Here is the second write-up, this one from May!
Before my long rundown, I realized that while I gave XP and gold for your support crew members since the final part of Module 1, I never added it in to their XP totals. I fixed that, and I reuploaded all the new PDFs in this folder along with a .txt file showing the current XP totals. I also configured all the characters’ Hero Lab sheets to Fast Advancement, which means they’ll level quicker than you all to hopefully encourage swapping out crew members more often.
Or just use Grok every session until she can one-hit kill an entire ship. The blood flowed like loud screaming waterfall! Hilarious!
Oh, and one more thing: all this configuration meant Sandara gained a level! Not sure if you all want to pick what she learns skill-wise, so I’ll leave the level un-gained in her portfolio for now. She’s level 4 now.
- Session Rundown –
(Support: Conchobhar, Rosie (Sahagin fight))
The big christening day has finally arrived! All of the residents of Rickety’s Squibs, the crew of the soon-to-be-renamed Man’s Promise, and Merrill Pegsworthy’s crew all gather to celebrate the birth of a new pirate ship and a new pirate crew running wild in the Shackles!
A huge banquet is thrown with the help of the barkeeps of the Demon and Crow and Ambrose Kroop. Long pig—that is, a Shackles pig that is longer than normal—is roasted over the bonfire and rum flows freely as the celebration commences. For good luck, the party asks Pegsworthy (a Free Captain of the Shackles) to help christen the boat and say a few words during the ceremony.
With long pig and pastries in their bellies and the warmth of the rum flowing through them, the party deliberates and decides on a name for the ship: Skôll!
At a signal, everyone gathers on dock, the new name is shouted, and Pegsworthy brings out a bottle of fine champagne to break on the bow and gives a Shackles blessing. Ambrose Kroop says a short blessing as well, and mentions his dream that the ship can one day crack the infamous Tidewater Rock. Afterwards, Merrill asks Likour to come join him as a representative of the crew (and he’s easy to lift) for the bow-breaking.
As the bottle smashes on the ship, a cheer rises up from the assembled and a pirate song is sung! In the tumult, Pegsworthy whispers a hidden message to Likour:
“Don’t be fooled little man, the Rock can be cracked. Hammers and swords may break upon it, but a keen eye and good tongue may cause a fissure once more. So says the one-legged golden eagle.”
After the banquet and a somber farewell to the deceased Lyle Godwin, Pegsworthy pulls his ship into harbor for squibbing. He mentions a job that heard about from an old sailor in Port Peril, and he offers to arrange a meeting between the old man and the crew. The crew, eager to prove themselves with their new ship, agrees.
Several days pass. The crew practices sailing their new ship in the harbor until a cry comes out from the new lookout: a ship is approaching! The crew goes back to the Demon and Crow to await his arrival.
The Old Salt, an old bearded man named Pelle, comes bearing a strange tale as a preface to the favor he needs from the Skôll crew:
“A pirate crew of fifty men traveled to the Mwangi Expanse in search of fame and fortune. Only ten came back. They penetrated deep into the Expanse and deep into the sacred hunting grounds of the Mwangi, five men falling by the wayside from the extreme heat. On that hallowed ground, they espied a rhinoceros with a hide as black as coal at midnight, eyes like a blacksmith’s forge, and a soul like a devil’s. In a brutal battle that lasted two days and nights, they managed to end the life of the terrible creature, but not without losing thirty of their men! They decided to take the horn of the creature as a trophy for their crew and as a symbol of their bravery.
The horn was as heavy as lead, and it took all the stamina of the remaining men to carry it back. What they didn’t know was the horn was cursed! It was haunted by a heathen rhino god! As they loaded it onto their ship, the horn came alive and impaled five men to the mainmast! It took all ten men that were left to pull the horn out, and a magic-user among them carved a warding spell in the horn.
Now, the black rhino has a counterpart: the sacred white rhino, its hide as white as milk. It was spotted on the sandbar travelling from island to island in Besmara’s Necklace. A squall has stranded the rhino, but no man wants to make the attempt after hearing the tale. Will you get that horn for me?”
The crew listens politely, noting that the tale sounds curiously familiar, but they agree for the 3000 gold reward being offered. Pelle, skeptical of such a green crew, nevertheless thanks them.
At dawn the next day, provisions are loaded, the crew gets on board, and the Skoll starts to head out. Hrafn Haven-key takes the wheel, and they set a course for an island in the archipelago of Besmara’s Necklace where the white rhino was supposedly spotted. Conchobhar, eager to prove himself, asks to tag along.
As they dock on the southern shore, they notice the remains of a camp and a strange outrigger canoe. Upon investigation, Theodore and Svetlana notice that the canoe is definitely Kuru-made. Members of the cannibal tribe must be somewhere on the island!
Sure enough, when they start following a river upstream from the beach, they run into four strange men who instantly ready their weapons! The primitive men toss atlatl darts and brandish their tepoztopillis in a bloodthirsty rage, eager to make a sumptuous dinner out of the new pirates.
Unfortunately for the Kuru, the hunters become the hunted! Svetlana shoots a crossbow bolt straight through the heart of one cannibal, and Banmoril and Thoka electrocute and cute-snake-bite another! A Kuru named Lago runs into the woods screaming gibberish from Likour’s Cause Fear spell until Hrafn cuts him down. Finally, Theodore quaffs a feral mutagen and crushes the last cannibal’s head like, quote, “A hippo eating a watermelon.” Conchobhar hangs back and sings an inspiring (?) sea shanty.
With meat back off the menu, the crew explores the spring, and finding a hidden waterfall cave! Remnants of a corpse on a crude pyre molder here, unseen. Thoka notices a sharp looking spear made of obsidian clutched in the corpse’s grasp. It’s enchanted with some older, more primal, magic. She takes it as her eidolon Snickerdoodle watches, apprehensive but hopeful.
On the scent of the rhino’s tracks, the Skôll crew starts their trek through the jungle. Eventually, they climb up a hill to a sandy clearing at the top of a cliff. There, they see inhabitants they were not expecting: a family of Parasaurolophii and a clutch of eggs! Theodore, thinking back to his childhood, remembers being imparted with a key life lesson from Grandma Hobbs:
“Now Theodore, if you ever come across a Parasaurolophus, never get in between it and its eggs!”
The group soon learns the wisdom of their elders. As the crew moves around the perimeter, the protective creatures let out cries but make no motion to attack the group. The party continues on up another hill, and soon they reach the spring on the top of the island plateau. On the edge of the spring is the object of their quest: the white rhino! In addition, an old temple can be seen nearby, along with a massive pile of bones.
However, as the crew examines the rhino, they make a terrible discovery: it appears it is already dead from a massive bite on its midsection. As they try to guess what happened, the culprit reveals himself: a five-ton allosaurus! With a huge roar, the prehistoric menace charges at the party, eager for some raw Pathfinder!
The massive creature uses its dagger-sized teeth and claws to rip through the frontline of the party, but the Skôll crew has faced too many dangers to be scared of a simple dinosaur! Even Conchobhar, a notable coward, is singing at the top of his lungs to inspire the group (albeit a little tremulously).
As her own fury reaches its apex, the taciturn Svetlana Dragunova hoists her crossbow, says simply “Die,” and then proceeds to shoot a crossbow bolt straight through the bottom of the beast’s head and into its walnut-sized brain. The huge dinosaur collapses, causing the ground to quake in its death throes.
After healing up and recovering both the horn and the rhino’s hide, the Skôll crew makes the decision to take the allosaurus skull to mount on the ship as a warning. That warning is: Take note milksops and clotpoles, while you were drinking quarter-rations of grog before night-night, we killed ancient history and nailed its skull to our ship!
Likour, Thoka, and Theodore have their curiosities piqued by the small stone temple. It appears to be bare except for a mural depicting a massive cyclops king sitting atop a strange black throne, and being worshiped by Kuru. Markings on the throne and on the walls indicate that this is a representation of the fabled Cyclopean Throne of Ghol’Gan. The crew makes a note to find out more about this artifact.
With the item of their quest in their possession, the crew makes their way back to the beach and back to their ship for the ride back to Rickety’s Squibs! But a peaceful night’s sleep is not in the cards for the intrepid crew…
As the majority of the crew sleeps, several of the crew on night-watch are attacked by sahagin! While the aquatic humanoids are not normally much of a threat, this particular band has an almost military-like efficiency and a strange degree of coordination.
However, they’re still easily dispatched by the crew. Upon the corpse of the leader, the crew finds a pendant made of the strange material known as deep platinum. They take the pendant, knowing that the material has an almost religious-significance among water-dwelling humanoids.
Eventually, the crew makes it back to the village where they present the horn to Pelle, whereupon they give another amazing embellishment story:
The White Rhino Horn:
- Svetlana: “The rhino corpse was mauled by an allosaurus who attacked us with an earth-shattering roar!”
- Hrafn: (Raises a spear and roars.)
