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RPG Superstar 2015

The Wormwood Mutiny (GM Reference)


Skull & Shackles

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That's good news for my game...the PCs abandoned Sandara and Conchobhar to the grindylows. I wish now that I hadn't decided to let them take Concho...I liked him.

Sczarni

mearrin69 wrote:
That's good news for my game...the PCs abandoned Sandara and Conchobhar to the grindylows. I wish now that I hadn't decided to let them take Concho...I liked him.

Maybe they come back later as ghosts? :)

Or maybe they pull a Jack Sparrow and get crowned the chiefs of the Grindylow tribe? Then sometime in Book 4 the PCs encounter a fleet of warships crewed by all Grindylows, with two surprisingly familiar admirals...

Scarab Sages

Great minds think alike Trinite! In my game, Plugg and Scourge met the PC's on the island to dispose of them. During battle Plugg fled into the forest. The night before The still living Aaron Ivy in a fit of madness "killed" our undine PC, Ondir. The rest of the PC's searched the island, after the mutiny, for their missing companion, not thinking to search the sunken ship for their water-breathing friend. When he comes out of the water he is caught by Plugg and his shackles of compliance. After having his mind poisoned by Plugg, Ondir agrees to help him escape the island. He goes down into the grindylows' lair and, using is wild empathy ability, convinces the remaining pests that he is their new king. Plugg and Ondir then use the grindylows to "commandeer" a passing ship. Now I just have to figure out when they will make their comeback. I had waaay too much fun coming up with this!


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Solved the issue of Heave killing everyone in my game by modding the rules:

Modified Heave Rules:

First, determine the number of opponents by rolling a die (1d6 on most nights).
The PCs participating place their bets, the competitors match.
All competitors "Heave!" at once.
Each competitor makes a Fortitude Save against DC 15.
Failure deals the character 1d6 points of non-lethal damage.
For each following round, the DC increases by 3.
Competitors knocked unconscious are eliminated from competition.
In the event of a tie (multiple players falling unconscious simultaneously in the final round), those competitors split the pot.

It ended up being a fun mini game that my players regularly enjoyed, hinging on as much luck as it did stout drinkers. The final hoorah on the Wormwood included a MASSIVE game of Heave with a 500g pot. Humorously, the PCs didn't win it.

Sczarni

Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:

Solved the issue of Heave killing everyone in my game by modding the rules:

** spoiler omitted **

It ended up being a fun mini game that my players regularly enjoyed, hinging on as much luck as it did stout drinkers. The final hoorah on the Wormwood included a MASSIVE game of Heave with a 500g pot. Humorously, the PCs didn't win it.

I like it! I think I'll steal it for my game, thanks!

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013

Page 35 of The Wormwood Mutiny states that the following people join the crew of the Man's Promise "...and all of the surviving members of the Wormwood’s original crew of sailors, as well as the PCs"

That excludes the ship's officers (excepting those specifically mentioned as joining the skeleton crew) but who else?

Sczarni

greysector wrote:

Page 35 of The Wormwood Mutiny states that the following people join the crew of the Man's Promise "...and all of the surviving members of the Wormwood’s original crew of sailors, as well as the PCs"

That excludes the ship's officers (excepting those specifically mentioned as joining the skeleton crew) but who else?

It basically means anyone and everyone who you *want* to have on there, from among the named Wormwood crewmembers. It basically gives you permission as a GM to use everybody who the PCs have already gotten to know, so that whatever relationships they've built up continue to matter.


Reading through Riptide cove, I noticed a few "inconsistencies"

Interrogation: Grindylows only speak aquan, so probably difficult for them to interrogate anybody

Seaweed: As photosynthetic organisms, it doesn't make much sense for seaweed to be growing in what I am understanding to be lightless caverns. This would mean no snag traps.

Easy enough to fix, but just pointing it out.

Shadow Lodge

I am about to run this AP myself and was wondering what other GMs have done with introducing the influencing of NPCs on the Wormwood..
Did you break it down to the PCs before starting that they will need/or can change the attitude of the other pirates on board and what benefits it could give them or did you let them find out by themself?
And did you keep them updated at all times with how the NPCs felt about the players?

I am a fairly fresh GM and have only run the small "We Be Goblins.." adventure before throwing myself out in the deep water with this one, so I would appriciate all the help I could get ;)

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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First: I wouldn't recommend this adventure or AP for a new GM. Lots of moving parts.

Second: Yes I did make my players aware of how their influence was going, occasionally influencing NPCs away from the PCs as Plugg and Scourge use their own influences on NPCs. My players even got away with some murders.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

@Karmatrooper: I replied to your question in some detail over in the "I'm about to start" thread. Good luck with the game.
M


Karmatrooper wrote:


I am about to run this AP myself and was wondering what other GMs have done with introducing the influencing of NPCs on the Wormwood..
Did you break it down to the PCs before starting that they will need/or can change the attitude of the other pirates on board and what benefits it could give them or did you let them find out by themself?
And did you keep them updated at all times with how the NPCs felt about the players?

