Kevin Weiser on Pathfinder and the Skull & Shackles Adventure Path

Kevin, you are GMing Pathfinder! What is your campaign’s premise? How did you begin the first game?


The main premise is “Hey, Virtual Tabletops have sure come a long way, haven’t they?”

I wanted to incorporate a virtual tabletop at the actual tabletop. My friend’s game room has a nice big table with a 80″ HDTV that fits perfect at one end. So a couple months before my turn came up to GM in our group, I fired up Roll20, the group picked a Pathfinder Adventure Path, and I set to work importing the maps, monster tokens, and art from the Skull and Shackles Adventure Path PDFs into Roll20. I wanted the visual aspect of the RPG to actually be pretty, and the battle map itself to help play: easy to measure distances, easy to move tokens around, automatically calculating lighting and fog-of-war, stuff like that. Computer-aided RPG.

So, this is my first campaign I’ve GM’d with a strong visual component. I also wanted to highlight the nitty-gritty tactics of Pathfinder, as I’m a firm believer of System Matters, and the Pathfinder system does tactics very well, go big or go home. I wanted the other players to be challenged, and to feel clever for overcoming those challenges. So far, so good!

Also, pirates. YAR! It’s been fun learning more about historical pirates, and thinking about how a high magic setting like Golarion would affect piracy. It doesn’t hurt that there are so many gorgeous works of art around the Age of Sail. So I’m really glad we decided to go with Skull and Shackles.


Skull and Shackles! Nice.

Tell me more about piracy in Golarion, please. What makes them different from Earth pirates?

Sails are much more vulnerable in Golarion. Sure on Earth we had chain shot and a good hit to the mast can really ruin the mobility of a ship, but a single fireball will evaporate the mainsail and all the rigging. A flying wizard can hit all three masts from 600 feet away, well out of the range of any cannon or ballistae, and now that ship is a sitting duck. Another big factor is attacks can come from many more directions. Mostly on Earth you just have to watch for sails on the horizon. On Golarion, there are many intelligent creatures that can swim faster than most ships, likewise flying creatures can increase the scouting range of a pirate crew by many miles. It becomes much more about not being seen at all than it is about losing any possible pursuer. It actually feels a lot closer to modern naval combat in that regard.


What is the coolest (or what are some cool) nitty-gritty tactics moments?

I’ll give two, one GM side and one Player Side.

As the GM, I had a LOT of fun when a player introduced a Aboleth in the backstory for his Hunter. GM: “A hunter, eh? What do you hunt?” Player: “I HUNT THE WHITE ABOLETH.”

This was super fun for two reasons: 1) I got to unleash a wicked pun when I changed it from White Aboleth to Wight Aboleth, oh man the look on that player’s face when he realized why that tentacle slap gave him negative levels… Priceless.

2) Aboleths try to raise slave armies through mental domination, so I got to thoroughly muck with the pre-written adventure by introducing a monster that’s running around dominating all these important NPC’s. There are limits, though. The domination lasts 16 days and works from unlimited range, but has to be renewed in person. So, how big of a network can one undead Aboleth create? Well, since they don’t tire and can swim all day and all night, the answer is “pretty big.” Watching the players discover, then dismantle this network of thralls was very rewarding. Working out the logistics of all this made my brainmeats happy.

From the Player side, a little while ago they rolled up on a fortress of Cyclopes. The Adventure Path suggests compartmentalizing the encounters, but I didn’t like that idea. If the alarm is raised, why wouldn’t everybody come? So what was supposed to be 4 or 5 encounters with Cyclopes was in fact one encounter with 16 Cyclopes, a Big Boss Cyclpse, and his 2nd in command. If the PC’s had played it straight, they would have been paste. But they were super smart about it. A combination of area denial, crowd control, and blocking line of sight with spells forced the Cyclopes into a kill zone. I did my best to play them smart, but there just wasn’t much they could do about it. It was amazing to watch the players organically develop a strategy that was absolutely devastating. System mastery at its finest!


Sweet. It was the Moby Dick of Aboleths. Love it.

I ran the Kingmaker Adventure Path a few years ago using BW and really liked it. How are you liking Skull and Shackles?
What is the AP providing?

