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CrazyHedgehog's Serpent Skull

Game Master CrazyHedgehog

Taking part in the Serpent's Skull Adventure Path, PbP style.

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The Exchange

1st snake, next to Ishirou; attack 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16, damage 1d4 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0
2nd snake, next to Grym; attack 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15, damage 1d4 - 1 ⇒ (4) - 1 = 3
3rd snake, near Slicingsong; attack 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14, damage 1d4 - 1 ⇒ (3) - 1 = 2
Ishirou Fort save 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9; poison 1d2 ⇒ 1

Round 1

With speed and ferocity you attack the blue-black snakes that have gotten into your camp. Yekskay turns, and in one fluid motion, draws an arrow to his bow and fires it at the snake near to Slicingsong. It is an impressive shot (sorry no crit this time) , and the snake rears back, hissing. At the same time, Zaghigoth sends his crocodile ally after the snake coiling next to Grym. The crocodile lumbers up eagerly, and though the snake is longer than the croc it manages to bite the serpent. Zaghigoth tries to impale it with his decorated shortspear, but doesn't manage to hit the snake.

Each of the snakes reacts to the sudden movement. Ishirou, trying to scramble away from the snake next to him, is bitten on the leg - the marks don't look deep but you can see he is in pain. The snake being attacked by the crocodile attempts to bite back, but can't penetrate the crocodile's tough hide. The other snake coils menacingly, ready to strike at anyone who comes near.

Grym and Slicingsong try to get in strikes against the snakes nearby, but are unable to land a solid hit. Rowena however, drawing her rapier and moving over to help Grym, manages to get a well-timed strike, severing an artery. The snake collapses.

Two snakes left!

AC 19/15/14 HP 65/65 F+7 R+7 W+4 Init+5 Per+4

Round 2
"Ishirou! Are you all right? Everyone, let's finish them quickly so we can tend to his wounds!" Yekskya grabs another arrow, puts it to his bowstring and fires at the snake still threatening Ishirou. Or next closest if we already got that one. Also adding Point Blank Shot since I'm guessing I'm within 30 feet and forgot it first round.
Attack (Composite Longbow, Point Blank Shot, Deadly Aim) 1d20 + 5 + 1 - 1 ⇒ (14) + 5 + 1 - 1 = 19
Damage (Composite Longbow, Point Blank Shot, Deadly Aim) 1d8 + 2 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 + 1 + 2 = 11


AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 14. . (+4 armor, +4 Dex)
hp 13/13
Weapon Equipped Longbow, Comp. (Str +2) +5 (1d8+2/20/x3)

Zag sends Yekskya a grunt of agreement and urges his crocodile to attack the snake again and then change his position slightly, and then changes his own to flank the serpent as he thrusts with his spear.

Snake attacks and takes a five-foot step, and then Zag five-foot steps as well if necessary to get the flank off.

Crocodile Bite: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
Bite Damage: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
Zag Spear: 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 + 2 = 11
Spear Damage: 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7

The Exchange

Ishirou Fort save 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2, damage 1d2 ⇒ 2


Round 2

Hearing Ishirou yell out in pain, Yekskya changes tack, nocking another arrow and taking aim at the snake that just bit the man. The arrow goes clean through, and it's obvious it has seriously hurt the serpent. Zaghigoth also directs his animal companion to attack the snake. The crocodile bounds over, catching the snake in its powerful jaws and shaking vigourously. The crocodile then drops the snake, which lies limp and unmoving. Zaghigoth rushes up and stabs the snake with his spear, making sure it is dead.

Meanwhile, the snake that was threatening Slicingsong begins to move away, aware that its life is in danger if it remains.

One snake left, withdrawing defensively from the camp.

AC 19/15/14 HP 65/65 F+7 R+7 W+4 Init+5 Per+4

"Ishirou, it got you didn't it? Does anyone know how to tell if he was poisoned?" Yekskya scans the jungle to make sure the snakes have left.

Seeing the remaining snake try to get away and remembering someone calling that snakes make good eating, I quickly tumble to catch it between myself and Slicingsong. Acting too hastily, my landing is far from perfect. Recovering quickly, I strike at the snake, my rapier flashing as I look for an opening in the serpent's scales. "You're not going anywhere, except for the cooking pot."

