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Fax Celestis
2006-09-10, 01:19 AM
The Crew
{table=head]Rank | Name | Classes | Class Level | Race | ECL
Captain | Malcolm the Quick (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35848) | Privateer/Legendary Captain | 17 | Human | 17
First Mate | Petrana Vienna (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35977) | Warblade/Bloodstorm Blade | 16 | Human | 16
Mage/Pilot | Adlai Reeves (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35889) | Diviner/Cartogramancer | 15 | Gnome | 15
Bosun | Rutaus Survaria (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35891) | Binder/Knight of the Sacred Seal | 14 | Human | 16
Second Mate | Silvariel Moonwhisper (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35892) | Crusader/Eternal Blade | 14 | Elf | 14
Master-At-Arms | Callador Proteus (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35894) | Fighter/Shadowsmith | 13 | Dwarf | 13
Cook | Menodix Reeves (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35895) | Bard/Exemplar | 13 | Gnome | 13
Third Mate | Midnight (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35893) | Duskblade | 13 | Human | 13
Chaplain | Flavius Hilaris (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35897) | Cloistered Cleric | 12 | Human | 12
Artillerist | Sagittarius (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35898) | Hunter of the Stag | 10 | Human | 10
Artillerist | Marcus Errant (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35900) | Corsair | 9 | Dwarf | 9
Artilerist | Robert Pyre (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35901) | Brawler | 9 | Dwarf | 9
Artillerist | Tasha Levantine (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35899) | Crusader | 9 | Half-Elf | 9
Artillerist | Torat (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35902) | Sorceror | 9 | Human | 9
Deckhand | Darran Menelas (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35905) | Beguiler | 7 | Human | 7
Deckhand | Severian Menelas (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35903) | Duskblade | 7 | Human | 7
Bosun's Mate | Gythta (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35906) | Swordsage | 6 | Thri-Kreen | 10
Deckhand | Tomi Gibbler (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35907) | Corsair | 5 | Halfling | 5
Deckhand | Xochitl Aivan (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35908) | Monk | 5 | Half-Elf | 5
Deckhand | Grunk (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35909) | Privateer | 4 | Blue | 5
Deckhand | Badger Waywocket (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35912) | Swashbuckler | 3 | Gnome | 3
Deckhand | Lerrintor Devenar'ri (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35910) | Corsair | 3 | Half-Orc | 3
Deckhand | Wesley Roberts (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35911) | Privateer | 3 | Human | 3
Deckhand | Cale Osmond (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35916) | Rogue | 2 | Halfling | 2
Deckhand | Katarina Moon (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35915) | Fighter | 2 | Elf | 2
Deckhand | Peregrine (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35914) | Monk | 2 | Human | 2
Deckhand | Trius Alucanther (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35913) | Psychic Warrior | 2 | Dromite | 3
Deckhand | Veraeon Lessenta (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35917) | Rogue | 2 | Elf | 2
Deckhand | Juno Tessla (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35922) | Sorceror | 1 | Gnome | 1
Deckhand | Lyle Rocfeather (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35923) | Monk | 1 | Halfling | 1
Deckhand | Maximillian Vespasia (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35918) | Fighter | 1 | Human | 1
Deckhand | Nikolai Kessel (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35920) | Rogue | 1 | Human | 1
Deckhand | Schin Donzi (http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=35919) | Fighter | 1 | Human | 1
[/table]
Homebrew classes and prestige classes will be detailed in “The Crunch”, below.

Malcolm the Quick
”I shall revenge.”
Malcolm has been captain of the Judith for quite a good deal of time; ever since his childhood friend Judith merged with the ship, actually (see The Ship below).

Malcolm is a brash and inventive, frequently doing things with his captainhood and his ship that other sea captains dream (or dread).

Malcolm's remarkably long career as a pirate captain stems from two things. The first is that he is very good at what he does. His crew trust him and follow his orders (no matter how reckless they seem) without issue.

The second part is his remarkable and unique conection with his ship.

Petrana Vienna
”You gonna stand there gawking all day, or are you going to get some work done?”
Petrana studied swordfighting for the better part of her childhood, becoming a remarkable swordswoman. Her true strengh lay elsewhere, though: she found it during a draining session once when she threw a greatsword with such accuracy it cleaved a practice dummy in twain.

Upon leaving the academy, she found her services in poor demand: there were no wars going on, and most people who needed a bodyguard already had one.

She did hear, though, that a particular pirate of reputable character (namely, the infamous Malcolm the Quick) was in port and looking for a new bosun's mate. He clarified the Thousand Days Curse before she signed on or stepped aboard, but she accepted anyway knowing that she had nothing for her left on land.

The existing mates died in a series of pirate battles, and Petrana quickly rose upwards to the First Mate position.

The crew largely sees her as assertive and hot-headed. Her first answer to most problems is to hit it, stab it, break it, or otherwise maim the problem. Malcolm does keep her in check most of the time, but during battle the crew trusts her, knowing that her skills have saved them before and will save them again.

Petrana has something of a crush on Malcolm, but she has not moved on it and Malcolm is remarkably unperceptive.

Adlai Reeves
”Friend, can I help you?”
Malcolm picked up Adlai shortly after his acquisition of the Judith. Malcolm needed a navigator, Adlai was a navigator without a ship, and the Curse hadn't been revealed yet, so Adlai signed on without compunction.

He wsa later the main reason for the discovery of the Ten Thousand Days Curse. He almost perished on a journey off the ship, but he made it back in time and survived.

He had a relationship with the old First Mate, Heather Esther, who bore him a son but perished in a battle shortly after.

His ten thousand days are complete, but he remains on board for his son, Menodix, who knows no other life.

Rutaus Survaria
”Roight, men, get 'er goin'!”
Rutaus was a marooned sailor, cast overboard with Gythta during a storm and somehow making their way to an uninhabited island. Malcolm and his crew went to the island to stock up on supplies and for the crew's extraordinarily limited concept of “shore leave” and found Rutaus and Gythta there. They described the curse to Rutaus and Gythta prior to his being on board the vessel, but Rutaus accepted anyway. His reasoning was that he could choose to live stranded on an island for 27 years, or live on a ship with other people for 27 years.

He moved upwards quickly through the ranks, finally settling into the bosun's positon.

Silvariel Moonwhisper
”Sometimes I wonder how we'll get out of this mess...”
Silvariel came with a large contingent of elves and half-elves that make up the crew. Most of the elves and hafl-elves on board the Judith volunteered to join the crew when Malcolm and his crew took care of a piracy problem they were having. Since Malcolm lost a good deal of his men in the process, Silvariel signed on and a good number of her compatriots came with her.

Since then, Silvariel has risen through the ranks, though a number of her friends have perished in the process. Very few of the original elven contingent remain.

Callador Proteus
”Shadowstuff is like the ocean of the planes, connecting everything together.”
Unlike most dwarves, Callador wanted to see the world and sail the seas. Malcolm offered both, and Callador accepted wholeheartedly.

Then he learned of the curse.

Originally upset by the curse's restrictive nature, Callador withdrew. But after a while, he realized that it isn't really all that bad.

He's quiet and withdrawn (taciturn is the word when referring to a dwarf), but occasionally he opens up. He has a strange affectation for Menodix, and the two get along magnificiently.

Menodix Reeves
”How're ye today? Care for an omelet?”
Menodix is the son of Adlai and the perished Heather. He was born on the ship, has lived his entire life on the ship, and believes he'll probably die on the ship. The Ten Thousand Days Curse did not grab a hold of him for his infancy, but as soon as he became able to swab a deck, he suffered it's grasp. He has less than ten years left on his ten thousand days.

He serves as the cook of the Judith, providing quality food to the entire vessel. He has an innate knack for making even the worst food taste and look appealing.

Since his mother died shortly after his birth, he was raised by the crew of the ship; Adlai did what he could, Malcolm gave him a job in the mess, and the rest of the crew thoguht of him as their good luck charm. Some of them still do, since in combat his boisterous voice and commanding presence (for a gnome) provide a modicum of security and proves a significant boost to morale.

Midnight
”Blasted ship. Blasted curse. Blasted...ARGH! Flavius, we have work to do!”
Midnight was once a bounty hunter. Unfortunately, he nabbed the wrong bounty and needed to get away from the government for a good long time. Malcolm happened to be in port at the time, and Midnight decided that 27 years would probably be enough time.

He neglected to realize just how long 27 years on a ship actually is.

Needless to say, he doesn't really want to be here and researches night after night about a way to get off the ship and break the curse. He's getting close to summoning celestials and demons and interrogating them. If he does, he might discover the Contract and make the connection between it and the Curse.

Flavius Hilaris
”Obad-Hai, give me guidance in this my most trying time.”
This cleric of Obad-Hai learned of the Curse and decided to seek out the captain of the Judith and ask to come aboard as the ship's chaplain.

Malcolm was reticent at first, but Flavius convinced him to let him on board.

Flavius prayed to Obad-Hai for guidance, but was not able to get a definite response. This did not bother him; Obad-Hai is not known for being clear. Nevertheless, he pursued research of the Curse through divine means. Later, when Midnight came aboard, he aided Midnight in his arcane research as best as possible.

Sagittarius
”You know, it's not so bad now that I'm used to it. But damn, ten thousand days?”
Sagittarius was originally a stowaway, attempting to get away from authorities who had wrongly accused him of thievery.

Realizing later his mistake, he confronted Malcolm. He attempted to leave the ship, but was stopped by the Curse. Originally, he was angry and brooding, didn't help around the ship and refused to do anything short of complain. But one day Malcolm snapped at him and ordered him to either help or leave. And since he couldn't leave, he began learning about the ship itself, in particular, the ballistae belowdecks.

Now he is one of the dedicated artillerists of the Judith.

Marcus Errant and Robert Pyre
”Of course ye've come to the right place! Ballistae are always the right tool for the job.”
Marcus and his cousin Robert had a love for the sea from a young age, unlike most dwarves. They were considered strange for some time, but signed on as merchant marines as soon as they were considered adults. They traveled the world together, and eventually came to Malcolm seeking something new. He agreed, and they came aboard. Now, they are both in the artillery section of the sailors.

Tasha Levantine
”...fine weather today.”
Tasha is a monster on the battlefield, tapping into her mighty faith to destroy her foes with deadly precision. This extends even into her use of the ballistae of the ship.

She talks frequently, but barely talks about herself, and so no-one really knows about her past (including Badger and Menodix). She came on board with Silvariel and her entourage.

Torat
”Want to see something really neat?”
Torat has always felt strange and out of place. His parents practiced magic on him while he was in the womb, which improved his innate sense of the arcane as well as turned his eyes green.

