In addition to their normal jobs on the ship, the PCs can also utilize their time during the day (and night) to explore the ship, scrounge for gear, interact with their shipmates, or attempt to influence NPCs. With the PCs potentially scattered across the ship working at their jobs, however, there is a danger that early events in the adventure might focus too much upon the actions of individual characters. Some PCs might have more time on their hands and act accordingly.
To avoid this, the PCs’ activities aboard ship—carrying out their assigned tasks; exploring the ship; robbing, bullying, or befriending shipmates; working; or playing—are performed as part of ship actions. These actions reflect the time required to set up or complete an activity, such as gathering enough crew to play a game, scouting out a room to make sure it’s empty, and so on. Remember that even the cook’s mate has a job to do during the day, and ship actions are meant to ref lect the available time a PC can carve out from his or her work time without going into too much detail.
Each PC can normally take two ship actions each day, one during the day and one at night. A PC can also attempt to take up to two additional ship actions during the middle watch in the dead of night (any nighttime ship action marked with an asterisk), but to do so the PC must make a successful Constitution check (DC 10, +4 per extra ship action taken) or be fatigued for the next day. A list of possible ship actions is presented on the following page. As always, use your judgment as to when these actions are appropriate.
Daytime Ship Actions
Work Diligently: Gain a +4 bonus on any one check for a job’s daily task
Influence: Make normal checks for a job’s daily task and attempt to influence a single NPC
Sneak: Make normal checks for a job’s daily task and briefly explore one area of the ship (the PC can make a single Perception check or other skill check with no chance of detection)
Shop: Take a –2 penalty on all checks for a job’s daily task and visit the quartermaster’s store (area A9)
Shirk: Take a –2 penalty on all checks for a job’s daily task and take time exploring one area of the ship. The PC can take 10 on a single Perception check or other skill check, but must make a check to avoid being discovered.
Socialize: Make normal checks for a job’s daily task and make Diplomacy checks to gather information about up to 2 NPCs. Gathered information can be used to give a bonus to subsequent Influence checks.
Nighttime Ship Actions
Sleep: Go to bed early and sleep through the night (automatically recover from fatigue)
Craft: Make a Craft check
Gamble: Play or gamble on a game of chance or pirate entertainment.
Entertain: Make one Perform check to entertain the crew
Influence: Attempt to influence a single NPC
Sneak: Take time exploring one area of the ship. The PC can take 20 on a single Perception check or other skill check, but must make a check to avoid being discovered.
Steal: Attempt to open a locked door or locker. The PC must make a check to avoid being discovered.
Once the night watch sets in, most pirates go to their hammocks. PCs can attempt further ship actions during the middle watches but must make Constitution checks to avoid being fatigued the entire next day (DC= 10+4 per additional action, maximum of 2 additional actions).
Sneak: as above, but can take 20.
Steal: as above
Influence: as above
Craft: as above (noisy actions might lead to angry crewmates)
Theft, Pilfering, and Secrecy Aboard the Wormwood
The Wormwood is a pirate ship, filled with dubious and murderous characters at best. Theft is common, but the key is not getting caught.
To perform any action unobserved, a PC must generally make an opposed skill check, such as a Sleight of Hand or Stealth check against an NPC’s Perception check. On a crowded ship, however, it’s not practical to make opposed checks against potentially dozens of NPCs. Instead, the PC should make an appropriate skill check (usually Sleight of Hand or Stealth) to represent a typical situation, using the following guidelines to set the DC of the check.
Attempting a stealthy action in a crowd, such as casting a spell with verbal or somatic components without being noticed: DC 20.
Attempting a stealthy action where there is a chance of discovery, such as visiting the quartermaster’s store during work, exploring a room during the day, or attempting to open a chest in a room while its occupants are sleeping: DC 15.
Attempting a stealthy action under cover of a suitable diversion, such as attempting to open lockers when the rest of the crew are working or on deck enjoying themselves: DC 10.
Failing this check by 4 or less means the PC attempting the action is merely disturbed and is unable to complete the action. Failing the check by 5 or more means the PC is caught red-handed by a random crew member, and might be turned over to Master Scourge for discipline.