Captains and crew members are assigned to ships through the Shipyard interface by clicking on the plus sign under the ship stats at the top of the window. At any given time, a ship may have only 1 captain, but may have up to 5 crew members assigned to it. Captains and crew members add their stats (Morale, Combat, Seafaring, and Speed) to those of the ship to determine a voyage's chance of success. They may also possess other traits that affect the rewards for success or penalties for failure.
Captains and crew members become better through experience gained by successfully completing voyages. The farther you progress into the Wushanko Isles, the better will be the captains and crew available for hire. Although there are free captains and crew members available, replacing them with better crew members hired using chimes and port resources will be critical to advancing through the game.
The Crew Roster shows your currently recruited units on the left and a recruiting interface on the right. You may get more information about individual captains or crew members by selecting them in the crew display. Information on the selected captain or crew member is shown below your crew display. If the unit is not on a voyage, it may be dismissed from the roster by clicking on the icon and then clicking on the red button in the bottom left corner.
Captains and crew members are assigned to ships from the Shipyard interface.
Each captain and crew member has statistics in Morale, Combat, Seafaring, and Speed. These are determined by four factors:
- The base stats of the particular type of unit, which are shown in the recruiting interface. The base stats alone determine the xp gain of the unit.
- The level boosts gained by the unit.
- Any traits that the unit has.
- Personal bonuses specific to an individual unit. These do not appear in the crew roster until the unit has been recruited.
When a captain or crew member has been highlighted in the Crew Roster interface, if you hover your mouse over the Stat name (Morale, Combat, Seafaring, or Speed), you can see how much of the stat value is due to base value, level boost, personal bonus, or named traits.
Each captain and crew member has a level (which starts at 0) and can be increased by gaining experience on voyages. When captains and crew members gain a level, their stats are increased by 10% of their base stats. This level boost is not affected by previous level boosts, personal bonuses, or traits. Therefore, for example, a Smuggler (with base a stat of 70 Seafaring) always gains exactly 7 Seafaring per level.
Jagex has never commented on whether there is a top limit to the crew level. However, no player has yet reported a level greater than 10.
Captains and crew members may have between zero and four traits, which are permanent modifiers given in addition to the unit's base statistics. It is possible to have the same trait in multiple trait slots, thereby stacking the trait's effect if the effect is stackable.
Some crew member types start with specific inherent traits, such as the Merchant trait for the Ardougne Shopkeeper, or the Staunch trait for Golems. Only inherent traits are shown in the recruiting interface under the picture of the crew member prior to recruitment. Any other traits are only shown after recruitment.
Captains tend to have a much higher chance of having traits at recruitment than crew members. Some voyages list a trait for your captain as a reward. If completed successfully, the captain used to complete the voyage will gain the listed trait.
Effects of the traits can be seen when hovering over the trait. The effects appear to be processed by crew placement from left to right, which can be important for abilities that do not stack. For example, if you have a First Mate and an Eastern Overseer on a single voyage (both with Solidarity), if the First Mate is to the left of the Eastern Overseer, his lower Solidarity bonus will be applied first and the Eastern Overseer's higher bonus will be ignored. The possible traits are:
|No trait||Miscellaneous||No bonuses||-|
|Albatross||Ship Modifier||Reduces ship speed||-1% total speed|
|Awe-Inspiring||Morale||Improved Morale||+100 Morale|
|Cowardly||Combat||Reduced Combat||-40 combat|
|Cursed||Multi-Trait||All stats reduced|| -50/100 morale|
|Eager||Morale||Improved morale||+40 morale|
|Eagle-Eyed||Seafaring||Improved seafaring||+40 seafaring|
|Fast Learner||Experience||+10% experience gain||+10% experience|
|Feeble||Life / Death||Increased risk of death||-|
