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DMJ's Skull & Shackles

Game Master Jonasty1031

Adventure and danger on the high seas! Can you claim your own Pirate destiny in the Shackles?

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So here's the OOC thread for the game, start introducing yourselves and feel free to ask me any questions. I'll be posting some info here before we start.


Male Gnome Rogue-4 (Saves-F+2,R+8,W+1; Perception +9(10 vs traps);HP 25/27)

Hey all. Turns out the name Xanxan was taken so I added the surname Gimblewabe.


Male Gnome Rogue-4 (Saves-F+2,R+8,W+1; Perception +9(10 vs traps);HP 25/27)

Profile up, and I do have a question for the GM...

Quote:
Traits: You will have 2 traits. 1 must be a campaign trait from the Skull & Shackles Player's Guide that you may choose. The other trait will be chosen by me. This will be based on your backstory submission or the general impression of your character that I take away from your submission. If you want to angle for a specific trait, then write it up well in the backstory but it will ultimately be chosen by me regardless.

I went with Touched by the Sea for his S&S trait, do you know yet what the other trait should be? I think it maybe the only thing I'm really missing.


HP 27 || AC 15, T 13, FF 12 || F +4, R +4, W +8 || Init +7, Per +12

Reporting in, Oh Captain My Captain.

And completely missed that part about you picking our second trait and I already included Poverty-Stricken from the Social traits. Closest one that matched up Jirobo's background as I could find regardless. If that doesn't work, just let me know and it'll be changed post-haste.


Male Human Sea Singer 1

Hello all. Wonderful to be invited to join!

I am wondering if you plan to use the optional massive damage rules, with the permanent scars and possible dismemberment, from the player's guide?


Male Gnome Rogue-4 (Saves-F+2,R+8,W+1; Perception +9(10 vs traps);HP 25/27)

"Not the nose!"


Male Fisherman 4, Hp: 31/31, AC 17, T:12, FF:15, F+3, R+0, W+1

Scars are how all the great warriors tell stories.


Male Human Freebooter 3 / Pirate 1 [HP 37/37 || AC 17, T 12, FF 14 || F +4, R +7, W +2]

Hello all. Dark Netwerk's Callum Carnvegas checking in.

Jonasty, I made a slight change to the initial stats, if that's all right (lowered STR, CON, CHA by 1 and raised DEX by 1 and INT by 3).

I still need to figure out the rest of the equipment.

Oh and "Chicks dig scars."


Human Witch 2 || HP 14/14 || AC 12 Touch 12, FF 10 || Fort +1, Ref +2, W +3 || Init +2, Per +6

Calvin checking in and ready to help remove any unnecessary appendages.

I, too, have two traits, but feel free to recommend whatever you feel is appropriate.

Looking forward to hitting the high seas.


Hey all. So I'm pretty sure this is the first time I'm running for most if not all of you. That being the case, here's my little DM rundown for you all.

I'm based in the Boston area, to give you an idea of timezone. I tend to post very heavily Mon-Fri, 9-5. I have some flexibilty at work that allows this and you can potentially expect 10-15+ posts per day during that time when we're in full swing. Conversely, my evening and weekend posting can best be called laughable although the week night posting has been a lot better recently. This is not to say I expect this of any of you but rather just to let you know what to expect from me. Know that I'm always watching. ;-)

Regarding the game. Here's how I deal with combat. When it occurs, I will roll Init for the group. Once that is established, if some or all of the PCs' inits are in a clump, your actions are in a first posted first done order. This saves people from having to wait on someone else.

Example:
Let's say Init is

  • Calvin
  • Callum
  • Tully
  • bad guy
  • bad guy
  • Ko'ulu
  • Xanxan
  • Jirobo

In this case Calvin, Callum and Tully could all post. Whoever posted first would have their actions happen first. Once the 3 of them posted, I would then post the bad guys actions and then the last 3 PC's would go, once again "first come, first served". I find this saves time and offers a slight perk to those who are checking the boards regularly. I also tend to post a "dramatic" round update where I highlight and sum up what has happened in the previous round and list any pertinent info going into the next round. You don't necessarily need to wait for it but just a heads up to expect it.

Additionally I will roll some relevant checks for the PC's when it saves time. If I attack you with poison and you need to make a save, I'm generally not going to stop combat, ask you to make a save, and then wait for you to post it. I'll simply roll it. Nothing too shocking, you've probably all seen this before.

Lastly I just ask that you have fun with the game and let me know if you have any complaints, suggestions, comments, etc. That's what helps me grow and run a better game.

