Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Actual Play: Savage Tides Background

I'm going to put up Actual Play reports from my GURPS DF adaption of Pathfinder's Savage Tides Adventure Path (STAP), along with some nodes here and there on how and why I converted stuff. But let me start with some general history of this game.

At least a year ago, two things happened around the same time. First, SJ Games released Matt Rigsby's The Mirror of the Fire Demon (MotFD), the 1st published adventure for GURPS DF. Second, my group's (at the time) regular GM got sick / disappeared into work / had a kid or something and was unable to run anything.

So as a stopgap, I volunteered to run a straight from the rule books GURPS DF game with MotFD. I'm a rules tweaker by nature, and DF is full of stuff I don't like (cheap Flying! generic magic! quick and dirty enchanting means that everyone has Cornucopia Quivers! unrealistic armor weights! overpowered weapon mastery! light, cheap rations and expensive healing potions! etc) but in the interest of speed and simplicity, I didn't change a single thing. The players were intrigued, and off we went.

The initial PCs where:
Sister Joan, a human Saint (played by RB). Joan was an intolerant, smelly, crazed holy woman.
Simon, a human Swashbuckler-Thief (played by DM). Simon was a light-hearted swashbuckler, always out to look cool and save the innocent.
Blackjack, a wood-elf Scout (played by TB). Blackjack was their paranoid wilderness guide, looking to avoid murdering bunnies while getting paid.

They were soon joined by:
Chi Nyugen, a human metal/fire elementalist (played by JS). Chi was a freaky wizard, cursed by strange and unpleasant happenings in his life, who joined the group after his initial expedition got overrun by fire demons.
Big Al, a half-ogre knight (played by WS). Big Al thought he was a bard, but swung a horribly mean flail. He was generally described as "strong as a horse, and nearly as big" or "good lord, we could ride him!". Without  Weapon Master, he only did 4d+4 damage and wasn't quite the Mayor of Crazytown he'd become, but was on his way.

These five delvers stomped their way through MotFD, running from the teams of other scary delvers, murdering the teams of other evil delvers, and being lied to by the teams of other friendly delvers. A good time was had by all. It wasn't high role-playing, but it was a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon with friends.

So eventually that finished, and we were again at loose ends, and somehow I volunteered to run STAP. I can never really tell why causes something to spark the "I'd really like to, or at least be willing to, run this" feeling, but STAP worked for me and the PCs wanted to spend their earned loot and do cool stuff on a sailing ship.

So that's the players, the characters, and the background. In a couple of months of on-again, off-again play (the group nominally meets weekly, but schedules collide and we play other stuff), they've gotten through 2 1/2 of the STAP adventures: the Bullywug Gambit and Sea Wyvern's Wake. They're finishing up Here There Be Monsters now, and skipped No Honor Among Thieves (the first adventure) since I thought it was a bit dull.

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