- Svetlana: “We got that spear from a cyclops in his temple. When we took it, cannibals started pouring forth from that murder pyramid like a tidal wave!”
- Hrafn: (Attempts to interject, chokes on his beer, and coughs it up on Pelle.)
- Likour: (Pledges with Svetlana to always be of service for someone like Pelle.)
As the story comes to a close, and payment from an incredulous Pelle is given, the crew is left wondering: what is the secret of the strange throne they saw in the temple? What is the mystery of Tidewater Rock? What was with the sahagin?
And finally, how did Theodore’s grandmother know so much about parasaurolophii?
- Encounters –
- 4 Kuru outrigger rowers (barbarian 3) – CR 6
- 2 adult parasaurolophi and 2 young parasaurolophi – CR 8/2 (resolved peacefully)
- Ugg’s Bane (allosaurus) – CR 7
- 3 Sahagin battle scouts (Sahagin tactician fighter 1) – CR 6
- Loot –
- Base camp –
- 50 gold coins stamped with a skull and crossbones
- Slightly tarnished jeweled anklet
- Wand of Shocking Grasp (25 charges) (wand with a topaz lightning bolt at the end)
- Buried Treasure –
- Bottle stopped cork banded with gold and dotted with topazes
- Scroll of Dread Bolt (scroll that reads KRADMIRG)
- Violet garnet
- Kuru Bodies –
- Assortment of purloined gold jewelry
- Atlatl launchers (4)
- Atlatl darts (20)
- Crude obsidian idols (4)
- Hide armor (4)
- Tepotzopillis (4)
- Waterfall Cave –
- +1 animal-bane obsidian spear (an obsidian-tipped spear)
- Bone Pile –
- A brown-green garnet
- Nunchaku (masterwork), seemingly discarded in error
- A Ring of Arcane Signets (ring with a large green jewel)
- A single embroidered and bejeweled glove
- White Rhino –
- Rhino Horn Plunder
- Rhino Hide Armor
- Sahagin Scouts –
- Armor crafted from treated seaweed (3) (functional equivalent: leaf armor)
- Dark platinum pendant
- Spears (3)
- Base camp –
- Customized Module/Character Sheets –
- Session Totals –
- XP: 1350/1750 XP/person (was not/was on deck for Sahagin fight)
- 1350 XP to Conchobhar
- 400 XP to Rosie
- Gold: 1500 GP/person (Bad DM’ing adjustment made)
- XP: 1350/1750 XP/person (was not/was on deck for Sahagin fight)
- Current Infamy Totals –
- Infamy: 9 (+4, 3 for rhino horn, 1 for sweet skull)
- Disrepute: 9
- The crew can purchase DISGRACEFUL impositions.
- Current crew level: 2 (A SCRAGGLE OF SCURVY SCALLYWAGS)
Sorry for waiting for so long to make the last two write-ups. I need to do better on getting these out sooner because even though I took notes, I start to forget things. With all the wedding planning over and done with, I hope to start doing games again once every 4-6 weeks.
I’m liking everyone’s enthusiasm so far for Skulls and Shackles Part 2: The Skullening; it’s definitely a more sandbox-like module compared to what I’ve seen in Part 3.
Anyway, on to the summary! I’m going to do the session we did wayyyy back in January!
- Session rundown –
The morning of day three at Rickety’s Squibs starts off like the other days before it: strong coffee and breakfast at the Demon and Crow followed by some very pirate-ish loafing. After the excitement with the water naga yesterday, the crew of the Man’s Promise is ready for a little more relaxing tropical vacation.
Unfortunately, Rickety Hake has other plans, and he bursts into the Demon and Crow with a surprise! As he leads the group outside, he mentions that the payment of the Heidmarch Manor has secured them a special gift: a brand-new light ballista and four ship-mounted crossbows!
Save for Matilda, however, none of the crew knows how to operate the ballista, so Rickety decides to illustrate with a tabletop game. He corrals the party into the Demon and Crow, breaks out a set of dice, puts two wooden ships and figurines on the table, and explains the basics of pirating.
After a few rounds of “combat”, Rickety knocks over his captain piece in frustration, and declares the game over. The crew is exhausted by this point, so they decide to take an early rest.
The next day, Rickety again disrupts the crew’s morning breakfast with a mundane business deal. He haggles for some of the Man’s Promise ship stores to arm the townsfolk against invaders. Just as they’re about to close the deal, however, a loud buzzing sound emanates from the jungle!
Swarms of giant bees displaced by the drought start attacking the townsfolk! Grok, eager for some bloodshed, hurls herself at the nearest giant bee, while the others use their spells and weapons to beat back the bugs!
Everything seems back to normal, but suddenly there’s a shout at the docks! In the confusion of the attack, it seems as though the lookout did not signal the town that a ship was approaching. Merrill Pegsworthy, a Free Captain of the Shackles has brought the Strix to the small town to be squibbed. He begs the Man’s Promise crew to attend to one of his buccaneers who was stung in the bee attack. Likour manages to heal him up well enough to stave off death and enough to earn the Captain’s thanks.
Rickety is still nervous; Lyle Godwin was on lookout duty and he should’ve signaled the town that a ship was in harbor. The Man’s Promise crew is asked to investigate, so they trek through the jungle west of town.
Tropical trees along the path are drooping from the extended drought, and the walk seems long and arduous. The monotony doesn’t last for long though, as a full-grown bull hippopotamus charges out of the trees! Afflicted with poison and enraged, the hippo tries to trample and bite its way through the crew. Theodore drinks his mutagen, turning into an even more savage beast! While the group distracts the hippo, he uses his claw and bite attacks to rip the hippo apart, quelling the danger.
As the crew nears the lookout’s post, they can tell that something’s very wrong. Godwin’s parrot Rotgut is flying around the area, and shouts to the post are unanswered. The truth is revealed when the crew reaches the summit: Godwin suffered a severe allergic reaction to the bee stings and has died already.
The group takes his body, along with his possessions, to Rickety. Everyone in town is despondent about losing one Rickety’s Squibs most valuable but remote residents. Rickety decides to give Lyle’s morning star and house to the crew in memory of him.
Godwin’s death seems like a poor omen on the day before the Christening of the new ship, but the crew gains a new member: Rotgut has decided to tag along with the new pirate crew on their adventures.
- Encounters –
- The Palm Tree Pirates – CR 5 (cut in half)
- “Not the Bees!” Fight: (4 Giant Bees, 1 Shacklized Honeybee Swarm, 1 Queen Bee, and a Giant Wasp Trying to Fit In) – CR 8
- Poisoned Hippopotamus – CR 5
- Loot –
- Rickety’s Squibs –
- 3 lumps of royal jelly
- 2 alexandrites
- 1 citrine
- Ring of Force Shield (wedding band with a single diamond embedded in it)
- Tarnished wayfinder
- Shaving kit
- Module Handouts –
- Customized Module/Character Sheets –
- Session Totals –
- XP: 1175 XP/person
- Gold: 65 GP/person
- Current Infamy Totals –
- Infamy: 5
- Disrepute: 5
- The crew can purchase DISGRACEFUL impositions.
- Current crew level: 2 (A SCRAGGLE OF SCURVY SCALLYWAGS)
Our next session is coming up this Sunday at noon, so hopefully the earlier time makes it easier for everyone to attend. After this session, the adventure path goes into more of a sandbox-style format with an occasional event, so the group will need to decide as a team what to do next.
I made a short list of possible things you could do, but if anyone has different ideas I’m all open for designing something:
- Pirate Ship Raiding – Raid a pirate ship, kill/capture the crew, loot the ship for plunder, then sell the ship to Rickety Hale.
- Big Game Hunting – Explore the jungle of one of the prehistoric throwback islands of the Shackles and hunt a powerful monster from the ancient world.
- Slaver Camp Landing – Talk (or blast) your way into a camp of slavers.
- Dungeon Exploration – Get a tip about a possible treasure or dungeon on one of the many islands of the Shackles.
Also, try to think of a name and a flag for your pirate crew.
1. Session Rundown –
After weeks of rest in the port city of Magnimar, the party is finally ready to set out to Rickety’s Squibs, a secretive shipyard village in the Shackles. Here, the workers will alter the “lines” of the Man’s Promise to evade detection by anyone who may be allied with Barnabas Harrigan. Sheila Heidmarch gives the group a map and a chest of platinum bars to cover the cost of the “squibbing”, along with a letter of recommendation to the proprietor of the village, Rickety Hale.
Only two intrepid sailors volunteered for the billet that the Heidmarch Manor put out: an elven wizard named Garrin Malvane (and his tiny dinosaur), and a dark-skinned Ulfen Pathfinder named “Iceflinger” Matilda. Both seem eager to hit the open sea with the group, having heard of the reputation of the crew that spit in the eye of the infamous Barnabas Harrigan. After some introduction to the crew, the ship charts a course back to the Shackles.
