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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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Deity

Sad to see Joana go. I'll DMPC her briefly, but given her lack of contact with you and her addiction to rum she'll be fading into the background pretty quickly. That said, if she ever wants to return she can sober up but that opportunity won't last forever as the game progresses.

I'm learning very quickly the differences between PBP and FTF, so if you guys have any suggestions or advice how I can improve the game, I'd much rather hear them here before they become a problem than after.
I'm always open to PM as well if you don't want to share with the forum.

And now, with all that out the way...

Fight, fight, fight, fight...

:- D avid


Deity
Nakon the Cruel wrote:

Move and ready unarmed attack.

...
And the AOO to any unarmed attack I provoke.

?!? You wouldn't get an AoO unless you're armed.


I attack unarmed, provokes AOO without feat. If AOO is an unarmed strike without feat then I get an AOO. Continue as combat reflexes allows.

At least my interpretation.


Deity

"Attacking unarmed provokes an attack of opportunity from the character you attack, provided she is armed. The attack of opportunity comes before your attack. An unarmed attack does not provoke attacks of opportunity from other foes, nor does it provoke an attack of opportunity from an unarmed foe." p182.


Flanking wrote:
When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus if your opponent is threatened by another enemy character or creature on its opposite border or opposite corner.
Quote:
If you're unarmed, you don't normally threaten any squares

Without weapons or Improved Unarmed Strike, none of the PCs can provide a flank for the others.


I stand corrected thanks! Good thing I haven't had to do any fist fights lately.


Deity

Thanks Joana. Couldn't find the definition of threatened in the index, and missed page 180. :-/

Taldor

Male

No flank was the assumption I was working off anyway.


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
Shipmaster Dave wrote:

Sad to see Joana go. I'll DMPC her briefly, but given her lack of contact with you and her addiction to rum she'll be fading into the background pretty quickly. That said, if she ever wants to return she can sober up but that opportunity won't last forever as the game progresses.

I'm learning very quickly the differences between PBP and FTF, so if you guys have any suggestions or advice how I can improve the game, I'd much rather hear them here before they become a problem than after.
I'm always open to PM as well if you don't want to share with the forum.

And now, with all that out the way...

Fight, fight, fight, fight...

:- D avid

Been meaning to respond to this for some time now but i've been utterly swamped as i'm sure people have noted.

I'm very enjoying playing Xantrius and I think the game is sailing along nicely generally. But my real gripes with it right now are two or three things-

1. As a habitual spoiler-reader, I see that Lysandra has been rewarded with an IC perception check (arguably, a passive check really) with OOC information. The information would really be better served handed out to us as players, so we can know what our actions are allowed to be for day and night time. It currently feels like we're under some arbitrary restrictions, but we don't know what they are and to be honest its very frustrating. Releasing that info to all of us publicly as players would really help with that. I think its important, when using a mechanic that essentially defines out current time on the ship, for said mechanics to be transparent. We're all mature enough here to handle it.

2. Nakon found a suitable weapon in the kitchens with a quick check, but Xantrius didn't find it having spent all day in there? Definitely felt like a strangely robbed opportunity there, again perhaps as a result of perception checks needing to be made 'actively' all the time. Or perhaps, as it felt to me, a result of the action restrictions (Xantrius had used his action charming Fishguts) that were constantly kind of hinted at but never really made available for perusal.

3. Personal bugbear- NPC gets to make a good performance with no perform check. If it was just a take 10, I suppose I can live with it ;).

So really, just one major gripe I guess. I am also annoyed by NPC's that seem destined to be uninfluencable because they are being set up as antagonists but I know that is really a module issue and i'll hop on the railroad without too much complaint there. Also, I didn't truly understand why i'd need a check to spot Aemilia in dim light. Dim light allows for concealment and the DC was as high as if she had been taking 10 actively trying to sneak to her hammock, rather than walking to it. I felt like some nice interaction there was stymied for little reason (perhaps if Joana had already mentioned she was bowing out theres some justification).

I still think it would be epic if, despite everything, Xantrius won over Plugg or Scourge. The final confrontation with them (if there is one) would be even more dramatic as friend fought friend :P. I mean, fiction is full of stories of even master and slaves bonding. And most slave's don't have +8 diplomacy :D.

Finally, just want to say I think your doing a good job running the game despite my gripes. I've been worried you'll take my complaints very personally, please don't. I'm sure Dan has warned you how difficult I am to please and what a PITA I can be :).


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

It can be tough sometimes to think beyond the AP as written. It's takes even greater time and effort to work through these things and as a GM you often wonder if it will be worth it, meaning will the PC's really use the opportunity to build on it or just brush over it and move on.