While he was considered a freak to some, others thought him a danger, and they eventually ran him out of town. Torat journeyed alone for a while until he ran into Malcolm in a seaside bar. Malcolm and he got to talking, and Malcolm extended an invitation for him to join the crew. Torat accepted, and his strange blend of magic and martial arts became part of the crew.

Darran and Severian Menelas

Gythta
*chittering*
Gythta was stranded on an island with Rutaus. Both of them were cast overboard in a storm and made their way to an uninhabited island.

When presented with the option of testing his luck on the island or accepting the curse, he chose the curse, more to stay with Rutaus than to get away from the island.

Gythta doesn't talk much, but when he does it is commanding and people listen to him. He keeps mostly to himself but does make his presence known when necessary. He is very perceptive and usualy acts as something of mediator in disputes between crewmembers. In battle, he is a terrifying sight, leaping around and plunging his axes into foes with ease.

Tomi Gibbler
”I just wish there was some way to get off this ship, you know?”
Tomi is nevous and conniving. He originally stole aboard the vessel to steal from it, knowing it was a pirate ship. However, he was captured by the crew and then told that he was unable to leave the ship.

Outraged, he attempted to leave and was punished by the ship's curse. He was rescued by the crew and given a menial position aboard the ship. He is upset about his plight, but accepts it and works as hard as anyone else.

Xochitl Aivan
”The Path to Power starts from the lowest rank and works upwards.”
A slight girl, she has more physical capacities than most would assume. She is a fine sailor, a powerful fighter, and no mental slouch either.

Most think her mute because she hardly speaks, though this is not the truth. Her time in a monastary has taught her that words are precious and should not be frivolously expended.

She came aboard the Judith to learn about the world, in particular the seas and the men upon the waves. So far, she has not been disappointed.

Grunk
”Aye, this here's the fo'castle. That there's the mizzenmast. What, you tellin' me you know absoballylutely nothin' about ships? Well, we'll have to fix that right up, now won't we?”
Grunk is perennially out of place. A psionic goblin by nature, he was outcast by his people and by most other races simply for being who he was.

He found a place on the seas, where everyone is taken for what they can do instead of what they look like (at least in most cases) and eventually found his way to Malcolm's employ. Malcolm was all for his acceptance onto the crew, but some of the other members (mostly the dwarven and elven contingents) had reservations. Grunk ended up coming aboard, and is now trusted by the majority of the crew. Should a position open up, he is a potential candidate for promotion.

Badger Waywocket
”AYE! Lesse, who wants to play dice with me, eh? Oh, cap'n, t'aint no harm. Just a bit o' dice before we start the mornin' labours, no?”
Small but loud and obnoxious, Badger lives up to his name. When he wants something, he persists at it until he succeeds.

Badger drinks like a dwarf, swears like a sailor, and is much brighter than he looks. He knows a lot about everyone on the ship: their pasts, their lives, their actions, and their motivations.

Lerrintor Devenar'ri
”This ship confuses me, but it keeps me on the water. Good enough for me.”
Lerrintor is actually the one survivng member of a raiding party of an opposing pirate ship. The other members of the raiding party were slain; Lerrintor surrendered and was granted first aslyum and then later a position on the ship.

Wesley Roberts
”Alright, alright, so a dwarf, a cleric, and a paladin walk into a bar...”
Wesley is a wonder with his scimitar, frequently performing tricks that no other realized were possible. That being said, he is also a good sailor and a remarokable boost to the ship's morale. He is a comedic genius, frequently dropping witty lines that sometimes take a few minutes to register in his crewmates but cause them to laugh for minutes on end when they do realize what he was saying.

Cale Osmond
”Man, I need to get me one of these...”
Cale is bright but unobservant, so Malcolm usually has him maintaining the ballistae belowdecks. Should one of the artillerists fall in combat or leave the ship, Cale has a good shot at taking over the position.

He is good friends with Badger and Menodix, and knows a lot about the people aboard the ship by association.

Katarina Moon
”Bowfishing's one of the few pleasures of the wild I still have here on board. I hope we break this curse soon. I would like to go home.”
Katarina came aboard with Silvariel's contingent. Despite her (relative) youth and inexperience, she is remarkably good with a bow and demonstrates her prowess whenever possible.

She and Menodix have a strong friendship which began when she taught him how to bowfish. She occasionally brings him fish she catches to prepare for the crew.

Peregrine
”Quick as a bird I am. That's why I'm named Peregrine!”
Young and beautiful, Peregrine is the apprentice of Xochitl Aivan. She is not as good with her fists as Xochitl, but Peregrine is far, far more social. She has an on-again-off-again relationship with Wesley (and sometimes with Sagittarius).

Trius Alucanther
”Your human ways are foreign to me. Do I drink tea...like this?”
Part of a dromite hive outreach program, Trius is more warlike than most other dromites because she is part of the Fire caste. Strangely, she chose to take her quest for knowledge for the Hive to the seas and currently serves under Malcolm. She periodically sends messages to the Hive updating them on her progress.

She does not mesh with humankind well; her brain is used to thinking in a hive-mind style instead of a personal style. However, she is learning how to be like a human slowly.

Veraeon Lessenta
”Ten thousand days isn't so long...is it?”
Veraeon is brand-new to the crew. Marooned on an island by a sinking ship, he was picked up bt Malcolm and rescued after having the curse explained to him. He has bonded quickly with Rutaus (and to a lesser extent Gythta), considering their similar reasons for being on board.

Veraeon has the hots for Silvariel, but has not made them known yet.

Juno Tessla
”Maps and magic, together? How strange.”
Marooned with Veraeon by a sinking ship, Juno had almost no skills with a ship until he came aboard Malcolm's vessel. Adlai is teaching him about how to be a cartographer and perhaps adapting the ways of cartogramancy to his less studious form of magic.

Lyle Rocfeather
”The way to enlighenment is a path of self-sacrifice.”
Lyle is a strange one indeed. He left his halfling villiage at a young age to study at a monastary for a short time before running away and becoming a sailor on Malcolm's ship. He is struck with insatiable wanderlust and Malcolm's journeys are barey enough to sate that thirst.

He keeps to himself, smoking his pipe and staring off into space whenever he is not working on the ship. He is currently manufacturing what he calls a “halfling war-pipe”, but has had little success so far.

He rather fancies Trius, finding her a quirky and entertaining creature. The two learn from each other almost daily and are nigh-inseperable.

Maximillian Vespasia
”Your sword and my halberd. Let's go!”
A runaway gladiator-slave, Maximillian asked for asylum on Malcolm's vessel. Malcolm elaborated the curse quickly, and Maximillian reluctantly accepted.

He is skilled with the halberd and is quickly learning the ways of the sea.

He and Wesley are close friends, frequently sparring in their spare time.

Nikolai Kessel
”Well, first, the Drunken Urchin's clientele...”
Nikolai is a sneak and originally came aboard the Judith to steal away some of its treasure. He did not know of the curse and managed to get away from the ship before caught. After beginning to suffer some of it's ill effects, he returned to the ship with the stolen treasure, inquiring as to what was going on. Malcolm reluctantly explained, and Nikolai realized his grave mistake.

Now, he is an instrument in finding out new information when the ship is in port.

Schin Donzi
”What would you have me do, Captain?”
Schin is an enigma. He mysteriously appeared on board the ship one night, asking for orders from Malcolm. Malcolm, without looking up to see who it was, gave him some, and he got them done in record time. When he reported to Malcolm again, Malcolm asked him who he was.

Schin declined to explain, but did tell Malcolm that he knew about everything: the Curse, the crew, the ship, Rellestair...all to a degree that Malcolm found remarkable and a little creepy.

It turns out that Schin has an obsessive compulsion in learning things and came on board the vessel to “learn from the best”, as he put it.

Fax Celestis
2006-09-10, 01:19 AM
The Ship
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v216/FaxCelestis/Ship.jpg
The Judith was once simply an extraordinary vessel owned and operated by a seafaring lich named Rellestair and his (literal) skeleton screw.

Rellestair performed a raid on the coastal town of Gallione some thirty years ago, slaughtering many and pillaging. Malcolm and his then-friend Judith were among their survivors. Both Malcolm and Judith's parents were killed in the raid.

Malcolm swore that he'd get his vengeance if it was the last thing he did. Judith came along with him for similar reasons. He was eleven.

Malcolm developed his martial skills, while Judith developed her budding magical talents. Four years after the attack, Malcolm and Judith assaulted Rellestair and his crew and slew all but Rellestair himself.

Rellestair made the assumption that his undead minions would be able to destroy Malcolm and Judith, but he was wrong. Judith was also able to dispel most of the undead-boosting magics focused on the ship, and inadvertantly awakened the ship in the process.

Malcolm and Judith faced off against Rellestair, but Rellestair struck down Judith with a mighty magical blast before succumbing to Malcolm's blade.

As Judith lay dying, the awakened ship recognized her plight and subsumed her consciousness into its own, effectively making her the ship itself.

Rellestair was now in a quandry. Like all liches, his physical form was merely an issue, not a requirement. And Rellestair's phylactery was the ship itself.

He regained physical form by possessing a corpse in the brig, but Judith (now the ship) saw this, locked him into the cell, and created an antimagic field in the cell. Rellestair, now powerless, was a prisoner.

Malcolm sailed the ship back to port with Judith's help, rechristened the ship Judith, and immediately began hiring a crew. Not very many people were willing to sign on with a fifteen year old for a captain, but some saw the inherent talent and greatness in the boy and agreed to sail on the ship.

It wasn't until a few days later when the sailors tried to leave the ship did they realize that the Judith was cursed.

Rellestair, still powerless in the brig, enlightened Malcolm as to the nature--but not the cause or the cure-- of the Ten Thousand Days Curse, laughing cruelly as he did so. Worse, Rellestair did not know a way to remove the curse.

Malcolm then began journeying to find a way to remove the curse. He went to the greatest wizards, clerics, and sorcerors, but none had an answer.

He is still searching for that cure, even though his Ten Thousand Days are over.

[hr]The Judith is an intelligent Theurgeme which runs under its own sheer force of will. Its statistics are as follows

The Judith
"Female" Theurgeme
Colossal Construct
Intelligence 13, Wisdom 18, Charisma 18
Ego 15
Seaworthiness +2
Shiphandling +3
Speed: Propellers 40' (good)
Overall AC: -3
Hull sections: 28 (Sink 9 sections)
Section HP: 150 (hardness 9)
Section AC: 5
Ram: 4d6
Mounts: 6 ballistae (deck 2, portholes); 4 spell turrets (top deck); ram
Space: 70' by 20'
Height: 10'
Complement/Watch: 40/1
Cargo: 100 tons
Special Qualities: Telepathy (100'), Magic Suppression, Spell-Like Abilities

Telepathy
Judith has telepathy with all creatures that have a language that are within 100' feet of the ship.

