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Let me just say that this is a great thread for adding more politics into Kingmaker. Reading and playing through the AP when it first came out I was a little disappointed with how it skirted around politics. It makes sense considering it came out years before they developed systems like in Ultimate Intrigue and I am tempted to go back in and flavor that in.

I basically utilized bits and bobs from all the posts above to create my series of venture capital listings and I presented them all to my players. Except for some major players (Surtova and the Swordlords namely) most groups offered only 5-10 BP with some having an optional +5BP for an extremely specific request like putting a member of their organization into a specific council position. I can post that all up later if you want but it really is just a rehash of stuff from above.

The big change I made was making the whole negotiation process a skill challenge. I didn't want the one player with the best diplomacy rolling over and over again so I lifted the idea of skill challenges combined with Matt Coville's caveats: You must be trained in the skill and a player can only use a given skill once.

I explained it to my players as that you are at a party with nobles and important VIPs and you are not the only group going around trying to raise capital. Each player can really only engage a single person for a contract (this helped keep the players from spend hours gaming the system for hundreds of extra BP) and each party had a list of 3-5 demands. If you wanted to alter the demands or remove one then it required a skill check (DCs ranged from 15-25 depending on the importance of that request) BUT you can only use a given skill once. You can only flatter someone so much, in my opinion, before you have to change up strategies. This gave me a chance to really push certain knowledges to the forefront so things like Knowledge: Nobility was really important to use with the Noble Houses while things like Knowledge: Geography is great when dealing with the merchant leagues who want to know what kind of resources they can expect from your area. Knowledge: Engineering to impress the miners or Survival to impress outdoorsmen etc.

The only things I added that haven't been mentioned above is as follows:

Aspis Consortium - 5 BP
They want a "Market" (translation Black Market) built within 5 years.

Numeria - 10 BP
They want an Embassy Edict, Chaotic Alignment, Slavery tolerance, +5 BP if you appoint a member of the Technic League as your magister and access to ruins and archeological digs for research and relic study.

Ustalav - 5 BP
I used Esme Currindon from the NPC Guide but she is in disguise as Esme Muralt claims she is a representative of Ustalav but really she is trying to raise a mercenary army to reclaim her county. She offers the funds upfront exchange for a pledge to help her against "peasant traitors" later on. This will end up being a huge expense for the players, at least 2-3 medium armies (might just set a DV requirement) for the span of at least 6 months (a total consumption cost of 48 BP...quite the return on investment!).


Also if there is 11 classes and 11 companions one would think it's a 1:1

What are we missing then? We need a Monk, Inquisitor (presumably that blonde elfy looking person), Bard (maybe the halfling?), Sorcerer, Cleric (maybe the Taldan fighter-y looking guy?)


Stratagemini you're a machine! Keep up the good work!


Which update did they talk about the silly cheat code?


Also remember that My.com did funding for the base game so that might be another 1-2 million under the hood for that.

Also remember that Pillars had to do EVERYTHING from scratch so that is a LOT more money and effort being spent on design, mechanics, encounter balancing etc. Owlcat games gets to cut like 75% of their storyboarding and planning time because they already have a super strong and fleshed out skeleton of an AP to hang stuff on. They don't need to go through 18 different "world maps" because they already know what things should look like from day 1.

The question of "do we move X her to Y there" is a lot easier then "here is a blank map. Where should everything go."

Finally look at what Pillars looked like before and after stretch goals.

The ENTIRE Dungeon of the Endless and player stronghold was a stretch goal. Creating custom companions was a stretch goal. They added 4 more classes as a stretch goal and such.

When it comes to the base game they should be very similar because again, pillars only ended up with 6 races and 11 classes AFTER millions in stretch goals.

Anyway in terms of scope and size I would expect the two games to be fairly similar. Pillars had a LOT more funding however a lot of that was around hiring out staff and developing crunch and art around stuff that is already designed and crunched out for Kingmaker...


I am SHOCKED and OUTRAGED that Jan Jansen and Tiax weren't mentioned. Tiax especially will be displeased that a mere mortal could forget HIS MAGNIFICENCE!!!


The only update we had on paypal side was ~7k but that is now something like 20 hours out of date.

Unfortunately in the past the paypal component usually doesn't push the needle too much because there are often quite a few pledges that flake out and KS has to take their 5% and then there is like 3% processing fees so Owlcat is losing almost $75,000 right off the top. It really is up to them if they count stretch goals on Net or Gross now. At least if you pump it before the KS most devs just go to it even if you fall back because of fees and such.

Anyway, we are still not hitting the facebook like social goal so make sure to hit them up and like their posts! Keep an eye out for a new one or two about the KS campaign even if you have hit every post (or at least think you did. Most people haven't liked most posts...)


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Just crossed 900k. Nok-Nok is officially a Go-Go!!!!

Just a reminder we should be at 11 social goals and we need 1,882 facebook likes to cross that last line for the faerie dragon.

Owlcat Games has 49 posts so make sure to like every single one of them :D


FYI a social goals update:
10,741 facebook likes (next goal is 13,500. There are 48 posts to like)
1,285 facebook shares (next goal is 1,300. There are 48 posts to share)
87,845 youtube views (next goal WAS 80,000. UNLOCKED)
1,798 twitter retweets (next goal WAS 1,000. UNLOCKED. Given the pattern we might have unlocked 1-3 more ranks of this).


