May 10, 2012

RPG Play: Monkey Pirates Session Two

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

(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 Leap Into the Lion's Den
Date Played: April 22, 2012
Time: 1 hour, 8 minutes

Having risked life and tail in retrieving the amulet from the Baboon Queen’s statue, the crew of the Dirty Bunch wanted to know just what they had – and, okay, how much gold they could get for it.  Sauntering into Jacquette’s store, the Pearlie Mist, in the heart of Pirate Island, the three ruffians know to choose their words wisely.  At the Mist, the exotic gypsy deals in all kinds of esoteric and mysterious wares.  Just what exactly such a shop is doing on an island populated by nothing but unwashed, ignorant miscreants is a question that no one had ever seemed to consider.

The trio walks through the rough doors.  The creaking floor beneath their boots causes Jacquette to look up from the workbench that she is hunched over.  Her face grows cold in the warm light just as she recognizes the gang.  Her eyes indicate she is thinking cautiously, but quickly.

“Ah, Captain Smith,” she begins softly, “I did not expect to see you again after the rumors I heard.”

The Captain squints inquisitively.  “What rumors would those be, madam?”

She smiles innocently.  “Some said you ran off on a fool’s errand to find the amulet.”  Then after pausing, “Any luck?”

“Maybe,” offers Shiver Paw, interrupting.  “Tell us more about this amulet.”

Jacquette shrugs, “I’m afraid without seeing it, there’s not much more I can say.”

Cory rolls a Chatter test to pry more information from Jacquette needing a 3 on the pirate die and a 4 on the chatter die.  He rolls a 2,1 and fails badly.  They’ll have to go elsewhere for the intelligence.

“All I know is that it’s caused quite the stir.  That scoundrel Captain Squawk is after it for some reason and even the governor is looking to get his hands on it first – if but only to keep it out of other’s.”  She thinks a little harder.  “Come to think of it, I believe there’s an old book that has some information on it in the Royal Library at Apeston.”

Dejected, but only slightly, as the Mist is a creepy place, the troupe troops out and heads back to port.  The prospect of going to the capital of the Ape Isles given their current professional status is not exactly attractive.  Not to mention the fact that their library card is long expired.  Yet trying to look brave and undaunted, the three decide on a little cruise to Apeston, the capital and crowning jewel of the Ape Isles.

Hope rolls a Sailing test to navigate to Apeston needing a 3 on the pirate die and a 2 on the sailing die.  She rolls a 1,3 and fails.  They’ll have a “welcome” waiting for them.

The piratical crew of the Dirty Bunch knows the way to Apeston like they know their own smells.  They’ve been cruising the Ape Sea for years.  But the trick to getting into Apeston is to do so without being detected.  As the Captain and Shiver Paw head below to play some cards, Blue Tail takes the ship’s wheel and stands proudly like a stalwart monument, gazing out at the horizon as the ship rolls with the waves.  And rolls.  And rolls.  And rolls.  Until the gentle breeze and rocking vessel lulls her to sleep!  Alas, the ship, with the skull ‘n crossbananas flapping high from the main mast, sails right into Apeston’s harbor.

Hearing commotion topside, Captain Smith and Shiver Paw rush up to the main deck.  With looks of horror and panic, the two jostle Blue Tail awake and the crew frantically works to raise all sails and lower anchor.  Their feverish efforts only succeed in slowing the ship to a crawl.  Staring at the alerted soldiers awaiting on the docks, the captain’s will is tempered with a steely resolve.  “There’s only one thing to do now,” he affirms.

Brendon rolls a Swords test (vs. two Royal Dog Soldiers) needing a 3 on the pirate die and a 2 on the swords die; meanwhile the dog soldiers will need to roll a 4 on both die.  Brendon rolls a 3,6 while the dog soldiers roll a 2,1.  Brendon succeeds.

[Brendon narrated] Captain John Smith orders a charge into the middle of the two royal guards and they all jump onto the dock.  While he and Blue Tail fight against the soldiers, Smith tells Shiver Tail to run behind his man and bite him in the ankles.  The dog soldier jumps in pain and the captain quickly takes his feet out from under him mid-air.  The poor fellow lands with a thud and rolls off into the harbor.  The three then gang-up on the second canine, pinning him to the planks while Captain Smith whips out his handy-dandy gorilla tape (again), and wraps his hands and feet and tapes his mouth shut.

Running off into port before the rest of the Governor’s guards arrive, the three pirates hope to lose the crowd’s wandering eyes in the town’s hidden alleyways and the evening’s growing darkness.  It will not be an easy task to find the library and stay hidden as all of the capital has doubtless now been alerted to their presence.

Hope rolls a Sailing test to find the Royal Library needing a 3 on the pirate die and a 2 on the sailing die.  She rolls a 2,4 and fails, but uses her Luck point to pass anyway.  Cory rolls a Climbing test so that the party can avoid detection needing a 3 on the monkey die and a 2 on the climbing die.  He rolls a 3,6 and succeeds!

[Cory and Hope narrated] Running into the nearest alley, the three monkeys run through puddles and buildings as fast as they can.  Blue Tail spots a large dumpster up ahead with cloth hanging out of it and so they run over to it and see that it’s full of old clothes!  Quickly taking off their pirate clothes, they change into something less noticeable and then, looking around, discover that they’re right next door to the Library!

Sneaking along the wall, they examine the first floor windows, looking for a way to get in.  Just then, a short, doughty rabbit with white hair hurriedly approaches from across the cobblestone street, unlocks the main door, and enters.  The three pirates look at each other, shrug their shoulders, and follow.  Inside, the startled hare jumps at their entrance and worriedly looks around them.  “What do you want,” he squeaks.