Magic Suppression
Judith has the ability to suppress magic on board the ship as a standard action, affecting a 10' cube as if by the antimagic field spell. The duration of the suppression is for as long as Judith wills it.

Spell-Like Abilities
Judith can cast repair light damage and repair moderate damage on herself eight times a day. In addition, she can cast repair severe damage and repair critical damage on herself four times a day. These abilities are cast at Caster Level 11.

Also, she can cast resist energy on herself only once per day, at Caster Level 11.

Ballistae
Judith has six magical ballistae belowdecks that fire out of portholes on the sides of the ship. There are three ballistae to a side. Instead of firing bolts like a normal ballisa, these ballistae instead fire bolts of lightning that are 100' long. Creatures in the path of the bolt take 5d6 points of electricity damage (Reflex DC 14 for half). These ballistae can be fired once every other round.

Spell Turrets
Judith has four spell turrets on the top deck. These appear to be heavy crossbows mounted to the deck, but they have the following spell-like abilites: magic missile (CL 8) once per round; scorching ray (CL 8) once every other round; fireball (CL 6) once every three rounds; lightning bolt (CL 6) once every three rounds; cone of cold (CL 6) once every four rounds.

Fax Celestis
2006-09-10, 01:20 AM
The Curse


Listen to the tales and romanticize,
How we follow the path of the hero.
Boast about the day when the rivers overrun.
How we rise to the height of our halo.

Listen to the tales as we all rationalize
Our way into the arms of the savior,
Feigning all the trials and the tribulations;
None of us have actually been there.
Not like you.

Ignorant fibbers in the congregation
Gather around spewing sympathy,
Spare me.
None of them can even hold a candle up to you.
Blinded by choices, hypocrites won't see.

But, enough about the collective Judas.
Who could deny you were the one who illuminated
You'll have a piece of the divine.

And this little light of mine,
the gift you passed on to me;
I'll let it shine to guide you safely on your way,
Your way home ...

Oh, what are they going to do when the lights go down
Without you to guide them all to Zion?
What are they going to do when the rivers overrun
Other than tremble incessantly?

High as a wave, but our eyes are upon the ground.
You were the light and the way,
they'll only read about.
I only pray, Heaven knows when to lift you out.
Ten thousand days in the fire is long enough,
you're going home.

You're the only one who can hold your head up high,
Shake your fists at the gates saying:
"I have come home now!
Fetch me the spirit, the son, and the father.
Tell them their pillar of faith has ascended.
It's time now!
My time now!
Give me my,
give me my wings!"

Give me my wings!

You are the light and way,
that they will only read about.

Set as I am in my ways and my arrogance,
Burden of proof tossed upon the believers.
You were the witness, my eyes, my evidence,
Judith Marie, unconditional one.

Daylight dims leaving cold fluorescence.
Difficult to see you in this light.
Please forgive this bold suggestion:
Should you see your Maker's face tonight,
Look Him in the eye,
look Him in the eye,
and tell Him:
I never lived a lie,
never took a life,
but surely saved one.
Hallelujah,
it's time for you to bring me home.

-Tool, Ten Thousand Days


The Ten Thousand Day's curse (as it has come to be known by the crew) is as follows: Any sailor who sets foot on the deck of the Judith is inexorably bound to servitude for ten thousand days.

No one but Rellestair is certain how the Curse came into being originally, though it has proved problematic in recent times: when your ship is cursed to bind its crew into servitude for just under 27 years, most people don't want to sign on board.

The curse has a variety of affects on its crew.


A crewman is retained by the curse for 10,000 days, which is exactly 366 lunar months.
While the crew is on board the Judith, they receive a +1 inherent bonus to attack rolls made to defend the ship.
A crewmember cannot leave the Judith for more than 12 hours or go further than 2 miles from the ship. If either of these conditions are broken, they immediately begin gaining negative levels at a rate of one every three hours. These negative levels can only be removed by return to the ship and disappear immediately on return. They cannot be removed or prevented in any other fashion.
Any crewmember intentionally causing harm to the Judith immediately takes 6d6 points of damage and is stunned for 1d4+4 rounds.
Anyone slain by the curse is immediately transported back to the ship, transformed into an Allip advanced to a number of hit dice equal to the slain's hit dice prior to their death.

Fax Celestis
2006-09-10, 01:20 AM
The Treasure

At any given time, the hold of the Judith contains treasure equal to a CR 15 encounter, mostly in gems, coins, and artwork. In addition, it also contains some of the following objects which are never traded or sold.

Scepter of the Sorceror-King
This seemingly inocuous scepter is made of adamantine. One end of it is capped by a collow circlet while two curved horns project from the other end. It has about the size and heft of a heavy mace and can be used as such.

The story attached to it is a strange one indeed. Long ago, there was a sorceror-king of such power and might that he considered himself the equal of a god. To prove his might, he crafted an item of terrific power: the Scepter.

The Scepter was crafted in a dire and evil process involving the slaying of hundreds of innocents and the channeling of dark arcane powers. Noticing his arrogance, the gods sent their agents against the Sorceror-King, but each one was slain in turn.

Heironeous was terrified of the scepter itself and sent his avatar to the earth to destroy its maker. Heironeous' avatar was successful in the process, but was unable to destroy the Scepter itself. Failing to destroy the device, he instead hid it deep within a gold dragon's horde.

During his ascension to lichdom, however, Rellestair slew the dragon and took its horde, acquiring the scepter. It has remained in the hold of Judith since, unactivated and unbeknownst to all.

The Scepter automatically rebounds any magic or psionic power target specifically against the wielder back at the original caster, increasing all variable numeric effects and duration by 50% in the process.

The Scepter is also constantly under the effects of nondetection and Nystul's magic aura, making it undetectable and appear as a mundane item.

Nine times per day, a touch of the scepter can heal or harm as the wielder wills. In addition, when using this power, the target permanently gains or loses a hit point (as applicable). This ability can only affect a target nine times in total.

Also nine times per day, the scepter can cast greater dispel magic with a word. Each time this ability is used against a magical item, there is a 20% chance that the item targeted will be permanently drained of all magical abilities and become a mundane (albeit masterwork) item. Artifacts are immune to this affect.

When an activated ability of the scepter is used, a random deity's influence on the world is temporarily superceded for ten day's time. If the scepter is activated more than once in the ten-day period, it does not affect more than one deity, nor does it reset the count until the deity's influence returns to the earth.

While banished, the deity cannot observe, control, contact, or otherwise influence beings and events. The god cannot enter the world as an avatar, by manifestation, vision, or possession; nor can the deity send any of its planar allies or items into the Prime Material. Also while the deity is banished, new spells cannot be gained by any divine caster of that faith. Deities who have the Magic domain as part of their portfolio are immune to this effect.

In order to destroy the scepter, it must be used to slay a deity with the Magic domain in their portfolio.

Ship-In-A-Bottle
There are four of these in ready access in Malcolm's quarters. These appear to be miniature model ships trapped inside a bottle. By pulling the cork off the bottle and filling the bottle with water, the model ship absorbs the glass bottle into the ship itself and transforms into a full-sized Caravel (see Stormwrack pg. 98), equipped with four ballistae and forty bolts.. The glass bottle is full of water and is on the captain's table in his quarters. By upending the bottle, the ship shrinks back down to normal size, ejecting anyone on board in the process without harm.

Strong transmutation; CL 15; Craft Wondrous Item; shrink item, major creation, control weather, permanency; Price 250,000 gp; Weight 2 lb.

Fax Celestis
2006-09-10, 01:21 AM
The Contract
Rellestair made a contract with Vecna upon becoming a lich, of which Malcolm, Judith, and the rest of the crew know nothing about.

This contract is what created the Ten Thousand Days curse and was used as a means of amplifying Rellestair's lich powers. The terms are as follows:
[hr]By agreeing to the terms of this contract, I, Rellestair, hereby consign my efforts to the Power of Vecna. In exchange, Vecna shall grant me a modicum of his powers of his choosing. These powers shall remain mine during the course of my lichdom.

I pledge to serve Vecna with all my efforts and all my soul. I pledge to research the causes of death and forward the Evolution of Magic. I pledge to further the Grand Design. I pledge to convert potentials to the ways of Vecna. I pledge to assist such potentials in becoming liches. I pledge to amass an army of undead and froth over the earth like waves on the beach.
[hr]One of the powers granted by Vecna to Rellestair was the Ten Thousand Days curse, which helped him acquire his original skeleton crew. Any other powers that were granted have not surfaced.

Since Rellestair is trapped in an antimagic field in the brig of the Judith, and his phylactery (the Judith itself) remains in existence, the curse (and any other powers granted by Vecna) remain active, according to the first clause of the contract.

In essence, in order to break the Ten Thousand Days curse, Rellestair must be permanently slain. In order for that to happen, his phylactery must be destroyed.

Fax Celestis
2006-09-10, 01:21 AM
The Crunch
The Brawler is a fighter, a melee combatant who prefers to use his fists instead of weapons.

Abilities: Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution are all good abilities for you to have...though Wisdom would be nice as well, considering it helps out some of your abilities.

Races: Brawlers come from all races.

Alignment: Brawlers may be of any alignment.

Hit Die: d10

Starting Gold: 4d4x10 gp.

Starting Age: As fighter (PH 109).

==Class Features==

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Brawlers are proficient with the gauntlet and spiked gauntlet. They are not proficient with shields, and are only proficient with light armor.

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, x4 at 1st level): Balance, Bluff, Climb, Escape Artist, Intimidate, Jump, Listen, Spot, Swim, Tumble

Basic Unarmed Combat: At 1st level, a brawler is as adept with his fists and feet as a warrior is with his sword. He gains the Improved Unarmed Strike and Improved Grapple feats, even if he does not normally qualify for them. His unarmed attacks and attacks while wielding a gauntlet also deal 1d6 points of damage.

Dirty Fighting: At 2nd level, a brawler gains the ability to deal extra damage while fighting unarmed.

The brawler has the option to forfeit all other attacks (including attacks of opportunity) in a round to use a Dirty Fighting attack. The brawler does not have to forfeit all other attacks in a round if he is currently flanking the opponent he is targeting, though he may only use the Dirty Fighting ability once per attack.

