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

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

#41 Postby arnon » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:37 pm

OK. Had some free time and wrote three sessions in a row. No more missing session. :D

Enjoy

possible spoilers ahead

================
Chapter 33
In the house they found a headless body, many empty bottles, and dried food. The place was not very clean. They decided to head to harbor and then the town in order to ask around about the Kraken.

For several hours they wandered around but got no further in their investigation. No one has seen a Kraken for more than a year, nor does anyone know of a ship awaiting offshore (they thought maybe the Kraken came from there). At one point they run into James Low in the street. He greeted them cordially, thanking them for helping him the last time they met. The party then offered him to help them with capturing a ship, laden with gold and precious cargo. It took some convincing but his greed won and he told them he’ll join them. The plan was to sail the next day to the rendezvous with Duckworth, thus leading Low into a trap.

Before heading back to the ship they returned to the house of the headless man, only to find it being burned. Asking the neighbours, they were told that they decided to burn it since it looks like there were several diseased corpses there in the morning. They told about their neighbour, Andrew, who was a very troubled man; he did not talk much but he did drink and shout a lot.

While they were talking Gronk walked around the house and found track leading from the sea to the house. He called the others over to see; they decided to go to the ship and search the waters east of Brigandy Bay. Several miles into the sea they spotted a black tower protruding from the sea; and as they approached a mist came up and 16 zombies boarded the ship to attack. They managed to kill all the zombies and approached the tower. Gronk, Killian, Sphene, and Jenevive went in.

They took the stairs up. The first three stories were empty, the fourth had some zombies; and as they killed them all they heard shuffling and whispers from the floor above. They headed up, with Jenevive summoning a Fire Elemental.

On the top floor they encountered their nemesis with an entourage of eight zombies. The battle was intense, with the Kraken necromancer flinging many spells at the party (but failing in many of them), and the party having a hard time hurting him. It was a long and depleting battle, but in the end they Killian finally managed to kill the Lich; but they were all tired and wounded after this fight.

=================
Jenevive Jant (aka Saraphen, Sandra, Highness): 67 (Heroic)
Sphene: 67 (Heroic)
Killian: 62 (Veteran)
Gronk: 58 (Veteran

GM Notes:
  • The fight with the Lich took a long while.
  • He had Quickness (givbing him to turns per round) and Deflection on before they came in and maintained them for most of the combat. Jenevive started the fight with only two Power Points (many fights this day); and the Elemental was dismissed rather quickly. The zombies managed to occupy the party while the Lich tried to cast spell; I rolled rather poorly and went out of bennies for him early into the fight.
  • I really wanted to succeed in Puppet power but that did not happen :(
  • Near the end of the fight the players were out of bennies and any wound (from the Lich's touch attack) they had could not be Soaked and some had trouble recovering from Shaken
  • First time (i think) the party goes toe-to-toe against a foe with very high Toughness. They hit, but did not do enough damage.

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

#42 Postby arnon » Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:36 pm

Two sea battles in one session...

possible spoilers ahead

================
Chapter 34
Other than the lich’s hoard and a diary on the table, they found nothing more of interest in the tower. Also, they had an appointment to keep with James Low; so they headed back to Brigandy Bay.

On the way to spring the trap on James Low, Jenevive studied the journal they found. The journal belonged to probably a former privateer, maybe worked for Duckworth (maybe not), who somehow managed to escape from Blackbeard’s captivity. There were missing pages, lots of damage to the paper, and generally hard to understand; but she did glean some info about how Blackbeard seeming immortality is tied to the his ship; that the ship might be able to heal itself; and that there is some greenish liquid which turns people into something else…

They reached the rendezvous point and bluffed Low into waiting in hiding as they move around searching for the ship which they are to ambush. While he agreed they went out in hope of catching Duckworth before Low spots him. Luckily they spotted Duckworth early the next day. They came up with a plan of fooling Low to head out towards Duckworth, while they will hit him from behind. And Low took the bait… or so it seemed, because after sailing out a bit he turned his ship around the attacked the Flying Lotus. They had an intense sea battle for some time, but the moment Duckworth appeared and joined the battle, they managed to sink the Pirate’s ship. Duckworth pulled the survivors out of the water (so they could be hanged for piracy), but James Low (who Duckworth identified as Edward Low) was dead.

