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Raiders of the Fever Sea (GM Reference)


Skull & Shackles

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Im hoping it turns out hilarious with my party: undine bard, gnome bard, orc fighter, tiefling Cad/ninja, and martial artist vanara. They usually run battles as save or suck.
I'm having trouble of thinking of what the units should be for what is essentialy army combat. Like two goblins could take on one sanguin, one pirate could take on 2 or 3 goblins.
that sort of stuff.

I should also point out that the captain is the monkey man.

I'll let you know how it all turns out though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
mbauers wrote:

So, how often should the PCs encounter these other ships when they are patrolling? I mean, the Wormwood sailed around the Shackles for a few weeks before finding the Man's Promise.

My players want to kind of patrol near Bloodcove. Since they'll be fairly close to a good-sized city, should they have a ship encounter every couple days?

And how often should I roll for random encounters? A few times per day?

Anybody have a decent answer for this question?

Thanks.


mbauers wrote:
mbauers wrote:

So, how often should the PCs encounter these other ships when they are patrolling? I mean, the Wormwood sailed around the Shackles for a few weeks before finding the Man's Promise.

My players want to kind of patrol near Bloodcove. Since they'll be fairly close to a good-sized city, should they have a ship encounter every couple days?

And how often should I roll for random encounters? A few times per day?

Anybody have a decent answer for this question?

Thanks.

I think it depends on how often they want to patrol that area. What I mean by that is: if they plan on after one or two ships get attacked in the same general area, wouldn't you expect marines of some sort to start patrolling that general area that they regually attack in?

If you take that into consideration, then if they are consistantly patrolling the same area, I would make one or two ships a week and if they continue for more than 2 weeks patrolling the same area, I would have a marine ship or maybe a ship of mercenaries hired to take them out come gunning for them.
In that same vein, if they continuously patrol the same area, then eventually ships would start taking different shipping lines to avoid the area known as their hunting ground.
Just a couple of thoughts.


To Rob and other GM's:

When it comes to squibbing it refers to superstructures and rigging. Can someone define superstrucures?

The PC's want to make custom made modificiations to the Man's Promise.

1) Extend foredeck (Area B2) 10 more feet towards the hatches.
2) Eliminate Aft Deck (Area B3).
3) Extend the sterncastle (Area B4) 10 more feet covering what is was Area B3.
4) Raise wheelhouse by 10 feet.
5) Adding a ram.
6) Broadside ballistae.

I am charging them extra for these modifications. Am I "punishing" them unknowingly? Will this mods fall under the squibbing costs of superstructures?

THX


In my game the PC's want to buy ballistae bolts modified with grappling hooks (basically "grappling arrows"). Their ballistae are located in the Middle Deck (Area B8) of the Man's Promise.

My concern is if they are able to shoot from a lower deck and be able to land the grapples on the upper decks of an enemy ship(s). If so, will there be a penalty (aside for not being proficient and w/ range increment)??

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cojonuda wrote:

To Rob and other GM's:

When it comes to squibbing it refers to superstructures and rigging. Can someone define superstrucures?

The PC's want to make custom made modificiations to the Man's Promise.

1) Extend foredeck (Area B2) 10 more feet towards the hatches.
2) Eliminate Aft Deck (Area B3).
3) Extend the sterncastle (Area B4) 10 more feet covering what is was Area B3.
4) Raise wheelhouse by 10 feet.
5) Adding a ram.
6) Broadside ballistae.

I am charging them extra for these modifications. Am I "punishing" them unknowingly? Will this mods fall under the squibbing costs of superstructures?

THX

In my opinion, the only effect that squibbing normally has is changing the ship's appearance. Things like railings, rigging patterns, and paint are changed, but nothing that would affect the ship's stats or general architecture.

So yes, I would indeed charge them for all of these alterations. If you want, maybe you could give them a package discount for doing all of this while also getting squibbed -- or you might say that since they're making such radical changes, they don't also have to pay the cost of squibbing, since the ships will already look completely different.


Trinite,
Hi. I like your suggestion on giving them the option of not squibbing. I'll consider it.

THX

Mike


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So I think I'm deciding that for Tidewater Rock to make sense as a natural port of call, I'm going to "suggest" that one of the players selects the Campaign Trait, Buccaneer's Blood, p5 of the Shackles Players' Guide. Their infamous sire will be none other than "Iron Bert" himself, who was the last to "crack the Rock".

When they eventually acquire their own ship (Provided no TPK has already occurred. No promises.), it will be very natural for the one player to suggest his home port to regroup. Sure, for one player's character, there will be no discovery when exploring the tower but it will be a special kind of meta-discovery for that player anyway.

