Posts Tagged ‘Pathfinder’

The Wormwood chronicles, Part III

Posted: September 9, 2012 by mearrin69 in Gaming
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And even more:

Day 7 – A little rain must come…
The red sky this morning bore ill tidings. A storm loomed on the horizon and the crew prepared for the worst as the rains began to sweep the deck. Keeya, on lookout, failed to notice a large chunk of flotsam, likely churned out of the storm ahead, floating under the waves and it pounded into he hull but caused no damage. Shiera caught a few turtles, which Kroop cooked for dinner…taken belowdecks tonight due to the inclement weather. Later that evening, Shiera worked on her cooking skills. She and Valana both felt much better, the last of the ill effects of their rat bites finally abating.

Day 8 – The storm!
By dawn the storm was upon Wormwood and all crew were called to their stations to keep the ship afloat and on course. They worked double shifts. After her failure the previous day, Keeya was placed on repairs and rope duties. Shiera took over lookout duties during the day, not that there was much to see other than the massive waves threatening to capsize the ship, and Valana covered the second shift. Shiera did well but Valana missed seeing a huge piece a flotsam, the former figurehead of a ship lost in the storm. It collided with the foreward hull, port side, ripping a large hole there (fortunately well above the waterline!) Sometime during the second shift someone shouted “Man overboard!” and available crew rushed to the rails to see who it was and help if they could. It was Crimson Cogward, one of our group’s new friends. Killian sprang into action, tossing the flailing sailor a line, and the crew was able to pull Cog back onboard quickly. By the end of the day the crew was exhausted and took to their hammocks as soon as the storm died down.

Day 9 – There’s always a silver lining.
Today Valana and Baroque were assigned to repair the gash in the hull. Aretta Bansion was an unwelcome addition to their work party. Before they had gotten very far with the job, Valana had goaded Aretta into a fight. Baroque and Valana jumped on Aretta and pounded her mercilessly. Aretta, having gotten enough of the short end of the stick, pulled a blade. Her fate was already decided, however. Valana knocked her unconscious and then, in a snap decision, asked Baroque to help pick the woman up. They maneuvered her to the breach and tossed her out, Aretta’s body slipping quickly under Wormwood’s hull. After a suitable wait they went up on deck and gave the “man overboard” warning. Crew ran to the rails but Aretta was nowhere to be seen…except by Keeya, again on lookout, who spotted Aretta’s blue scarf well aft of the ship but said nothing.

Plugg and Scourge investigated but found no evidence of foul play and the incident was ruled an accident. At dinner that night Valana raised a toast to her fallen comrade and gave a little speech in her memory. Later, Slippery Syl Lonegan (MA: run, run, run away!) crept up behind Valana and aped sliding a dagger between her ribs, pulling her close and whispering, “How’d it feel to do her in? I love that feeling, sister! Did she beg?” (MA: Dexter talks about his “Dark Passenger”. Valana would know what he means. In SSL’s case, however, I think the fellow has kicked the driver out without slowing down and taken the wheel. She seems to really like Valana now. I think that’s sweet.)

Well, that’s what I call sailors behaving badly. Not nice at all. More reports from the Wormwood still to come.


The Wormwood chronicles, Part II

Posted: September 3, 2012 by mearrin69 in Gaming
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More fun and games aboard the good ship Wormwood as played at various locations around the beautiful Kiahanie campground and the north fork of the Willamette River:

Day 4 – Something in the bilges…
Life was becoming routine aboard the Wormwood, as the new crewmembers tried to do their duties and win friends among the surly crew. Keeya was assigned to mend sails with “Barefoot” Sams Toppin. She tried to make a connection with the former fisherwoman but utterly failed. Shiera tried her hand at fishing, and caught more than enough for the evening meal. She also found Kroop and Cut-throat Grok playing drinking games in the galley and taking turns on Rosie’s purloined fiddle. When they were well into their cups she swiped it and returned it to immense gratitude of the foul-mouthed halfling. Killian cheated a little at his deck-swabbing duties. Using the “holy stone” seemed a bit too much like work so he took the day easy and used prestidigitation to shine up the deck when nobody was looking. Valana kept her eye on the crew, sussing out attitudes and extant alliances among them. She gathered a fair bit on intel to share with her friends. Finally, Baroque was on repair duty. He did a fairly miserable job reattaching one of the heavy bronze kraken heads to the spokes on the wheel…causing it to fall onto the toe of the officer making a course correction.

