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Pirates of the 3.5 (Skull and Shackles path)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:49 pm    Post subject: Pirates of the 3.5 (Skull and Shackles path) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So I got invited to play in a DnD 3.5 game. Turned out that we were playing a pirate-themed adventure path for pathfinder, but the rules are 3.5 only. Cores + Completes + Spell Compendium + various other books that are actually in the house we're playing at.

Our Cast Of Heroes:

  • Takeda Protagonist (Me) - Nezumi "Druid" that's a priest of the Lord of Swords. Blades of all kinds are his holy symbol, all spells are sword themed, etc.
  • Lydia - Rilkin Warlock. Those "humans but with (reptilian) subtype and some scales on just their neck and wrists" people from Magic of Incarnum. She has the invocation that lets you summon a swarm of stuff. She summons a swarm a lot, as you can imagine.
  • Hayden - Dwarf Fighter. I told him to look at Warblade, but he's just a Fighter for now. Doesn't like heights. Hits things with an axe. Standard sort of stuff.
  • DK - Monkey-person-with-gliding-wings Scout. Some sort of gorilla with wings. I don't know the character's name or the player's name even, so I just think of him as DK and call him "The monkey man".
  • Canis - Catfolk Cleric. Didn't have a class level at first level, just a Humanoid HD, when we got to level 2 replaced that with an actual Cleric level.
  • Eric - Aquatic-Elf Ranger. Showed up to the first session and then was real-life sick for the next so his character was just seasick in game for a while. A sea-sick sea elf.
  • Gary Fotter - Kobold Monk. Not at the first session but joined for the second, we decided that he had just been in the lower decks hiding the whole time. His explicit goal is to get himself killed off somehow.

Well, the story is that the players all go to a party promising free food, and then the food is poisoned and they pass out, waking up on a ship. Shanghaied!

So the structure is that the players get assigned positions on the ship, and each day you can take a day action during the day (while also doing your tasks) and a night action (while others are occupied). You can skip some sleep if you want to take extra night actions, but you'll get Fatigued. The actions are things like making friendly with other sailors on the ship, or trying get your stuff back (the quartermaster has it all, and will let you trade goods and services to get your stuff back).

There's barely anything even worth writing down during this part of the adventure. It makes the players feel like they're actually kidnapped and without options, which is cool I guess in some sense, but is also really disengaging. I found myself, saying "yeah whatever, what happens the next day then?"

Did I mention the days? Each day takes longer than a combat round to resolve, and the adventure expects you to spend like 5 days with no special events before the first interesting thing happens. It's terrible. One thing that saved some of it was the DM's take on one particular character. There's a drunken cook who is a bad cook that hands out hard tack and then just drinks rum most days. The DM voiced him basically like Tom Waits, and it was wonderful.

There's several sailors that hate you, and several that are indifferent that you can get on your side. The DM read us a long list of pirate names and what they were doing around the boat so that we knew who we could try and talk to. One of the sailors that you can get on your side is Mareem. Another player and I, upon hearing this particular name, immediately decided that he was clearly an arabic pirate, and clearly played by Alexander Siddig. Instantly we knew that we'd have to get him in our group and keep him alive. There was also a half-ogre or some other super strong sort of creature that the pirates kept chained up and not-well-fed. We decided to call him Babycakes. We also got him on our side, just by feeding him some food really.

So basically nothing much happened for four hours. Some of the pirates get uppity and try to fight you, you stab them back and they freak out. Some rats come out of the bottom of the ship, you cover them in a bee swarm until they all die. Normal things.

Eventually the Warlock gets on the bad side of some pirates and is assigned to clear out the lowest decks. She goes down with the other pirates, and before they can attack her she instantly swarms them. They all three end up dying, and she proceeds to move up a level and fight more pirates and for a moment it seems like we'll actually fight all the pirates that oppose us, a few at a time as they show up in groups, and then we'll get control of the ship and have a cool time.


See, it was at this moment that it was revealed that the captain of the ship is some asshole 17th level Fighter/Rogue that's just sandbagging around with a crew of level 1s and a few level 2s and 3s. We thought the captain would be like, maybe a "5th level badass" guy that we'd be able to barely fight anyway by using a bat swarm to bleed/nauseate him and then running him around a lot until he died while the rest of us and our pirate allies ran melee interference... or whatever. But no, he's 17th level, so there's just no way to kill him. You can't do anything except get railroaded through the adventure. Pretty bullshit. So the warlock gets put in a small heat-box on the deck as punishment "to deal with later". At the same time a ship is spotted on the horizon.

End Session.

So the deal was that the ship spotted would be a day away, and so we had a day to do more stuff, and then the day after that we'd attack the ship. Also we leveled up to level 2 for having done pirate ship stuff a bit.

The pirates are assholes and even though our guys are the assault crew that's going to hold the wheel area and prevent people escaping on life-boats, they only agree to give us weapons, not even our own armor back. So some of us don't have armor. Also the warlock is locked in a box and won't be of help during the assault.

Before we even get our boat up to theirs, the NPC pirate alchemist we've got on the pirate ship does some sort of Control Weather to fill everything in fog. 20% miss chance at 5ft, 50% miss chance beyond that, like Fog Cloud. So a few bow shots launch between ships with basically no chance to hit. Except that one does hit from the enemy merchant ship, and it crits, and it deals 15 damage to the Catfolk Cleric (with 10hp). So he's instantly down on a complete fluke. I spend a turn to do Cure Minor Wounds on his bleeding body and we proceed onto the ship.

Before the fighting itself I'd cast Ram's Might on the Gorilla Scout, and then as soon as I climb up onto the enemy ship I use Aspect of The Wolf on myself. But I don't turn into a wolf of course, I turn into a 5ft tall floating sword that swings itself at things (link).

We crash our boat into their boat, get onto their deck, and start cutting down merchant sailors. Things go fine because the merchant guys go down in one hit. Eventually the ship is ours.

The pirates decide to send the captain and the main pirate ship off on the main thing they were headed for, and then the captured merchant ship would head back to where the pirates kidnapped us and sell the ship for huge piles of cash.

All the PCs get onto the captured ship, and we also get some of our pirate friends along with some pirate enemies, and the drunken cook (most important of all). The captain's 2nd in command is in charge of the captured ship, so we'll have to deal with him eventually. Also, the warlock picked up Shatter as her 2nd level invocation, so she shatters herself out of the box during the battle and sneaks on board the merchant ship as well.

End Session.

My spells cast so far (might as well keep a running total, data is fun)
5   Goodberry
4   Purify Food And Drink
4   Cure Minor Wounds
2   Cure Light Wounds
1   Aspect of the Wolf
1   Endure Elements
1   Ram's Might
1   Vigor, Lesser

Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun

Last edited by Lokathor on Sun Oct 11, 2015 12:26 am; edited 5 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Is the skull and shackles thing as railroady as paizo's other stuff? If so, how heavily is Mister Cavern enforcing the railroad?
Out beyond the hull, mucoid strings of non-baryonic matter streamed past like Christ's blood in the firmament.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List does goodberry get swordified? Do you enchant little cocktail swords and then poke people with them?
Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.

Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.

FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ah, simple of course. You cut away (spiritually) all the bad tasting elements of the berry. What's left is a very good berry.

In terms of the adventure being more or less railroad than other Paizo stuff, I don't know because I've never played other Paizo adventures. The MC is very sympathetic to the general terribleness of the opening of the path. This set of adventures was requested by the Scout player, I guess he likes pirates or something I dunno. It was told to me that normally you have to go through TWENTY days of everyone picking an action and making a roll before the other ship shows up for you to board and then abscond with. The MC cut it down to five, so there's that.

Once the 17th level guy is out of sight me and at least one other PC plan to start going all murder town on all the enemy pirates (The drunken cook and Mareem are safe, as are one or two other NPCs that other players like). The other players seem to think that it's at least reasonable to kill some of the enemy pirates, but they have ideas about converting the neutral pirates into being part of our crew. I don't know how that will unfold, but I never trust an NPC to get anything right. I suspect that we'll need to use the ship to travel around to the next few adventure sites, which may necessitate a crew. The campaign path goes all the way to 20th, so at some point you go beyond the "I need a boat to get there" stuff, but not for a while.
Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Our Cast Of Heroes:
  • Takeda Protagonist - Nezumi Druid
  • Lydia - Rilkan Warlock
  • Hayden - not present
  • DK - Gorillaman Scout
  • Canis - Catfolk Rogue (not a cleric as previously reported)
  • Eric - not present
  • Gary Photter - Kobold Monk

    Favored NPCs
  • Ambrose the Drunken Cook - played by Tom Waits, favorite of everyone.
  • Maheem - played by Alexander Siddig, favored by the Druid and Warlock.
  • Sandara Quinn - A cleric? Talked to DK one time I guess.
  • Rosie Cusswell - Uh, a halfling I guess. Also mostly just talked to DK.

    So the deal is, apparently when I wrote about there being two sessions with 5 in-game days, I guess there was three sessions with 12 in-game days. I forgot that at one point we had to go out on a tiny boat and try to catch crabs, and then the dwarf got his hand cut off by a crab. Oops.

    This time though I basically live-tweeted all of the events of the session onto this pad of paper I had with me, so my notes are a little more solid.

    The session started with the cook explaining that he had a strange new chicken that couldn't lay eggs, but that he liked how the new chicken would drink with him (which other chickens don't do), so it made up for it. The "chicken" in question is the kobold. Our Warlock was also hiding below decks for now, having snuck on board.

    Day Actions:
  • The ratman can't cook worth a damn
  • The warlock cooks up a storm and the ratman claims that he did it so that she remains hidden
  • DK does stuff with rigging and ropes and things
  • Catfolk gets assigned to catch rats below deck

    At Night, DK takes some time to convert any remaining "Friendly" NPCs to "Helpful". Anyone who's still Unfriendly/Hostile at this point is firmly in the camp of Master Scourge, the temporary captain of the ship, so we just assume that they'll have to die.

    DK checks the stars and sun and such, determining that we're going about 90-degrees off from the direction we should be heading if we were actually going to Port Peril as claimed. The Druid is totally unable to determine much about tracking, weather, or survival, because "weather isn't swords".

    The next day the Catfolk can tell that a storm is coming, and everyone prays to Donny Jones (pirate god of the sea) that we'll make it through. The day is spent repairing the ship, it took quite a number of accidental damages in the fighting. We talk about hard tack for a while, and those who know about it explain how truly horrible and inedible it is in its natural state, despite sorta being made out of flour. "The Hard Tack bricks are about the size of this Jenga block, and about as hard. Actually, I lied, the Jenga block is softer than hard tack." It also came up that the Kobold Monk has, hilariously, a Search of +1 and Survival of +0, due to a combination of low Wisdom and Kobold racism bonuses.

    The Kobold and the Warlock sit around with the Cook below deck while repairs are going on, and they work together to convince the Cook that the Kobold is a magical chicken that can cast spells. The kobold waves his arms and the warlock summons a swarm of bees at the same time. Eventually they prepare a meal, and then someone comes to tell the cook that he needs to help with storm prep as well, but the kobold jumps out and bites him on the hand, which freaks out the pirate and he runs off. Everyone gets drunk below deck.

    The storm comes and goes, we survive through but get blown off course. As the sun rises we see that we're in an area full of reefs, the storm subsided from the worst of it, but still raging quite hard. Obscuring vision and also limiting our ability to shout for help through all the wind. It's at that moment when some sort of sea demon... water demon... things... jump up on to the rail of the ship. They're not quite Sahugan, but they are holding spears. The Thief, Druid, Maheem, and some unfriendly NPC are around, and Initiative is rolled.

    The rogue shoots a sea demon, the sea demons attack with spears but they can also turn a hit into a trip attempt as a swift action. The Druid is about to just totally ollie-outty from the situation back to the others when he realizes that one of those little dice marks the position of Maheem, and Maheem can't be left behind! So he draws his sword and whirls into combat with a mighty Str 9/ Dex 11, Scimitar (+0/1d6-1, 18/x2)/ Leather Armor (AC 14). Yes folks, this is a real melee monster we've got on our hands here. Well, the druid misses, but the thief kills another sea demon. He gets hit lightly twice but isn't taken out or even tripped.

    Maheem gets a light hit and tripped, and the unfriendly pirate gets killed off. The druid moves to help Maheem, but misses again. The thief gets attacked more and they mostly miss, but he gets knocked out and starts bleeding. Then the druid gets hit and knocked prone. Maheem stands up and then kills the sea demon that knocked the druid down. Takeda swoons as senpai notices him, and he stands up and manages to lightly hit one of the sea demons as well.

    The thief bleeds some, and as this happens one of the sea demons begins to drag his body to the edge of the ship. At the same time, the druid gets stabbed again, bringing him to exactly 0hp, and knocking him prone again. This makes things suddenly much more tense all at once. With both the Thief and the Druid in peril, the GM rolls randomly to see which Maheem (the only one left standing) saves first, and it's the Druid. He steps over and criticals the sea demon!

    Bleeding, lying on the ground, about to pass out... the Druid has a single action, and if it's a strenuous one he'll take a damage. We all know the rules of the situation. Normally you'd cast a healing spell on yourself, take the damage as the spell resolves, and then stand up next round. Except the thief is about to be pulled overboard. Does Takeda care? Can Takeda even spot this happening so many squares away in the storm? Some dice are rolled, and it's determined that he definitely can see the thief about to be pulled over. He decides to go for it and moves at half speed while prone to get up and barely grab the thief, adding some extra weight and slowing down the sea demon for just enough time. The sea demon tugs at the thief's body and the strain makes the druid pass out, but the sea demon is delayed by a round at least. Maheem moves up and makes a Strength check to pull the thief out of the sea demon's hands. He rolls a Natural 20. Godmode: ON. The Sea Demon hisses and jumps back into the sea, and Maheem bind the wounds of the thief and druid, then goes for help.

    The storm clears later in the day, and several others are missing at roll call. Seems the ship was attacked in several places at once. Four missing, including Sandara and Rosie. Someone looks at the claw marks and the bodies and all, saying that the creatures are called "Grindylows", but that doesn't really give us any sort of edge against them. You just gotta stab 'em, and knowing the name doesn't help do that too much.

    At the same time, the reef has punched a nasty hole in the hull. It's mostly above the water line, just a little laps in from time to time, and they disassemble part of the deck to begin patching the hull. There's one problem though: The hole got knocked right where the water barrels were sitting, and they got smashed up.

    With limited fresh water available, and an island in sight, Master Scourge orders us all to take a lifeboat to shore and get more water. By "us all" I of course mean just one guy. Of the five player characters sitting around the table, two were passed out from wounds, one was a stow-away on the ship, and one was considered a pet of the ship's cook. DK was in full health, having avoided the fighting. During the storm he just tied himself into the crow's nest with a ton of ropes and rode the whole thing out like some sort of obsessed psycho, but it did keep him away from the grindylow attack I guess. Master Scourge gives his plan a second thought.

    After the ship repairs during the day, he decides to send DK and the Cook onto the island during the evening. DK spends the day giving Long Term Care to the Druid and Thief, which gets the Druid to 1hp by evening. He immediately casts Lesser Vigor on himself and converts two other slots into Cure Light Wounds on the Thief (Spontaneous Healing feat). The druid explains to Master Scourge that he can just cast up Create Water spells tomorrow at sunrise, so no one has to go onto the island. Master Scourge considers this and then accuses Takeda of trying to use poison or something to take over the ship, and demands that they absolutely go over to the island and search for water. He wants it back by sunrise. Le sigh. So we all head over anyway.

    Well, the warlock has to sneak from below decks to the lifeboat without anyone spotting her actually. A valiant attempt is made, but a spare pirate lackey spots her. Initiative is rolled. She immediately drops a swarm of bees on the lackey. He's hurt but not out (1hp). Pirate is up, he takes 1 from bleeding (0hp), charges the Warlock anyway, misses, and then drops from the strain.

    The warlock drags the body onto the lifeboat, at first just to hide it, and then she, the kobold, and the nezumi decide that they'll eat the pirate once they get to shore. The group debates if they should just camp on the shore and then go back at sunrise after using Create Water without telling Master Scourge or what. DK wants to explore the island and try to find Sandara and Rosie. The Druid wants to avoid the whole stupid island and just stay overnight. The Kobold wants to stay on the island forever, but the druid rejects that, making up a bunch of lore on the spot about "we have to go back and destroy the anti-cutlass eventually", meaning that asshole 16th level captain sandbagger.

    Eventually it's decided that we'd do all of them at the same time, kinda. The Druid stays on the beach and starts an animal bonding ritual to call an animal companion. Some crabs come up from the reefs, and a bigger "riding dog" sized crab gets called. They've got claws like swords, and the druid is all about swords, so they become Super Sword Bros. for a while.

    DK looks around for a trail into the woods. The cook gets some coconuts from the trees. He gets one open and pours the rum into there, then shares his new mixed drink with everyone. DK spots a trail with grindylow markers on it, and tries to get the others to join him into the woods. The warlock drunkenly uses Aid Another to assist DK's Diplomacy roll against her, causing him to succeed. The kobold is at first reluctant, "Who needs friends when you have alcohol and meat?", but the cook is actually easily convinced, which causes the kobold to tag along.

    There's a fork in the path, one goes west and one goes south. They head west, because that's the left-most option at the time. They find a lodge sort of thing. There's a spyglass up on top, which DK checks out. He looks through the spyglass to see a grindylow camp, and one of the grindylows is wearing Sandara's hat! They know which way to go now, and he climbs down to the others. As he's climbing down, the vines come alive and attack! They're two "vine chokers", with Choker stats, but made out of vines instead basically.

    The scout hits one with an axe, and the vine hits and grapples the scout. The other vine hits and grapples the warlock. The thief refuses to just attempt an attack with his dagger, and readies a shot with his hand crossbow instead after we explain how bad an idea is is to fire into a grapple. Warlock tries to get out, and fails the grapple check. This is where things get weird, because the version of Constrict that the GM looked up seemed to phrase things such that every time the Constricting creature won in a grapple check, for any reason, it dealt constriction damage. So because the vine won the grapple check as the warlock tried to get free, it dealt damage, and the warlock was knocked out. I don't know if that's really how Constrict should work, but that's how it worked right then.

    The cook attacks a vine and misses, and the scout manages to kill the vine grappling him. The warlock bleeds a little. The vine grappling the warlock lets the warlock go, the thief fires their readied shot (missing), and then the vine attacks the cook. This causes the kobold to panic of course, and he goes in after the vine attacking the cook (missing). The cook misses again, the scout charges and misses, the vine misses. Miss-city, folks. The thief shoots while 10ft away from the vine, but it has reach so it AoOs the Thief! He's hit, but not grappled, and the shot manages to hit. The kobold gets in a punch, the cook misses, and then DK lands an axe chop that kills the vine thing.

    The battered group decides to camp in the hut. Inside is a bunch of rotting food, flies, and a corpse of someone that committed suicide hanging from the ceiling.

    Kobold: I drink the wine
    GM: I didn't say wine. I said rotten food and flies.
    Kobold: I eat one of the flies.
    GM: Oh, do you? Roll a Fort Save.
    Kobold: Uh, so, do I roll above or below +6?
    Druid: Roll d20 and add the +6.
    Kobold: 12
    GM: Oh, wonderful.
    Kobold: What was that for?
    GM: Absolutely nothing.

    And that was the end of the night.

    Spells this week: Lesser Vigor, Cure Light Wounds, another Cure Light Wound. Totals:
    5   Goodberry
    4   Cure Minor Wounds
    4   Purify Food And Drink
    2   Cure Light Wounds
    2   Vigor, Lesser
    1   Aspect of the Wolf
    1   Endure Elements
    1   Ram's Might

    Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun

    Last edited by Lokathor on Sun Oct 11, 2015 12:26 am; edited 2 times in total
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    Canis Infernum

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    PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Catfolk here. The swap from cleric to rogue occurred after I came to the startling revelation that clerics are not in fact charisma casters. Also I have yet to survive a combat that lasted longer than two rounds despite having AC 20
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    PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    First, I want to apologize to everyone here expecting an update, getting misinformed through me.

    Secondly, what happened next, I really do hope the game continued. This thing is prime raging material, and I despise how terrabad this adventure seems to be so far. Albeit the traditional pirate lore seems kinda cool, or least the title of "Hurricane King". Otherwise really dumb all the cool guys are high level characters, shows a failed understanding in D&D's non-caster mechanics when we have to do that.

