[50F] Arnon's 50 Fathoms Game - Journal & Discussion

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arnon
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[50F] Arnon's 50 Fathoms Game - Journal & Discussion

#1 Postby arnon » Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:09 am

Started a 50 Fathoms campaign last night. This is practically our first serious Savage Worlds campaign (some years ago we played 4 sessions of War of the Dead).

Almost two hours were invested in going over the Rules and character creation. (most do not know/remember them, and only one other has the SW book)

Cast of Characters:
Shirlene:: an 11 years old Water Mage Kieran Masquani on the run from a noble who killed her family.
Saphen: a Curious and Loyal Atani who likes traps and looking into other peoples lockers/chests on the search for a new homeland to the Atani, a place to plant more Carroway trees if possible.
Killian Kato: masquani ex-privateer who worked under Duckworth. While he is Heroic & Loyal, he also has a Big Mouth, which is why Duckworth fired him. That's not what he told the crew...
Beck: a very good looking doreen of many skills and a Curious disposition towards technology... the fact that he's All Thumbs doesn't deter him from trying to understand the technology

Dead Characters
Margolis: an Arrogan Kraken warrior-mage (Air) with a half burned face and a fear of fires. ==> Died when combating a pirate captain.

We are supposed to have four PCs, but one just had his second baby, so he will be joining us later.

NOTE: This being a jounral, SPOILERS will be present.
Last edited by arnon on Thu Jul 09, 2015 2:03 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Chapter 1

#2 Postby arnon » Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:10 am

Chapter 1

You were all working on the Rebbecca, a mid-sized frigate, hauling timber from the Free Cities to one of the southern cities of the Kieran Empire when something large hit the bottom of the ship. Several crewmates fell overboard and a lantern unhinged from a nail and set the hull on fire. Captain Jonas Abrahams managed to beach the Rebbecca on a stretch of beach, only problem was that beach is connected to the island known as Torath-Ka, the Savage Land, home of the Red Men, and rumored to be inhabited by strange monsters.

24 of the crew survived to the beach, and the captain asked the party to scout and forage a little. So out they went. Several miles from the wrecked ship they came across a wrecked skiff, that might be serviceable with some repairs, and as they were inspecting that they heard a large crashing from the jungle and out came a large reptile with yellow-back snarling and charging at the first person it saw. Margolis, the kraken warrior-mage, conjured a whirling around his body to help protect himself and drew his bone sword; while young Shareen, the green haired maquani tried to shot a bolt of hot water at the monster but missed. Saraphen, the Atani rogue, was climbing on the single mast of the skiff when he heard the thing crashing from the jungle hanging by his legs from the mast he tried shooting his sling at the creature, but it bounced of its hide. Bigabu Banog, the masquani sailor who accompanied them was nowhere to be seen.

Then Margolis squared off against the big lizard, and with a precise hit to the head managed to break through the thick skull, the monster was fazed and could not recovered before being taken down by the party. They skinned it for meat and started heading back…

Only to find the ship was burned to the waterline, and no sign of the provision from the ship nor their crewmates… although there were signs of blood everywhere, along with a set of prints leading to the jungle. They followed, and after some miles heard tribal chanting from up ahead. Saraphen scouted ahead and returned to tell them of 9 Red Man around a stone pool filled with red liquid, and 6 of their crewmates tied-up and on their knees while a shaman was intoning above them. They asked Bigabu to wait for several minutes then cause a distraction and run away while they tried to flank the pool and come from the side. The distraction caused two Red Man to chase away into the jungle and the party crashed out to face the rest...

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#3 Postby Snate56 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:17 am

Alright! Great start! Looking forward to more.

It's good to hear from someone in that part of the world, welcome back!

Hope your fourth member returns soon, bringing his new Savage into the fold.



SteveN
"Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reasons."
>Mark Twain<

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#4 Postby arnon » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:19 am

Chapter 2

Taking advantage on their enemies focus on the ritual the party charged out. Shirlene came out gun blazing, taking down one of the Red Man with a shot to the back. Margolis protected himself with deflection, while Saraphen climbed a tree and shot an arrow at one of the Red Man, causing a Shake. First to react to this attack was the Shaman, and he pushed one of the captives (happened to be the captain) into the red pool, then stepped back to touch the altart and chanted some more. The party moved to engage the others, with Shirlene taking cover behind the step raising to the pool, and Saraphen gliding from the tree and shooting another arrow but missing. The Red Man charged at them one coming to attack Shirlene, another took Margolis, while a third managed to Shake Saraphen with his spear. The three other rd Man run towards the melee from the other side of the pool.

The battle raged on with Shirlene shooting bolts of scalding water at their enemies and even blinding the Shaman momentarily, while Saraphen continued gliding and shooting his bow, and Margolis fought the enemy with his sword. Then a great monkape started to rise from the pool and the part was less sure about their victory. But they fought on, dropping another and another of the Red Men, while taking almost no damage. Even the Shaman fell and all that was left was the great monkape to fight… and he was mad with rage and flinging his arms everywhere. He was a tough one, but was finally put down by a combination of all participants.

While the others were releasing the captives, Margolis wanted to see if he could still save he captain who was thrown into the pool, so before jumping in he thrust his hand into it. Big mistake! His hand almost came off from the acidic nature of the red pool, and it was his great toughness and Shirlene quick treatment that saved him from losing his hand.

After some rest the hauled all the provisions back to the beach, took some wood from the hull of the Rebbecca and went to sleep by the ruined skiff. Next day the sailors managed to fix the ship and they set sail towards the nearest port: Birgandy Bay. Shirlene managed to convince everyone (well, except for Margolis) to name the ship Janevive.

It took them about a week to reach the pirate town, and immediately they set to search for a job, failing that to sell the ship and find some work… but first Shirelen decided she must have a pirate hat and an eye patch, which she took of a drunk sailor or two they came across along the way. For two days they searched but found nothing (mainly due to the fact none have any Streetwise, though they did have one success so i decided they did get noticed by someone).

