Tag Archives: mutation

Reavers on the Seas of Fate – Season Two, Twenty-Fourth Session

Twenty-Fourth Session (17 page pdf) – “From Sea to Shore” – Below the Azlanti island of Nal-Kashel, the crew comes across an ancient evil. Well, three, if you count their girlfriends. They’ve had it with having to fight them time and time again, and they come up with a drastic solution! Nothing will be the same after the season climax of Reavers on the Seas of Fate!

Well kids, the Teeth of Araska is in dire straits. The ship was captured by a Tentacle Monster, the crew enslaved, and the few free members are being mutated into weird fish-monsters by the island’s magic. After tampering with ancient magics, Sindawe, Serpent, Wogan, Jaren the Jinx, Gareb, and Slasher Jim head under the island to confront one of lost Azlant’s masters.

It’s not long before they get attacked by Samaritha and Hatshepsut, apparently under something’s mental control. This really presses the party’s buttons – Sindawe is pretty sure Samaritha is an evil mastermind and Serpent is pretty sure Hatshepsut is just waiting to betray them, so they don’t really treat them with kid gloves.  The feeling is mutual, however, and Hatshepsut totally wipes the floor with them until they slap a Protection from Evil on Samaritha to interrupt her domination!

All this time, Jaren the Jinx’s curse is in effect.  It’s diminished from its earlier more vicious form, but now it just triggers critical fails on a natural 1, using the Paizo critical fumble deck (well, the iPad app equivalent in my case).

They then hustle after Gerlach the fish-man alchemist (well, sorcerer; this is before the alchemist class was created).  That fight actually goes OK – he triggers a critical failure that summon an irate rhinoceros! For some reason the party is not very thankful; Wogan tries to stab a wounded Jaren and then once it’s over Sindawe nearly kills him with a spear. But anyway, the fight moves on to an aboleth’s prison, and it is a terrible shame that everyone makes their save versus its domination. So the boss fight wasn’t really the toughest of the adventure – one or two failed dominations and it could have been super bad.  Ah well, that’s the way the d20 falls.

And then, it’s over except for the looting, the intel gathering, the curing everyone of the taint, the freeing of the villagers and crew, the reclaiming of the ship, the complete looting of the town, and – the wedding!

That’s right!  After hearing about the legend that newlyweds that swim out to Wedding Rock for their wedding night are sure to conceive, Serpent and Samaritha tie the knot. They debate a little bit about whether they really need to swim all the way there from the shore, but in the end decide they’d best not mess with tradition.  Wogan marries them on the beach and they swim across to the island, and mate upon the rock under the stars.

Will the ancient altar allow even a serpentfolk woman and a human man to conceive? When serpentfolk have bore no young since Ydersius fell? Well, you’ll just have to stay tuned.

Meanwhile, voodoo goddess Mama Watanna possesses Hatshepsut; Sindawe jumps her bones before she can even deliver her cryptic goddess-messages.

And after all the festivities and they leave, the ravaging of Blackcove is capped off by the discovery of the murdered body of their temple acolyte.

And that seems like a great place to end our season!  Next season, the crew of the Teeth of Araska will venture out into the Arcadian Ocean to sunken Azlant in search of pirate Morgan Baumann and some pirate booty!

Reavers on the Seas of Fate – Season Two, Twenty-Third Session

Twenty-Third Session (23 page pdf) – “Monster Island, Part 3″ – The pirate command staff messes with an arcane Azlanti orrery. And then they go into what they are pretty sure is the bowels of some vast beast.  And Jaren the Jinx returns!

Another session of From Shore to Sea; we’re getting our money’s worth out of this one!

Our pirates bumble their way through the arcane workings of the Azlanti island. It’s an interesting challenge – the three of them don’t have a lot of book learnin’ between them, but trial and error wins the day, with a little extra slack.

They can’t read any of the Azlanti writings since they used both scrolls of comprehend languages already. I came up with a good “see the lines of magic” special effect for the Necklace of Alvis, making it more cool than “+5 to spellcraft in the orrery.”

They pretty much just investigated and intuited what to do about the orrery, even without going through all the nonsense the module says.  “Spellcraft check DC 40?” What the fuck?  Forget that. They didn’t even need to go raise dead guys in the graveyard or read the plaques.  They found some shattered crystal, saw the tower zooming by, and figured “Well of course we need a new lens and I’m sure they’re in there…” and bing bang boom they went up, got a lens, put it in, and deactivated the domination amplification rune. They didn’t know they did that, or why they needed to do it, or what it did, but by gum they did it.

Then they met Sarah, Jaren’s wife. GM rule #1, never have some unrelated hapless NPC when they can be somehow related to the PCs instead. She was all sad, but they made her come along anyway, and then once they went up the tower they all were happy they’d done something and went scurrying down – Serpent was the one who noticed Sarah wasn’t with them and turned around to see what was up. She did the classic “tell him I loved him…” I like it when I can give players those real oh-shit moments.

