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This article was written on 22 Jun 2013, and is filled under Actual Play, Character Creation, Pathfinder.

Salty Dogs: A Homebrew Pathfinder Game

In Aldebaran, your choices are simple: you join the cloth or you sail the seas. Anything else and life is only bearable. The greatest powers in this post-flood world are The Church and The Association. Both are locked in a secret struggle for dominance over the lives that remain, claiming various regions of islands as their own, their influence spreads slowly through their members. One such region, known as the Dragon Archipelago, is home to the Church controlled island of Panacea. At the docks of Panacea, a certain ship has been waiting for someone to take the mantle of her captain. The Salty Dog: the epitome of perfection. Small enough to be an extremely fast ship, large enough to fight off anything from the deep. Her crew has been gathered, and it’s time for her sails to feel the winds once more!

Aldebaran (described here in a previous article) is a homebrew campaign setting I developed, with some assistance from my players, for our campaign: “Salty Dogs”. Their characters have actually fleshed out some interesting features of the world, including but not limited to: the Underdark-like area of the Drow, Orc society and territory, and even a trading port to the north of where our game begins belonging to the Ratfolk who are in a war with the Gnolls. Our first Session was entirely character creation, which I have discovered is usually normal. This was my first time running a game in person, having done so online almost exclusively; decisions have to be made much more on the fly when your players are right there waiting for you. Luckily, my team of six is a dream for any newbie GM to work with! I had 2 completely new people, 2 Pathfinder Society veterans and 2 veterans of Role-Playing in general, but new to Pathfinder. Overall a great mix. My Society vets helped the newbs when I couldn’t get to them, and the other vets caught on very quickly. Our crew consists of:

Pristrix (Half-orc Barbarian), the new Captain, he is out to prove that he isn’t what his blood makes him out to be. His key role is the tank and the damage dealer.

Minizig (Gnome Gunslinger), Master Gunner and survivor of the last crew whose right arm is a mechanical Blunderbuss/War hammer combo. Her role is ranged support and mechanical understanding.

Myriina (Drow Oracle), the Quartermaster and the face of the crew, she may be blind but that won’t stop her from talking you out of every gold piece you have, among other things. Her role is the party’s support and healing.

Link (Ratfolk Freebooter); lost in a storm, he is hoping The Dogs’ travels will lead him to his desert island of Ligoria. Along with Minizig, Link is also ranged support, but his Freebooter’s Bane allows to guide the party in focused fire.

Cassel (Undine Watersinger), the bard, and the source of quite a few of the crews woes, if there is anything to know, Cassel probably knows it, and doesn’t know why he does. Casell is probably the most diverse character, boasting magic attacks, knowledge, magic detection and support.

Umiko (Gillman Eldritch Raider), stowaway, and the only crew member who doesn’t (openly) speak common, she is a rather unexpected source of forewarning and support for the team. Umiko is anouther damage dealer as well as the lead in exploration and disabling traps.

Character creation went straight forward, and everyone quickly found their niche, some rather obvious, some not. Our Barbarian and Raider are often in charge of holding down the front lines with the Gunner and Freebooter providing ranged support. Our Oracle chose the route of Cure instead of Inflict, and so she is the healing backbone of the group, often rolling max on her spells, she does the job well. Our Watersinger provides the needed spell slinging and buffs that can make large combats go quickly. Doing the math, between Freebooter’s Bane, Guidance from the Oracle and the bard’s performance, the party can easily achieve a +3 bonus to both Attack and Damage. Designing encounters for them will prove tricky, but I have taken up the challenge, and I will have to let everyone know how things go as our crew gets into all kinds of wacky situations.

Speaking of, feel free to follow the crew and their shenanigans on our very own Twitter!

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