To perform a dirty fighting attack, the attacker must declare it prior to their attack roll. They then make a single attack roll at their base attack bonus. If they strike, the brawler rolls an additional d6 of damage. This ability increases to 2d6 additional damage at 5th level, 3d6 at 8th, 4d6 at 11th, 5d6 at 14th, 6d6 at 17th, and 7d6 at 20th. This ability is only usable when a brawler is unarmed, fighting with a gauntlet, or using an improvised weapon.

Stunning Fist: At 2nd level, a brawler learns how to attack specific parts of a creature's anatomy to temporarily paralyze them. He gains the Stunning Fist feat and acquires uses per day as a monk of the same level.

Dodge: At 3rd level, a brawler hones his dodge skills. He gains the Dodge feat.

Improved Unarmed Combat: At 5th level, a brawler becomes more adept with his natural weaponry, as well as learns how to handle improvised weaponry to some degree.

A brawler's improvised weapons deal 1d4 points of damage, plus whatever an unarmed strike deals. Most improvised weapons deal bludgeoning damage, though some deal slashing or piercing. When a brawler rolls a natural 1 while attacking with an improvised weapon, the weapon breaks and is thereafter useless.

In addition, the brawler learns the Improved Disarm feat (even if he doesn't normally qualify for the feat), which is only usable while fighting unarmed, with a gauntlet, or with an improvised weapon. The brawler's unarmed strike damage and attacks while wielding a gauntlet also increases to 1d8.

Mobility: At 5th level, the brawler gains the use of the Mobility feat, even if he doesn't normally qualify for the feat.

Evasion: At 6th level, the brawler gains the ability to dodge opponent's attacks with surprising grace and agility. If he makes a makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a Reflex save, he instead takes no damage. This ability can only be used if the brawler is wearing light or no armor. A helpless brawler does not gain the benefits of evasion.

If the character already has evasion from another source, he instead gains improved evasion instead. Improved evasion works like above, except the brawler takes half damage even on a failed save.

Special Ability: At 9th level (and every three levels thereafter) the brawler gains a special ability from the following list:
*Improved Dirty Fighting: The brawler has become so adept with their dirty fighting maneuvers that they have a chance to weaken their opponents while doing so. Every time a brawler succeeds with a dirty fighting attack, their opponent must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 the brawler class level + the brawler's Wisdom modifier) or take two points of ability damage to Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, or Charisma (brawler's choice). Even if a brawler succeeds on multiple Dirty Fighting attacks in a round, he may only use this ability once per round on an enemy. He still can, however, attack multiple opponents with Dirty Fighting techniques and affect them in this manner.
*Improved Flanking: A brawler who takes this ability gains a +4 attack bonus while flanking instead of the standard +2.
*Improved Reactions: A brawler who takes this ability gains a morale bonus to his initiative equal to half his class level (rounded down).
*No Quarter: This ability may be taken multiple times. Brawlers are known for their “no quarter” style of fighting, but some are more ruthless than others. Brawlers with this ability gain an additional attack of opportunity per round. This ability stacks with the Combat Reflexes feat and is not cancelled by using Dirty Fighting.
*Stellar Reflexes: This ability may be taken multiple times. The first selection of this ability gives the brawler the Spring Attack feat, even if he doesn't normally qualify for the feat. The second purchase gives him the Bounding Assault feat. The third gives him the Rapid Blitz feat.
*Uncanny Dodge: This ability may be taken multiple times. The first selection of this ability gives the brawler the Uncanny Dodge ability. The second selection gives the brawler the Improved Uncanny Dodge ability.

Advanced Unarmed Combat: At 10th level, a brawler learns to manipulate items not normally intended to be weapons with greater skill. The brawler may now used improvised weapons as reach weapons according to their size. Items with many protrusions or holes (like a ladder or chair) grant a +2 bonus to disarm attempts, while objects with large flat surfaces (like tables) can become improvised shields.

In addition, the brawler has learned how to control his reactions well enough that he can deflect arrows. He gains the Deflect Arrows feat (even if he does not normally qualify for the feat), usable while unarmed, fighting with gauntlets, or wielding an improvised weapon. The brawler's unarmed strike damage and attacks while wielding a gauntlet increases to 1d10.

Improved Evasion: At 11th level, the brawler gains the Improved Evasion ability. This works as the Evasion ability, detailed above, except that even on a failed save, the brawler only takes half damage.

Defensive Roll: At 14th level, the brawler gains the ability to survive even the most dangerous effects. Once per day, when he would be reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by damage in combat, the brawler can attempt to roll with the damage. To use this ability, he makes a Reflex saving throw (DC=damage dealt). If this save succeeds, he only takes half the damage. If it fails, he takes full damage. He must be aware of the attack and be able to react to it to use this ability. In addition, the brawler's Evasion ability does not apply to this instance.

Greater Unarmed Combat: At 15th level, the brawler's prowess with improvised weaponry has increased to staggering levels. He deals an additional 1d8 points of damage while attacking with an improvised weapon, instead of the usual 1d4.

In addition, the brawler has learned how to force an opponent to overextend themselves in combat. He gains the use of the Robilar's Gambit feat, usable only while unarmed, using gauntlets, or using an improvised weapon. His unarmed strike damage and attacks while wielding a gauntlet increases to 2d6.

Superior Unarmed Combat: At 20th level, the brawler's prowess with improvised weapons increases to terrifying proportions. He now deals an extra 1d12 points of damage while using an improvised weapon, instead of 1d8.

In addition, the brawler knows how to strike the most critical parts of an opponent. He gains the Crushing Strike and Brutal Strike feats, usable only while unarmed, fighting with gauntlets, or using an improvised weapon. His unarmed strike damage and attacks while wielding a gauntlet increases to 2d10.

Brawler Progression
{table=head]Level | Base Attack Bonus | Fort Save | Ref Save | Will Save | Special
1st | +1 | +2 | +0 | +0 | Basic Unarmed Combat
2nd | +2 | +3 | +0 | +0 | Dirty Fighting (+1d6), Stunning Fist
3rd | +3 | +3 | +1 | +1 | Dodge
4th | +4 | +4 | +1 | +1 | -
5th | +5 | +4 | +1 | +1 | Dirty Fighting (+2d6), Improved Unarmed Combat, Mobility
6th | +6/+1 | +5 | +2 | +2 | Evasion
7th | +7/+2 | +5 | +2 | +2 | -
8th | +8/+3 | +6 | +2 | +2 | Dirty Fighting (+3d6)
9th | +9/+4 | +6 | +3 | +3 | Special Ability
10th | +10/+5 | +7 | +3 | +3 | Advanced Unarmed Combat
11th | +11/+6/+1 | +7 | +3 | +3 | Dirty Fighting (+4d6), Improved Evasion
12th | +12/+7/+2 | +8 | +4 | +4 | Special Ability
13th | +13/+8/+3 | +8 | +4 | +4 | -
14th | +14/+9/+4 | +9 | +4 | +4 | Dirty Fighting (+5d6), Defensive Roll
15th | +15/+10/+5 | +9 | +5 | +5 | Greater Unarmed Combat, Special Ability
16th | +16/+11/+6/+1 | +10 | +5 | +5 | -
17th | +17/+12/+7/+2 | +10 | +5 | +5 | Dirty Fighting (+6d6)
18th | +18/+13/+8/+3 | +11 | +6 | +6 | Special Ability
19th | +19/+14/+9/+4 | +11 | +6 | +6 | -
20th | +20/+15/+10/+5 | +12 | +6 | +6 | Dirty Fighting (+7d6), Superior Unarmed Combat[/table]
[hr]
Cartogramancers are similar to wizards. They cast spells with preparation similar to wizards. However, they have intermingled cartography with their magics, and have developed unique methods of both writing and shaping spells. This does come at a cost: cartogramancers lose access to an additional school of magic, as if they were specialist wizards.

Abilities: Intelligence is your prime ability. Other good abilities to have would be Constitution (for hit points) and Dexterity (to keep from being struck).

Races: Elves and humans are the largest proportion of cartomancers, followed closely by gnomes and--strangely--dwarves. Halflings and half-orcs are the rarest.

Alignment: Cartogramancers may be of any alignment.

Hit Die: d4

Requirements
The following are required to take levels in the Cartogramancer prestige class:

Feats: Scribe Scroll

Skills: Profession (Cartographer) 5 ranks, Knowledge (Geography) 8 ranks.

Magic: Ability to prepare 3rd level arcane spells.

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A cartogramancer gains no proficiencies with weapons or armor.

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level): Appraise, Autohypnosis, Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (Cartography), Knowledge (Geography), Knowledge (History), Knowledge (Nature), Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty), Profession, Speak Language, Spellcraft

Spells: You cast arcane spells, which are drawn from the sorceror/wizard spell list. You must choose and prepare your spells ahead of time.

To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, you must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against your spells is 10 + the spell level + your intelligence modifier.

Like other spellcasters, you can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. In addition, you receive bonus spells per day if you have a high intelligence score.

Like wizards, a cartogramancer may add spells to their spellbook from other sources (other cartogramancer's or wizard's spellbooks, scrolls, et al) at any time. However, a wizard without ranks in Knowledge (Cartography), Craft (Cartography), or Profession (Cartographer) equal to the spell's level cannot learn a spell from a cartogramancer's spellbook. This is due to their strange “geographic” method of writing spells.

Cartographer: A cartogramancer may add his class level to any Craft (Cartography) and Profession (Cartographer) checks. In addition, he may always take ten on Knowledge (Geography) checks. Finally, due to their unique method of writing magics in a geographic format, spells in cartogramancer's spellbooks always take up only one page. Wizards attempting to read spells out of a cartogramancer's spellbook must have ranks in Knowledge (Cartography), Craft (Cartography), or Profession (Cartographer) equal to the spell's level to be able to translate the spell.

Cartogromantic Casting: Starting at 2nd level, the cartogramancer may draw a map of any area he is familiar with by performing a DC 25 Craft (Cartography) check (“familiar” would entail having studied, examined, and measured the area in question in detail for a duration of at least two hours). This DC drops by 5 if he is either in the area or has spent a significant amount of time in the area within the past month (“significant time” is subject to DM's discretion). This map must be on a scale of 1”:10' (or more detailed), takes a week to create, and cannot describe an area bigger than 500' on a side. He may then imbue the map with magical energies by expending a spell of fourth level or higher. This map remains imbued for a number of days equal to the level of the expended spell. A cartogramancer may only have one imbued map active at a time, and does not receive the expended spell slot until the map loses its magical properties, is dispelled, or is dismissed.

