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Shisumo's Skull & Shackles

Game Master Shisumo


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Okay! We have four players, and hence, a quorum to do business! First order of said business: introduce yourselves, and work out what your party makeup should be.

For the purposes of helping out with the character creation questions, I'll go ahead and lay down the ground rules I want to use:

* 20 point buy
* Core rulebook races only by default - if you have a really compelling idea for something else, though, ask and we can discuss it. Water-themed races would be the most likely ones to pass muster.
* Any base class you want from Paizo, and other 3PP products might also be available as well. (I hardly need an excuse to buy more 3PP PDFs, after all, especially if it's Rite Publishing or Super Genius.)
* No psionics, this time, but I'm down with - might even go so far as to say rather hoping for - firearms. It's pirates, dammit!
* Two Traits, one of which should be a Campaign Trait from the S&S Player's Guide; the other can be from any Paizo source.

So have a swig of this here rum, and let's spin a pirate yarn together!


DM Shisumo wrote:
Okay! We have four players, and hence, a quorum to do business! So have a swig of this here rum, and let's spin a pirate yarn together!

My two favorite things! Business and Rum!

My preference would be for a Diplomatic (or perhaps not-so) Rogue, but am open to suggestions.


Hello, folks. I have given this just enough thought to sign up for the trip. I'm leaning toward a druid or maybe cleric at this point, but as Ferret indicated, I'm open to other thoughts.

The vaguest character type is forming, of a quiet, behind-the-scenes sort, but these things usually change once the adventurin' starts!

Thanks for the invite, Shisumo!


Yar! I'm here! Ready to hoist the sail, and all that rot.

Actually, I've got an idea, but it'll take a little work. I'll piece my idea together and pitch it to you, Shusumo. If it can work, it will be a firearm - based class.


Shisumo:
While pouring over archetypes, I noticed the Musketeer and thought that's IT!

However, it's based off the Cavalier, not the best ship-based class. The Musketeer does a great thing by omitting the Mount special ability and hands out a firearm and some firearm-related abilities, but it still leaves something to be desired.

Most notably, the Charge abilities are... totally useless in a nautical setting. My idea is to swap the Ride skill with the Acrobatics skill, and then let the Cavalier's Charge, Mighty Charge and (if we get to it) the Supreme Charge be something that can be accomplished only when employing the Acrobatics skill as part of the charge -- i.e. when swinging from a rope, balancing on a yardarm, or jumping from one ship to another. You know, real Musketeer/Errol Flynn kind of stuff.

The last thing I'd suggest would be that the Banner ability work if the banner is flying on the ship, since having it flying from horseback isn't really an option.

So, if you haven't figured it out by now, my idea is a flamboyant purveyor of derring-do, with pistol, rapier and all sorts of wild stunts. If there's any way to do it, he'll do it... with panache!


DM Shisumo wrote:
* Any base class you want from Paizo, and other 3PP products might also be available as well. (I hardly need an excuse to buy more 3PP PDFs, after all, especially if it's Rite Publishing or Super Genius.)

As this percolates in the back of my mind, I'm thinking it might be fun to look at some Super Genius options just because my chances to use all those books I've purchased are few and far between.

Not sure how many lend themselves to a nautical adventure, however... After the weekend tasks are done, I'll crack open the box of toys and see what classes I have access to -- Shisumo, are there classes or books you can tell me right off that are out of question?

One that comes to mind without looking was the Mosaic Mage(?) just because I thought it was an interesting concept, not because I have any idea if any of them are actually playable.

I'll be back soon!


OK, here are some of the thoughts I'm entertaining.

The Mosaic Mage - Red, Rose, or White spectrum - because of the classes' general flexibility and these spectra's ability to cast healing spells. However, it may not be the best choice for the adventure we are looking at.

A cleric of Besmara with the Exalted Trickery domain seems interesting, as well, if the exalted domain is an option. Possibly a chaotic neutral halfling - not because she's 'almost CE' but because that's the goddess' alignment and the old-school race of rogues seems appropriate.

