we could call the painted on or canvas shrouding for a short period of time "squibbing". have a look at "master and Commander" - both the movie and the factual book. though - who would reallly purchase some canvas for 2000gp ?
BUT : a ship is a composite of its hull shape and size, the placement and size of masts, the location of holds and superstructure. affecting its performance. the IRL Admiral Alexander Cochrane, the man after whom fictitious Jack Aubrey was shaped, just as an example found out that placing two larger cannons on his foredeck both cost him 20% speed, and their actual firing through recoil tore his foreship apart. He never tried how the ship would handle in heavier seas... he went back to the much lighter original cannons.
pirates steal cargo... what precisely is keeping them from stealing the actual ships the cargo is on to hide their tracks ? taking a look at the "Whyddah" "Queen Anne's Revenge" or "Royal Fortune" here...
don't squib... steal !
An if you have 120 tons of capacity for the cargo hold... you ccan't put 120 tons of gun on deck, which would make the craft topple over. One may add hammocks and additional provision spaces below deck good or raiding, bad for endurance.
Aft castle/stern castle. Nice for fighting but major hassles in a storm and affecting drift.
Higher/lower masts, changed sail......will wreck either the speed, maneuverability, trim ( chance to move windwards or speed on most courses ) and probably make the ship top-heavy.
Best choices : get a better plan for a faster ship, find some way to increase material strength while maintaining stability.... or stealˆˆ Enchant the ship versus fire ( a besmaran Hallowing might be a good idea) . Protect the helmsman at all costs ( wall of force, glasssteel cylinder etc.). Enchant the ship with a silencing field. In an emergency... use illusions.
yes, my ex-GF (10 years) was running a small wharf/repair yardˆˆ I know my boats and sailcraft *grin*
methinks : you are
you seem to have gone far too easy on that android player,attempting murder ( i am not even consideing what would have happened in a IRL navy if someone attempted it ) and never really established where the cruelty aboard comes from.
And playing Scourge and Plugg as some sort of comical buffoons ? this is not a Gilbert and Sullivan play.
your campaign... and your chance to wreck it - looks like you have some heavy housekeeping to do.
some examples (and it seems a tad late for that)... our Harrigan casually stepped on sailors hands (crushing thmem on purpose) while scraping the decks or nailed a carpenters helper to the mast when a "1" was rolled for the skilll check. he chained the dead blasted corpse of our gnome thief to the foremast when that guy blew himself up stealing.
Harrigan is the BBEG and he is hardly to be seen for three issues so you really need to rampup the hatred
another of the things I found rather mystifying about the whole "Wormwood" ploy was the supposed lack of "armament". At low levels, without many resistances, it is the damage bonus that mostly counts for effect
Prefered and specialised arms, yes. Thse might be hard to get, but overall weapons ?
Some GM's might (?) want to take note, if they intend to keep the players from weaponry, since there those groups that think " we can do the mutiny right away, if we get some weapons"
- Belaying Pins (all over the deck), any number of well balanced clubs, nice for throwing, nice for two-handed clubbery.
- dangerous stuff from the kitchen : lamp oil (try using it on someone in the masttops), cooking oil (grease), pepper, flour (in small bags), and I know of at least one player (with an alchemist ) who brewed up poison from potatoes (decent enough char with about +11 in Alchemy ?)... - look it up - hallucination and nausea in the masttops. Same char made an improvised shield from a hunted turtle-back. before you ask, guy IRL is a decent workman, not a specialist in any scientific field. Went to a pretty normal school down in Bavaria w. some practically minded chemistry teacher. So it seemed good enough for Alchemy.
- combination of grease, tar (deckwork) oakum (deckwork) and some hot coals made for nice smokebombs.
We (as players) actually laughed finding the mace in the bilge... noone ever wondered how soaked and broken that stuff down there would be ?
oe thing that went terribly wrong for the group who tried it, was serving the piglet laced with shards of pottery, guessing that Caulky would only laddle stuff from the top.... after that.... they needed a new AP.
nightwatch : a ship is in motion. even if all sails are taken down, there are currents and winddrift. drift oneor two miles an hour ? thatś like 12-24 miles of uncontrolled movement
anchoring : basic rule - you need 5-7 times the depth of water you are anchoring in as hawser... about 3"+ thick stiff rope..... at 50 fathoms ( 100 meters ) we are talking 2100´ of stiff drenched rope, with a 3+ ton weight of the anchor the crew would have to pull up every morning.
And that is just about as unrealistically kind and easygoing as it gets. Ships sail at night, simply for safety reasons. nevermind the miles made good, even with reefed down sails.
also... so many nice roleplaying opportunities on deck. Slipping an enemy from the yardarms into the sea to.... say greasing the head (ship's toilets on the ropes besides the bowspirit ). exchanging goods and stuff in the darkness of the night. ... listening in on the officers
I meant the "haunt" more as a figure of speech, but... yeah, why not bring his bones/remains home to Cheliax ? Until then, he will haunt the ship, spooking the crew with "dire portents" about the chelian fleet. But anyways, the whole "stockade encounter is pretty deadly with the combination of swarm, creepers and the ghast in itself, so some reshaping feels necessary.
As a player (when we played the path), we actually visited Correntyn (yeah, to find out more about Harrigan ) and I could see some memorable moments with the PCs sneaking into that fortress harbour with the remains of Ivy, attempting to lay him to rest in his parish's temple ?
