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Shipmaster Dave's Skull and Shackles

Game Master Pryllin

Skull and Shackles Adventure Path
Part 1 of 6: The Wormwood Mutiny

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“Captain” Baggs Degrin wrote:
I think Amelia and Baggs should get along quite well if they don't slit each others throats....

See, there's the beauty of not having access to equipment at the start: Hard to slit someone's throat with an unarmed strike ... although I find it amusing that my equipmentless teenage girl with average strength could potentially knock a commoner out cold with a slap if she caught him flat-footed. Ah, sneak-attack dice. ;)


For clarity, Joana has it right-
Roll up your starting equipment using average wealth for your class. As the AP begins, you will not have access to this equipment.
Joana, being troublesome, will not be getting her equipment back, and thus doesn't have to generate any. :-)

Daniel- Conjurers are fine but no one likes summoners (well, no GM anyways :-) If you want summoned creature hordes fighting for you then this format is better for it than face to face.
Aquatic sorceror is also allowed, though it sounds like Tim is going full arcane. Two casters is fine though- with my arcane preferences I tend to believe you can rarely have too many mages. :-)
Or else you can be a Shark shaman. This is the AP for it. You won't have Sharkey on land, but you'll almost certainly get more water time from this AP than any other.
Just have something ready for me before you leave. :-)

Pretty much all done. I'll send through a draft of my background to you Dave to check (I took some liberty with orc culture). A couple of things left:
I have no idea of appropriate languages.
You are fine with item creation feats (at later levels of course).
Are you are ok with the spells “Alter winds” and “Touch of the Sea” from the Advanced player guide (neither are game breaking but might be very useful on a ship).
I have been struggling with hero labs all day, I have a Hero Forge character sheet but that doesn’t copy nicely into a post so I’ll try to get the character sheet to you as soon as possible.


OK if Tim is going full arcane caster that makes things easier and I will go the shark shaman!

DM I'm up against the wall trying to get things at work sorted before I go on holidays. To be honest I'm unlikely to have my full concept to you before I go - you might want to start without me and I can slot in later?

Have the build basically done as follows for review but need to work on the back story. One remaining decision point is animal companion or domain. Would normally go the companion for a melee druid but thinking going with the shark is just doubling down on the limited usefulness on land/shipdeck and accordingly maybe the domain is the way to go.

The other thing I wanted to discuss is whether I can get a sea version of goodberry. It seems to me a fairly fundamental druid utility but the setting will provide a challenge to the fresh berry requirement and to the groups ooc healing overall particularly with no cleric at least to start.

Basic Build:

Nakon the Cruel

Elven Druid (Shark Shaman) with Water (Ocean APG) Domain

Str 17
Int 9
Wis 14
Dex 16
Con 12
Cha 7

AL:NE (not in a party killing way but may need to discuss, he has sharklike morals which when translated to human seems kind of evil to me)

Hp: 10 (8 + 1 con + 1 fc)

Racial traits Spirit of the Sea (APG) (replaces elven magic and weapons, rather crucial for the concept as it gets me proficiency with longspear, trident and net rather than poofy elven longbow/longsword). Swim benefits as well although these are basically superseded as soon as he hits lvl 2.

Traits: Pegleg, Reactionary (may change to something more flavorsome)

Feats: Power Attack

Skills (3): Perception (handle animal if he takes the companion) (1), Swim (1), Profession-Sailor (1)

He will fight with net (always wanted to try that and netting something for the rogues/lore master to whale on seems like a good idea) and longspear, using bite attack (looking to take the Strong Jaw spell from APG so he can grab and savage people skark style) and poison at later levels. Shifting to a shark wherever possible at lvl 6 and up.

Basic outline is a heavily tatooed, bald, muscular elf, ex-slave and rower with his leg bitten off by a shark he later caught and ate himself, taking in a portion of its life essence and acquiring druidic abilities. I would start him off not knowing druids cant or having any interest in the gods. He is tailor made for a life as a pirate, completely amoral (I read this as neutral evil) but happy to work in a group as most sharks do provided his interests are being served.