Toward the end of the day, little Jack Scrimshaw ran onto the deck and reported to Mister Plugg that something had nearly bit him in the bilges. Plugg sent some “volunteers” down to check it out. He chose, of course, the newest crewmembers for the job. Down in the stinking waters of the bilges, they saw something swimming in the shadows and moved to check it out. Turned out to be the biggest rat they’d ever seen…soon joined by more vermin companions. Valana and Shiera were bitten by the filthy beasts and one somehow leapt from the water and took a nasty gash out of Baroque’s face (MA: Confirmed crit. Ouch!) before they had them all on skewers. They brought the carcasses back for Plugg’s examination and he pronounced it a job well done.

That evening, as Shiera was preparing to purify the rum, they noticed Aretta paying particularly close attention to their activity. Killian launched into a song about shipboard rats and exterminating them, with Rosie playing backup on her newly returned fiddle, and Concho playing the fool…imitating stabbed, strangled, and stomped rats. It was a good show, sufficiently distracting that none of the crew noticed Shiera’s hijinks with the rum. Later that night, Killian tried to capitalize on the crew’s elevated mood by trying to charm Fipps Chumlett a bit. He utterly failed, inadvertently insulting the obese sailor’s with a playful comment about his immense girth. Luckily Shiera was able to smooth things over somewhat by slipping Fipps a little extra grilled ahi.

Day 5 – The Owl Bear.
Today Keeya caught Aretta Bansion unawares. The former harlot was on rat-catching duty and had just ducked down behind some crates on deck to ferret out one of the nasty buggers. Keeya cast sleep and Aretta curled up in the warm morning sun for a little nap. She might have been okay, except that Keeya then caught Plugg’s attention to discuss a problem with the upper rigging and they “just happened” to walk by the sleeping sailor. Aretta was awakened with a hard kick and told she would receive lashes during the Bloody Hour. Baroque, serving as runner, knocked a bucket of washwater right onto a valuable chart and spent the rest of the day cleaning and drying it in the sun. Shiera brought Fipps some more extra rations and Killian, after easily completing his ropework duties, worked a little on Tam “Narwal” Tate, a surly dwarf. Valana had less luck making nice with Maheem, accidentally making some subtle insult about his tribe…well all Mwangi, actually.

That evening, Aretta received her three lashes. Killian, Rosie, and Concho, evilly, opened the evening meal (and rum purifying) with a rousing song about sleeping sailors. Aretta was not amused. Killian later seized on the opportunity to have words with Slippery Syl Lonegan, a scary cohort of Aretta’s. He made some headway convincing SSL that Aretta was on the way out and that she might want to look for some new friends. Shiera managed to insult Shivikah, a fellow Mwangi, who just happened to be from a tribe hostile to her own (MA: Bad Diplomacy. Whoops!)

Well into the evening, Plugg brought out his “pet”, the Owlbear. The giant of a man, still wearing tar and feathers from some cruel joke played by the crew, stood behind Plugg as he challenged any of the crew to take him on in a fist-fight…with a prize of 100 gold to the victor. Valana accepted and the two moved into a ring formed by the eager crew. She got the drop on Owlbear, faking with her left and connecting with the right. He ducked to avoid the first blow but took the second full-force. She quickly realized that the oaf was completely blind on his left side…he made no reaction at all. She used this to her advantage, ducking his slow (but powerful) swings and dancing around Owlbear leading him toward his blind side and landing punches all the while. Just for fun she guided him around so that his punch, when she ducked it, would contact with Aretta’s big left ear. (MA: You see how they treat her? Shameful!) Plugg saw the fight was going south and tossed a club into the ring, which Owlbear picked up and promptly bashed Valana in the skull. She knew she’d better make quick work of the battle and laid into Owlbear, knocking him out. Nobody suspected that she was wearing brass knuckles under her gloves…