A few calm days at sea later, the crew nears the peninsula where the hidden village is supposed to be located. They’re hailed by a fisherman—actually a shipyard worker on lookout—and after some dialogue about the nature of their business, the worker flashes a sign to another lookout. The ship is directed to sail into the bay behind the rocky promontory, and to ask for Rickety.
The Man’s Promise sails quietly into the bay, and finds a small jungle village steaming in the oppressive heat of the Shackles. They sail towards the docks, which are overseen by Rickety himself and his workers. Rickety introduces himself and his pirating credentials: he served under the Free Captain Ella Gurnett who, as Rickety likes to say, “Fed the kraken at Nollis Point!” He “graciously” accepts the letter and the money, explains the nature of squibbing and says that it’ll take 5 days to complete the work. He tells the crew that room and board have been set up at
the only inn in the village, the Demon and Crow, and that the crew is not to steal, hurt the villagers, or go upstream on the river.
With that, the crew is given free rein to explore the village. Rickety’s Squibs seems to be comprised of little more than some farmland, the buildings used to squib ships, the bar, a small magic shop, and some worker barracks. The villagers are very friendly though, and the crew members waste no time in making their acquaintance.
Theodore finds a small shaded pool and the passed-out form of Pearl, the mermaid (and alcoholic) Keel-specialist of the shipyard. Garrin talks to two farmers, Edevich and Purnell, about the recent drought plaguing their farmlands. Banmoril talks to AwkAwk and Shiza (the tengu bartender and tiefling barmaid) about why they’re here. Likuor, wary of strangers, keeps to himself, but he does take the time to watch the shipyard workers at night.
One villager in particular piques the curiosity of Theodore. A strange confectioner named Grimm Darkknife has set up a shop that specializes in nothing but saltwater taffy. Despite his intimidating appearance he seems friendly to the alchemist, and even directs him to a strange magical object that he insists carries a terrible curse: The Bag of Infinite Taffy.
After Theodore purchases it, he tells the alchemist his story. Grimm was the son of two famous assassins in Absalom and groomed in the arts of assassination and shadowcraft. After a chance meeting at a confectioner’s shop, Grimm knew he found his true calling. He fled to the Shackles to evade the wrath of his parents, and eventually opened his shop in Rickety’s Squibs. Theodore talks over this encounter with the crew, and they offer Grimm the chance to sail with them in order to perfect his craft(s). Grimm accepts, becoming the first crewmember recruited for their new ship.
Besides talking with the villagers, the crew is also occupied with other tasks. Rickety explains the nature of naval siege engines and gifts them with a brand new light ballista, ten ballista bolts, and four mounted heavy crossbows. Kroop advises the crew that they need to fence the plunder they’ve acquired: the tapestry, the horn, and the gun. They talk to AwkAwk, who offers to call his mercantile contacts at Port Peril a day’s sail away.
On the second day, the stifling heatwave and the lack of anything pressing to do leads the main party to the dock to engage in some friendly games of tenpins with two off-duty workers. After a few wins by the Pathfinder, one of the workers is suddenly pulled into the water! A young water naga, crazed by the heat and the salt of the bay, attacks!
Matilda and Theodore jump into the water to save the worker as Garrin, Likuor, and Banmoril launch an assault of spells on the creature. The naga throws out spells with the proficiency of a seventh-level sorcerer and bites with its fearsome poisonous jaw, but eventually the crew knocks it out. Rickety explains that the water naga and the village have an agreement not to interfere with the territory of the other, but the naga must’ve gotten stuck in the bay due to the heat wave and drought. In gratitude, Rickety refunds a bar of platinum from the Heidmarch chest.
Tired from the ordeal of fighting in the heat, the group heads back to the Demon and Crow for the night, whereupon they find AwkAwk’s merchant contacts ready to buy their plunder! The crew taps into some well of creativity to craft stories to embellish the value:
The Carved Rhino Horn:
- Likuor: “The horn came from the last black rhino, and the crew lost ten men recovering it.”
- Garrin: (tries to read the merchants’ expression, mistakenly thinks the merchants are attracted to him)
- Likuor: “A crew member accidentally impaled himself on the horn, and it took three men to get him off.”
- Garrin: “Let me tell you some things you may not know about rhino horns.” (gives a remarkable list of facts about rhino horns)
- Theodore: (intimidates the merchants with a nasty look)
The Pepperbox Pistol:
- Garrin: (holding the gun) “Here you can see the different parts of the gun are like the parts of a ship. Here’s the starboard side, the port side, the fore and aft…”
- Likuor: “And we got it from fighting a ghoul gunslinger in an island fortress!”
- Theodore: (at a loss) “We saw palm fronds!”
- Likuor: “We crashed landed on an island, but we found the island already occupied. One of our number was captured by grindylows!”
- Theodore: “And we killed a giant dire boar!”
A Battle Tapestry of Rahadoum:
- Likuor: (fumbling) “Uh, you can see from the sand and camels that this battle took place in the… Land of the Linnorm Kings?”
- Garrin: “On our journeys here, we fought a giant anaconda longer than a rowboat!”
- Banmoril: “And if there’s one thing we learned it’s that…” (pause, uncomfortable silence)
- Garrin: (tries again to read the room, thinks the nervous merchant is flirting with him)
- Garrin: (wary eye on merchant) “…rowboats don’t have yardmamarms.”
Through their actions, the group receives a total of 3400 gold pieces, along with 4 points of infamy! Happy with the result, the group turns in for the night. There are three days left before the ship can be rechristened; what will happen next in Rickety’s Squibs?
2. Encounters –
- Selissa, young water naga – CR 6
3. Loot –
a. Rickety’s Squibs –
- One bar of platinum
- 3400 gold pieces (from sale of plunder)
4. Module Handouts –
a. Rickety’s Squibs –
5. Customized Module/Character Sheets –
a. New crew members –
- Grimm Darkknife (Human rogue 4)
- “Iceflinger” Matilda (Human (Ulfen) siege engineer fighter 3) (Specialty: light trebuchets and ballistas)
b. Rickety’s Squibs inhabitants –
- AwkAwk (Tengu commoner 1/fighter 2)
- Pearl (Merfolk carpenter/fighter 3)
- Rickety Hake (Human expert 7)
- Shiza (Tiefling commoner 2/fighter 1)
- Puzo/Zedio/Edevich/Purnell (Human expert 1/fighter 2)
6. Session Totals –
- XP: 480
- Gold: 560 a piece (3900/7 – One share for crew)
7. Current Infamy Status –
- Infamy: 5
- Disrepute: 5
- The crew can purchase DISGRACEFUL impositions.
- Current crew level: 2 (A SCRAGGLE OF SCURVY SCALLYWAGS)
Sorry for the huge delay in getting this written up. I’ve been super busy the past few months and I wanted to take a break before starting the next module. Things are shaping up pretty nicely, though the first one or two sessions will be a lot of tutorial stuff.
On that note, we’re going to be using the Fast Play Ship Combat rules for ship-to-ship combat, but I’ll get into what you need to know in a little bit.
This is going to be a summary of the last two sessions, and somewhat abridged, as I have forgotten a few of the last hit details in the past several months (sorry!).
1. Session Rundown –
With the last of Arron Ivy’s guards and now Arron Ivy himself neutralized, the party finds itself running out of time. Based on clues found on the island, Rosie is set to be sacrificed to the Kiss of Croatoan in less than five hours! Star Killer, using a spyglass that’s been locked into place on the stockade, finds that there’s a small cave in the side of the island only visible during low tide. Deducing that it could be the place where Rosie was carried off to, the party quickly heads down the beach and over the now-exposed tidepools to the cave entrance.
It’s cramped and waterlogged inside the cave at low tide, but the party manages to navigate its way through the front environs, until they come across a pack of grindylow guards! The guards leap into a battle stance and send their ten-foot long shark minions to attack! Likour manages to stymie one guard with Cause Fear, making him flee for life. With a few blows from a Lucerne hammer and a couple of snake bites from Thoka’s eidolon, the other guard and the shark minions are sent to meet their strange, inhuman god.
Theodore decides to scout ahead and finds a large cove with a high-ceiling… currently inhabited by stirges!
“Guys, these bugs look like trouble. Let’s go around,” Theodore justly advises.
The party creeps around the strange insects and continue on. They soon come across a fork in the soggy road, with multiple paths large and small leading around the cave. Several of the party members learn the hard way that the grindylows were expecting them; a trap involving jagged hooks embedded in cork hinders the movement of the group. Hrafn, Banmoril, and Star Killer take out their weapons and clear out the irritating trap, and the party decides to head east.
Despite being the stronghold of the grindylows, the party finds the cave oddly quiet. Even after looting the treasure from a derelict ship, the group finds little in the way of resistance or any sign of the ghouls from the Infernus. Eventually, the party finds a large metal grating at a dead end of a tunnel. Imprisoned below are two lacedon sailors!
