Has anyone ran an adventure where the players are forced into piracy on the high (silt) sea? The players are enslaved method of starting a game is somewhat common I know but how many Dark Sun games start with the enslaved on a ship I wonder? (Think the first book of the skull and cross bones adventure path.)
What kind of problems do you think that start would encounter? Are silt skimmers even capable of piracy? I mean I assume so. And I assume the sea is big enough that it could happen.
They’re capable of it Shadowcat. IIRC CbtSS has the PCs encounter a small island of pirates with a couple of skimmers for starters. The Athas.org team suggested that some of Eldaarich’s skimmer fleet act as pirates when they can get away with it too.
Break Shore, Cromlin, Alfala and a host of other shore towns can be excellent staging posts for a pirate campaign.
With some work you could adapt Dungeon Magazine’s DS adventure “Raiders of the Chanth” for PC orivateers.
Also have a look at Al-Qadim boxes to adapt - years ago I played in a converted “Corsairs of the Great Sea”, “Ruined Kingdoms” and “Cities of Bone” mashup - it works surprisingly well in Dark Sun with a bit of work. Having Tisan, the Arch-Geomancer bad gal in RK be an acolyte of Rajaat who actually succeeded in tapping into Athas’ own planetary energy makes for some high risk campaign consequences if the PCs screw up.
Anyway, sorry for going off on a tangent. Yes skimmer pirates exist. Yes you can easily do a skimmer pirate/privateer campaign. Good luck!
Beside silt skimmers, silt schooners (athasian emporium p 42-43) equipped with obsidian engines can travel through deep silt areas and function like “normal” boats, making them more suited to piracy.
These boats are however quite rare outside Balic, and need shipfloaters (psionicists) to maintain the ship afloat using the obsidian engine.
Enslavement in Balic could be a good start, with the PCs taken aboard a war silt schooner to do the difficult/dangerous tasks aboard.
The many islands of the estuary of the forked tongues can make good hideouts.
Giants wading into the silt make quite formidable foes, as do silt horrors, if you need to.
Ruktois (ToA p 135) can be used by smugglers which could interact with the PCs.
I had my players seek and destroy a gang of pirates operating a silt skimmer which posed a threat to the commercial route between Cromlin and fort Firstwatch (they were working for a merchant house).
I found a map of a balican war galleon somewhere a while ago, but I don’t remember where. Someone ?