Guards : "tell us strangers, what do you carry in that urn"
Then again, simply for reasons of sympathy, I would/will not paint him as a devil worshipper, but a follower of Gozreh or similar - a sailor who served on the wrong ship at the wrong time. Perhaps under the wrong oath, as well.
hmmm, knifemaster : To be honest, we tended to devaste ships both with ranged attacks and cleaving melees. Or simply by eliminating key personell aka the "steering crew" and/or officers with "sudden death" appearances on the afterdeck. The problem I see with knifemasters is that you usually will try to have and use two daggers, which... on ships... leads to falls... onto deck or into the water (and your ship will be moving - quite possibly away from you at some signficant speed ).Although, daggers being far more useful, which I agree on, then say scimitars or other stuff - piercing etc. Besides gain a chance to sneak, and yes you will profit from the extra point per sneak die (average of 3.5 vs 4.5).
Oh, and nevermind that Rogue saves suck in so many major ways....
luckily few casters attacking in the initial stages
As for Kitsune. Yeah, the problem is the ARG and most other stuff never really "tell" you about races and how they are integrated into and integral to a world. But, I personally do see a massive problem with a fox spirits thousands of miles away from its home turf "randomly" appearing in a group just because it is convenient. I'd say the same thing for a pygmy juju shaman witch doctor in Irrisen^^
Next thing "cute orks" (and human - racial adepted - orcish witch doctors )... fluffy ogres ? Much like everybody and his half-brother playing "good" drows after the Drizzt books hit the market. Absurd, absolutely against the concept of the world, but right, it looked so cool and nobody else did it, right ?
Gunslingers : fine idea, but Caws did not mention those. Bard... having lived through to level 15 on a halfling bard (stuck with a fiddle), I do agree !
sailing speeds.... *sigh*
First, I'd either relocate the island if you WANT a longer trip. The Shackles map is horrifically small, too small by far for much of the stuff that is meant to occur there.... the"ilsand of Empty Eyes" is supposed to be slightly remote, inaccessible and hence ful of unknown dangers. Not the island you can easily reach with a short weeks sail.
otherwise... 48 miles a day is problematic as a speed, since we are looking at sails here. And their inability to sail straight into the direction of the wind, instead resuming to zig-zag tacking.... no-one is taking into account currents (should be strong in the narrow confines between the islands, growth on one's ships (algae, barnacles) slowing things down, reefs and sandbars and..... the vast difficulty of navigating betweeen the islands by sight alone, in the dark. While being able to sail fair and true in open waters.
On the other hand.. running before the wind or at quarters, 48 miles a day is ridiculously low. If the ship travels at something like 8 or 10 knots (miles/hour), which is easy
I'd recommend using 36 + 3D6 for estimating daily gain (noone uses GPS etc anway^^), and factor in some penalties for bad navigation or being shifted by winds and currents. In an emergency, have a storm blow the off-course
So basically... paizo consciously volunteered in the direction of keeping things simple, but of course, feel free to grab a book on seamanship and make the journey longer and more realistic. Of course, you can always consider the "island" to be wrongfully placed on some maps, prolonging the whole trip even more.. (say... have it lie off in some direction by like 40-100 miles ? But which one ? Do the Pirates know ?)
The real Carribean Sea spans roughly 1100 x 500 miles, and was historically linked to the North with the American Main (and offshore islands like the Bermudas, the Brazillian shores to the South and the coasts of Western Africa... so the whole thing expands even more.
basically : fiction always was the weakest part of any "Pathfinder" issue. Anything actually campaign related (and be it longer articles on the other subjects ) would be welcome.
Because, let's face it, it is not always very good fiction (sometimes it was^^).
Brandon Hodge wrote:
hmm. That might well be the plan.
Looking back at the AP's since Kingmaker, one wonders if the plan actually gets executed all that well, though. Intentions versus actual actions
"Serpent's Skull" : Started out seaside, the campaign traits were all seaward-journey bound.... then everything takes place in a lost mountain city.
"Carrion Crown" : no real cohesion between the AP parts. While some are lovely, there is hardly any visible interconnection.
"Jade Regent" : from caravan entrepeneurs to shapers of a Foreign Empire ? Yeah, worked, but as J.jJ noted some things might have been overdone.
"Skulls and Shackles" : hmmmm. I loved it in a way, but... cohesive ? Who was the BBEG again and when precisely did he turn up to become "the ultimate" challenge ? And btw,... the ultra-generic castleruns really chafed on th athmosphere. What again is the relation between PIRATES stumbling through dungeons ? Somehow, I expected ships... silly me. So where again was the leading hand ?
"Shattered Star" : Since the entire concept is such a turn down, I haven't read much of it yet. The only cohesion I see yet is "Varisia revisted". Howdy Ho, I'd like to go someplace else, too.
Chocolate Thief wrote:
I have loved dungeons ever since reading about Khazad-dûm / Moria in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Did Tolkein justify this dungeon or was it just part of a great story? Not sure but I still love dungeon adventures.
Sooo... to be frank, the group passes through Khazad-Dum, from west to East. Much like the passage through Rohan. Nothing dungeon-oriented in it, except for being underground. One "blockhouse" battle at Balin's tomb.
And taking a long and hard look at most publication aimed at DnD/Pathfinder, where exactly do we, the readers get an extended delving through dungeons and dark tunnels ?
Rarely if ever, because frankly, it is boring stuff to read about.
