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159 posts. Alias of vikingson.


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maybe a little late for the party but I would like to point out that this only affects characters "in sight" of the character using the feat.

Sooo it gets much harder to use with invisibility or if the party is spread out in the dark or inside a building .....or other means of sight obstruction happen... fog, undergrowth, illusions.

very much depends on how the group uses it and how much the GM cares

Michelle A.J. wrote:

One thing you can always do, that doesn't actually require making any major changes to the encounters, is to simply punish any bad habits or poor tactics your players may have. If they don't position to cover their flanks, just have two enemies run up and jump on the Magus. If they don't bother making perception checks often, just have a few enemies hide behind cover and then jump up and ambush them. If they aren't protecting each other well enough, then ignore the magus, and just throw everything at the weakest member of the party. That way the next encounter will be even tougher with them down a body.

If that doesn't work, then you can look into adjusting the encounters afterwards. But try to make them as challenging as possible as written first. A bunch of nameless CR 2 mooks can still wipe a party (under the right circumstances) if you play the encounter more intelligently than your players do.

If this is not indicated by the NPCs intelligence or wish for cooperation, this sounds like arbitrary punishment on the GMs part. Bad style IMHO, but your mileage may vary.

After all the usual NPCs have neither the information needed nor the time to study the characters and adapt their tactics to it. Or see HP bars over h their heads or know which powers 8if any) have been expended. It might be feasible for some of the mooks in the
Phantasmagorum or Nox and Hound or
but not your average riff-raff or the mercs at the Salinery or the Gills (which actually can be pretty deadly )
Most NPCs are unaware of the PCs or their capabilities. Given that the final chapter of Act I is pretty long and harrowing and logically must be finished in one run, it will certainly put the Magus in his place and make him hold on to some resources. Facing Nox at the end after the preceeding two levels will most certainly check him

besids the magus will feel out of his depth in wide parts of the second AP and the early parts of the third^^

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Tangent101 wrote:

Actually? I'd be willing to go one further. And this works whether or not the Ravens are secretive.

Have a group of Thrunites waiting in the wings. If the PCs do not show at the end of Book 2? Barzillai has his team of lackeys step forward and accept the honor and claim full responsibility. Have them then be visible several times in "keeping the peace" and the like while declaring they are doing it in Asmodeous' name.

Now the PCs have a dilemma. If they remain in the shadows, Thrune will be claiming their actions for himself. It will damage the rebellion. If they come out of hiding? It plays into Thrune's hands once more as now he has a target.

Please note, I freely admit to being evil. ;)

Sound's like ... ahem.... hogwash. The commoners claiming to be the Silver Ravens to "get some free loot(ahem reward)" are lying about their identity in public,and hence end up possibly dead for their trickery. Unless the PCs intentionally use some people as decoys.

Unless you can plausibly reason that taking gifts from local rulers commonly leads to sudden unexpected death through assassination you are willfully penalizing the players for being careful and not playing the scene as "intended". Not my idea of a fair and fun game.

Got very lucky when fighting her ( after having the group severely depleted by the rest of the dungeon and the Phantasmagorium before) with the witch (armed with Accursed Hex) bum rushing her, succeeding on Evil Eye and getting her "slumbered". While her hell hound killed the witch on the next round ( and subsequently got slaughtered by the rest of the group), the sleeping Nox was summarily decapitated with her own glaive for "sleeping at her post" and naturally failed the Fort Safe. Her head was taken along to prevent any raise dead or similar nonsense.

But basically it came all down to luck - if she had saved, she would likely have slaughtered the group's remaining 2 characters.

Overall - that fight cost the group 2 of 4 characters (thief and witch) . and since the group was aimed (at social play a la "Ultimate Intrigue") which they enjoyed but mostly had nothing to do with the pre-written plot, and severly disliked ,

the underwater excursion in Act II the group gave up after the Dismal Niche part of "Dance of the Damned" (by then 6 characters had been killed 3 of them by the Aboleth).

Deep inside Book 1 and having great fun. Small party of three

Aasimar Inquisitor (Zeal Domain) of Cayden, Mr. Handsome Guy out to save the world..

female Elf Investigator (think "Sherlock on Elf") who lacks any sense of humour. Yes, basically a Cumberbatch

female Kitsune Cartomancer Witch with a strongly Desnan attitude of making dreams come true (and sowing Chaos in the process).

What could possibly go wrong.... Yes, they really try to stay under the Thrune radar

Pretty unhappy since I re-subscribed for this ( group clamored for it, after having a go at Iron Gods and heartily disliking it ) and neither....... have the .pdf nor the hardcopy Whichseems to be out in the US by now.
Which apparently will be send in April - wtf ?

I started the campaign off at level 2 as a player and GM'ing it as well.

Worked quite well : for one, multi-class builds did not just pop-up out of nowhere (always a bit of a concern for our role-play enthusiastic groups), and gives the players less of a "Jim Hawkins" feeling, allows them to have some competence. On the other hand - even at second level, we never felt overpowered, and since XP are reduced for the challenges posed....
The Island of Bonewrack in the final act is still quite deadly anyway (as written), and getting whipped by Scourge (even for non-lethal damage) can really disable an unlucky character at first level.

PS - Even at 2nd level we lost 2 characters in the first book, due to traps and monsters. A friend's game of four was wiped out on Bonewrack by a single bad call. so 2nd level does not feel like an overpowering advantage

There was a thread about this back in 2012...

