[5e] Spell & Crossbones

fireinthedust

Explorer
I may just go full Warlock, and find some way to give him Stealth and Acrobatics. He's increasingly looking like the guy from Dracula Untold, rather than Jim from Treasure Planet, but I'll keep chiselling and see what's inside this marble.
 

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Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
It should be possible to make a custom background to give you Acrobatics and Stealth --

easiest would be substituting a skill for Entertainer or Street Urchin.

I *really* like the thought of a Jesuit monk. It's really cool.
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
I am starting to be concerned about whether my character has any niche at this point -- there's only one of his peak skills (Insight) that isn't bettered by Queenie's character, who also is a pistol and sword fighter. I know that in combat the maneuvers will separate him, but it is clear that what I thought I was building to be useful for a party isn't contributing anything that Katarina can't do (and do better).

While we had talked about either or both of them being rivals for the captaincy, when they are so similar, that is no longer an interesting a choice (the choice is, obviously, Katarina). I've got to work for the rest of the day, and can't really give time to this until tomorrow, but as I look at Katarina, I really am feeling that there's nothing left for Gentleman Jim to give to the party other than another fighting body.
 

Unsung

First Post
[MENTION=51930]fireinthedust[/MENTION]- I'd say that a samurai would actually be better represented by one level of barbarian, fighter, ranger, or paladin (probably especially paladin, what with oath of vengeance). Fury, toughness, and overwhelming force, accuracy, precision, and economy of motion moreso than grace or unarmed strikes. Samurai are about speed, yes, but iaijutsu is all about killing at a single blow if at all possible-- high initiative, to hit modifier, damage, and critical range are all probably more representative than the monk's multiple unarmed attacks. Although admittedly the bonus to ground speed at level 2 is pretty appealing.

The thing about a samurai in a pirate game, though, is that there's a tendency for that to turn the game into a samurai game, at least in part. Don't get me wrong, that would actually be pretty cool to try in 5e, an all-samurai party. But we've hardly scratched the surface of pirate lore as of yet, and I'd almost rather see someone who fights like a samurai but who doesn't have the first idea about anything Japanese. Which is an anime trope unto itself, as it happens. :heh:

I like the Callow Youth archetype. From young Jim Hawkins to Will Turner to Guybrush Threepwood to Tristan Thorn in Stardust, it practically seems like a necessity. I can understand not wanting to actually *play* that character, of course. Maybe we could get an NPC fit for purpose instead?

On the Dracula note, what about a character who was an ousted colonial governor? Betrayed and left for dead, saved by mermaids, swearing an oath to dark powers of the sea to ensure his eventual revenge. You were the third player who wanted to be captain, and holding onto that kind of power in the past could give you a good claim. I am still pushing for a three-way uneasy partnership between Barrington, Katerina, and fireinthedust's character, by the way.
 

Hannerdyn

Explorer
I am starting to be concerned about whether my character has any niche at this point -- there's only one of his peak skills (Insight) that isn't bettered by Queenie's character, who also is a pistol and sword fighter. I know that in combat the maneuvers will separate him, but it is clear that what I thought I was building to be useful for a party isn't contributing anything that Katarina can't do (and do better).

While we had talked about either or both of them being rivals for the captaincy, when they are so similar, that is no longer an interesting a choice (the choice is, obviously, Katarina). I've got to work for the rest of the day, and can't really give time to this until tomorrow, but as I look at Katarina, I really am feeling that there's nothing left for Gentleman Jim to give to the party other than another fighting body.

Well, I dig the gentleman, so I'd hate to see him go. You don't need me to tell you it's more in how you play the character, but I will say that two seemingly similar characters often become pretty dynamically different after a few 'sessions' of play.

Besides, it's a pirate game, we should have a couple of piratey types; pistol, cutlass, and eyepatch all arrayed on different personalities.

Of course, if you're not excited about it, then why play the character. I get it.

Class-wise, druid, paly and sorcerer are the three classes not represented somewhere on the ship's PCs. A nautical paladin or wild-eyed druid of all things sea-bound might be cool.
 

