100 Minor Inconveniences At Sea

One hundred things that can go wrong when you're on a boat in the middle of the sea.

Full List

  1. Two crew are fighting over who gets top bunk. They are at each others throats! Maybe this is about more than the bed?
  2. There is a rat aboard your generally rat-free vessel. So far it has eaten half a sack of rice and 5 loaves of bread.
  3. Your navigation equipment is slightly miscalibrated. By the time you've noticed, you're already a day behind schedule.
  4. You are about a day short on rations. The crew will survive but you've got to find a way to smooth it over with them or make sure they ever find out.
  5. Two seagulls seem dead-set on making a nest at the top of one of the masts. This wouldn't be such a problem if they weren't pooping on the deck so much!
  6. You see a rift with a dead, dehydrated body on it. The rift has clearly been made on a deserted island. There is a coconut with painting on it that make it look like a face.
  7. You arrive on a site where two ships fought. You see dead bodies and ship carcasses, clothings floating and other objects. -you see two ships fighting at the horizon, you can either investigate or continue on your way
  8. Someone finds a dress on board. Rumor is that there is a naked woman on the ship somewhere.
  9. No more water, only Rum left.
  10. The wind stops for exactly 13 minutes.
  11. There are reports of ghosts aboard the ship. Upon closer investigation, it turns out a crewmate was drying his laundry on the ship's rigging at night.
  12. there's a pod of adorable dolphins swimming alongside the ship and the deck crew are distracted from their duties
  13. There’s a leak! Not a major one, but whenever it rains water drips directly onto your bunk. Right in the middle of your forehead.
  14. There’s a shy siren trying to lure your ship onto the rocks. She’s not doing a great job and honestly it’s just kind of awkward.
  15. A very cranky albatross with a broken wing is now stuck on the deck of your boat and will flap aggressively at anyone who comes near.
  16. Crew shortage requires two 12 hour shifts and watch instead of the normal three 8 hour shifts.
  17. Rain for days.
  18. The 1st mate finds the crew's secret liquor stash that the captain was pretending he didn't know about.
  19. A female stowaway is found. The superstitious sailors see this as a bad sign and are arguing whether or not to throw her overboard.
  20. A game of bets leads to a crew member becoming rich, but can he survive the night?
  21. 'The crap' goes around the ship and half of the crew are laid up for the week. It's up to the party to fill in as deck mates and runners while the healthy crew run the ship.
  22. A small pirate skiff harasses the vessel. It doesn't have equipment to board the high sided ship with, but they verbally abuse the party and crew for several days.
  23. A crew member painting the bow has accidentally broken off the mermaid figurehead. The superstitious crew refuse to work until someone other than them carves a new one. With questioning they admit that it has to be someone else because none of them have seen a woman in proper lighting for years.
  24. A goblin stowaway has been found. He has his own rations, and he isn't stealing anything, but be still shouldn't be there.
  25. There is a heated debate about whether the vessel you are on qualifies as a ship or is merely a boat. No one seems to have a definitive answer, and everyone is too upset to work.
  26. The crew discover the ship's name is spelled slightly differently on each side of the prow.
  27. It turns out the Bottomless Barrel of Grog is actually a Bottomless Barrel of Bog and is filled with an endless supply of peat.
  28. Two sirens with inverse waveform voices are attempting to lure the crew to their death. Fortunately, their voices cancel each other out. Unfortunately, the resulting turf war is making it difficult to navigate.
  29. The trade winds have been cursed! For a full day, they will not fill the sails of any non-mercantile ship.
  30. You arrive at a sea known for its high salt contents. For 1d any dice of the dms choice amount of days,any food the water splashes on will be contaminated with a high salt content, causing said food to invoke thirst into players and npc’s who eat it
  31. Your boat passes under a cloud that was enchanted by a wizard many decades ago. When any boat passes beneath it, the cloud immediately begins raining (not a thunderstorm, just an annoying ordinary rainfall). The cloud follows the boat until a new vessel passes beneath it.
  32. Man overboard! A crewmember falls overboard during routine operations and now they need to be rescued before they drown or the waves pull them too far away to be spotted.
  33. Cranium Rat infestation. The rats onboard are actually a form of sentient hive mind and are too crafty to be caught easily. They are however willing to parley.
  34. Whilst at port someone bought a howler monkey and smuggled it aboard, probably while both were drunk. It is now awake, proving its name is indeed accurate, and the top crow's nest is his now.