That's my generic update. Next I'll dive into some campaign specific stuff, questions and info.


Traits finalization.

Xanxan: I agree with Touch of the Sea, good choice. For your other trait I am giving you Excitable. Seems to fit well with your backstory.

"Young" Tully: The last bit of your backstory sticks with me. Your second trait is Purity of Faith (Iomedae). You can disregard the last bit of the flavor of the trait. The first part "soul is clean" is what really struck me. With your backstory and your alignment, it just seems to fit.

Callum Carnvegas: Your backstory almost demands your second trait be Stormrunner (the Shackles). Don't know if that's what you were aiming for but there you go.

Calvin: Having grown up completely in and on the waters of the Shackles, this trait seems to be a good fit. Shackles Seafarer (the Shackles)

Jirobo: While you haven't made it to the Eye yet, this trait seemed to fit well with your backstory and overall theme. Abendego Spellpiercer (the Sodden Lands)

Ko'ulu: While this trait is regionally inaccurate technically, it just so fits with my vision of your "Old Man and the Sea" style character. Pearl Diver (Xidao)


Answers to current questions.

Callum: I'm fine with the stat swapping. Until we fully get started, no worries.

Tully: Normally I just ignore the massive damage rules as they're written in the Core book for ease of play. However, this being a Pirate game and the rules being put out there for us, I will be using the S&S rules to start. Note: This is open to review by me at a later time. It's easy enough to remove the scar mechanics from a character sheet at a later time so if I/we find this to be too much of a pain in the ass, then we'll simply drop them. But for now we'll give them a shot cause it certainly does scream pirate.


Male Gnome Rogue-4 (Saves-F+2,R+8,W+1; Perception +9(10 vs traps);HP 25/27)
DM Jonasty wrote:

Traits finalization.

Xanxan: I agree with Touch of the Sea, good choice. For your other trait I am giving you Excitable. Seems to fit well with your backstory.

And solidifies some Roleplaying angles for the character, thanks :)


Some characterization based questions I have.

Tully: Between your backstory and your alignment, I just wanted to touch base and find out a bit of your character's moralities. This being a pirate game, I'm curious about what kind of character you are bringing to the table. Obviously you're no LG Paladin but the G in your alignment makes me want to just confirm how you view piracy and piratical acts.

Calvin: Just putting this out there before we get started. I like the "crazy" angle but I'd ask that you don't go too far with it. I only bring it up because I've run a game or two with an "outsider" style PC and sometimes they can be disruptive. I'm not saying you will be, I'm just letting you know my past experiences with them and my wariness because of it. :-)


Another general game play note.

I am perfectly fine with people reading spoilers I post for other players in the game, I even encourage it for the most part. We're telling a story together and I want people to be entertained. If I truly need something to be private, I will send a PM so feel free to read whatever spoilers I post. That being said, spoilers still indicate something that only a character is receiving so do not post or respond based on a spoiler that your character would not know or be privy to.


As a heads up from looking over character sheets. For this campaign, mechanically Profession (sailor) is not a bad choice to make. If you want to adjust your ranks feel free or if you'd rather wait and "earn" the skill when you level that's fine. Just be aware that Prof sailor and Swim are not dump skills in this instance. ;-)

Ko'ulu you've got ranks in Prof (fisherman). I'm fine with using this as Prof (sailor) mechanically. Or if you want to change the wording of your skill or even buy sailor separately that's fine. Just letting you know I'm fine using your Fisherman as Sailor when we play.


A lot of posts I know. :-)

Another thing. I own and am a HUGE fan of the Stormwrack supplement from the previous D&D 3.5 line. I don't know how much I will use from it yet but if any of you have it and want to use stuff from it, I will be happy to look requests over. For now, additional uses for skills in the book are fully open. If you don't have it don't worry, I can make suggestions as necessary. Other than that, for now I'm sticking with the PF and S&S official stuff although I will be reviewing Stormwrack material if/when it might improve the overall game.


Male Human Freebooter 3 / Pirate 1 [HP 37/37 || AC 17, T 12, FF 14 || F +4, R +7, W +2]
DM Jonasty wrote:

Traits finalization.

Callum Carnvegas: Your backstory almost demands your second trait be Stormrunner (the Shackles). Don't know if that's what you were aiming for but there you go.

I guess I was pulling more for Hurricane Savvy from Pirates of the Inner Sea (which, unfortunately, seems not to have been put onto the PFSRD site) since it, also a Shackles regional trait, involved more ship steering vs. wind.