Unsung

First Post
@Kobold Stew- I think you're underestimating the value of fighting bodies on a pirate ship, although admittedly Katarina's extremely high ability score rolls do make it a little difficult to compete in terms of raw skills. But she's also a rogue, so she is of course going for skills at the expense of some fighting ability. I will say, though, that as a straight-up fighter, your main advantage would naturally be in combat, and that's nothing to sneeze at, either. Not strictly by numbers, because that's not how 5e works, but things like Second Wind, Action Surge, and Superiority Dice/Maneuvers really are pretty powerful-- the ability to be able to do almost all the same things as Katarina, almost just as well, but then keep pushing onward at a point when she might be exhausted. You could play that up as the raw determination that years working as a spy have built up.

That, and if you keep leveling up solely in fighter, you will have more Ability Score Increases and/or Feats than anyone else from level 6 on. You already have one more feat than everyone who multiclassed, and either of the choices you've suggested, Sharpshooter or Inspiring Leader, is going to allow you to do something no one else can. From a roleplaying perspective, you're either the best shot on the ship (even with Katarina's natural Dexterity) or your ability to inspire others is going to draw them to you.
 
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Quickleaf

Legend
[MENTION=23484]Kobold Stew[/MENTION] Is there overlap between Gentlemen Jim and Katarina? Yes obviously. Does that invalidate Jim? No, absolutely not. Certainly not story-wise, but not mechanics-wise either. Here's why:

1. Combat Effectiveness - In melee I'd say he's slightly more effective overall as [MENTION=6781406]Unsung[/MENTION] points out thanks to higher HP and Second Wind, and maneuvers. This will only continue to grow with more extra attacks at 5th, and more feat/ability boosts at 6th, and on. Katarina probably does better targeted damage with advantage, but Jim has more staying power, more flexibility (sword n pistol & maneuvers), and can throw down some serious damage as well.

2. Inspiring Leader - This feat is a game changer, and before naval battles (where 10 minutes is easy to find) you are granting the party (or crew) a total of 42 temporary hit points!!! That is huge niche that could sway the tide of a naval battle - 42 temporary hit points to the crew is significant, and it gets better as you level! Plus the role playing potential is thru the roof! And keeps Jim in the running for Captain, if you so wish.

3. Forgery - Jim can do something no one else on the team can do: forge official papers and personal letters. Letters of Marque? Arrest warrants? Letters decommissioning a governor's rule from the colonial power? Decrees to pardon pirates from the governor's office? Issues from the constable for prisoner transfers? Commodore's orders to let your ship past a naval blockade? Yes, sir! Play this up and it's an awesome niche limited only by your imagination!

While I agree that Katarina may be a better overall candidate as Captain (due to her backstory and higher Sway), Jim could fit any of these other ship roles (in addition to being a Gunner in combat) and carve his niche there:

[sblock=Boatswain]Boatswain: The boatswain directly oversees crew on deck, makes decisions about how best to apply the crew's numbers toward the captain's orders, and directly reports on the state of the ship (physically and morale-wise) to the captain. The boatswain player handles all non-combat rolls involving the crew, such as ability checks, morale checks, and saves.[/sblock]

[sblock=Sailing Master]Sailing Master: The sailing master (a Lieutenant on naval ships) is in charge of navigation, identifying safe harbors and potential hazards on maps, and managing the sails (deciding how much sail to let out, how to orient the sails to the wind, and when to take down the sails). The player determines the ship's speed, makes any checks relating to the sails, calculates travel time, and should be passingly familiar with common sailing concepts (like how bearing and amount of sial exposed to wind influence speed). Check out http://www.sea-distances.org/ for a great tool for estimating travel times by sail.[/sblock]

[sblock="Reserve Captain"]"Reserve Captain": Katarina is Chaotic Neutral, so you know it's only a matter of time before she splits the party or gets into trouble that indisposes her to fulfilling her role as Captain ;) When that happens, you could have an agreement as First Mate to "inherit" the Captaincy till her return (rather than the Quartermaster as is customary). As First Mate you'd take time at the helm and perform a jack-of-all-trades role on ship, tending sails here, lending a hand to the crew there, jumping in wherever you see the need.[/sblock]
 

Queenie

Queen of Everything
@Kobald Stew Our characters are so similar, I know right? Popping out a baby was tough work and that whole pillaging and plundering thing was a hoot don't you think... miss the old days...

