Tag Archives: riddleport

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%!

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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 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 Two, Seventeenth Session

Seventeenth Session (15 page pdf) – “Press Gang” – As usual, a little bit of time in port results in the PCs really tearing it up. A whole long session, and no real fights, but it’s not slow, with two beatings, several sexual escapades, organized crime activity, shopping, drinking, jail time…

First of all, sorry for getting behind.  Between the holidays and job hunting, I’ve been strapped.  I’ve got like four sessions of Reavers in the can as well as three of our new Jade Regent campaign.  Here’s getting to it!

Last time, everyone finally leveled to level 6.  I am all about the low level play and slow progression; they got 5th in February I believe. So they all showed up with kewl new powers to use. But as usual, we kicked right back in seconds after the last session ended.

They took the first part of the session recapping and trying to assimilate new knowledge into what the overall deal is with the Cyphergate and orichalcum and serpentmen and portals and phantom creatures. It’s inevitable that PCs get a little confused about what’s up even with reasonably simple plots because of the long time between games and the somewhat distractable nature of any given PC. So if you have orichalcum glyph pieces embedded in people and orichalcum plates taken from a portal seal, people get them confused. So I helped walk them through a solid statement of “what we know so far.”

Next, I had one of their NPCs mess with them. Last time, you will note how Pirro the pirate got the short end of the stick on healing. Well, they came away from the fight with four magical treasures, so he’s due one, right? He wakes up early, takes one of the items (a magical mithral axe), and goes down to the casino to put it on pledge to get some gamblin’ money. Naturally he loses badly (I rolled for it fair and square), and this causes the PCs a little consternation. I liked this scene because it let me reinforce that the PCs’ pirate crew are by no means mindless minions, and in fact the nature of being a pirate means they are unruly and like it that way.

Next, two things happen that deserve blog posts of their own.  The first is the unexpected and sudden “Hey, Serpent needs to get Samaritha pregnant!” plan that emerged to surprisingly unanimous support. See Pregnancy & Pirates for more. The second is the sheer impatience of Serpent wanting to get magic items sold and bought – he literally goes from place to place till 2 AM in the morning desperately trying to swing deals. More on that in Insomniac Monkeys on Crack.

What this demanded of me was a large amount of improv. Urban adventuring is challenging because it’s not like a dungeon or wilderness where there’s a limited amount of stuff that can be going on.  A big lawless city like Riddleport is guaranteed to liven up quick if you go through the wrong door at the wrong time. So they kept wandering around and I kept coming up with stuff that I hoped wouldn’t get me into real trouble.

I generally like to use the dice as a general determinant of “is this going to go real well or real badly.” For some reason the PCs were rolling really poorly this session. So when Sindawe goes to the House of the Silken Veil trying to find a Mwangi (African) hooker that might have fertility drugs or magic (I am not sure it ever occurs to the PCs to look anywhere but in bars or whorehouses for anything in this game), the roll comes up really low, so instead he gets a Garundi woman dressed up like some far northerner’s idea of a Mwangi witch doctor for the fetishist market. Heh. Also they’ve gotten on the bad side of Madame Pamodae; they are remarkably unconcerned about this given that she’s a priestess of a deity of revenge.

Then they recruit new shipmates! First it’s the traditional “set up a table in a bar” method, where they try to figure out what’s wrong with the people applying. As it’s a pirate ship, they find plenty wrong but decide”what the hell” with all of them but the last guy. This was a shout out to a previous player who was always an obstreperous muffinhead, and one day in a SF game came in with a new character that we were interviewing for a position on our tramp freighter.  Since he was a new PC we were just trying to get any kind of excuse to hire him but his response to every single question was vague “I do… things!” crap. We left him on the planet and in fact he got disinvited from the group (last straw syndrome). This explains Sindawe’s overly violent reaction. (Knowing how to push your players’ buttons and not just the characters’ is a good GM technique.) They also invite their girlfriends Samaritha and Hatshepsut and Lavender Lil along! And they shanghai the hated Bojask, a guy who works for Saul and they’ve never gotten along with.

Also, they make a couple runs at trying to extort a local new bar for protection money. They were hilariously shy about it really. I based the friendly but yelling owner/bartender off a male cheerleading coach in a horrible Comedy Central movie that was on while I was prepping that morning.

Part of this game is definitely the crew control.  I rolled for each crewmember’s shore leave. Basically 1 is something SUPER bad and 20 SUPER good; 2 means trouble the PCs can’t fix, 3 means trouble they can fix, and everything in between is general levels of doing well versus doing poorly. There were a lot of 4’s, including Pirro, which basically means “all money gone and got a good beating in the process.” The only bad result was a 3, where Goat got arrested for murder; some guys in a bar hassled him about being a tiefling and they turned up dead later. The PCs went and bailed him out in a remarkably civilized fashion; I liked their sudden realization about “Hey, wasn’t Slasher Jim washing blood off his knife back on the ship?” Turns out Slasher Jim also used to be on Morgan Baumann’s (their new quarry) crew. Big Mike got a 20 so I figured he parlayed into part ownership of the new bar – good for him, and a complication for the PCs’ protection racket!