Acrobatics: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10
Attack: 1d20 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 3 + 2 = 22
Damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5 / Sneak1d6 ⇒ 2

Current hp: 10/10
AC: 16

After the battle, Zag rushes over to Ishirou, grabbing his pack as he goes. "Still as a pond, my friend. I shall try to clean your wound and rid you of any poison".. Zag creates fresh water into his water skin and pours it down into Ishirou's wound (assuming he allows treatment), and tries to otherwise treat any possible poisoning.

Heal: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8

Crash and burn.

The Exchange

Rowena manages to get close to the remaining snake,and pins it to the ground with her rapier, finishing it off.

Ishirou grunts: "Got me in the leg. Hurts like the nine hells. Wish I could have gotten a piece of that snake. We're all going to die here, aren't we?"

AC 19/15/14 HP 65/65 F+7 R+7 W+4 Init+5 Per+4

"Not a chance Ishirou. You've got the good fortune to be marooned with a bunch of folks with excellent survival skills. We'll keep you alive until we can figure out a way off this island."
Diplomacy to help morale or aid someone better with words 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (18) - 2 = 16

Slicingsong leaves the others to tend to the wounded and gathers up the dead snakes, decapitating and skinning them for the fire. "These will make a fine breakfast and maybe even lunch. Perhaps we will find game while we walk, as well.

Have we decided in which direction to proceed? It sounded as though most wished to explore this northern tip of the island before proceeding south. Is that still your opinion after a night's rest?"

Did the rest of the survivors have an opinion (ie is there a narrative reason why the DM would like to push us in one direction or another?) I don't mind a little nudging here and there to further the story. Especially in PbP, efficiencies can help us move along a better clip.

AC 19/15/14 HP 65/65 F+7 R+7 W+4 Init+5 Per+4

"I would still slightly prefer the north, but I could be convinced that a more direct route south is beneficial."

"Whatever path you all choose, I say. I am eager to see any part of this place."

The Exchange

Ishirou still looks a bit mistrustful at Yekskya's words, but accepts Jask's ministrations as he attempts to draw the poison. "I don't think I'll be able to heal you properly until I've had a chance to meditate, but this should stop the poison from spreading," he says.

Jask heal check on Ishirou: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16

You're free to explore in any direction you wish, though I know what you mean about finding ways to speed up PbP play. You know that there are areas on the island that might improve your chances of getting away/getting rescued, but at the same time you might want to have some experience under your belt, and you never know, by exploring a bit you might uncover some clues that could help you later.

CG Male Half-Orc Ranger (Trapper) 3 | HP: 27/27 | AC: 17, FF: 15, T: 12 | F +5, R +5, W +3 | Init +2, Perc +8

"I would prefer we explore the peninsula. It won't take long and may give us more information on our surroundings."

AC 19/15/14 HP 65/65 F+7 R+7 W+4 Init+5 Per+4

"That sounds like a good plan. If we get started right away, it may not require a full day. Let's get going and then we can get back to camp and see how everyone is doing. I'm a little worried about the morale of some of our fellow castaways so perhaps we can find some good news for them."

"I'm with Grym and Yekskya. Let's go check the peninsula first. Hopefully that won't take too long and who knows what useful things or information we might find. As for the sheeple with us, it's up to them if they want to survive or not. I'm willing to reach out a helping hand if someone asks, but I'm not giving away handouts to those who are not willing to do anything about their lot in life. My parents taught me that one is responsible for ones own life. Not make it the responsibility of others. That's unfair. So, let's go talk to them. Explain the situation and inventory who has any useful skills and the inclination to help out."

Sheathing my rapier, after wiping the blade clean, I run a hand through my hair, a strange look on my face as I see the bug that comes out."Now, what do we have here? What're ya doing in my hair, little feller? That's no place for you. Go and enjoy your freedom."

Lifting my hands a bit higher, I flick the bug into the air, watching it fly away before turning my attention back to my companions: "You ready?"