Hrafn and Star Killer deliver the coup de grace to the trapped creatures, and Likour and Banmoril both notice a special coat button on one of the lacedons. A secret compartment reveals an anchor feather token! A strange prize, but one the party takes willingly. With Star Killer in the lead, the party pushes forward, and soon they come across a pool of what looks like black blood.
To their astonishment, a creature like a five-legged squid emerges and speaks to them!
“I am Gul’Tarrab, Herald of the Brinebrood Queen! None who trespass in the lair of Her Majesty shall live!” the devilfish bellows, and soon the party is launched into a furious round of combat.
Star Killer suffers a grievous injury at the tentacles of the herald, but he soon pays the magical creature back many times over with the point of his Lucerne hammer along with a barrage of ice spells from Banmoril. Thoka’s eidolon helps clear the way for Hrafn to jump into the action, and both launch a full-scale assault.
The combined onslaught destroys the devilfish, causing a massive explosion of blood and viscera in the cave! A strange bracelet from the innards of the creature falls into the water, and the party identifies it as a lesser bracer of archery. After some debate, the party decides to backtrack close to the front of the cave and head a different way.
They soon come into a room dominated by an octopoid statue, but before they can investigate, they are attacked by a group of six grindylows! Strangely, they each seem to be garbed in a way similar to the party members; one even carries a burlap snake to look like Thoka. Despite their attempts to emulate the group destroying their tribe, the grindylows are quickly defeated.
After another debate, and a way that is seemingly blocked by two giant sea anemones, the party goes back to the devilfish’s chambers and heads south through a small passageway. When they emerge, they find themselves on the rim of a giant water-filled chamber. They aren’t alone, however, for in the middle of the room there floats Rosie Cusswell on a raft. She’s surrounded by a freakishly-huge grindylow and a smaller female grindylow, and about to be sent to be eaten by the lacedons from the shipwreck!
The party springs into action in a desperate attempt to save their Halfling friend. Croatoan, the huge grindylow, is so massive that he easily devours some of the party, but this proves to be the creature’s Achilles’ heel, as those who are devoured find they can easily slice its belly from the inside! Chanting furiously, the female grindylow sends her octopus familiar and her water elementals to flank the group. Likour, thinking quickly, gets up to the raft, frees Rosie, and has someone toss her the Cusswell Cutter.
She joins the fray, and despite several party members being knocked unconscious, the group defeats the grindylow monarch and her freakish son along with their chained lacedons. The party spends some time looting the environs of the cave before heading back to the Man’s Promise. A spike trap and a swarm of ravenous sea urchins nonwithstanding, the trip back is uneventful, and soon Rosie is reunited with the rest of the mutineers.
The party triumphantly sails back to Magnimar and to the Heidmarch Manor to report their success. After a celebratory feast with several other high-ranked Pathfinders, and even the mayor of Magnimar himself, the Heidmarch Manor presents the party with an audacious proposal: become privateers in the employ of the Pathfinders and eventually become Pirate Lords and Ladies of the Shackles!
2. Encounters –
- 2 Grindylow sharktamers (grindylow ranger 4), 2 Shackle sharks – CR 5
- 8 Stirges (only 2 alarmed and killed) – CR 1
- 2 Imprisoned lacedons (coup de grace killed) – CR 3
- Gul’Tarrab the Brinebrood Herald (devilfish) – CR 4
- The Grindylow Pathfinder Cult (and one burlap snake) (6 advanced grindylows) – CR 6
- Croatoan the Whale, The Brinebrood Queen, and 2 chained lacedons – CR 8
- 2 Ravenous sea urchin swarms (fled) – CR 2
3. Loot –
a. Entrance –
- 2 sets of Cheliax-issued leather armor
- 20 Cheliax-issued javelins
- Small cloth bag containing 3 silver pearls
- 2 Cheliax Navy-issued canteens, each containing a Cure Light Wounds potion
b. Abandoned Ship –
- A wand of Magic Missile (9 charges) (a black wand tipped with an opal)
- A black pearl wrapped in a purple silk cloth
- A fossilized Megalodon tooth
c. Lacedon Prison –
- A battered greatcoat with 5 large silver buttons
- A feather token (anchor) (a red cardinal’s feather)
- A collection of coins totaling 120 GP
d. Devilfish Chamber –
- Lesser bracer of archery (recovered other from Cauldron) (a dull metal bracelet)
e. Octopus Altar Guards –
- 3 polished ammonite fossils, each the size of a gold coin
- 4 Cheliax Navy-issued spears with the shaft chopped in half
- A long red silk scarf
- Rosie’s bag
f. Altar –
- A scrimshawed hammerhead shark skull with a piece of driftwood nailed into it
- A wand of Mirror Image (23 charges) (a piece of polished driftwood)
- An ivory walrus tusk set with gold with a scrimshawed map of the Shackles
- A harp made from parts of an orca jaw and set with pearls
- An Aquatic Cummerbund (a blue cloth belt embroidered with dolphins)
g. Cauldron Alcoves –
- A jawbone of a shark scrimshawed with a giant octopus eating a shark
- 6 gold rings and 6 silver rings
- An enormous whale tooth with a plugged cavity containing 6 pearls
- A whale skull scrimshawed with several spells (see handout)
h. Cauldron Throne –
- 4 +1 heavy crossbow bolts
- A silver spearhead
- 8 4-pound silver ingots
- 312 silver coins
- 186 gold coins
- 86 platinum coins
i. Queen’s Gear –
- A +1 Returning Harpoon (a viciously-barbed harpoon)
- A wand of Summon Nature’s Ally (14 charges) (a driftwood wand tipped with tanzanite)
j. Queen’s Pot –
- A decorative gold shortsword
- A gold-plated wakizashi
- A masterwork cold iron scimitar
- A masterwork cold iron sickle
- 2 masterwork daggers
- A scrimshaw ivory blade depicting an octopus devouring a shark
- 2 longswords
- 3 daggers
- A punching dagger
4. Module Handouts –
5. Customized Monster/Character Sheets –
a. Grindylow Cave
- Advanced Grindylow
- Brinebrood Queen (Grindylow Witch 4)
- Croatoan the Whale (Grindylow Fighter 5)
- Grindylow Sharktamer (Grindylow Ranger 4)
6. Session Totals –
- XP: 3335
- Gold: 3000 (from mission completion, other loot not divvied up yet)
7. Next Game –
I’m glad everyone seemed to have fun Saturday night! I had a great time running the encounters and I hope you like the rest of the module! Sorry for the late write-up.
You guys are getting close to the end of the module, so I’ll just say that if you have ideas for alternate characters start drafting up the character sheet!
In addition, I was looking through the loot and I realized that there are a lot of bauble-type items that you guys have collected. I had an idea for a house rule for the Appraise skill that would make all these items more manageable from both my perspective and yours: If you have ranks in Appraise, you can automatically assess the real value of an item as long as the value’s at or below (50 GP x your modified in Appraise). Let me know what you think of this idea.
1. Session rundown –
It’s slightly after midnight. The party has just finished the fight with the ghoulified remnants of the ship’s prostitutes. Just as the group finishes exploring the environs of the Boudoir, an elongated croak sounds throughout the island, a hideous noise that shatters the night air. Some of the more perceptive members of the group discern that the croak seems to be coming from the west side of the island, so the group moves on, intent on solving the mystery and saving Rosie.
The path through the jungle at night is long and arduous, but the group members eventually reach the fields outlined on the map they found on the sailor’s corpse. A gruesome sight awaits them though: corpses are strewn around the ruined fields, and several decayed heads have been impaled on pikes in each of the four parts of the field. Worse yet, each decayed head is home to a hive of botflies!
Tiptoeing around the heads, Theodore notices a long mound reaching from one field to another. Banmoril decides to check out one of the corpses for clues, but as he steps in the field the ground explodes in front of him! He has disturbed a tropical variant of a large magical earwig-like creature known as an ankheg. It lets out a screeching cry, and three others—two ankheglings and another adult—burst from the ground!
Theodore realizes a unique danger to this battle: as the tropical ankheg is about to die, its carapace takes on a wild appearance of red, yellow, and orange. It then uses its last ounce of strength to move around erratically to imitate a fire. The party realizes that if the ankhegs hit the severed heads it could spell trouble, so they start to lure the creatures towards the middle of the field.
Likour, noticing the dead grasses and weeds, starts a fire to burn up one of the hives. As the flames engulf the field, the ankhegs grow desperate and start to regurgitate acid! Star Killer’s Energy Heart of Desna is able to absorb the majority of the damage, and Hrafn, Thoka’s snake, and Theodore launch a counter-offensive. Despite their hard carapaces, the ankhegs are defeated, and the party explores the rest of the field. The corpses yield little beyond some small pieces of treasure, so the party moves towards the eastern beach.
