Sunday, December 30, 2012

Two Arcane Items

To go along with the previous post, with rules for arcane spellcasters, I have for today two magical items drawn from popular folklore.

Also, assuming I don't post tomorrow, I'd like to wish everybody a happy new year!


There's an ancient tradition in folk magic which holds that a small image of a person, one that contains actual material from that person's body, is mystically linked to that person. What is more, it can be used to deliver harm to said victim. The specific effectiveness of the poppet depends on how well it is crafted, by comparing the results of a Craft (sewing) or (woodcarving) check to the table below. This determines both the DC for the Fortitude save that the victim receives, as well as the maximum amount of damage that one item can cause to its subject.

Check    Max. Damage
Result / and Save DC
0-4 / 5 hp; DC 6
5-9 / 10 hp; DC 9
1-14 / 15 hp; DC 12
15-19 / 20 hp; DC 15
20-24 / 30 hp; DC 18
25-29 / 40 hp; DC 21
30-34 / 50 hp; DC 24
35-39 / 75 hp; DC 27
40+ / 100 hp; DC 30

Note that a character must possess the Craft Poppet feat in order to attempt the process. Furthermore, failing to provide a bit of material—a lock of hair, a bit of blood or even nail pairings—causes a -10 circumstance penalty to this effort. Additionally, crafting the poppet requires special materials that cost 5 poe multiplied by the level of the victim squared. For example, if an enemy wanted to make a poppet depicting Captain Ned Carstens, a fifth-level Expert, it would cost 125 (5 x 5 x 5) poe.

New Feat: Craft Poppet
This feat functions like other item creation feats, and allows you to make poppets.
Prerequisites: Caster level 3rd.

Tarot Cards
Each of these iconic cards has certain ideas associated with it; these images, then, are the sources for meanings and messages interpreted from them.

Magician—A powerful wizard, or the use of strong magic
High Priestess—A female cleric or oracle, or a religious organization
Empress—A powerful female sovereign, or the country itself
Emperor—An influential male monarch, or the realm
Hierophant—A male cleric or oracle, or a congregation
Lovers—The possibility of romance, or a specific couple
Chariot—Upcoming travel, or a battle
Strength—A symbol of virility and power, physical or otherwise
Hermit—A mysterious figure, but perhaps one who can be of assistance
Wheel of Fortune—Luck, for good or bad; an approaching gain or loss
Justice—The law and enforcement of it, or those who do so
Hanged Man—Someone who has broken the law, or was accused of doing so
Death—Just what it seems
Temperance—Upright living, moderation and harmony
Devil—A powerful force for evil, such as a vampire or a dragon
Tower—A stronghold or other such important place
Star—Hope in times of darkness; inspiration
Moon—Things of the night, and perhaps the sea
Sun—Enlightenment and beauty
Judgment—An important decision to be made
World—Tremendous accomplishment or success; wholeness
Fool—A trickster or a deception

The cards can be used for a number of different layouts—the process through which they are read. One of the more simple ones, referred to as “the Norns,” has cards representing the past (first), present (second) and future (third). Another is the “horseshoe.” For it, the cards represent 1) the past, 2) the present, 3) influences, 4) obstacles, 5) expectations, 6) the best course of action and 7) likely outcomes. As mentioned above, the GM can use an actual draw of cards and interpret them as fits the situation, or choose ahead of time and tailor them to the circumstances.

In game terms, using a deck of Tarot cards could provide insight into an upcoming situation, provided that the reader succeeds at a DC 15 Knowledge (arcane) check. Success allows the subject to gain the benefits of the good fortune associated with the Luck cleric domain. Once per day said character can choose to reroll the result of one check, and even gains a +2 insight bonus to the new roll. As always, the character must abide by the new result, for better or for worse. At the GM's discretion, failing the check by more than five could result in misinformation, such as by leading a character in the wrong direction or misidentifying an innocent person as an enemy.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Arcane Magic

To help launch the new story arc for the blog's adventure series, I have an article about incorporating occult magic in a quasi-historical, low-magic pirate campaign.


