The Wormwood Mutiny (GM Reference)


Skull & Shackles

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Xp3ndable! wrote:

I appologize if I am hashing over details coevered elsewhere but...

I have a rather large gaming group and am getting ready to start this AP. Are there any suggestions for dealing with groups of more than 4 PCs?

Although no one has done a conversion yet here, running with 6 PCs, you would increase the CR of each encounter by about 1. So, that means adding about 50% more foes when facing a group, or the adding of a "henchman" or level to named enemies. Some people also like increasing the number of hp by 50% or simply giving all enemies full hp.

Basically, for some encounters, adding 50% more enemies doesn't make things harder or adding one level to a major enemy doesn't make him significantly tougher either. You have to consider each encounter separately. The biggest problem to deal with when you have more than 4 PCs is that they'll have far more actions each round than what the adventure assumes and that's what'll make the biggest difference.


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Robert Jordan wrote:
Huh I never noticed that it's a quarter speed, I think I'll continue to ignore that and leave it at half speed for ease of use. Moving at 5 feet a round or 10 if you double move isn't very fun.

Well, a double move is 15 feet since it's a quarter of 60 feet (assuming a 30ft base speed). Honestly, that still seems awfully quick to me. Even with lots of handholds (or climbing a rope, or through rigging, etc.), being able to get 15 feet vertically in 6 seconds is pretty impressive.

At half speed, you'd be able to scale a 3 storey building in 6 seconds! That seems a little too quick for my liking.


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Tem wrote:
Robert Jordan wrote:
Huh I never noticed that it's a quarter speed, I think I'll continue to ignore that and leave it at half speed for ease of use. Moving at 5 feet a round or 10 if you double move isn't very fun.

Well, a double move is 15 feet since it's a quarter of 60 feet (assuming a 30ft base speed). Honestly, that still seems awfully quick to me. Even with lots of handholds (or climbing a rope, or through rigging, etc.), being able to get 15 feet vertically in 6 seconds is pretty impressive.

At half speed, you'd be able to scale a 3 storey building in 6 seconds! That seems a little too quick for my liking.

Keep in mind that adventurers are supposed to be extraordinary.


We finished the first 20 days last night and I think all enjoyed the AP. Not really what we customarily play. Some exceptions I made were ignoring the NPC's daily tasks and resolutions (story line resolutions), I had considered making one check for all but that didn't seem right either.
On daily tasks for riggers when it implied many skill checks to climb we reduced it to one, making one character suffer 6 checks when others only had one did not seem fair.
As none of my pirates had traditional rogue skills I was not surprised that none attempted to steal - with one pickpocket exception. We made it through well and it prevented the PC's from acting rashly and being too bored.
Looking forward to our next game.


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Xp3ndable! wrote:

I appologize if I am hashing over details coevered elsewhere but...

I have a rather large gaming group and am getting ready to start this AP. Are there any suggestions for dealing with groups of more than 4 PCs?

I'm running with a group of 7. This is what I did so far:

All major NPCs get full hp. If there is no major NPC all NPC get full hp and I might add additional NPC when it fits.

Actual changes to the adventure:
I added 14 additional crew (some of them with pc classes). This was to keep the feeling to be highly outnumbered in the beginning and to lessen the impact of the additional ship actions.
For taking over the Man's promise I choose some hostile NPCs and then rolled randomly which NPCs were relocated to the Man's Promise.
That worked out quite well, but you will need some aide to not loose count in the final battle.

I doubled the number of normal pirates for the wake up commando (some with crossbows with special bolts dealing nonlethal damage).

The brawling had 6 pirated attacking them.

Only 4 PCs chosen at random did the bilge action. (The "room" is to small for more PCs.

I added an additional reefclaw at the reefclaw reef.

The assassination attempt was changed to a sabotage attempt in the rigging.

At the attack on the Man's Promise I added about 50% more sailors and an additional officer (also a ranger) who did use two weapon fighting.

I added an additional ship wench (but they did not get near the tent).