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Strategemini's post last thread is still the most up-to-date of what we know. You can try asking on facebook or kickstarter comments but I think their community manager went to bed...


what gave you riposte in 3.0?


Right now we are trending towards $878k ($885 w/ known paypal amounts)


Dual wield..greatswords? THAT SOUNDS AWESOME!!! Actually I kind of miss the old Monkey Grip feat that let you do that. It made you completely ineffectual but it was still cool! An old gaming buddy did a dual-wielding great ax build that sucked 90% of the time but when he hit, especially when he critted would do MASSIVE amounts of damage...


I get where you're coming at but it was kind of refreshing to see that and I hope the devs consider that for clarity of abilities. Like when he had Amiri use Cleave against a single enemy.

Then again he was also just trying to demo the product not power game through so it was nice to see the different animations and abilities even if they weren't used optimally.

On Kickstarter news at this rate we're going to end around the 880's so keep up the good work and push for Nok-Nok. If a Pathfinder game doesn't release a goblin companion with hilarious dialogue ala Jan Janson/Deekin/Tiax....bah that is a world I don't wish to even fathom!


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Lol I almost posted a counterarguement but then I saw the name and realized who I would be arguing with :P

That's the internet for you and thanks for the clarification!


Holy crap we might make it to 900k! If you recall I put forward numbers awhile ago about what kind of numbers we'd need to hit to have a shot about X and Y. For 800k archetypes we have blown right past those numbers. For 900k we are quickly closing in.

Basically we need to average 22,222 per day to reach 800 and 25,000 for 900k.

Each day we've been almost doubling funds (10k -> 11k -> 16k -> 34k -> 63k) so if we can keep that momentum going and grab 120k that's Nok-Nok's goal!


I would never say it's impossible, just very difficult. I believe that a strong stretch goal will push funding harder then a weak one (or none at all) and you would either need A LOT of variables for training a predictive model. I think you could but a 'weight' on how much the community desires a stretch goal by analyzing jumps in funding based on both proximity to the goal as well as jumps when the goal is announced in dollars. That would allow you to put a weight around stretch goals and use that as a predictor for how much push there will be to attain the current one and the next one.

What I will say is that Kicktraq's projections maybe aren't terrible but are simplistic and I would guess the margin of error is north of 10% which makes it just as good as an educated guess instead of real predictive. I like Kicktraq because it does the daily breakdowns and does simple math but I would never use it as an accurate gauge for how a kickstarter is doing unless they do some serious revamping of their predictive model.


Or to put it another way:

If everyone at the $40 or lower tiers doubled their pledge that would bring in another $275,000 and push the campaign close to the million dollar mark.

There is quite a bit of money that can be squeezed from the lower levels as the $28 and $40 levels have a lot of backers in comparison to the higher tiers and are of low enough level that doubling a pledge or at least bumping up a category isn't insurmountable for many.

Digital to Premium addition is only $12 but that bump would bring in an extra $56,000.

Premium to Lore Keeper is another $35 and that bump would bring in something like $110,000.

Archetypes are definitely in play if a couple thousand people in the lower tiers decide that they want it. A couple thousand bumps would bring in 50-100k plus the 10k+ that they will make in the last three days would do it too...


Kicktraq uses very basic modeling for it's projections. It's base projection is just "take the average $$$ per day and multiply by remaining days".

Their experimental trends just take a min and max look at that but there is no real analysis of the "end of the campaign bump" that happens and part that is because some stretch goals can really draw in the $$$s while some projects just quietly fade because there isn't a big last minute push.

That being said, in the 5 days leading up to the end of Torment: Tides of Numenera it went (of the final average per day) 37%, 73%, 110%, 175%, 294%.

If you take that and us $22,222 as the average per day we need to hit then here is the dollars that we should see on a per day basis:
Day 32: $8,353
Day 33: $16,238
Day 34: $24,540
Day 35: $38,972
Day 36: $65,430

That will take us just north of 800,000. Entirely possible and matches in line with other end of the campaign trends.

Other projects:
Pillars of Eternity's last 5 days compared to average pledges:
118%, 87%, 136%, 204%, 510%

Wasteland 2's last 5 days
69%, 83%, 149%, 228%, 139%

Shadowrun Return's last 5 days
72%, 131%, 116%, 187%, 38%

I would say the last 3 days will be the most telling judging from those three games. Also note that all three of those are MUCH larger then Pathfinder. The above had average pledges ranging from 70-140k while Pathfinder Kingmaker is averaging ~20k. Also I believe one thing that is hurting Owlcats is the (failed) Pathfinder Online that tapped the community for north of a million bucks only 5 years ago. The fact that it still hasn't delivered and has been in the news recently about laying off their whole staff is not going to sit well in some fan's mouths.


Rysky wrote:
Yeah, with the constant mentions of Irrisen it's a pretty safe bet that Witches will be in at some point.

Yes and no. Witches can easily just be a term applied on top of a wizard or sorcerer. Don't get me wrong, hexes are neat however it just feels redundant to me. If I were trying to implement for most gain and least work I would just add hexes as something you could pick up as a wizard. Take a few iconic ones like evil eye and add them in as part of the progression path.

