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Ben McKee
Seek simplicity in all things... And be suspicious of it.
Seek simplicity in all things... And be suspicious of it.
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LFG Torchbearer party!

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Continuing on my nautical theme, this is a good read too.

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I posted this elsewhere in response to a Reddit question...

It was my second gig on a big traditional sailing ship, and I was pretty young for the job (bosun). We were at the end of a long season of doing the waterfront festival thing. We had, at the same time, made several (big) spars, re-rigged a significant portion of the foremast's standing rig, sank at the dock two or three times, and discharged our entire freshwater store over the side by accident. Add to that mix a hurricane, and 3 tropical storms in 3 months each of which required down-rigging royal and tgallant yards, and all the sails.

That’s the scene, now the story.

We were on our way to the last festival of the season with a skeleton crew before taking the boat south for the winter, and I went below for a boat check. Immediately went back up on deck to tell the deck officer that there was smoke in the aft cabin, and took the helm so he could sort shit out... which left me alone on-deck w/o any other crew and only a compass to steer by at night. There's a bunch of discussion below as folks get woken up and decided what to do. In the end the decision is to shut off all the power to the aft end of the ship, and look for the fire. The only thing that could be seen was smoke pouring out of the air strake on the port side aft, about the same amount you see when you first like the BBQ. This goes on throughout the night w/o anyone really sleeping, no PANPAN call made, and only a slight decrease in the quantity of smoke coming from the air strake. And now we are navigating by one of the crews personal garmin handheld (its the mid 90s so that lat/long, and VMG). When we finally get where we are going we run aground parallel to the floating dock that they had placed specifically for us. Back and fill... nope, we aren't getting out that easy. We could wait for the tide (call that plan A) or warp the dock (with the USCG cutter on the other side) to us (call that plan B). We go straight to plan B. The Coasties just watched. Now this is NOT a USCG doc vessel, she's certified as a dockside attraction, and the cert specifies that she has to be checked out by the Coasties when ever she's alongside and taking the public aboard except in ports X, Y, and Z. This wasn't any of those so we get inspected. By this time the capt has set us to fire watch... which in this case means WATCHING THE SMOKE with the 1 unexpired drychem extinguisher and a variety of jars of dry chem extracted from dead extinguishers... yes, he expected us to throw those at the fire. OK, this is the no shit part... I was on fire watch when the master and the USCG inspector come into the aft cabin. The inspector looks around at the haze (the smoke was just oozing out of the air strake), and says, "what’s the deal with the smoke" and the master says, "dry exhaust leak." The inspector signed us off. We carry on with fire watch, tourist tours, and up-rigging. The next evening the smoke is nearly non-existent (nothing has been done), but the mate has had it up to here, and has us run out the fire hoses, and turn on the fire pumps. He then sets one crew member to the hull planting near our assumed location of the fire with a chainsaw and has them cut away the planking to find the fire. At the same time he goes down the covering board with a hole hog and a 5" hole saw blowing holes which we then stuffed the fire hoses in. No fire found by the guy with the chainsaw. We drank beer and watch the fire hoses fill the frame bays, and the USCG folks sat on their cutter and watched us. It was the next day me and my come-along were aloft bending on the main topsail when it occurred to me that someone was going to get killed, and I didn't want to be part of that. I called my parents for a plane ticket. If it’s sketchy just walk away.


Edited for editing. Apologies if it reads a little rough, I've never written it out before.

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Its been a long time since I attended the Bounty School of Damage Control but I am still benefiting from what I learned there. I learned to make spars, to set up a shroud gang, to lead a work crew, and to send up and down yards underway, but the biggest lesson I learned was that its ok to walk away. The final decision of when to leave the dock is an individual one. G. Chase is an instructor at Mass Maritime, and an author of several books, and this is his take on what we could learn from the sinking of the Bounty.

We just bought our first BW campaign to a close after somewhere between 15-20 sessions. We didn't house rule anything and tried to stick to the rules as written. It is one of the only systems I have enjoyed being a GM of. I love fail forward.

My players had two gripes... No one advanced a skill or stat (besides corruption), and they felt broke the entire time despite having someone with a 6 resources. Tax happened all the time (bad rolls).

I suspect that this was a lack of the players working the advancement system system. Thoughts?

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Bham gets our very own board game get together! I will be hosting Twilight Imperium come sign up!

No joke one of my players assaulted a member of the secret police with a cantaloupe (he was making a sword check to impress them and blew the roll). Cantaloupe upside the head of the captain, arrested and escaped the prison that night, and made it over the wall. Now cantalouping a city servant/building is a form of protest.

Its not a comic campaign. Its tone is very loosely in the ton of the Arabian Nights. Its the only game where I have ever had characters that own and trade in slaves, and owns a brothel. We started a game with an acknowledgement of how fucked up that is... I am still uncomfortable with it. The players are of course telling their own stories (controlling the Grand Bazaar, gaining a noble title, forwarding his own legend, freeing the great river spirit, and sacrificing as many people as possible to the dark one as possible) , but my story is of the fall of a city of merchant princes, and possibly a uprising of the common folk.

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It’s time for us to make some sort of change with how we keep and use Pendragon. We need to share the cost, and are looking for partners (1 or two parties).

This could be be a piece of the monthly moorage (and a few days of labor here & there), or purchasing a "share" of the boat. If we can get some folks to share the moorage, and labor we will buy a 15hp outboard, and a better setup, if we can get folks to buy shares in the boat we will invest in a new inboard motor.

For better or worse she is not a novice’s boat, and the engine situation is not good (7 hp outboard). Our partners would need at the minimum a bunch of experience operating traditional boats, and a Washington State Boaters Card or better yet a masters ticket and tall-ship time.

The boat is located in NW Washington. Comment if you are interested in details.
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How do I deal with selling loot?

In our last session one of the characters made a successful series of tests to find a boat to steal. Then at the players request we played through the theft, and that didn't go as smoothly, but the party was able to deal with the crew. Anyway the player wants take the boat down river, and sell it.

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