Castaway Diary, Day 1

Man, that Jakeenos delivery was really good. Their jumbo wings are the official Chicken Wing of Thursday Night Pathfinder. I didn’t over do it with Matt’s barter-whisky either last night, although I was definitely scouting “feeling shitty” this morning.
Still, I was excited to write up last night’s session because I think you got a lot done. A day’s worth of work. Combats are kind of funny back at first level, aren’t they? They whiz along when everyone only gets one attack and there aren’t a ton of modifiers and spell effects to consider.
The characters are shaping up nicely too; self-centered Malicia, Victor the people-person-positive-Paladin, Floki the serious planner and Percy the very efficient dispenser of beak death. Nice work everyone.
The Skaven-as-Tengu worked perfectly, I think. Good eye, JIM. I have plenty, so I think I’m going to paint the Percy and Malicia miniatures to finish the proof-of-concept. Then if Noe and Matt want to paint one, I can make others.
I’ll put your haul of equipment in the comments below.
It was Floki Blodvin who woke up first, twisting to see a lobster-scorpion the size of a Golden Retriever attempting to snip his foot at the ankle and shovel it into…. is it a mouth? I suppose it is.
Without time to ponder crustacean anatomy, Floki stood woozily and dashed past the lashing tail of the creature and into the surf. The eurypterid followed him, unhappy to let a meal get away. Across the rest of the beach, more immature eurypterids were clambering over the unconscious forms of several people in similar sea-vomited states, looking for soft bits to chop off. Floki began shouting.

With the bits and the legs and the pincers and the spines.

Victor came to as the creature began interfering with him. Without his sword or gear anywhere, he joined Floki’s shouting. Floki ran back to shore and both men snatched up some driftwood and began battering at the the snipping and stinging creatures. Their shouting attracted disengaged eurypterids, clambering for a meal. Their poisoned barbs caused mild muscular spasming and cramping, but they fought through it as the two Tengu also began to wake up.
Percy, waking amidst shouts and the noisy clacking of the crustaceans, lashed out… with his head. His beak hit the eurypterid in the … is it a face? Well, not any more… killing it instantly. It collapsed with a clatter of shell. He turned and found another on him, but he beaked that to death too. Malicia woke and began beaking, but was so sickened that she didn’t do a very good job of it and ended up straining her beak slightly.

Campaign Trophy: Percy gets the Campaign’s first kill. So we froze it in Carbonite.

Percy channeled some healing down on everything and then joined the two men, who had formed a sea-scorpion clubbing wall. With Percy moving in behind their attackers, they quickly dispatched the last of the creatures.
They searched around – Malicia for her gear, everyone else for more survivors. They found Ishiro, face down in the sand, lying on top of his sheathed sword Then they found Sasha, Aerys and Gelik. Of the others, crew or passengers, there was no sign.
Gelik immediately cast a cantrip to fix his clothes and so looked like he’d just stepped out of a tailor’s shop, fresh as a daisy. Aerys wasn’t looking so good. She had a six inch sliver of wood sticking out of her eye. Percy tended to it and healed it (setting his appetite aside) but her pupil doesn’t quite work like it should. Sasha stood off to one side, arms folded defensively and Ishiro managed to barf up some seawater.
Within a few minutes, everyone was feeling better – although I suppose that’s only relatively better – as the acid feeling in their chests had subsided. Malicia hadn’t found their gear, but she had spotted part of a lifeboat breaking the surface of the lagoon. Swimming out (an easy task as the lagoon is calm so close to shore) they found the prow of the ruined lifeboat, the rest of it weighed down the six or so feet to the sandy bottom. The water was so clear that they could see a collection of their gear, some of it at least, caught beneath the thwarts of the lifeboat. An arm, sans torso, was also pinned under some of the ruined hull. They brought the lot back to shore and went over it.
Aerys picked out her bow quickly, Victor his sword, Floki his axe and a scroll case. There were other items none of them recognised, Victor made it clear that this was Other People’s Stuff and that they should at least wait before divvying it up. Meanwhile, Sasha had started to play with the arm, waving it around and trying to find tendons to pull. On examination, they suspected that whoever the arm belonged to has hit a patch of coral with some force, removing the rest of the torso from the arm and much of the shoulder. I’m not sure they ever decided what to do with the arm… which means Sasha probably still has it.
Day 1 Map
Taking stock of their situation, Floki talked to Ishiro about perhaps looking for a place to camp. A brief survey of the lagoon showed that it was a bay. The west end of the bay terminated with some cliffs and the east end of the bay curved out of sight. Ishiro reckoned that the eastern end would be sheltered from the prevailing wind and a curved coast would give them better visibility for seeing passing ships/other people on the beach. The jungle is always at their back, they can’t do anything about that. The other item of interest was that there was a wrecked ship – or at least part of it – lodged on the rocks below the cliffs, past the lagoon.
They set off for the eastern side of the bay, but as they went, it became apparent that a) it was getting super hot, b) it was getting super cloudy and c) the tide was coming in. That gave them only a short time before the waves that lodged the wreck would potentially remove it. Even from where they were they could see the wreck shift when hit by larger waves.
Floki, Victor, Percy and Malicia backtracked along the beach, sticking close to the minimal shade that the palms provided. Ishiro led Aerys, Gelik and Sasha onwards to establish some kind of camp.
If I had any withs about me as a GM, I'd have bought an aquarium wreck and used it as a 3d map.

