The Wormwood Mutiny (GM Reference)


Skull & Shackles

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mearrin69 wrote:

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

Uhm.... silly question on my part.

WHy not prey on pirates? Isnt that where the loot is?


On a related note, I'm going to be using a different table for the sale of plunder in various communities than what is shown on page 62. The reason is that PCs can generally sell goods for about half what they would cost to buy. Commodities can be sold closer to their true value, but they are stolen after all, so no matter how large a city, the base should be less than 100%. Also, it'll be easier to use a fixed formula for the DC to increase the sale price (since most of them are equivalent anyway):

The DC to increase the value of the sale is 10 + 5 per 50gp

Size / Base / Maximum (all based on GP for 1 point of plunder)

Thorp / 400 / 550
Hamlet / 450 / 600
Village / 500 / 650
Small Town / 550 / 750
Large Town / 600 / 850
Small City / 700 / 950
Large City / 800 / 1100
Metropolis / 900 / 1200

So, the PCs can get 50% pretty much automatically at any decent trading port, while getting full value will take a little work (DC 20+) even at the largest trading centres. After all, what merchant would pay more for something than he'd be able to sell it for himself!

As others have mentioned, if the PCs spend a lot of time haggling over prices of things, they'll start getting a reputation as nothing better than "opportunisitc" merchants.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Franko a wrote:

Uhm.... silly question on my part.

WHy not prey on pirates? Isnt that where the loot is?

Pirates would be more dangerous as prey plus probably better armed and more numerous..? And... One would have to know just which pirate had just come into money...


Finished part 1, 12 sessions 3hours long.

Boy is this part deadly, mean and unforgiving.

The island was particualy tough, the party of 3 was taken down to minus HP on numerous occations, the driud with the swarm, the wizard with the crabs and the rogue with Arron. The wizard contracted Ghoul rot and was saved later.

The caverns were nasty, the Druid achiving neg HP twice, once from the Grindys in area d3 after becoming snagged, the druid again after being hit and grabbed by the devilfish (saved by a party member due to them being roped together and tugging her out), and one death the Druid again after being swallowed by the Whale (needless to say the druid is now being very cautious). We use Hero points so she is now back amoung the living have been bought back by Goza and giving a quest to fulfil and bearing a rather nasty scar down her face (coming back from the dead is never easy). The managed to play craftty with the devilfish twice and escaped its cluthces without fighting it by being cunning and using evasion tactics and spells otherwise they would im sure have had another death.

The party are now back on board the ship having saved Sandara and Giffer and nursing wounds.

It has been a really good start and a very memerable adventure, well worth palying through. Great job guys, now on to part 2.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

stuart haffenden wrote:
Macharius wrote:
psionichamster wrote:
Plus, grabbing images from the internet/NPC gallery to paste on the back of the cards should give the players a better grasp on just which NPC is which.
The paper minis might work well for this purpose as well, if you expanded the images from the PDF. Hopefully the resolution doesn't end up too poor.
The Paper Mini's pictures can be blown up to full A4 and still look good.

Quick question: I purchased the Paper Minis, how do I blow them up? I'd like to print larger versions to paste on the back of my index cards.


greysector wrote:
Quick question: I purchased the Paper Minis, how do I blow them up? I'd like to print larger versions to paste on the back of my index cards.

I just zoomed in on-screen in Acrobat and used the Windows snipping tool to grab the image and pasted that into Photoshop. I made sort of a grid of NPC images with cutout lines in one 8 1/2" x 11" document and then printed them in one go (well, actually, there were two pages of them).

I find the cards *very* useful.
M

Shadow Lodge

ferrinwulf wrote:

Finished part 1, 12 sessions 3hours long.

Boy is this part deadly, mean and unforgiving.

Yeah. The consensus seems to be that Bonewrack Isle is brutal. Congrats to Richard Pett for putting together a sequence of encounters groups will be remembering for a long time for its cruelty.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
greysector wrote:
stuart haffenden wrote:
Macharius wrote:
psionichamster wrote:
Plus, grabbing images from the internet/NPC gallery to paste on the back of the cards should give the players a better grasp on just which NPC is which.
The paper minis might work well for this purpose as well, if you expanded the images from the PDF. Hopefully the resolution doesn't end up too poor.
The Paper Mini's pictures can be blown up to full A4 and still look good.
Quick question: I purchased the Paper Minis, how do I blow them up? I'd like to print larger versions to paste on the back of my index cards.