|Good fortune||Miscellaneous||Increases the chance of gaining a random event on completing a voyage (does not stack)||-|
|Glutton||Speed||Reduced speed||-150 speed|
|Gloombringer||Ship Modifier||Reduces ship morale||-1% total morale|
|Landlubber||Seafaring||Reduced seafaring||-100 seafaring|
|Leader||Ship Modifier||Improved ship morale||+1% to total morale|
|Liability||Ship Modifier||Reduced ship combat||-1% total combat|
|Lookout||Ship Modifier||Improved ship speed||+1% total speed|
|Loyal||Life / Death||Chance to prevent captain death||-|
|Merchant||Miscellaneous||Improve the goods retrieved from a mission by X (does not stack with multiple merchants but does stack with warehouse upgrades)||
|Misery Guts||Morale||Reduced morale||-40 morale|
|Multi-talented||Multi-Trait||All stats improved|| +50 morale|
|Mutinous||Life / Death||Increased risk of Captain's death (Captains can also have this trait)||-|
|Opportunist||Miscellaneous||Better returns from partial mission success||-|
|Pacifist||Combat||Reduced combat||-100 morale (doesn't work right)|
|Pilferer||Miscellaneous||Reduced chance of partial mission success||In the event of mission failure with partial rewards, the message will change to reflect that those rewards were "pilfered" and you will not receive any experience or goods.|
|Plucky||Combat||Improved combat||+40 combat|
|Quick-Footed||Speed||Improved speed||+80 speed|
|Rallying Cry||Experience||All exp gains for this crew member's boat are increased by 10% (does not stack)||-|
|Resurrects||Life / Death||Crew lost on a mission are returned from beyond to serve you in death.||-|
|Seafarer||Seafaring||Improved seafaring||+100 seafaring|
|Seafriend||Ship Modifier||Improved ship seafaring||+1% to total seafaring|
|Short Sighted||Seafaring||Reduced seafaring||-40 seafaring|
|Slayer||Combat||Improved combat||+100 combat|
|Slow||Speed||Reduced speed||-80 speed|
|Slow-Witted||Experience||10% reduced XP gain||-|
|Solidarity||Multi-Trait||Adds X to all stats per each unique type of crew member aboard, including the captain (does not stack).|| +25 (First Mate)|
+50 (Eastern Overseer)
+100 (Judge of Dice)
|Staunch||Life / Death||Will give its own life to save a crewman in distress||-|
|Storm Magnet||Ship Modifier||Reduced ship seafaring||-1% total seafaring|
|Tactician||Ship Modifier||Improved ship combat||+1% total combat|
|Tough as Nails||Life / Death||Chance to avoid death||Unknown|
|Undead||Life / Death||Undead keep ONLY their initial stat bonuses from life, but gain no more xp||-|
|Vapid||Morale||Reduced morale||-100 morale|
|Workhorse||Speed||Improved speed||+150 speed|
- ^ As with the Merchant trait, 1% modifiers are multiplicative with the bonus from their associated building, the Shipwright. Thus, a Nautical Shipwright and a captain with a "Seafriend" trait would provide a multiplier of 1.05*1.01 = 1.0605, which the game rounds down to a flat 6%. The equation for this example is: ((seafaring of captain + crew + ship)*1.06) = Total seafaring. Similarly, a negative modifier would result in an equation similar to the one above, but with a multiplier of (0.99*1.05) instead. Note that these traits DO stack.
- ^ The Merchant bonus works on trade goods as well as resources. It rounds down: a 25% bonus on 10 spices returned 12 spices. The way it stacks with the warehouse bonus is multiplicative, rather than additive. So if there is a 30% merchant bonus and a 10% warehouse bonus, the total bonus will be 43% (1.1 * 1.3 = 1.43), not 40%.
- ^ The resurrected character returns with the ghost's base stats and whatever bonuses the character originally had. (Currently, they do not retain their prior stats.) Ghost crew members do not gain experience.
- ^ Oddly, empty slots are treated according to the crewman type most recently in them, so if you have a Captain, First Mate, 3 Smugglers and a Stowaway (4 types so ship gains +100 to each skill), then remove a Smuggler, then swap him with the Stowaway, your bonus will reduce from +100 to +75 since the empty slot is still treated as a Smuggler meaning you now only have 3 unique types - the Captain, First Mate and Smugglers. But if instead you simply remove the Stowaway, the empty slot will still count as a Stowaway and the ship still gets +100 bonus. This glitch causes hard-to-predict changes in ship stats whenever crew are added or removed to the ship (rather than swapped with crew already in the five slots). In addition to this, despite the tool-tip the speed part (and only the speed part) of solidarity stacks, even with 2 units with the same tier of solidarity.