Within that time frame, the cartogramancer may cast spells into the imbued map. These spells immediately take effect on the area specified on the map, even if they are outside the normal range of casting for the spell. Spells that require touch attacks or ranged touch attacks do not function through an imbued map. If a spell has a trigger that activates it (explosive runes, alarm, or the like), the spell remains inactive in the area until it is set off as it normally would be.

A cartogramancer may have a number of spells active within an imbued map equal to his class level.

If terrain, structures, or other effects alter the area the map represents, the map alters to fit the new appearance of the terrain.

Alarms, wards, and other effects triggered by scrying spells are triggered by the map's effects.

A cartogramancer may not use cartogramantic casting if the map in question is further than two miles from the area it depicts or is not on the same plane. If a map is taken outside the area, it becomes a simple drawn map. If it is taken back inside the area before the duration expires, it resumes function but will still expire at the same time it would have if the map had not left the 2 mile radius.

At 8th level, this ability improves. The cartogramancer sees corporeal creatures as moving lights on the map. Invisible, ethereal, hidden, creatures immune to scrying spells, creatures under the effects of nondetection, or creatures smaller than Small do not display, and the cartogramancer does not gather any information through the map besides what a specific light is: creature, spell, item, or other. He gains no information about creatures or items (like names, equipment, or spellcasting ability), but may identify spells cast on the map. Spells he has cast are automatically identified, while other spells can be identified with a normal Spellcraft check.

Maze Immunity: Due to their extensive time spent dealing with maps and mazes, cartogramancers are immune to the effects maze from 3rd level forward.

Improved Divinations: At 4th level, a cartogramancer may choose to receive information obtained from a divination spell in the form of a map. This map takes up a page in his spellbook and lasts for the duration of the spell, though the page is useless afterwards.

Mapped Teleportation: At 5th level, a cartogramancer gains the ability to teleport to any location he has studied on a map as if he were familiar with the location. The map studied must have a scale more accurate than 1 inch to 10 miles and requires a successful DC 25 Knowledge (Geography) check.

At 7th level, this ability improves to allow for interplanar travel.

Cartogramantic Memory: At 6th level, a cartogramancer becomes immune to any illusionary terrain or structure within an area he has seen a map of.

Astral Projection: At 9th level, a cartogramancer gains the ability to cast astral projection twice a day as a spell-like ability.

Cartogramantic Mastery: At 10th level, a cartogramancer gains the ability to cast metamagic through his cartogramantic ability with better effectiveness. Metamagic feats that increase the level of the spell by one can be applied to spells cast into an imbued map for no additional level requirement. The spells do not need to be prepared with the metamagic applied into them: it is applied when it is cast, similar to the Sudden metamagics.

Playing A Cartogramancer

Cartogramancers tend to be elitist when it comes to magic. In all other things, they are just like any other person: utterly convinced that their way is the best.

Religion

Cartogramancers, almost as a whole, worship Boccob, due to both his magical prowess and his exactitude.

Combat

Your few attack spells will aid you, but your best move will probably be to stand in the back and aid with your defensive and enhancing magics.

Cartogramancer Progression
{table=head]Level | BAB | Fort Save | Ref Save | Will Save | Special | Spells
1st | +0 | +0 | +0 | +2 | Cartographer | +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
2nd | +1 | +0 | +0 | +3 | Cartogramantic Casting | -
3rd | +1 | +1 | +1 | +3 | Maze Immunity | +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
4th | +2 | +1 | +1 | +4 | Improved Divinations | -
5th | +2 | +1 | +1 | +4 | Mapped Teleportation | +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
6th | +3 | +2 | +2 | +5 | Cartographic Memory | +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
7th | +3 | +2 | +2 | +5 | Improved Mapped Teleportation | +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
8th | +4 | +2 | +2 | +6 | Improved Cartogramantic Casting | +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
9th | +4 | +3 | +3 | +6 | Astral Projection (2/day) | +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
10th | +5 | +3 | +3 | +7 | Cartogramantic Mastery | +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class[/table]
[hr]
The Privateer is a pirate in the employ of a government. They sail the oceans and steal from their employer's opponent's navies. They are skilled in thievery, sailing, combat, and (in most cases) drinking large amounts of alcohol.

Abilities: Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution all share equal importance, but none are as important as Intelligence for you. Charisma and Wisdom are nice to have, but not necessary.

Races: Privateers are mostly human, halfling, or half-orc. Other races tend to see being a mercenary pirate as unsavory, outside their ability, or too far out on the ocean.

Alignment: Privateers may be any alignment, though they tend towards chaos.

Hit Die: d8

Starting Gold: 6d6x10 gp.

Starting Age: As fighter (PH 109).

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency:Privateers are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, as well as light armor. Privateers are also proficient with weapons used in ship-to-ship combat (cannons, ballistae, etc.).

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, x4 at 1st level): Appraise, Balance, Bluff, Climb, Craft, Escape Artist, Forgery, Gather Information, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (The Seas), Open Lock, Profession, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, Survival, Swim, Tumble, Use Rope

Seamanship: Starting at first level, a privateer gains a +2 competence bonus to all Profession (Sailor), Balance, Survival, and Swim checks while at sea. This bonus improves to +3 at 4th level, +4 at 7th, +5 at 10th, +6 at 13th, +7 at 15th, and +8 at 18th.

Savvy Offense: While wearing light or no armor and fighting with a light or one-handed weapon, a privateer may add one point of intelligence bonus per class level to all damage rolls made with that weapon. A privateer retains this bonus while fighting with two weapons as long as they are both light.

Sea Legs: A privateer may always take ten on balance checks while on board a ship.

Savvy Defense: While wearing light or no armor and fighting with a light or one-handed weapon, a privateer may add one point of intelligence bonus per class level to his armor class as a dodge bonus. A privateer retains this bonus if fighting unarmed, but loses this bonus in any circumstance where he would also be denied a dexterity bonus to AC.

Uncanny Dodge: At 3rd level, a privateer gains the ability to react to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. He retains his dexterity and Savvy Defense bonuses (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses these bonuses to AC if immobilized.

If a privateer already has uncanny dodge from a different class (a privateer with at least four levels of rogue, for example), he instead automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.

Endurance: A privateer gains the benefits of the Endurance feat at 3rd level.

Precise Strike: At 3rd level, a privateer gains the ability to strike precisely with a light or one-handed weapon, gaining an extra 1d6 damage added to his normal damage roll. When making a precise strike, a privateer cannot wear armor heavier than light armor or use a shield. A privateer’s precise strike only works against living creatures with discernible anatomies. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is immune to a precise strike.

To perform a precise strike, a privateer must first make a contested bluff check (this is an immediate action and is contested using the privateer’s opponent’s sense motive check). If successful, the privateer immediately attacks as normal and gets an additional 1d6 of damage added to the result. In the case of a full-attack, the 1d6 damage only applies to the first attack, whether or not that attack hits.

The damage from a precise strike increases by 1d6 every three levels, to 2d6 at 6th, 3d6 at 9th, 4d6 at 12th, 5d6 at 15th, and 6d6 at 18th.

Evasion: At 4th level, a privateer can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can only be used if the privateer is wearing light or no armor. A helpless privateer (such as one who is unconscious or paralyzed) does not gain the benefits of evasion.

Bonus Fighter Feat: At 5th level and every five levels after (10th, 15th, and 20th), a privateer may choose any feat classified as a fighter feat that they qualify for.

Steady Stance: At 5th level, a privateer gains the ability to remain standing when other people can't. He is not considered flat-footed while balancing or climbing, and he adds his class level as a bonus on Balance or Climb checks to remain balancing when he takes damage.

Improved Uncanny Dodge: A privateer of 6th level or higher can no longer be flanked; he can react to opponents on opposite sides of him as easily as he can react to a single attacker. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack him by flanking, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the character does in privateer.

Diehard: A privateer gains the benefits of the Diehard feat at 8th level.

Skill Mastery: At 11th level, a privateer is so sure of his abilities that he may take ten on Balance, Climb, Jump, Swim, and Tumble checks even when circumstances would not normally allow it.

Improved Evasion: At 12th level, a privateer increases his ability to dodge magical and unusual attacks. Like the Evasion skill, if he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. In addition, he henceforth takes only half damage on a failed saving throw. Improved Evasion can only be used if the privateer is wearing light or no armor. A helpless privateer (such as one who is unconscious or paralyzed) does not gain the benefits of evasion.

Savvy Precision: At 14th level, a privateer may choose to sacrifice his bonus damage from a successful precise strike in order to deal an amount of ability damage equal to his Intelligence modifier to an enemy's strength, constitution, or dexterity. This ability only functions if the privateer is wielding a light or one-handed weapon and is wearing light or no armor.

Playing A Privateer

Your goal in life is to get very very rich, whether through piracy or the employ of a government. Fame is also important. Oh, and you like showing off.

Religion

Many privateers worship Fharlanghn, while others worship Kord, Olidammara, or St. Cuthbert. Evil privateers usually worship Nerull or Erythnul.

Other Classes

Privateers get along remarkably well with rogues, bards, fighters, and sea-oriented rangers. Clerics and paladins are usually too morally-aligned to get along well with privateers. Other classes are pretty much on a case-by-case basis.

Combat

Privateers like getting into the thick of things, though ones with low Intelligence usually don't last long. As a whole, privateers enjoy combat and often make it into something of a game, showing off or performing acrobatics throughout the combat.

Cross-Classes

The most common cross-class is rogue, though privateer/rangers and privateer/fighters are not unheard of. Even privateer/wizards spring into existence now and again. Perhaps least common is the privateer/paladin and the privateer/monk.

Privateer Progression
{table=head] Level | Base Attack Bonus | Fort Save | Ref Save | Will Save | Special
1st | +0 | +2 | +2 | +0 | Seamanship +2, Savvy Offense, Sea Legs
2nd | +1 | +3 | +3 | +0 | Savvy Defense
3rd | +2 | +3 | +3 | +1 | Uncanny Dodge, Endurance, Precise Strike +1d6
4th | +3 | +4 | +4 | +1 | Seamanship +3, Evasion
5th | +3 | +4 | +4 | +1 | Bonus Fighter Feat, Steady Stance
6th | +4 | +5 | +5 | +2 | Improved Uncanny Dodge, Precise Strike +2d6
7th | +5 | +5 | +5 | +2 | Seamanship +4
8th | +6/+1 | +6 | +6 | +2 | Diehard
9th | +6/+1 | +6 | +6 | +3 | Precise Strike +3d6
10th | +7/+2 | +7 | +7 | +3 | Seamanship +5, Bonus Fighter Feat
11th | +8/+3 | +7 | +7 | +3 | Skill Mastery
12th | +9/+4 | +8 | +8 | +4 | Improved Evasion, Precise Strike +4d6
13th | +9/+4 | +8 | +8 | +4 | Seamanship +6
14th | +10/+5 | +9 | +9 | +4 | Savvy Precision
15th | +11/+6/+1 | +9 | +9 | +5 | Bonus Fighter Feat, Precise Strike +5d6
16th | +12/+7/+2 | +10 | +10 | +5 | Seamanship +7
17th | +12/+7/+2 | +10 | +10 | +5 | -
18th | +13/+8/+3 | +11 | +11 | +6 | Precise Strike +6d6
19th | +14/+9/+4 | +11 | +11 | +6 | Seamanship +8
20th | +15/+10/+5 | +12 | +12 | +6 | Bonus Fighter Feat[/table]
[hr]
The Corsair class is a warrior of the sea, landing about halfway between the barbarian and the fighter.