I like Skull and Shackles quite a bit. The rags-to-riches revenge story of a group that started their pirate career drugged and press ganged then gradually rise in power and reputation to the most fearsome pirates in the sea!

A couple things I like in particular: I really enjoy how much of the adventure path is about reputation, infamy, and the political realities of piracy. Like the fact that in the beginning, other pirates are just as much of a threat as the occasional Pirate Hunter sent down from Chelliax. That is, until the PC’s have made a name for themselves. I also enjoy the political intrigue of the pirate council, and the major plot thread that involves sniffing out a traitor, with the looming threat of a massive invasion.

Another thing I’ve been enjoying is the lack of large dungeons, but instead there are many small dungeons, some just 2 or 3 rooms. They’re quick but very flavorful: a sunken temple here, a mysterious Black Tower there, and the obligatory series of clues written in poem form on a treasure map. These smaller locations are much more believable than a multi-trip large dungeon, and they cram in only the best stuff, very few filler rooms.

Also, this AP lets aquatic themed character builds really shine, and that’s rare.


Any favorite dungeons?


I really enjoyed the finale to the first module: Riptide Cove, a sea cave lair of Grindylows on Bonewrack Isle, where the PC’s have been shipwrecked. It’s a dungeon that varies widely depending on what time of day it is: during high tide it’s almost entirely underwater, but low tide most of the time it’s only ankle deep. There’s also a nice mix of encounters in there, Grindylows, a Devil Fish, and some Lacedons.

I also really enjoyed the Sahuagin Tunnels in Mancatcher Cove, completely dark and underwater, the PC’s had to play it smart to get in and out alive. That’s also where the final showdown with the Wight Aboleth was, as he’d dominated the Sahuagin and was using them to grow his nascent undersea empire.


I’m fascinated by Chelliax. They worship a devil, right?


Yes! Chelliax’s ruling family signed a multi-generational deal with the Archdevil Asmodeus, which has been re-negotiated twice since then, and so the throne now has the most metal name ever: The Thrice-Damned Throne. The overarching geopolitical situation in Skull and Shackles is that Chelliax used to have a colony down in the south called Sargava (analagus to Rio De Janeiro) which fought for and claimed independence a little while ago. The only reason Chelliax hasn’t reclaimed their colony is because those pesky Shackles Pirates cut a deal with Sargava, and pick apart any Armada that comes through. Chelliax is fed up with that, and plans to send an invasion fleet to deal with the pirates once and for all (in about 4 months game time in my campaign, we’re close enough to the end that I’ve actually set a hard date.)


Creating a good build is a big part of Pathfinder. What are your thoughts on grabbing an optimal build?


I do think optimal builds are important in Pathfinder. System mastery is one of the primary reasons to play a game of this complexity. While I definitely am not a fan of the idea of the antagonistic GM, I do feel that one of the most important aspects of Pathfinder and games like it is the feeling of being challenged and overcoming that challenge. The stakes need to be high, and the players need to be able to say “Man, we would have been so screwed if we didn’t have X” where X is a class ability or spell that the player took, or the exact right magic item they sought out and acquired.

Which is not to say sub-optimal builds don’t have a place. I just think it’s better suited for very experienced players who are deliberately handicapping themselves. “You say Bards suck? Let me see what I can do with one.” That kind of thing.


What does an aquatic character build look like?


One of the cool features of Pathfinder is over the years each class has accumulated dozens of variants called archetypes. Each one swaps out a base class ability for something else along a theme. Every class has a “aquatic” variant or two, plus spellcasters can often take specializations or patron deities that are sea-related and those convey special abilities too. So far we’ve had a Pirate Rogue, an Aquatic Druid, a Mer-folk Monk, all of which would be a poor choice almost anywhere else in Golarion, but they all got to shine here.


I was surprised at how much I enjoyed adding my own details and spin on Golarion. How are you feeling about making Golarion your own?


Oh man I love it. The wiki(s) has just the right amount of information on a region or faction to get you started but it’s all there for the taking. It took me a long time tog et over my fear of established settings and pre-written modules. But now I’m finally comfortable with the idea that these things are tools in my toolkit, not sacred texts to be followed.

In general, I the credit for overcoming that fear to discovering indie games. In fact, a lot of how much I can enjoy Pathfinder now comes from what I learned from indie games. And part of that comes from finding the Sons of Kryos all those years ago. So, thanks for that. 🙂


What advice would you give a GM trying to find their own angle/toehold on this huge world with so much published material?


