May 22, 2012

RPG Play: Monkey Pirates Session Four

Previously in the Monkey Pirates RPG blog series:
Introduction to the game
Character Creation
Actual Play Session One
Actual Play Session Two
Actual Play Session Three

Monkey Pirates and Journey to Cannibal Island
Date Played: May 5, 2012
1 hour, 20 minutes

Before leaving for Cannibal Island, Brendon spends a Treasure point to acquire a parrot to aid in his chatter.  Its plumage and linguistic skills will no doubt impress others, in addition to just rounding out the genre.  Cory spends a Treasure point to buy a musket to help his swords category.  Hope rolls a Sailing test to reach Cannibal Island needing a 3 on the pirate die and a 2 on the sailing die.  She rolls a 4,6 and passes.  This is all uneventful; but excitement still awaits.

The four monkey pirates once again board the Sea Snail to sail off for Cannibal Island.  Captain John Smith makes a mental note to buy a new ship…maybe with the money they get from selling the amulet?  Blue Tail takes the wheel, much to the nervous anxiety of the crew, but this time she redeems her past nautical misadventures with a smooth voyage to the remote and ominous island.

After a few days of sailing, the crew welcomes the sight of land, even if savage tribesmen may be waiting to serve them up well-done in a coconut glaze with a side of fried plantains.  Anchoring in the bay, the quartet rows ashore and secures their dinghy on the beach, alertly scanning the environment for any fearsome natives.  Just as they hesitantly begin their trek into the jungle, a shrieking squawk pierces the heavy air.  “Cap’n Smith! I’ll be havin’ words with ye, if’n ya please, sir!”

Smith turns around.  It’s Captain Jack Squawk!  The notorious sea brigand has his pistols drawn and his oafish first mate, Oliver le Peel, commanding a pack of weasel sailors behind him.  John Smith glares.  “What do you want, Jack?”  He knew the scoundrel paid little heed to the code of monkey pirate brotherhood.

“I’ll be taking the amulet ya got there, sir.”  The bird pauses to see the crew’s surprise.  “Ha, don’t be foolin’ yerself.  Ain’t nothin’ goes on in the Ape Isles without Cap’n Squawk hearin’ about it!”  His weasel gang laughs behind him.

“There’s plenty more treasure out there, Squawk.”

“Oh, it’s not the treasure I be after, Cap’n Smith.  It’s the amulet that will be helping me conquer the seas!”

“You’re dealing with powers you can’t understand, Squawk!”

“Shut your gun port, mister!  Enough talkin’.”

“Well,” replied Captain Smith unsheathing his saber, “You’ll not be getting it so easy.”

Squawk beams brightly, tosses his pistols back to le Peel, and draws his own sword.  “Ah, it’ll be me own pleasure, sir.”

Brendon rolls a Swords test (vs. Captain Squawk) needing a 3 on the pirate die and a 2 on the swords die; meanwhile Squawk will need to roll a 3 on both die.  Brendon rolls a 2,1 while Squawk rolls a 4,4!  Brendon fails and Jack will get his prize.

The two captains lunge at each other like gladiators in a Roman arena.  Their respective crews watch intently, cheering on their own champion.  The two skilled swordsmen strike and parry, and parry and strike.  The clang of steel rings throughout the spectacle and a cloud of dust wafts upwards from their dance in the sand.  Each time one formulates an attack, the other responds with a deft defense.  Back and forth, on and on, the struggle continues through the evening.  Gradually and by increments, the spectators’ vigor wanes, then they sit, and they yawn, and finally fall asleep as the combatants duel on into dusk.  As their stamina drains, the fighters’ blows weaken and falter, their fancy footwork turns to molasses.  Finally, Captain Squawk lands a strike on Smith’s head, but it’s too spent to be of mortal damage.  However, the last thing Smith remembers before waking up again is the exhausted smile of the macaw.

When Captain Smith comes to, he sees his mates still fast asleep and snoring away.  He quickly rouses them with rough insults and looks around.  They are alone on the beach, with just the sound of the lapping, ocean waves to accompany their despair.  Captain Squawk, his crew, and his ship are nowhere to be found.

