Soggy sails, shimmering swords

Hi all and welcome to Wednesday night where we look at the twists and turns that the party have approaching like rain in a squall.

This week we find out party out to sea being persued by, most probably, pirates with a storm approaching them at the worst time.

So let’s look into what we can throw at the party to test their sea legs.

Trials at sea


As the wind hit the sails the crew knew that they were in for a hard ride regardless of the ship that was now close enough that you could see the individual people running about the top of the deck, weapons and ropes in hand. As Kyoko barked an order ropes went taught, sails drifted across the deck and the ship turned abruptly as a large wave loomed on the side of the ship and Kyoko heaved on the wheel turning the ship at the right moment to use the wave to push them further away from their pursuer.

The party were less lucky as the sea water spilled freely across the deck, the crew moving rapidly across the deck dragging ropes, sails poles and other implements to keep the ship floating on the waves the right way up.

So the first test we have here is going to be the standard ability checks to see if they can remain on their feet and move around the deck of the ship. DC 14 Dexterity saving throw or to fall and hope they don’t fall pass the rail or at least have a rope tied to them. If the party member has a background that saw them on the sea previously then they would make the check at advantage and, DM discretion, if they had water vehicle proficiency then they would also make the roll at advantage.

With a yell a few of the crew fly overboard when they lose their grip on the ship. Within a moment several crew jump to grab the rope to pull up the crew members that flew off the edge.

“Somebody pull that sail, I need someone to help me with the wheel, get those men back on deck!” Kyoko bellows from the helm as she puts her weight behind the wheel trying to keep the ship on course as a wave threatens to push them aside.

Ok, so we have a Water vehicle check (to pull the sail), strength or athletics check to bring the overboard crewmen back on deck, and then a one of either check to help Kyoko with the helm. If the party don’t help with one of the three items then it may lead to negative affects.

  • Sail, Water Vehicle check DC 13 – If fail the party member is knocked prone and is pushed in a random direction 10ft.
  • Crew, Athletics check DC 12 Strength check DC 13 – if Fail the crew members are eventually dragged up but they have breathed in a lot of water and 1 or 2 crew members are effectively unconscious (not dead though) for the rest of the day. Any further checks to keep the ship going on course are made at +1 DC.
  • Helm, Base DC is 14. Water vehicle check at Base, Strength at base +2 and Athletics at base +1 – if Fail then the ship doesn’t turn in time and the the party need make a Dex check DC 14 or fall prone and if they fail by more than 10 they fall overboard.

If the party fail at 2 of the above three then they will be boarded by 1 or 2 members from the ship behind them that the party will need to fight..

As the ship rock and comes down from a swell it stops suddenly with a resounding crash as it connect with the pirate vessel who had come on the inside of the Red fleet Ship. As Kyoko starts to bark orders ropes, boarding planks and grappling hooks fly across the rail and go taught binding the ships together as men and women rush onboard from the other ship.

Crew members from the parties ship rush to meet them but the attackers have a manic crazed look across their face as a scarred dragonborn stands next to the helm loading a crossbow and barking orders at the people rushing across to take over the other ship.

Well – This is mainly combat but the party can remove the boarding planks, cut the ropes try to separate the ships.

To separate the ships it would require a series of successful Vehicle handling rolls. DC12, DC 13, DC14 and DC15 across 4 rounds.

To push the planks it would be a DC10 Athletics or strength check if there is no one on the plank or DC14 if there is one person, DC16 if there are two or more people on the plank as they go to remove it.

To sever or remove the ropes it would require a sharp weapon. The role has an AC of 8 and 10 HP (they are rather thick ropes). To remove them without cutting them then the party would need to make Strength or Athletics checks DC 14.

Thanks for joining tonight. So we had a few checks here to deal with keeping the ship on course and moving forward. The idea is to use the above as a base to structure the encounter and checks for the party but the idea is that we don’t want to drown them in ability and skill checks but we want to stress them the importance of certain ones.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for more content and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

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