When Locke attacks, the PCs will have the added incentive to defend one of their own's home turf. There's built-in conflict with Harrigan right there. I don't think the PC will be aware of Harrigan's involvement in Iron Bert's demise. Nor will Harrigan pick up on the PC's true identity until later. It may very naturally come as a big reveal to the PC when he shares the tale of his misadventures on the Wormwood to Lady Smythee and Royster McCleagh. Twist the blade of plot twist!

There will still be the option for another of the PCs to "wed" Lady Smythee if it comes to that. With the benefit of opening the door to all sorts of inter-party "Yo Mama" abuse.

And since the Rock will still not really be theirs if successfully defended with low casualties, all the more incentive for the party to participate in the Regata for a shot at their own, bigger better island. If Locke manages to grievously add to the body-count during her attack, the PC may end up truly orphaned with all the motivation they need to suss out the location of her Mancatcher Cove.

I think that's a win-win.

(Rickety's Squibs, being closer to Bonewrack Isle than Tidewater Rock, should still be an easy sell for emergency repairs. They should be so lucky to even make it that far.)

Andoran

Ran the final lair Sunday. 2 players out. the other 4 went through nearly all of the place and decided to stay longer since was on the last encounter. 2 fighters, 1 rogue and a druid. healer was out. mummy and huge shark didnt even hit. D18 was a tough fight but survived it.
The matron room I decided to give them a D6 damage around for all the fingerlings and fry. Didnt really effect much, except some wand charges.
Than 4 humans swim into the throne room, only food remained. I had rolled 5 one's against one character for the rest of the lair, and badly over all. Than the throne room. A monster that gets 5 attacks, with an average of +10 to hit. A weapon that auto does Dex damage(yea 7/day), human bane. No swim speeds for PC's, and 2 crit's later. This was areally tough encounter. Than add in 3 advanced females and WOW.


Rob McCreary wrote:

The Man's Promise is a standard sailing ship, using the stat block on page 25 of the Skull & Shackles Player's Guide. (At least, it is when the PCs get ahold of it; its stats will certainly change if they decide to add modifications to it, whihc is why we included a ship "character sheet" in the Player's Guide.)

The statement on page 35 of "The Wormwood Mutiny" was meant to lead you to that stat block. Unfortunately, when "Wormwood" went to print, the Player's Guide was not yet completed, so we couldn't direct people to the exact stat block on page 25 of that book.

But rest assured, at the beginning, the Man's Promise is a standard sailing ship.

That doesn't make much sense. It it larger than the sailing ship presented in the Player's Guide, and MUCH larger than the sailing ship presented in Ultimate Combat. Would that not mean it is worth more and have more hit points/cargo space/etc.?

Also, how do I consolidate the rules of the Player's Guide with the vehicle rules from Ultimate Combat?


Been running Skulls and Shackles for a few weeks now and the party is almost at part 2 of book 2. The next event listed is with that ghost ship right after the Dominator. They have lost four characters so far, three to death and one to resigning due to breaking his Anti-paladin code of Gorum and committing four good acts in a single day. He chose to go off and quest to redeem himself rather than continue. Our current crew has the party's Teifling Spellslinger (Player) as a captain, Fishguts as the first mate, the Seasinger bard priest of Besmara (player) as cabin boy, a fighter (player) as master-at-arms, and the newly recruited Sylph Druid (player) as the quartermaster. They got clever with the Dominator, I think, because they did not expect to survive it at all since nobody was stealth based. The captain ended up going out in a jollyboat at night, drank an invisibility potion, then climbed in the tiller cabin and used acid to weaken the pulley system rather than the rope itself. That way when the Dominator made chase, it snapped the tiller and drifted off. I am new to being a GM and I hope I am not making things too easy/hard for them here. I have to ask though, how often should I roll for random encounters? What I have been doing is a 30% chance per day to have an encounter, then a 50/50 chance for a ship or a monster. Then if a monster, roll on the random encounter table. Unfortunatly, three Merrows attacked them when they were making chase after another ship. They just barely survived and got the other ship for themselves since Merrows attacked that one as well.


All sounds good to me. Player ingenuity is always good , reward it unless they are stupid. The bit with the tiller was very well done I think.

As for random encounters that's exactly what I'm doing apart from the fact I'm rolling once in day and once at night 30% chance . Same as you I have random ship and monster charts (I'm using the monster ones from The Isles of Shackles campaign book not form the ap's though, they are better I think). I have also consolidated all the ship info form the ap's in the bestiary bit and made up a random ship chart too. I'm also using the shipboard encounter tables in the Dead Man's Chest an old 3.5 book and I have made up a small table of hazards such as Sargasso seaweed and reefs. I just roll a d4 with the % chance to see what happens.