For the love of God, don’t try to remember all of it or even READ all of it. Fall into wiki-holes related to whatever’s relevant for your campaign, and just dig around. Don’t be afraid to hand over lore-dumps to a player at the table who might know more than you. We’ve got a guy at my table that LOVES the Golarion Lore. He knows it way better than I do. I let him narrate when our party Bard inevitably gets an insane Knowledge (whatever) check.

Don’t forget that Pathfinder is a long-form game. There’s very little you actually need to know from session to session. Plenty of time to research related stuff as you go along.


That might be a great place to end it.

Anything else you wanted to talk about?

Just a thank you for asking me to do this, it was a lot of fun!


Thank you!

 

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Watching a Demon Take Shape

When Rich said he wanted our Sorcerer game to be set in NYC I knew I wanted demons to be buildings.

One of the buildings ended up being One Vanderbilt and since the game’s first chapter ended I continue to walk by and see the building taking shape. One Vanderbilt, right next to Grand Central station, is where Rich’s character ritually murdered a rival and it is where his character was shot and left for dead. I can’t help but see this building as demonic.

IMG_20180325_214401.jpg

I like how gaming can change the way I see the world around me.

 

The Servant and the War

The game starts at around 56 minutes in if you want to skip the character burning and belief writing.

The Situation

Our scoundrels were not going to make it to the table tonight, so we went to the Burning Wheel Campaign Ideas and chose one. Sean got stuff ready so we could stream and he got it up in about fifteen minutes; it was a heroic effort.

Sean narrowed it down to 3 and he chose some of my favorites from the list. In the end we chose this one:

shoeless situation

BW campaign idea: You are a shoeless peasant. The armies of the dwarves, elves and humans will soon clash near your home. #burningwheel

Burning

Sean did a great job of walking through the lifepaths and teasing out the setting implications of his choices. Bina was a captive of war turned servant who married into the village, built around a tower at the crossroads. Bina has a husband who is a wheelwright and a lover who is a hunter. She has a 4 year old child. She serves the lord knight who rules this tower at the crossroads, where farmers from all over meet for market.

To the north are the mountains, ruled by dwarven princes. To the south is the ancient forest, ruled by elves. To the east is the capital, ruled by the human ducal council. The elves forbid anyone from going too far west.

I peeked at an old article, Elves at War, on the BW forum written by Luke.

burning battles

Wheel

Beliefs

  • Convince Deek to flee.
  • Keep Bodnar from raising the alarm.

Instincts

  • Keep Bodnar’s flagon full.

We got up and moving pretty fast. In that time we cleared up our expectations. Sean seemed to be expecting a fast and furious one-shot but I’m more into a long, slow burn with BW. I’m glad we cleared that up.

Sean definitely burned up a character who gave me plenty to work with but it was challenging. Bina is not a traditional fantasy novel protagonist and I liked that. As the situation demanded, she is a normal person swept up into an epic and dangerous event.

Deek Nandor – Bina’s husband, a wheelright

Nara – her 4 year old daughter

Sir Bodnar Butond – the knight in whose tower she serves

Vas – her hunter lover, tired of waiting, wants to run away with her

I prodded at Bina for a few hours. We rolled some dice, played out the consequences – did a Duel of Wits and learned how far Bina will go. We got to know the place, this lonely tower at the crossroads where farmers and shepherds brought their goods to market. We got to know the important people in Bina’s life a bit. I left Sean with a terrible choice, putting the life of the lord-knight directly into her hands.

We’ll find out what choice she makes next time.

 

Art

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “The Two Armies” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1530. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/d576ac40-e6d6-0132-8b89-58d385a7bbd0

Edited by me using pixlr.

The Wobbegong Crew: Do sharks have souls?

The Wobbegong Crew: Do sharks have souls?

 

sharksoul tweet

Link to tweet

 

This was an odd session. In Blades mechanical terms we had Free Play, then some Downtime and then some more Free Play. It was also an amazing session where we struggled to figure out what the gang was really about – our dreams of a better world, the worst of our trauma or just the money.

