Hmm, for one I have never seen any hint as to the pirate "king" being a feudal lord supported by vows of fealty and an exchange of duties.
TWOWAY OBLIGATIONS ? A central part of any feudal society ? Usually highly regulated ?
Or even anything declared through divine right ( I do NOT see Besmara and her priesthood supporting such an institution, only everyone tearing it down ). Shifting alliances and a mostly decorative "figurehead" title, yes, but the pirate "king" looks more like a "capo-di-capo" to me.
Second : Pirates are SMART ? Since when ? The entire real history of western piratehood is one of being essentially not "smart" or "wise" or "trusting in far judement".... as is the hollywoodeque one ? Everyone wise either became pretty lawful, once sucess was achieved (say, Francis Drake) and would not be supported (ahem, rather reviled) by Besmara....
All of it sounds very unpiratish to me (IMHO).... "take what you want, give nothing back" seems a far more of a pirate motto than "king of the Free Pirates" ( sorry if I roll around some, laughing)... Doesn't "Free" indicate a tendency for (local) tradition over rule and sensible laws, and a distinct wish to be FREE from such oppression/rulership ?
I don't want to be the spoilsport, but players may well ask, just how the crabs climbed a sailing/drifting ship out at sea ?. Crabs don't float (or swim ), and the side of a ship are sheer anyways ?
Perhaps take some precautions there. Or perhaps have a wyver circle the ship hip looking for decent prey... and have Harrigan, Longfarthing and co attack it when it makes its move ?
James Jacobs wrote:
very literal answer, thanks.
So the flipping of the iconics' handedness is done merely as a matter of layout. Explains some observations (such as Aroden being righthanded in Mythic Realms ). Somehow I had always tought of Aroden as your very personal project (I guess he is, but with a focus on other details ). Possibly overthinking on my part.
As for B ) I should have added : Any non-human (mortals) aspiring or having aspired to deityhood ? While satisfying, only humans (and some powerful immortal/divine beings) having achieved dietyhood.. felt odd.
As Asmodeus likes to claim he is the second oldest entity around, I would have expected him to be the "ancestral" diety of devils, the fount from which the devils sprung ? Is this a mistaken assumption ?
Any chance for major undead going down the mythic path (Ta Baphon seems to have been ighly mythic before his "death" by Aroden ? ) or are undead incapable to advance beyond their lifeless (if eternal) state ?
James Jacobs wrote:
So, Aroden was a lefty ? (or is that just a design choice ?)
Also wondering if anyone but Demon Lords and aspiring mortals tramped the path of becoming deities in their own right ?
Or is that something that only used to happen in the wild and weirder past, as it did with Sarenrae ?
Oh, and how about an Aboleth Demi-god or something in that vein ?
Hm, my take on the whole thing was that
b) That you are not beholden to another captain (except the council), and not part of another's fleet.
c) you actually had and have to plunder and pillage, and be well-known for it
d) that you cannot actually rule over estate in the islands ithout being beholden to another captain.
Basically : turning from journeyman pirate (semi
Just my way of seeing it
I may be overly realistic. Sorry. But most of these are pretty unreasonable, and depending upon the level of seamanship/common sense though will severely suspend disbelief
How do Orcas attack the ship ? Bite the keel ? Give the ship'S side a severe battering ? This might only work against very small ships or require monstrously large orcas. Why the Orcas should dabble about in warm tropical waters (anything but their natural habitat ), I leave to you. Perhaps, try a Sea Serpent or Orm or some of the more fantastic stuff from "Isles of the Shackles"
A man going overboard... will require considerably more time than just two (2) rounds. A ship at full tilt will move 100'-200' a round, hence quickly pulling the swimmer out of reach. SAILING SHIPS HAVE NO BREAKS ! THEY HAVE NO REVERSE GEAR.. .The ship will have to go for a full stop somewhere on its course, spilling all her wind and tacking to leeward under sails (there a specific maneuvers for this taught in every sailing coures, because it is anything but "simple". Even with modern dinghies. Nevermind in a full ship. Getting the poor sucker out of the water will be difficult, too ).
Same goes for the freak wave --> random swimmer event. (the only tme I have heard in campaign of anyone ever getting back on board, was in my brother's group where they had a "dedicated" Undine Lifeguard-swimmer who jumped into the soup the very second the NPC went overboard.
Torn rigging etc. I'd better not start talking about that one. If any one suspends disbelief that torn riging will drop onto deck and not be flung out to leeward (including any crew) it might work... your call
Stuck wheel.. ahem, perhaps one should mention that the wheel is commonly manned by two or more crew in strong winds, to manage the forces on it. No cushioning hydraulics in the age of wood. Usually the larger guys in the crew have to handle the wheel
Ballista on deck ? They have a readily assembled ballista on deck during a regatta ?
Most of this stuff sounds very "hollywoodesque" (probably in the worst sense ).
If that fits the style of your campaign, ok.
Some more freakish events I'd think realistically possible :
Swarms of Jellyfish - both ships run through a sea clouded with swarms of poisonous jellyfish, which the waves might deposit on deck (reflex saves to dodge), and inundate the deck with poisonous gloob - hampering manouevres. Unless they get rinsed off, but until then, moving over the deck will be perilious.