A shark shaman or storm druid (druid archetypes) have also caught my attention.

For some reason, I got on the kick that this character will be a healer, as you might have noticed. All of these classes have some fun options, but the first two are probably the ones I'm leaning toward most. If the exalted domain is not an option, travel is a likely second choice.

Of course, I like to look at options, and I may end up using any or none of the above.


Stalwart:

I see where you're going, and I've of several minds about it. Let me go through some of my thoughts, and we can see where that takes us.

1) Running into combat as a pistoleer is a bit of a contradiction in terms. Guns are for staying away from the foe, not getting to within reach of them. I'm fine with the musketeer archetype - it's a personal favorite, in fact - but combining it with the charge stuff you're talking about doesn't seem to work in my head. You might look at the luring cavalier archetype instead, though; the two of them work together (intentionally so, I suspect), as the luring cavalier gets rid of all the charge-related stuff.

2) It might be possible to do a similar concept with a pistolero or mysterious stranger gunslinger, especially if the leadership elements of the cavalier aren't as important to you. You might also look at the pirate archetype of the rogue, which has almost that exact charge mechanic you were describing.

3) Another thought I had was a musketeer cavalier / bard multiclass, headed for the battle herald PrC - that would also deal with the charge issue, but it wouldn't give you the cool gun focus abilities from the musketeer later on, so I don't know if that's of any interest.

4) I'd be okay with giving you a slightly altered banner, essentially having the effect work for sailors on your ship (and only on your ship, so you'd lose it during boardings, and obviously the charge bonuses would be less useful as well), but that would more or less require you to be the ship's captain in order to be able to run up your colors. That's an issue you'll have to address with the rest of the players, though.

Thoughts?

EDIT: I also just found Ultimate Options: Gunslingers and Grit, which has the fusilier alternate class (and am now another $4 poorer still). It's actually a really good swashbuckler/firearms type, using the idea of taking grit and applying it to finesse weapons alongside firearms for a really cool combination of effects. If you've got the $4 to spend, you might give it a looksee. (Also, Ainvar, if you don't own that book, you might look at it for the upcoming 2nd-level rewrite of Lamsfel...)


Ainvar:

I have no objections to mosaic mages or exalted domains (though I am now $6 poorer, thankyouverymuch). From what I can tell so far, you are the only player looking at a caster - Ferret's mentioned a rogue, Stalwart a cavalier and our fourth player was thinking about a paladin/fighter last I heard. As a result, being a flexible healer is probably not a bad thing, though I will spoil things just a bit and note that there is an NPC who will likely be able to provide some non-combat healing, so it's not completely necessary either.

I'll also note that a shark shaman would fit in ludicrously well with some of the themes and scenes of the first adventure especially, and looking down the road, a storm shaman would also likely be really, really, really well suited to some stuff happening later on.

As for other 3PP, I think I've already made clear my general opinion on the Tome of Secrets; I'd also like to stay away from psionics for this game, I think. (Wrong vibe, if you'll pardon the slight pun.) Most stuff from Rite and Super Genius I'll allow by default unless I see something that worries me, but other stuff is kind of hit and miss.


The idea I had was sort of a "soften them up with range, then charge in to finish them off" -type character with an equal mix of melee and ranged skill. He'd fire his pistol while the ships are maneuvering and pulling up alongside, then when it's time to board (or repel boarders) he'd put the gun away and join in the melee.

The Luring Cavalier certainly would be a perfect fit for someone who snipes from the forecastle during the entire engagement, only drawing steel once the battle comes to him. I was thinking of someone a bit bolder (if not smarter).

If it's not to your liking, I'll put my mind to something else that may or may not be related to the Musketeer. I suppose I should also wait for the other players to chime in to see if anyone else had designs on the captain's chair. (Not that I specifically wanted to be the captain, but your ruling on the banner kind of necessitates we have that conversation now rather than later.)


