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Sooooo . . . .
Below may contain spoilers for Serpent Skull 3 so if you are holding out the opportunity to play it later don't read further.
I have been running S&S for about a year. We are stuck somewhere between book 2 and 3. I had added a lot to book 1 and 2 tweaked somethings. In particular I added a side quest pertaining to one of the characters back story pulled from Savage Tide (which I have used a lot of). The had a map to the City of Tamoachan I reskinned it as a lost city in the expanse and used the encounters from Savage Tide with a few tweaks. After finding the buried treasure (previous pirates buried treasure at the bottom of a well in the city). I made a passing comment that the ruins they found the treasure in were part of an "expansive collection of ruins." So the got what the came for and proceeded to get more crew from the ship and start to loot the larger city. I had already added a dynamic jungle chase from a horde of veggie pygmies and a pair of Girillons just to play up the jungle flavor. So they wanted to explore more of the city. I though an other encounter at them off the top of my head to burn the rest of the session time went home and tried to figure what to do. First I cut the Saughain dungeon and the encounter with the big plant. I had already thrown the Sargasso from Savage Tide in so no loss. Also I did not want an other under water dungeon so soon after bonewrack isle.
I knew Serpent Skull was sent in the expanse and that it has something to do with exploring jungle ruins. Sure enough part 3 City of 7 Spears. So I looked through it and started figuring out what to cut and so on. So much for pirate sandbox. The are not playing the part of jungle ruin exploring pirates.
Serpent Skull Spoiler:
Ironically there are both veggie pygmies and girrillos in the SS AP. So it fit pretty well.
I seem to recall one or two people using Serpent Skull and Skull and Shackles content together. I really liked City of 7 Spears because I did not want to find a gigantic jungle dungeon I wanted a ruined city with a few hot spots. If I had made it myself I would have probably gone for fewer hot spots but hey I can always cut content. I can also tweak things because they had already had some similar encounters so some city encounters were already done.
Any advice on dealing with pirates in the jungle exploring game and or using City of 7 Spears as a bridge from level 6 to level 7ish. I want to bring them back on line for the next chapter of S&S. I think I am going to have Isabella (who has already met them) chase them into the jungle. I introduced her earlier in the AP as a conwoman who used the PCs against the Lotus Dragons (part of the Savage Tide AP). I linked the Lotus Dragons to the Red Mantis as sort of an auxiliary front group. So I am going to have Locke who has conned her way back into the good graces or at least not dead by the hand of the Red Mantis chasing down the PCs. This gives room for a her as reoccurring villain while her stats are still viable. Having her find a Red Mantis artifact sword (treasure from City of 7 Spears) might also make for fun.
Soooo. I added a treasure hunt to Skull and Shackles. I pulled it out of Savage Tide 3 it was a small dungeon crawl location jungle ruins. They found the treasure but rather than moving on they want to search more of the larger city. Kicking myself for not adding a time limit. Anyway I want to honor the sand box so I need to flesh out the city. I am considering using 7 Spears but I need to cut it down to size. What encounters are really memorable what makes sense to skip.
Between Plunder & Imfamy, Ship combat, Fleet combat and skill checks aboard ship has anyone made a document that might serve as a 1 or 2 page at a glance distilled version of the campaign specific stuff. That would be amazing and save me the trouble of making one or commissioning one of my players to make one.
Even more recently our awesome GM had to take a leave of absence. We are a solid team regular posts, and I would say good role players. We are a tough group which may cause some issues it is definitely a ramped up gam fair warning.
I have heard several people changing a number of the fighter rogues ever present in the AP over to Slayers. That does make a strong bit of sense. I have found people in the main forums mention it but when I asked them their work was by hand.
Has anyone here done such a conversion using the new ACG classses. I am running a large table currently 6 so a little beefing up the BAB might do good for the balance without having to adjust on the fly.
So I tried my hand at making hornhead. The Build is in the Profile. I would love to get some feedback. I made him a 8th level Rogue (Roofrunner)/Monk (Weapon Adept).
The premise is 8th level Gestalt 25 point buy. Additionally the DM gave us 10 Race Points to buy "super powers" Daredevil has enhanced senses to make up for his blindness.
Additionally I have yet to chose equipment 33000gp any suggestions for gear.