The first round of Free Play saw the group heading to Lord Scurlock’s manor to drop off the book they stole during last game’s job. There was tension in the gang. Maud wasn’t sure if the payment was in Coin or if they were going to be paid in Scurlock’s expertise in demonology and his ability to read the ancient book. Skannon wasn’t having that; if they did they job they should get paid, he thought.

A young man (I pictured him at 17 years old or so) answered the door, a bit high and bleeding from the neck but seeming not to notice. They recognized him as the son of the Lord Governor.

Scurlock paid the crew 3 Coin that was manifested by 3 antique coins about the size of an adult hand. He told them that how they dealt with the young man was up to them and that he would be watching to see what choice they made. He paid Skannon while staring him down.  When confronted with an ancient vampire lord who is a one-man-Tier-3-gang Skannon didn’t blink. In the end, they took the bleeding young man with them and Maud even went to some risk to break Scurlock’s arcane hold on him.

There was a rift in the group on how they should handle the situation. That conflict ran into the next bit of Free Play. Sean checked in with Pete to make sure he was cool with their characters conflicting, which was really nice. I’ve seen that turn ugly in the past.

Maud gathered info to find out what the hell happened to the Lampblacks. It turned out they hit a gambling den that belonged to the Hive after seeing the Wobbegong Crew take the Hive’s warehouse with little to no consequence. All of the Lampblack’s lieutenants were found dead and burned in a drug den that was destroyed by a fire. The Bluecoats wrote it off as a spark-related death.

But they’d heard that Bazso Baz was still alive in a drug den in Dunslough. It was too late in the evening in the real world to start a score. They decided to go visit Bazso – more Free Play.

When they found Bazso in the worst slum in Doskvol he was a broken man – hooked on spark. I thought of him, mechanically, as a character who retired with nothing saved up. The Hive had left him alive as a cautionary tale.

Once again the characters were divided. Maud wanted to leave him be but build up his family and personal network to help him regain what he had lost.

Charming wanted to pick him up, splash some water on him and get him back into form or just use him as a resource.

While Charming and Maud were debating, Skannon ghost veiled in and slit Bazso’s throat.

Skannon the Crow

Skannon a.k.a. The Crow got a 3rd trauma this game. He is teetering on the brink. The Crow wants to take the Hive’s offer, to prove to them that they can make money with the Wobbegong Crew in their pay without human trafficking.

Hence the title of the blog post. We are going to find out in the upcoming sessions what the gang is going to become.

Art

Leon F. Czolgosz, the assassin. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/90707285/>;.
The Corliss Bevel-Gear-Cutting Machine. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/2004678678/>;.
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Wm. Hawes in front of jewelry store with intricate clock.” The New York Public Library Digital Collectionshttp://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-69ca-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Grand View, City and Canal, Syracuse, N.Y.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1880. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-5eee-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
 The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “The transportation problem. The Baxter boat “City of New York,” the fastest steamer tried on the Erie Canal” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1825. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-7e54-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “For years he had been quietly filling his stocking.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1913. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/6c65dc92-8494-939f-e040-e00a180677f1

The Wobbegong Crew and the Daemonic Lexicon Volume III

In which the gang burgles the library in the haunted manor of the Dimmer Sisters to steal a book about demons, written by the Emperor before the Cataclysm, for Lord Scurlock, the book’s original owner.

nypl.digitalcollections.510d47e3-c709-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99.001.w (1)

The Gang

Charming was separated from the group as a kind of front door diversion and that made framing scenes and going back and forth tricky. This felt like it was right up Skannon’s alley and it made me squirrelly when Pete’s dice would bite him. I’ll write more about that below. Maud had infiltrated the sisters’ ectoplasm-powered psychic network, giving her a strong hand-hold.

The Job with text

The players got to Tier II and the Dimmer Sisters are also Tier II. For once, they weren’t punching up but squaring off with an equal. I’m glad that my Handlinger-inspired descriptions of the Dimmer Sisters and their pairs of floating upright psychic witch enforcers in black lace veils and matching funereal dresses had the desired effect; the players were freaked out by them.

I’m also glad I waited until after the session that came after this one to write this up. I had this feeling that the session was too easy but everyone was stressed to the gills. Rock on.

In the end, they stole the book and got out without losing anyone. The Dimmer Sisters know damn well who did it. The gang’s Faction Status with the Dimmer Sisters is now at a precarious -2.

