Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Skull & Bones Week 1

Tonight was my first Skull & Bones game, and I had a fantastic time running it. Only four out of the six players showed, but it turned out to be a good mix, since I slightly underestimated the party's abilities when planning the encounters. The party is very fighter-heavy, so I'm going to have to adjust things accordingly - shouldn't be too hard.

The game began in March of 1670, as the crew of the Queen's Justice prepared for their next voyage to the New World for the Amsterdam East India Company. "Commodore" George Brumwell III, the Bo'sun, announced to the crew that they would be taking on a new Captain before sailing - the arrogant, foppish Lord Mars Snickerton, whose family invested heavily in the East India Company. They were also taking a passenger, one Ronald Rontacort, a gentleman of learning and fashion.

The ship left London with little incident, loaded down with luxury items to sell in Kingston. That night, though, Mr. Rontacort found himself viciously attacked by two assailants in his quarters - and the door was mysteriously nailed shut! The other officers - Aleida Newport, the navigator; Rodrigo de la Cruz, the Master at Arms; and Miss Zanna, the cook, healer, and spiritual advisor - rushed to investigate. They managed to break the door down just before Mr. Rontacort was overcome, and fought against his attackers, managing to subdue one and killing the other. The Captain, awakened by the noise, ordered the body and the attacker thrown overboard.

Disobeying the Captain's orders, the three officers and the passenger took the rogue below and questioned him, learning that he was a member of a secret order called the Brotherhood of the Drowned Men - distinguishable by the strange tattoos on the back of their necks, a skull impaled on an anchor. He said that he was to make sure that Rontacort didn't make it to the New World alive, as Rontacort knew things about the Fountain of Youth that would prove dangerous not only to him, but to the world. The crew also learned that a pirate of some reknown, John Robinson, was also looking for the Fountain, but learned little otherwise. They finally followed the Captain's orders and tossed the man overboard.

The next morning, the Captain ordered Ian Connors, the first mate, flogged for hiring such lowly men as the two assassins. Brumwell carried out the order, but did it grudgingly, and everyone noticed that the lashes seemed light.

Later that week, the Captain ordered the ship's cats tossed overboard as well, as one of them scratched him. After debating with the crew, the captain shot the offending cat and released the rest. A few days later, when a man failed to report for duty and the ship's carpenter reported the man dead in the cargo hold, the Captain ordered the officers to investigate - and Rontacort to go with them, to keep an eye on them. In the hold, they found nine enormous rats, each larger than a beagle. After a short battle, the officers dispatched the rats and found where they came from: packing from a crate in the hold. They scoured the ship looking for more, and after none turned up declared the job a success.

That's where the game ended. All in all, it went really well - the party wasn't supposed to find out about Robinson so early, as he's the main villain of the campaign, but it's nothing a little creative story-manipulation can't fix. Next week: fun with mutiny.

No comments: