Tempest Rising (GM Reference)


Skull & Shackles

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brvheart wrote:
"Targets one Small object per caster level; see text. An animated object can be of any non-magical material. You may animate one Small or smaller object or a corresponding number of larger objects as follows: A Medium object counts as two Small or smaller objects, a Large object as four, a Huge object as eight, a Gargantuan object as 16, and a Colossal object as 32. You can change the designated target or targets as a move action, as if directing an active spell."

It was done through the Craft Construct feat (and no small amount of money, I must say).

Animated Object:

CL 11th; Price as determined by CR

CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS
Craft Construct, animate objects, permanency; Skill Spellcraft or appropriate Craft skill; Cost 1/2 price

No, I wasn't worried about players trying to sail through the Eye, one could argue that such a shortcut would invalidate the whole race. More about the ship's ability to basically evade any kind of nautical hazard such as monsters, other ships and doldrums.


If so then your characters are considerably higher than the 8th level than was intended at this point during the AP and probably have a lot more gold.


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If the PC's have a flying ship, I'd say that it was their just reward for investing in it. So any benefits gained from it seems only fair.

However, the race takes place partly in the Eye, and partly outside it. Parts E and F are about water hazards. I'd say a sailing ship could bypass these parts, in game terms I'd give them a race score as if they'd passed all tests, and proparbly a bonus as well. +2 pr. encounter seems in order.G is about wind, and I'd imagine it's more difficult to fly against the wind, than to tack in water.
Part H specificly requires competitors to sail through Iris' Splinters. It'll be up to you to decide if flying through them counts, but in these cases, simple give Hirgenzosk the ability to jump out of water (perhaps saying it's a giant Shark instead of a Turtle, but keep all stats and the like... just give it the ability to jump out of water in addition to everything it can allready do).

I and J takes place in the Eye. I'd deem it impossible to fly in a Tornado, they'll have to land in these parts.
K isn't depending on them being in water at all, and neither is L.

Actually, in the last parts of the race, you could deduct race points for not being in water, as their opponents would have the benefit of both current and wind, whereas a flying ship only depends on wind.

During storm hazards, replace sailing-check with fly-checks, remembering the -12 penalty for winds (Core page 439), as well as whatever comes from being Colossal.

Or, you could just have the Master of the Gale outlaw flying, meaning they'll risk disqualification (of course not, since they have to win, but they won't know that) if they fly anyway.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Morieth wrote:

I'm surprised nobody mentioned flying ships (Animated Objects). I have a PC Witch heavily focused on crafting items, and currently the ship is an animated object with flying and swim speed. We had to fill the gaps in the Player's Guide entry for Animate Object (which is quite vague)

How would that affect the regatta? Any thoughts on the matter?

besides limitations on the size of the ship... pretty stupid idea.

Flying speed (as per the spell) is roughly 60'move.e.g. 6 miles per hour. But then the ship does now (in the air) not have any hydrodynamic resistance to translate windspeed into sailspeed (that's what the keel is for, plus it's ability to counterbalace through water resistance and weight), plus being subject to wind speeds of easily 30 knots and more (that's only Beaufort strength 7, a strong wind.... true gales go up to 60-100 knots...miles/ hour. The Eye of Abendego ? Probably up there with the best of them ) Basically the group now has a huge wooden baloon that is carrying them straight through the storm, or tossed about by the winds."guess we are not in Kansas anymore"

Besides, even if the ship remains floatant and partially in the water (e.g trying to employ the swim speed) , speed is actually determined by the amount of sail you can safely rig (with too much sail/rigging leaning over the ship, since it is outside the center of alignmen), either tilting over the ship, breaking the keel from too much sideways strain or structural hogging or just tearing away the rigging, canvas, ropes, bolts and all.

Any good ship will reach much higher speeds (8-12 knots) without magical support outside a windless day.

All of the above is just very basic seamanship, ignore and handwaive at your own convenience.

Flying, sail-driven airships, while very picturesque, are one of fantasy's great visual conceits. They are not better than baloons, unless almost all rules of weather and wind get ignored.

Similar problems arise if you try to fly over to another ship during the regatta, unless you are an air elemental or similarly endowed entity. Ask any seagull in a storm...


My point exactly vikingson. That ship would end up as so much kindling in the Eye, a self-inflicted TPK!


