Tag Archives: actual play

Reavers on the Seas of Fate – Season Four, First Session

Riddleport Harbor

Riddleport Harbor

Welcome to the start of Season Four of our epic Reavers on the Seas of Fate Pathfinder campaign! We’re exactly three and a half years in. In Season One, “Shadows in Riddleport,” our PCs went to Riddleport, became aspiring pirates, and became embroiled in a cultist plot to destroy the city.  In Season Two, “Eros and Thanatos,” they got their own pirate ship and confronted all manner of supernatural menace of both Shadow and Cthulhu types. In Season Three, “Et In Arcadia Ego,” they  head out to sunken Azlant in the Arcadian Ocean and face off against the elves of the Mordant Spire and the degenerate inhabitants of the lost Sun Temple Colony.

And now we begin Season Four – “Family Matters.” In which our pirate crew returns to Riddleport but finds an old enemy has not forgotten them, and then heads to darkest Nidal to help Wogan’s sister.

First Session (22 page pdf) – “There’s No Place Like Home” – the PCs return to Riddleport at long last! Time to dispose of booty, buy goodies, and drink much booze while re-acclimating to life on land.

Their first order of business is to hand over the thumbless, captive pirate captain Morgan Baumann to the Overlord, which they manage to do with a startling lack of decorum even for them.

Gaston pulls the hood off to reveal that Morgan Baumann has worked the gag out of  place. She spits an unhealthy glob at Gaston.
The man wipes at his face, then tells her, “Keep your hands off my ships.”
Her reply is, “Keep your hands off little boys!”
Gaston taunts her, “I didn’t figure you would go down so easy.”
She replies, “I thought the same about you!”
Unhappy with losing the verbal exchange, Gaston commands, “Take her away.”

I improvised that whole dialogue, I was proud. Then it’s cop-killing jokes and a return to the Golden Goblin in Riddleport, where the whole campaign started. Saul Vancaskerkin, one-handed crime lord, always slaps Sindawe on the cheek in that Italian-mobster way; he hates it.  I love that. They rove all over getting caught up on city life.  Not only are they higher level but also they have learned not to wander the streets of Riddleport alone, so they are no longer the second most dangerous thing in a given alleyway. At least the command crew is; now they have to run after their hapless crew members who are all getting robbed and tricked into fighting in the arena and the like.

Entire game sessions that are all the PCs entertaining themselves with NPC interactions and going places are great.  I was told once that if we weren’t rolling combat dice then “we weren’t playing D&D.” To that person I wisely reply “suck it.” REAL ROLEPLAYING BABY!

This episode is all about getting various balls rolling and threads started, and it’ll escalate steadily over the next five sessions until it’s a holocaust that would make the most seasoned hack-and-slashers quail. But for now… It’s a moment of relative peace back in civilization.

We Embark Upon The Wrath of the Righteous!

balorAfter we finished up Carrion Crown, we discussed what Pathfinder campaign Paul was going to run next.  The clear front-runner is Wrath of the Righteous, the against-the-demons Adventure Path from Paizo Publishing. Which means goody-goody characters for everyone!  And this one goes high level – it’s planned for level 20 plus 5 Mythic tiers.  Mythic is a cool new Paizo ruleset that adds a layer of legendary/demigod/whatnot on top of normal levels – not limited to “Epic” like the old “above level 20″ 3.5 rules, but this is how some level 5 guy (or critter) can have an actual legendary kick to them.

Here’s our campaign page with character sheets and links to pages of session summaries and the like.  I’m a little behind, we’re actually done with one of the chapters already, but the summaries should start showing up!

Because I always want to play something a little different than what everyone else is, and because all the 3.5 era min-maxers (they call themselves “optimizers” nowadays to try to wash the stink off) all say the monk is the worst and “most nerfed” (thanks WoW) character class ever, I’ll be running a monk. Actually a combo  monk/paladin, there’s a Champion of Irori prestige class that seems cool and kung-fu movie-style I plan to take. I’ll do a separate post on my character later. But besides me, we have two paladins (melee and ranged), an oracle, a cleric, and an aasimar sorceress! Fear our codes of conduct!