As for swashbucklers, they break action economy for a turn-based game but for a RTwP their mechanics work out great because they can automatically attack and riposte without user input beyond setting them to that action in the first place. A RT game actually smooths out a lot of the breakdowns with a swashbuckler. Click a button to activate "parrying and riposte" and it will just eat up your pool automatically as you counter. Put in logic that ends it at 1 panache so you don't dry yourself out and


RE: Stretch goals. I think the Oracle is a very very strong contender for the next class stretch goal because it allows for the divine version of a spontaneous caster and the "curses" are thematically cool and mechanically simple to create. I think a witch is off the table just because there isn't that much that makes a witch different then a wizard. Slightly different spell list and slightly different spec bonuses.

I think the summoner is going to be a pass for two reasons: spamming monster spawns is something that has been nerfed through PoE (it's easy to plug a doorway with spawns and go through a dungeon on easy mode) and the eidolon would be a lot of effort not just on the content side but also on the art asset side. Would be cool but think about the effort of coding up a bunch of different "base' monsters and then modifying them with legs and arms and tails and tentacles etc. If summoner was added in you would get railroaded on the eidolon side which makes this class very similar to just a conjuration focused sorcerer or wizard.

I think Swashbuckler has a strong chance. Again a lot of theme but underlying it is a lot of the same "resource pool" mechanics that would already be added from the magus.

I think Gunslinger has a strong chance but perhaps just as a Bolt Ace to avoid excessive content creation OR it could be treated similar to a bladebound in that the firearm is selected at character creation and that is the only firearm in the game. The player can dump gold/resources into it to upgrade it to keep it along the equipment curve but you won't be looting random guns from people. Again the Gunslinger/Magus/Swashbuckler/Arcanist/Investigator are all built mechanically off of a "internal pool that can be used to power different effects" mechanic and don't require huge amounts of additional art assets. Once you added one, the others are really just tweaks of that core code.

Brawler should be out. I know I know I love them too but you already have Fighters and Monks and unarmed combat just isn't a big crowd pleaser.

Investigators and Hunters are probably out. Investigators just don't have core crunch that really fits with a cRPG and Hunters represent lots of game assets similar to the Summoner. Shamans are the equivalent to witches so those are out...

Warpriests should be a solid addition, same with Bloodragers and Skalds.

tl;dr: In my opinion

Very likely: Oracle, Swashbuckler, Arcanist
Likely: Gunslinger (with tweaks), Warpriest, Bloodrager, Slayer, Skald
Not Likely: Brawler, Investigator, Witch, Shaman
Very not likely: Summoner, Hunter, Cavalier, Vigilante, Occult classes, Gunslinger (without tweaks)


Just wondering if anyone has put 2 and 2 together to adjust rum rations for the new Unchained poison and disease rules.

Here are my thoughts:

1) Rum Rations are treated as a WIS poison with the following stats:

Fortitude Save: DC 15 (so inflicts 0 damage per failed save)
Duration: 3 hours, frequency is 1/hour
Cure: 2 saves

Frequency Notes: This was a toughie because you want it to be long enough to be actually matter but not to get insane. Basically a really sucky period of 3 saves would drop a person just down to impaired so a single drink will not risk death (except for HP damage.

Track:
Healthy—Weakened—Impaired—Confused—Comatose—Dead

The rationale behind making it a WIS poison is that
A) The effects better represent alcohol. Not necessarily Pliable with a CHA poison but the WIS penalties will make them more susceptible to influence by magic or charm
B) The lingering WIS penalty will impair their profession checks.

Now there could be arguements made that it could be any other track (and I'd love to hear them.) I'm also tempted to create a custom track that dips into other tracks as well.

Something like:
Sluggish (Dex penalty) - Impaired (Wis Damage) - Confused (WIS) - Comatose - Death

Confused would represent the "black out" phase and GMs could custom tailor it a bit so they don't have roll every single round, instead maybe treat them as an NPC who's attitude is randomly rolled each frequency period?

Anyway as for the drug addiction:

Frequency: 1/day
Track: Physical Disease
Healthy—Latent—Weakened (End state)

Effect @ Latent: -2 to Fort saves to resist effects of alcohol
Cure: 2 Consecutive saves

So addiction could end up impairing you pretty bad with status conditions but again, won't kill you. In addition the Latent phase (as addiction isn't contagious) would make it harder to resist the actual impact of the alcohol, thus increasing physical damage done and the lingering effects of the poison.

NOW this system can still kill you with alcohol, especially if you either have
A) low HP
B) fail a bunch of poison saves in a row.

Assuming the HP doesn't get you failing your 3 saves three nights in a row could drop you down to death but then again if you're already at Stage 3 of the poison you should really think about skipping it. A night's sleep will bring you up a state anyway and Sandara can help again with healing HP or other lesser restore.

Anyway, I would love to hear thoughts on incorporating drugs into the new Unchained rules.


The opening blurb says "a generation ago" so I would say less then 130 years...


For my S&S AP, I am looking at this as an alternative to part 2 and letting the players decide.

An event I inserted into the 1st part is that the crew finds Hyrix adrift on a raft. He attempted his mutiny and was deserted as punishment. He crafted a raft but is adrift at sea when the Wormwood finds him and press gangs him onto the crew.

He arrives very late in the adventure so (hopefully) the PCs don't have time to influence but no matter what he will stay out of the final mutiny fight of Part 1 (he's too powerful, although he might be useful as a deus ex machina where he tosses a ray of enfeeblement to aid the PC one round or something like that).

