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Arnon Ram
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The final session in our 50 Fathoms game

Thanks to all who read and commeneted on these many (and long) posts.

It aint over till the Hags stop screaming...

=================
Chapter 42
The party reacted, readying themselves by drink potions of flight and water walk, as well as having the mages around them cast other buffs on them. One of the Hags then called lightning from the surrounding storm to hit the ship, but the Hag’s Bane was sturdy and absorbed the damage. As the second Hag planned to do the same, a great combined elemental erupted from the water; it was earth, first, water, and air combined into one. It immediately attacked and killed on of the Hags. The remaining sisters attacked it in return, combining their eldritch energies on it, and in it’s death throes it exploded hurting them both.

As the climatic battle ended, the attacking force suddenly noticed they were surrounded by octupi and octopons, as well as hundreds of zombies swarming each ship in the fleet. But the zombies were nearly impossible to control and the octopon commander relied mostly on their numbers and his trained troops. Duckworth has set the stage carefully and planned for most eventualities; his stratagem was solid and his lieutenants knew what to do. The battle was fierce but even, especially with the assistance of Gronk, Alex, the mages from Bluth’s Crown (and Sir Honeybun too).

While the battle was going on Killian flew straight and true at one of the remaining Hags, attacking her with the sword of Agamemnus, scoring some solid hits. Sphene, after trying to shoot another Hag with his crossbow and realizing he’ll not kill her that way, went down and commandeered one of the canons away from shooting giant octopuses and trying to shoot the Hag.

As the battle raged, a band of octopons came upon the ship, and Gronk and Alex went to clear them from the deck; Spehena and Killian continued to take on the Hags; while the head of the archmage used his dispelling power to interrupt the Hags from calling on lightning (sometimes successfully). At one point the Hag attacked by Killian was severely wounded and started trying to attack him, but hitting him was hard for he was quick to move, and only once did she succeed to call lightning on him but he evaded that too at the last moment.

Then, Sphene aligned a shot which pierced through the Hags head, killing her on the spot; and not a moment after that Killain killed the last remaining Hag.

Thus came the end of the Hags, and new Legends were born on Caribdus.

The Maiden appeared them, thanking them for their help and telling them that even though their deal with the elemental spirits, she could still send some of them home. She then said she still needs to finish what they have begun, and she dropped into the ocean never to reappear.

Duckworth declared he’s returning home and many humans from the fleet joined him.

Killian continued to sail the seas as one of the great captains, taking Duckworth’s place as the main pirate bane.

Alex decided to stay on Caribdus (after seeing the Sir Honeybun returned to Earth), and sailed with Killian.

Sphene opened a school for canons and shooting.

Gronk disappeared shortly after the Hag’s Bane returned to Baltimus, never to be heard from again.

The End

=================
Sphene: 86 (Legendary)
Killian: 83 (Legendary)
Gronk: 79 (Heroic)
Alex Kuzbidon: 81 (Legendary)

GM Notes:
==> I ran this part as a part Mass Battle, part Personal Combat (Wild Cards could either assist in Mass Combat or do stuff against the Hags). At one point I added the boarding of Ocotopons to the ship, to give some Personal Combat to thos of the Part who stayed on board.

==> One Hag was killed alone by Killian. The other was one shoot by Sphene with a canon shoot to the Head and damage exploding to the amount of +40 damage

==> In the end, the players expressed the final battle felt to easy. Some of the expected their charcter to die. Maybe it's how i ran it, but it felt like the Hags couldn't do much to hurt the PCs directly, and the damage they did to the ship wasn't enough (only once did a Stomp by a hag caused a Wound to ths main ship). Of course, they were buffed up most of them with both Armor and Deflection

==> Nonetheless, they enjopyed the battle and all felt that they contributed to the final result.