Did you see the edit I made to my post? If 3PP stuff isn't your thing, that's cool, but the fusilier really seems like it might be up your alley.

Failing that, I'll need to give some thought to adapting the charge mechanics more specifically, and doing some comparisons. I suspect that you'll wind up losing some armor proficiencies along the way, but I also suspect that won't be too much of a problem.


DM Shisumo wrote:
I have no objections to mosaic mages or exalted domains (though I am now $6 poorer, thankyouverymuch).

youareverywelcome ;)

DM Shisumo wrote:
From what I can tell so far, you are the only player looking at a caster - Ferret's mentioned a rogue, Stalwart a cavalier and our fourth player was thinking about a paladin/fighter last I heard. As a result, being a flexible healer is probably not a bad thing, though I will spoil things just a bit and note that there is an NPC who will likely be able to provide some non-combat healing, so it's not completely necessary either.

I'm good with not having to be the healbot, so that's welcome news.

DM Shisumo wrote:
I'll also note that a shark shaman would fit in ludicrously well with some of the themes and scenes of the first adventure especially, and looking down the road, a storm shaman would also likely be really, really, really well suited to some stuff happening later on.

Well, the shine has warn off the Besmaran cleric, but that only narrows me down to the flexible arcanist (mosaic mage) that may not be a good fit for the adventure, the shark shaman that really sounds like a lot of fun, and the storm druid that may be the best combination of versatile and applicable.

Any thoughts from the other players?


AinvarG wrote:

Well, the shine has warn off the Besmaran cleric, but that only narrows me down to the flexible arcanist (mosaic mage) that may not be a good fit for the adventure, the shark shaman that really sounds like a lot of fun, and the storm druid that may be the best combination of versatile and applicable.

Any thoughts from the other players?

I'm looking at bending the Archaeologist Bard variant into a Ship's Carpenter, which would give me a bit of flexibility and allow for a secondary healer...


Two secondary healers is usually as good as a primary healer, particularly with NPC backup. Druid/mosaic mage + bard probably = most everybody staying upright, most of the time.


I'm looking at the details of the domain options for the storm druid at the moment, including the possibility (if DM approves) of planning to upgrade his first-level domain to its exalted version when he normally gets access to a second domain at 9th level. That's a long way in the future, of course, but I'm curious how it would shape up.


Now you're just trying to make me spend money.


Hehe, I thought you said you had the exalted domain books already - or was that the mosaic mage you invested in?

In a nutshell, the exalted domains concept is that the character specializes in a single domain rather than two - the cleric gets an exalted domain with a little extra punch rather than two normal domains at first level is the typical application.

Obviously, a druid generally does not get two domains, but the storm druid gets a domain at 1st and a second domain at 9th. A suggestion from the SGG book for such situations is that the character takes their normal domain at 1st and when they would normally gain access to a second domain, they basically lose the normal domain in favor of the exalted version of the same domain.

Does that help?


No, I bought War and Ruin earlier, for the Trickery domain - but the storm druid's stuff is in Storm and Savagery... :P

And no, I'd be fine with the upgrade at 9th. I'd already noticed the possibility when I was looking the archetype over earlier today.


OK, I seem to be settling on the Storm Druid with the Air domain, to be upgraded to the Exalted Air domain later. Shisumo, I'll send you a PM with specifics.


DM Shisumo wrote:

Did you see the edit I made to my post? If 3PP stuff isn't your thing, that's cool, but the fusilier really seems like it might be up your alley.

I sure didn't. Not at first.

However, I just checked out the Gunslinger options. I might just try for the Luring Musketeer plus Panache, if I can wrap my head around everything. Especially if no one else seems interested in pushing for the future captain position. Otherwise, the fusilier does seem pretty tempting.