Sudden Gust : a sudden squall tears out your sails, and leans the ship over far too much to leeward. Crew possibly drops from the rigging (if unsecured... but why would they be ? . ok, now they are dangling from the yardarms on their safety lines), ship speed slows and now you have whipping tendrils of sail and loose sheets flinging about to bother you too. Did someone mention propulsion being affected ?
Unexpected reef/rocks. Hard to spot ridge of underwater stone juts u (intermittedly) from the sea. Serious perception to spot it and a possible gap in time. Fully apply penalties to spot rolls for anyone on the afterdeck, so a bowbound-watcher might be a wise idea. Just remember -1 to perception/10' of distance... the average ship is about 100-120 feet long, and the object is hopefully NOT yet under the bow, right ?
Shearing off the bowsprit : Freak wave hits the tip of the bowsprit or it gets broken off in a freak wave the ship does not climb swift enough (much easier to happen to smaller vessels). Profession sailor chaecks maybe in order. Quick retrimming of the rigging and profession shipwright to shore up the damage.
Bad omen ? Harsh battering of the bow takes it's toll, your bowhead-figurine is smashed to pieces or threatens to drop into the sea... VERY BAD MOJO that, so the crew jumps to saving it, leaving their main jobs uncared for... or if commanded to stay on their posts, there might a strong morale penalty incoming
Battleflag in tatters : your Skulls and Shackles/crimson (whatever) gets torn to shreds by the constant battering. THIS IS THE BANNER YOU FIGHT UNDER !!! Serious climbing to save it, or experience a solid drop in morales.
Any mast in a storm : A confused and exhausted wyvern decides your mastip is the safest place to rest in the storm and now clings precariously to your topyard..... of course offsetting the carefully balanced ship /(center of gravity and center of trim) by adding a ton of wyvern to the masttop. Get rid of the damn thing before she capsizes us ! (and yes, missile fire seems counterprodutive in the high winds )
hope some of these help with alternative encounters ?
Maybe take a look at the Legacy of Fire AP (And some NPCs of RotR, part 1) , where there actually are some lamshtuan worshippers and some hints as to kust how the proceed (regarding fleshwarping) in their cultish ways.
Generally : if they can get away with it, the Grindylows will attempt to create new monstrous mothers, by impregnating females with more revulsive bloodlines (which might make the payers fidget or revolted, depending upon temper. It should certainly affect female NPCs ). Or even wish for the party's females to participate in the "act of creation". Tripanation for gaining the Third Eye i also is a fun staple of the cult (and I had wondered why it was not practised on the Grindylow Queen, as a priest)
Also, if the players sail into smaller harbours or coastal places, the Grindylows might see this as wonderful opportunity to raise some hell, capture more viable females and cause general chaos (and demonstrate how the players as their mighty guardians support them !).
Overall : many females on board (Rosie, Sandara etc.) should be more than spooked (or as in the case of Besmara, even antagonized) , since the Lamashtuans will basically regard them as breeeding mares or whatever term you use. This may very well lead to mutiny or sailing of with the unlucky ship while the characters are onshore . Hopefully on some unsettled and dangerous island.
Lamashtu's cults are pretty proactive, and will try to enact their ways of seeing the world on others. Which might not be to many females liking. Unless they are utterly and raving mad. Nevermind that many people do not really like strange religions intruding on their life.
38. Riceboat : after the last battle and possibly a sub-surface hit (or a reef, sabotage or collison with a semi-sunken object), the bilge stays oddly dry..
39. Gnomish powder : Useful only if cannons are being used - the last patch of gunpowder was either a "big mistake" (which might explain the bargain price you got for it) or simply meant for something else. The fireworks are wonderful, but what about the pink and cloudy smoke ? or the screeching noise when it burns off ?
40. Lightning Strikes ! : In the midst of a sudden squall, lightning strikes the top of the mainmast, electrifying everything on it and possibly toppling some crew out of it, possibly into the churning waves. Afterwards, the mast chains are creaking as the deadbolts they are anchored to, have burned through the surrounding wood and are shaking lose.
41. Cannonballs : yes, these are pretty round and awfully heavy. So please store them carefully ( Pirates are well known to be careful, right^^), or they might start rolling through the ship in heavy seas. Now imagine what a couple of bowlingball-weight but definitely smaller objects can smash ? Anything on the decks will be "fair game" - including player legs, equipment, seachests, barrels or even fragile cargo (like those wonderful TianXan Ming Vases you stole of the last merchant...). Or imagine a 12 pound cannonball suddenly drop down one or two decks through a hatch during rough seas ? This of course can be topped by an improperly towed cannon (which weighs everal hundreds or thousands of pounds ) [ myplayers actually nailed buckets to the decks to store the cannonballs ]
42. Snakes on a Ship : Your last harbour stop provided you with some unexpected animal guests, having climbed up your mooring cable or the hawsers binding you to the docks...who are now lurking in the dark places like the keel-up dinghies and come out to hunt at night. Yes there are rats (or the ship's cat, or Beezlebub ) to munch on. Good luck looking for them, as nobody seems keen to get poisoned. Say it is awfully comfortable to stow away in a soft coat or garment... or tack of sail, or behind the kitchen's firewood... Now doesn't that rope-end look suspicious ?
43. Fumigation : something has burned in the kitchen (or even worse, an Alchemists lab) and suddenly everything below decks is filled by acrid smoke and possibly dangerous flames. Fried calamari or mussles are a wonderful source for this...