James Jacobs wrote:
In the end, I suppose we'll have to look at the sales figures for Shattered Star to determine just how popular THIS dungeon crawl is.
hmm "looking at the sales", just how many copies are being sold via subscription and will be bought, regardless fo their eventual use ? Speaking for myself, I will never run "Second Darkness", "Bastards of Erebus" or "Shattered Star", yet I bought them.I think, paizo runs a professional "by the numbers" take on this, but looking over at 4E, the things that strikes me about people who used it is :
"It's nice for dungeons but really not much else"
I just returned from a local Con, and hardly anyone went for "romp through the location" adventures, be they easy to set up or highly complex.
Does one really want to walk down that path of "dungeons everywhere" to yield to a, possibly small, minority of gamers ?
Roberta Yang wrote:
Since you're using a scimitar, it might be worth mentioning that there is a scimitar-exclusive feat (Dervish Dance) that uses Dexterity for attack and damage. Probably not as good as Wisdom or Charisma for you, but perhaps still a step up from Strength.
Which also requires Weapon Finesse and 2 ranks in Perform.... hence slightly hard to take at 1st level for a Cleric unless he/she is human but yeah.It is also not "Core" Rules.
Basically there is not much to be said anymore :
If you can't stand to play alongside anymore, quit the campaign (or suspend playing) and explain, short, but concisely, why you take a leave..
Since by your own description, this will basically put the campaign on the rocks, this might finally convince your GM and Mr B to take sides as how to resolve the situation, instead of sitting out the crisis, hoping for a miracle to happen.
In the best case, Mr R cleans up his act.
Normally, this would put the gun onto the GM to keep the campaign afloat and either let Mr R go, or replace him with another player.
In the worst case, you are rid of a campaign which was joyless and frustrating for you and your son.
Overall : I like my friends. But not all of my friends are good soccer/basketball/hockey players and therefore I wouldn't want them on my team for that, because the'd affect everyone else, negatively. That does, or perhaps should, not affect the friendship, even if rejection smarts. The question is, will Mr R be up to face the sad truth but stay a friend ?
James Jacobs wrote:
Feeling very much underwhelmed, but not surprisingly so, after I read the preliminiaries some weeks ago.
The problem is "dungeons" is not a theme, it's a setup. And to be frank, a very lazy one, because a "setpiece" Dungeon is far easier to conceive and pull off than a living town, village or small region.
Paizo dropped a surprisingly high, and not really campaign-furthering amount of dungeons into their "Pirates" AP. Heaven knows why Pirates and dungeons should go together..... And now we face another 6 months of dungeon + dungeon + dungeon.. and surprise, another dungeon !
It is not even relevant where these dungeons are actually set, it is the fact that dungeons are commonly more "hack-and-slayish" than say, the sandbox adventures from Kingmaker. It is the fact, that really great APs had less-than-sterling dungeons dropped into them for whatever reasons. Like say "Skeletons of Scarwall" which hit a previously (and afterwards) rather socially active and urban campaign, the blessed land of diplomacy, bluff and sense motive... with the motherload of undead castles ?
And now we get a full six months worth of ........ dungeons ? As the crowning achievement of five years of APs ? Excuse me, but is this the paizo or rather the "4E DnD/Descent 2E" party ?
Having looked over the first installment on the weekend (we actually had a readout of the AP with the whole grou, which has never happened before, because we found the concept so ludicrous), everyone handwaved it as "not really useful" and "uninteresting"... never mind two guys asking whether someone was "crazy"... "Boring" too.
And oh yes, noone cared for the PF society either, before somebody asks. The "society" has reached almost comedical status around here, sorry to say.
But since everyone is apparently asking for a "all-dungeon" AP... could we landscape-players please get an "All sand box - explore the Continent AP " next ?
And then there are groups spending whole sessions withou a combat...
Roleplayers and roll-players. The old adage
And then there was "Curse of the Crimson Throne", which actually had a fantastically different take on that clichee. It's just a matter of trying and actually thinking hard enough.
very memorable moment yesterday, from AP-III
After the PCs had won the Hurricane Regatta (with quite a bits of nasty under-the-counter-trickery on their part), and loosing their main-topmast (not a good thing if sailing a cutter ) to Harrigans elementals... which seemd only fair, since they had "nuked" his rudder with a sonic attack spell, leaving him drifting. No holds barred, no one asking for forgiveness.
...everything game down to the grand finale. Harrigan coming in second, loudly complaining.. etc..
Big ceremony, Hurricane King waltzing up in full plethora and awarding them "the letter of marque" and the title to their island. Players looked at me, and took a quick five minute break, ahem "huddle" on the terrace.
Coming back in, the Captain (Tiefling Rogue/fighter), looks at me, stands up and steps on a footbench, starting to shout :
"WE DIDN'T BECOME PIRATES TO BECOME SOME FU**ING LIEGELORDS TO SOME RAMSHACKLE, CASTLE-HOGGING GREYHAIRED LOWLIFE BUCCANEER, WHO TELLS US HE HAS THE BEST SHIP AND DOES NOTHING WITH IT !" (and yes Mark, the player can shout very well, him being a part time soccer coach... he is an utterly nice HR-manager otherwise^^ )
"TAKE THAT STUPID BARNACLED DEED TO THE ISLE AND SHOVE IT UP TSADOKS'S BRINY A**.... WE ARE NOT YOU FU**ING LACKEYS; WE DON'T WANT YOUR STINKING ISLE 'CAUSE WE ARE PIRATES AND WHAT WE WANT, WE TAKE...."