At the end of the second day the crew was approached by an unnamed masquani who bluntly told them they are probably desperate enough for a job in order to accept his offer: to smuggle some “farming equipment” to a location several miles south of Timin; he would pay 1000 now, they’ll get 1500 when the job is done, and they’ll also get some timber to hide the “farming equipment” which they could sell for their own profit. Shirlene managed to convince the surprised masquani to give them a better deal: 1500 up front, and 2000 once done. Delivery will be in two days time.

With some room to breath (economically) they prepared for the voyage...

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#5 Postby arnon » Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:36 am

I'm sure my players are not on these forums so i'll just post ahead:

I threw the Smuggling Operation out of my mouth without thinking about what it's going to be, i now have to come up with something. I came up with two options so far:

1. A straight black-powder weapon run, but maybe throw in some that political rivalry you mentioned between the captains. This will at first be behind the scenes, so the players will not be aware of it right away. One of the capn's have a grudge against the Keiran and wants to help the rebels, another secretly curries favors for them, acting as sort of an agent. So there will be ship following them and maybe trying to attack them later at sea, and perhaps a patrol of soldiers will be alerted to the deal and ambush the hand-off.

2. A bit more sinister: The cargo is several plague zombies from somewhere (i can think about this later on), they'll be delivered in several boxes, tied so they will not more much and their mouth covered so they would not moan ("if you head sounds from the boxes, it's just the equipment moving around"). The idea is they will be used in farming, as in spreading their bodies over the land and water to poison the food somehow.

Maybe one will get released near the end of the voyage? or released during a sea combat? Maybe as they hand the boxes over one of them upends and break, releasing one of the zombies. Of course, those receiving the boxes will want no witness to that...

thoughts and suggestions are always welcomed...

Cheers,
-arnon

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#6 Postby arnon » Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:37 am

Chapter 3

The crew spent the next 2 days preping the ship, buying supplies, a compass, so on. They decided they do not yet have enough funds to buy cannons. The next day a supply of timber arrived and early the next day, before the morning tide, came the delivery of “farming supplies”; 3 carts pulled by 6 burly men, each with 2 coffin like boxes only higher than normal.

The boxes were promptly loaded and the crew urged to leave immediately. As they pulled away another group of men came rushing to the pier and started a brawl with the 6 who just delivered the cargo to the ship, and also, the spotter marked another ship leaving the pier further down, this one heading in a more direct route to Kieran.

The Jenevive made straight to Torath-Ka, preferring to hug the coast. The voyage to their destination was marked by 3 events: a merchant ship sailing past, a short and not too severe storm which they decided to raid out in a small bay along the Torath-Ka coast they spotted, and upon reaching the southern tip to Kieran they spotted a brigantine heading towards them, which they happily managed to evade due to some nice Boating, and the Zephyr spell.

On the night before reaching their contact (located about 5 leagues south of Timin, curiousity got the better part of Saraphen (avian) and while all were sleeping he snuck down to the hold and tried to gently pry open one of the boxes. As it cracked opened (a bit) something started to hit the crate from within… Saraphen ran back up and called Margolis (karkaen), claiming he was just checking on the crates after the storm. Back at the hold they saw a hand coming from within the crate and trying to pry open the lid, they pushed it back inside and hammered the crate shot. crap! they all thought, but just wanted to get rid of this cargo, whatever it was.

They reached the spot, waited for the signal which came after dark and took the ship to the coast to unload the cargo. 9 men waited for them refusing to pay for the cargo before delivery, so the crew consented and started unloading the cargo. Then two unfortunate things happened: 1) as the awaiting men took one of the offloaded crates, they stumbled and the crate fell and broke open, revealing two decomposed bodies,which was OK until they stood up and tried to attack anyone near them; 2) seeing the zombies, two of the Jenevive who were just on the gang-plank offloading one of the crates panicked and dropped the one they were holding.

A melee ensued with everyone trying, and finally succeeding in killing all the zombies. Then the leader of the men who were they to pick up the delivery sighed, and said “too bad you had to see that. Can’t let you leave now”. A short standoff was had with Margolis trying to convince them to let them just go and they will not say a thing, but the leader will have none of that… and so another combat started. Shots were fired, spells cast, and bows shot, gang-up were initiated, and tricks were unsuccessful. Finally the party came through, after killing the leader and 5 of their friends the remaining 3 surrender; Those 3 did not know much, they worked for the leader, but knew they were suppose to scatter the remains of those zombies across the farming fields near Timin.

Only John Smith (extra) was severely injured but survived and will need some time to recuperate.
===================================

GM Notes:
1. Like the session before, this one also had just one combat and it was a large one: my crew was 3 WC and 5 extras; enemies were 9 + 4 zombies. Not sure how long it lasted, probably more than an hour. We're still learning they system. I tried inserting Tricks into combat but the enemies faile miserably. Enemies also have a hard time hitting/damaging the party, scoring a Shake on the PCs at most.

2. The zombies are actually plague carriers, and now the party was exposed to it. I'll ask for vigor rolls next session and signs of it will appear as they approach/reach the first town (probably Timin). I'll base the next adventure on Sweet Dreams. I'll only have to 2 PCs in attendance but i think it'll be fine. I'll adjust the adventure as necessary...

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#7 Postby arnon » Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:25 am

Back to 3 players and 50 Fathoms (after a Beasts & Barbarian break with only 2 players).

This one is based on the Sweet Dreams free adventure for Pirates of the Spanish Main.

============
Episode 4

They burned the rest of the zombies still in their boxes (against Margulis’s protestation that they should just bury the boxes) and first thing in the morning set sail to Timin to rest and sell the Timber they have in their hold.

They reached Timin that evening and some of the crew went out to unwind, while John Smith and Mongrel stayed behind claiming to be too tired. By next day it was obvious some of them were sick with something; and the day after that the tally came to: three of the crew-mates, as well as Shirelen and Saraphen. They where down with something; not completely out, just constantly without energy. They did manage to sell one load of Timber and buy 2 canons (with shots and powder).