During character creation, I would mention some form of social skill (diplomacy, bluff, intimidate) is a good idea (some players may still want to play an oaf, that is fine)

My players did ask me on occasion who "is on our side" and I would let them know who is friendly, but I didn't keep them updated real time or anything.

There will always be a balance of mechanics and roleplaying to handle, I would just see how it goes with your group and adjust as necessary. Start with hints and if that doesn't work, feel free to flat out tell them.

Sczarni

Karmatrooper wrote:


I am about to run this AP myself and was wondering what other GMs have done with introducing the influencing of NPCs on the Wormwood..
Did you break it down to the PCs before starting that they will need/or can change the attitude of the other pirates on board and what benefits it could give them or did you let them find out by themself?
And did you keep them updated at all times with how the NPCs felt about the players?

I am a fairly fresh GM and have only run the small "We Be Goblins.." adventure before throwing myself out in the deep water with this one, so I would appriciate all the help I could get ;)

I basically copy-pasted all the rules for ship actions and interaction and sent them to my players. It helped them a lot, especially since we play over Ventrillo.

Shadow Lodge

We came to the 6th day at our first session.
The PCs starded talking about mutany after 2 days and already have all theyr gear (wich I made them lock up in theyr lockers even though they got it "legaly" after making Grok helpful.

My worrie is that they are making friends WAY to fast, and that they will win over almost all of the crew before Man's Promise and try to mutany or leave the ship in some way.
I don't know it is intended but I let them influence one NPC each during the day and one each during night. So I will now limit the access they get to unfriendly and hostile pirates so they can only influence one at day and one at night (not one NPC each).


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Karmatrooper wrote:

We came to the 6th day at our first session.

The PCs starded talking about mutany after 2 days and already have all theyr gear (wich I made them lock up in theyr lockers even though they got it "legaly" after making Grok helpful.

My worrie is that they are making friends WAY to fast, and that they will win over almost all of the crew before Man's Promise and try to mutany or leave the ship in some way.
I don't know it is intended but I let them influence one NPC each during the day and one each during night. So I will now limit the access they get to unfriendly and hostile pirates so they can only influence one at day and one at night (not one NPC each).

This was a concern of mine, too. Even with the limit of influence of two steps per day, I knew that I needed a mechanism to keep people from being able to influence everyone all the time during the day. Evenings were the special case in that they could take one ship action, one of which was to attempt to influence anyone. BUT, during the day, I limited the PCs to only be able to interact with other crew members they were working with during (I pre-rolled all the NPC jobs). The Rigger could only influence other riggers (except if he had the watch job). The swabs could only influence other crew they were working directly with during the course of their duties. The runner job being the exception and they could try and influence anyone (but the PC who got that job mainly just snuck into the hold and cataloged the contents of lockers). The cook was special and on the days that Kroop was able to help in cooking, I also let him roam the ship (he was a gnome druid and spent his time talking to all the animals on board and converting them to be additional eyes and ears).

Even with that, I did cut off a few days leading up to the bilge ambush to compress the timeline a little as the crew was pretty much polarized by then anyway. They were able to convert two of the locked out crew with some finagling. The first was during the storm, when my PCs turned the tables on me during. Rosie was to be the victim to go overboard, but with the use of a Plot Twist card, Rosie turned out to be fine, but Jape went over. They rescued him and I allowed them to convert him to their side, but he still kept up appearances with Scourge. They also were able to capture the crew sent for the bilge ambush and laid out the same deal as Jape with some awesome roleplaying.

The sighting of the Man's Promise soon after suppressed rebellious thoughts long enough. When I got them aboard and with a different dynamic in the mostly new crew, they didn't have the numerical superiority they did on the Wormwood and we followed the AP to its natural conclusion. However, both Jape and Fipps (the converted Scourge crew) did not fight very "effectively" in the final mutiny and the PCs won the day.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It seems to me that if the PCs are doing what they can to influence crew members to their cause, it would only make sense that Scourge, Plugg and their cronies would be attempting to do the same. It may slow things down a bit if the influential actions of a PC are reduced the next day when the influenced crew member is working the rigging with a Scourge ally. Eventually the PCs may be successful in bringing along a significant number of the crew, but it may not happen as fast.


My Pc's pretty much did the same winning over most of the crew and getting Friendly with Grog and getting their equipment back. I had most of the evil npc's side with Plugg though and have a small gang around him (the likes of Slippery and Jaundiced)that could not be influenced by the party and as there was outright hostility between them it didnt matter anyway.