The Mechanics in White

Folks kept failing Risky Standard conflicts (we call them Whiskey Standard) and I kept exercising the option to escalate them to Desperate. I’m not sure if that was the best way to go. Maybe I should have started to dole out some Harm.

Something to think about. I might go back, watch the session and make another blog post about this with links to moments of play.

 

Art

Leon F. Czolgosz, the assassin. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/90707285/>;.
The Corliss Bevel-Gear-Cutting Machine. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/2004678678/>;.
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Wm. Hawes in front of jewelry store with intricate clock.” The New York Public Library Digital Collectionshttp://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-69ca-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Grand View, City and Canal, Syracuse, N.Y.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1880. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-5eee-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
 The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “The transportation problem. The Baxter boat “City of New York,” the fastest steamer tried on the Erie Canal” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1825. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-7e54-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. “Front cover” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1550. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e3-c709-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Wobbegong Crew: The 3 Skov Ghost Job

In which the gang smuggles 3 patriotic Skovlander ghosts from the Lost District to Ulf Ironborn.

The Gang

It was Jay and Sean – Charming and Maud. The timing for them to be in a mission together was kind of perfect, as they had a disagreement last game and Maud had stormed off.

Duskwall again

Taking lead from Jay who continues to name background Skovlander children as Charming acts as a babysitter, I mentioned a child gets back late one night with his blazer torn. He boasts that Ulf Ironborn paid him a bushel of apples to sneak under a fence and open a door so Ulf’s gang could murder a city councilor.

The child goes on to say that Ulf has a smuggling job for them if they want it.

Before deciding on jobs Maud and Charming visit Lord Scurlock to ask about demons. They tried to get Scurlock to commit to saying that he was dead against demons but he was non-committal. The vampire lord of Doskovol says that he could help them but his best book on demonology was stolen by the Dimmer Sisters.

They decided to wait for Skannon whose skills would be necessary when infiltrate the Dimmer Sisters and took Ulf’s smuggling job.

The Job with text

The 3 Skov Ghost job was given to them by Ulf’s second-in-command, Havid. They were to take the Blackjack out past the Lightning Barrier into the Lost District and an agent would be waiting for them there with 3 ghosts. They were to smuggle the 3 ghosts past the Lightning Barrier to Ulf and his crew who would be waiting in the basement of a public house on the docks.

Maud and Charming was not pleased with the unknowns and they pushed, using dice to find out more. It caused them some stress but in the end they found out that the ghosts were going to be put into Skovlander War Frames, as used on Barghast Beach, the bloodiest engagement of the War and the battle that forged his gang. Ulf was planning on using the warframes to cement his gang’s place.

As jobs go it went smoothly but there were hitches. The ghosts weren’t ghosts; they were people – members of a Skov special forces unit who were hit with a location spell by an Imperial War Whisper. If they entered the city they’d be located by the Imperial Army; it was in their blood. When Maud tried to cut the spell it nearly attached itself to her but she fought it off.

After discussing it, they decided that Charming could kill them quickly with a knife, which he did and then they’d wait for the ghosts to separate with some help from Maude. This was represented by a 6-count clock along with a second 6-count clock to represent a pack of ghosts finding the crew. Given the bad rep of the Deathlands and the Lost District, I should’ve made the pack of ghosts finding the crew clock a 4-count but that is alright.

Charming killed the Skov patriots with a knife. They held hands and sang Skovlander soldier songs while he did it.

Another hitch, Ironhook convicts came down the beach towards the crew. Charming confronted them while Maud dealt with peeling the ghosts away from the newly dead’s bodies.

Smuggling jobs, like stealth jobs, are tricky as a GM. I want complications but I don’t want the players to feel like their employer effed them over. I want the players to be cool but I don’t want the job to be too easy. I want ways for the job to get complicated without the players being bad at smuggling. I felt like I found a good balance. There was a bunch of stress but it didn’t go entirely pear-shaped. Nothing caught on fire or exploded.

There were ghosts and lots of danger; the Deathlands felt dangerous, even if it was just across the river, within sight of the Lightning Barrier.

The Mechanics in White

At the end of this game the Wobbegong Crew became Tier 2.