Margolis went out to search for a healer, and while he found the house he found no one there. When he came back to the ship he found it surrounded by several city watch officers and the elderly green-haired, brownish-skinned masquani named Delina Dal. She identified the plague was Black Shades, something usually coming from corpses, or people who came in contact with corpses which died from it. Of course, they denied any involvement with corpses.

She had to proposals for them: go to the hospital at Keira (very expensive) or find two ingredients she’ll need: the Bogado flower and sulfuric ash from a volcano. Both these could be found in the Savage Lands.

They reached the closest volcano they could find on the Savage Lands, and four of them went for a climb, the party and one Don Miguel who was healthy. The climb was long and tough, some of them skidded down several times near the end and got bruised. During the whole climb the earth rumbled lightly from time to time, and frequency increased as they reached the top. Just at the top the volcano spewed out sulfuric gases and this impeded the breathing for some of them. As they were gathering the sulfur, they volcano heaved and rumbled violently and the party rushed down the mountain. The dash was perilous, several of them, still light-headed from the gases, lost their footing and stumbled. Don Miguel fell and was carried by Margolis, and next was Shireleen which was then carried by Saraphen. It was a long run, and finally even Saraphen fell down, and only Margolis remained standing. He was panting and catching his breath, when suddenly a giant centipede dropped from one of the trees on him. It was a close call, but he killed it rather quickly. The reached the ship and took her away from the beach to rest up for the night.

After resting to recover, they then sailed a bit north and set anchor again, this time making an expedition to one of the non-volcanic mountains, in hope of finding some Bogado flowers (rumored to grow in the high places). The trek was long and they lost their way for a bit, but luckily it was not too hot a day. They finally reached a small pond, up in the mountains, with several Bogado flowers, they noticed a giant snake in the pond and managed to lure it out and whack it, then collect the flowers and get back to the ship. As they neared the ship they heard a gunshot from it’s direction and run towards it… they found the ship being attack by a group of 6 Red Men, with the remaining crew (all fatigued and tired) trying to hold them off. The two mages started off by shooting tons of bolts all over, and once the new menace was revealed the Red Men turned their attention. The fight was brutal, and Margolis took a rough beating before most of the enemies were dead, and only one managed to escape.

They took to the sea immediately. But, since they were all wounded and fatigued, they had a hard time sailing the ship. and instead of a 4 days cruise, it took them 6 days and they came to Timin not from the south, but from the east…

...at least they made it, though.
====================

GM Notes:
1) As I said loosely based on Sweet Dream adventure, from which i removed the supernatural element of the third object needed for the cure

2) The -1 due to Fatigue was a huge penalty to the WCs and Extras. And once they started failing on rolls in the Volcano part of the session, the Fatigue stacked on and as you could read, most of them just fell unconscious... later i read that you cannot become unconscious from Bumps & Bruises.... Ooops. No matter, it was fun and intense, i think for the players as well, especially for the Kraken WC when the Giant Centipede attacked

3) Last battle with the Red Man was not very difficult, but most of the party by that time had 1 or 2 Fatigue levels and they burned through their bennies like hot buns. The Red Man chief used Sweep effectively and managed in two rounds to cause 3 Wounds to Margulis (no bennies, so he could not Soak), but the Chief was by then last man standing so he decided to run for it.

I late realized that this was a great moment to introduce Test of Will (intimidation) from the Red Man, because i don't see them as Tricks fighters... oh well, next time.

4) Trip back to Timin should have been more disastrous due to failed Boating rolls by all involved (due to Wound and Fatigue), but i decided to go easy on them and just delay their arrival at Timin.

Cheers,
-arnon

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#8 Postby arnon » Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:35 pm

Today: Lots of role-playing. No combat at all.

===========================
Chapter 5

As soon as the ship made it to harbor, several town guards came forward (keeping a safe distance) to prevent any “infected” people to get off board. Delina Dal, the herbalist/healer soon arrived to them and told them she needed something else… a Water Mage’s help. The only one was Shirlene, the little masquani girl with the crew. Shirlene was immediately suspicious, but went along and Margolis came to accompany her, but was told he’ll have to wait outside: “The elemental spirits might interfere with each other” she said. As they walked to the house something in the old healer looked familiar with Shirlene and that made her even more nervous than before. She quickly whispered to Margolis that this women look familiar to her and that she might know about the Kieran Count who has killed her family and is looking for her. This was all new to Margolis but there was not much they could do, once they entered the house he wondered around the house looking for windows, but they were all covered in curtains and anyway, they entered an inner room.

<<<Character Background: Shirlene
What Shirlene told Margolis is correct… basically. There is a cruel Kieran noble after her, but that cruel noble is her father, and the fathers name is Janus “The Whale” Jant! She is the daughter of his third wife, and while the Whale is uncustomary fund of the little girl, she did one witness him allow and watch the murder and tormenting of a family of nobles who went against him and tried to assist the rebels. This scared her shitless and that very night she sneaked into the kitchen, stole some fund, and snuck on board a ship leaving Kiera.
>>>

The healer confronted her on that, while Shirlene pretended not to know what she’s talking about, until Dalina said; “I know the girl i delivered and helped raise for 4 years.” She too ran away after seeing and learning of things which the Whale did not like her to know. So she ran, changed her hair and hides in Timin, not wanting to abandon her countrymen. She advised the girl to watch herself, and perhaps not name the ship after her own name (that was the reason she insisted on the name Janevive). They talked for a while, and before leaving (and after making the antidote, Dalina told her to be careful and come to her if she needs help.

With the antidote ready they left the house and met with Magolis. Two flasks were created, one for the crew, the other for those infected in town. Dalina told Margolis how impressive it is that they gathered these ingredients from the Savage Land and that should they need work, she heard a botanist named Bori Balfor from Baltimus might pay handsomely for such things. “And take good care of the girl, it’s dangerous out there.” Margolis told her that it is they who need protection from her. As they parted ways, Shirlene ran to the old healer and hugged her.