Day 6 – Just getting by.
Our friends performed their jobs only adequately today. Shiera and Valana, had some excuse, having been feeling a bit ill due to an infection from the rat bites they received in the bilges on day four. Shiera cleaned and dressed their wounds and applied an old Mwangi medicine-woman balm (foul-smelling stuff) that seemed to help somewhat. Kroop was insensibly drunk today so Shiera was on her own with fishing and cooking. She caught plenty but the preparation was somewhat lacking. Valana and Killian mostly took work light and both spent some time with Shivikah. Amazingly, Killian knew a couple of songs from her homeland and sang them well, cheering the homesick Mwangi a bit. Shiera saved aside a couple of fish for Fipps, again earning the big man’s gratitude. Later that night, after dinner, Killian had a talk with Slippery Syl and she seemed to be becoming more friendly to the group, and less so toward Aretta.

That’s it for now. Stay tuned for more.

Labor Day gaming-camping

Posted: September 3, 2012 by mearrin69 in Gaming
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Our group just spent the five days leading up to Labor Day in the woods of Oregon, high up on the north fork of the Willamette River. It was gaming-camping at its best, though we certainly would have liked more gaming. We played some Pathfinder and Marvel in various spots around the river, drank some homebrew (and Captain Morgan’s), and spent some time with some non-gaming friends.

In Skull & Shackles (Pathfinder), we followed the next few days aboard the Wormwood as Keeya, Killian, Shieraa’ll, and Valana began to build up a power base aboard the ship and Master Scourge worked to undermine the reputation of the newcomers with Captain Harrigan and the rest of the crew. In Marvel, we revisited Captain America’s mission to a Hydra stronghold. HG joined the game as the imprisoned Spider Woman and together she and Cap faced down the Red Ghost and his “uplifted” monkeys. Expect recaps of these games from LL (Marvel) and MA (Pathfinder) soon.

We took some pics at a few of our gaming locations. Mobile gaming is fun.

That’s our gaming mascot, Kira. She joined us for all of the games.

HG also took an artistic pic of our bottle bodycount. No, we didn’t drink *all* of these. We had some help.

The Wormwood chronicles, Part I

Posted: August 26, 2012 by mearrin69 in Gaming
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After an eventful first day aboard the Wormwood, the new crewmembers settled in to their roles and came to terms with the realities of life aboard a pirate ship. Here’s the start of a day-by-day log of our new friends’ time aboard:

Day 2 – Laying down the law.
Crew are notified to be on deck for assignments by the first bell, and must arrive by the second or receive lashes. Valana and the others were accosted this morning by Aretta Bansion and her crew, including Fipps Chumlett, Jaundiced Jape, and Slippery Syl Lonegan. Before they can do much of anything, Keeya casts sleep on the agressors and all but Chumlett slumber. Valana intimidates Chumlett: if you’re not with us, you’re against us. He spills that Scourge doesn’t like the new group much, troublemakers, but Chumlett isn’t yet ready to join forces. The sleeping crew will later be punished with three lashes.

During the day, Valana is on rope and knot work and finds an opportunity to tease her by tying a noose and displaying it proudly. She also works on Giffer Tibbs and secures her support in opposing Aretta. Killian, on repairs, makes nice with the boy Jack Scrimshaw, giving him an interesting story to illustrate in his next carving project. That evening, Killian and Shiera try to collaborate to tell a tale of Besmara but the crew, frankly, wasn’t impressed. Besmara, apparently, wasn’t pleased much either…because she decided not to remove the ill effects of the rum ration for the evening.

Day 3 – That’s not funny!
Keeya and Valana did a little sneaking around the ship today, discovering little of interest. Killian, serving as runner, kicked over a bucket of mop water onto Mister Plugg’s boots while delivering a message. He escaped lashes by cleverly explaining that he had noticed Plugg’s boots were dirty. When he toweled them off for Plugg, lo, they were indeed cleaner!

