May 15, 2012

RPG Play: Monkey Pirates Session Three

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

(Blogger's Note:  My kids showed a good deal of creativity in the parts which they narrated; and they all kind of helped each other tell their parts of the story, which was fun to see.  Obviously, some of the adjectives and adverbs are a bit above their grade levels and were added in by me for flavor at the time of transcription.)

Monkey Pirates and the Hand-Me-Down Chest
Date Played: April 28, 2012
Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

The weary, yet intrepid, crew put in to Death Island.  Their stolen merchant caravel, the Sea Snail, needs repairs, and the Captain wants to be as quick as possible.  Surveying their surroundings, they notice a faint column of smoke rising into the air a short distance inland amongst the jungle greenery.  They agree to check it out, hoping to find assistance or answers.  The source of the smoke emits from a ramshackle hut in the midst of a small clearing.  There is not much else around the property but for some empty and broken crates and barrels.  As they approach the undiscerning shack, a grizzled voice calls from inside, “Get off my lawn, ye land lubbers!”

Immediately stopping in their tracks and looking at each other, Shiver Paw replies, “Who goes there?”

“None of ye bees’ wax, little boy, now leave!”

Cory rolls a Chatter test to get the occupant out of the house needing a 3 on the pirate die, and a 4 on the chatter die.  He rolls a 3,3 and fails, but uses his Luck point to pass, anyway.

[Cory narrated] Shiver Paw yells again for the guy to come out of his hut, but there is no answer.  The pirates sit there and wait patiently wondering what to do next, when all of the sudden, the man inside yelps in panic.  There is a lot of noise coming from inside and then more smoke billows up in thick plumes.  It is then that Shiver Paw realizes that the back of the shack is on fire!  Since it is made of wood and leaves, it begins to burn very quickly and the owner runs out to avoid death!

The former occupant is an old, crusty-looking turtle with one foot in the grave.  He sneers angrily at the three primates and snarls, “Oh, hang me jib, what do ye want, then?”

“Who are you,” asks Shiver Paw trying not to snicker.

“Me name’s Cap’n Rogers Iron Brittleshell,” he replied impatiently.

Shiver Paw looked around.  “And what are you doing here?”

The bitter sea captain sighs, “Well, if’n ye must know.  I was taking me crew to find an amulet that is worth more gold than a hundred galleons loaded with treasure.  We searched for years and years until the lads thought me addled, and so they mutinied!  The scurvy knaves hornswaggled me out of me cap’ncy and left me for shark bait.  So, I be shipwrecked here all them years.”

“How long has that been,” asks Blue Tail incredulously.

“Seven years, me lass.  And I would have died too, if’n it weren’t for a chest of su-, er, uh, I mean, the best coconuts and dates in the Ape Sea that grow on this island.”  He looks away and laughs innocently.

“So you never found it,” interjects Blue Tail, “the amulet?”

“Nah, but I was on me way back home to Pirate Island before they keel-hauled me.  I found a scroll about the amulet that was written in some daft language and a gent, there goes by the name of Coxcomb, could have read it, or so I heard.”

During the conversation, Captain Smith surveys the area and is certainly more concerned with the pressing matter of boat repairs.  “Can you help us fix our ship, Mr. Brittleshell?  If you help us, we’ll help you off the island.”

“No,” he grunts.  “I’m finished with civilization and a pirate’s life!  This is home, sweet home, now.  And now I’ll be thanking ye to get off my island.  Good day!”  He storms back to his blackened hut and slams the charred door behind him.

Left to themselves again, the captain focuses on the banana trees as a source of wood to repair their stolen merchant ship and Blue Tail suggests they look for Brittleshell’s chest that he seemed to have accidentally mentioned.

Hope rolls a Sailing test to find the chest needing a 3 on the pirate die and a 2 on the sailing die.  She rolls a 6,6 and succeeds!

[Hope narrated] Blue Tail follows a path of trampled grass which leads off behind the hut and into another beach section.  There is a little circle area of rocks and logs in tall grass.  She walks through, stepping on the stones and logs.  While wandering around and looking, she suddenly hears a hollow sound beneath her foot.  Bending down, she notices this “log” looks different than the others and she digs around it a little bit to see that it is actually Brittleshell’s chest!  She pulls it out of the ground and then calls to the other two.

The captain and Shiver Paw arrive on the scene and the monkeys’ excitement is quickly subdued when they discover that the chest is locked – with three latches.  Around the front of the lid’s trim, is a quizzical riddle that reads: “Name three keys found in the wild that unlock no doors.”*

The three pirates stand puzzled, clearly realizing they’re better at plundering and pillaging than logical deduction.  They think and ponder and strain, until finally Blue Tail looks within herself, or perhaps at the other two, and arrives upon the first obvious answer.  “Monkey,” she beams with a smile.  At that utterance, the first lock snaps open and the three jump in excitement.

