Privateers is an excessively rules-light tabletop roleplaying game that assumes the player-characters are Privateers in the Age of Sail, government-sponsored soldiers-of-fortune under letters of marque authorizing both hunting pirates and capturing enemy nation’s ships & attacking their colonies.
All you need to play are these rules, a few scraps of paper, pencils, at least two six-sided dice (2d6), and a few friends! One player runs the game as the Gamemaster (GM), while everyone else plays as a Privateer; the more the merrier!
Privateers uses an original game system, The Difference Engine. All challenges in the game boil down to a simple mechanic known as The Difference Engine; two opposing rolls of a pair of six-sided dice (2d6), each with a modest Bonus added. You compare the results, calculate "The Difference," and use that to determine success directly — the greater The Difference, the greater the effect! In something like combat, that may mean The Difference is added to a weapon's damage, while if attempting something like a long jump across a ravine, The Difference could equal the number of yards your character can make it with a flying leap. Dynamic difficulties that change with each roll of the die and built-in variable success help to inform the narrative with each challenge in The Difference Engine, moving the story forward in exciting ways moment to moment.