  35. A member of the Crew has appointed himself the entertainment coordinator and had dragooned numerous crew into his shenanigans. It seems he wants to put on a play and has roped everyone that can sing, dance, or play an instrument into it. While they seem to only practice during their times of rest, the rest of the crew wonders why anyone would make a play about a bunch of cats.
  36. A large water fowl crashed to the deck and appears badly injured by some predator. Some of the crew want to nurse the bird back to health, others think it's best to toss it into the sea and let nature take its course, a few think that's a waste of perfectly good bird meat and have started making some stuffing out of their biscuits.
  37. The crew spot a massive schooling of fish off course. The fish seem to leap into the air and the water is silvery with their skin. The crew is demanding that they take a few days netting, eating, and possibly drying or curing that treasure of fish.
  38. A small ship's sail boat is spotted, drifting through the sea. It is partly covered by a cloth waning for shade, while the mast only holds enough sail to keep the boat stable, and it sits fairly low in the water. Some of the crew are worried that there's something wrong with the boat, others point out the duty of all sailors to recuse those in need, and the captain seems to recognize the sail boat's (or at least a marker on the mast).
  39. Fog. Dense, heavy fog for days that inhibits navigation, dampens the spirits, and makes for a nail biting encounter with a small reef.
  40. Several ropes are found to be frayed or otherwise in disrepair. Should the captain order the crew to use what they have and risk breakage or sail with half sails and fall behind schedule?
  41. The first mate turns out to be fresh from land with only theoretical knowledge of the job. He/she seems competent enough but the crew might not take kindly to it.
  42. A dispute breaks out between the crew over some possibly loaded dice.
  43. Someone pooped on the poop deck, and ya gotta clean it up (AGAIN!).
  44. A merfolk vendor tries to sell you fire coral necklaces. The coral is still alive...it hurts so bad.
  45. A sea serpent vomits on the deck. It had the whole damn ocean. Why?
  46. A boulder sized iceberg hits the boat. It's loud and scary, but no real damage can be observed.
  47. You awake one morning to find that your ship has stopped. Apparently one of the night crew fell in love with 'the Muse of the Sea' that night and is anxiously awaiting her return.
  48. Your ship comes upon pod of mutilated whale carcasses. The smell is awful, and the crew is on edge, unsure of what creature might have caused such destruction. Rumors begin to spread.
  49. A crew member pulls up a message in a bottle requesting rescue. The ink seems fresh, and the bottle does not appear to be worn from being at sea. However, according to your maps, there are no islands nearby.
  50. Your helmsman apparently cut himself accidentally while steering the ship. This wouldn't be a problem, except one of the sailors insists 'the bloody helm' is a bad omen and wont let anyone near the wheel.
  51. The new cabin boy has not gotten his sea legs yet, and some of the more veteran members of the crew are growing increasingly annoyed by the sounds of vomit off the side of the ship.
  52. The crew member in the crows nest has gone almost entirely blind. They keep yelling 'LAND HO!'
  53. You find a stowaway, who only speaks a language from a faraway place.
  54. There is a small hole in the ship, requiring immediate repair.
  55. One of the sails gets a tear in it, and the ship sails at half speed until its fixed.
  56. An entire cannon went missing and no one can find it.
  57. The crewman are obsessed with a dice game, and are betting away all of their rations.
  58. A band of seagulls is intent on following the ship. This far from land, they're certainly not turning back, and have gotten greedy in their pursuit for food.. food which is disagreeing with their seagull digestion.
  59. The ship's crew are uncertain about your dialect and keep misusing commonplace words. Amongst other issues, they're calling for 'mutiny' several times a day when they really mean 'mealtime.'
  60. Someone left all the chamberpots at the harbor after taking them there for cleaning. The captain is insistent that nobody uses his 'fine, artisan' boxes or barrels, and due to 'fine, artisan' 'decorations', squatting over the edge of the ship is.. inconvenient. This is combined with a witch hunt over who forgot the pots and who keeps crapping in the waste barrel in the kitchen.
  61. The crew is obsessed with a game called 'slapball' from their native land, where a barrel is put at the side of the ship and a ball is slapped with an open palm to land in it from the opposite side. If you miss, into the ocean you go to retrieve it. The crew is very well practiced in this game and are rather insistent that the party plays and act deeply offended if refused. However, once the party plays enough to be annoyed, they laughingly admit that it's just something they do to tease landlubbers.
  62. It's a hot day and the sails don't catch a single breeze of wind. It's up to the players to either wait it out or create some form of energy to keep going.