From there he would offer up a fabulous treasure and I haven't decided how I'm going to run it but there are a couple of options:
1) Play the gathering of the treasures straight. Add the third piece of the key to the temple and just remove Lanteri & the Magpie Princess entirely from the adventure. Eliminate the maroonment and the hippocampi ride and when the PCs get the final key they just proceed straight to the final dungeon. Hyrix or clues in the Gozreh temple could point towards the music needed to enter. Remove the Magpie Princess NPCs (replace with equivalent encounters of say a team of treasure hunters). Finall fight would swap Lanteri into "first mate" for Redclaw.

2) Hyrix is a super jerk. Same as above except Hyrix has the hidden 3rd piece. When the players go to gather the "third piece" Hyrix takes over the Man's Promise and the rest of the adventure proceeds normally. This is especially nice if the players did not have a lot of allies when they mutinied. Otherwise bump Hyrix up to Lanteri's level and it can be justified that with his magic and skills he was too powerful for the PC's allies to resist.

3) Add in the Magpie Princess as a rival. Proceeds like #1 except having passing encounters with the Princess while gathering the first and second piece. Perhaps a ship engagement or have to contend with rival crew, but make sure the PC's aren't in a position to sink the enemy ship (or maybe they do). When gathering the third piece, the PC's ship is captured by Lanteri. Again depending on preference perhaps she steals both ships or maybe she just steals the key. If the PCs take the pieces of the key with them then GM can have a tense exchange "your crew for the keys" etc. In any event, if the Magpie Princess is still in the game, then the adventure proceeds as written. If it's been defeated then it proceeds like #1 or #2.

As to how to get the keys off the PCs, the easiest explanation is that Hyrix claims he needs to study them in order to assemble them. This could be true or could be a lie (but if you want him to lie you'll need to rebuild him so he can actually bluff...)


Borrow away!

Oh almost forgot. They call him Artful Roger because he has ranks in Craft: Painting. I flavor him as doing coal drawings in his free time (and drawing offensive images of the PCs is a fun way to prod them. Having a semi-skilled artist capturing all their failures would surely piss off my players :P)


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First off, if you're on Kendra Black's crew, don't be peeking at this thread! Spoilers off the forward bow!

So most of the crew only has 1 or 2 sentences about them and the whole first module relies heavily on charisma to "make friends" however I find that just rolling dice and doing a bit of RP is a bit boring and I'd much rather have clearer ideas about the personalities and motivations behind each crew member, and personalized ways that the PCs can influence and accrue bonuses without relying on just charisma checks.

Below are my notes for expanding the backgrounds of the crew, adding vignettes and scenarios to help engage the players and hopefully provide deeper characters for the players to interact with.

Rosie Cusswell - Rosie is pretty well detailed in the book and getting her fiddle back makers her an instant friend. Some vignettes to use is the fact that this tiny halfling is one of the strongest members of the ship so some humerous scenes where Fipps and Aretta are trying to bully her around and she sucker punches them both or (somehow) slams Fipps can be interesting. She'll be a natural rival for Fipps who before her arrival was the strongest member of the crew (besides Owlbear, completely optional if you want to actually adjust his stats or not but I put Fipps at STR 16 using a standard nonheroic NPC spread).

Conchobar Shortstone - Shortstone plays an interesting role in the game as the difference between annoying versus evil. He is annoying and should be played as such. He has these grandiose ideas of what a pirate "should be" but doesn't want to actually do the day-to-day drudgery work. He will also shamelessly hit on every (decently) attractive female on board which typically means Sandara, Rosie, Slippery Sly, Barefoot, and Aretta. This is intended to be played up in a humorous way as he gets shot down in a variety of ways. If a PC is a woman then by all means, hit away. On the flipside he struggles horribly at his role. He does not have Profession: Sailor and as per RAW you can inflict him with seasickness. I'm planning on him being nauseated every prime numbered day (1,2,3,5,7,11 etc.). On those days hint to the PCs that they see him just puking his guts out over the sea. By the second and third days again comedy moments when he tries to hit on someone and ends up just throwing up everywhere. For the first two days he will be lashed almost to death and on the third day he will be stuck in the sweatbox and unless the PCs intervene the sweatbox will kill him. Killing the annoying but somewhat lovable comedy sidekick will really set the tone but it should be heavily hinted as he is being stuffed in that he doesn't look like he can make it a couple hours let alone half a day. The PCs can do any number of things to save him from his death (a cleric or Sandara can burst heal, they can pour water down the holes, they can try and rig the sails to shield him from the sun etc.). If the PCs keep him alive then he's a permanent ally but a tricky one to keep alive. As the game goes on he gets a bit better as the prime numbers space out but whippings should be tracked for damage after the third day. Any PC can take a new work action during the days that he is sick to help cover for him. They'll receive a -4 to both profession checks (but allies can help them out, non-rigger allies can provide a +1 while riggers can provide a +2 (max +4). As long as they keep covering for him when he's sick he should only get 3 or 6 non-lethal lashes at a time and should survive the trip.