44. Heave over : works best on a schooner, brig or other ship with a large fore-and-aft sail, and a lower supporting beam ( not the gaff, the beam !). Someone shirked on the lanyard, and as the heave over commence, the mainsail beam swings over the deck down low like a titansized scythe or a great wyrm's tail. Everyone roll for reflex saves or be struck down/dumb and/or beheaded. Also your steering wheel might be in the way of the massive beam
Kirth Gersen wrote:
The DM straight-up destroyed that campaign himself by intentionally destroying the players' trust -- as cited, he/she did everything possible to lead the players to believe that a double standard was being followed. Instead of smiling and saying nothing (easily interpreted as smugly basking in your own transgressions while smirking at them to rub it in), the DM could have simply said something like, "Yes -- there's obviously something going on that your characters are not aware of," and thereby prevented the whole meltdown. Lack of communication isn't cute, especially if it destroys the players' trust in you and wrecks the campaign. Unless that was the DM's goal?
Don't think so.The GM has to tell the player what they are seeing and he is not (NOT) the players all-knowing source that has to tell them the inner workings of the campaign. He is the players EYES on the campaign (and said friend is of the talkative sort, I am pretty sure he sufficiently depicted the situation ), but he cannot be their UNDERSTANDING or RECOGNITION of what they are seeing.
If the GM explains that what they see is impossible by the rules as stand and agreed upon... yeah. Should he raise the "IT'S A TRICK" flag next ? *facepalm*
Or having himself blackmailed by players threatening to resign just so they get to know what actually happened right at that moment ?
If the players act dumbly and get everything explained, what do they actually need experience, skill or even abilities for ? Or their brains ?
But yeah, some people seem to think that everything, always and every time is the GM's fault. IMHO usually the one's more interested in roll-playing over role-playing, but some people are just unhappy if an NPC does something unpredictable. Or getting outsmarted by a lowly NPC because they rely on the fact that THEY are supposedly the heroes.
Oh and nevermind, the players' actually benefited from the illusion, AFAIK.
@trying to keep this on the original track (yeah, probably hopeless !)
Besides breaking possible campaign parameters, has anyone ever considered that other players actually have to play alongside your character (and supposedly have fun too ) ?
Nevermind that non-powergaming exotics commonly are a cheap grasp for the social limelight e.g. "see how cute I am" or watch me, deeply awed, looking awesome !" (or totally avoiding all roleplaying scenes, by creeping in the shadows for being "unaccepted" by faux-medieval society), but not necessarily for an overall enjoyment at the table.
personally : i'd like to see the awakenend sentient mud-geyser in a scene involving the local powers court^^ (once)
Oh yeah let's play stochastics. Nothing is 100%. But the extremely minuscule chance that there may be life in the corona of a star, does not mean it has to be permitted in a campaign. There is a point where stochastic improbabilty is not deemed relevant anymore even in hard science..Yes, there MAYBE a tribe out there who will not eat the elf etc etc etc. Maybe they will initiate a human into the deeper mysteries of Orc Shamanism etc (looking at all the Orcish Witchdoctor human "raised ouside the race" guys here ).
If a player absolutely insists on it, let him/her run the campaign and deal with the follow-up consequences.
Because Creativity and long-term viability are two entirely different concepts.
And what is fine for the player to argue - is much more work for the GM to implement.
Yet, as he admits, nowadays, the character was the same typecast, skillset, powers qnd personality she has always been playing, so basically she could have cloned her old character(s), repainted, restoried, re-explained. Neither the player nor the world profited.
The player just needed something "special", e.g. fancy racial clothing, for vanity's sake.
The GM spend 30 hours to rework his world for it.
35a Wake me up : something is following the ship, its darker shadow being visible mostly at night in the luminiescence of the ship's wake.... Was that glance at tentcle or barbed fins ? Are those perhaps huge and luminscient eyes reflecting the light from the taffrail lanterns ?
reminder to self... never type anything lengthy on your pad^^
Last thought though : have the battle commence at night !
Any ship in tropical waters will be nicely outlined by phosporecent foam in and of the wake, while the monster at best will be a dark shadow somewhere out there. Not sure whether Darkvision breaks through the surfac of the ocean (it does not for us), so spotting and boradising stuff, in the darkness... will take som planning (such as an illuminated barbed harpoon ). even then Monsters will benefit from concealment and potentially cover (under the surface).
Darkness is the enemy - or in the words from a friends campaign
18. Rotten barrels : foodstuff is commonly enclosed in barrels - but some stupid git banded impromperly sealed barrelhoops. Loud bursting from the bilges as the barrels expand (explosively) possibly setting up a chain reaction.
19. Slide me sideways : In the after-battle celebrations some of the heavier booty was improperly stored and stowed (some knots not up to snuff ?). Come the next storm, the plunder starts sliding to lee, threatening to topple the ship. Who is man enough to haul the five tons of cargo to windward and properly tie it down ? Broken bones and bruises are a must.
20. Bilge pump broken : The chain pump from the bilge suffers from mechanical breakdown. At best, in a storm, when the cranking and yawing ship is springing seams anyway, and water from above is seeping through cracks in the deck, nevermind the hatches. Go and repair it while the ship is slowly taking on water
21. Anchoring cable (a 3" hawser) suffers from rot after years of lacklustre maintenance (it's a very dirty job) , and needs to be re-spliced... right ? A few hundred man hours of work, before the ship can drop her anchor... or risk loosing the heavy implement to the next bank of corrals.