The Player's Guide is not exactly clear on the functioning of animated ships.
They can certanly move on their own as creatures, sailing and flying by their own Fly and Swim speed (and checks); in this case, "sailig" through the eye is pure madness. On the other hand, the player's guide implies that they can work as standard ships, moving with the caster acting as pilot with normal sailing checks and needing no crew. It also states that "An animated ship’s statistics, such as its hit points, do not change." (which kinda negates its standard animated object stats, leaving its only use for sailing without a crew).

We kinda drew a parallel between a horse moving on its own and a horse with a rider performing Ride checks, but I'm looking for different opinions -expecially considering different movement modes :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

the problem might not be "the horse does tricks without a rider" rather than the Horse tries to do tricks it is neither capable off, nor in any situation to do.

Fly the ship about in windless or currentless conditions : sure, if unlikely due to size restrictions

Fly the ship along in normal winds or even the winds off the Eye of Abendego : sheer folly looking at the reality of things.

Handwaive as much as you want. Nevermind that most of the ship modifications, even the simple ones like "large rudder", in the Player's Guide are basically pulled out of (best not mention the place) ....and cannot simply be "installed" because some author writs "off" on reality. Each would require major structural rebuild of the vessel, including massive redesign of the hull and layout... This does most certainly impinge on "flying"

I find it astounding that a system as determined as Pathfinder to introduce structural realism.. say by calculating hardness for weaponry and objects suddenly does not care one iota and goes into "powder-puff-blue fairy-stories" when it comes to stuff like ships, boats or even the sea itself, because the authors have litle sense of realism there. There are degrees as to how weird fantasy really can be.

Basically, you are holding a huge sized structure (free of gravity) into a hurricane strength wind. To be tossed about. Take a hint from hurrican-warnings on TV.

As for "swimming" mode. Hull depth, shape and in water-balance (as in trim) are decisive factors for naval performance, especially on a wind driven craft. Even if the ship is propelled by magical energy, be aware, that the terrain around it is constanty shifting and tilting, unbalancing and trying to overwhwelm the craft.


For comparison let us look at the Dragonship which costs 55,200 GP to construct and a 16th level caster. It is only the size of a long ship and only has 170 HP. Granted it breathes fire and has adamantine DR, but you are talking a Colossal sailing ship with 1620 HP. The construction costs would be horrendous and would require much more than an 11th level caster IMHO. Your colossal animated object (ship) lists out at only 151 HP. Now you want it to navigate on its own and fly. If I were Harrigan the first thing I would do is ram you at first opportunity while you are on the water.
As for the Players Guide, it is referring to the Animated Objects spell and not the craft constructions. As noted you would need to be 32nd level to animate a sailing ship with the spell.
"Animate Objects: A ship under the control of a pilot
cannot be animated with this spell without the pilot’s
consent. An animated ship moves as the caster directs.
It needs no crew other than the caster, who is considered
the ship’s pilot. An animated ship’s statistics, such as its
hit points, do not change." You are trying to mix apples and oranges here. Very nice idea though!


For those of you who are beginning this book, I made a flow chart of people, etc. for Part Two only since it is a bit "convoluted". If interested I can share (send me email). I had to do it for me so I can keep a better track of the AP.


Quick question- I am "confused" with the modifier on page 72 (Random Weather). Tropical Storm has a d20 modifier; Severe T. Storm has it at d20+10 modifier.

What does it mean? After rolling % you roll d20 and add to %?

If I read this correctly, for a Hurricane the duration of the storm is 4d6 minutes?!?!?! If so, then a Severe T. Storm is more devastating (3d6 hrs) rolling once for every 10 minutes for Hazards!!!!!


No, you subtract the profession sailor from the percentage and add the hazard modifier if any from my reading. I would presume once the hurricane passes they are still in a Severe Tropical Storm for the 3d6 hours. That would be the way I would rule it anyway. Remember you are making around 14 checks and with wind speeds at 70+ mph the ship is going to be heeling 80-85 degrees making it almost impossible to do much of anything.