By the time they get to the Man's Promise there are more NPC's that will side with Plugg anyway from the captured crew so it won't really make any difference.

One thing though...no matter how much they hate being on the Wormwood they shouldn't have a chance of mutiny on that ship. Harrigan and his officers would/should just overpower them. Remeber Harrigan is 14 levels higher than them. But they don't have to wait until the end of the ap before they do, my party comendered the Mans promise on its 3rd night.

I played it by ear, I saw them getting fed up and grumbling baying for blood so I condensened the days on the Wormwood, 21 days became 12 days which seemed to work pretty well for us (the reef claws and owl bear happened on the same day, the storm hit the day after for instance). Speaking to the group after the first part they agreed, they said they were starting to get a bit fed up with the punishment and a little bored with the daily tasks (although there were some great role-play moments), any longer and I'm not sure if the adventure would have been quiet so good.

Shadow Lodge

Seems like shortening the time before they see Man's Promise might be a good idea. AS I sayd we are on day 6, so I will probably do reefclaws on day 7 and build up to the storm at night and do the storm on day 8.

Maybe I will lett them see some headbashing from Capt. Harrigan or one of the other officers to let them know they have no chance of mutany onboard the Wormwood.
Maybe spread some rumors among the crew of where they are heading or something to keep them interested in staying onboard for a while.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Karmatrooper wrote:

Seems like shortening the time before they see Man's Promise might be a good idea. AS I sayd we are on day 6, so I will probably do reefclaws on day 7 and build up to the storm at night and do the storm on day 8.

Maybe I will lett them see some headbashing from Capt. Harrigan or one of the other officers to let them know they have no chance of mutany onboard the Wormwood.
Maybe spread some rumors among the crew of where they are heading or something to keep them interested in staying onboard for a while.

Also,

don't forget that they are learning what it means to be a pirate 90% of the time. Sailing from place to place is alot of work. Granted, they personally won't be doing much of this type of work in the future, but having the experience is important to making the PCs into proper pirates who know how to run a tight ship. Let Scourge and Plugg be the bad example for them. But even as a bad example, having friends among the crew is very important to both sides and knowing who to trust is important. Harrigan puts his trust in the wrong crew and he gets bit because of it.

And don't be afraid of letting the PCs know that the top officers are a force. If the PCs encounter them, the trap and lock DCs should be a good indication of the power they might face in an early mutiny. Having a random encounter show up before the Man's Promise that establishes the Officer NPCs' level of badassitude could also be helpful. That also helps establish them for later on when the PCs meet the crew in their tortured states.


As per the Core Rulebook, pg 445. Unconscious characters must begin making Constitution checks immediately upon being submerged (or upon becoming unconscious if the character was conscious when submerged). Once she fails one of these checks, she immediately drops to –1 (or loses 1 additional hit point, if her total is below –1). On the following round, she drowns.

That being said, I belief the keelhauling does 1d3 points of damage on a slow keelhaul. Minimum of 1 point even if the character makes their reflex save. And it's a pretty good DC to save (Reflex 20). So if an average pc fails a few saving throws and you roll a decent roll here or there on damage, you could knock a pc out within 7-8 rounds and then the drowning danger comes in. Which I believe is the biggest danger of keelhauling.

I had a characters rogue keelhauled for stealing something from the kitchen. (He planted it in Fipps locker and when Mr. Plugg and Scourge went searching the ship with their handpicked search party they found it in the characters locker instead, heh!) Anyway. He had toughness as a feet and a con of 16 so he had 14 hp to begin with. He made a few saves and hit negative hit points after 10 rounds and made his first constitution check and failed the second...so basically he would have drowned had he been under water another round. Lucky for him it was only 12 rounds.

Just take one of your characters and run him/her through a mock keelhaul and see what would happen. Interested to know if anyone else has had to do this and the results.

Maglok wrote:

Apologies for the double post, but I was looking into piratical punishments some more and I had a few questions:

First of all the keelhauling, slow is 12 rounds, fast is 6 rounds. A character can hold his breath for twice his CON score if he doesnt take standard/fullround actions. Basically if you are keelhauled slow and you have 6 CON you are fine. If you run out of CON rounds, you still get to make a CON check every round to see if you actually drown. The basic pirate has 11 CON, thus 22 rounds of holding your breath. What am I doing wrong? Or is it really only supposed to be the dmg that do characters in? If anyone can pretty much live through a keelhauling with breathing it is not that scary.

Next up: Whipping! 3 lashes with 1d3+1 nonlethal dmg means your average d8 HD player of level 1 goes down on the third strike, cause really when does anyone really miss those slashes (I do roll to hit, but you know). So when someone gets 6 lashes it is lights out for anyone. It then takes an hour for every point of non-lethal dmg to recover. Which would mean the character is down to less hitpoints for at max his hp in hours. That's 8 on average in my campaign. (Though there is some healing available dont you worry). Am I doing it right in that almost no one can walk away from 6 lashes and most also buckle on 3 lashes?

