Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pirates of the Spanish Main Session Report 9

The most recent Pirates of the Spanish Main session went way, way off the map. 

Actually, no, that isn’t true. 

I’ve never played the PotSM constructible ship-thingy card-ish game, but when I was preparing some player aids early in the current campaign’s history, I familiarized myself a bit with the WizKids game.  It seems it started as a pretty straightforward knock-off of Pirates of the Caribbean, but by the end of the line it had veered into steampunk and the American Revolution.  It therefore seems appropriate that this Pirates of the Spanish Main RPG campaign now involves me blatantly stealing from “Conan the Barbarian,” Dino-Riders , and G. I. Joe: A Real American Hero.  (Though I honestly didn’t recognize the G. I. Joe influence until after the fact.)

The crew this time was out in full force.  Every player (except the jackass who used to play Gunter) was present: Nana, Elias, Silas, the Mad Arab, Captain Commodore Wendy, Johnny McSliceathroat, and my GMPC Kit (Brother Seamus is not a GMPC; I still haven’t made up stats for him).  The plethora of player characters meant that we had to curtail in-character dialogue more than I’d like, but we still got a lot of crazy stuff done and everyone got a chance to shine.

(Do you ever find yourself knowing there’s a word you want to use but not remembering what that word is?  I had to look up “The Three Amigos” on IMDB to find “plethora.”)

In London, I gave the crew 1d4 days to figure out how they were going to get out of losing control over their lives to Dr. Watt and his Invisible College marines.  Nobody really had any intention of leading the doctor and his unit company back to the snake-people’s secret base for a pitched battle in the subterranean depths, so they began scheming to get out of it.  Elias bought a letter of marquee while the rest of the crew made sure they recruited the rudest, crudest seamen available on the London docks – men sure to turn pirate as soon as they got the chance.

Months later (I'm estimating the whole round trip took about six months), the Bountiful Lady (the crew's new four-master) and the Golden Girl (the disguised and be-steamshipped Bloody Revenge) began closing in on the Caymans.  The Mad Arab rowed over to the Golden Girl with Silas and Nana; while the charismatic members of the crew distracted the marines, the corsair engineer... did something to the cannons that I've forgotten the word for.  He rigged them to not fire instead of blowing up, so he didn't spike them.  What's the word?  Starts with an "s."  He also tampered with the marines' gunpowder.

The next day, the pirates lured Dr. Watt over to their vessel and took him hostage.  They immediately fired a brutal barrage of grapeshot on the Golden Girl and forced the marines' surrender.  Then they were attacked by snake-men riding a tyrannosaur with energy cannons (REALLY INEFFECTIVE ENERGY CANNONS). 
I never owned one of these.
It was a bit of a stand-off for awhile, but finally Commodore Wendy landed a cannon shot that took care of the dinosaur.  The pirates immediately hightailed it out of there, choosing to ignore the burned-out hulks of Calico Cat's and Jack Hawkins' vessels, the presumably large subterranean snake-men complex, etc.  Elias, however, gave an impassioned speech and managed to convince a notable number of marines to join his workers’ paradise cane plantation/rum distillery back on Tortuga.

When the crew got back to Tortuga, though, they discovered it is now under the influence of a mysterious cult of snake worshippers who wear a snake tattoo on their biceps (that sneaky G.I. Joe influence I mentioned).  Captain Blackheart has changed his named to King Blackheart (an influence from my half-assed knowledge of the CSG), the Hag of Tortuga is running amok, and Richard Poore has built a big, sinister-looking, lightning bolt-generating tower.  I switched tenses because that’s how the game ended.  The PCs’ home base is in the hands of the cult of Set.

As I put it to the crew through Kit, it’s time to strip down to their loincloths, paint their bodies, and sneak into the tower.  

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