Resize them with MS-paint or any other photo-tool ?


Question:
Any idea what is the height of the lower decks of the man's promise or any other standard ship? Is it 5, 10, or 15 ft??

THX

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
Cojonuda wrote:

Question:

Any idea what is the height of the lower decks of the man's promise or any other standard ship? Is it 5, 10, or 15 ft??

THX

In real life? About 6'. In game use? probably 10'


JohnF wrote:
Cojonuda wrote:

Question:

Any idea what is the height of the lower decks of the man's promise or any other standard ship? Is it 5, 10, or 15 ft??

THX

In real life? About 6'. In game use? probably 10'

THX!!!!!

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Cojonuda wrote:
JohnF wrote:
Cojonuda wrote:

Question:

Any idea what is the height of the lower decks of the man's promise or any other standard ship? Is it 5, 10, or 15 ft??

THX

In real life? About 6'. In game use? probably 10'
THX!!!!!

I would agree with JohnF. 10 feet is kind of a "default" for rooms and dungeons in the game, so I'd use that.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

So I started running The Wormwood Mutiny on Tuesday night for six players.

By the end of the session we had finished Day 1 and got a bit into Day 2.

Two problems have cropped up that I'd like some advice on.

The first is that none of the PCs have Diplomacy and even the somewhat charismatic PCs have been rolling horribly on their checks to influence the NPCs, and unfortunately the consequence of failing a Diplomacy check is having the NPC's attitude shift one in the opposite direction. My initial idea was to have the negative shift in attitude be temporary. Thoughts?

The second problem is how the PCs handled getting jumped by Master Sourge's toadies. The PCs knocked them all out, some with nonlethal damage and others with lethal damage (those NPCs have been stabilized). The PCs then proceeded to strip them of their gear and tote their unconscious forms up onto the main deck. Thoughts on how to handle this? Six lashes for each character? One of them already has six lashes coming to him for being spotted dumping his rum over the side...


greysector wrote:

So I started running The Wormwood Mutiny on Tuesday night for six players.

By the end of the session we had finished Day 1 and got a bit into Day 2.

Two problems have cropped up that I'd like some advice on.

The first is that none of the PCs have Diplomacy and even the somewhat charismatic...

The second problem is how the PCs handled getting jumped by Master Sourge's toadies...

1) Maybe give them a chance to move some skills or stats around? I gave my players a heads up that diplomacy, intimidate, etc. would be important off the bat. I have 6 players and about half ended up with stronger social skills. The book should probably suggest that GM's emphasize the social aspect.

2) I'd give them the lashes. Capt. Harrigan needs bodies, so he won't be happy about the beatings, even if the PCs were ambushed (which of course they can't prove and Scourge wouldn't admit he sent the NPCs). Were the PCs also late because of the ambush? I always leave left over lashes for PCs if they fall unconscious. This might be a lesson for them to be a little more sly about causing trouble. The Wormwood is basically a big ego beat down for the PCs until they get some hope later on. It is also a way to introduce Sandara as she can heal unconscious PCs.


THX Rob


Greysector:
1) if your characters have little Diplo then that is their character built. It means they have to do more roleplay or find other ways to attrack friends.

2) I also have a party of 6 and they did beat the toadies. When that happened I had Mr. Scourge come down wondering why they were late. As he showed up two of the toadies started blaming the PC for being jumped by them. Eventually the PC's/NPC's got whipped for ALL being late to work.


1) The Diplomacy thing is difficult. Might consider letting them shuffle points around, as suggested above. The checks are tough enough even with Diplomacy. I tended to give bonuses to the PCs based on their roleplaying efforts...e.g. the party's cleric/cook's mate brought food to Chumlett on a regular basis, making checks against him easier.

2) Our party cast sleep, taking down three of the ambushers. That left Chumlett, who they intimidated with an "if you're not on our side you're on the losing side". They high-tailed it to the deck and left Chumlett to wake up his friends...and all of them ended up being late and getting lashes for it.