Lets put this to "perspective"

Tropical Depression
Duration/Frequency- 2d4 hours/1 per hour
Stormbound Hazard Rolls- 2 to 8 rolls

Tropical Storm
Duration/Frequency- 5d4 hours/1 per hour
Stormbound Hazard Rolls- 5 to 20 rolls

Severe Tropical Storm
Duration/Frequency- 3d6 hours/1 per 10 minutes (6 rolls/hour)
Stormbound Hazard Rolls- 18 to 108 rolls

Hurricane
Duration/Frequency- 4d6 minutes/1 per minute
Stormbound Hazard Rolls- 4 to 24 rolls

Tornado
Duration/Frequency- 1d6 minutes/1 per round (10 rolls/round)
Stormbound Hazard Rolls- 10 to 60 rolls

I understand your interpretation (after hurricane then under the effects of STS) which is logical and accurate but then it will be very devastating.

So for every Random Weather rolled (after mod's) you will include also 1 step lower. Correct? This does not apply to Tornado.

Should I contact Mr. McCreary?


Makes sense to at least give a chance for the lowered affect to follow however I don't know the particulars when the Eye is involved.


I do agree with you and makes total sense. My concern is the severity in terms of duration and how many rolls have to be made. However, I guess that is the nature of storms.

Well, when it comes to the eye of the hurricane it takes like 1-2 hours to pass through. While in college 2 hurricane passed by and the eye passed over our building. Basically, 30 minutes exposed to hurricane force winds, like 30-45 minutes within the eye (calm weather), and then 30 minutes more exposed to the other side of the hurricane eye with force winds.


We usually don't get much affect from hurricanes this far inland here, but we lose people in droves each tropical storm and a severe one yes will last 12-24 hours. Most of our losses are due to flooding though. Our last one a couple of months ago dropped over 10" of rain in a few hours and set a record even for here. Twice since we have been down here I have seen a wall of water 50+' high in several locations.


Hmm, I keep trying to find this thread but it's not stickied for me like the 5 other GM Reference threads, and when I post to it it doesn't move up to the top of the threads for me.

Is this just a problem for me, or does anyone else have this problem?


mbauers wrote:

Hmm, I keep trying to find this thread but it's not stickied for me like the 5 other GM Reference threads, and when I post to it it doesn't move up to the top of the threads for me.

Is this just a problem for me, or does anyone else have this problem?

not on my end

Paizo Employee Developer

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I would definitely "bracket" a hurricane with the effects of less powerful weather (severe tropical storm, tropical storm, etc.). This is alluded to in the section on "Shackles Random Weather" on page 72 when it talks about rolling weather in advance to "step up" a storm t full hurricane strength. Although it doesn't specifically state it, it would make sense to "step down" from the storm as well.

This does make storms dangerous, but as it says under the "hurricane" entry, "almost no one has the pirate luck to survive an encounter with this epic force."

That being said, the effects of the Stormbound Hazards table can be reduced by the pilot's skill check.

Lastly, keep in mind these are random tables, and no random table will perfectly fit in with every group and every situation - that's the nature of random tables. If you roll an ancient red dragon on a random encounter table for a low-level party, you should re-roll or modify the encounter to better fit your party. The same thing applies here - if the results of the random tables are going to wipe out your party and their ship with no hope of saving them, you should modify things to better fit your group. These tables are designed to help play and add flavor, not constrain play and force bed things to happen.


Hi Mr. McCreary,
Thanks for the response and clarification :)


In the race, how would you treat Invisible Stalkers (air elemental)? Would the Pc's be able to discern their shape and see them b/c is raining and water is delineating their shape?

Would they get minuses to Stealth?

and/or

Would they get concealment (20%) or total concealment (50%)?

and/or

What would the DC for Perception be once on the ship (still 42)?

If the Stalkers are Water Elementals,


In the race, what is the penalty to their Race Score (if any) if they suffer a Broken Mast due to storm hazard? Technically the ship will move slower.


They're proparbly not running full sails anyway, being in a hurricane and all. I'd give them a penalty to future sailing checks (a decent one. -10, perhaps), but not to race score.


THX Bzali!!!!