A ship must have a captain before it can go on a voyage. Until a captain has been assigned to a ship, crew cannot be assigned to it and previously assigned crew will not be shown. Each ship may only have one captain assigned to it.
Only one visiting captain is available for hire at a time. If the visiting captain is hired, the spot will remain vacant until reset at 00:00 UTC unless a Captain Reroll is used. Captain rerolls are available as rewards for completing the port random event minigames. At reset, or when rerolled, the visiting captain (if any) is replaced by a new randomly determined visiting captain, and the current visiting captain is lost.
Base stats and specialitiesEdit
Captains have base stats determined by their quality. Their base stats are the same for 3 stats while a fourth stat, their speciality, will be approximately double that value. The player starts with a free captain of the lowest quality. The first two tiers of captains are available immediately, but additional tiers of better, more expensive, captains become available as more areas are unlocked.
Some high-level bar upgrades increase your chance of attracting captains with particular specialities. These are not available until the Bowl region has been unlocked.
Mod Edam has promised to look into options to add captains of a higher level than the current best (Hook 10k) captain.
In addition to their basic statistics and traits, each captain's personality is listed under their traits. These do not seem to affect game play, but they do affect the appearance and dialogue of the captain. The personalities are:
- Eccentric (there seems to be a problem with this trait, some captains marked as Eccentric will display a Cruel personality)
- Vicious (there seems to be a problem with this trait, some captains marked as Vicious will display an Approachable personality)
The captains' names are randomly generated with both a first name (or nickname) and last name (or title). Usually, both are references to famous pirates and ship captains from real life.
Famous first names include:
- Aika: a fictional air pirate, one of the protagonists of the game Skies of Arcadia.
- Anne: Anne Bonny, "Calico Jack" Rackham's lover and one of the most famous female pirates.
- Bartholomew: Bartholomew Roberts, a Welsh pirate in the early 18th century.
- Calico: "Calico Jack" Rackham, 18th century pirate.
- Charlotte: Charlotte de Berry, a possibly fictional 17th century female pirate.
- Ching: Ching Shih, early 19th century female Cantonese pirate, undefeated by the British, Portuguese, and Qing Chinese.
- Grace: Grace O'Malley, Queen of Umaill, chieftain of the Ó Máille clan, and a pirate in 16th century Ireland.
- Himiko: An obscure 3rd century Japanese queen -- not a reference to sailing or piracy, but could refer to the fact that the Eastern Lands are based partially on Japan.
- Horatio: Horatio Nelson, British Vice Admiral famous for his service in the Napoleonic wars and most importantly his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, that cost him his life. Also Horatio Hornblower, the fictional protagonist of 11 novels and 5 short stories written by C. S. Forester, published between 1937 and 1967.
- Jack: Jack Sparrow, the fictional protagonist of the Pirates of the Carribbean movies, John "Jack" Aubrey, a fictional character in the Aubrey–Maturin series of novels by Patrick O'Brian, or possibly "Calico Jack" Rackham, see above.
- Mary: Mary Read, English soldier, privateer, and pirate. Served alongside Anne Bonny and "Calico Jack" Rackham.
- Noodler: A reference to Peter Pan, one of Captain Hook's pirates.
- Pieter: Pieter Hein, Dutch naval officer and privateer. Vice-Admiral of the Dutch West India Company. Captured a large Spanish treasure fleet.
- Red-Handed Jill: A reference to Peter Pan.
- Tuanku: Tuanku Abbas, a Malay pirate who was brother to a rajah of Aceh.
Famous last names include:
- ad Din: Khair ad Din, an Ottoman admiral and privateer, also known as Barbarossa (meaning red beard). Active in the Mediterranean and Barbary coast.
- Bligh: William Bligh, commanded the HMS Bounty and navigated a small lifeboat more than 6700 km with only a quadrant and compass after being set adrift by mutineers.
