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Mutiny on the Wormwood (spoilers)

Skull & Shackles

So one of my players in planning some kind of Mutiny while still on the Wormwood (which does go for quite a while before they get moved to the Promise).
He is an alchemist and has the role of Cook's Mate, and his plan is to kill of the Cabin Girl when she comes for the food, use disguise self as her and then try and poison the officers and take them all out while they are weakened.
He of course does not know the level of the Officers, and so therefore believes this plan has a chance of success. He does understand that the NPCs will be higher level, but no way he is thinking level 16 for the captain, more like level 8 and the others much lower.
He is also not telling his plan to any NPCs at all so so far I have no opportunity to have the NPCs talk him out of it. He will probably tell Fishguts about it right before he pulls the trigger on the plan.

How could I play this out? Especially as I do not have stats for the officers beyond the ones they are meant to fight in this adventure.

Well, if you use Caulky's stats as presented in AP57, your alchemist PC might not get past step 1 since she's 5th level herself. That might actually be a blessing in disguise since it gives him a chance to pull out of his plan before it's gone too far.

That said, she'll probably beat him up and then he'll be severely punished after that. The thing to keep in mind is that Harrigan knows many people on board want him dead - and he's ok with that. He needs crew and would rather just keep them on a short leash but alive if possible.

So, you put him in a sweatbox for a day, appoint a new cook's mate (maybe an NPC) then assign him to the bilges every day after that. Serves him right.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Before your player makes his move, you can:

* have him overhear other low crew members gossip about the officers and what tough sobs they are.
* have Capt Harrigan and/or another officer demonstrate how much of a hit he can shrug off and then immediately dispense swift lethal justice against the perpretator.

Caulky does get a moment to shine in part 3. If you do let your player kill her off now:

* be prepared to substitute another NPC that the players would recognize from the Wormwood.
* Or just have Caulky show up anyway, unexplained. It wouldn't be the first time in pirate fiction that a character returned from the dead. Certainly not the first time in Pathfinder. It would even give her all the motive she needs to act against the PCs.

The other officers may not be fully statted but in Part 1, p22, it does list their classes and levels. (Caulky at that point is only a Lvl 3 commoner.):

* Let the officers make saves, based on class level and some assumptions. Your PC probably doesn't have instant-death poison so an officer or two can take some temporary ability damage.
* Even weakened, the other officers outnumber the cook's mate. Rogues still sneak attack when flanking.
* Given their press-ganging tactic, the officers would be well aware of the threat of poison. Doses of antidote are probably standard issue for them. The rogues might have a wand or two of neutralize poison or lesser restoration between them which they might "use magic device".
* Then keelhaul your PC. Even if they think it's Caulky, they've already demonstrated that stealing gets you keel-hauling and Harrigan made it clear that killing will have the same result. He might even be visibly upset at sentencing his favourite cabin girl. Until the disguise unravels/spell ends.

It's a cool plan your player has. Have fun!

Seeing as your PC is trying to impersonate someone that the Captain and officers probably know pretty well - the chance of him even being in the room for more than a moment with out at least one of them noticing is extremely slim (sense motive in the teens for most of the officers I'd guess).

Don't forget that the PC would get punished for 1) assaulting a crew member (poisioning Cauky) and 2) attempted murder x10 (once for each officer). The captain may cut out his tounge, remove his fingers (slowly) and put him in the cage to rot for all to see. Keelhauling is probably too good for them.

I fully expect one of my players (we start S&S in a few weeks) to attempt something outright stupid like this. An example will be made of them to set the tone (or perhaps I'll work in a second encounter where the captain eviscerates an NPC caught red handed doing something only minorly naughty - maybe catching a grab at cauky?).

mege wrote:
The spell does not provide the abilities or mannerisms of the chosen form, nor does it alter the perceived tactile (touch) or audible (sound) properties of you or your equipment.

So, the Alchemist's voice won't sound like Caulky's and she also will make a different "walking" sound unless they dress similarly.

If anyone touches "Caulky" they'll get a Will save (maybe DC14) to reveal that it's definitely not Caulky.

On top of that, the PC has to get through one of the doors. Caulky knows how to get past the crossbow trap, but the PC doesn't. Caulky knows how to get past the shocking grasp trap, but the PC doesn't...

All of that considered, natural 1s all around, he might be able to poison some of the officers, but they may have potions or a wand to deal with that just in case.

Finally: Harrigan's got a +14 BAB, does 6d6 sneak attack damage and looks like he's got an 18 str, so he probably swings +18/+13/+8 1d3+6 with his fist. He looks like he's wearing light armor, so we'll assume he's not wearing armor in his cabin. +2 ring, +2 amulet and +4 dex for 18 AC, 16 touch. He's got 5d10+11d8+32 hp, so 32+45+4+32 for 113 or so hit points.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

What does he plan to poison the captain with exactly?

I mean I know alchemists can brew poisons, but that's under the assumption they a) Have an alchemist's kit, and b) materials. He can't just spin silver into poison, he needs to buy ingredients.

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

It is a good and entertaining plan, so don't tell the player "No."

Just make sure you:

1) Get the point across that the officers of the Wormwood are tough mofos.