Next up: The Cat! Lethal damage, nasty. Nastier, obviously, same thing though. Two-three lashes with the cat can drop someone in the negatives. I guess with the cat that is ok, since you gotta do some bad stuff.

Sczarni

Karmatrooper wrote:

Seems like shortening the time before they see Man's Promise might be a good idea. AS I sayd we are on day 6, so I will probably do reefclaws on day 7 and build up to the storm at night and do the storm on day 8.

Maybe I will lett them see some headbashing from Capt. Harrigan or one of the other officers to let them know they have no chance of mutany onboard the Wormwood.
Maybe spread some rumors among the crew of where they are heading or something to keep them interested in staying onboard for a while.

Karmatrooper,

That's a good idea. I did something similar using Dudemeister's version of "Salvage Operation" (see my post here).

Just make sure your players don't get *too* scared. Mine ended up thinking that Plugg and Scourge must be as bada$$ as Harrigan, and were afraid to *ever* mutiny!

Maybe have some of the other senior officers complain that Plugg can't pull his weight.


That's one of the first things I've done in this AP. I saw it as necessary for having the mutiny at the right time (after they leave the Wormwood). In my game during the first Bloody Hour the thief who was sentenced do death somehow got free and tried to attack Harrigan with a hidden dagger. One second later he was paralyzed by the mage-officer but Harrigan just smiled and let him try his luck. A quarter of a second later the attacker was missing both arms, and Harrigan laughed at him as he collapsed to the deck unconscious from the shock.

After that, the players didn't event think about fighting the officers. Well, all but Plugg and Scourge, who I showed as having a lot of weak spots (perception, sense motive checks etc.)


Varthanna wrote:
I have one question that I cant seem to find the answer for... Why is Kroop sent aboard the Man's Promise with all the deckhands? What is Harrigan's motivation for getting rid of his cook (and long-time crew member) ?

That bothered me too, until I decided that Harrigan acquires a new Rahadoumi cook from the Man's Promise. She's gifted, sober, and much easier on the eyes.

Sczarni

Darth Krzysztof wrote:
Varthanna wrote:
I have one question that I cant seem to find the answer for... Why is Kroop sent aboard the Man's Promise with all the deckhands? What is Harrigan's motivation for getting rid of his cook (and long-time crew member) ?
That bothered me too, until I decided that Harrigan acquires a new Rahadoumi cook from the Man's Promise. She's gifted, sober, and much easier on the eyes.

Yes, I had to do the same thing. He sends *both* the Cook and the Cook's Mate! Obviously there was a world-renowned Rahadoumi chef on the Man's Promise!


Shouldn't the tidepool dragon know 3 second level spells as a 4th-level sorcerer?

Any recomendation for an aquatic spell?


Background Question:
If Ambrose Kroop has been on the ship for 3 years, then shouldn't he know something about Harrigan switching sides? At the very least, I'd venture he'd know that the ship was captured by Cheliax forces and most of the crew was killed, leading to the current crop of press-ganged crew. It might be a little suspicious to him if the Chelish Navy just let Harrigan go with a slap on the wrist.

I might be missing something somewhere, but to make things easier for me, I'll just assume Ol' Fishguts was on a major bender when it happened.

Sczarni

Orcboy wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

I might be missing something somewhere, but to make things easier for me, I'll just assume Ol' Fishguts was on a major bender when it happened.

I don't think you're missing anything. There's not really an explanation, apart from, "He just doesn't know."

I had the business with Harrigan happen onshore, while they were docked a Riddleport a while back, so none of his other crew members know. I'm also using Dudemeister's idea that Harrigan is mostly an unwilling partner, thanks to his soul being magically tied to the Wormwood's clock.


Orcboy wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

I might be missing something somewhere, but to make things easier for me, I'll just assume Ol' Fishguts was on a major bender when it happened.

I figure Captain Harrigan doesn't trust Fishguts, so made sure he didn't know what was really going on. That's pretty easy to do, since all he'd have to do is have someone buy Fishguts lunch at a tavern and leave the bar tab open:P


Orcboy wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

I might be missing something somewhere, but to make things easier for me, I'll just assume Ol' Fishguts was on a major bender when it happened.

seeing who precisely Harrigan serves on the deity side.... some memory loss or "misconceptions" might be equally likely. Secrets etc^^


I am currently running this game for a few friends but I originally played in it (we only made it to bonewrack ilse before issues arose and we quit). My question is that my DM told me PC casters were not allowed to use their magic on board the wormwood and would be punished if caught. I can find no reference to this in the adventure aside from a sidebar that lists the sleight of hand check required for someone to cast a spell on a crowded deck.