In the riptide cave I increased the total number of grindylows by 50% and added an additional melee based "boss" in one of the 1st two chambers and a wight in the room north of the trap (with a few grindylows waiting in the outer tunnels driving the PCs towards the wight or ambushing them if the encounter the wight without the need to drive them there.

My group just rested before entering the riptide cove. Everything worked out quite well so far. It will be interesting to see how they do in the cave as there are some reports about the final encounter in the cave being very hard with some groups fleeing by just seeing what awaits them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Ravien wrote:
Xp3ndable! wrote:

I appologize if I am hashing over details coevered elsewhere but...

I have a rather large gaming group and am getting ready to start this AP. Are there any suggestions for dealing with groups of more than 4 PCs?

I added an additional reefclaw at the reefclaw reef.

I added in a shark to the reefclaw encounter. It makes perfect sense that a shark would be attracted to the splashing and the blood in the water....


My group mutined on the 3rd day of the Man's promise last night they had had enough and wanted rid of PLugg ASAP, I might add that it was a very ingenoius plan too.

I propossed this set up for the ship, as they were low on crew there would be 2 shifts, I dvided the crew up, Plugg would suppervise the day shift where the PC's were and Scourge the night shift, I asigned all the crew jobs and stuck with the same ones. I made sure that all the sleeping arrangments were the same each day and shift. This helped emesley with their planning as they could guage who was where and roughly when.

spoiler:
The plan was as follows: During the night they decided to saw (using water and grease to muffle the sound) the mast underneath the captains cabin which Owlbear was attached to. They then cast Ghost sound and whispered into Owlbears ear that Plugg wanted to kill him. It didnt take much and Owlbear lunged forward snapping the mast. This caused chaos on deck as the mast fell towards the stern knocking the main mast in the process and killing jaundiced as he fell out of the crows nest. Scourge was preoccupied rallying the crew to sort things out. Meanwhile Plugg and Owlbear are fighting it out in the captains cabin. The party used the diversion, drunk the invisibilty potion from the pirate attack and managed to crit scourge form behind killing him in one go. Then bargeing into the captains quarters they ganged up on Plugg. Due to the confines of the cabin and the snapped mast there was not much room to maneouver so poor old Plugg didn't last long when it was 4 on 1 and he was pushed in to a corner. The group loved it.

However..day 4 storm..and a crippled ship..it was interseting to say the least especally as 2 of the party had lashed themselves to the helm..grindylow atack..oppps. They survived though but the ship is going to need some hastey repairs before leaving the island and getting to ricketys.


Zaranorth wrote:

There's flogging around the fleet where the convicted would be sentenced to hundreds of lashes, split up among the ships. A surgeon would travel with him and determine when the flogging needed to stop for the day. Such a punishment could take weeks to be completed.

Now bring in magic. A particularly cruel captain with access to a cleric, or other means of healing, could flog a crewman to, or near, unconsciousness, have the cleric heal him, and continue.

Especially cruel if the cleric and transgressor are PCs. The cleric could be under threat of the same, or double, if she doesn't perform the duties. An excellent way to make the PCs despise Plugg.

Love the idea of the cap'n making a PC cleric work under pain of the lash. I'll be using this when I begin the campaign next month!


I'm gearing up to run this. If I run four players for four or five hours, how far should I expect to get? I know it varies but I'm just looking for a ballpark of where others got. Thanks.

Sczarni

I think I'm going to cut most of the Grindylow dungeon except for the boss fight, and replace it earlier on with the "Salvage Operation" adventure from Dungeon issue 123.

Thanks to Dudemeister for the idea!


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Can you tell me a little about the Salvage Operation?

Trinite wrote:

I think I'm going to cut most of the Grindylow dungeon except for the boss fight, and replace it earlier on with the "Salvage Operation" adventure from Dungeon issue 123.

Thanks to Dudemeister for the idea!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The PCs are in Giant Squid territory and come across an abandoned ship. Within are zombies, a kuru cannibal Druid, ghouls and vermin. To cap it off a dying giant squid starts tearing the ship apart as the PCs find the treasure within, tentacle doom awaits your 2nd level PCs!