If I had any wits about me as a GM, I’d have bought an aquarium wreck and used it as a 3D map.

Arriving at the cliff base, they saw that a swim was going to be in order to get out to the ship, but Floki was the only strong swimmer, so he went on alone. Victor and Malicia stood watching the rhythmic tide as the Ulfen swam out to the jagged rocks. He managed to avoid being drawn onto the rocks and clambered up and then onto the perilously tilting quarterdeck of the Jenivere. Jumping down and into the cabin area, he made his way to the Captain’s cabin. There he found the wide cabin’s contents lying at the bottom of the room. A ragged hole had been opened on that side, but the Captain’s heavy and well made desk and blocked most of it. A mattress and footlocker laid against it along with other detritus that had been displaced during the wreck. Through the hole, the surf could be seen crashing against the rocks.
Percy had missed his daily meditation and he sought to catch up, so meditated on the beach. But Malicia and Victor had figured out that if they timed it right, they could basically be swept into the Jenivere’s hull, then swim sideways onto the rocks and avoid the perilous swim alongside the rocks. They ran out into the surf, staggered at a wave rolling over them and were then pulled out to the hull. They clambered aboard quickly. Floki called Malicia in to have a look at the desk, whose locked drawer he was having trouble opening. In the unlocked drawer he had found a bunch of keys, a logbook, and some sea charts. But hacking at the locked drawer hadn’t budged it. 

What possible harm could come from raiding the Captain’s belongings? Nah, it’ll be fine.

Victor raided the larder, gathering the meager supplies stored there, mostly just hard biscuits. He joined Floki in the Navigator’s Cabin, and they pocketed as many charts as they could. As they did so, they heard a clacking drum of fast moving legs and turned to find a much larger Eurypterid at the cabin door. This one was red, rather than the muddy yellow of the previous attackers and about the size of a black bear. Its whipping tail flickered in and caught Floki, but he shook off the effects. Victor drew his sword and killed the thing, like a motherfucking samurai. Straight through the head, one slice, wipe off, put away, Paladone.
Then they faced their toughest opponent yet… a locked door. They kicked at it to no avail and then tried working in tandem and managed to put an impression in the wood. The door held. That was when Floki remembered that he had the set of keys and finding one that fit, opened the door. Defeat averted.
Inside lay the dead body of First Mate Alton Devers, slumped against the supply racks. Blood oozed slowly across the floor from the many slashes he had taken in some unseen combat, but by the look of it, he had taken a few hits from a eurypterid’s barb too. He wore his leather armour and had a rapier tucked beside him. Victor tucked the rapier into his belt and Floki began making bindles of hardware with the canvas and nets stored in this room, working with an urgency as the ship began rocking alarmingly with the rising tide.

The Boatswain’s storeroom in happier, less corpse-y times.

Malicia had managed to crack open the locked drawer, finding inside a selection of carefully wrapped bottles. Victor joined her, examining the footlocker and finding inside a neatly folded suit of leather armour, a very well made dagger and most puzzlingly of all, a tiny mask: showing an impassive male face, one half white, the other black. Victor recognised it as a holy symbol of Nethys, yet Captain Kovack had never struck him as the religious sort. Especially not a devotee of the God of Magic.
Time and tide waits for no man… or crow-lady and it became clear that the last of the Jenivere was close to coming loose from the rocks. Before they were dashed against the cliff face, Floki, Victor and Malicia hauled their loot to the shattered main deck and leapt into the swelling waves, washing up on shore with their various bundles, boxes and bottles.
They schlepped back around the lagoon’s beach and it started pouring with rain. I never mentioned that, but it did. Bucketing down. But by the time they actually made it to the eastern end of the bay the raincloud had dumped its last and it was clear skies and sunshine again. The heat had died down as the day started slipping into evening. The jungle got noisier as they inhabitants figured out who lived where.
The drop in heat didn’t seem to have helped tempers much, because as they got near the area Ishiro had selected, they heard raised voices. Their fellow castaways had set up no more camp than an as-yet-unlit fire and were standing around bickering. 
“How can you expect any of us to fall asleep when the person who sabotaged the ship, probably planned for their own survival and so is probably one of us?” Sasha was yelling at the others.  Meanwhile Aerys pointed out that the only person who didn’t drink the port was Ishiro, so maybe it was him, something Ishiro denied vigourously. Gelik, meanwhile, just stirred the shit, agreeing with everyone’s accusations suggestively.
The return of the other castaways calmed things down a bit, specifically Victor’s ameliorating diplomatic attempts. Ishiro and Floki began planning the next day’s tasks and everyone settled down to an uneasy meal of eurypterid claws cooked on the fire. They catalogued their haul of equipment from the Jenivere and settled in to sleep on the beach after finding jobs for everyone to do the next day. While the campsite had been divided and uneasy when they arrived, by the time some soothing words and sensible planning had been applied, most of the castaways seemed fairly focused on the job at hand tomorrow.