Press gangs only operate right before the ship's about to leave port and not come back for a long time. Returning to land gives the pressed men too easy a chance to escape; leagues of open sea is a better prison than the brig. I don't remember exactly when you're going to be back, but it would probably be better to wait until everyone can start together than begin without you.


Dan- what Joana said... again. :-)

The character seems fine. Domain is probably more all round useful than the shark, but hey... it's a shark. :-)
You'll find some berries somewhere.
When will you be back? I'll give everyone till then to finalise characters, then create the Campaign thread and we can be off. Maybe my hard copy of Skull and Shackles will have arrived by then :-)

Current Character Line Up

“Captain” Baggs Degrin (Male Human Rogue (Rake) 1)
Lysandra Eventide (Female Taldane Human Bard (Sea Singer) 1 / Cleric of Besmara 0)
Aemilia Fullona (Female Human (Chelaxian) Rogue (Smuggler) 1)
Nakon the Cruel (Male Elven Druid (Shark Shaman) 1)
Obsidian (Male Half-Orc Wizard 1)
- ( - Human (Shoanti) Fighter (Lore Warden) 1)

Off thur morning my time back on the 7th. Hoping to evolve (and get my LF combat started before I go but busiest just before holidays as usual). Just wanted to say don't mind being a red-shirted crewman or found at sea gripping a wooden plan if you want to get her started.

Male Human Rogue (Rake) 1

Keep him in the hull until his punishment for biting several of the press gang members is

Got hero lab working and can't work out how to give me output like Joana's (or save it) might just copy someone else's output and change the numbers.


Tim: File> Output Hero Statblock. Then select BBCode Tag and Copy. You can paste into your profile.

Think I'm just about done, might play around the edges before we start.
Character profile


Sovereign Court


Sorry for the delay on my chargen, will try and get it finished today. Without an IC to dot, I never see this thread unless i'm specifically hunting it down as I generally play from my Campaigns tab- so unfortunately i've had incentive to slack on it.

I was actually considering playing a female character for once. Are there strong objections as I can not do this if there are.

Shadow Lodge

I didn't see anyone complain with my character. I don't see why they would for yours.


Hi all. We won't be starting until Daniel's return. In addition to the difficulty of adding in a PC on a boat in the middle of the ocean, as I've started prep for the Skull and Shackles AP I've realised that its really awesome and innovative ideas and rules, while they'd work great in a face to face game, are not conducive to a first time PBP GM. So I'll be using this extra time, even if you guys don't. :-)

Skull and Shackles will start promptly upon Daniel's return and I'll start the campaign thread about then.

Tim- please check with me before using anything non-core. Foresight Diviner is okay, but I usually like to double check things first before you get your hopes up. Also, in this format I'm likely to go a little harsh on Prescience until we work out a standard format for its declaration and use.

Alex- what Talomyr said, but thanks for asking.

Joana- still working on you. Will let you know when my epiphany hits. Tending towards modifying my original suggestion, maybe mixing it somehow with your preferred option. The more trouble I can make for you, the better. :-)

Talomyr wrote:
I didn't see anyone complain with my character. I don't see why they would for yours.

AK has seen me complain in other threads about men playing women. :P

Joana's big spoilered rant about male players with female PCs:
In my experience, the number of men who think that they can play a female character is greater than the number of men who can actually play a female character.

Men playing women fall into one of four categories:

1. Those who do so and do an excellent job. Patrik is in this category with Linah, btw.

2. Those who play a female PC without anything actually seeming very female about her. They're there, they're not offensive or icky, but you kind of wonder what was the point of playing the PC as female rather than male, other than perhaps the novelty of the thing. They're kind of genderless in practice.