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
The PCs are in Giant Squid territory and come across an abandoned ship. Within are zombies, a kuru cannibal Druid, ghouls and vermin. To cap it off a dying giant squid starts tearing the ship apart as the PCs find the treasure within, tentacle doom awaits your 2nd level PCs!

Ah..... THAT one! ;D

One of the other DMs in our group ran us through that as a side quest in his campaign not long ago. It's a lot of fun
Spoiler:
we made it off the ship at literally the last second as it sank under us
but as a lot of the same people are in my current S&S campaign I'm afraid they'd recognize the scenario pretty quickly.

It is definitely a good plug-in for S&S, however.

Sczarni

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
The PCs are in Giant Squid territory and come across an abandoned ship. Within are zombies, a kuru cannibal Druid, ghouls and vermin. To cap it off a dying giant squid starts tearing the ship apart as the PCs find the treasure within, tentacle doom awaits your 2nd level PCs!

I'm going to vary it slightly to give Captain Harrigan a moment to show off his chops:

Spoiler:
The Wormwood is going to come across the abandoned ship. Harrigan will call for one of the animals in the galley to be sent to his cabin, where he'll secretly use his heartripper blade (thanks to mbaurs for the conversion) to divine the ship's origin. He'll emerge, hands dripping with blood, to announce that he's sending a team out to collect its treasure. Mr. Plugg will select the PCs, and he'll make them put on nice bright *red shirts* (ah, Star Trek!) so that they can easily be spotted from a distance. ;)

The adventure will play out as normal (with Dudemeister's rewrites). But when the PCs get to the deck, they'll find that the boat has gone and they've got no way to escape the squid. They'll fight it off desperately for a couple rounds, but when they're just about overwhelmed...

CUTSCENE: Captain Harrigan watches the battle through his spyglass as the squid stomps the PCs. He mutters, "Well, if you want something done you've got to do it yourself. Longfarthing, if you please!"

Hartigan and Longfarthing teleport to the deck where the PCs are, and the captain proceeds to give the squid a Level 15-style beatdown.

They then return to the Wormwood, where they discuss the practicality of salvaging the half-sunken ship. They devise a plan in which they'll tow it to an island and a small crew -- which the PCs know means them -- will toil nonstop on the ship for about two months to get it seaworthy again.

At that point, the sails of the Man's Promise will appear on the horizon, and Harrigan will say, "I have a better idea!"

Should get the PCs to realize how badass Harrigan is, and it'll also get them in the mood for attacking the Man's Promise, in order to avoid the alternative!


Ravien wrote:


I added 14 additional crew (some of them with pc classes). This was to keep the feeling to be highly outnumbered in the beginning and to lessen the impact of the additional ship actions.

THanks that should be a lot of help. What do you use to make NPCs? Is there a program or an app out there to help with that?


I am debating the idea of assuming all the PCs in my group start out with an attitude of indiffernt to each other and making them influence each other to form a cohesive group.

Not sure if this will work or not.


Xp3ndable! wrote:

I am debating the idea of assuming all the PCs in my group start out with an attitude of indiffernt to each other and making them influence each other to form a cohesive group.

Not sure if this will work or not.

After starting my PbP game, I had a huge waiting list of players so I made them a deal that they could join by taking on the role of any of the (appropriate) NPCs that the PCs had befriended.

So far, Shivikah is now a PC, and it looks like Cog will be next (though that won't happen until the rest of the PCs are second level like he is).

As a DM, it's actually pretty cool to be handing off NPCs into player hands rather than the other way around when players quit!

Sczarni

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My alterations went fantastically well. The PCs got really innovative; they found a heavy treasure chest in the hold, but when they got it back to the deck the boat had vamoosed. And there were giant squid tentacles flailing all around them.

So they grabbed a table, flipped it upside down, and set the chest on it, then they all drank extracts of touch of the sea provided by their alchemist and swam it back to the Wormwood.

Then Harrigan teleported to the sinking ship and had Longfarthing stabilize it with some make whole spells while he killed the squid in three rounds.

The PCs gave them a standing ovation when they teleported back to the ship.

