Eleventh Session (13 page pdf) – “Teeth of Araska” – A Shackles pirate ship led by the infamous Captain Grudge decides the PCs look like tasty prey. Will they be victims or victors? Thrill to the nautical naughtiness in the latest installment of Reavers on the Seas of Fate!
The ship-on-ship combat was pretty happening. I used my Quickie Mass Combat Rules to streamline it; it was the PCs and their named NPCs and four units of Riddleport Thugs against Captain Grudge, his named NPCs, and six units of Araska Pirates.
We were also using my cannon rules. I love sweeping the decks of the PC’s ship with grapeshot. It gives me a sense of accomplishment.
In the end, they had a good fight of it but they really smacked around the pirate captain without him doing all too much. But he was part bard, after all. You can download Captain Grudge from the Reavers NPC Page!
One of the neatest parts was when Tommy chased the elven sniper/sorcerer Selis down into the depths of the ships alone… He stabbed what he thought was the hiding elf, but it was some mook, and he got locked into a cabin and a spider swarm summoned onto him! He frantically tried to push through the poison and distraction to pick the lock and get out of there; he succeeded but it was a close thing. A huge mass of spiders coursing out onto the deck had quite the salutary effect on everyone up there.
Once the fighting was over, we had some roleplaying – “get to know the crew,” farewells to some of the NPCs, dealing with Clegg Zincher… Sadly, Kevin, Tommy’s player, was out, so it didn’t come to blows with Zincher (he really wants him dead.) They took the Dark Pearl back to Riddleport with Sam, Eli, and Hatshepsut while the PCs decided they wanted to take their new ship, the Teeth of Araska, out to recruit crew and maybe find some treasure.
Most of the rest of the session was inspecting the ship, planning, refitting, and generally regrouping, since the last several sessions have been nonstop desperate combat to escape the Devil’s Elbow. And having their own ship is exciting! Are they in over their heads? Probably!
Did you use floorplans for the ships? If so, which did you use? I’ve been looking for some ship battlemats, and so far the Paizo ones seem like the best bet.
Yes, I use the GameMastery Map Pack: Boats & Ships and really like it. It has tiles you piece together into ships. I also have the ship flip-mat but the flip-mats suck, they won’t lay flat, so I never use it.
Funny addition to the “in over their head” comment, they found nautical charts showing a course to Ilizmagorti, the infamous and hard-to-find island that is both a pirate haven and run by the Red Mantis assassin sect. They briefly discussed going there but decided to put it off, realizing (correctly) that the place is pretty hardcore and that at their current level they’d probably just have their ship taken and be sold to orcs as pleasure slaves or something.
Oh, also another bit, the session summary omits a lot of the searching the ship towards the end of the session; they are sure the Calistrian cleric is stowed away aboard so their investigation of the ship was slow and had a lot of “locking doors behind them” and “searching every corner of every storeroom” involved.
Understandably, after 6 hours and 13 pages, our session scribe was getting a little tired so some of the details toward the end were omitted.