I think things are going well. I read and was therefore warned that there was some railroading early.
I agree though that it is often the case the NPC's exist outside of the realm of the PC's abilities though. I chaulk it up to the BBEG's just can't be diplomacied into other actions similar to PC's are rarely moved by NPC's who have similar abilities.

Taldor

Male

Honestly i'd expect that to be represented by hefty circumstantial penalties rather than flat out 'uninfluenceable' flags. But its not something i'm going to get too hung up on, as long as I don't inadvertently waste Xantrius' daily efforts on someone like that :P.


Deity

1. Thanks, you're right. Done.
I was intending to let you discover the actions through in character observations or attempts at them, maybe revealing them as various players attempted actions that could fit within the criteria. However, the rules are provided to speed things up, and given we've only done one day so far (granted, the first, but still...) it's probably time to set things in motion. I'll try and remember to post night time actions when night falls. My intent was to use the rules around roleplaying (thus feeling you were under arbitrary restrictions) but since their actual purpose was to speed things up these ideals clash somewhat.

2. Xantrius found plenty of knives and meat cleavers in the kitchen. The original description mentions multiples of them. You never said you took a thing. Nakon went in pursuit of weapons, made multiple 'quick' checks, and made them well enough to avoid finding out what the consequences of failure were. A reason for delaying the 'action' rules was to avoid early situations where you're restricted to only 'talking' or 'taking'. I tend to ignore rules if they get in the way of logic. Once a routine has been established, you'll be in situations where an action represents an 'opportunity' for that day. Make you're own opportunities, and I won't stop you because of the rules, though you may get interrupted by wayward pirates, monsters or events.

3. I'm glad you thought the performance was good. I thought the rest of the pirates made it clear they preferred your tales. One of the issues with PBP is the inability to interrupt certain events and segue to deal with a specific instance, especially if the other players have moved on. As GM I decided this time that it was best to insert and resolve the event quickly, rather than backtrack and explain or ignore altogether. Rather, I've given you expectations (true or false) and I'm looking forward any future interactions these characters may have. :-)
I have been assigning 10's for 'passive' actions. The one song of the gnome isn't going to compete with your entire evening of performance (unless you roll crap). And Joanna wasn't really competing to hide from you but I also didn't modify your DC to spot Aemilia by +13 (+3 for 30' distance, +5 for terrible conditions like candlelight, washing waves and creaking timbers, +5 for being distracted talking with the others.)

And if by 'epic' you mean above 20th level... that may be what it takes. :-)
I try not to waste your 20's... or your 1's, even if the consequences aren't immediate. By the same token, if it's impossible then that doesn't mean you'll succeed 5% of the time. The rules are there for when somehing is uncertain. If the results are already known, I won't be using the rules to change that.
As such, I tend to play a little loose with the rules, but more often than not, it'll be in the PCs favour. The rules do treat PCs and NPCs differently, and most of the time I'm okay with that. After all, there's a lot more NPCs than PCs... especially in this AP.

Finally, Dan had only nice things to say about you. :-)
You can be a PITA, but remember, there are multiple protagonists in this story and I'll try and give them some of the limelight too.


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

Are you implying i've been attempting to hog it?


Deity

No, sorry. It was late, and one of the problems of PbP is the lack of body language and instant explanations. The last thing I want is to discourage people from posting.
The specific I was alluding to so unsuccessfully was that you wanted to see Aemilia, She didn't want to be seen, so I pulled out the 10+ Stealth mechanic to arbitrate.
It sounds like that decision may have been a little too PvP and perhaps I should have asked you to sort it out in the discussion thread.
The important part of the previous comment was Daniel's praise for your play, and not the tired (failed) jokey PITA comment.

Taldor

Male

Silence on my part is simply from busyness, i'll post in both IC and OOC tomorrow.


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

Ok glad the implication was not how I read it.

Thanks for responding to my points.

Re: Today's checks though, now i'm a little confused. It looks like Sevien both worked diligently and spent an action to influence an NPC. Is that possible to do if your in the same location as them or something?


Just a quick warning, this week is very busy for me at work so I might not be online much (or I might be online more)


Deity

Sevien was wrong to add the +4 to Strength- I took it off again when calculating his success. :-)
I'll try getting people to make duties rolls when they finish the day next time. That'll let me know when you're done, and modifiers may actually be known by then. :-)


Deity

Actually, the Sleep action may be a good way to regain that 2nd Con. Healing all fatigue is a dumb reward, since fatigue already heals with 8 hours sleep. And since non lethal damage heals at 1 per hour, a nights sleep also removes at least 8 non lethal damage. There's no mention that the other actions cut into regular sleep either.
Unless there's an advantage to going to sleep early, or a penalty for not, it's inclusion seems redundant.
Comments?