[P.S. Van Helsing is just the most shitful movie ever… It’s playing while I write this… OMG]

A recurring theme was Gareb and Slasher Jim running to be the first to loot fallen enemies. I enjoyed how when Wogan was faced off trident-to-trident with a fish-man they stood by taking bets.  There was quite an argument when Serpent ran in and killed it; everyone in the whole discussion felt aggrieved.

Then Jaren the Jinx resurfaces.  His jinxiness is much less now – it used to turn any crit into a crit failure.  Now it just makes me draw on the fumble deck (well, I use the iPad app) whenever there’s a natural 1. This makes the party not kill him out of hand.  Surprisingly, Wogan is normally the most amiable member of the party, but he was very much in favor of killing Jaren out of hand. He gets under his skin somehow.

When they went down under the ziggurat, they were totally convinced they were headed down the gullet and into the bowels of some huge creature.  Fun stuff.

I like how my “examine the area don’t just roll” plan is making for more interesting things even during combat – in the final fight, Sindawe really did just happen across and then use that aberration bane spear without knowing what it was, and was really impressed when it wasted a cloaker out of hand!

Next time, the finale!

Reavers on the Seas of Fate – Season Two, Twenty-Second Session

Twenty-Second Session (19 page pdf) – “Monster Island, Part 2″ – It goes from bad to worse on the ruined Azlanti islands; the number of living pirates is going down while the mutations and insanities of the survivors increase. And then a huge spiderlike monstrosity appears standing right next to you.

Yet another session of From Shore To Sea. More fun with just the three PCs and two of their pirate buddies (the outgoing yet fragile Gareb and the suspected serial killer Slasher Jim). They did a good job of cutting up, despite getting increasingly mutated by the Warping effect the Azlanti island has. Though in the end, Gareb was a mess psychologically and Slasher Jim was a mess physically.

They get to fight a giant frilled lizard. After, we’ve seen trailers for “Mysterious Island 2” where there is indeed a giant frilled lizard! Alas, a month too late for me to use it as a visual aid.

This session had lots of good classic adventuring.  Dungeon delving, cutting open felled monsters to look in their guts, etc.  With this session I tried something different – I told the players that in order to combat 3e-disease we were going to ramp back on the skill checks and do things more old school – you observe and manipulate your environment, not just “make search checks.” I think that worked well!

The octopus fight was epic. I about had some player revolt due to the annoying rules of fighting underwater/through water… By the rules, attacking that octopus in a floating muddy water ball is like -8 to hit, 50% miss chance. I let Wogan’s purify food and water get rid of all of it.

They were grim when they found their ship and the whole crew slaving away digging some kind of canal for the fish-men. Correctly divining that the big orrery in the observatory on the top of the island was a key point, they went and started to mess around with it, starting a really fun fight with a couple of phase spiders!  Gareb got hit by a stray effect from the thing, blurring him, which made him able to see them. The resultant combat really hinged around blink and blur and a variety of effects that interact with ethereal creatures.

Read on, there’s more coming up!

Reavers on the Seas of Fate – Season Two, Twenty-First Session

Twenty-First Session (18 page pdf) – “Monster Island” – Their ship missing in action, the crew heads to the nearby island of Nal-Kashel, which bears Azlanti ruins of the “demented World of Warcraft” design school. Then the mutation comes.

This was our new year’s day session! Another year, more Reavers. They really didn’t want to go to “Monster Island,” as they have named it, but in the end they decided that their ship and loot and girlfriends and all were worth the danger. (They had to think about it, though!)

Sindawe cuts to the chase and beats, strips, and interrogates a local, finding out that they have the “Innsmouth look” for a reason – that they are all part fish-man. So then it’s off the the island!

And boy it’s demented.  This is still from the From Shore To Sea adventure. The island is surrounded by the Cliffs of Insanity and has an Azlanti city that was all cool but now it’s degenerating and there’s weird magical stuff going on, like ripped-off tops of towers swooshing around in the air and intelligent will-o-the-wisp powered floating streetlights. The PCs even ended up talking to them! Investing in learning Aklo from Samaritha and Hatshepsut has really opened up new worlds for the otherwise non-intellectual group.

I had fun playing the pirates. It’s harder when they are shipboard – there’s a lot of NPCs for me to juggle and there’s usually work to be done. Once pirates get out on trips like this, though, their more chaotic nature comes out. They screw around a lot.  Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s dangerous, but it’s never quiet!

They lost another crewman, though, and they have all started to get mutated by something going on with the island. Alas! Will they figure out the island’s ancient secrets? Tune in next time…