Nice to know I haven't mucked things up so far. Also with the character deaths, I made it clear a month before the game started and every week leading up to the first session that it will be very easy to die and have back up characters just in case. So far nobody has been mad about losing a character. First death was in the first book the event where someone was sent to the bilge and two pirates stabbed him to death. After that, the giant young morray at the infernus chomped someone down in two shots, then it was Merrows taking out the party oracle. Suprised nobody died from the Rum actually but they got sneaky with hiding their rations. I am a bit concerned with Tidewater rock though. See I have a rule of changing any enemy tactics in the book that I see as "stupid tactics" like the manticore landing on the deck of the ship to fight rather than just staying in the air. My problem with the rock is that as the party sailed past it to check it out at a distance, I made the lookout tell the Lady what was happening so she would have used the farglass clairaudience to listen to their plans, and they were planning on how to attack and take the tower. What precautions would/could she take since she KNOWS what they are doing?


so my party is probably going to wanna take the dominator when they face it....anybody have that happen in their game?


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Jaçinto wrote:
My problem with the rock is that as the party sailed past it to check it out at a distance, I made the lookout tell the Lady what was happening so she would have used the farglass clairaudience to listen to their plans, and they were planning on how to attack and take the tower. What precautions would/could she take since she KNOWS what they are doing?

Tidewater Rock is another nice chance in the AP to solve a problem without combat. Lady Agasta isn't gunning for a fight and would generally rather ally with the PCs than kill them, especially if they present themselves well. She's only looking for a way to rebuild her holdings and the PCs really just want the bump in Infamy OR a base of operations to monitor the Fevered Sea with. If given the opportunity and foreknowledge, I think Lady Agasta would try and subvert the attack through diplomacy. But should negotiations break down, she would definitely work to lay a trap for the ship should it sail into her harbor with hostile intentions. Something kept her safe from the wrath of Harrigan so many years ago, perhaps it is still around.

My party took the marriage option as they didn't want to have to stock the fortress themselves or worry about its upkeep. Given their common enemy, Harrigan in this case, they thought this a wise course of action. They are also using it as a staging point to begin reclaiming Iron Bert's abandoned fortresses on the other local islands. Getting in good with the locals gave them the information on where those holdings used to be and a dedicated guard force for TR. They put their second captured ship to use clearing the other islands, making cargo runs, and generating plunder from clear cutting and resource gathering (and some pirating). All while their main vessel prepped for sailing into the Shackles proper to continue the main story.

Nitro-13 wrote:
so my party is probably going to wanna take the dominator when they face it....anybody have that happen in their game?

I hedged my bets against this course of action by the party. They had just come from raiding a plantation (beefed up village encouter which sapped some of their resources) up the river, when they spotted the Dominator anchored at its mouth. The Dominator would not be able to come up the river, but they did appear to be prepping for an upriver journey when the PCs arrived. This gave me a good excuse to have the high level NPCs off the ship, but threatening to find the PCs ship hidden behind a bend in the river soon.

Under time pressure and about 1/2 down on combat resources, they came up with the plan to disable the tiller all on their own and sneak past the ship before it could bring its guns (and high level NPCs) to bear. The cavalier, which would have been a cakewalk if the party was at full strength, posed a serious threat and made the encounter pretty tense.

If your party is more gunning for a fight, press upon them the ruthlessness of the Chelish captain as you may have done with Harrigan. Heck, even letting them know that pirate fleets are formed just to take down ONE of these ships and they may back down. If none of that works, there are a good number of marines on the ship. Pepper in some advanced or leveled ones to press the point that they are out of their league in this fight and need to find an alternative.


well wampa...My party is kinda rich now and with their 8 cannons they have theyre gonna want to prove theyre worth. i plan on makeing it a tough battle to begin with by adding ghouls ,making the captain a level 10 gunslinger, and killing off or heavily wounding a couple named npcs such as conchobar or rosie to show the importance of the battle. but i have no doubt they'll take it, they seem to smash things in there way with the rogue and the magus destroying hp of any monster in their way.


