The Return of the Skull and Shackles

Last night saw the first game back after an enforced break to our in-person Skull and Shackles Pathfinder game.  It was great!  Having the enforced break after a bad game seems to have revitalised everyone, including myself and the game was really enjoyable!

Not used last night but I did note it was
deteriorating due to being near the sea…

The group was looking in a dire circumstance last time we played so I needed to make sure that the group got back on their feet a little and had a chance at the coming encounters.  They were heading into an underground cave system at low tide that consisted of a series of interconnected tunnels and flooded chambers.  The longer it takes in the tunnels the further the tide comes in and the whole complex will become quite flooded and (obviously) difficult to traverse as low level characters.

On previous report three of the four members of the party were afflicted with ghoul fever and took heavy hits to constitution and dexterity.  Then they got hit by stirges that managed to hit them even worse in the constitution.  One of the players was down to five in their constitution score and looking likely to fall over at any stage.  I knew I had to do something for the group urgently or there was no chance they would make it through the remainder of the path.  I also decided to use it as an opportunity to foreshadow some material that comes later in the path so I placed a burlap sack with a supply drop in it and had a rolled scroll (now mush because of water damage) with a wax seal laying on top of it.  Inside the sack?  4 potions of cure disease, 4 potions of lesser restoration and 2 potions of cure light wounds cast by a fifth level caster.  In other words, a lifeline sack.  The wax seal was that of the Master of the Gales.  Perhaps a letter left for a lost companion?  Anyway, it ties in to later adventures.

Captain Harrigan is waiting for the players
to bring him back food and water!

The remainder of the night the players managed to find a circuitous route through the complex, disabling a vicious trap and killing a bunch of Grindylows all whilst remaining largely dry by using smaller chambers that were above the tide level.  They finally got into some swimming after Skye the Fighter/Thief pulled off an awesome roll to disable a trap that was of the hardest mechanical difficulty to disable.  They moved then into a chamber above tide level housing a devilfish.  They approached it and tried to communicate with it but because the fish is a) barely intelligent and b) struggles to communicate in just one language the attempt failed to negotiate with the creature.

It exploded in a haze of unholy blood and used it’s concealment well to trouble the players for a full ten rounds of combat.  It was a great, dramatic combat that stymied the players for a good deal of the time.  I was on fire with my rolls for attacks of opportunity but when it came to making a grapple stick for longer than a round the devilfish failed every time so it never got it’s vicious bite ability out of the box!  Lucky for the players really!  Claude the Tengu summoner and his eidolon Major were almost responsible for every hit point of damage on the creature (with a great use of Greater Life Conduit keeping Major upright) having it on the run to the main chamber by the end of the battle.  They managed to kill it before they got there though.

The players then moved along to the main chamber and found their companions they had lost hanging from the ceiling.  There was a flash of a blade from a small female Gridylow and a roar from a massive Grindylow and the pair of companions fell from the ceiling wrapped in heavy chains to the water below.  And then I called it!  Got to love a great cliffhanger ending.

Forgot to take the hat off… Ooops.

So nerves got beaten, the game got played and we all had a really good time.  There was some good roleplaying, some great socialising and I think our group is back in a good place.  I have to admit, it was good to take a break.  Our game was beginning to feel like work and having a little time off seems to have put it back in perspective.  It is something that allows us to break out and just have a blast.  I cannot remember a single night of the Skull and Shackles campaign that I have had more fun with than last night’s episode.  The end of the module is close and we are going to break from it and I will return to a player for the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path in which I get to play Coltyn and Grellyk, my summoner and Eidolon combo.

I was having such a good time I forgot to take my pirate hat off at the end of the adventure!  Glad I did not get pulled up on the way home, that would have been embarrassing!  Hope your games are just as fun as last night was for me.  Keep rolling!

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