Just got finished running this for my friends. Honestly the hardest fight my party had was the illusionist. I decided she'd kill casters first, the party captain is a bard so not really a threat... until later. Used her phantasmal killer on the witch/healer, the barbarians made quick work of the party barbarian and ranger who fell prone, the gunslinger in the crows nest got stuck in a stinking cloud and refused to come down. In the end it was the bard to the rescue with a combination of glitterdust, arcane strike, brine, and some well placed buff spells. Honestly I do not know how many times the bard saves the party with glitterdust in this AP, it's probably one of the single best spells for a bard so far. She uses it to scout out areas ahead that may hold enemies waiting for an ambush (it worked in the mansion against the pirate guards) and anything invisible that she knows roughly where they are she just throws glitter at them.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

How are people using Pherias Jakar, the elf who serves as Merchant Master for Port Peril? Tempest Rising calls Jakar a LE male elf wizard 7, while Isles of the Shackles says CN female elf aristocrat 3/bard 4. My suspicion is that the latter would be more interesting, but I'm curious to know what role (if any) Jakar has played in any of your games before making the decision.


So I ran the first session of this book and everything my players did wrong is coming back to bite them. See, when they tell stories to get their reputation up, I ask them what they say. Many times they say that they tell the story of how they got their ship. So now that they are in Port Peril, they tell the story again, in detail, at the Hurricane King's party and even say to bring on Harrigan because they are not afraid of him. The city has the rumourmonger quality so not only will that get around, but the whole reason reputation carries is that the stories they tell get spread by travelers like sailors and other pirates. So I figure that by now, Harrigan knows what happened and is pissed because this hurts his rep. Think about it. A bunch of rookies essentially steal from him and get away with it. Now they are calling him out. I have been sitting here trying to figure out how NOT to kill them.


According to the AP, the PCs next event is the barroom. Harrigan is planning on shipping out the very next morning. That event could be run late night after the Hurricane King's party. In other words, Harrigan has other things to do. He's almost ready to ship out of town. In fact, their story could be the reason he sends his cabin girl to the tavern to see if he spots the PCs. Just to be sure. And the cabin girl could end up joining the PCs crew if they play it right.

If they do insist on tracking Harrigan's ship down. I'd set up the combat as an opportunity for humble pie. Now that the crew are legit pirates, Harrigan is unlikely to slay the newly minted crew on land in Port Peril of all places just yet. His situation for the future would require him not raising the ire of the Hurricane King just yet.


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I somehow got it into my head that Elliece Farhaven was an elf, but now I can't find where I saw that. Is there some community-created stuff about her anywhere?


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I'm mildly miffed that the printed module does not include stats for a druid's wildshape form; especially when
- His tactics make it likely he will use it
- The numbers wouldn't have taken up much space
- The numbers can be tricky to calculate

I'm not sure I have this right.

hide:
Ormandar Great White Shark Form

Huge Animal+humanoid (aquatic)
Str 26 Dex 10 Con 16
hp 79
AC 16 touch 8 flat 16
CMB +16 CMD 26
Attack +12 dmg 2d6+11
Blindsense 30 Swim 90


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I'm coming to the Brineshee Banshee section of the adventure and realizing the party is gong to have some serious troubles going underwater. I'm not sure how much I should help them. Granted, in a pirate campaign, they might have wanted to give thought to underwater possibilities - and they do have plenty of water breathing and they'll be able to deal with the cold - but Freedom of Movement is 4th level. They don't have a whole lot of 4th level spells at 7th level. Dealing with the combat penalties is one thing, but the pressure damage might keep them from being able to go down to the stern section.

I suppose they can sail back to port and spend some gold on scrolls? But I might have Doc Fitch pull a scroll or two out of his carry-on bag.

Did anyone else have trouble with this?


Ben Ehrets wrote:

I'm coming to the Brineshee Banshee section of the adventure and realizing the party is gong to have some serious troubles going underwater. I'm not sure how much I should help them. Granted, in a pirate campaign, they might have wanted to give thought to underwater possibilities - and they do have plenty of water breathing and they'll be able to deal with the cold - but Freedom of Movement is 4th level. They don't have a whole lot of 4th level spells at 7th level. Dealing with the combat penalties is one thing, but the pressure damage might keep them from being able to go down to the stern section.

I suppose they can sail back to port and spend some gold on scrolls? But I might have Doc Fitch pull a scroll or two out of his carry-on bag.

Did anyone else have trouble with this?

Freedom of movement is nice to have, but not needed. If the party includes spellcasters, spells such as Beast Shape I is a 3rd lvl spell which allows them to have swim for 1 min/lvl.

