In addition to their normal jobs on the ship, the PCs can also utilize their time during the day (and night) to explore the ship, scrounger for gear, interact with their shipmates, or attempt to inf luence NPCs. With the PCs potentially scattered across the ship working at their jobs, however, there is a danger that early events in the adventure might focus too much upon the actions of individual characters. Some PCs might have more time on their hands and act accordingly. To avoid this, the PCs’ activities aboard ship—carrying out their assigned tasks; exploring the ship; robbing, bullying, or befriending shipmates; working; or playing—are performed as part of ship actions. These actions reflect the time required to set up or complete an activity, such as gathering enough crew to play a game, scouting out a room to make sure it’s empty, and so on. Remember that even the cook’s mate has a job to do during the day, and ship actions are meant to ref lect the available time a PC can carve out from his or her work time without going into too much detail.
Each PC can normally take two ship actions each day, one during the day and one at night. A PC can also attempt to take up to two additional ship actions during the middle watch in the dead of night (any nighttime ship action marked with an asterisk), but to do so the PC must make a successful Constitution check (DC 10, +4 per extra ship action taken) or be fatigued for the next day. A list of possible ship actions is presented on the following page. As always, use your judgment as to when these actions are appropriate.
Story Award: Award a PC 100 XP for winning his or her first pirate entertainment aboard the Wormwood. The first time a PC succeeds in entertaining the crew, he or she should also receive an award of 100 XP.
Daytime Ship Actions
Work Diligently: Gain a +4 bonus on any one check for a job’s daily task
Influence: Make normal checks for a job’s daily task and attempt to influence a single NPC
Sneak: Make normal checks for a job’s daily task and briefly explore one area of the ship (the PC can make a single Perception check or other skill check with no chance of detection)
Shop: Take a –2 penalty on all checks for a job’s daily task and visit the quartermaster’s store (area A9)
Shirk: Take a –2 penalty on all checks for a job’s daily task and take time exploring one area of the ship. The PC can take 10 on a single Perception check or other skill check, but must make a check to avoid being discovered (see below).
Nighttime Ship Actions
Sleep: Go to bed early and sleep through the night (automatically recover from fatigue)
Gamble: Play or gamble on a game of chance or pirate entertainment (see page 67)
Entertain: Make one Perform check to entertain the crew (see page 67)
Influence*: Attempt to influence a single NPC
Sneak*: Take time exploring one area of the ship. The PC can take 20 on a single Perception check or other skill check, but must make a check to avoid being discovered (see below).
Steal*: Attempt to open a locked door or locker. The PC must make a check to avoid being discovered (see below).
Theft, Pilfering, and Secrecy Aboard the Wormwood
The Wormwood is a pirate ship, filled with dubious and murderous characters at best. Theft is common, but the key is not getting caught.
To perform any action unobserved, a PC must generally make an opposed skill check, such as a Sleight of Hand or Stealth check against an NPC’s Perception check. On a crowded ship, however, it’s not practical to make opposed checks against potentially dozens of NPCs. Instead, the PC should make an appropriate skill check (usually Sleight of Hand or Stealth) to represent a typical situation, using the following guidelines to set the DC of the check.
Attempting a stealthy action in a crowd, such as casting a spell with verbal or somatic components without being noticed: DC 20.
Attempting a stealthy action where there is a chance of discovery, such as visiting the quartermaster’s store during work, exploring a room during the day, or attempting to open a chest in a room while its occupants are sleeping: DC 15.
Attempting a stealthy action under cover of a suitable diversion, such as attempting to open lockers when the rest of the crew are working or on deck enjoying themselves: DC 10.
Failing this check by 4 or less means the PC attempting the action is merely disturbed and is unable to complete the action. Failing the check by 5 or more means the PC is caught red-handed by a random crew member, and might be turned over to Master Scourge for discipline.
A9. Quartermaster’s Store
The ship’s quartermaster, Cut-Throat Grok, can usually be found in this cramped, crowded storeroom containing numerous barrels, boxes, and chests. The door is locked with a superior lock (Disable Device DC 40; Grok keeps the key), and features a 3-foot-square serving hatch (also with a superior lock) .
The quartermaster’s store acts as a kind of unofficial shop aboard the Wormwood. While any plunder stored there technically belongs to the captain, this is a pirate ship after all, and everything has its price. Any equipment stored within is for sale at the normal price listed in the Core Rulebook.
Items found on the ship (or won from other pirates) can also be traded at the store for other merchandise. Bartered objects are generally worth 50% of their normal value when traded for goods.
While the store is, in theory, open at all hours, it’s usually only open from dawn to about 3 p.m., when Grok starts drinking. She only opens the door outside these hours to friends. Grok has a tendency to get drunk in the afternoons and closes the store before heading to the deck for the evening meal. After supper, Grok carries the crew’s rum rations in a bucket to the main deck.
Treasure: The quartermaster’s store contains two tuns of rum (each holding about 105 gallons at the start of the journey) and six other containers. The contents of these lockers, along with information about their locks and any traps, are detailed below. Grok knows the value of the majority of the items in the store, but she is unaware of the value of those items marked with asterisks or thinks they are mundane, and sells or barters those items at their standard list prices. At the start of the adventure, the PCs’ starting equipment is held in one of the lockers, as described below. See Recovering Gear on page 25 for how the PCs may regain possession of their gear.
1. Wooden Locker: Contains a random selection of mundane adventuring gear with a value of 10 gp or less.
2. Wooden Locker: Contains the PCs’ equipment, Rosie Cusswell’s masterwork fiddle (see page 17), a starknife, 3 f lasks of acid, 6 flasks of alchemist’s fire, four sets of thieves tools (one of which is masterwork*), and a battered iron box containing six candles, one of which is a candle of truth*.
3. Wooden Chest: Contains a potion of barkskin, a potion of cure light wounds, a potion of haste, a masterwork climber’s kit, a disguise kit, 4 flasks of holy water, a magnifying glass, a set of manacles, and two tanglefoot bags.
4. Wooden Chest: Contains a masterwork light crossbow, three cutlasses (see Pirates of the Inner Sea), 31 daggers, three masterwork daggers, 43 masterwork darts, four saps, a masterwork sap, 120 arrows, 20 masterwork arrows, six +1 arrows, and 200 crossbow bolts
5. Wooden Trunk: Contains a suit of banded mail, a breastplate, two chain shirts, masterwork leather armor, three suits of studded leather armor, 12 bucklers, two masterwork bucklers, and a small cash box containing 231 cp, 99 sp, and 103 gp.
6. Metal Trunk: Contains a +1 animal bane dagger* (Grok thinks this is just a normal +1 dagger), a +1 short sword, a masterwork warhammer, scrolls of cure moderate wounds, mage armor, magic missile, scorching ray, and summon swarm, and a wand of bless weapon (16 charges).