I'm not sure beating someone up is against the rules of Wormwood (it's not on my Wormwood anyway) but beating them and making them miss "formation" might be. Certainly missing it yourself is worthy of lashes. Anybody who's working for Scourge (i.e. everybody but the riggers, right?) should probably pay in other ways for besting his toadies...
M


Questions for Rob:

When it comes to fixing ships using magic how does these spells work:

Mending-
Range 10 ft.
Target one object of up to 1 lb./level

What is considered an object when it comes to ships.
Is the whole ship an object?
Is one deck an object (made of numerous wood planks)?
Is a mast one object (one big trunk)?
Is the sail an object (one giant cloth)?
Is the complete hull considered an object (made of numerous wood planks)?
Is the individual wood planks of the hull and decks considered objects?
Or is it just the portion/section of the "broken" deck/hull (regardless how many planks are broken), mast, sail, hull considered the object.

Range: For example, if the main deck is an object, then the caster has to be 10 feet away (range) and touch any part of the deck to fix it or the caster has to be 10 feet away from the actual broken spot?

Thanks

Make Whole, Mending

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder

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From the Skull & shackles Player's Guide, page 16:
Mending is not powerful enough to meaningfully affect an object as large as a ship, but make whole affects a ship as if it were a construct, repairing 1d6 points of damage per level.

Basically, mending is a 0-level spell, and so is not really designed to to repair things as big and complicated as hips, so what actually constitutes an "object" in this case is pretty much left up to GMs. This is why make whole treats the entire ship as a construct, so you don't have to figure out what an "object" actually is for the purpose of the spell.

So if someone busts down the door to the captain's cabin, I might allow mending (of a sufficiently high caster level) to repair the door, but for anything else, it's make whole.

Cojonuda wrote:

Questions for Rob:

When it comes to fixing ships using magic how does these spells work:

Mending-
Range 10 ft.
Target one object of up to 1 lb./level

What is considered an object when it comes to ships.
Is the whole ship an object?
Is one deck an object (made of numerous wood planks)?
Is a mast one object (one big trunk)?
Is the sail an object (one giant cloth)?
Is the complete hull considered an object (made of numerous wood planks)?
Is the individual wood planks of the hull and decks considered objects?
Or is it just the portion/section of the "broken" deck/hull (regardless how many planks are broken), mast, sail, hull considered the object.

Range: For example, if the main deck is an object, then the caster has to be 10 feet away (range) and touch any part of the deck to fix it or the caster has to be 10 feet away from the actual broken spot?

Thanks

Make Whole, Mending

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

Is anybody else running this for six PCs? Does anybody have any advice or tips for scaling it up? I added a few more dire rats to the bilge fight.

My group includes a druid, and the group managed to capture all but one of the dire rats. He is currently building cages for them and wants to train them as pets. I don't think that the rest of the crew are going to react favorably to having dangerous vermin.

Any thoughts on how this should play out?

Sovereign Court

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
greysector wrote:

Is anybody else running this for six PCs? Does anybody have any advice or tips for scaling it up? I added a few more dire rats to the bilge fight.

My group includes a druid, and the group managed to capture all but one of the dire rats. He is currently building cages for them and wants to train them as pets. I don't think that the rest of the crew are going to react favorably to having dangerous vermin.

Any thoughts on how this should play out?

Plugg's lackeys could tattle on them, then during bloody hour Plugg can go on this big rambling speech about the PC being a danger to the rest of his/her crewmates by keeping the creatures alive. That's on top of disobeying an order to go down and kill them, and not come back up til they were dead. Sounds like some serious punishment coming that PCs way, as well as really solidifying the line between sides. Then of course Plugg could kill the rats in front of the PC, order Fishguts and the cook's mate to cook them up and make the PCs eat them.

Sczarni

Runnetib wrote:
greysector wrote:

Is anybody else running this for six PCs? Does anybody have any advice or tips for scaling it up? I added a few more dire rats to the bilge fight.

My group includes a druid, and the group managed to capture all but one of the dire rats. He is currently building cages for them and wants to train them as pets. I don't think that the rest of the crew are going to react favorably to having dangerous vermin.

Any thoughts on how this should play out?

Plugg's lackeys could tattle on them, then during bloody hour Plugg can go on this big rambling speech about the PC being a danger to the rest of his/her crewmates by keeping the creatures alive. That's on top of disobeying an order to go down and kill them, and not come back up til they were dead. Sounds like some serious punishment coming that PCs way, as well as really solidifying the line between sides. Then of course Plugg could kill the rats in front of the PC, order Fishguts and the cook's mate to cook them up and make the PCs eat them.