    Lastly, what scares me that someone I know actually has run an adventure like this (but worse)...If he knew this adventure existed....(shivers).
    What I find wrong w/ 4th edition: "I want to stab dragons the size of a small keep with skin like supple adamantine and command over time and space to death with my longsword in head to head combat, but I want to be totally within realistic capabilities of a real human being!" --Caedrus mocking 4rries

    "the thing about being Mister Cavern [DM], you don't blame players for how they play. That's like blaming the weather. Weather just is. You adapt to it. -Ancient History
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    PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    No game this last weekend because of a local anime con. Games happen on Friday, so an update post will happen next weekend at the soonest.

    We've had some Pirate Lore presented so far, but haven't been introduced to or had anyone talk about a "Hurricane King". I looked in the outline and I guess that's a pirate you meet later on? I mean it's a cool title, but I don't think he can be as cool as Tom Waits and Alexander Siddig being in your pirate crew.

    The player that requested this adventure path has, I guess, already played this adventure, and perhaps more of the path, but not all of it. That's my impression at least. Another player seems to have also played in that failed game. I don't think the GM has run the adventure before as far as I know, and none of the other players have done the adventure before.
    Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun
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    PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Our Cast Of Heroes:
  • Takeda Protagonist - Nezumi Druid
  • Lydia - Rilkan Warlock
  • Hayden - not present
  • DK - Gorillaman Scout
  • Canis - Catfolk Rogue
  • Eric - Aquatic Elf Fighter (not a Ranger like I thought)
  • Gary Photter - Kobold Monk
    Favored NPCs
  • Ambrose the Drunken Cook - played by Tom Waits
  • Maheem - played by Alexander Siddig, presently captured.
  • Sandara Quinn - Healer of some sort, presently captured.
  • Rosie Cusswell - Uh, a halfling I guess. Also mostly just talked to DK.

    The camera starts black, and then with a sudden whoosh and a shout the screen comes to light. Eric the Aquatic Elf Fighter sits up in the lifeboat, looking around frantically. He can't remember how he got here. He's not even sure where "here" is. Eric is in a lifeboat on a sandy beach, with the surf behind him. In the dunes he can see an unknown ratman doing some sort of weird sparring ritual with a giant crab a little ways away. No one else seems to be nearby. A ship is anchored out in the bay. Everything is confusing and absolutely nothing makes sense. His first decision is to flip over the lifeboat and hide under it for shelter until something does makes sense.

    Cut to the cabin in the jungle where the rest of our heroes were last seen.
    "Does this mini look like you?", asks DK, holding up a mini holding a staff and wearing a robe.
    "No, I'm the blue army man with the bazooka," says the Warlock.

    The group examines the contents of the cabin a little more. There's some Leather Armor, 6 spears, some well tailored outfits that look to be quite valuable, a silver tankard, and 5lbs of pepper that's (according to the adventure) only worth like 10gp or something else insultingly low. Seriously, 5lbs of gold is worth 250gp, and historically pepper was quite valuable. Maybe the pirate pepper market is currently flooded and facing horrible devaluation or something.

    Anyway, while most of the players decide to sort out who can carry how much (the Warlock has only 7 Str for example), Gary decides that, of course, he should eat that dead body hanging from the ceiling. Being less than three feet tall, he sets up the knocked over stool and just climbs up onto the body to start eating it that way. Suddenly, the corpse comes unalive and bites the Kobold back, for a moderate amount of damage, but paralyzing him.

    DK: Should we do something about this?
    Catfolk: Uhm.... yes?

    So DK jumps into action and chops at the Ghast with his hand axe. The Warlock is outside at the time, and moseys over to the door. Seeing what's going on, she just decides to delay for a while (people are too packed for a swarm, and she can't confidently fire into the Kobold/Ghast grapple either).

    The Ghast full attacks the paralyzed kobold in its mouth, dropping it to -10. Now, we're using a rule where you can go to -Constitution Score instead of just -10, so in this case the Kobold doesn't die until -16. Still. Anyway the Rogue 5ft steps back and fires away with the crossbow, while the Kobold just bleeds a bit. DK chops at the Ghast, and the warlock misses with an Eldritch Blast attempt.

    The Ghast chews on the kobold more, killing Gary Photter, and then escapes from the noose. Ambrose is horribly shocked and dismayed at the loss of his "chicken", going into a panic. The Rogue misses with a crossbow shot, but now that the ghast's space is clear of allies the Warlock can drop some bees on the situation. Undead aren't affected by poisoning or bleeding, but it's still 1d6 auto-damage a round.

    The Ghast paralyzes DK with a bite for 3 rounds. The Rogue shoots for minimum damage (2), the Warlock uses bees for minimum damage (1). Bad times.

    The Ghast full attacks DK down to -1 hp (out of a possible -13). The Rogue hits again for max (5) and then the Warlock's bees finish off the Ghast. After 2 rounds of attempted Heal checks they manage to stabilize DK at -3.

    As the sun sets, we return to Eric for a moment, who checks out the local area a little more. He goes over to the Nezumi, who explains that he is the Half-Orc from when everyone got captured, and he was just using an Illusion spell at the time. Takeda also catches Eric up on what's been happening since he was last awake. He explains that most of the rest of the group is off in the jungle, but that it's probably a bad idea to go looking for them alone. Also, he tells Eric to not light a campfire, because that would just attract too many things.

    The crew at the cabin decides to camp in the cabin before trying to go back to the beach in the morning. Mostly because DK is just too damn heavy for any of them to lift, and they hope that he'll wake up by then. Which, if they'd made a Long Term Care check, would have actually been possible (-3hp + (2hd * 2 LTC) = 1hp), but they didn't actually make the check. Like they didn't even roll for it, not that they failed the check. However, that doesn't much matter, because... dun dun dun!

    So Lydia is on watch, she and the Rogue don't trust Ambrose to keep watch, so they each decide they'll take a watch. For maximum visual coverage, she gets up onto the roof of the cabin and starts her watch. Time ticks on, and nothing is spotted. Suddenly, there's the horrible sound of meat being ripped from bones, coming from inside the cabin of all places. This sound wakes the Rogue, but Ambrose is out like a light and doesn't respond.

    The Rogue wakes to see that the kobold corpse has come alive as a Ghoul, and is eating DK! 6 damage, putting him well beyond natural healing by morning. The Rogue jumps up and stabs the ghoul pretty good for 5 damage. The Ghoul claws the Rogue for 4 points, which drops him since he only had 2hp from before. The Warlock peers over the edge of the roof into the cabin to see what's going on.

    Warlock: Such a conundrum. Do I go back for Ambrose? Or do I just let them all die?

    The Warlock decides to unleash some bees on the ghoul. Ambrose wakes, stands up, which provokes an AoO, and the ghoul hits him and paralyzes him. On its own turn, the ghoul eats the Rogue some.

    The bees deal 1 damage to the ghoul. Ambrose is un-paralyzed, so it attacks what appears to be a monstrosity made from his former chicken friend come alive in some misshapen way. But despite the great emotional impact of the scene, Ambrose is still no good at fighting, and he misses. The ghoul eats the Rogue some more.

    The bees finally manage to kill the ghoul. Ambrose and the Warlock manage to stabilize the Rogue (1hp away from dead) and the Scout. They both also make Fort saves against the Ghoul Fever they got earlier. The Rogue takes no damage, but -2 Str and Dex to the Scout.

    Ambrose: This has been a real doozy of a night.
    Warlock: Don't worry, I'll get you a new chicken.
    Kobold: I like that I died for no reason at all.
    Warlock: I was considering putting the bees down over everyone, but I figured people would be too mad at me in real life, but I was basically gonna exterminate the whole group.

    In the morning, the Warlock and Ambrose manage to lift the Rogue and get him to the beach, leaving DK in the cabin. At the beach, Takeda nonchalantly casts Lesser Vigor on the Rogue and then goes back to Sword-Bro Sparring. This barely puts the Rogue at positive HP. The three of them go back to the cabin and grab DK's body, along with the Kobold's corpse. Back at the beach two 1st level spells are Spontaneously Converted into Cure Light Wounds for DK, getting him up. Then a funeral pyre is held for Buckley Fodder, Darth Vader style. Including a Grindylow sneaking up to the pyre afterwards and stealing his skull for use in the next movie and everything (only Takeda spots this part, but he mentions it to no one). Some Survival checks are made and everyone hunts and gathers up a bunch of food. Also the Ritual of Bros finishes up, and now Takeda has a Giant Crab animal companion (uses Riding Dog stats, but instead of a Land Speed of 40ft, it has Land Speed 20ft and Swim Speed 20ft).

    The whole group heads off into the jungle to try and find that Grindylow camp. There's still crewmates to be rescued! And everyone gets to 3rd level and updates their sheets.

    After a while the group comes to a cliff. 30ft to 50ft down the cliff (depending on where you stand along the hilltop) there's a cave at ground level with Grindylows poking their heads out. The cave is at the water's edge, and there's some water in the cove with just a tiny strip of land at the cave mouth. They grin at the party and shout insults, "Warriors, come out to playyy~", and such. The Elf jumps off the cliff into the water below. But the jump check is botched and he lands in a belly flop, taking 6 damage and sinking quite a bit into the water.

    Warlock: They were trying to bait you into doing something stupid, and you did something stupid!

    The Scout stays up on the cliff top, but readies his bow for when the Grindylows move out of the cave into the water. The Rogue begins to climb down the cliff, makes it most of the way, falls off, and is hurt just a little when he lands in the water (staying on the surface).

    The Warlock and Druid see all this, and just immediately turn back and head for the camp and the boat with Ambrose in tow. Their plan is to approach the scene from the water side in the small boat at the camp. That the rest of the party will surely be quite distressed in the meantime... well it seems to be of little concern to them.

    Six grindylows swarm out of the cave towards the Elf and Catfolk in the water. The scout fires and one grindylow is dropped to exactly 0hp. The rogue shoots and misses. The grindylows get up and around the elf. One manages an underwater "trip" on him, but doesn't hit with the actual attack. Three more miss and one hits. The Rogue misses with a shot. The Elf "tumbles" into his feet (DC 20 to stand without provoking as a Move action, we decided) and then gets a Natural 1 on his attack roll anyway. The scout also misses.

    Three of the grindylows miss, one re-trips the Elf, and one hits the Elf for a little damage. The Rogue misses again. The Elf "stands' up but fails his tumble check and is hit by an AoO, but he finally manages to dart up out of the water and onto the beach. The scout kills a Grindylow (4 left).

    The Grindylows swarm over to the Rogue instead. They hit and he's knocked out.

    Rogue: 20 AC! Yet to survive the 3rd round of a combat!
    Druid: That's not true! Let me check my notes... ah, see you took 3 whole actions this encounter... you just didn't get to take a fourth.

    The Elf isn't going back into the water, but he readies an action to stab at them if they try to get back inside the cave. The scout shoots and misses.

    The Grindylows, as predicted, all try to move back up into the cave and out of the arrow fire. The Elf misses with his readied action, but it turns out that he's got Combat Reflexes, and so he gets to AoO all of them on top of that. Two of them are killed instantly as they try to move past. A third tries to move and attack the Elf directly instead of moving past, but misses. The fourth one hangs away from the Elf that they thought was weak but that is seemingly stabbing them to death instantly left and right. The rogue bleeds some. The Elf kills the grindylow in melee with him. The Scout rolls a Natural 1 on his attack against the final, lone Grindylow.

    The last Grindylow takes a wide arcing route around the the Elf and flees into the cave while shouting.

    The Scout climbs down the cliff carefully, and the Elf and Scout are able to Heal check the Rogue. More Grindylows can be heard coming back out of the cave though. The Elf jumps into the water and swims away quickly. The Scout lifts the Rogue over his shoulders and climbs up the cliff carefully. The grindylow band comes out of the cave as the Scout is halfway up the cliff, and they wave spears in his general direction but don't climb up after him or throw them.

    Druid: You know, if you drop the catfolk from 25ft up, onto a grindylow, it'd probably kill the grindylow.

    Everyone meets up in the little boat soon after. We're battered and rather defeated, but we STILL have crewmates to save somehow. So we have to defeat these Grindylows somehow. So we decide to enlist the pirates back on the boat.

    It's decided that we'll spin a tale of how the grindylows took all the water we found, and that as they were doing it we saw that they had all sorts of treasures. The Warlock hides in our small boat while we're talking to the pirates about this of course.

    GM: Who's going to make this bluff check? Obviously the Warlock can't.
    Druid: I have +0
    Scout: I have -2
    Rogue: I have a good bonus but I'm knocked out.
    GM: *facepalm*
    GM: Well, Ambrose and the Scout can both roll Aid Another... There that's +4 for you.
    Druid: 14?
    Rogue: Don't believable lies get another +4?
    GM: We'll say it's +4! You barely pass!

    There's 3 small boats with this ship. So Plug (the lead pirate) takes 5 lackies in his boat, Scourge (Plug's Lieutenant) takes 5 lackies in his boat, and we take our boat back out. Also a few moments are taken by Takeda to fill his 2nd level spell slots he got from leveling up with more Lesser Vigor spells, using one each on the Rogue and Fighter.

    The little boats maneuver around and land in the cove. Everyone (except the Warlock) goes into the cave. After the first cavern the way is full of water and people have to swim. Plug and Scourge are displeased with this and make everyone go on without going in themselves. There's a hook trap at one point that catches people for a second, but everyone gets out after a bit. At a Left/Right split everyone goes Left of course. A little bit down the tunnel the water picks up suddenly and everyone except for the Elf and Catfolk gets swept over a small waterfall and into a big swirling room with two other waterfalls that also dump into it. Including all the pirate lackies. Also it turns out the Grindylows are all below the surface waiting for us.

    So that's 9 Grindylows, 10 pirates, a Druid, an Animal Companion, and a Scout, with a Rogue and Fighter just above waiting to see what happens. Rock. On.

    The rogue shoots and hits a Grindylow. Many pirates act, several hit for minimum damage. The Elf kills a Grindylow. The grindylows attack, killing one pirate. The Scout flounders around. The Sword-Bro kills a Grindylow, and the Druid grabs into the cave wall and hangs back.

    Rogue gets another low damage hit in. Pirates kill some grindylows. Grindylows hurt the pirates quite a bit. DK Swims around a bit. Sword-Bro kills another Grindylow. Rogue waits above the waterfall since there's no more for him to shoot. Pirates kill some Grindylows. Two Grindylows left, one misses with an attack and the other flees. The Sword-Bro kills the last one (100% kill rate per attack at this point). The Elf saves one of the pirates that'd begun to drown, ending the encounter, and ending the night.

    1 of the "friendly" pirate lackies was dead, 4 or so of the "neutral or unfriendly" lackies were dead as well. We made it out alright though.

    Since we'd got to 3rd level, it was asked how Magic Items and Wealth By Level would work out, since I wanted to take Craft Wondrous Item. If 3.5 rules were used then we'd have to track individual amounts of experience and we'd double our WBL, which was unwanted. If Pathfinder rules were used we'd just straight up have double WBL, which is clearly even worse. The main reason to pick a Craft feat, at least that I wanted, was being able to make sure that you got the right items instead of just random crap the adventure gives you. So we agreed that a single "Craft Magic Items" feat would allow a person to break down any magic item for full value and then rebuild it into any new item for the full normal price. Effectively, you can shuffle what you're holding but you don't get any extra out of it. Fun Times.

    Spells this week: Lesser Vigor x3, Cure Light Wounds x4, Create Water x4
    5   Goodberry
    5   Vigor, Lesser
    4   Create Water
    4   Cure Light Wounds
    4   Cure Minor Wounds
    4   Purify Food And Drink
    1   Aspect of the Wolf
    1   Endure Elements
    1   Ram's Might

    Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun

    Last edited by Lokathor on Sun Oct 11, 2015 12:25 am; edited 2 times in total
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    PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    You can't do anything except get railroaded through the adventure.

    Welcome to Paizo Adventure Paths where they set up bullshit like someone taunting you in line of sight and line of effect and having a Will Save of +3 but expecting you to get trapped in a hole.
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    PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Your Party sounds pretty awful, maybe you guys "do" need double WBL so there's not so much casualties for basic encounters. Though I'm likely too heavily underestimating the suckiness of low levels, since now you guys have hit the point where you're "actual" adventurers at least (maybe ya'll should let Rogues SA undead if this adventure has too many of them?)

    Lokathor wrote:
    We've had some Pirate Lore presented so far, but haven't been introduced to or had anyone talk about a "Hurricane King". I looked in the outline and I guess that's a pirate you meet later on? I mean it's a cool title, but I don't think he can be as cool as Tom Waits and Alexander Siddig being in your pirate crew.

    He probably isn't all that cool suffering from that prestige class, but he's definitely someone you meet later on. Also its implied to me This guy, is the sandbagginging 17th lv fighting man (warning: the statblock is messy) that you mentioned in the initial post, preventing your guys full-on awesome mutiny.
    What I find wrong w/ 4th edition: "I want to stab dragons the size of a small keep with skin like supple adamantine and command over time and space to death with my longsword in head to head combat, but I want to be totally within realistic capabilities of a real human being!" --Caedrus mocking 4rries

    "the thing about being Mister Cavern [DM], you don't blame players for how they play. That's like blaming the weather. Weather just is. You adapt to it. -Ancient History

    Last edited by Aryxbez on Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Our Cast Of Heroes:
  • Takeda Protagonist - Nezumi Druid
  • Lydia - Rilkan Warlock
  • Hayden - Dwarf Fighter (not present, left back on the ship)
  • DK - Gorillaman Scout (not present, but run anyway)
  • Canis - Catfolk Rogue
  • Eric - Aquatic Elf Fighter
    Favored NPCs
  • Ambrose the Drunken Cook - played by Tom Waits
  • Maheem - played by Alexander Siddig, presently captured.
  • Sandra Quinn (adventure says Sandara, but GM kept saying Sandra enough it's Sandra now) - Healer of some sort, presently captured.
  • Rosie Cusswell - Uh, a halfling I guess.

    There we are in the sinkhole. There are, as you may recall, three ways out of here, each is a minor waterfall (~5ft) that dumps into this swirling room.

    It's suggested that the Elf check out the other exits, while the pirates that are alive look around and find lots of little gems in the walls. The Rogue ties off a rope from the upper level and tosses it down to the lower water for us to get out with.

    Eventually we find a passage, go past a few rights (always go left), and then spot a large dark shape in the water as we approach a chamber. It creeps up to attack the pirate lackies that are out front, but the druid is the only one that spots it. He shouts, "Kraken!" as the fight music starts.

    The Rogue moves in a bit, but because it's water everyone is moving at half speed and all of course. This will become a theme of this post, unfortunately. The "Kraken" is actually a Large sized fish monster covered in spines (reach) and it bites the Rogue. Also it releases an ink cloud thing that forces everyone to make a Fort save, and some people are sickened in the process. The Druid and Crab both back up on their turn. The Scout also backs up and shouts for everyone else to do the same as he readies his sword. The pirates move back a bit, and the elf moves in despite the warning and readies his sword.

    The Rogue readies his spear (taken from the Grindylows), but can't see a damn thing in the ink cloud. The fish misses the elf with a bite, and the elf's ready attack misses back. Druid stays back, Scout misses, some pirates move in, and the elf hits for 3 on his normal turn.

    Oh! Sorry, did I say that the pirates moved in some? Forgot about that reach, the pirates take retroactive reach AoOs, which kills a pirate lackey but misses the Scout.

    The Rogue moves up (AoO misses), and stabs for a light hit. The Fish bites the Scout for 12 damage, dropping him to -1. The Fish has Cleave of course, so he cleaves into the Elf, critting of course, for 28 damage (against 17hp). The Druid stays back, but the Crab is sent in and hits. The pirates begin to move back and the Scout bleeds.

    Rogue misses, Elf bleeds, the fish decides to grab a dead pirate corpse and Jet away. Druid stabilizes the Scout, the Pirates hang back a bit, the Rogue stabilizes the Elf, and everyone runs back to the cave entrance.

    Of all the people that went into the cave, 7 people come back conscious and 6 come back unconscious or not at all. Rough shit.

    We tell Plugh and Scourge that there's definitely treasure inside, and show them the gems we found so far. We say that we defeated a large group of Grindylows, but were turned back by a giant fish monster. A Natural 20 is rolled on the Diplomacy check to convince him to join us and kill the thing to get treasures. We leave the Elf and Scout unconscious in the life boats and make our way back inside.

    The Warlock, hiding in the lifeboats this whole time, sits under a tarp and makes ready to attack Plugh as soon as he comes back out of that cave, presumably weakened from fighting the fish monster. It'll be the perfect time to strike.

    Plugh will help, but he won't go in first, so with the Rogue in front, we head in again. We wander all around the tunnels and caverns, many of which twist back upon themselves, until we pass a pair of corpses behind some bars. Ignoring those (later the GM said they were ghouls), we come to a large room with no other exits.