Cheers,
-arnon

So exciting! One more sesion to go for the grand finale of our 50 Fathoms game

spoilers ahead
=================
Chapter 41
On board the Kraken ship they were led to Admiral Caspian, an aged and battle scarred kraken. He thanked them and after introductions told them that sphere is a powerful weapon, but required a sacrifice his people were not willing to give 13 years ago against the Hags. They know they must do it this time. But, this time the decision will be theirs; and to activate it they’ll need an Archmage and a creature from outside this world. He was willing to tow the sphere for them until they’ll need it, and gave them a magic whistle to blow when they are ready, “blow it and we will come”.

After that they went to their home base, Baltimus. They set to re-stock the ships and called on Lazenby. They filled him in and said they were ready to take on the Hags, but they needed more crew and more people; and can he call his fleet. Lazenby explained that he has no fleet, just privateers and good people (and some not good but wanted plundered and pardons) who came when they called. He offered to set notices around town to call in any who wish to hear about a great undertaking by the crew of the Flying Lotus (and now, the Hags’ Bane, AKA The Terror). The appointed date was a week hence.

They week passed almost uneventfully. Only encounter of notice was Alex Kuzbidon meeting his arch-rival, Sir Derek Honeybun and of course things got out of hand and they dulled out on the streets of Baltimus. They did not kill each other but both were seriously injured.

When the week was up, they went to the main square. Many people, sailors, captains, and other interested parties came to hear what they had to say. They took to the stage (along with Duckworth and Lazenby) and Alex gave a rousing speech; speaking of the horror of the Hags. the raising sea level, and how the people can raise up and defeat them. It was an inspiring speech and it got the people cheering and eager to participate in the fight.

When all was said and done, the fleet contained eight ships (the battle barge stolen from Keira, Duckworths’ Man of War, two galleons, three frigates, and one frigate), manned by sailors and warriors (and people who want to be warrior but might not be all that hot in a battle). Before setting to the Devil’s Cross, the party went to Bluth’s Crown to gather any mage who wished to join the fight, and came back with eight mages (two of each Element).

Once ready, they set sail. Killian, on the Hag’s Bane, lead the fleet, navigating the Flotsam Sea skillfully, avoiding danger, and leading the way. Several times they were attacked on the way by octopons or other critters of the Flotsam Sea, some sailors died. It happens.

As they neared the center of the Flotsam Sea, the Devil’s Cross, they came upon a wild storm, reaching out and appearing to encircle the storm. With determination they set in, and all the captains did a good job of keeping their ships afloat and through the storm (although several sailor did fall of one of the galleons).

… and then they were out of the storm and into a dead quiet zone. The sea was calm, but the skies above were dark, and the storm encircled them in a half mile radius. They took a breath and blew the Kraken whistle. After several moments they came, pulling the great Sphere behind them. Admiral Caspian came down and asked who will join him at the sphere. Alex Kuzbidon came with him. As they set their palms on the sphere they heard voices inside their heads: it was the Elementals, trapped long ago by the Kraken so they would grant magic. They would help the fight against the Hags, but no more magic would be given to the people of Caribdus, and the way would be closed for the outsiders, they would die on this world. Alex and Caspian look at each other, then agreed to the terms. The sea bubbled and churned around the sphere, and then it melted and turned into a small, palm-sized, golden sphere. Alex took it and knew what he had to do.

They prepared for the battle, Duckworth deploying the fleet around in combat formation. They prepared: Alex held the sphere, Killian the heart of Tressa the Red, the head of the magician was brought up and he was eager to fight the Hags...

They then poured the water from earth upon the water and called the names of the four sisters. First the maiden came, “you called us, and my sisters… they come.” She then disappeared back. The water began to bubble around the Hag’s Bane. Killain squeezed the heart, and Alex threw the sphere into the water just as the three Hags rose from the water.

The sphere dropped into the sea and sank.

“What fool has called us from the darkness?” they demanded and fear entered the heart of almost all who see them.
=================
Sphene: 82 (Legendary)
Killian: 79 (Heroic)
Gronk: 75 (Heroic)
Alex Kuzbidon: 77 (Heroic)

GM Notes:
==> The speech Alex gave was a Social Conflict. The player did an excellent job of it, forcing me to give him a benny after it, and rolling very well. Perhaps I should have given him a blanket -4 penalty due to the fear of the Hags by the people, but the way he rolled and role-played, it wouldn't have mattered.