Wow, that's brutal. You should definitely use this.


In regards to the B. Queen in the Cauldron, she has a wand of Summon NA II w/ 12 charges. If I have her cast it 12 times in a row (she gets underwater and makes her skill check) wouldn't this encounter be more than a CR 6?


1) When it comes to PC (land-based creatures) movement in water, do they have to make a swim check every single round even during combat? I think that they do especially in combat.
2) Do they have to make a swim check to tread water?
3) The -2 on attack roles while in water applies if using one weapon or two-handed weapon or two weapon fighting? I would guess if using two wepons or two handed the penalty will be more b/c the character is relying on his legs to keep afloat? Does the attack panalty increase or the swim check?

THX

Mike


Man, the island is tough-ish. The ghoul whores were on the verge or TPKing the group today...if the cleric hadn't rallied and gotten some good channels in there. Two of the PCs have ghoul fever. It's a pretty tough encounter and I didn't pull any punches.

They were having trouble with the frogs, hanging as they were from a rope tied to trees on either bank. Several rounds of tongue-grapples and missed shots followed...until the witch remembered sleep. On that one, our nimble swashbuckler hopped across the pylons carrying a rope, which they tied off and crossed. Didn't see a DC for climbing like that anywhere so I picked 5.
M


Anyone else find that the mutiny went too easy? The Players in my group wanted to sneak back to the ship in the dead of the night. I had the Player's friendly NPCs tied and gagged on the deck after having tried to mutiny while the Players were absent. Plug intended to maroon the PCs so Ambrose staged a failed mutiny. Then Plug and Scourge lay hidden in wait, buffing themselves with their potion of Blur and Black Adder poison.

However, the Players had the wand of Summonng Nature's Allies from the Brinebood Queen which they used to keep summoning stirges each round until the enemy crew was subdued. Plug and Scourge were hidden in the captain's cabin. After triggering traps, the PCs got in, but with the aid of several stirges, Plug was quickly reduced to a weakling.

Also the PCs had their wizard buff their tank beyond being able to be hit. In fact he was only hit twice... The last strike against him was Scourge's death blow, a natural 20 that was confirmed.

Anyway, as the adventures are written, I could see my group walking through the encounters like they have so far.

Now they want to stay on Bonewrack Isle for 20 days and use the wizard's Make Whole spell to raise the Invernus and skip Rickety Hake's , believing they can customize the Man's Promise by themselves.

Anyone else facing these challenges?


danmasucci wrote:
However, the Players had the wand of Summonng Nature's Allies from the Brinebood Queen which they used to keep summoning stirges each round until the enemy crew was subdued. Plug and Scourge were hidden in the captain's cabin. After triggering traps, the PCs got in, but with the aid of several stirges, Plug was quickly reduced to a weakling.

I find that pretty surprising. I mean, the wand would only summon an average of 2 stirges per use. Even if those stirges aren't killed (likely, given they provoke AoO whenever they enter an opponents space and have terrible AC once attached), they only drain 1 Con/round each (and only last 3 rounds). That means you are looking at almost 2 entire castings just to take down a single pirate, assuming none of them ever miss or are killed.

If the stirges aren't killing with constitution damage, they are doing the equivalent of 2 damage every other round against a normal pirate, or 5 damage every other round against Plugg. I can't imagine a DPR of 1 to 2.5 made that huge of a difference for you guys.

Quote:
Also the PCs had their wizard buff their tank beyond being able to be hit. In fact he was only hit twice... The last strike against him was Scourge's death blow, a natural 20 that was confirmed.

What spell was that? I mean, Plugg has +10 to attack. Given the lack of strong armors or the opportunity to shop in the adventure, it would take a pretty thoroughly AC focused character to make that never hit. I can't imagine such a character would have enough resources left to be a credible offensive threat, and Plugg could just walk around the side and start stabbing the wizard directly.

Quote:
Anyway, as the adventures are written, I could see my group walking through the encounters like they have so far.

If they walked through all of Bonewrack Island, your fears are probably justified. That place is a meatgrinder, and I can't think of anything in the next couple of adventures that even comes close (especially with all the NPCs and single opponent battles against Captains).

Quote:
Now they want to stay on Bonewrack Isle for 20 days and use the wizard's Make Whole spell to raise the Invernus and skip Rickety Hake's , believing they can customize the Man's Promise by themselves.