3. Those who are mildly offensive. Into this category fall all the female PCs who self-narrate how their long tresses flow over their shoulders as they run or do a lot of giggling and flipping their hair and talking about how much they enjoy shopping. You roll your eyes, you grit your teeth, you try to ignore it and move on.

4. Those who are more than mildly offensive. You've got the obvious creepy-guy-playing-prepubescent-girl-prostitute, but there are other less blatant symptoms. I've rarely seen a female PC played by an actual woman, for example, who felt the need to describe how her breasts swell against her armor or how her hips sway seductively as she moves across the battlefield or who rattles on to complete strangers about how she's in a bad mood because it's "that time of the month." Just repellent.

Avoid category 4 at all costs, and try to minimize category 3 and we'll be fine. I have to say, though, that IC Aemilia is extemely jealous of attention paid to other women and will likely be extremely cold to the other female PCs while she plays up to the men. Don't think it's going to be a big slumber party.

And for those who are wondering how much of a hypocrite I am:
I have one male PC. He is purposefully played as shallow and non-introspective, both for comic relief and because I don't feel myself up to believably portraying the inner workings of the male mind. And he never describes his biological equipment or what he looks like with his clothes off. :P

Sovereign Court


I can safely say i'm extremely, extremely unlikely to fall into 3 or 4.

It is possible I may fall into category number 2 however. Let me know if I do and i'll try and fem it up.

Shadow Lodge

Much like Alex said:

Category 3 or 4 no way in hell...not my thing. Category 2 very possible.

Word of warning: Lysanndra will be starting the game off as much more of a goody-two-shoes/naive type than she will end up being, bear with me for the first level or two.

The more wenches the better. Oops said that out loud...

Male Human Rogue (Rake) 1

Don't worry, Baggs will insult the real and not so real women in the party equally and without bias...that I promise you! Lot's of "Lass", "Girlie", and "What's wrong with ya, women?" references. He not a pig, but he is also not a gentlemen in any respect.

And to be will not be finding out why he is called

Looking forward to it Yarrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Must get out Yellowbeard on DVD and watch it a couple of times before we start to get into the mood. One of the best Pirate movies ever!

Male Human (Taldan) Buccaneer 3- HP 25/25, AC15, CMD15, F+3, R+4, W+1, 0/12 BP Used, 0/4 Lvl 1 Spells Used

Background to follow, heres my Shoanti lady's crunch...*

*She was charisma 8 for a while but I saw the Half-Orc was Cha 7 and I figured in for a penny, in for a pound... I do plan to boost her social skills with my planned rogue levels though :)

How on earth is a woman who looks like that Cha 7? :P

Male Human (Taldan) Buccaneer 3- HP 25/25, AC15, CMD15, F+3, R+4, W+1, 0/12 BP Used, 0/4 Lvl 1 Spells Used

How was Adolf Hitler a charismatic man despite being short and awful looking with several horrific physical mannerisms.

Answer: Force of personality.

Just because she looks nice doesn't mean she has high charisma. The two don't have to be universally tied.

+ have you tried finding a remotely ruddy-skinned, female avatar that might look like a Shoanti? I don't want her to be as dark-skinned as a Mwangi so that avatar was the best I could find.

Male Human Rogue (Rake) 1

I have to admit, I have met several women that looked good but had little else...maybe Tanjah is one of those? :] and just to be fair, there are plenty of men ou there with the same attributes....

Did you go ahead and give her a 7 INT as well? 12 INT...what????? lol

Sovereign Court


Shes not a Sajan ;).

It is an extremely hot avatar so she must have a truly awful personality - definately can't complain with my guy though.

Guys I'm off, most of you from LOF are here so just to say apologies for not getting things started there. Just brutally smashed at work for the last few days.