Going for a full out intimidate, which he actually succeeded in.... ...cause the witch was - in coordination - going for full Evil Eye Contact on Harrigan and the Rest of the Group went for aiding the "Cap"
Followed by challenging Monsieur Bonefist when exactly he had last raided, and how he was serving Besmara's will, and that he basically no more than a mooch and money-lender these days, a mangy pawnbroker and bone-ar**d mast-hugger .... and so on...
In the end they took the deed, set it on fire (we had a printed out plot and map and they set (!) iton fire and threw it out onto the terrace ) and lobbed it at Harrigan, who could have that scumbag-sodden-piece-of-mud, since he had cheated so hard to get it...
Full five minutes of being shouted at, coherently and in character and really doing a double on the specifics of Besmara^^
Loved it !
So now the player's don't want a "fiefdom" isle, which maybe an after-effect of both meeting and finding much common ground with the freebooters of Firegrass Island, the Hurricane King is now "slightly miffed"..... and then again, the players had taken a real disliking to Tsadok's attempts at cheating, blaming that on the "corrupt ruler" as well. They really despise the whole "council" and "rulership" thing, and the "buccaneer hierachy" served up in the name of Besmara.... They even detest Lady Fairwind....
I have a three week break now, and will probably have to rewrite some of the plot and... yeah, I guess going to utterly circumvent AP-IV, and write up some island of my own.
I do love my players !
Yeah, the Carribbean (and let's not kid ourselves, that's what the Shackles are based on )were more spacious, with stronger spanish colonies ( extending into the hinterlands) to be robbed or serve as targets, and with enough separation of islands and ports - and semi-civillized islands in between. Plus, one had basically four to five nations to rob each other blind^^
But of course, one could have Chelian vessels "offer" convoys to protect against piracy, with the caveat of having to trade in Correntyn or Westcrown afterwards, or pay a certain percentage to the convoy. Might even work for Andorans.
What one would need is produce, some places for peaceful exhchange and some means of transportation
Actually trade by the undersea realms might not be a bad idea to come ashore in the Shackles (nicely maritime) or further south, since access to the ports from underwater through the myriad of waterways from the Shackles would be well worth approaching "civilization"
Having sea-elves, gillmen or locatah trade corals, pearls, sponges, tortoiseshell, clams and underwater exotica for non-corrosive metals (bronze and brass alloys might come to mind), Sahuagin trading for slaves in return for whalebones (and I mean the real skeletal bones) or meat and lubber. Exotic poisons (blowfish anyone ? Or blue octopus ? Sea Snake venom ? Sea anemone paralytics ?), crystalline compounds, or even strange metals like manganese which would be of interest to alchemists might be worth trading.
Underwater treasure seeking from sunken ships and ruins might yield some trade as well. One could even consider "undersea slaving" as an unethical, but profitable business. Have your oysterbanks farmed by sea-elves or who-ever....
So let's draw up some underwater realms (or reaches), where localized or nomadic sea folk roam or harvest trade goods, and ship them into above-water ports....
Hey, I can really envision some Locatah harnessing a giant sea turtle trailing long nets loaded with kelp, clams, sponges, old clamsheels from the depths and strange fittings from old Atzlanti ships.... swimming into a harbour and offering their produce in some fun, sparkling floating market.... alongside inland traders who float foodstuff downriver in canoes or trading barges, exchanging watermelons for sponges, brass spear heads for worked tortoiseshell and preserved leathers for the jawbone of a large sperm whale. Huge bundles of copra being hauled overhead by sailors on tackles, alongside casks full of whale- and/or palmoil, nutmeg and even more exotic spices. All the riches of the Indies
Sorry, to say, but the "storytelling" in AP-II does not really take into account real shipbuilding.
First-off, there is and never was "squibbing". There just was not, so taking an irreal process as the base for calculations is ... futile.
Second, actual ships in the age of wood where build within a few months time, IF the materials were on site. The french small friagate L'Unite, later the HMS Surprise took about 7 months to fully equip and set sail from being ordered. A 130' long, late 18th century frigate, not some less complicated in build galleon. The VOC Batavia, a 17th century Dutch East Indiaman took less than a year to build, in war-torn Europe, with supplies of shipbuilding woods from the Baltic under constant wartime pressure.
Third, actual shipbuilding in the wooden age was far simpler than build something like the titanic, since cutting up and placing the Psars could be done simultaneously by work-crews working in paralell.
So building a less complicated pirate vessel, in an area where strong hardwoods are readily available presents no really great problem. The main problem usually facing a vessel upon completion is finding a crew, gaining suitable cannonage and getting fully equipped with stores.
None of which really applies to pirates who... commonly should have a fully equipped ship already, simply transfering their stores
I'd apply a building rate of roughly 700-1000 gp/day, reliant on quality and number of shipwrights and assistants in the workforce (and remember that most any seaman is also trained as a semi-skilled carpenter for shipboard repairs, if possible under supervision )
Some ideas for positive Crew performance perks :
"Pride of the Fleet" : Successfully pushing the crew to more daring and dashing exploits, causing them to take pride in their actions... (combone Prrofession sailor and Diplomacy/bluff into this; one for the actual sailing stuff, and one for making the crew feel proud of it, instead of having them call the captain mad. You can also have the watches perform against each other in friendly rivalry, and use this for performance drills.
"Extra Shares": Setting aside some extra shares to award to crewmen especially heroic in attacks or on duty. Officers (PCs) should not get access to the shares.