  63. The only musical instrument on board breaks.
  64. A game of dice ends in two crewmates fighting.
  65. There is rumor of mutiny on board, perhaps it is all a misunderstanding?
  66. A huge storm breaks out, not dangerous, but everybody is tensed and the mood is bad after it.
  67. One of the crew is singing a song that doesn't belong on a ship and nobody can find out where he is. Also he is super off key.
  68. A small hole has formed in the deck in front of the door to the captain's quarters. It is just small enough to not be worth fixing, but just large enough to catch people's ankles 1/3 of the times they enter without specifically avoiding it.
  69. The ship you chartered has a crew that is much less experienced than they first let on. Mistakes are frequent and the severity of the consequences are hard to determine.
  70. There is a small hole in the boat just above the waterline. It can't be properly repaired unless docked and it was just noticed several days out. The boat won't sink from it so long as someone keeps throwing the buckets of sea water overboard, but it has to be done day and night, affecting both morale and overall efficiency of everyone on board.
  71. One of the passengers on the ship is a wizard who refuses to stop conducting his alchemical experiments, regardless of how potentially corrosive/explosive his concoctions are, regardless of the conditions at sea.
  72. Multiple giant squid are following the boat, they're a few hundred feet behind and don't seem to be catching up, but its got everyone on edge.
  73. A sickly blue/green/yellow fog rolls over the ship. In a few minutes it's gone, but it has dissolved every piece of glass that was on the ship.
  74. A large group of Merfolk are blocking the shipping lane you need to take in protest of some political/environmental strife. A different route must be taken, or a lot of minds need to be changed about their cause.
  75. A giant sea urchin (about half the size of the boat) has attached to the bottom of the ship, slowing it down and causing difficulty steering. It seems quite content to just stay connected.
  76. You see, from very far away, what appears to be a powerful storm sorcerer and what is likely a Circle of the Land (Coast) Druid in the middle of a magical fight. They are right in the middle of the path to your destination.
  77. The best way to get to where you're trying to go gets very close to a number of islands that have a very religious group of people on there. They have a habit of stopping ships so that they can try and convert those on board although they're otherwise harmless.
  78. The captain's pet parrot is old, senile, and can't see very well anymore. Anything small enough that it can pick up it thinks might be food, and if it can't eat it, it will end up dropping it wherever it happens to be at the time, even if that's in the water.
  79. Part of the wood used in construction of the ship you're on was made from a dead Treant. Plant life your ship comes across with any intelligence does not take kindly to your boat.
  80. A spectral school of ghost fish are following the ship. Though they cause no damage, they scare off living fish, and emit both ghastly light and eerie noise at all times of day. Some have even taken to 'swimming' on the deck and in the halls.
  81. A small fire breaks out. Might have been a freak incident- no one will cop to having started it on accident or purpose.
  82. Plumes of ash and leaping gouts of lava roil out from an underwater vent close to the surface, as the start of a new island slowly births itself close to the ship. Chunks of hot ash and rock arc through the air, with the ship potentially under the area of effect.
  83. One of the crew members is collapsing in fits of uncontrollable laughter throughout the day. Might be a bad omen.
  84. The crew keeps spotting flotsam, in greater and greater quantities as the day goes on. They eventually find some valuable-looking crates adrift on the waves, which happen to contain... cross-section termite mounds, with hundreds of termites still trapped inside. Opening the crates releases them onto the ship.
  85. Strange pollen carried by a strong wind sets off the extremely severe allergies of a few important crew members, causing an overall reduction in workforce potency until they can get back on their feet.
  86. A dog with a litter of pups is found in the cargo hold, subsisting on the food stores.
  87. Nobody brought buckets. Was it your job? Steve's? Either way, no buckets!
  88. The crew gets cat called by some mermaids.
  89. The cook runs out of spices the food is extremely bland.
  90. The ship has run out of limes, increasing your chance of scurvy by 10%.
  91. An Albatross shows up, not seeking food or anything. Just watches from the port bow.
  92. The rope wears on the main sail must be replaced. This could take all day.
  93. A lantern has gone missing for the navigator and a new one must be found in storage. This could take a few hours.
  94. Three idiots decide to throw a mutiny, just those three idiots. They think they can take the captain and anyone else.
  95. A Kingsguard ship stops your vessel for an inspection.
  96. A giant crab has found its way on board and the crew are having a hard time wrangling it without getting snapped.
  97. One of the crew brings it to your attention that your ships colors are not welcome in the waters you're sailing.
  98. The nights pot of dinner is dropped and spilled on the floor. Rations will be replaced with rum.
  99. A crew member falls from the rigging and breaks his leg, leaving a small repair needed on deck and a crew that's a little on edge.
  100. You discover an uncharted island!
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