:p

Okay, in all seriousness... I have the same kind of thoughts you are having, oh, about a zillion times EVERY TIME I make a character! To me, it's so, so important to have that role that only you can fill. Don't think I haven't thought, well, how can Kat be a Captain when Hawken is better than me at almost everything! I think it's natural to compare our characters because we all need that one thing we can do best.

If you recall as I was making my character our kind and generous GM made mention that stats aren't as important as other things. Which is why instead of boosting them up further I decided to go more skill monkey kind of thing. Also, she's got two stats at a negative. Okay it's not -5 or anything but it is negative and I'm going to try to play her that way.

I've been especially watching you develop your character with an eye to our similarities and differences and considering how things might work. The biggest, to me, is a HUGE one, that *should* play out as we play. And that is, Gentleman Jim is LG and Kat is CH. I mean, whoa. In our confines of not playing evil, that is opposite as you get. Forget the whole male/female thing. I am positive there will be times we need the chaos of "Let's kick ass!" without a plan and sometimes when a calmer, more disciplined approach will benefit us. And personality wise I am positive they will butt heads... but in my mind, in a playful bantery kind of a way, not an "I hate you" kind of way. Like, malicious or anything. Kat probably WILL tell you she hates you at some point. But you won't be alone lol

I know you don't know me well, or really at all, but I loovveeee the roleplaying aspect of these games more than anything and am also pretty big on having party harmony, even in cases like this. Fenris made the mechanics of my character and truthfully I don't even know what I have short of my request of two weapon fighting, acrobatics, persuasion and deception.

Kat would slit me throat if she heard me mutter she just might need someone to reign her in a bit but... she just may need someone to reign her in a bit and that someone is probably Gentleman Jim... Well, Ol Zef will try with his grumpy old man ways but that probably doesn't go over as well as a handsome swashbuckling hero trying. ;)

Soooo... don't change your character because of Katerina, please. I LOVE the whole enlightened background, Fenris and I were just saying how cool that was yesterday. But in the end if you don't feel comfortable, there are some roles that are yet to be filled (like Maldavos mentioned we are sorely lacking in magic) if that would make you happier. Do what makes you happy. We could have a whole crew of piratey fighters and I am sure that would be just fine, everyone has their place and purpose in the end. Saavy? :D
 

Queenie

Queen of Everything
[sblock="Reserve Captain"]"Reserve Captain": Katarina is Chaotic Neutral, so you know it's only a matter of time before she splits the party or gets into trouble that indisposes her to fulfilling her role as Captain ;) When that happens, you could have an agreement as First Mate to "inherit" the Captaincy till her return (rather than the Quartermaster as is customary). As First Mate you'd take time at the helm and perform a jack-of-all-trades role on ship, tending sails here, lending a hand to the crew there, jumping in wherever you see the need.[/sblock]

HEY!!! : poutyface: :mad:



Okay, that is exactly what I just said. :lol:



So seriously in the end they can be sort of like Captainy partners, spoken or not, and both fill in the gaps the other is missing out on.


TOGETHER WE SHALL RULE THE SEAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BWWHAHHAHHAHAHA!!!!

...whoops did I say that out loud?? ;)
 

Unsung

First Post
@Quickleaf, is this the sort of thing you're looking for?

Rotation (Gunner Teague)
4:00-8:00 Sleeps like the dead. (long rest)
8:00-20:00 Maintains the ship’s cannons, checks the powder, cleans and counts pistols and muskets, shouts up and down at the powder monkeys. Throws his back into any task calling for more than one set of arms. (Master Gunner/Crew)
20:00-24:00 Drinks rum on deck, reciting jokes and tall tales and mangled scripture to anyone who passes by. Often falls asleep. (long rest)
24:00-4:00 Becomes sombre and morose, delivering ghost stories and old sea legends, and waxing poetic on the nature of the sea as a fickle goddess. Occasionally draws a crowd. (Entertainer/Lookout)
 
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