"Dashing and Capering" : Successfully engaging in some horrendously difficult act, with success and a chance for the crew to wildly laugh about it and tell tall tales. Sailing into Correntyn Harbour and having the port watch take a long drink in a harbourside tavern. Repainting the name of the Chelian flagship in port. Hoisting the Shackels Colours over the watchtowers of Rahadoum, Westcrown or Correntyn.
"Golden Cup" : Nasty idea my players came up with.... having taken the skull of old'Plugg, they made a mould from it (evil laughs all about) , and are now regularly casting a gold skull (worth about 250 dubloons, ahem gp) from it, as a reward for "Piracy Above and Beyond".
as for Chris Kenneys ideas : overall very nice, but "Crew Quality" as being bound to a certain harbour seems.. odd. First you will always have mixed crews. Second, you will have travellers hiring on in a port where they were not born. Third, in any board there wil be lackadaisies one one hand , and the most able of seaman. Often enough in the same tavern.. I' rate any seaman hired with a quick 1-5 star rating, and take the crew average from that. Hence, the palyeers can actually bring their crew up to speed by getting rd of the lazy ones.
Paizo published the "Islands" of the Shackles map (as a free-download Pdf) a while ago
Yeah it only covers the Shackles ....so, feel free to patch it up southwards, at least to Sargava, and northwards to Illizmagorti ? Correntyn ? Riddleport ?
Nothing at all is said about seaground, reefs, tides and currents for any part of it, and inhouse information is contradictory (AP-III'S Matt Goodall assumes reefs and outcroppings within the Eye, AP-VI's Nelson does not and assumes free sailing ), so patch to your leisure.
No rules for morale and crews discipline etc after the initial AP. Call it an oversight. I would assume some constant Diplomacy or Intimidation rolls to keep morale "in check", modified by amount of plunder and length of journey. Bardic performance's keeping shipboard live half-way entertaining ( say through stories, acts or music ) might help too. and yeah, what good is a decent pirate story without the crew becoming restless or even mutinous ?
No rules for navigation - and one may honestly doubt that landbound Survival is any good, once you are out of sight of the coasts, meaning no fixed points on the horizon.... so pick up some astronomy. No really ! No deepwater navigation without some precise astronomy or really excellent clocks.
No real rules for wind and environment either, but there are some old 3.5 rules in FGG and GR products about crew, Navigation and environment (and methinks, Kenzer's "Salt and Seadogs") which you might want to take a look at. Take a good look at the beaufort Scale (wikipedia it) for the relation betweeen sea effects and wind strength... which in turn will make conditions much more descriptive.
Alderac had a series of "Swashbuckling" Adventures/settings out, too. Plus the "Pirate Nations" has some basica rules for sailing in adversity, shipboard provisoning etc. and a lot of nice background information on pirate groups and choices, plus some smaller scale habrours and settlements.
"Buccaneer's of Freeport" (GR) has some nicely set up Pirate groups to offer, which one can take some good hints from for different group of Pirates
Privateer Press' "Five Fingers" setting should be worth gold for organizing and running pirate ports and trade.
Promised as much in another thread, here come some "high stakes" ships to chase and carry for capable pirates. I don't think high-end piracy would be boring...and I am not even a professional writer^^ (this is an hour's work of lying back on the terrrace with a tablet)
Feel free to steal and use.... Arrrrrrrrh !
The White Ship (straight from Lovecraft)
Andorian merchantman full of Dagonese Priests
The Jellous Ghost Ship
Fey-Elven "light" clipper ( or a vessel from Hermia...)
The Harpy's Nest...
Dandan Island : legendary and "relocating" island, allegedly The abode of captain Long-Pegs Splinter's treasure (he can always find it, since he has a number of ex-crew aboard as animated and chained undead --- plus on of those Iron Skull rings. ). It's said to be mounted on the third rocky outcrop of the barren ridge on the island...(as the PCs have been breathlessly told... or find out from a waterproof map on the drowned pirate corpse halfway up the hill) aka the Dorsal Fin.... "digging" might prove problematic, as striking into the DanDan's shell will slowly awaken it, causing "earthquakes", a noted lean of the island and possible submersion ! Dig harder ! Avoid the downdraft !
Great Mwangi war-barge
Chelian ghost Ship
I've watched a lot of pirate movies in preparation, everything on Netflix and oth things I have, but I would argue that pirates of the Caribbean are the only legitimate pirate movies made in the past forty years, I grew up on Errol Flynn on classic movie channels, but even in those there isn't that much time just on ships.
Well : You might want to take a look at "Cutthroat Island" "Nate and Hayes", "Sinbad" and... "Master and Commander" (which is about chasinga a privateer )^^ just for starters. Or the strange but in parts brilliant "Pirates" by Roman Polanski. As well as the countless "Treasure Island" remakes. All of these made since the 1980.
also a good list of movies :
And never mind the hundreds of book about Royal Navy Commanders and Captains in the Napoleonic wars, with a similar number in French about figures like Robert Surcouf and company, many of which can be most readily adapted to any pirate plot and intrigue. Or the truly great "Red Seas under Red Skies" by Scott Lynch, or even more obvious ...the (book !) "On Stranger Tides" by Tim Powers.
There is no fortress-clamouring in any of these. And that only makes them better, more interesting and... yes, more piratical.
Oh my gosh... is this a "Pirates - Stepford Wives ?" crossover ?