Ulf Ironborn is in play. The Skovlander refugees are a good link to him and he thinks well of the Wobbegong Crew because of their anti-trafficking efforts despite the side they took during the war. Also, he is the first gang of a lower tier than the players, which is cool. They get to be mentors.

There was word around town that the Lampblacks thought the Hive looked weak when their warehouse got taken so easily by the Wobbegong Crew, so they tried to take some Hive turf for their own. Since then, the Lampblacks have entirely disappeared. No one has heard anything about them.

 

Art

Leon F. Czolgosz, the assassin. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/90707285/>;.
The Corliss Bevel-Gear-Cutting Machine. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/2004678678/>;.
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Wm. Hawes in front of jewelry store with intricate clock.” The New York Public Library Digital Collectionshttp://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-69ca-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Grand View, City and Canal, Syracuse, N.Y.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1880. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-5eee-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
 The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “The transportation problem. The Baxter boat “City of New York,” the fastest steamer tried on the Erie Canal” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1825. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-7e54-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Wobbegong Crew: The Haunted Warehouse Job

In which the gang takes turf from the Hive.

On the first day of Bladesmas my scoundrels gave to me a spectre in a dead tree….

The Gang

We had Maude, Charming and Skannon tonight. With 3 PC’s, we are tending to wait until we’ve got a full crew before playing lately. I liked the way having different characters in different jobs changed the way we’d approach each job or which job we’d take when offered a few.

Duskwall again

The Five Faces of the Moon – The teahouse Skannon often frequents when he pays for company.

Liz Lomond – reporter who brought the Hive’s human trafficking into the light.

Edlund – the “kindly” Bluecoat who always comes to talk the gang into taking a less bloody route.

Jol – the Bluecoat who took a crowbar to the Blackjack, the crew’s main boat.

Djera Maha and Karth Orris – leaders of The Hiven, NPC’s named in the book.

Narcus Comber – Hive’s Lawyer – the man Charming stole a watch from back in the early days, back before their HQ had a door and the barrister just walked in

Azin, Kimiya, Orkiden, Yass – Whispers with the Red Sashes – ladies who can go from frightening witches to doting grandmothers in the spin of a penny.

Barghast Bay – the bloodiest engagement in the War is where this gang was forged and is mentioned often.

Jonah – a mischievous Skovlander child who mistreated Skannon’s dining room table. Jason is often dropping the names of children during the game as we see Charming trying to be a baby-sitter.

The Job with text

As per their peace agreement with the Red Sashes, they returned the Upper Deck, turf taken during the war, but the Red Sashes had to aid them in taking a warehouse from the Hive. They took it using magic, knowing that the arcane arts and ectoplasmic sciences are weak points in the Hive’s arsenal.

The sent the fermenting mass of ghosts from the bilge of the Upper Deck, which had been used by some long gone gang as a place to stow bodies, into the Hive’s warehouse and managed to control it, keeping the situation from becoming a cannibalistic mess. The group made their rolls for the most part and utilized a weakness in the Hive, an unwillingness to utilize ghosts and sorcery. A roll demanded a complication, and so the warehouse is now forever haunted.

As a result, the Hive offered Maud and Skannon jobs and had a talk with Charming about why they did what they did. They offered Maud an estate in Six Towers with a view of the Scurlock Manor and offered Skannon his family’s ancestral ship, now docked just within the Lightning Barrier.

Now the group has a haunted warehouse full of Skovlander refugees as turf. Good stuff.

The Mechanics in White

The mechanics brought an entanglement in which the Bluecoats took out their anger on the Blackjack. I also consider the NPC’s mentioned in the faction section as part of the mechanics. The personalities and links between gangs and factions is well wrought.  Pluck one string and it causes ripples throughout Doskovol.

 

Art

Leon F. Czolgosz, the assassin. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/90707285/>;.
The Corliss Bevel-Gear-Cutting Machine. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/2004678678/>;.
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Wm. Hawes in front of jewelry store with intricate clock.” The New York Public Library Digital Collectionshttp://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-69ca-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Grand View, City and Canal, Syracuse, N.Y.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1880. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-5eee-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
 The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “The transportation problem. The Baxter boat “City of New York,” the fastest steamer tried on the Erie Canal” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1825. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-7e54-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99