22. We are way of North : someone or something mistreated the compass ( placed a loadstone nearby, or simply put a chest of iron some feet away ?) and the compass shows the wrong course. Possibly for days and in bad weather where astronomical observation is off and one has to guesstimate the position. Superior navigation rolls to realize the danger... which is either of hitting a reef, the wrong coast, the Empty Trackless Seas or accidentally sailing into the Chelish fleet (or the Eye )... nevemind trying to reset the compass... on the open seas !
23. The grog has turned me blind : buying or stealing inferior distilled rum (or other strong spirits) , has led to the crew guzzling methanol enriched Brandy. Suddenly parts of the crew go blind... so what's to do ?
24. Windlass breaks : The one essential working tool aboard suffers from mechanical breakdown or even destructive failure. No more lowering the boats (which weigh near a ton ), no more hauling anchor, even moving the mainsails may turn very difficult on certain ships. Sabotage ? Old Ship ? Bad Maintenance ?
25. "oh my god, it's full of worms !": One of the barrels plundered from the last ship is full of magggots... (let's hope you did not get sold this stuff in the last harbour !) no it is Rot Grubs, even enough for a swarm !... Happy hunting below-decks, with fire being absolutely out of the question !
Seamonsters use the ocean as a 3D battlefield. Surges from below (int the ships hull) should usually come as a surprise - unless the players have some sort of sonar - limiting the actions to be takn. Also attacks shoul not usually ome happily stupid from the sides of the ship (so a broadside can be fired), but quie posibly from the ship's wake, as the monster trails the ship.
Shoing theough your capatains cabin : not advised. Hurling stones though your own rigging : inadvisable as well. Catapults mostly if ever workrd well on galleys. And indirt fire-weapons like Mortars were mounted on specialized ships without a foremast which might get in the way...
Also take into account the reason for the monster attacking : snatch, and grabbing some on-the-swim food ( picked up from the quarterdeck), fending off the Intruder to their haunts (say ships and dragon turtles) which might lead to prolonged battles until one or the other is destroyed/crippled etc. Have seaserpents and other predators with breath weapons stay submerged until these are ready, then blast the ships (the heroes might survive, the guncrews... unlikely ). Do they tcually want the treasure aboard (easier to snath underwater anyway) or a sort of come as-you-are buffet ?
If they are smart, they might snatch at (and bite through) the rigging, then dive again. Enough bites = crippled ship. Or pick off the steering crew which is likely to be exposed on the quarterdeck...
besides : monsters charging a ship might well do so just under the surface (looking at Pacific Rim and Gozilla for imagery), gaining nice cover from the waves running over them and enever forget - a ship reaches well down into the water, to a depth of 15'-to 20' trying to stove in or overturn the vessel ? Congratulations - you now have a door sized leak in the side of your vessel... flooding ! Makes you wonder whether the crew will stay at their weapons or make for the lifeboats. Or stay in the shaking and slowly leaning masttops
Kraken etc might attack to grab from below an are smart enough to hang to only one side of the vessel and dive quickly (capsizing it). Once the ballast drops (at an angle of more than 80° - yes, the ballast is fairly loose, for trimming purposes ) , there will hardly ever be a good chance to right the vessel ever again, especially since now water is rushing in through the gunwhales, scuppers and open hatches
And as even a lot of fish are smart enough to simply bite off the fins of an enemy fish....why not have them bite/rip off parts of the ruder, making the vessel unmanoueverable ? Or chop through the anchoring hawser and wait until the clueless/crewless vessel finds itself as easy picking on a reef/sandbank
Perhaps also start out smaller with monsters attacking the lifeboats, then upgrade from there ?
Enough nasty ideas ?
Uri Meca wrote:
No, I was thinking more along the lines of the two monks who saved against everything, killed Scourge and replaced Plugg smashing up the APs start
BUT watching your avatar, I guess at a certain fondness for monks ?
Uri Meca wrote:
Was a mean reply to the players who for years have been claiming "thieves prosper"...
Han smuggled goods for Jabba he had to return with the goods or aftrer delivery to get paid. Jabba was based in the outer rim (lawless pirate region). But made money on the black market by having mules like Han.
I am not sure whether I would take Star Wars as a realistic assessment of smuggling practises or methods^^ Or the SW Outer Rim as "pirate" territory, just because it was not an official part of the Empire
And should smugglers run traffic from the Shackles into the Inner Sea regions, there is basically too much coastline to land stuff "out of sight" and off the record... Nevermind smuggling usually involving small and mobile ships which are rarely a good choice for long distance travel etc.. Nevermind pasisng through the pretty well controlled Arch of Aroden.
But that would be realism vs. player desired playing style.
Smuggling is very much a trope (from a lot of romantic 19th century stories) and usually the best way to hide stuff is in plain sight.
Yeah, so what ? we lost a character on the second session opening another door on the ship
Spoiler:and died instantly due to the high shock damage.
, the one of Peppery's lab
Players' took it in stride , replaced him from with the friends they had made in crew. They went about "Plundering" the ship far more carefully ever after - being constantly reminded by their dead gnome friend's charcoaled corpse still dangling from the foremast.
The adventure is definitely supposed to be deadly, too deadly even. While I find the post about the two monks "breezing" rather astounding, I wonder what will happen to them when meeting
the infamous mosquito swarms or the Giant Moray Eel in the Infernus wreck
Excellent take on the marriage clause
Seeing a single guard in a roleplaying game tells me one of three things
A) cheapskate boss
B) incompetent boss (either of these may have been heard of before)
C) "It's a trap !!" (bait, illusion, very competent guy who actually has a fair chance to see the player approaching )
Nevermind that actually NOISELESSLY killing someone in a single stab/blow is not quite as easy (and requires some intense training - an old friend from school days who went parachutist with the local army's scouting unit, demonstrated some of this on a trip home) as movies and literary tropes make it look. Especially not a guy in armour. And I have yet to read/watch a rogue (not ninja) training school practising one-hit take downs in fiction or movies (outside of Scott Lynch's trick-thief school) for their young recruits.
Medieval weapons are not good at killing people : using them effectively is what kills people, which requires time and practise. Try taking some fencing lessons^^
just my take
Besides if HitPoints work for the benefit of players (usually), NPCs might have the benefits of them as well ?
Vincent Takeda wrote:
hmm, seems to me like a limited (and possibly self-serving - pardon me for being a cynic ?) view. I have played in some "free-forming" campaigns, which usually turned into straight chaos after a couple of sessions, because there was neither a straight or consistent plot and every player was chasing their individually different but incompatible goals. Yes as a player I got some inspiration that way, but usually the whole thing turned mostly to an individualistic " I trump you !" slugfest.
As for "GM's get better"... yeah only within a limited scope. GMs usually are better at improvisiing within a scene, but not through fiddling with the basic (and sensible) superstructure of the world.
One might also try to tae into account that there ARE players who actually prefer a structured setting. Sometimes they even have a long term story setup for their character, and really mind whether someone wrecks the game for them because the GM is "forcefully demanded" to change his tune and allow another player more elbow space and breaking of ingame fundamentals
They might even be sitting right beside you. Or in the next group you join.
Last but not least, as a player, you usually do have less insights in why some stuff in a campaign runs "this" way, and not in another.
Famous example from an old friends group : Player watched an NPC do something incredible and immediately started to protest "that said action" was impossible.
So, at times, trust your GM that his concept for the campaign (which might include NO ELVES or NO KITSUNE ) has some merit, and that forbidding you your inspired whims may have some long-lasting benefits ?
For one thing : if it all comes down to random bad luck (and a good plan) I might change things. That being said, I'd actually have the guard "roll" a low-initiative and give the rogue a chance to stab him again (flatfooted), which should do the job. Keeps the story intact, provides a moment of tension, makes the rogue's player wishing for a more experienced character (and the next level)....
On the other hand : level 2 chars usually should realize that they are "newbs" in the greater game, with only a little experience and failure should still be an option to be planned for.
Besides : if single guards were utterly useless, who would even accept the job ? I mean, you don't post guards for them to be mobile targets, right ?
Where does one draw the line? Why the double standard?
Two reasons which (IMHO ) should rule on that
A) the GM is trying to further the story for the enjoyment of all. He is placing opposition, obstacles and enviroment by his own arbitrary will. He can simply batter you to detah by tailoring the world and environment against you. Hence I am certain the designer does not need to fear the player/PC. Only if he is unwilling to adapt, or chang the basic rules of his world
Nevermind that special and rules-inconsistent entities and effects make the world/setting more uncertain and threatening
B) one should neer really try to outtrump all the other players at the table, My charactr is better faster nicer etc... For one, it is a cooperative game. Second, if the GM is only semi-creative, he will find a way to eliminate the offendig character. Immortal players get entrapped, turned to stone whatever. Often enough by the other players who are usualy not there to cheer(lead) on one of them, but want some distinctive part of the campaign.
c) Many GMs do not actually love to spend dozens of hours adapting a story to the specific outlandish needs of one PC. they have other stuff to do, and may want to lavish some attention on other players, too.
They actually love having their thorough campaign concept wrecked by some outlandish ploy even less, though. Since the outlandish concept is wreckig the fun for everyone who might have signed up for the plot/story. Except of course the "creative" player.
D) rules as written are fine, but basically not more than a guideline. I am pretty certain, that esigners at Paizo are pretty roficient, but they are not divinely omniscient. Hence the rules cannot apply to everything. Any setting as written and played is the GMs hometurf, and breaking it... I can also envision a certain protectiveness.
E) And pardon me being blunt : Is possible vanity a problem here ? Trying to trump the GM and "knowing the stuff better than she/he" does ?
you are aware that the HNSA manual is from 1883/1891 ?
Which means tower and towed ships act under entirely different parameters. We are talking wooden ducklings (16th-17th century), not fully fledged (steel-built)geese^^
Besides the entire text is limited to carrying over the hawser (and a plurality of hawsers for a rudderless ship), not about actually towing. the reality of towed vessels (e.g. post-trafalgar) is telling
And a towed merchant vessel is not a dinghy being pulled after a yacht... just saying.
I'm planning for military ships in my campaign to have a onboard ships wizard, specialized in counterspelling.
works only ifa) the wizard can see the spell coming (meet the caster with "Vanish" and casting from an unexpected angle )
b) stuff like illusions etc. are heinously difficult to counterspell
c) have fun with summoned creatures.
d) face spells not in your repertoire (rain of frogs on the afterdeck)
Fireball first, Fireball last, I guess^^
Summoner : broken. That truth has been out since the APG and Ultimate Magic were in print. Even the managment (ahem JJ ) agrees to that
Human taking a dedicated Orc Witch class simply though a freaking trait ? Honestly I don't care what a lot of the people on the forum claim that trait does ( I have MASSIVE doubts about it ), that is a broken claim almost on the level of the summoner .