The cook’s mate, Shiera, was informed by Captain Harrigan that today was a Besmaran high holy day, celebrating the return of the reefclaws. Maybe it’s just a Garundi thing, as Shiera had never heard of it. Nevertheless, she performed dilligently and caught four sea turtles for the evening’s feast. Kroop, drunk as usual, was of little help in the cooking of the day’s catch and Shiera, not being much of a cook, hardly did much better. That night at dinner she tried to make up for it with an oration about Besmara and the return of the reefclaws. The captain thanked her for her effort, though he clearly had no idea what she was talking about. Sandara Quinn, who had more knowledge of the proper methods of worshipping Besmara, was herself at a loss about the whole thing…

After dinner, our friends covered for the rum ration with a rousing song about sleeping pirates, during which Aretta was on the receiving end of a nasty little spell called hideous laughter (MA: cast by both Killian and Concho! GMTA, I guess.) The poor girl nearly choked on her rum! It caused such a commotion that Shiera was able to purify the rum ration unnoticed and Besmara was apparently quite fond of the whole spectacle, as she removed the worst effects of the poisonous concoction.

There’ll be more to say about the days that follow…much more.


Posted: August 19, 2012 by mearrin69 in Gaming
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We kicked off what should be a very long campaign this Sunday: Paizo Publishing’s Skull & Shackles adventure path for Pathfinder. Here’s Paizo’s elevator speech on the AP:

There’s adventure to be had on the high seas when a group of press-ganged strangers seizes a ship and becomes embroiled in the plots and politics of the Shackles—an infamous island chain dominated by pirate warlords. But as these new swashbucklers make names for themselves, rival scalawags, enemy navies, legendary sea monsters, and the infamous Hurricane King himself seek to see them walk the plank. Who will survive when there’s glory to plunder?

LL and HG had spent some time before game day coming up with characters for the campaign. They’ll play two characters each and HG created an extra character for drop-by players. Here are their characters along with the bios they wrote for them:

Keeya Stormcrow (HG) – Female sylph sea witch – Born in the city of Ilizmagorti on the island of Mediogalti, Keeya was a little different from the other children of her age, and was often avoided by the other children, more out of fear than anything else. You see, Keeya had unusual marking on her skin, kind of like the turbulent surf on a bright and sunny day, and when angered or distressed a mysterious wind would whip around her (even indoors). But life wasn’t too bad for Keeya in Ilizmagorti, she would sit and watch the sailors prepare for their long sea voyages and would often go down to the docks and help. She always seemed to know when a ship was about to arrive in port before anyone could see it on the horizon, “a sea gull told me” is what she would often say. Once she was of age Keeya decided to hop on a ship bound for Port Peril. The trip was mostly uneventful and to celebrate her safe arrival Keeya paid a visit to a local pub for a few drinks, and that’s where her trouble began.

Killian “Silver Tongue” Black (HG) – Male human bard – Another orphan in Port Peril, more meat for the grinder some would say as he would often talk someone out of a meal. He got along well with the other children repeating stories he had overheard while sitting outside a barroom window at night. He quickly learned that the trick wasn’t so much in the story itself but in the telling or rather how it was told. A story is just a bunch of words. A “Tale” has feeling and old pirate would tell Killian, and song could turn a brawl into a party…or vice versa. And there’s coin to be made if you be good enough. One day Killian decided to give it a go and see if he could earn a few coin that didn’t break his back. After telling a rousing tale of a pirate ship chasing down a fat merchant ship, the barkeep so impressed with the tale gave Killian a couple free drinks and for the first time with more than 2 coins to rub together in his pocket and feeling good about this new life he was going to explore, and readied himself for his next tale about a poor sailor who found himself press ganged after drinking a drugged ale, then the world suddenly went black…why is the floor moving, oh no.

Shieraa’ll (LL) – Female human cleric (Besmara) – Sheira was born and raised in a village in the Mwangi Expanse. The small village is many miles from Bloodcove.  Despite the distance and being on solid ground she felt Besmara’s pull. Shiera always had “sea legs” and had never been near the sea. Her natural clerical talents and worship of Besmara frightened her family and village. She was forced out of the village and her family disowned her. She headed for the Sea and the closer she got the stronger her cleric abilities became. She feels most at home on the open sea. Despite losing her original home and family she is upbeat and happy.  She has no intention of ever living on dry land again.

