Help - Front:Shipwreck!

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azato

  • 43
Help - Front:Shipwreck!
« on: May 17, 2012, 10:43:18 PM »
I am planning an adventure which will have at least three fronts. The first is them on a ship that during a storm hits against the reef and starts to break apart and sink. I would like to have this portion be a time where they can choose to either abandoned the ship immediately (facing little risk and carrying nothing with them) or try to scavenge/save items (food, weapons, perhaps shipmates) but putting themselves at risk. Perhaps allowing them to take multiple chances.

One thought would be to tick the Portents down and allowing them to make both Discern Realities (to find something useful) and Dex Rolls (to avoid danger and/or being able to act that turn)


They are close to land (relatively at least) and I see this as a means to both start out with a bang. When they get to the island...then the craziness will begin.


Please....tear this apart...provide ideas....






Front: The Shipwreck

Impending Doom: Unless the party successfully gets to shore, they will drown.

Stakes:
What can they take with them?
Is there a boat that they can use?
What happens to the crew?


Grim Portents:
The ship hits the reef and lurches sideways
The ship takes on water.
The waves batter the ship against the reef
The ship crumbles apart and sinks.

Danger: The sinking Ship
Impulse: To pull everything to the bottom of the ocean.
Description: Being heavily laden with goods the ship does not fare well when it hits the reef. It is only a short matter of time before it is either buffeted into debris or sinks to the watery grave.

Moves:

Knock a person off the deck into the ocean
Entrap a person
Knock a person off their feet.
Cause heavy items to fall.

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noofy

  • 777
Re: Help - Front:Shipwreck!
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2012, 02:03:37 AM »
Hey Azato,
Nice starting situation! Your layout is good, and the ideas easy and clear to read. They do lack a little impetus though. Ask questions that entwine the characters into the setting.

Stakes:
* Why were the characters on the ship and willing to risk a voyage through such  a tumultuous tempest?
Is the storm 'just a storm'...
* What is the precious cargo that is in danger of being lost to the ocean? What ties each of the characters to it?

Grim Portents
*Command is lost of the crew and anarchy reigns as they scramble like rats off the sinking ship.

Moves:
The deep pulls them under and down


Hope that helps :)

Re: Help - Front:Shipwreck!
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2012, 11:27:12 AM »
My advice would be to embrace the DOOM of your impending doom.  It's a little thing, but it can really help with more complex Fronts.  For example, I'd write this one as, simply "The ship sinks and everyone aboard it drowns."

The idea is that the doom is what happens when a) all the portents come to pass and b) the players don't stop it.

If you want to soften the drowning a little, you could make the Front about loss of resources.  Change the doom to "the ship sinks, all the NPCs drown and all the supplies are lost" and write a stakes question like "will any PCs drown, too?" and maybe a custom defy danger style move about getting to shore safely.

Re: Help - Front:Shipwreck!
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2012, 12:06:52 PM »
I would add a few questions to ask the players:

- What did you just spot lurking in the water?
- What are the strange words being carried on the wind?
- What tragedy befell the captain and first mate?
- Who (NPC) made it to the beach first and how?
- What can you see on the island that gives you pause?

I think skinnyghost has a really good point about the Impending Doom, too. By moving the needle from "ship sinks, you drown" to "ship sinks, lose all your swag," then it brings the scenario you're trying to put forth more in line with "Play to find out what happens." Otherwise, you may find yourself fudging and handwaving the potential failures leading up to the beach because you've already determined the next front is on the island.

So, I'd definitely change the Impending Doom as he suggests or I would simply say you're shipwrecked on an island, then Q&A everything leading up to that point, allowing the characters to establish all of that with some guidance. Then I'd use what they gave me as fodder to determine what happens next.

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azato

  • 43
Re: Help - Front:Shipwreck!
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2012, 10:17:53 PM »
I made  a number of changes....one the shipwreck can kill if they do not get out in time. Also I made the moves a bit more general...and added ideas for missed saving throws....

Feel free to chime in.





Front: The Shipwreck

Impending Doom: The ship sinks and all aboard it drowns.

Stakes:
Why are the characters on a boat willing to risk bad weather and danger?
What cargo is at risk that party thinks must be saved?
Will any of the crew will survive?
Will the characters survive?


Grim Portents:

The ship hits the reef and lurches sideways
Command is lost of the crew and anarchy reigns as they scramble like rats off the sinking ship.
The ship takes on water.
The waves batter the ship against the reef
The ship crumbles, sinks
Those still aboard drown.

Danger: The sinking Ship
Impulse: To pull everything to the bottom of the ocean.
Description: Being heavily laden with goods the ship does not fare well when it hits the reef. It is only a short matter of time before it is either buffeted to debris or sinks to the watery grave.

Moves:

A wave crashes across the the boat
A lit oil lamp crashes
A portion of the ship collapses
The ship shakes violently
Lightning strikes.

