Finally got in the first session of that campaign I was working on. It has, of course, gone at once completely buggerfuck off the rails and Just As Planned ™. In addition, I was.. somewhat impaired at the time.
The party currently consists of Hernando the Spaniard deserter, William “T.” Byron (“you can tell that’s his real name, it’s stitched into his boots!) – alleged Doctor of Medicine – and the dowager Dame Elizabeth (last name omitted), newly-inherited rogue archeologist in search of her latchkey father.
Our assumed time is the late 1600s, with the party seeking passage (each for their own reasons) to Zanzibar from Marseilles. Alas, this was not to be, but I’ve gotten ahead of myself.
Our lady Knight advertised for likely fellows of stout arm and short brain at the sign of the Prancing Goat (famed for powerful cheese and weak wine). A half-dozen men and one dog volunteer their services; “Ol’Roy” the female masitff and her handler Brygyd sign on as men-at-arms, and Hernando as a full-share partner, with several others turned away. Roy and Hernando hit it off immediately, although Roy seems to hate literally everyone and everything else (and can’t hit for beans in combat). With a party assembled, they sought passage on some ship; Mr. “Byron”, sent by his captain to find passengers for an ENTIRELY LEGITIMATE trip to Zanzibar, soon offered compelling terms. Returning to the ship, the doctor was approached by an emissary for a mysterious woman named “Estelle”, inviting him to come to her mansion for a spot of delivery work to Algiers. Again, the party declined. Thanks to a successful surprise roll, they managed to avoid a massive religious riot, before exacerbating it (fucking PCs) and attempting to use the cover of the ensuing fire to get in a spot of looting.
Three days later, and six hours out from Algiers, they got ambushed by a small pirate galley – and tore it apart. Ol’Roy managed to do absolutely nothing, the hireling hid and brained a pirate with a pipe. The party did somewhat better. Our good doctor garrotted a boarder below-decks and shot another in the face, slitting the throat of a third – one of whom was a former applicant to the party (the pirates had hired on two of the rejected hirelings, and been paid handsomely to deliver Estelle’s item). Doc Byron then hilariously badly failed his Physic roll to stabilize the ship’s First Mate, determining that amputation was the best way to cure the damage the Mate’s exploding pistols had done to his hands. It was not.
Dame Elizabeth missed with every shot, though she managed to dash her opponent’s blade from his hands and very efficiently brain him with her rifle.
Meanwhile Hernando accidentally shot the PC’s vessel’s captain along with the pirates’, killing both (firing into melee for the.. win?). Both crews failed their morale checks, and only the fact that the pirates won initiative that round saved the PC’s ship from surrendering (sometimes it pays to go second). Hernando immediately rallied the disheartened crew, and holed the galley with the ship’s pair of light swivel guns (see here).
Total spoils: 20 galley slaves (freed and ransomed in Algiers), 4 captured men-at-arms, including the remaining former applicant (sold into slavery by the party for ~10sp – slaves being worth 1sp per 2hp), gems totalling 10k sp (split with the galley’s crew, PCs only got about 900 each), a couple maps, and a lead box containing a golden lion decorated in Scythian motifs (Estelle’s item – it had an address letter for a notable personage in Algiers attached. Of course the party immediately opened it). Every party member with the skill blew their Occultism roll, so they’ll just have to play with it to find out how it works. *snicker*
They also got an assortment of moderate-quality boarding weaponry, 4 matchlock calivers, and a brace of pistols.
And the good ship “Yvette”. She has a reputation. They haven’t gotten into her cargo hold yet.
Hernando managed to win the respect of enough men to be acclaimed Captain despite the doctor’s technical claim on the position, and so the crew enters Algiers seeking refit, ale, and whores (the Lady Elizabeth interjects at this point to assert that she seeks only the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, not that of the vine, nor indeed of the loins). Carouse rolls (using these rules) ensued for the “gentlemen” of the party.
Doctor “Byron” gained several hundred XP, but was fined by the authorities for issuing a challenge to a duel with the butt of his shotgun, then welshing on the duel due to a violent hangover. Hernando seduced.. someone. He’s not quite sure, but he appears to be in love. Now he needs to find her. And his wallet. And the pants they were in.
Meanwhile, the much more sedate Lady Elizabeth visited the home of a scholar she located from her father’s papers, inquiring after her paternal relative. His ship, it would seem, was last seen in these parts chartered for an undisclosed location in the Pacific. Despite being a semiannual visitor in the past, the vessel has not been seen again these last 5 years. Unfortunately, the gentleman was not versed in Scythian antiquities. Also unfortunately, she opened the box inside his study.
Join us next time, as “Byron” levels up, Ol’ Roy continues to aggressively slobber and fawn on every passer-by while snarling furiously, a tongueless Italian deserter plots his revenge, and various things are lit on fire.
I’ll be frankly surprised if they aren’t flying the black flag on the wrong goddamned side of the planet in three sessions. This is gonna be great.