Hurricane Savvy:
You are used to sailing in the terrible winds that roll out from the Eye of Abendego, and can apply the skills you’ve learned to any storm. You treat wind effects as one wind force category less than they actually are, both for any personal checks you must make and for any you make to captain or steer a ship.

Nonetheless, I'll toss in Stormrunner and adjust my skills accordingly. Getting bounced around in some rough seas is probably not a good idea, so the bonus to Acrobatics will help. Thanks.

I think I have Stormwrack sitting around somewhere. I'll have to look around a bit and, if I find it, check it out.


Callum, I'm fine with you taking Hurricane Savvy instead of Stormrunner. It works equally well and had it been available on PFSRD, I probably would have picked it. Take that one instead. I have PofIS but book form only so couldn't reference it at work.


Male Human Freebooter 3 / Pirate 1 [HP 37/37 || AC 17, T 12, FF 14 || F +4, R +7, W +2]

Thanks! I'll make it so.


Male Human Sea Singer 1
DM Jonasty wrote:
"Young" Tully: The last bit of your backstory sticks with me. Your second trait is Purity of Faith (Iomedae). You can disregard the last bit of the flavor of the trait. The first part "soul is clean" is what really struck me. With your backstory and your alignment, it just seems to fit.

Looks perfect to me!

DM Jonasty wrote:
Tully: Between your backstory and your alignment, I just wanted to touch base and find out a bit of your character's moralities. This being a pirate game, I'm curious about what kind of character you are bringing to the table. Obviously you're no LG Paladin but the G in your alignment makes me want to just confirm how you view piracy and piratical acts.

I really struggled to come up with the proper alignment. He's from Westcrown. So, he is definitely not ignorant of the evil men (and others) can do. He has run away from home to join up with a band of pirates (which strikes me as fairly Chaotic). Nevertheless, he is a good soul (much as you recognized in your trait selection).

All he really knows about pirates is the equivalent of what you might learn from watching some old Errol Flynn movies, Peter Pan, or Pirates of the Caribbean. As a child, he was the sort of the adopted mascot of the "old salts" down at the docks, where he learned a great deal of pirate "lore" and also a lot of technical knowledge of sailing. This is why he has Knowledge (Engineering) but no Profession (Sailor). This is also how I came up with his name, "Even'ng, young Master Tilernos" eventually becomes "Hullo, Young Tully!", with greater familiarity.

He won't see the basic "premise" of piracy as wrong. He'll think it's a great adventure to chase down another ship, swing aboard, subdue the crew, and make off with the "booty". This would probably be doubly true if it was a ship of Imperial Chelaxian origin. Firing a ballista at a ship attempting to evade pursuit is just part of the chase. Boarding actions, and the ensuing melee, are a little more complicated, but the Buccaneer class was made for that (Hilt Bash, Song of Surrender, Knock Out). He certainly will never frown upon a comrade defending himself (even if that "defense" occurs during an aggressive boarding action).

Many things are likely to come as a complete shock to him. Being shanghaied, for instance. The nearly unbearable living conditions in the overcrowded, pest-infested, stinking 'tween-decks of a pirate ship. Ship's fare. The startling lack of beautiful, busty women. But, mostly, it will be the literal "cutthroat" business of piracy. Some of his reactions and development will depend on what the party and ship's crew does. What do we do with the crew of the ship we've just captured? Take the cargo and leave them the ship? Keep the ship and set them loose in one of the boats? Press them to service aboard our ship(s)? Slit their throats and dump them over the side?

You needn't worry that he won't take his ill-gotten gains. He wants to be a pirate. He just doesn't understand what that truly means... yet.

On a side note, I removed the quotes from his name. They started to feel superfluous and cumbersome. Let me know if that's an issue for some reason. I can put them back now, but not after I post a few more times on this alias.


HP 27 || AC 15, T 13, FF 12 || F +4, R +4, W +8 || Init +7, Per +12
DM Jonasty wrote:

Traits finalization.

Jirobo: While you haven't made it to the Eye yet, this trait seemed to fit well with your backstory and overall theme. Abendego Spellpiercer (the Sodden Lands)

Traits traded out, Captain. You're right, this one does seem like a nice fit.


Tully: I'm fine with the quotes removal. No worries. Regarding your above post. Excellent! Exactly what I thought would be his arc in the game. Plus as a bard you're not tied to your alignment via class abilities so a gradual shift away from G won't penalize you.