Arcane Magic
The Skull & Bones rulebook mentions, while disallowing the sorcerer and wizard classes, that “the era when powerful magic was available without dire consequences is long gone.” This makes sense for a lot of swashbuckling, low-fantasy campaigns, since magic-users don't fit with every style of play. For the new story arc in the Come Hell and High Water campaign, however, a cabal of occultists is a key power group. To that end, this article provides guidelines for using wizards and sorcerers in the Skull & Bones setting.

Using the Occult in a Low Fantasy, Quasi-Historical Setting
One of the most appealing elements of a setting like Skull & Bones is the clash of cultures that occurs within it. In the Caribbean alone one finds the Spanish jealously guarding their territory (taken from the Mayans, Aztecs, Caribs, Arawaks and others) against incursions by the Dutch and English and French. There's also the presence of African slaves, bringing their own beliefs and adding to an admixture with the native populations. Combine those backgrounds with the conflict between Catholicism, various Protestant sects and non-Christian traditions such as can be found around the Mediterranean and further eastward, and it makes for a truly varied and intriguing tapestry.

Involving arcane magic and spellcasters in this setting draws from these traditions and builds upon them in interesting ways. Indeed, the history of occult magic in the world is no less colorful. Even during Biblical times there were tales of other traditions, represented by such individuals as Simon Magus, who offered to buy the Holy Spirit from the Apostles, and the enigmatic Witch of Endor. Greek and Roman legends from the same time period tell of powerful arcane practitioners such as Circe and Medea, who worked sometimes for and sometimes against the heroes of the time.

The rise of the “religions of the book”—Judaism, Christianity and Islam—eventually led to a tremendous reduction in the practice of arcane magic. Indeed, it was those faiths that led to men and, even more so, women being labeled as witches, reviled pariahs who were tortured and executed for their beliefs. Even so, the study and use of occult magic endured, practiced by the precursors of enlightened science known as alchemists.

Despite this stigma, occultists were sometimes even able to gain positions of tremendous influence, even in recent times. Take, for example, the curious figure Merlin, who was believed to be a close associate of the semi-mythical King Arthur. Another such person is John Dee, who rose to become a powerful advisor to Queen Elizabeth of England. Not only did he use his magical powers to aid her in protecting the realm, but he was also able to learn tremendous amounts of information from the sea dogs who explored the world and plundered enemy ports and vessels at her command.

In a similar manner, the pursuit of arcane magic provides a strong impetus to seek adventure, given the opportunities to discover new spells and relics. Such exotic and elusive creatures as the island giants and the possess their own traditions—not to mention the hougans and bokor of the Caribbean—from whom eldritch secrets can be learned.

Arcane Spell List
A previous article, “Clerics in the New World,” detailed how a limited list of subtle spells can allow clerics to be used in an effective but not too flashy manner. In the same way, the following list provides an option for arcane casters.

Subtle Spells

Level 0—Arcane mark, detect magic, read magic, resistance

Level 1—Endure elements, identify, mage armor, magic weapon, protection from chaos/evil/good/law, shield, true strike

Level 2—Bear's endurance, bull's strength, cat's grace, eagle's splendor, false life, fox's cunning, misdirection, obscure object, owl's wisdom, protection from arrows

Level 3—Arcane sight, dispel magic, haste, heroism, keen edge, magic circle against chaos/evil/good/law, protection from energy, rage

Level 4—Bestow curse, detect scrying, dimensional anchor, enervation, lesser globe of invulnerability, locate creature, remove curse

Level 5—Break enchantment, contact other plane, dismissal, dream, lesser planar binding, nightmare, permanency

Level 6—Analyze dweomer, antimagic field, contingency, globe of invulnerability, greater dispel magic, greater heroism, mass bear's endurance, mass bull's strength, mass cat's grace, mass eagle's splendor, mass fox's cunning, mass owl's wisdom

Level 7—Banishment, greater arcane sight, spell turning

Level 8—Antipathy, dimensional lock, discern location, greater planar binding, mind blank, moment of prescience, sympathy

Level 9—Energy drain, foresight

Note that this list should provide a basis from which to develop personal collections of spells. For example, an occultist who visits Hispaniola and interacts with hougans there might learn to cast a spell or two from them, at the GM's discretion. Indeed, such an arrangement can provide both motivation to go adventuring and rewards for doing so. As always, the GM should feel free to add to, or subtract from, the preceding list to fit the desires of the players and the needs of the campaign.