Endure elements will protect them from the cold damage of the depths, and the pressure damage is not severe enough to kill them. They should be able to just take the damage and live through it, or spend some healing spells occasionally.

If they are indeed totally unable to explore the depths, move the wheel (and thus the quest-essential part of the encounter) to the front half, perhaps by making it a magicly enchanted sail instead of a wheel. They could still solve the quest, and missing out on a nice haul of plunder point should be considered fair punishment for an adventuring pirate party that didn't consider preparing for underwater adventures. If you're mean, you could have someone else plunder the sunken ship, just to rub their noses in all the loot they missed...


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

That's helpful perspective on what I pretty much suspected; which is what I needed. Thank you.

1d6/minute pressure damage seems like more than they'll be able to handle for long, but maybe they just have to make multiple descents.


(the Spoilerman cometh)

Hi,
I'm a player in a current Skull & Shackles campaign. We're on to Book 2. We've mutinied (and frankly we made such short work of Plugg we wondered why we didn't do it sooner), we've captured not one, not two, but THREE ships. We're in the building-up-Infamy-and-Plunder stage and . . . so . . . BORED.

I can't speak for the other 3-4 people in the group, but based on how I feel and the general mood at the table, we are Bored With This. Going to the island to rescue Sundara was good--especially after several sessions of being bossed around on the ship--and so were the adventures around Rickety's Squibs. But now, in this unstructured new part where we're just sailing around raiding it is *deadly*. We do not care about this. I really want to tell our DM: Get to whatever the next scripted part is. Give us a clue where we need to go next. Or whatever level of Plunder or Infamy we need to get to so we can get to it as absolutely fast as possible.

But for now, our DM seems in no rush. We're on session 3 of Wandering Around the Ocean. Frankly the charm of even playing pirate characters is starting wear off. I mean, heck: We're raiding defenseless fishing villages--where do some of us get off having good alignments anymore? (I've switched from NG to True Neutral myself just for consistency's sake, not that I'm happy about it).

Anyone else have this problem? Is there just nothing for it but for us to 'mutiny' against or DM?


If you're mostly good, there's no reason you should be targeting defenseless villages -- let your GM know that your team would be looking for slaver ships to liberate or rich merchants to pillage, not fishing villages to rob. There are additional 'scripted' encounters but he may not realize you find this as boring as you do.


Point the GM to the message boards and the thread s&s sandbox style. There is a heap of stuff here to enliven things.

Also some of the problem might be that you have 3 ships. At this stage you should really only have one. How are you managing to crew it? do you have the 20 sailors and the officers to man each one, any less than this and the ships are not going anywhere? How do you deal with supplies? what about plunder you are getting? Each ship will need to spend 1 point of plunder evereytime they go to port to pay the crew. What about ship combat? 3 ships versus the 1 that you maninly find is going to be a cakewalk. What about random encounters or events in the ports? The base assumption is that the players only have one ship, if there are more the GM will not to alter encounters to make the game less of a cakewalk.

The players need or needed to know that the ap is not realy a hack and slash dungeon game it's much more of a role-playing game to be honest not a roll-playing game.

If the GM is newish though give him some slack this is a fairly difficult adventure to get right. Book 2 can be the hardest as its pretty much a sandbox with not much happening, the story is very much player driven for most of the book, you need to embrace the roles you have otehrwise you may get bored as I see you are stating to get, it will get better but the sandbox/ship travel elemnts will always be a part of the game.


ferrinwulf wrote:
Also some of the problem might be that you have 3 ships. At this stage you should really only have one.

We aren't sailing 3 ships at present: We just *captured* 3 (including the Wormwood). The other 2 we brought back to one or another of the ports and sold them. One of them--a Chelish cutter--we deliberately defaced (viz. did rude things to the lady on the bowsprit figurine) but did *not* have squibbed so as to increase our infamy. Something about the cheek of just pulling up the dock with a Chelish naval ship in tow and saying, "What are we bid for this thing?" just appealed to us.

But that's sort of the point: We have had almost *no* difficulty taking targets we set our sights on (well, once or twice we really flubbed some Sailor rolls and ships got away, but once we're in battle, it's all over...).