So you, decided to play with firearms as common? A very risky thing to do as now you have to really REALLY power up the hurricane king since he's a total gun nut. If he has equals or betters out there when it comes to armaments, he loses a lot of his edge. Just remember that eight cannons means you need eight people with the feat to use them if you want to use them all at once, and none of the NPCs have the feats to use siege weapons. I would almost argue that, when they get to port peril in book 3, the king demands their armaments as tribute as part of the test he makes them do. Heck, you could even possibly have a spellcaster on board the dominator launches a fireball on the PCs ship and explode all their powder, taking a huge chunk of HP out of the ship. That is the risk of using firearm siege weapons. Always aim for the ammo stores, which they would need by the cannons to keep them loaded. Or even, since the dominator has 20 ballista, switch those to cannons and tear apart the PCs ship. I am curious though as to how they got the money to make cannons though. Because if they are spending all the plunder on crafting them, the crew should mutiny due to not being paid or getting almost nothing for a cut of the loot. Aside from that, roll random monster encounters that may interfere with the battle, like merrows. You could possibly even give this chelish ship a manticore slave or two like the previous one but keep it in the air to rain spikes on the crew.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Nitro-13 wrote:
well wampa...My party is kinda rich now and with their 8 cannons they have theyre gonna want to prove theyre worth. i plan on makeing it a tough battle to begin with by adding ghouls ,making the captain a level 10 gunslinger, and killing off or heavily wounding a couple named npcs such as conchobar or rosie to show the importance of the battle. but i have no doubt they'll take it, they seem to smash things in there way with the rogue and the magus destroying hp of any monster in their way.

If this one ship with 8 cannons has been constantly raiding vessels in the Fever Sea, then the Dominator would be the response and should be an overwhelming challenge for the current level of the PCs. It should serve as a warning to the PCs that there are challenges out there that they will need allies to take on, and not just rely on their own crew and ship to get them through.

Take some ques from the Chelish ships in the last volume of the AP. Placing a high level spellcaster on board gives you alot of tactical options and makes sense for a pirate hunter to have, especially if they know the ship they are hunting is well armed. A large elemental or a significant devil or two should raise some warning flags that this is not a ship to tangle with now. If they do some recon, have them notice these things and give them time to react appropriately. If they charge in anyway, do not be afraid to bloody their noses.

You've already upped the campaign by making firearms more common. You'll need to put in the time to adjust the encounters accordingly to account for this. If nothing else, the PCs need something to fear while sailing around the Fever Sea. If Harrigan and the Wormwood are not in the PC's minds then the Dominator should take on that role. That fear of discovery should push them out of the open expanse of the Fever Sea and into the dangerous shelter of the Shackles proper. It makes a nice transition tool. Done right, the PCs won't feel like they are being railroaded as much and are instead making a tactical choice motivated by external forces.


oh we are half way through the encounter and they set off a quarter of the ships powder stores..... a quarter of the our boarding party is dead and half the ships crew is already gone. soo yeah this will be fun when we pick up next week.


Don't forget, a druid can quickly sink a ship using warp wood.


Jaçinto wrote:
Don't forget, a druid can quickly sink a ship using warp wood.

yes and no I would think, yes eventually you could sink a ship but you would need to be very close to be able to do it, the spells range is 25+5 ft per level with a 20ft radius. I would also rule you need to see the area you want to warp ie if on board the ship you would need to see the hold if you want to warp it. Also don't forget the ship gets its will save as well. But yes you could eventually sink a ship using warp wood.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

Whalebone Pilk's ship has a lot of plunder on it (16 points IIRC), but it sinks 10 rounds after the PCs defeat Pilk. How are they supposed to recover the plunder? Dredge it from the bottom of the Fever Sea?


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Nitro-13 wrote:
oh we are half way through the encounter and they set off a quarter of the ships powder stores..... a quarter of the our boarding party is dead and half the ships crew is already gone. soo yeah this will be fun when we pick up next week.

So the Dominator is already on fire and sinking?

At this point, I would wager the leadership is prepping to call home for assistance . . . or the reason they were anchored was to provide a stable point for that assistance to 'port to. Either way, perfect time to ramp up the encounter to "flee or be killed" status.

greysector wrote:
Whalebone Pilk's ship has a lot of plunder on it (16 points IIRC), but it sinks 10 rounds after the PCs defeat Pilk. How are they supposed to recover the plunder? Dredge it from the bottom of the Fever Sea?

The Deathknell has 4 points of plunder. And I just let my PCs choose the safe method and get 2 or they could have gone for broke and gotten the rest, but be in danger of being pulled down with the ship (basically they would have sacrificed some crew and might not have gotten the other 2 points).


I just re-read what warp wood did. I am never trusting my players for spell descriptions again.


My group came up against the Dominator last night, they were pretty inventive but also very careful.

They encountered it on the coast of Sargava whilst gathering supplies.

They pretty much played it as it was wriitn with no real input from me apart from the clue about the tiller rope. The swashbucker rogue went over by himself and using disguise, steath, bluff managed to get to the tiller rope aand disable it jumping out of the window to escape (making a stealth roll to avoid detection).

Back on the ship the crew set sail, drifting with the tide and lightless. To aid this the Druid who had changed in to a seagull flew over the stern casting obsuring mist (he has the natural spell feat)on the sterncastle and the players ship just slipped away.