Morgan and Associates, Booksellers

Although it has proven to be an enduring tradition that has persevered in the face of adversity for centuries, the practice of arcane magic is still not well accepted in the world. This is especially true in the larger cities of the world, where the powers that be have enough influence and manpower to enforce a prohibition of such activities. (One need only look at the witch trials in the English colonies for an example of how even suspicion of the practice can lead to ruthless persecution.) For that reason, those who are interested in the occult do well to conceal this endeavor.

It is that need for secrecy that has led a young man named Edgar Morgan to found a business enterprise known as Morgan and Associates, merchants who specialize in finding rare and antique books on all the subjects that one can image. This trade provides the perfect front, allowing them to delve into ancient tomes without attracting unwanted suspicion.

Presented here are stats for Morgan and his pupils, typical examples of those who pursue eldritch power.

Master—Edgar Morgan
Male Wizard 6; CR 6; Size medium; HD 6d4; hp 16; Init +2 (+2 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 12 (+2 Dex); Atk +3 (1d4, dagger) or +5 (ranged); SQ Spells; AL LN; SV: Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +8; Str 10, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 16.
Background: Scholar.
Skills: Appraise + 5, Concentration +9, Decipher Script +12, Knowledge (arcane) +12, Knowledge (geography) +12, Knowledge (history) +12, Spellcraft +15.
Feats: Combat Casting, Leadership, Mental Acumen, Scribe Scroll, Skill Focus (Spellcraft).
Fortunes: Enemy, Magic.
Equipment: Clothing, spellbook, writing materials, pouch of spell components, pouch holding 50 poe, ring of keys.

Spells per Day: 4/3+1/3+1/2+1. Spells Known: (0) Arcane mark, detect magic, read magic, resistance; (1) Endure elements, identify, mage armor, magic weapon, protection from chaos/evil/good/law, shield, true strike; (2) cat's grace, fox's cunning, owl's wisdom, protection from arrows; (3) arcane sight, dispel magic, haste, heroism.

Edgar Morgan is an expert in a relatively small and illicit field; as such, he uses the bookselling business as a cover for his investigations. Even so, he is intrigued by the legends of arcane magic from around the world, and has vowed to seek out and discover the truth behind them.

Journeyman Student
Female Wizard 4; CR 4; Size medium; HD 4d4; hp 11; Init +2 (+2 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 12 (+2 Dex); Atk +2 (1d4, dagger) or +2 (ranged); SQ Spells; AL LN; SV: Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +7; Str 10, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 12.
Background: Scholar.
Skills: Appraise + 5, Concentration +7, Decipher Script +10, Knowledge (arcane) +10, Knowledge (geography) +10, Knowledge (history) +10, Spellcraft +13.
Feats: Combat Casting, Mental Acumen, Scribe Scroll, Skill Focus (Spellcraft).
Fortunes: Enemy, Magic.
Equipment: Clothing, spellbook, writing materials, pouch of spell components, pouch holding 20 poe.

Spells per Day: 4/3+1/2+1. Spells Known: (0) arcane mark, detect magic, read magic, resistance; (1) endure elements, identify, mage armor, magic weapon, protection from chaos/evil/good/law, shield, true strike; (2) cat's grace, fox's cunning, owl's wisdom, protection from arrows.

The journeyman has advanced further in his studies than have the other students, and therefore lords it over the apprentices. Although he acts fawningly subservient to Morgan, he in fact watches for opportunities to strike out on his own.

Student Apprentices
Various Wizard 1; CR 1; Size medium; HD 1d4; hp 4; Init +1 (+1 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 11 (+1 Dex); Atk +0 (1d4, dagger) or +1 (ranged); SQ Spells; AL LN; SV: Fort +0, Ref +1, Will +2; Str 10, Dex 13, Con 10, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 12.
Background: Scholar.
Skills: Appraise + 5, Concentration +4, Decipher Script +7, Knowledge (arcane) +7, Knowledge (geography) +7, Knowledge (history) +7, Spellcraft +10.
Feats: Combat Casting, Scribe Scroll, Skill Focus (Spellcraft).
Fortunes: Enemy, Magic.
Equipment: Clothing, spellbook, writing materials, pouch of spell components, pouch holding 10 poe.

