Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Playing Sailors on the Starless Sea

After a month-long break between sessions, we were finally able to finish up playing through Harley Stroh's Sailors on the Starless Sea. It was my first character funnel and was much more fun and easier to run than I expected. I had nine players for my final session of the adventure with a total of 36 PCs at once. Not nearly as daunting as it sounds when you approach each group of PCs as a chunk of characters and let the player decide what happens to each character.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • First PC death occurred within minutes of the adventure starting as the immediate reaction to bodies covered in thorned vines is to poke them with a stick.
  • Players were obsessed with getting as many things out of the freezing tomb as possible. Apparently once of them tore the skull off the corpse while five other PCs died around them in one round.
  • There was an awful lot of planning on how to light a candle and then get it to touch the beastman that had been soaked in oil. The occurred in a room with three loose torches on the wall.
  • Several PCs were added when they were freed from the beastmen's clutches. They apparently had two dogs, a goose, a duck and a cow with them.
  • The goose found the band of fire. He immediately became the strongest creature in the game and his owner faded into the background.
  • The chaos leviathan attacked, pulling a handful of PCs over the side before someone tossed in the skull they stole from the dead Chaos Lord's tomb. I suppose that would be a pretty good sacrifice and immediately calmed the leviathan.  
  • The players left just under half of their characters on the shore of the starless sea, which is probably the dumbest thing they did the entire time. Nearly every player had one character wearing a cloak or furs and all but one left those characters on the shore.
  • As a result, only one character was able to move undetected among the two dozen beastmen at the temple. The others didn't understand why one was being ignored and just sauntered up to the temple. This began a slaughter that will not be soon forgotten.
  • The one disguised PC calmly walked up the ziggurat and immediately pushed the shaman into the pit. He then tossed skulls at whatever it was coming out of the pit. The resurrected Chaos Lord went down like a bitch.
  • The strongest fighter in the beastman melee was a cow with a pitchfork tied to it. Pitchforks are where it's at.
  • That cow will be the my wife's dwarf character's mount in the upcoming 5e campaign. Betsy the War Cow.

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