Abilities: Strength is probably your best ability, followed closely by Constitution. Both will help you immensely in combat. A high Intelligence would boost your low skill points, and a high Wisdom or Dexterity would supplement your lackluster saving throws, though none are necessary.

Races: Corsairs tend to be human, half-elven, half-orc, or halfling, though there have been reports of elvish corsairs. Dwarves have a natural disinclination towards the sea and as such tend to avoid this class.

Alignment: Corsairs may not be lawful.

Hit Die: d10

Starting Gold: 4d4x10 gp.

Starting Age: As fighter (PH 109).

Class Feature

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Corsairs are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, as well as all weapons used in ship-to-ship combat (ballistae, cannons, etc.). They are also proficient with light and medium armor, but not heavy armor and not shields.

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, x4 at 1st level): Climb, Craft, Forgery, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (The Seas), Move Silently, Open Lock, Profession, Survival, Swim

Seamanship: Starting at first level, a corsair gains a +2 competence bonus to all Profession (Sailor), Balance, Survival, and Swim checks while at sea. This bonus improves to +3 at 4th level, +4 at 7th, +5 at 10th, +6 at 13th, +7 at 16th, and +8 at 19th.

Sea Legs: A corsair may always take ten on balance checks while on board a ship.

Illiteracy: Corsairs do not automatically know how to read and write. A corsair may spend 2 skill points to gain the ability to read and write all languages he is able to speak.

A corsair who gains a level in any other class (except barbarian) automatically gains literacy. Any other character who gains a corsair level does not lose the literacy he or she already had.

Bonus Weapon Feat: At first level, a corsair gains the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat with one exotic weapon of their choice. As an option, the corsair may instead gain the Improved Unarmed Strike feat.

Dirty Fighting: At 2nd level, a corsair gains the ability to forfeit all other attacks (including attacks of opportunity) in a round to deal extra damage on a single attack. To perform a dirty fighting attack, the attacker must declare it prior to their attack roll. They then make a single attack roll at their base attack bonus. If they strike, the corsair rolls an addition d4 of damage. This ability increases to 2d4 additional damage at 5th level, 3d4 at 8th, 4d4 at 11th, 5d4 at 14th, 6d4 at 17th, and 7d4 at 20th.

Luck of the Seas: At 3rd level, a corsair receives a +1 morale to all saving throws. This ability increases to +2 at 9th level, +3 at 15th, and +4 at 20th. If at any time the corsair becomes shaken, frightened, or overcome by a malicious mind-affecting effect, the corsair loses this bonus until such a time as they are no longer affected by any mind-affecting effects of a malicious nature.

Special Ability: At 12th level, and again at 16th and 20th levels, a corsair may choose one of the following abilities:
*Improved Dirty Fighting: The corsair has become so adept with their dirty fighting maneuvers that they have a chance to stun their opponents while doing so. Every time a corsair succeeds with a dirty fighting attack, their opponent must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 the corsair's class level + the corsair's Strength modifier) or be stunned for the next 1d4 rounds, plus 1 round for every 2 class levels of the corsair, rounded down.
*Improved Flanking: A corsair who takes this ability gains a +4 attack bonus while flanking instead of the standard +2.
*Improved Reactions: A corsair who takes this ability gains a morale bonus to his initiative equal to half his class level (rounded down).
*No Quarter: Corsairs are known for their “no quarter” style of fighting, but some are more ruthless than others. Corsairs with this feat gain an additional attack of opportunity per round. This ability stacks with the Combat Reflexes feat and is not cancelled by using Dirty Fighting.
*Improvised Weaponry: Corsairs are notorious for their rowdy drunken brawls every time they come to shore. Some corsairs pick up rudimentary skills from these actions, and are able to use items designed for more rudimentary purposes as effective weapons.

An improvised weapon in the hands of a corsair with this ability is treated as a weapon he is proficient with. In addition, any improvised weapon used by a corsair with this ability deals 1d4 damage plus whatever damage he would deal as an unarmed strike. On a roll of 1, an improvised weapon breaks and is thereafter useless.

Playing A Corsair
You're a pirate, plain and simple. Living according to a moral code is something you choose to do (or not to do), but it doesn't always match up with societies' ideas as to how you should live.

Religion
Kord, Fharlanghn, and Hextor are the primary deities of corsairs. Good aligned corsairs may find Pelor to be the liking, while especially evil ones tend to go with Nerull or Wee Jas.

Other Classes
The more rogueish the class, the better the corsair will get along with them. 'nuff said.

Combat
Corsairs excel in one on one fighting, mostly due to their Dirty Fighting techniques. They can fight in the front line, the back line, aboard a ship...pretty much anywhere.

Corsair Progression
{table=head]Level | Base Attack Bonus | Fort Save | Ref Save | Will Save | Special
1st | +1 | +2 | +0 | +0 | Seamanship +2, Sea Legs, Illiteracy, Bonus Weapon Feat
2nd | +2 | +3 | +0 | +0 | Dirty Fighting +1d4
3rd | +3 | +3 | +1 | +1 | Luck of the Seas +1
4th | +4 | +4 | +1 | +1 | Seamanship +3
5th | +5 | +4 | +1 | +1 | Dirty Fighting +2d4
6th | +6/+1 | +5 | +2 | +2 | -
7th | +7/+2 | +5 | +2 | +2 | Seamanship +4
8th | +8/+3 | +6 | +2 | +2 | Dirty Fighting +3d4
9th | +9/+4 | +6 | +3 | +3 | Luck of the Seas +2
10th | +10/+5 | +7 | +3 | +3 | Seamanship +5
11th | +11/+6/+1 | +7 | +3 | +3 | Dirty Fighting +4d4
12th | +12/+7/+2 | +8 | +4 | +4 | Special Ability
13th | +13/+8/+3 | +8 | +4 | +4 | Seamanship +6
14th | +14/+9/+4 | +9 | +4 | +4 | Dirty Fighting +5d4
15th | +15/+10/+5 | +9 | +5 | +5 | Luck of the Seas +3
16th | +16/+11/+6/+1 | +10 | +5 | +5 | Seamanship +7, Special Ability
17th | +17/+12/+7/+2 | +10 | +5 | +5 | Dirty Fighting +6d4
18th | +18/+13/+8/+3 | +11 | +6 | +6 | -
19th | +19/+14/+9/+4 | +11 | +6 | +6 | Seamanship +8
20th | +20/+15/+10/+5 | +12 | +6 | +6 | Dirty Fighting +7d4, Special Ability, Luck of the Seas +4[/table]

Mike_Lemmer
2006-09-10, 06:38 AM
Whoa, 30 crewmates, all with PC class levels? And stats?

Fax Celestis
2006-09-10, 06:41 AM
Whoa, 30 crewmates, all with PC class levels? And stats?
Yes. There'll be a deckplan for the ship when I'm done too, and potentially PHB-II organization rules. I'm going for detail, mostly because the ship could be an entire campaign with the DM's cards played right.

Mike_Lemmer
2006-09-10, 07:28 AM
Detail? Perhaps a bit too much. "Miss the forest for the trees," as they say.

I don't think you should flesh out every crewmate. It makes it harder to focus on the interesting NPCs, its too many stats for a GM to keep track of in a large ship-to-ship battle, and it doesn't give him much wiggle room to substitute his own NPCs in, not to mention the extra effort on your part. My personal rule of thumb would be to have one high-ranking NPC & one low-ranking NPC for each PC; I'd make the top 5-7 officers completely fleshed out, then scatter 5-7 interesting personalities through the lower ranks.

I'd also suggest toning down the levels a bit. It has enough Level 10+'s to wipe out a balor (or two). Even the artillerists are name level. And if you wanted to use it as an enemy encounter, the whole crew would be at least CR 20.

Such high levels would hinder a campaign as well. If you fasten the PCs to a pirate ship, they'll expect to take control of the ship sometime down the road. I'll relate it to the old stronghold rules and say they should get it around 10-12th level. At that point, they are still 5-7 levels behind the captain and the top officers, and that isn't counting any XP (and level-ups) the NPCs would receive over the campaign. Based off that, I'd suggest downscaling the levels so the head crew's around 7th level; if they receive half of the XP the PCs do, the PCs will overtake them around 10th level. How they actually gain control of the ship, I'll leave up to you.

Oh, and don't forget that rank isn't based solely on level. A few high-level newcomers stuck in deckhand jobs would be interesting, as would a strategist that only has levels in Expert and really, really hates actual battle.

But enough about the execution. The idea is marvelous. Since they're isolated (in a sense) from the outside world, how many marriages/steady relations are there among the crew? Does the captain try to keep equal numbers of women and men onboard to keep them from fighting over mates? Do they have children on board? Have they tried breaking the curse by destroying the ship? What happens if you die and are resurrected dozens of miles away from the ship? Was there anyone bound to it because they stepped on the wrong ship? Has anyone filled out their duration on the ship and stepped off to tell the tale?

As a final note, you might want to reduce the curse duration. Humans would be a few years from Old if they stepped on in their 20s. Also, what are the odds that a ship could survive 30+ years of piracy without losing once? One hundred months (just above 8 years) might work, although you really don't need a round number.

Dogbert: "It's biiiiiiiiig and rouuuuuuuund..."

Carmichael
2006-09-10, 12:36 PM
Agreed with the surplus of stats here. *Is it necessary to make stats for every individual on the deck? *Why not generate stats for a generic deckhand, or even just give a fluff description of less important characters. Also, consider the fact that the DMG has got stats for generic NPCs of nearly any class and level; I think you would perhaps want to flesh out the goals and motivation of your characters before going around and statting up thirty of them.

You may insist that each one of crew is a really unique person (and therefore deserve their own stats and description), but in a game, there's no way as a DM I'm going to bother with comprehendng more than three or four NPC's extensively.