Ideas for Missed Saving throws:

Lurching sideways:
   Take d6 in damage
   Become pinned under debris
   Disoriented, take a -1 forward
   Lose the items you are carrying
   Knocked unconscious
   Fall to a place that is less than ideal
   
Wave:
   Knocked overboard
   Crushed against something hard take d6
   Knocked unconscious.
   Lose the items you are carrying.
   Thrown into a place that is less than ideal
   

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noofy

  • 777
Re: Help - Front:Shipwreck!
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2012, 10:32:14 PM »
Now you have the hang of it  Azato! That's great!
I would make your GM Moves more immediate to the players, since they are more focused and particular versions of the gerneral DM / Dungeon Moves. For Instance:

A wave smashes you across the boat / overboard
A lit oil lamp crashes and sets you alight
The portion of the ship you are connected to collapses into the sea
The ship shakes violently sending ropes / sails / masts / yards raining down on your heads
Lightning strikes a player character (HARD move)

What version of the rules are you using? I think saving throws have generally been discarded now, as with levels (other than the PC's advancement) and replaced with GM moves and narrative consequences on missed player rolls, though your options seem fine, they would make excellent GM moves on their own!

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azato

  • 43
Re: Help - Front:Shipwreck!
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2012, 10:36:44 PM »
I am using 2.2 but was wondering why some stuff was missing and went back to the $5 pdf...out of ignorance rather than informed choice.

While it was implied...I do like the idea of making the descriptions more clear....will make changes.

THANKS.

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Saxon

  • 12
Re: Help - Front:Shipwreck!
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2012, 11:36:48 AM »
There's some good stuff here azato!  I just ran an island adventure, then pirate ship-to-ship adventure, and I'm going to run a third adventure today combining the best elements of each, fine tuned by what's I've learned play the other two.

You've developed some good ideas...I wish I would have had them when I ran my original shipwreck adventure, but I will mention one thing, as iserith said, you may get a player who criticizes your whole effort by saying, "If you wanted us on the island you should have just started us there."  That's what happened to me.  I thought a shipwreck start would provide dramatic action and tension by way of chaos, but the criticism was, starting with a shipwreck is "railroading" b/c the players choices don't matter, they are ending up on that island no matter what.  I was told such "railroading" goes against the Agenda & Principles of DW. 

So, I came up with an alternative idea for getting a ship's crew on an island.  It invovles ticking off Grim Portents.  The PCs are sailing a ship near an island (a nautical landmark).  When they round the island...they see a sail in the distance (GP1), the pursuing ship closes the distance (GP2):

FRONT: Ship-to-Ship Battle

DANGER: Pirate Ship
Impulse: plunder anything of value

GRIM PORTENT: You see a sail in the distance
GRIM PORTENT: A ship in pursuit closes the distance

IMPENDING DOOM: Ship-to-Ship battle

Now the PCs ship is engaged in ship-to-ship combat off the shore of the island.  Start ticking off Grim Portents again...for each ship:

DANGER: Pirate/PCs Ship

GRIM PORTENT: combustible catches ship on fire
GRIM PORTENT: fire burns the sail irreparably
GRIM PORTENT: explosion punctures hull, ship taking on water

IMPENDING DOOM: ship sinks

Moves:
•   Grappling hook to connect ships
•   Swing over to other ship
•   Climb to crow’s nest to snipe
•   Hurl combustibles

The drama here is in the back and forth tit-for-tat tick down of Grim Portents. Who's ship sinks first?  Do they both sink?  With enough PCs and enough combat on deck (defy danger to swing over or climbing to snipe, melee, lauch combustible), both ships will quickly go down (they did in my ship-to-ship adventure).

Now you have all the survivors attempting to swim to the island…PCs and Pirates.  Do the pirates become yet another Danger on the island, or do the islands Dangers present so much trouble, the pirates join in an uneasy alliance with the PCs to try and escape the islands Dangers together? 

The number of PCs being presented with opportunities to roll dice during the ship-to-ship combat will more than likely bring the Impending Doom to pass for both ships, marooning the PCs on the island…which is your goal.  It also puts it in the hands of the PCs dice rolls.  Meaning their choices dictate the outcome – avoiding any “railroading” criticisms.  However there is the possibility that all your PCs will roll dice like total rock stars, leaving most of your Grim Portents unchecked…i.e. no shipwreck.  What then?  So look to the advice iserith gave you as the safest risk-free way to go – if you want them on the island, start them on the island.

Me myself…I dare to be exciting!  I’m a bold risk taker.  I go for it ;) 

Good Luck.  Let us know how it goes.  My guys love this pirate stuff!  I have a feeling I'll be running pirate adventures for a while ;)

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Saxon

  • 12
Re: Help - Front:Shipwreck!
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2012, 11:44:26 AM »
...also, on the resource drain angle.  I'm not one for the tedium of resource management.  So, if they loose all their supplies, I'd say it was a tropical island...  mangoes, coconuts, little monkeys that fling their poop at the PCs as soon as they enter the jungle...wild birds, fish, conch.  Tropical islands are really abundant.  I like to get to the part about filling the PCs lives with adventure. Ration management is...lacking in that department.