Pirates in the Mist-Fog cloud during the taking of the Man's Promise

Skull & Shackles

I'm interested to know how people ran (or are planning to run) the taking of the man's promise, specifically with regards to the fog cloud spells that are (per the text) supposed to be in effect for the entire battle aboard the man's promise.

Obviously for the scripted events (Harrigan being ambushed, the Rahadoumi officers escaping) the fog clears for a moment to reveal them and I'm fine with that but the rest of the fight seems very difficult to run. The PC's opportunity to shoot at the sailors as they approach seems impossible as all their targets have total concealment so they wouldn't know to shoot them. The same goes for the Rahadoumi sailors firing down from the sterncastle once the PC's have boarded.

More critically it makes just getting on to the MP problematic. Any grapple attempt is subject to the 50% miss chance and jumping across is essentially tantamount to throwing yourself into space with no clue where you're going to land.

This problem is compounded for our group since I have two primary casters and a gunslinger (who aren't going to be able to do much ranged damage through total concealment) and the only melee presence is a rogue who essentially has to do the whole fight without sneak attack since everyone has concealment. Finally since the group is pretty new running their first 'big' fight with everyone having some degree of concealment I think will complicate things enough to confuse everyone and slow what should be a fantastic fight down to a crawl.

I think I might have the fog clouds only affect areas forward of the aft deck so it can still part dramatically to reveal Harrigan and the escaping Rahadoumi but leave the PC's to fight in the clear. The other option is to have it be a different kind of fog cloud that creates a flat concealment to everyone in the AoE rather than total concealment at >5ft but I think I'll do the former since as I said it's new players first big proper fight so I want to give them a chance to shine.

As I said at the top I'm interested as to how others ran this or are planning to run it and whether they think the above is a good idea or have any better ones?

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I was going to have her "fog cloud" the ship, but just ignore it except for flavor text descriptions. Give the PCs 15 foot non-concealment vision and have the cloud "part" any time you want them to see or know there's someone further.

According to the S&S players guide section on magic in ship combat, an obscuring mist or fog cloud doesn't move with the ship. So during combat it would have to be recast if the ship moves or even drifts out of the area. The area of the spells are minimal compared to the size of the channel and harbour. This should create plenty of opportunities for ranged combat from both sides.

Liberty's Edge

During boarding action the ships have stopped. Fog cloud would remain with the Man's Promise.

Going aboard shouldn't be a problem, just keep tossing grappling hooks until they catch.

On board, if you have a party that is just totally hamstrung by concealment, do what Ice Titan suggested. Have a 'window' around them that lets them see immediate targets. Have ranged spellcasters ready actions to hit the first Rahadomian that comes in view.

I ran it as if the cloud was acting like a normal fog/mist, so there were small pockets of visibility within allowing the PC's to see the poop deck and a little bit more.

The only real danger in the encounter would be multiple Heavy Xbow bolts flying around, but once the PC's engage, the cover/firing into combat penalties soon make that a poor option for the Ratty sailors.

The Grapple issues are pretty easy to overcome as the hit DC is so low.

Ran is as "dispersing fog", since obviously there is still wind about from the ships approaching and 11+ mph is barely a Beaufort 3 wind, strong enough to actually move two 100'+ sailing ships at 2-3 knots or more. And ships DO drift in winds of this strength, although far slower than under sails.

Nevermind that Longfarthing would have to recast said spells several times to even affect the entire "Man's Promise" (at least 3 times), and it might be problematic if she tried to cloud the masttops where possible archers would wait, which, given the necessary windy conditions is... yeah problematic.

We had both ships turn into the wind, and had the dispersing fog clouds washing backwards to the stern in drifting tatters. Concealment/blur 20% for anything outside of a character's 10' radius

what made me as the GM wonder about this battle was Kipper in the lower decks with an alchemical fire... I mean, what for ? And how does the dry ship in tropical waters not catch fire from this.....

Yeah, he got ignored, or rather "edited" out, like so much else^^

First, I made the change to have it obscuring mist instead of fog cloud. probably widened(rod?), and Peppery could probably cast 15 of these with ease and still have some slots left over

I also make it clear with Obscuring Mist that vague silhouettes can always be seen. . My group went through it just fine... no AoOs was a change of pace, so fighters were running around to flank and bumping into other figures, casters were slinging spells without needed to cast defensively. Actually, I think they rather liked the tactic and will probably be encouraging the cleric to prepare it.

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Thanks for the advice guys, I ran this over the weekend and 8 think it definetley works best just using the mist to cover up the rest of the fight while leaving the PC's in a clear area

Well I decided to add the fog and confine it to the lower decks with the odd wisp appear at the stern castle... what happens...

The druid in my party decided that was a good idea and cast obscuring mist on her self to help hide the party..so although not as powerful as fog cloud we still had to deal with miss chance and vauge shapes anyway.

The combat was fun, exciting and differnt with lots of very inventive ways of dealing with the enemy (ghost sound, acrobatic rolls etc). Made me wish I had kept the fog cloud in the end.

There I was thinking I could make life easier for everyon. rule number 1...never understimate the players.

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