Loren Peterson wrote:
I am currently running this game for a few friends but I originally played in it (we only made it to bonewrack ilse before issues arose and we quit). My question is that my DM told me PC casters were not allowed to use their magic on board the wormwood and would be punished if caught. I can find no reference to this in the adventure aside from a sidebar that lists the sleight of hand check required for someone to cast a spell on a crowded deck.

The "no magic" rule is one that a lot of GMs (myself included) have more or less inferred from the sidebar you mention, Plugg's prohibition of magic during the fight with Owlbear (and the fairly strict punishment of six lashes if anyone does so), and the fact that if Harrigan doesn't trust his new "recruits" with weapons that could be turned against him he's certainly not going to want them to have potentially dangerous magic, either.

It's up to you how rigidly you enforce this. Obviously, at least some use of healing magic is going to be needed to keep the crew on the job with all the punishments being handed out, and one might assume Harrigan, Plugg and Scourge turn a blind eye to its use.... unless it suits them to do otherwise in a particular situation, of course.
Also, just as the players slowly get their gear back as they become more trusted members of the crew, you could allow the restriction on magic use to be lessened as well as time goes on and the players fit themselves into the crew and the routines of daily shipboard life. Recurrent troublemakers wouldn't be allowed weapons or magic, and would likely spend a lot of their time at Bloody Hour or in the sweatbox.


Some takes on Fitzwalrus' speculations :

Our campaign - the oracle introduced itself as "one blessed by the powers" (he, ironically, served Nogorber), and faced some supervision. We have a cheap homebrew item in our camapign which registers that magic has been used by its carrier for some hours, and the rough type. Sort of a diplomatic "check and balance"

The witch never said anything (introduced herself as the cook ), same for the bard ( a refurbished Rosie).

Friend's group: everybody insisted on being a rogue and then played it to the hilt, wizard had his spellbook set up in some ... creative manner (and also had some nasty SLA Tiefling casting) , knowing from the AP description he would be kidnapped. They were casting magic only out of sight, with sleight of hand etc. Provided some nasty surprises. Oracle was small-sized (very ) and Life-type.

my brother's new group : Besmaran priests are "allowed on board" but face some harassment and are usually the first to be blamed. They have a "keeping mum" witch, and a sorcerer who wears a distracting spiked collar, massively increasing his concentration checks. The bard... yeah, just showed his colours and landed himself in the sweatbox for lying to the captain.

Liberty's Edge

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Something else to take in consideration is that because the group has been press ganged, the pirates are going to be quite cautious about people with any special powers, and its a great way to have the group just be that much more antagonistic with Plugg.

In my game, they didn't disallow magic, however one of the characters was playing a semi-aquatic character who had a swim speed. As soon as his ability in the water came clear, Plugg approached with a ball and chain with the intent of keeping him from leaving the ship.

A rather intense argument sparked up over it that led right to the edge of them coming to blows when Scourge 'helpfully' suggested that if they didn't want to risk him running off his sister would serve as a cabin girl for the officers and remain in the officers quarters.

A quick glance between them, the sister shrugged, and it was agreed. Gave me a good chance to express the severity of the traps on some of the doors to the party before the stumbled into them since she got to see them from behind, let her have a chance to explore a few otherwise off limits parts of the ship, and really gave a good reason for them to hate Plugg and Scourge more than they already do.


My question centers around actions underwater, specifically speaking and understanding others who are speaking underwater. This is important because of an Aquatic Druid in my campaign. And it's also important for the final encounter in this AP. If I need to spoiler this because it contains many issues that people may be using search to find answers to as they don't seem to be addressed in any other post, let me know.

In the final combat, Queen's tactics indicate that prior to combat she casts Speak with Animals. And then she uses Summon Nature's Ally. Hence, one would assume the Speak with Animals is to more easily control the summoned animal. This seems to indicate that she can communicate underwater. Speak with Animals is allowing her to speak with a creature without a language in this case. So is the reason she can speak and the creature can understand because A) Rules are silent on communicating underwater as to whether one can or can't; B) Because both creatures are aquatic; C) She speaks Aquan; D) Other?

This is the only example I've seen in official Pathfinder products that indicates any hint at the answer to can creatures communicate underwater.

As for why is it important for the rest of the campaign? My PC Aquatic Druid is a dwarf (non-aquatic, doesn't speak Aquan, yet) and has a non-aquatic animal companion (Croc).
So can he use Handle Animal on the croc while underwater by speaking commands?

Thanks for any insight you guys can offer, as I'm sure this will come up throughout the AP and the answer might differ depending on the player's choices as he levels up.