    There's lots of corpses floating in the water, in various states of dismemberment. Sandra and Maheem are hanging from the ceiling, suspended by seaweed ropes. There's also a driftwood throne hanging from the ceiling, and from that throne, an evil Queen Grindylow, watching over it all. In the water under her throne is a dark shadow, the fish thing from before. The GM checks and the ink cloud power is 1/day, so we're safe from that at least.

    10 against 2. Totally safe right? ROCK ON!!

    At this point, some players were present that didn't have PCs in the fight, so they controlled some of the allied NPCs: Rosie O'Donnell and Griffer Tibbs.

    First round, the Rogue shoots the hand crossbow and crits with a sneak attack... Yeah, sweet. For just 13 damage, aw man. 2d4+2+1d6 (because we're 3rd level but the Rogue has LA+1)... Well that's still something I guess. I mean it's more than average for that dice expression, at least.

    On the Queen's turn, she casts Entangle and more than half of us are entangled. ROCK OFF.

    Griffer escapes on his turn, but doesn't move anywhere. Other pirates shuffle about. The Fish moves in and kills a pirate but doesn't hit with the cleave. Rosie double moves, Scourge can't get free, Crab moves up, Druid is stuck, Plugh moves in a bit. Lots of "I just move a bit" will happen for this entire combat. I hope that's exciting. PS: Fuck Entangle.

    Well so the Rogue ended up 10ft away from the Fish, and this is where things get shitty, because we're in the water and within Entangle, so no one can 5ft step (not even the Fish, because of Entangle too), but the Fish has 10ft reach and a huge damage attack and Cleave, also Combat Reflexes. So that AoO there missed and then the Rogue hits the Fish a little, but this reach situation without 5ft steps will become a problem. The Queen forces everyone un-Entangled to save again (spell lasts 3 minutes, so basically forever, and save every round if you're currently not affected). She shoots an ice blast at Rosie and moves back. Giffer is trapped, as are both pirates. The Fish kills a pirate and misses with the cleave. Rosie is stuck, Scourge escapes and moves a bit, Crab moves up while the Druid is stuck, Plugh moves up and misses.

    The Rogue moves up to attack, and the fish hits with the AoO, dealing 18 damage against his 12hp, putting him at -6 out of a max of -14. Fuckin yikes. Queen's turn Plugh and a pirate are entangled, and she hits Rosie with ice again (3hp left). Griffer is stuck, a pirate moves in. The Fish bites Plugh and then has to normal move to back up, so Plugh hits with an AoO. Rosie is stuck, Scourge moves up, Druid is stuck, Crab moves some, and Plugh is stuck.

    Rogue bleeds. Queen's spell entangles everyone not yet entangled, and she misses Rosie. Griffer is stuck, a pirate manages to move a little. The Fish comes back and hits Scourge heavily. Rosie is stuck, Scourge escapes and moves up, but is crit with an AoO, he dies, and then the Fish cleaves into Plugh. Crab moves up to the fish, is hit for 11, but hits the Fish. Plugh is stuck.

    The Rogue bleeds. The Queen shoots Plugh. Griffer is stuck, pirate stuck, Fish misses. Rosie escapes and moves, is hit by an AoO, goes unconscious, and the cleave misses. Scourge bleeds some. The Crab crits the Fish, killing it.

    The Rogue bleeds. The Queen shoots the Crab, and the Crab is entangled. Griffer is stuck. The Crab gets free and moves, Druid stuck, Plugh stuck.

    The Queen hits the crab to exactly 0hp. The Crab charges in and hits, going unconscious in the process. Plugh is stuck.

    The Queen misses, Griffer finally escapes and moves... 5ft. The crab bleeds and the druid is stuck. Plugh is stuck.

    The Queen begins a Summon, Griff moves up, the pirate escapes and moves up, Druid stuck, Crab bleeds.

    The Queen has a Squid appear, which attacks the pirate. The Queen shoots Plugh with ice. Griffer moves in. Pirate misses the Squid (or is it a kid?). Druid/Crab no change. Plugh gets free and is finally able to move out of the Entangle zone.

    The Rogue is still bleeding at this point, in case anyone was wondering. Queen/Squid doesn't do much. Griffer escapes the entangle area and misses an attack against the Squid. Same with the pirates. Druid/Crab nada. Plugh double moves to engage the Queen but isn't able to attack.

    Rogue bleeds some, Queen tries Chill Metal on Plugh (the adventure specifically says the mob should use this spell, despite the fact that the spell clearly says it doesn't work underwater. Game design!) but he saves. Squid misses. Griffard stabs the Squid, Druid/Crab nothing. Plugh finally gets an attack against the Queen and kills her. The spells dissipate (technically they should run out their full duration, but whatever).

    The Druid rushes forward and saves his Sword Bro Crab. It's realized that the Rogue will die next round without a successful Heal check. Griffer tries to Heal him, fails, and the Rogue bleeds out. The Druid cuts Maheem and Sandra free from the seaweed, and Sandra starts dispensing some healings. A Cure Light Wounds on the Crab gets it awake (3hp). Two more Cure Light Wounds and Four Cure Minor Wounds go around as well.

  • Druid - No damage, stuck in the back the entire time (1d20+0 vs 20 to escape Entangle)
  • Crab - 3hp / 26
  • Griffer - 5hp
  • Maheem - 8hp
  • Sandra - 10hp
  • Rosie - 5hp
  • Plugh - ??hp (half-ish damage? Unknown, since he's still technically an enemy)
  • Rogue - Dead
  • 4 Unnamed Pirates - Dead

    We loot a bajillion gems and coins and things. The specifics of which are ignored for the moment. There's one final matter to attend to.

    We begin our trek back to the cave entrance... We approach the cave entrance.

    Woosh! A deadly beam shoots down into the tunnel, but the surprise attack misses Plugh. Ambrose is so startled by the sudden shift in things that he falls out of the lifeboat he was sitting on and splashes into the waves. Roll for Initiative!

    Plugh charges out of the cave onto the sandbar, into the Warlock!

    The Warlock steps back, up into the lifeboat and waves her arms in a grand motion, summoning a swarm of bees down around Plugh. She shouts as loud as possible over the surf, over the incessant buzzing of bees, over the clash of sword on chain shirt,

    Rosie quickly figures out what's going on, charges up and stabs Plugh in the back. Sandra isnt' so sure, so she hangs back in the cave. Maheem double moves up but is too far back to charge in. Griffer, Crab, and Druid also move up.

    Plugh saves against the Bee venom, and inches into the lifeboat. He rages and shouts, but with bees in his eyes his sword doesn't connect with anything.

    The Warlock jumps back out of the lifeboat, waist deep in the surf. Bees fill the lifeboat and sting into Plugh again.

    Rosie misses, while Sandra waits. Maheem misses as well, but Griffer hits. Plugh gasps for air as his lungs are punctured, and he falls over.

    The Warlock holds the swarm of bees in place over the dying Plugh until he's dead for sure, and even then, longer, until the corpse is nothing but a bloated mass of stings. The Rage. Is. Infinite. Dear Readers.

    The Warlock turns and addresses everyone there on the sandbar,
    "Look at me, look at me, I am the captain now."

    We load everything into the lifeboats, being careful to take all three back with us. We take all of Plugh's things and leave his naked body on the beach for the birds to eat.

    Back at the ship, there's only three lackies and the dwarf on board. They're confused for a moment when they see the Warlock, but she holds up Plugh's sword, and is wearing his hat, so they quickly salute her as the new captain and get everything lifted up and on board.

    As the stuff is being loaded in, we muse upon the fact that we've actually taken so many losses that we're a little below the suggested "skeleton crew" level for a boat this size. We'll even have to make Ambrose do actual work instead of being drunk all the time.

    "Ambrose is like Bard, but drunk. He'll just stand next to the cart most of the time."

    And Takeda takes a moment to also declare himself a top rank position,
    "I am Takeda, son of Protagonist. I now take my place as First Officer. I serve the captain, but I stand for the crew. It is clear to me that none of you are worthy, of my blood or my life, but I will stand for you, and together we will bring honor to this ship, and create a glorious empire!"

    We funeral pyre the Rogue on the island, and set out. It's 4 days to port at good speed, but will probably be more like 5-6 for us because of our low crew, and no expert navigator. Ambrose knows the area, but is pretty drunk all the time. The Scout and Druid both have a good Survival bonus, but no one is a particularly expert Sailor type or anything. The Druid and Sandra are able to cure everyone back up to full HP at least. We gotta get some damn Healing Belts, among other magical things.

    Our crew is just 13 people and a giant crab as we hobble the ship into port. We get to 4th level though, and the crab glows with white energy, evolving from being a Krabby into being a Kingler. (Advanced Riding Dog stats swapped out for Ape stats.)

    Join us next time, for a huge amount of treasure accounting, trying to hire a crew, and other exciting administrative details!

    Pirate Ship / Crew Info

    Takeda Spells: Lesser Vigor x5, Cure Moderate x2
    Casts   Spell
    10      Vigor, Lesser
    6       Cure Minor Wounds
    5       Goodberry
    4       Create Water
    4       Cure Light Wounds
    4       Purify Food And Drink
    1       Aspect of the Wolf
    1       Endure Elements
    1       Ram's Might

    Sandra Spells: Cure Light Wounds x4 and Cure Minor Wounds x4
    Casts   Spell
    4       Cure Light Wounds
    4       Cure Minor Wounds

    Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun

    Last edited by Lokathor on Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Location: ID

    PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Our Cast Of Heroes:
  • Lydia - Captain, Rilkan Warlock
  • Takeda - First Officer, Nezumi Druid
  • Kingler - Animal Companion
  • DK - Gorillaman Scout (not present)
  • Eric - Aquatic Elf Fighter
  • Hayden - Dwarf Fighter (not present)

    NPC Crew
  • Sandra Quinn - Chief Medical Officer, Human Cleric
  • Rosie O'Donnell - Halfling Fighter
  • Griffer Tibbs - Human Rogue
  • Maheem - Human Fighter
  • Ambrose Kroop - Human Cook
  • Vodka - Human Fighter
  • Swordeye - Human Fighter
  • Rodney - Human Fighter

    There's a really unfortunate number of humans on this ship. We'll fix that when we can.

    So we sail a few days. No magic item crafting can be done during this time because the crew is below the minimum for a ship this size, so everyone has to work all the time, and we still get there slow. I guess somehow the wind blows you slower if you don't have enough crew, or whatever.

    After a time we get to "Rickety Squibs", a clandestine village off an unnamed estuary on a jungle island. It's got a dry dock, and the village leader will squib boats for you. That's when they repaint it and change the major structure parts until you can't tell what boat it was to start with. Which is exactly what we need.

    As we approach the village, an old man and some other dudes come out to meet us. They come aboard and explain that they do squibbing, and we explain that's just what we want. We pay them 2k and they pull the ship into dry dock and get to work. We have the boat renamed the "Stone Tortoise", with a paint job of greens and stuff.

    Then there's three days of free time we're given. The druid spends the major part of each of them converting around magical items. Starting with those stupid shackles of intimidation. First item to make is a Belt of Healing. Ideally one per PC, but there's only enough time to make 3 of them in 3 days (the rule is that 1k of magic can be converted around per work day).

    Meanwhile, the Aquatic Elf gets a lot of fish from fishing, enough to cover the food and even sell a little to cover the stay at the inn. When we go to the bar, people are mostly sitting around and waiting for something to happen (no other boats in town being squibbed). Before they go off to work, Lydia tells everyone our tale, and we get a point of Infamy for having done cool things (there's a stupid high DC Bluff/Intimidate/Perform check involved as well, which no one in the group has any training in currently).

    Takdea asks around for people to join on to the crew, and sadly the only applicants are two humans (the village is mostly human and halfling). Well, the crew is just too small to turn anyone down, so we have to let them join.

    There's also a Star Elf that we meet. She's pretty spaced out, but claims to be a sorcerer, so we take her on with a promise to one day return her to the stars from whence she came. Also the sorcerer has a Raven I guess.

    Also a "chicken" is in the bar, by which I mean Kobold of course. In the process of explaining why we're calling him a chicken, Ambrose overhears that kobolds aren't chickens, and is deeply shocked by this news. So then the Kobold explains that he makes undead a lot (or wants to at least), and we decide that he'll be useful soon enough. Like our skeleton crew could be a literal skeleton crew or something cool like that. Might work out. (Normally a Druid would oppose the undead, but remember that Takdea's belief system is to believe in the Lord of Swords above all, he's much less worried about undead and abberations than a normal druid).

    We buy some masterwork armor for the kobold, giant crab, and druid. Also we hand around some of the magical items for people to start using: 3 healing belts (Lydia, Takeda, and DK), Bracers of Armor +1 (Astral, the new Star Elf), Lesser Bracers of Archery (DK), Amulet of Natural Armor +1 (Crab), Tidewater Cutlass +1 (Aquatic Elf), and Donny Jones' Tricorn (Lydia).

    Then it's said by the GM that actual events would begin to happen at that point, and we break until next week because of the larger number of absent players. A short session to just get some administrative-type things sorted out.
    Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun
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    PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Our Cast Of Heroes:
  • Lydia - Rilkan Warlock
  • Takeda - Nezumi Druid (+Giant Crab)
  • DK - Gorillaman Scout
  • Eric - Aquatic Elf Fighter (not present)
  • Astral - Star Elf Sorcerer
  • Canis - Kobold Cleric
  • NPC Crew - various

    So DK makes some Fort Saves and removes the Ghoul Fever from his sheet. Then the townsfolk invite us to go off bowling and drinking with them. They've got little casks of booze, but it's hot as hell in the jungle, so they dunk it into the river to cool it off, and then play bowling while it cools. Seems like a nice afternoon, so we go for it.

    Of course, today there are Player Characters near these NPCs, which naturally puts them in horrible dangers. As a villager goes to check on the casks a river monster of some sort grabs him and pulls him under. Everyone hears the scream and jumps into action.

    The warlock tries to fire an Eldritch Spear, but curses the differences between Precise Shot and Improved Precise Shot. Since the villager/naga pair are grappling each other, she doesn't fire. It's of no use really, since the Naga immediately chomps the villager into bits. The Scout goes for the booze and manages to get it. Kingler moves up to the river bank and gets ready. Canis begins to summon a kobold zombie. Astral uses Detect Magic while her crow caws at things.

    Lydia drops a swarm on the Naga, and the Naga uses a Suggestion on DK, "Get rid of Astral!", which DK turns and does of course. Or tries to at least, but embarrassingly can't hit a 12. Kingler tries to move in and fight the Naga, but the swarm is in the way so he's gotta double move to get around it. Takeda turns to defend Astral from DK, and hits DK for 1 with his sword. The cleric and zombie move up a bit with crossbows while Astral tries an (unsuccessful) Daze spell on DK.

    Lydia keeps the swarm up, while the Naga goes for a Mirror Image. DK tries to run past Takeda to get at Astral, but the AoO actually hits, and for a (maximum roll) 5 damage (1d6-1, the sadness of Str 9). He then throws an axe and hits for 8. On his own turn Takeda misses while Kingler hits and destroys one of the Mirror Images. Astral manages to Daze DK.

    Lydia swarm attacks and then the Naga uses a somewhat unexpected and interesting spell, Acid Arrow. DK is dazes of course, while Takeda and Kingler spend the turn missing with all their attacks. I'll note that this is the first round of combat since he joined the team where Kingler hasn't landed a hit at all. The cleric shoots his crossbow, and Astral tries a Reduce Person on DK. Several of the villagers have grabbed weapons at this point and they fire a bunch of arrows at the Naga, some of which hit.

    Lydia swarms while the Naga bites Kingler. DK moves back while drawing his bow and shoots at Astral. Takeda misses, Kingler claws up the Naga some, Canis crits with a crossbow bolt, and the zombie misses. Astral does manage to use Reduce Person on DK this time which... mostly actually buffs him up (+2 AC, +2 to hit, -1 average bow damage). The villagers shoot the Naga though.

    It was around this time when Lydia kept calling for Takeda to help her out. The exact way in which she wanted help was rather unclear, so Takeda figured that a giant armored crab would be good enough. It turns out that she wanted the healing rather than the fighting. After all that Acid Arrow stuff she was rather hurt. So she drops a swarm again and the Naga shoots another Acid Arrow. The second Acid Arrow not only hits, but is a critical. Actually it's a double natural 20, of all things. With a high roll for the initial double damage she drops, and the rounds of acid that will follow will clearly burn her body into nothing.

    Lydia: Shit, Takeda can you just get over here and heal me, like next turn?
    Takeda: You're too far for me to even get to you with a double move next turn. And my Lesser Vigor spells wouldn't heal enough per turn to turn back the acid damage per turn. You'd die even if I could get to you.
    Lydia: Well, fuck, I guess you were right earlier, I'm gonna die because of my overconfidence. But you never fucking helped me.
    Takeda: I sent in the crab, that's 90% of my combat power right there.
    Lydia: I needed you to heal me sooner!! I kept saying I needed your help!
    Takeda: You didn't say the word "heal" even once. You're wearing a Healing Belt, why didn't you ever use that?
    Lydia: What?
    Takeda: Yeah, I made three, and you, me, and DK each got one. Remember?
    Lydia: Well, I'm pretty drunk, so I don't remember that.
    Canis: I can heal you. Cleric and all that.

    So DK does the scout "move and shoot" thing, taking a few more HP out of Astral. She rolled like 2 points off of max though for her level, and has a high con, so her max HP is currently higher than DK's, so she's not in too much danger yet. Takeda is fed up with this Scout nonsense and casts a Flaming Sphere spell towards DK, causing a "flaming sword that points every which way" to appear. It's like a cherub with a flaming sword, minus the cherub. No one else gets the reference though. Kingler claws the Naga good and it finally dies. Turns out it was a Naga with the "Young" template applied, which weakens a creature in various ways, but doesn't actually reduce Caster Level, so the creature technically had its full CL of 7.

    So Canis throws down a Cure spell (a memorized cure spell, because he's an Evil Cleric and all). and gets Lydia to +5hp, so on her turns she starts using the Healing Belt to restore some HP while the Acid Arrow keeps burning into her on the Naga's turn for the next two rounds. Fun.

    Astral gets another Daze in on DK, and Takeda is able to talk DK down from this crazy Suggestion with a 25 on Diplomacy.

    Kingler collects up the Naga corpse and brings it back to Takeda, and he uses the Naga Blood and some other magic infusion stuff to turn Kingler's armor into +1 armor (the Naga Blood counted as 600gp of the materials).

    The next day, Canis uses several Cure Light spells to get everyone fully patched up. Astral wanders around to buy some DMT while there's time to kill. She gets several doses. Then she heads to the bar and talks up how cool our pirate crew is. This gives us +1 Infamy, which is some pirate mechanic where you make social checks (except not Diplomacy for some damn reason) to become famous or something. Effects of high Infamy haven't been fully explained yet really. But it's +1 more than it was so clearly that's good, right?

    After that she decides to take some of the DMT while everyone is there in the bar.

    Astral: Do I have a good trip, or a bad trip?
    GM: Well, roll a d6, and don't roll a 1.
    Astral: *rolls a 1*
    Astral: Fuck!
    GM: Astral goes quiet a for a little bit, and then begins screaming at the top of her lungs, continually. She's even doing some circular breathing so that she doesn't have to stop screaming. It goes on and on and on. People begin to leave the bar, and the owner is staring.

    So Takeda does the only possible logical thing, and drags her (still screaming) body out into the middle of the street. He tells everyone to get back, and then unleashes a Flaming Sphere right next to her. While screaming and hallucinating, her body slowly burns up next to the flaming sphere, but a few below-average rolls later the spells ends with her at exactly 1hp left. Sometimes you just can't help it. Takeda pulls out his sword and chops into Astral with a crit, and she's out. He uses Cure Minor Wounds to keep her from bleeding out or anything, but she'll be well past her high by the time she wakes up.

    The bartender is so pleased that the screaming is stopped he offers to buy Takeda some free drinks. However, as folks begin to move back inside the hum of bees can be heard in the distance. Not the high pitched hums of a swarm of small bees though, these are the duller hums of gigantic bees. Each as big as a horse. Takeda drags Astral back into the bar and shouts for everyone in town to get inside as well. They arrive quickly though, and not everyone is inside when the swarm gets to the town.

    Canis calls up a Skeletal Owl Bear, Takeda gets on Kingler's back and casts Ram's Might (mostly for the benefit of Kingler), DK tumbles about with axe throwing, and Lydia uses a swarm of small bees on the giant bees. Two of the giant bees that linger to eat/sting people are killed, but by the time the third round starts the swarm has moved on.