Spells per Day: 3/1+1. Spells Known: (0) arcane mark, detect magic, read magic, resistance; (1) endure elements, identify, mage armor, magic weapon, shield, true strike.

Although they possess only rudimentary skills, these apprentices all aspire to greatness. As such, they work for Edgar Morgan, running the bookstore and aiding in his research.

New Background: Scholar
While they aren't thought to be as adventurous as people from other backgrounds, those who pursue the scholarly arts are important in their own way. Amongst their ranks they might count navigators, cartographers, researchers and the like. Indeed, there are occasionally buccaneer-naturalists who choose to catalogue the wonders they discover through their explorations.
Free Skill Ranks: Choose 2 ranks in any two Knowledge skills.
Bonuses and Penalties: Scholars tend to be most comfortable around others who share their interests, receiving a +2 bonus to Charisma-based checks made in such company. Among others who value their input, they are at least on neutral terms, but among those who held their efforts in contempt, they suffer a -2 penalty to such checks.
Contacts: Two free contacts with others who are interested in scholarly pursuits

The Book Shoppe
Refer to the appropriate map for the following area descriptions.

1. Front Room
Inside the shop's front door is a desk and chair where the shopkeeper normally waits, ready to do business. He or she is usually one of the apprentice students, as the journeyman and master are busy with more important tasks. In the event that a customer arrives who requires more knowledgeable attention, however, those others are quick to respond. The front door is made from stout wood reinforced with iron bands (DC 25 to open; hardness 10 and 50 hit points).

Beyond that area, flanking the outside walls, are sections dedicated to different subjects. They include religion (2); philosophy (3); literature and drama (4); along with history and geography (5).

6. Reading Area
Potential buyers who want to peruse possible selections can do so at the table and chairs found here.

7. Office and Storage
This room is kept closed and locked (DC 20 to open; hardness 5 and 15 hit points). Located here are the ledgers containing records of all the shop's transactions, along with a cash box that usually holds the equivalent of 200 poe and doubloons. Across from it are stairs leading to the upper level, along with the secret door that provides access to the lower level (DC 25 Search or Spot to notice).

8. Guest Bedroom
A bed, table and chair and wardrobe can be found here, for the use of guests who visit from out of town.

9. Master Bedroom
Morgan's own bedroom, it is outfitted with the same type of furniture—albeit of a more comfortable variety—as what is found in the guest quarters.

10. Study
The walls of this room are line with shelves, ones that are filled with all manners of texts and tomes, including scrolls, codices, sheafs of papers, pamphlets and even a few engraved tablets. In the middle of it all stands the desk at which Morgan conducts his endless research.

11. Kitchen
A cooking hearth stands against the outside wall of this room, one that connects via a narrow chimney to the fireplace in the front room. There is also a broad table for preparing food, along with a barrel of water and a basket of wood for fuel. Shelves here hold all kinds of spices and similar items.

12. Pantry
This room is filled with dry goods, bottles, jars and the like, holding an impressive variety of foodstuffs.

13. Closet
Spare linens and the like, for the dining room and bedrooms, are stored here, along with dishes, utensils and things of a similar nature.

14. Dining Room
A broad table, surrounded by chairs, occupies the center of this room. Morgan uses it for taking meals with his students, as well as for entertaining important guests.

15. Workspace
As mentioned above, access to the building's lower level is provided only through the secret door at the top of the stairs. This broad, open area boasts a pentagram in the floor and provides room for performing more elaborate rituals. Close inspection (DC 20 Search or Spot checks) reveals traces of blood on the packed dirt floor, along with stains from other, less recognizable substances.

16. Storage
The walls here are lined with shelves like in other closets, but they are filled with all manner of obscure occult materials. These could include all manner of spell components, along with, at the GM's discretion, other exotic things.

17. Meeting Room
When the nature of a meeting is just too sensitive to be held where others might eavesdrop on it, such business is conducted here.

