Velgor gave me this idea. I thought I would keep a running log of our adventures because…
1 – It's fun.
2 – It's fun (important enough to mention twice).
3 – Keeping notes can be useful if a player misses a session.
4 – Helps other people who join us later keep up with events that happened so far.
Also, let me know if I'm using the wrong subforum for this. I hope this entertains people.
The group so far:
Afzara Airspeaker = Undine Shaman, she is a merchant who specialises in salvage of shipwrecks or pearl diving and other goods cultivated underwater but valuable on the surface.
Lois Layne (yes, think THAT Lois Lane) = Human Rogue, looking for her missing sister and also happens to be quite the alcoholic.
Terrin = Halfling Ranger, working as a trapper and here to sell off furs and hides. So far the most secretive of our group.
Rosie = NPC fighter with a fiddle.
Sandara = NPC cleric of Besmara.
We all wake up in a cargo hold, with several menacing men standing over us. They seemed to know exactly when we would wake up, because they were right there with no chance for us to speak to each other first. Naturally this means our group is a disorganised mess because we are immediately rushed into the first encounter. They announce that we've been press-ganged to serve aboard the pirate ship. The ringleader appears to be a whip-wielding unpleasant man named Mr. Scourge.
Did I mention we woke up with no weapons and armour?
So think to yourself, if you wake up unarmed and unarmoured, in a cargo hold outnumbered by pirates with clubs, does this seem like the perfect moment to pick a fight to you?
If the answer is yes, you too are a PC.
Mr. Scourge threatened Terrin with a whip, after I believe some choice profanities from the halfling. Lois tries to grab the whip, and then a group of pirates club her into unconsciousness, while Terrin also appears to continue to fight until his last waking moment.
Afzara, Sandara & Rosie stay well the heck out of it. Being well-behaved beats being, well, beaten.
So with no time to talk to anybody, we are now dragged upstairs and put to work. Presumably waiting the 3-4 hours it would take for the others to wake up from their nonlethal damage. We get given jobs climbing, swabbing the deck, running delivering messages, and Lois volunteers to be a cook with the intention of doing deliberately the worst cooking possible. For much of day 1 we are learning the ropes. Afzara tries to get a role using her magic, since between Mending spell, Create Water or Purify Food & Drink, and the Heal skill she could probably be ship doctor, ship carpenter, all-purpose repair and make life easier for the cooks and stuff. But the ship officers are not interested.
Mr Scourge seems sadistic rather than pragmatic, the clue is in the name really, more interested in bullying crew than using them effectively. Mr Plugg seems similar. There's an unfriendly half-orc quartermaster named Cut-Throat Grok. Pointless sadism seems to be the pattern on this ship; we see a man in a hanging cage (gibbet), clearly dead. His offence? He beat the captain at dice.
We also see a keelhauling. Someone accused of stealing. This means a rope is tied to them and they are dragged across the underside of the hull, which is covered in barnacles and other marine growth. The guy is essentially cut to pieces.
Then comes that night when we have some time to ourselves. Lois tries to sneak around to recover her family sword. Terrin tries to spectate on some gambling to ingratiate himself with the crew. Afzara gives a complete stranger a massage, finding someone sore from the hard work on the ship, and makes a friend that way. Some of us try to talk, for strategy sake, but are again rushed into the next morning.
Morning bell sounds = get up and get to work… on the way we are blocked in by 4 sailors who decide they want to start a fight with us so we'll be late to work. First fight that isn't caused by PCs thinking they're invincible.
The fight lasts 1 round. A Sleep spell takes out 3 of the sailors immediately, while Terrin & Lois flank the one guy still standing.
We take their knives off them, although they weren't using them in the fight. Next thing, Afzara straddles the chest of one of them, and wakes him up with the point of his knife an inch away from his eyeball. Apparently this is worth a +5 circumstance bonus to our Intimidate checks. Who knew?
It turns out the sailors picking a fight with us were put up to it by Plugg & Scourge, and never had anything personal against us. Our group makes clear this is not to happen again, by which Afzara points out that theft and killing is forbidden, but castration is not. I wonder if Afzara is a little too close to evil alignment.
Almost immediately, Lois grabs Mr. Scourge and threatens to kill him… meaning that when we do murder Mr. Scourge we will not be simply one of many people who hated him enough to kill him. Naturally, Mr. Scourge responds by shoving a flintlock pistol in Lois's face. Other crew members intervene upon realising that flintlock pistols do not have nonlethal settings.
During the day, between work, Lois sneaks into the quartermaster's stash and finds her sword, then hides it somewhere. She likes that sword. I cannot remember what Terrin did, or the NPCs. However, Afzara manages to barter with the quartermaster (by using Mending for repairs and Purify Food & Drink to keep supplies in good shape) for the return of Rosie's fiddle = now Rosie likes us and she can perform to entertain the others, meaning she can win over other people.
That night, I do not remember what else happened or if anything else happened, although I strongly suspect Afzara is doing the Florence Nightingale routine again (Heal as a good substitute for Diplomacy). I think we probably need to be a little more organised about who else is on the crew – quite a few of the crew are press-ganged, so they might be willing to support us.
Overall, there seems to be a few different plans or philosophies in effect among the players. The two opposites are Lois, whose goal appears to be to antagonise her foes with stealth and theft and sabotage and confronting them, and Afzara whose goal appears to be to get as many of the crew to like her as possible before taking any kind of decisive action. I will need to talk to Terrin about his thoughts so I can include them in.