Diversions of the Pre-game

So, as promised, I’m going to talk a bit about the session I ran and the diversions players got to take part in prior to getting press-ganged. This won’t be a particularly lengthy post, since I’m still coaxing my arm back into shape (also not being helped by the atrocious music on the bar stage mingled with the overhead music).

First up was some gambling in the back; as only two of the five took this up, and at different tables, I didn’t go into as much depth as I might have otherwise. As it was, each gambler had Perception, Sense Motive, and Profession (Gambler) ranks, as well as a pot to spend from. If everyone had been participating and involed, the individual rounds would have been resolved with Sleight of Hand, Profession: Gambler, or Bluff checks, as the players chose. As it was, I resolved each game with a single check, with an option to let the players try to set things up in their favor with a check prior to the contest. It went relatively well; one player made some cash before getting thrown out for fumbling a check on his Sleight of Hand to manipulate the deck, while the other made a little coin and then lost it all again.

A second option was bare-knuckles boxing; this only had one taker, and so I limited it to a single fight; I had a few more people prepared in case anyone decided to make a night of it. As it was, the PC was an alchemist and disguised his downing an extract of Stone Fist as a toast of something boozy, quickly beating his opponent unconscious and taking his money pouch. The first opponent was a first-level fighter with weapon focus and dodge, not that it helped him much. Others planned were a TWF/Weapon Finesse second-level rogue and a first-level brawler.

Last up was a drinking contest; I’d expected more people to take this one up, but only the gnome kineticist participated, so I simplified and streamlined the rules over here, passing quickly from cheap ale to heavy beer to liquor to the final round, Dark Elf Absinthe. Originally, the intent was to let each player wager what they wanted, since the NPCs would match their average bet, and do rounds until only two people were left; at that point the Dark Elf Absinthe would come out, and if anyone made the Fortitude save they’d get the entire pot to that point. Otherwise the bar would take half and split the rest between the two who’d been in the final round.

I took the opportunity to seed some rumors about the Council of Free Captains being unhappy with the Hurricane King, as well as some information about the Wormwood being fresh in port and Captain Harrigan having recently escaped prison in Cheliax through unknown means.

The press-ganging was accomplished with a particularly powerful formula of oil of taggit with a save DC sufficient to prevent anyone from making the save, with the cook having happily mixed it into drinks and coated food in it; the “chicken” in particular already was sufficiently dubious to hide the taste of the concentrated oil. The group awoke aboard the Wormwood with hangovers and the sinking sensation of people who’ve just been dragged into a situation against their will.

That’s all for today!

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Diversions of the Pre-game

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