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[GMs Only] Weather, Exploration, and Special Encounters Charts (Work in Progress)


Skull & Shackles

Cheliax

First post here in the forums, actually. Starting up my own Skulls and Shackles game, and I was hoping to share a few of my ideas and perhaps get more of the same as I develop these charts for our player's enjoyment once they hit Raiders of the Fever Sea (or perhaps even quicker). Now, keep in mind this is very very much in the beginning stage, so don't expect too much - I'm looking for ideas from pretty much everyone, and chucking out my own ideas for people to flesh out. A community project for us all, so to speak. Raiders of the Fever Sea is very much something of a sandbox sort of deal - we can add onto that even more with this. Have fun and go to town with ideas as you feel like - go as in depth and detail as you want. Have a basic idea? Chuck it out there. Have an entire crazy encounter? Put it up! As I go through the AP as a GM, I have every intention of really making it feel like a pirate adventure, and I mean to bring in certain encounters and various sights to really add to the story. Eventually I intend each chart to be at least a d20, if not d100 worth of items. Think of all the various pirate superstitions, sights, encounters that you've seen in various movies and try to think of how you might create similar here. GMs should be able to take these ideas and mix/match them to make their own custom charts if they wish. At the moment content is going to be primarily based around Raiders of the Fever Sea time period, but don't let that stop you from making things for later on.

Basically what I request for ideas is first put

a) put what chart you want it on
b) the idea

This is going to essentially going to broken up into several different categories of charts that GMs can roll off of:

Weather

Fairly obvious. Varying weather conditions, ranging from normal sailing to monster storms. Create DCs as you like. With the Eye of Abendego nearby, who knows what weird weather spins off into the Shackles. Building off of the basic weather rules for Pathfinder and putting a piratey sea spin onto them.

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Becalmed:

Wind ceases in the section of sea the PCs are currently in. Sailing ships are stuck and, if the condition lasts, perhaps risk losing their crew members to cabin fever.

Eerie Fog:

A eerie, unnatural fog rolls in. This fog cannot be blown away with Gust of Wind or other wind-changing effects. Any encounters occur with fog (can only see 5 ft including darkvision, concealment (20% miss chance) to and from targets 5 ft from you).

Sea Exploration

Special sights and challenges that PCs run into when sailing the seas. May act as a plot hook to get PCs interested in an area, or may just simply be something to add to the setting for flavor.

Example:

The Great White Whale:

Off in the distance (DC 10 Perception check) they see a whaling ship. Before the PCs even have a chance to even think about attacking it, they see a huge, massive white shape rise up from the depths - a great white whale (DC 24 Knowledge (Nature) for basic info) - jump from the waters below, smashing the ship to pieces. At the urging of their crew, the PCs leave the wreckage behind - such a beast is like to leave few survivors, and would likely attack should they investigate. Alternatively, you could give them a choice to investigate so long as they realize that the great white whale - a CR 14 creature, a fact that their crew will greatly stress to them - is still in the area. Should they risk it, give them a chance at treasure and to gain more crew from the shipwrecked sailors (one named Ahab who lost a leg to the creature's attack, perhaps?).

Dolphins:

Dolphins are spotted covorting in the PC ship's wake. A Knowledge (Religion) or (Local) check, DC 15 tells the PCs that dolphins are considered to be good luck by sailors. Should the PCs do nothing but enjoy the show, they get a +1 luck bonus to attack/damage/skill rolls for this day and the next. If the PCs attack the dolphins, the dolphins immediately free, and their ship is plagued by bad luck, getting -1 to attack/damage/skill rolls for this day and the next.

Lost at Sea:

The PCs run across a rowboat full of d6 shipwrecked sailors. Their ship long gone, the sailors are looking for either a new ship to serve on or a life to the nearest port. May give treasure (X gold per sailor?) as thanks/payment.

Hidden Reefs:

Any PC on deck gets a Perception check (DC ?) to notice a disturbance in the waters ahead - a series of dangerous reefs that the ship is heading straight for! The captain of the ship must pass a series of Profession (Sailor) checks (DC ?) in order to navigate a series of reefs (or, if you want to go the whole nine yards, use the ship-fighting rules to have the ship actually navigate through an obstacle course worth of reefs.

Island Exploration

Same deal as with sea exploration - either quick sight-seeing sort of deal or a series of challenges with potential rewards. These may also optionally be used when raiding coastal settlements.

Pit Trap:

If the PCs stress that they are cautiously exploring the island, give the PC a DC 25 Perception check to spot a covered pit trap. If they fail, they get a DC 20 Reflex save. Else, if they say they're moving rapidly through the area, the PC immediately falls into the trap as a Camouflaged Pit Trap (CR 3).

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At Port:

Additional happenings and occurrences whenever your PCs arrive at port.

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Do You Voodoo?:

While at port, one of your PCs runs into a strange tribal juju practitioner. The practicioner offers to make the PC a fetish (further detailed in Pathfinder AP #39). The PC must give a bit of his/her own blood to create a Black Blessing (AP #39), which that PC receives for free. Those GMs who wish to be sneaky may have this come up in an encounter later on - the Black Blessing gives -2 to will saves against spells cast from fetish maker, potentially causing a nasty surprise when the party fights the practitioner and a few thugs/zombies. This may also occur in Island Exploration.

Special Encounters

Special encounters - look in the bestiaries, come up with some additional battles, add some fun mechanics. Add a bit to the random battles lists that are already there.

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Sargasso Seaweed - The PC's ship is becalmed and is surrounded by a strange seaweed that has prevented them from going any further. In order to escape the seaweed's grasp, it's going to require going down to the seaweed. The seaweed is thick enough to stand on, but makes for unsteady footing (difficulty terrain). Fire spells and items burn away any seaweed on a given 5 ft. square the spell hits. It also parts easily under a blade, requiring only a standard action to cut it away from a square with a slashing weapon. However, when the PCs (or the crew) go down to the seaweed, a shambling mound appears. The shambling mound gets its' normal Bestiary rules, plus:

The shambling mound, being seaweed, gets a bonus to its' Stealth check as if it was in its' natural terrain such as a swamp.
The shambling mound ignores the difficult terrain from the seaweed (being seaweed itself).
It can sink 5' seamlessly through the seaweed as part of its' 20' swim move, allowing it to go underwater at will without causing a break in the seaweed. It can likewise do so to surface.
It can similarly pull a grappled PC down through the seaweed (as per normal move via grapple rules). If a PC escapes the grapple, he/she must either slice/burn his or her way to air or swim to a break in the seaweed.
The shambling mound cannot attack up through the seaweed, despite its' 10 ft reach. It must attack through an opening in the seaweed or surface, as it cannot see through the seaweed.

Optional (if you think your players could use the additional challenge)

Add Shambling Monolith feat from Dungeon Denizens Revisited, to be used once it gets to half life, DC 15 Fortitude save to maintain the increased size.

Add Tremorsense 30', allowing it to detect movement in the seaweed above it and in the water around it. This also allows it to attack up through the seaweed with its' attacks against an enemy that has moved within its' tremorsense range.

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