Sunday, May 31, 2015

Savage Worlds - 50 Fathoms - Campaign Kickoff


Summer Gaming

When it came time to chose a new campaign to play with the family this summer, it didn't take me long to settle on 50 Fathoms.  Summer is the busiest time for me at work, and with a vacation scheduled in June and Gen Con preparations in July my time to create something from scratch is limited.  Enter this piratical Savage Worlds gem!  50 Fathoms provides a full plot-point campaign, allowing a game-master and players to take part in a true "open world" tabletop RPG.  



Whereas many adventure-paths are just multi-part quests that take parties from A to Z, an plot-point campaign is more of a web.  Players can choose to take part in a massive, story of good and evil, or leave the path at any time to go trading, treasure hunting, or side-questing.  If you've ever had a chance to play Sid Meier's Pirates! you can expect the very same kind of experience with 50 Fathoms.  

Since the plot-points are a series of mini-adventures, they are perfect for short, quick games on the road, before bedtime, or maybe on a sunny beach in Delaware…

… I smell a future #GetOutAndGame!

We prepared for our 50 Fathoms kickoff by watching Pirates of the Caribbean, both Dead Man's Chest and At World's End, setting up our play area with pirate ships and flags, and donning our most swashbuckling'est of gear!  In a house full of Disney fanatics, and Ren Faire fans, this wasn't hard to do.




Creating Personas

Earlier in the week I gave everyone in my house the opportunity to come up with an exciting character for 50 Fathoms.  Finding something for everyone was not difficult!  Evie wanted to be a spellcasting pirate captain.  Carrie was watching me play Assassins Creed, and wanted a stealthy, seafaring rogue.  My wife, ever on a Disney kick due to her new job as a travel agent, wanted to pay her respects to Pixar, so she picked a clueless, blue aquatic creature.  




My son was a bit of a holdout.  At first he didn't want to play at all, until he overheard me making up characters.  When I mentioned "pirates", he asked if he could be "Foxy", an animatronic, murderous fox from the ever-popular Five Nights at Freddies series.  Not one to argue with a four year old, especially when he seems interested in playing a tabletop role-playing game, I worked out a deal, allowing a clockwork animatronic fox into the seas of Caribdus.  

  

Our Brave Crew


Captain Jacqueline Crane - Human Elementalist, played by Evie
  • Attributes:  Agility d4,  Smarts d10,  Spirit d6,  Strength d4,  Vigor d6
  • Rank:  Novice (0 xp)
  • Pace:  6,  Parry:  4,  Toughness:  5,  Charisma:  0
  • Edges:  Arcane Background (Elementalist, Air), Power Points, New Power
  • Hindrances:  Wanted (Major), Phobia (Bears), Anemic
  • Skills:  Boating d4, Fighting d4, Knowledge (Arcana) d8, Intimidation d4, Investigation d6, Notice d6, Spellcasting d10, Swimming d4
  • Powers:  Zephyr, Bolt (Wind), Speed, Obscure
  • Weapons:  Rapier
Skylar Shipshape - Masaquani Assassin, played by Carrie
  • Attributes:  Agility d8,  Smarts d6,  Spirit d6,  Strength d6,  Vigor d6
  • Rank:  Novice (0 xp)
  • Pace:  6,  Parry:  5,  Toughness:  6(+1),  Charisma:  0
  • Edges:  Assassin
  • Hindrances:  Curious, Vengeful, Loyal
  • Skills:  Boating d4, Climbing d6, Fighting d6, Lockpicking d4, Notice d4, Persuasion d6, Shooting d6, Stealth d8, Streetwis d4, Swimming d4, Tracking d4
  • Weapons:  Scimitar, Knife, Flintlock Pistol
Dori - Doreen Hunter, played by Mommy
  • Attributes:  Agility d8,  Smarts d4,  Spirit d6,  Strength d8,  Vigor d6
  • Rank:  Novice (0 xp)
  • Pace:  6,  Parry:  6,  Toughness:  5,  Charisma:  -2
  • Edges:  Dodge
  • Hindrances:  Clueless, Outsider, Illiterate 
  • Skills:  Boating d4, Climbing d6, Fighting d8, Notice d4, Stealth d8, Swimming d8, Throwing d6, Tracking d4
  • Weapons:  2 Knives, 2 Harpoons
Foxy - Clockwork* Pirate, played by Cooper
*Built using the "Construct" race option
  • Attributes:  Agility d8,  Smarts d8,  Spirit d4,  Strength d6,  Vigor d6
  • Rank:  Novice (0 xp)
  • Pace:  8,  Parry:  6,  Toughness:  8(+3),  Charisma:  -2
  • Edges:  Fleet Footed
  • Hindrances:  One-Eye, Mean, Big Mouth
  • Skills:  Repair d8, Swimming d4, Healing d8, Fighting d8, Notice d4, Taunt d8, Climbing d4
  • Weapons:  Axe, Hook


Maiden Voyage, Part 1

Shipwrecked!  

The frigate Rebecca had struck an unknown object just off the coast of Torath-ka, tearing a hole in the vessel's hull and causing a lantern to accidentally set fire to the ship.  Captain Jonas Abraham knew there was nothing else he could do for his beloved Rebecca, and ordered the crew to beach the ship.  Once on land, some of the crew started salvaging what they could from the Rebecca while four cremates (Jacqueline, Dori, Skylar, and Foxy) were ordered to hunt for provisions along the beach.  