Unless she vomits frogs on everyone every time she opens her mouth, no. I've loved that avatar since it was introduced but have been waiting to run an 18 Cha PC to even remotely justify choosing it. Your 7 Cha PC does not get to be prettier than the 14 and 16 Cha PCs. Aemilia is not getting on a boat with that and, if forced to, will ignore all plot hooks and other enticements in favor of killing Tanjah.

No one bemoans the lack of variety in female avatars more than I, but I'm putting my foot down on this one. Asking Aemilia to cooperate with 2 other women is one thing, but having them both be prettier than her? No. (Aemilia doesn't care about force of personality, just about who's better looking.)

Male Human (Taldan) Buccaneer 3- HP 25/25, AC15, CMD15, F+3, R+4, W+1, 0/12 BP Used, 0/4 Lvl 1 Spells Used

Find me another suitable avatar for a tall Shoanti female warrior Joana. I delegate to your avatar-finding fu. If not... the ship's about to get cut-throat :P.

Your comment made me giggle Joana, thanks :)

Seriously, I don't see that there has to be a link between attractiveness and charisma and it should be decoupled. She'll get even hotter if she becomes a Lich then, right? ;).

But seriously, I will change avatar if you find me something suitable. I sympathise with your plight Joana, and won't play such a hottie if it will make the game unplayable for your character.

Night all.

Well, to start with, if we're going for verisimilitude, according to the ISWG, "Hair is considered a dangerous weakness in hand-to-hand combat, so both men and women typically shave their heads, save for shamans and the elderly." So all those lovely flowing locks have to go.

However, since finding a ruddy-skinned, tattooed, bald female human avatar is only slightly less difficult than finding a female gnome who's not Lini, we'll see what we can do. ;)

EDIT: Ha! I say that, and then there she is on the first page: Beshtu the giantess from Curse of the Riven Sky! She's bald and tattooed, although I'm not sure her skintone is what you're looking for: Beshtu.

Ilora Nuski is apparently from Kingmaker, which means you probably have very specific associations with her picture. Knowing nothing about the character, I think she looks tough and has short-cropped hair that could have grown out since she left Varisia. Skin might still be a little pale for your taste, but she's on the same page with the iconic Shoanti and she's not too far off his shade.

Kressle. Once again, Kingmaker. She has darkish skin and hair tied up, looks like a formidable opponent. No tattoos.

Ember. Tan skin, short hair, tattooed. Doesn't really scream Shoanti to me, though.

Too much hair for the ISWG, but she definitely looks like a tough chick, and she has a chain, which is kind of like a whip.

Sorry Dave will check in future. Had another look at alter wind, it doesn't move, so it gone from a slightly useful spell for keeping a boat moving to useless for anything. So I'll exchange it for something slightly more useful. Does "Crafter's fortune" p213 of player's guide look ok?

There is avatar in the monk list that might work
and another in the sorcerer list (although she is probably as good looking)
and two the the female humans list (it is a rather long list but they aren't listed else where)
and finally one in the monstrous humanoids which I think looks great.
Hope that helps

Ran out of edit time.

There's Alhandra, which backs up your point about Cha not being all looks; I always thought she was an unfortunate paladin. ;) Short hair, dark skin.

There's the world's most unattractive picture of Seoni. Must have been snapped by the paparazzi and plastered on tabloids across Golarion: "Seoni Lets Herself Go!" "What Seoni Looks Like Without Make-Up!" "Seoni Battling Disfiguring Disease!" Tattoos, but lots of hair.

Shoanti tribeswoman. Can't argue with the caption. Doesn't look terribly fighter-y, though.

Look! Another dark-skinned bald woman!

Amiri, duh. Definitely tough and wild, messily-cropped hair. Skin might not be dark enough for you, though.

On Charisma and attractiveness:

I think it's more likely for an unattractive person to be able to provoke a favorable social reaction than for an attractive person to provoke an unfavorable social reaction. Take someone with "less conventional" looks, as they say, like a Kathy Bates or a Steve Buscemi, and they can be so likeable and confident that their personality trumps their physical appearaence and they start to look more attractive.