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My players were very excited about capturing their first ship. And then they found out all that it involved. Just crewing the thing to get it back to port was a challenge; one which left both ships at skeleton crew penalties for the duration of the voyage. Then there were repairs, docking fees, a trading company that tolerated losing shipments but not so much the loss of entire ships, people unwilling to buy the vessel for more than a pittance because it had been stolen, the prospect of future plunder needing to be divided to pay and resupply a second ship. They're keeping it as a fallback vessel in the event their main ship is lost, but no one is talking about taking another ship any time soon short of finding one that is better than what they are currently sailing.

To the boredom point: I definitely had to guage my players. They enjoy the ship to ship pirate raids, but they prefer to mix it in with adventures in port or on islands. They would do some pirate work on the seas, then pick a port, and at that place they would look for what jobs or adventuring opportunities were available.

They spent a large portion of Raiders of the Fever Sea off script in the jungles around Eleder, and then exploring Smuggler's Shiv island from the first Serpent's Skull AP; particularly the expanded depths of the temple there. At another point, Rickety was having some trouble with the local water nagas and this ultimately led to use of a modified Dungeon Crawl Classic adventure called Curse of the Emerald Cobra (Goodman Games). Some role-playing repercussions from that continue to shape the campaign. It felt like sandbox at its best.

By the time we were done with that, all were anxious to go back to pirate work at sea, and it wasn't long before they found themselves hooked by the developments of the third module, Tempest Rising. Even then we've had three or four side quests built on decisions of the characters. They never went to Mancatcher Cove and, despite coming close and having a number of story temptations, they never even stopped at Tidewater Rock - although I think it very likely they one day will. For now they just have too many other things occupying their attention.

I continually have to monitor what my players are enjoying. The other simple key is that some times I just ask them, "Hey, for the coming weeks are you feeling like more ship adventure or should I try to get you into something else?" They tell me.


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Back to my earlier questions about a 7th level-ish party faced with the pressure concerns of underwater depth and to share a solution for others: About the time I was thinking that I might need to create some new spells, I remembered that I have the 3rd party supplement, Cerulean Seas (Alluria Press, available through Paizo). It has exactly what I was hoping for with the spells Endure Pressure, Resist Pressure, and Protection from Pressure. They are each about what you would guess as parallels to Endure/Resist/Protection from Elements. Cerulean Seas looks to have a good number of other things worth my giving it a better read.


Green of Skin, Round of Buttock wrote:
ferrinwulf wrote:
Also some of the problem might be that you have 3 ships. At this stage you should really only have one.

We aren't sailing 3 ships at present: We just *captured* 3 (including the Wormwood).

Do you mean the Man's Promise? Because if you guys were able to capture the Wormwood, your DM definitely didn't play that right. Harrigan should be able to kill your entire party by himself.

As to the boredom of the sandbox part--yes, there is written into the adventure a section where you are supposed to prey on ships and engage in "piracy", but the best thing about a sandbox is that YOU get to choose what you want to do. Are you sick of sailing around looking for ships to attack? Go to Tidewater Rock now. Or sail into the Shackles--it'll be a rude awakening, but at least not boring.

From a DM's perspective--this section is really hard to run. I tried to come up with different encounters, supplementing the book ones as written, to keep things fluid and interesting.

For example, I made the different Chelish ships all part of one fleet and in communication with each other. They had Quaal's Bird Tokens so when the Dowager Queen was taken, they sent word to the Famished Mane and the Dominator. On the Famished Mane, I added some devils, including one who just watched the fight invisibly and teleported back to the Dominator to inform them of the party's skills and tactics (I think I used an accuser devil maybe?).

Anyway, it's very hard to DM. Your DM would probably appreciate it if you just said: "Hey, enough sailing around, we want to go do 'xyz'".


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mbauers wrote:


For example, I made the different Chelish ships all part of one fleet and in communication with each other. They had Quaal's Bird Tokens so when the Dowager Queen was taken, they sent word to the Famished Mane and the Dominator. On the Famished Mane, I added some devils, including one who just watched the fight invisibly and teleported back to the Dominator to inform them of the party's skills and tactics (I think I used an accuser devil maybe?).

This is a great idea, and folds nicely into the idea of Cheliax trying to gather information on current conditions in the Shackles.

Spoiler:
You could even tie the Infernus into this, with her being an advanced scout from the rest that lost her Token during the storm that wrecked her on Bonewrack Isle.