Any insight :

We had under water speech (unaided) force a concentration check on casters (DC 15+2x spelllevel). Once you have Water Breathing or related magic = no real problem ?
Aquatic creatures are (somehow) assumed to speak underwater (this is fantasy after all... - and this otherwesie facillitates Sahuagin or Aquatic elves casting magic. Same for Undines etc...). Just our take - we have, over the years never really found useful rules for this, even in old 3.5 supplements.

And yes, I would assume the croc being able to listen in on (simple) commands. If your GM feels nasty or disinclined, have the croc make a perception check for actaully "hearing" the command.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sound travels well underwater. I would assume Aquan plays off of this and is both speakable & understandable


I've been reading this message board and am running this AP with 5 PCs. In reading how deadly the botflies on Bonewrack Isle seem to be, I'm considering giving the PCs 100gp worth of vermin repellant from Grok as her parting gift to them for making her helpful. I'm thinking that way, after their initial encounter with the botflies, they'll have a tool to deal with it and it won't seem like such a jailhouse shiv.


Tormad wrote:
Runnetib wrote:
mege wrote:
Rigging Climbing Stuffs
Just wanted to point out climbing is listed as quarter speed, not half.

But if you use both your move and standard actions to move, that comes out to be half speed. So if you do a fast climb at the higher DC making you move at half speed, then via both actions you move at your full speed for the round.

I just sounds like Mege was letting them roll once for both actions.

I started my wife with 2 characters and that was the way I handled it on Day 1 with her rigger. She has a +8 climb so it is not like she is going to hard fail the checks unless she fumbles.


Rum Ration. There has been a lot of talk about the rum ration and the option of serving the newbies grog. Well a pirate is more likely to drink bumbo than grog and it was usually a mix of sugar, water and rum. Not that pirates didn't get drunk often, sometimes enough for the ship to be easy prey but the single ration was unlikely to cause con damage to someone with a CON of +2 or better being at least 1/3 water. This should cut the equivalent drinks down to 5 for a ration. Now playing heave would still obviously be an issue with the usual affects. I am going to rule for my game that if they only drink their ration if they make their fort save they don't take any damage and are only fatigued. If they fail then they take the damage.


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brvheart wrote:
Rum Ration. There has been a lot of talk about the rum ration and the option of serving the newbies grog. Well a pirate is more likely to drink bumbo than grog and it was usually a mix of sugar, water and rum. Not that pirates didn't get drunk often, sometimes enough for the ship to be easy prey but the single ration was unlikely to cause con damage to someone with a CON of +2 or better being at least 1/3 water. This should cut the equivalent drinks down to 5 for a ration. Now playing heave would still obviously be an issue with the usual affects. I am going to rule for my game that if they only drink their ration if they make their fort save they don't take any damage and are only fatigued. If they fail then they take the damage.

Changing the rum damage to 1 Con seems to take care of the problem in its entirity, while still achieving the desire effect.

The desired story effect: A docile crew who doesn't cause trouble at night and stays in line.

Mechanical means to desired effect: Fatigued plus 1 Con damage means that early to bed and early to rise gets rid of fatigue and 24 hours later the 1 Con damage is healed.

Of course my group found solutions to their rum "problem" within about two nights unless they wanted to drink the rum for its beneficial nature. Funny thing is one night they "tricked" an NPC into drinking the PC's rum ration, thereby boosting his Cha score and making him more difficult to influence. They failed diplomacy and he turned hostile because of the improved Cha score modifying the DC.


The issue is that they used the rum to make the water palitable and kill bateria in it. Unless the characters have access to create water they are going to be in dire straights w/o their ration or have disease issues. Pirates drink, it is part of what they do so I want the characters to do so at least initially. We are not talking 21st century here, we are talking 16th-18th. Water was more of a threat of illness aboard ship. I could see the 1 Con damage as a compromise unless they fail the save.


As written the Rum Ration rules are pretty severe.... I think someone figured out that (given average rolls) it would kill the entire crew in about three weeks.

Both Dungeonmeister and Sabedoriaclark have posted some alternate ideas for handling the Rum Ration that give the proper piratey feel but don't risk death by alcohol poisoning. I'm using a variant of their ideas in my campaign, and have had no problems... other than those my players have brought on themselves, that is. ;D

My computer-fu is weak or I'd try to link the information for you, but if you do a search here for "Rum Ration" their posts with the alternate system should come up.


brvheart wrote:
The issue is that they used the rum to make the water palitable and kill bateria in it. Unless the characters have access to create water they are going to be in dire straights w/o their ration or have disease issues. Pirates drink, it is part of what they do so I want the characters to do so at least initially. We are not talking 21st century here, we are talking 16th-18th. Water was more of a threat of illness aboard ship. I could see the 1 Con damage as a compromise unless they fail the save.

I allowed Purify Food and Water to work on the rum.