- Trade from and to Sargava not under the Sargavan flag (and the Garundian nations further to the south)

- trade to and forth from Bloodcove

more possibilities (GM might need to elaborate)
- trade with some undersea realms who trade surface goods for subsurface goods (hard for aquatic elves to forger any metal down there) going through local ports
- should a higher population exist inside the Shackles it might be a good place to grow sugarcane tobacco and other "carribean" produce
- trade through and over the western sea to Atzlan and the lands beyond
- trade around the southern cape/end of Garund coming north
- whalers using the shackles waters as hunting grounds

But overall : the Shackles as pre-written unfortunately make little sense as the base for pirates riding the trade routes.

Also take into account that an awakened bird first need to recognise a ship, establish and communicate a precise direction (yeah over there to you left, no, that left... not quite... that left perhaps?) and in most likelyhood has no idea what precisely he has spotted "sails, yes many sails, can I have that fish now, you promised."

Perhaps even having the ship run upwind just to encounter say the "Dominator" or other warship on their luv, who has now also spotted them

Oh, and the bird will have to survive on the local diet, which might or might not be a problem. Few insects and small birds of prey out on the open ocean. Or lambs and hares or cadavres.

Third and last, remember that one is sailing in tropical waters and evaporation from the sea will certainly cloud the horizon, especially on sunny days. Sea mist and haze. Poor visibility

PS as for "loyalty"


An adventurer considering awakening his animal companion should keep in mind the awaken spell's potential drawbacks. Most pointedly, awakened animals can no longer serve as companions, and the character must follow the rules for Leadership if he wishes to take the animal as an official cohort. Further, an intelligent animal can be difficult to manage. After awakening, animals are predisposed to be friendly toward whoever cast the spell— in this case, presumably their masters. Yet if an animal was mistreated during its time as a companion, or is treated poorly after its awakening, that friendliness is mixed with a sense of confusion that can last anywhere from a few moments to a few hours as the animal reconciles the abuse with the great gift it's been given. Since awaken is not a charm or mind-control spell, there's nothing to prevent awakened animals from resenting mistreatment in the same way a normal person of their intelligence level would, and they're no more inclined to be automatically servile than anyone else. More than one careless druid has found her awakened animal companion refusing to follow instructions, leaving to pursue its own goals, or even seeking vengeance for its former “enslavement.”

- emphasis mine -

- A falcon may perhaps spot a ship (perception rules are nice as abreaking mechanism, but in fact, under these rules you could not spot a person at the other side of an empty football pitch), but need not necessarily be inclined to tell the druid about it and simply enjoy the freedom to fly about ( will the druid ever know that there was a ship on the horizon ? unlikely...)

PPS An awakened animal is not a druid companion anymore (be default)

I'd also like to mention that the witches slumber only works for a single round at that level, which would mean you'd have to be right next (aka face to face) to the target for a CdG. Just to sound in on the "this don't really work" choir

Don't see a reason why a swim speed reduces the Keel Hauling (you are bound on ankles and wrists and slowly (!) pulled along under the ship...usually from side to side)... no freaking way to swim. And it also feels ridiculous to keelhaul someone who can actually breath water. Pirates cheat and bend the rules at every whim, so why not here ?

(Or maybe someone even forgets to turn the Capstan for a quick smoke while you are underneath or perhaps drops some blood into the water to lure some sharks for a quick lunch break ? Or keelhauls you lengthwise from bow to stern - and not sideways^^).

Channeling Energy. Please (!) remember that has to be done THROUGH a holy symbol (and the keelhauled's hands and feet are tied ). So the symbol has to be in hand A cleric must be able to present her holy symbol to use this ability. as per RAW.

Personally, I'd go with a quick amputation maiming which both fits with Harrigans brutality and visciousness, and can - if the players survive that long, be reversed with a regeneration. Finally a use for the archetypal pirate's hook or a pegleg ! And then send the maimed buggers up into the rigging ....where they should actually have both hands to hold on and work.

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Sprocket262 wrote:
Wow, it was actually pretty easy destroy it, we got the Alchemist into the powder stores and he blew it up, i'm guessing that was not supposed to happen and the Dominator was not played correctly.

No, not really played as written - methinks, the Dominator is not originally armed with Guns at all....no powder magazine.

And the "Dominator" is a heavy frigate of the Chelian Navy and will likely be crewed accordingly (there is far too little information on the crewing of the opposition warships in the whole AP) but there should certainly be a contingent of competent hell knights, some chelian clerics (to minister to the crew and supervise the commander) and some decent healing ability aboard. Nevermind the likelihood of an Alchemist. Possibly some competent boatswains, an expert master etc. plus a bunch of alchemical weaponry (which is great for handing out to the mooks)

keep in mind that the Chelian Navy caught hold of Harrigan and his "normal" crew pretty easily in the adventure's background, and I feel unconfortable if a heavy unit is actually manned in such a way that the players will assault it as a pushover...

Gunpowder-magazines are - just btw - usually well guarded (and well-locked outside battle) and to see 4-6 players overwhelming a full ship's crew to gain access to the magazine ?

