Travel / Campaign Diary: Archipelago Adventures - Pt. 8
Last week, we figured out a bit more about when our encounters will happen, and this week we will finally start traveling to our newly charted island. So, this post is about the next couple of days on the water, and what our party and GM will experience on the trip there.
As a reminder to a few weeks ago, our Navigator already figured out the upcoming weather for the trip. Our 3 day forecast is:
Day 1 - Favorable winds to help speed up our progress
Day 2 - A good day for sailing, no issues
Day 3 - Ill-favored winds that will slow down progress
Which means our first day of travel will be awesome, and no issues due to weather. Followed by a decent day for sailing and then ill-favored winds that will slow us down. Because we haven’t yet gone into the mechanic of distance in our world yet, we will ignore the effects from the weather right now. I Am actually trying to get us to this new island, even if everything else is trying to distract me!
We already know the weather for today. We also need to figure out if there will be encounters for today. Because this was a Discovered Hex, we will roll three d20s and if they are come up 18 or higher, than that means there will be an encounter. For the sake of exploring everything on this travel day, we will say that I rolled a: 10, 7 & 19. What this tells us is that we will have a single encounter for today.
Because we have an encounter for the day, we now have to determine exactly when it will happen. Last week, we came up with our d6 system that will help determine when the encounter will take place. I rolled a 4, which means:
1pm - 4pm / Afternoon, sun is fully up, Bright Light
A perfect time to have a random encounter… and now we need to roll on our big chart of spooky encounters!
Huh… that’s even more embarrassing since I’ve had two weeks to work on it, and I still only have three things on there. It’s no matter, we will go ahead and locate our correct column. We are assuming our party is only Tier 1, and since we are in a mapped section of the ocean, we will roll on Tier 1 Mapped. Oh! And look there, I rolled a 5! A Trading Ship is their encounter, how convenient!
After the day of travel for our party members, we now are going to go back to something we set up a month ago. Our navigator must roll their Navigation check at the end of each day to ensure they are making forward progress. So… what makes a good DC for our Navigator?
Navigating is Hard
We are going to be using a portion of my Travel Rules, but modifying it slightly for our ocean campaign! We are also going to talk a bit about how Tomb of Annihilation does things.
Now, in my Travel Rules, I provide 5 different DCs depending on how the terrain was for your party. Here is a quick reminder:
DC 5 - Following a road and road signs through well worn areas
DC 10 - Following game trails through a forest that they know well
DC 15 - Making their own way through a wild area with little knowledge of landmarks
DC 20 - Never been here before, and they know nothing of the area
DC 25 - This place is actively hindering their progress and trying to kill them
I can already see that DC 5 is right out as there are no roads or road signs on the ocean. So that’s helpful already! But before we go too far ahead of ourselves, lets revisit ToA’s navigation information.
It states that there are two DCs: 10 for Coasts & Lakes and 15 for Jungles. And I like how quick that is to figure out your DC, so I think we will do something similar for our wouldbe navigator.
DC 10 - Discovered Hex
DC 15 - Undiscovered Hex
DC 20 - Weather causes poor or no visibility
Adding in a third difficulty for our checks is a good way to make the weather affect our Navigation checks without just throwing in more Disadvantages on our poor navigator.
We now know our DC for our first day… DC 10 as we are on a Discovered Hex and we have good weather/visibility! Awesome! Our first day at sea will be:
Weather: Favorable Winds
# of Encounters: 1
Encounter Time: 1pm - 4pm / Afternoon, sun is fully up, Bright Light
Encounter: Trading Ship
Navigation DC: 10
A pretty easy day for our group of fearless adventurers if I do say so myself… now, let’s do a second day!
We will first determine the weather, then check for encounters. Because this is an Undiscovered Hex, we have a higher chance for encounters with a 16 or higher on a d20… but we still only roll three of them! Then, if we have an encounter, we will roll for the time of day it takes place followed by what the encounter will be. And then, we roll for our Navigation check, which is higher today because we are in an Undiscovered Hex.
Weather: Good Day
# of Encounters: 6, 20, 7 / This means we have one encounter today!
(20) Encounter Time: (1) / 1am - 4am / Night, Moon is out, Darkness
Navigation DC: 15
Our day has good weather, we have one encounter first thing in the morning while the party is probably asleep and at the end of the day our Navigator has to make a DC 15 check to stay on course. Not too shabby for a second day, let’s quickly do Day 3!
Weather: Ill-favored winds that will slow down progress
# of Encounters: 17, 20, 16
(17) Encounter Time: (2) / 5am - 8am / Early Morning, sun begins to rise, Dim Light
(20) Encounter Time: (5) / 5pm - 8pm / Early Evening, sun begins to set, Dim Light
(16) Encounter Time: (6) / 9pm - 12am / Late Evening, Moon is out, Darkness
Navigation DC: 15
Whew… that’s a tough Day 3 for our adventurers… but I blame the WotC dice roller! I relied on it to give me good results… and well… those are some results!
Now, we have our first 3 days down out of 8. Next time we are going to go through a few more days, bring out a few more encounters and see where all this traveling gets us! And now for our next encounter to create:
Creepy ghosts are lurking around every wave!
Tier 1 - 1d6 specters, Specters seem to be haunting the party’s ship, with no discernable idea as to how they boarded. They hunt down any evil crewmembers first before moving on to anyone else.
Tier 2 - Keelboat, a keelboat floats empty on the waves. If the party goes to investigate it, they are attacked by a Wight captain and 1d6 ghosts who try to kill them and force them to join their undead crew.
Tier 3 - Sailing Ship, A revenant is trying to catch up to the party’s ship in his sailing ship. One of the party’s crewmembers has wronged him and that crewmember must pay. If the party board the revenant’s ship, he will summon 4d4 Will o’ Wisps to attack the party while he tries to get on their ship to find the crewmember. Assume that the ship is fully manned, but there are no other crew members.
Tier 4 - Spectral Warship, 5d20 ghosts will attack by using their spectral mangonels and ballistas to knock any weapons and then the sails before boarding the ship, they are led by 2d6 wights. They hate all living creatures and will stop at nothing to kill off any living creature. This spectral warship has the same statistics as a regular Warship, but has Damage Resistance to non-magical attacks.
Treasure: These haunted ships are loaded with rotten supplies and are barely floating above the water. These ships, if captured, will sink beneath the waves in 2d4 hours after the undead presence is cleansed from them. If the party works quickly, they might be able to save the ships.