    A ship shows up in the harbor though, from Chell, some sort of pirate-hating nation. An ostentatious woman comes up the road with some crew behind her. She needs a boat squibbed, naturally. She also notices that the Stone Tortoise looks suspiciously similar to the Man's Promise at the moment. We deny everything, but she already hates Barnibus (that 17th level sandbagger asshole we technically halfway stole the ship from), so she congratulates us on managing to get a ship from under his control and agrees to wait until our ship is done for work to start on her ship.

    However, there's a watchtower near the town that should have raised a flag that a ship was approaching. Rickety Squibbs asks if we'd go out and check on why the guard didn't flag the town about the ship. Killed by bees or something we suspect.

    Takeda is nervous about this other crew being so close to the ship, so he stays to guard the ship with Sandra and the crew while the watchtower is being checked on. There's some wild boars on the way that get themselves killed and fall down the cliff into the ocean. When the watchtower is reached there's a dead guard and his pet parrot there. A knowledge(nature) check reveals that this parrot's favorite food would be meat, so the command crew goes back to the village, tells them that their guard is dead, and then collects the giant boar corpses from the cove and takes them to the town for a funeral feast thing. Ambrose can cook up a mean pork steak after all it seems.

    Spells Used:
    Canis: Chill of The Grave, Cure Light Wounds x8, Summon Undead 1, Summon Undead 2
    Takeda: Flaming Sphere x2, Ram's Might, Cure Minor Wounds
    Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun

    Last edited by Lokathor on Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Our Cast Of Heroes:
  • Lydia - Rilkan Warlock
  • Takeda - Nezumi Druid (+Giant Crab)
  • DK - Gorillaman Scout
  • Eric - Aquatic Elf Fighter (not present)
  • Astral - Star Elf Sorcerer (my mistake in saying "Astra" last time, now fixed)
  • Canis - Kobold Cleric
  • Strom - Star Elf Sorcerer
  • NPC Crew - Various

    So, the next day another Star Elf named Strom comes into town (by land I guess?), and manages to join the crew. Strom is confused about possibly having been in town to enter into an arranged marriage, but the only other Star Elf is Astral and she doesn't take kindly to him. No other takes of any other races either.

    There's a big drinking party though, as there always is in pirate towns. People give us some info on the two biggest nearby locations of interest: A seedy dive bar port where we can pick up more crew (and weird crew), along with a place called Tidewater Rock, which is like some sort of lighthouse thing on a tiny rock. From Tidewater Rock you can see tons of ocean in all directions, so you can spot boats and pirate them I guess. There's a Lord and Lady of Tidewater Rock, as well that live there, but it's not really a full castle with guards, so we figure we can try taking that over maybe.

    Strom gets super drunk and passes out. Astral tries to pickpocket him but fails very badly, and instead just grabs his dick while he's sleeping. She gets upset at her own failure and tries to take it out on Strom by punching his unconscious body. Only needed a 6, but rolled a 3, and misses in a comedic anime sort of way.

    GM: You bash your hand on the wall and cry out in pain.
    Astral: I don't do that.
    Takeda: Roll a Fort save to see if you do that.
    Astral: *rolls* 5. god damn it.

    So she gives up and just pushes Strom down a ladder between a loft in the bar and the main floor.

    The next day, Squibbs shows off the ship to all of us. Nice green, gold and white trim, big letters, the whole deal. By tradition a ship should christened by a free captain for good luck, and you also can't christen your own ship, so that leaves the other pirate lady in town as the only one who can do it. We go to see her, buy a darkwood shield from her quartermaster, and then she christens the ship for us. Not much left to do in town, so we just sail off. Our goal is first so the seedy dive bar, and then on to Tidewater Rock.

    On our way, we sail near some troglodyte villages, with little fishing boats and all. Lydia makes use of her Eldritch Spear and guns down a few random troglodytes as we go. Just for the sake of murder I guess.

    Within a few days we get to the seedy dive port. A place so seedy and divey that it doesn't even have any other name.

    DK finds some more of the sea monkey-people/gorilla-people that his race is. They all live in weird commune flophouses I guess. He tries to recruit some of them, but with a Diplomacy of -2 they're not having it.

    We find a group of four pixies, and the four of them total agree to join our pirate crew for a year in exchange for 2k worth of minor magical goods. Since Takeda can make up all sorts of minor magical goods and we're a little flush with cash anyway we gladly pay the CR 4 creatures 500gp each for a year's work. A steal really. Also all of the pixies are armenian, and they're all wearing track suits. We decide to name them Dixie, Trixie, Frankie, and Brunhilda.

    There's also a lizardman, and we hire him too. He gets named Salazar.

    We ask around about the way to the Tidewater Rock and set off again. After a bit we spot a merchant ship. We're faster than it, but it's going the same direction as us, so we approach it over time, but very slowly. Like days level of slowly. Eventually we get within a battle range of it though.

    Lydia shows off with the Eldritch Spear, shooting at buckets and stuff that they have on deck, threatening them and such. They send over four crew to try and talk it out. At first they want to know if we're after all their cargo or what, but we instead simply demand accurate maps of the area. Also we demand that they sell us some of their goods at a discount. The merchants are a little taken aback by all this, but they agree to trade some of their cargo for some of our spare masterwork weapons that happened to just be on the ship when we first took it over from ages ago. Cold Iron sickle, Masterwork Cat-o-nine-tails, the sorts of random spare weapons that only show up in treasure lists because a player would never buy them. We trade the various weapons at 85% of market value (much better than the normal 50%) and get 2 "plunder" worth of textiles. Plunder is some pirate mechanic where 1 plunder is worth 1,000 gold, except you still have to sell it still (sometimes for more or less than the actual 1k), and sometimes when you get into port you have to trade in a plunder point to pay off the crew.

    While the cargo is transferring from their ship to ours, Astral does some drugs but doesn't have a bad trip. Strom sneaks into the quarters of the captain of the other ship, gets spotted in the process, but bluffs about a the captain expecting a secret package. It's not a very good bluff (how would the captain be expecting a package on the open ocean?) and so he instead offers a bribe of booze to the guard.

    However, the captain takes too long to get back to her quarters, and he pops his head outside the door and asks someone to go get her. They go get the captain and tell her about the person waiting in her quarters. She is immediately concerned that no one should be in her quarters, and she's also talking with the rest of the command crew from the Stone Tortoise at the time.

    Everyone goes into the captain's quarters at once and we all find Strom there without much excuse to why he's there. She asks who he even is and we explain that we picked him up at the last port, and he gives handjobs to the crew. She decides that this is a valuable sort of service to have on a boat, and knocks 100gp off of our cargo price for Strom to give a handjob to every guy in her crew. I cast Lesser Vigor on his arms to keep him going, and we call it a day.

    Takeda Spells Used: Lesser Vigor x2
    Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun
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    PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    So we normally played on Fridays. Then we switched to playing on Thursdays because it's slightly better for schedule. Last week was the first week with the new day, but my bro was out of town, and I forgot about the day switch. The GM also forgot about the day switch until suddenly everyone showed up at his place. So they just played a session and then I heard about it later. I was given this recap to post:

    With the captain and her first mate laid up with an illness after negotiating with the merchant ship, the remaining officers decide that setting course for a port to sell the recently acquired cloth is the best course of action.

    A couple of days away from port, the ship is attacked during the night by sahuagin. They drag away the lizardman crew member and kill a pixie during the night shift, leaving only bloody clawprints to mark their passage. The crew immediatly wants blood, none more so than the remaining pixies.

    They spot an island nearby through the spyglass and head for that, finding a clearing with a firepit and a bunch of bones. It has been used recently, and it's pretty obvious that the lizardman and pixie were cooked there. The sahuagin could have dragged them below the waves and eaten them raw, but this tribe seems to like toasted meat.

    In the end there are no sahuagin on the island, but the crew sets the entire island on fire anyways, just to be sure.

    Then they spot a different, larger island to the north. They head there and find humanoid tracks on the beach. They send an invisible pixie to scout which finds a village of goblins and hobgoblins.

    The crew somehow convinces the First Mate to craft like 20 Alchemist Fires and tell the pixies to start bombing the village while invisible.

    The hobs organize the goblins into a bucket brigade to a nearby spring, so the crew decides to attack the bucket line.

    However, but their vanguard is the (untrained at riding and without a saddle) kobold cleric riding a skeletal owlbear. He rides up to the hobs, only to promptly fall out of the saddle, then get crit'd in the face. Things kind of go downhill from there until the monkeyman agrees to negotiate.

    They goblins lock away the cleric and the dwarf fighter (Hayden) and the hobgoblin council goes to the ship to determine terms.

    The crew agrees to give them 600 gold worth of the plunder onboard, and to take four younger hobgoblins that they will train in the ways of the sea (and not put in undue danger) - to be returned in half a year.

    Meanwhile, the cleric and fighter try to stage a breakout of their prison hut. The fighter wriggles through a gap in the planks, but the cleric does not fare so well and ends up tied and gagged.

    The dwarf spends the night running from goblins and eventually is found by the rest of the crew cowering under a bush covered in mud.

    So I guess they're all borderline useless without the close eyes of a Druid watching over them.
    Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun

    Last edited by Lokathor on Thu Dec 10, 2015 9:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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    PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    So I guess they're all borderline useless without the close eyes of a Druid watching over them.

    Even just seems like you guys are really BAD. Though maybe I haven't played in true low level game in a long time. I think you guys maybe should get double WBL, to mitigate the incompetence. Otherwise you're not called the "Takeda Protagonist" for nothing!
    What I find wrong w/ 4th edition: "I want to stab dragons the size of a small keep with skin like supple adamantine and command over time and space to death with my longsword in head to head combat, but I want to be totally within realistic capabilities of a real human being!" --Caedrus mocking 4rries

    "the thing about being Mister Cavern [DM], you don't blame players for how they play. That's like blaming the weather. Weather just is. You adapt to it. -Ancient History
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    PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Well, I don't think the blow-by-blow is as exciting with 3e characters as I found it with tome characters, so I quit doing that and my notes dropped from three pages to slightly less than a full page. We also switched to Thursday this week, which means that we can't play quite as long.

    Our Cast Of Heroes:
  • Lydia - Rilkan Warlock
  • Takeda - Nezumi Druid (+Kingler the Giant Crab)
  • DK - Gorillaman Scout
  • Hayden - Dwarf Fighter (with a hand-axe for a left hand)
  • Astral - Star Elf Sorcerer
  • Canis - Kobold Cleric
  • NPC Crew - Various

    We started with the Captain and First Officer awakening with a start and rushing out onto the deck. Nothing around them looked like Tidewater Rock, so they demanded to know why the trip was taking so many extra days. The crew attempted to explain the detour and we immediately countermanded it. The ship was headed back to Tidewater Rock... again.

    After a while we spotted some sort of ship in the distance, approaching. A low-hulled whaler was our best guess, the folks with Profession (Sailor) rolled hilariously bad on their checks to identify more details from far off; like 1(+6), 2(+5), and 6(+10) sorts of bad. As evening approaches and darkness fills the air we lost sight of the ship. No one can see it at night, and the next day no one can see it either. As the next day turns to evening a fog fills the air. We spot a ghost ship, and someone reads "Death Knell" on the side as it floats by.

    Everyone shouts into the fog "Do you speak ___!?" over and over in all the languages they know, trying to find some way to communicate with the ship, but to no avail. Ambrose and much of the crew decide that if they're going to die they might as well hold their own wake ahead of time. As the sun comes up the fog is still around, but the "wake" begins, which is basically everyone getting drunk of course.

    Soon enough a ship approaches and begins to attack us. There's four rounds of ballista, bow, and eldritch blast fire thrown back and forth between the two ships, and then the attacking ghost ship crashes into the side of our ship. Zombies begin to pile off of the ghost ship and on to our own. All the PCs are present, but the only NPCs are Maheem, the Hobgoblins, and the Healer. Ambrose is technically in the way back too, but he just gets away from the fight as much as possible immediately.

    Some general fighting ensues. It turns out the hobgoblins aren't just normal Warrior 1 hobgoblins, but much better Fighter 3 hobgoblins. The cleric is also able to Rebuke many of the zombies. The captain shouts for no one to attack the rebuked ones, and then on the hobgoblin turn they all attack rebuked ones.

    Lydia: What? Why are they attacking the rebuked ones when I specifically ordered them not to.
    Takeda: Yeah, but only Canis speaks Goblin, remember?
    Lydia: Damn. Everything.

    At one point some sort of ghost captain appears, and throws a harpoon that crits the dwarf. Harpoons have a special pinning effect when they crit I guess, so he gets pinned to the deck as well. He's not able to get himself off of the harpoon, so Kingler moves up and plucks him free. Kingler and Takeda had been in the back, letting a summoned skeletal owl bear from the Cleric, and also a summoned Dire Hawk from Takeda, do most of the work. After the crit things look more serious though, so Kingler joins the battle.

    The zombies all get slowly chewed up. They're just piles of hit points without any neat powers, so it's just them and the hobgoblins chopping at each other (zombie + rusty cutlass vs hobgoblin + katana) until one side falls over. I'll note that, during this whole thing, Astral was only able to use Acid Splash over and over because every other spell she has is useless in this situation.

    The ghost captain uses some sort of special ghost power that forces a Fort save on Lydia, she takes 5 con damage and is Fatigued. Pretty rough. It was some sort of progressive concentration power as well. Next round did nothing, but on the third Lydia failed again and went instantly to 0hp and unconscious. Some sort of special effect that is "almost, but not quite exactly, the same as the rules for drowning". Notably, just because he usually hits at least once each round, Kingler actually missed with an attack against the ghost captain. Kingler does manage to kill him next round, which is when things got really interesting.

    As soon as the ghost captain died, his zombies fell out of control and began to just stand there, but his ship also began to sink. Except because of the crash it was stuck into our own ship, and so our ship suddenly was sinking as well.

    *Maheem and Takeda begin to chop at where the two ships are stuck together, trying to get the ship free.
    *Kingler grabs several zombie bones from the killed zombies and brings them back on board, so that they can be used for magic item creation later. Then he also begins to try separating the two ships.
    *DK and Astral go to the helm and try to turn our ship away from the ghost ship so that they separate.
    *The hobgoblins, healer, and cleric are all trying to patch each other up from the fighting.
    *Lydia... was out cold from the ghost power. On our ship, but also not being watched by anyone in the confusion.

    Astral: Should I have my crow attack the captain?
    GM: What?
    Canis: What?
    Astral: Evens or odds.
    Takeda: Evens?
    Astral: Rolled a four, so she attacks the captain.
    GM: It's just a crow, I don't think that really does anything.
    Takeda: Wait, wait, no, she can crow-de-grace. It would deal 1 damage, but force a Fort save DC 1, which could kill if Lydia rolls a Natural 1, because that always fails on a save.
    Astral: The crow does that!

    So... the crow flutters over to the captain's body, un-noticed. Then it stabs the captain in the neck with its tiny crow beak. The captain lives and Maheem notices.
    The crow goes again, another 1 damage and another successful save. Maheem chops at the crow with his sword, but because it's a familiar and because Astral actually has respectable HP, the crow lives through the attack. The hobgoblins also notice that there's suddenly more fighting going on.
    The crow goes yet again, is hit with an AoO but lives, and then pecks for 1. Maheem misses on his own turn. The hobgoblin moves over and stabs the crow to death.
    Maheem stabilizes the captain at -4.

    Astral decides to keep the sword-stabbed body of her crow, for potential future uses. For those playing along at home, 3 save or dies that only fail on a Natural 1 is still about a 14% chance that the captain instantly would have died from those shenanigans.

    Just another day on our ship of fools. Also we leveled up to level 5. Which unlocks Wildshape, so there might be wildshaping in the future. Into all sorts of sword-related forms of course.

    Takeda Spells Used: Summon Dire Hawk
    Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun

    Last edited by Lokathor on Sun Dec 13, 2015 10:59 am; edited 3 times in total
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    PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    This was a high quality session. Land of the Immobile Sun quality I'd say.

    Our Cast Of Heroes:
  • Lydia - Rilkan Warlock
  • Takeda - Nezumi Druid (+Giant Crab)
  • DK - Gorillaman ("Harozi"?) Scout
  • Canis - Kobold Cleric
  • Strom Thurmond - Star Elf Sorcerer
  • Hayden - Dwarven Fighter
  • Jager - Dwarven Ranger
  • Astral - Star Elf Sorcerer (not present)
  • Eric - Aquatic Elf Fighter (not present)
  • NPC Crew

    So we survived the ghost ship. However, we had a player there for one session, and our ship was in the middle of the ocean. He'd made a Dwarven Ranger, but we weren't sure how he'd join in the crew suddenly.

    Takeda: He grew out of the chopped off hand from Hayden, like Doctor Who.
    GM: Ah, yes. Hayden, you have one less regeneration than you did before.
    Jager: Do I have the same memories as Hayden had before his hand got chopped off?
    GM: Yes, you absolutely would.
    Takeda: I'll promote you from "crewman" to "specialist".
    Jager: ayyyeee!
    Takeda: You're still outranked by my crab though.

    So we get to Tidewater Rock. It's about a mile long, maybe half a mide wide, with a 70ft tower at one end. It's kinda U shaped, with a long cove that's visible from out in the water. We don't want to risk the whole boat, so we take in one of the little lifeboats. All the main characters + kingler go, and we make our way through the cove. At the shore two guards and a lady come out and the lady shouts to us. She introduces herself as the Lady of Tidewater Rock, in charge of all the stuff around here, and so on.

    Lydia: We're not going to kill everyone if she's hot.
    GM: She's very stocky and muscular.
    Lydia: Yeah, but is she hot?
    GM: She's... a very handsome woman?
    Takeda: We'll just have to kill everyone here.
    Lydia: No other way I guess.
    Takeda: Oy there! We have come to you with uh, our professional handjob assistant. Quality work, fair rates.
    Lady: Oh, uhm, well, I suppose you can come on shore and we can discuss if I'll hire you.
    Takeda: And, if you like, we've also got quite a bit of cloth in the cargo hold of our ship. You know, goods to go with the services, that sort of thing. Don't expect you'd be interested.
    Lady: Ah, actually on a remote island like this that'd be most welcome. I'd be very interested in buying from you.
    Takeda: Shit. She wasn't supposed to accept.
    Lady: But first you must give us a hostage if you want to come on land. Ensure our own safety, as you know.
    Lydia: Who's the hostage?
    *All look at each other*
    Takeda: I'll be the hostage.
    DK: Really?
    Takeda: Yeah, I'm a flaming rat. How are they even going to fight me when we turn on them?
    GM: Are you flaming, right now? All the time? With a soulmeld or something?
    Takeda: Yeah, I've got the Flame Cloak as a feat, so I'm basically always on fire.
    Guard: Uh, you there, the on fire one. Your flames won't burn down the tower will they?
    Takeda: Well, they don't burn down this boat. Is your tower made of boat?
    GM: They actually agree with this logic.

    So we all go to the island. Takeda gives up his sword and shield and goes off with some guards, riding his crab. One of the two dwarves spotted some special looking rocks on the way in to the cove, so the two dwarves go off to prospect a bit. The rest of the group goes into a banquet hall and they're served a lavish meal. Perhaps it's not even a lavish meal, it's simply far better than Ambrose ever cooks.

    Lydia: Now, before we split up I'm going to have specifically ordered everyone to not start killing anybody until I start it first. Keep that in mind Takeda, you don't have to kill everybody.
    Takeda: ....maybe, maybe.

    While the feast is going on, Lydia suddenly gets the idea that she wants to build a "Moroccan Den" into the tower, but that she also wants to convince the current Lady of the tower to join her instead of just killing everyone. She gets a 12 to draw the diagram, and a 9 to explain it, so she throws out that sheets and tries again. The second sketch is a 24, and she's able to begin alliance talks.

    Lady: I'm in charge here, and I won't give that up. However, if you had someone from your crew marry me, they'd be the Lord, and you'd still be their captain, so you'd be able to come and go as you pleased.
    Lydia: Oh, great. Will she marry me?
    GM: The Lady was looking for something more like a man.
    Lydia: Hmm, how about Maheem?
    Takeda: Not Maheem! We can't just give up our most loyal NPC!
    Lydia: Look, I know you're in love with him or whatever, but it'll be fine. He'll be safe here being the Lord and it will all work out.
    Lady: Maheem will have to stay with me for a time to see if we're compatible, and the marriage would not complete until you finish bringing the supplies and complete the work on the hookah den.
    Lydia: Sure, shouldn't take too long.
    Takeda: Why can't we just kill them all and take it over and build the den ourselves?
    Lydia: I want them to manage it for me.
    Takeda: You're killin' me with all this "not killin' them" talk. You know that?