Way I see it, if I go with Cavalier, with the two archetypes Luring Cavalier and Musketeer, I've got the pistol/musket, a few extra gun feats, and the Far Challenge abilities from the archetypes, and the Banner ability from the base class (which won't factor in unless I'm the captain running up the colors on my own ship). I can then take the amateur gunslinger feat and master at arms feat, style them as Panache feats to apply them to the pistol and to light weapons. I get a grit/panache deed from the Amateur Gunslinger feat and can use it (if it's the right kind of deed) with a light weapon.

Does that sound right?

BTW: Is anyone else interested in pushing for the captain spot? I don't want to seem like I'm specifically angling for it, but it does appear to be working out that way.


That all looks good to me, and would work just fine from my perspective... I'm thinking about switching the charge bonus from your banner ability to a flanking bonus, to make it more useful for defenders onboard the vessel.


This might getting a little carried away with the theme, but it appears that Super Genius' Storm Lord (trading wild shape for weather-related spell-like abilities) will stack with the Storm Druid.

I'm not sure I want to give up wild shape - I imagine this character spending a lot of time in air elemental form at the moment - what do you think?


The storm lord archetype is in the Genius Guide to Air Magic. Do you have that one, Shisumo?

Edit: It can be seen on d20pfsrd.com, too.


HP 5/28, AC 18/11/17, F +6, R +3, W +5, Init +1, Per +1

Yar, maties!

I'd originally built Eleuterio for a different S&S game (if you visit the Recruitment forum, you probably know which one), but I couldn't say no to Shisumo when he said he wanted to run a piratical game. I've got a few things to work out (converting from 15 to 20 PB, dropping a feat, etc.), but I should have my character ready to go in short order.

Quick question, DM - how do you want to handle starting equipment? Should we actually buy anything, or should we just fill out the Trappings section with: "loincloth (dirty), body odor, 10d10 fleas"?

Also want to say hi to Ainvar. I've been following the exploits of the Wardens of the Green for a bit now in Megan's Kingmaker thread, so glad to have you aboard! (Don't worry, Shisumo, they're still in book 1.)


AinvarG wrote:

This might getting a little carried away with the theme, but it appears that Super Genius' Storm Lord (trading wild shape for weather-related spell-like abilities) will stack with the Storm Druid.

I'm not sure I want to give up wild shape - I imagine this character spending a lot of time in air elemental form at the moment - what do you think?

The archetype seems solid, but it does seem to pigeonhole you pretty thoroughly. I don't see a problem with you taking it from a mechanical perspective, but there's a lot of flexilibity being sacrificed there for what is currently the group's only full caster. I'll leave it up to you, though; I'm certainly not going to put up a fuss.

Anyone else have any thoughts?


Eleuterio Reis wrote:
Quick question, DM - how do you want to handle starting equipment? Should we actually buy anything, or should we just fill out the Trappings section with: "loincloth (dirty), body odor, 10d10 fleas"?

Yeah, I've been pondering that one, which is why I hadn't said anything yet.

Let's go this way: max gold for your class, spend it as you would for any other game, then PM me what you buy and I'll let you know what you actually have to start out with. The rest will potentially be available later, depending on how things go.


Eleuterio Reis wrote:
Also want to say hi to Ainvar. I've been following the exploits of the Wardens of the Green for a bit now in Megan's Kingmaker thread, so glad to have you aboard! (Don't worry, Shisumo, they're still in book 1.)

You have me at a disadvantage, sir, but it's a pleasure to make your acquaintance. May we enjoy a long and enjoyable adventure or 12 with our fellow pirates and wise and knowledgeable DM. That was too much, wasn't it? I always go to far with that stuff. ;-)


Misroi (the guy behind Eleuterio) will likely also be joining the Jade Regent game, as I continue to search for a healer who won't flake out on us over there...

Also, man, we need to talk about that name. Eleuterio is a serious PITA to type.


DM Shisumo wrote:
AinvarG wrote:

This might getting a little carried away with the theme, but it appears that Super Genius' Storm Lord (trading wild shape for weather-related spell-like abilities) will stack with the Storm Druid.

