Tag Archives: pirates

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

Sixth Session (9 page pdf) – “Dark Wings Over Riddleport” – The celebration grows toward “Project X” levels but is interrupted by a sinister old guy with a “message” from an old enemy. And raven swarms, don’t forget the raven swarms.

The pirates are partying, and voodoo loa Mama Watanna shows up and possesses a bar maid for some Sindawe ravishing. But part way through, everyone’s cypher glyphs burn…

In a very anime-style turn, a cloaked old guy at the head of the dock turns out to be a crazed shadow raven supernatural killer (special CR11 advanced vrock named “The Messenger” from Green Ronin’s “Dark Wings Over Freeport”). The party erupts into chaos as partially incapacitated members of many potentially  hostile power groups leap to arms amidst darkness and confusion and raven swarms (“unkindnesses,” technically).  Ah, I love being a GM.

messenger

He keeps generating swarms of ravens, which threaten all the partygoers. Pirates with swivel-guns and Sindawe with a potion of fiery breath are some of the few things that hurt them (swarms, the ultimate threat in all 3e-derived games).  After a big fight they kill him, though Serpent gets his staff all shadow-infected (a little “thank you” from K’Stallo, aka “The Serpent Man Formerly Known As Elias Tammerhawk”). In fact, Clegg Zincher and Akron Erix are the ones that really did most of the killing of the Messenger himself, which really enhances their local rep! And their status with the PCs – they’ve been ambivalent about whether Zincher is “a stand up guy” or “that guy we really want to kill.”

So – return to party!

Finally, having blown out Riddleport as much as one can blow it out, they return to the sea to seek Piracy, Wogan’s sister, the head of Elias Tammerhawk, the rape-murder of the Stormdaughter, and whatever’s messing with Sindawe’s people.  What’s the chance all those plot threads are related?  This is D&D, so 100%!

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

Welcome back!  We’ve still been playing Reavers and writing up session summaries, but I am sadly delinquent in posting them as blog posts.  This summer, I intend to catch you all up!  Follow along and read the adventures of the most dastardly batch of pirates to ever bedevil Golarion!

Salvadora Beckett Fifth Session (21 page pdf) – “Patching In” – More business on the streets of Riddleport; beating up locals, recruiting new pirates, plotting and scheming… And it is capped off with a pirate party to end all pirate parties!

First they interrogate an anti-Cyphermage agitator and realize his organization is backed by the Zincher crime syndicate, who since the tsunami have become a lot more of the “patriotic community association, that will still break your kneecaps” type.

Then Wogan starts to get concerned about his sister, who has moved to Nidal and married some local.  A visit may be in the offing!  And Serpent and his wife Samaritha go shopping for an egg-case (lest you forget, she is a serpentfolk who disguises herself as a half-elf).

They also follow up with Salvadora Beckett of the God Squad, an undercover branch of the gendarmerie that investigates evil cults and keeps there from being too much religious influence in the city. This is something I imported from the Freeport setting into Riddleport.  Keep in mind as you read the following that I use the picture of butch iconic half-orc inquisitor Imrijka as her character portrait (above).

Sindawe changes the subject, “We are having a patching in ceremony and party tomorrow night. The Overlord and other bigwigs will be there. You’re invited, of course.”
Salvadora replies, “I am a law officer. My presence would put a real dampener on your party. Besides, I’m already running too high of a profile for my line of work.”
Sindawe says, “You could wear a disguise.”
Serpent blurts out, “You could always come as a stripper… uh.”
Salvadora’s eyes slide over to Serpent, who shuts up.
Sindawe laughs at his friend’s mistake, then jokingly tells Salvadora, “You could fake your own death, just like those famous detectives do in the bardic songs. Then you can investigate without having to answer to your boss or the rules. You can bring the villains to justice.”
Salvadora consider this then replies, “I do have a hanging harness.” She clomps off.
Wogan tells Sindawe, “I think she was hitting on you.” Sindawe thinks about that possibility.

Also, they are rewarded for giving over the remaining Yellowjackets (Calistrian assassins) to the law by a raise dead scroll for the murdered Little Mike. Then they recruit some new pirates.

This is always a fun time, and something I have to prepare a lot for.  I have to come up with a list of pirates for them to interview, some high level, some low level, all with various personality disorders, some actively traitorous and some just passively traitorous. You never know what they’ll like or not like.

Duke Ron (based on Kurt Russell’s “Captain Ron” character) was meant to be all lively and piratey but they hated him.

Cannonball Jack, Nemo, Kent, “Ragged” Pete Morgan, George Peters, “Long” Bonifacio Copper, and Kitty the Cantankerous are all welcomed aboard, despite some of them kinda obviously sucking. And Melella, a half-elf druid they met during their investigation of Little Mike’s murder who took a liking to them.

Then they meet Captain Sempronia, who has open enmity with Duke Ron.  They go with Sempronia, which will be revealed as a terrible mistake later.

Then it’s time for the after-party.  The huge, Sons of Anarchy style dock party with loads of rented hookers and VIPs and crime lords and disguised succubi and Cyphermages and demon assassins.  But before the demon assassins, Sindawe came up with a whole motorcycle gang vest and patching plan. Check out the summary for the details. And the Overlord gives them a warrant for the serpent man known as Elias Tammerhawk – 10,000 gold, dead or alive. They like this, they hate that guy (lest you forget, he blew up the Riddleport Light and caused a tsunami to hit Riddleport and got glyph-shards embedded in the PCs and all kindsa stuff like that).

wanted

The PCs really enjoy their party, and I generate all kinds of interesting “party fouls” for them to watch or participate in or whatnot.  I enjoyed Wogan maintaining his priest-of-Gozreh chastity despite a succubus grinding on him.