    Strom gets drunk and begins to dance up on the tables, and then is sent down to get to work on all the soldiers. The Lady agrees to pay 1 gold per man (there's 12 guards) for services. DK eats all of the food that anyone else doesn't and then passes out for a while.

    The Dwarves are being shown around by "Martus", who is mysteriously similar in voice and attitude to Morty from Rick and Morty.

    Martus: So, you guys get much adventure on that pirate ship of yours?
    Hayden: Sure, tons of it. We even have a legendary pirate on our ship, Ambrose the cook!
    Jager: Aye, aye, legendary.
    Martus: Awh jeeze.
    Hayden: But we musn't talley here, I saw a lot of shimmerin' and glimmerin' on the way in, we gots 'ta investigate!
    Jager: Aye, glimmmera', gllimmera'.
    Martus: Oh, do you know if it's safe out here at night? I don't know, there's lots of, dangers, and stuff, you know?
    Hayden: You stay back here where it's safe and we'll check it out.
    Jager: Aye, back now, back now!
    Martus: Ooooh! But I was supposed to watch you guys! Awhhhh.

    After a bit of looking, the dwarves don't find any ores of note, but they do find oil. And not the standard whale oil of DnD-land, but actual black crude oil.

    Takeda: But there's no oil in DnD!
    GM: What?
    Canis: Yeah, what?
    GM: There's pints of oil right in the PHB.
    Takeda: That's whale oil or something. Crude oil out of the ground comes from dinosaurs sunk into the ground too long. But in DnD there's always Underdark creatures that eat the dinosaur corpses in the ground, so crude oil never forms.
    GM: Well, it's a remote island. No part of the Underdark connects to here, so crude oil was able to form. It's rare enough though that you don't really know anything specific about it.
    Takeda: Fair. We'll have to get a specialist I guess.
    Jager: What about me? You said I'm a specialist.
    Takeda: A better specialist. Does crude oil burn well?
    Canis: Yeah, even the fumes burn super well.
    Takeda: We're going to weaponize it!
    DK: Flaming catapults?
    Takeda: Exactly.
    Hayden: Alright, I lead Martus back to the tower. I'll lead him by my axe-hand.
    Martus: Wow, that's pretty dangerous of you there, that's pretty on the edge.
    Lydia: Ha. Axe edge.
    Jager: Aye.

    Meanwhile Takeda is sitting down on top of his giant crab in the "hostage room", with just two other guards. They bring him a bunch of food from the banquet, and the crab gets fed as well.

    Takeda: 25 on Diplomacy. I want to find out how many guards work here. How many bunks do I see?
    GM: There's only 6 bunks in here, but they say that there's 12 guards total, and they just all rotate who sleeps where depending on who's on shift and such.
    Takeda: Yeah, yeah, you can set that up in dwarf fortress, if your fort is poor, and you can't spare the resources to have individual bedrooms for each dwarf; hmm, only 12 you say? Hmm, how much bloodlust do I have?
    GM: Roll it.
    Takeda: 19 on the die.
    GM: That's a lot.
    Lydia: No, no, no, no, no, no, no!! Don't kill everyone!
    Takeda: What? Why not? I could probably kill every single guard here without any help at all. They're all humans! Alright I'll give you a chance, *grabs a d6* evens or odds!
    Lydia: No! Think of the story! Think of the posts you've been making! If we just showed up here and killed everyone it'd be normal, but if we showed up and then married our way in and then turned it all into a sweet moroccan den, then that'd be a better story right!?
    Takeda: ...well... alright. Okay, so the whole time I'm going to always stay on my crab, and just direct it around whenever I need to go around. I'm going to tell them he's my medical assistance crab.
    GM: medical assistance? what?! Like, is this some sort of ruse?
    Takeda: Yeah, I want them to think I can't walk. I'm a ratman covered in flames riding on the back of a giant crab. At some point it's so weird that they'll give up questioning it.
    Guard: Oy, were you wounded in your leg or something?
    Takeda: I was! At the Battle of Brenna! Really rude of you to bring it up, you know?
    Guard: Sorry, sorry.
    Takeda: Alright, well let's just look around. I'll ride on over to the door and start exploring.
    Guard: Wait! Stop, don't go out! We have to keep you here.
    Takeda: Guys, guys, come on, it'll be great, let's just have a look around.
    Guard: We'll get in trouble if we let you wander around.
    Takeda: Guys, it's cool, you can join my crew and then you won't get in trouble. Diplomacy 27.
    GM: That's... pretty good I guess? Alright, they let you look around for a while I guess.

    So the tower is 70ft tall. A guard room floor at ground level, a storage floor that also has a fully equipped forge in it for some odd reason, the third floor is going to become the moroccan den, the fourth floor is the banquet hall, and the 5th floor is the tower parapet. Thinking back as I write this down, it was not at all clear where people really slept. In addition to the 12 guards and the Lady, there were at least 2 cooks and Martus, and I only saw 6 bunks in the guard barracks. Oh well.

    Takeda sees Strom as he's looking around, and throws a Lesser Vigor his way for maximum handjob power, then goes back to wait. Strom has to fend off a few advances from some of the guards who don't realize that he's simply a very feminine guy elf, and not a lady elf. In the end he gets the whole job done though.

    The banquet finishes and everyone but Strom goes back to the boat. Strom is kept overnight as a hostage type thing again. I wasn't clear on why they needed a hostage when none of the rest of us were on the island, but whatever.

    Back on the ship, Lydia caught up everyone on the plan.

    Takeda: Captain. No. Look, we can just take them all out, there's no reason to marry off one of our best guys. There's no reason to leave her in power at all!
    Lydia: No, we're not going to kill everyone. We're going to make them manage the base while we're out hunting pirates.
    Takeda: Look, we can keep the base, and we can build the den, but what if we put our own guys in charge of things?
    Lydia: No we're just going to get them to do it.
    Takeda: Is there any way to convince you out of this?
    Lydia: Nope.
    Takeda: So, either kill you, or don't kill the Lady?
    Lydia: Yes.
    Takeda: ...alright. Well I won't kill you for now.
    GM: Revolution?
    Lydia: I did it! I held it together with sheer willpower, just like Tokugawa Ieyasu.
    DK: Who?
    Lydia: He conquered and unified all of Japan during the Sengoku jidai.
    GM: Takeda, you're not a very good first officer, are you?
    Takeda: I'm not a loyal first officer, I'm a tolerant first officer.
    Lydia: It's very Klingon of him. Serves the captain, but stands for the crew.
    GM: Hmm?
    Lydia: Yeah, remember? He literally gave the First Officer Speech back at the start.

    And really, if you think about it, a bat'leth is just yet another kind of sword.

    So Lydia tells Maheem, and Maheem thanks her for the opportunity to serve and such, all loyal. Maheem is dropped ashore, and we trade out Ambrose for Martus.

    Canis: Wait, before we go, is there like a graveyard on the island I could check out?
    Guard: No, we burn the dead of course, and then scatter the ashes at sea, just like the great Donny Jones demands of us.
    Canis: Fuck.
    Takeda: *looks at Lydia*
    Lydia: *looks at Takeda*
    Lydia: Scatter their souls to the heartless sea?
    GM: What?
    Takeda: GM, from now on, if any of our crew dies, I'm going to bind their souls into our magic items.
    GM: Take as much from them as you can, eh?
    Lydia: We'll make diamonds from their ashes.
    Takeda: And take them into battle with us.
    Lydia: A shining light, to our brothers in arms. Even in death.
    DK: Is this... a thing?
    Lydia: We are Diamond Dogs.

    Then the ship sets sail for the nearest, largest city. We've got all sorts of magical goods, but we need to interact with a damn economy to get masterwork items we can enchant. Also, onyx for zombies. Also, we need to capture more things to pay for the moroccan pad I guess. And, you know, if there's time, get 2 levels so that Reincarnate is on the table and then slowly stab our Human crew to death and Reincarnate them as non-humans. Just, like, if there's time.

    It's a four day trip, but two days out we see a pirate ship and make for it.

    DK: I'm the best shot I guess, so I'll get in the ballista and shoot as we approach.
    GM: Are you going to start firing your ballista from maximum range? It's -20 at that distance.
    DK: What's our ammo supply like?
    GM: *rolls a Nat 20* Pretty good.
    DK: I'll start shooting from half maximum range.
    GM: We'll say that you're going in fast enough to get 1 shot per range increment as you move in.
    DK: *hits*, *hits again*
    GM: Alright, at that point, a large flying creature comes up off the ship. Spot checks.
    GM: Those who spotted it see a thing that's kinda like a lion with wings and a tail covered in spines.
    Takeda: Fuuuuuu.
    GM: It flies over to your ship, and from 90ft above it launches a barrage. *rolls* DK, you're hit four times, 34 damage.
    DK: Well, I'm at 1hp.

    Canis gets a critical hit on the Manticore during the surprise round... for 5 damage.
    Takeda rushes over and uses his full Healing Belt on DK. 4d8... rolled a 6.
    Good Surprise Round!! Yeah!!

    GM: Alright, surprise round over. DK you're up again.
    DK: Okay, well, I'm gonna use my Healing Belt to heal myself.
    Lydia: No way man! It's just gonna kill you again. Shoot it so that we can bring it down after you go down.
    Takeda: Yeah, the damage is more valuable probably.
    DK: O...kay? I guess.

    So DK shoots the Manticore and hits for a boatload of damage, and then gets hit with another wave of spines and goes down in one. The rest of the spines head cleric-ward, and 3 hits land on the cleric. Stupendous Strom steps up to the plate and drops a Blindness on the Manticore. It flutters about a bit after that, but is basically useless. The cleric gets DK back up as we close in on the other ship. Lydia brings down the Manticore with ease, and the body falls in the water.

    Canis: No! I need that!!
    Takeda: Yeah, we want that as a zombie!
    GM: Are you going to turn around and get it? You could do that, but the other ship will probably get away in the time it would take to fish it out.
    Takeda: I dispatch the crab to recover the corpse and we proceed forward.

    Our boat smashes into their boat and we pour over the railings. The enemy captain is clearly the one shouting the most orders. There are some basic soldiers as well. All pretty standard.

    Canis summoned two skeletal owlbears, DK and Lydia did some shooting, Takeda had wildshaped into having crocodile stats (but as a floating scimitar, and because of the Flame Cloak soulmeld, a flaming flying scimitar) and "grappled" a dude (but as a sword, so more like impaled himself through the guy and just thrashed around).

    GM: Stom, you're up.
    Lydia: Blind the enemy captain.
    Strom: Well, I already cast Blindness though, so I guess I'll just wait in the back.
    Takeda: As a Sorcerer, you can cast any of your spells as many times as you have slots left. You don't need to prepare any of them.
    Strom: Oh, that's way different from a Wizard. Okay, I cast Blindness on the enemy captain.

    After a round of fighting blind and the sounds of his soldiers all getting torn to pieces, the enemy captain called for a surrender. Lydia accepts and calls for our own forces to surrender as well. Everyone does, except for Takeda. Takeda was pretty full of blood rage at never getting to finish a fight at this point, and just thrashed around impaling the enemy pirate until he died, while everyone else kinda just... watched helplessly until the body fell off of the flaming sword and onto the deck.

    Enemy Captain: So, uh, well... am I blind forever then? Or can someone take this off of me?
    Takeda: You can undo it.
    Strom: Oh, I can undo it I guess.
    Lydia: Yeah, undo it, Strom.
    Strom: Alright, I undo it.
    Enemy Captain: Ah, well that's a little better. So, uh, we surrender. What now.
    Lydia: It was good of you to surrender, to recognize that we are the superior crew. You can join our crew now. You'll have to star--
    Takeda: No, no, no, no, no, no. No. Wait. I'm a floating sword that can't talk. Okay, I shift back into ratman form.
    GM: The horrible, flaming, flying sword, sorta melts down and reforms as a ratman and begins to interrupt Lydia.
    Takeda: Yes, thank you. Now, No. We are not taking them on as our crew. They will only turn against us. How do I know this? That's exactly where we came from.
    DK: What should we do with them?
    Takeda: They're all humans right?
    GM: Yes.
    Takeda: We just kill all of them. We take all of their cargo onto our ship and take a bunch of wood from this ship too and just let it sink, then we proceed into town.
    Lydia: WOW, for someone who was complaining about not having enough cash, you just want to throw away a whole ship? Do you have any idea how much money this is worth?
    DK: He's got a point.
    Takeda: Alright, alright. So there's just like these 7 guys here on the map on the whole ship?
    GM: There's a bunch of slaves too, but they didn't have weapons.
    Takeda: Alright, we kill the command crew, and promote all the slaves to normal crew. They'll like us for that. Then we put some of our staff on this new ship and sail it into town and sell it off.
    Lydia: What's on the ship?
    GM: There's 2 plunder worth of copper, lumber, and cloth.
    Takeda: Oh, hmm. Copper? 2,000gp of copper is how many pounds of copper... hmm.
    GM: No, 2 plunder total. Only part of that is copper.
    Takeda: So how much of that is copper? I want just a literal weight. We can build with copper.
    Hayden: Aye! Profession Metalworking!
    GM: Oh, I don't know. Uhm, 600lbs maybe?
    Takeda: Sounds good.
    Hayden: I can make an oil rig out of that for extracting all the crude!
    Takeda: And then, flaming oil catapults!
    DK: So what do we do with the ship?
    Takeda: We load the copper onto our ship and then sell the rest of the new ship in port.
    Lydia: No, we sail the entire new ship back to the tower, and that'll make us look really good. Coming back with a ton of cargo after just a few days work. We'll put some of our guys in charge of the ship, and all the former slaves will be the crew.
    Takeda: Hmm, yes. Let's see. Jak, Daxter, Swordeye, Whiskeyjack, and Rosie will be in charge.
    GM: So Lydia, you're going to be Admiral and Rosie will be a captain temporarily?
    Lydia: Sure, that works.
    Canis: I'm the only one that speaks Goblin.
    Takeda: What?
    Canis: You can't send the hobgoblins without me, I'm the only one that speaks Goblin.
    Takeda: Damn. Right. Canis and the manticore corpse go back.
    Canis: I can make it a zombie.
    Takeda: We need to pick up Onyx in town. One of the many things we need to buy. Keep it fresh with Gentle Repose until then.
    Canis: Shit. Right. Fucking spell components.
    Takeda: And Hayden and Jager go back too, you can start construction work. The rest of us will go to town, grab supplies, and then meet you at the Tower. Sorry to those of you going back, looks like an NPC will outrank you for a little while.

    And that was where we left it off for the night.

    Takeda Spell Used: Lesser Vigor
    Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun
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    PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Our Cast Of Heroes:
  • Lydia - Rilkan Warlock
  • Takeda - Nezumi Druid (+Giant Crab)
  • DK - Hadozee Scout
  • Canis - Kobold Cleric
  • Strom Thurmond - Star Elf Sorcerer
  • Hayden - Dwarven Fighter
  • Jager - Dwarven Ranger (not present)
  • Astral - Star Elf Sorcerer (not present)
  • Eric - Aquatic Elf Fighter (not present)
  • NPC Crew

    We get to the large city, and we have to make a Diplomacy check to sell off the plunder. It's "worth" 1,000gp, but how much we really get for selling it depends on the Diplomacy check. Takeda rolls a 24, Lydia offers up some Aid, total of 26, we feel pretty confident that we're gonna get some mad cash out of this deal.

    Turns out the check DC is stupidly high. We get 90% of the value "base" for it being a large city, and then the DC is 10 to sell it at all, with +10 DC for each extra 10% of value that we want. So we need to be able to hit 20 just to offload the stuff in a large city for its actual market value. A 30 is required to get over market value. Seems kinda stingy, particularly since we're well under wealth by level (34.7k out of 54k for a "6-person" party) for 3.5e, but the GM showed us the chart he was using in the PDF and everything, so we figure it just means we need to raid more or whatever.

    So we also buy a bunch of masterwork stuff to start enchanting when we get the time. Mithral bucklers, masterwork composite shortbows, and so on. Takeda makes up a big batch of Crystals of Least Arrow Deflection, sticking one on practically everyone. 500gp for +2 vs Ranged attacks? After that whole manticore business, yes please. Plus other assorted magical goods.

    DK finds some more Hadozee, and then Takeda recruits one to join the crew. We name him Stephen. Lydia speaks to a local sicilian about where more pirates live. He tells us that his rivals in business, the Crimson Sails, do a lot of work in the south. They're an up and coming type of group, and we agree to help dispatch some of his rivals in exchange for this wonderful information as to their location. The chief target will be "Captain Diedrick".

    We sail back with our new stuff to Tidewater Rock, and begin to look at how we want to sort out who crews which of the two ships, and who stays on Tidewater Rock, and so forth.

    Lydia: Now, obviously we need to assign Ambrose to the new ship. We'll keep Martus on our ship.
    Takeda: I'm not sure that "cook" is the first role we need to fill.
    Lydia: Of course cook is the most important role to fill.

    However, when we begin to speak to the people on the island, it turns out that sahuagin had attacked at dusk on the night before we arrived back. Martus's grandmother and two other guards were killed in the attack, and then the sahuagin were driven off with arrows. Canis asks about sahuagin corpses, but none of them actually died before they fled. Some of the "supplies" from the city was Onyx though, so he turns that manticore into a zombie manticore with over 100 hp. Very nice. Plus there's 20HD of spare onyx.

    It's agreed that we'll patrol the island some and make sure things are all safe and such. Dusk approaches, and we end our patrol. Nothing interesting happening on the island. The tower itself is right up against the surf of the water. As in, there's some stairs up from the beach to the door inside, and during high tide the lowest of the stairs become covered in water. The stairs are only a 5ft wide path, so we're lined up single file to go inside, when 10 sahuagin surprise attack by leaping out of the water, most with partial charges.

    After initiative is rolled, they also roll super high on initiative and go first, so they get to attack again. During the initial assault, Hayden and the Crab are both hit with a critical (x3 damage with Tridents). During the follow up "full round" of actions the crab is knocked to -10. We've got some extended death rules (survive to -Con), so it doesn't die outright, but it does fall, and since Takeda was riding it at the time... he fails his ride check and falls (1d6 damage), landing prone next to 5 angry sahuagin, most still with actions in the round. They all start stabbing the prone flaming ratman, one of them crits Takeda. By the end of all the attacks, Takeda is at 1hp. Three criticals (each for x3 damage) have happened to the party in total. And there was no Perception check or Spot check or anything like that at all allowed against this sudden assault. Pretty bullshit I'd say.

    The silver lining to this all is Takeda's Flame Cloak. Because they kept hitting him, they kept taking automatic backlash damage. On Takeda's turn, he shapeshifts into "something that burrows I guess", and tries to burrow down into the ground. This provokes like 6 attacks of course, and they stab him some more and he's out for the fight. More backlash damage though.

    When the rest of the party is up, they begin to shoot Eldritch Blast and Shortbow all over the place. The Zombie Manticore joins the battle as well. It doesn't get the spine shooting ability, but there's still a claw/claw/bite routine it's got.

    By the end of that first round, 9 out of the 10 sahuagin are down. The last one flees back into the water. Takeda is revived, and Canis gets to work making sahuagin skeletons. He of course can't control that many undead, so we have to leave some of them uncontrolled. The MC determines that, rather than following their last order forever, uncontrolled undead simply stand in place, maybe wandering around from time to time, but mostly standing in place. They still defend themselves if attacked of course.

    At first we figure we can just leave the spare skeleton sahuagin in some closet or pen until the ones we've got with us die off, and then pull out the spares as we need them. Then we decide that we can chain them to the ground outside near the beach, like attack dogs, in the hopes that the living sahuagin try to tangle with the skeleton sahuagin perhaps, and then get mauled a bit in the process.

    Takeda throws down some Lesser Vigor spells, and we agree that the crew will stay at least one more night before we go after those Crimson Sailed pirates.

    It was at this point that the GM looked at the next encounter and had to read a reference, and then had to read other references, and so on, until he realized that the encounter was far more complex than he'd thought at first, and called it for the night.
    Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun
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    PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Our Cast Of Heroes:
  • Lydia - Rilkan Warlock
  • Takeda - Nezumi Druid (+Giant Crab)
  • DK - Hadozee Scout
  • Canis - Kobold Cleric
  • Strom Thurmond - Star Elf Sorcerer
  • Hayden - Dwarven Fighter
  • Jager - Dwarven Ranger (not present)
  • Astral - Star Elf Sorcerer (not present)
  • Eric - Aquatic Elf Fighter (not present)
  • NPC Crew

    A brief review of the tower structure:
    5th Floor: An open tower top, with crenelations and such. This is 70ft above ground level.
    4th Floor: Banquet Hall, Lady's Quarters, Guest Quarters
    3rd Floor: Kitchens, Servant Quarters
    2nd Floor: Workshop and Forge, Barracks, the stairs to the first floor go through a murder tunnel for extra defense.
    1st Floor: Entryway and storage.

