Friday, October 30
Chapter 62: Islands of the Damned - Introduction
This scenario is from the Black Sails Over Freeport adventure “Red Skies at Morning” by Green Ronin, adapted to the Arcanis setting. You can read more about Arcanis at http://www.onaraonline.org. Please note: This adventure contains spoilers!
Our cast of characters includes:
- Dungeon Master: Michael Tresca (http://michael.tresca.net)
- Beldin Soulforge (dwarf fighter/dwarven defender) played by Joe Lalumia
- Kham Val’Abebi (val rogue/psychic warrior) played by Jeremy Ortiz (jeremyrobertortiz.blogspot.com)
- Sebastian Arnyal (dark-kin sorcerer) played by George Webster
- Vlad Martell (human fighter) played by Matt Hammer
With the pending birth of my son, I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time to game in the near future. So I had to wrap up a bunch of Black Sails Over Freeport adventures quickly. Five islands in just twelve hours...it seems impossible. What the time pressure did for me as a DM was really condense all the cool parts of Black Sails Over Freeport, allowing me to discard the stupid parts.
The adventure actually inserts a vampire mcguffin, whom I transplanted from the Arcanis game (the only friendly vampire who could possibly be interested in working with the PCs, I might add). Haron von Grebel wasn’t thrilled to be working with Kham, but it’s better than slaving away for all eternity under Daen Danud. I was particularly proud of the makeover I gave Daenud, whose Blood Magus powers came in…uh, handy. It also was the absolute longest battle in my twenty years of gaming; long enough that spell durations finally just ran out. The fact that I role-played Daen as a foul-mouthed Skeletor from the He-Man cartoons probably didn’t help his image.
Zalton Zaska’s creepy machinations remained, but the endless warring by his clones was glossed over. I also skipped the majority of the stupid Skull Dugger Drawler/Mauler/Trawler/Bawlers. Speaking of Zaska, Kham’s player wanted to remake his character, and Zaska allowed me to basically inject Antonio Banderas directly into his skull.
Upon defeating Zaska, the PCs are effectively in control of a floating fortress. Von Grebel helps them plot their attack on Sycorax (aka Black Jenny Ramsey), but things don’t go as planned. Thus we have a nail-biting race against time before the skull fortress smashes into Sycorax’s pyramid. There wasn’t too much monkeying around either, if you know what I mean.
That leaves one last bad guy, Moab Cys’varion. He’s no dummy. The PCs have three of the four artifacts, and the artifact Cys’varion controls allows him to gate anyone to anywhere. For once, the bad guy goes on the offensive!
Overall, the biggest challenge wasn’t escaping the islands. It was Kham and Sebastian’s frustration with getting lots of gold but no resolution. While Beldin and Vlad were rolling in riches, the two tortured souls wondered what the hell they were fighting for. In the next chapter, they’re about to find out. more
posted by Michael Tresca at 6:55 AM
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