They told Duckworth what they learned about Blackbeard and he said he heard from another ship that the dread pirate is in the southern area of the Free Towns. So they headed to Bristo to resupply and a short stopover and then headed out in search of Blackbeard and his ship. All the while the planned several ideas of how to get Blackbeard off his ship; a summoned Air Elemental was one idea, and another was using a harpooned tied to a rope.

After several days of searching the Destroyed was identified and a chase followed, which was very short because once Blackbeard understood these fools are chasing him he just turned around to attack. They ensuing sea battle proved two things: Killian is an excellent captain, and Sphene is an excellent cannoneer. Both Duckworth and Blackbeard had a hard time aligning to an effective attack; but although the Flying Lotus fired many rounds at the pirate ship, most did no damage all, or the damage done was repaired shortly after it was done.

But finally a successful maneuver placed Duckworth and his ship at an advantage, they grappled the pirate’s ship and pulled in, readying for hand-to-hand combat...
=================
Jenevive Jant (aka Saraphen, Sandra, Highness): 69 (Heroic)
Sphene: 69 (Heroic)
Killian: 64 (Heroic)
Gronk: 60 (Heroic)

GM Notes:
  • The Journal they found is the same one from the Black Market in Brigandy Bay, with some lines added by me to describe sketchily both the self-reparing capbilities of the Blackbeards ship, and the Hag's Breah weapon he has.
  • The trap for Edward/James Low was simple and not very well thought out by the characters. Low, seeing all those holes in the character's stories, planned all along to attack them as punishment... but was to greedy to do it immedialty, maybe there was indeed a cargo ship coming. So he planned to attack them after they spotted the ship.
  • Battle between the two ships was one sided: i rolled poorly, while Killian's player as captain and Sphenes as the canonneer rolled very well. The only thing which kept Low's ship afloat for so long was her high Toughness.
  • The sea combat with Blackbeared was much the same as the one with Low; but Blackbeard's ship is even tougher and heals wounds. Here too i rolled badly for Blackbeard, especially with the -2 penalty for handling a Man of War. They player rolling for Duckworth didn't do so well either.... untill he scored several success on the Boating roll and got a King, which allowed boarding.
  • Next session: I'm planning on running the battle between Blackbeard, Duckworth, and the players as a mix between Mass Combat and Personal Combat. Not sure how yet...

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

#43 Postby arnon » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:41 pm

Mass Combat, and Quick Combat, and Regular Combat, and Ship Combat... oh my!

possible spoilers ahead

=================
Chapter 35
Duckworth’s marines prepared to board flight Blackbeard’s undead crew, starting with a volley of musket fire which fell and killed some of the undead crew, but the crew of the Destroyer squirted them with the foul green liquid they have in great vats on board the ship… and just as some of the marines boarded the haunted ship, those marines who were covered in the green goo turned into zombies themselves. This created great confusion among Duckworth’s men, not to mention coming face-to-face with the horrid zombies themselves. The fighting was fierce with Blackbeard having the upper hand, mainly due to the horror hi wrought, rather than to great tactics...

In the meanwhile, the crew of the Dancing Lotus prepared to board from the other side. Sphene and Jenevive climbed to the crow's nest, where Sphene took his grenade launcher and shot at one of the pumps used to squirt the green liquid; Jenevive, in the meanwhile, summoned an Air elemental and sent it to push Blackbeard of the ship (two other air elementals were summoned by the Air Mage on board Duckworth’s ship). Gronk (with harpoon in hand) and Killian boarded Blackbeard ship and charged to reach the dead pirate himself. Gronk was still recovering from injuries received in prior battle, but Killian was hale and healthy, and cutting a path straight to Blackbeard...