Scarab Sages

thejeff wrote:

One thing that struck me skimming through it was the assumption that everything shut down at night. Everyone's off duty, you can sneak around, all the officers are in their cabins, etc.

Is there no night watch? Do they anchor every night? It doesn't seem so, there are a couple of references to sailing overnight, but it seems everyone named is always on the day shift.

Is this just for convenience?

This has been an ongoing topic in our S&S campaign.

Our thought is that when sailing near shore or near the islands is that it would be too dangerous to sail at night. Reefs and sandbars close to the surface could easily sink a boat, or punch a big inconvenient hole in the bottom.

When sailing out on the Fever Sea it makes much more sense to have a small night watch, including a pilot, than for all the sailors and officers to go to sleep and let the ship drift sans pilot and night crew.

When I ran the first chapter I always had 5-6 crewman and an officer up at night. In our case I used the ships sorcerer for the night officer.

Now that we are in chapter two and the PC's have their own ship I let them determine if they are sailing at night or not.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I just posted this on the product message board but perhaps more relevant here. Maybe people can give me some feedback on this. I almost feel like I'm doing something wrong:

I am taking my group through this, and there are a number of questionable design decisions that I wonder were play tested.

SPOILERS BELOW

1) The initial 'time on the ship' is set to 20 days. This includes 2 ship actions at a minimum per day per PC (with lots of seemingly pointless DC 10 checks, but with occasional con checks which are quite hard and result in various whippings.) Add in 5 bonus ship actions per pc at the end. Lets make an EXTERMELY conservative guess that a ship action takes 2 minutes of real time to resolve. 20 days x 2 actions +5 x 4 PCs is 180 ship actions!!!! At 2 minutes per action that's 360 minutes or SIX HOURS. And we aren't even counting the actual encounters and events during this time!

I ended up cutting it in half and it was still tedious and dragged over two sessions.

2) Shipwrack Isle or whatever its called: I hope you like monsters with improved grab. Giant frogs, Ankhegs, vine-chokers, giant crabs. All with improved grab. This is a nightmare for PCs with average CMDs (and are 2nd level at this point). Being constantly grappled is NOT FUN.

3) Botfly swarms? Sure, these are CR3, but if the group lacks a character with an AoE spell, they are a TPK waiting to happen. 31 hp? 2d6 damage automatic, IMMUNE TO ALL WEAPONS. Oh, and they give ghoul fever? Basically if the party doesn't have a sorcerer with burning hands, its game over, or they do a lot of un-fun running. I just took them out completely but since they were factored in to get the players up to level 3 for the caves at the end, I had to fudge XP.

I love pirates and was so psyched to run a pirate themed campaign, but I'm definitely going over each adventure going forward and dramatically re-working anything like this I See again, as it is constantly annoying and frustrating my group.


As a lot of people have pointed out part 1 of this AP is NOT a cakewalk and is not for a beginner GM. There are a lot of parts in the book which are is not careful can be a TPK.

I think it all depends how you handle it and how you're group like to play to be honest. The 20 days on the wormwood I think work better if you're group are Role-players.
For my group Day 1 and 2 lasted 1 3 hour session, as did 3 and 4 (my group like to role-play as oppossed to roll-play) so I quickly came to the conclution that I need to consolidate the days so 20 became 12 days (around 6-8 sessions) in the end which worked out just fine. I think it all depends on you're play style as to how tedious its going to be, if you just roll the dice for each daily task then yes it will be very boring.

The swarms and the deadliness of the island have been mentioned everywhere in these forums. Its not a new point.

As with all written adventures you need to modify it for the group you are running with, not everything will play out exactley as the book says.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think it's worse than you are making it sound. By your own admission you have a roleplay centric group, and yet you had to condense the 20 days to 12. And even then, I think asking even a roleplaying group to spend 6 sessions essentially near-powerless victims of tedious lashings will stretch their patience to the limits. 10 sessions definitely would.

As for the swarms, lets be clear here. Swarms have always been one of the more broken parts of Pathfinder/3.5 rules, and placing these in a scenario where there is no clear way of combatting them is beyond 'deadly', its malpractice by the adventure designer. As mentioned, without a very specific type of PC in the party, this is a near certain TPK, especially in the scenario where the party is attacked by the ankheg at the same time as the swarm.

Finally, the overuse of monsters with improved grab and high-damage output means that you are likely taking multiple PCs out of each fight, not only threatening a lot of deaths but also being constantly frustrating.

Not even mentioned is that the group supposedly only has 48 hours to get through the island the only fresh water source is miles from the coast.

A more creative selection of opponents on the Island (no flying creatures? how about some goblin primatives?) would have presented challenges to different character types without making it a cakewalk.

