4W/FF: Obligatory Pirate Campaign, Sessions 1 & 2

  • Captain Melech (2nd-level human warlord)
  • Obed (2nd-level "human" cleric)
  • Ushi (2nd-level ship kobold wizard)

The first adventure had the party go to a small island that was dominated by a small, ruined fortress, and surrounded by countless headstones. They dug up one of the graves at random, which prompted a bunch of skeletons to tear their way out of the ground and attack.

Luckily they'd brought along a few inconsistently-named crew members: this helped even the odds, and even better they both survived (despite being garbed in red shirts).

There wasn't much to the interior of the keep: the party ransacked a few rooms, clearing out various types of undead as they went, and eventually found a chest hidden in a small chamber attached to the dining hall. Among some gold and silver was a scrap of parchment that had a strange symbol scrawled on it, which matched a mosaic that they'd seen on the floor in the library.

When no secret panels or switches were found, Melech and Obed smashed the mosaic. This revealed a staircase that lead to a rectangular room with a single door and two sarcophagi. Obed assumed that something would spring out and attack, so he and Ushi stood on one while Melech and the two crew members opened the other. As it turned out Obed was right, but since the second mummy was trapped they were able to gang up on the first, then open up the other sarcophagus and gang up on the other.

The room beyond contained a heap of treasure, piled around a single, ornate sarcophagus. Assuming again that something would pop out and try to kill them, Obed and Melech took a sarcophagus lid, ran in there, and dropped it on top. Whoever was inside began a lengthy monologue about how he was going to kill them, and probably torment their souls for all eternity, but by the time he realized he couldn't get out, the party had already filled their bags with whatever treasure they could and legged it back to shore.

For the second adventure, the party was hired by a pirate king/drug lord named Davion, to discover what had happened with one of his shipments of "waxen", a kind of drug that looks like a candle, which you use by simply lighting and inhaling the smoke. The smugglers had sailed to an outpost on Oasis Island, but were several days overdue. The party's job was to find out what happened to the smugglers and shipment, and retrieve any combination of the goods, proceeds, and those responsible for the delay and/or loss.

The outpost was a handful of buildings amidst a throng of much more primitive huts. Melech picked a building at random, which turned out to be an inn, but as soon as they got inside someone, presumably the owner, told them that there were no rooms available and urged them back outside. Something seemed amiss, and when they heard a clanging noise coming from a back room Melech demanded to know who was back there.

The innkeeper tried stalling, but once Obed had hacked off a hand he was much more amiable, explaining through pained gasps that there were some soldiers in the back room interrogating a few smugglers that had been caught with crates of waxen. Melech gagged and tied him up, threw him behind a desk, and then lead the party to the back room, where they killed the soldiers and freed the smugglers.

The smugglers confirmed what they already knew, and directed them to another building where the drugs were being held. Melech knocked on the door, and as soon as it was opened Obed and Ushi blasted the nearest occupants inside with bolts of lightning and fire, before the rest of the party, which was now bolstered by the angry, vengeful smugglers, surged inside to slaughter whoever was still standing.

Only the sergeant was spared, and that's only so that he could be delivered personally to Davion, along with the waxen they'd recovered, so that he could dole out whatever punishment he saw fit.

Behind the Scenes
I'm giving the cleric a shot this time. In Dungeons & Delvers, the cleric uses a Favor mechanic to absorb Wounds that you or characters take. You start out being able to have one Favor, and gain regain spent Favor through a short period of prayer, which essentially means that clerics with the Healing domain can soak a 1 Wound per fight.

I'm using a similar Favor mechanic for this game as well, but since characters have more than about 3-6 Wounds and take more than 1 damage per hit, I'm obviously going to change how the Healing Domain works (probably by reducing Wound damage by something like 1d6 or 1d8). It's not really relevant right now, as my cleric worships something like Dagon: I have the Ocean and Storm Domains, and a kind of Battle Hymn that stirs everyone into a frenzy (translated as a small damage bump).

I've already increased starting Wounds, and reduced both starting Vitality and the rate it is gained across the board. We played a one-shot Age of Worms game a few days ago (with the gang that just ran through part of Melissa's Heart of Hemskil adventure), and it was great: they were able to get through about four encounters (two of which ended up getting combined into one), a trap, and a hazard before having to rest, and no one had any magical healing.

Half damage on a miss for spells and spell-like abilities is working out nicely. I'm probably going to make any area-effect thing, like explosions, falling rocks, and breath weapons, also half-damage on a miss.

Image Dump

We're currently holding the third Trick-or-Treat sale: until the 23rd you can pick up The Witch at 31% off!

The Monk is now available. It's a very flexible class, crammed with nearly thirty advanced moves (plus all the other extra content that we're known for), so we made another tweak to our character sheet layout in order to make it easier to remember what stance is active, and what it does.

Grave Goods is the latest magic item compilation in our 10+ Treasures line. If you want nearly 30 undead-themed magic items, some monsters, and advice on how to make your own, pick it up!

Lichfield is available for public consumption. If you want a concise adventure with a Silent Hill feel, be sure to check it out! Primordial Machine is also out, so if you want to catch a glimpse of A Sundered World, now's your chance! Finally, we've updated If These Stones Could Scream.

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