Yeah, I would definitely do that if I ran this again, but I didn't get the idea to tie the Chelish ships together until we were already in Book 2. :-(


My party is having some issues with this book.We're not really a sandbox-friendly party, my players are more interested in a good solid plot and a lot less of wandering about aimlessly.

However, they did spend a good chunk of book two raiding ships and villages and amassing an amazing amount of wealth, e.g. the captain used a +3 weapon and a celestial armor at level 7 (MSRP: 40k) among others. There's really no mechanism to restrict them from doing so in book 2, so they just kept going...

However, once they got bored of collecting expensive items and moved on to book three, we've had 2 party wipes in this book.

First, they desecrated the body of Capt. Jalhazar and got themselves cursed, then forged on to fight the aboleth. Well with a -4 to saves, 3 of them got dominated and kill the last one. End of party. Woo!

After making new characters, they forged onward through the fetch quests. They discovered that Zarskia was behind the plot, infiltrated her residence, quickly dispatched the guards and the kamadan... and then got promptly slaughtered by Zarskia. She was fully buffed listening to them rush through the house, so she pretty much killed one character per round with her bombs since she does (6d6+4)*3 for an average of 75 damage... as touch attacks... with no save. They never even saw her since nobody had anything to counteract greater invis.

Now my players are grumbling that I am intentionally killing them. Any advice would be welcome!


Well, the players are already going to face a bomber alchemists in Book 4 with the Eel, so I'm thinking of making Arabia an Investigator instead. I think it's fitting and could make for a cool encounter with some tweaking. Won't help you, but could help others in the same situation. If/when I stat her up ill post.


Wow, Zarskia becomes Arabia. After my phone update my auto correct has been awful.


I am currently finishing up with the second adventure, looking at the third at what I plan on altering and some general advice. If you have players who have specific weapons that are not found in these adventures, alter the loot that is found. One of my players is a ninja, so I an item specifically for his class in one of the items. I am not big on item creation feats (do you want to stay at home and make stuff or adventure?), so I make sure there is something for everyone. If I see an encounter that might be difficult for my party-say an invisible NPC and the party has no way of detecting it, I will drop a scroll in of detect invis.

For the card game-I am going to allow as many players who want to play, play-but for each player-the NPC gets an additional role. I don't want half the party sitting around watching (and why the designers did this, is just plain lazy and foolish).


Hey all. Just been reading through the book and I have a quick question in regards to the PC's encountering Zarskia. While they only just started part 2 I am wondering what happens if the PC's get into the building using the password and they meet with her in the meeting room. How does she react to seeing they are in the room? Because I can't seem to find anything on how she reacts to meeting the PC's if they come in peacefully.

Being something of a spymaster Zarskia might already know who they or might not. Does she react hostile? Does she know they have been chasing up the spy mystery? Or does she just talk to them like normal customers without any knowledge of who they are? Because i'm thinking that she might possibly try to barter with them if she knows that they have a large amount of evidence pointing at her and she is at something of a disadvantage.

Thanks!


Matt Goodall wrote:

Bastard's Fool

The rules of Bastard's Fool are designed to abstractly 'simulate' a game of cards in roughly the same way a Craft check simulates a day (or week) of work. You can use one series of rolls (one round) to simulate a period of gambling without having to roll every single hand, or you go into detail and roll it out for every hand.

The dice rolls don't actually represent the exact hand (or hands), just the relative strength of them compared to other players.

Also @vikingson, I think you are misreading the rules, a final score of above 20 isn't invalid, it just represents a really well-played run of cards.

The process is this:
[list]

  • Ante
  • Roll a d20 secretly
  • Bet
  • Roll a another die secretly (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, or d20)
  • Bet
    If the total of both dice is above 20, it means that the character didn't get the Ace or the heart, or other cards they were looking for to complete the run or staight or whatever they were aiming for. Their score is the higher or the two dice. If the total of both dice is 20 or less it means they did get helpful cards and their score is the total of both dice.

    So: if d20 + other die is greater than 20, then Score equals highest die.
    if d20 + other die is less than or equal to 20, then Score equals total of both dice.