Crimson Cog - Crimson Cog is a rather narrow-minded man that at night he gets drunk and causes fights. His viscious temper will cause him to fight just about anyone but prime targets are: Badger Medlar over gambling, Fipps Chumlett over masculine posturing, Jaundice Jape becuase he's mute and won't apologize, Conchobhar for being annoying, Jack Scrimshaw for "eyeballin' him", Narwal for trying to get him to join his gang. I plan on offsetting his anger by making him a bit of a gallant by making it a point for him not to fight ladies (unless they fight him first). He'll be frequently tied to the mast for lashings for fighting but it'll only be three lashes so he won't really mind. However if he ends up beating up Fipps or Narwal (or getting provoked into fighting Scourge or Plugg) it'll be far worse, the cat for fighting with Plugg's crew and the sweatbox for fighting Scourge or Plugg. The PCs can get the bonuses described in the book but also if they back him up in a fight (i.e. he picks a fight with Fipps Chumlett and Fipps brings the gang around to curbstomp Cog but the PCs step in to fight on Cog's side) and/or if the PCs provide Cog an alibi to avoid or downgrade his punishments they'll receive bonuses to interact with him. On the flipside if the PCs step up against him and end up in a fist fight he'll automatically move away one step.

Barefoot Samms - Barefoot is one of the few decent people on board but she's too busy and overworked to really care about others. Rum Rations are hitting her hard, she misses the family she'll never see again and she's strugglnig as a rigger. (In my game I'll be rolling a d10 and 1-5 she'll be tied to the post for lashings for a poor job.). The rigger PC will especially note that she is not well suited for her job and investigations around the ship say that either Plugg or Scourge (or both) made passes at her and she rejected them harshly and as a result she's been put up into the rigging despite not being a skilled climber. Plugg's cronies will often jeer at her for her fear of heights and making bets about how long before she splats against the ground. A PC can take a daily action to aid her (basically moving their +4 for diligent work to her so that she automatically passes her check). Each time they do that they get a +4 to their interaction rolls with her for 24 hours. In addition she is a skilled fisher and if the PCs can convince Scourge or Plugg (or more likely use Kroop to convince Scourge or Plugg) so that when the "fisher" job pops up for the Cook's Mate they'll swap roles with Samms so she gets to fish (she'll automatically pass) and they do the rigging then she'll become permanently helpful.

Ratline Rattsberger - Ratline is the smallest and weakest member of the crew and mostly stays to himself. He is very skilled rigger and can scramble and swing through the ropes like he was born to do it (I made him a Rogue 2 (pirate) with Sure Grasp feat and Adaptable Luck. This combined with his +9 climb means he pretty much auto passes, even during the storm.) Anyway the backstory is that besides Kroop, Ratline is one of the few "original" crew members. He doesn't know anything behind Harrigan's betrayal but instead can provide information about the other new recruits, giving hints about how the crew can interact with them. He's a very experienced sailor however he is not very assertive and although he had the skills to be promoted to boatswain his lack of charisma means he's still just a lowly crewman. At one time, however he was Mr. Plugg and then Master Scourge's chief rivals for their positions and he played a very careful game to evade notice to avoid being "Mysteriously poisoned" or "knocked overboard". He, combined with Kroop and Sandara, is the primary sources of pirating information. To win him over involves standing up to Plugg and Scourge. Whenever the PCs do something that makes Plugg or Scourge "look bad" (i.e. practical joke played at their expense, defeating Owlbear, Scourge/Plugg failing a whip attack when delivering the lash) the PCs will get a bonus to their interactions. In addition if they recognize his skills and offer sincere promises of better position under their command they can get additional bonuses to interactions.

Badger Medlar - Badger is a tough old salt (in my game I made her a Warrior 5 but gave her old age penalties) with a gambling addiction. She's decent at card and dice etc. but somehow luck always seems to turn against her and this makes her bitter towards the world, always cursing her rotten luck etc. She won't really gravitate towards anyone until a few gambling sessions (which she will always be partkaking in). If the PCs take what little money she has time and again she'll become hostile towards her and ripe for Plugg's recruitment. However if the PCs help her win money (for example, PC party convinces her to bet on the PC during the fistfight with Owlbear and she wins her bet) OR if the PCs intentionally lose some gold to her they'll get bonuses to interacting with them.

Giffer Tibs - Giffer is very bitter with the world when the PCs first meet her but deep down she's one of the few decent people on the ship. Prior to the adventure start Giffer is an amateur gunsmith and spent most of her pay in acquiring and building a grappling hook launcher (treat as the Grapple Launcher innovation from Experimental Gunsmith archetype). However, just prior to the adventure someone stole her toy. Nobody else on the ship knows what it does but it's weird and unique so it's a prime target for all the thieves on board the ship. The thieves are: Crimson Cog, Aretta Bansion, Slippery Sly, and Ratline Rattsberger. Crimson Cog was the first to steal but after that, every 1d4+1 days another thief steals it (roll randomly of the remaning thieves). PCs might get lucky and pick the right locker at the right time but more likely they'll have to make several dedicated gather information checks and confront several different crewmembers before finally finding it's final resting spot. If they can return her toy to Giffer then she'll become a permanent ally (and may even be willing to lend her toy to the PCs when they explore Bonewrack Island).

Tilly Brackett - Tilly is a jovial sort looking for a good time. One of the few friendlier faces she'll reach out to the PCs if they're not doing a great job reaching out to the others. Winning her over is a simple matter of keeping her entertained (Perform checks), playing practical jokes on the other crew (especially Plugg's gang), or providing her with alochol. She's one of the few members on board to actually enjoy her rum rations and will buy them off the PCs on the sly (but a DC 10 Stealth Check is still required). However if the PCs do this too often her work will start to suffer along with her health. On the day following her additional rum rations she'll be drunk on the job and receive lashing at the Bloody Hour. She is an addict though and will continue to purchase them even if she is caught or dying. Overall she should be pretty easy to win over but difficult to keep alive. Her being drunk on the job can be a reoccuring theme (similar to Kroop but with deadlier consequences as she is an expendable swabbie).

