GM Advise- Certain Player death situation: *Possible 50 Fathom Spoilers

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GM Advise- Certain Player death situation: *Possible 50 Fathom Spoilers

#1 Postby Kertain » Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:14 am

*Possible 50 Fathom Spoilers* Also DiceHaven players..don't read!

So I was thinking about posting in the 50F sub forum, but this topic is really not setting specific.

Anyways: Running a 2+ year 50 Fathom game session number 34. They are 1-2 sessions from the final battle with the end boss, but need one more magical item to do so.
This magical item is held by Blackbeard who is one of the scariest pirates on the sea with the largest ship, huge crew and is, unknown to the Players, invulnerable while on his ship. He is really scary and the setting book even says not to make him a wimp. Last session they got above their heads and had a PC death, so I am totally fine with playing things challenging if the situation dictates.

The Character spent a lot of time to come up with a plan and managed to talk their way onto the deck of Blackbeards ship. They flew a white flag and Blackbeard knowing that nothing can happen to him while on his ship accepted and they "foolishly" boarded the ship and offered to trade a their own powerful relic, for the one they need from him. Of course Blackbeard laughed and demanded they hand over their relic. And of course the players drew swords and we stopped the game for the night (was late).
They incorrectly assumed they could kill Blackbeard in one round, take the relic and swing to their ship to safety. The master plan was to get on board, to which they succeeded, they were just not aware of all the facts beforehand...

My problem: The players on the deck of a powerful ship, surrounded by pirates, facing down Blackbeard who is an unkillable death machine. Their ship is directly next to them and not moving and has a TON of cannons trained on them.
This is a very very bad situation. They are Legendary at this point and would normally one shot a normal bad guy and got cocky..but this is not the case.

I am two sessions from the completion of my campaign. Very high chance of total party wipe or at least the majority, ship loss, all the special relics they need for the final battle lost...oh boy! Possible complete reset.
I can't just let them walk away from this and get the relic from Blackbeard easily, it will feel week.

To be honest I am nearing burn out level with GMing and if they die or lose their ship the campaign will stretch out longer than I want. I think the whole group is having fun, but we are all ready to wrap up the game one way or another.

The book recommends an ally comes and help them or the Maiden summons a fog to help them escape.
They also have a half vampire son of the dead King whom they rescued. I was thinking of having him turn choosing to turn full vampire and throw himself at Blackbeard to buy them time to dramatically stalling thing to "Save the world and avenge my father!" type thing...but I am worried that is too ham fisted.

Sorry this is long, but wanted to setup the situation.
Need GM advise on how to handle it, hope this was enough info.
Thank you!

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Re: GM Advise- Certain Player death situation: *Possible 50 Fathom Spoilers

#2 Postby PEGShane » Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:10 am

The half-vampire sounds pretty cool to me, and is a callback to something they did earlier, so that's a payoff for them. If they have another powerful ally from before this might be a good time for them to arrive--either in another ship or hidden among Blackbeard's crew. Here are some other random ideas. :)

1) The Kraken Fleet or Duckworth (or his replacement) shows up. Lots of ways to go here, but it could be a distraction for Blackbeard that lets the heroes escape with what they need, or if they're really up against it, Blackbeard could give them a chance to man the guns and help out or they're ALL sunk. (The approaching fleet could be bad guys as well..L'Ollanaise or equivalent.)

2) A strange vessel emerges from BENEATH the sea! It's the Nautilus! (Or some other submarine.) It cracks open Blackbeard's ship so that he's no longer "on" it and is now vulnerable. A similar effect might occur if there's a sudden attack from somewhere and a stray shot hits the magazine and cracks Blackbeard's ship apart.

3) Maybe...just maybe... Blackbeard sees reason. He doesn't want to fight the Sea Hags, but these legendary do-gooders can do it for him. Here's the relic...go to it. "We'll settle up another day..."

Best of luck!