I don't think make whole would raise the Infernus, I think it would just fix it. I honestly have no idea how one would go about raising a ship like that, but I can't imagine it would be easy. Meanwhile, the crew would have to deal with the remaining threats of Bonewrack Island, especially the botfly swarms carrying ghoul fever. And in the end, you would just have another ship that should probably be squibbed (unless you want people thinking you are Chelish navy, of course). Not saying you shouldn't let them be creative and do it, just that you shouldn't feel the need to make it particularly easy for them either.

Shadow Lodge

mearrin69 wrote:

Man, the island is tough-ish. The ghoul whores were on the verge or TPKing the group today...if the cleric hadn't rallied and gotten some good channels in there. Two of the PCs have ghoul fever. It's a pretty tough encounter and I didn't pull any punches.

Yeah, many of us have found Bonewrack really brutal. Lots of deaths in the obituaries attest to that.

Shadow Lodge

danmasucci wrote:


Anyway, as the adventures are written, I could see my group walking through the encounters like they have so far.

Anyone else facing these challenges?

Generally Bonewrack has been a nightmare for most groups, but if you're group walked through it I would expect you'll need to tweak a lot of the encounters in the next book to be a challenge. As always player skill and GMing style trump the mechanical difficulty of the encounters. If you have experienced, tactically skilled players they will defeat a lot of encounters easier. You may want to tell them you're switching to the slow XP track and adding enemies to make it more challenging.

Of course, it can also be a GMing issue. As Mort pointed out some of the tactics you describe seem unlikely. The pirates should have been able to gang up on the stirges and take them out pretty easily. Plugg should have taken stirges out quickly. Or they could go below deck or in the cabin, close the doors/hatches and wait the spell out. Also, why would they allow the PC's to sit out of the battle summoning in stirges? Casting with wands makes plenty of noise.

Were the PC's sitting in a longboat beside the Wormwood during all this? In my game the pirates dropped heavy barrels on them from above, dealing 3d6 damage in a 5' radius. Or drop an alchemist fire in their dinghy and see how they like it.

If they get on ship have multiple guys gang up to bull rush them overboard. Anyone in the water might meet a Jigsaw Shark or a Giant Moray Eel. Plugg and Scourge have sailed with these PC's for weeks now. They know who is strong and who is weak and they would go after the weak ones. Why tangle with the tank if they can kill the wizard? etc...


I'm newer to running PF, having converted recently from 4E which I know well. I didn't realize the stirges provoked attacks of opportunity, and I trusted the player to handle the spell and its duration which clearly was a mistake. He used six summons and averaged high on his rolls.

The group's tank had cat's grace, Mage armor and already had a 17 AC not too mention an 18 dexterity. Combine that with some bad rolls and the fact that to PCs were invisible for a few rounds. The one using the wand was invisible. I really should have had him come out of invisibility after using the wand. I know he'd argue that he wasn't attacking but it sure was offensive!

Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
danmasucci wrote:
However, the Players had the wand of Summonng Nature's Allies from the Brinebood Queen which they used to keep summoning stirges each round until the enemy crew was subdued. Plug and Scourge were hidden in the captain's cabin. After triggering traps, the PCs got in, but with the aid of several stirges, Plug was quickly reduced to a weakling.

I find that pretty surprising. I mean, the wand would only summon an average of 2 stirges per use. Even if those stirges aren't killed (likely, given they provoke AoO whenever they enter an opponents space and have terrible AC once attached), they only drain 1 Con/round each (and only last 3 rounds). That means you are looking at almost 2 entire castings just to take down a single pirate, assuming none of them ever miss or are killed.

If the stirges aren't killing with constitution damage, they are doing the equivalent of 2 damage every other round against a normal pirate, or 5 damage every other round against Plugg. I can't imagine a DPR of 1 to 2.5 made that huge of a difference for you guys.

Quote:
Also the PCs had their wizard buff their tank beyond being able to be hit. In fact he was only hit twice... The last strike against him was Scourge's death blow, a natural 20 that was confirmed.

What spell was that? I mean, Plugg has +10 to attack. Given the lack of strong armors or the opportunity to shop in the adventure, it would take a pretty thoroughly AC focused character to make that never hit. I can't imagine such a character would have enough resources left to be a credible offensive threat, and Plugg could just walk around the side and start stabbing the wizard directly.

