Skull & Shackles AP

During PaizoCon this year, I decided to try my hand at running one of Paizo’s Adventure Paths. The Rise of the Runelord AP that I’m in is going a little slowly, so I have AP time available. I decided to pick Skull & Shackles, which is the pirate themed AP. I bought the first module, The Wormwood Mutiny, and started reading on the way home.

After reviewing schedules, enthusiasm, and gaming skillz, the current party is:

  • Lyle – Vanaran rogue/gunslinger
  • Rob – Halfling bard
  • Aaron  – Human storm druid
  • Mike – Human witch
  • Garrett – Ulfen Human barbarian

Interesting party no?

Because I don’t want the momentum for the AP to fade, and so everyone can remember stuff, I am using to host a forum that have all sorts of IC threads, including a party thread, IC journal, and rule clarifications. I am using a good ole google doc to keep track of the NPCs on the Wormwood, including their current attitude.

Before the first game, I wanted everyone to roll up their characters and create a backstory. We spent about a 2 weeks RPing how each of the PCs got to Port Peril, and I gave them a little ‘quest’ just to get the ball rolling. I even rewarded them with skill point in some profession or knowledge skill. Small, but fun. One of my other rules is that they need to keep an IC journal, updated before each session.

The first game went exactly as I suspected. The party woke up and got about 12 days in to working the Wormwood. Their hatred for Plugg & Scourge increased each day. With the exception of the bard, this party has a really tough time making friends. They also stunk a lot of their daily duties. The monkey vanaran crushed it though. It was hard for them to scheme on stuff since there are always other people milling around the boat. Mike said it best when he said “We suck. This is awesome!”

Since I didn’t want to fill the next few sessions with doing chores and the encounters, I went back to the forums to finish all of the boat stuff. The ambush in the basement almost killed 2 PCs. Hard to fight with a broom handle. After the 20ish days at sea, they had 11 friends on the boat. Most people don’t like them. This could setup a hard mutiny. During the battle with Man’s Promise, I rolled a for random deaths (there were 6), then who got killed from the crew. Unfortunately for the PCs, the battle claimed Rosie Cusswell & Sandara Quinn, 2 of the NPCs that actually have stat blocks and such. At least that damn Maheem is gone!

Now, the party is sitting in Bonewreck Isle, and 2 of them have ghoul fever. It’s not looking good, and honestly, I have screwed up a few times. Instead of a swarm of bees OR 3 ghouls, I did both. I think the party has a need for a cleric of some sort. There are a lot of helper classes, but they are missing healing pretty bad. Druid works, but not great. I have a solution to this.

Personally, I have gone totally dorkout on this. I have purchased pirate flags (both big to hang on the wall, and small to represent how much infamy the party has accumulated), gold coins, loot cards (of course), and even printed the shackles map on canvas.

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