    So during the first day after the sahuagin attack we unload as much of the newly captured ship as we can. We leave the wooden hull itself in the cove, but we strip it of basically anything that you can take at all. The stocks, ropes, sails, everything that can be removed. All of it is put in the Tower, or on the Stone Tortoise (which spends the nights out at sea). The sahuagin have always attacked at night, and the goal is to leave nothing for them to take during their raids. None of their attacks have ever seriously threatened the tower itself, they're just infantry really.

    Martus comes ashore to pray for his dead grandmother, and his grandfather is apparently quite good with cloth, so he sews up some of that from the plunder we got before. We check in on Martus' family history. It seems that Jerry and Beth are dead. Jerry sailed off with the crew of the former Lord of Tidewater Rock, and he took Beth with him. That entire ship was destroyed by Barnibus, which is why the Lady hates him so much and all. We ask about Rick as well, Martus' grandfather on his mother Beth's side. They don't know what happened to him, but one day he sailed off into the stars, and they have not heard word from him since. Takeda only takes this as further proof that his goals of conquering the stars themselves are entirely reasonable.

    That night there's no trouble, and the next day we continue to fortify our position as much as we can. It's during the second night when there's a major crashing sound. Everyone was able to be awake, no checks required. Of course, this was the middle of the night, so we assumed sahuagin attack at first. Obvious options are for the group to go up to the top and check out what's happening as best we can with a good field of vision, or to go down to the ground. As I explained above, guest quarters are on the 4th floor, so we decided that going up would be simplest. We spend a round doing that. It is only as I write these words that I realize how futile our actions actually were. Given that it was night, most of us probably couldn't have seen in the dark down to ground level. Ah well, it matters little, for when we got to the top of the tower we saw most of what we needed to. Mist, for 120 ft in all directions out from the tower. The mist stopped exactly 120ft out from the base of the tower; spellcasters are well known expert geometers, and those among us could assess such a thing very precisely and very quickly. It was obviously some sort of magical effect. We were clearly under assault, and the clash of steel could be heard below in the mist.

    Hayden wasted no time, and rushed from the top of the tower to make for ground floor. It was going to take him 4 rounds just to get there given the distance. Canis had a simpler idea. He commanded his manticore (kept on the roof for "storage" simply because of its Large size) to fly down into the mist and defend itself against anything that attacked it. We didn't know what sort of thing was attacking, but that seemed like a simple enough set of orders. Flying down lets you go double speed of course, so it was able to get to the ground in a single turn (Fly 70ft).

    Takeda: Can I hear shark voices among the fighting?
    GM: Uhhh...
    Takeda: Come on, I got a 31 on that Listen check.
    GM: Alright, well, they don't sound too sharky I guess.

    Two tower guards are already manning the two ballista up here, so they fire wildly into the mist, but don't do much.

    Now friends, let me tell ya something. We here on The Gaming Den like to go on and on about CoDzilla, about how you can wreck up a game just by going with core only as long as you play a cleric or druid and just rain unparallelled fire and destruction down upon your foes. Takeda the Druid has not been feeling as much of that. Oh, his mighty war crab has been dealing out the sword-clawed hurt from time to time, sure, but not Takeda himself. Takeda has been lamenting quite deeply that, every time there's a major fight, he's locked out of it. The Entangle spell all those weeks ago, back in the cave with the giant fish and the witch. The manticore more recently. Getting mega-ganked by 10 sahuagin partial charges during a surprise round. One thing after the next. This next moment should come as a surprise to no one.

    Words are heard. Words of spells and sorcery. Someone is casting a spell. They're flying above the mist, next to the tower, only about 20ft out in the air. No one sees anything, but an invisible spellcaster is nothing new. What spell is this? What single spell could be so great that it deserves an entire introduction paragraph about the Laments of Takeda? Why of course, it's a Summon Monster spell. The most obvious spell to cast when you're flying and invisibile. What gets summoned? This was a casting of Summon Monster 4. We're playing 3.5, not Pathfinder. Any time the players would end up with a slightly better deal by going with a Pathfinder version of things, we're definitely not actually playing Pathfinder, so we don't get to have the better deal. Except apparently this one time, when the adventure uses the Pathfinder version of the Summon Monster 4 spell list, which allows for the Fiendish Tiger, which is a 5th level summon under 3.5 rules. This difference was not known at the time, but I later looked it up and there you go. Also, there was a critical error in the timing of the spell. As soon as the spell was heard being cast, the creature appeared and attacked. Summon Monster spells are 1 round casts as we all know, so everyone on the roof should have had a round to perhaps make a listen check and shoot the correct square (disrupting the spell), or perhaps just flee from the roof, or do something to react in some way. But no, that did not happen.

    A fiendish tiger appears 10ft from Takeda. It charges. Tigers can pounce on a charge, so it pounces and rolls its full attack sequence.

    GM: What's your AC?
    Takeda: Well, I guess 15 since I'm in ratling form.
    GM: Alright *begins to roll many dice*
    DK: Oh man what if he gets taken out at the start again?
    Lydia: That'd be shitty.
    GM: Takeda would probably be super pissed if that happened. *keeps rolling*
    GM: Yeah. Takeda is gonna be super pissed... *adds some numbers*
    GM: You take 45 damage.
    Takeda: I have 42 hp.
    GM: Welp.
    Takeda: He takes some fire backlash damage at least I guess.
    GM: Ah, right *rolls* he takes 14 damage from the backlash.
    Takeda: Well, that's something.
    GM: Wait, that's fire damage, right?
    Takeda: Yes, fire damage.
    GM: Ah, then he only takes 1 damage of backlash. Fire Resist 5.
    Takeda: Fuck. Everything.

    Lydia springs into action and fires a deadly bolt of eldritch energy tigerward, then bravely moves back so that the kobold is between her and the tiger.

    The manticore defends itself against unseen fighters on the ground, and a sahuagin skeleton (kept at Canis' side at all times) moves to melee the fiendish tiger. Canis himself begins a summon of his own. This time however we all seem to have remembered the correct summoning rules, and nothing appears right away. The Scout moves to the tower's edge, makes a Listen check, shoots an arrow, and avoid the 50% miss chance, dealing 12 damage to the flying and invisible caster. Thankfully, we happened to make his bow into a +1 Shortbow in the days leading up to this fight, so it's able to go through the DR 10/magic that Protection From Arrows provides. Finally something is going a little right.

    GM: Oh, hmm, it looks like there's three of you all lined up in a row right there.
    Lydia: Uhm, what?
    GM: The sorceress flies over... here. And then she speaks some words and a blue lightning bolt shoots out of her hands, hitting the three of you here. Reflex saves. *grabs a bunch of d6s to roll damage*
    Lydia: Wait, is that nine dice?
    GM: Ah, yes, so it is. *rolls them all*
    Takeda: How does this adventure expect us to fight off a 9th level caster that surprised us?
    GM: I don't know, but that's what it says. I can show you the PDF if you like.

    So the guard in the ballista (one of them) fails his save and dies instantly. Lydia makes her save and takes 12 damage. DK makes his save and is a Scout, so he takes no damage at all.

    Lydia: Oh, hey, from there you can move 10ft to skirmish, into the ballista, and then fire the ballista with bonus skirmish damage.
    DK: I like that.

    The fiendish tiger moves to Lydia and bites for 11 damage. This activates Improved Grab of course. In a fluke of luck, the tiger rolls a 2. It's quoted as having a +17 Grapple, though I don't know why because the standard SRD gives it a +14 and the PFSRD gives it a +15, so I don't know where that extra +2 was from, because Fiendish doesn't do anything to change your grapple modifier. Unless this asshole sorceress had Augment Summoning. Anyway, the tiger has a total of 19 on its Grapple Check, and Lydia has a +1 Grapple Bonus. As they'd say in an anime right about now, "This is getting dangerous". Lydia happens to roll a Natural 19 though, and narrowly escapes the grapple. However, between the Lightning Bolt and the tiger bite, she's left at that shitty danger zone amount of HP where the enemy is obviously going to deal at least one more attack against you to get you out of the fight, but you also might die instantly against the attack.

    GM: Hey, at least the sahuagin skeleton prevented it from charging you and pouncing.
    Lydia: Yeah, but now I'm probably going to die instantly to the next attack.

    The music starts to get tense. Lydia 5ft steps up onto the edge of the tower just to try and stay out of reach of the fiendish tiger, even if for only a moment more. With no particularly good options left, she points out into the air at the sorceress and unleashes hell itself upon her foe. It's a critical hit! and the damage roll is good! 22 points of blood fly out of Lydia's target, and onto the sands far below. A 9th level sorceress, d4 hit die, NPC and all, probably 40 hit points on average. 12 damage from the arrow before, and then 22 from a critical eldritch blast. She must be really hurt.

    Lydia: Is she looking down?
    GM: Not too down.
    Lydia: Alright, if I were to hover my mouse over her and right click, what would the tooltip say?
    GM: She's about 30% injured from where she was at the start of the fight.
    Lydia: Only 30%!!
    Canis: The fuck?
    DK: She took like 30 damage. How's she got 90 hp?
    GM: She used some buffs before the fight.
    Takeda: Oh, fucking False Life was it? 1d10+9?
    GM: Yeah, 1d10+Caster Level, so 9, yeah. It's all in the adventure.
    Takeda: Fuck this adventure. DK, this is your fault for suggesting this adventure path.
    DK: How could I have known this would happen!?

    Canis directs the manticore to attack the sorceress. Unfortunately, it's on the ground 70ft below. Ascending has double movement cost, and it's a zombie manticore, so it gets only one action a round. The manticore slooooowly rises up to 35ft as its entire turn, while Canis pulls out two owlbear skeletons that, along with the sahuagin skeleton, totally pin that fiendish tiger in place. Canis 5ft steps back from it all, and the a giant wave of skeleton attacks are rolled. The skeletons can't punch through the DR 5/magic that the Fiendish tiger has, but at the same time the Tiger's claws can't punch through the DR 5/bludgeoning that the skeletons have (though it's bite can). The whole melee feels much more contained than it did a minute ago, but it doesn't handle the sorceress herself at all. Canis tries a Hold Person on her, which she saves against of course, and we all groan.

    Canis: My only other spell this turn would have been that Freezing Ray thing for 2d10 damage as a ranged touch attack.
    Lydia: Do that next time! Hold Person is basically just never gonna work on her.
    Takeda: Damage stacks up at least, but successful saves don't.

    The NPC ballista gunner turns the ballista upon the Fiendish Tiger, but misses because he lacks precise shot. I'm sure ballista gunner training camp didn't really cover how to fire at point blank range against a tiger covered in black smoke and flame that's fighting with two skeletal owlbears and a skeletal sahuagin, so I'll excuse the mistake.

    The scout moves a bit and fires his bow, dealing 11 to the sorceress. He's actually totally uninjured, able to hurt the sorc, and not too likely to be hurt by her, so perhaps he can help pull this situation out of the fire.

    GM: Lydia, what's your touch AC?
    Lydia: Uhm, 14 I guess.
    GM: Oh, sorry, surprise touch AC. Guessing 10?
    Lydia: What's..? Sure, 10.
    GM: The sorceress's familiar appears. A tiny viper, with a held touch spell. It bites you.
    Lydia: Are you fucking kidding me? Alright, how much? If it's more than 17 I'm instantly dead outright.
    GM: Let's see, d6 per two caster levels.. so 4d6.. 19.
    Lydia: I'm dead instantly.
    Takeda: That's twice now that a familiar has threatened your life.
    DK: Why do they hate you so much?
    Lydia: It's because I hate pirates so much.
    Takeda: Oh, hey, and you were standing on the ledge when you died. Your lifeless body falls backward off the tower and plunges into the mist, as dramatically as possible.
    Lydia: That is exactly what my corpse would do.

    The sorceress unleashes another Lightning Bolt, hitting an owlbear skeleton, the sahuagin skeleton, and Canis himself. On his turn, all the skeletons attack, bringing down the fiendish tiger, and also injuring the familiar. However, the Vampiric Touch gave it a bunch of temp HP, so the attacks just chew into that instead of doing actual damage. The ballista guy misses the familiar unfortunately.

    DK skirmishes into position and takes his shot. His aim is true, and the sorcereress is knocked out. At this point, technically, since her flight was magical, she should have just hung in the air, bleeding to death, until Fly spell ran out in a few minutes. However, such a minor detail as magical flight vs physical flight was forgotten, and her body immediately fell out of the sky, crashing into a bloody mess on the ground below. I found the results to be satisfying enough either way.

    GM: You hear the sounds of the battle, still below.
    Takeda: You hear the sounds of the druid bleeding!
    Canis: I don't have any healing spells set.
    Takeda: That's why I handed out so many damn Healing Belts.
    Canis: Oh, right.

    4d8 later, the Druid is at 11hp. Takeda starts a Lesser Vigor going.

    GM: Hayden arrives in time to help push back the wave of attacking pirates below.
    Hayden: Do you want me to roll for any of that?
    GM: No, as long as you're there fighting with the guards, and the crab would be there too, you can all push back the attack. If no one had gone to help the guards then they would have eventually been overrun. It looks like they arrived in some longboats. There was about 30 of them, plus the sorceress of course.
    Hayden: Oh, I go get her body. I wanna check for stuff.
    GM: You don't know she's dead.
    Hayden: Well once the fight is over I'll be the first one to go looking outside for her body.
    GM: As the mist clears after a bit, you're able to see a pirate ship off in the distance. Actually, it's night, so I guess you can't see that, your darkvision is only 60ft.
    Takeda: Naw, they're humans, so they'd have torches and stuff, so we'd be able to see a light source out there.
    GM: Suppose so. Looks like it's moving away from the island.
    Takeda: How fast to ships move? Like in feet per round.
    Canis: There's this whole chart based on ship and load and stuff, but it starts at 30ft per round and then goes to 60ft and then to 90ft for the fastest stuff.
    Takeda: What does my Profession Sailor Check of 22 tell me about how fast this ship would go.
    GM: This ship moves at 60ft per round.
    Takeda: We could chase it down in the manticore. It's got Fly 70ft.
    GM: You could try. If you only gain 10ft per round on it, they'd get a lot of ballista shots against you.
    Takeda: Like two per round for a bunch of rounds?
    GM: It's got 10 ballistas.
    Takeda: Alright we won't chase it down I guess.

    Hayden finds the body of the sorceress, and pockets her amulet for himself before bringing it back to the group.

    Takeda is suddenly in actual charge of things, now that Lydia is dead. Everyone turns to him for leadership, but he's pretty enraged about this whole surprise attack thing, and then being unable to hunt down the enemy ship. In the absence of an order not to, DK starts to interrogate the attackers. The ship they came on is the Thresher. Inkskin was the captain, and her first officer back on the ship is known as Knuckles Grip. When asked why the island was attacked, the pirates mention that Inkskin had been seen speaking with sahuagin in the past few weeks, and then she ordered them all to attack the island. They don't know more, and say we'll have to talk to Inkskin to find out the specifics.

    DK: But we killed her already.
    GM: They don't know that Inkskin is dead yet. Do you tell them that?
    DK: Yeah, totally.
    GM: Ah, the pirate starts talking about how Donny Jones is a cruel lord, how life is hard, and how everyone dies eventually, and--
    Takeda: *suddenly looks up* DONNY JONES CLAIMS YOUR SOUL TODAY!!! and I hack him down with all my might. Repeatedly, until he dies.
    GM: He dies. The others all freeze up and stay silent. None of them want to draw your ire next.
    Takeda: Well, so how many attacked us in total, again?
    GM: There were thirty that attacked, and, after the one you just killed, all but four are dead."
    Takeda: I kill... *rolls 1d6* Five more of them.
    GM: Ha, okay, you kill all the remaining ones, and then you prop up one of the bodies to kill it a second time.

    Takeda: What about Inkskin?
    GM: What about her?
    Takeda: I hack her body to pieces, and burn it.
    GM: As Hayden goes to grab the body, he notices what looks like a treasure map tattooed on her back side.
    Takeda: I... I don't care! This is all stupid and I want to burn it to the ground!!
    DK: Captain, no!
    Takeda: Why?
    DK: We want that map.
    Hayden: Yeah, I'll save the map first. I can skin her back, and then you can have the rest.
    Takeda: I.. I... alright.
    GM: It takes about an hour to do it carefully and preserve as much of the map as possible.

    Takeda: When that's all done, I demand that Canis make a skeleton out of Inkskin's body.
    GM: It will just be a normal human skeleton, you realize? She won't be a sorceress or anything.
    Takeda: Oh I know. It's the principle of the thing really.
    Canis: Sure, I do it.
    GM: You end up with one human skeleton. With very nice hips I guess.
    Takeda: I'm writing that down. "good hips". It's in the notes now. Official.

    Of course, some magic items were found among her things. Detect Magic is used to sort them out, and we keep those. We issue the arms and armor from the dead pirates to the remaining tower guards, and the captured slaves, and so forth. Pretty much everyone has at least leather armor now, which is better than nothing at all I guess.

    Mmm, Watcha Say is played in Lydia's honor, and everyone is as quiet as possible during the whole thing. Really though that song just feels so long. Like damn.

    Takeda: I graft some cybernetics into the captain's wrists. Where those scales of hers are, probably.
    GM: Okay? Most of those grafts are way expensive, and way weird, like the abberation stuff? Tentacles and things?
    Takeda: No, no, nothing that complex, it'll just be magic items stuff.
    GM: Alright, well it'll just be normal magic items I guess. Why not just make the items?
    Takeda: Because this is way cooler this way. Anyway after I do that we put her body on ice I guess. We'll revive her later.

    Astral: *walking into the room from upstairs* Hey guys, what's up?
    Lydia: I died because this adventure is bullshit. It was a fucking 9th level caster.
    Astral: Sounds cool. Too bad you already killed me for my familiar attacking you.
    Takeda: Lydia was killed by a familiar actually. The circle is complete.
    Astral: Oh, haha, awesome.
    GM: *turning to Takeda* So, captain, what are you going to do with your newfound power? Go on a murderous rampage? Or go bring Lydia back to life?
    Astral: Takeda's the captain now?
    DK: Yeah, he is the captain now.
    Astral: Are you gonna do it?
    Takeda: "Look at me, look at me, I am the captain now."
    Astral: No, are you going to bring Lydia back?
    Takeda: Of course I'm going to bring Lydia back.
    Astral: That's bullshit, you didn't bring me back after you guys killed me.
    Takeda: You were against the captain! Only I am allowed to be against the captain!!
    Astral: You don't have any reason to bring Lydia back.
    Takeda: Hmm. True.
    GM: Maheem comes to you and humbly asks that you bring Lydia back to life.
    Takeda: Well, I am totally for whatever Maheem reasonably asks of me.
    Astral: What? You could just take over the island and not bring Lydia back.
    Lydia: No, that wouldn't work. Without Maheem being married to the Lady and also loyal to me, the alliance would fall apart. Takeda, this is perfect. Maheem, you, and me all form a perfect triangle of making sure that we'll always bring each other back to life.
    Astral: Ugh, so unless I do what you say, you'll kill me. But Lydia gets to be brought back.
    Takeda: It's not just "do what we say", you actually tried to kill the captain, and then died when you failed. I've threatened to kill Lydia several times already myself, but I was eventually persuaded not to each time. And look man, just because you threaten to kill someone, you don't have to kill someone forever.
    Lydia: Yeah, they don't have to be dead forever.
    Astral: Oh, that is a bullshit policy.
    GM: Naw, you kill them, then bring them back to life, and then ask if they've learned their lesson.

    We set sail back for that major port city we were at before. I'm not sure we ever got the name, so I'll just refer to it as Port City for now if I need to. Along the way, Takeda gathers all the magical goodies from Inkskin's body.