Quote:
Anyway, as the adventures are written, I could see my group walking through the encounters like they have so far.
If they walked through all of Bonewrack Island, your fears are probably justified. That place is a meatgrinder, and I can't think of anything in the next couple of adventures that even comes close (especially with all the...


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Sweet! The PCs in my game have completed the mutiny but are going back to inspect the Invernus so I think I'll use this idea!

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!


Yes, they slipped up next to the Wormwood on a jolly boat covering their approach with a silent image of the sea masking them. They padded the oars and made a group stealth check, all in the middle of the night- I called it dim illumination.

I mentioned something about using the wand would alert the enemies but the player said it was a silent action and you didn't have to vocalize anything.

In older editions you always needed to speak a keyword to enable magical wands and staves.

Sounds like I was snookered.

sabedoriaclark wrote:
danmasucci wrote:


Anyway, as the adventures are written, I could see my group walking through the encounters like they have so far.

Anyone else facing these challenges?

Generally Bonewrack has been a nightmare for most groups, but if you're group walked through it I would expect you'll need to tweak a lot of the encounters in the next book to be a challenge. As always player skill and GMing style trump the mechanical difficulty of the encounters. If you have experienced, tactically skilled players they will defeat a lot of encounters easier. You may want to tell them you're switching to the slow XP track and adding enemies to make it more challenging.

Of course, it can also be a GMing issue. As Mort pointed out some of the tactics you describe seem unlikely. The pirates should have been able to gang up on the stirges and take them out pretty easily. Plugg should have taken stirges out quickly. Or they could go below deck or in the cabin, close the doors/hatches and wait the spell out. Also, why would they allow the PC's to sit out of the battle summoning in stirges? Casting with wands makes plenty of noise.

Were the PC's sitting in a longboat beside the Wormwood during all this? In my game the pirates dropped heavy barrels on them from above, dealing 3d6 damage in a 5' radius. Or drop an alchemist fire in their dinghy and see how they like it.

If they get on ship have multiple guys gang up to bull rush them overboard. Anyone in the water might meet a Jigsaw Shark or a Giant Moray Eel. Plugg and Scourge have sailed with these PC's for weeks now. They know who is strong and who is weak and they would go after the weak ones. Why tangle with the tank if they can kill the wizard? etc...

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
danmasucci wrote:


The group's tank had cat's grace, Mage armor and already had a 17 AC not too mention an 18 dexterity. Combine that with some bad rolls and the fact that to PCs were invisible for a few rounds. The one using the wand was invisible. I really should have had him come out of invisibility after using the wand. I know he'd argue that he wasn't attacking but it sure was offensive!

Mage Armor grants an armor bonus to AC, which is the same type granted by armor, so they don't stack. Based on the 17 AC with 18 dex, it looks like his armor bonus to AC is a +3, so Mage Armor would've only made his AC 18. Cat's Grace would've put him at 20, but that's without calculating his armor's Max Dex Bonus. Not sure what he was wearing, but if memory serves, armor with a +3 often has a +5 max dex bonus, so half of Cat's Grace would be wasted. Without looking at any specific armor entries (or knowing what he was wearing), quick calculations put his max AC at that point should be ~21. With the +10 to attack someone mentioned, that is still a pretty good chance to beat down the tank.

I think I've got all that as correct as I'm able...


The tank is a half Orc barbarian that wears studded leather armor and has an 18 dexterity. I have trusted my players since they are experienced but I think I need to question what they do more.

Thanks to everyone for your input!

Runnetib wrote:
danmasucci wrote:


The group's tank had cat's grace, Mage armor and already had a 17 AC not too mention an 18 dexterity. Combine that with some bad rolls and the fact that to PCs were invisible for a few rounds. The one using the wand was invisible. I really should have had him come out of invisibility after using the wand. I know he'd argue that he wasn't attacking but it sure was offensive!

Mage Armor grants an armor bonus to AC, which is the same type granted by armor, so they don't stack. Based on the 17 AC with 18 dex, it looks like his armor bonus to AC is a +3, so Mage Armor would've only made his AC 18. Cat's Grace would've put him at 20, but that's without calculating his armor's Max Dex Bonus. Not sure what he was wearing, but if memory serves, armor with a +3 often has a +5 max dex bonus, so half of Cat's Grace would be wasted. Without looking at any specific armor entries (or knowing what he was wearing), quick calculations put his max AC at that point should be ~21. With the +10 to attack someone mentioned, that is still a pretty good chance to beat down the tank.