18. Secure Storage
The most important items in Morgan's collection are kept here, under lock and key (DC 30 to unlock; hardness 10 and 50 hit points; also protected by an arcane lock spell). These include Morgan's collection of grimoires, a chest holding 2000 poe worth of mix coinage, along with other items at the GM's discretion.

Using Arcane Magic and Spellcasters in a Campaign
As mentioned above, occultists provide many reasons for characters in a Skull & Bones campaign to seek adventure. Just a few of the possibilities include the following options.
  • The pursuit of lost relics and ancient lore requires occultists, or those in their employ, to travel to the far ends of the earth. This could lead to remote settlements of exotic cultures, ruins filled with numerous dangers, and the like.
  • Those occultists who discover charm-related magic could use it to influence other power individuals, thereby becoming embroiled in all manner of plots.
  • In this way, occultists who work for an enemy of the PC's could turn into a subtle, ongoing threat in a campaign.
  • Should said occultists discover a truly powerful relic, they might even become a political force with which others need to reckon.
  • Such a discovery could lead to divisions in the ranks, with some of the occultists seeking to prevent the item's use while others wish to harness its power.
  • Etc.

New Relic: Grimoires
By far some of the most prized items, for those who study arcane magic, are these collections of spells. They can take numerous forms, including scrolls, codices and even tablets. In the same way, grimoires can be written in all manner of languages. Whatever the case, they all contain old and obscure formulae.

For a Skull & Bones campaign that includes arcane spellcasters, these texts can be an ongoing source of treasures. This is because they can each hold different secrets, ones that relate to their source. For example, a scroll in Greek from the enchantress Circle might provide access to a charm person spell, while a tablet with runic writing from Iceland could be a source for heroism. As mentioned above, these can provide the impetus for going on adventures, along with pleasant surprises as part of larger treasure caches.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Three Years Running

It pleases me to post this update. Three years ago I started this blog, and I think it's been going well since then. Not only have I been able to maintain a steady stream of posts, but this past year has been my most productive so far. I already have a number of ideas in the works for 2013, so the year looks promising.

What is more, I've set up a Dropbox account with which to share documents. So far I've uploaded PDF compilations of my blog posts from the past three years, along with a character sheet addendum that I like for encouraging players to write about their PC's. Here are the links for those pages. Please let me know if they aren't working; you can e-mail me, as always, at nathanael(dot)christen(at)gmail(dot)com.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Interlude 29: The Ransom

Interlude 29: The Ransom
When a pirate crew captures a prize, there's more than just the cargo that's of value to them. The ship has its own worth, of course, but sometimes the passengers themselves are more lucrative than anything else. After all, pirates can demand payment for their release, and particularly notable hostages demand high prices.

This interlude assumes that a ship has been taken, and that the pirates responsible for doing so have issued a demand for ransom. The demand could be for a large some of money, but could be for other things, too. For example, Blackbeard's crew once demanded a chest of medicines, probably for treating venereal diseases, for the return of certain prisoners. Another option is for an exchange of prisoners, possibly offering a relative of the governor in trade for crew members who've recently been taken prisoner. Whatever the case, since refusal generally isn't a good response, the recipient of said demand decides to comply with it.

That's where the PC's become involved. Said recipient approaches them, asking them to make the delivery. This could be someone they already know through previous adventures, or somebody who knows them by reputation. The influential, wealthy family members detailed in a previous Interlude could be good candidates for such delicate business. Whatever the case, the PC's seem like the best people for the job. For that reason, that person approaches them in a suitable location—possibly leading to other difficulties—and makes the pitch.

