In the encounter where Tark and his orcs attack the boat, are Tark's orcs meant to get onto the boat?
None of them have swim or climb and previous encounters have established its hard to climb up the side of the boat (DC15) and hard to swim in this river (DC15 - although maybe its easier here) - so is the intent ?
- only Tark boards and the others lob javelins from the bank
- the orcs get to cheat and no one sees their rolls (its only hazardous terrain for PCs... ;) )
- its really hard for them to get onboard and the party can laugh at their clumsy attems
I know I'm replying to a thing from years ago, but...
I just ran this encounter as it's written, and the orcs on shore actually really worked. The PCs were preoccupied with Tark, Melira, and Chokehold, and the other orcs floundering on a lot of their rolls ensured that they didn't get to the ship immediately, and when they did, they arrived little by little, basically in waves.
They also gave me an answer to what the captain and crew were doing: operating the ballista. Bloodtusk and his folks took shots at the orcs approaching the ship and weakened them, and called for the PCs to finish off those who'd gotten on board.
Our Druid fell to Tark (but survived), and Melira managed to get our Barbarian into "Only alive thanks to rage" territory, but the party emerged victorious. The Ranger (an archer with orcs as a favoured enemy who had explicitly been spending all her time aboard the boat in the crow's nest, and thus got to start the battle up there) had a particularly good time of this encounter and was responsible for both Melira and Tark's defeats.