“Well, we’re looking for a book, of course,” replies the captain.

“At this time of night?”  He squints.  “I heard there were pirates ashore and so I rushed back to protect my books.  Are you sure you’re not pirates?”

“Do we look like pirates,” asks Blue Tail.

The timid librarian frowns and says, “Hmphf!  And what book would you be wanting at this hour?”

“One about jewelry,” replies Captain Smith.  “Specifically an amulet we’ve heard about belonging to an old Baboon Queen.”

Cory rolls a Chatter test to get the book from the librarian needing a 3 on the pirate die and a 4 on the chatter die.  He rolls a 1,3 and fails badly.  The bunny ain’t giving them the title.

“Baboon Queen?”  The rodent thinks, then whispers, “There’s only one place something like that might be.  Wait here.”  He shuffles off back towards the door – and doesn’t stop.  Walking right out of the building, the surprised band hears an ominous bolt as the librarian shuts the door!  They’re left alone in the dark silence, pondering their next move.

Gazing around the room full of shelves with books upon books, finding the one they need will be like looking for a worm in a shipload of bananas.  But then they notice a back room, tucked away in the corner.  Its entrance is surrounded by bizarre accoutrements such as star charts, engraved stones, and anatomical models.  Venturing in cautiously, they browse the titles on the spines and see books such as Jungle Arcana, The Alchemy of Fruit, 101 Frog Spells, and How to Turn Your Mother-in-Law Into a Goat: If She is Not One, Already.

Brendon rolls a Sailing test to find a book they can use needing a 3 on the pirate die and a 4 on the sailing die.  He rolls a 6,5 and succeeds.

[Brendon narrated] Captain John Smith looks up to the top-most shelf near the ceiling and sees a section marked ‘A.’  Thinking that any book about amulets will be in that section, he looks there.  But there’s no ladder, so he rips a bunch of shelves out and builds one.  Climbing up, he throws all the ‘A’ books down where the three of them start flipping through pages.  The captain finally comes across an old book that has a page with a drawing of the amulet.

Leafing through the book, Smith reads the title, “Amuletes Primatus: Or A Tome of Magikal Amulets Pertaining to the Praktice of by Gorillas, Chimpanzees, and Orangutans, Volume 3, Orangutans.  However, the main text is in a language or dialect that none of them has seen before, let alone can read.  Not knowing the intentions of the disappearing librarian, the pirates slink out the window and make for the docks.  The town is alive and crawling with activity, yet the trio blend in with the locals this time, thanks to their fortuitous textile discovery.

Back at the main pier, they first notice that their ship, the Dirty Bunch, is swarming with royal dog soldiers and there seems little chance of re-taking it.  However, they see off in a quiet part of the harbor a small merchant caravel readying itself to set sail and decide to commandeer it.  They are pirates, after all!

Brendon rolls a Swords test (vs. the caravel’s crew) needing a 3 on the pirate die and a 2 on the swords die; meanwhile the merchants will need to roll a 5 on both die.  Brendon rolls a 5,1 while the sailors roll a 6,5!  Brendon fails badly, but uses his Luck point to win.

[Brendon narrated] Captain Smith yells, “Charge,” and leads his men into battle.  The yell only alerts the merchant crew, though, who turn around and club him over the head, knocking him out cold.  Shiver Paw runs to help him, but trips over a harpoon gun which sets off the trigger and shoots a harpoon that pins one of the crewmen to the mast by his shirt.  Always hungry, Blue Tail stops running when she notices a crate of spices.  She opens it just as one of the crewmen swings a club at her, but he hits the spices instead which fly up into his eyes and burns them.  He runs off screaming in pain.  The third crewman sees the other two, panics, and jumps off the ship to get away.

Now in possession of a stolen, merchant ship, the Sea Snail, the fugitive crew rolls out of the harbor, trying to stay unnoticed.  About half-way out, they see a pack of royal dog soldiers running down the pier.  The screaming survivor must have alerted the authorities to the incident.  The soldiers ineffectively fire their muskets off towards the ship, but it’s out of range.  But if the army is aware, then the Royal Navy is probably getting underway, too!  Thanks to their slow and weakly armed vessel, it will not be an easy voyage back home to Pirate Island.

Hope rolls a Sailing test to shake the Royal Navy needing a 3 on the pirate die and a 2 on the sailing die.  She rolls a 1,1 and fails!  Looks like home will have to wait.

After sailing for a fair piece, Blue Tail remembers what happened on the last trip to Apeston.  Determined to stay awake, this time, Blue Tail makes a special concoction of lime juice, peanuts, and vinegar that she once read gives monkeys energy.  After ingesting the formula it makes her extremely ill and she gets sick all over the deck.  Captain Smith storms over to order her to swab the deck immediately, but slips in the vomit and slides across the planking like a surfer, just catching himself on the main boom.  Unfortunately, he swings the boom around and sends the ship veering off course.  With Blue Tail doubled over in pain and Shiver Paw obliviously below eating bananas, the captain works furiously to re-set the sails.  However, by they time he does, the ship is hopelessly off-course and Blue Tail is hallucinating about her childhood in Madagascar.

When they finally spot land two days later, they sail in to investigate and procure supplies.  As they approach closer and closer, Captain John Smith squints.  He’s been here before.  Thinking back, his memory focuses and he then recognizes that shoreline – Death Island

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