Likour and Banmoril, able to see through the dark, notice large crabs gathered around a withered corpse. They relay this information back to the other members, and Theodore gets an idea: he’ll toss the dire boar flank he carved earlier in an attempt to lure away the crustaceans. It works! The crabs are so delighted by the meal that the party is able to scoot by them and search the corpse. Judging from the wound on the skull, the party deduces that the person died from some sort of bullet wound.
Besides a scroll of Remove Disease, the only other thing on the body is a note about the three guards at the Stockade. According to the note, Arron Ivy used wanted criminals as his bodyguards, and the bounty for the three totals 5000 gold pieces! The party member discuss the possibility of collecting the bounty then start to move south.
Banmoril takes the lead but the soft beach sand makes the movement slow-going, causing the party to lose several hours of time. By the time the party reaches the beach on the southern tip of the island, it’s nearly mid-morning. While exploring the beach, Star Killer finds the Cusswell Cutter embedded in a tree stump, indicating that the grindylows had been in the area with Rosie. Theodore notices the mast of the Infernus sticking out of the water, and the party debates exploring the shipwreck. The alchemist reasons that there could be clues out in the wreckage, or even Rosie herself.
Theodore readies a Touch of the Sea extract and swims out through the calm water to the submerged Chellish hulk. He finds a small bit of treasure, a valuable looking circlet (found to be a Headband of Vast Intelligence +2 calibrated for Knowledge (geography)), and a metal cage that looks to have been violently ripped open. In the midst of his exploration, a giant moray eel bursts out from a hiding place! The eel is too dangerous for him to take on alone, Theodore flees back to the beach.
The party examines the treasures from the ship—Banmoril laying claim to the headband—and decides to head northwest to the stockade indicated on the old map. With only half a day left to save Rosie, the group hurries through a jungle clearing and a mountain path to the stockade gates. A small building has been erected on the edge of the stockade as a shelter, but there are three figures in front of it. To the group’s surprise, the stockade is still being guarded! Three fugitives—pressed into the service of the Cheliax Navy—guard the area, even after they succumbed to ghoul fever!
One ghoul, a samurai wielding a flaming katana, challenges Hrafn to one-on-one combat, while another ghoul in a leather duster readies a pepperbox pistol. The third appears to be an arcanist who has somehow learned to control three Thassalonian rune guardians. As the guardians hum to life, the party braces itself for the onslaught! Thoka and Hrafn both try to take on the heavily-armored samurai, while Star Killer and Banmoril move to attack the arcanist. Likour tries desperately to keep the party healed, while Theodore uses his bombs to blast the runes and the gunslinger!
Battling furiously despite their decayed forms, the three mercenaries manage to land a number of heavy blows. The samurai deals Theodore a grievous injury with his katana, and the arcanist blasts the Likour with magic missiles and Sleep spells. One of the rune guardians shrinks Star Killer with a Reduce Person spell, but the Shoanti warrior’s rage could not be shrunken, and he swings his lucerne hammer mightily. Using his pepperbox pistol, the undead gunslinger fires six bullets into the group and hits six times, a testament to his skill with the strange weapon.
They’re no match for the party members in the end though, as Banmoril skillfully maneuvers the battlefield to deal the final blow to the arcanist, the samurai, and the gunslinger, and Snickerdoodle bites enough chunks from the rune guardians’ ley lines to disable them permanently.
As the party examines the magical gear of the mercenaries, a now normal-sized Star Killer finds a mounted spyglass rigged to point to a small cove down on the southwest portion of the island. Taking note of this, he and Theodore open the flap to the shelter to find a grisly scene: blood and viscera coats everything in the shelter, and Captain Arron Ivy has hung himself in the middle of it all. Worse yet, the Captain has already fallen to ghoul fever, leaving him as a ghoul with a broken neck.
Star Killer takes pity on him and delivers a coup de grace to finally put the Captain out of his misery. With the ghoul dispatched, the party examines what is left of the Captain’s possessions for clues as to how to save Rosie. They eventually find a writing desk with Arron Ivy’s last logbook entry, along with a sheaf of other papers.
The log entry notes that Arron Ivy saw a group of grindylows carrying someone away on a raft into a cave visible during low tide. He describes a raft remarkably similar to the one Rosie was carried away on, so the group deduces this cave must be where the halfling’s been taken.
Also among the discarded papers is a decade-old toxicology report describing the horrors of “Carrion Hill Ghoul Fever”. The fever, which seems to have originated from a ghoul enclave in Ustalav, allows the person with the sickness to retain his or her intelligence even after becoming undead, resulting in the bloodthirsty monstrosities the party fought on the island.
Shockingly, the report is signed by none other than Habbly Quarne, the ship’s doctor from the Wormwood, in his capacity as part of the Egorian Research Unit of Cheliax! The party commits this information to memory and decides to rest up for the final confrontation. After resting for 8 hours, they only have five hours left to save Rosie from the Kiss of Croatoan!
2. Encounters –
- 2 Tropical ankhegs (ankheg variant), 2 tropical ankheglings (young ankheg variant) – CR 6.5
- 4 Coconut crabs – CR 4 (mollified by boar meat)
- 1 Young giant moray eel – CR 4 (fled from)
- Stockade confrontation – Uchiyama the Ronin (ghoul samurai 3), Six-Shot Sidney (ghoul gunslinger 4), Anara the Rune-Thief (ghoul arcanist 3), 3 rune guardians (Lust, Gluttony, Greed) – CR 7.5
- Captain Arron Ivy – CR 1 (coup de grace)
3. Loot –
a. Farmland –
- A rotting leather belt with a gold belt buckle (25 GP)
- A potion of Water Breathing (a glass flask containing an orange liquid that smells faintly of blood)
- A rusty iron dagger in a pearl scabbard (75 GP)
- A small blue purse containing 3 obsidian stones (30 GP) and 45 gold pieces
b. Beach –
- A scroll of Remove Disease (a scroll with the inscription SUSLECARAP)
c. Infernus Wreck –
- A pair of chopsticks made from manticore spikes (20 GP)
- Four bottles of fine perfume (20 GP/bottle, 80 GP total)
- A Headband of Vast Intelligence +2 (Knowledge (geography)) (a slightly tarnished silver crown inset with a single amethyst) ***TAKEN BY BANMORIL***
- Knowledge that a giant moray eel is mean as hell
d. Stockade Outside/Guards –
- A gunsmith’s kit
- A leather duster (studded leather)
- 20 firearm bullets
- 20 doses of black powder in two powder horns
- The Ram’s Head – a pepperbox pistol with a ram’s skull engraved on the barrel (2 points of plunder)
- Akashi the Flame-Sheathed – a +1 flaming katana ***TAKEN BY HRAFN***
- A set of black masterwork splint mail with red flames
- A frayed black samurai’s robe with a red flame motif
- A pair of geta sandals
- Goggles of Minute Seeing (a pair of silver goggles with crystal lenses) ***TAKEN BY THEODORE***
- A wand of Make Whole (7 charges) (a porcelain wand with several repaired hairline fractures)
- Golem oils (an assortment of strange oils in glass vials)
- A tarnished golden spyglass ***TAKEN BY STAR KILLER***
e. Stockade Inside/Arron Ivy –
- 2 scrolls of Cure Light Wounds
- 1 scroll of Cure Moderate Wounds
- A suit of leather armor with a lion’s face
- 6 spears in decent condition
- 7 finely tailored courtier’s outfits in all the colors of the rainbow
- 5 pounds of black pepper in a waxed bag (50 GP)
- A silver tankard (30 GP)
- A silver locket depicting a beautiful blonde woman (45 GP)
- A Ring of Swimming (a platinum ring set with an aquamarine in the shape of a fish)
- A bloodied Chellish naval captain’s uniform
- 2 gold medals and 2 platinum medals (130 GP total)
- A rotting leather belt with a tarnished gold buckle (50 GP)
4. Module Handouts –
- Bounty Note
- Captain Arron Ivy’s Final Orders
- Captain Arron Ivy’s Final Logbook Entry
- Pepperbox Plunder Handout
- Toxicology Report 1
- Toxicology Report 2
5. Customized monster/character sheets –
a. Farm Fields –
b. Stockade –
- Uchiyama the Ronin (ghoul samurai 3)
- Anara the Rune-Thief (ghoul arcanist 3)
- Six-Shot Sidney (ghoul gunslinger 4)
6. Session totals –
- Experience: (Forgot to write this part down)
- Gold: 580 total (non-equipment treasure)
7. Next game –
June 6, 2015
Hopefully you all had a good time on Friday, despite the technical issues we encountered. I’m going to split up the island map so hopefully it isn’t too taxing on all your computers. It shouldn’t take too long. During the module there was a lot of enthusiasm, which was great! It was one of those sessions where everyone—both your characters and my monsters—seemed to hit.