    Takeda: I'm taking that amulet too.
    Hayden: No, you don't know I have the amulet.
    Takeda: I know that you don't have any other magical auras, because I've been keeping careful tabs on all magical goods within the party. So when I use detect magic to look around at the magical items, I'd notice it in your pocket.
    GM: Fair.
    Hayden: We don't even know what it is.
    Takeda: We'll need to sell it to pay for the captain's resurrection, hand it over.
    Hayden: We don't even know what it does, how can we sell it?
    Takeda: I'll disassemble it into parts, and then I'll know how much the parts are worth.
    Hayden: What if we just sell this off last, only if we need to.
    Takeda: I suppose. What else is all this magical stuff?
    GM: Hmm, there's a scroll, a cutlass, that amulet of course, a headband, and an astrolabe.
    Takeda: What does any of it do?
    GM: Your feat lets you disassemble items and build new ones, but it's not a free Identify.
    Takeda: Oh come on, I've got some Spellcraft, and Detect Magic, and I can open up the item to see what it's built from, can't I see what this stuff does? Like just the general purpose of the magic even.
    GM: You think that the astrolabe helps with navigation, somehow. Being an astrolabe and all.
    Takeda: I've never heard that word before in my life.
    Lydia: Yeah I've heard lots of words, but never that one.
    Hayden: *checking google* it's a mechanical device used in navigation.
    Takeda: Is it like a sextant?
    Hayden: No it's like a clock thing with a big dial.
    GM: It's magic is worth 28,000 gold.
    Takeda: Well, when have pirates ever needed to navigate? I disassemble it entirely. Also all the other stuff too. Melt it all down into materium. I suspect that Raise Dead will be expensive.

    After checking in the books, it seems that it would have been about 6k for a Raise Dead (including the diamond). However, technically that would have had a level loss and other shitty stuff. Instead, we get charged 10k of our materium (since you sell for about half price) for a no-level-lost raise, but we're able to negotiate a 10% discount, so we're only out 9k of stuff to get the captain back to life.

    Lydia: Okay, gotta narrate it.
    Astral: Narrate it?
    Lydia: Yeah, like when Guy Lang was brought back from the dead, he got brought back by some norse god priestess, and she ate what was left of his hand and vomited out his new body in a spray of rainbow, and then he motioned a party member close and just whispered in their ear, "nailed it."
    GM: Hmm, then who do you go to for the resurrection?
    Takeda: The Lord of Swords, of course!
    GM: Ah, not many go to him for resurrections, they're a little spooky about it. They take Lydia's body and place it up on a bed of swords, all melted together and pointed every which way, like the Iron Throne, and then the high priest gets up on a platform, and pulls out his own sword. He plunges it deep into your chest as you're brought back to life, and the first thing you hear again is the wet and sticky sound of a blade being pulled out of your now-beating heart.
    Lydia: Stabbed the death right out of me. I'm impressed.
    Takeda: Try your new cybernetics.
    Lydia: What?
    Takeda: Your wrists. They make your shot deal half damage, but Entangling, 3/day.
    Lydia: I shoot a spiderweb out of my hands I guess. Cool.

    Many days are spent in port, with Lydia recovering from her experience, and Takeda rebuilding all the magical loot into a powerful array of new gear. After some careful tabulation, both the Warlock and Scout are given goggles that ignore Cover, the Fighter is assigned an Animated +1 Darkwood Heavy Shield, along with his amulet (Nat Armor +2) and a +1 given to his Chainshirt.

    Hayden: You realize that with all that, my AC went all the way up to 24?
    GM: Well, that is the idea after all.

    And of course, for the druid that seems to always fall over in combat, a Monk's Belt and Wilding Clasp to go with it. Perhaps some day Takeda will last into the second round of a big battle.

    While we're spending so much time in town, the Scout tries to pick pockets all day. At one point he gets caught by a noble lady, but instead of reporting him, she recognizes that he's pretty good most of the time. Being a noble, she gives him some info on her local rivals and when they'll have a big jewel display going on, and suggests that we should steal them. Since we're basically flat broke in both spare cash and spare materium after the latest wave of item upgrades, we decide that a heist is just what the party needs about now.

    Catch ya next time.
    Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun
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    Location: ID

    PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Our Cast Of Heroes:
  • Lydia - Rilkan Warlock
  • Takeda - Nezumi Druid (+Giant Crab)
  • DK - Hadozee Scout
  • Canis - Kobold Cleric
  • Hayden - Dwarven Fighter
  • Rawleigh - Fire Elf Wizard (new!)
  • Strom Thurmond - Star Elf Sorcerer (not present)
  • NPC Crew

    So, I was helping Rawleigh make his character, and I didn't catch the very start of things.

    Somehow the plan was to steal the jewel without the captain's knowledge, and then give it to the captain, and then the captain would present it to the person we stole it from as a gift so as to get her favor, and then that would open up trade negotiations. The captain had to have no knowledge of the theft because that would involve a Bluff check, and that would involve rolling the dice, and we're really bad at that. If she didn't have any knowledge of where the jewel came from, she wouldn't have to Bluff, so no roll.

    DK sneaks into the compound alone and checks out the place, and then comes back with the layout so that we can discuss the plan. It seems that the jewel is in an underground vault according to the initial info. Within the wealthy district is the compound we're after. There's a menagerie area, and then a garden, and then the manor-house itself, and then in the basement of that manor-house is the jewel.

    We're discussing all of this in a local tavern of course. Where else would you go to discuss illegal activity? Some place private? Perish the thought. Of course, other than the one-handed dwarf, we're a pretty strange group. A flaming ratling, a gorilla-glider thing, a kobold riding inside a sahuagin skeleton like it's some sort of powered armor suit. So we can't go to a normal tavern, we have to go to "Wzzrd", which you spell like that but you pronounce like "Weird Tavern". A tavern so weird that even the name is weird.

    While we're talking, a fire elf approaches the group and asks what we're up to. He asks if we're that up and coming crew that hates pirates, and we confirm. Then the elf explains that he was on a ship that was attacked by pirates, and most of the crew was killed, and he escaped but the rest were captured. Could we save his ship?

    The captain asks the first important question: If we save your ship from pirates will it join our fleet?

    Perhaps. The Elf wasn't in charge, so can't make any promises. We take this as a "yes".

    The first officer asks the second important question: What species was the ship's crew?

    The Elf says that the crew was mostly human, but also that most of the humans were killed during the attack, so now the remaining crew to be saved is mostly non-human. This is acceptable.

    Then Lydia and Takeda start to argue with each other about what sort of made up ranks they each have, if they'd follow a standard Naval ranking system, or make up a new system. Takeda had been tracking ranks by just giving out numbers, 1 to 5, with Lydia as 5, him as 4, and everyone else as 3 through 1. It's decided that Lydia will be Grand Admiral and Takeda will be Vice Admiral. Rosie and Sandra are set as the captains of the two ships, and then the captain is in charge when an admiral isn't on board and such, sorta like you'd expect from Star Trek. Because honestly we've seen more Star Trek than we've seen actual navy stuff.

    Then things went from the totally inane to the largely pointless process of trying to plan a "heist", like you would in Shadowrun. Pointless because not only do we basically lack any sort of special abilities that would let us heist anything, but you just know that as soon as any fighting starts it'll turn into some huge fight and stealth will go totally out the window. Anyway, the Scout and the Fire Elf Wizard can do sneaky stuff (the Wizard put nearly all his skill points into "Rogue" style skills like hide and escape artist and stuff). The Cleric, Druid, and Fighter can't participate in this mission basically, so we wait outside. Ideas are floated about using summons to burrow, or making the druid burrow, or using Invisibility (nerfed to nearly useless in 3.5 it seems). In the end, since both the Scout and Wizard have maxed out Hide/Move Silently, they just decide to use basic skill checks. They go in at night, the Scout climbs up the wall and lowers a rope, the Wizard climbs up, and they start to sneak in. Through the menagerie area, over the second wall into the manor garden area.

    As they get to the base of the wall on the garden side, a Knowledge (Nature) check is called for. Never a good thing. The scout notices, but the wizard does not, when the vines on the wall reach up and attacks.

    With his action in the surprise round, the scout moves 30ft away from the wall. With its action in the surprise round, the vine uses its Animate Plants ability as a free action to cause an Entangle style effect within 30ft, which grabs the Wizard, and then the vine performs a slam attack for 10 damage. Oh, how many hit points does the wizard have? Better roll for that now I guess: 4, 1, 1, 1, 3. That's an unfortunate number of 1s. We re-roll all hit dice upon level up, so it's not a long term loss, but in this specific moment it's still slightly sad.

    The DK shoots the vine for a little damage with an arrow, and Rawleigh is able to Escape Artist and move 15ft. The vine has 20ft reach though, so it reaches out and slams Rawleigh again, for 13, and it starts a grapple too.

    DK moves in and chops at the vine with his handaxe, dealing an alright amount of damage, and it's ruled that the rawleigh is cut free in the process. On Rawleigh's turn though he's within the Entangle space, and fails his DC 13 save. Interestingly because of his Escape Artist of +9 and his Reflex Save of +2, he needs to roll an 11 to save or to get free. The vine is upset at being chopped apart, and it goes after DK, missing.

    DK saves against the Entangle, and then assists Rawleigh to get free. No roll even required, just a flat +2 given to Rawleigh's check. Rawleigh makes his roll, and rolls a 2. Bad news. However, the d20 landed kinda funny on an uneven piece of paper, and everyone calls for a reroll. Rawleigh picks up the d20, says "Watch as I roll a 1", and then proceeds to roll a Natural 1. The vine misses the scout again, but the situation is rather tense due to all this bad luck. A wisdom check is called for, and he gets a 3+2. Panic begins to set in, and he cries out as he struggles to get free. Loud enough for the guards to have heard.

    DK bravely flees the scene to hide around the corner in a bush, but Rawleigh is pretty well anchored in place and helpless. One of the guards is some sort of Plant Cleric, and uses Rebuke Plants to force the Assassin Vine back into place. They take Rawleigh into custody. He's walked around to the front gatehouse while DK stays well hidden in a bush. The guards inspect his stuff and quickly determine he's some sort of caster. Spell Component Pouch? Mithril Buckler? Clearly a caster. They also take off his Headband just to be sure (so common for casters to have magic headbands), but don't notice the Ring of Protection at least.

    For extra safety, they get some anti-magic manacles and put them on him.

    GM: You're pretty well bound with these manacles.
    Rawleigh: Manticores?
    Takeda: Yes, you're wearing a manticore on each wrist.

    DK waits a bit, and then gets out of the compound as soon as he can. He's seen in the process, but they can't catch up with his speedy climbing skills as he gets over the wall and away. He makes his way back to the others waiting outside and explains about the arrest.

    Canis: Well, I don't know why we care too much. I mean we just met the guy today.
    Takeda: We have to save his ship from pirates. We were vaguely promised that we could keep the ship if we do. Or we could probably take it over by force even. We need him to help us find his ship.
    Canis: Ah, fair point. Okay, we'll save him.

    Back inside, a Cleric throws out a Zone of Truth, and then they begin an interrogation.

    Guard: What's your name?
    Rawleigh: Katniss Everdeen
    Guard: Why are you here?
    Rawleigh: Uh, I wanted to see the animals.
    Guard: You could have come in during the day, like a normal person.
    Rawleigh: I hate crowds.
    Guard: What about your friend we saw?
    Takeda: Tell them you have no friends because you're an Elf.
    Rawleigh: Sure, yeah, I don't have any friends here.
    Guard: The plant got all chopped up.
    Rawleigh: Uh, is there a spell I could say did it?
    Takeda: Crystal... Shard? Just say Crystal Shard, they won't know.
    GM: There's a wizard there too, you can tell because he also has a mithril buckler. Sign of a caster.
    Rawleigh: It was a Crystal Shard. *bluff*
    Caster Guard: Sure, yeah, could have been, I can't keep track of every damn spell people come up with.
    Guard: But we saw him escaping after we arrested you!
    Rawleigh: That was a Silent Image. *failed bluff*
    Guard: Oh, the old, "my accomplice is just a Silent Image" routine. Likely story. Cleric, this Truth spell clearly isn't working.
    GM: And the cleric is basically like, "meh"
    Guard: What's your accomplices' name?
    Rawleigh: Peta
    Guard: You're with PETA? Those animal people?
    Rawleigh: Yeah, sure.
    Guard: Off to jail with him! What an asshole!

    So everyone waiting outside sees him being taken off to jail. There's Rawleigh plus 10 guards. DK has a complicated plan to run ahead of the group and start breaking windows and stuff so that some of the guards will move off to pursue him, and then he'll double back and we can attack a smaller group. Takeda has a smaller plan where they just attack and kill all the guards rather recklessly. He figures that the guards probably aren't so much "town guard" are they are more "corporate soldier", and they probably won't be drawn away from the job just by random broken windows.

    The plan seems simple. Wait for them to be far enough away from the manor so that the sounds of fighting won't be heard at the manor, and then attack while they're on the street, before they get to the jailhouse. We'll even be able to take the anti-magic manacles.

    Then the GM calls for an evens/odds test. Takeda declares an odds result to be good for the party, and it lands on evens. Suddenly, the patrol changes directions, and the party's hiding spot it foiled. Quickly, everyone tries to use side streets to get back into an ambush spot. Then the GM rolls 2d6 to see how many minutes it'd take for the guards to get to the jail, and rolls a 4. While trying to catch up and get in position again, the patrol is already within sight of the jail, and there's no chance for ambush. Rawleigh is taken in.

    This is the part where, after 2 hours of essentially nothing happening over and over, I just stood up and walked to the nearby store. Took about 10 minutes.

    When I'd gotten back, they explained that Rawleigh spent a few nights in jail, and he had to forfeit his Headband of Intellect +2, but he was allowed to keep his other magic items.

    Takeda: Okay everyone, new plan. We're going to make our ship fly, and then we're going to make it pick up a very heavy object, and fly super high, and then drop it on the city.
    GM: I don't think they were being very unreasonable. He was trespassing, and he got most of his stuff back.
    Takeda: Oh, the city wasn't being unreasonable, I just want to destroy them from orbit is all.

    So we sail back to Tidewater Rock, and fast forward through all the rest of the enchanting time that would be taken up, but that ended the night.

    Next time we intend to set out against either the pirates of the crimson sails (back from when we talked to the sicilian in town) or to find Rawleigh's ship and rescue it from some other group of pirates.
    Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun
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    PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    On Takeda's turn, he shapeshifts into "something that burrows I guess", and tries to burrow down into the ground. This provokes like 6 attacks of course, and they stab him some more and he's out for the fight.

    Er, why?

    Lokathor wrote:
    Astral: Sounds cool. Too bad you already killed me for my familiar attacking you.

    Well shit. When did this happen?
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    PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Er, why?

    Takeda was Prone, and so couldn't just Withdraw normally.

    Major options in that situation boil down to
  • Stand up, walk back. This provokes an AoO when you stand.
  • Wild Shape, burrow down. This provokes an AoO when you move.
  • Wild Shape, fly away. This provokes an AoO when you move.

    When did this happen?

    Oddly, it schrodinger-style didn't actually happen until exactly then. The player had been busy for a week or two, so we were like "hey you can come back at any time and play with that character and try to argue with the crew why we shouldn't kill you, or we can just say that we killed you off-screen and you can join with a new character; you can play either way". The latter option was chosen, which is where Rawleigh is from.
    Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun
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    PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Our Cast Of Heroes:
  • Lydia - Rilkan Warlock
  • Takeda - Nezumi Druid (+Giant Crab)
  • DK - Hadozee Scout
  • Canis - Kobold Cleric
  • Hayden - Dwarven Fighter
  • Rawleigh - Fire Elf Wizard
  • NPC Crew

    Alright. Well I haven't posted in a fair while, but let's see what was missed. I'm missing my notes for this first part so it's just from recollection.

    We go from Tidewater Rock, and set south to attack the Crimson Sails like the Sicilians had suggested.

    On the way, we meet up with a new PC out wandering the ocean. Rebecca, the grey elf wizard, with the soulmeld to walk on water, Traveler's Cloak for food/water, and Sudden Extend Rope Trick for sleeping at night; she can literally wander across the ocean on foot. She's a wandering shipwright, and our ship hasn't been repaired since we got it despite all the battles, so we take her on board and have her join in the crew.

    Assessing the damage to our ship, it turns out we didn't read the rules quite right. Normal things die at 0hp, and so we all assumed that ships sink at 0hp as well.

    Takeda: So how much damage to we have?
    GM: You've got about 30% hp left.
    Takeda: Alive at least.
    Lydia: Let's stop and repair before we go after the crimson sails.
    Canis: Actually, we're already sinking.
    GM: What?
    Canis: Yeah a ship is intact but sinking when below half life, and then 0hp is for when the whole thing is going to totally collapse next round.
    GM: Oh, well, that's stupid. Whatever. We'll fix the numbers later. Right now you're at half hp +1 I guess. You're about to sink.
    Lydia: Okay, yeah, we'll definitely stop and repair. We've got lumber on board right?
    GM: Not enough for this level of damage.
    Takeda: We'll stop and cut down trees from the shore. We've got enough crew to perform some basic woodcutting operations.
    GM: Fair enough, you set down in a quiet spot for a few days. There's lots of hatchets and stuff, so your crew is able to collect enough wood to repair the ship up to full health.
    Takeda: While they're doing that, can I make a Spellcraft check or something to check for rare ingredients in the woods? Magical herbs or something?
    GM: Uh... sure.
    Takeda: 23.
    GM: You find some berries.
    Takeda: Do I know what they do?
    GM: Nope, you just know that they're kinda weird, and definitely magical. They're blue, and when the wind blows by you hear a ghostly giggling sound come out of them.
    Takeda: I shal make the dwarf eat them first.
    Hayden: What?
    GM: Hayden, the rat-man comes to you and offers you some berries that he claims are magical.
    Hayden: I'll eat them! Do they make me stronger?
    GM: No, but you turn blue. Entirely blue. All of your skin, all of your hair, it's all blue now.
    Hayden: It was worth a try.
    Takeda: I don't eat the berries.
    Lydia: I eat the berries.
    GM: You also turn entirely blue.
    Takeda: Hmm, I collect as many of the berries as I can, and mash them into a paste, and dye our ship's sail totally blue.
    GM: Sure, it works, your sails are all totally blue now.
    Takeda: I'll keep some of the seeds for growing more of these things later.
    GM: You all realize that this blue effect won't ever wear off, right?
    Lydia: I hope not
    Hayden: Yeah, I don't mind
    Takeda: Blue Sails are perfect for fighting the Crimson Sails.

    So with that sorted, we proceed south. After a few more days we come upon three Crimson Sails ships attacking a town. The main ships are out in the water, with the little landing boats already attacking the town. Immediately the three ships are declared to be (in order from closest to shore outwards) the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. We head right in, full speed for the Santa Maria. We get there, fight it out with the pirates on board. The top crew are on shore though, so things aren't too tough. After a few rounds things are subdued. The Pinta moves to meet us, and we fight them as well. The Nina, however, moves for the shore, signaling the command crews on shore that there's an attack back at the boats and such. Most of the crew on the Pinta and Santa Maria are all slaves that didn't fight back, so we quickly spread some of our crew onto those two new boats and flee the scene with two new captured ships.

    This is where my notes pick back up some.

    Once we're to safety, we free the slave crew, and offer them a chance to join the fleet. About half of them want to be dropped off back in civilization, but the others agree to stay, now that they're getting paid and fed properly. The crew situation overall is looking pretty light though, so we wonder aloud where we'll get more people from. The Hobgoblins speak up and say that things are going good so far, and they'd be able to get a lot of goblins from their village to work for us if we wanted to go there. Since we just need lots of people for crewing the ships, and they don't have to be strong fighters or anything, then a big pile of free goblins sounds good enough to us, and we go and pick up a bunch of goblins, along with a few more actual hobgoblins as well.

    Our Fleet now looks like this:

    Ship NameCategoryCrewCrew Count
    PintaLight AttackMain Crew12
    Santa MariaLight AttackSecondary Crew12
    Stone TortoiseCargo BargeGoblinoid Crew36
    Quark's PromiseSmall MerchantTraining Crew24

    We put the most inexperienced of our armada, along with Maheem and Ambrose, onto the Quark's Promise, and keep it at Tidewater Rock so that they can train up at sailing and fighting and such. Meanwhile, the Pinta, Santa Maria, and Stone Tortoise all set out again.

    We visit the big city, sell off our excess lumber as plunder, and decide to look into that map we skinned off the pirate that attacked us in the middle of the night. We ask the Sicilians for some advice, and they say it points to Mancatcher Cove. The advice is that we should stay wary of Crimson Sails even out that way as well, and they send three demon-looking people with us for backup.

    By deciding to follow along the plot, we get to 6th level, because the adventure says that the party should be 6th level as they approach Mancatcher Cove.

    The map indicates something about a sun goddess, and something about a sea monster, and something about a cave.

    We approach an archipelago, and we can spot a single cove of any significant size. Approaching that, we can see some caves that are mostly hidden among the dense jungle trees. We check a few out, and find some spare coinage and a magic amulet, but nothing too significant. Nothing worth making a whole map tattoo for. Some of the caves have portions that lead underwater, but we're sure as hell not going into that.