Bugger me sideways, but.... a pirate is all about being non-conventional, defying classic expectations of social graces and standing and impressing through daring deeds, thousands of Doubloons and not by serving spiked rum and having hookers as serving girls (a detail I found really... ahem disturbing )...
To my mind, a true pirate meets ones enemies on the quarterdeck, sabre in hand, if possible in a storm, after a ship-breaking chase....
Their content of "piracy" on the other hand in the final three parts is less than 5% IMHO
Adam Daigle wrote:
Well thanks Adam, but... If I need an idea I open the window, as the local saying goes. If I need to do all the work myself, well why do I actually buy the AP ?
In earlier adventure paths those maps/quests were integrated into the main plot (as in "Kingmaker"), or at least given shape through side treks (say as in "Legacy of Fire" ).
Piracy, ships, adventure, maps... all to be done by the intrepid customer himself ?
I think I fully AGREE with Cap'n Dude. Bring me some Dagon and insane worshippers, let's see some witchwood ships and of course, more fighting with daggers and hooks in the backstreets of Port Peril. Let's see if this cannot be severly improved.
I don't think "Pirates of the Carribean" is the sole measure for pirate movies. Especially because they are Disney-esque. And I do not recall too many dungeons in those movies anyway (except the really bad last one). In fact, do they even enter any building in Part I or II ?
Take a good long look at the classic Errol Flynn movies.
the last three Parts are
Island : huge dungeon + very railroadish social "comedy" event. And I mean VERY railroadish
Price : small Dungeon + tactical fleet battle + large dungeon
Heart : large tactical fleet battle + one huge dungeon (one that can even more easily be utterly ruined by going in backwards).
All of these stories could as easily have been part of any Adventure Path. Nothing piratish or naval - the battles could just as easily have been fought with army regiment counters on any old battlemap - about them.
And..... it really could have been done better, as Green Ronin proved some years back with their "Freeport" series. Mysterious opposition, vile cults, oddly glowing underwater caves, evil islands, a bermuda triangle of mystery....the works !
Methinks I will end the whole main plot with AP-V, and extend the evils of Harrigan some more. There are some nice ideas for cultistic islands in the Shackle's guide, I'll go from there.
Because... you know basically, didn't the authors take a good look at the Spanish Armada or the Mongolian Invasion of Japan ? One freaking bizarre storm...and not much plot for AP-VI at all. Because all those wooden ships in a hurricane strength gale, surrounded by reefs... Witha major NPC named the "Master of Gales"...and who would actually want to be the King of Pirates ?
Why not even have the players go for an all-out ritual to extend the Eye outwards for a while, froma mysterious island ? Doing nasty but piratish stuff like possibly slaying crew and compatriots to enable such ritual-ized Force-V storm to leak into being. Or choosing between two evils to embrace to ensure the existence of the Shackles... And have Harrigan actually trying to wreck these undertakings from beyond the grave (or is he actually dead... ?)
Given the developments of AP-IV (Island of Empty Eyes) and AP-V (Price of Infamy) the Adventure Path gets
yet another Dungeon Crawl in "From Hell's Heart" through a Fortress as the "Grand Finale" ? In addition to yet another tactical board game naval battle ? With a BBEG the characters have not even really interacted with and a "set goal" which they might not even want ? And again, lots of writeups for NPCs one never gets to interact with, while there is hardly a plot beyond "fight the naval battle" + "sack the pirate king's fortress"
Sort of feels ......underwhelming. Dungeons. No Dragons. Now with pirates. Arrrrrrrh.
This sort of makes me sad, I really would have looked for somethimg more along the lines of "Fantastic Voyages" and "Forgotten Coasts", hidden beaches in the mist and rich treasures on faraway shores. You know piracy and "Bring me that Horizon !"
probably just me
Why do people ever so rarely understand that the power of a Paladin is inticately linked to the restrictionsemposed by the Alignment.
Paladin : great responsibility, hard life <---> exceptional powers
everything else : [u]power mongering[/u]. Like the one above. Channel energy with automated wounding(healing (in one go ?), Automatically switching opposition to the (for you) most favourable kind (lo, what happens if other pirates attack you ?)... All the crew become suddenly protected and beneficiaries of your leadership (even the mutinous ones) ? how... fair, with huge crews (all 100 of them )
Nevermind that Besmara is not Anti-Lawful, she just doesn't give a flip about rules. But why should she negate the main drive of her favourite prey ? She is also not the patron of "my pirate crew and me", but the champion of individual (!) freedom. Action by their own free will. Positive benefits by screwed- because it really interferes with "free will" if you hand out follow me cookies. That's called corruption.
Ruleswise : play an inquisitor (because that is what that class is for) or an evil anti-paladin
I have made the isle more of a follow-the-dots riddle, with compass dials they have to re-measure against a compass rose on Locke's map, to find the "next" clue, trekking over a jungle encrusted piece of volcanic wilderness... snakes, spiders, centipedes, apes hurling treefruits, swarms of mosquitos, swampy hollows.
Simply changed the Sahuagin lair from underwater into a damp, sodden, half floodded sloshing dungeon full of (more) undead, algae covered walls, barnacled rotten doors and much less fishy-types,
DM's Cheliax angle could have worked, too, especially with the treachery or perhaps some Pathfinder lodge stuff.
or alternatively having the characters trek across an island filled with Dinosaurs ( channeling King Kong by Peter Jackson here, especially the fanttastic artbook) to reach a measuring marker to get their bearing for the map.