Also - did the Alchemist (and everyone else) escape the explosion ? A ship blowing up will deposit its timbers anywhere and everywhere within a few hundred yards... the masttop of L'Orient which blew up at Aboukir was found on a British man-o- war 1500' down the line

Usually, what makes the fights with larger parties slightly unfair is that the players' actions increase massively, especially against single targets. One opponent vs 6 sets of actions. Players fare less well against a dispersed group of opponents, who each have their own abilities and initiative...

And players usually do not fare all that well against magic, especially if they cannot readily identify the caster and/or counter him, they usually feel hard pressed. Say, have the caster hide in a group of pirates ( and have the PCs pick him out with a Perception check).

Exchange some spells or offer some minor casting support to larger ships or groups... usually a number of "greases" make any boarding action hazardous (try using it in the rigging)... or a number of "Glitterdusts"... or a single blindness or a nicely placed silence. I personally always wondered why the Chelian ships had so little chaplains/clerical support on them, even or especially in a commissarial function ( I mean, who controlled the ghouls on the Infernus ?).

Make sure that underwater combats follow the rules, and have players NOT communicating easily underwater... even if you have water breathing, you are still talking through the water in between you.... and message spells only work by transmission via the caster. Stealthy swimming is not really uncomplicated either. Or fighting on a constantly swamped deck with seas breaking over the sides - or it simply being slippery from spray. Or fighting in a tidepool, hip-deep in water (where simply ducking under the surface provides good safety from spells and missiles.

In general - make the environment work against the players if you want to apply pressure.

And yes, of course perhaps add some additional monsters or late-coming reinforcement to some fights

Patrick Renie wrote:

As written, yes, this hex can be used on any sort of terrain. On stone, the floor becomes covered in slippery moss; on a deck, the planks become jagged and sticky; in the desert, the sand becomes wet and sucks on travelers' every footstep. I can see a GM ruling that this wouldn't work on a wall of force, though I can also see a GM ruling that it does (perhaps it disrupts the magic of the wall, causing it to rapidly flicker in and out of existence such that it becomes difficult terrain).

This hex is intended to be similar to the barbarian's ground breaker rage power, which, as written, can also be used on any kind of terrain that qualifies as "the floor." If there is a rules dispute regarding the hex, defer to the wording of the rage power.

Ouch.... and while similar to the barbarian's power (which can be used only once per rage), it seems slightly more useful for a ranged caster than for a melee-based fighter, and with endless repitition and re-location possibilities. Cue in - battle of Agincourt.

Thanks for the clarification

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selfless *bump* ^^

This may have been asked already, but are there any limits that apply to "Swamp's Grasp" , the Witch Hex option offered for the werecrocodile kin ?

Will it work on any sort of ground ? Stone floor ? Ship's deck ? Even on a horizontal wall of force ? The desert or arctic icefields ?

Or is there something missing from the description ?

tbug wrote:

I may have overdone Captain Harrigan's fearsomeness. My players have successfully slain Captain Plugg and First Mate Scourge after the ambush (on their return to the Man's Promise from Bonewrack Isle), and now they're planning on sailing to Port Peril, just like Harrigan wanted Plugg to do. They don't have Plugg's contacts, so their plan is to dock the ship and wait for Harrigan to show up and tell him what happened.

Perhaps someone with some common sense (Sandara might be an option, or perhaps Rosie ) might remind them that Harrigan was awfully fond of Master Plugg (aka "regards him as something like a son" ), and since there won't be any evidence of Plugg's treachery and mutiny, telling Harrigan that they killed Plugg and Scourge for whatever reason(and it will come out - there are too many loose-tongued pirates aboard) might NOT be a wise chocie.

2ndGenerationCleric wrote:
I think if anyone should try that elsewhere, have them roll a percentile-high chance of the vine bit being secure enough to hold weight.

You do realize that is precisely one of the problems if you use "just any" rope hanging from above on a ship ?

Most ropes on a ship have a clear end, beginning and likely function....

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
deathbydice wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
I agree 100% with Cevah. Remember it's good, yes, but it's useless outside ships.
Imaginative players will reasonably expect it to work in woods/jungles (hey look, vines !) as well as many types of buildings/structure (bazaars, anything with lines stretched across the place for flags etc.. - like market fairs). So be careful

there's next to no instance in game play where you can get "a ship’s masts, rigging, ropes, sails, and other such structures" outside a ship... you're splitting hair there methinks.

So you have never adventured in a bazaar ? A tournament field with flags flying ? In a circus ? In a theatre ? Or on bridges ? Scaffolds on construction sides ? The bridges of Goblin Town ?

If you limit something permissible to the specific/exact terms only, and not to the meaning of the text, you do kill any imaginative play. Besides killing common sense.

"So Captain - I can swing from a rope on our ship, but I cannot swing from a chandelier ? But I can do so IF the chandelier is on a ship ?"
"No swinging on that chain, you are a pirate and this swings totally different..."

Sorry, your argument does not really seem to fly...

( First everyone wants to strike down realism, than everyone wants to do everything just by the book)

Seannoss wrote:
How do people help guide the PCs away from the officers? I've had a few of them keep to themselves. Now a PC thinks that there's a stowaway on board. that could be fun to play with, but not what I was shooting for.