Now they've got something to look forward to as they level up, and it'll make it incredibly awesome once they finally get to go up against Harrigan personally!

Paizo, it was a great idea to put Harrigan here in Book 1.

Shadow Lodge

My group finished up the Wormwood Mutiny earlier this week and I've discovered they seem to be pretty low on XP... the highest XP total in the group is 7,800 and that's with some significant story awards for doing journal write-ups between our sessions. My group skipped a lot of chances to get XP and bypassed a few rooms with the grindylows.

For those who have finished the Wormwood Mutiny, what were your XP totals like?


I've not yet begun it myself, but a fellow GM I'm friends with claims his group is 2 levels ahead of where they're supposed to be at the end of book 1, despite missing a significant number of XP opportunities along the way. He also said that he's added nothing to the adventure, running it exactly as-written.

I'm inclined to believe he's made mistakes in XP calculations.


I'd bet you anything you like your friend is accidentally giving each PC the full XP from story rewards, rather than splitting it between the group as is intended. Maybe even combined with using the Fast XP track, because two extra levels is a LOT of XP. I can't think of any other way to do it, even hitting every encounter and making friends with the entire crew.

EDIT: Okay, other possibility I thought of. They managed to murder the officers and harvest their sweet, high level XP. But somehow, I think the first guess is more likely.


Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:

I'd bet you anything you like your friend is accidentally giving each PC the full XP from story rewards, rather than splitting it between the group as is intended. Maybe even combined with using the Fast XP track, because two extra levels is a LOT of XP. I can't think of any other way to do it, even hitting every encounter and making friends with the entire crew.

EDIT: Okay, other possibility I thought of. They managed to murder the officers and harvest their sweet, high level XP. But somehow, I think the first guess is more likely.

I think Mort is probably correct here about forgetting to divide the story award XP, as I can't see any way a party could accumulate that much experience from the first module.

I had the opposite problem and couldn't see how PCs could get enough XP to even hit the recommended levels in the adventure, but I had overlooked the bit about awarding points for befriending NPCs. Along with the other encounters and story awards that should just about get your players where they need to be by the end of the first book.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

/me just levels his party up at the recommended milestones on the Advancement Track sidebar after some unfortunate "oh that sidequest is unimportant // alignment opposed" moments in Carrion Crown.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My players befriended several NPCs and I could tell they were still going to be short of XP at the end of book 1. On Bonewrack Isle they mostly avoided the cornfield (which I thought was actually smart) and initially avoided the moray eel.

Since the Brinebrood Queen casts speak with animals before combat, instead of having her outright flee when the Whale was dead, I had her flee to the shipwreck and convince the eel to fight the PCs.

My PCs also missed a couple things in Riptide cove (like the trapped ghouls and the falling ceiling trap thing). After the mutiny they wanted to return there to get the rest of the treasure and everything. I just handwaved it and gave them exactly enough XP to be level 4 at the start of Book 2.

If the PCs are smart and make good decisions (avoiding the cornfield with the heads-on-sticks inside, fleeing Riptide cove after saving Sandara instead of "clearing out the dungeon", etc) I think they should be rewarded for that, IMO.


mbauers wrote:
If the PCs are smart and make good decisions (avoiding the cornfield with the heads-on-sticks inside, fleeing Riptide cove after saving Sandara instead of "clearing out the dungeon", etc) I think they should be rewarded for that, IMO.

I completely agree. I've been giving individual xp so far in the campaign (though, we're only on "Trouble in the Sun" from book 1) but I'm going to switch to "plot" advancement. When they've done everything they need to in order to advance the plot, they go up a level.

For the time being, however, it should be interesting that some of the PCs will be 2nd level while some will be 1st when they encounter the Man's Promise. I have six PCs, so it should balance out fairly well.

Sczarni

My players have just gotten to Bonewrack Isle, and I've just discovered that the map scale is super messed up.

1 square = 1/5 of a mile...and the Man's Promise is about 3.5 squares long...so it's about .7 miles long...3696 feet long?
That's a little bit more than than three times the length of the USS Entrprise aircraft carrier. Quite a ship.