The one place where the PCs rolled well was around the House of the Silken Veil – Pamodae has it out for them once she found out they killed her pirate ally, and they went back twice; both visits were sexy and hilarious in turn but they didn’t degenerate into murder, and let’s just say that was an unlikely result. It ended with Sindawe bluffing his way past a guard by playing the race card.

And FINALLY they get on their ship and underway!  Whew!  I thought it would never happen.  I think I run pretty fun urban scenes and (properly!) depict cities as full of people and stuff and places and whatnot, so PCs seem to get drawn into doing random things there even when they planned to go do something else.

Reaver Character Updates

Our merry band of miscreants in my Reavers on the Seas of Fate campaign have all leveled, as well as accumulated various distinguishing scars and marks. Check them out!

All these characters now bear a strange glyph on their bodies, like a tattoo, which appeared when a glyph-covered plaque the evil serpent man was using to open the Cyphergate exploded, embedding fragments in all those present. They are not sure of the significance of this, though the glyphs burn painfully at certain times.

PCs

Sindawe is a Bonuwat Mwangi skilled in unarmed combat. He became the party leader early on and earned the epithet “Woman-killer” for his complete lack of hesitation when it comes to taking down female enemies. He got a new snake tattoo when he became the lover of voodoo loa Mama Watanna, and a set of orca bite scars when he cheated on her with Hatshepsut, an Osirian monk/priestess of Ydersius they pulled out of suspended animation in Viperwall. He’s also a very skilled cartographer and has been learning the ancient tongue Aklo. His favorite weapon is a pair of cold iron brass knuckles he bought second hand with the letters “ELFPU” and “NCHER” engraved on the knuckles. A life goal is to find enough treasure to go back to the Mwangi Expanse, wipe out the clan that killed his family, and restore his own clan. Sindawe Narr, Monk 5

Tommy Blacktoes was just a halfling rogue from Cheliax with a penchant for nipple torture. But since coming to Riddleport, he’s become smitten with the tiefling whore Lavender Lil, taken on the geas of the ghost of Black Dog the pirate, and accepted the profane gift of a succubus agent of Nocticula. Finally he became an assassin and popped his cherry on a crazy derro who was in the middle of an autopsy. His Disable Device, Escape Artist, and Stealth skills are at a legendary level. A life goal is to murder Clegg Zincher, free Lavender Lil, and become a feared pirate. Tommy Blacktoes, Rogue 4/Assassin 1

Serpent, real name Ref Jorenson, is an oddly colored Ulfen man of uncertain parentage from the Land of the Linnorm Kings. He has a gigantic pet python named Saluthra. Serpent became romantically involved with Samaritha Beldusk, a half-elf aspiring Cyphermage. When it turned out she was really a serpent person in disguise, he decided “Eh… Snakes are my thing anyway.” He recently discovered that he may be related to Cyphermage Fenella Bromathan, right before he burned her alive on a pyre in accordance with Ulfen tradition. He is extremely nimble and can’t settle on a single character class, though by all accounts he’s good in the wilderness. His prized possession is a single Boot of Striding and Springing liberated from the chieftain of the goblin “Junk-Kicker” tribe. A life goal is to find out who his mother was. Serpent Jorenson, Druid 2/Ranger 2/Barbarian 1

Wogan is a portly, bearded cleric of Gozreh from Cheliax. He is most notable for his love of guns, a newfangled kind of invention that makes the others nervous. His religious vow of chastity has kept him out of a lot of the trouble that dogs the other Reavers – so why do they look on him with pity whenever it’s mentioned? Between his thundering trident, his firearms, and call lightning, this is a guy you hear coming a long ways off. He’s also a very skilled fisherman. A life goal is to drink more than anyone else in any place at any time. Wogan, Cleric 5

NPCs

Samaritha Beldusk appears to be a chirpy half-elven woman who aspires to become a Cyphermage. Really, though, she is a serpentfolk wizard. Perhaps even more surprisingly, she appears to not be the evil world-dominating type, and is in love with Serpent. She is a transmuter, but is quite fond of her wand of magic missiles, which can solve many a problem given enough time. She knows many things, which is a nice counterpoint to the PCs, who never met a Knowledge skill they liked. Samaritha, Wizard 4

Hatshepsut is of Osirian descent and was the priestess of Ydersius in a large temple that is now the ruins of Viperwall. She was trapped in a magical mirror when her temple fell and kept in suspended animation for many centuries until the PCs let her out. They then tried to kill her, and then took her prisoner, but eventually they became fond of her vicious “serpent strike” punches that cause continual bleeding. She is very taciturn, and mostly only speaks Aklo, though has been working on learning Common. She is very standoffish and is known to unload on someone for violating whatever archaic system of etiquette she subscribes to. Sindawe befriended her and they fought side by side for a long time. Recently, after a violent bout of sparring, she and Sindawe had a violent bout of lovemaking. This annoyed his goddess lover and the fallout is still in progress. Hatshepsut, Monk 4/Cleric 4

Both Samaritha and Hatshepsut worship Ydersius, who they claim was a lawful deity before the Azlanti cut his head off. No one is sure of the truth behind this claim.

P.S. The great pics of the PCs are by Paul (Serpent), we use them on paper standups for the characters too.