I'm not sure I want to give up wild shape - I imagine this character spending a lot of time in air elemental form at the moment - what do you think?

The archetype seems solid, but it does seem to pigeonhole you pretty thoroughly. I don't see a problem with you taking it from a mechanical perspective, but there's a lot of flexilibity being sacrificed there for what is currently the group's only full caster. I'll leave it up to you, though; I'm certainly not going to put up a fuss.

Anyone else have any thoughts?

Yeah, I will have to look at it. By having those spell-like abilities, I won't (maybe) need to prepare those spells - but will I make up for the lost wild shape with the spells that I now have? A good question...


As a sidebar, what races are people looking at? I know Eleuterio (Eleu? Terry?) is human, obviously, and based on what Stalwart was describing it rather sounds like he's going human as well, but Ainvar? Ferret?


I haven't strayed far from my original halfling concept, but a half-elf or elf might be in the cards. A half-elf would probably be easiest to explain on a ship, but I kind of picture a halfling (possibly a former Chelish slave) initially mistaken as a lad and taken aboard as a cabin boy/servant. Quiet and withdrawn because the loud in his experience become the dead and coming into his own when he finds that he can wild shape. (And yeah, I think I'm going to have to leave the Storm Lord archetype behind - wild shape is too fun - of course, I have not actually tried to do a point-by-point comparison of the two, but time is short).

If the halfling is not workable, I can use the same idea for a half-elf that looks younger than his years, too.


DM Shisumo wrote:
As a sidebar, what races are people looking at? I know Eleuterio (Eleu? Terry?) is human, obviously, and based on what Stalwart was describing it rather sounds like he's going human as well, but Ainvar? Ferret?

Probably Half-elf, so that I can use the siege machinery when the time comes.

Question for the party: Who's planning on driving the boat? Stalwart looks to be settin' up for the captaincy, but is anyone putting points into spinning the wheel?


I was planning on a few points in Profession (Sailor), but it wasn't going to be a strong suit. That could change...

EDIT And, like the moods of Gozreh himself, it has. The image of a half-elf druid that happens to be a ship's pilot seems to come together nicely. He can keep to himself and still be right out in the open.


Male Human Luring Musketeer 3

What ho, lads! I dare say, who's up for a pirate adventure!?!

Submitted for your approval, Shisumo.


Oh, dear. I'm going to have to find an A game when it comes time to name my character, I can tell.


Artevious de Poisson wrote:

What ho, lads! I dare say, who's up for a pirate adventure!?!

Submitted for your approval, Shisumo.

Holy gods I love your backstory.

The mechanics look good too.


Since "spinning the wheel" is likely to be a Profession (sailor) check (unless you guys pick up some slave rowers from somewhere I'm not expecting), I fully expect all of you to have the basic requirements taken care of. Piloting is likely to be more a question of personal preferences than mechanics, in all probability, barring someone throwing a ton of feat and trait choices at it.


HP 5/28, AC 18/11/17, F +6, R +3, W +5, Init +1, Per +1

Yeah, I knew Eleuterio would be a mouthful. I'm sure I'll pick up an appropriately (appropirately?) scurrilous name during play. "Arrrr, ye face the scourge of the Shackles, 'Tenpenny' Reis!", or some such. Until then, I suspect I'll be called "Lou" by the party, and "ye worthless dog!" by our soon-to-be captors.

Also, while I wouldn't mind ending up captain, it's not something I have to have. We can work that out between ourselves later, Mr. Fish.


Eleuterio Reis wrote:


We can work that out between ourselves later, Mr. Fish.

Ahh, you caught that, then? It was just too amusing not to use it.


HP 5/28, AC 18/11/17, F +6, R +3, W +5, Init +1, Per +1

I'm surprised I'm the first one to say anything about it - Ferret's the Francophone here.


