I have a player with a pathfinder looking for ancient stuff as a justification for his piracy.
I want to throw in a ship carrying Osirian artifacts, including a sarcophagus with a mummy. Except I want it not to be a mummy. We have fought many mummies recently. So what else could be in this sarcophagus. I am using Dagon in the campaign, so elder horrors are on the table but not required. Interesting undead are also cool.
Hey buddy, Osirion is that-away *motions into the distance*
In all seriousness, don't try to force things. Osirion has NOTHING to do with this AP, and there are plenty of other nearby viable options for ancient cultures.
There are a plethora of cycopian ruins in the Shackles, the PCs can ambush Aspis ships out of Bloodcove laden with Mwangi treasures, and any number of artifacts can be pulled up from the Sodden Lands just north of the Shackles. Osirion is just too far away and is too ethnocentric to be involved.
That said, there are plenty of fun fun undead things to put into these situations. Juju zombies and voidstick zombies come to mind immediately..
In my campaign, undersea-to-surface trading is that which sustains piracy in the Shackles, and some of the most desirable trade goods include rare artifacts taken from Azlanti ruins. Deep platinum and rare metals are also traded, as are "recovered" treasure from sunken ships.
My players are pretty much free thinkers. One of them is playing a Pathfinder who has at least some connection to Absalom and two are playing characters from Qadira. Combine those back stories with a ship capable of reaching those areas in a short period of time, and I expect the group won't be content to stick to the Shackles. I plan to stretch the campaign timeline quite a bit and have it play out over roughly a decade.
Ignoring that, what's to say someone isn't transporting something from Osirion through the Shackles.
I like the idea of Azlanti ruins. That could have some of the Egyptian flavor.
Another reason for the Osirion tie in is that it seems to be linked to Earth. We have a long standing series of Easter eggs of items from earth. A PC in one campaign found an iPhone, for example. This campaign may even feature one of the Super Genius Games classes that is a man out of time.
Travel to Osirion will take months, even by boat. Not saying that you cannot, as this is your game, but it kinda defeats the purpose of playing Skull and Shackles if you aren't, you know, in the Shackles. At that point, it's just one big homebrew, no longer the AP. The AP assumes that the players WANT to be pirates. If they don't, then after book 1 the AP is over.
Again, transport of Osirion relics THROUGH the shackles is possible, but it is much more plausible to put Mwangi relics. Consider the make up of Golarion. Osirion is leterally on the other side of the continent. What are the motives for transporting something this way? The major buyers have closer bases of opperation.
For a real world tie in, consider the Aztec, Mayan, and Inca empires of South America, as these fit in better with the tropical jungle of the Mwangi Expanse. Alternatively, look at southern and western Africa for inspiration (Garund is practically the same thing).
As to the Pathfinder, the Pathfinders have a deep interest in the explorations of the cyclopean ruins in scattered throughout the shackles.
Again, not to quash your creativity. This is YOUR game.
There are just certain things that each AP assumes. Kingmaker assumes that the players want to be colonists. Carrion Crown assumes that the players want to stop a cult. Curse of the Crimson Thrown assumes that the players want to help Korvosa.
Skull and Shackles assumes that the PCs want to be pirates.
Yes, at any time the players can say "screw this!" and go off on some other tangent, but that is beyond the scope of the AP.
Yes, there can be side quests. Again, these should be at least in proximity to the AP and should at least relate to the AP. If they have absolutely nothing to do with the AP, they are out of the scope of the AP.
Once you go beyond the scope of the AP, it is a home-brew. There is NOTHING wrong with home-brews, but they have their own forums.
40 days from the Shackles to Absalom from looking at max speed. That is without any skill checks to reduce travel time. The AP doesn't really have a continuous time crunch, so I don't see how it matters how far they range in their piracy.
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I'd stick an alchemist in suspended animation in there. One of those archetypes can take a few millenia off whenever they want at a fairly low level.
Just checked, the Internal Alchemist gets this at 1st level:
"At 1st level, the internal alchemist can control his breath and the flow of vital energy within his body. Without preparation, he can hold his breath for a number of minutes equal to his Constitution score (after this, he must begin making Constitution checks or risk suffocation); by spending a full-round action preparing himself, he can increase this duration to 1 hour per point of Constitution. The alchemist can survive twice as long as normal without food or water before he starts to take penalties. He can put himself into a state of suspended animation as a move action, and is then unconscious and appears completely dead; he awakens at a preset time or in response to a condition set by him when he enters this state. "
I guess it depends on how you want to interpret this. Level 1 seems a little low to do this (let alone not breathe), but this is a reasonable way to introduce whatever level alchemist you want.
Good for you for allowing for the possibility of your players sailing farther astray than the Shackles.
I fully expect my players will want to make a lengthy side trek of their own to ensure that Kerdak Bonefist is *not* the only pirate who can boast cannons.
I respectfully disagree with Lord Twitchiopolis' apparent insinuation that your question belongs in a different forum.
While I agree that the AP assumes the PCs want to be pirates, I cannot come to the same conclusion that this means not sailing beyond the Shackles.
The Shackles setting as is somewhat paints itself into a corner, especially with the AP encouraging putting off piracy in the main Shackles lanes until one gets an ironic Shackles Letter of Marque. Unlike the Carribean during the golden age of piracy which specifically featured rival empires' interests, the Shackles is a relatively homogenous pirate haven bereft of ports and colonies representing a handful of other empires. What, exactly, are pirates supposed to raid if they cannot strike out further afield than their own islands? Just because the pirates raid far away, that doesn't make the Shackles any less their only "safe" port or make them any less invested in the AP's plot points.
The sarcophagus doesn't have to hold a monster threat. It can just be the skeletal or (mundane) mummified remains of some noble with 1 plunder point worth of jewelry including a crossed rod and scepter which is actually a clever scroll case which holds... a treasure map! Maybe one of the ziggurats somewhere in the Mwangi Expanse actually has ancient ties to an Osirion pyramid. Maybe this sarcophagus-travelling noble must be laid to rest in that far-away country to complete some ancient prophecy or ritual, requiring a voyage to the other side of the Eye of Abendego. Maybe you can work in any number of the plot-hook treasures from the inside back covers.
Well, we don't know what happened to the Ark. If we go really crazy with this, they could find a ship with the lost Templar treasure. It was sailing across the Atlantic and was swept into a planar maelstrom into the Eye. On the ship there is gold, some Egyptian scrolls, and a big gold covered wooden chest.
Maybe an Egyptian alchemist is the only survivor.
I'll have to think about whether that is too far over the edge for my players.