Not-so-random Encounters


Skull & Shackles


My group is well into the second part of Tempest Rising. We're to the island-hopping piece and are sailing from port to port on the spy ring mystery. I don't like hand-waving sailing days and like ot roll random encounters while we travel.

I have used a number of the boats in the Bestiary section of each of the books so far, including the Pelican, the Ginger Belle, Bostin's Second Chance, the Red Wish, the Red Mariah and the Sea Lash. I have big plans for the Sea Jackal. What did you guys do?

Using the encounter charts in the APs, Bestiaries and Islands of the Shackles is fine, but it's getting a little stale as we've been doing that since the end of the Wormwood Mutiny. Has anyone run any novel monster or ship encounters on the seas? How about some urban encounters in the ports?


yep,

RagingSwan press wilderness dressing sea voyages they have some good ship board events (d100) that you can use. Dead Mans Chest by Frog God games also has some shipboard tables and some monster encounters.

Raging Swan press also do urban dressing pdfs, there is a pirate town in there and no doubt others too, I havnt got it but i would think if sea voyages is anything to go by its charts and useful ones at that.


I've had some success in throwing in a couple of level-appropiate sea monsters. These baddies can threathen the ship by attacking it from below, thus requiring someone (most likely the captain and his trusty officers, aka the PC's) to dive in. Underwater combat is a nice change of pace from the usual boarding actions.

Apart from that, I like to add some roleplaying encounters, dealing with the day-to-day management of shipboard affairs. It all depends on how fleshed out your crew are, but it'll give the players a chance to show how they run their ship. Crewmen caught stealing from others, some fighting due to a rigged game of cards, someone not technically violating the rules, but still being an ass to his comrades, and such. My players happily recruited goblins, gargoyles and such, allowing for much mayhem, but your players might be not-so-evil, and thus requiring other ideas.


Just a little bit of a review on some of these items mentioned above.

The Raging Swan Urban and Wilderness Dressing docs are so-so. Mainly they seem to be made up of tables that would be most appropriate as answers to the PC saying "I look at X. What do I see?" They're kind of light on ideas for serious encounters, but each one does have about 5 or so entries that are good. I thought the ideas for ship names tended more towards bad than good. One idea is The Takei. "Oh my..." Nope. Still, they're only $1.99 each and they've each got a few good ideas. Not bad for the price.

The biggest issue with the Frog God "Dead Man's Chest" is that it's for 3.5, not PF. That's kind of a deal breaker for me but if you're fine with combing through a dense document and then possibly having to adjust some rules, there are some good ideas in there.


Actauly dead mans chest has been re-vamped now for PF, the new pathfinder edition has a sandy type background. Not very good at adding a proper link but...below is the new pf version

http://paizo.com/products/btpy92c0?Dead-Mans-Chest

oh and if you have it the files have been added to Hero lab too.

All ths might push it for you Shaun(bonjo tomo isle is a great add in isle for the sandbox)


I prepared four categories of encounters a) ship ahoy! b) monster encounters c) side quests d) something to see, and threw in one or two of those per day depending on where the party was in the AP.

Ships included some of those in the S&S APs which were brilliant when fleshed out, but I also threw in a few merchant ship encounters for my players to trade and buy stuff whilst on the open sea such as a floating bazaar and some Locathah on aquatic mounts trading for ceramics and metal utensils. The Locathah had something they didn't value but the PCs did.

I kept monster encounters to a minimum so as not to boost XP too highly and many of the really good sea monsters are too high level

Side quests included things like:

- sirens on a rock in a shipping lane
- a lantern archon asking them to deal with a nearby hydro-daemon
- someone flying in on a flying mount or carpet asking them to do something for them (like providing water breathing for the PCs to dive for a wreck in the vicinity)
- a random small atoll with a shipwreck and an NPC survivor who has a plot hook elsewhere in the Shackles
- a Nereid bathing on a rock to which some crew get rather attached and dive in after her. The PCs must get them back or be under-crewed e.g. using skill checks. The Nereid could be on an Orca or Giant Octopus.

Things to see included things like:

- a huge swarm of jellyfish with a dead hammerhead and other dead sea life caught by the swarm
- whales
- a large herd of Hippocampus on the surface then going under, only then for a large fish to emerge with one of them in its mouth
- some dolphins swimming with the boat with a mermaid swimming with them
etc

My players really liked some of these and got a sense of a living aquatic world around them


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
edxerox wrote:

I prepared four categories of encounters a) ship ahoy! b) monster encounters c) side quests d) something to see, and threw in one or two of those per day depending on where the party was in the AP.

Ships included some of those in the S&S APs which were brilliant when fleshed out, but I also threw in a few merchant ship encounters for my players to trade and buy stuff whilst on the open sea such as a floating bazaar and some Locathah on aquatic mounts trading for ceramics and metal utensils. The Locathah had something they didn't value but the PCs did.

I kept monster encounters to a minimum so as not to boost XP too highly and many of the really good sea monsters are too high level

Side quests included things like:

- sirens on a rock in a shipping lane
- a lantern archon asking them to deal with a nearby hydro-daemon
- someone flying in on a flying mount or carpet asking them to do something for them (like providing water breathing for the PCs to dive for a wreck in the vicinity)
- a random small atoll with a shipwreck and an NPC survivor who has a plot hook elsewhere in the Shackles
- a Nereid bathing on a rock to which some crew get rather attached and dive in after her. The PCs must get them back or be under-crewed e.g. using skill checks. The Nereid could be on an Orca or Giant Octopus.

Things to see included things like:

- a huge swarm of jellyfish with a dead hammerhead and other dead sea life caught by the swarm
- whales
- a large herd of Hippocampus on the surface then going under, only then for a large fish to emerge with one of them in its mouth
- some dolphins swimming with the boat with a mermaid swimming with them
etc

My players really liked some of these and got a sense of a living aquatic world around them

I love the way you think. If it's not too much trouble, I'd love to hear more about these encounters.


How often did you roll for random encounters? I'm looking in the books but I can't seem to find it

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