Pirate Punishments

Rope Bash:

Little more than an admonishment—and occasionally used as a sign of endearment—a rope bash is a single attack with the hefty, sealed end of a ship’s rope that delivers nonlethal damage.

The Lash:

This is an attack using a whip. Damage dealt by the lash during bloody hour is typically nonlethal.


This is an attack using a cat-o’-nine-tails, also referred to simply as a cat—a Medium version of which deals slashing damage on a successful hit. See page 18 of Pathfinder Player Companion: Pirates of the Inner Sea for more details on this weapon.

Confined in the Sweatbox:

A cramped metal box left on deck and exposed to the sun, a sweatbox is terribly confining and replicates unbearably hot conditions. Each hour a character spends in the box, she must succeed
at a fortitude saving throw or take nonlethal damage. The DC of this save increases for each consecutive hour the character spends in the box. Any creature with fire resistance is immune to the effects of the sweatbox. Victims typically spend 8, 12 or even 24 hours locked up in the sweatbox.


The most frightful of pirate punishments is keelhauling, as it generally ends in death—often by decapitation. Being keelhauled involves being tied to a rope looped over a ship’s keel and dragged down one side of a ship, underwater across the barnacle encrusted hull, and up the other side. Keelhauling takes several rounds and can be done either fast or slow. If done fast, the barnacles cut deep and flense the victim, dealing damage per round. If done slow, shallower cuts are incurred, dealing damage per round, but the risk of drowning increases (see page 445 of the Core Rulebook). In either case, the victim can make a reflex save each round to take half damage. How long keelhauling takes typically depends on the vessel, with a keelhauling on a ship like the Wormwood taking 6 rounds if done fast and 12 rounds if done slow.

Pirate Punishments

SatChad: Pirates! bjwhitfield