I'm guessing the scale was intended to be a great deal smaller when the map was first drawn, and then they decided the island needed to be bigger so they blew up the scale.

I guess when I hand out the map I'll just tell my players to ignore the size of the ships, or else ignore the scale.


Trinite wrote:

My players have just gotten to Bonewrack Isle, and I've just discovered that the map scale is super messed up.

1 square = 1/5 of a mile...and the Man's Promise is about 3.5 squares long...so it's about .7 miles long...3696 feet long?
That's a little bit more than than three times the length of the USS Entrprise aircraft carrier. Quite a ship.

I'm guessing the scale was intended to be a great deal smaller when the map was first drawn, and then they decided the island needed to be bigger so they blew up the scale.

I guess when I hand out the map I'll just tell my players to ignore the size of the ships, or else ignore the scale.

Same is true for the hut and the trails. The field is also huge for a single person creating it without (modern) tools.

I just said that these are symbolic markers, so that you can even see the ship and the other POI on the map.


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Xp3ndable! wrote:
Ravien wrote:


I added 14 additional crew (some of them with pc classes). This was to keep the feeling to be highly outnumbered in the beginning and to lessen the impact of the additional ship actions.

THanks that should be a lot of help. What do you use to make NPCs? Is there a program or an app out there to help with that?

I used Jamis Buck's npc generator to create the skeletons and then added some extra flesh. It is a 3.5 generator, but it is still useful!

You can find it and his other generators (dungeons, loot, towns) online at Myth Weavers.

Sczarni

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I cut almost all of Riptide Cove. Instead it's just a hole in the ground that goes directly down into the Queen and the Whale's chamber. Surrounding it is a grindylow encampment with about 40 grindylows, who were having a big party getting ready to drop Rosie and Sandara down the hole. They were even preparing trays of appetizers and coating the victims in delicious sauces. All of it was overseen by a grindylow in a tall white headdress, whome my players dubbed "The Cheftain".

The PCs massacred the whole camp, but just barely missed saving Sandara from getting dropped. So now the ninja -- and only the ninja -- has dived down the hole to save her. And he made sure to go invisible beforehand, so nobody else saw him dive...

EDIT: I also added something to spice up the encounter with Aaron Ivy up at the stockade:The Last Will and Testament of Aaron Ivy


I have been looking as best i can. but what is the starting attitude for Owlbear. am i just missing it some where?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Indifferent. It wasn't listed for some characters.


While translating the naval slang I stumbled over The quartermaster.
The job that Grok has is nothing near to that what I found on Wikipedia and similar resources. Quartermaster 'should' be The Second in command, leading The boarding party and has a veto right against The Captain...
So just for my understanding, what am I missing?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

This quartermaster has nothing to do with the chain of command - she's responsible for stocking the ship's stores (a supply officer).

Edit: fix personal pronoun - "she", not "he" is appropriate here!


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Time-Scout wrote:

While translating the naval slang I stumbled over The quartermaster.

The job that Grok has is nothing near to that what I found on Wikipedia and similar resources. Quartermaster 'should' be The Second in command, leading The boarding party and has a veto right against The Captain...
So just for my understanding, what am I missing?

You are missing a a different uptake on the ship's "officer" roles by paizo. Could you imagine the officers voted into powers by the pirates aboard ? With an intend to be free of chicanery etc. ?

And the description of the pirate quartermaster itself on Wikipedia* looks oddly distorted, too. They were in charge of dividing and accounting for the loot, but... yeah they were usually far more proficient and decisive than Grok.
But they were most definitely not the second in command (that would be the "master", who'd be in charge - and fully capable of actually doing so - of sailing and navigation.
The quartermaster - while highly relevant for loot, and usually a strong bully - is only in charge of stores and equipment.

