Keeping PCs from getting themselves keel-hauled... Spoilers


Skull & Shackles

51 to 65 of 65 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I know that in real life, pirates would raise a red jack (flag) at first, meaning that they would accept a peaceful surrender. In that situation, the target would need to drop sail, allow the pirates to board, and would surrender cargo & valuables without a fight.

If the merchantman fled, the pirates would raise the black flag, meaning that no quarter would be given. That would lead to a fight unless the merchantman was able to escape. Some pirates decorated their black flag with skull and bones, or skull and crossed swords to underscore the warning.

So, good-aligned PC pirates could first hoist the red flag to see if their target surrenders without a fight. You could also have them target other pirates, slavers, Chelaxians devil-manned ships, etc.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
stuart haffenden wrote:
Why should the developers solve your own created problem? Choose a different AP.

How about "It seems I am paying for stuff I don't need. Why should I continue to do so?"


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Haladir wrote:
I know that in real life, pirates would raise a red jack (flag) at first, meaning that they would accept a peaceful surrender. In that situation, the target would need to drop sail, allow the pirates to board, and would surrender cargo & valuables without a fight.

I think that may be backward. Red flag meant no quarter whereas a black flag meant quarter would be given. I think the idea was that the red flag was a "bloody" flag. (Source: History channel documentary on pirates and wikipedia entry.) But incorporating that into the game is a great idea, if the GM agrees it would be an acceptable custom.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
magnuskn wrote:
stuart haffenden wrote:
Why should the developers solve your own created problem? Choose a different AP.
How about "It seems I am paying for stuff I don't need. Why should I continue to do so?"

Then don't.

Not every AP (or other book, for that matter) is for everyone. If you don't want to play pirates, don't buy this AP. Maybe the next one will be more to your taste.
Paizo is gambling that more people will be drawn in by the thought of Pirates!, than driven away.

Some people didn't want to play a sandboxy kingdom building adventure either. Or a Far Eastern one.
Should they stick to just traditional, vaguely European heroic adventures, to avoid the risk of losing customers?


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
--concerns about the handling of the Rahadoum ship--

Maybe you can adjust this scene without losing the mood of it.

In one of my favorite books (The Curse of Chalion), the main character used to be a galley slave. One of his stories is of a "game" the oarmasters would sometimes play with recalcitrant slaves, where the slave would be tossed overboard to tread water for a while until their attitude improved. He describes how this was actually worse for good swimmers, as those who couldn't swim at least could expect to die mercifully quickly. On one occasion, a sudden storm blew up while the oarmaster was disciplining a slave this way, and the captain refused to circle back and pick up the slave, instead telling the oarmaster that the value of the slave would be docked from the oarmaster's pay. He mentions how they could hear the slave's desperate screams receding into the distance as they rowed away...

You could have one of the pirates tell a story somewhat like this during an evening prior to the scene with the Rahadoum ship, then have this be the method being used when the first Rahadoumi woman is tossed overboard. They don't necessarily have to drown any of the Rahadoumi survivors, just convince them all (and the PCs) that their willing to do so.


Alright...my alignment is Neutral at best, really, but I've had a few thoughts on this notion, myself. 'Evil' campaigns don't particularly interest me, and becoming Vile on the scale of Infamy doesn't, either. Yet I like this AP, so far.

I'm actually planning to make Sandara not a cleric, but a Holy Gun (paladin) of Besmara. Switch her alignment to CG, and Diplomacy to Bluff, maybe tweak whatever else I think of. Piracy, to her, does not represent rape and pillage and wanton murder. Well, perhaps a little bit of pillage. More plunder, really. Piracy is representative of Freedom in a fairly Nietzschian sense...Will To Power, only hopefully not reduced to absurdity as we know it can be. It's about not fitting into or agreeing with the society at large, rebelling from the notion that no matter where we go we must obey other people's rules. Be subject to other people's judgements and whims. I'm hoping to imbue this campaign with a sort of Malcolm Reynolds 'We take the jobs we can' feel. There's plenty of smuggling to be done, rumors of treasure to be hunted, shipwrecks to be salvaged...and LE Chelish vessels to be humiliated. I mean, 'pact with devils' is just screaming for pirates to be the good guys!