==> The sailing to Devil’s Cross was performed with Boating rolls done by all ship captains (with a bonus if Killian, as the spearpoint, succeeded).

==> I threw some encounters at them on the way, and asked for some Group shooting/fighting rolls from different crews of the fleet, just to generally see how many people might have been lost to the attacks

==> When the threw the sphere into the waters as the Hags came up and nothing happened immediately they were really really scared. “Did we do something wrong with it?” They asked, and i just smiled and said “We’ll see next week…”

Almost done. Another session or two for finishing 50 Fathoms!

possible spoilers ahead

=================
Chapter 40
They arrived at Kaja without incident and spent several days there rearranging the crew on both ships and preparing they for sailing. They even managed to convince Captain Quintas of the Valiant to join them in the battle against the Hags.

After several more days they set sail to the Free Cities in order to gather some more support for the battle as well as hoping to find more information about the Kraken and “that which they lost” (they’ve been asking around all over but no one knew). On they way, as they skirted the Flotsam Sea, they noticed a much smoke in the distance. They headed to investigate and came upon a burning sea. For miles and miles it was burning, with oil spread upon the water and ships and debris from the Footsam sea burning slowly. Then, they spotted a dinghy of Kraken design.

They headed over and found a half dead Kraken inside. They brought him up and treated him gently and kindly. He recovered a bit and begged them to venture into the burning sea, for the Sphere is inside. He promised treasures and rewards from the Kraken should they bring it out.

The crew went over to the brigantine, leaving the heavy battle barge behind, and set furth. Only through very skillful maneuvering by Killian did they manage to navigate the burning sea without incident. And then, a huge golden Sphere was revealed to them (about 300 yards across), larger than their ship. They gathered sail and rope from their own ship and surrounding ships which were not burning, creating a sort of sling. Then Sphene glided over hot air to the top of the Sphere, managing to lasso it to the brigantine. Just as they finished tying the Sphere, eight fiery, vaguely humanoid creature rushed onto the ship, but the crew dispatched them quickly.

Again, Killian performed remarkable seamanship as he sailed the Flying Lotus, carrying a huge load, through the burning sea without a problem. And just as they pulled out, a giant octopus rose from the deep, and on it, road four Ocotpons and Captain Blackbeard himself, back from the dead.

Blackbeard, impatiently, rushed over to the ship, running on water and jumping aboard. Alex was there to intercept the pirate, but was soundly wounded from his effort. Sphene shot a grande at the octopus, killing two of the Ocotpons, while Killian and Gronk rushed to help Alex with Blackbeard. The crew took some shots at the remaining Ocotpons while several cannoneers targeted the giant octopus, wounding it severely. The octopuns managed to reach the ship but were killed soon after, the giant octopus was blasted away by canon fire, and Blackbeard was finally killed in a combined effort, with Killian placing the final blow. They severed the dread pirate’s head from his body and disposed of it.

As the battle wound down, they saw a great white ship approaching them, with many Kraken standing and watching the sphere in awe...
=================
Sphene: 80 (Legendary)
Killian: 77 (Heroic)
Gronk: 73 (Heroic)
Alex Kuzbidon: 75 (Heroic)

GM Notes:
==> The Kraken Sphere is a Savage Tale although by all acounts it should be a Plot Point episode.

==> I have wanted to run it for some time, but got cought up in other stuff. And now, that we are reaching the finale, i thought i'll spring it out on the players. They've been asking around about "that which the Kraken lost" (from Tressa the Red) and got no info. I relaize it's a bit forced, giving it to them a session or two before the end, but that's how it went...