They went to the ship, everybody who needed took the medicine, and then they stayed 2-3 more days to recuperate and stock on Gun powder, so as not to return empty bellied. During those days and the whole journey back to Brigandy Bay (where they hoped to sell the cargo) Shirlene tried to convince everybody to change the name of the ship but they could not agree on anything.

On the way to Brigandy Bay they came across a dinghy a-drift in sea. The man on it was unconscious with two pistols, an empty water flask and 50 gps. They revived him and it appears he was a new arrival, not speaking masquani yet. Luckily, John Smith was there to translate his English. He seemed bewildered by the strange creatures around him, said that he was a merchant and that they were attacked by pirates. He insulted the captain, and the captain pirate sent him out on the dinghy… lucky they found him. He asked to be taken to the nearest port on their way, and will gladly pay them. When they reached Birgandy Bay they took his money (left him 10 gp) and his dinghy. His name, by the way, was James Low.

In Brigandy Bay they spent a week (Margolis even went carousing) but found no buyer and did not want to make a deal with Sarakis. They went to Swindon next, but still found no one who wanted or needed their cargo. During their third night in Swindon they heard noise from the cargo hold and searching, they found a stowaway. A young good-looking woman who escaped from a brothel she was forced to work in. She begged them not to throw her out and would pay them her savings (100gp) if they take her to Azy Key - she heard that women are welcomed there. Not finding a buyer for their cargo or even the dinghy, they thought “what the hell” and sailed to Azy Key.

A short journey after they young woman thanked them, paid them, and walked defiantly into the Shipwreck Surprise in Azy Key, searching for former Pirate Captain Azy. They part headed after her to rest, eat and drink. After half an hour Stumpy Pete came over on his wooden-legs and a bit on the drunk side, told them about the treasure he once found and that he’ll share it with them if they agree for a 50-50 share. Shirlene convinced him to give them more. Later still Azy came over and thanked them for bringing the women, asked Shirlene if the men are treating her properly, and told them that if they come across any other woman in need of escape to please bring her here. Miraculously they also found a buyer for the gunpowder, timber, and dinghy!

They set sail the next day to the islands north of Kuwayway, and just north of Baltimus they were hailed and boarded by no other than Admiral Duckworth; but since they were going on an empty belly there was "nothing to declare".

Lead by Stumpy Pete they found the small uncharted island. Seraphen glided up and up with a along the sheer cliff with a piece of rope tied to a rope ladder. It took him some tries but finally made it, and they all climbed up, leaving behind the masquani twins to guard the ship. Pete led the way through the forest, and after less than an hour made it to some sort of fancy Keiran getaway of some long lost noble. The place was overgrown and dusty, but contained a shit-load of treasure, a box with a mummified head which spoke about giving it’s magical powers but only against the Sea Hags…

...and something very big was heard crushing through the woods outside!
====================
GM Notes:
1. The reason the crew could not sell even a splinter of timber is that none of them have Streetwise. The only way they can succeed is with Aces. Maybe it's partly my fault for not stressing how important this skill is, but in fairness to me, i did let them modify their characters during the first four sessions.

2. I was feeling sorry for the guys with all this failure to sell, so i placed the escaped prostitute in their cargo to give them something and lure them to Azy Cay and Stumpy Pete.

3. This is the first Savage Tale i'm running, and we almost went through it all (just missing the last combat) in about an hour. I did have a great time role-playing the drunk Stumpy Pete. :-)

Cheers,
-arnon

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#9 Postby arnon » Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:29 am

Again, lots of role-playing with very little combat, and the promise of on board ship combat.

====================
Chapter 6

A quick argument whether to fight or flee erupted, and finally a great ape emerged from the woods and spotting the people in the window looking out, threw a great boulder at them: it crashed through and broke form of the wall, showering the crew with debris. It continued it slow advance and another rock was thrown; this time the crew retaliated and shot some Bolts and Arrows at the great ape and with some pretty impressive hits managed to down it before it reached the house. As they went to make sure the big ape is dead, they noticed it had old wounds which never healed , and a strong rotten smell. Needless to say they quickly gathered the treasure and run back to ship “before the mother arrives.”

They set sail to New Madrid and spent a two weeks there careening the ship and Sephen got a Super tattoo. They took in the sights: Cathedral, Clock Tower, bars, etc… and even noticed the reward for 3,000 pieces-of-eight for the bringing of a live Yellowback from Torath-Ka to the Arena in New Madrid. They thought about it, but did not decided what to do.

From there they set sail to Tuck where the noticed the Clockwork House run by Joshua Goldstein. They asked about clocks and their use, and he tried to explain as well as offered them a job of helping him calibrate his first Caribdus Ship Chronometer (he had to explain it’s uses as well). They bought some goods and timber in Tuck and were heading towards Calibs Rock when a brigantine suddenly came out of a cove and gave chase. Shirlene tried to slow the ship down with becalm, but it appeared as if the other ship had a Wind Mage who put wind the their sail. A chain-shot fire by the crew missed its mark; the crew had bad wind which gave the brigantine and advantage to sail up to them and start a boarding action.

The ships were locked and a fierce combat was upon them...
==================
GM Notes:
1. I probably should have waited with the Guardian till they were returning to the ship and slowed down by the treasure. As I run it, they had the house for cover and never left it... they were lucky with several exploding damage rolls which finished the very Tough opponent.

2. I think the Players are still to used to adventures being placed in their path (from playing in Paizo Adventure Paths, and other d20 adventures) they explore a bit but never really bait on anything. I sometimes feel i need to be very explicit for them to notice things. It's a shift in gaming from Scripted Adventure to Open World, and they are not all there yet.

As for me, I still feel that I have not yet found my pace. This Open World GMing is hard, what with not knowing where they'll head to next...

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#10 Postby JamesG » Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:45 am

Just a quick note to say I enjoy reading these. Keep 'em coming!

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#11 Postby arnon » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:56 am

Thanks JamesG :)



After 2 session with almost no combat at all, comes this session...