We leave off in the middle of the party…

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

Captain Scarbelly

Captain Scarbelly

Fourth Session (16 page pdf) – “Family, Worship, and Business” – Sam and Serpent’s egg is coming along nicely while Sindawe and Hatshepsut visit an orc bar and get more than they bargained for. Finally, they protect some Cyphermages while negotiating with orcish pirates.  Just another day in the life!

After they spizzle the weasel-mast, the PCs head into Riddleport on various errands, none of which really bear mentioning in polite company. Luckily there’s no polite company here!  They try to deal with other pirate captains, procure biker-gang outfits for their crew, visit Serpent’s eggs… You know, normal weekend stuff.

And then Sindawe and Hapshetsut must prove their worth to a bar full of orcs. The Happy Fellow is a bar from a Freeport supplement, where orcs fight each other for spots beneath iron teats drooling “blood grog.” Captain Scarbelly and his crew are straight out of the Freeport books too.

If you want to make a “skill challenge” not boring, have it be to beat back orcs while trying to stay under a blood-grog nipple. It all ends successfully (which is to say in sex and violence).

Then in a weird turn they have agreed to escort the Cyphermages, who are pretty much shut-ins now because their two former leaders have tried to destroy the city in weird cult activity, on a field trip. While they’re doing this one Cyphermage and the ship’s cook sneak off into an alleyway. Ever alert for treachery, they send the mentally challenged crewman “Dum Dum” to spy on them (No, I don’t know why they picked him). When he returns, this was the exchange.

Dum Dum enters the alley cautiously, disappearing into the fog. He quickly returns explaining, “Billy is just helping that fancyboy go to the bathroom.” They wriggle uncomfortably at this news.

Captain Scarbelly and his orcs show up due to Sindawe and Hapshetsut’s brave performance the night before. The two captains parley for a while to their mutual profit. Then we end with…

Captain Scarbelly seems intelligent for an orc. The two discuss pirating business a bit  more before Scarbelly announces he has to go. Sindawe hands him a gift: a Mordant Spire elf mask.  Scarbelly admires the mask then says, “I need to find a prostitute.” He marches off.

 

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

Third Session (13 page pdf) – “Murder Avenged” – Tracking down their crewmate’s killers lead the command crew into an assassins’ trap! But killing is where they’re Vikings.

The murder of Little Mike throws our command staff into full-on police procedural mode as they investigate hard.  Speak with dead, interrogating witnesses, tracking his last steps. And they fall into the trap of three assassins – a trio of Calistrian slayers known as Yellowjackets. Given all the Calistria lore I thought a divine order of assassins called “Yellowjackets” that get dispatched in threes were super apropos.  I managed to find three good Calistrian type images, and basically statted them up off the images!

Ms. Whip

Ms. Whip

Ms. Kukri

Ms. Kukri

Ms. Pants

Ms. Pants

Wogan has to use one of his Infamy Points (we represent them by actual replica gold coins I give to the players) to avoid instant death from Ms. Kukri’s death attack. (These are the names the PCs gave them during the combat). It was a knock-down-drag-out fight but they finally killed one and captured the others.

As a special bonus – here’s a character sheet with the writeups of all three assassins! I took some NPC guide pregens and other stuff and doctored them up.  They have Rage from Lover’s Vengeance and Magic Vestment on themselves (it doesn’t really show that on the sheet).

They actually trade the two living ones back to the Calistrians via their friendly gendarme contact to try to cool the conflict down.  Will it work? Wait and see!

 

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

Samaritha the Serpentfolk

Samaritha the Serpentfolk

Second Session (18 page pdf) – “A Birth and a Death in Riddleport” – Samaritha finally comes to term serpentfolk style and the crew entertain themselves by fighting in Zincher’s arena, but then they find one of their long-time crewmates murdered!

That’s right – Samaritha, Serpent’s wife, who got pregnant back at the end of Season Two, finally gives birth!  Well… Lays an egg, really, she is a serpentfolk. I think Golarion serpentfolk are supposed to do live birth but I’ve admixed the Freeport serpentfolk in instead and they definitely do the egg thing. Quite the milestone! So the first half of the session basically revolves around that. I’m really happy our campaign is in-character roleplay enough that a PC getting married and having a baby is absorbing for all the players.

Clegg Zincher

Clegg Zincher

And how better to celebrate than violence. But it’s not even the PCs’ violence! No, instead they get to watch Mase and Gareb, two of their crewmen, fight fish-men in the arena. They lose, but live through it.

Then they hatch a “clever” plan to hand off their captive Ulfen to the orcs, so that they don’t garner White Estrid’s revenge should she track them down. They wisely decide not to provoke the monkey that comes along for the ride – last time they provoked a monkey in Riddleport someone came close to losing a nose. Word to the wise. (It’s kinda like Costa Rica in that way.)

And then – beloved crewman and second mate Little Mike’s body is found on the streets of Riddleport. BAM! Downbeat and cliffhanger for next time.

 

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.

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!