Fax Celestis
2006-09-10, 02:38 PM
You may insist that each one of crew is a really unique person (and therefore deserve their own stats and description), but in a game, there's no way as a DM I'm going to bother with comprehendng more than three or four NPC's extensively.Then you DM very differently than I do.

And to both of you: to answer your questions, I shall first finish the character sheets and then begin on character histories/curse extrapolation.

The reason for the detail, by the way, is that it's being designed to be a campaign setting. Now, to work.

Fax Celestis
2006-09-10, 02:39 PM
Also, what are the odds that a ship could survive 30+ years of piracy without losing once?There's a very good reason for that, which will come into light when I write up the Ship and Contract portions of the entry.

Vaynor
2006-09-10, 02:56 PM
I have one question, how'd you do the table for the crew? Tables always bug me, and I was wondering how you did it so great.

Carmichael
2006-09-10, 03:10 PM
Then you DM very differently than I do.

Or rather, I'm not going to try to comprehend extensively all of your characters. *An overload of NPC's is not only going to potentially convolute a game; it's going to draw the spotlight away from the PC's. *Sometimes, less is more; have you ever seen a television episode in which there are a dozen, much less thirty, important characters to keep track of?

I believe the point that I'm trying to make is that if your material is going to be of use outside of your own game, then DM's have to be able to subjugate what you write to their own ends. If there's simply too much material, especially if all the components are dependent on each other, then I see less usefulness in the entry.

Fax Celestis
2006-09-10, 03:20 PM
Or rather, I'm not going to try to comprehend extensively all of your characters. *An overload of NPC's is not only going to potentially convolute a game; it's going to draw the spotlight away from the PC's. *Sometimes, less is more; have you ever seen a television episode in which there are a dozen, much less thirty, important characters to keep track of?

I believe the point that I'm trying to make is that if your material is going to be of use outside of your own game, then DM's have to be able to subjugate what you write to their own ends. *If there's simply too much material, especially if all the components are dependent on each other, then I see less usefulness in the entry.

Yes, but during any given campaign, the PCs are going to interact with a wide number of people. And since leaving the ship for any amount of time is extraordinarily difficult, most of those people need to be on board. Therefore, they're here.

Vaynor
2006-09-10, 03:30 PM
*Sometimes, less is more; have you ever seen a television episode in which there are a dozen, much less thirty, important characters to keep track of?
Lost. :P

Carmichael
2006-09-10, 05:20 PM
Just because someone is there (even for a long time) doesn't mean s/he merits much attention. *Even if the cook is living with the PC's on the ship, do I need to have his stats and his personal history on my game notes?


Lost.

A single episode of about 50 minutes probably can't convey an abundance of information on a dozen characters. *A entire season can, but not an episode.

Plus, I've been told that Lost's episodes run together, i.e. it's harder to enjoy a single episode separately. *(As compared to Houseor X-Files, maybe)

Fax Celestis
2006-09-10, 05:23 PM
Just because someone is there (even for a long time) doesn't mean s/he merits much attention. *Even if the cook is living with the PC's on the ship, do I need to have his stats and his personal history on my game notes?
Yes, because he does far more than be a cook. He also happens to know more about the people on the ship because they all talk to him.

Alright, so that's just an example. Fine.

The point is, however, that PCs deal with more than 30 NPCs over the course of a campaign for a variety of different needs. Since the PCs really can't leave the ship for an extended period of time, the required NPCs are on the ship itself.

In addition, several of them are rather low level. If a Kraken attacks the ship, there's going to be quite a few fewer NPCs.

HempRope
2006-09-10, 05:23 PM
If he's living and cooking with them for neigh thirty years, then yes.

Besides, the person who prepares your meals is probably the one person you need to trust absolutely.

Carmichael
2006-09-10, 05:27 PM
Fax, the cook, assuming I have authority over my game, has as much significance to the plot as I need him to. *Perhaps he is embroiled a conspiracy on the ship (and thus important), or maybe I just want him to be a redshirt to be killed off when I want to convey the danger of (for example) a kraken attacking.

Even among 30 NPC's plus the party, there is a lot of interconnection to be going on -- probably more than I would care to use. *That besides, you can only retain a certain number of NPC's on scene before you introduce someone new to invigorate the plot. *

Or how about this? -- since as a DM I am prone to changing characters/items/adventure seeds to my own games, why not do an extensive writeup of minor individuals when you could make things easier (on both of us) with an interesting sentence or two for each minor character? *

batsofchaos
2006-09-11, 05:48 PM
One of the cardinal rules of DMing that I live by is this:

Information = ideas

The more information available for a campaign setting, the more plot hooks, possible conflicts, arching stories, memorable fights, etc. that lend themselves to the DM.

If one were to play in this campaign (which sounds awesome), there would certainly be an abundance of characters to interact with. *However, no one's expecting that in a given adventure you're going to talk to EVERY person on the ship, so in a given session there isn't necessarily a character overload. *The important thing is these characters are available and statted, so if a fight comes up you're not flying by the seat of your pants.

In addition, if you were to pick this up at a store, you ALWAYS have DM Fiat. *Don't like that the cook is a gnome? *Change the character. *Delete the character. *Delete the Cartogramancer PrC too. *Whatever you want, as a DM if something in the campaign doesn't mesh with you, you don't have to use it, but it's there to be used if you want it.

That said, I think this is an awesome idea, and I think the amount of work you're putting in is very important in making it as awesome as it is. *This is a *very* different set up for a story, IMO, and one that I think is very intriguing. *I'd play this game.

However, I do agree that something needs to be done to make it so that the PCs aren't outshined by those around them. *If you were to start a campaign at level 1, how would you even compare to Malcolm? *What could you even do? *You'd be basically qualified to tie things down when there's a storm, and yelling for someone big and strong to smash the monster trying to climb up the side of the ship. *I can't see a group of PCs being any sort of force on the ship until, like, level 13. *All in all, doesn't lend itself to a very long campaign, which I don't think gives the idea justice.

EDIT for spelling

Fax Celestis
2006-09-11, 05:48 PM
Or how about this? -- since as a DM I am prone to changing characters/items/adventure seeds to my own games, why not do an extensive writeup of minor individuals when you could make things easier (on both of us) with an interesting sentence or two for each minor character?I plan on doing both, that way if you want to change something it's manageable. However, having everyone statted out is preferable (to me) since they are each unique individuals with unique skills what will eventually come into a combat situation. Piracy is not exactly a peaceful profession.

Fax Celestis
2006-09-11, 05:54 PM
However, I do agree that something needs to be done to make it so that the PCs aren't outshined by those around them. *If you were to start a campaign at level 1, how would you even compare to Malcolm? *What could you even do? *You'd be basically qualified to tie things down when there's a storm, and yelling for someone big and strong to smash the monster trying to climb up the side of the ship. *I can't see a group of PCs being any sort of force on the ship until, like, level 13. *All in all, doesn't lend itself to a very long campaign, which I don't think gives the idea justice.
The campaign itself is designed for the PCs to be starting between 8 and 10th levels, and moving to upwards of 20. I don't personally believe that starting at level 1 is a good idea and usually start my games at level 3 (when goblins stop one-hit killing mages) upwards to level 8.

That being said, the lower-level members of the crew are obviously inexperienced and/or are poor learners.

As for the captain and the high-level crew, they are exceptional individuals just like the PCs are.

But who's to say that Malcolm won't leave the ship (his Ten Thousand Days are over, anyway), retire, or try to find a cure deep inland with other members of the crew who aren't under the effects of the curse still? That'd take away a good half of the upper crew for an extended period of time, and who says they'll all come back?

batsofchaos
2006-09-11, 06:15 PM
The campaign itself is designed for the PCs to be starting between 8 and 10th levels, and moving to upwards of 20. I don't personally believe that starting at level 1 is a good idea and usually start my games at level 3 (when goblins stop one-hit killing mages) upwards to level 8.

That being said, the lower-level members of the crew are obviously inexperienced and/or are poor learners.

As for the captain and the high-level crew, they are exceptional individuals just like the PCs are.

But who's to say that Malcolm won't leave the ship (his Ten Thousand Days are over, anyway), retire, or try to find a cure deep inland with other members of the crew who aren't under the effects of the curse still? That'd take away a good half of the upper crew for an extended period of time, and who says they'll all come back?

I agree with your point (which is why I have almost entirely non-combat encounters for the first couple levels), but I generally like for campaigns to go from the PCs being super-novices to gods among men. It's more rewarding IMO. But, if given the right setting I certainly wouldn't be opposed to starting with a higher level. As I said before, I'd play this game.

Fax Celestis
2006-09-11, 06:32 PM
I agree with your point (which is why I have almost entirely non-combat encounters for the first couple levels), but I generally like for campaigns to go from the PCs being super-novices to gods among men. *It's more rewarding IMO. *But, if given the right setting I certainly wouldn't be opposed to starting with a higher level. *As I said before, I'd play this game.
Find me a group and I'll run it.

Carmichael
2006-09-11, 10:44 PM
The crunch aside, which I think is somewhat superfluous, it looks to be nice entry. *I am, however, unable to take seriously extensive quotage from, of all sources, the band Tool. *

What somewhat strains my credulity of this entry is that apparently at least one individual is willing to give up thirty years of his life to spend on a ship. *Because, you know, that's not a typical thing to do.


Schin Donzi
Schin is an enigma. He mysteriously appeared on board the ship one night, asking for orders from Malcolm. Malcolm, without looking up to see who it was, gave him some, and he got them done in record time. When he reported to Malcolm again, Malcolm asked him who he was.

Schin declined to explain, but did tell Malcolm that he knew about everything: the Curse, the crew, the ship, Rellestair...all to a degree that Malcolm found remarkable and a little creepy.

It turns out that Schin has an obsessive compulsion in learning things and came on board the vessel to "learn from the best", as he put it.

I do like this concept -- and I haven't even looked at his stats at all -- and it's transposable out of the entry, which is even better. (Well, the last paragraph takes out a bit of the mystery.)

Fax Celestis
2006-09-12, 10:25 AM
The crunch aside, which I think is somewhat superfluous, it looks to be nice entry. *I am, however, unable to take seriously extensive quotage from, of all sources, the band Tool.
I take inspiration from everywhere: songs I hear, tv I see, books I read, things I hear people say...this is just the result of one of those things.


What somewhat strains my credulity of this entry is that apparently at least one individual is willing to give up thirty years of his life to spend on a ship. *Because, you know, that's not a typical thing to do.
I don't get to talk about the hundreds of people who turned Malcolm down. I only get to talk about the thirty-odd that didn't.

