Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Black Sails Ho!

One of the main captains

Starz has a new original series about pirates called "Black Sails". Their take on it is here. It started up this weekend and after watching the first episode I thought I would share a few thoughts:

  • It's supposed to be a more historical take on pirates - I'm assuming that means no supernatural stuff like the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. I'm fine with that. There was none of that mentioned or shown in the pilot. 
  • It's supposed to be a more "realistic" take on pirates too - so plenty of cussing, blood, and sex. This is a pay-cable series after all. Realistic or not everyone is very pretty on the show.
  • The pilot sets up the basic situation, the major players, and the conflicts between them. We don't get a lot of character depth but I assume motivations etc. will be explored in more depth the rest of the season. 

I liked the pilot. Nothing struck me as horribly wrong (other than the prettiness of everyone but hey, it is a visual medium). We have a sea battle, a sword fight, some other conflicts, some betrayals and counter-betrayals - quite a few items on the "pirate story checklist" were crossed off. I'm going to give the full season a look and let you know if it hits any particular highs or lows.

The timing was interesting because over the last week or two some of the kids have been watching the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and I started looking at my Savage Worlds pirate books trying to figure out how I would run a "mundane" or realistic pirate campaign. Most of the games I run have some kind of magic or supernatural or super-technological element that makes keeping interest that much easier. Running a pirate game with no spooky stuff, no magic items, and no magical healing had me a little lost. I suspect this show will give me some ideas.

Yeah ... there's some of that too ... hey it can't all be fighting!


Adam Dickstein said...

That last picture gives me some ideas...

Hey-Oh! This is a family show ladies and gents so I'll get right to it...

It might make for an interesting show but I don't know if I would be up for a campaign of...well...anything...where there wasn't at least some semblance of the extra-normal.

Let us know how it goes (both the show and your attempt to run such a game).

Blacksteel said...

I'll be watching the show but I don't know how quickly I'll be running anything for it - our schedules are fairly packed. Maybe a one-off but that's about it for now. If the show starts the wheels turning (and not just spinning) then I may have to do more than that.