Damn!

===================
Chapter 7

The sips were pulled together and on the deck of the Loony Waves the masquani pirate captain, with a pipe in his mouth, shouted for the crew to “give up or die… you have till the ship touch” and he grinned maniacally. Immediately bolts were fired at him from both Margolis and Shirlene, he was wounded and took a moment to recover but was quickly back in action, but not before his Wind Mage cast deflection on him. Sarphen decided it was time to shot again the cannon and thus cleaned two pirates from the deck of the pirate ship, then he climbed to the crows nest to shot from above… and the battle was full on.

It was a fierce battle! Margolis and Shirlen fired their bolts on the pirates killing several of the before the pirates even finished tying the ships… and then they pirates engaged. Mongrel (kahena crew-member) fell to a pistol shot, and the pirate captain jumped to the Jenevive to face Margolis; he caught the sunlight on his cutlass and blinded Margolis, and while his hit connected it was less damaging than the pirate captain hoped. Still, Shirlene run to Margolis to heal him as much as she could and he recovered. Margolis did not manage to hit the pirate captain, while all around more sailors and pirates fell to bolts, arrows, swords, and shots. Then the pirate captain got a steady footing and brought his sword down hard on Margolis, cutting the kraken Warrior-Mage from shoulder to bicep. Sarphen decided it was time to take down the Wind Mage in order to remove the spell which made it hard to hit the pirate captain, and with great effort managed to score an impressive hit on the mage, who lost concentration. Shirelen was almost out of power by then and managed to fire a single bolt at the captain wounding him some more. Then Sarphen shot him with his bow, and finally on of the masquani twins killed the bastard.

It was a tough fight. Three crew-members died: Mongrel, Señor Miguel and Margolis, and one was severely wounded but alive. On the pirate side four pirates were dead, four others wounded severely, and the mage surrendered.

They spent the a time in recovering from the fight, deciding what to do with the prisoners, with several wanting to hang the mage, while others wanted to throw him overboard. They did not have enough crew to man the Brigantine, so they moved all they could to the Skiff, left the battered pirates on their ship (tied-up with a knife nailed to the mast), and threw the mage into the water (the mage did try to convince them to hire him and not to throw him overboard, but the crew did not listen).

They managed to reach Baltimus, to sell their cargo, and hire new crew.
======================
GM Notes:

1. Damn! I did not think it will be this hard for the party. 8 Typical Pirates, 1 Wind Mage novice (WC), and one Pirate Captain (WC); vs. 5 extras and 3 WC. It could easily had been a TPK, even when the pirate captain remained the only enemy standing (the mage surrendered).

-2 due to Unstable Platform made life hard to the archer PC; I wasn't sure if the Unstable Platform also applied to Bolts by the casters, and decided not to since in SWD it says only Shooting.

I took advantage of the Pirate Captain having Real Dirty Fighter to get the drop on Margolis (this was not the hit that killed him).

Deflection is very powerful, especially with the Raise. Pirate captain was nearly untouchable till the effect was removed.

2. I thought I was given the party a tough but fair fight at the end of which they'll have a Brigantine. They did think of trying to take both ships with them but none of the crew trusted their skills enough to sail a brigantine with only 3 people!

3. First character death, Margolis, occurred due to an exploding damage die of 37 or something, taking Margolis from healthy to 6 Wounds! He Soaked 1 Wounds, and failed his Incapacitating Roll (rolling 1 and 3,; -3 due to wounds it was 0 and less).

The players next PC will be a masquani ex-Privateer. I suggested he used to work for Admiral Duckwoth and the player liked it. His thinking now that maybe his PC was fired by Duckwoth for something (drunkenness, or something like that)

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#12 Postby Sitting Duck » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:24 am

arnon wrote:3. First character death, Margolis, occurred due to an exploding damage die of 37 or something, taking Margolis from healthy to 6 Wounds! He Soaked 1 Wounds, and failed his Incapacitating Roll (rolling 1 and 3,; -3 due to wounds it was 0 and less).


As it has been noted many times, in such situations, it's better to just save the benny for the Incapacitation roll.
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#13 Postby arnon » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:57 am

I actually just saw that advice today somewhere. Needless to say, had i thought of it or seen it earlier i would have advised the player thus.

Next time

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#14 Postby arnon » Fri May 08, 2015 1:19 am

Back with another 50 Fathoms session. With two new PCs:

Killian Kato: masquani ex-privateer who worked under Duckworth. While he is Heroic & Loyal, he also has a Big Mouth, which is why Duckworth fired him. That's not what he told the crew...

Beck: a very good looking doreen of many skills and a Curious disposition towards technology... the fact that he's All Thumbs doesn't deter him from trying to understand the technology

======================
Chapter 8
Three sailors were taken on in Baltimus: Killian Kato, an ex-Privateer who worked under Duckworth and Bek, a Doreen with many skills and a fascination with technology.

They then bought some cargo and decided to set sail to Brigandy Bay in order to start the calibration process of the Ship Chronometer they received. On the way to the pirate town, on the high seas, a storm suddenly starter-up. Killian took good control of the ship handling her very well through the rough weather, when suddenly one of the sailors spotted another ship, a galleon, heading towards them as if un-touched by the storm. As the ship drew closer the crew realized who it was: the self-cursed pirate Redbeard Rufus. They tried to outmaneuver it but Rufus managed to close in on them and several zombie pirates jumped on board the Skief. Kellian left the wheel to John Smith and drew his swords, ready to run to defend Shirlene who was on the forward section of the ship (casting Becalm). The combat on the ship was furious but eventually the zombies were defeated and the party managed to outrun Redbeard.