Valana (LL) – Female human swashbuckler – Valana is the middle child of five adult children. Her siblings were openly hostile when Valana followed in their father’s criminal footsteps. Valana quickly gained a reputation and enemy of the city guard at a shockingly early age. Her father’s criminal activity was the worst kept secret in town and the family was shunned by everyone. Eventually the area lawmen gathered together and raided Valana’s family compound. Her parents died during the raid and her siblings fled as fast and far as possible, leaving Valana alone to fight her father’s enemies. She tried to stand her ground and barely escaped with reckless haste. She signed aboard the nearest ship leaving port the next morning. That was a year ago. There is a bounty for her live capture and return to face charges. Valana is mindful to stay a few steps ahead of bounty hunters and the law. She is quietly trying to track down her siblings to protect them. There are people that will, in her absence, exact retribution on her innocent siblings. If her siblings knew she was doing this, they would refuse her aid. They still despise her.

Baroque (XX) – Male human fighter – Baroque is a Schrödinger character…sometimes he’s there, sometimes he’s not. He’ll be a background NPC unless we have a drop-in player that wants to take him over for a session or two. This Sunday he was played by TG.

Our new friends awoke in a dark room – a room still seemingly pitching to and fro as a result of the previous evening’s revelries. Their heads splitting, foggy memories of the night before, spent at Port Peril’s infamous Formidably Maid, came flooding back. For most, these were regrets over too much spicy food and strong drink…for one it was an ill-considered fistfight in the filthy alley behind the renowned pirate watering hole.

As eyes cleared of fog and adjusted to the dark, beams of sunlight between planks here and there attested to the poor construction of their chosen sleeping place. Heavy steps could be heard from the floor above. What hotel was this? Why weren’t they in beds? Hands reached for weapons that were not there, found sea bags and duffels that were. Before long, after they had nearly regained their faculties, they heard more heavy steps…these descending wooden stairs into their room. Several sets of steps, several people. The hood of a lantern was lifted, playing bright light across their dazzled eyes. The sharp crack of a whip sounded, making their heads ache all the more.

“Still abed with the sun o’er the yardarm?” shouted a sneering man with a braided beard and a mouthful of gold teeth. “On yer feet, ye filthy swabs! Get on deck and report for duty before Captain Harrigan flays yer flesh into sausage skins and has Fishguts fry ye up fer breakfast!” A look that might have been an expression of pain, but was clearly an attempted smile, crossed the man’s face as he looked to his six rough-looking companions and ordered, “Get them up!”

As our friends struggled shakily to their feet they got their first glimpse of their surroundings. They were definitely aboard a ship, in a nearly empty cargo hold. There was some grumbling and Valana, possibly the sauciest wench these pirates had ever met, decided to handle things in her usual manner: her fists. She took a swing at a big-eared former harlot called Aretta Bansion but failed to connect. Her reward was a conk on the head from Aretta’s sap and a sneering, “Do as Master Scourge says, honey, or you’ll get some more of that!” They decided to give in and climb the stairs to the deck, where the rest of the crew had gathered for breakfast and morning assignments.

Above them, on the poop deck they saw what must be the captain of this vessel, a three-masted sailing ship they would soon learn bore the inauspicious moniker the Wormwood. He was a broad, muscular Garundi man with a shaven head, a long beard bound with gold rings, and an eye patch. He said, “Glad you could join us at last! Welcome to the Wormwood! My thanks for ‘volunteering’ to join my crew. I’m Barnabas Harrigan. That’s Captain Barnabas Harrigan to you, not that you’ll ever need to…”

At this point he was interrupted by Shieraa’ll, with some nonsense about the terms of their hiring. Bansion’s ever-ready sap sang through the air but failed to connect as she hissed, “Silence while the captain is talking!” After a pause Harrigan continued, “I have only one rule—don’t speak to me. I like talk, but I don’t like your talk. Follow that rule and we’ll all get along fine. Oh, and one more thing. Even with you new recruits, we’re still short-handed, and I aim to keep what crew I have. There’ll be a keelhaulin’ for anyone caught killin’ anyone. Mr. Plugg! If you’d be so kind as to make pirates out of these landlubbers, it’ll save me having to put them in the sweatbox for a year and a day before I make pies out of ’em.”

