As I mentioned in my last post, my on-campus group has been playing in my Lacuna Locurae setting, and had recently become embroiled in a plot to pirate an Imperial treasure ship (the Hellbent).
At the time this session opened, the party had managed to infiltrate the crew, and was simply waiting to cast off. Their plans to take the ship were something like the following.
Wait until the ship had passed the Outer Islands, where Red Tarza and her band of cut-throats would be lying in wait.
Poison the crew
Kill everyone else who was still moving.
Wait for a prize crew to meet them.
Sail with the ship to where the gold and silver could be off-loaded
The main part of the plan involved the party's thief, who had infiltrated as a cook's mate, to slip a powerful poison into the grog provided to the crew each evening. After taking their dram of "medicine" the poison would put the crew into a coma state, making it simple to slit their throats and steal their groats, so to speak. In practice, the plan worked out pretty well. Much of the crew was taken out, along with almost all of the Imperial marine contingent. They were left to face 4 marines, 16 crew members, the captain of the ship, Brother Jelal (2nd level cleric of Luz) and his two acolytes, and Lugaro (3rd level wizard).
At this point, since several players have had to step away from the game and two more have since joined it, the party consisted of a 2nd level thief, a 2nd level cleric, a 1st level thief, as 1st level cleric, a 2nd level warrior, a 2nd level wizard, and 4 zero-level characters (played by our newest player).
Things started off very well, the thieves got very sneaky indeed and then got extremely stabby on top of that. Backstabbing successfully removed several of the regular crew, including the Cook. Then the battle royal broke out topside. 3 marines manned watch stations in the rigging, and 12 sailors were also on deck, the captain was in his cabin. Below, the four zeroes faced four of the sailors and the wizard. I won't do a play-by-play, but here are some highlights.
One of the thieves aced the Captain very quickly.
The imperial marine on deck also went down.
Things were going very well for them up until one of the acolytes Charmed the party's 2nd level cleric, who then cast Word of Command on the 2nd level warrior. Then, the opposing cleric, Brother Jelal cast Holy Sanctuary with a result of 18, making it extremely difficult to attack him.
Then, the party's rolling started going to Hell. The wizard and the 1st level cleric were killed. The wizard was revived but immediately taken out again.
Eventually, they took out the main enemy cleric, but his acolytes proved very tough, and the sniping of the marines also took its toll. Much Luck was burned. By time the enemies on the deck had been accounted for, only the warrior and the 2nd level cleric were still alive. The cleric called for the marines to surrender, but then rolled a 1 on the Personality check, and only enraged them. The wounded party members didn't want to climb up to the marines, so they decided to go below deck to hide, and make them come down to fight.
In the meantime, the four zeroes had attacked the four sailors working below. The fight started off well enough, but then zeroes started to fall. They also woke the grumpy wizard, who was attempting to sleep in his cabin. He bellowed for them to "Stop that infernal racket!" Instead, Rachel (the player who was running the zeroes) began to cry out for help, as if the sailors were assaulting the winsome lasses who were her characters. The wizard bought the ruse, and began killing the sailors to protect her characters' collective virtue. After the last sailor went down, the the three remaining (though wounded) zeroes rushed over to thank him for his assistance, and promptly assaulted him, without any support (3rd level wizard with 16 hp and a +2 ring of protection). Another zero died, but with a bit of Luck burned, and a bit of help from the 2nd level thief, who had gone below to avoid sniper fire from the marines, they finally dispatched the wizard. To be sure, they were aided by my horrible, horrible spell check rolls. Honestly, I don't know how they avoided a TPK.
At that point, we'd gone 45 minutes over our allotted time, so I called it until next week. The remaining characters are all wounded severely, and the remaining cleric's disapproval range is 1-5. They still need to Recover the Body for their fallen comrades, but with the amount of Luck everyone burned, they likely are Dead-Dead, barring a miracle. They also will need to face the remaining marines.
At this point, there still could be a TPK in the offing, but only three foes remain. Should the cleric manage to actually heal some of them, they should be okay. Now, where are those pirates?