Slicingsong pulls out his bow and nocks an arrow lightly and sets off. He's hoping to maybe flush out some game while they walk to ensure a steady food supply.

survival: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13

AC 19/15/14 HP 65/65 F+7 R+7 W+4 Init+5 Per+4

"Yeah, let's head out. We can talk to them when we come back to camp. I'm eager to explore." Yekskya heads out with the rest of the group. Like Slicingsong, he keeps his bow ready, looking for game to feed the camp.
Survival 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13

Camp Conversation:
A suggestion if we want to keep camp discussion going while also pressing forward with exploration. In a Kingmaker PbP I participate in, we use spoilers for Campfire Conversation to reflect discussions that are taking place at camp at night while we continue exploration and adventuring. The same thing might streamline things here since that way we can continue discussion with the other survivors, but also continue to move the exploration of the island forward.

The Exchange

Sure Yekskya, that sounds worth giving a try.

I'll update tomorrow, but for now: if you're exploring the peninsula, are you thinking to head into the jungle or are you keeping along the coast?

Zag follows the others out of camp, looking quizzically at the crocodile shuffling along next to him. "Hm...I will call you Shiv, I say. Fitting, what with the name of the island you call home. I look forward to knowing this place as well as you do."

AC 19/15/14 HP 65/65 F+7 R+7 W+4 Init+5 Per+4

"Shiv, somehow that seem appropriate for a crocodile...and not just because he calls this place home. I hope we have luck hunting today so we can keep him well fed." says Yekskya with a playful smile.

Camp Conversation:

"Cat, I agree with you about the need for self-reliance. It has been my way too. But many of us have the special talents needed to survive out here. Potentially for quite some time. Not all of our fellow castaways have the same experience. I think we shall have to help motivate them and give them cause for hope."

The Exchange

DM rolls:
creature 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
Zag & Shiv 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
Slice 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
Grym 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17
Yekskya 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
Cat 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15


After the exciting events of this morning, you set off to explore to the west of your current campsite, which from looking at your maps you believe should be a small peninsula. Your group consists of Rowena, Grym, Slicingsong, Yekskya, and Zaghigoth and his crocodile, Shiv. Faey and Jask announce their preference to stay behind and tend the camp, and Jask mentions that he wants to keep an eye on Ishirou's condition. The others mostly are doing their own thing.

To begin with, you follow the coast, heading back towards the wreck of the {i} Jenivere. {/i] This time, you can see that between the waves grinding the ship against the cliffs and rocks, there's very little of the old ship left. Certainly, it would be perilous to attempt to go out there again. At this point, the rising cliffs force you inland, into the jungle. It's hot, humid work trekking across the island - despite it still being morning, you can feel the heat, and soon build up a sweat. What's worse, sweat seems to attract clouds of biting insects, and you find yourself constantly swatting them away. The good news is that, though they are a nuisance, they don't seem to be causing any real damage.

After an hour or so hiking, you pause for a break along the top of a ridge. The sun is beating down, so you take shelter in the shade of some large boulders. Unfortunately, it seems you are not the only ones with that idea. Just as you are setting down your gear, you become aware of a large shape moving out of the shadows. It is a large, black snake, moving sinuously towards you. It hisses, revealing sharp fangs dripping with something lethal. It doesn't seem to want to share the shade with you!

No surprise round, you more or less both become aware of each other at the same time.

18 - Zaghigoth & Shiv
17 - Grym
15 - Rowena
13 - Slicingsong, snake
9 - Yekskya

"These snakes are very unwelcoming, I say!" Zag proclaims as he lowers his spear at the serpent. " No worries about keeping Shiv fed, though, Yekskya. Law of the wilds, proud snake. Eat or be eaten. Shiv, strike!"

Shiv shuffles forward and tries to bite at the snake from one side, and then Zag hustles forward to spear thrust it at from the flank.

All assuming it is close enough to pull off the flank? I'll factor the +2 in for Zag's roll but if it doesn't apply, ok.