Before the campaign there was some talk of everyone playing Shelynites, which I was all for as that would be interesting – but the adventure has so many Iomedae hooks that two of the players bailed and went Iomedae, so I went Irori to mix it up. And then the cleric is of Tsukiyo, a weird pagan deity from Tien Xia. (You can look up what any of that gibberish means on the Golarion wiki at pathfinderwiki.com.)

So buckle up and prepare to witness our attempts to slay demons, redeem the fallen, and mind our cornholes in Wrath of the Righteous!

Reavers on the Seas of Fate – Season Four

Time to start in the fourth season of our epic Reavers on the Seas of Fate campaign!  A Pathfinder piracy campaign based in Golarion, Reavers has seen our protagonists – currently Sindawe the Mwangi monk (captain of the Teeth of Araska), Serpent the albino Ulfen druid/ranger/barbarian, and Wogan the portly gun-wielding Chelish priest of Gozreh – range far and wide in their depredations. Tommy Blacktoes the halfling and Ox the Garundi both were PCs, but their players dropped out eventually.

In Season One they got their start on the mean streets of Riddleport in northern Varisia. They went as far as the ancient serpentfolk ruins of Viperwall to thwart plans to use the recently-completed Riddleport Light to open the Cyphergate and bring madness and/or death to the populace. They also met a lot of our major recurring characters – Saul Vancaskerkin the friendly Riddleport crime lord, Clegg Zincher the less friendly one, Samaritha the half-elven Cyphermage, Lavender Lil the well-endowed tiefling prostitute, Elias Tammerhawk the head Cyphermage and upcoming crime boss, Jaren the Jinx, unlucky pirate, and Hatshepsut the priestess of a lost civilization. And many others, who mostly got killed. Before it was all over, Tammerhawk was revealed and thwarted as an evil serpentfolk trying to bring ruin to Riddleport, Samaritha was revealed as a benign serpentfolk and Serpent’s love interest, Lavender Lil was spirited away from Clegg Zincher’s vengeance by an enamored Tommy, and Hatshepsut was freed from time-stasis in Viperwall and joined the group. And Sindawe gains the favor(s) of Wendo spirit Mama Watanna, Sadly the thwarting of Tammerhawk still resulted in his escape and in a tsunami that wrecked Riddleport – and the insertion of weird orichalcum glyphs in each player!

In Season Two they deal with the aftermath of the tsunami and head out to the Devil’s Elbow, where they discover an odd link between their new glyphs and threats from the Shadow Plane. They kill a pirate captain and take his ship, and finally are promoted from “hired muscle” to “independent contractors!” They wavecrawl around and meet many aquatic terrors, and bring some themselves. More horror in Riddleport also results, but in the end they take a trip to go find Jaren the Jinx and end up on an Azlanti island fighting Deep Ones. In other news, Tommy and Lavender Lil end up becoming thralls of the succubus lord Nocticula.  And Serpent and Samaritha get married! Sindawe cheats on Mama Watanna with Hatshepsut, but manages to talk his way out of the worst of it…

Season Three is all about heading across the Azlant Ocean to the sunken spires of lost Azlant to follow both pirate captain Morgan Baumann and collect a bounty on her, but also to follow a treasure map entrusted to Sindawe by his father. There’s aquatic exploration and survival horror and skirmishes with the elves of the Mordant Spire who consider Azlant their purview, until they finally reach the lost Sun Temple Colony and delve into its bizarre legacy and inhuman masters. Flying Azlanti death rays, flame-slug puppetmasters, vampire strippers… But in the end they confront both their goals and head back to Riddleport! Sindawe and Wogan try to keep their mind on their money and their money on their mind this season,but not so Serpent – Samaritha comes up pregnant!