* I actually have read the sources referenced to by the article's author, and I strongly disagree with his "take". Actually quoting Stevenson's fictional "Treasure Island" is an incredible joke at the cost of the reader's expense


Thanks for your responses. It's One Thing to read The AP and Enjoy The Slang and Flair of The writings, but being a DM and living it is another matter. And of course all of my Five Players know 'everything' about pirates ;)
This Forum helped me alot so far. So thank you again.


vikingson wrote:


* I actually have read the sources referenced to by the article's author, and I strongly disagree with his "take". Actually quoting Stevenson's fictional "Treasure Island" is an incredible joke at the cost of the reader's expense

Personally, using fictional sources for a fictional game seems just fine to me. You won't find the AP in the nonfiction section of the library.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
chrids wrote:
Personally, using fictional sources for a fictional game seems just fine to me. You won't find the AP in the nonfiction section of the library.

Using fictional sources as even sideways proof of a Wikipedia entry for a factual real world point is.... so much below academic standards, the author should implode^^

As for pirates : Most of what people these days "know" is entirely based on fiction following on Robert Louis Stevenson's original.
I'd say, feel free to trump him, as long as your choices stay valid throughout the game and are inherently logic to you.

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

I'm running WWM and my party are about to arrive at Bonewrack Isle. Am I right in assuming that quite a lot of parties miss the wreck of the Infernus? I might well be missing something, but it's not obvious that they'd find it unless they sail round that way, or are they meant to be able to see it with Aaron Ivy's telescope?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I started running this this past weekend. The cleric took Ship's Surgeon as his trait; everyone else took Besmara's Blessing. The cleric wanted to take BB, but asked my opinion on which would be a better fit. Anyone else have this 'issue' with BB far or completely outweighing every other campaign trait?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DLandonCole wrote:
I'm running WWM and my party are about to arrive at Bonewrack Isle. Am I right in assuming that quite a lot of parties miss the wreck of the Infernus? I might well be missing something, but it's not obvious that they'd find it unless they sail round that way, or are they meant to be able to see it with Aaron Ivy's telescope?

The clarity of the tropical water should provide to it being visible from Ivy's hut. It is also a pretty recent wreck.

On the other hand, along with the botflies and the queen's cave, it is probably one of the most difficult enounter on the isle given the inhabitant.

Cost my party one character.


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I'm about halfway through the Wormwood Mutiny and wanted to share a couple of things that other GMs might find useful.

First, even though I have over 1,800 minis, I bought the PDF paper minis for this adventure and find them extremely useful. I used the images for each one to create an NPC packet for the PCs to look through. By having the pictures and names together, they could get a better sense of who was on the ship and make notes as they win the crew members to their cause or make deadly enemies.

During the storm, I had Rosie fall overboard. The PCs rescued her but also saw it as an opportunity to get rid of Fipps Chumlett, the NPC who has been Scourge's toady in my game. They felt accomplished getting rid of him and getting away with it. I think by letting them achieve this victory it will help prolong Plugg and Scourge's life, ensuring the mutiny is the big finale.

Right now, they just fought the reefclaws. I placed that encounter on a very small island so they want to explore for a bit. I'll set up at least one more encounter there. Since I'm just leveling the players up at plot points, rather than assigning XP, this won't be a problem.


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A minor addition: the rigger PC rolled a 20 perception as lookout on her first day on the job. I figured I'd foreshadow the whole Harrigan/Cheliax thing and told her she saw a fat Chelish merchant riding low in the water. She called it in but the captain decided not to go after it. "The crew's not ready!" was his excuse but the PCs on deck could tell some of the officers weren't exactly happy about letting it get away.

I know it's not RAW but, in general, I've been having something interesting happen when they either get a 20 or a 1 on job skill rolls. I'm pre-rolling jobs, Kroop's status, etc. and having the players make one pre-roll each for their PCs. We're just focusing on whatever ship's action they're attempting unless they roll very well or poorly...in which case we play out a scene involving their jobs.
M

Sczarni

mearrin69 wrote:

A minor addition: the rigger PC rolled a 20 perception as lookout on her first day on the job. I figured I'd foreshadow the whole Harrigan/Cheliax thing and told her she saw a fat Chelish merchant riding low in the water. She called it in but the captain decided not to go after it. "The crew's not ready!" was his excuse but the PCs on deck could tell some of the officers weren't exactly happy about letting it get away.