Shiv's Bite: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
Bite's Damage: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
Zag's Spear: 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 + 2 = 14
Spear's Damage: 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7

Shiv's AC: 18
Shiv's HP: 13
Zag's AC: 17
Zag's HP: 14

AC 19/15/14 HP 65/65 F+7 R+7 W+4 Init+5 Per+4

Round 1

"You're right about that. This island is crawling with them."
Assuming this action doesn't get overrun by events...
Yekskya moves to be within 30 feet of the snake, nocks an arrow and fires it into the snake.
Attack (Composite Longbow, Point Blank Shot, Deadly Aim) 1d20 + 5 + 1 - 1 ⇒ (16) + 5 + 1 - 1 = 21
Damage (Composite Longbow, Point Blank Shot, Deadly Aim) 1d8 + 2 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 + 1 + 2 = 13


AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 14. . (+4 armor, +4 Dex)
hp 13/13
Weapon Equipped Longbow, Comp. (Str +2) +5 (1d8+2/20/x3)

Round 1 Initiative 13
Slicingsong tries to impale the large snake.

spear: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 161d8 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10

The Exchange

As quick as thought, Zaghigoth sends Shiv forward. The crocodile shambles ahead and, before the venomous snake can strike, the croc takes an enormous bite out of the snake. At the same time, while the snake is distracted, Zaghigoth manages to hustle around and strike the snake with his spear. The snake soon ceases to be a problem.

Scratch one snake!

A look around reveals some lush fruit trees nearby, and from your high vantage point, you can see what may be another wreck to the along the western coast. You can also see that the peninsula tapers off at that point, with the coast curling back around a large lagoon. You can see creatures flapping through the air in the distance.

Slice and Yekskya, with your Survival rolls you forage enough food to feed yourselves and one other person each - four people in total.

Before I can do anything about the snake, Zhag and his crocodile have already taken cre of the creature. "Why'd they call this island Smuggler's Shiv? Snake's Shive would be better named. I hate these critters."

AC 19/15/14 HP 65/65 F+7 R+7 W+4 Init+5 Per+4

"Nice work Slicingsong! Looks like Shiv is going to fit right in too Zag. Let's go see that other wreck and find out if we can salvage anything."

"Maybe it will have more food. What we have caught today will not feed all of us."

AC 19/15/14 HP 65/65 F+7 R+7 W+4 Init+5 Per+4

"Yes, we're going to have to find help quickly. Or more people that can hunt well."

"I will keep my eyes looking for roots and other plants to eat. They might not be so tasty, but good for nourishment, I say."

Survival: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (3) + 10 = 13

CG Male Half-Orc Ranger (Trapper) 3 | HP: 27/27 | AC: 17, FF: 15, T: 12 | F +5, R +5, W +3 | Init +2, Perc +8

Grym nodded in appreciation at the damage the group inflicted on the snake. He spent some time looking around trying to forage additional goods.

Survival: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10

AC 19/15/14 HP 65/65 F+7 R+7 W+4 Init+5 Per+4

"You guys ready to go to that wreck?"

The Exchange

Just a few DM rolls..:
1d100 ⇒ 30
1d100 ⇒ 76
1d100 ⇒ 39


Feeling pretty good after neutralizing that snake so quickly, you make your way through the jungle in the direction that you saw the shipwreck. Along the way, you are able to collect more fruit as well as some edible roots that Zaghigoth manages to spot. When you climb down from the ridge to the beach, you see that the wreck appears to be a coastal sailing ship called the Tattooed Lady . She lies nearly entirely on her port side, having run straight on to the beach.

Cautiously, you clamber aboard. It's very quiet, with no signs of life anywhere. Something about the ship gives you an uncomfortable, eerie feeling. Additionally, having a good look around, unfortunately you find nothing of use to you - if there had been anything of value on the Lady, it was looted long ago.

Before leaving, you have a look further along the beach. It looks as if not far to the west is the tip of the peninsula, with the coast curling back. You can pick out some creatures with bat-like wings flying in the distance.

Shame that you didn't find anything on that wreck. Your food total now is enough to feed seven people for one day. Where next?

"Well, that was an exercise in futility. But, one can never be sure unless having checked out the wreck firsthand, right? Besides, I don't know about you guys, but I am glad the be out of there. That place made me feeling decidedly uncomfortable."

Pointing at the flying shapes in the distance: "See that? What're those? What flies around on batwings? Demons? Gargoyles? I'm fairly confident about my abilities, but if that's what those are, I suggest we get our butt in gear and head back into the jungle. I'm not looking forward to meeting that."

CG Male Half-Orc Ranger (Trapper) 3 | HP: 27/27 | AC: 17, FF: 15, T: 12 | F +5, R +5, W +3 | Init +2, Perc +8

Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12

Grym attempts to make out further details of the things in the sky.