==> Killian's player rolled amazingly well for navigating the Burning Sea (he took Ace, so he got the +2, and another +1 from the sailors). Even when they pulled the Sphere back, with another -6 to Ship handling and the -2 from the Dramatic Task... he rolled three rolss, got little asistance from the other players, but managed to score a 4 each time! (of course he spent some bennies to get it)

==> I wanted to spring Blackbeard again at them and this was the time. I thought at first to have two giant Octopuses emerge, each with 4 octopons, and Blackbeard, but went soft on them; but at the moment of truth i left one giant octopus out.... a mistake. They took them out rather easily and the battle was not really challenging (other than Alex getting 3 wounds and Soaking 1).

Post has attachment
I've never heard of Talislanta before this Kickstarter, but it seemed interesting. I was happy to back it for $5 for the D&D 5th... But now they've gone Savage Worlds on it and I'm super happy!

Two episodes.

And introducing: the charming, frenchman, swashbuckler Alex Kuzbidon

*possible spoilers ahead

=================
*Chapter 38
With a heavy heart they sailed to Baltimus, stopping only for a short and sad ceremony of burial-at-sea for Jenevive.

In Baltimus Killian and Sphene checked-in with Lazenby, hoping that he might have some info on “that which the Kraken lost” which they have been thinking about lately. He knew nothing of it, but hear of their success against Blackbeard even though the cost was dear to them and Duckworth. Duckworth, he told them has managed to recruit people, but it might take some time for him to work effectively with the new crew.

Gronk, in the meanwhile, went to the nearest bar and started drinking hard in memory of Jenevive. Her death hit him hard. While drinking with the crew, he was approached by a charismatic frenchman, Alex Kuzbidon. The frenchman heard of the crew of the Flying Lotus and was saddened as well by the death of their friend. He also heard that they were heading for a big battle and that they should find a better, bigger, for that battle. Incidentally, he knew where to find one. They drank together until Killian dna Sphene arrived.

Once together he told them that while investigating the disappearance of a shipwright, he came upon information that the Great Whale of Kiera has been building a massive battle barge. They should take the ship; he, as greatest swordsman in the world, would be glad to join them and help.

They were not sure they had enough people so decided to look around for some allies; and fortunetly, two came around: John Johanson came to port but he was not ready to sail with them against Kiera; but then they heard that the Valiant, with their friend Tomas de Orinjon (the fire mange they helped escape from Kieran Prison) would be arriving to port soon.

They were greeted warmly by the crew of the Valiant and Tomas was easily convinced to join the cause. With his help they managed to convince the captain of the Valiant (who has no love for Kiera anymore) and together they set sail to the island of Tarras, where the battle barge is being built.

They took the long way around and it was an uneventful trip. They found a small cove on the other side of the small island and a small scouting party went to investigate how it would be best to liberate the ship...
=================

Chapter 39
Evading a patrol of Kieran soldiers they reached they reached a vantage point above the small impromptu village. It was a small circular village with basic housing, they notice more than twenty soldiers moving between the workers and going on patrols to the surrounding countryside, two gun emplacements with at least six other soldiers on watch constantly; and 50 yards from shore, the immense battle barge with 32 canons per side lay. The barge was mostly complete and sail-able, with a complement of a dozen soldiers on it at all times.

They found a hidden position above the village and observed it for a full day, learning patrol patterns and understanding the dynamic of their day. From their observation they realized that not all workers were forced labor, so they could not count on their friendliness and cooperation if they “Free” them. They formulated several plans of attack.

Suddenly they noticed a group of five people sneaking past a patrol and heading to another observation point above the village. After an hour of observation, the second group snuck back inland and the crew went after them. They followed them in and approached them, only to find out they are surrounded by at least 15 people. They learned that these are resistance fighters against Emperor Jant. At first the resistance party were suspicious of them since they are the crew of the Flying Lotus which was were Jenevive Jant sailed and so must be under the Emperor’s thumb, but were convinced that the Emperor was not a friend and the late princess did not like her father at all. The resistance fighters planned to sink the barge originally, but were convinced that it was better to save it for the great battle to come with the Sea Hags. They would help.