Quarterdeck is/was for officers only - approaching it without orders, is a punishable offense (lashes). Harrigan & Co stayed there for us, observing the crew. Sailing done on the quarterdeck (manning the helm, shifiting sheets was done by "old hands"

Plugg, Giffer, Scourge and the master carpenter were "approachable" since they worked the decks, but no-one ever bothered to talk to Scourge and Plugg, and everyone else really implicated really hard that ingratiating themselves with their betters would not do. Peppery walked around the ship, but kept an unearthly "DO NOT TALK TO THE WIZARD" attitude around her.

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
I agree 100% with Cevah. Remember it's good, yes, but it's useless outside ships.

Imaginative players will reasonably expect it to work in woods/jungles (hey look, vines !) as well as many types of buildings/structure (bazaars, anything with lines stretched across the place for flags etc.. - like market fairs). So be careful

TritonOne wrote:

I would be delighted to see that, deathbydice, if you would be so kind as to share the character briefing.

Bummer for picking a Chelian, but what is a GM gonna do?

Sorry, saw your post a tad late - will translate it from my native language, then mail it.

KarlBob wrote:

Grippli. Hmmmm... An amphibian, with thin skin that allows some oxygen exchange in fresh water.

Welcome to salt water!

Mr./Ms. Froggy takes 1d6 points of (lethal) dehydration damage per round submerged, as his/her internal osmotic pressure tries to equalize with the ocean.

Too scientific for Pathfinder? Probably. Fun for a sadistic GM? Definitely.

Well, tell the player beforehand ? If he chooses to dig his own grave, so be it.

2ndGenerationCleric wrote:
Oh wow. I just realized I think I was talking about something tougher than everyone else. I wasn't referring to simply swinging from one side to the other, I was talking about swinging to the far side of the ship. Like, to get behind the enemy. In case I hadn't made that clear.

Pendulum mechanics would really prevent that . As would the opponent's ship.

Since it is utterly outside reality, I would ask for a sizable perception DC (to pick a rope that actually allows it. For starters, the rope has to be anchored on the opposite ship, somewhere around the mast tops, roughly 40' up and an Acrobatics check for the swing say DC 15( +2 target threatening the swing) and the landing part. (or two acrobatics checks, - one for swinging, one for landing safely.
Failure would result in either a twisted flight path (possibly depositing the character in the shark-filled drink, ahem ocean) or having him/her crash into some hard obstacle (like a mast, the windlass or the facing side of the ship ) and landing, upright and with a drawn weapon, on her/his feet.

Shadowborn wrote:
Never let reality get in the way of a cool idea in a fantasy role-playing game. The rule of cool should always prevail. When judging whether an action would work or not, I always use cinema "reality" rather than the real world because, let's face it, the real world is a real buzzkill sometimes.

What one guy finds "cool", another one finds silly. Utterly silly.

And personally, I prefer my campaigns to anchor themselves in reality (for the mundane part at least) and preserve the "fantastic" for magic and the supernatural. The real world works very well if you use is correctly, creatively and with some imagination. YMMV

Perhaps check out some underdeck-pictures of age of sail-naval-craft ? There are ropes (tarred), clothing , sails, hammocks (yes, made from cloth) and far too many inflammable substances everywhere ( there is heated tar in the gaps between the floorboards). And this is the tropics, so everything will in fact be dry as cinders.

Factually, open flame was one of the most frightening things for people on an ago of sail ship. Usually, the pantry was covered with bricks or terracotta tiles on the floor and even the ceiling to prevent a fire. Open candles anywhere ? No way.

Perhaps take a look at a very nicely arranged lower deck :



That being said...... Have Peppery Longfarthing have "Pyrotechnics" among her spells, which will quickly vanquish most fires on a ship (in an emergency, hand her a scroll or wand). Then have the offending druid strapped for the mast and receive his first round of lashes, as well as having the Captain explain that "this sad heap of stupid" tried to burn down the ship ( and everyone on it), which should set up a nice social penalty for the druid.

TritonOne wrote:

I apologize for the tone of my message, deathbydice.

readily accepted^^

2ndGenerationCleric wrote:

Alright, fair enough. DC 10 makes sense when you add in stuff for being shot at and whatnot.

Boarding a ship, however, specifically states you ARE flat footed. Climbing over the side was stated to make you flat footed. Make the swing, be combat ready.

And agreed on that final point-3 times seems right.

Still : a silly ...ahem hollywoodes-que... concept and almost impossible to do regarding the reality of sailing ships

Gillman and Undine seem.... nifty when it comes to the AP, but actually.... yeah well, they usually are not. Or at least not around here. Water Breathing is nice to have, but a any humanoid swimmer cannot keep up with a sailing ship (which usually travel at 30'+ each as basic speed), so basically that ability is less useful. Also, climbing aboard a rocking and wet ship's side (usually no less than 6' straight up from the surface - more like 10'+ on galleons and merchants) proves a major problem for getting back aboard (simply watch the "Open Water" movies to understand the big problem ).

Besides they can be readily identified (nice gills/nice colour and fins) and around here are regarded both with some overt racism ("yeah blue boy, I am looking at you !") and in the beginning of our game (We have an Undine who is actually willing to play the "native fish boy" approach to things) who then got a lot of "special" assignments outside the boat from Scourge & Co.

Like : Checking the anchoring hawser (in an environment with plenty of sharks) or regularly being commanded overboard to check on the ships underwater plating.

Or being almost killed by the large moray at the wreck of the "Infernus"

Hence, the character has developed a healthy sense of paranoia for "big stuff" underwater, especially since he noticed that he cannot actually outswim much of it. There is plenty of really dangerous stuff sub-surface.

