The visuals for Osprey Adrift are shaping up nicely! Fiona’s been hard at work, creating beautiful character portraits for the Role cards, and sketching out the artwork for all the other cards for the Scavenge deck. I also met with Von Serrot (Née Kaela Torres) last night to discuss the design themes for the cards, rules, and box. I’m so excited for how this game is going to look, and I can’t wait to show you guys the art that’s coming from all the blood, sweat, and tears that these two talented women are putting in.
This week, I want to shine the spotlight on four of the pirates aboard the Osprey who are being featured in the game as playable Roles. When Captain Ninefingers was alive, these four were considered his closest confidants and advisors. But don’t let that fool you – the four of them are some of the fiercest and most notorious pirates to ever serve aboard the Osprey, or any other ship to fly a pirate jack. And any one of them might just be murdering the rest of the crew under everyone else’s noses…
Maximilian Black | The Academic
He’s traveled around the world, under the command of numerous pirate captains, lending his knowledge in the areas of navigation, languages, and the dark arts, for a price. His loyalty to Captain Ninefingers is only as deep as his coin purse… but then again, the same could be said for every member of the crew…
Maximilian was the first character I conceived of when creating the world of the One Winged Osprey, lost at sea. I had an image of a man with a very worldly perspective who’d amassed a great deal of knowledge from a life at sea, reading books written in many languages and seeing things most land-folk only dream about. In my mind, Maximilian was the thinking pirate: a man who can outwit someone out of their coffers, crew, and ship without even drawing a weapon. He’s also mysterious – someone who’s probably read a number of books about several cultures’ dark arts, be they voodoo, witchcraft, or necromancy.
“Once per game, when a player dies, you may redistribute their cards amongst any player(s), instead of discarding them.”
Maximilian’s Role ability is a powerful one, even though it can only be used once. Imagine the advantage that can be gained by taking an entire hand’s worth of cards that some poor sod had been collecting before the rest of the crew turned on them. It’s very possible for Maximilian to wind up with extra food, coins, or a few handy objects. Alternatively, Maximilian could dole out the cards to other crewmates… earning their trust and forming some useful alliances.
Fiona’s rendition of Maximilian Black fits his personality to a T. I especially love how his somewhat snobbish obsession for formality is externalized by the matching gold wireframe glasses and gold buttons on his high-necked shirt. And his shifty eyes demonstrate how truly smart he is; he knows that no-one can be trusted… least of all the ones who consider him a friend.
Iron-Eye Cordelia | The First Mate
She was Captain Ninefingers’ first mate aboard the One-Winged Osprey. Respected by the entire crew, Cordelia is trying to hold things together while she watches the crew of the drifting ship descend into madness…
I knew that I wanted the Osprey to have a woman as first mate, and that I wanted her to be strong, smart, and a total badass. Cordelia was a better leader than Captain Ninefingers, by being his superior in every way… and by being more well-liked by the crew. The piece of the backstory of Osprey Adrift that Captain Ninefingers is killed and eaten before the first round of the game was an intentional move to show how the entire crew has been resentful of him for a very long time. And, under normal circumstances, Iron-Eye Cordelia would have absolutely become the new captain. But because the Osprey is lost at sea and threatened by a secret group of cannibals, things are a bit more chaotic; the pirate’s code–already loose at best–has mostly dissolved.
“If you are tied to walk the plank, you cannot be chosen to walk. If you are tied to be captain, you become captain.”
Cordelia’s Role ability grants her two subtle–yet quite powerful–advantages. During voting for someone to walk the plank, ties are actually more common than one might think. Cordelia’s charisma and garnered respect ensure that she will always automatically win ties if she and someone else have an equal number of votes to walk the plank… superceding the captain’s tiebreaking ring. On top of that, at the start of the round, if she’s bid coins to become the captain, she will win any ties there as well… superceding the rule as it’s printed in the rulebook for the player who bid the fewest Coin cards to win the tie.
