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Comments: 6
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Rating: 2.8125
Condition: Normal
ID: 8


October 24, 2005, 3:26 pm

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Galley Slaves


They awaken with the tilt of a ship on the open sea. Any glimpses they see of the water is an endless expanse of blue. They are chained at their wrists and ankles with the chain going through an eye hook in the floorboard and then connecting them to their bench mate. A stowed oar is resting in front of them ready to be deployed. Life as a galley slave can be hard.

Needing a replacement weapon, Reglas and his three companions make their way to a well known weaponsmith that has his shop down by the docks. It is said he tempers his steel in the blessed salt water of the bay giving it extra strength. His tradition of forging steel in the darkness of the night added to the mysteries of the weaponsmith, as well as his location far from anybody to bother with the incessant banging of hammer on anvil. Either way he came highly recommended and having to go to the empty docks at night was no worry to the four adventurers.

Taking yet another turn through an even darker alley, the adventurers hear the lapping of the waves on the docks. They also hear a clamor of loosed steel and the motion of feet as they are quickly surrounded. A fight ensues, but grossly outnumbered the great adventurers are finely taken down.

They awaken with the tilt of a ship on the open sea. Any glimpses they see of the water is an endless expanse of blue. They are chained at their wrists and ankles with the chain going through an eye hook in the floorboard and then connecting them to their bench mate. A stowed oar is resting in front of them ready to be deployed. Life as a galley slave can be hard.

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Comments ( 6 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

January 7, 2003, 12:16
Getting pressganged is no fun at all. This might be a good way to wake a party up to how they've been treating some NPC's. If they've been a bullying, swaggering bunch and been cocky because you've given them a few too many toys, this is a perfect opprtunity to strip them of thier booty and crush thier egos.

When the ship gets to a port, they are used to the new help trying to make a break for it and expect it. Maybe they drug the newbies untill they are away. At that first port would be the best time for the captin to sell of or gamble away the PC's most abused or exploited possesions.

Save their most neccesary things so they can continue to adventure when they break out, but if a wizard had a particually over-powering spell in his book, I doubt it will be able to be memorized as well after being used as a placemat while the captin had some barbeque ribs.

This shouldn't be the end of thier carrers, but it should be a setback that makes them use what they've learned instead of what they've plundered.
September 19, 2004, 23:54
No offense, but there is no plot here; it's only a transitional scene. There is nothing the PC's have done, or could do, to affect any of this. Looking for weapons is a red herring (sorry, seemed appropriate to the setting ;-)) - ANY excuse that puts the PC's near the docks is sufficient, and completely incidental to the shanghai. Then they wake up chained to the oars. Their only choice of action is to row or not.

There could be a number of plots starting here: Interaction with the captain could lead to an offer to trade PC skills and knowledge for freedom, or maybe join the crew; slave uprising or mutiny could leave the PC's potentially running the boat; and, of course, arriving at a foreign port could be the start of all sorts of plot lines.

Full disclaimer: Having been a PC in this scene (twice!), it's one that just leaves the players to shrug and wait for the DM to do something else.
Voted Wulfhere
February 26, 2007, 16:20
If you're going to use this sort of scenario, you have to make it seem fair. Either start out the PCs in this situation, using it to open up a game, or play out the scene where they are captured, giving them at least the facade of escaping the situation.

If you have the captain selling off their most treasured (and game breaking) possessions, be prepared for grumbling. I would discuss the situation with the players beforehand ("You know your Amulet of Transforming into a Triple Strength Iron Spike Golem? It has got to go!") and get some sort of agreement to lowering the power level of the game a bit.

Additionally, you should give them a chance to get revenge against the ones that shanghaied them. It could even become a major plot focus: "In the Thieves' Quarter, Fordall overheard something. Apparently there's a ship that calls here regularly: A ship with golden sails!"
Voted valadaar
April 25, 2011, 20:17

Wulf is spot on with this.  Since there is not much adventure in rowing and getting whipped, this would have to be a short scene ended by something more dramatic. Like, looking left and seeing an oncoming enemy galley about to ram... 

Voted Kassy
July 26, 2011, 9:25
Only voted
Voted PoisonAlchemist
August 14, 2011, 15:15

Fankly I don't care for the ship idea at all. Hunting down that interesting blacksmith, however, has flavor and could serve as a way to buff your PCs that are havng problems instead of bringing them down a notch. Perhaps he is reclusive and lives on an island in the center of the bay, what is in the water? Does he only come out at night? What if his ritual is sinister and includes more than just salt water?

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Wet Faeries

       By: Murometz

Sages and naturalists frown at the common name given to these strange creatures by the small folk, but sometimes the silliest nicknames for creatures, places and people persevere in the minds of many. “Purifiers”, “Pond Jellies”, “Breath-Stealers”, “Lung-Ticklers” and “River Butterflies” are much less commonly heard appellations for these life forms. Wet Faeries are basically (and simply) a species of fist-sized, fresh-water jellyfish. Several traits steer them toward the peculiar category however. Firstly, Wet Faeries are nearly invisible in the water, much like their marine cousins but even more so. One can swim in a river swarming with these critters and not even notice their presence. Secondly, they possess the unique ability to clean and purify whatever body of water they inhabit. They do this via some sort of biological filtration process, sucking in all toxins present in the water, and releasing it back in its purest form. Needless to say, they are both a blessing and a curse to whichever folk dwell beside the rivers and lakes Wet Faeries inhabit. On one hand, no purer water can be found anywhere than a Wet Faerie lake or pond, and yet, in “pure” water “life” tends in fact to die out, lacking the needed nutrients to prosper. Thirdly, their “sting” is (unfortunately) virulently poisonous to all mammalians. Wet Faeries are loathe to sting anyone or anything, using their barbed fronds as a last line of defense, but if stung, most swimmers will suffer respiratory arrest, and die within minutes, usually drowning before they can make it back to shore.

Alchemists, druids, and less savory characters have studied these creatures over the years, and have predictably found all the ways Wet Faeries could be exploited. Morbidly humorous, some bards find it, that the Poisoners and Assassins Guilds as well as the Healer’s Union, all prize these creatures. The assassins use the extracted venom in obvious fashion, while the priests and healers use the still-living jelly-fish to sterilize other poison potions and to cure those already poisoned on death’s door.

It is known that a certain Earl Von Trumble keeps his vast castle moat stocked with Wet Faeries, the waters so clear that every bone of every one of his past enemies can be clearly seen on the bottom, twenty two feet below.

Encounter  ( Any ) | June 20, 2014 | View | UpVote 5xp

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