All: This is built off of my comment above for Tully. While you all have listed alignments on your characters, I keep my own notes on your alignment that supercede what you have. This is not a "screw you" move or anything that should even come up in play but I will base your alignment on your actions, not what you necessarily say it is. If you state that you're CN but you seem to think this allows you to murder innocent people who've surrendered because you're just being "Chaotic", I might view your alignment instead as NE. Mechanically none of you are impacted drastically from this (no Paladins or Monks present) but just something to keep in mind if I tell you that the cleric found you via his Detect Evil spell and you start claiming "But wait, my alignment says N." Then maybe you shouldn't have killed all those innocent puppies, eh? :-)


HP 27 || AC 15, T 13, FF 12 || F +4, R +4, W +8 || Init +7, Per +12
DM Jonasty wrote:
Then maybe you shouldn't have killed all those innocent puppies, eh? :-)

But how else are we supposed to eat them? Alive?! What kind of monster are you?!


So the majority of my ranting and raving is finally out of the way. I will of course post responses as necessary and ask me any questions you want.

Other than that though, if your character is ready to go, please chime in here and I'll get the Gameplay thread started once everyone has given the affirmative.


Jirobo the Storm Crow wrote:
DM Jonasty wrote:
Then maybe you shouldn't have killed all those innocent puppies, eh? :-)
But how else are we supposed to eat them? Alive?! What kind of monster are you?!

Hmm, touche sir.


Male Gnome Rogue-4 (Saves-F+2,R+8,W+1; Perception +9(10 vs traps);HP 25/27)

Only go after GUILTY puppies-check
;)

I do believe Xanxan is ready to go


Male Human Sea Singer 1
Jirobo the Storm Crow wrote:
DM Jonasty wrote:
Then maybe you shouldn't have killed all those innocent puppies, eh? :-)
But how else are we supposed to eat them? Alive?! What kind of monster are you?!

After months at sea, with only rancid salt-pork far too long in-cask, and weevil-infested hard biscuit, and you dangle tender, young puppy in my face!

Also, I am on-board and ready to go.


HP 27 || AC 15, T 13, FF 12 || F +4, R +4, W +8 || Init +7, Per +12

Ready to cast off! This is only a three hour tour, right? Right?


Male Human Freebooter 3 / Pirate 1 [HP 37/37 || AC 17, T 12, FF 14 || F +4, R +7, W +2]

I think as long as the puppies don't surrender or shout "Parlay!" we should be safe.

I think I'm good to go. Might change things cosmetically (or just add more information if I think I'll need it), but the stats are set.


Human Witch 2 || HP 14/14 || AC 12 Touch 12, FF 10 || Fort +1, Ref +2, W +3 || Init +2, Per +6

I've made the update to Calvin's profile - the new trait is in place. And Hero Lab earned $5 more dollars from me so I wouldn't have to create a custom trait.

As for playing crazy, I intend to keep it fun - I don't want to be a nuisance, but more of a quirky character. If I'm ever annoying or off-putting, do let me know.

I need to procure some more gear, but other than that, I should be good to go.


Well 5 of 6 ready is enough for me to start the game thread. And Ko'ulu you don't need to worry, there's no rush just yet. Just eager to start the game. :-)

And Calvin (and everyone else) yeah get your last little bits of shopping done but I wouldn't worry about gear when we start. [insert maniacal laughter here]


HP 27 || AC 15, T 13, FF 12 || F +4, R +4, W +8 || Init +7, Per +12

Thats the worst part of being press ganged. It's not the beatings, the long hours, the grueling work, the bad food, the threat of death always looming over your head, it's the loss of all your little bits and baubles. I miss my pieces of colored thread and shiny coins.


Calvin and Jirobo: As my non-spontaneous casters, could you please include a section on your character sheets that has which spells you've prepared for the day?

EDIT: Jirobo I just found your section, missed it the first time.


Human Witch 2 || HP 14/14 || AC 12 Touch 12, FF 10 || Fort +1, Ref +2, W +3 || Init +2, Per +6

Done and done. I've also bought a couple of scrolls, my gold done been spent.


Male Human Freebooter 3 / Pirate 1 [HP 37/37 || AC 17, T 12, FF 14 || F +4, R +7, W +2]

Ack! All that shopping was for naught? Still, I guess it helped me figure out what I wanted. Oh no! Do I lose my fancy pirate coat and hat? Why that would be the last straw.

They can beat me unconscious (especially after a wild night with a lady), you can take my money, my weapons, and other gear. But nobody touches my hat and coat...