Jack Scrimshaw - Jack is a quite young lad (I plan on playing him as 14 and applying the Young age penalties to him). He won't really open up much until made Friendly and most of the scenes will just be him watching the PCs do other things as he quietly uses his knife to carve scrimshaw. He'll be resistant to most forms of interactions (either use RAW or even make a penalty like -2 or -4 to interaction checks to drive home the point that he just isn't interested in anything the PCs have to say.) However after a day or so emphasize that he's starting to struggle with the scrimshaw and a Perception DC 10 check will point out that his knife is getting dull. When asked about that he'll open up (remove the penalty) and mention that this is the third knife he's gone through with all his carvings. If the PCs can acquire a Masterwork dagger (or better yet a magical one) and give it to him he'll become instantly helpful. However, masterwork daggers are expensive to buy in the store and if the PCs steal one for him things get complicated. Every day they should see him showing his flashy new knife to the rest of the crew and after a day or two of warning signs he'll either show it to Kroop or Cut-Throat who will recognize his new knife as theirs (or insert whichever NPC the PCs stole the knife from...). Jack will be brought up for six lashes with the cat unless the PCs step forward and it's up to the DM to either track the damage (which will probably kill the poor boy) or allow him to survive but he'll be permanently hostile thinking the PCs set him up. If the PCs give him a stolen knife they need to convince him to keep it quiet. A Bluff check to lie to him will keep him helpful while if they admit the knife is stolen Jack will secretly return the blade and go back to carving with his dull knife. This will "reset" him back to Indifferent but with the penalties to interactions removed they can convince him to join their side as per normal. In addition Jack is mostly resigned to fish bones for his scrimshaw but if the PCs recover something unusual (reefclaw...claw, shark jawbone etc.) they'll receive a +2 to interactions for 24 hours and he'll give them a carved figurine worth 2d20gp.

Maheem - Maheem is actually a very honorable man who unfortuantely takes things VERY literal. ("Metaphors go over his head." "Nothing goes over my head! My reflexes are too fast and I will catch them.") Early on Scourge said that he was doing him a favor by not flaying his hide and Maheem believed him. He's not stupid, in fact I'm thinking of him as one of the wiser crew members but he's naturally very literal and overall very naive. He believes serving Scourge is the right thing to do and the others take huge advantage of that. If the PCs can explain to him that Scourge was not really doing him a favor, and give him a crash course on lying then they will receive bonuses to interactions with him. In addition if they can point out how Scourge and Plugg are abusing their positions (playing favorites are wrongful punishments) they will receive additional bonuses in their interactions.

Sivikah - Sivikah is an ex-slaver and because she isn't evil (she's TN) she regrets her actions. Overall she's been at sea far too long and wants to go back home but being an ex-slaver things are complicated for her. She's hoping to gain enough money to buy a new life for herself so greed is her primary motivation. She's one of the better gamblers on the ship (+5 to her Profession Gambler roll) and is a good foil for traditional gambling PCs (or NPCs like Badger Medlar). If the PCs promise her better money they're receive a +2 bonus on interactions with them. If they actually get her some money she'll move one full step per 100 gp. The flipside is that if they cost her money either by beating her at gambling or taking an opportunity from her (i.e. Day 11 where if the PCs succeed they get additional treasure from the captain, if the PCs don't invite her she is resentful that they "cost" her money) then they can either take penalties to interacting with her or she might even move a full step against them.

Narwal Tate - Scourge's longtime friend and the non-officer ringleader of Plugg's crew. He is the the mini-boss the PCs have to deal with on a daily basis. He'll especially be harrassing the other PC rigger and if the PC is having an easy enough time on the job he'll start sabotaging the player (rigging lines to be loose or untying rigs to make the player look bad). His interference will cause a -4 penalty to the Rigger's daily job check (but it won't happen all the time, again play it by ear or to spice up a dull day). HOWEVER when he does this sabotage he hurts himself. Secretly roll a d20 and on a 1-9 he gets punished for slacking on the job as well. No matter the rolls he should be punished at least once for the sabotage. As a friend of Scourge he'll be expecting a "light" treatment and perhaps the first lash doesn't even crack the whip but Plugg will have none of that and will demand Scourge do it properly. Scourge will follow suit and the seeds for PC's to posion Narwhal against Scourge will be sown. Every time Narwal gets punished properly the PCs will get a bonus on interactions with him as he'll see that his loyalty is not buying the status he had hoped. Narwal should be a very tough sell and require both punishment from above as well as promises of gold and perhaps even officer status under the PC command. As difficult as it is, Narwal makes a strong ally because he keeps up appearances of being with Plugg's group and will count towards one of Plugg's "loyal" crew for the final battle. As soon as it is advantageous he'll switch sides and turn on his former friends.