In Brigandy Bay Killian wanted to stay on the ship and not walk around this despicable place, but the Shirelene said she was going and he was not going to let a little girl out of his sight here. The walked around the Black Market and eventually sat down in the Black Queen. While drinking there Anni Mason came to their table pleaded them to help her escape, that she was held against her will. Killian and Beck immediately agreed. Annie said she’ll get her stuff, them create a distraction which will allow them to perhaps sneak out. Some minutes later she started a bar fight. Knives and fists flew everywhere. Kellian took Annie and walked her out the door while covering her with his cloak. Seraphen jumped up the chandelier and shot at anyone interfering, Beck enjoyed himself too much, and Shirlene scuttled under the tables towards the door. As she reached the doors she noticed the two grael bouncers, starting to make their way in, so she shot one of them with a bolt, and disabled the second one as well.

They managed to walk into the night of Brigandy Bay and leave the fight behind.

=====================
GM Notes:

Shaken: The session was played with the new Shaken rules. I think combat was faster. And while the zombies did indeed get out of Shaken more often, it wasn't a problem.

1. I wasn't all too sure how to run the Redbeard encounter with the storm chase, and eventual boarding of the zombies... so it was mostly me asking for Boating rolls and once Redbeard got the upper hand the zombie pirates jumped the ship.

2. I wanted to run a short Chase after the party left the Black Queen with Annie, but then Shirelene disabled both bouncers, so I let them go.

3. On the way to their ship, or perhaps on the docks, I think i will have them encounter the masquani who gave them the job for the "farming tools" (diseased corpses). Not sure what to do with it, but i got 2 o 3 weeks till our next game, so i'll think of something. 

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#15 Postby arnon » Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:21 am

Our 50 Fathoms game continues.

Spoilers for players is very possible.

=====================
Chapter 9

They reached their ship only to notice that the ship next to them was in full workforce: loading cargo even though it was a late hour. Then they noticed that the person overseeing the loading was none-other than the masquani who contracted them to the deliver the “farming tools” a couple of months ago (the same farming tools which turned out to be diseased zombies). They debated if they should confront him, but decided against it.

From Brigandy Bay they went to take the next chronometer reading off the coast of the Savage Land, and then to do the same in Keira. Luckily for them they had smooth sailing with no “interesting” encounter along the way. In Kiera some of the crew went off, with Shirelen staying on board not feeling well. They looked around for some work, any kind of, and were offered to smuggle someone as close as possible to Montano (Coaker Mountains) and await for his return that very night for the grand sum of 1000 gold pieces. They decided to refuse. But they did buy a couple of gunpowder barrels since they’re dirt cheap in Kiera.

And so they sailed back to west. Off Torath Ka, they came across a remains of a ship, and a big piece of debris they found Equias, a scrullian who after getting to know the crew and when asked what his ship was doing, told them about the water keeping raising and that soon, all the remaining lands of Caribdus will be underwater. When asked who would know more he suggested Tresse the Red but wasn’t sure and claimed it was very dangerous to reach her. Killia, being the heroic sort, of course immediately volunteered to help. The rest of the party wasn’t to sure.

On they went; First to drop of Annie Mason as Azy Cay, then to Swindon to try and sell their gunpowder (success). They were drinking at the Gallows and getting stares due to Killian arguing with Shirlene (a grown masquani and a 12 years old one), telling her she should have stayed on board the ship. Once they finally made their way to the ship the found it under attack by some rough sailors. They repelled the would be boarders (with one crew member dying), and trying to figure out who they were only got them an answer that they just wanted the ship.

They set sail soon after.
===========
GM Notes:
1. I was hoping for some sort of confrontation (role-playing wise) with the “farming tool” contract guy, but they decided to completely avoid him. It did lead to some fun role-playing between the PCs as the two who were part of that adventure tried to explain what happened to the other two.

2. I Decided it was time to introduce them to the major plot-point and placed Equias in their path. The Heroic character immediately stepped up, we’ll see how it goes. I hope i’ll manage to get them to continue and do other stuff, than just rush with the Plot Point

3. Unknown to her, Shirelene (the 12 year old masquani water mage) is slowly growing a reputation among the pirates… and not the good sort (if there is a good reputation among pirates). She’s been “putting down” pirates and other scoundrels who threatened their ship left and right with her hot water bolts without batting her eyes too much…

4. I wanted to give them a combat for this session, and the one that came was from a paragraph about Swindon, where ships usually keep more of their crew on it because there are raids on docking ships… 

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#16 Postby arnon » Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:23 pm

Our 50 Fathoms continue...

Player spoilers inside

===================
Chapter 10

They made straight to Tuck, not wanting to waste time on small towns on the way, and once there to Joshua’s store to show him the Chronometer readings. He thanked them, calibrated the Chronometer some more, and explained to them how it works, giving it to them as a gift.

They then headed to Baltimus to sell of some cargo and while Beck was slumming it and discreetly looking for an interesting job in the Severed Head, he was approached by three rogues proposing a lucrative mission to deliver some “cargo” to the Jomba Town; no questions asked, no going back. The offer for the complete job was 10,000 pieces-of-eight! Beck went back to the party and told about the job. Shirelene proposed to take the money, dump the goods and not come back to Baltimus for several month…

(They also commissioned a metal cage to be able to somehow transport a yellowback, if they ever manage to capture one.)

Later that night the party met again with the would-be-employers and got them to give them 4000 in advance (raised from a 2000 advance). They were to take their skieff to a small beach stretch at the edge of town after midnight and come to shore to get the cargo, then head to Jomba Town and contact Ian who will give them the rest.To convince the emplyers to give them more upfront Back talked some and then Shitelene made quite a speech about how good they were and how powerful a mage she is.

the got to the beach and shack on the edge of town, and went to meet with the party involved. They were shocked to discover that the cargo was actually slaves, 20 in number, of all races and both genders. They kept their cool, said nothing. Got them on board and sailed a short distance away to think what to do. Killian was besides himself calling to go back and deal with the slavers, adding that the West Indies Company would pay nicely for each slaver captured. After some more debate they went ahead and returned to attack. It was a short battle, mostly one sided in favor of the part, which ended with a chase through the streets of Blatimus during which the head slaver was felled, but one managed to escape. By the end of the night out of the 12 slavers: 1 escaped, 3 were dead, and 8 were wounded.