My party is a veteran group of 5 members and is on 25 point buy and if I hadn't removed the swarms and fudged in a few cases they would have been wiped out. I question if this was ever successfully play tested without many player deaths as written now.


In answer to your'e questions you need to ask the writers and play testers I guess only they can give you the answers, other than that read the threads here in particular the obituary thread. Yes part 1 is lethal is the answer you are looking for...you need to adapt it if its not for you is the answer.

Wormwood...No it was not worse than I make it sound for my group really I chose to change or adapt things I don't run the adventures as written I see them as a canvas to work with. The jobs were kept as was the punishments and the rum ration though the the sessions we played were some of the best I have ever run. The players had great fun and no it was not tedious at all for me or them had yes but not tedious, the crew they made friendly helped on that front (Rosie and Conch in for the most part, some very comic moments). There are a on of great ideas here I used them to flesh things out and make it better that's all (rolling the jobs for the crew in adavance for example helped).

I just felt that as each session consisted of 2-3 days it would have taken ages to get to the next part and I wanted to speed it up a bit (and yes the lashings were played out, the cooks mate getting it nearly everyday). As I said you will need to ask the devs as to whether it was play tested and how many deaths they had.

The lethal aspect of the island had been mentioned in plenty of threads so its not worth repeating here again. if you didn't like what you saw just change it.

At the ned of the day its what you as a GM makes of it that matters.

If you plan on playing more I strongly suggest to read the forums as there are some truly great ideas on here which flesh out the parts that are missing and make it really good. I can't recommend this enough my group is having a blast with this one (Tip...get Dead man's chest by necromancer games as well, it is a god send).


My group has gotten through part 1 and part 2. They are going to be getting ready to travel to Bonewrack Island at the next session. This was accomplished by 5 sessions total. We didn't cut short the time aborad the Wormwood at all and I'm glad we didn't. It gave me time to really build some of the NPC rivalries and I can say my group fairly hates Scourge and are chomping at the bit to get at him and his toadies, and they love Owlbear, Sandara, Conchibar and a few others. Most happily they see Plugg as somewhat nuanced. I don't think I would've been able to manage that if I'd cut the ship days down. I've got some really good villains that the PCs want to best and not just "level bosses".

I nerfed the rum ration a little bit but still ended up with two PCs addicted to it at different times (both kicked the addittion by the end). Others got savvy and tipped it regularly.

I had the bilge encounte tailored to a gunslinger PC who I knew could hide his gun with sleight of hand. When the pirates attacked him, one put him in a bear hug while the other tried to knife him. He was able to pull his gun and shoot the one with dagger causing the one holding him to flee and get Scourage and the one he shot ended up with an "impressive wound" from the S&S Players Guide. It was a great dramatic scene and I'm glad I didn't cut it out.

I also gave them 100 gold worth of vermin repellant as a parting gift from Grok to make the upcoming mosquito swarms more bearable.

I'm additionally thinking that the Queen will just have the captured NPCs in a gibbett suspended from the ceiling and I may drop the lacedons in that room entirely. The Queen, the Whale and possibly the devilfish all in there together seem like enough.

I'm also planning on propmting the PCs to make an intelligence or nature knowledge check to determine that it'll be to their advantage to attack the Cauldron at low tide.

Anyway, so far, we're having a great time.


Sounds good :)

Pretty similar for my group (apart from consolidting the days that is). They hated Scourge and Plugg and Coundn't wait to mutiny (one of the reasons I cut the days a bit, they were getting restless and wanted them off the ship, I knew it would be suicide for them so i speeded things up a bit, they mutinied night 2 of the mans promise trip).

I kept all the encounters in part 1 and 2 just cut back on the number of days where nothing happened. The bilge was a masterpiece. The Druid player was locked in and using a combination of obscuring mist he manged to kill both of them leaving the murder weapon and arrangning the bodies to look like they killed each other, a good bluff roll made it all work so Harrigan belived him (although it was another notch on the hate meter for Plugg). They formed lasting friendships with Conch and Rosie who became the officers for the PC's later along with Sandara and Kroop and Ratty is the lookout in the crows nest on the day shift.

As for the rum ration...the cooks mate started the game as an alcholic anyway. Bad news for him as he constantley felt the lash from Scourge though for being drunk pretty much most of the time. The Druid managed to get away with purify water a few times and the swashbuckler has bluff and sleight of hand so managed to fake it most of the time so it worked out pretty much OK in the end.

Sounds like a good idea with the Lacedons in the cave. Gibbet sounds OK too so long as its not dropped into the water (could be deadly as they will be trapped inside though, OK if its just left hanging I guess).

The Devilfish can be a nightmare but my guys somehow managed to bypass it and sneak past it (after it nearly killed one of them they used daze and and went hell for leather in to the next room then on the way out they left it alone (long story but it involved a flask), then legged it out.

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