Fipps Chumlett - Fipps is a bully and the prime enforcer for Plugg's gang (in my game I switched him to a Ftr 2 (Brawler) to give their group a bit more power against the PCs.) Fipps was used to being one of the strongest fighters on board and was secure in that knowledge. Now in the past couple of days he suddenly has a bunch of rivals for that throne (Rosie, Crimson Cog, Breaker Bones (see below) are all comprable strength). NOw he's worried that Plugg will replace him if he no longer is useful so he is far more horrendous and odious then previously and will constantly be overcompensating for it. If PC's "humiliate him" (i.e. beat him in a fight, overpower him in arm wrestling etc.) he may even go so far as to attack them or even try and kill them. On the flipside the PCs can poison his relationship with Scourge & Plugg by getting him lashings. If brought up on punishment he'll try to leverage his connectionns ("Come on, Scourge? We're mates! You don't have to do this...) but of course Scourge & Plugg care little about him. If Fipps is punished and the PCs reach out to him afterwards (or better yet try and defend him) then they'll receive a bonus to interacting with him. If too many friendly NPCs are dying, killing Fipps will be a big blow to the Plugg crew as he is their strongest fighter besides Scourge and Plugg.

Aretta Bansion - Aretta Bansion once tried to seduce Mr. Plugg. She recognized him as a man rising through the ranks and wanted to attach herself to his group. She was rejected in a rather humiliating way and is very resentful for it (and some of the other crew still rub it in by using Plugg's words "Not if you were the last whore on the sea".) Since then she did eventually join his group but she is spiteful and angry all the time and views Slippery Sly (the woman Plugg ended up shacking up with for awhile) as her archrival. Her and Slippery Sly are very passive-aggressive towards each other (and often aggressive-aggresive as well). Aretta wants nothing more then to see Sly be publically humiliated like she was. She has no real interest in Mr. Plugg anymore (she achieved a place on the ship despite that humiliating introduction) but still wants Sly to pay. If the PCs can play a public practical joke on Slippery Sly (i.e. fishguts bucket on the head) or otherwise poison Sly's relationship with Plugg (frame her for a crime and get her lashed) PC's will receive a bonus in their interactions with Aretta.

Slippery Sly Lonegan - Slippery Sly is Plugg's eyes and ears among the crew (and warm body at night). She is a psychopath and should be played up as creepy and psycotic as possible (licking blood off her blade, bragging about how she'll murder everyone in their sleep etc.) In my game I'm making her a Ninja 2 and she'll stealthily stalk the players at night. Basically most of the time if the players fail a stealth roll and are "detected" it will be Slippery Sly who spots them. The whole crew knows she is a rat but because she is crazy murderous and has the bed of the First Mate nobody can stand up to her. She should hold that positon over everyone, even Narwal and Fipps (who are only friends with Scourge, not Plugg). Even Scourge should be afraid of giving her a proper lashing. On that note clear favoritism will help propel other NPCs towards the PCs. If they're having a hard time winning over friends either standing up to Slippery Sly or pointing out how she doesn't get punished for her actions should give a +2 bonus on interactions with everyone not part of Plugg's clique. As for winning her over, she has no loyalty to Plugg, he is useful for getting her what she wants and what she wants is fear and blood. She has fear but not even Plugg can keep her from being keelhauled if she kills someone. However if the PCs can arrange for her to murder someone and get away with it by providing an alibi she'll move 2 steps in their direction per body. She is perfectly willing to kill anyone and clever (and evil) PCs can have her murder Narwal or Jaundice Jape to kill two birds with one crazy b#+##.

Jaundice Jape* - Prior to the adventure, Jaundice Jape could talk. He was still a vile, greedy, unpleasant SOB but having a voice did improve his mood a bit. One day in [INSERT PORT HERE] he and some fellows visited a curio shop run by an old coot. They decided to rob the place and tried to murder the old lady when she turned her back. Unfortunately she was also a witch and easily defeated the two-bit thugs but Jaundice Jape escaped after grabbing a talisman from the counter and fleeing. The witch cast a hex upon her talisman that the owner would wither away in silence. Jaundice Jape is secretly very sick, only his fearsome Half-Orc constitution is keeping him standing and on the job (I treat him as permanently sickened). When he first arrived on the ship he was a prime target of Fipps & Narwal bullying because he couldn't talk. Eventually he joined up with them just to stop the beatings (but don't feel too bad, he is still a vile man). Now he mostly stands lookout while the others do their thing. Anyone making a Heal DC 15 check will notice that the yellowish color of his skin is not normal. In addition both he and the talisman radiate strong hex magic and if detected it's clear they are cursed. The PCs (probably) won't have a way to undo the curse but if they can get Jaundice to willingly throw away the talisman it will at least improve his health (but not restore his voice). If they improve his health he'll move a full step towards the PCs. If they convince him they will help him break his curse (either with Bluff or being earnest) then it improves another step. Beyond that it requires typical rolls. NOTE: He keeps the talisman in his locker and so far the thieves on board have avoided it for good reason. If the PCs loot the talisman without breaking the curse on it then the thief will also become Sickened. The other NPCs on board won't touch the thing either because they know it's Japes (and don't want to be brought up for thievery) or because they secretly suspect it's cursed, especially those who've been around Jaundice and seen him get worse and worse.