I think I've got all that as correct as I'm able...


Figured it out...
Iron hide feat, Cat's Grace, Shield of Faith, Mage Armor, two weapon defense but that only brings it to 24. Still, that's pretty well buffed up!

Runnetib wrote:
danmasucci wrote:


The group's tank had cat's grace, Mage armor and already had a 17 AC not too mention an 18 dexterity. Combine that with some bad rolls and the fact that to PCs were invisible for a few rounds. The one using the wand was invisible. I really should have had him come out of invisibility after using the wand. I know he'd argue that he wasn't attacking but it sure was offensive!

Mage Armor grants an armor bonus to AC, which is the same type granted by armor, so they don't stack. Based on the 17 AC with 18 dex, it looks like his armor bonus to AC is a +3, so Mage Armor would've only made his AC 18. Cat's Grace would've put him at 20, but that's without calculating his armor's Max Dex Bonus. Not sure what he was wearing, but if memory serves, armor with a +3 often has a +5 max dex bonus, so half of Cat's Grace would be wasted. Without looking at any specific armor entries (or knowing what he was wearing), quick calculations put his max AC at that point should be ~21. With the +10 to attack someone mentioned, that is still a pretty good chance to beat down the tank.

I think I've got all that as correct as I'm able...

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

While I applaud player sneakyness, I would not let them get away with it that easily. I am 'on board' (har har) with sabedoriaclark about letting Plugg and co being a bit smarter. :)

That said, 24 AC, that is not bad at all. Very nice indeed.

Good luck on the campaign, keep us posted! :)


Now that they have taken over the ship we will be heading to Raiders of the Fever Sea. I'm going to start looking at the message boards for that adventure now to anticipate what may come up.

I also agree with sabedoriaclark. I'll have to bump things up a bit.

One of the problems I have with this AP is that the PCs have very skilled NPCs who could make things very easy for them. I broke the fourth wall during the mutiny to say, "Basically, Sandara and the others will handle the rest of the crew while you guys deal with Plug and Scourge." Honestly, I did not want to handle the battle rounds for every NPC on e ship. I know this is mentioned somewhere in one of the books for the campaign but when you have NPC allies that could seriously alter encounters it becomes touchy.

Love to hear some thoughts on how people handled that.

Thanks gang!

Maglok wrote:

While I applaud player sneakyness, I would not let them get away with it that easily. I am 'on board' (har har) with sabedoriaclark about letting Plugg and co being a bit smarter. :)

That said, 24 AC, that is not bad at all. Very nice indeed.

Good luck on the campaign, keep us posted! :)


Going forward, I'd recommend you have the NPCs sort of melt into the background. Your PCs really don't need any help, and the AP pretty much assumes that all the NPCs are involved in the indeterminate crew combat while you fight Captains and marines. Maximizing hitpoints or adding additional foes (with no extra XP) might also be in order, given the rules bending and generally easy nature of many encounters in the AP. Additionally, if you have a mobile device capable of running it, I'd recommend keeping the PRD, PFSRD, or something similar (such as Combat Manager) open when you play. Cracking down on rules-bending actions by your PCs will probably do more to fix the difficulty of the AP than any adjustment of enemies or stats.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

We had our first session and it was awesome. This book is really good. It feels quite hard to run though, with all the things to track and the balance you have to strike between making sure they know who is in charge and them not just going for a mutiny right off the bat.

Awesome adventure!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Apologies for the double post, but I was looking into piratical punishments some more and I had a few questions:

First of all the keelhauling, slow is 12 rounds, fast is 6 rounds. A character can hold his breath for twice his CON score if he doesnt take standard/fullround actions. Basically if you are keelhauled slow and you have 6 CON you are fine. If you run out of CON rounds, you still get to make a CON check every round to see if you actually drown. The basic pirate has 11 CON, thus 22 rounds of holding your breath. What am I doing wrong? Or is it really only supposed to be the dmg that do characters in? If anyone can pretty much live through a keelhauling with breathing it is not that scary.

