Perhaps the setting is a little early for Henry Morgan and Port Royal but certainly mysterious islands, ancient ruins and adventure await in the West Indies!
Yes! The Golden Age is just a few decades away, and pirates and privateers were on the rise. This would be a good time for a Barbary Pirates game, set in the Mediterranean.
Port Royal might not have yet been English or named that, but as Caguay it was a linchpin of Spanish control over Jamaica (and exclusion of other nations). Its later loss resulted in the instability of Spanish shipping, which speaks to its unrecognised importance in 1648 to Spain — but that’s something a GM can recognise and build on.
As a center of Spanish power over Carribean trade routes, Jamaica and its ports would serve as a stronghold of Spanish enemies, a home base for Spanish PCs, or a background economic-political context for non-Spanish nationals operating in the Carribean. A game of proto-pirates rebelling against Spanish hegemony, or merchants of various nations navigating the Spanish control over trade at the time, would have a lot of potential. Perhaps less high-seas buccaneering, and more “honest merchant” ship business mixed with opportunistic lawlessness.
The island of St. Martin is devided half French and half Dutch in I believe 1648!
Oliver Cromwell will send lots of Irish and Scots to the Carribean within the next twenty years. That might be a nice introduction to the game as soon as we get the additional setting material.
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