Iron-Eye Cordelia’s namesake iron eye is such a cool detail that Fiona included – the shiny metal eyepatch really amps up her badass factor. I also love her cropped jacket that manages to be both no-nonsense and fashionable. And the detail of the key around her neck shouldn’t go unnoticed either – if you’re up on your Osprey Adrift backstory, you’ll remember that there are only two keys to the captain’s quarters. Cordelia isn’t giving up hers without a fight.
Padre Alonso de Oro | The Holy Man
A former Jesuit priest, he still maintains a strong connection with God… which should prove handy given all the sin that’s accumulated from a life of piracy…
I knew I wanted a priest aboard the Osprey – one that still carried the traditions and trappings of the Jesuits, but one who was also shaded by a second life of piracy on the high seas. Padre Alonso is a man who many of the crew see as a conflicted soul – someone who walks the tightrope of moral highness over a pit of conniving and deceit. But, the good father is actually quite self-assured and confident with his place in the world. He believes in God wholeheartedly, but sees wealth (and the illegal acquisition thereof) as a necessary evil. Padre Alonso knows that every man is a sinner… and all it takes to be forgiven from sin is atonement.
“If you are Pure, you may eat “Human Flesh” cards as if they were “Fish” cards.”
At first glance, it might seem like Padre Alonso’s Role ability is only useful if he draws a Pure Morality card. After all, Cannibals can eat Human Flesh and Fish just the same; they don’t need a special ability to do so. However, there’s a psychological tactic that can be employed if you’re playing a Cannibal Padre Alonso… hiding behind the “good priest” role will allow you to stock Human Flesh cards in your hand without fear of someone using a Spyglass or Poisons Manual to incriminate you.
While Padre Alonso de Oro’s outfit is very simple, I love the attention to detail that Fiona gave to him. The goatee adds to his handsome look, and might even be interpreted as an allusion to another traditionally bearded figure: The Devil. I also love the juxtaposition of the gold cross hanging around the padre’s neck, just below the string of gold coins. It’s a tiny detail that might go unnoticed, but the placement of these two things is important – money and faith.
Silverbeard | The Purser
He was the only one Captain Ninefingers trusted to keep tabs on the crew’s coffers. Now that Ninefingers is gone, the only things saving Silverbeard from a rush on the treasury are his skills of social manipulation… and his prize dueling pistols…
I knew I wanted a character whose beard became their namesake, in the tradition of other famous pirates such as Blackbeard and Bluebeard. Silverbeard, like the color of his beard suggests, is a man who appreciates great wealth. He managed the Osprey’s coffers before it became lost at sea, and even though the crew is starving and in a state of chaos, he knows that those coins–which have little value now–will regain their value should the crew receive a rescue. He’s playing the long game, and all that means is he needs to survive…
“Each round, after the captain is selected, you may take 1 of the Coin cards used to bid instead of returning it to the box.”
Silverbeard’s Role ability is quite powerful, not only because he can snatch a Coin card from someone (or even himself) every round during the bid for captain, but because it could open up more room in his hand for other cards, should a player decide they want to be more fully stocked with Food, Resources, or Actions. He can keep his hand relatively devoid of Coins cards, and only grab one when he sees a particularly high-value one slapped onto the table.
Silverbeard’s character portrait is easily one of my favorites. Fiona’s rendering of his facial expression manages to make Silverbeard both stoic and skeptical, and I love the gold coins strung on his outfit. Like Padre Alonso de Oro, this is a man who loves accumulating wealth… a common trait among pirates.
Well, gang. That’s the four characters who served as Captain Ninefingers’s most trusted advisors before his untimely… and rather gruesome demise. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be showcasing more of the ragtag crew of the One Winged Osprey. But until next time, gang, check out Fiona’s other amazing artwork on her deviant art pages here and here!
And, as always, keep it plucky,