As mentioned back in this post, we decided to forgo miniatures and maps in our fourth PotSM game. Freed of the time consumption required to move figure flats around and liberated from the tyranny of maps, I got to work doing what I do best as a DM: winging it. Characters in attendance were Nana, Elias, Johnny McSliceathroat, Captain Wendy, and Kit.
Since they were still in Port-Au-Prince (a civilized, law-abiding port), I decided it was about time Elias Cordwinder's "Wanted" hindrance caught up with him so I gave him a Notice roll versus a group of thief-catchers tailing him. He won, so I let him lead them into an ambush. Nana rolled so well on her Stealth that I let her get the drop on them. She cut four down with one Sweep of her katana, won initiative on the next round, and cut the remainder down with another Sweep. Their leader, a mysterious German duelist who is not Gunter decided discretion was the better part of valor.
Kit suggested they go out and do some real pirating, so they went out on their boat and attacked a merchantman. I really, really need to reacquaint myself with the ship combat rules. I probably need to put together a cheat sheet. Anyway, they slaughtered the crew with a volley of grapeshot and took the vessel as their own. It was christened "The Bloody Revenge," since their original ship was "the Sweet Revenge." Captain Wendy became Commodore Wendy.
It turned out Esperanza was on board, searching for Gunter. Poor heartbroken Esperanza.
Sailing in search of new adventure, the crew was attacked by mermaids. In Japanese culture, eating a mermaid's flesh is supposed to grant immortality -- so Nana ate one. Elias and Johnny worked up the courage to join the feast and all three were granted an extra die of Vigor; Commodore Wendy failed the Spirit roll necessary to overcome cultural bias against cannibalism. (They later sold the remains to
They then hit a fog-shrouded reef and found themselves in the bay of a strange forested island with a decrepit pirate ship and giant crocodile lurking in nearby. Some of the decrepit ship's crew rowed over to parley with them and warned them about a horrible monster lurking on the island that tormented the pirates. Our crew investigated and found the island was overgrown with grapevines that were laden with fully-fermented grapes that burst into wine as you ate them. An ancient tomb was discovered with a Latin inscription on the open doors; the only words visible beneath the trailing vines were "Pater" and "Pan."
Dun! Dun! DUN!
They uncovered the door and Esperanza read the inscription. It turned out the imprisoned being was Dionysus and that St. Brendan the Navigator's journey to the New World involved burying a lot of nasty things nobody wanted in the Old World anymore. How nice of him. And did everyone know Dionysus doesn't like pirates? (Seriously, check out the link. It is an awesome comic book version of the myth in question.)
Dionysus showed up and he was all naked and feral-looking. Luckily, Nana is observant Shinto and thought the god's behavior and appearance were quite natural, so she offered him rum to placate his anger. Dionysus enjoyed the rum and made the pirates his disciples; in exchange for a cargo full of rum every year (and a cabin boy) he would let them go and set the dolphins to protect them from drowning -- oh, and they had to give him Esperanza too. The crew did not object.
(Yes, my players basically gave a pagan deity a human sacrifice. I am admittedly not playing this game as heroically as the text implies.)
The crew of the Jolly Roger did object, though, and the crew of the Sweet Revenge had to kill them. (Not that Dionysus doesn't constantly resurrect his playthings after breaking them.)
The crew went back to Tortuga to drum up some manpower for their new flotilla. Just to give Johnny McSliceathroat something fun to do, a veteran marine named Cardiff Jim picked a fight with him. One beat-down later, and a humbled Cardiff Jim joined the crew.
Commodore Wendy wanted in on that kind of action, so Havana Black showed up to object to Nana chopping off the head of one of his crewmen a couple games earlier. Captain Blackheart intervened in his "unofficial" capacity as pirate king and demanded they fight an old-fashioned pirate duel: with knives, wrists tied together, up to their knees in the surf. Commodore Wendy won and Havana Black pledged his friendship when she spared his life.
They decided to go take care of that rum shipment and get it out of the way, so they sailed off to Jamaica to find a plantation to raid. Elias took Nana with him while he did some Streetwise-ing and they figured out a good target; unfortunately, the mysterious German was there (almost as if he'd teleported all the way from Port-Au-Prince)! He tried to buy Nana off, but her code of honor demanded they fight. For once, she was on the verge of losing, but then Elias remembered he was carrying about a dozen guns and shot the German. The German retreated once again.
They then attacked an unsuspecting sugar plantation, freed the slaves, slaughtered the overseers, took the young heir off to be Dionysus' plaything, and sold the owner's wife into slavery in Tortuga. (Yeah, she won't use her buxom assets to turn any other pirates against the PCs. Sure...) And Nana talked the lord's daughter into committing suicide rather than facing dishonor.
It was a lot of fun.