I know it's not RAW but, in general, I've been having something interesting happen when they either get a 20 or a 1 on job skill rolls. I'm pre-rolling jobs, Kroop's status, etc. and having the players make one pre-roll each for their PCs. We're just focusing on whatever ship's action they're attempting unless they roll very well or poorly...in which case we play out a scene involving their jobs.
M

Nice! Too bad none of my players were even remotely competent at climbing, and thus none became riggers.

I'm going to foreshadow the Chelish connection using Mr. Plugg. He's going to be carrying a sealed letter from the Captain to some Chelish spies in Port Peril, but it'll be protected by some explosive runes.


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For anyone still aboard the Wormwood, here's a small modification I made:

In place of a character being ganged up on the bilge on Day 19, I instead changed it to an attack on a character while working in the rigging.

The setup: The PC to be targeted is assigned to work in the upper rigging along with NPC#1 which is hostile towards them. NPC#2, with a similar outlook, is in the crow's nest.

The trigger: NPC#1 calls the PC a slacker for having not affixed a line properly. This is a signal to NPC#2 to cut the support of a sail which will fall onto the PC. The PC gets a sense motive check (DC 9) to recognize the signal.

The trap: I modelled the falling sail as a trap where the PC gets to make a reflex save (DC 15) to avoid getting entangled, unable to move until free of the sails and associated lines (escape artist DC 15 as a move action).

The follow-through: On following rounds (now in combat time) NPC#2 yanks on lines and such to use "aid another" each round to help NPC#1. NPC#1 spends his time (unarmed) trying to either grapple the PC and throw him off the spar, or simply bull-rush him for the same effect. If successful, the PC would take 5d6 damage falling to the deck (though, he gets a last ditch DC 25 climb check to catch himself on rigging on the way down).

NPC#2 gives up helping after round 3 and climbs back into the crow's nest, since by this point, if the other two are still struggling they'll have certainly drawn the attention of those below. NPC#1 doesn't give up as he'll probably be keel-hauled one way or another at this point. The consequences would be the same as listed for the event as written. If the falling character doesn't die (certainly possible if a cleric is waiting below, for example) then they *only* earn a day in the sweatbox for attempted murder. I gave 600xp (CR2) for the encounter if the PC survives (one way or another).

Anyway - use or modify it if you'd like. It was a lot of fun for our group and made a little more sense to me than having Plugg and Scourge randomly strip a PC of weapons since everyone seems to be carrying them around all the time up until that point.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tem wrote:

ile towards them. NPC#2, with a similar outlook, is in the crow's nest.

The trigger: NPC#1 calls the PC a slacker for having not affixed a line properly. This is a signal to NPC#2 to cut the support of a sail which will fall onto the PC. The PC gets a sense motive check (DC 9) to recognize the signal.

The trap: I modelled the falling sail as a trap where the PC gets to make a reflex save (DC 15) to avoid getting entangled, unable to move until free of the sails and associated lines (escape artist DC 15 as a move action).

The follow-through: On following rounds (now in combat time) NPC#2 yanks on lines and such to use "aid another" each round to help NPC#1. NPC#1 spends his time (unarmed) trying to either grapple the PC and throw him off the spar, or simply bull-rush him for the same effect. If successful, the PC would take 5d6 damage falling to the deck (though, he gets a last ditch DC 25 climb check to catch himself on rigging on the way down).

The sail might not work quite so well (they are mounted on the yard's several feet above), but... nice idea, and if they cut the "flemish horse", the rope sailors step on when walking out to the end of the yardarm...

Yeah, that might get nasty, with the luckless character desperately clinging to the yard, (reflex-save to keep his position.. either upside down, his legs entangled or having his arms thrown over the yard) with the NPCs attacking him from the mast, another flemish horse or simply throw pins at him/her, hanging helpless. Even throw a rope, possibly with a shackle, at him trying to "help"

NPC #2 could pull on buntlines, the stays or braces trying to dislodge the unlucky PC. For nasty ideas and convincing "they pull on this" claims, compare Yardarm,

Perhaps give the sod a chance for a second reflex-save to "miss " the deck and plunge into the sea for a possibly swift rescue

Nasty plan and... far less inconspicious than the bilging.


