Actual Play – Ship ahoy! (10/8/2015)

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

Day 19

Started bad. The captain announced an inquisition and Peppery Longfarthing started taking people individually into the captain’s quarters with Kipper and interrogating them with her magic.

Meanwhile everyone was sent off to do their least favorite jobs.

Vyv was sent back down into the bilges with Cog and Fipps. Anand sent Shivikah to go with them in order to keep Vyv safe, though later when Shivkah revealed she had hidden weapons and was ready to jump Jape, Maddie visited and told her to hold stead.

Madi swabs (passed a roll to not be fatigued) and asks Sandara about what we’re missing on the ship, who is happy to tell Maddie about some of the more secret parts of the ship (the captain’s private storage, the armory, the laboratory, and treasures ferreted away in the quartermaster’s store.

Finding out the “Truth”

During the day the crew is interrogated by Peppery. She casts a spell which fills the air with motes of light. As they speak some of the motes burst open, others continue to twinkle. Peppery’s eyes glow red and she tells them if they lie, she will know.

Davey is interrogated and likes the dust. Anand is interrogated and doesn’t like the dust. Madi is interrogated and knows the dust is bullshit. Argues she has the soul of a Kraken. Rolls really well for bluff and because Longfarthing plays along with it, seems to intimidate Kipper!

More work for the weary

Anand is lookout. Fails perception check but sees an unusual bird landing on the crow’s nest. Attacks it. Catches it. Puts it in a net.

As he climbs down Anand is cut off by Pugg who sends him back to work, but still gets a shout out to Maheem who later joins him. He asks Maheem about the bird (the Rhadoomi has a tattoo of the bird on his chest). The bird is a Radoomi Gadfly. There is a Radoomi ship and sorcerer nearby!

Anand kills the bird. Sorcerers are bad, right?

A red light flares and dies down slowly in the captain’s quarters

Ratliner is identified as the traitor. Captain starts speech about whether he wants a fast or slow death. Anand calls out ‘There’s a ship’, loud enough to partially distract the crew. He climbs down, facing off with Plugg and trying to get Captain’s attention.

Davey succeeds in a diplomacy roll (lots of help: Anand, Ratliner, Jack, Devil’s Bargain – hell to pay later) against Penny Longfathing, to capture the Captain’s attention. Barnabas grabs his spyglass and sees the ship!

Lets do some Piracy!

Ratlier is practically forgotten in the zeal to take a ship as the officers start barking orders to chase the ship down as a fast as they can.

Several rolls of seamanship to capture the ship, and roll out the ballista. (We all succeed, Vyv particularly well. Madi least well, but okay with minimal contribution to piracy.)

Davey steals some stuff from some lockboxes with Kroop’s help. (Tanglefoot bag, Cool Lantern, 2x Vials of Sobriety, 1x brandy, 10gp). Kroop also gives him his trusted steadfast grapple, and wishes him the bets of luck.

It takes all day to to catch the ship but when they do Riaris tells our heroes they will be part of the boarding party and must defend the wheel and prevent anyone from getting off the boats.

Anand is to lead the charge! Takes Ratliner in tow. Krine allows it (begrudgingly)

Boarding:
– Vyv fails to grapple, as does Anand. Davey, Ratliner and Madi succeed.
– Vyv doesn’t grapple, Anand does. Davey climbs, Ratliner falls and Madi climbs with a little bit of help from Anand.
– Vyv summons a dolphin to save Ratliner. Anand’s rope is cut and he falls. Davey hides on the new deck. Madi inches her way along the rope.
– Ratliner is saved by Vyv’s dolphin. Vyv successfully grapples. Anand climbs back up and sees Plugg’s pommel. Davey pushes a guy over the side and he’s attacked by sharks. Ratliner makes it up. Madi hides really well.
– Vyv and Anand make it over with some assistance from Krine. Davey and Madi hide. Vyv, Anand and Ratliner are attacked!

XP Awarded

Saving Ratliner: 50
Boarding the Man’s Promise: 100

New XP Total: 3325

What rocked

There was some fun tension about trying to save Ratliner from the fate they had inadvertently gotten him into. I did let off a little in the end because, frankly, the officers cared a lot more about taking another ship than about disciplining a halfling with missing fingers. I was still happy to see the party so invested in helping out the little guy!

Playing out the scene of Peppery casting Prestidigitation over and over was fun. I knew Maddie would make her Spellcraft check to identify it, but I didn’t think she’s use it to convince Kipper that she was a leviathan! Great stuff there!

There was nothing planned for Vyv in the bilges, but I just love how looming they seemed after the last session. I also really dig that they almost turned it around and jumped Cog and Fipps on their own accord!

Many, many thanks to Adrienne for taking notes during the session so I didn’t have to. This AP report is courtesy of her!

What could have improved

I really should have made Plugg more of an obstacle to Anand. I would have like to have seen him either deck the guy, or have to do some crazy rope swinging over his head. That would have added a little more tension to Davey’s mad dash to get the captain’s attention.

We didn’t get to the actual taking on the Man’s Promise during this session, I think in large part because I was too obscure with the whole “you failed a perception check, so you find this bird, and this bird remind you of Maheem, and Maheem tells you…” I should have just said “you see a ship!”.