D&D 5E Storm at Sea Skill Challenge

Lyxen

Great Old One
Each phase involves each player rolling on the Random Storm Event Table. At phase #1 it's a d6 (1-6), then at phase #2 a d6+2 (3-8), then at phase #3 a d6+4 (5-10). You might want to add more options – for time's sake, I'm just giving you a baseline to design your own from.

I've always wondered what the point of having random events was. First, you need to design more interesting events than what will really happen. Second, you will end up throwing a majority of these interesting events down the drain. I can understand it from published adventures where they are used to show a panel of more or less interesting things that the DM might implement or not depending on the taste of the party, but when designing the adventure yourself, surely you can choose the ones that will play the best for your players rather than rely on chance ?

That being said, your examples are interesting, of course, it would be all the more a shame to discard nice ideas...
 

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pukunui

Legend
OK so something I still need to do is figure out stats for Golden Seahorse’s crew.

The captain died during the fight, so the first mate got promoted. Several of the sailors died as well, which is why they press-ganged the surviving pirates to fill in the ranks. None of Elok’s officers survived.

Elok uses the wereboar statblock. His surviving crew all use the bandit statblock.

I can potentially just use the bandit statblock for Golden Seahorse’s sailors as well. Not sure which statblock to use for the first mate-turned-captain, though.

Obviously they’d all also have proficiency in water vehicles, since they’re sailors.
 

OK so something I still need to do is figure out stats for Golden Seahorse’s crew.

The captain died during the fight, so the first mate got promoted. Several of the sailors died as well, which is why they press-ganged the surviving pirates to fill in the ranks. None of Elok’s officers survived.

Elok uses the wereboar statblock. His surviving crew all use the bandit statblock.

I can potentially just use the bandit statblock for Golden Seahorse’s sailors as well. Not sure which statblock to use for the first mate-turned-captain, though.

Obviously they’d all also have proficiency in water vehicles, since they’re sailors.

Vehicle (Water) probably should be used.

  • Intelligence to give a bonus (maybe use the proficiency die idea in the DMG) to someone else's check through their expertise.
  • Strength for navigating the ship from the helm, or possibly to help pickup/save other people who might have been taken down by a hazard/bad check.
  • Wisdom would be good to notice changing conditions and to see hazards incoming.
  • Dexterity to keep his footing, avoid some hazard from another check, or to move to another position quickly enough to help someone else.
  • Charisma could inspire the NPC crews to do better and/or not freak out from the situation they are currently in, so that they can execute their tasks to the best of their ability.
  • Constitution... well, bear the brunt of the waves or to not be worn out by the ship resisting his attempts to steer.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
I've always wondered what the point of having random events was. First, you need to design more interesting events than what will really happen. Second, you will end up throwing a majority of these interesting events down the drain. I can understand it from published adventures where they are used to show a panel of more or less interesting things that the DM might implement or not depending on the taste of the party, but when designing the adventure yourself, surely you can choose the ones that will play the best for your players rather than rely on chance ?

That being said, your examples are interesting, of course, it would be all the more a shame to discard nice ideas...
Why randomize anything? Encounters? Events? Weather? Reactions?

The joy and wonder of the unexpected and the twists that introduces, of course.
 


Quickleaf

Legend
Indeed, why ? :)



Hmmm, a player would not know the difference, and as a DM, my joy is mostly in making sure that my player have fun with the game and have the best encounters possible, not randomness.
Yeah, it's all about your style, and I think it's awesome you've got a style that works for your group. I'd probably love playing at your table.

Van Gogh's sunflowers and Georgia O'Keeffe's red poppies are very different styles, but they're both still paintings of flowers.

Our differences are good – they're not something to be argued about, rather something to be celebrated.
 

pukunui

Legend
Am going to be running this tomorrow. Still not entirely sure what I’m going to do. But I’ll let you know how it goes.

EDIT: Oh, I've just discovered that vitriolic sphere doesn't damage objects, so the sail on the pirate ship would be fine. I guess that makes that part of the challenge a bit easier.
 
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pukunui

Legend
OK so I ended up keeping it fairly simple and used the rules from Ghosts of Saltmarsh. No dice pools or anything this time, although I’ll definitely keep that in my toolbox for future consideration, as I do quite like the idea.

In this case, I set the crew quality score to 3 to start with, then gave them the chance to raise morale after the battle with the pirates. This was a success so the crew quality rose to 4.

I then ran a DC crew conflict hazard, with the players rolling for the officers. One PC stood in for the first mate, while another served as cook. They successful tamped down the pirates among the crew and got them to tow the line, furthering raising the crew quality to 5.

During the storm, I had the players roll on behalf of the officers, with a few PCs filling in where applicable. We got 2 successes out of 5 rolls, so I determined it was a failure and the ship had to limp back into port and then spend a tenday undergoing repairs before it would be seaworthy again.

I also had them roll for the pirates on board Dragonfang during the storm. They failed every roll, so the pirate ship sank!

Lastly, I had the pirate captain exchange some meaty info in exchange for letting him go free. They agreed to this.

So they ended up returning to port empty-handed! No pirate ship and no pirate captain! But they now have some knowledge that can give them leverage over one of their main rivals.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Thanks for the debrief, hopefully your players enjoyed the game and the community's suggestions helped a little. :)
 


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