Male Half-Orc Wizard 2 - HP 11/21, 0 non-lethal, AC15, CMD16, F+2, R+1, W+2, Prescience 0/5

If you are going to make the sleep early action heal extra con make it heal more than 1 extra otherwise no one gets to do anything but sleep every evening or die.

Actually better use your original rule of one per night and day and you can sleep early to get another. That way we shouldn't ever die while most of the time getting other options for night actions.


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

Probably a good fix. More than 1 would be overkill IMO anyway.


Male Half-Orc Wizard 2 - HP 11/21, 0 non-lethal, AC15, CMD16, F+2, R+1, W+2, Prescience 0/5

While agree that one is too much by common sense. But I also think that drinking something every night that does 1d3] Con damage is overkill. I want to make it so that the other actions get used or we die.

I'm sure that other GMs have encounted this problem there is probably a thread on it in the skull and shackles forum.


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

I said more than 1. I think 1 is a good fix.

For clarity, we heal 1 overnight and 1 during the day anyway?


Male Half-Orc Wizard 2 - HP 11/21, 0 non-lethal, AC15, CMD16, F+2, R+1, W+2, Prescience 0/5

Oh that sounds ok (sorry the rum thing annoys me, it is one of those things that pulls me out of character)

btw link to thread here


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

The con damage won't be bothering us anymore....the good thing about being able to pray for whatever spells you have access too.


Deity

What are you doing reading those threads? There be spoilers in there. And I had read it, which was why I was aiming to heal 2 points con damage per day somehow for the rum.


I thought (at least) by RAW you only get a 2nd point if you spend the day resting (which we obviously don't working). Thus taking 1d3 con a day, only getting 1 back seemed like a killer to me. Not surprised there is a thread about it although I've resisted the urge to click.

Getting two back with a focused sleep seems like a good idea to me. Your only dying if your really unlucky or prevented from sleeping which seems much more practical.


Dave I did see they have a map book for this AP. Not sure how your planning to do maps but it would be a cinch to pull those from the online version into maptools.


Male Half-Orc Wizard 2 - HP 11/21, 0 non-lethal, AC15, CMD16, F+2, R+1, W+2, Prescience 0/5

Didn't need to read it, a google search was all it required and the title of the thread. Glad you are where already on to it (:


Deity

I've subscribed to the AP, so I'm getting the pdf as well as the hard copy which I can pull maps from. I've got Map Tools but little experience with it, so not sure yet how much time I want to invest in maps. There was some confusion in the first fight, but I still think it ran pretty well without a map.

The rum thread is pretty much as you say Daniel- losing 1d3 Con every night and only getting 1 back kills every crew member in a few weeks, tops. I like the rum doing Con damage, especially for those that indulge, but taking an average 2 per day and only healing 1 per day is excessive. I'm not of the opinion though that every character actually does drink every day. By the time your Con hits 4ish, you're gonna be ditching that rum, even if you are an NPC. Even failing the stealth check and getting caught- as long as the punishment isn't Con damage, you're better off.

So, early to bed to heal a 2nd Con. No more Con back during the working day. Now that Mata rolled a 3... :-)


PRD>Skill Descpriptions>Diplomacy wrote:
You cannot use Diplomacy to influence a given creature's attitude more than once in a 24-hour period.

Or do the Day/Night action rules overrule the CRB rules? Aemilia would have tried to make Jack Helpful while she had the Cha bonus if I hadn't known the rule. That's why she was looking for someone else to talk to.

Taldor

Male

Is the Advanced Race Guide going to be an allowed source? Will any retcons be allowed?

Not necessarily wanting any. Just want an FYI request.


Deity

The module gives multiple actions, but the rules say diplomacy can only be practised once per person per day.
So, if a player says, "I want to diplomacy them again" I either say "no, that's not in the rules", which could break the story, or I say "yes", and ignore the rules which ultimately were written to attempt to include and balance all types of character roles.
Again, I've compromised. Extra diplomacy attempts I'll just raise the DC for. You get an awesome result, you get rewarded. You do poor or mediocre, I make things interesting. I'll throw in bonuses for good ideas, story, roleplaying, or even because the module says so.
Ultimately, I don't want the rules discouraging roleplaying. If something makes sense, try it. I'll twist the rules to fit the situation rather than the situation to fit the rules.

I'm intending to get Advanced Races Guide and would like to incorporate it. But not yet. I figure we can play through this module first, then I might allow goodies to be incorporated for the next one. By then we'll have an idea of what's balanced and what's broken, and between mods is a good time to tinker with characters.