There was plenty of discussion on how to get past it, distractions using fire, mists, melting the tiller, warpwood on the hull to spring a leak, setting fire to the sails etc but in the end they decided it was just to much of a risk and stealth/slip away was the best course of action.

I plan on using her again sometime in the future as its too good an opertunity to miss, it can be a kind of nemesis, lurking in the background. I might have a few rumours in ports scattered around of ships taken out by her.


So my Crew's Rogue Knocked out Isabella with some poison and while searching her decided to check out her teeth (I had mention her shark-like smile as she blasted him with a lightning bolt). His perception was enough to notice they were made of wood and he decided to take out the dentures as a trophy. And now that he had them in his hands he found the sea urchin spine and recognized it for what it was. So now shes unconscious, Bound by her hands and legs with a gag in her mouth with no way to kill herself...What should i do with her?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

Be grateful that one of the AP's more interesting NPCs is still alive?


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Be grateful that one of the AP's more interesting NPCs is still alive?

Well she's locked up securely at Tidewater rock while our crew goes to Rickety's to pick up the newly squibbed Dominator so I have a couple of in game days and another session to figure out what to do with her. its not like we could convince her to join us...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is her tattoo familiar still alive? It can probably help loosen her bindings enough to get free. You might want to require her to succeed at a concentration check to succeed at casting a spell with a verbal component until she gets her teeth back.

Can she create spell tattoos on herself? It's a touch standard to place and a silent spell completion item activated by touch. Depending on how she's bound...

She has acid splash as spell-like ability.

Core Rulebook p221 wrote:
A spell-like ability has no verbal, somatic, or material component... The user activates it mentally.

Assuming she gets out of unconsciousness on her own, she may risk some acid damage to herself by targeting her bindings.

Once free, she can summon monster IV something to bust her out of her cell, turn invisible and fly away. Maybe not before casting a few useful charm monsters and/or slaying a few supporting cast. Recurring NPC, anyone?
(Edit: end quote)

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah. This begs to be a recurring Villain. Save her up for an opportunity to really spoil the party's day. :D


well the familiar is dead and she doesn't have her teeth back... and my pcs trussed her up pretty well. but I do like the idea of her acid splashing her way out of the bindings and then taking out the gag and invisibility/Fling out of the keep. but ill let the party interact with her to see what they wanna do with her. i would love for her to to come back


Has anyone else had an issue with the PCs wanting to go after Harrigan and the Wormwood right away?

We ended up leaving some of the friendly & helpful NPCs behind on that ship, since they managed to befriend all but the eight hostiles that Plugg and Scourge needed. So now that I'm starting Chapter 2, they want to mount a rescue.

I can always have them just not find the Wormwood... plus she'll be in the waters that are more heavily traveled, and with the PCs' Infamy and Plunder being so low, they'd be Prey.

My plan is to have the friendlies leave Harrigan's service in some port the PCs visit later on (it's not like impressed sailors can be kept on indefinitely), so that they're spared the worst of Harrigan's wrath when he hears about the Man's Promise. Once they're sure that their friends are safe, I think the PCs will forget about Harrigan for awhile.

Any other suggestions for throwing the PCs off this trail? I am not sure that any of the hooks in this chapter will grab them away from this goal.


It would/should be a massacre if they tried. Harrigan is wayyy too powerful for them at the level they are at. Besides if they did succeed you would bedded to do some hefty re- jigging of plot. Best bet for an easy life..steer them off that course...


Darth Krzysztof wrote:

Has anyone else had an issue with the PCs wanting to go after Harrigan and the Wormwood right away?

We ended up leaving some of the friendly & helpful NPCs behind on that ship, since they managed to befriend all but the eight hostiles that Plugg and Scourge needed. So now that I'm starting Chapter 2, they want to mount a rescue.

I can always have them just not find the Wormwood... plus she'll be in the waters that are more heavily traveled, and with the PCs' Infamy and Plunder being so low, they'd be Prey.

My plan is to have the friendlies leave Harrigan's service in some port the PCs visit later on (it's not like impressed sailors can be kept on indefinitely), so that they're spared the worst of Harrigan's wrath when he hears about the Man's Promise. Once they're sure that their friends are safe, I think the PCs will forget about Harrigan for awhile.

Any other suggestions for throwing the PCs off this trail? I am not sure that any of the hooks in this chapter will grab them away from this goal.

I'm a bit concerned about this too, because knowing my players someone is liable to take a swing at Harrigan or start their mutiny when he's still around. Probably the best way to head that off is by use of friendly NPCs who can make it clear to the PCs that Harrigan is way, waaaay out of their league. If the PCs were still on the Wormwood you could have Harrigan handily beat one of them to a bloody pulp as an example (not kill outright, as he's shorthanded and can't afford to lose any more crew), but since you're past that point you'll have to use hearsay.

