Capitaine Vaudou is a roleplaying game combining pirates and magic in the 17th century. Just as pirates came looking for adventure and treasure, or fled persecution in Europe, sorcerers found new powers and ancient magic in the Caribbean. Thanks to this occult atmosphere, the Inquisition wields black magic, the Incas summon the gods of their long-dead empire, the Jews gain the protection of their golems, and the pirates hunt down gold-carrying Spanish galleons with the help of the Loas…
Voodoo is featured extensively throughout the game, and any pirates who do not follow this religion still encounter it.
Almost every pirate has a magical object. Non-practicing buccaneers have a gad, a sort of amulet that protects its wearer (at worst from mosquitoes, and at best from dark incantations!). Meanwhile, voodoo followers have a wanga, an object that can be activated to cast a spell linked to the Loa (spirit) that helped to create it.
Bokors (voodoo sorcerers) can choose a root Loa. This is a Loa with whom they have a special connection, and who is therefore easier to summon. This relationship has its advantages, but it also means that the sorcerer must treat the Loa with caution and respect.
The entire world is bathed in magic, although this power does have its limits:
• Large amounts of iron and steel can deactivate any enchantment. This is why there is almost no magic left near the cities of Europe, and why a knight wearing a full suit of armor can make it dissipate. Imagine magic as electricity – too much metal acts as a lightning rod. However, a small amount (such as a knife’s blade) heats up when there is magic nearby, like the glowing red light from a lightbulb’s filament, and the air fills with the smell of ozone. The use of gunpowder is not advisable in the presence of magic.
• As voodoo is a religion based on blood, its followers can use their own blood in the same way that others use psychic abilities.
• Water acts as insulation. This means that magic is blocked by large lakes or wide rivers, and is even less powerful at sea as salt water isolates more than fresh water. It is difficult to activate a wanga on a ship, and impossible to summon a Loa – with the exception of Agoué, the Loa of the oceans. If summoned first, this spirit can be used to summon another Loa.
• Lastly, daylight drives away all of voodoo’s fantastical creatures, such as bakas and werewolves, but does not kill them.
So, pirate, are you ready to explore the fantastical Caribbean world of Capitaine Vaudou?
The game is available in French (an English version is being considered) in your favorite specialist stores and on the website run by our co-publisher, Black Book Editions.