Later that afternoon I wrote down my thoughts about the game rules and came up with a few other small improvements. Here's what I came up with!
Pirate Party on Ninja Island
One player is the “Hex Master” and one to four players are the pirates. You will need at least one and as many as four of the following: four-sided dice, six-sided dice, eight-sided dice, ten-sided dice, and twelve-sided dice. You will need a bunch of six-sided hexagonal sticky-notes arranged into islands of four, six, and eight hexes.
The Hex Master
The Hex Master populates each hex island with ninjas and boss monsters. A boss monster can only go on a pink hex. At least one hex must contain no ninjae or monster-lords. Ninjae roll 1d6 each for combat. Boss monsters roll higher dice - d8 for the first boss, d10 for the second, d12 for the third.
Each player picks a pirate and chooses a class for their pirate. Only one pirate from each class is allowed in any pirate party.
- Captain, once per level one of the members of the pirate party of your choice may re-roll one combat roll.
- Ship's Surgeon, once per level the Ship's Surgeon can return one lost pirate of their choice from the dead.
- Survivor, once per level the Survivor can survive a failed combat roll against a ninja.
- Cutthroat, once per level, if the Cutthroat loses a combat roll against a ninja, not only does the Cutthroat die, the ninja dies also.
Each pirate player picks an unoccupied hex on an hex island of their choice to start. It is wise to pick the island with the least ninjas. It is also wise for multiple pirates to pick the same hex and fight as one rather than spread out.
Who Goes First?
The Hex Master and the players each rummage through their pockets for loose change. Check the years on each of the coins. The side with the highest digit on any year gets to go first. Ties go to the next highest digit. If no one has any loose change, the side with the youngest player goes first.
Players may move each pirate one hex. The Hex Master may move one ninja one hex.
If a pirate or ninja wind up in the same hex, combat occurs. Each side rolls a die: Each pirate in the hex rolls 1d4 + level, each ninja in the hex rolls 1d6, boss monsters roll d8, d10, or d12. If any of the pirates roll higher than any of the ninjae or boss monsters, one ninja or boss-monster in the hex of the Hex-master's choice is killed. If any of the ninjae roll higher than any of the pirates, one pirate of the pirate party's choice is killed. If all rolls are tied, combat continues.
Combat continues until either only pirates or only ninjae/boss monsters remain in the hex.
If the pirate party defeats a boss monster, they regain all their lost pirates. But only the pirates that survived the fight against the boss monster increase a level! Move to the next island and repeat until either all pirates are dead or all boss monsters are defeated.
I just made these up as I went along. Improvise!