Torath-ka, also known as the "Savage Land", was a very dangerous place, and so the scouting party was on its guard.  The interior of the massive island was full of Ugaks, the dreaded and primitive "Red Men" who hated all other races and peoples.  Four miles from the wrecked Rebecca, the scouts spotted a broken yet salvageable skiff.  The mechanical Foxy was a skilled carpenter, and could repair the vessel easily, however Jacqueline heard something crashing through the jungle to the south.  Dori readied her harpoon, and prepared for whatever was coming.  

The creature was a vicious Yellowback!  A ten foot long dinosaur (think raptor) the hungry creature didn't realize that Foxy was a clockwork automaton.  The monster charged the machine, despite getting struck by one of Dori's sharp harpoons.  Foxy parried the creature's claws with his hook, and was ready to strike with his trusty axe, when Dori sunk a second harpoon in the beast's hide.  With the dinosaur dead, Dori dragged the body boards the skiff. Perhaps it could be of some use.

It took Foxy nearly four hours to repair the broken floorboards of the skiff, but the large boat was still missing a sail.  Dori took a look at the Yellowback's hide and asked the clockwork pirate to create a "scale sail."  Once Foxy mounted the large flap of leather on the mast, Jacqueline Crane pushed the vessel into the water and called out to her mates.  The elementalist announced that she would be the captain of this new vessel, which the group named the "Titanic Nemo."  Using her Zephyr spell, Captain Crane pushed the skiff through the crashing waves and into open water.  It took less than an hour to return to the Rebecca.

But when the Titanic Nemo arrived at the Rebecca's wreck, the frigate was in flames, and  blood stained the sands.  Furthermore there was no immediate sign of Captain Abraham or the rest of the crew!



Dori, the brave yet absent-minded Doreen hunter, believed that she could track down the crew, and set off into the jungle.  After an hour of marching in circles, however, Skylar the Assassin took over tracking duties.  Another hour marching through the hot and humid jungle   and the party discovered an old but used trail, with some traces of fresh blood on the ground.  Hearing a deeb and foreboding chant in the distance, Skylar quietly moved down the trail, until it came to a clearing… and a truly terrible sight!  

In the large clearing was an ancient shrine, nearly one-hundred feet wide, and two-hundred feet long.  At one end of the moss-covered shrine was a twenty-foot tall statue of a Monkape, and at the center was an "olympic sized swimming pool" of murky red "tar."  Standing around the pool were Ugaks, and the "red men" were standing over the last few crewmen of the Rebecca.  At the base of the Monkape statue a shaman was performing some kind of ritual.  

Fearing for the rest of the crew's fate, Skylar's eyes filled with vengeance and the Assassin disappeared into the jungle.  When she reemerged, she was behind the Monkape temple, scimitar in hand.  The assassin charged the Ugak Shaman from behind, cutting a deep gash that stifled the elder's chant.  But before Skylar could make another cut, the shaman screamed to his minions.

"Ugaka'agaka!  Shagga'na'hagga!" the shaman cried out.

The other Ugak's responded in affirmation.  "Agaka tagu!"  

One of the prisoners was then pushed into the red tar.  The poor prisoner screamed as he was pulled down by some alien god.  Immediately a giant, gorilla-sized Monkape emerged from the pool and jumped into the trees above.  

Skylar looked for the rest of her mates to see what they were doing, and was relieved at their response.  Both Captain Crane and Foxy charged the Ugak Shaman.  

"Too windy today?" Captain Crane smiled as she unleashed a sudden bolt of concentrated storm at the shaman.  Stumbling backwards, the shaman tripped on a loose stone, and tumbled in front of Foxy.  The clockwork pirate was an exceptionally fast runner, and was able to make it to Skylar's side easily.  With a single stroke of his axe, Foxy cleaved the shaman's head from neck.  

While Skylar and Foxy continued to battle the Ugaks, Captain Crane found herself in a "shootout" with the Monkape.  Captain Crane continued to summon focused wind, but had to dodge flying coconuts.  The Monkape could throw the rock-hard coconuts with amazing accuracy, as it leapt from branch to branch.  

After cutting down one of the red men with her knife, gaining "coup", Dori returned to Captain Crane's side and struck the Monkape with a harpoon.  By this point, Skylar and Foxy had finished off several more Ugaks with pistol and axe.  The rest of the red men fled into the forest, leaving just the Monkape.  Not wanting to take the time to reload her pistol, Skylar grabbed her knife and chucked it at the coconut-chucker.  

"We're done here," Skylar Shipshape stated as the Monkape fell dead from a tree.  




There were four crewmen left alive following the dark Ugak ritual.  John Smith was a twenty-four year old Englishman who wanted to get back to sea.  SeƱor Miguel Figuroa, a Spaniard in his fifties, was once a pirate and seemed interested in Captain Crane's future plans.  Skylar Shipshape was excited to see two fellow Masaquani: sixteen year old twins Caras and Cais Cath.  Eager to leave the jungle, Captain Crane commanded her crew back to the Titanic Nemo.  Leaving Torath-ka in the small skiff would be difficult, but perhaps they could gain assistance from somewhere else on the island… 

… to be continued…