Really it slightly bothred me, that the low-level adventures depended so much on potions/scrolls of water breathing etc. when the players hardly have access to the spell, then they get handed a "helm of underwater action"... Voila, hardly anything after the chase in AP-3 that in AP-4 and AP-5 actually takes place underwater anymore. Because obviously now the players have access to water breathing so "it's no challenge" anymore, it seems
Same as with sailing actions (you know, piracy). Seems to die out, after the Regatta.
What this AP might really need are some worthy and MEMORABLE seaborne targets to rob and plunder... vast galleons, deadly ghost ships, treasure fleets or exotic drifting islands like dragonturtles or the huge-fish-whose-name-escapes-me... Dandan ? You know... fantastic meets piracy. Something to brag about having plundered, not "nameless merchant #14", giving you three points of plunder.
If there is interest, I might put up some more or less crazy ideas.
For one : in this specific AP, Profession Sailor.. ahem... rules. There are countless rolls throughout the AP, being set on ships and such, which profit from it, directly
Overall Profession (sailor) includes most of the easy and not so easy knowledge about ships, boats, the sea (size of waves, types of waves ) wind direction, how to handle a ship , what NOT to do, shipboard traditions, codes of conducts among sailors...
It is experience in a certain field of work actually having done things. You may climb like Reinhold Messner, you may swim on olympique levels... but that won't amount to much if you have no clue which end of the ships is which or where to lay the rudder in a split second during combat.
oh, and nevermind that landbased navigation (aka "Survival") actually helps you... like, not at all on the water ? No trees, no landmarks, good luck navigating by the sun without any fixed points to relate to... Same for knowledge geography... what part of open ocean is actually "geo-graphy ?"
yeah simplification in RPGs... that's what Profession (sailor) is for
I'd have prefered two more pages of interesting encounters, or a map of the Rock's Isle or a myriad of other info. Say, like stats on the monster the group is actually supposed to fight *shrug*
In a few supplements it is stated, that actually the Shackles are among the least racist areas in Golarion, a refuge for shunned minorities. The local Highpriestess of Callistria is a Tiefling, according to "Blood of the Fiends". An Island full of Vudrani.. an elven enclave.... and since there are also tianish pirates about, as well es a colony of Tengu, not much should be able to shock a citizen of the Shackles.
I'd think they fear more what they know, like a bunch of Kuru as part of the crew^^
i only made notes so far - I really don't think random rolls for "random encounters" make a story more exciting.
Captain : picking targets, battle command (setup - tactics and strategy) general command, including settling unrest among the crew. Being the "frontman", haggling with fences... ahh, and being heroic ! Yes, the later part is important if your crew is going to look to you to solve their problems^^
Quartermaster : keeping ship in stocks + having the foodstuff actually kept in the proper place and available (yes heavy retrimming of the ship is necessary from time to time), appraising and sharing out treasure. The "ship shop" from AP-1 ? I guess everyone wants to get rid of that inanity. If the royal Navy could hand out sailcloth to the crew, I guess so can pirates
Sailing Master : navigation (lot's of it), cartography, keeeping the ship in optimum sailing shape, training master mates capable of handling basic navigation (so he/she can sleep), logging, depth-sounding, steering the boat in difficult situations (or having a mate for that )
First Mate : supervising crew, keeping them both inline and motivated. Setting out work rotation, supervising punishments, being the "tough guy" nobody cares to mess with before the captain even notices. Having the decks swabbed, the head kept clean, hammocks stored orderly and in a shipwise fashion, starting loafers to get back to work. Usually being better than the swabs at their tasks.
Cook/healer: Food provisioning, cooking and afterwork, plus for us healing the sick and wounded (list of interesting seaboard diseases for that ). Will interlink heavily with quartermaster
we won't use a Gunner's Mate who would nominally maintain any siege engines (resetting of ropes, removal of rust and repolishing, keeping a reliable supply of bolts in orderly shape, chisseling stones - normally he would be responsible for filling and sewing cartridges, overseeing the maintenance of the guns and maintaining gun discipline (which as written does not happen ).
real ship to ship combat... did not take hours, if the crews knew what they were doing. Take a good look at USS Constitution vs HMS Java, or USS Chesapeake vs HMS Shannon. Long battles "occur" because they get calculated by logs, denoting when the ship sets course for battle, with its crew being sent to battle stations, not actually when the first shots are fired and usually mostly as the result of long chases.
What "killed" ships were shots under the waterline (being hard to plug and causing flooding) or into the rudder mechanism, wheel or the rudder itself , plus those taking out masts (shredding sails with cannonfire was something the french tried without success for most of a century - although grapeshot worked well, it only did so over very short distances).
Catapult work, done only in classic times and possibly by the Byzantine, would have been even more effective as the ships of those ages were considerably more vulnerable.
That being said, the "ship to ship" rules are mostly a sad joke. I mean "burning sails".. what is a crew to do ? Drop them on the deck ? Nevermind fire spreading ? IMHO the damage for the warmachines is deliberatly low. Otherwise, warmachines, especially ballistas etc would be too useful in eliminating out "heroic characters".
Actually, I don't see even Conan shrugging off a hit from a Trebuchet, but... Yeah well, the rules as in RAW..*shrug*
go creatively with seamanship
"I'll splice your tackle",
"two strands short of a rope"
"Lively" (in any numer of tones, to scare PCs)
The big point of a good insult is not what you say, but HOW you say it. best full of nasty implication....
like "You.Are. such a .....stupid dolphin, you scrapmouthed landlubber.... belay the sheet and then kiss the mast !"