Strix are the only thing explicitly forbidden as are all of the furries : Catfolk, Kitsune, Grippli, Ratfolk, Merfolk and all the reptilian breeds. Houserule, yes. Seems like everyone agrees that they are silly as concept. Same goes for Blood of the Moon and Blood of the Night stuff as being higly probmelatic for in group gameplay.
No one cares for the Drow (who would simply be tossed overboard away from the coast by the PCs or NPCs and would really be a problem in the sunny Shackles). Everyone agrees that the way-eastern races (like Wayang or Samsarans)have little place in the Shackles and again, will most likely be treated as freaks (and readily sold as slaves by many unscrupulous brethren).

Other races which are plenty relevant in our campaign are Tieflings, who basically are the ultimate outcasts who have plentiful reason to strike back at civilization and Cheliax ). Sylphs and Undines have been located inside the campaign, as well as some aquatic elves. Hobgoblins and Goblins are universally viewed as opposition

Current group : Half-elf, Dwarf, Half-Orc, Elf, Undine.

Interesting :

In our own campaign (all mature players) there was a strong tendency for Scourge and Plugg to use sexual molestation both to get their way and to frighten the players. The targeted character reacted harshly to that... Harrigan and his "Cabin girl" were featured with a strong implication of being "indecent" (nothing was ever proven - mostly because Caulky was actually not a human girl in that campaign).
But there was very little regarding sexual initiative on part of the players, who were surprisingly conservative in their attitude (for pirates). Over the campaign, the mature (sexual) content faded more and more. Anything graphic was only implicated.

In my own current campaign, the characters used both sexual attraction to procure alliances from some NPCs (yes, basically at least one character wh***ed around to gain loyal devotees in preparation of the mutiny), and besides this, they got faced with Scourge mixing Conchabar's "philtre of love" into their daily rum, which made for very interesting implications, which are still affecting the party and their alliances.
There is also at least one officer who tries to "gain" a female contact in each and every port and is becoming quite notorious for it. So mature content is still pretty dominant at the moment. It's all in a good mood, mostly implications.

In a friend's campaign : their GM basically played Sandara in "ultra-slutty" mode, and practically had her throw herself at the PCs. Which led to strong group-internal complications, since two of the characters were originally intended as a couple. They had some fun scenes of "spiteful lovers" after that, and of course there was a strong motivation to actually rescue Sandara. Campaign ended prematurely on Bonewrack.

Overall : the "loveboat angle" of the first AP seems to be pretty common, at least in the circles I move in... Which again is fun.

TritonOne wrote:
deathbydice wrote:

As someone said - anything and nothing might be true about Rasputin. Play him any which way you want, but funnily enough, I find the portrayal of Rasputin (by Karel Roden) in "Hellboy" quite fitting, given the AP's scenario.

Supreme arrogance, utter confidence in himself, ensured of his fascination on the fair sex/everyone else, cold and calculating in his reponses.
Karl Roden's appearance in Hellboy matched the comic books on which the film is based rather than the historical Grigori Rasputi. Rasputin was just another fictional character to me while watching the film rather than a recreation of a historical figure.

Of course that Hellboy-version is fictitious - but I like the tone, gestures and arrogance conveyed. If I would ever GM Reign of Winter ( I presumably won't), I will look to that malevolent arrogance sans humour and moderate to low tonal inflection as something to go by.

On the other hand, I find your certainty about the way the factual (historic Rasputin) acted and spoke quite surprising^^
Mike Mignola's/de Torro's depicition of him seems just as valid as your take or that of any television documentary.
And I highly distrust "play acted" documentaries which inevitably represent the "zeitgeist" at that time

well, it's a windless and very narrow bay... who is going to SAIL his ship into that ? After all : no wind = no propulsion = out of luck

A launch (under oars ) is actually more feasible - and obviously was not considered the logical choice in the design. Hence it likely becomes a deathtrap.

De Mazra, Boatsman's mante
Half-elf Bard (achaeologist)/rogue 3/2, from Taldor
Death: Snatched from the quarterdeck by a random encounter merrow, drowned, munched, digested
Last words: "A troll ?"

Merrow was using his claws to slowly climb up onto the ship, DeMazra looked over the sides to find out what the splashing and hammering noises meant. And she did.
Attacked on surprise, beaten to the initiative on the following round, 3 sweeps from the claws beat her unconscious and grabbed by the troll descending to the depths with his "fresh food"

You realize that rope swinging from the masttops is likely to end you wrapped around one of your own ship's shrouds or sheets ? Nevermind cutting a rope attached to the side to swing over - which usually supports something , which is why it was tied down ?

Hollywood, Tarzan and Jack Sparrow, I blame you for these heroic shenanigans...

As someone said - anything and nothing might be true about Rasputin. Play him any which way you want, but funnily enough, I find the portrayal of Rasputin (by Karel Roden) in "Hellboy" quite fitting, given the AP's scenario.
Supreme arrogance, utter confidence in himself, ensured of his fascination on the fair sex/everyone else, cold and calculating in his reponses.

Finding thunderman's extrapolation slightly "off", especially given the difference in shot-weight in comparison to penetration power I might want to offer some of our way of sailing around with cannons.

