In today’s post, I want to share the background and official portrait art for four more of the cutthroat pirates in Osprey Adrift!
These four would best be desribed as the renegades… the outcasts… the misfits. They play by their own rules and stick mostly to themselves, either by choice… or because no one else on board the One Winged Osprey would dare get too close to them.
Betsy Miles | The Parrot Trainer
Betsy has been a member of the One Winged Osprey’s crew since the beginning. Though she’s taken to training hawks and other birds of prey in recent years, her old friends–the parrots–still serve as useful spies, because they can never lie about the conversations they hear…
I wanted to play with the tired cliché of the pirate-with-a-parrot, and create a character who has pet parrots… but isn’t a goofy caricature. Betsy Miles is less Long John Silver from Treasure Island, and more Roland from The Dark Tower. She’s cool and collected, and she uses her birds to attack her enemies… or to spy on the rest of the crew. She chooses to be reclusive, not because she’s incapable of getting along with the others, but rather because she prefers spending time with her birds. They don’t try to rob, cheat, and stab her.
Twice per game, you may be in the room where a trade is taking place between other players.
Betsy’s Role Ability has been a crowd favorite among playtesters, because she influences the meta game, rather than simply changing how cards are played. It was difficult to balance just how often she should be able to use her ability, because its benefits are tough to compare to the other characters’, but twice per game hits the sweet spot – not so infrequently that it feels precious, and not so often that the other players groan whenever they want to make a trade.
I adore Fiona’s rendition of Betsy Miles, from her avian-like features (slick ponytail, pointed nose and chin, and hollow, high cheekbones) to her little character details (feather tattoo, feather earring, falconing gloves, and cameo necklace). Betsy Miles looks like someone you don’t want to mess with.
Sister Aldina | The Seer
She was born with the power to see things as they might come to be. Although her reclusiveness is sometimes interpreted as being self-serving, she is a valued member of the crew – for treasure hunting… or for uncovering a mutiny before it happens…
Sister Aldina is more than just the stereotypical “fortune teller” pirate. Yes, she can predict the future, and she’s mystical and magical… but that comes at a cost. Her powers are also a curse – she’s unable to distinguish the present from the past, or the past from the future; and her grasp on reality is slippery at best. She gets little sleep, and when she does, she’s fraught with cryptic and chilling nightmares. The rest of the crew steers clear of Aldina – not only because they’re uneasy with her muttering and strange mannerisms, but also because they fear her. They’d rather not be told when or how they’re going to die… especially if the “how” is being eaten alive…
Once per round, you may look at the cards that another player draws or discards.
Aldina’s ability is quite powerful and multi-purpose. If, for example, she wants to see what another player is taking up in their hand for a potential steal or trade, she can look at what they draw off the Scavenge deck. If, on the other hand, Aldina wants to see what a person is getting rid of (either because she’s got an Old Net, or because she might want to incriminate someone for tossing out Fish, or any other reason), then she can look at what they discard. Because Aldina isn’t required to tell someone that she’s going to look at their cards prior to them drawing or discarding (she only needs to look at them after the fact), it can create an air of unease around the table; Aldina can use her powers once per round, so the other players best be prepared to explain themselves should she decide to look at their cards.
I love the wide-eyed, almost crazed look that Fiona gave Aldina. Her bloodshot eyes show just how little Aldina sleeps… and how much Aldina sees that she doesn’t necessarily want to see. The little details of her jewelry also show that, while cursed, Aldina still views her powers as a gift as well – she’s embraced her role as the fortune teller aboard the Osprey, as evidenced by the mystic symbols on her necklace and earrings.
Three-Tongued Sal | The Rummy
He’s everyone’s favorite crewmate when he’s sharing his secret stash of rum, but after a night of hitting the sauce by himself, he never seems to remember what happened…
Sal is the archetypal lovable-fool. He’s always guzzling the rum, and he’s always getting into trouble. However, I wanted to create his character with a bit of an edge… because, after all, “getting into trouble” aboard a drifting ship with murderous cannibals suddenly takes on a whole new meaning. Is Sal one of the cannibals and just playing it dumb? Or is he drinking himself into oblivion, because only he knows that the world is darker and crueler than anyone ever imagined?
You cannot be the target of the “Rum” or “Poisons Manual” cards.
Like Christopher Cross, Sal has a couple handy card immunities that make it more difficult of the other players to spy on him. Because Sal is always drunk, playing the Rum card simply won’t faze him – so the other players can’t take a sneak peek at his hand. Similarly, Sal has built up a lead-liver immunity to most poisons, so the Poisons Manual card won’t affect him either – the other players can’t look at the food he eats by forcing him to vomit.
I love the disheveled look that Fiona gave to Sal. He looks like he’s been drinking hard for several days straight… and he even looks like he smells. The slouched posture and loosely tied shirt falling off his wiry frame add to the effect that this is one blitzed guy.
Old Grizelda | The Collector
She believes there’s never a reason to throw anything away, especially at sea. While some of the crew sees her collecting of trinkets and baubles as a frivolous hobby, she’s got a bullet to fit every gun and a knife to fit every throat…
I actually got the idea for Grizelda from the Disney movie, The Little Mermaid. Of course someone who lives in the ocean would have a curious obsession with trinkets from the land… so why wouldn’t someone who spends a life on a ship have a similar obsession? Actualy, it might be moreso, because they’d have an understanding of the value of certain objects… and even miss them. Grizelda has an almost hoarder-like habit of picking things up… and refusing to let them go. The rest of the crew see her as someone to be feared, however, because they know she’s got more pistols and knives than the rest of them combined… and they’re stashed in every corner of the Osprey.
You may hold one extra card in your hand at the end of your turns.
Rather than being forced to discard down to five cards at the end of her turns during the Day phase, Grizelda only needs to discard down to six. This is a huge advantage, both during the game and–should she survive–at the end of the game. One of the toughest choices players are faced with during games of Osprey Adrift is, “which cards do I keep in my hand?” There’s a lot that players could want to hang onto – Food, Actions, Resources, Coins. Grizelda gets to hold onto a tiny bit more, leaving her open to more strategies. And at the end of the game, she has more opportunity to show off the coins she’s accumulated…
I love the artwork for Grizelda – this isn’t the plain, boring old lady from your neighborhood. Grizelda is a pirate… and an old pirate is one who’s managed to stay alive for a long, long time. She’s fierce and smart, and those qualities are captured beautifully in Grizelda’s face. I also love how Fiona threaded a gold chain into Grizelda’s braid – if you look closely, you’ll even see a gold key dangling at the end. Could this be the other key to Captain Ninefingers’s quarters? And if so… is she the one who killed him?
Well, that’s all for today, gang! I hope you’ve enjoyed the sneak peek at the characters of Osprey Adrift. There’s still a lot more in store, and I can’t wait to show you the other artwork for the game! Until next time, gang. Keep it plucky,