Now, Season Four.  In realtime this season is almost complete so I can tease you on its contents!  They haven’t heard the last of the serpent man posing as Elias Tammerhawk, or of the shadow demon Chmetugo. Wogan wants to go save his sister, who now lives in the depths of Nidal, from a local plague. Sindawe wants to prey upon the ships of the Chelish coast like a wolf. Serpent wants to keep his new egg safe. They team up with some old friends, Captain Clap and Thalios Dondrel, son of Mordekai, for some pirating. But as one might expect, Cheliax is not a soft target. There will be blood! And, two new PCs join the group.

So stay tuned for the continued exploits of the fearsome Reavers on the Seas of Fate!

Reavers Season Three Retrospective

And that’s a wrap on Season Three of Reavers on the Seas of Fate! The crew went out to sunken Azlant, changed the balance of power of the Sun Temple Colony, bested Captain Morgan Baumann, and returned safely to Riddleport with only moderate losses. And, they’re seventh level! The campaign has had 78 sessions over 3 1/2 years by this point.

  • Sindawe got away with Jaren the Jinx’s murder, and even got rid of the resulting curse!
  • Serpent got Samaritha pregnant!  With what, we’ll see later.
  • Wogan… Is Wogany!
  • Tommy and Lil had a scare when Lil got kidnapped by a vampire! But she’s back and they’re seducing others to Nocticula at a good clip.
  • The Teeth of Araska is well manned!

I used Tammeraut’s Fate and Rana Mor from Dungeon Magazine (back when it was good and Paizoey), Lost Cities of Golarion, and more to stitch together this baby.

Next – Season Four! There will be a lot more pirating. Wogan hasn’t had enough story arc and so we’ll have to go visit his sister… IN NIDAL!!!  (I hear some Vikings may be planning to attack there.) Samaritha will come to term. And Sindawe will heed the call of his loa and head south… Stay tuned, there’s plenty of Reavers yet to go.

Reavers on the Seas of Fate – Season Three, Twenty-sixth Session

Twenty-Sixth Session (16 page pdf) – “The Cursed Earth” – The group hacks their way through frisky vegetation and use the druidic shrine to regenerate everyone’s missing parts! And then their relations with the local werewolves break down. But in the end… It’s back to Riddleport!

In the dungeon, they muse on their spectacularly bad luck – Sindawe hasn’t admitted that he killed Jaren and got his curse, but he does allow that “he was around when he got killed and maybe it jumped to him.” After mulling that over, it’s into a festival of bizarre vegetation the irate shrine is growing.

Mase says, “My mother used to make a dish called ‘blood sap’. It was awful.”
Not to be outdone, Serpent replies, “Samaritha’s people made it from slaves.”
The other pirates fall silent and stare at Serpent, waiting for a punch line, because they don’t know that Samaritha is actually a serpentfolk and her people probably did convert human slaves into  exotic dishes like “blood sap”.
Sindawe covers by saying, “That’s Ulfen pillow talk, you guys. The snow men are a weird bunch.”

Serpent’s player insists that he never casually gives away clues as to his wife’s true monstrous identity.  You be the judge.

Anyway, they reach the altar.  Bloodsuckles!  Canopy creepers!  Time for me to pull out all the new plant monsters no one’s ever heard of! And like last time, it reanimates the dead, in this case Peg-Leg Pete. Lefty, Orgon, and Bel all just about buy it.

But they finally calm the shrine and regenerate everyone!  Huzzah!

When they leave, Mythra is waiting for them – just to betray them!  Actually, it was a doppleganger, the escaped sister of the doppleganger they killed on their last visit.  This ploy works beautifully; the enraged pirates blindly follow her into the forest and attack all the werewolves; they get jacked up so bad they break off but won’t believe Mythra’s protestations of innocence. They announce a cease-fire and hole up in the shrine until the ships return.

Sindawe sees his crew safely aboard the ships and then bravely heads back to get the curse removed, with every expectation that he was going to get killed instead. She removes his curse “like in the deal.” He is grumbly about it. They bury Peg-Leg Pete at sea and sail to Riddleport!