Using 6 pounders (3D6), 9 pounders (4D6+4), 12 pounders (6D6+6) and 24 (8D6+12) pounders in our campaign, all of them long guns (the carronade seems not to have been invented yet in our Golarion).

basic ranges are between 300' (light guns) and 500'-600' for the larger calibres. Basically, for increased range one needs both a longer barrel and enough propellant to hurl the shot the distance, which in history commonly lead to barrel bursts, if the barrels were extended too much. Like a "long" 24 pounder or even stronger gun.

We left out elevation for range extension - or rather, it has not come up yet since noone has dared attack a coastal fort.

The ( traditionally )farthest reaching guns are long-sixes, long-nines, and very rarely long-twelves (who were awfully troublesome both for their weight (usually being mounted on the forecastle, massively affecting the trim) and having to be secured extremely well, since the forecastle is usually at the end of a ship's pitching ===> hence a gun should be secured really well before it crashes down the maindeck lengthwise and possibly out the sterncastle's windows). Much easier to do with a lighter calibre.


Long Nine (from Wikipedia)

One unique naval gun was the long nine. It was a proportionately longer-barrelled 9-pounder. Its typical mounting as a bow or stern chaser, where it was not perpendicular to the keel, allowed room to operate this longer weapon. In a chase situation, the gun's greater range came into play. However, the desire to reduce weight in the ends of the ship and the relative fragility of the bow and stern portions of the hull limited this role to a 9-pounder, rather than one which used a 12 or 24 pound shot.

compare Age of Sail Artillery, Wiki

As for penetrative power - the fact is is that the heavier shot is propelled with more force from the expanding gas (hence has higher momentum projected on basically the same point of impact), yielding high pressures and making penetration or ripping right through a target far more likely (actually roundshot cannonballs could crash right through dozens of people - and did in pitched battles ). Again, momentum should should be considered here.

But my players flinched on a proposed houserule that allowed anyone in line with the initial target to be struck as well, if the first target was killed outright - basically raking the stern with a large gun (12+pounds) would probably allow the roundshot to crash through most of the ship. Yes, that would actually be realistic, aka "raking the stern"

All guns use point blank rules against characters with their first range increment with solid shot (cannonballs) aka, negating armour (yeah big surprise) and have Crit x4 as by Pathfinder.

As a houserule we assume that a cannonball that has penetrated an objects hardness (x4) or destroyed it through outright damage has pierced the object. 6 pounders usually stand no chance, 9 pounders are usually outclassed, 12 pounders have a roughly even chance to pierce and 24 pounders are real ship wreckers.

Which makes battering a ship into cinders possible, but one needs big guns for that. It also makes armouring the hull etc. worthwhile.

On the other hand they are siege engines with corresponding requirements. There is also grapeshot - with a much reduced range, resulting in a line-of-effect of damage (AoE effect with a Reflex DC for half damage), consisting of hurled musket balls (or pebbles at times), in common use for clearing decks or countering troops of boarders.

As for gunpowder : Alchemically it is pretty easy to assemble - and was developed in at least two scientifc speheres mostly independent of eachthe other and can be prepared with some care (requiring a lab - especially one without open flame), but the chinch is the supply of potassium-nitrate and safe grinding for a fine powder, which makes full-scale production difficult (I would assume that Alkenstar has either some decent supplies of Potassium-Nitrate or has the alchemical know-how to synthesize it from other elements.

Most certainly, most pirates do not have the know how. A cruel GM might also want to take a careful look on magazines and storage of gunpowder of renaissance naval vessels.

One might also consider the problems of trimming the vessel with large cannons aboard, and how the enormous recoil and masses are being dealt with (one might take a good look at the sinking of the Vasa on what happens if that 3 ton piece is torn loose (it weighs more than most SUVs).
And besides - a large cannon of 6000pounds is basically 3 tons less cargo that can be hauled around. Two (one on each side) is 6 tons less cargo etc etc.

Shaun wrote:
There is a special condition specific to this AP in "Wormwood Mutiny" that basically states when a character boards an enemy ship during shipboard combat, he's flat-footed for the first round afterwards due to climbing the gunwhals or somesuch.

Which basically is utter nonsense - or does anyone believe one is flat-footed by vaulting over a fence (or climbing it ?). After each and every jump or leap ?

Later on characters will fly or teleport/dimension door aboard their targets - are they going to be flat-footed as well ?

The whole "condition" is basically a device employed by Monsieur Pett in that particular combat. I don't see much legitimacy on his part to decide upon a boarding rule...
consider this - does a Merrow who climbs over the side in a random encounter become flat-footed ? Or the Sahuagin in Fever Sea ? How about the Elementals in part#3 ?

We never actually used it, simply because it is utterly silly if applied universally.

As for "fortification" - the gunwhale provides cover and/or concealment for the defenders who - looking at history - used to gather in its cover and strike anyone oncoming from this "safer" place. And if the defenders gather behind the gunwhale - there will be very little space for any boarders to attack from.

Trying to remember my last three character deaths....

- being chased all over a place with limited exits : aka a ship - by an errant demon who was both faster than my char and able to teleport, if he needed to.

- running from a monster we had no chance fighting (mosquito swarm at 3rd level ), and which was both faster than us, not bothered by terrain (fly 50' perfect) and could simply wait for us to bleed out while chasing us. Actually died because I tried to jump into the sea from a cliff, and got killed for not jumping far enough and crashing into the shore.