Maybe you could have your PCs encounter wreckage and survivors of another ship that Harrigan and the Wormwood have destroyed - another hint that your PCs aren't ready to take him on yet? Alternately, let the friendlies on the Wormwood steal a boat and desert Harrigan, to be found drifting at sea by your PCs?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

At the level their at, let them take a swing. Then have Harrigan swing back. Players will know their place then. Showing is always better than telling.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
At the level their at, let them take a swing. Then have Harrigan swing back. Players will know their place then. Showing is always better than telling.

Good idea, let them have a go then watch them run with tail between legs. Better than saying no you can't.

However, if you do this you will need to stat up the officers and be very careful otherwise again you may need to alter some of the plot in later parts if things get out of hand.


This is all very helpful, thanks!

One of the PCs dove into the sea to rescue the Rahadoumi woman that Harrigan throws overboard. Later on, she told him that she saw Harrigan murder the Man's Promise's captain - who'd already surrendered - by cutting out his heart while he was still alive.

So I know it's more about rescuing their friends than it is about facing Harrigan. :D


Luckily my players haven't given a second thought about Harrigan, as they honestly had little beef with him. It was Plugg and Scourge they hated. They're mainly focused now on getting plunder and infamy. They're on their way to arrange a marriage with the Lady of the Rock. (They already went there and met her, but their infamy was too low for her to be willing to go with that at the time)

They have yet to encounter the Dominator, but I'm going to arrange it soon. I know they plan on looking for more coastal villages, and I'll give them evidence of a wealthier village up a river, which I know they'll hit and then on their way back they'll encounter the good ol' Dominator, bristling full of cannons and musketeers.

Most likely they'll play it smart and try and disable it somehow, although I KNOW they'd want the ship as a prize ship if they could get away with it, though, as they desperately tried to keep the Deathknell after they took out Pilk. However, despite trying to keep it afloat with two ships, it still sunk (Supernaturally, I argued) and they couldn't keep it.

I'm planning on having about half of the crew on the Dominator carrying muskets, including the captain, even though most ships outside of the Shackles do not use cannons or firearms, which makes Merchants very.. vulnerable. However, the Dominator is an exception to this rule, as it's captain insists on being on par with the pirates, although I could make it where instead of cannons, he's using magical ballista bolts that hit hard.. I might do that.


Be very careful with the dominator and cannons, my group had the idea of finding the powder room and blowing it up if it had any. Luckely I had the ship as is with no firearms it's still very formidable without them.

Players are a resourceful bunch and WILL do things you least expect. Do you really want them to have access to cannons and firearms this early on.. they could do it and then you may have problems....?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

Let them have cannons, blowing up ships still isn't easy and it's hard to loot a sunken ship. Cannons don't make a difference to the regular combat stuff. Be liberated, if everyone has cannons then the PCs should fear them too!


They already have four cannons and a Gunslinger who not only built those, but is currently sporting a Large Double Barreled, Silver Plated Pistol named Mercy.

Cannons in particular are common in the Shackles in my game, being used primarily by pirates, pirate hunters, particularly wealthy merchants, and many navies, though hand-held firearms are less common. So I fully expect them to have a full compliment of cannons sooner or later. If they blow up the Dominator's gunpowder stores, kudos to them for getting that far into the Dominator :P

The only ones who don't have cannons are poorer pirates and most merchants , as outside of navies and pirates, they have yet to be adopted. So overall, having many cannons in my game won't be much of an issue. Plus, my players are already a bit too strong for their own good, as I gave them 25-point builds and there are 6 people. Them having cannons on their ship won't make too much of a difference anyways, as ship-to-ship combat isn't where the major stuff happens.

They're getting a teensy bit cocky too, so I think having an encounter with a Man-o-War armed with 40 cannons (its a triple-decker) with over 100 marines on board, half of which are musketmen, should get them to realize that they're not the big bads out on the sea. And if they somehow capture the ship through sheer luck.. well then they earned it, and they'll pay for it eventually. >:)


ahhh I see then excuse the pun...fire away, yes my players are a tad cocky too at the mo, I put it down to them not venturing in to the shackles yet. They just seem to plough the waters and coast of the Fever Sea. The Dominator made them think twice about taking on everything. Once they get in to the Shackles I intend to turn the tables a bit and have them be the prey for a change and see what happens


I look forward to bringing back Whalebone Pilk. If anything'll put them in their place, it'll be him. They were far too cocky with him, as they basically "Out Ghost-Shipped a Ghost Ship". Their Captain, a Undine Rogue named Ghoulbeard, has a DM-Fiat ability that allows himself to use his Chameleon racial to make himself look like a Ghoul, due to the fact that he spent far too long infected with Ghoul Fever back on Ghoul Island (As they have named it). Instead of actively trying to cure it, due to a horrible Fort save, he simply had Sandara cast Lesser Restoration on him for a while.