Which isn't to say that there aren't bad pirates - only that you don't have to be one. Isn't that what a pirate nation is all about? Freedom to be good or evil, as you please, no questions asked unless you turn that cutlass on me. As such, press-ganging is actually something my Sandara will take offense to - though it isn't a killing offense. It's...old-fashioned, and unnecessary, and unpleasant perhaps...but they've got to dock again someday, probably not far off, and she can help out until then, or not so much, as she likes. She will get into trouble, and she will most certainly get her arse whipped more than once - but she'll pull her weight in chores enough to keep from getting keelhauled.

As to the Man's Promise, I have every intention of allowing my PCs to help the crew to escape. Hopefully not to fight back, cause I'm not sure how to accommodate that - but if I have Sandara run up and help get the boats ready, I'm hoping they'll follow suit. In which case, it becomes a game of Stealth/Perception checks, avoiding notice in the fog from some of the unsavory pirate types, and perhaps even some friendly-fire combat. So long as nobody spots the PCs killing their own crew, it can be blamed on the Rahadoumi - who are halfway to shore by now. Then grant Story Experience for each Rahadoumi saved in this manner as though they had been defeated in combat. And none of this puts even a dent in the main plot.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
stuart haffenden wrote:
Why should the developers solve your own created problem? Choose a different AP.
How about "It seems I am paying for stuff I don't need. Why should I continue to do so?"

Then don't.

Not every AP (or other book, for that matter) is for everyone. If you don't want to play pirates, don't buy this AP. Maybe the next one will be more to your taste.
Paizo is gambling that more people will be drawn in by the thought of Pirates!, than driven away.

Some people didn't want to play a sandboxy kingdom building adventure either. Or a Far Eastern one.
Should they stick to just traditional, vaguely European heroic adventures, to avoid the risk of losing customers?

No, but throw a bone to their "heroes should be good" base by giving a paragraph on how to play this whole thing with people who are offended by the thought of letting helpless prisoners be killed before their eyes. Like they gave an alternative for people in Ashes at Dawn.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

And as we can see, people like Michael two posts above can add a viable scenario in one or two paragraphs.


magnuskn wrote:


No, but throw a bone to their "heroes should be good" base by giving a paragraph on how to play this whole thing with people who are offended by the thought of letting helpless prisoners be killed before their eyes. Like they gave an alternative for people in Ashes at Dawn.

I don't think there are any "heroes" in this campaign, just pirates.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Good for you.

Sczarni

I agree, magnuskn. It would have been nice to have that alternative written in. But it is relatively easy to create something yourself.

I really like the option of helping the Rahadoumi crew escape in the boats. That should definitely have been written in. Killing people who aren't even fighting but just trying to flee the battle is *really* evil. And I think PCs should have non-evil options available as long as they're creative.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Paizo haven't added "oh but what if the PC's are evil" advice in the other AP's so why should they do the opposite in what is obviously not really intended to be a Heroic campaign?

The AP's would end up twice the size.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

They did add extra advice in Ashes at Dawn, which I specifically referred to multiple times now.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
SnowHeart wrote:
Haladir wrote:
I know that in real life, pirates would raise a red jack (flag) at first, meaning that they would accept a peaceful surrender. In that situation, the target would need to drop sail, allow the pirates to board, and would surrender cargo & valuables without a fight.
I think that may be backward. Red flag meant no quarter whereas a black flag meant quarter would be given. I think the idea was that the red flag was a "bloody" flag. (Source: History channel documentary on pirates and wikipedia entry.) But incorporating that into the game is a great idea, if the GM agrees it would be an acceptable custom.

I stand corrected.

Grand Lodge

Non lethal damage to avoid killing people? My group is playing it this way...

51 to 65 of 65 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Skull & Shackles / Keeping PCs from getting themselves keel-hauled... Spoilers All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.