That night in their cabin, Serpent and Samaritha indulge in a little pillow talk involving “squeezing the slaves” for “blood sap”.  In the next cabin, Sindawe buries his head further under a  pillow.

Reavers on the Seas of Fate – Season Three, Twenty-fifth Session

beeeeeeeeesTwenty-Fifth Session (13 page pdf) – “Wrath of the Lost” – It’s deeper in to the shrine to regenerate people’s lost parts. The pit of flesh-eating locusts they bypassed neatly last visit becomes quite the encounter – think Nic Cage from The Wicker Man. “BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!”

Things start to get complicated in the dungeon.  The shrine a) stimulates growth of all kinds and b) is very sensitive to emotions. Having a bunch of wrathspawn around is doing it no good, hence a shambling mound coming from the remains of the cave bear they killed last time they were here. They finally take it down during a fighting retreat. They ignore another overture from a talky raven that lives here (it wants them to kill the dwarf – it wanted that last visit, too). An ambush on some sinspawn using the “Han Solo gambit” goes well.

Then it’s time to cross a rope bridge. This went fine last time so the swarm of flesh-eating locusts went undisturbed.  Not so this time – in fact this becomes an hours-long fight, capped off by Wogan summoning a fire beetle with the thought that it must, you know, have fire or something. They don’t, of course. “STUPID FIRE BEETLES!!!”

Finally they come across the main wrathspawn arena area and decide to just bring the pain. It’s an epic battle – the pirates they brought with, since they’re all crippled, aren’t as effective as they are usually but they fight with heart. It’s vicious and Peg-Leg Pete is slain in the combat; most everyone else is felled at least once and brought back by timely healing from Wogan. Next time – the Season Three finale!

Reavers on the Seas of Fate – Season Three, Twenty-fourth Session

Twenty-Fourth Session (13 page pdf) – “The Wicked and the Maimed” – It’s back into the dungeons from Season One, Twenty-Third Session! This time it’s full of wrathspawn pirates. As usual, when they have a small landing party with NPC pirates along, it is hilarious.

The shrine complex was cleared out by the PCs before.  But now, it is full of a bunch of wrathspawn pirates from Hollow Mountain – I read about them in Dungeons of Golarion. The Ulfen sank their ship and the remnants have holed up in here.

They go in and have a big fight with the wrathspawn- “Hatefreaks,” they call them, and their big spider slaves (shriezyx). They are scandalized that the witch outside said they were armed with axes when really they are armed with ranseurs. “Women!!!” they concluded.

Then they wander the dungeon. They have such awful Knowledge skills; they come across a bunch of stuff but just have no idea what’s going on; their exchanges about them are pants-wettingly funny however. It’s so totally like pirates confronted with the more esoteric wonders of the world.

They find an egg shaped stone with a toad sitting atop it. Serpent fumbles his  Knowledge: Nature and declares it, “Just an ordinary rock. And an ordinary toad.” The pirates  realize that the toad if moved off the rock will just hop back to it. After lengthy experimentation, they decide that’s some sort of “bad mojo”.

Cockatrice Dragon EggThat is, of course, a classic cockatrice egg.

They debate the edibility of cockatrice eggs, if they were only able to find some, and decide that the spiders are “immune to being cut open” since no one wants to ruin their silvered scimitar in such an engagement. They do start to remember details about the dungeon last time, though, so make some clever determinations (hey, that green gas is probably an illusion, this place was full of illusionary mist and stuff…).

Sindawe’s curse is in full form in this dungeon – people just keep rolling 1’s and fumbling, fumbling, fumbling. They opened one door with two lurking wrathspawn behind it – one fumbled and critted the other, then the other fumbled and critted the first one!  The pirates just closed the door on the two dead wrathspawn, deciding that they and/or their weapons and/or that room are clearly cursed and not to be further investigated.

We end up with a bunch of pirate cripples heckling Serpent as he “repairs his staff” before venturing into “the bear room.”