Well I'm looking for a bit of advice on a current campaign I'm running. The players have a ship but no crew to run it and they need to recruit a crew or the captian they are making a deal with won't allow them to use his ship for their adventures. So the party came up with a plan that I though was fun that they are going to put into effect the next session I run. The plan: To find the roughest toughest sailors in the current city they are to intentionaly start bar fights and watch to see who are left standing and offer them the job.
Now, I love the idea, I'm just looking for suggestions on how to implement this on the DM side. Should I go with a skill challenge, or a mix of skill and combat encounter, straight combat, or something else. I though about possibly letting the players actually take control of the guys they covertly instigate into a fight and have them fight each other using these new characters. What do you think? Any advice?
I like Centauri's idea a lot.
Consider also breaking this down into goals and situations. The first thing they need to do is recruit. What kind of tense, compelling, or action-packed situations might come out of that effort? If they recruit really well, what does that look like? What happens if they do a poor job?
Then they need to organize their recruits to accomplish their tasks (start lots of fights). I'm reminded of the line from Fight Club - "Now this is not as easy as it sounds." Especially if you did a poor job recruiting...
Once some fights are started, what about managing the chaos? Complications arise from the fights the PCs might not have foreseen. Are they going to do something about the fire that accidentally started?
You could play out a combat encounter in which the PC's were unwittingly drawn in to the fight they started.
My son's Battlemind is laughing at you: you can't figure out how to start a fight? Just have your group's Defender take the lead and swing first.
Even better - if a dwarf (alcohol is a poison for purposes of Resist Poison 5) is available and wants to start a drinking contest...
If any of your PCs are the officious kind, they might pick a few likely people by reputation and press-gang them onto your boat. One at a time, of course.
In the movie version of "Coward of the County", Kenny Rogers' character locked the door to the saloon from the inside to prevent anybody from escaping. A word to the wise, for after you start the brawl.
A rogue PC might want to contact the local Thieves Guild to see if they offer ship crewing services, and especially find out if they are about to step on the Guild's toes.
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