Oh if you want to avoid Curse of the Crimson Thrown spoilers don't read the history.
One of my players (relatively new to Pathfinder) is playing a goblin rogue he is expressing some creativity with alchemy and alchemical substances. He wanted to be a rogue for the sneaky but also likes the idea of fire and so on.
He has asked a few times about whether things like alchemist fire or fuse grenades can stack. Not in the I pull more than one out during combat try to throw several but what about blowing up bags of alchemist fire or leaving a bundle of fuse grenades in a bundle and so forth.
My desire for some semblance to the real world suggests just making it up as I go and say well yeah a bag of fuse grenandes make bigger explosion. But I have a feeling he is planning on getting turned invisible and bringing a bag of fuse grenades into hostile territory and setting it off where it will kill some enemies. There are of course consequences to this but I am not sure if this works right.
One of my players is playing a druid. The player is hoping to cast awaken on a falcon. This will grant them an intelligent pet. With the abilitiy to increase their ability to see the area around the ship by miles. Granted they can also do this with wildshape I was wondering how game breaking this might be. It seems that it would make hunting the sea lanes much easier it certainly makes it hard for a ship hunting them to get to them.
Second this seems like a perk that other ships would likely take advantage this line of thought.
I have noticed a few people speaking about cannons. Having them not having them. How having them makes the fight with the Filthy Lucre less special. I have yet to roll this out yet but I had a different way to play this than I have seen talked about.
Some are having no cannons except Bonefists as the AP is written.
Others are having lots of cannons and just having a great old time.
My crew has yet to deal with any cannons. Just starting book 2. However one of the characters did lay eyes on one of the items Harrigan wanted off the Man's Promise. I showed him a pic of an early European cannon. If you have never seen one they are quite small and rather than shooting cannon balls shoot a short heavy arrow.
Through the course of their career they will encounter and search after a number of competing cannon tech. My thought process was that being where they are located in a very diverse area with influences from Vudra, the far east analogs (which I can't spell off the top of my head) as well as competing Inner Sea interests. This means that the will encounter a variety of weapons. Like the early cannon described above. Perhaps they will also meet the early chinese style cannons that the carved in the shapes of dragons that were essentially rockets similar to bottle rockets. My thought that these cannons will do varying degrees of damage at varying rates of speed a varying degrees of reliability and of course varying degrees of danger for the crew firing it.
Once I finish my write up I will post it. Though I wanted to bring up the idea to see if anyone else had similar ideas or ideas that would gel well. My hope is this will create 1- a real arms race and technology aspect to things 2- create very diverse strangeness to ships that reflect the great diversity of the Shackles 3- It gives the fun and flavor of cannons without giving the PCs or other ships encountered long before Bonefist weapons that rival the Hurricane King.
Lets say a druid wants to cast Awaken Animal on a creature like a bird. I am assuming that by nature of the Awakened properties the creature can speak, and gesticulate which would cover verbal and somantic components of spells. However they do not have the benefit of pouches, pockets and thumbs. Would they need the Eschew Materials feat if they chose not to be a sorcerer.
So I am currently rung a crew of 7 through Skull and Shackles.
I need some help.
I know that I have bitten off a lot of work and I know that adjusting action economy and up the CR for a group of that size will be needed and the 3 extra players is going to effect the timing of the game. We are aware that the extra 3 players over the expected 4 PCs effects
Currently we do a few things.
Things I am thinking of adding a few things.
In the back of the book. There are 4 rumors/treasure hunts for the players to chase down. I had a side trek that took my gang to Taldas to Little Oppara. One of the players tried to do some gathering of information he rolled good and I blabbed about the parrot. Sooooo!!! they are now trying to find out more information.
The Lost Messenger
If anyone has some ideas or dealt with the same side trek let me know.
So its Monday . . . a day of evil . . .
. . . this got me thinking about my campaign.
The new ship's captain handed the new bosun both Pluggs Cat and Scourges whip. Plugg is now dead but how often does that end an NPC's shadow over a campaign.
Help me reward my players with more reasons to panic.
I opened a thread in the skull and Shackles forum but it did not get much traffic so I figured I would try here.
I addapted the old 3.5 action point system slightly for my Skull and Shackles game. I was hoping to get some feed back before rolling it out to the group.