Captain Smith issues orders to ready the Sea Snail for hot pursuit so that he may seek his revenge, but cooler heads prevail.  Blue Tail convinces him that they should at least look for the dagger, Bombus, before hunting down Jack Squawk.  There is no telling what Squawk’s plans with the amulet are, but if he is able to resurrect Orangebeard’s ghost before they can get it back, they’ll need the dagger.  A grumpy John Smith barely acquiesces and mostly under the other three’s concerted insisting.

Hope rolls a Sailing test to find Skull Cave, resting place of Bombus, needing a 3 on the pirate die and a 2 on the sailing die.  She rolls a 6,1 and blows up the ‘6’ to re-roll the failed sailing die and gets a ‘3,’ which passes.

[Hope narrated] Blue Tail sees some high, rocky ridges off in the distance towards the middle of the island and begins to lead the other three in that general direction.  As they near the rocks, they begin to see a few, small caves around the area, but she figures that this cave will be higher up and harder to reach.  So she takes them around the bottom of the ridge and then they see it – a large indentation on the face of a cliff that resembles a skull.

The pirates peer up at the rocky, cliff face.  About fifty feet straight up, right in the middle where the skull’s nose should be, is an opening.  The captain, Blue Tail, and Patchey all turn their heads to look at the spindly Shiver Paw.  Before he can answer, they hear the deep echoing of drums off in the distance.  “Um, you better hurry Shiver Paw,” exclaims Patchey.

Cory rolls a Climbing test to climb up to the cave needing a 3 on the pirate die, and a 2 on the climbing die.  He rolls a 1,1 and fails grievously, but will use his Luck point to succeed, anyway.

[Cory narrated] Shiver Paw quickly starts up the stony face finding little cracks and knobs for his paws.  He hurries up, scared that cannibals are on the way and makes good time until he reaches just a little higher than tree-top level.  Just then, the drums seem to get louder, so he turns his head to look and loses concentration.  He slips and falls.  Flying backwards and waiving his arms, a skinny palm tree catches him which bends down to the ground with his weight and then flings back up like a catapult which hurtles him through the air – and right into the opening of Skull Cave!

Shiver Paw collects his senses, brushing himself off as he stands.  The sun pours through the cave’s mouth providing the only source of natural light.  Yet in the center of the cavern, the rays bounce off of a pile of gold, silver, glass, and jewels to warmly illuminate the cold environment.  And there, in the center of the glittering mound, sticks Bombus, a splendid, gold-hilted dagger standing straight up like a ship’s mast.  The hesitant monkey slowly walks towards the fortune, crunching on coins and gems beneath his footsteps.  Upon reaching the dagger, and in a moment of the greatest example of determined focus known to history, he snatches the dagger, and only the dagger, from it’s resting nest of bullion, and scurries out of the cave, down the cliff face and rejoins his friends…leaving all that booty behind!

Returning with the supernatural knife, Shiver Paw and the others quickly head back to the ship, anxious to get off the island.  They can still hear the menacing drum rhythms pounding in the not-too-far distance.  As they near the beach, the drums only grow louder and louder.  Pausing at the edge of the forest line, they stealthily peek through the foliage and see a crowd of cannibal tribesmen gathered around their dinghy with a large cooking pot over a giant bonfire.  Their path is decidedly blocked!

Brendon rolls a Swords test (vs. the cannibals) needing a 3 on the pirate die and a 2 on the swords die; meanwhile the culinary natives will need to roll of 4 on both die.  Brendon rolls a 3,4 while the cannibals roll a 1,4!  Brendon wins.

[Brendon narrated] Captain Smith and the others gather some coconuts and vines that are lying about the ground.  With each one grabbing a vine, they tie a couple of coconuts to one of their ends.  With their makeshift weapons they burst out of the jungle together, screaming like crazy, running towards the water, and swinging their coconut slings in big circles above their heads.  The surprised and scared cannibals freeze in panic just long enough for the pirates to dash straight into the crowd.  Whirling coconuts knock against heads and splatter against faces, sending the natives scattering in all directions.  Like lightning, the monkeys jump in their little row boat and furiously pull out against the waves to the Sea Snail.

The cannibals regroup to angrily launch their spears and some other projectiles at the fleeing buccaneers, yet futilely for they are safely out of range.  Boarding the Sea Snail, the quartet is happy to be on their floating home and head back to Pirate Island.  They have a score to settle…

Cory and Lilly were particularly creative in their contributions to the group narration so I awarded Cory a Luck point and Lilly a Treasure point.  Brendon and Hope were doing fine on both stats, so we left it at that.

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