When they finally mutinied, he did some horrible things to Plugg, Scourge, and Conchobhar in revenge for their role in tricking the group to Coup de Grace their good pal Owlbear. With that, he.. gained a 'favor' from various dark powers, and thus became a carrier to Ghoul Fever while no longer being affected by it. And the chameleon power. And he spontaneously grew a hideous beard befitting of the new name he took. He took the name Ghoulbeard BEFORE this 'transformation' happened.

We're having a lot of fun with it.. he tried to out do Pilk at being an evil undead bastard. Pilk won the first round when he nearly killed the Captain with his steal breath, but they won the battle and destroyed all of Pilk's skulls..

Oh, thinking of Owlbear, they recently paid for someone in Bloodcove to Reincarnate him, though he's still a human. He's almost like a mascot for them.. though I think whats left of Plugg is their official mascot.


First sorry for the fairly long post:

I'm looking for some help. My group has been using the exploring the shackles info in that thread and ventured into the sandbox domain once they left Ricketys.

It has been some of the most rewarding game sessions I have ever run with some truely great role-play moments we have been playing a sandbox for what amounts for about 12 3 hour sessions. They have another ship and have it moored inside a cave they found in a cove, they have gained 19 points of infamy, sunk 4 ships, found a relic and made eniemies of a tribe of vegepygmies on smuggelers shiv(the Toucan from the back of book 1 but is a clockwork spy parrot thing), gained lots of crew from Rickety who has told them not to come back, sacked 2 villages and narrowly escaped a thrashing from a Coral Golem, made Senghor their favoured port and after causing a mini riot in the docks when the dwarven pub they were in was trashed and have now invested in said pub. Its all great but it's all happening up and down the coast of Sargava and the Fever Sea (as it should be doing I know).

I need to finish within the next week or so for a break as another GM takes over with a slipstream adventure. I would like every much to try and steer the adventure back on course and get them in to The Shackles. They don't seem to be taking the Tidwater bait and don't seem that bothered about going to the Shackles either. I did mention even though they are doing exceptionaly well they are not really Pirates as such yet, they need to prove themselves amoungst the bigger fish if they have any hope of gaining more infamy

I felt like I was railroading them in to it but I can't think of any other way of moving things forward. Im running out of encounters and steam as well and I don't think there will be much more to hold thier interest. I also don't want to ruin the illusion of choice they have but forcing them north, however, for things to progress I don't really have an option. I know they are enjoying themselves and so am I but in order to carry things on in this vain I would need to scrap the AP and re-write it, I don’t have the time spare to do that though.

My thinking is that Kroop and Sandara talk to them and explain the whole free captains thing and how it works and say that by taking Tidewater it will give them an ideal base to move into the Shackles and to keep things going towards the south along the sargavan coast. I feel this may be kind of railroading them though.

My other option is that as Inkskin is an ally of Harrigan in my game and have them encounter her on the ocean, say as her chasing the players ship. (I was going to have her attack Tidewater under Harrigans orders, he wants to teach Smythe a lesson)

Does anyone have any ideas on how I can get them on track and finished within a week or 2 preferably with either inkskins map or by reaching Tidewater?

Once its back on track again I can then keep the sandbox going.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

ferrinwulf wrote:

My other option is that as Inkskin is an ally of Harrigan in my game and have them encounter her on the ocean, say as her chasing the players ship. (I was going to have her attack Tidewater under Harrigans orders, he wants to teach Smythe a lesson)

Does anyone have any ideas on how I can get them on track and finished within a week or 2 preferably with either inkskins map or by reaching Tidewater?

Have the PCs made any friends? Have Inkskin attack their friends and get word to the PCs of what's happened. Maybe a survivor of the attack has a story to tell ... of a bloodthirsty spell-casting pirate with a map on her back. Maybe the survivor overheard that Inkskin is planning to attack Tidewater Rock next to uncover some great secret treasure (which doesn't necessarily even need to exist).

Or maybe they run into Inkskin herself at a pub in Senghor or Bloodcove. They see the map on her back and might get curious enough to follow her. Or maybe someone hires the PCs to track down Inkskin and get a copy of her map.

Or maybe a crew member the PCs collected at Rickety's or elsewhere has an old (fake?) treasure map leading to Tidewater Rock?