The plan was thus: send two teams to attack the gun emplacements at as close a time as possible, using Carifax as a messenger for coordination and immediately after that create a distraction by burning some wood outside the compound. Once the compound is in disarray they will be able to liberate the captives. Meanwhile, a force as large as possible (part of the Flying Lotus and Valiant crew, and the resistance fighters) would take the six dinghies on shore and take over the battle barge. Once on it they would ready it as quick as possible in order to sail and crew the guns so that if the alarm was raised they would be able to deal with the Kieran Cutter hidden in a cove just to the north (thanks to the info from the resistance fighters).

The plan went almost without a hitch; although the attack on the guns did not occur on exactly the same time, and one of the guards on the guns raised an alarm (the other gun emplacement was taken down without a single cry). This set the compound on edge, but then the fire was started… The two crews came upon patrols but dealt with them easily. And the foud soldiers sent to investigate the sound of gunfire soon came upon a force of some 40 sailors with guns; they bet a hasty retreat.

36 combatants took the dinghies to the barge, a hesty canon shot was fired but missed the small boats bearing down on the barge. 36 people had an easy time taking down the dozen or so soldiers on the barge.

Anyone who wanted to escape the village was offered a place on the barge, and after two round (and about twenty minutes) the barge was full... Just as two Kieran cutters appeared at the head of the bay. With 32 canons per side, it was no match. Killian managed to maneuver the barge into position (much harder than their brigantine, but he managed) and they fired the guns. It was a short battle which left two wrecks of Kieran Cutters.

The battle barge left the bay to rendezvous with the two waiting ships and headed to Kaja
=================
Sphene: 78 (Heroic)
Killian: 75 (Heroic)
Gronk: 71 (Heroic)
Alex Kuzbidon: 73 (Heroic)

GM Notes:
==> The introduction of Alex was a great and fun role playing session. With the player going all in with the french accent

==> I decided to give him "The Terror" as an introduction to the party.

==> I might have gone overboard with the assistance they found to help steal the battle barge, but I also wanted them to have some allies in the comming battle with the hags... and they did make some firends after all during their time, so why not.

==> Aslo, since they mainly avoided Kiera, I never realy got to introduce them to the Kieran Resistance. I tried to do it though the resistance trying to kidnap Jenevive, but that never worked out

==> The plan to steal the terror was a good one and well coordinated. "Only" 8 extras were killed

"L’Ollonaise Revenge" was indeed powerful in our 50 Fathoms campaign.

At least she got to be Archmage for a bit...

spoilers ahead
=================
Chapter 37
Before going in search of L’Ollonaise treasure they had to give their crew some land time. So they head to Swindon (where they spent a week letting the crew wind off and being very careful of not pissing anybody and guarding their ship carefully).

A week later they sailed out of Swindon and to a small cover between it and Bluth’s Crown. From there they set out (leaving Sphene behind who was under the weather). With them came Xian Ping, Diego the earth mage, Carifax, and two more sailors (. It took them about eight days to reach the willy pirates hideout, with Gronk leading the way (sometimes not so well, but generally OK) with only a Tidal Snake which sprang at Xian Ping on the second day.

Where X marked the spot was a cave near the top of a 300 yard mountain. Climbing up was difficult but luckily Gronk brought ropes, and Diego was able to produce climbing handles out of the rock face. After some climbing they got to the cave. The bodies of seven sailors littered the floor with broken pottery among them. They immediately notice the wooden boards covered with straws and went over to lift it…

The whole cave exploded in a hellish blast which then loosened the cave ceiling. The whole party (minus the two sailor which remained below) was injured and covered in rocks and rabble. Gronk (the only one to get through this unscathed) was the first to dig himself out and he then helped the the others get out. Jenevive was injured badly but managed to heal herself, while Killian was injured but not too badly; Diego was badly injured with two broken legs and some broken ribs. To the great sorrow of Gronk, Xian Ping was dead. During the whole night he stayed by his side.

The next day they continued to remove the great rocks and finally uncovered the french pirate’s treasure. It was lots of gold indeed and some nice relics. It took them more than two hours to lower all the treasure and the bodies down. That evening they found a nice tree to bury Xian Ping under.