They took them all next day to the Company office, told their story and brought some of the former slaves to give evidence. It took them a whole day of bureaucracy, filling papers, writing names, giving testimony, and so forth, but finally they got the reward.

All in all they made 4000 from the slavers + 5500 from Company reward. Not bad for a night's work.

They’re gonna buy a new ship.

==============
GM Notes:
1. I looked up several Savage Tales on some of the towns they party might sail through, which of course meant they went straight to where i did not look at all. luckily these Savage Tales are quick to go through and i found one which fit the bill: “Living Cargo”

2. Shirlene just can’t help herself. probably something genetic as she is, after all, the daughter of Emperor Jant… Her name continues to spread, and now with a name along with description of “masquani 11 years-old girl who casts spells”... Her reputation continues to grow, and some might try to take her out... some might even learn about who she really is (currently even the party does not know).

3. The party was shocked when the slaves were herded out of the shack, caught them completely by surprise.

4. One slaver got away. The party is starting to get some rep in some circles, with the most identifying mark being an 11 years-old girl. Add another NPC to cause them trouble to a growing list...

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#17 Postby arnon » Mon Jun 15, 2015 6:28 am

Our 50 Fathoms game sails on...

Player spoilers inside

===========
Chapter 11

Nope. No new ship. They decided to make some more money and get a bigger ship.

During their wait for the cage to be built, they wandered around Baltimus. Saphen tried to get to tell people about the raising water but people just looked at him strange mostly. The guard at the Baltimus manor was convinced as well by the “ranting atani”. Shirelen wandered around (accompanied by Killian) and bought herself an eye-patch and shopped around for a talking parrot as well but did not find one to her satisfaction. During the night the crew would carouse, and Killian and Saphen heard a story about some Dark Tower north of Brigandy Bay which, when approached to investigate, fog rose up and the undead came to attack the crew.

They decided to buy some goods and head down to Bluth’s Crown to sell them, as Goods are very much in demand in the small wizard community. They reached their destination without much trouble, and managed even to sell some of their stuff. Shirelene wanted to see the Elemental Stones and found them interesting… but she also noticed that there were cracks in the stones… and then she also noticed that some of the wizards around the stones were studying the cracks as well. A masquani named Pars Portri seeing she was interested and knowledgeable in magic, told her the cracks formed two nights ago, and that they are at a loss as to their reason. They tried to performed Bluth’s original ceremony but that did nothing. Shirelene wandered around the stones, talked to some of the mages and tried to help but she to did not know what to do.

Early next day, as the crew was preparing to cast off Pars came running towards them. A young mage had a dream-visitation from Bluth, he said, who told them what should be done. The wizards agree to pay the crew a small fortune if they gather the needed ingredients for the new ritual: a gallon of water from the heart of the Flotsam Sea, a pound of lava gathered from the great volcano of Torath-Ka, a pound of gold from the Kehana Flumes, and a bottle containing air from the highest peak of the Coaker Mountains. Killian sniggered about the dream and was against it, but Shirelene was adamant to help the mages and manages to convince the crew. Besides, they were already headed to Torath-Ka in search of a Yellowback… how hard could it be reaching the great volcano and gather lava?

They set sail after convincing the wizards to give them 2 potions as advance payment (Fly and Elemental Protection).

They reached Torath-Ka and immediately were attacked by a flight of razor claws which they managed to dispers eventually. They sailed as close to the great volcano as possible, found a small secluded harbor, left two men crew to guard the skieff, gather food and essentials and started trekking into the Savage Lands.

Later that day they came face-to-face with a Red Men hunting party of 10. Let’s say the Ugak were thrilled to see the crew

=============
GM Notes:
1) I noticed that many of our sessions so far have consisted of mostly Role Playing and maybe one combat encounter. I have no problem with that, and i do not believe my players do either. It’s more Role Playing i think we usually got in d20 games, and i’m wondering if it’s the Setting (vs. AP or adventure modules) or the System.

2) I dropped two Savage Tales on their heads this session. One was the Dark Tower which the crew did not bite, but will probably come into play later on (i’m linking it to the original smuggling mission the crew did of the so called “farming equipment”); and then later in the session i introduced Cracks in the Stones. This last one is a difficult task. The PCs knows it’s difficult, but i don’t think they realize how difficult it really is. I’m not sure I fully understood before i dropped it on them. Maybe i should have waited a bit, but they were in Bluth’s Crown… so why not :-)

3) They hitched of into the Savage Land without much thought… i think they might regret this next session. Apart from the 10 Ugak hunting party, the travelling will probably be rough, more encounters, and the volcano, being the largest on Torath-Ka surely has some significance to the Ugak. I just need to find out what..

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#18 Postby arnon » Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:23 am

Pushing forth with our 50 Fathoms game...

Short(er) than usual session running for about 2.5 hours.

Mostly a combat large 18 participant combat (took about 1.5 hour) and then they Party vs. the Environment of the Savage Lands.

=========================
Chapter 12
A fierce battle ensued: 10 Red Men vs. the Crew

Beck and Killian rushed forward to attack and got themselves surrounded, but separately. This resulted in the the Red Men ganging-up on them and dishing out severe damage. The rest tried to stay behind with Sphen shooting his bow, Shirelene shooting her bolts, and the Calas twins both shooting pistols and getting into melee when the Red Men leader and another came at them. At some point Sphen was almost out but managed to grit his teeth and continue, and both the Calas twins fell to the Chief, who for some reason did only nonlethal damage. In the end they managed to turn the tide of battle, but it was close, and many of them were wounded with wounds which will need to heal naturally.

Regardless, they decided to push on their expedition, this time sending a scout to sneak ahead: Sphen. This of course doubled the time it would take them to reach the volcano. Lucky for them, they did not encounter anything more than small animals for four days, but some were still wounded and some where fatigued from walking the jungle. Then Sphen was spotted by a group of monkape, and they came screeching after him as he ran back to the group...
=========================

GM Notes:
1. This might be the session the players learned not to rush ahead into melee... maybe keep a buddy or two close by... taking advantage of Shaken enemies...

then again, maybe not. We'll see :)

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#19 Postby arnon » Thu Jul 09, 2015 2:00 am

Two complete sessions in the Savage Lands were tough on the party, but they survived.