Blackbeard’s zombie crew managed to keep the upper hand during the first moments of battle, and all of the Elemental Mages (apart from Air Mage) under Duckworth’s command perished. The boarding action was not going well… Air elementals tried to push at Blackbeard but no all successful, and a well aimed bolt from Jenevive smacked at his hand, but did not get him to release the sword of Amemnus. Sphene disabled the other pump of green liquid and killed some more zombies.

Luckily, Killian, Gronk, and more air elementals reached the pirate captain and distracted him from commanding his crew, engaging him in combat. The air elementals at first managed to push Blackbeard off the ship, but the resourceful pirate managed to hang on and pull himself up. He entered melee with Killian who after a short bout managed to disarm him; Gronk stepped in to grab the sword, then handing it back to Killian for use. Infurited, Blackbeard tried to arm himself with another weapon, but again the air elementals pushed at him, finally, after some time, managing to push him off the ship.

By the time the pirate captain fell to the sea, Duckworth was sounding the retreat. His marines were decimated. Even Though, he managed to pull an orderly retreat back to the ship and pull away. Gronk and Killian ran back to their ship and pulled away as well, keeping an eye on the waters in case Blackbeard comes up.

As the ships pulled away from each other, ship combat renewed. It was tight maneuvering, with the Dancing Lotus scoring many hits but doing no damage to the cursed ship. During the combat they saw Blackbeard trying to climb to his own ship again, and Jenevive tried to hit him with her bolts while Sphene directed a canon at the pirate… and after two well aimed bolts, the dread pirate fell back into the water, not to come back up again. Not a moment later, the HMS Justice placed itself in an excellent position and fired all guns on one side at the Destroyer… finally wrecking the ship and destroying its dead crew.

The Dancing Lotus made several passes around the wreck, making sure that no survivors came out and that Blackbeard was really dead. They also noticed his flag floating on amid the wreck, but decided caution was better, and dropped a cannonball on it which took it into the depths.

They then joined Duckworth. He was glad the mission was successful and that Blackbeard was dead; but, he lost more than two thirds of this crew. It was a sad time of mourning on the HMS Justice.

After a short rest, the Dancing Lotus parted ways with Duckworth claiming they have urgent matters to attend to. And not long after that, out of nowhere, Carifx (Tersa the Red parrot) came into their midst; cursing and being mean as always. Afte calming down he told the crew that the Archmage sent him to them just a moment ago, right before the Inquisition caught her. How he came to be here, in the southern area of the Free Towns, and so far away from the home of Terse the Red he was not sure. He urged and begged the crew to go to Isla de Dios and save her from Torquemada.

Of course they agreed...
=================
Jenevive Jant (aka Saraphen, Sandra, Highness): 72 (Heroic)
Sphene: 72 (Heroic)
Killian: 67 (Heroic)
Gronk: 63 (Heroic)

GM Notes:
  • Most of the session was this long battle. We used several different mechanics to pull this off: Mass Combat, Quick Combat, Regular Combat, and finally Ship Combat.
  • The Players rolled horribly most of the session. This resulted with Blackbeard’s crew gaining a huge advantage in the Mass Combat section. When duckworth retreated he had 3 tokens remaining, and Blackbeard had 7. Blackbeard’s crew scored a raise taking away two more tokens during the retreat…. So Duckworth ended the fight with 10 marines out of 100 he started with!
  • Since the players were doing pinpoint strikes, i decided to leave them out of the Mass Combat and asked them what they do each round. When Gronk and Killian boarded the ship and made a beeline to Blackbeard i pulled up the Quick Combat rules. I didn’t want them to fight endless zombies which they can take out easily. It was quick, got them were the real action was, and still had a option to wound them.
  • Once they reached Blackbeard we entered normal combat. I decided on two rounds of normal combat for every round of Mass Combat.
  • Blackbeard had trouble with the Air Elementals. They are vulnerable only to magical attacks. I thought of having Amemnus’s Sword be considered as doing magical damage, but then decided otherwise. This made them very effective against Blackbeard.
  • Blackbeard was last seen falling into the water, rights before his ship exploded. His body was not found…. Guess what happens when you do not see your enemies body?