- Bonny: Anne Bonny (see above).
- Drake: Sir Francis Drake, English privateer and explorer, vice-admiral in command of the English forces that defeated the Spanish Armada.
- Hook: Captain Hook, chief villain in Peter Pan.
- Kidd: Captain William Kidd, a Scottish privateer. He was convicted of piracy by an English court and hanged twice (the first attempt failed).
- Morgan: Henry Morgan, English Admiral, privateer, and pirate (also the namesake for Captain Morgan brand rum).
- Ng-Tsai: Shap Ng-Tsai, mid-19th century Chinese pirate.
- Rackham: Jack Rackham (see above) or the character Red Rackham in the Tintin comic books (who was based on him).
- Read: Mary Read (see above).
- Shih: Ching Shih (see above).
- Silver: Long John Silver, peg-legged, parrot-carrying pirate featured in the book Treasure Island.
- Teach: Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard, notorious pirate active in the West Indies and the eastern coast of North America. (See also: Bill Teach)
Only 3 crew members for hire are displayed at any one time. When a player hires one, a reroll is consumed and a new crew member is generated to fill the slot. Only 15 crew rerolls are available each day--if no rerolls are left, the slot remains empty. If a player does not want to hire a crew member, they may click the green reroll button in the corner of the crew slot, consuming a reroll to immediately forfeit them and generate a new crew member for hire. The crew reroll count is reset to 15 at midnight UTC. Any crew left in the three slots will carry over to the next day.
Up to 5 crew members may be assigned to a ship. Only crew members assigned to a ship have an effect on that ship's voyage.
For the single-stat crew members, the dominant colour of the icon can be used to tell what type of crew member they are; green is morale, red is combat, and blue is seafaring. There are also unique crew members in each region. Every region has an unlockable crew member (Cyclops, Siren Whalerider, Chimera, Sea Witch, Judge of Dice, and Oxhead and Horseface). Most regions also have a Golem unit, which costs fewer chimes but more of that resource of its type (for example, a Slate golem costs 400 chimes, but also costs more slate than a single-stat crew-member like a Golden Katana Clansman). Many regions have a unit with the Solidarity trait, such as the First Mate, which will boost stats based on the number of unique units aboard their ship. Some regions also have a unit with the Rallying Cry trait, offering bonus experience to everyone aboard when they are sent on voyages. Finally, most regions offer a single-stat Speed unit.
Not all crew types are available to the player at the start of the mini-game. As the player unlocks new areas and accomplishes certain voyages, more (and often better) crew types will become available. For example, one of the first additional unlocks is the Cyclops, which is received when the Island of Cyclosis voyage is successfully completed.
The base statistics, costs, and other data for the crew types are listed in the table below.
|Crew Type||Statistics||Cost To Recruit|| Unlock Area|
|Travelling Drunk||70||0||0||0||-||-||The Arc|
|Varrock Chef||150||0||0||0||80||-||The Arc|
|Brimhaven Pirate||0||150||0||0||80||-||The Arc|
|Catherby Fisherman||0||0||150||0||80||-||The Arc|
|Dwarven Engineer||0||0||0||400||60||30||The Arc|
|Ardougne Shopkeeper||50||0||0||0||60||30||The Arc||Merchant (+10%)|
|Bamboo Golem||60||100||0||0||60||30||The Arc||Staunch|
|First Mate||50||50||50||0||100||100||The Arc||Solidarity (+25)|
|Morale||Combat||Seafaring||Speed||Area / Task||Trait|
|Eastern Bannerman||350||0||0||0||250||80||The Skull|
|Eastern Musketeer||0||350||0||0||250||80||The Skull|
|Eastern Guide||0||0||350||0||250||80||The Skull|
|Fireworks Enthusiast||0||0||0||800||100||120||The Skull|
