Actual Play – Joining Team Murder (9/22/2015)

Skull and ShacklesGM: Sean Nittner
Players: Karen Twelves, Meg Pressley, Rocko Moran, and Adrienne Mueller
System: Pathfinder
Adventure Path: Skull and Shackles

Day 18

Another terrible day on the Wormwood. Tensions were still high and fingers were being pointed. Ratliner, because he was an easy target, but trouble also came to Vyv, Sandara, Rosie, Jack, and Shivikah. It was a rough day.

Madeline – Worked diligently on swabbing the decks, thankfully without amorous attention from Scourge.

Vyv – Sent to work the bilges but shirked their duties. Ratted out by Jape and given the Cat-o-Nine for dereliction of duties.

Anand – Send to do boring line work. During that time he made Sly an offer “Do you want to join the side that’s going to get murdered in their sleep, or the side that’s going to do the murdering?” Sly grinned at him “Oh yeah, I’m Team Murder all the way!” [She is now Friendly].

Davey – Spent his morning trying to cheer up the sullen Kroop, but made a terrible meal because of it. I think he knocked the jar of salt into the soup.

Bloody Hour

Rosie, Sandara, Jack, and Shivkiah were all whipped for one offense or another. Vyv was given the cat.

Night Activities

Anand – got in a fight with Fipps in order to impress Maheem. It worked! [Maheem now friendly. Officers now angrier at Anand]

Madeline – went to sleep early.

Davey – Conveyed a message to Barnabas that he though Scourge might have been the one to warn off the ship. He had been doing something strange that day. Also suggested that the captain use magic to find out who did it. Davey agreed to feel the crew out and make sure they wouldn’t riot if a sorcerer was the one to test them.

Vyv – Tried to meditate but was too distracted by the pain and then anguish around them.

Late Night Activities

Davey – Stayed up late to watch over Madeline.

Madeline – Woke up with murderous plans but was dissuaded from carrying them out by the watchful McTavish.

Day 19

The start of the day began with an round of heckling from the crew as Badger found her long hair scattered about her, obviously hacked off without grace during the night and left to pile under her hammock. Anand, meat head that he is, tried to cheer her up by saying “you could try just shaving your head. It works for me.” Badger was not amused.

Anand – assigned to the boring line work. He asked around all day, none of the swabs or riggers had any useful information about who did it, though plenty of them had theories.

Jaundiced Jape
Jaundiced Jape

Vyy – Sent the bilges again, this time with Tilly and Jape. Some time into their work Jape accused Vyv of slacking again! Tilly joined in and started getting pushy. Soon the pushing escalated to threats, and soon after Jape and Tilly both drew hidden daggers. Then things got ugly. Vyv had the power of Goreh’s storm blasts to knock back her foes, but in these cramped quarters it was hard to get away. They fought for a moment, but after taking several wicked cuts and getting knocked into the bilges proper, Vvy realized it was time to make a break for it. They cast obscuring mist and then made their way to the ladder. Unfortunately Jape, cunning old half-ork, that he was, went for the ladder as well and Vyv had to unleash a storm blast to knock him back and then quickly (very quickly) scamper up the ladder and to get free. Bleeding from their arms and head, they ran to Davey who stood ready to protect them… but the attackers gave up as easily as they started. And nobody said anything to the officers…

Madeline – Unaware of all this was swabbing the deck again. A terrible job and it left her sore and stiff [Fatigued].

Davey – Cooking again on account of Kroop being back on the bottle. He managed to get Habbly down in the galley to cook with him and over the pot they shared stories, specifically stories of Vincent the Vile, of which Habbly was very interested in knowing the specifics. Some grim stories later and the ancient sawbones was smiling. [Habbly now Friendly]

Bloody Hour

Davey was whipped on account of his terrible meal from yesterday “Trying to poison us all!” and was threatened with worse if tonight’s meal was as bad. Thankfully, it was quite tasty!

Sandara was also whipped. Basically for being a priestess of Besmara and the pirates deciding that was a bad thing right now.

Night Activities

Madeline – Went to sleep early

Davey – Stayed up late talking with Habbly about a crazy conspiracy theory. Namely that only Captain Barnabas, his sailing master Peppery Longfarthing, and Habbly knew of the charter with the Chelaxian sea routes on it. Habbly didn’t warn them off… sot it must have been one of them.

Anand – Just stayed up to wake up Maddie, to enact Team Murder.

Vyv – Had originally intended to make something for Badger from her hair (which she had collected), but all of that got soaked with bilge water during the fight.  Instead she made badger a fine necklace from waxed cord to put her son’s ring on, as her finger had grown too thin to secure it. [Badger now friendly]

Late Night Activities

Sure enough Anand woke Madeline up. As planned. Fuck all this dancing around with it. They were going to kill Jape tonight.

Madeline casts a spell to make Jape choke in the night as he slept [Undine’s Curse]. She had to do so quietly though so as not to wake the any of the crew. She found a space that was relatively secluded but unfortunately close enough to Davey that it did wake him [Devil’s Bargain] and blearily he watched Madeline cast a spell that would murder Jape in his sleep (go Team Murder!).

The half-ork coughed, choked, seized up, and then coughed again and vomited a fair bit of his rum rations over the side of the hammock. After that, he went back to sleeping peacefully. [I rolled a natural 20 on his saving throw].

Habbly Quarne the “Stitchman”

XP Awarded

Escaping from Jape and Tilly: 100
Making Habbly Helpful: 400

New XP Total: 3175

What Rocked

Wow, this ship has made the PCs grim. Murdering someone in the night? Teaming up with known killers and slavers. Sure, the people they hate are awful, but they are becoming pretty awful themselves.

The fight with Vyv was a really hard one. Jape and Tilly rolled well, and in just a few rounds Vyv was down to handful of hit points and nobody coming to help. The spells and domain granted powers really shined here, as did some fancy skill use. The obscuring mist meant I made everyone make perception check to see where they were and Tilly lost Vyv completely (and continued to fail the check on the following rounds). The storm blast gave Jape a -2 on his attacks, which was exactly what was needed (he just barely missed on his last attack). Finally, using accelerated climbing to get up to the lower hold in one move action instead of two meant they got out just in time. It was kind of intense!

Oh Habbly and Davey retelling stories of days past. I now know what Habbly inserted into Davey. It’s kind of horrifying but not disgusting. I suspect it will be a while before it comes into play.

deaa_critical_hit_d20Go Team Murder. I was so sad that Jape made his saving thrown. And rolled a natural 20 on the cursed die that normally rolls 4s. Just the same. I love the tension of the party splitting along the lines of what is acceptable and what isn’t. Yes, they failed, but the can certainly try again…

WHO DONE IT? The sorcerers inquisition will start next session. I can’t wait to see how it goes.

What could have improved

Wow, I seriously fail at reading sometimes! At the end of the adventure there are these great write ups on some of the NPCs including what can be learned about them through gather information roles, and what their ambitions are. None of these would have affected the story in drastic ways, but I would have loved to have know them before. Should have read everything after the adventures as well.

Tip to my players – Spend next session asking around about Plugg, Kroop, Scourge, and maybe bug Sandara about whats in some of the locations on the ship that you haven’t explored. Or even one’s you have.

1 Comment

  1. Adrienne

    Thanks for the write-up! (Also, for providing us with a gif of that flashing 20 so we can fantasize about what it might look like were we to roll one ourselves.)

    I love the murder-tension too!

    Minor edit: Vyv ran to Anand for help after Jape and Tilly jumped them (not Davey).

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