Of course, matters are never so straightforward as they should be. Perhaps the person being extorted wants to double-cross the pirates, and asks the PC's to stage a rescue while the exchange is taking place. That could entail finding and then sneaking aboard a ship while it's anchor, or raiding a hideout in a similar manner. Another options is that the PC's, while trying to make an honest delivery of the ransom payment, learn that the business is based on deceit and treachery. A few of the possibilities include the following:
  • The person being extorted could be a merchant who has acted as a fence for goods taken through piracy, and then tried to go clean by ending such ties; now the pirates have chosen to use force to settle the old score. In that case, there's plenty of evidence that the merchant wants to suppress, and it's up to the PC's to decide how they want to handle such information.
  • The pirates could demand payment in the form of a map, leaving the PC's to decide whether they want to make the delivery or keep it for themselves and try to discover it secrets.
  • Another option is that the victim of the kidnapping is actually in league with the pirates, perhaps someone who has fallen in love with a dashing captain or a traitor in the organization of the recipient. In this case, once the money or item is delivered, the pirates and hostage depart, leaving the PC's to explain the matter to the person be extorted.
  • There could also be conflict between the characters who receive the demand. For example, while a father is willing to pay the ransom, a brother might wish to stage a daring rescue.
  • Some of these options could even be combined. The recipient could have been a fence for the pirates, and is thus willing to capitulate, while the daring son considers that to be a slight against the family's honor. Just how Junior reacts when he learns his father's dirty secret could make for some good roleplaying.
  • The recipient could also use the PC's as unwitting dupes, sending them with a fake payment while intending to ambush the pirates. Just how the PC's react when the truth is revealed could make for all kinds of interesting developments.
  • One of the people involved—especially the hostage or the recipient of the ransom demand—could be a romantic interest of one of the PC's, making the whole business personal for one or more characters.
However the matter develops, it can make for many different, engaging scenes.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Buccaneers and More

This update is a quick one. For those who are interested in piratical TV shows, Hulu has an old series, The Buccaneers, with all of the episodes; check it out at the link below.

Add to that a link for an interesting blog. I have only skimmed through it, but it has a lot of pirate-related information.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Additions and Corrections

One of the problems with publishing work is that I often think of little changes that I'd like to make to pieces after doing so. Today's post includes two such items, ideas for using tattoos with the Lucky Charm fortune and stats for characters who can be used with the manor house detailed in a previous post.

Also, I'd like to start making articles and adventures available for download. As such, I ask readers who notice errors in any of my posts to let me know about them by emailing me at nathanael(dot)christen(at) gmail(dot)com.


(Added to Lucky Charms)

Tattoos—These can take on a variety of appearances. Some are simple pictures, and can function in much the same way as fetishes (see above). For example, a picture of a tiger could provide the same bonus as a tiger fetish. Alternately, the tattoo could be important words, such as a verse from the Bible or some other holy text. In that case, the bonus provided should of course coincide with the nature of the words. Another option is for the tattoo to present a treasure map; it could even be tattooed on a shaved head, after which the hair is allowed to grow in order to conceal it.

(Added to the Interlude: The Manor)

The McGovern Family

Neil McGovern, Sr.
Fighter 5/Aristocrat 4; CR 8; Size medium; HD 5d10+4d8+9; hp 59; Init +7 (+3 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative); Spd 30 ft.; AC 14 (+3 Dex, +1 buff coat); Atk +13/+8 (1d8+3, rapier) or +11/+6 (2d4, pistol); AL LN; SV: Fort +6, Ref +3, Will +5; Str 12, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 18.
Background: Gentleman-Adventurer (Diplomacy and Knowledge: ).
Skills: Appraise +5, Climb +9, Diplomacy +8, Gather Information +6, Jump +9, Knowledge: local +8, Sense Motive +5, Swim +9.
Feats: Dodge, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Spring Attack, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (rapier), Weapon Specialization (rapier).
Fortunes: Ally, Obligation.
Equipment: Gentleman's outfit, dueling jacket, gentry's wig, masterwork rapier, masterwork pistols, shot and powder, pouch containing 50 poe.

NeilMcGovern, Sr. is every bit the English gentleman. He dresses in fine clothing and wears a fancy wig. Having inherited his family's wealth and estate, he spends his time mingling with other influential member's of the upper-class local society. Even so, he should not be underestimated as an enemy, for he is more than a little skilled with his rapier and tenaciously defends his own.

Joanna McGovern
Aristocrat 9; CR 9; Size medium; HD 9d8; hp 35; Init +3 (+3 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 13 (+3 Dex); Atk +6/+1 (1d4, dagger) or +9/+4 (ranged); AL LG; SV: Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +10; Str 10, Dex 16, Con 10, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 18.
Background: Lady-Adventurer (Diplomacy, Knowledge: local).
Skills: Appraise +15, Diplomacy +18, Gather Information +16, Knowledge (local) +13, Knowledge (sea lore) +6, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) +13, Sense Motive +10.
Feats: Diligent, Force of Personality, Guidance, Negotiator, Port Savvy.
Fortunes: Enlightened.
Equipment: Gentlewoman's outfit, dagger, pouch containing 100 poe.