|Palmist||0||0||200||0||100||120||The Skull||Good Fortune|
|Exploding Golem||170||200||0||0||100||120||The Skull||Staunch|
|Eastern Overseer||120||120||120||0||400||300||The Skull||Solidarity (+50)|
|Siren Whalerider||0||200||350||0||600||300||Siren's Shell||Rallying Cry|
|Morale||Combat||Seafaring||Speed||Area / Task||Trait|
|Blazing Lantern Clansman||500||0||0||0||600||120||The Hook|
|Golden Katana Clansman||0||500||0||0||600||120||The Hook|
|Storm Riders Clansman||0||0||500||0||600||120||The Hook|
|Firework Expert||0||0||0||1200||400||160||The Hook|
|Trader||150||0||0||0||400||160||The Hook||Merchant (+20%)|
|Soothsayer||0||0||300||0||400||160||The Hook||Good Fortune|
|Slate Golem||250||300||0||0||400||160||The Hook||Staunch|
|Feral Chimera||350||500||0||0||1,200||400||Chimera Straits||Rallying Cry|
|Morale||Combat||Seafaring||Speed||Area / Task||Trait|
|Card Sharp||750||0||0||0||1,000||140||The Scythe|
|Crows' Nest Sniper||0||750||0||0||1,000||140||The Scythe|
|Explosives Expert||0||0||0||2,000||500||220||The Scythe|
|Merchant||250||0||0||0||500||220||The Scythe||Merchant (+25%)|
|Cherrywood Golem||300||500||0||0||500||220||The Scythe||Staunch|
|Bureaucrat||250||250||250||0||1,200||500||The Scythe||Solidarity (+75)|
|Sea Witch||350||0||750||0||2,000||600||The Winds' Home||Resurrects|
|Morale||Combat||Seafaring||Speed||Area / Task||Trait|
|Bounty Hunter||0||1,000||0||0||2,000||200||The Bowl|
|Sea Dog||0||0||1,000||0||2,000||200||The Bowl|
|Firework Maniac||0||0||0||2,500||1,200||450||The Bowl|
|Jade Merchant||300||0||0||0||1,200||450||The Bowl||Merchant (+30%)|
|Sacrificial Soothsayer||0||0||450||0||1,200||450||The Bowl||Good Fortune|
|Jade Golem||400||650||0||0||1,200||450||The Bowl||Staunch|
|Judge of Dice||450||450||450||0||4,000||1,000||Crescent Isle||Solidarity (+100)|
|Morale||Combat||Seafaring||Speed||Area / Task||Trait|
|Travelling Band||1,200||0||0||0||4,000||600||The Pincers|
|Ferocious Tiger-Rider||0||1,200||0||0||4,000||600||The Pincers|
|Harem of Fortune Tellers||0||0||1,200||0||4,000||600||The Pincers|
|Oxhead and Horseface||600||600||600||0||6,000||1,000||Shambling Lair||Resurrects|
|Other||Morale||Combat||Seafaring||Speed||Area / Task||Trait|
1 If a unit with the Resurrects trait is aboard, a failed voyage resulting in a lost captain or crew member may instead result in the lost captain or crew member being replaced by a Drowned Ghost.
Every crew member has a flavour text providing information about his or her personality or history. These flavour texts have no effect on the crews performances.
- A little less briny than the sea.
- Ate a cake, and has it. Reference to the phrase "You can't have your cake and eat it (too)".
- Ate a whole shark in one bite.
- Ate all the pies. Refers to the song Who ate all the pies?
- Believes penguins are our friends. Refers to the penguin quest series and Hide and seek activity.
- Believes penguins are our enemies. Also refers to the penguin quest series and Hide and seek activity.
- Black belt in troll-fu.
- Carves spoons from teak.
- Claims to have invented rope.
- Dances when nobody's watching.
- Dances, whenever, whatever. Reference to a song by singer Shakira.
- Dedicated follower of fashion. Reference to the 1966 song "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" by British invasion band The Kinks.
- Demands additional biscuits.
- Didn't get custody.
- Didn't really solo Nex.
- Doesn't know port from starboard. - nautical version of the phrase "doesn't know his left from his right".
- Drank the spittoon for a dare.
- Earned the Fremennik name 'Farstink'.
- Eats only hardtack
- Enjoys long walks on the beach. Reference to flavour texts and descriptions found on dating sites.
- Gets terrible land sickness.
- Getting over a bad breakup.