1. Session rundown –
After taking a well-deserved rest on the beach, the party wakes up at about noon to continue the exploration of the island. They find a weed-choked dirt path through the jungle, which they follow into a burnt-out village. Before they can explore further, a pack of murderous vultures attacks! One in particular is especially loathsome; its wingspan reaches well over twenty feet long, and its stomach is so engorged with carrion that it hangs in fleshy rolls over its legs.
Despite their battle experience, the party suffers heavy injuries: Star Killer is first to be impaled by the giant bird’s halberd-like beak, and Hrafn falls to the ground bleeding out as the repulsive bird lands a powerful stab. With a sustained assault from all the party members—including Hrafn heroically stabbing up at the bird from the ground and Theodore quaffing his feral mutagen—the avian menaces are eradicated and the party moves on.
Hrafn and Theodore examine a pile of burnt bones and determine the creatures that lived in this village were definitely human. Star Killer and Theodore also examine a crucified skeleton clad in red and black, and find evidence that this village was ordered to be burnt by a Captain Arron Ivy. In addition, an extremely emaciated ghoul crawls through the weeds to grab at Star Killer! With a flourish of his mighty lucerne hammer, Star Killer delivers a coup de grace to the undead, which strangely thanks Star Killer for the courtesy.
This puzzles Theodore, who was in earshot, as ghouls are typically mindless and not prone to communication. The party members keep this in the back of their mind and continue.
The road from the village leads to a burnt out bridge spanning a stinking mire. Little more than timbers remain of the bridge, so the group has to use their skills at acrobatics to cross the marsh. Before any of the seven members can make it very far, a ten-foot long anaconda slithers its way across the swamp! The massive reptile delivers a punishing blow on Theodore, first by biting him with its huge jaw, then crushing the life out of him with its body!
Desperate to save their friend, Banmoril launches an icy assault from the shore with a Snowball spell, and Likour overcomes his innate cowardice to leap across the ruined bridge and heal his allies. Thoka decides to fight fire with fire, and sends her snake to bite and snap at the anaconda’s tail to distract it. Eventually, the creature is destroyed, and the party makes its way deep into the jungle.
The jungle path eventually leads to a large tree, and the path forks to the east (towards a beacon), and south towards something called “The Boudoir”. Banmoril suggests taking the eastern path first, but as the party moves under the tree, the vines seem to come alive and attack! The tree is infested with vine chokers—a jungle variant of the aberration—and they’re out for blood! Though one choker manages to land his vines around Banmoril’s neck, the group of chokers is no match for the party, and they’re quickly dispatched.
With a whoop and a Shoanti war-cry, Star Killer climbs the tree looking for the chokers’ hideout. He finds a small pile of treasure and a strange potion, which he eagerly shows the party before they continue east.
As the sun sets, the group makes it to the path leading to the beacon, but an obstacle hinders their progress: a full-grown dire boar! Tiny Likour attempts to use his Wayang race’s natural mastery over stealth to creep by the thing, but the boar detects him with his keen perception! The boar madly charges with all the porcine fury its nearly one-ton body can manage, and gores poor Likour!
Using an encircling maneuver, the party manages to kill the large beast before it can inflict further injury. Theodore slices off a large piece of the creature for himself for later in the hopes Kroop knows a recipe for primal boar.
Examining a clearing nearby, the group finds a naval uniform, a ceremonial saber, and a box of torches and tindertwigs. A note within the uniform suggests that these oddments belonged to a naval officer dying of ghoul fever who was ordered by the Captain to light the beacon. Theodore examines the medal on the uniform, and deduces that the uniform belongs to the Cheliax Navy. The burnt skeleton at the beacon fire pit, along with a note she scrawled on the back of the letter, suggest that the officer committed suicide rather than let herself become a bloodthirsty ghoul.
The group sees little use in lighting the beacon, so they gather the assortment of items from the clearing and backtrack to the fork in the road to head south.
Night falls, and the party lights lanterns and torches to illuminate the dark and mysterious jungle. Travelling on the southern path, they eventually come to a crude wooden gate. Star Killer uses a technique colloquially known as the “Shoanti Lockpick” to break the gate down, and the group is repulsed by what they find lying in wait for them!
Past the gate, the ghoulified remnants of the ship’s (male and female) prostitutes have banded on the path under the guidance of their now-undead madam, a cleric of Calistria. In addition, their star attraction, a muscular bard named Magic Mikael, has become a murderously-insane ghoul! Far from being mindless undead automatons, these ghouls present a coordinated and intelligent fighting force!
The muscular ghoul uses his bard magic to diminish the party’s fighting effectiveness; first by willing Star Killer’s hammer to be covered in grease, then by inflicting Unnatural Lust on Theodore! Star Killer, not missing a beat, whips out his claws and goes to work dispatching the undead minions. The other members of the party are also under attack: Thoka is on the ground paralyzed after a ghoul claw hits home, and Hrafn is disarmed after an attack from one depraved ghoul! Banmoril’s locked in combat with the Madam, and Likour busies himself with channeling positive energy to counteract the Calistria cleric’s negative energy.
The battle is tough and slow-going, but the tide turns in the group’s favor. The weaker ghouls are ground to dust, and the party’s heavy hitters manage to take down the madam and the crazed bard with powerful hits. Rifling through the reeking brothel, the party members find a heap of jewels and treasure, along with a sorely-needed Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds.
With midnight approaching, there are only 24 hours left to save Rosie!
2. Encounters –
- Vulture pack (3 slightly advanced vultures, 1 giant vulture) – CR 6
- Anaconda – CR 5
- Choker pack (4 chokers) – CR 6
- Dire boar – CR 5
- Boudoir fight (ghoul (whip) fighter 3, (2) ghoul rogue 2, ghoul cleric 3, ghoul bard 3) – CR 6-7
3. Loot –
a. Choker hideout –
- Potion of Water Breathing (glass bottle containing an orange liquid that smells faintly of blood)*
- (3) Silver shoe buckles
- Gold wedding ring
- Silver hatpin
b. Beacon –
- Heavily mildewed Cheliax Navy uniform
- Gold medal of the Order of Asmodeus
- Ceremonial saber with a golden crossguard in a lacquered wooden sheath
- Small wooden box containing 10 tindertwigs and 6 torches
- Slice of dire boar ham
c. Boudoir fight –
- An extremely revealing chain shirt
- A masterwork whip with a pommel shaped like a… nothing in particular.
- A sealed leather hip flask depicting a crocodile
- (inside flask) Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds (a potion that smells like oranges)
- 2 plain daggers
- 1 masterwork dagger with a crocodile tooth on the pommel
- A small rosewood box containing 6 flasks of alchemist’s fire
- 2 bottles of cheap perfume
- A wedding dress inlaid with pearls and set with three tiny rubies
- A whalebone corset set with mother-of-pearl inlays
- A dozen silver hatpins set with tiny obsidians
- A poorly cut ruby
- 60 gold pieces in a black belt pouch
4. Module handouts –
5. Customized monster/character sheets –
a. Burnt out village –
b. The Boudoir –
- Levira, Madame of the Damned (Ghoul cleric of Calistria 3) – CR 3
- “Magic” Mikael (Ghoul bard 3) – CR 3
- Third Leg Thaddeus and “Around the Block” Ariel (Ghoul rogue 2) – CR 2 each
- “Whips and Chains” Annatasia (Ghoul whip fighter 3) – CR 3
6. Base XP/Gold –
- XP: 1865 each
7. Next game –
First week of May TBD
I hope you all had a good time during the last session. Sorry for the late write-up, I’ve been busy lately! I’ve been preparing custom character sheets and monsters–plus fleshing out some story handouts and the map–for the next part of the module for a while now. Hopefully you all enjoy it!
Hero Lab’s made it much, much easier for me to make custom designs while keeping the nitty-gritty backend calculations for stats, skill levels, etc. straight. All the special grindylow types from the last fight (the Kelpcallers, Wavesmashers, and Nightfeeders) were custom made from a base grindylow template.
On my to-do list is to create a Google document with all the Quartermaster shop gear and have it work as your party loot chest. Eventually, I’d like to tie getting rid of stuff from the Quartermaster shop into the Plunder/Infamy mechanic.
1. Session rundown –
It’s been minutes after Mr. Plugg and Master Scourge, the twin disciplinarians of the Wormwood, met their grisly end at the hands of the party and their compatriots. Safely out of danger, Theodore and Likour (along with their newfound compatriot Omar) start to quickly examine the exotic ill-gotten treasures of Plugg and Scourge.
Star Killer, meanwhile, calls over Sandara and Conchobhar and reveals the true nature of the party: they’ve been sent to rescue the two lost Pathfinders on behalf of the Heidmarch Manor! The two Wormwood pirates express surprise that they warranted a rescue mission, for they had long despaired of ever escaping the clutches of Barnabas Harrigan. They gladly agree to travel back to Magnimar with the group.
