Because there were no secrets or anything involved in the planning of this game, I decided it would be cool to show a behind the scenes of how I plan my adventures. I basically keep all of this in the GM-Only section of the adventure log. Enjoy!
Trip takes 2 rolls – captains sailing check and a random roll for weather/wind. Add them. Less than 20 night of the 5th day, greater than 20 night of the 4th day.
Day 2 – Chris dream, Poseidon’s voice: “Fooled by the apple again…”
– Kekchissi gets a message: Kekchissi. It is Azizaeshe. It is not often we have a Keeper of the Secrets in the region you are in now. At this point in your travels, you should be in the Ionian Sea, nearing Calydon. On the Gulf of Corinth is an ancient Greek site known as Delphi. There was an oracle there who would provide regular prophecies, and many of these were written down. If possible, I would like you to try and locate any that you can. They may still contain secrets about the future that have been lost. Perhaps they have been moved to the nearby cities of Calydon or Corinth. Be safe, brother, and I wish you the best of luck.
Day 3 – Adofo gets a vision: a woman’s face writhing in a pile of wolf heads and tentacles, swirling around and illuminated by fire.
They cross into the Straight of Messina at night, by way of a slight southerly wind (at their backs).
Everybody makes a spot check – if Wickes is in the crows nest he gets +5.
The check determines how far out they see the port – a natural 20 or 25+ on the check spots the ships at 3 miles.
20 – 2.5 miles
15 – 2 miles
10 – 1.5 miles
5 – 1 mile
1-4 – .5 miles
What they see at first is not unusual – there are a lot of ships at the port. Considering this is a huge merchant port, thats not unexpected. At a second look, they realize what’s unusual – there is a large number of galleys – aka triremes among them, and not many merchant ships. In fact, almost none. This is a war fleet, poised to set sail towards Messina. At that moment, Athena will speak to Peter.
“Peter, Photina, Kallisto – listen. Diokles has just informed me that General Ampelios launched an attack against the minoans at Cyprus from Tyre. Tyre. It seems the war has started, regardless of what the Ekklesia decides. Cyprus was already ready and waiting – as if they were preparing to attack themselves. Kallisto, I need you to remain at Olympus. Inform the other gods, and ask them to inform their clerics to spread the news around the nation. The quicker we can spread the word the better. Peter, continue your course, but be watchful and careful. This is very important – I need you to report to me as you approach Athens. If you stop anywhere, ensure they know that the war is on. Photina, there is no point in you staying for any further Ekklesia. Spread the word in Athens and help them prepare their fleets. Be safe, be strong.”
Just as Peter hears this, lights appear on the horizon behind them. It appears they are now caught between the fleets of Messina and Rhegium.
Have everyone make a spot check again – as long as someone gets a 10 or higher tell them. Otherwise, an NPC will relay it.
The Regium fleet has 21 Triremes and 5 Lembos, and 6 Hemiolia.
The Messinians fleet has 15 Triremes, 10 Lembos, and 8 Hemiolia. (Spot check DC 20 – there are large shadows under the sea as well).
Ensure the party knows why its important to stop here – they are to get a LOT of grain to sell throughout the rest of Greece, and they also need to resupply here as it is the last stop before they sail across the Ionian sea, where there will be no coast line to live off of.
The party will have a couple choices from here – turn around, press forward, or turn towards shore – don’t say anything though, let them figure it out.
The captain will state "Alright boys looks like we’re caught between Scylla and Charybdis here….I prefer my chances of getting through the Greeks, waiving white flags and shields above our heads…what say you?
Give everyone a knowledge: history check, to recognize Scylla and Charybdis live here…DC 20, and anybody not from Greece/Gaul is at a -5. If nobody else recognizes it, or spots the shadows, the captain will exclaim.
“By the gods! Scylla and Charybdis – this is their waters!”
If they go towards the coast, they can make it to shore with good swim checks (3 at DC 15, if they fail at 2 in a row they start to drown, and take 1 subdual damage that time and each further time they fail). At the shore the greek dudes are capturing messinian sailors who swim to shore, who will become slaves. If the party can’t figure out a way to convince them, they’ll be chained.
As the battle progresses, Scylla will recognize whats happening at the shore and engage the Greeks there. They will see her coming and try to escape by climbing the wall to their guard tower (see the picture). If they were captured, scylla will assume they were Messinian and free them, however if they’re free, they’ll either have to engage scylla or try to escape with the greeks.
No matter what, the rowed ships of the armies will catch up with them if they go towards either one. If they go to the shore, they’ll be able to anchor where they can swim to shore, though their boat doesn’t have a raft. If they decide to wait on the boat they’ll be safe. The fleets will meet as the sun rises.
As the battle ensues Scylla will start attacking the greek ships. Charybdis will zone them in towards each other, basically protecting the flanks of the Minoans. Scylla will wreak havoc on the crews, and terrify them.
With no interference, the Messinians will win the battle but not by a huge margin. A few triremes will be limping around in the sea. Scylla and the whirlpool thing will sit at the gates to ensure no boats leave/enter the harbor. Several Greek ships will escape and retreat to the harbor if they can.
If the party fights Scylla or Charybdis (how can they?) or does significant damage to the Messinians then the Greeks will win.
If they charge towards one group or the other they will be caught up with the others from behind and caught in the midst of the battle. Roll 1d6 – 1-3 greek, 4-6 minoan. If they handle one encounter well throw a second.
As soon as a whirlpool starts, the water becomes heavy waves. A DC 15 balance check is required to move more than half speed. A crit fail on this check results in falling over. No taking 10 – this means EVERY MOVEMENT requires a balance check. If water gets on deck – (a green water wave or scylla attacking) these checks increase to DC 17.
In addition, roll on this table TWICE each round.
|| Ship heels to one side. Make a DC 10 balance check (12 if wet). Anybody prone needs to make a reflex save to not fall off boat.
|| Scylla leaps over the ship. Make a save vs fear if you haven’t already, or be affected if you failed.
|| A ~1ft wave washes over the deck. DC 20 balance check. All future checks at +2
|| A javelin targets a random person on the boat. Roll vs their AC with attack bonus.
|| Light Sargasso – some light slippery seaweed washes over the deck. Random person on ship makes a balance check DC 30 or falls prone.
|10 – 11
|| Heavy Sargasso – a thicker seaweed washes over deck. Random person on ship makes a balance check DC 10 or falls prone.
|| Regular arrow attacks a random person aboard the ship. Make an attack against them with no attack bonus. 1d6 damage.
|| Burning arrow attacks a random person aboard the ship. Make an attack against them with no attack bonus. 1d4 fire damage, misses may hit the ship.
|| Burning arrow hits the sail and it catches fire. Will spread if not put out.
|| Scylla attacks a random person on the ship.
|| A random Greek soldier gets flung by Scylla onto the ship.
If the party goes to shore, they’ll find Greek soldiers checking the men and killing those who are Messinian as they swim to safety.
If they go to Rhegium the gate is closed, however as the battle dwindles they will open it and allow them in if they can prove they are Carthaginian.
If they get to the city, they will not be able to buy the wheat they were promised. They can get half as much unless they can talk the dude into it. He knows Greece needs it now – but group can make the point that they are selling all of this back to other cities in Greece. A good diplo check can reveal this and or convince him.
If the party ends up trapped in the harbor, they’ll likely have to find a way to launch a counter attack or convince the Messinians to let them pass as merchants (likely by bribing them – not with coin, but with grain.)
If they do not restock here, they will be fatigued when they arrive at Calydon.