Sorry about slowness in selecting replacement feat. Never actually built a druid before and struggling a bit.

I know I take power attack at 3 and natural spell at 7 (don't wildshape until lvl 6..). Was thinking spell focus conjuration and augment summoning at 5 but not sure just how much summoning I'll ever get around to do doing.

Any suggestions?

Taldor

Male

Its hard to go wrong with Dodge.

Step Up chain always handy VS Archers and Casters.

I'm a big fan of Desperate Battler but it requires careful positioning.

Finally, take the hit early and get heavy armour proficiency. So you can't wear metal- dragonhide and ironwood, as well as stoneplate, all ways around this and your dexterity score screams heavy armour.

My best suggestion- Get Herolab. ;).


Re Map tools I initially found it very intimidating until I did the tutorial on their site. Its really helpful. With a little bit of practise and token tools I find maps really easy even if I have to lift them out the hard way for LOF.

Only annoying thing was losing my great image library when my computer crashed. Still haven't found the time to do much to restore. Fortunately I had backed up my main map/resources database.

Taldor

Male

Dan- I can drop my image library into dropbox for you perhaps? I lost mine too but i've rebuilt a half-decent one.


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

Big fan of maptools as well. Takes about 2 good combats to become proficient with it. Actually started lifting the creature images from the Bestiary for monster tokens. They are sometimes a little small for medium creatures but otherwise they look good and works well with large creatures and above.

Been thinking or running my tabletop game on it for my at home group so I no longer have to use maps, but I kind of like using mini's...


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

To confirm, Grok seemed unwilling to let Xantrius have his armour back on the loan?

Its not worth much ;).


Might simply be a lot more obvious.


Deity
Xantrius Casmirre wrote:

To confirm, Grok seemed unwilling to let Xantrius have his armour back on the loan?

Its not worth much ;).

Confirmed.

Also colour me interested in a drop box of images for map tools.
Currently I've just scanned in Dungeon Tiles of various kinds, but never got round to playing with them.


Deity

I thought of doing individual attitudes- but 5 characters x 20ish crew is a bit much to keep track of. This is already sucking more of my spare time than I'd intended. I'm hoping as routine sets in things will go a little easier on me, but I know I'm deluding myself. Suddenly I'm even more appreciative of the obviously Herculean efforts you GMs put into your games. Thank you, thank you, a thousand times, thank you. I'm having a great time. :-)

In other news, activities, crew attitudes and maps of the Wormwood linked on the campaign info page.


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

I believe Grok is Helful rather than Friendly, as Xantrius changed her attitude twice (once to Friendly, again to Helpful).

What check do I need to make for the days work?


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

Is the +4 for working diligently? Do I have any other option? Surely i can just spend less time on the boat. I was waiting for clarity on which roll was required before posting again.


Deity

The +4 was for working diligently, since you asked for a roll but had declared no other action. If you'd like another action, please modify. If you want to do something that doesn't fit the actions, let me know and I'll improvise... not always in your favour. :-)


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

Wanted to know which roll was required before I committed myself, don't think that is unreasonable.

I'm still holding out for the possibility there might be a single task in this kitchen duty Xantrius actually has a positive modifier in and obviously the temptation to work diligently etc. is higher if he doesn't...


Alexander Kilcoyne wrote:
Dan- I can drop my image library into dropbox for you perhaps? I lost mine too but i've rebuilt a half-decent one.

Would be super thanks.


Shipmaster Dave wrote:

I thought of doing individual attitudes- but 5 characters x 20ish crew is a bit much to keep track of. This is already sucking more of my spare time than I'd intended. I'm hoping as routine sets in things will go a little easier on me, but I know I'm deluding myself. Suddenly I'm even more appreciative of the obviously Herculean efforts you GMs put into your games. Thank you, thank you, a thousand times, thank you. I'm having a great time. :-)

In other news, activities, crew attitudes and maps of the Wormwood linked on the campaign info page.

It does get easier (maps and combat definately the most time consuming part which is why fast and convenient mapping so important) but it does take time. Every time I even think about starting a second game I slap myself. Not quite sure how others with multiple games manage it :)


No doubt! I have a homebrew I have been wanting to put together for about a year but it's simply too much. Plus I have gotten myself into a bunch of PBP games and GM'ing my Serpents Skull game on these boards. When they all are active, it does seem a lot...

Taldor

Male

... and yet i'm considering running a 4th PbP. Still in a period of exceptional busyness in Ukraine but I think I may have time for it in my schedule next year as its not homebrew.

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