    We wait for low tide to see if it'll pull back enough water to give us a clear tunnel. As the sun rises the next morning though, it glitters off of some stuff buried into the island's cliff face. A green skull pattern, with a golden tooth. We climb up to check out the golden tooth, and it's a large hunk of fool's gold. Worth keeping anyway.

    Climbing up higher into the skull pattern, now that we've noticed it, we check out one of the eye sockets. The first one we check has a trap, and a spiked swinging log hits the Druid, Wizard, and Warlock for a big pile of damage. A few Lesser Vigor spells are thrown down, and we discover that there's nothing at all in the cave, it just stops after a small turn about 20ft back.

    Checking the other eye socket, this cave goes in deeper, and opens up into a space where a bunch of tree roots have formed into a shape kinda like a big bearded face in the cave wall. With a Profession (Sailor) check we're told to check for buried treasure by the GM, so we dig down. Instead of being treasure, it opens up into a vertical shaft that drops down into another part of the water filled caves under the island.

    Do we go down into the water filled caves? Nope. Fuck that. We're not going underwater when we learned about the island in the first place from someone who talked to sahuagin. The whole place is probably full of Sahuagin just waiting to pounce on us as soon as we start suffering all those horrible and nasty underwater fighting penalties.

    Instead, we decide to give up on the whole stupid adventure.

    Sailing back to the big city, we drop off the demon-guys back with the Sicilians, and while we're at it we give them the treasure map for them to use if they want.

    We ask around about the ship that the fire elf had been on, and where it might have gotten off to. It's called the Steaming Shit Pile, because it started out as a "real" ship, and then people kept strapping more things onto the outside of it, until it became a monstrosity of steamwork and sails and hull. All kinda... just bolted together. Since "steaming shit pile" is a pretty bullshit and unthematic name that the Fire Elf Wizard gave it, and since he insisted that we weren't allowed to just rename the ship to something more fitting, we decide to at least all call it the SSP.

    The Sicilians don't know, nor does anyone else in town. We head off to Rickety Squibbs. He of course can't give us any info on his customers, professional honor and all that, but he can give us info on the two other squibbers in the business. There's two people he brings up: one is a guy far, far to the south, and the other is an ogre that lives on one of the shifting islands of the shackles. Additionally, Rickety tells us that the former quartermaster of the SSP is supposed to be at a small pirate stop much closer than either of the other squibbers, so we head there first to find out more.

    When we get to the pirate stop, we talk to the quartermaster and get him to join our crew and lead us to where he thinks the SSP is, in exchange for 1% of the whole world, once we take it all over. We also convince two of the dwarves in the bar to join us so that they can get a chance to work with the rare crude oil we've found on Tidewater Rock.

    When we get to our destination, we begin to search around the island. As we make a turn several Crimson Sails come into view.

    There's 6 of them, one of which is the SSP (basically a giant barge), and five other light attack vessels.

    We've got two light attack vessels and a cargo barge. No choice but to charge in at full speed. We have the Stone Tortoise hang back and take a dive into the swarm of crimson sails ships with the Pinta and Santa Maria.

    It's decided that all the PCs are on the Pinta, so we just "zoom in" the action focus on just that ship, and decide to handle other stuff later. We crash our ship into the enemy and everyone begins to fight. The enemy captain manages to roll minimum damage two rounds in a row on 3d6 dice, which is hilarious. Not everything is perfect though, our healer NPC, Sandra, is taken to -7 (out of -15 allowed), and we're only on the first ship. Notably, another enemy from the first ship crits for only 2 damage on 2d6. The first ship isn't too difficult, all things considered. Lydia was hit with a Blindness spell though, which is shitty. Canis dispatches one of the skeletons to her to be a "seeing eye skeleton"; the skeleton points her in the right general direction and she just keeps shooting eldritch blasts anyway. 50% miss chance from being blinded and all, but it's the best we can do on short notice. Takeda throws a Lesser Vigor onto Sandra, and then she and some of the non-essentials from the Pinta are moved onto the now empty enemy ship (which we quickly name the Ironwall). They begin to move it back out of the battle zone back to the Stone Tortoise.

    The next trouble isn't the next ship, unfortunately. Listen checks are called for, and a large thudding sound can be heard under the water line. Takeda runs below deck and looks around. Nothing is inside the ship... it's outside the ship. Without a second thought, Takeda runs back on deck and leaps into the water. Kingler immediately follows as well. It takes the rest of the crew a moment to even realize what's going on. They run to the side of the ship and look into the water. Three large sharks (with the stats of Huge sharks) have sahuagin on top, and they're bashing the Pinta trying to break a hole. Takeda (shapeshifted into a floating katana with the stats of a Fleshraker) and Kingler (also with the stats of Fleshraker) are doing quite well against the sharks, and it's all under water, so the rest of the crew basically sits back on that part of things.

    The sharks finally go down just as the 2nd ship gets close. Takeda is at only 25% hp or so, but Kingler is totally unharmed. The 2nd ship contacts the Pinta, and then a squad of teleporting enemies bamph across onto our boat, into flanking positions, and land a few strong sneak attacks. The enemy captain drops a web on the whole mess as well, which our crew obviously can't get around in, but the teleporting guys will be able to pretty much ignore.

    Things look pretty bad for a moment. As the round rolls around however, Canis drops two owlbear skeletons around the enemy caster captain. Takeda thinks to question where the anchor points of the web are, and manages to get himself and Groh "freed" from the web by having them retroactively not get caught in the web in the first place since they're standing up on the ship rail, rather than on the deck between all the stuff. This is good. But things can never be too good of course. That's the moment when one of the teleporting rogue things jumps over to Lydia and stabs her into instant death. 18 damage on 3d6, was at 2hp. Even with a slightly extended death's door, she's once again instantly dead. Can't even fall dramatically off the top of a tower this time.

    We manage to fight back all the teleporting rogues, but as we regroup this time, we realize that the Santa Maria is sinking nearby. Taking stock of the situation, we see that there's a Crimson ship headed out to attack the Stone Tortoise, our ship, and then the SSP in front of us. A little lifeboat thing from the Santa Maria brings us a few survivors, and considering that it started out 2 to 1 we're actually doing okay, but with the captain dead we're honestly hoping at this point that whatever is on the SSP will just be too much and TPK us. It'd be pretty grand.

    This is where we cut it as a cliff-hanger between weeks.

    Captain Dead, severely weakened "fleet", but we have to either win at any cost or get TPK'd. We charge the Pinta straight at the SSP. There's some chaff crew that fight back, and the enemy captain is an oversized monster person (stats of a Hill Giant) with the backing of a Cleric that manages to temporarily Turn Undead our cleric's minions. It took a while to whittle the hill giant down simply because they've got over 100hp, but most of its damage went on to summons, so the actual party didn't end up in too much danger.

    The attack boat going after the Stone Tortoise didn't end up having much chance. It had about a third of the crew that the stone tortoise did, so we diverted back there to assist and mopped up without even rolling, just a "yeah they can't fight back, do you capture any or just stab them all?" kind of deal. Takeda was back in command of the fleet again, so they all got stabbed of course.

    It was determined that we might as well go up to 7th level for this, so we did that. We had complete command of the area, and almost more ships than we could deal with. Some of them were pretty damaged, including the fact that the Santa Maria was totally sunk. However, as with the other previous Crimson Sails ships, there were a large number of slaves per ship that were mostly willing to work for whoever wasn't going to stab them to death. Since we'd gone up a level, Rebecca picked Raise From The Deep as one of her new 4th level spells, which let us lift the Santa Maria up out of the reef without any further damage, and then we dragged it on to the beach for repairs. With a few trees cut from the island, and 6 Make Whole spells per day coming out of the party Cleric, we were able to patch it up into being seaworthy in just a few days.

    A truly prodigious amount of treasure was amassed, but since we were able to sail away with every ship in the area, we just loaded it all up indiscriminately and headed back to Tidewater Rock.

    Takeda: Hey Lydia, roll percentile.
    Lydia: What, is there like only a chance you'll go get me brought back?
    Takeda: No I'm going to bring you back myself, with Reincarnate.
    Lydia: I don't want to be some new random race! I'll lose Dex points.
    Takeda: Oh, come on, it'll be cool!
    Lydia: No way, just bring me back normally like before.
    Takeda: Alright, fine. We sail the fleet back to Tidewater Rock, and then we'll leave most of the stuff there and take just 1 boat over to the big city.
    GM: As you approach Tidewater and enter the cove, you don't see the Quark's Promise anywhere.
    Lydia: They're probably out sailing.
    GM: And you don't see any of the normal people up on the tower.
    Takeda: Oh, dear.
    GM: And those Sahuagin skeletons that you'd left chained up on the beach, they're all gone.
    Canis: Who's messing with my skeletons!?
    Lydia: I knew the island would eventually be attacked while we were gone.
    GM: There's a noise and you turn to look behind you. Suddenly some sort of spell unravels upon the waters, and several ships are all revealed within the mouth of the cove. You're trapped. Soldiers pop up on top of the tower at the same time. All the ships have got Crimson sails! You're totally surrounded.
    Takeda: Nice. Very nice. Cut to black right there.
    GM: What?
    Takeda: This is where the film cuts to black and ends, and it's just understood that the heroes all died.
    Lydia: Well, you'd hear the sounds of the battle as it cut to black, like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
    Takeda: Right, right. Sounds of battle as it cuts to black. Catapult and Ballista fire and such. Good ending. Well done.
    GM: Uh, well we'll play out at least a little of this though I think.
    Takeda: *sighing* Very well. It can't get better than a fade to black right then though. Okay, Rawleigh, you said that you took Plane Shift as one of your new spells, right?
    Rawleigh: Yeah, when we got to 7th level.

    At this point, many readers might think, "Plane Shift is a 7th level Arcane spell so Wizards don't get it until 13th level", and so it is. However, Rawleigh was still new to the whole Spell Level / Character Level difference, and I wasn't thinking super closely.

    Takeda: I grab my crab's claw in one hand, put my other hand on Rawleigh's shoulder, and shout out to everyone, "Execute Plan Omega!"
    Rawleigh: What?
    Takeda: Plane Shift us out of here, duh.
    Lydia: Yeah, we'd have code words set up. Omega is the final plan: Run away. Oh, be sure to like, cut off my hand and bring it with you when you plane shift so that you can bring me back.

    This is where the timeline gets a little fuzzy, because of some retconning that went forward and back, but I'll try to present events as they "finally" happened after all the retconning was said and done.

    GM: What's everyone else doing?
    Lydia: *speaking for the alive PCs that didn't have their players present* Rebecca probably wouldn't have Plane Shift memorized, but she'd probably have copied it into her spellbook. She can throw up a Rope Trick and get 7 other people inside that, giving her enough time to prepare a Plane Shift of her own and escape from the Rope Trick realm. She'll bring uh... Strom, Hayden, Rodney, Swordeye, Vodka, Griffer Tibbs, and Griffer Nubbs. Everyone else... gets left behind I guess?
    Takeda: If you can't pull the rope up into the Rope Trick the pirates will all get in.
    Lydia: But if it only fits 8 people, and there's 8 of us inside while we wait and prepare the Plane Shift, how will they get in?
    Takeda: ...hmm. I think if you don't pull in the rope they can shoot arrows into the opening or something.
    GM: I'm willing to let it slide instead of making you abandon Griffer Nubbs, because he's kinda hilarious.
    Canis: I can ride my manticore away at top speed. I'll take Groh with me. I guess I lose all of my other skeletons though.
    Takeda: You can ride inside your sahuagin skeleton, while it rides the manticore.
    Lydia: Literally Gurren Laganning it.
    Canis: Yes, perfect.

    Rawleigh: I don't cast Plane Shift, but I make it look like I'm about to cast Plane Shift.
    Takeda: Well, I've got spellcraft skills, so I'd know if you're faking it and stuff. Roll a Bluff. I'm giving myself a +10 for "puts the target at significant risk" though.
    Rawleigh: Hey no fair.
    GM: I'm going to rule that you've been with him for some time, and you trust him enough that you don't get a bonus on your Sense Motive.
    Rawleigh: *rolls*
    Takeda: *doesn't roll enough*
    GM: Alright, you've been tricked by the fire elf as he dawdles around pretending to get spell stuff ready. The pirates get up to your ship. At the front of the boarding crew you can see your most hated enemy, Barnabas!
    Rawleigh: As he gets onto the deck of the SSP, I pull out Lydia's hand, shout, "Barnabas!" and then throw it to him.
    GM: Barnabas looks pleased.
    Takeda: ...
    Lydia: Do you... are you only happy when you're messing with other people?
    Rawleigh: No, this was planned out the whole time, as part of my backstory.
    Canis: You don't turn against your own party man, you just don't do it.
    Lydia: Good thing Rebecca would have been holding my other hand.
    Rawleigh: You guys said that you wanted to stop doing the ship thing, so I thought that this would be a way to end the ship thing.
    Takeda: No, if we'd died charging in recklessly to try and get the SSP, or if we'd cut to black just now and never known the extra details about this betrayal, I'd have been fine with either of those; happy even. But now that it's all ended like this, we can't ever let it go. Now we have to come back and get Barnabas twice as hard as we ever had to get him before.
    Rawleigh: Oh. Damn.

    Takeda: Alright, well Rawleigh can try to stall all he wants, but if he hasn't cast Plane Shift by now with enemy pirates on the deck, I'm just going to jump off the ship into the water in the other direction from the boarding party. I'll go deeper than the ballistas can shoot and just swim away.
    GM: They'll get your crab before it can escape though.
    Takeda: Eh, I can summon another.
    GM: Alright, they can't do much to you then as you leave underwater. Canis, they can shoot a lot at you as you're flying away.
    Takeda: You should also swim.
    Canis: How long can you hold your breath?
    Takeda: Like 2 rounds per point of Con Score, but then rounds of fighting count as 2 each so it cancels out normally. But in this case, you just have to hold on as hard as you can while the undead do all the work. Just until you're out of ballista range really.
    Canis: Okay, I do that.
    Lydia: We'll all meet up back in the big city. That would be an understood part of Plan Omega, that we'd all go to the Sicilians and meet there.
    Takeda: Unless, of course, it was the Sicilians we were having to flee from, in which case we'd meet at Tidewater Rock, and that would be Plan Omega-Black.
    Lydia: Right, of course.
    Takeda: Actually though, as soon as I'm out, I'm gone. I'm not going to the big city. I've had it with this whole stupid thing.
    GM: Fair enough.

    Lydia: *still acting for the group of player-less PCs and NPCs* So Rebecca and the rest all Plane Shift some place. I don't know much about the planes. Do we just go to the Ethereal Plane or something?
    GM: Astral might be safer than Ethereal. Ethereal is full of ghosts and stuff.
    Lydia: Okay, well, we go there.
    GM: You all arrive in an infinite expanse of stars, with weird little color pools floating in places.
    Lydia: Fuck.
    GM: Anyone in your group have Knowledge (Planes)?
    Lydia: Nope.
    GM: Then I guess that's all you know.
    Lydia: We uh, wander around a while?
    GM: After a while you meet some Githyanki, and they approach.
    Lydia: Hi.
    Githyanki: Ah, what's going on here?
    Lydia: We're lost. Trying to get back to the Material Plane. Who are you?
    Githyanki: Hmm, We are the Githyanki, it's good that you found us, and not our evil pirate brethren the Githzerai.
    Takeda: No, the Githyanki are the astral pirates, the the Githzerai don't even live on the Astral Plane, they live in Limbo among their weird chaos fortresses.
    GM: Yeah, sure, but none of these people will know the difference anyway.
    Takeda: Yeah, but they both *KNOW* that flesh is not stronger than steel.
    Lydia: ...Sure?
    Takeda: Know with all caps and asterisks too. Mystical knowing.
    Lydia: Okay so I ask the Githyanki if they can get us home.
    GM: Do you have anything to offer?
    Lydia: Uhm, I'll offer them Strom. He can give them handjobs. And he's already from the stars and stuff.
    GM: Hmm, alright. They lead you to a color portal and tell you it will take you back to the big city you describe to them, and they keep Strom.
    Lydia: I've left behind Eric, and now Strom. How many more PCs of players that rarely show up will I lose today?
    GM: Jager probably got killed on the island I guess.
    Takeda: What about Maheem? He was out on the Quark's Promise, did it get away? Was it captured among the fleet that attacked us?
    GM: He's unknown. The Quark's Promise was captured though, you saw.
    Takeda: Damn.
    Lydia: Sandra or Rosie?
    GM: You saw Rosie get killed in the fighting, but Sandra might have made it out, you don't know.
    Lydia: Damn it all.

    Lydia: Okay, we go back to the Sicilians.
    GM: It only took you about a day to go through the Astral Plane, but Canis isn't there yet, it'd take him much longer to fly to the city.
    Lydia: I guess Rebecca will go to the Sicilians and explain the situation.
    Sicilian Don: I know your leader, but I don't know you. From what you're telling me, things look pretty bad for you. Why are you coming to me with these problems?
    Lydia: Rebecca asks if the group can stay in the Sicilian territory while we build back up.
    Sicilian Don: You have no ships, no leaders, why should I do anything for you at all?
    Lydia: Rebecca will explain that, while Lydia is dead right now, she won't be forever, and last time she went from being a slave on a ship to owning three ships within a very short time. Now she'll be stronger than ever, and that'll be good to have on the Don's side, working against his enemies.
    GM: The Don considers this and agrees that your group can stay in one of his facilities while you regroup.

    Lydia: Okay, now they go get me brought back to life.
    GM: Where do you go, sword god temple again?
    Lydia: Might as well. Do I get a repeat discount?
    GM: 10 resurrections and the 11th is free!
    Lydia: Ugh.
    GM: So, how do you want to pay? They'll accept magic items at full value, you need 5,000.
    Lydia: What about those wrist things in my arms? They'd still be in my hand I guess?
    Takeda: Not enough.
    Lydia: How much are they?
    Takeda: Uh... 2,500?
    Lydia: I dunno, what else we got that we'd care to give up?
    Takeda: Oh, just give over those stupid Bracers of Lesser Archery. They're 5,000 exactly.
    Lydia: Alright, we do that.
    GM: They bring you back to life. It's just as painful to get stabbed like that the second time.

    GM: Canis, how are you going to even find the city anyway? You left all your maps on the ship.
    Takeda: Just fly east for as long as possible until you get to shore.
    Canis: I'll follow the sunrise, and use Create Food and Water as I go.
    GM: Alright, several days later you get to shore. You're almost frozen stiff with brine from all the continual ocean air.
    Canis: I brush what I can off of my skeleton and manticore and then make my way to the city, talking to villagers or whatever to get directions.
    GM: Not too hard, everyone knows where the biggest city around is.
    Rawleigh: Wouldn't that brine decalcify his skeleton?
    Takeda: Even if the brine was enough to do actual damage, they can be fixed with spells.
    GM: So you meet up with a resurrected Lydia, along with a few others from the crew. Takeda isn't there.
    Lydia: Now that we've got another powerhouse with us, I'll go to the Don again.
    Sicilian Don: What is is that the family can do for you this time?
    Lydia: We need to borrow a ship, just for a little while. We need you to let us have a ship and we'll go out and then capture a second ship, and bring your ship back to you, plus we'll pay you some. It's less "have" and more like just a loan.
    Canis: A small loan of a million dollars?
    Takeda: A small loan of one caravel.
    Lydia: I've been pretty good at capturing more ships in the past, and I'm stronger now than I've ever been, so it'll be a good investment.
    Sicilian Don: Alright, because we've worked well in the past, this I can do for you.
    GM: Also, while you're getting your new ship ready to go out, one of the pixies

    So there we are folks. From 3 ships, up to 9, down to none, and then to a single loaner ship.

    Blue Sails Fleet Recap:
    ``````Grand Admiral Lydia (Rilkan Warlock)
    ```Canis (Kobold Cleric)
    ```Groh (Hadozee Scout)
    ```Hayden (Dwarf Fighter)
    ```Rebecca (Grey Elf Wizard)
    ``Vodka (Human Rogue)
    ``Swordeye (Human Rogue)
    ``Rodney (Human Rogue)
    ``Frankie (Pixie lady)
    ``Griffer Tibbs (Human Fighter)
    `Griffer Nubbs (Human Fighter)

    Possibly escaped, but missing:

    Status Unknown, presumed captured or dead:

    Escaped for sure, but also gone for sure:

    And with that, an end to the "Skull and Shackles" element of the campaign. Now we move more into the "Kill that Barnabas Bastard" arc.
    Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun

    Last edited by Lokathor on Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:24 am; edited 3 times in total
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