an LoM if they are to be legitimately targeted and counted for commissions. If you attack a pirate without listing them on the LoM, you will not be penalized, but you will not receive a commission for defeating them. In the event that war is declared, a new LoM or updated LoM is needed Example:English LoM lists French targets. Spain now at war with England. Player must add Spanish targets to LoM, otherwise they will be penalized for attacking Spanish targets. Privateering Time to go out and seize prizes. As a Privateer, you want the cargo and ships of the enemy. Sinking ships will get you a fraction of the commission, while capturing a ship will give you the full commission + commission of any cargo seized. All prizes and cargo will be sent to the Prize court where, upon completion of a contract, the court will divvy up the spoils based on the LoM and Sponsors. The more plunder, the more the privateer (and everyone else) gets at the end.
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