With that epiphany, they quickly run through a mental list of the animal kingdom.  Shiver Paw is the next to answer, blurting out, “Donkey!”  And with that, the second latch pops open.  Then in short order, the captain chimes in with a loud, “Turkey,” releasing the last lock!  With baited breath and tense anticipation, they slowly open the chest’s lid.  And find…just three things, none of which are treasure.  It appears that Brittleshell took everything he wanted or would be helpful on the island, leaving only a blunderbuss, a compass, and a jar of perfume.

The three adventurers shrug their shoulders and divvy up the “plunder.”  Shiver Paw grabs the perfume.  It should adequately mask his banana breath when talking with other people.  Despite her blundering navigational skills to date, Blue Tail picks up the blunderbuss for greater combat strength.  And lastly, the captain nabs the compass to improve his sailing skills.  Maybe even take the wheel next voyage?

Heading back to the Sea Snail with their hand-me-down booty, the crew grabs some wood and other natural items lying about for their nautical repairs.  It seems the dog soldiers back on Apeston’s piers didn’t completely miss, after all.  There are several holes at the ship’s waterline that need covering.  Evidently, Captain Smith is fresh out of gorilla tape.

Cory rolls a Climbing test to repair the ship needing a 3 on the pirate die, and a 2 on the climbing die.  He rolls a 2,1 and fails, receiving a nasty work-related injury which will give him a -1 to his climbing stat.  This is in the days before OSHA, you know.

Shiver Paw strips some of the driftwood they collected into small planks, just large enough to cover the holes.  He starts whistling away as he nails them to the hull with a coconut.  But he is dreaming about bananas, loses focus, and smashes his thumb with the husk.  Yelping in pain while dangling from the overboard lines, the other pirates laugh at his misfortune.  This hurts his feelings, but what do they care?  They’re pirates.  He gingerly finishes the rest of his crude, patchwork repairs and hopes it will hold as they continue sailing home.

The crew does not have long to wait before the seaworthiness of Shiver Paw’s repairs are tested.  Another vessel not far in the distance sails into view and approaches fast upon the rickety caravel.  It is flying the skull and crossbananas of their rapscallion brotherhood.  Captain Smith recognizes the boat as the Sea Kitten, Captain Persia’s ship.  Before long, she carefully approaches within hailing distance and calls out, “Avast, and heave to!”

Captain Smith replies, “Ahoy, Captain Persia, ‘tis I, Captain Smith.  We’ve got nothin’ but this crippled merchant bucket.  Nothing of interest to you here.”

He can see her smile beneath those luminous, green eyes.  “Oh, but I think not, sir!  I’ve heard you’ve been treasure hunting.”  She pauses.  “I think you may indeed have something of interest to me!”

The cute and cuddly captain looks around and thinks fast.  They can fight, run from, or try to outsmart the feline buccaneer.  But none of those options are particularly appealing.  They have only one gun, their ship is slower than a sloth, and Persia is legendarily known for her charm and quick wits.  His stomach turns at the thought of fleeing or debating.  Perhaps, instead, he can use surprise to get the upper hand?

Brendon rolls a Swords test (vs. Captain Persia) needing a 3 on the pirate die and a 2 on the swords die; meanwhile Captain Persia will need to roll a 4 on the pirate die and a 5 on the swords die. Brendon rolls a 6,5 while Captain Persia rolls a 5,3!  Brendon wins.

[Brendon narrated] As they argue, Captain John Smith sneaks over to the one cannon trying to hide what he’s doing from Captain Persia.  He’s still trying to talk her out of boarding his ship while he aims the cannon with his feet.  Then he suddenly grabs a cannonball and jams it down the barrel with some powder.  Persia sees him but is too late as he aims for her wheel and fires the cannon, blasting it to pieces!  Then turning the ship away, he orders Blue Tail to shoot the Sea Kitten’s sails with her blunderbuss, putting numerous holes in them.  Crippled and unable to turn, Persia yells at the Sea Snail as the three monkeys sail off laughing all the way.

Arriving back home at Pirate Island, the primate privateers take advantage of the lull in their adventures to rest a bit and heal.  Blue Tail makes another visit to the sailing master Webrique in hopes of healing her eyesight, injured at the Temple of the Baboon Queen.  The mallard proves more amicable this time and gives her some carrot juice and sea water droplets.  Jacquette swears it works every time!  Shiver Paw takes his mangled injury to the blacksmith, Red Stubble, who fashions a nifty peg thumb for him.

As the three just acquired objects this session in the hand-me-down chest, I only awarded each one Luck point – the rolls have proven somewhat unforgiving at important points.

Now, about this translator, Coxcomb…

*They actually started on the right track about “key” being in the answer, yet they were stuck on compound words and ones having nothing to do with nature. So the only clue I gave them (out of story) was that they were on the right track, that the three letters ‘key’ were in the word, and to think closely about “the wild.”

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