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Re: GM Advise- Certain Player death situation: *Possible 50 Fathom Spoilers

#3 Postby Freemage » Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:17 am

1: Make his indestructibility obvious from the first blow. At that point, have a crewman give a Taunt/Intimidate against whoever it was who's seeming 'killing shot' just failed miserably. Something along the lines of, "Fools! Ye'll never defeat Captain Blackbeard upon his own ship!"

2: Have Blackbeard give an order that if the PCs flee, his crew is to send their ship to the bottom of the waters. The idea here is to make sure they understand that they can't just hop on their boat and flee.

At this point, they'll have two options:

!: Try to get Blackbeard off his boat somehow, then kill him. This isn't impossible, especially since they're at Legendary at this point.
2: Disable the cannons and then run. Again, Legendary characters should be able to manage this. They can then try to come back another day.

Only once they settle on one of those plans, or something else seemingly good enough to have a chance to work, should the half-vampire step forward with his sacrifice play, if necessary. It'll make the victory/escape feel more like the party earned it.

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Re: GM Advise- Certain Player death situation: *Possible 50 Fathom Spoilers

#4 Postby ValhallaGH » Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:24 am

Given that you're about burned out, Shane's advise seems the best direction.

I'd give them a chance to "surprise" Blackbeard, utterly failing to kill him (my crew headshot him with a 32 pound cannon, with a Raise, and were gobsmacked when he barely noticed), making them aware of how much trouble they are in. Then have an NPC rescue occur, possibly including a Disarm attack so they can still get the relic they need.
The goal is to get them out mostly intact, with what they need to win, but without short-selling the danger they're in. Losing a valued NPC while gaining a terrifying foe as an enemy seems like a fair trade for getting what they need (i.e. Relic and their lives).
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Re: GM Advise- Certain Player death situation: *Possible 50 Fathom Spoilers

#5 Postby Kertain » Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:03 pm

Thanks guys!
I ran the game Saturday and it went very well.
They fought desperately on the ship against Blackbeard several rounds of combat but a PC managed to snag the relic from him.
The half vampire turned himself, attacked Blackbeard and bought them a round to escape on their ship, but they were all ragged, out of bennies and some wounded. The Vampire diversion worked well: was not a total GM bailout but gave them a slight bit of time to recover and make a break for it.

However they lost a PC in the battle and worse yet he died due to one of Blackbeard's special weapons and got turned into an undead twisted version of himself.
They ending having to fight their ex-crewmate and survive a massive storm he summoned before they truly escaped :)
Being legendary rank, the undead version of a PC is SUPER powerful. :arrow:


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Re: GM Advise- Certain Player death situation: *Possible 50 Fathom Spoilers

#6 Postby Jiffies » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:27 pm

Being a player in 50F my group actually came face to face with Blackbeard in a smular manner.
We however were little more lucky. My character (also Captain) has boosted up both parry and toughness trough edges and was the one whom came face to face with Black Beard.

Though our plan was a little different.
We didn't plan on killing him. We just wanted the weapon. :D
Even so, stupidly going in blazing and shooting.
We had a full crew when attacking him and left with a skeleton crew. Much death were to be had on the extras side.
And many of us left with 3 wounds.

Luckily our strategy payed of. I (eventually) disarmed Blackbeard and snatched the sword from the ground beneath him while taking the stabbings and pokes.
With 3 wounds it was a little hard to swing back to my ship but i did it.
A homage goes out to our mage that saw the potential of those special weapons and kept attacking them to keep them from going off too often.

Having planned ahead and gotten a couple of kegs of gunpowder up in the crow's nest we had out strongest thrower lob lit powder kegs over to Blackbeards ship when we were ready to flee.
Bombarding his ship with keg after exploding keg meant that his crew couldn't follow. It did nothing to his ship though.

In the end we were left with a couple of turned crew members that were pushed overboard. (I think a couple of normal extras were pushed over as well, we didn't count...*snicker*)

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