Human Witch 2 || HP 14/14 || AC 12 Touch 12, FF 10 || Fort +1, Ref +2, W +3 || Init +2, Per +6

Quick character question - I've never played a witch before (sorry for whatever ill that brings our merry band) and I'm wondering which hexes to take. I'm waffling between Cackle and Flight. I'll get both eventually, but which, in your opinion, is best for first level?


HP 27 || AC 15, T 13, FF 12 || F +4, R +4, W +8 || Init +7, Per +12
Calvin The Surgeon wrote:
Quick character question - I've never played a witch before (sorry for whatever ill that brings our merry band) and I'm wondering which hexes to take. I'm waffling between Cackle and Flight. I'll get both eventually, but which, in your opinion, is best for first level?

There is an evil synergy to cackle with misfortune and evil eye. Since you can cackle along with putting out one of your other hexes, you can slowly debuff everyone and keep it going indefinately as long as you're within 30 ft of them.


Male Gnome Rogue-4 (Saves-F+2,R+8,W+1; Perception +9(10 vs traps);HP 25/27)

I am not a witch, nor do I play one on TV, but if you're asking folks in general and not just the GM, I think the feather fall ability and the swimming bonus flight gives at low level would be handy in a place where you might be up in the rigging way up high, or in the drink alternatively :)


Cackle is only useful once you have one of the other hexes listed in it. Of those, I think evil eye is nice. Each use lowers something. Start with saves and work your way down. Moroni has a good point with the mix with misfortune.

The flight hex, as xanxan mentioned, gives you feather fall which could be useful if you're up in the rigging and slip.

I've seen the slumber hex in action in a tabletop game. They fail the save and someone can go up and coup de grace.

I can't speak to any of the others. Never really looked into the class much.

I need to not reply using my phone. Had to update my post from full typing ninjas.


Calvin: Went over your character sheet and you need to adjust a few things. First off, your spells known list has 3 1st-level spells, but you should start with 8 total. 3 from class and then 5 for your ability score. Additionally, you can cast 3 1st-level spells per day, 1 from class and then 2 from a high ability score. Also just to clarify, you know all of the 0 level witch spells, you can only memorize 3 of them per day, just a wording clarification on your sheet.

Basically the Witch is the same as a Wizard for spellcasting purposes except instead of a book to study for spells, you talk to your familiar. Casting like a wizard, you should also include a Spell Component Pouch in your gear purchases otherwise you won't be able to cast any of your spells with material components.

Also unless you spent it down to the exact copper piece, you should include your remaining coins on your sheet as well.


As an update to the above post, if any of you have leftover money from shopping make sure to list it on your character sheet.

Also, while it doesn't matter now, if/when you get all your gear back I will be doing an encumberance audit to see where everyone is at with gear. Given the high chances of needing to make Swim checks, weight and encumberance will be a factor throughout the game.


The game thread is live people!!! Woot!!!


Human Witch 2 || HP 14/14 || AC 12 Touch 12, FF 10 || Fort +1, Ref +2, W +3 || Init +2, Per +6

Updated. I get a little lazy during the creation process and only add the ones I intend to prepare.

I'll switch to Flight and then add Cackle next level. Is that ok, GM?


Male Gnome Rogue-4 (Saves-F+2,R+8,W+1; Perception +9(10 vs traps);HP 25/27)

Posted, and I think it's a race to see who gets made an example of first. Hopefully they'll go by tallest and work their way down ;)


Calvin: Sounds good, we're still beginning so no worries.


Just an FYI, I'm stealing a trick from a DM in another game I'm in. All of my rolls for the NPC's will not be including the modifiers for them. Thus you won't know exactly how well you were hit or missed by, or what their save bonuses are, etc. Essentially all you will be seeing are the dice rolls. I will know what the true totals are. Obviously you'll be able to figure things out eventually, like with the damage rolls but it lends a little mystery to the game.


I'm going to try to wait on posting an update so everyone can chime in at least once with their awakening aboard the ship.

As a reminder, Mon-Fri my expectation is to see at least 1 post a day from people. Obviously more is encouraged where appropriate. :-)


Male Gnome Rogue-4 (Saves-F+2,R+8,W+1; Perception +9(10 vs traps);HP 25/27)

As much fun as I'm having with this, I must confess this is the ODDEST pirate crew I think I've ever seen ;)


Well we'll see if some of the PCs' naivety wears off after a few weeks at sea on board a pirate ship. ;-)

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