  • This is coming up soon in my game and I think I'm a little unclear on the pot. The players ante 1 PP and then roll their D20s. Based on their rolls, they bet additional PPs. They roll their second dice if they want. They make a final bet. They reveal their scores and the winner takes the pot.

    But the book states that "The pot remains on the table and a new hand begins with bets added to the existing pot." Why? If you're not losing or gaining coins and everything remains on the table, how does the game go anywhere?

    Secondly, Tsadok is supposed to fold if the stakes raise above 5 PP. That means if his opponent puts in over 5 PP in one round of betting he folds? He doesn't gain his +4 advantage unless he bets 10 PP. What am I missing here?


    Shaun wrote:

    But the book states that "The pot remains on the table and a new hand begins with bets added to the existing pot." Why? If you're not losing or gaining coins and everything remains on the table, how does the game go anywhere?

    Secondly, Tsadok is supposed to fold if the stakes raise above 5 PP. That means if his opponent puts in over 5 PP in one round of betting he folds? He doesn't gain his[/list]...

    The pot only remains on the table is the hand is a draw, otherwise the winner takes the pot (and takes a drink.) It's a tad confusing because the book says:

    Tempest Rising wrote:
    The highest score wins the hand. On a tie, no one wins. The pot remains on the table, and a new hand begins, with bets added to the existing pot.

    It should say "on a tie no one wins AND the pot remains on the table," etc. Making it a separate sentence makes it seem like the pot remains on the table no matter if someone wins or there is a draw. That simply cannot be the case.

    As to your second point, Tsadok folds if the pot goes over 5 PP only in the beginning. This lets the PC win a bunch of small pots and have to take a bunch of drinks, thus probably impairing the PC's skill checks in the future. Eventually, Tsadok will start playing the game for real once he thinks the PC is "drunk" enough for Tsadok to have the advantage.

    Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

    My players have made a kind of interesting situation.... instead of electing an actual captain to become a Free Captain of the Shackles, they've elected to EACH go through the testing required and become Free Captains that act as a democracy on their ship. There was a ridiculously high Diplomacy check involved, and I'm going to allow it, but I'm not sure how to play it out. Pirates are generally pretty caste-based, with captains only really associating with other captains, etc. How do I handle a whole group of four PCs who are ALL free captains in their own right?


    cartmanbeck wrote:
    My players have made a kind of interesting situation.... instead of electing an actual captain to become a Free Captain of the Shackles, they've elected to EACH go through the testing required and become Free Captains that act as a democracy on their ship. There was a ridiculously high Diplomacy check involved, and I'm going to allow it, but I'm not sure how to play it out. Pirates are generally pretty caste-based, with captains only really associating with other captains, etc. How do I handle a whole group of four PCs who are ALL free captains in their own right?

    From what I've read and understand, democracy was not uncommon among pirates. Often, pirate captains were actually elected by the crew. It was their way of differing themselves from the British monarchy. My group just lost their Captain (kidnapped by Harrigan during a side quest right before the Free Captain's Regatta), and their crew decided that they want to elect from among the "officers" (PCs) who will be the next Captain, since there was no obvious choice.

    Now, your situation is a bit different because it sounds like your players want to rule their ship by committee. I would seriously doubt if there was any precedent for that during the real life Age of Sail. The captain's absolute authority and veto can be necessary during combat and dangerous situations; you can't spend time arguing and voting whether you want to try and board an enemy vessel, attempt to sink it, or ram it or what not while the enemy is shooting at you. Also, any undue delay between orders for the crew during bad weather could endanger the ship.

    I'd say that its perfectly fine for each PC to have their own Free Captain letter of marque, but it would be advisable to still have just one Captain of the ship. The other PCs letters of marque would enable them to treat with other Free Captains, and, if they want, acquire and sail ships of their own.

    In Book 4, if the party does well enough impressing the other Pirate Lords, they can win one seat on the Pirate Council for EACH PC, even though technically there's only one Captain of the ship in their group. I see these things being similar: Each PC gets all the privileges of being a Free Captain (then Pirate Lord), but at the same time there's a Captain of the ship who has ultimate authority on his or her own vessel.

    Of course, considering the "around the table" aspect of a table-top RPG, ruling a ship by committee could actually work (depending on how cooperative your players are with each other). Maybe your PCs are the first Pirates ever to try it. Maybe that's one reason for their meteoric rise to power in the Shackles.

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