8 Comments on “Castaway Diary, Day 1

  1. Things I learned getting ready for yesterday’s session:

    Tengu don’t have tits. The seat in a rowboat is a “thwart”. I have no idea what crabs and lobsters have in the way of mouths.

  2. Okay, other than the Other People’s Stuff (which, though tantalizing, is off limits at the moment) you have the following assets:

    A bundle of the Captain’s keys.
    A multitude of sea charts. You don’t have to worry about toilet paper yet.
    The Captain’s Log.
    24 days worth of hard tack (one person).
    1 wooden drawer/box.
    1 rope bottle box.
    1 bottle of Brandy
    1 Ship-in-a-bottle model of the Jenivere.
    14 Potions, unidentified.
    A good quality dagger.
    A holy symbol of Nethys.
    A block and tackle.
    3 50ft lengths of rope.
    3 Canvas sheets
    1 Small mallet and chisel.
    2 short Two handled saws.
    Jar of nails.
    2 Fishing nets.
    A Grappling hook.
    2 Bullseye Lanterns.
    12 jars of Lantern Oil.
    6 Belaying pins.
    1 Marlinspike.
    2 Shovels.
    2 Hatchets.
    2 Machetes.
    1 Boat Hook.
    1 Mop.
    3 Driftwood clubs.
    1 Severed Arm.

    Victor has taken a Rapier and the suit of Leather Armour from what you’ve currently looted. Malicia knows what she has taken…

    Aerys retrieved a Longbow and a sealskin wrapped book from the lifeboat.
    Gelik retrieved a bandolier and a Shortbow from the lifeboat.
    Sasha retrieved a rapier and a kukri from the lifeboat.
    Ishiro retrieved a heavy, shallow wooden box. He has not opened it. He also woke up with his katana tangled in his belt.

  3. Also, something for Rolland to work on when he is bored:

    Floki already know it is going to take 2 gallons of potable water and 1lb of food a day to keep an adult human alive in this heat. Gelik and Rolifson eat only half that. So working on the assumption that they catch up with all the party members +4 castaways they party needs to come up with 22 gallons of freshwater and 11lbs of food a day to keep everyone from starting to starve.

    Foraging can’t take place in the middle of the day – actually nothing strenuous can take place in the middle of the day. Being too active between noon and 3pm is enough to incur the Very Hot heat rules. That neatly splits the day into morning and evening shifts.

    Survival skills will be useful for foragers and building the campsite. Now that you have the bosun’s tools, it will take about 8 hours under the guidance of someone who knows what they are doing to make a covered, walled shelter that is up off the ground. That should get you out of the way of the sun, the worst of the weather and the creepies that make living in the tropics kind of a pain in the ass. People can assist, of course, the more they know what they are doing, the more likely they are to be useful.

  4. Can I safely assume that “under the guidance of someone that knows what they’re doing,” means someone that passes the appropriate skill check? How long would that 8 hours take if said skill check was taking a 20? Current plan:
    Flok – find fresh water
    Sasha – hunt/gather food
    Ishiro – Set traps
    Malicia – lead survivors in build shelter

    Anyone else got some useful skills? Are we wasting our time looking for water; i.e. can Percy or Orny cast create water?
    The Ultimate Equipment book states that a hatchet is the equivalent of a hand axe. It does not list a machete. Can we get a DM ruling on how much damage one of these would do? In lieu of a bonfire can we test out our real life machetes on David’s bike if it quits working again?

    • As far as foraging, Orny’s no use beyond as a light source. Warlocks (I’m going to start saying that) can ruin already existing food or water, but they can’t create it. He can detect poison to help figure out if plants will kill us, I suppose.

      He can summon monsters if we need a celestial frog for a round, and he can daze and cause fear if we see anything scary, but I’ll need to get back to my paper sheet tonight to think of skills.

      • Oh, fuck. I just noticed that having a goat familiar gives me a +3 bonus on survival checks. Yahtzee.

        • I can’t wait to see The House That Bongripper Built.

          – What do you think of the roof, Bongripper?
          – Meh.
          – Fine! There’s no impressing you! Tear it down and start again everyone.

  5. Treat Machete like a Cutlass, since a Cutlass is pretty much just a Machete in a pirate blouse:

    Damage 1d4 (Small) 1d6 (Medium). Critical is 18-20, x2. Slashing damage. 4lb weight, nothing special.

    You can only take a 20 when there are no penalties for failure and you have a ton of time. ( You cannot take a 20 on this task; I’ll let you infer why.