If you simply want them out of Sargava and the Fever Sea, you can make the waters too hot for them. Have them encounter multiple Chelish warships that they're forced to flee from. You can make this scene dramatic and require lots of skill checks. Just be ready to explain why there's a large Chelish presence this far south all of a sudden. ;-)

Just some thoughts.


ferrinwulf wrote:
Snippity Snip

Sounds like a fun game so far!

Personally, I'd go for the Kroop and/or Sandara telling them about a base of operations route. When my players heard about the Rock from Rickety's, they immediately went there, checked it out, talked to Smythee, found out about a potential alliance, then left, planning on going for supplies in Bloodcove and then on to pirating for plunder and infamy. They're just now on their way back to secure the marriage alliance. The group's Summoner, who's the captain of their second ship, will be entering the deal.

They already knew they needed/wanted a base of operations, so thats why they went there the moment they set sail. So getting your players to understand that they also need a base of operations is a good route.

Plus, while Inkskin 'could' be an agent of Harrigan, I much prefer her being allies with the Sahuagin, as I don't want my players to think much on Harrigan right now, as they think he's long gone and passed. They've already made enemies with the Sahuagin, as they've killed the Chieftain's Son (Who I made into a Phalanx Soldier 3.. he was fun) and got the necklace. There was even a survivor Sahuagin that fled, so it has turned out perfectly. They'll soon have an encounter with 12 Sahuagin raiding Tidewater Rock.

Anyhoo, go for the base of operations route in my opinion. My players love Kroop, so they listen to everything he says lol.


Thanks guys, I'm thinking along the base of operations route now too. I did have Pegsworthy and Kroop mention it to them as they were leaving Ricketys but it was so long ago now and so much has happened that I think they have just plain forgot about it.

Im cutting out the Sahuagin plot line as I didn't like the idea of another underwater cavern so I have an island treasure hunt instead and wanted to start tying Harringan in to the plot a bit more, he's strangley absent from part 2.

Tom Phillps you have me annoyed now lol. I absolutley love the idea of the party running in to Inkskin, kind of foreshadowing things, maybe she's tracking/trailing them on orders from Harrigan before she strikes at Tidewater or they meet her elsewhere. Would have been really interesting to see what happens but with limited time and needing to stop at some point I feel I would'nt be able to do it justice..unless they make 1 or 2 more stops along the way to Tidewater of course...mmmm might be another 2 weeks before I break now lol.


The underwater cavern bit I'm not insanely fond of either, so I might be changing that up a bit myself. However, I do enjoy the cruelness of the Sahuagin and the way they just keep coming back to antagonize the players.

And I also think that the writers purposefully left Harrigan out of Part 2. He's off building his fleet and such, and working on his schemes. The players are off his radar for now, until they get to Part 3, when one of his crewmates notices them. I like the idea of him being absent.. it makes it all the better when they finally meet up with him again for a bit in Part 3.

Just my opinion on the matter, theres nothing wrong with changing it in your game :P


Yes the Sahaugin are evil little blighters, you might want to see if you can track down Mongoose's old D20 slayers guide, it might give you some new ideas, underwater city perhaps instead of the cavern? You might be able to keep the encounters just change the environment instead maybe.

As for Harrigan yes thats what im going with, building his fleet

But I'm also thinking ahead a bit and starting to get his madness and decline into insanity sorted a bit too. You see him losing his grip in part 3, with the race then getting desperate in part 4 when he send the eel in until he has a full on melt down in part 5. The way I see it is that he's been captured and possibly tortured by Thrune then sent back as an agent, he's a bit psycho due to his capture and starting to lose his grip, he's lost a prize ship, his first mate and most of his crew so he's starting to get angry and clutching at straws. He's finding new allys for his cause and as Smythe and Tidewater have long been on his mind, Smythe beat him once but he wants that Keep and her but can't risk an assault by himself as he needs to build his fleet up, hence he sends Inkskin to get it for him.

That's my thinking anyway :)


So, getting myself ready for the possible battle with Inkskin at Tidewater. Reading the entry I came across this:

If the Thresher was not previously spotted, guards can again make opposed Perception checks against the sailing checks of the buccaneers in the longboats to see the boats as they approach shore. The longboats get a +4 bonus on their opposed checks because of an obscuring mist spell cast by Isabella Locke.

Now according to the players guide:
Blade Barrier, Cloudkill, Fog Cloud, Mind Fog, Obscuring Mist, Pyrotechnics, Stinking Cloud, Storm of Vengeance: The effects created by these spells do not move with a ship.

So by that rationale Inkskin Either casts the spell as the longboats reach the Keep or as logic would dictate she casts the spell as she leaves the Thresher.

Either way It's completley pointless as a) if it was cast when they get to the keep then the guards propbaly know they are already there or b) she casts it before she gets to the keep and the mist stays in place as they row towards it and they get spotted.

Anybody else notice this?

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