====================
Chapter 13

The monkapes fell one after the other and the Crew did not even sweat that much (other than from the humidity).

The trek to the volcano continued for five more days and then and they climbed up the mountain. Most of the climb was easy apart from a family of giant centipedes which attacked them at some point, right after a difficult climb. Other things they encountered on the way: a handful (about 8) sleeping yellowbacks, several ugak children under the care of two ugak females, mosquito swarm with gods-know-what which caused some of them fatigue over several days, and of course the heat and humidity of Torath-Ka. Gathering the lava from the volcano was easy as taking pie from a pie shop.

On the way back they skirted the ugak village they suspected was near by, and then made fast walk (no sneaking) back to the beach. When they reached the area they though the yellowbacks were they searched around for tracks, Finding a set they followed the tracks and came upon five yellowbacks. After the Crew finished with them there were four dead yellowbacks and unconscious. They tied it up and carried it on a stout branch.

Finally seeing the sea again they did not see their ship… but a short fly-scouting by Sphen revealed it to be one bay east of where the Crew emerged. They spent a couple of days resting and foraging and then set back to Bloth Crown (getting payed for the lava), then headed to Bristo to buy food (and they also learned about a “Treasure Map” in the Haybarn).

On the way to New Madrid they were hunted down by a galleon, probably pirates; but some casting of Becalm by Shirlene, and smart sailing allowed them to loose the galleon after a long chase. Finally after much sailing they reached New Madrid.

Much commotion was around they Skiff as news of the like yellowback flitted around town. Finally Alcalde Pires came over, inspected the acquisition and inquired as to how they came by it. Killian filled him in on EVERYTHING: the mission for the mages, the volcano, lava, red men, centipedes, heat…. everything! Finally he paid them and offered a letter of marque, at a reduced cost, from the Spanish Shipping Guild should they wish to buy one. They did not want one yet.
====================

GM Notes:

1) They players were rather lucky with the random encounters. I pulled two cards each day and most of the time there was no face card. I forgot to roll weather each day (to see how hot it is, and ask for fatigue rolls), then decided to only roll if we got an encounter card (face card).

2) Since they were taking precaution and sneaking i let them get a hand-up on the encounters that did happen: sleeping yellowbacks, ugak children instead of stumbling into the village, etc..

3) This is the most battles we had in a session yet. 6 monkapes, then 3 centipedes, and then 5 yellowbacks. All extras.

4) During the sea battle they managed to get some face cards and thus, shot all they 2 canons (they have a skiff and mounted there 2 four-pounder), but while hitting, with a raise even, they may be scratched the paint… not surprising with such small canons.

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#20 Postby arnon » Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:46 am

Our 50 Fathoms campaign continues.

I sent the attached "poster" to my players earlier in the day.

====================
Chapter 14
A day or so after they sold the yellowback to the Alcalde Pires, a new notice was popping out around town, calling for challengers to enter the arena and fight the “clawed terror” from the Savage Lands. A promise of 1000 pieces-of-eight drew many people, including Killian Kato.

Killian was selected and approached by one of the Alcaldes men and notified of his selection, as well as to the expectation from Pires that the fight will be “interesting” and not over too quickly, “Do not disappoint the alcalde” they told him. The day of the fight arrived and several of the crew went in to view (Sphen found a bookie to place some bets, and Shirlene was busy spreading rumors that the one to fight the yellowback was a eunuch and buying a parrot she was teaching to talk). Killian was taken to a prep room, was dressed up in matador clothing, and visited by Alacaldes Pires who toasted his bravery and wanted to ensure Killain remembers to entertain the people. To Pires’ disappointment, Killian refused his offer of wine.

The battle was furious and deadly. At first Killian tried to dance around the yellowback to entertain the crowd and did so successfully… until the yellowback managed to deliver a devastating bite that shook Killian to the core. lay time was over and the real battle began. The battle lasted almost 2 minutes and was a close call for Killain, but eventually he defeated the creature, delivering the killing blow with his dagger. The crowd was wild. Pires was pleased. Killain got his 1000 pieces-of-eight. Killian dedicated the victory to the bald masquani girl Shirlene from the Flying Lotus.

The Crew decided to head north tot he Kaheena Flumes and gather the pound of gold the mages at Bluth’s Crown asked for. They made good speed and reached the flumes in 4 days. They hit gold on their first day.. and on the second day. Gather about half of what they needed. On the night of their second day in the Flumes, while Sphen and one of the twins were on watch they spotted several kaheena trying to board the ship. Lucky they spotted them!

Soon the ship was in melee with about 16 kaheenas, fighting for their lives. The battle was fierce. People were surrounded. Some were hurt. At one point three crew-members were down. By the end of it, when Shirlene ran to the fallen to try and heal them, the young lad John Smith was dead, but the twins survived their injuries and with Shirlene Healing were on their feets momentarily.
====================

GM Notes:
1) The arena fight was interesting. At first Killian performed some Agility tricks to please the crowd and they loved him for it. Then on the 3rd or 4th round the yellowback did 4 wounds! Killian Soaked one and had to finish the fight with 3 wounds. It was a close call for Killian, but by round 7 or 8 the yellowback was out of bennies as well and could Soak no longer.

2) Gathering the gold in the Kaheena Flumes. there is no explaining on how to do it other than the general gathering minerals on the Flumes page. But how much gold is in a pound? I did a quick search then and there and found that 1 piece-of-eight weights around 1 ounce, and there are 16 ounces in a pound. So, as per the book I asked for a Common Knowledge roll and then rolled 2d6. The result was the amount of ounces they found each day of searching.

3) Kaheena War party. Like many of the “large” battles the group had, this one was another close call for them. It all seems desperate and then there is a turning point from which they emerge victorious.

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