Next up: Whipping! 3 lashes with 1d3+1 nonlethal dmg means your average d8 HD player of level 1 goes down on the third strike, cause really when does anyone really miss those slashes (I do roll to hit, but you know). So when someone gets 6 lashes it is lights out for anyone. It then takes an hour for every point of non-lethal dmg to recover. Which would mean the character is down to less hitpoints for at max his hp in hours. That's 8 on average in my campaign. (Though there is some healing available dont you worry). Am I doing it right in that almost no one can walk away from 6 lashes and most also buckle on 3 lashes?

Next up: The Cat! Lethal damage, nasty. Nastier, obviously, same thing though. Two-three lashes with the cat can drop someone in the negatives. I guess with the cat that is ok, since you gotta do some bad stuff.


No, you are pretty much spot on. The keelhauling thing and lashes knocking people out were both noticed when the adventure came out. Funnily enough, you are still better off with a fast keelhauling, as it deals an average of 21 damage instead of 24 for the slow version. Additional fun: the rum ration will kill the whole crew in a couple of weeks, the heave game can only end in death, and a weak Wizard can beat a strong Fighter at arm wrestling around 20% of the time.

Thankfully, there are ways to deal with your problems. So long as no PC ends up keelhauled, you can sweep the problems with that system under the rug. Whipping is more likely, but you can fix things by delaying the remaining lashes of an unconscious subject until the next day, lowering the amount of lashes, or having the victims be healed after they pass out so they can be whipped more (Plugg could make Sandara do this, or perhaps Peppery Longfarthing could cast infernal healing). I mean, these things were intended to harass and annoy, not straight up kill the PCs. The mechanics just didn't happen to work out that way.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Oh I doubt we'd run into any problems. I got pretty cool players and I don't intend to kill them with it. :)

Regardless thanks for the clarification. I just wondered since it mentioned Jakes Magpie was both dead to barnacles and drowned. Though I can see him being drowned because he went into the negatives. :)

Awesome! We shall carry on! Thanks!


yup lashes are correct, whip em, drop em, send em to the bunk to recover (sandara can always heal if needs be) either way they should be fatigued the next day.

Didn't need to keelhaul with my group so can't comment on that (the shock of seeing what happens on day 1 made sure they were not that daft).


Maglok wrote:

We had our first session and it was awesome. This book is really good. It feels quite hard to run though, with all the things to track and the balance you have to strike between making sure they know who is in charge and them not just going for a mutiny right off the bat.

Awesome adventure!

If you use a computer while running, there is a spread sheet floating around that is extremely useful for keeping track of the crew, PC jobs, etc.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I grabbed the spreadsheet aye. I have a notebook around during play. I have added things to the spreadsheet and keep a second one handy in which I write out what I 'have to do' every day on the Wormwood. 'Introduce Sandara', etc.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Here are some questions I was asked that I'm answering here so everyone can get the benefit of the answers.

Quote:
When you reach an infamy "level", for example Loathsome, it shows 3 benefits. Do PC's pick one or all 3 are automatically gained?

You gain all the benefits listed for a given Infamy Threshold at one time.

Quote:
When it comes to impositions, the Pc's can only buy 1/day. If they buy Walk the Plank, does it has an infinite use (1/day) or once used they have to purchase it again?

Unless otherwise noted, each imposition can be used only once, then must be purchased again.


Hi Guys,

I have a quick question regarding Sandara Quinn. I'm running Wormwood Mutiny now and she is about to die.

Spoiler:
(Scourge's dark reaver powder...)

Do I need her for anything in future books of the AP? In the book it says

Spoiler:
she needs to be one of the sailors kidnapped by the Grindylows
. Why is that? I don't see any reason other than giving the players her magical item. Does she play a role in the next parts?


I wouldn't worry about it. There is no part of the AP later on that relies on her explicitly. She's referenced here and there, but never required to be alive to complete the AP.

It's nice to have an "adviser" for the PCs, but Ambrose (or any other NPC) could easily fill that role.

Shadow Lodge

Tadeus wrote:


I have a quick question regarding Sandara Quinn. I'm running Wormwood Mutiny now and she is about to die.

No worries. You just need to replace her in the latter portion with a helpful NPC the players will be motivated to save, and in future books with a different advisor/friend. Nothing crucial to the game is ruined by Sandara dying.

Sczarni

They used Sandara so that they'd have a fully statted-out and backstoried NPC for the PCs to interact with. If you kill her off, you'll just have to devise someone of your own if you feel that you need that role.

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