F: +2 R: +6 W: +3 Per: +10 Init: +3 HP: 11/21
Eleuterio Reis wrote:
I'm surprised I'm the first one to say anything about it - Ferret's the Francophone here.

I was too busy singing songs from Little Mermaid.

*goes back to sharpening bone saw*

Oh, Evril Cooper, Ship's Carpenter, Saw-Bones, and Tactical Advisor at your service. I'll have numbers and a bit of back story posted soon.


I'm torn - I made the mistake of looking at Treantmonk's Guide for Druids. He makes a great case for a dwarf druid. I'm still looking at the half-elf, stuck on what skill I should select for Skill Focus. The silly thought that occurred to me is to pick a skill so that I can take Eldritch Heritage at third level if I can find something fun and useful (Elemental (Air) seems thematically appropriate).


Cha 13 isn't a huge price to pay for a druid, even if it's a bit unusual, but I generally find the power of the Eldritch Heritage line is in the later feats, and Cha 17 is a really, really strange druid in point buy... at that point, you'd have to start wondering whether you should just go into mystic theurge and be done with it.

Also, the elemental (air) power would pretty much exactly duplicate the basic power from your air domain, so I don't know if it would be worth it. Stormborn, on the other hand, might be worth a closer look to you.


D'oh! I totally overlooked the ability score requirement. I'm kind of set on my abilities and STR and CHA got the short end of the stick. Scratch that idea.

Half-elf: I like the bonus to Perception, don't know what skill focus to take at first level, like the additional favored class (but I'm not sure I'll use it)

Dwarf: The ability adjustments are nearly perfect for what I have in mind and darkvision is never bad. Speed will be less of an issue when he's wild-shaped.

Human: Like the extra skill and feat, but unsure what feats I would want to pick at first level (as with half-elf). He's not necessarily going to be summoning as much as a typical druid, so I don't know if Focus (Conjuration) / Augment Summoning is as strong a feat choice for him as it might be. Improved Initiative / Dodge isn't a terrible fallback pair.

Of course, I have not looked at SGG's feat options yet - there might be something I have to have there, too.

I'm closer all the time. This has been a bad week for me to put together a new character and I haven't built a druid in ten years. Sorry if I'm holding y'all up.


Oh, the Water Child alternative racial trait sounds good. Drop two racial traits that I'm not sure what to do with and replace them with a bonus to Swim checks. Would that bonus to swim checks apply when I'm wild-shaped?


I don't think Ferret's got all his numbers in a row either, though we've been working behind the scenes to make some progress on that score. No worries, my friend.

Half-elf: you can always swap out the Skill Focus for a weapon proficiency or another +2 to your Will saves, too, in case those options are more appealing. The best fit might be the "water child" option, though, which takes up both your second favored class and your Skill Focus, but gets you a +4 bonus to Swim checks and the ability to take 10 on Swim checks no matter the circumstances. (There will be Swim checks in this AP. 'M just sayin'.)

EDIT: Heh. Right. Yes, it would absolutely apply when wildshaped.

Dwarf: the Player's Guide does note both humanoid (giant) and aberration as good choices for favored enemies in this AP; the latter is available as a alternate race trait for defensive training. On the other hand, "dwarf on the ocean" is a bit of a weird concept to begin with, and "dwarf on the ocean with a strong tie to the air and weather" is even moreso. (shrug)

Human: Unless you find a feat pair you want, I don't see anything human gets you that half-elf doesn't do better.


Right, then. One half-elf water child, coming up.


HP 5/28, AC 18/11/17, F +6, R +3, W +5, Init +1, Per +1

And as we all know, druid/mystic theurge is what all the cool kids play.


FYI, the physical copy of The Wormwood Mutiny arrived in my mailbox just now. Woot!


HP 5/28, AC 18/11/17, F +6, R +3, W +5, Init +1, Per +1

So, since it's by Pett, should we all make backup characters? And then backups for the backups?

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