Edit: Also, elves, dwarves, and other long-lived races don't see as much of an issue over 30 years as humans do.


I do like this concept -- and I haven't even looked at his stats at all -- and it's transposable out of the entry, which is even better. *(Well, the last paragraph takes out a bit of the mystery.)
Granted, but DMs always need to know all.

AKA_Bait
2006-09-12, 11:58 AM
Holy cow. This is awesome.

I agree with Fax on the statting up. As a DM I'd rather have the stats even if I never use them than not have the stats for that one guy that one time the PC's decide to cause trouble. I can always disregard them if I want.

Oh, and I totally resign in this months contest. I'll finish my entry anyway but this is really amazing.

Rama_Lei
2006-09-12, 04:26 PM
This is beautiful .You should seriously try for a job with a company that designs adventures.

Carmichael
2006-09-12, 09:02 PM
I don't get to talk about the hundreds of people who turned Malcolm down. I only get to talk about the thirty-odd that didn't.

Edit: Also, elves, dwarves, and other long-lived races don't see as much of an issue over 30 years as humans do.


A good point, I think it also strains credulity that hundreds of people should want to join a single ship (even over the course of three decades), but who knows, maybe this is just a quality of your game.

It also strikes how no one is especially... frustrated or depressed. Whether I could change my circumstances or not, I think I would be pretty irked if I found out I had to spend 30 years of my life on a ship (or relatively, even 1 year or six months). But tastes differ.

batsofchaos
2006-09-13, 12:05 PM
A good point, I think it also strains credulity that hundreds of people should want to join a single ship (even over the course of three decades), but who knows, maybe this is just a quality of your game.

It also strikes how no one is especially... frustrated or depressed. *Whether I could change my circumstances or not, I think I would be pretty irked if I found out I had to spend 30 years of my life on a ship (or relatively, even 1 year or six months). *But tastes differ.

Would you be irked 24/7 for the entire length of time you were on the ship? Eventually you'd have to get over the frustration, and in the full scope of things, it probably wouldn't take you very long. Were I trapped on the ship, I could see being furiously angry for like, a month. If that long. Then you just have to shrug and accept it. Yeah, you don't have to be happy about it, and I'm sure depression could sweep over some of the crew every once in a while. But it doesn't make sense for someone to spend 27 years of their life constantly pissed because of this curse.

Now, you could channel this frustration into other things. For example, Midnight spends most of his time trying to get off the boat. Sagittarius became an Artillerist to vent his anger. Tomi is still angry, but does menial work. Not all of the characters are on the boat by choice, and several are angry about it. Doesn't mean they haven't come to terms at least a little bit for the sake of carrying on.

Dragonmuncher
2006-09-13, 03:54 PM
Cool stuff, Fax.

I like the idea of the curse. The only way I can see out of it is paying a third party, who had never been on the boat, to destroy it from afar. But then, Malcolm probably wouldn't want his good friend to be sunk, would he?


And to the people complaining about the level of detail... qwitcherbitchin. There's no reason you'd have to use every single NPC, no reason you couldn't just add another crew member, or replace one with your own NPC.

For that matter, it's perfectly acceptable to not even use the info- there's no particular reason that the PCs need to have deep, meaningful relationships with every member of a 30-man crew. You can just mention that there are deckhands wandering around, and that's it.

But if the PCs decide they want to go offshore to compete in a gladiator tournament, you can say "One of the deckhands overhears your plans and ambles over. 'Name's Maximillian,' he grunts. 'If you've really got your mind set on entering these fool games, listen to me, and you might survive.'"

Or whatever. You get the idea.

Carmichael
2006-09-13, 04:18 PM
For that matter -- I could just not use the entry at all because it's beyond me or whatever. But then I wouldn't be voting for it, since I like to judge supplements on how useful they are to a game (directly, as inspiration, as understanding part of the game).

The problem, I think -- and this may contradict my earlier posts (but I'm allowed to change my mind) -- is that even if someonehas a good entry, the way someone presents it can hinder its use. (Hence, this is why I like "How to use X in your campaign" in gaming books.)

Overall -- I hope that I haven't conveyed to you any level of "bitching", but rather constructive criticism that that you respond by critically thinking about what you write. :)

batsofchaos
2006-09-13, 04:43 PM
For that matter -- I could just not use the entry at all because it's beyond me or whatever. *But then I wouldn't be voting for it, since I like to judge supplements on how useful they are to a game (directly, as inspiration, as understanding part of the game).

The problem, I think -- and this may contradict my earlier posts (but I'm allowed to change my mind) -- is that even if someonehas a good entry, the way someone presents it can hinder its use. *(Hence, this is why I like "How to use X in your campaign" in gaming books.)

Overall -- I hope that I haven't conveyed to you any level of "bitching", but rather constructive criticism that that you respond by critically thinking about what you write. *:)

Seems to me there's pretty much the same amount of material available here as there is in any other DM campaign world guide. *Why, my old 2ed Ravenloft books have at least fifty darklords detailed, with at least two pages of background. *Why, the discriptions here are practically sparse! *But, to be fair there was a mention in the front of the book about being able to change whatever you want. *I thought this note was highly unnecessary, and don't see why you're harping on its nonexistance here.

EDIT typostypostypostypostypostypostypos....

Fireball.Man.Guy.
2006-09-20, 04:29 PM
I'll play this game on the condition I get a Jamacan halfling with guns. And I don't have stormwrack.

Myatar_Panwar
2006-09-20, 07:03 PM
Id just like to say thanks for putting up that brawler class! Ive been looking for a tougher unarmed class for sometime now. Did you invent it?

O, and great job on everything else.

Fax Celestis
2006-09-20, 09:02 PM
Id just like to say thanks for putting up that brawler class! Ive been looking for a tougher unarmed class for sometime now. Did you invent it?

O, and great job on everything else.
I did, yes. Thank you.

MandibleBones
2006-09-21, 08:44 AM
Play it at the right time (read: a time that doesn't put it in the middle of my work day here in the desert), and I'd get up at odd hours of the night to play this game.

Fax Celestis
2006-09-25, 03:16 PM
For those interested, I've decided to run this as a Play-By Post (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=play_ooc;action=display;num=11592003 39) if enough interest is shown.

The Glyphstone
2006-09-25, 07:46 PM
Very neat.

but have any of the crew considered undeath as a possible route to escape? Undead are immune to energy drain/negative levels, so it might make sense if they're sufficiently desperate - perhaps one angle of Midnight's research?

storybookknight
2006-09-25, 08:24 PM
A few inconsistencies:

None of the crew seem to have any NPC levels. Given the PHB2, it's possible that they were trained out of those, but it seems probable that *someone* would have Expert, Warrior, Commoner, Adept, or even Noble levels.

Also, there's no mention of Booty aside from the magical items. Does the ship collect treasure at all? I imagine that some of the crew would probably want severage packages when they left.

For clarification on the Cartographer: how long does it take to make a map? Which spells (other than invisibility, etherealness, etc.) can protect you from being detected by one? How big of an area can be affected? Does the expended spell slot return in a day's time, or does it remain expended for the map's duration? Can the map's effect be ended prematurely? Will it set off scrying traps and the like? How far away from the mapped area may the Cartographer be and still affect it? How familiar does the Cartographer need to be with the area being mapped? As vague as it is now, it would be possible to set off several cloudkills and delayed blast fireballs in a throne room that a cartographer visited once, with no fear of reprisal.

And just out of curiosity, what about those who are killed from negative level loss by the ship's curse? Whether they fall off (or swim away in the night), sneak away on shore before the ship takes off, or something else, do they rise as say, Drowned? (MM3) Haunt the ship, unable to depart for the realm of death until their term is done? Or just escape, albiet painfully?

Fax Celestis
2006-09-26, 12:21 PM
None of the crew seem to have any NPC levels. Given the PHB2, it's possible that they were trained out of those, but it seems probable that *someone* would have Expert, Warrior, Commoner, Adept, or even Noble levels.I prefer not to use NPC levels, especially in situations where there is a high mortality rate.


Also, there's no mention of Booty aside from the magical items. Does the ship collect treasure at all? I imagine that some of the crew would probably want severage packages when they left.Er, did you miss the whole opening paragraph in the Treasure section? There's treasure on board equal to a CR-15 encounter, plus the Scepter of the Sorceror-King and the four Ships-In-A-Bottle.


For clarification on the Cartographer: how long does it take to make a map? Which spells (other than invisibility, etherealness, etc.) can protect you from being detected by one? How big of an area can be affected? Does the expended spell slot return in a day's time, or does it remain expended for the map's duration? Can the map's effect be ended prematurely? Will it set off scrying traps and the like? How far away from the mapped area may the Cartographer be and still affect it? How familiar does the Cartographer need to be with the area being mapped? *As vague as it is now, it would be possible to set off several cloudkills and delayed blast fireballs in a throne room that a cartographer visited once, with no fear of reprisal.
...I'll get back to you.


And just out of curiosity, what about those who are killed from negative level loss by the ship's curse? Whether they fall off (or swim away in the night), sneak away on shore before the ship takes off, or something else, do they rise as say, Drowned? (MM3) Haunt the ship, unable to depart for the realm of death until their term is done? Or just escape, albiet painfully?
Damn it, I forgot to add that bit. Hang on.

Fax Celestis
2006-09-27, 06:37 PM
Cartogramancer updated. Storybook Knight's questions should now all be answered.

The Glyphstone
2006-09-27, 08:07 PM
What about my question - the original owner was a lich, thus immune to the effects of the Curse - have any of the current crew members thought to (unintentionally, because they don't know of the Curse's exact nature yet) though to try undeath as an escape?

Fax Celestis
2006-09-27, 09:13 PM
What about my question - the original owner was a lich, thus immune to the effects of the Curse - have any of the current crew members thought to (unintentionally, because they don't know of the Curse's exact nature yet) though to try undeath as an escape?
Considering the alignment layout of the crew (most of them NG or CG, with a scant few LN, TN, and CN), it has come up in discussion, but they have no idea what force is binding them to the ship.

If they knew the words of the Contract and were less Good, they would probably consider the option more seriously; as it stands, it's only been kicked around a few times, and mostly in desperation. No one has actually attempted it, though people have died from the curse and returned to the ship as Allips.

Daedrous Avari
2006-09-28, 07:13 PM
This deserves my vote.

Fax Celestis
2006-09-28, 07:22 PM
This deserves my vote.
Votes start in...er, four days? Yeah, four days, if it's Oct 1.

Daedrous Avari
2006-09-28, 07:35 PM
I know. I just love it.

Fax Celestis
2006-09-28, 07:42 PM
I know. I just love it.
Thanks.