If your in my group stay out for now.
My main goal was to get as much cinematic swashbuckling action in as I could. I kept some of the other uses of the points because I did not want it to favor only melees and rogues.
Let me know what you think.
So I have been trying to encourage pirate/swashbuckling shenanigans a number of people have suggested action or hero points. A tweaked it a little to play on the theme and to steer things more in the pirate stunt awesomeness.
Take a look.
Tell me I am crazy.
What are Pieces of Eight:
Pieces of Eight are an adventure/hero point system for Swashbucklers. Pieces of Eight (Po8) allow characters to take dramatic action at key moments.
Po8 give character the means to affect game play in significant ways, by improving important rolls or unlocking special abilities. Each character has a limited number of Po8, and once a Po8 is spent, it is gone for good.
Po8 also make it more likely that the use of a character's most potent abilities will be successful. For example, although its overall effect on an encounter might be minimal, few things frustrate a paladin more than missing with a smite attack—an event that becomes less likely when using Po8. That said, Po8 can also lead characters to routinely get in over their heads (relying on Po8 to save themselves), and for GMs to unconsciously increase the difficulty of encounters (since characters are more likely to succeed against foes of equal power). This is as fine as long as the characters have a reserve of such points to spend—but if they run out, encounters that would otherwise be merely challenging can become incredibly deadly. Keep the number of Po8 available to your characters in mind when designing encounters.
For GMs who are worried that Po8 increase the power level of characters without an offsetting cost, there's an easy solution. Just think of each Po8 as a one-use magic item with a broad range of possible effects. With that analogy, it becomes easy to justify reducing the amount of treasure awarded to balance out the accrual of Po8. Note that this is merely a tool for GMs interested in carefully monitoring character power levels; Po8 should never be for sale.
Using Pieces of Eight:
You can spend 1 Po8 either to add to a single d20 roll, to take a special action, or to improve the use of a feat.
You can spend 1 Po8 in a round. If you spend a point to use a special action (see below), you can't spend another one in the same round to improve a die roll, and vice versa.
Add to a Roll
You're a Class Act
Who Needs a Shield
All Together Now
One More for Good Measure
Negate Miss Chance
So I was reading some of the 101 things that happen at camp or in town threads and realized that once your off the Wormwood most situations are external to the ship. When I watch Star Trek, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica some threats or problems should come from the ship. Yes I know those are all sci fi but there is some overlap. The setting changes but the plot remains the same. Here are few things that I thought would make for some fun.
1. Aretta Banison is a former prostitute since moving over to the new ship she has realized that with regular pay there is a steady stream of those who have money to spend. Several sailors come down with the clap.
Just a word of warning. If you have monk fight Owlbear he will own the poor guy. I suggest whoever fights Owlbear you let the PC roll the perception to notice hes blind in one eye. If he takes the cue and tries to position himself to stay on the blind side you roll the skill check. That way you can keep the fight exciting by letting Owlbear be more exciting.
At the very least raise yhe DC on the skill checks.
So I have 2 devout followers of Gozreh aboard. A druid and a sor. I am trying to figure how I should play this.
1-Plugg and Scourge bust it up.
The archetype says:
The rules for the Grappled condition say:
Does the Tetori still get the -4 to Dex (a -2 to AC)?
I don't see what benefit this aspect of the Tetori monk grants unless it means that the Tetori does not take the -4 penalty to Dex.
So I am getting ready to run this AP probably this summer when we finally finish Crimson Throne.
One of my players has pre-built his Storm and Sea Druid all the way through 20 level.
He is reading all sorts of spells and coming up with all sorts of destructive and wild things he can do on the ship with spells. Something to do with treants.
So I started thinking out of the box to one prepare myself for the players but also to come up with some things to surprise them.
Animating siege weapons seems like a good call.
Warp wood simple elegant disabling a ship.
Turning saplings into stone throwing Treants.
Give me some other shenanigans to expect.
So I was watching the Hobbit. Though it is not the only example of this type of combat. Fellowship also had a running fight or a fighting retreat. Lots of movies do.
So how would you other GMs handle your adventurers running afoul of a large number of enemies that are willing to try to run them down. Generally when an enemy or a PC runs it boils down to who can move faster and get into a position to attack.