On the other hand, consider a person who is stunningly good-looking but dumb as a rock with nothing interesting to say. You might tune out whatever they have to say, but you want to keep them around just to look at them. So while they may not be very persuasive, they still trigger a positive social reaction: witness the dumb-blonde and pool-boy stereotypes.

Tanjah Scorpion-Tail wrote:
Seriously, I don't see that there has to be a link between attractiveness and charisma and it should be decoupled. She'll get even hotter if she becomes a Lich then, right? ;).

Duh. Have you seen Arazni? ;)


So, while we've got some time, I'd like everyone's opinions on some stuff. Skull and shackles is a bit more mature than some of the previous APs, with pirates, cut throats and murder abounding. Obviously evil alignments are permitted, but playing anti-social behaviour in a social environment is always tricky, as different people have different triggers.

To get the ball rolling, the module describes a character as swearing constantly. Do I stick with pirate swearing which may be silly, or adopt real swearing, which may offend. Will a starting letter with hashes, ampersands and exclaimation marks suffice, would it suit always, or just for extremes?
Similarly, some scenes are set up to allow for graphic violence, and what one person finds laughable, another may find distressing.

My usual style rarely delves into cruelty and grit, so while I intend to up the harshness content, I'm aware that some of you already have some expectations about the sort of treatment you'll recieve. More importantly, some of you have heightened expectations of the sort of treatment you'll dish out. While NPCs are always fair game, they're also not constrained by ideas of party unity, attachment or player concepts. Please use this discussion thread extensively, or PM me with any concerns you may have that you don't want publicly aired.

As to swearing, I avoided swearing in my character background as I wasn't sure who might read it. While you won't offend me with anything you say, anyone could potentially read the game threads. That said from what you say I suspect that swearing is the least of the potentially offensive material that will be contained. Depending on the atmosphere you want to create slightly comic pirate swearing might be a nice release valve from the more serious content.

Male Human Rogue (Rake) 1

The PBP blocks the printing of most major curse words so you just see the symbols for effect...
Baggs has a bit of a foul mouth and will potentially curse in extreme circumstances, but cursing a lot loses it effect IMO anyways. I don't really swear in real life, so he would only marginally more.
I don't really care if anyone else does as well as long as it isn't in every I said it loses it's effect if you use it all of the time.
I don't care about using swear words though so if anyone gets offended speak up now and I can just be more creative...

Shadow Lodge

No real concerns for me as it takes a fair amount to actually offend me.

Cursing: Not going to phase me one bit, but as others have said, it should be reserved for the proper time to actually have an impact.

Now that aside, as I have describe Lysandra before, she is starting off a bit naive, so she will very likely be offended by a great many things in the beginnings of the game. Please do not take Lysandra's reactions as something I am personally offended by.

I am fairly certain there will be little happening in this game that would be much worse than some of the Vampire: the Masquerade games I have run/been a part of over the years.

Sovereign Court


No problems with mature style of game.

The rules for Peg Legs amuse me greatly. 1/2 damage from caltrops? Great, half of 1 is... still... 1... Ouch!

Male Human (Taldan) Buccaneer 3- HP 25/25, AC15, CMD15, F+3, R+4, W+1, 0/12 BP Used, 0/4 Lvl 1 Spells Used

As Talomyr is planning to go mostly Cleric with his Bard, i'd like to instead put forward Xantrius Casmirre, a Buccaneer.

Backstory, appearance and personality all included on the profile. I'm a hell of a lot more inspired by Xantrius than I was Tanja, and I brutally repurposed and renamed her alias for him.

One question that won't affect whether i'm playing him or not- DM, will you allow Masterpieces?