- trying to outfly an unfriendly dragon....

Running is not a universal failsafe =)

Crimson with an (Half-)Orcish Skull (captain is a proud half-orc).

TritonOne wrote:

Did GMs start out with a prologue when starting The Wormwood Mutiny to describe the political relationship between the Shackles, Sargava, and Cheliax? The two previous defeats of the Chelish Navy by the Free Captains of the Shackles? The current Hurricane King Kerdak Bonefist? Or did you trickle this information out by using Ambrose "Fishguts" Kroop and Sandara Quinn during The Wormwood Mutiny?

Or did you presume that if players were interested they would have read the Inner Sea Primer, Pirates of the Inner Sea, Sargava, the Lost Colony, and Skull & Shackles Player's Guide?

I put that into a briefing I handed out to the players prior to character generation and also included some experiences from my own run as a player as "piratical advice". Such as hints concerning relevant spells, important skills and likely difficulties (no heavy plate in the rigging, please, one handed weapons being best choices with regard to seamanship). Left out the precise details of the Shackles and their "rulers" but simply named it a "ramshackle republic of free ships"

Still, one guy picked a Chelian and was pretty surprised when he quickly became the universal scapegoat and an undeserved reputation as a cheat and liar. Which shows that not every player understands a not so subtle warning.

Hmm. we simply had an actual "training session" with everyone participating to assess the characters' fighting abilities. base attack and Int or wisdom to see who was how competent.

Party tank actually challenged Harrigan for a friendly match (after having wlaked through everyone of the "lower level" crew....

... couldn't hit Harrigan for three rounds Harrigan only tapping him for single points of damage, finally got feinted and struck for massive non-lethal damage that almost killed him.(Non lethal sneak feint for about 36 points - char had 18 (of 22) HP at that time)

After that, everyone was pretty certain that Harrigan was "competent" and not to be trifled with. conclusions were drawn about the likely power of Longfarthing and noone considered mutiny as long as those two were around.

I do see a problem if the chracters actually try to put up a show against any "monstrous" assailants... and fail

Just trying to point out that sees like a redundant/unmerged thread, if one regards

S&S Obituary
Perhaps merge the threads or unite them into the the UST (United System of Threads^^) ?

After having been molested (ahem : naval personel trying to storm their Xebec ) by the Rahadoumi Convoy Escort "Finder's Keepers"(yeah a rough translation^^), they took over said schooner.

They are currently considering to rechristen her, but also intend to keep the ship mostly in its original colours and shape (possibly including the name ) to wreck havoc on Rahadoumi slave trade..

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Basically it is : Join the gang or fight the gang. The Shackles being their turf and looking at the power level of Harrigan, one might assume the other pirate lords having a similar staff of competent retainers.

Which makes the whole thing a very onesided affair

Mrs Camelot wrote:

I'm planning on having a one-on-one talk with the player, saying that Norgorber is giving him permission to claim and wield the sword, in exchange for information and a future service.

I have no idea what to ask for though. I'm going to give it some thought, but I wondered if anyone has a suggestion for Norgorber's Price.

Please note: It's beginning to look a lot like the rogue in question will end up being the personal bodyguard and right-hand man of the future Hurricane King.

Well, Norgorber being pretty evil and underhand, some ideas (which should make the player blanch a bit ) :

- kill an important subordinate (especially one who trusts the PC crew), or one who has put up pretty good faith with them. Say, Rosie, Kroop, possibly Sandara or whoever rings abell n your campaign. Norgorber asks for ruthlessness and readiness to betray (especially at his whim ). Even better ask the player to do it underhand and keep it a secret from his allies.

- promise to slay two other pirate lords, through assassination, their names to be revealed by the God. Then have Norgorber ask for them to slay an important ally in AP#5, throwing their coalition into disarrays: perhaps not the master of the Gales... or alteratively, slay the High Priest of Besmara or somesuch to weaken her faith ?

- Establish the defenses, natural hazards and layout of all important pirate ports in the area (down to manstrength etc.) and betray them to the temple of Norgorber to help them infiltrate the Shackles.

- Spy vs Spy : have the Assasin go one-on-one with a high-ranking assassin of the Red Mantis, to test his mettle and competitiveness. then sacrifice the head of slain opponent. And of course escape with his life and no blemish on it....

Nasty enough ? Because, after all, the assassin in question would be asking for a relic in return, so no sense in making it easy

Mrs Camelot wrote:

@Movin, hmmm, I was thinking of having him be given permission to take the sword if he will allow Luccaria (Norgorber chick from Harrigan's place) a chance to escape. If she dies does Norgorber get the secrets and information she had?

Wouldn't they normally be inclined to do so, in order to gain a valueable (if nefarious) ally ? No idea how "thankful" individuals in the service of Norgorber are in your campaign

hmm, we simply limited the availabilty of "create water" to once per hour. Except for dedicated casters with Gozreh as their patrons or access to the water domain. for those, it comes natural.

But actually lurking the players upriver by using their greed (lust for treasure )works well, too

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some "unnatural" stuff from our campaign

Flatbottom Fish :
Any archipelagoe with a sandy lagoon. Crew had heard of "stinger" island, and also heard of some ships stranded - presumably with cargo. Island was reportedly a "ship sinker", and wrecks could be observed from outside the encircling reef.
Sandy bottom of the bay contained dozens of Stingrays though (up to "huge" size) which made swimming or paddling through the shallow waterway very dangerous indeed, with huge stingers rammed straight through the dinghy's bottom when they disturbed the ever-shifting rays who objected at the disturbance.