2) Remind your players that even attempted mutiny is a crime punishable by death ... not just a keelhauling. Check out the article on Port Peril. There's a nifty little islet there that is full of hanging cages that display the bones of would-be mutineers. Have one of the friendlier NPC crewmates tell a story about a botched mutiny and then mention that little island.

Have fun!

Yea. Alter Self is too weak. All it would take is for Harrigen to say, "Hey Caulky, you are kinda quiet and walkin funny. You ok girl?" Note that Harrigan would say this is a non-threatoning, even semi-concerned manner. But the jig would quickly be up.

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I hace a PC in my S&S game that just doesn't get it when I tell him the Senior crew are bruisers compared to him. First session he didn't get it when I was telling the PCs via the NPCs that Mr. Plugg was new to the job of first mate. The PC thinks that there's high attrition among the crew, and while he's partly correct, he doesn't get that Mr. Plugg was the one responsible in respects to the First Mate position.

He then immediately tried to challenge Plugg to a duel, citing the rules of the sea and requesting the ship find a crap of land to commence the dueling. At which Harrigan Laughed and refused, stating the PC wasn't a real member of the crew yet.

I can't wait to get to the workover in the bilges... Hehehe...


Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So in my group captain harrigan has handed out rewards as described in the ap such as a potion for the crabs, and other scenarios. My question is the pc's almost like the captain should I play him up as more ruthless? I'm afraid that once the pc's acquire a ship they may want to team up with Harrigan.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well, the way the PCs acquire their ship is by killing Harrigan's first mate and stealing the ship that "belongs" to Harrigan. He's not likely to join them so much as kill them for mutiny.

That's why the PCs immediately go to Rickety's Squibs. They don't want to be recognized and hunted down by Harrigan.


Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
mbauers wrote:

Well, the way the PCs acquire their ship is by killing Harrigan's first mate and stealing the ship that "belongs" to Harrigan. He's not likely to join them so much as kill them for mutiny.

That's why the PCs immediately go to Rickety's Squibs. They don't want to be recognized and hunted down by Harrigan.

Yes but I was thinking that the pc's might try to find Harrigan and say 'Look your 2 officers were trying to steal the ship, but we killed them and recovered it for you.'

Its a situation that I am trying to avoid.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just let some NPCs suggest that Harrigan would never believe them. He would certainly assume that they mutinied vs Plugg and him and only got doubts afterwards.

Tell them, that the chance of being killed before they would even have a chance to speak would be much higher then the chance that he "trusts" the PCs.

If they still want to team up with him they 1st have to find him. As they are looking for rumors where Harrigan is they would hear rumors (have an encounter) themselves, that Harrigan put out a bounty on their head. He will pay more for them alive, as he would like to torture them himself.

If they still want to team up with him after that, it's their own fault.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The PCs should want to be masters of their own destiny not some pirate side kick. In the worse case scenario let them team up with Harrigan, and he can send them out to do most of the stuff in the second AP. I would try to play up the whole "always a first mate never a captain" aspect of it though. Maybe when they meet up with him he thanks them, rewards them, and then assigns a new officer crew and they go back to washing the decks.Let them move up the ladder through hard work. Each plot point will be another opportunity to turn on Harrigan. They should probably get the ship squibbed either way. They do not have to be rivals until the end of the third book. Harrigan can easily have them enter the race to be a wing man so to speak, and then when he gets disqualified he can turn on them. After that they would have a lot of catching up to do, as they would be rather unknown pirates until that point.

Or on the way to Harrigan one of his friends stubbles upon them (a less powerful friend) and attacks them ranting about Harrigan's stolen property and calling them mutineers and thieves to let them know they will be met with force if they do try to go back. At which point the NPCs should talk them in to squibbing, or start of talks of a second mutiny.

The above idea is good. The module is laid out about getting their own ship and facing down Harrigan. Teaming up means you will need to do quite a bit of work to change things. They COULD work with Harrigan in defeating the Shackles pirates as turncoats. Hmmm..

1.Harrigan uses them to do the plot points in the 2nd book. Brings them into his team(Make it clear to the players that this is a big change from the AP)
2. Send them in as sleeper agents as it were. Get themselves set up as noteworthy pirates.
3.The big fight that comes up has them fighting for Chelix against the Shackles pirates. You will need to choose different opponents.
4. As for the end? Perhaps Harrigan attempts to wipe out all possible compittion since he doesn't want to share power.

warpi9 wrote:

Yes but I was thinking that the pc's might try to find Harrigan and say 'Look your 2 officers were trying to steal the ship, but we killed them and recovered it for you.'

Its a situation that I am trying to avoid.

Make it clear just how fond Harrigan is of Master Plugg before the ships part. "I will see you in Port peril two weeks hence".. "ride the lazy crew hard, you know they need more breaking" "Your first command, master Plugg ! Stand proud !" etc.. Remember, Plugg in a way is as written in the AP his favourite son.. "meteoric rise" etc

Now, would you really side with the "unknowns" who allegedly rescued your ship from your "beloved son" who ever before could do nothing wrong - and whose vices of sadism and cruelty so well match your own ?

"You have killed my boy !" *roar*

As for Rickety's... why not simply get another ship ? And, if you are feeling paranoid, get another crew ! That part of the overall AP plan is just...sorry, it's plain silly.

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