AC 19/15/14 HP 65/65 F+7 R+7 W+4 Init+5 Per+4

Yeah, I felt that too. Troubling. Makes me wonder about those stories about the island." He shields his eyes to try to make out what the creatures might be.
Perception 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7

"I can't make out a thing in this haze. You guys ok with a different route back so we can see if we missed anything?"

Slicingsong shades his eyes with a hand and tries to discern more about the creatures in the distance.
Knowledge Nature: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6

And he has no idea. Really bad rolls to identify critters lately.

"Yes, let's do this right. We'll travel back a different way and learn as much about this bit as possible."

What time will it be when we get back?

The Exchange

Perception checks:
From this distance, Grym can make out that the flying creatures don't look like birds, but something more reptilian. You'd say about the size of a dog, with leathery wings and skin of differing shades of purple. They seem to be wheeling about in the sky over where the coast heads around the promontory. The rest of you find it difficult to make out any details.

Alas, it seems to be a creature you've not encountered before.

It depends how much time you spend exploring and what you encounter, to determine what time you will arrive back at camp. It's still morning, at the moment.

AC 19/15/14 HP 65/65 F+7 R+7 W+4 Init+5 Per+4

"So, should we try to make our way to the tip and then back along the other coast? Does anyone want to try to see what those creatures are?"

"I might try a look. My mentor showed me pictures and taught me of many types of beasts, I say."

Perception (Might get lucky despite the distance?): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5

Knowledge (Nature) (If he can make anything out about them): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7

" best to get close, I say. As to be certain."

"That seems as good a plan as any, Yekskya."

AC 19/15/14 HP 65/65 F+7 R+7 W+4 Init+5 Per+4

Yekskya sets a course toward the tip of the Shiv, keeping an eye on the flying creatures as we go.

AC 19/15/14 HP 65/65 F+7 R+7 W+4 Init+5 Per+4

Just checking in to see if we're still playing or retired.

"Well, whatever they are. I suggest we don't wait for them to notice us and come pay a visit. Bat-like wings do no not inspire much confidence in me about them being friendly. Let's get going, alright?"

Shrugging to get the pack on my back into a more comfortable position, I turn and follow Yekskya.

Been checking daily, but I think we were (are?) on a two week vacation due to CHH moving into his new house/home.

AC 19/15/14 HP 65/65 F+7 R+7 W+4 Init+5 Per+4

D'oh, completely spaced, I'm sure that's it. Sorry :)

Yup, that's the case!

The Exchange

DM rolls:
1d3 ⇒ 3
1d4 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
creature init 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12
Grym init 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
Rowena init 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
Slicingsong init 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
Yekskya init 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15
Zag init 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5


Sorry Zag, you spend some time analyzing the creatures from a distance, but from what you can make out they're unlike anything you've come across previously.

You make your way along the beach, soon reaching the tip of the island. From this vantage point, you can look across the waters of what appears to be a large lagoon. The beach stretches in a wide circle around the lagoon, ending on the other side with a couple of small islets to complete the circle, a short distance away from the beach where you stand. One of the islets in particular appears to be desolate, with precious little vegetation of any sort growing on it.

However, what really draws your attention are the three creatures wheeling through the air above you. They seem to be some sort of winged reptile, and they appear to be hungry. As soon as one manages to catch a fish just offshore, the others swoop in to try and steal it, making raucous cries. They are large, probably as big as yourselves, yet they can soar through the air as light as kites. The things look as if they have nests atop nearby cliffs overlooking the beach, about 30 feet up. Eventually, after an unsuccessful attempt to steal a fish two of the creatures appear to tire of the game, and turn their attention on you.

An image of the creatures can be found here

Round 1 (No surprise round]
22 - Rowena
15 - Yeksya
15 - Slicingsong
13 - Grym
12 - 3 creatures
5 - Zaghigorth

AC 19/15/14 HP 65/65 F+7 R+7 W+4 Init+5 Per+4

Are they at 30 feet or just their nests?

The Exchange

Their nests are 30ft up the cliff near you. The creatures are currently flying about, two are hovering above your group, I would say they are about 40ft above you. Another is hovering nearby, swallowing down a fish.

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