In films the formula is to throw many enemies at the heroes who facing huge numbers flee even if the general skill of the enemies is not on par with them. They opperate on the real world assumption that anyone can get a lucky hit and kill you. So the heroes flee.
In PF there is a point at which low level enemies virturally scease to be a threat at all. So there is little reason to flee.
So as I see it there is two problems:
I suppose it would be possible to do a kind of chase mechanic hybrid with attack actions thrown in.
So I got to thinking. Always a dangerous start. Follow me logice if ye dare . . .
Captn Hook is a pirate.
So any ideas to spice a twisted fey style loosely based on Peter Pan.
Maybe I have been watching too much Jake and the Neverland Pirates with my kids.
So I just finished reading through Price of Infamy. The fleet rules are very streamlined. I can see it making short work a big fleet battle. However it did not seem terribly dynamic. I will have to see it in action.
Flag ships were essentially out of play. You cannot attack or damage a flagship until the fleet battle is resolved. That seems odd given that one strategy in a case like this to break up a fleet would be to focus attack on the flagship.
Has anyone else gone over the fleet rules or played through it.
"This special ability can only be placed on a weapon that can be thrown. A returning weapon flies through the air back to the creature that threw it. It returns to the thrower just before the creature's next turn (and is therefore ready to use again in that turn). Catching a returning weapon when it comes back is a free action. If the character can't catch it, or if the character has moved since throwing it, the weapon drops to the ground in the square from which it was thrown."
I have been of the assumption that a returning weapon can only be used for one attack hence if you have multiple attacks it is only useable once. Though it returns so as to not provoke attacks of opportunity and to be used in attacks of opportunity.
This makes sense but it makes iconic weapons like Ageis Fang, Dwarven Throwers and Captain Andoran's Shield not that useful because they do not get their additional attacks.
Am I wrong.
It will still be some time before I run this AP though I am encouraging my players to think about what they want. So far I have encouraged them not neglect skills. I know social skills are big play in this game. But as I envision this crew of PC's I am thinking it cooler if they are the experts at things rather than relying on NPC's. I know not everything happens on ship but I would rather for example have a PC take ranks in seige weapon crafting and mastery rather than have an NPC fill that roll.
It would be very easy for standard characters to become the bosses and have NPCs do all the work untill a fight breaks out but that takes some of the flavor out of it for me.
Am I on the right track or am I steering the PCs for a quick death because they went for more skill points when another more typical combat choice in character creation would have been something that keeps them alive?
So I have been running through my mind how to handle Harrigan with out just flat out saying to the players. If you try to kill Harrigan you will die. How have others handled IN CHARACTER messages to let the characters or players know that survival is only achievable if one waits for the proper time. I am playing with many of the same players that will be in my Skull and Shackles campaign and they are definatly the "storm the castle" type.
I am trying to come up with ideas that let them know they are out classed (for now) without saying look the AP assumes that this is how things go so just try and go along and I promise you will get the opportunity to have fun later.
So I am working on getting my battle maps and so forth ready. I have numerous dungeon tiles of caverns and generic dungeons. However this AP calls for some unique environs. While I could blow up the maps in the AP to the correct scale these maps do not have the detail that I imagine would exist in a location like Riptide Cove from AP1 and certianly not the Saughain tunnels from AP2.
My question is has anyone attempted to add details such as sea grasses, coral and other elements to their layouts.
So last night on one of the History Channels they did a couple episodes of "Superships" one of the ancient world and one of China. Really cool stuff. In particular they showed a junk with the deck the size of a football field. As well as a few multi hulled vessles with wooden castles on them.
Naturally this lead me to think about the Shackles campaign. Adding a few giant troup ships to the Chel Armada. This led me to also think about more fantastical ships and ship design. Most of the ships in the AP seem to be very straight forward european ships. Is anyone adding more weird or fantastical designs. Frost Giants on iceburgs (too far south really), ship hulls made from colassal creatures, and so forth.
Our team is making its way through COTCT and I have an idea of something I want to propose to the group and partly it is dependant on Black Jack's costume. Please keep spoilers out because I am a player. We already have assumptions about Black Jack's identity, but I have not found any pictures of what he looks like "in costume."