Essentially they are bonuses you spend Bardic performance rounds to activate and you have to trade in spells known slots or feats to gain them. If permitted, i'd like to re-fluff the ones I take to more pirate-themed performances (i've done this before with a Bard and I like to think I was quite inventive). They usually mimic spell effects and are more utility than combat power and I don't think any of them call upon effects from UM and UC (I can confirm this later if your interested in allowing them).

As mentioned, the forum filters will take care of the cursing problem. I don't curse IRL -- not out loud, anyway -- but some of my PCs do, and the filter keeps me from feeling too naughty very nicely. It used to be a PC couldn't even cock an eyebrow in a PbP, but they've given the filter a few drinks since then to loosen it up a little. :)

Male Human (Taldan) Buccaneer 3- HP 25/25, AC15, CMD15, F+3, R+4, W+1, 0/12 BP Used, 0/4 Lvl 1 Spells Used

PC's still can't snigger though though i'm told that over the pond you use 'snicker' anyway. I dislike that word. Give me my snigger back.

Edit: Oh they finally let that one loose? About time...

Male Human Rogue (Rake) 1

Hmmm, that's leave us with no fighter in the group, is that a potential problem?
We are all pretty squishy...I could be talked into changing to a tank...not sure let me think about it.

Male Human (Taldan) Buccaneer 3- HP 25/25, AC15, CMD15, F+3, R+4, W+1, 0/12 BP Used, 0/4 Lvl 1 Spells Used

Wild Shape focused Druid's aren't particularly squishy and Xantrius should be able to hold his own. I might drop Int down to 10 to get Dex or Con 14 anyway. Not sure Combat Expertise is worth the feat investment.

Edit: Con is 14 now, Xantrius isn't too squishy :)

At mid levels I can tank but will struggle until 5th or so. Druids can summon ablative armour from about 3rd lv so we only need to survive until then.


The wizard is going to tank? Oh this will be an interesting AP.
With 6 of you instead of 4, you don't have to worry too much about covering all classes or not having the firepower. That said, the way this AP is built, those things are not going to help you anyway.

This is not a typical module. I suspect you guys will love that and run with it. But we're going to have to work out how to do some things as we get to them, so I ask you all for your patience, and any and all help or advice will be welcomed, though not necessarily accommodated. :-)

Alex - no to masterpieces.

Male Human (Taldan) Buccaneer 3- HP 25/25, AC15, CMD15, F+3, R+4, W+1, 0/12 BP Used, 0/4 Lvl 1 Spells Used

No problem, worth asking. Everything else should be legit.

Blink is a great tanking spell, combined with mirror image or false life = tank or close to it. unfortunately at 5th that is probably 1 combat a day so really need to be higher to consistently tank.

Male Human Rogue (Rake) 1

Shipmaster Dave:

Been thinking we have a crapload of skill monkeys in the party. I might change up my character before we start if you don't mind.
I would like to try out a LE Cleric of Asmodeus. This is really one of the few AP's you could get away with playing an evil character.
I would play him LE to LN and he would grow to work with the party and maybe eventually come to like some of his party members.
Any concerns or can I submit his background and you can let me know your thoughts? His basic build is a negative channeler to harm others. Since we will have a cleric who can positive channel this is another time where it will be one of the only times when you could try out this build. I defintely won't be disruptive to the party and you know I can RP him.
Let me know and I will submit his background for review. Thanks for the consideration.

Male English Project Manager 13th

Okay, I talked with Dave and I am going to change my character for this campaign.
We have plenty of skill monkies in the party so I am going to change to a LE Cleric of Asmodeus (no positive energy but I will have a few cure's). With our party makeup I can actually pull off a character like this.
Should have an initial character up tomorrow but wanted to let everyone know in case you want to tweak your character in any way before we get started next week. Will be some interesting RP...

Male Human Cleric 3 (FC) HP: 25/25 AC: 16

Hey Dave, this is Terok. Here is the updated submission for the AP.

With an 18 Cha, he's going to be brutal with negative energy. Very happy to see he took Selective Channeling.

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