Actual Play – Reefclaws, Good eats! (8/27/2015)

Skull and ShacklesGM: Sean Nittner
Players: Karen Twelves, Meg Pressley, Rocko Moran, and Adrienne Mueller
System: Pathfinder
Adventure Path: Skull and Shackles

Leveling up

We started the game session getting everyone to level 2. Woohoo, Anand got a brawler’s fury. Madeline took the cackle hex, Vyv learned woodland stride (though more on that later), and Davey took the rogue talent Charmer (more on that as well).

We’ve got  the Sick

Three days and many adventures after their encounter with the rats in the bilges, the filth fever took hold. The heroes woke in a cold sweat, their numb hands shaking, and burning up inside. [2 points of Dex damage, 1 point of Con damage. All failed their save except McTavish]

Day 11 – A day in the sun

Near the coral reefs of the Slithering Coast, some poor swabs were sent to go catch some crabs while the others repaired the ship. Since Davey had lost the fishing nets the day before, he and the other PCs were sent to collect them.

They commissioned a dingy, much to Scourge’s chagrin, and made their way to the shallow coral reef. As Vyv and Davey dove down into the reefs, the spotted the crabs, but something else spotted them as well. Reefclaws!

ReefclawFighting underwater is hard

Reefclaws, aberrations. Blood-red spines run the length of this frightening creature, which resembles a lobster in the front and an eel in the back.

The reefclaws poisoned claws, their adept movement underwater, and their death frenzy all made them challenging opponents. But soon after they were dispatched, the water itself was a hazard, as both everyone who had been underwater started to run out of air.

First Davey was knocked out by the death throws of the of one Reeclaw and then Anand barely had enough in him to get him out of the drink. Vyv summoned a dolphin just before they passed out and the Dolpin raised them up and onto reef that was above water.

It took a lot out of them (loosing the anchor and a craw basket with devil’s bargains and three of the characters getting knocked out either from injury or drowning, but they also came home with quite a prize. Three crab pots filled and two reefclaws, which as Barefoot Samms told everyone, are good eats! [Barefoot went from indifferent to friendly]

XP Awarded

  • 300 (Defeating the reefclaws, CR 2 due to fighting under water]
  • 50 (Bringing back reefclaw meat for supper)

Total Gained: 350
New XP Total: 2375

What Rocked

I love how detailed the world of Golarion is. As the players were sent to go crab fishing, Vyv made a successful Knowledge (Geography) to identify they were on the Slithering Coast. Later, as they considered the idea of making a break for it McTavish made a Knowledge (Local) roll to remember what he had heard about it. Instead of having to make something up on the spot, I pulled up the PathfinderWiki and found this:

The Slithering Coast runs along the south of the Shackles’ mainland, which borders the Fever Sea. It takes its name from the large populations of sea snakes and water nagas found there.

Good stuff!

This fight took us all night, and it was exciting. Anand figured out that grappling was he most effective way to fight underwater and he literally crushed the reefclaws by wrapping a rope around them and squeezing!  Davey put his short sword to through a crack in the shell of a reefclaw and skewered it, but in it’s death throws, it clawed at him again, and cut him badly.

Summoning a dolphin was…awesome!

What could have improved

I feel more and more like there needs to be something more at stake on the ship than “will we be whipped for this?” I had some ideas of starting up a pipe weed trade but that didn’t really take off, primarily because I introduced it rater than letting it develop from the player’s actions. I think it has to be something the PCs invest in themselves for it to take off. I’m going to keep looking for opportunities to create hidden economies or investments.

Somehow, on 6/11 I deleted the portfolio for our our Skull and Shackles characters. I know this because Dropbox keeps a record of everything you do. However, I don’t pay the $40 a year to have more than 30 day retention on lost files. So… it’s gone. Because of that I had to wing it and we leveled up without all the right archetype info. Davey shouldn’t have gotten a rogue feat, but instead the Swinging Reposition ability. So no charmer talent but the whole swinging on ropes and dodging through mooring as part of movement is pretty darn cool. Also the 5′ of movement after the attack is awesome for setting up flanks and or a retreat.