Joanna is a beautiful woman whose smile can brighten a room. In fact, it is her ability to charm others that helps maintain her husband's business success. When not engaged in such affairs, she enjoys reading tales of chivalry, and delights in opportunities to hear them first-hand.

Neil McGovern, Jr.
Fighter 5; CR 5; Size medium; HD 5d10+5; hp 37; Init +3 (+3 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 14 (+3 Dex, +1 dueling jacket); Atk +10 (1d8+3, rapier) or +8 (2d4, pistols); AL X; SV: Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +1; Str 12, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 16.
Background: Gentleman-Adventurer (Diplomacy and Knowledge: local).
Skills: Climb +7, Jump +7, Diplomacy +5, Knowledge (local) +2, Ride +9, Swim +7.
Feats: Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (rapier), Weapon Specialization (rapier).
Fortunes: Code of Honor.
Equipment: Gentleman's outfit, dueling jacket, masterwork rapier, pair of pistols, pouch containing 50 poe.

The younger NeilMcGovern is a soldier at heart. While he fulfills his obligations to his family, he dreams of serving his country in battle. Because of this, he serves as a lieutenant in the Royal Army, a role in which he is zealous and capable.

Jessica McGovern
Rogue 5; CR 5; Size medium; HD 5d6+5; hp 25; Init +3 (+3 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 13 (+3 Dex); Atk +6 (1d8, rapier) or +6 (2d4, pistol); SQ Sneak attack +3d6, trapfinding, evasion, trap sense +1, uncanny dodge; AL TN; SV: Fort +2, Ref +7, Will +0; Str 10, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 8, Cha 14.
Background: Lady-Adventurer (Diplomacy and Knowledge: local).
Skills: Bluff +10, Climb +8, Diplomacy +4, Disable Device +12, Escape Artist +11, Hide +13, Knowledge (local) +4, Move Silently +13, Open Lock +13, Search +10, Sleight of Hand +13, Tumble +11, Use Rope +13.
Feats: Deft Hands, Dodge, Nimble Fingers, Stealthy.
Fortunes: Quick-Fingered.
Equipment: Gentlewoman's outfit, gentleman's outfit, rapier, pistol, pouch containing 50 doubloons, thieves' picks and tools.

Jessica shares her brother's yearning for adventure, something that her situation as a young gentlewoman denies her. For that reason she has taken to sneaking out at night and visiting the more rough-and-tumble parts of town, where she carouses with sailors and similar types. Needless to say, at those times she keeps her true identity and gender a closely guarded secret.

Fighter 3; CR 3; Size medium; HD 3d10+6; hp 27; Init +1 (+1 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 13 (+1 Dex, +2 buff coat); Atk +5 (1d8+2, cutlass) or +4 (2d4, pistol); AL LN; SV: Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +2; Str 15, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8.
Background: Colonist (Knowledge: local and Profession: soldier).
Skills: Climb +8, Jump +8, Swim +8.
Feats: Cleave, Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Precise Shot.
Fortunes: None.
Equipment: Tradesman's outfit, buff coat, cutlass, pistol.

These fellows are all tough and skilled in battle. They guard McGovern manor and accompany family members on business around town.

Commoner 3; CR 2; Size medium; HD 3d4+3; hp 12; Init -1 (-1 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 9 (-1 Dex); Atk +1 (1d3, unarmed) or +0 (ranged); AL LG; SV: Fort +2, Ref +0, Will +3; Str 10, Dex 8, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 15, Cha 14.
Background: Indentured Servant (Listen and Bluff).
Skills: Bluff +8, Craft (cooking) +10, Handle Animal +4, Listen +10, Spot +10.
Feats: Alertness, Endurance, Skill Focus (craft: cooking).
Fortunes: None.
Equipment: Tradesmen's or tradeswomen's clothing.

While people tend to overlook the men and women who keep the family's house, they see and hear all that happens inside it. As such, they could be useful informants for those who seek such information.