Sir Holton

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I should fill in how this action resolved itself. The party did manage to rip off the Aspis in Eleder - they got in by scouting the Aspis, then using illusions and charm spells to get in. A fight in the basement of the building let party get away with maybe 1500gp of goods, and the lasting enmity of the Aspis.

They halfheartedly attempted to frame the Pathfinders, but the Aspis have been hunting them since. The party did a nice job of shorting some of the plot in Eleder by finalizing their deal with the pirates and leaving early before the other factions had truly organized themselves. We dropped the entire Nkechi plot and I've been rewriting / reworking the wilderness trip to Tazion since.

The chase has been rejoined because the Aspis (working with the Rivermen's Guild) arrived in Kalabuto the night after the party arrived and more hijinx have ensued. The party now has the pirates ready to cooperate with the Gold Crown Shipping Company to arrange a supply train for them while they break north.

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At the risk of completely derailing this topic, but I think BatManuel was far superior to Die Fledermaus as a sidekick who didn't know he was a sidekick.

But both the live action and cartoon were seriously missing Paul the Samurai and a Million Zillion Ninjas.

I intentionally tied some of my players' backgrounds into the Serpent Skull story, to increase their interest in the story (one character is looking for Zura worshippers, one character is looking for her brother in Kalabuto, and one character is late making a delivery for the Aspis (because of the shipwreck)).

We're early in Racing to Ruin, the party having just arrived in Eleder, and they were amused / dismayed by the bargaining for their knowledge & leadership of an expedition - right now I think it's a tie whether they'll go with the Pirates or the Pathfinders. However, I played the Aspis (and their representative) like a mafia operation, trying to extort the party into working with them to find Saventh-Yhi.

I was hoping the party wouldn't like the Aspis, but now it turns out that they want to rip off the Aspis. I like that this should set up some excellent hatred between the Aspis, but I'm looking for some suggestions of what sort of trouble / problems / treasure they might find in this operation:

-- the Aspis are already keeping a low-key watch on the party's tavern, if the party's not careful, they'll be spotted and linked to the robbery
-- the Aspis leadership (in Eleder at least) include some devil worship and summoning
-- the Aspis should be pretty wealthy here, but I don't want to give too many rewards to the players.

I hope that I can have this result in the Aspis having deep-seated animosity to the players, which will help set up the competition in Book 3.

Do you have any thoughts or suggestions?

long-staff sixpenny striker wrote:

George Erickson wrote:
I am in week three of running SS, and the players are enjoying it. I hit a snag in the jungle though; I had rolled a random of 4 Cannibals. Distance to perceive is horrible, than come all the A.o.O. for movement, since neither side can 5 foot...

I did not have this issue with the cannibals, because they only came up on the random encounter rolls when the PCs where on the trail or on the beach. I wish I had done more with foliage and difficult terrain in the jungle, but TBH the PCs traveled almost exclusively by beach or by trail in order to move faster.

That being said, we did find the cannibals to be pushovers. They only presented a challenge when the PCs opted to full-out assault the camp.

Our party mainly fought the cannibals on the trails and then at their camp. The javelins were the biggest threat to our lightly armored party, but the druid dropped an Entangle spell in the midst of the camp, which let the party pick off the cannibals (and skeletons) in 1s and 2s. The druid and barbarian (both fighting with long spears) managed to pin Klorak away from any help and just murder him in difficult terrain.

On the other hand, 4 measly ghouls and Mother nearly did them all in...

Having just wrapped our first session, may I introduce the latest contestants in the Smuggler's Shiv lottery:

- Talib al'Kaltheer - a human (Kellish) illusionist and wannabe scholar / author
- Adeleise - a human (Chellish) druid and her bear, Misha, recently having fled Cheliax
- Palantriel Calthal - a half-elven oracle of the mysteries of life and death, afflicted by a terrible wasting disease. Looking for the Ekujae and a meaningful death.
- Tamarie - a half-elven ranger and courier for the Aspis.
- Samu - a Zenj barbarian, escaped slave of the Bekyat and stowaway on the Jennivere who helped the mate save the passengers.

Both Talib (the illusionist) and Misha (the bear) have nearly been killed by falls while scaling cliffs, the ranger Tamarie has been suspended from 2 different snare traps, and the barbarian Samu has had bad luck fighting giant crustaceans, but so far everyone is healthy and they're investigating the island and working well with the other castaways.

Thanks for the comments on the AP - your notes mirror what a number of other posters have brought up. We'll be starting this AP in January, and I'm already considering fairly major changes to AP 2,3,4 (enhancements for 3 and 4, rewrites for 2).

I'm downloading Red Nails from Gutenberg to give it a read.

Dela - if you're still willing to hand out your work, I'd love to see the maps you created: campbell(at)chimeron(dot)net

Thanks for the help.

I'm actually planning to run this AP, starting in November / December / January (whenever our current campaign ends). I've been thinking about how to hack the AP and will share my thoughts. I really appreciated your thoughts of how Kline and the other NPCs detract from the 'specialness' of the players. I'm considering how to remove or moderate their part in the campaign.