- Gives love a bad name. Reference to the song "You Give Love a Bad Name" by the band Bon Jovi.
- Got scurvy before it was mainstream. Referencing to the "... before it was mainstream" Internet meme.
- Grumbles only mildly in inclement weather.
- Had a cake, and ate it. reference to the saying "Having your cake, and eating it too".
- Has a butterfly tattoo. Don't ask where. Reference to a "tramp stamp", which is often a tattoo of a butterfly.
- Has a citadel in the sky. Reference to Clan Citadels.
- Has a phobia of the ship's wheel.
- Hunts sea monsters for fun.
- Is a connoisseur of fine cheeses.
- Is currently reading YOUR stats page.
- Is constantly dropping the bass. Reference to the musical technique of a brief stylised pausing in percussion instrument(s) and resuming with a large scale burst typically alongside with other bass instrument(s).
- Is constantly dropping the shark. A pun on the flavour text above, as Bass and Shark are a type of fish.
- Is constantly jumping the handcannon. Referring to the common saying "Jumping the gun", with a Handcannon being the closest equivalent in RuneScape.
- Is constantly jumping the shark. Referring to the "Happy Days" television episode which coined the attention grabbing gimmick phrase.
- Is secretly a vegan.
- Is the evil twin. Like the random, this is a reference to the old folk-belief, that one twin will be good and one will be evil.
- Is the fly in the ointment.
- Is the reason the rum is gone. Reference to the hit movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl in which Captain Jack Sparrow asks "Why is the rum gone?" This quote is itself referenced in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
- Is the symptom; not the cause. Reference from Rocky Horror Picture Show ("I'll remove the cause, but not the symptom")
- Is wearing rainbow-striped pants.
- Keeps cats on board.
- Knows about the puppy.
- Knows that wasn't rum.
- Knows where the bones are buried.
- Knows why the rum is gone. Reference to the hit movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl in which Jack Sparrow asks "Why is the rum gone?" This quote is itself referenced in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
- Lied about being a pirate.
- Lied about liking rum.
- Lost a party hat in a shark attack.
- Loves life in all its forms.
- Makes earwax scrimshaw.
- Not a fan of pies.
- Not to be underestimated.
- Once ate the whole thing.
- Once married a mermaid.
- Once divorced a mermaid.
- Once gazed into the Abyss. Reference to Friedrich Nietzsche's quote "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an Abyss the Abyss also gazes into you."
- Once got King Roald's autograph.
- Once punched a porpoise.
- Once had a wash.
- Once threw up off Brimhaven Dock.
- Once wrestled a bear.
- Once wrestled a shark.
- Once wrestled a moral dilemma. Pun to the other "wrestled"-lines.
- Passionately hates tea.
- Plays the flute. Badly.
- Prefers the helm over the aft.
- Ran away from the circus.
- Reliable only when drunk.
- Reliable unless drunk.
- Saving up for a top hat.
- Seventh child of a seventh child Reference to the folk belief, around since the Middle Ages, that the seventh son of a seventh son is born with tremendous magical and/or healing powers.
- Sings a fine shanty.
- Smells remarkably like an admiral pie.
- Sometimes comes on too strong.
- Survivor of five keelhaulings. Reference to a form of punishment given to sailors at sea, in which a sailor was dragged under the hull of a ship by a long rope. Few people managed to survive this punishment.
- Thick as two short planks. Proverb, meaning "Exceedingly/Very stupid".
- Thinks nobody knows about the puppy.
- Vicious and heartless.
- Voted 'Most Hairy' at nursery school.
- Wants a pet unicorn.
- Wants to be a captain.
- Wants to be a hero.
- Wants to be buried at sea.
- The unit Oxhead and Horseface is a reference to the traditional Chinese guardians of the underworld of the same names.
- During a failed voyage resulting in a lost captain being replaced by a Drowned Ghost, it is possible to have more than 25 crew members. Once a captain has been replaced by a Drowned Ghost the 26th crew member will be inaccessible until one of the twenty-five visible crew members have been dismissed. At the moment the number of crew members attainable from captains being replaced by a drowned ghost is unknown.