Help! The crew have killed each other!

Skull & Shackles

The party bard/sailing master had just married Lady Smythee for the Lordship of Tidewater Rock. He believed that as lord of the Rock, he should be in command of the party's ship.

The synthesist/captain, who had become increasingly bloodthirsty since leaving Bonewrack Isle, had made it clear from the start that he wanted to slaughter all of the inhabitants of the Rock but stayed his hand due to the combined pressure from all of his officers. The bard had gotten most of the other officers together to explain his plan: offer the captain the chance to resign in exchange for his life. The rogue (who was an honourary officer as a PC but didn't have an actual position) offered to simply assassinate the captain while he slept in exchange for some real power on the ship. The others agreed but the rogue betrayed them and alerted the captain to their plan. The gunslinger/gunnery master switched sides when he saw that the plan had gone awry and the bard & surgeon/cleric both ended up dead.

The bard and the cleric were Sandara Quinn's closest allies and she respectfully asked the captain to get off at the next friendly port (so she could go on to form Queen Bes' Own later in the game). The captain slew her on the spot. The gunslinger witnessed this and fired at the captain, which earned him a grisly death too.

The captain and the rogue launched an attack on Tidewater Rock next like the captain originally wanted to but lookouts had witnessed the fighting on the ship and had barred the entrance. The captain smashed it down and charged headlong into the keep as fast as he could looking for people to kill, the rogue hot on his heels. The garisson outflanked them and although Sergeant McCleagh was killed, he and the guards managed to kill the captain. The rogue tumbled through their lines and managed to escape. The session ended with the rogue swimming for the ship, an absent player's first mate/monk taking over as de facto captain and Tidewater Rock's ballistae firing upon them. The players want to roll up new characters but obviously, they can't just turn up onboard and start playing.


The party of six is now a party of two; players with dead characters want to begin playing again ASAP and the central plot location for the next several events is hostile and ready to defend itself.

I have a rule in my campaign that if a PC dies they can only use a replacement from the ship. Especially if they are out at sea or in a small town which would not have a mid-high level PC just sitting waiting.

Obviously if the ship is in or nearby a large port or has just captured or plundered another ship they have the chance to have a PC remade at the level of the lost PC.

It has surprisingly kept my PCs from acting like lunatics because they don't want to drop to a low level crew member until the rest of the PCs decide to go into a port to find an suitable replacement.

I would suggest that if they want to continue to play ASAP, then tell them that the options are to play as crew members trying to get away from Tidewater Rock.

And there are ways to start the next part without having taken Tidewater Rock. It comes under attack by a pirate, why not just have the PCs ship come under attack instead.

Good luck.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

First off, this would never stand in my campaign. IMO Pathfinder is not a pvp-game, it is about a handful of PCs who have to cooperate to achieve their goals. So, if I was DM'ing this campaign, it would end here. I'd also have a hearty talk with my players about their idea of a good night of fun playing a tabletop rpg. If they like the game and play a PC they invested in, they might feel gutted by the fact their characters died, which is NOT a good night of fun at all.

Still, I feel you'd like to continue the campaign, despite the pvp. First I would sit down with my players and discuss the pvp aspect in your last session. This is only something I would allow if ALL players involved are in favor AND if you as a GM feel comfortable with it. If not, it is forbidden in future! Get with the program or get lost.

Then, how should you continue the campaign? Here's what I would do. I'd have the four players roll up new PCs and place them aboard Tessa Fairwind's vessel (the Luck of the Draw). This sloop-of-war attacks and captures the Man's Promise. Tessa places the four PCs and some other men and women in charge of the 'new' ship. The two remaining PCs (plus other survivors) are given the choice between joining the new crew or walking the plank. So, now you can pick up where you left off with one added bonus: your PCs are already close allies of Tessa Fairwind.

Well, when the campaign started, I figured backstabbing and duplicity wold go hand-in-hand with a group of unaligned, newly minted pirates - I even allowed them to be evil-aligned (something I usually frown upon) if they wanted to be and fully expected there to be a chance of some PvP occuring. I didn't however, expect two thirds of the entire party to kill each other in the space of twelve game hours while in range of a pair of ballistae manned by angry defenders of a castle.

Thankfully, these players are relatively new to the game and still very much enjoy experimenting with new builds.

I'm not using experience points in this campaign and have been levelling them up at set intervals instead so forcing them into level two characters would be impractical.

Grand Lodge

If you were feeling really generous, hashimashadoo, you could consider the beginning of "Part Three: The Lady of the Rock" as a save point in your campaign. You could have the PCs replay the events and make different decisions with their existing characters considering it was a TPK. It really depends on how much you believe that the characters should be punished for their actions.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Have the surviving players recruit the new PCs from a nearby port or town. Allow them some infamy/plunder time in that spot and then send them on a few random pillaging or ship combat encounters. This way, they can re-acquaint themselves with one another before then dealing with the Tidewater Rock situation as a party

Ha! who would've thunk pirates would turn on each other;)
the trick is to see how many times they can do this before the campaign ends and nobody sees each other for 20 years!

Scarab Sages

I actually was going to suggest something very similar to mr. Vergee, minus the pvp part. If you like that sort of thing cool for you. Have their old ship taken by another ship and have part of them be from the new ship that won. If they insist on playing out the battle so be it, just make sure the new ship has a divine caster able to bring back the new charectors should they have unluckily fallen.

Well certainly NPCs from the ship could make the basis for new Characters. One of my PCs took over Rosie Cusswell with a little tweaking.

I don't like the idea of PVP but I also do think that rping characters like murder hobos, I mean heroic adventurers, there are times when certain lines are crossed.

Additionally their are now leaderless defenders in the Rock who may or may not have liked the status quo. Now this presents the problem of them betraying the defenders and how he gets introduced to the crew.

You could be really brutal and have Locke bring the Thresher in now for the kill. Perhaps there are prisoners in her brig that see the fight as an opportunity to jump ship and join the PCs.

Grand Lodge

I shared this idea in another topic, but I think it addresses the issue and so I am posting it here:

Perhaps by the suggestion of "Fishguts" Kroop or Sandara Quinn, the PCs and crew could sign or mark an Articles of Agreement that is based on the Pirate Code or Privateer's Code from Pirates of the Inner Sea.

Pirate code
Inner Sea Pirate Code and Privateer's Code

Such an agreement would give the PCs some role-playing guidance and prevent fratricide.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Skull & Shackles / Help! The crew have killed each other! All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Skull & Shackles