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

#44 Postby JamesG » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:43 am

Good read, as usual. I like the way you used all those different combat systems in one session.

arnon wrote:Blackbeard had trouble with the Air Elementals. They are vulnerable only to magical attacks. I thought of having Amemnus’s Sword be considered as doing magical damage, but then decided otherwise. This made them very effective against Blackbeard.


I'm pretty sure magic weapons should damage things like the Air Elementals.

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

#45 Postby arnon » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:15 am

I agree. I regretted agreeing to the players reasoning two moments later, but did not want to go back on my decision.

It would certainly have made the Blackbeard a tougher opponent that he was (as he's supposed to be).

Since they did not find his body, i'm planning of having him show up at some point. The idea is that his body was recovered by some sea creature loyal to the Hags, and he was re-re-animated. Current thoughts for when/where he'll show up:
  • Maybe at the last battle with the Sea Hags (but that battle may be tough and complicated enough)
  • On or near the Floatsom Sea. He'll attack along with some octopons and giant octopuses

cheers,
-arnon

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

#46 Postby arnon » Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:14 pm

Nobody Expects the... you know the rest...

possible spoilers ahead

=================
Chapter 36
It was going to be about a two week journey to get to Isla de Dios, so they decided to stop at Bluth’s Crown. They hopped to re-supply but the mages at the Crown do not have much to trade. Instead, the crew convinced the mages of the imminent danger coming, and that they all must be ready to confront the Hags if they want to save the world. Also, they managed to recruit three mages to come along in their mission to save Tressa (two earth mages and one air mage).

The journey to Isla de Dios was speedy thanks to good wind, good sailing, and the young Air Mage who accompanied them. Several days in, Carifax suddenly fainted and when he came to he spoke with the voice of Tressa: she could no longer hold against Torquemada's torture; she held for 17 days. The heroes should come and take her heart, it will be a powerful artifact against the witches.

As they entered the territorial waters of Kiera they spotted a black hulled Kieran Cutter which they wisely avoided.

Reaching the lagoon of Isla de Dios, the party quickly realized that a direct approach was not going to do, not with Torquemada’s barge sitting idle at the center of the shallow lagoon and 12 cannons pointing at the entrance to the lagoon. In their observation, they noticed several bodies lining the barge, as well as the body of Tressa strung up at the center of the barge, in a “place of honor”. The party sailed away from the entrance of the lagoon; contemplated and planned and came up with the best solution they could think of: wait for night, row in quietly as close as possible, cast fly on Killian, then he flies up, cuts Tressa free and heads back to the rowboat.

A simple plan which went off without a hitch!

They rowed in quietly. Reach to about 10 meters from the barge without raising the alarm of the watch. Killian flew in quiet are the night, cut off and took Tressa’s body over his shoulder and headed back. They they rowed away, and it was only when they reached their own boat at the mouth of the lagoon that alarm was sounded. But by then, it was too late and the crew set off.

The next day the had the doctor cut out Tressa’s heart, to the wild protestation and pecking of Carifax. He was convinced at last that that was her wish, but went to sulk off on the mast. They buried her body on an unnamed island sailed another week or so to her home; hoping to find something of use there against the Hags but were disappointed that nothing useful was found.

Then they headed back to Bluth’s Crown, where two mages left and one decided to remain with them (an Earth Mage).

=================
Jenevive Jant (aka Saraphen, Sandra, Highness): 74 (Heroic)
Sphene: 74 (Heroic)
Killian: 69 (Heroic)
Gronk: 65 (Heroic)

GM Notes:
  • Was some very nice role-playing to get the mages on Bluth’s Crown to prepare for the coming fight, as well as bringing some along
  • The plan to get Tressa’s body really went off that well. I gave them a Dramatic Task to get to the barge quietly (with some Stealth and Boating rolls). Then asked Killian for several Stealth rolls as he went to get the body (which he aced regularly); then another Dramatic Task to get back.
  • I had hoped for some fight with the Inquisition, but didn’t mind the clever plan.


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