Saga of the Serpent's Skull

First Session

Our merry cast of characters is shipwrecked on Smuggler’s Shiv en route to Eleder. One moment, everyone is feasting their hundredth day at sea; the next minute, they are unconscious.

Day 1

Wherein the characters wake up on the beach, fight off some sea scorpions, swim out to the wreck of the Jenivere, fight some more sea scorpions, find a dead guy, reclaim their gear, and return to the beach. Jask is freed from his shackles; he gives his doctoral thesis on Smuggler’s Shiv; people like him for some reason. After establishing a base camp and foraging for food, the group beds down for the night, only to be beset upon by midnight monkies, attracted by their biscuit box.

Day 2

Wherein several characters contact strange and interesting diseases, such as dysentery, following a breakfast of monkey; the question of what an Oread poops is answered. Spider Swarms! The characters bravely Sir Robin it away, having expended several spells and most of their lamp oil in attempts to contain the foul arachnids. The party makes it to the cove, and prepares a camp. Some characters find a dead monkey hanging from a nearby tree, which becomes breakfast.

Day 3

Wherein the characters continue along the coastal inlet. Sasha all but demands a fangbird as a pet; the question of whether Oreads can fly is answered. The party continues along the beach until exhausted by a giant crab; they bed down for the night after a dinner of crab and hardtack. Sasha performs sword training for the party. A strange green glow in the bay leads to strange things in the surf, which are woefully incompetent undead. The sensible characters sleep through this annoyance.

Day 4

Wherein the characters start off the day distracted by disease. Many attempts to heal diseases occur, as most NPCs (and Vanua) have contracted dysentery. Sasha performs sword training for Korgoth, who skipped yesterday’s lesson because her talking annoyed him. Aerys is going into alcohol withdrawl; conveniently, the party happens to be within a day’s march of the location of a rare herb which will cure her of this dilemma.

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Pre-Game Background
For Building Your Characters

First off, I’d like everyone to go download the Serpent’s Skull Player’s Guide. It’s free, and has a lot of info about how different classes would fit into the campaign. There’s also an overview of how the game starts, and a list of campaign traits.

Also… once again, this will be a somewhat challenging campaign. There’s a wide variety of challenges and wilderness exploration to be had. The jungles of Garund are fairly inhospitable, and there are few established countries and cities in the region. Parts of the series can be railroady; at other points it’s totally reliant on player creativity and self-directing to get things done. I know some people really dislike GM fudging; generally I let the dice fall where they lay, but will pull punches if the players are in way over their heads, and particularly if they can’t case raise dead. (That said, use common sense… I’m not going to pull punches if a bunch of level one characters charge a T-Rex or something.) The path fits my mindset of challenging players to providing some epic circumstances and rewards, but if it gets too bad just talk to me about it and I can tone it down.

Basic Background

For whatever reason, your character has set out on a journey to the colony of Sargava, planning on adventuring deep into the jungles of the Mwangi Expanse. The Mwangi is home to many legendary lost cities, ancient ruins, mysterious treasures, and primitive tribes, so there are any number of reasons a character would have interest exploring there.

This particular band of characters decided to take the ship Jenivere to Sargava’s port city of Eleder. On the Jenivere’s page is a short list of the various ports of call and days spent traveling; the maps page features a depiction of this journey. While your character can be of any race and nationality, they must have embarked at one of the Jenivere’s ports of call.

Your character can be from whatever race, nationality, or culture you’d like, but they have to have some reason to travel to Sargava, and have to start off on the Jenivere. Other than that, things are wide open. If you’re not that familiar with the Pathfinder world of Golarion, I’m putting some basic information on the wiki parts (Geography, Religion, etc.) While that’s there for everyone to peruse, I haven’t added everything yet, and hope I don’t have to, so it’d probably be quicker and easiest to ask for suggestions if you’re totally unfamiliar with the world.

Character Creation

More details will be forthcoming. In general, I’m leaning towards point-buy for attributes so that everyone’s roughly on the same page, but that will be balanced with a number of minor assets. Feel free to peruse the Core Book, the Advanced Player’s Guide, anything in the Pathfinder Companion line, and the Campaign Setting/World Guide when thinking of character concepts. Ask me first if you want to do something with the Ultimates, 3.5 or third party material, or play a race from the Bestiaries. I probably won’t say no, and I’m not totally against character optimization, but I would like to keep the party roughly balanced.

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