A younger, balding man next to the captain descended the stairs and looked them over. Mr. Plugg had a long black ponytail and was wearing a long coat and carrying a well-used cat-o’-nine-tails. From his expression it was clear that he didn’t like what he saw…until he noticed that Keeya had already strayed from the group and was already hard at work mending some ropes. A thin smile crossed his lips as he said, “You! I need another rigger and it looks as if you’ve got the skills for it. Which of the rest of you can cook?” He got no useful replies so pointed at Shieraa’ll, who had said something about creating food and water, and said, “Okay, you’re the cook’s mate. The rest of you are swabs. Assignments after breakfast. Dismissed!”

Shiera’ll tried to ask Mr. Plugg about her holy symbol, a flask bearing Besmara’s mark, but was waved off by another crewmember who Shiera’ll noticed bore a tattoo of Besmara’s mark on her right arm. Plugg left and the woman approached, introducing herself as Sandara Quinn. She handed Shieraa’ll a small sack containing her flask and a few daggers and such. “End your quarrels on shore. Friends are hard to come by on a pirate ship, and enemies are many. I thought you might need these.” She explained that she had told the superstitious quartermaster, Cut-Throat Grok, that they were cursed and that she’d be better off with them gone.

The dirty ship’s cook, Ambrose “Fishguts” Kroops, brought out the ship’s biscuit and crew began lining up for their share. Two crew members, a foul-mouthed halfling called Rosie Cusswell and a foppish gnome with the unlikely appellation Conchobhar Turlach Shortstone had a run-in by the biscuit. He’d apparently been sweet on Rosie for a couple of days and she openly opposed the idea, though Valana got the idea she might be secretly appreciative of the gnome’s advances. Rosie joined the group and Concho, as he likes to be called, approached later with sweet words for all of the ladies present. Shieraa’ll told him he’d best make nice with his own hand but he took no offense, giving a rather good extemporaneous performance of a song called “Magic Hand”. 

After breakfast, Plugg handed out assignments. Killian, for his earlier attempts at currying favor through smooth talk, earned himself a place in the bilges. The other swabs, Valana and Baroque, were put on rope duty. Keeya was assigned to the crow’s nest to be a spotter. Shieraa’ll was sent below to find Fishguts and get started on the day’s cooking tasks.

The new crewmembers took heed of Sandara’s earlier warning and, as they worked, tried to make friends where they could. Killian was assigned to the bilges with a rather surly fellow called Crimson “Cog” Cogward and, though he was initially quite hostile, warmed up after some interesting stories of pugilistic glories and an impromptu song about a game of gnome-kicking. Speaking of gnomes, Valana made small-talk with a one-eyed gnome named Giffer Tibbs. It was rough going at first but Tibbs eventually warmed up enough to engage in conversation as they worked and later joined the group for the evening meal and rum ration.

At the dusk, the ship’s bell sounded and shouts of “Bloody hour!” arose from the crew, who began gathering on deck. The captain addressed the crew. A fellow named Jakes Magpie was brought from the sweatbox on deck to stand before the captain. Harrigan said, “Jakes Magpie, you stand guilty of stealing from the ship’s quartermaster and are hereby sentenced to keelhauling. Let this be a lesson to you!” Plugg, Scourge, and a handful of the other pirates dragged the weakened Magpie to the bow of the ship and tied heavy ropes, which had already been strung under the keel to the port side of the ship, to his feet. More crewmembers took up position on that side of the rope as Plugg and Scourge ceremoniously pushed Magpie overboard. The crewmembers working the portside rope heaved for several seconds, half a minute at least, pulling at the rope. Eventually, Magpie surfaced on the port side of the ship and was hauled on deck. Sheiraa’ll and Sandara ran to his side but he was gone, his body torn to shreds on the barnacle-encrusted hull. Plugg shooed them away from the body, lifted the corpse, and threw it over the edge. “More feed for the sharks!” he spat.