Power attacking Samurai - is this pirates of the Tian Seas ? Nevermind character description like honor....
That is 3/4 rather broken/badly fitted concepts in one book
The crew composition is what really happens if one lets the players play "whatever you like", without regard to any backstory.
And stuff like that breaks the game - Usually a surefire way to kill the longterm enjoyment at the table.
And IF you are loath to elminate the broken concepts... well, hit them the same stuff and go ALL OUT .
Last : the ship to ship combats are pushovers (from the PCs point of view).
There follows several pages of description of just how it was done, but the point is yes, it seems to have been quite possible even over long distances.
If both ships have nearly full crews for sailing and helping the tow. Which would be rare if one has recently been raided by pirates.
In medium winds. After Trafalgar a great part of the towed fleet was abandoned, or sank ( after parting cable ) when the winds increased, others were lost because of combat actions.
yes it can be done. In a dire emergency and/or for a very valuable and crewed prize.
don't know about "god-moding"
Some gaming and setup preliminaries are a given, like "you meet in a tavern" or that most players are currently free of most other obligations (and willing to travel ).
...or like waking up, slowly detoxicating on a pirate ship ?
Because those setups lead you to having everyone in one place, with a likely common purpose and an incentive to adventure.
Friend of mine had his "pirates" start on another pirate ship, smack in the middle of a losing fight against overwhelming Chelian forces. The characters could retreat to the longboat and escape, or face utter doom with the remaining crew. Those Scurvy PC dogs leapt and escaped (and started the rest of the AP, being picked up by Harrigan and "instant-recruited").
One can setup a situation and lead the characters into the adventre, or leave everything to chance like the OP did, and then look in desperation at the wreckage.
All of that being said :
Whatever their scores or extensive GM-goodwill, that sounds massively unlikely to me.
That sounds like a harsh apprenticeship... Let's not try any recipes with poisonous stuff. hmm, this bluish stuff...oh cyanide ! (keels over)
simon hacker wrote:
Anyone comes seeking revenge they will have a hard time of it if you are holed up within (its the stairs inside that give the advantage, 2 ways in through the frontdoor and up a small ladder or through the roof, once you play out the assault you relise how effctive it is, The buccaneers in my game just ended up as piles of bodeis at the base of the ladder).
Well someone might just decide toa) destroy the tower with a Trebuchet/Catapult fire. smash the foundation, watch it lean over, sift through the ruins.
b) blast the front door, than set alight some oil/combustibles (say, like the tar used for caulking and fixing ships) afire inside, and smoke everyone out. Or having the towers interior catch fire - wooden floors and all, since it will admirably work like a chimney...
c) simply blockade the tower, easy since there is no wildlife or foodsource ( gardens outside, seven (!) goats.. no water inside the tower on the isle and have the characters die from hunger
the whole "the tower is hard to crack" scenario is just nonsense from a more realistic point of view *shrug*
Very hard with sailing ships, since basically the towed ship acts like a sea anchor, espeially if of larger size and displacment than the pirate ship (which is usually sleeker and lighter than its prey.
Sailed towing was in RL used almost exclusively to prevent a dismasted ship from slipping to leeward (usually towards a reef or shoreline) to prevent wrecking the valuable vessel. Which was later re-rigged, even if only provisionally, to gain some sail speed of its own.
Most towing was done by lifeboats being rowed
Sideways drift of the towed verhicle would be massive, draging the towing vessel constantly to leeward. Less forward movement but constant sideways drift.
Tacking would become difficult, not because of the angles on the tacks, but simply the slower speed would mean greater drift to lee, and less way made good to windward. Square riggers tacked poorly in the first place, and towing would make it almost impossible.
I'd half the towing ship's speed and consider it becalmed in anything of beaufort 3 or less. Halved speed above that. No way to tack closer to the wind than say 80° (7 points) on the compass. And each and every tack would put strain on the tower, with the towline going slack, then going stiff when maximum extension is reached - probably so, at an awkward angle.
There is also the major problem of stopping a towed ship, since you normally need to use the wind to absorb the vessels inertia. Going "in irons" - by turning the ship into the wind, and backing the sails to stop. Impossible with a towed craft.
Towlines are a major problem, as is anchoring them, without ruining the trim of the towing vessel (tugboats have their towing hook midships - pretty difficult on a man o war with the raised sterncastle. One will also need serious amounts of strong cordage... say a 3"+ hemper (one may use the anchor cable, but that may likely prove to short ) of sufficient length.
Also the towed ship would either roll and yaw (due to not having sails set, which actually stabilize it through pressure from the wind ) or need a minimum crew to keep enough sails raised to stabilize it. A constantly rolling ship, loaded with cargo will have a good chance to burst a seam from the persistent strain, and hence take on water, sinking slowly.
Just speaking from experience with some smaller square riggers and yachts, plus some book-gained experience on the matter. No naval engineer, but 30+ years of maritime sailing.
James Jacobs wrote:
So a goblin witch would face some real difficulty teaching her familiar spells, or is it ok for the familiar to munch/consume the scroll (seems a bit too high-brained for goblins...but) ?
