Of the NPC-centered 30s lists, this is quite possibly my favourite so far. I didn't think it was possible to come up with 30 unique types of necromatic personalities, but somehow you did. My absolute fav is also the Ghost Horse. I can think of a dozen ways to place him in a game and could probably base an entire adventure or two off of him. Go to Comment
Sailing comfortably down the river, a small boat approaches yours. The man inside rows intensively, gives you little more than a disapproving glance, and surpasses you in a moment, getting out of sight where the river bends. Moments later, a group of men passes by in two larger boats, rowing and ignoring you as well.
Intervening may bring you trouble, but asking in the right way (they are soldiers, for those who can see) will reveal you that this is part of training new recruits; the first to reach the city downstream gets a leave.
(The encounter may be of no big consequence, or be another hint that war is coming.) Go to Comment
riding in a small river boat, the PCs have been enjoying an easy trip as the winds have favored the ship's small sails and single mast. Trouble arises as the ship moves into a turbid part of the river. Here the river is littered with sandbars and rock ridges. One misstep can strang the boat, requiring the PCs to have to dig out a sandbar by hand, or find someway to life a rivercraft off of a rockbar.
The captain calls the crew and PCs to the sweeps/oars and they must endure some hard manual labor at the rowlocks as the ship crawls through the sand infested part of the river. If the ship makes it through, the captain breaks out some Buccaneer Rum to reward his small crew and the PCs. If the ship is grounded, the PCs are delayed and the captain asks for a new fee so he can do some repair work on the ship after they are dropped off at their destination. Go to Comment
A seam in the hull has sprung and now water is filling the ship at a steady rate. Only the most daft of Pcs would not notice the ship sitting lower and lower in the water as she takes on water and gains weight. If the PCs are that dense, the ship can start to list, or lean to the side as one side fills faster than the other.
Once the situation is realized, the PCs/crew can fix the leaking seam with a moderate skill check. The real challenge comes as they have to drain the water out of the ship, possibly one bucket at a time if they do not have anytihng like a bilge pump. Their goods, cargo, and equipment might even be completely soaked before they save the sinking ship. Go to Comment
Riverside Eye Candy
While gliding up the river, the ship passes a calm riverside pool where a number of young women from a nearby village have gathered to wash themselves and their weekly laundry. The PCs are able to get an eyefull of their young bodies.
The young women wave as the ship passes but if the PCs try to put ashore, or dive off of the ship, the women scurry to gather their goods and escape back to the village where the menfolk are with spears and shields and such. Go to Comment
The Lime Tree Boat
Another boat on the river hails the PCs and their small craft. The captain has the look of a river rat and a thief, but he offers a few small goods, primarly a double handful of limes gathered from several small potted lime trees on his ship. In exchange he is interested in getting more hull sealant for his ship, possibly some new rope, a spare sail, or some other vital need. He has no treasure and is a simple river rat who lives on his boat, fishes, and does some business as a non-guild merchant and courier. Go to Comment
The Rotting Hulk
Along the river, the PC encounter a massive three masted ocean going ship. She is half buried in river sand, her sails gone to tatters, rope rotted or looted, and her deck warped and swaybacked from exposure. If they explore the wreck that blocks half of the river they find it slick with growing slime and mold, the upper parts home to hundred of birds and all sorts of other creatures who have made their homes inside of its dark and cool interior.
There is no real treasure to be found aboard. The ship was part of an attempt to map the river a long time ago when the waters were much deeper. The ship was grounded and abandoned, its crew assimilated into the local populace. Alternately, it could be the hulk of a once known and feared pirate, igniting a bout of pirate treasure fever! Go to Comment
The Mysterious Piece of Cargo
The PCs have spent long days and uncomfortable nights on the ship, when one evening they discover a golden medallion stuffed between two sacks in the cargo hold. There seems to be blood on it and it is unnaturally cold to the touch. It is a 14 karat medallion (gold-silver alloy) and on it two stylized ravens, much like a coat of arms, is engraved. On the edges an inscription reads: "Honour, glory and skill".
The medallion is a piece of mystery. No one aboard the ship will recognize it, though some scruffians will be quick to claim it should the PCs be so naive as to openly declare that they found it. No one has been wounded either, but should the PCs inspect the cargo they will discover a dismembered corpse wrapped in layer upon layer of cloth in three of the sacks. A PC with heraldry may recognize the coat of arms as belonging to the Dularien Family, an influential noble family making their home in the previous port they visited.
The corpse is Berus Dularien, the eldest son and heir of old lord Dularien. Whether Berus was killed by his brothers (for the title and wealth), by criminals (gambling debt) or by some random psychotic (aboard the ship) is up to the GM. They did not intend to leave the amulet behind, but lost it and had to flee when dock workers approached to put more cargo in the hold.
The amulet has a minor enchantment, protecting the wearer from water. This extends to rain, snow and even drunk water (rolls out of the mouth and down his neck (without touching the neck)), until it is sucked up into the clothing (wet clothing will be pushed 1 mm from the wearer's skin). To drink, bathe (will sink to the bottom of the ocean... dry) or feel the rain, the wearer must remove the amulet.
Blood, oil, paint and other liquids do stick to the amulet. Go to Comment
I love it. I wish I would have seen this last week as my group just took a shipride and could have had one or even two of these events happen.
My favorite is the finding the ship on fire. How crazy would that be to not recognize it as a funeral pyre, jump on board, take the loot, and then land at the harbor where the ship was sent out showing off your new found treasure. Akward to say the least. Go to Comment
In a new town for the first time, the White Raccoon Lodge looks like a comfortable place to spend the night. The owner, however, makes sure to explain to you that there is a curfew after sundown and the door will be locked... from the outside. "We don't want anyone being caught out on the streets after dark," he says.
Now that you think of it, all the doors in this small town did have a crossbar on the outside rather than the inside... You wonder what goes on at night...