As I felt that the end results would have too many player allies compared to those loyal to Plugg I've added a few more characters to the crew:

"Artful" Roger - NE human male Ftr 2 (Free Hand) (initial reaction: hostile, job: swab). Considered the best swordsman among the crew, Roger is a bully in a different way to complement Fipps and to keep the players from going too violent too early. He loves demonstrating his superiority and when the PCs are doing combat training they can see him disarming and humiliating some of the other crew. He is completely arrogant and narcissistic, everything is always about him and his fancy blade. Speaking of which he has a masterwork cutlass which is pretty slick but not as slick as Plugg's magical cutlass and this is the wedge that PCs could drive in. Roger wants that sword and if the PCs can make promises to deliver they can get bonuses to interaction. In addition if one of the characters seems adept with a sword Roger will challenge them to a sparring match on one of the "dull" nights. Other charactes will place gambles and both characters are expected to fight non-lethal combat (i.e. -4 to combat rolls giving Roger a net +2, AC 14 and 15 HP. Note he also has Combat Expertise and Improved Disarm for a +7 to disarm). If the PCs win, Roger will automatically move one step away (if possible). If the PC loses too quickly, no reaction. If the PC however can go four rounds without being horribly overmatched or disarmed then he'll win a bit of respect and he will have a +4 bonus to future interactions as Roger takes the "promising fighter" under his wing. As long as the PCs can put up with his insufferable boasting they can continue to get the bonus (at least until they upstage him in combat...)

Bonnie Blades - CN human female Swashbuckler 2 (Flying Blades) (initial reaction: indifferent, job: rigger)- An expert knife thrower, Bonnie spends her evenings gambling and often entertaining the rest of the crew with her knife throwing ability. A common tactic she pulls when new crew come on board is to pretend to be pretty bad at knife throwing, have a martial PC "show her some pointers" and then offer to put it to the test. She'll lose the first match but then offer to double or nothing. Then she'll throw to her full ability (+5 +1 for Point-Blank Shot) and probably win. PCs can detect the scam by matching their sense motive versus her +7 Bluff. After that they find her jovial and friendly enough at least compared to the rest. Her goal seems to be entirely focused on her throwing and she lives for trick shots and fantastic throws and if anyone crits with a thrown weapon and she witnesses it she will be sure to mention it, possibly several times. She will also be a way to help diffuse situations if the PCs get in over their heads (i.e. if they start picking a fight with Narwal and group maybe Bonnie throws a knife in between the groups and tells them to knock it off...) She is always on the lookout for more ammunition and she is a way for PCs to deal with the giant number of knives on board. If she is given a knife, the PCs get a +1 (max) on their next interaction. If she gets a masterwork knife she'll move one full step in the PCs direction and if given the magical blade in the storeroom she'll be permanently helpful. Unlike Jack, she can recognize stolen gear and knows well enough to keep quiet and accepts the risks of being caught. If the PCs are making too many friends though she is a good way to show Scourge/Plugg "fighting back". She might storm up and say she heard [INSERT PC] brag that they were better at knives or something like that and immediately challenge them to a showdown. If this happens during the day the PCs will either risk failing their job or ignoring her. If they ignore her she moves two steps away, if they accept the challenge and lose they move one step away, if they accept the challenge and win, she moves one step towards as she is impressed with their skill. If the PC does challenge her the PC takes a -4 on their job rolls.

Breaker Bones - CG Barbarian 2 (Wild Rager). (initial reaction: hostile, job: swab) A giant Mwangi picked up at the same time as the PCs, he makes a good example character as his barbarian hit dice allow him to take a beating, even a keel hauling and potentially live. An angry man, he will initially blame the PCs (and everyone else) for his situation even though they aren't the reason he was dragged on the boat. Like Conchobar, he is not a used to boats (no ranks in swim or sailor) and is sickened for the first couple of days (but due to his +5 fort auto-passes his checks and becomes "cured" by the third day until the storms hit). He is initially defiant and likely to lashed quite often for dereliction of duty or talking back to the superiors. Depending on the group he can make for a good warning about being too confrontational to the officer by being routinely beaten nearly to death, sweatboxed and/or keelhauled. On the flipside if you want some drama for an otherwise boring day maybe he flies into a barbarian rage while being lashed, breaks out of his bonds and has to be subdued. Plugg & his cronies will be inflicting lethal damage but if the PCs can keep Breaker alive they'll get a +2 bonus in their future interactions with him. In addition when he comes into conflict with other crew members (Crimson Cog and any of Plugg's crew make good targets) then he risks flying into a rage (and being sweatboxed for damage and fighting the next day) but if the PCs can talk him down (DC 20 Bluff/Diplomacy/Intimidate check) then he'll thank them for it later and they'll have +2 to interactions for the next 24 hours (stacks with other modifiers).

Hopefully the above will help keep the boat from getting too repetitive. Trying to keep Conchobar/Crimson Cog/Breaker Bones alive will occupy their attention and unraveling the various stories and bonuses can help make the NPCs more memorable.

As for how to deal with the "mini-quests" associated to the characters, I was thinking if the party is struggling with the CHA skill checks then perhaps some of the bonuses can be translated into full steps towards the character's side. On the flipside if they are getting too many friends too fast then Plugg, Scourge, and what's left of their cronies can work to sabotage some of the friendly NPCs and slow the players down. Sabotaging their work rolls so they get heavy lashings or forcing more rum rations on them so the NPC gets horribly sick are some ideas. Then while they're trying to save their friends Plugg and Scourge can win over some "on the fence" NPCs.

My goal is to give PCs a fighting chance with any of the NPCs they desire but also to make things difficult enough that Plugg will reliably have his 8 loyal crew and not have to rely on generic sailors to fill in the ranks.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? All are welcome...