Despite being an amateur sailor, I know very little about ships of this size and configuration. Thankfully, my players tend to know less so terms I throw out and generally just accepted and we move on. The narrative is more important than the technical details.

Regarding the chance to drop into the water rather than on deck, the PC in my game intentionally jumped, diving to the water some 60ish feet below. Thankfully, there's actually rules for this in the AP at the entrance to riptide cove (page 46).

The other reason I really like this modification is because 5d6 damage is almost never fatal to a level 1 PC *on its own*. I simply had the cleric in the party swabbing the deck while the event was going on, so had he fallen, the average damage would have been 17.5 but 23 damage would have been needed to kill the PC outright (Gunslinger with 12 con, so 11hp). Anything less, and the cleric is right there to stop the bleeding and save his life.

If the same sort of thing happens in the bilge, as soon as you're below 0, you might as well be rolling up a new character. So, despite how nasty it seems, I think it's far less cruel than what was written (and more cinematic/fun to boot).


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Tem wrote:

Despite being an amateur sailor, I know very little about ships of this size and configuration. Thankfully, my players tend to know less so terms I throw out and generally just accepted and we move on. The narrative is more important than the technical details.

Regarding the chance to drop into the water rather than on deck, the PC in my game intentionally jumped, diving to the water some 60ish feet below. Thankfully, there's actually rules for this in the AP at the entrance to riptide cove (page 46).

The other reason I really like this modification is because 5d6 damage is almost never fatal to a level 1 PC *on its own*. I simply had the cleric in the party swabbing the deck while the event was going on, so had he fallen, the average damage would have been 17.5 but 23 damage would have been needed to kill the PC outright (Gunslinger with 12 con, so 11hp). Anything less, and the cleric is right there to stop the bleeding and save his life.

If the same sort of thing happens in the bilge, as soon as you're below 0, you might as well be rolling up a new character. So, despite how nasty it seems, I think it's far less cruel than what was written (and more cinematic/fun to boot).

Agree on that, though the bilging in our case was... a disaster for Scourge and Plugg.

What I like about this plan is the sheer terror for the player, facing an obviously harmful drop "by accident" and clinging on for life. The bilge shivving is pretty much a prison-style hit and players will accordingly deal with it as "combat". No hairs on edge. The simple question will be : what do you want the player to experience ?

Here, if one feels nasty, one might even go for a sleight of hand trick, so the PC might not even be aware just why the rope or sail "got loose".
And it really depends who is up in the mast. And on deck. No immediate healer = pulp ?

Sczarni

Tem, that's really an awesome set piece! My guys are already on the island, but I'll see if I can figure out how to work something like this in later!


Hi all.
I have two questions:

1) The plunder is 1000 gp. It is suggested to spend 1 point of plunder to pay the crew. How often (is it per week or per month)?

2) It seems that after a few piracy events (Sea Wolves Event 7- Raiders of the Fever Sea), the PC's could end up w/ ~ 7 points of plunder in a 1 week period of pirating. After getting rid of crew payment that equates to 6000 gp!!!!!!! I am concerned that th PC's will get wealthy fast and start buying magical equipment/armor/weapons, etc. Does S&S took this into account? Could this be mitigated?

THX


We haven't really gotten to the plunder portion of the game but it seems to me that trading plunder for gold is not really going to net the PCs as much benefit as using it to gain status in the pirate community...which they're really going to have to do if they're going to make it in the Shackles.

The rules for discounting the 'exchange rate' of plunder seems to be a reasonable way to keep the conversions from getting out of hand. Also, if they're not actively raising their status then other pirates aren't going to take them seriously. Have some tough ones come at them a few times, "Yarrr! You're not *real* pirates! Stinking merchants is what you are! We *eat* merchants in the Shackles!"

Well, anyway, that's my current thinking. Be interested to hear what some GMs have run into while actually running the thing.
M

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