And how do Goblin alchemists deal with recipes ? A series of pictograms ? one large illustrated schemata ? Or do... goblins, just have an incredibly detailed memory ( beggar the thought ) ?
Last : are Goblin by default immune to Snake Sigil and possibly Explosive Runes ?
1) a) Any chance for Lovecraftian Deep Ones in the near future ?
b) Or are they under copyright protection and not in the public domain ? And hence, us players be forced to "Houserule-create" them ?
2) Looking at Galt : It seems to be locked in a post-renaissance republican Revolution espousing certain non-monarchy ideals (and a lot of wonderfully terrible means to make things turn BAD ).... Does paizo/JJ have any idea of how widely known said ideals are/have spread ? And how do they effect Molthune, Andoran or Taldor ?
b) any plans on the part of Cheliax or Molthune to gobble up the distraught realm through military means ?
3)With hobgoblins usually viewed as well-organized and militarized : where should we look for Hobgoblin realms ? I canT really remember much about them in APs or otherwise but for turning up
in the Skulls and Shackles AP with a Drakkar
Right.... Let me offer some criticism or pointed questions :
Now, how does anyone cover up the exposed rigging (sails, hempen-ropes covered with tar or oils for conservation, dried out wood )? Burning cordage, sails and spars dropping onto the deck will readily turn stuff into buring stuff (especially if the crew is carrying rockets etc^^). And without rigging.. not much movement anymore ?
Also putting up a (wet !) tent on deck will
Wooden ships will burn, if you keep angling that way.....
uhh, Mythbusters ? A Polybolos is difficult to maintain, difficult to build (accuracy issues for the chainlink, mechanism; Modern cutting tools and metalworking is a 18th-19th century invention : required and made possible by steam engines) , and keep a huge supply of ballista bolts ready (many of those fired will drop in the sea, others will be bend and splintered ). 10gp each, 10 pounds each. Stocking up on those will seriously carve into one's plunder. If anyone actually takes stock of the ammunition.... It is also doubtful if an actual Polybolos was build befor ethe 19th century.besides, crew will have fun "derusting" the ballista's component or keeping it well oiled. There is a very good reason why ship cannons where done in bronze^^. I would also like to see the Polybolos ballista in action and reloading on a swerving and rocking ship in any kind of waves ?
As a hint for "swarm-missiles" try hurling rotgrubs in slabs of meat^^ Aquatic snakes suspended in Saltwater (funneled in just before firing) should also work well. But an amphora filled with wax or strong alcohol with a fuse is far more efficient (even if the ship is fireproof, usually the crew is not !). And there we are, back at burning things btw, how much does special catapult ammunition cost ? In comparison to scrolls....
You are hopefully aware that "Military rockets" have neither been accurate enough, nevermind sufficiently destructive , for any kind of - other than morale - battlefield use until WW II ? Since you are quoting RL.And even then, in the 20th century, it took some cutting edge pioneering use of radio guided bombs (German), Salvo Fire (USSR) or sub-surface mortaring (UK "Hedgehog" system ) for any useful results ?
Also : rockets' firetrails (aka "backblast") is a fantastically efficient way to set fire to your own vessel.
And I just don't see what all of these stuff will do, that a couple of cheaply produced Fireball scrolls cannot top ? In an emergency substitute Acid for Fire. Cover you ship with Silent Images or better Illusions
That idea might require a quick or not so quick rework/redesign of the world as is.Sargava would need some change (since the colonists are severly outnumered by the surrounding tribes which they would antagonize), the Aspis Emporium would need expansion in their exploitation mode and other powers would need to be included.
And stealing from robbers (if you would call the merhants robbers - they are NOT the crown/rulers plundering the Mwangi realms) does not make piracy valid : unless it includes returning the riches to the disenfranchised (Mwangi).
piracy = seabourne highway robbery.
So the campaign would basically become Robin Hood-ish. Which then makes the final story arc rather... hmm.. not silly but strange ? Becoming theP Pirate King o end all piracy ? Seems like a circuitious route
Skull and Shackles : Player character ship and enemy merchant vessel utterly becalmed on the morning after a long "through the night" chase. No wind, no nothing. Both ships keep hurling stones until my PCs' group runs out of stones and start with rowing their cutter. The merchant, keeps on firing, hoping to cripple the pirate vessel, finally resorting to hurling wine-filled amphora with their onager, (heavy pottery, an amphora is^^). They start hitting the pirates with a couple of them, spilling "fluid red stuff" everywhere.
1st player : "What the He*l are they hurling at us ?"
When plundering the selfsame merchant
Dealing with their fence, a longlegged, rabbit-eared tiefling (DON'T ask )
Final battle (changed finale) against an avatar of Dagon
2nd player (uses Harrow, draws "the Fiend") : "Oh, this appears to be a Call from Cthulhu !"
There was some old stuff for DnD, basically a kingdom called Glantri, with a capital city much along the lines of RL Venice. Gondolas with water elementals in a V-8 formation (I don't think it was Glantri-Vice.. bt something along those lines ).... sounds like some form of jetski-type propulsion ?
Or one could use a caged water elemental for driving a paddlewheel ? Both might be great to have in a calm.
To leave the ship : have some gunports in the stern besides the rudder... the Royal Navy used those for having drunken captains and officers getting aboard and not do so by the main deck. Also nice to drop off some Undines or Gillfolk etc..
