I was going through Fire as she Bears in detail and had questions/suggestions/etc. Some are for clarifications and/or errata and some are just for if you do a version 2 or supplement for it.
1. Ship combat and Below the Waterline. This works oddly; other sections ablate hit points normally but Below the Waterline loses half its hp if one hull section is trashed, 3/4 if two, all if three.
So... You can't sink a 2 hull unit ship at all?
And... You can sink a 500 hull unit ship (like, by my calculation, the USS Ronald Reagan) by destroying any three hull units?
Am I missing something? That seems to obviate a lot of differences between ships especially since targeting a given segment isn't that hard.
2. Crew stores. It's 5 sp/day to feed them but it'd be interesting to know required tonnage that has to go to food/water. Finer grained encumbrance/speed might be nice, to try to convince people to dump stores and cannon to get speed if they have to.
3. Equipping your ship. It's not clear all what a hull unit can do. It can hold X guns but if it's "dedicated" it can hold 2X guns, but it's not clear what else locations have to do except to be "special location," of which a galley is the mandatory one. It "requires a full hull location" too. So in a normal 3-hull unit 60' caravel type ship, one unit needs to be a galley, but can it be a galley and have guns too, is it exclusive? What else "consumes" hull units, it seems like there's no accounting for other general use areas (crew sleeping, cargo, etc.). Like the Teeth of Araska from Second Darkness is a typical 60' x 20' caravel, with a galley and brig, and if you say the other section is 'dedicated' to guns but the other ones can have the normal amount, you could put say 12 12-pounders on it? Oh, I guess you'd need a powder magazine too, so I guess it's 6 12-pounders max. Are those numbers of guns cited per side or total? I assume total but that's weird because it's an odd number (e.g. 3 12 pounders per hull unit), you'd think it would be 1/side (2), 2/side (4), etc.
4. Weather... Need weather generation! And a little more about seaworthiness.
5. More actual piracy related would be good too. Crew loyalty just has wages, what about pirate ships that operate by shares... Some tables for cargo and random ship encounters and stuff...