Harrigan addressed the crew again, “Conchobhar Turlach Shortstone, stand forth!” Concho looked around with a start and stepped forward. “Me?” he gasped. “You stand guilty of ‘taking the caulk’, as reported by Mr. Plugg. Second offense, four lashes with the cat. Let this be a lesson to you!” Several of the pirates moved on Plugg’s orders and grabbed Concho, dragging him to the mainmast as they removed his jacket. They secured his hands and feet to the ropes there and Plugg stepped forward, fondling his well-worn cat. “One!” he shouted as the brought the barbed whip down across Concho’s back and the little gnome cried out in pain. Blood welled through his shirt as Plugg laid three more hard stroked but Concho took these later blows well. When done, Plugg’s helpers rushed forward to untie Concho and let him slump onto the deck. “Now for dinner,” said Harrigan as he turned and went into his quarters. Again Shieraa’ll and Sandara rushed to the victim’s side, fortunately finding that this one would live. They eased his wounds the best they could and helped him move to a more comfortable spot. (MA: “Taking the caulk” is pirate jargon for napping while on duty. Apparently such shirkers would often awaken finding that the caulk between the deckboards had left dark parallel lines on their clothing, marking them as guilty. Concho had lines. Oops!)

Fishguts brought out dinner for the officers, who had decided to dine on the poop deck this fine evening, and then served the crew. More biscuit plus some fish stew and a side of hummus, whipped up by Shieraa’ll. Afterward, quartermaster Grok brought out a barrel and handed out the evening’s rum ration to the crew. It was stout stuff and our friends could see the deleterious effect its long-term consumption must be having on the crew. Shieraa’ll decided to ask Besmara to remove the worst of the consequences for her and her friends and they lifted their cups and drank no worse than fresh, clean water. (MA: In game terms, the nightly rum ration is quite lethal for low-level characters. I’ve lightened up Paizo’s rules on this a bit but it’s still a bad thing. I’ve asked for opinions on Paizo’s forums for whether the purify food & drink spell can be used in this way. Even if it can, there’s no word yet on what Besmara, a pirate diety, thinks of this sort of rum treatment. Doubtlessly we’ll learn her judgment soon!)

The crew drank well into the evening, gambling on various pirate games such as twenty-three peg and heave. At some point Aretta Bansion approached Valana and challenged her to arm wrestle. Pirate arm wrestling is usually done on top of an upended barrel with lots of pointy, harmful objects to greet the hand of the loser. Valana accepted and bets were placed. She toyed with the weaker Bansion for a bit and then pressed her down slowly before, at the last, giving her hand a final extra-hard slam into the waiting point of a broken and rusty dagger. Bansion cried out in pain and then calmly said, “You’ll pay for that, swab.” as her friends moved to comfort her with another cup of the ship’s rum.

Next session we’ll see what happens during the characters’ second day aboard the good ship Wormwood. On Labor Day weekend we’re scheduled for “gaming camping” and, if all goes according to plan, we should make some good progress on the campaign…while enjoying some homebrew and camp food!

NB1: Starting PCs off as prisoners is, in my book, generally a dick GM move. I wouldn’t do it in any ordinary circumstance but the authors decided this was the way to go and they did it in an okay sort of way. I briefly toyed with the idea of just having them hire on as crew but then realized that the Players’ Guide for the AP included campaign traits with built-in hooks built on the characters having been press-ganged…so I went with it. I did, however, leave them with most of their stuff: only weapons and obviously magical gear was taken and placed in the quartermaster’s stores. It’s not that hard to get back so I think all’s well. 

NB2: The previous Sunday, we made a brief attempt at continuing our Call of Cthulhu game with an investigation into the disappearance of an Arkham boy in nearby Innsmouth. We didn’t make it far, however, due to the GM having a particularly bad allergic reaction to…something. We decided to table the game and instead move to Skull & Shackles. We will come back to CoC as a break from whatever other “main game” we run alongside S&S – that will likely be LL’s planned Pathfinderized Dark Sun game.