James Jacobs wrote:
*ducks* Oops that wasn't aimed at you, but simply at the comment that Lovecraft wrote better English than Tolkien^^ I apologize for unintentionally hitting a sore spot.
Can I offer you a Triceratops ?
A question which recently came up : Will there - in reasonable time - be an area in Golarion - or the Golarion-verse - where a more "primitive" society with a bronze age or stone age level of industry and development exist ? Or are the rules in Ultimate Combat supposed more for time-traveling purposes (and rare improvised weapons) ?
And any chance for more official ancient gods (like the Thassilonian diety of magic ) or entities (and their temples, equipment or scriptures) over which PCs can stumble in current times.
Last : what would happen if misguided/evil/primitive societies or cults worshipped the Tarrasque (or the Firebringer or one of the other spawn of Rovagug) ? Some drift to Demi-godhood or other form of empowerment since they are already partially divine ?
Didn't use the Canopy Creper, because no-one in his right mind would sail into that "sheltered bay" (no wind, no nothing, no reason to actually sail in). Plus, the whole location says "trap".
And basically, if the players go there by longboat or dinghy, things become extremely deadly for them - pretty hard to attack or cast a spell if you have been grabbed and killing the Creeper with light weapons ? Or being dropped into the water when someone cuts your vine - with weapon in hand, full armour and possiby some provisions in your backpack ? Good Luck...
Actually going into that location is a "punishable crime" - but is that fun for the campaign overall ?
make the officers hostile to the PCs diplomacy efforts ? basically because they are already loyal to Harrigan, or due to irreconcilable reaction ?
We actually had Kipper as Gunner's Mate (in charge of the armoury).
Lord Snow wrote:
Well Tolkien is the far better, more erudite writer, with a much better handling of language and setting moods. Just MHO, but the man was a professor of Anglistics. While lovecrafts Horror is pretty stylized in its assumptions (he never actually describes something, but refers to most supernatural entities in term like blasphemous etc.; everything nonhumanoid is terrible...) He also utterly underrated the desentizing effect of non WASP life, especially of the Great War. Again that's just me.
Excellent adventures for Cthulhu include the fantastic "Walker in the Wastes" or "King in Yellow" campaign, "Strange Aeons" and the "Blood Brothers" compilations. There is some excellent stuff (unfortunately in German) by their German distributor (especially the moody "Auf den Inseln" short campaign. Yeah, brush up the German... ) and good stuff in the "Trails of Cthulhu" line from Gumshoe (personal favourite : "Bookhounds of London" ) which is more Lovecraftian then many recent tites by Chaosium, which are both not well edited and overly "aggressive" like the recent "Terror from the Skies". "Mountains of Madness" campaign ? - well very long, players need to read the riginal story beforehand and it demands huge roleplaying sacrifices from the players.
The GW Stuff will be very hard to get a grip on, but is absolutely worth it, as previously mentioned.
Dropping Cthulhu into Fantasy ? yeah, great idea, been doing that for far too long now^^
And btw, JJ, will we see another Cthulhu meets Pathfinder adventure anytime soon ?
hmm, dying humans generally is a nice setting idea... although personally, I have many kingdoms and realms run by "powers behind the throne"... Especially my version of Vudra and Garund, but there will usually be some competent (and less conspicious) races with a very strong influence on the "cattle" human (who can be incredibly nice to have as feudal slaves and front-man ).
And with Casmaron and the othe rcontinents not sheduled for more detailed concepts, I do feel free to populate them with non-human realms (which the players do travel too, if I get the chance^^)
Althouh I would really like to see a contemporary fantasy setting with another race "in charge".. like say in good-old Earthdawn ? And some other strong non-human realms leaving humans in third or fourth place as the "dominant" species.
Skulls and Shackles, spoilerish,
the "shanking" in the bilge gets pacified with Colour Spray (Stun) and Sleep (for further reference) . Female attackers get gagged, tied up and secured over some barrels. Nothing much untoward happens.
The PC finishes the normal workload groaning loudly leaves bilge, looks at the instigating boatsswain witing at the trapdoor and loudly shouts "Thanks for that fun threesome", followed by a great Bluff DC.
NPC reputation ruined, whipping for the PC due to "indecent conduct" and a table shaking with laughter and tears.
Sailing speed actually is higher than rowing speed. No galey I heard off could go to speeds of 12+ knots, which a good man-o-war could do. Both both types of vessel are limited through hydrodanamics according to the length of waterline anyways - no gliding/surfing effects on either.But galleys could turn much faster and move at acute angles to the wind which sailing ships could not. And galleys were used as vessels up to the Napoleonic wars, the last large galley battle occuring at Lepanto in the 16th century. Xebecs etc had the means etc. to row as well in calms.
But rowed craft from the renaissance onward, with the advent of gunpowder artillery, replaced the ram with a huge calibre gun along the midship axis, which did similar damage, at a much safer range, without too much danger of the vessel foundering because a ram got stuck in a stricken vessel. Check on gunboats, armed galleys, and venetian galeasses
Nevermind the Mediterranean Sea being (perhaps the ultimate stomping ground of galleys) very calm and low-wind in the summer months so rowing was a good alternative in an emergency.
Plus, ramming with raised masts, an extended bowsprite and all the rigging up being very dangerous for the rigging (which if the vessel was brought to a dead stop could/would simply topple forward ). Soooo real danger there for the ramming ship as well.