Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Flashpoint: Taking Prize Vessel #2 and #3

This was a relatively simple session as we were all feeling a bit out of it.  I’d overdosed on sugar, having bought a white chocolate mudcake for us to share only to find Proteus’ player had brought part of his wife’s chocolate cake, home-made shortbread (with icing and marshmallows on top), and two bags of chips (though we only opened one).  I ate way too much sugar and since I’m not used to that much sugar I slipped from sugar high to sugar glazed and once they left I slipped into sugar nauseated.  Archer and Lenny’s players weren’t present during this session so Archer and Lenny were assumed to be on the Exodus and we only played with the Egress this session.

The game re-commenced with their two ships, the Egress and the Exodus, leaving that little island and striking out through the Inner Seas and then down south to the Fever Seas.  Proteus’ long experience on a variety of ships meant he knew the ways south without running aground or into a reef.  They spoke about their recent level gains in in-game terms and described what they’d learned.

I took quite a bit from the Pathfinder Adventure Path: Raiders of the Fever Seas.  I first ran them through several of the ship encounters ending with the Chelish caravel, the Dowager Queen.  I tested their brutality by dangling fishing vessels and merchant ships before their noses but while Proteus was tempted by one merchant vessel that had rapid-deploy sails, none of them were too keen for unprovoked violence.

They were quite happy to close with the Aspis Consortium run vessel.  I created a house rule where a chase was settled by repeated ship’s CMB versus CMD rolls.  Basically, each fifteen minutes both ships roll.  If the pursuer succeeds and the pursued fails, the pursuer closes the gap by 100ft.  If the pursuer fails and the pursued succeeds, the pursuer falls behind by 100ft.  If both succeed, neither gains nor loses on the others.  Once they came within spell distance the time required between each roll dropped to once per round to keep it in keeping with spell slinging.

They closed with the Aspis Consortium vessel and targeted the four marines and the captain.  Wellard – through Lhye’s player who made the rolls - got to use the bowchaser (medium-sized cannon, half damage, same range) and targeted the enemy’s sails.  They killed the marines.  The captain lived.  A few of the sailors on both sides died in the fray. 

A little snooping around by Wellard found that the captain was an evil man who kept a meticulous journal of how he used brutal punishments over minor infractions to keep his crew motivated.  In fact, he would always hire on more crew than he needed in order to slay a few whenever people weren’t on the dagger edge of fearful respect.

Proteus gave him a short trial and Lunjun executed him with a spell-infused bullet.  They sewed him up in a sail, attached a cannon ball that had lodged into the deck from their own attack, and threw him over the edge with a short funeral.

Despite the fact that the ship had been taken, the mood among the captured crew improved substantially.  Proteus decided to hire them on and they willingly accepted.  He dispersed the crew between the vessels in case of mutiny and put ten of his men in charge as a prize crew, led by Lieutenant Markus and Boano, the Bonuwat sorcerer, who is a skilled sailor.

A few hours later and they came across the Chelish caravel, the Dowager Queen.  When they went for her, she turned to charge them.  Proteus set them on a collision course and then turned his ship nimbly aside as his ship has greater mobility so that his left-hand cannon would be facing the enemy’s ship.  The caravel’s owner cowered as the canons boomed and so Proteus used Sow Thought to convince him to yield.  He didn’t take much convincing.  The captain’s Sailing Master gritted her teeth as she was forced to yield by her cowardly captain.

Captain Proteus dropped the Chelish prisoners off at a nearby small port and kept the ship and the plunder.  The crew (Lhye, Proteus, and Lunjun) mean to give the caravel to a Bonuwat tribe as a gift but first mean to squib it so it will be unrecognisable.  They also mean to do the same to their Aspis Consortium prize vessel which they plan to sell in Bloodcove – hopefully to the same Aspis Consortium they stole it from.

Squibbing basically means changing the line and rigging of the ship to make it unrecognisable without heavy scrutiny.

Proteus knows from his travels just the person who could do the squibbing....

And that’s where we left it.  Until next week, folks....

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