The adrenaline of the battle dying down, the group gets to work settling minor matters and examining the Man’s Promise. Star Killer finds a lucerne hammer in the bilges and decides to make a weapon change. Likour and Banmoril free Owlbear from captivity. Star Killer also examines the plunder Scourge and Plugg were hoarding: a carved rhinoceros horn and a Rahadoumi tapestry. They seem valuable but purely ornamental, so the party makes a note to check into these items later.
Kroop gathers everyone around to announce that he believes the remnants of the Wormwood and Man’s Promise skeleton crew should ally with the raiding party. The remaining crew–Grok, Rosie, Cogswell, Omar, Erik, Latricia, and Owlbear–agree and toss their lot in with the Pathfinders.
At the suggestion of Kroop, the party catches a southwesterly wind to gain momentum to loop back around and leave the Shackles for Varisia. However, in Plugg’s haste to squib the ship himself, he set them on a course into a shoal- and reef-infested part of the archipelago! To make matters worse, a Shackles squall quickly bears down upon the beleaguered ship, forcing the group to call all-hands on deck.
With Erik and Grok keeping the mainsail lashed, the crew elects Hrafn to take the helm. Night soon comes, and the storm hits the ship with a furious intensity. Unfortunately, in the tumult a mass of grindylows ambushes the ship! It’s a pitched battle in near total darkness as the crew desperately tries to fight off the strange creatures!
Star Killer manages to break in his new lucerne hammer, and he finds it hasn’t worn down in the slightest during its rest in the bilges. Likour uses his strange illusions to craft the sound of the grindylows’ most-hated enemy–squids–to off-put them. Thoka uses her bizarre snake-like eidolon to great effect; first by having it attack the ambushers and then by having it assist Hrafn in a battle with the grindylow kelpcallers.
Banmoril uses Plugg’s Tidewater Cutlass to deliver fatal electrical discharges to the shadowy grindylow nightfeeders. Hrafn attempts to save the women fighters–Rosie, Sandara, and Latricia–on the foredeck only to find his efforts rebuffed by the kelpcallers Entangling spells. And finally, Theodore uses his powerful bombs to make several grindylows sorry they ever came out of the water!
Despite their best efforts though, things take a turn for the worse. The ship hits a submerged reef, and Rosie is captured (alive) by the grindylows! Everyone quickly dispatches the remaining grindylows on board, and Hrafn sets to work righting the ship through the shoals and reefs. Star Killer gets the idea to fother the sail over the new leak, and along with Theodore’s use of the Touch of the Sea extract, the ship is saved from sinking. Hrafn decides to steer the ship in the direction of an island the grindylows were heading towards, seeing no other alternatives.
The crew works through the night, and by morning they safely see the ship into a small beach. What they find is unnerving: submerged skeletons covered in scrimshaw, and a heavily-decayed corpse of an unfortunate sailor. On his person are three papers: a map of the island, a note to his love back in Riddleport hinting at a plague and a mad captain, and a disturbing note talking about something called the “Blessing of Croatoan”.
The party then decides to rest up, and then explore the island and find Rosie.
2. Encounters –
- CR ~7 – Grindylow fight
3. Loot –
Nothing to speak of from the grindylows, though much of the unidentified loot from the Plugg and Scourge fight was identified.
- Bracers of Armor +1 (a set of silvery bracers)
- Amulet of Natural Armor +1 (a gold amulet set with an octagon-shaped emerald)
- Tidewater Cutlass (a cutlass with a gold skull-shaped crossguard)
- Potion of Blur (a potion that’s oddly hard to focus on)
- 8 doses of oil of taggit (a corked green bottle filled with a viscous red liquid)
- 1 dose of dark reaver powder (a black powdery substance that smells like moss)
- 3 Screaming Bolts (crossbow bolts with curious holes drilled on the bolt point)
In addition, these items were identified:
- Hospitality’s Hammock (a luxurious green hammock)
- Pearl of Power – 1st level (a large, lustrous white pearl)
4. Character/Monster sheets –
5. Base XP/Gold –
- XP: 945 each
6. Next game –
7 PM – Friday, April 10th
Great game everyone! Hope everyone had a good time; I know I had a good time DM’ing using Roll20. Seems like it’ll be an excellent tool for games. Next module will be Skulls and Shackles Part 1.
1. Banmoril the Magus
2. Heavenly Peach Petals of Shelym III the Diva Bard
3. Likour Gnardle the Time Oracle
4. Grox the Axe-Wielding Fighter
5. Star Killer the Barbarian
6. Theodore Hobbs the Alchemist
One summer day, the members of the group were enlisted by Kendra Deverin, the Mayor of Sandpoint to take on the creature that had been stealing livestock. They were directed to a hill several hours outside of town, where they found a cave mouth leading to a mossy wall and a statue of a warrior. Star Killer pulled on the statue’s fist, and the wall opened up into a hobgoblin hideout!
As the hobgoblins brandished their weapons, Theodore tossed a bottle of acid, and the fight was on! The hobgoblins fought long and hard, but the group eventually took them down with the help of Heavenly Peach Petal’s music, acid, heavy flails, battle axes, and tiny maces. Past their hideout, the party found an intact fountain devoted to Desna. The water gave a few members a boost before becoming unmagical, and then it was onto the next room: an altar room under the guardianship of two bronze statues of Desna.
“Approach with humility, and live!” the statues bellowed.
Several of the party members approached the statues by kneeling and moving, which prevented the statues from unleashing their powerful Burning Hands trap. Star Killer got to the altar first and took a large ruby from the offering cup. It was an Energy Heart, a relic of Desna that can absorb all sorts of elemental attacks. The room’s guardians deactivated, allowing the group to move forward.
As the party opened the door to the next room, they noticed lots and lots of spider webs and a bloated goblin corpse. Theodore approached the goblin carefully and found a wooden toy dragon, but then the corpse burst into a spider swarm. Two giant spiders descended from the ceiling and attacked!
Banmoril, thinking quickly, shot a Spark spell on a web one of the spiders was sitting on, plummeting it to the ground. Star Killer was bitten repeatedly by the other spider’s fangs and took heavy damage to his muscles from its poison. Likour tried to assist, but he was knocked unconscious. Banmoril was covered in spiders, but Theodore landed a bomb that blew the tiny creatures away.
After a quick rest, Star Killer found graffiti mentioned how the goblins were afraid of the “wyrm” and that its “breath is death”. The group then came across an underground lake surrounding a small island. Grox and Star Killer swam out to investigate, but Grox had to turn back. Grox found a pile of treasure, including a sword with a golden dragon hilt. Disturbed by the movement in the water, two reefclaws burst out, spoiling for a fight!
Grox took one on without the benefit of armor, but the other escaped into the water under the influence of Likour’s Cause Fear spell. Heavenly Peach Petals landed a critical blow to the first reefclaw with a well-placed shot from her bow, but in its death frenzy it swung its claws at Grox wildly! The second was dispatched without too much trouble, as it was still frightened.
After the turmoil, the members examined a strange pillar that described a fable of a fisherman devoted to the service of Desna. Banmoril deduced the meaning of the story and touched the appropriate symbols, and found he could breathe under water! He dove into the lake and found a bar of platinum that had sunk beneath the water. They also examined the sword, and found that it was a Dragon-Bane Sword!
Glorying in their newfound wealth, the members moved on to a passage blocked by a wood door. Voices were heard squabbling in Goblin behind the door, so Theodore took a listen and translated.
“You get it!”
“No, you get it!”
Star Killer kicked the door in, and the party found a group of four goblins arguing, and a fat goblin named King Fatmouth sitting on a “throne” of a repurposed tavern chair. The goblin sitting in the chair ordered the other goblins to not attack. The group conversed with the goblin leader and found that the goblins were under the guard of the hobgoblin slavers near the cave entrance. Rejoicing in their newfound freedom, the goblins left and gave the group treasure that they had hoarded from their slave masters.
Standing in a now empty hideout, the group decided to climb up a cliff shrouded in a strange mist. Once on top, they found six empty tombs, their lids long ago pried open. As Theodore examined a tomb, two skeletal champions clambered forward in metal armor. Even though the skeletons’ swords were masterwork and very sharp, the party prevailed and moved forward. They examined a cave-in, but couldn’t move the boulders, so they continued up a set of stairs into a stone chamber.
They were presented with two doors: one made of iron and one made of heavy marble. Behind the iron door, they could hear the faint sounds of loud snoring, so they chose to open the second door. Likour found the secret switch, and with the sound of grinding stone the ancient doors opened. Inside, the group found the long-dead remains of a priest of Desna, along with his ring and holy symbol. They also found a fishing rod, showing that the interred priest was actually the fisherman from the fable.
The group went back to the wider chamber and put their ears against the iron door. The snoring they heard before stopped. Steeling themselves, they opened the door and came face-to-face with Black Fang! Still groggy from sleeping and full from eating, Black Fang offered the party the chance to flee if they bowed before him. They refused, and the final battle began!