Ship of Worms :
Taking some inspiration from Age of Worms, this ship was both pretty rotten, sitting in the lee of an unnamed island. Decks had plenty of opportunity of dropping people to the hold below... which was filled with rot grubs and the remains of several previous pirates and the load of metal the ship had carried. Basically a one trick pony, though, but having the PCs drop through the deck into a hold filled with squirming maggots... priceless.

"Nominal Island"....
remainders of a smaller volcanoe since sunk beneath the waves, close to Drakhar Island. Posing a significant risk since only the reef remained, offering a good chance to rip out the keel and planking, depending upon time and tide. Sunken temple spotted in the deths, as yet unexplored (once a shrine to Drakhar, now populated by Deep Ones ?)
Position got noted down with the express idea of drawing any overwhelming force towards the reef and use it as a shipsinker.

Dinosaur cliffs :
Cavalier (Half Orc) in Group wanted a Pteranodon as a mount, mut got wary at some reports about Raptor Island. Player looked for any pinnacles or cliffs nearby where Ptenarodons might lair. Having dive-boming Petaronods shredding through their rigging and plunging onto deck to pick up crew... another priceless moment. very popular mount came off this though, as "Spotty" the mount has become one of the keenest eyes on the crew and is considered the RGDS (Rapid Gnome-Deployment System )

I have planned to have part of map needed for the treasure to be found within a labyrinthine set of multiple maps painted over each other, painted on the walls of the tower (in her Ladyships chambers). The Lady knows which part is the real one, but also has some alternates to "show" if mistreated/blackmailed.

I have also planned to her only being eligible to a man of standing : real nobility, or presenting some really well done forgeries and bluffing their way into her charms and good grace. After all, she is the renowned "Lady of the Rock", not some wench to be enticed to the haystack in the barn !

So the team either needs some continuous perform (acting) or some very good bluffs from the suitable bachelor. Plus possbilby some guts because most characters are urrently in (more or less loose) relationships with crewmembers^^

Or some nefarious blackmail.

I am not sure what the crew will actually do, but first off, I need to introduce them to Isabella....

In my campaign, I only have the players "recruit" from the crew aboard (was acommon wish, to keep a common bond and plotline) . They can pick and play along with one of the estblished specialists on-sip (and have to abide with the personality in plain view, so far), and may exchange said character, if they still want to, at the next port picking up a new PC. Makes them very careful not risking many "replacements", and also makes them hiring the weirdest characters around.

Have them recruit from the crew (do the players really know the individual levels and abilities of everyone ?). New player might have to deal with an established persona, or "experience a sudden change of temper"... Maybe the character affected a disguise until now, trying to hide his allegiance and background from Harrigan

If you want to recruit "on the island", maybe have a shipwrecked survivor from the recent storm wash up near the northern cape, his boat wrecked on the surrounding reefs and then have him/her light the emergency pyre thereabouts, thinking that the pirates/group may rescue him .
This should introduce the PC earlier into the campaign...or even simpler, after the group has grounded their ship hve them spot soe detritus from another wreck (smashed offshore), to which the new member still clings/is enwrapped in and uncocnsious after his harsh ordeal

Or well... in a friend's run of the AP, they had a "new" PC drop in from the sky (victim of a spontaneous - GM fiat - Plane Shift effect ), with the player ( a Witch on the run) using Feather Fall to break the descent. Hence getting marooned on the island, requiring a good standing with the party to travel to a more civilised place ?

Just make sure, introductions are not too absurd, everything else... characters lost in teleport or dislocated by an angry Djinni/Genie, go for it, just make it memorable and give the PCs a reason to dare trusting the "new guy"

Gnomezrule wrote:

Yeah its night 1 they intend to take over at the sound of the bell. I am debating letting them do it or never giving them the shot because the storm hits early.

Well, actually the storm is not a good stopgap.

My gang mutineed during the storm (and in fact I know of only one or two groups who did not mutiny prior to Bonewrack) , taking full advantage of limited sight (strong rainfall), a slippery deck, and hitting people with heavy objects Like a barrel they cut the ropes to a gnome (patch) overboard with a bullrushing barrel, which knocked her into the scupperwash and outside the ship.

Nevermind that the proceedings on Bonewrack are harsh enough as they are, and become even more slanted against the characters if you both enforce the time-limit and have them assault the ship with limited means after rescuing their friends.

Gnomezrule wrote:

Yeah its night 1 they intend to take over at the sound of the bell. I am debating letting them do it or never giving them the shot because the storm hits early.

Well, actually the storm is not a good stopgap.

My gang mutineed during the storm (and in fact I know of only one or two groups who did not mutiny prior to Bonewrack) , taking full advantage of limited sight (strong rainfall), a slippery deck, and hitting people with heavy objects Like a barrel they cut the ropes to a gnome (patch) overboard with a bullrushing barrel, which knocked her into the scupperwash and outside the ship.

Nevermind that theproceedings on Bonewrack are harsh enough as they are, and become even more slaned against the characters if you both enforce the time-limit and have them assault the ship with limited means after rescuing their friends.

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