They built a wooden stretcher to carry Diego and the treasure and Gronk pulled. It was slow going. Early the next day one of the sailors with them heard something, and not a moment later they found themselves surrounded by pirates. It was Tomas (a mage-pirate whom they threw into the sea almost a year ago and who lost his arm due to it) and eight of his crew. He demanded the treasure. Of course, the party would have none of it: they were tired, wounded, grieving… it only angered them. Jenevive blasted at two pirates and Tomas, This killed the two pirates, but did not phase Tomas. Tomas retaliated and shot two blasts at Jenevive and one at Killian. The bolts shot true striking Jenevive first in the chest then in her arm, which almost tore away from her body.

The young Archmage fell.

Killian charged at the pirate mage but missed all strikes. Gronk left the stretcher (gently) and move to tackle the four pirates in the back. The sailors shot at Tomas managing to wound and distract him. Next Killian managed to kill Tomas with two quick strikes, then moved to kill another of his crew. Gronk went berserk, striking quick and true, killing two more pirates. The last two pirates tried to run away, but one fell to a parting fist from Gronk and the other was shot by Killian.

The party was in shock. Loosing so many people in so short a time. But they carried on, what else could they do. They took Jenevive’s body with them, mourning as they went. Carifax fell silent, for the first time since they knew him he was quiet for entire days. They reached the beach and then walked along it to their ship. On the way they saw a brigantine which probably belonged to Tomas. It was still crewed.

They continued to their own ship, which they reached two days later. The whole trip took them almost 20 days. They came back 9,000 gold pieces richer, but on the whole poorer...

=================
The Late Jenevive Jant (aka Saraphen, Sandra, Highness): 74 (Heroic) - RIP
Sphene: 74 (Heroic)
Killian: 71 (Heroic)
Gronk: 67 (Heroic)

GM Notes:
==> Damn!

==> The blast and cave-in from L’Ollonaise trap is harsh. My roll for blast damage aced and did about 18 damage. The cave-in damage was minimal (7 i think). This trap has possible TPK all over it.

==> Then came Tomas. Tomas spotted the ship in Swindon and sent his crew to spy on the crew of the players. Loose lips from the player’s crew let him know of some treasure they are seeking. He followed.

==> I did not expect this to be a very tough battle. But with Jenevive down they thought they might not survive it. Lucky for them, that is when i started to roll bad and they started to roll good.

==> RIP Jenevive - i will not get to continue with her story much. It was the only one of the party with potential for fun and mayhem. It’s very possible that Emperor Jant would still hunt them down for not protecting his daughter...

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

50 Fathoms continues...

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.


The Big Blackbeard Battle in our 50 Fathoms campaign

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?

Hi all.

Your advise would be appreciated for my next 50 Fathoms session

If you're a player, might want not to read further...

=====================

So last session of our 50 Fathoms game ended with Duckworth's Man o' War attaching itself to Blackbeard's Man o' War and preparing to board... with the players taking advantage and getting close as well.

Now, with each Man o' War having about 160 sailor/mariners/zombies (along with several WC mages from Duckworth, and other WC for the several officers of both ships) I do not want to run it as a regular battle. Rather I thought of running it as Mass Battle interspersed with Personal Combat... maybe even throw in a Quick Combat if the party tries to reach Blackbeard and as they push through his zombie crew.

Some things to consider:
==> Blackbeard is not listed with Know. (Battles) in his stat block and that is fitting. He is, after all, mostly relaying on people fearing him and his zombies crew. But I think i'll give him at least a d4/d6, so it'll not bee a complete pushover. Thoughts?

==> Both sides start with 5 Tokens? ==> I thinking that the zombie-effect from Blackbeard's crew is roughly equal to the experience and the Mages from Duckworth

==> How do I use the Hag's Breath attack? Give Blackbeard a bonus to battle rolls (+1 or +2)? If he succeeds with at least one Raise then he takes one Bennie away from Duckworth (as Duckworth's crew becomes zombies and attack their former crew)

==> What about the ships? Would either of them shoot canons while being tied together like this?

Any other ideas are most welcome....
Thanks and cheers,
-arnon

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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