Drinking a homemade mutagen cocktail, Theodore grew huge and slammed the dragon in the head with his mace. Star Killer rushed forward and drove the Dragon-Bane Sword deep into the dragon’s belly as he could. The wyrm, now sporting his first wounds in more than a century, lashed back with claws and his huge bite, but everyone fought with everything they had.
Now enraged, the wyrm unleashes a powerful breath attack: a vortex of acid! Likour, Banmoril, and Theodore fell unconscious and started bleeding out, but Star Killer, Grox, and Heavenly Peach Petals fought on. Impressed with their tenacity, Black Fang departed, eager to fight them again another day.
Without the threat of the dragon, the party was free to heal their wounds. Surprisingly though, King Fatmouth came into the chamber flanked by his four goblin friends. Sending them away, Fatmouth revealed himself as Rozgul, a Pathfinder operative with the Heidmarch Manor, a Pathfinder guild in Magnimar. Rozgul thanked the group, and vowed that Heidmarch would hear about their deeds.
Sure enough, when the treasured-fattened party came back to Sandpoint, they found that their lodging accommodations were paid for by the Heidmarch Manor. Not only that, Canayven Heidmarch and Sheila Heidmarch themselves made the trip to Sandpoint to offer them a place in the Manor and a Bag of Holding! The group accepted, and the Heidmarch Manor gave them their first assignment: rescuing two Pathfinder operatives press-ganged into the service of a brutal pirate captain.
Now, the party has one week to prepare to join a pirate crew in the hopes of causing a mutiny!
That was a lot longer than I thought, so here’s the loot list:
- a bar of platinum
- 3 large pearls (worth 100 GP a piece)
- A Wand of Cure Light Wounds (a white marble wand)
- 422 gold pieces
- 2 breastplates
- 2 exceptionally sharp masterwork longswords
- 2 heavy steel shields
- A Ring of Protection +1 (a gold ring inset with a single diamond)
- Holy Symbol of Desna (a gold medallion bearing the engraving of a butterfly)
- A dusty set of half-plate armor
- A +1 light steel shield (an immaculate light steel shield)
- A flask of Bull’s Strength (a flask filled with a red potion that smells of cinnamon)
- A scroll of Fireball (a vellum scroll with the inscription DAIYEN FOOLS)
- A scroll of New Life (a long parchment scroll with the inscription VITAE)
- 600 gold pieces
Heidmarch Manor Recruitment Bonus/Quest Reward:
- 1000 gold pieces (reward for driving out Black Fang)
- a Bag of Holding I
6. Diplomatic Relations with Goblins (CR 3)
7. 2 Skeletal Champions (CR 4) – Tarkus, Blueford
8. Tales from the Crypt (CR 1)
9. Black Fang Battle/Quest Completion (CR 5) – Black Fang
Total Base XP from Part 2: 665
A Tale Crit in Stone – (first to kill with a Critical Hit) – Likour (+10 XP)
The Conan the Barbarian Award – (grasped the Energy Heart) – Star Killer (+10 XP)
Spidey-Sense – (burned the webs and caused fire damage to the spiders) – Banmoril (+10 XP)
Swarm Behavior – (killed the swarm) – Theodore (+10 XP)
The Michael Phelps Award – (swam to the other side of the lake) – Grox (+10 XP)
Power House – (dealt more than an enemy’s max HP in damage) – Heavenly Peach Petals of Shelym III (+10 XP)
The Little Mermaid – (found the platinum bar) – Banmoril (+10 XP)
It’s Sandpoint Claus! – (delivered the toy back to the goblins) – Theodore (+10 XP)
Could Do With a Bit of Rope – (first to climb up the cliff) – Star Killer (+10 XP)
You Gon Switch It On ‘Em? – (found the hidden switch) – Likour (+10 XP)
This was a lot of fun to DM, and I hope it was a lot of fun to play. The next module is going to have a lot of keelhaulin’ and rum drinkin’ and swabbin’ poop decks so be prepared! Tentatively, I’d like to schedule it for July 5th at 6 PM if that’s cool.
So overall, I think the first game went fairly well! We had some hiccups in the beginning, but I think we hit our stride near the end. I’d say you guys are about 2-3 hours away from completing this module.
Instead of a full blow-by-blow which will be the post after you guys finish, I’ll post your guys’ loot, battles, and experience points so far sans some special XP awards.
Firstly, the loot:
- A small sable pouch containing 20 gold pieces
- (Masterwork dagger) – a well-made dagger in a lacquer sheath
- (50GP) – A pea-sized ruby
- (Cure Light Wounds) – A glass potion vial containing a fizzing orange liquid (CONSUMED)
- 4 sets of stinking studded leather (one taken by Theodore)
- 4 light steel shields painted with black hands
- 3 longswords, slightly rusted
- 1 longbow made of yew
- 20 arrows fletched with vulture feathers
- (Energy Heart) – A large, flawless ruby
Engorged goblin corpse:
- A wooden dragon toy that flaps its wings when the tail moves
- (Wand of Magic Missile, 4 charges) – A wand made of polished oak
- A leather pouch containing 14 gold pieces
- (+1 Dragonsbane Longsword) – A black sheath containing a longsword with a golden dragon hilt
- (potion of levitation) – A bottle containing a milky white potion
- (potion of invisibility) – A flask containing a clear potion
- 175 gold coins in a leather sack
Secondly, the encounters and XP:
1. 4 Hobgoblins (CR 3) – Hobbler, Hobby Hobstar, Hobnobber, “Hungry” Hob Gadling
2. Fountain Room (CR 1/3)
3. Statuary/Altar (CR 1)
4. 2 Giant Spiders + 1 Spider Swarm (CR 4) – Wuda, Wrydda, and the Pretties
5. 2 Reefclaws (CR 3) -Hydrox, Oreo
Total XP (per person): 560
The 65 point stat thing was unexpectedly constraining for feats, so I’m going to allow everyone to add a total of 5 more points in statistics. My only stipulation is that don’t make a stat higher than 18 before racials.
I’d like to finish this on Saturday night at 7 PM if that’s good for everyone. Just let me know on Puppyrush or Facebook if that doesn’t work.
Since the Pathfinder Society attempt at the comic book store didn’t work, I thought I’d give RollD20 a shot as a DM. This isn’t going to replace the normal in-person Pathfinder game, but if we can make this work we may be able to use it for when we don’t feel like driving.
So far, I’ve got Greg, Enoch, Eric, Steven, Jack, and Bob (tentative based on computer situation in Florida). I have a few ground rules and basic stuff to lay down so here goes:
Time: June 8, 2014. Setup/debug at 1 PM, game start at 2 PM. Game link to be sent over Facebook and Steam at noon.
Sign-ups: Greg, Enoch, Eric, Steven, Jack, Bob (tentative)
Module: Modified version of Black Fang Dungeon from the Beginner’s Box. This is more of an ‘on your honor’ thing, but please don’t look at the map or the encounters! If the RollD20 voice chat sucks, we can migrate to the PPR Ventrilo server.
“A few weeks ago, livestock started to disappear from nearby farms. Sometimes a half-eaten corpse is found, sometimes only bloodstains. The people of Sandpoint are afraid, and mayor Kendra Deverin is growing desperate. She hopes some heroes will volunteer to search out this menace and put an end to it before it kills a person. She’s offered a reward of 1,000 gold pieces to the group that stops this mysterious creature. Although no one has seen the killer directly, a long black fang was found in one of the animal corpses, prompting the locals to dub the unseen killer “Black Fang.”
You have decided to go on a quest to put an end to these brutal killings. Rumor holds that Black Fang is living in an old cave not too far from town, which has been used as a den for many monsters over the years. You’ve gathered your gear and are now approaching the entrance to this dungeon, but you still have a few moments to get to know your fellow adventurers.”
Character creation rules:
1. Stats: Allocate 65 points any way you wish before racial abilities. We got a possible 6 people, and in the regular Chesapeake game we have 5 people at 75. This made for some real powerhouses and easy encounters, so hopefully this’ll balance that out somewhat. This makes you several points lower than the pre-made characters in most modules.
2. Alignment: Only rule is no chaotic evil.
3. Story: Don’t get too bogged down with your backstory besides a basic outline in case you don’t like your character (see 6).
4. Class/Archetype: Any first party class/archetype can be used. Greg was looking at the alchemist I know, and Jack was kind of leaning towards a Mad Dog barbarian.
5. Make a DNDSheets please. This is just so I can see your characters and what you made. (Greg: I can help make your character on Saturday if you want to hang out.)
6. Remember this is just a demo. Have fun with making your characters and try not to be too worried about party composition. Obviously, it might be a big tougher to play without a healer, but we manage in Bob’s game with just a Bard healing. Also, if we play more and you decide you don’t like your character after this demo, you can transfer your equipment and XP to a new character for free.
7. Starting Gold: Assume you rolled all 5s on the Starting Wealth formula. This’ll start you with slightly more gold than average.
8. Two traits: Can be anything as long you have the pre-reqs.