Your privilege. Personally I'd certainly wonder if it makes the story a better one - or if the player would just feel trundled about by the AP/GM. I'd expect many cries of "just how convenient".... Sounds more like Johnny Depp and "Pirates of Carribean" ?
My own group - after incessant years of playing (this group for roughly twelve years, most of us for 20-30 years, 2-3 a month ) prefers "increased" realism and planning for it. Which makes for more work with the APs... *shrug*
Since the guys kicked everyones guts before the storm, the situation did not arise for us. Things went down more along the lines of "we are too few" and "why did you have to kill everyone before the storm". Which made for fun situations on the island (they are not done yet) - everybody realizing they were in the poodoo together, and now everyone looking suspiciously at the group whether they would safe the crew or would be left behind if the rest made off with the cutter^^ So for now, they took the compass along, better safe than sorry.
"Bonnie" Prince Charlie did nothing of that sort.He was rowed to Skye by local fishermen (a monstrous, 2 mile inshore sound... ), and sailed from there on the large french frigate L'Heureux . With a compass, full crew, good amounts of food, maps and still in inshore waters. Utterly heroic^^
oh, and it was September 15th, 1746.
If quoting facts, get them straight, please (source is Magnus Magnusson, "Scotland. Story of a Nation", p.625-627 )
PS Sail to Scotland (1745) on Du Teillay, a full-size brig.
PS And the North Sea is on the East of the British Isles. You would mean the Atlantic and Irish Sea. *grin*
there is of course the problem that usually a convoy is only as good as the fighting ships escorting them. So who would send those ? And who would say... trust the Chelians ?
There will also be the question of coordination (this did not really work well for the spanish ), especially in a world where weather can be called up through magic... "what an interesting fogbank"
Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:
whoever told you : stupidity
First : no ship in that age (up to the 19th century) anchors with a chain, because both of the weight involved (you need 3-4 times the length of the way to the bottom...plus more, you never know how deep the ocean is. 30' of water = 120' feet of chain... at... say... 30 lbs for every three feet ? That means 1.8 tons, plus the anchor... to haul up with a winchlass ) and the impossibility to lift that chain without a steam assisted winch. Chains are for mooring in Naval ports, that's it.
Second : Anchors are stored outside the ship. Always. Especially since you need them there in case of emergency. They weigh a freaking lot, too. That is : in the vicinity of "tons". Drop those down a hatch to retrieve them in case of emergency ? Noone's been that stupid since the day of the Romans....
as for the OP :
Bad jobs :
- Forgetting him in the masttop. For hours.
- having him "log" (estimating the depth of water with a handline). Again - for hours. Have fun throwing that 6-10 pound weight out and hauling it in... twice a minute
- Sandscraping the decks. Just as much fun. Especially if you do it alone.
- Oil and prime the tackles. If you are mean, while they are topside, in the rigging.
- Having him clean the bowsprit and lower bow. Just under the buntlines (aka "the local loo") 'nuff said. also great fun in "heavier" weather, when one is actually "underwater" for at least half the time
Anything more ?
That being said, the whole "hazing" part is just sooo much off the board for piracy it is actually very stupid fun. Basically, that "hazing2 is the reasons why people joined pirate crews, to escape the stupid everyday work drill on merchant vessels.Nevermind the drinking part.
"Red Seas under Red Skies" : Scott Lynch. Probably the very best fantasy pirates (sans Gunplay) in contemporary literature
"If a pirate I must be" : the true story of Batholomew Roberts. Real pirate history. Quite enlightening, too.
"Empire of the Sea" . Roger Crowley, highly entertaining history of galley warfare, corsairs and coastal raiding in the 16th century mediterranean. Chilling - one can also tak notes for fiendish exploits and heroic stunts.
"The Mark of Ran" : Paul Kearney. (also the rest of the Sea Beggars story arc ). Not as good as Lynch, but rousing nevertheless
"Sinbad" : the animated movie (2003), cool seamonster, interesting "high fantasy encounters", interesting villainous deity.
Aguire - the Wrath of God
1492 - Conquest of Paradise": Ridley Scott
Generally speaking this might just fly in Eberron, although the "once-colony of a mighty evil empire" flair will be hard to achieve. especially so, if Korvosa is not a politically independent entity, but only a dukedom in a larger realm - and most of the Eberronian realms are far too sizable for use as the backdrop for the AP.
Also, with Eberron's many races some difficulties will arise. Changelings can be very problematic in-game (both on the players' side as well as GM tools), as identity-change is just too easy with them, and can drive characters to intense paranoia. Take that into account with planning for the initial three installments' plots. The same might hold true for the less than civilized tribes/clans the characters are bound to stumble upon in the 4th and 5th installments.
I am unsure inhowfar the Demon Wastes will work as the Cinderlands, from my reading of Eberron they appear as far more deadly and ill-reputed than the Cinderlands. tehre is also the problem of the geographical remoteness from most realms (except the Eldeen Reaches ). Maybe some borderland wastes inhabited by semi-feral shifters might work better - not every spot on the Khorvaire map is civilized just because it s located within a major realm.....
The major problem I foresee though, is the abundancy of magic in Eberron, plus the detached view of the world prevalent among Eberron's dieties. With artificers easily able to create wands of cure light wounds and or remove disease, the tone of "Seven Days to the Grave" should be notably different iby my reckoning. With the clergyhood mnore detached, and alternative sources for healing being available, quite a bit of expositioonal material might have to be rewritten.