The Styes – An adventure for 11th-level characters, The Styes primarily consists of straightforward investigation punctuated by a handful of high-stakes encounters. Although, to spice things up, this time it’s zombie pirates. Running Ghosts of Saltmarsh Chapter 5, Isle of the Abbey. 21 May, 2019 For Ghosts of Saltmarsh, that would be accomplished with Salvage Operation and Isle of the Abbey, which span most of the level gap between Danger at Dunwater and The Final Enemy (there is no gap between The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh and Danger at Dunwater). 09 December, 2014, Release Date: This article is one of a series of articles covering the hardback D&D adventure book, Ghosts of Saltmarsh.You can read all of these articles here: O n the 25 th of May at 1pm PST, or 8 pm GMT depending on which ocean you call home, the first LIVE stream episode of How to be a Great GM presents Ghosts of Saltmarsh – Call of the Kraken airs on the official D&D twitch channel; twitch.tv/dnd. This sheet makes it easy for your players to keep track of all their ships stats. The book adapts a number of AD&D 1e modules, including the "U"-series and some other nautical adventures from Dungeon magazine. This section of the book features a map of the town, along with 30 different locations. Legend of the Five Rings: The Roleplaying Game, Vampire: the Masquerade and World of Darkness, Review – Vampire: The Masquerade Companion – Strange Assembly, Review – Vampire: The Masquerade (5th Edition), Episode 262 – International Tabletop Day 2019, Review – Dungeon Master’s Screen Wilderness Kit – Strange Assembly, Review – Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything (Dungeons & Dragons), Review – Exit: The Game – The Enchanted Forest – Strange Assembly, Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything – Video and Podcast Episode – Strange Assembly. Subscribe to get the free product of the week! Interested in further tools and options? The abbey in question was of the evil deity variety, and was recently attacked by their own pirate allies. And, even if the DM is skilled at assessing party capabilities, it’s unclear what exactly will count as a success in the mission – how much information about what is enough to let the allies succeed? I would look to run Tammeraut’s Fate as something independent for any random campaign (or later on in a campaign a couple levels after the completion of the Saltmarsh trilogy). Cruel sahuagin gather beneath the waves, plotting to sweep away coastal cities. 3. If Tales from the Yawning Portal was a greatest hits collection, Ghosts of Saltmarsh is a concept album – seven adventures that all (loosely) share a certain theme. Saltmarsh takes players on a ride through seven adventures, supposedly tuned to run up through level 12. Ghosts of Saltmarsh combines some of the most popular classic adventures from the first edition of Dungeons & Dragons including the classic ‘U’ series and some of the best nautical adventures from Dungeon magazine: All adventures have been faithfully adapted to the fifth edition rules of Dungeons & Dragons. In addition to the adventures, players will find new background and some variations on existing backgrounds to fit them in with the town of Saltmarsh (or any other random coastal town). Ghosts of Saltmarsh isn’t just TFTYP 2, however. Providence by Night – Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight (Session 12). The Final Enemy – The capstone of the Saltmarsh trilogy, The Final Enemy is for a 7th-level party (so there’s a gap to fill from the prior adventure). Across the seven adventures, players will encounter pirates, smugglers, smuggler-pirates, haunted houses, lizardfolk, aquatic elves, aquatic hobgoblins, merfolk, skeletons, underwater zombies, giant underwater monsters, ships in various states of disrepair on the surface of the ocean, and ships in various states of disrepair on the ocean floor. We here at Meeple Mountain have been playing through Ghosts of Saltmarsh, the latest adventure module collection for Dungeons & Dragons. In addition, the back matter includes about 15 pages of expanded information on using ships, including stats for several basic models (longship, keelboat, galley, sailing vessel, war vessel). One of my players is a Lizardfolk which took a bit of on-the-spot dodging when they decided to capture and interrogate one of the Lizardfolk on the ship instead of killing them all. The public part of the abbey, similarly, may or may not require much fighting, depending on whether the players are able to figure out the right things to say. Entitled Ghosts of Saltmarsh, players and DM's can expect to receive the supplement in May of this year.Taking players on an adventure from levels 1-12, the port town of Saltmarsh will be the base location players find themselves in. Release Date: Again, there will be little challenge until combat with the aboleth itself, which has full use of its lair actions. The lizardfolk were assembling an alliance, and ultimately Saltmarsh wanted to join (and did join, if the characters managed to avoid murdering all of the lizardfolk). Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 May 2020. And players going into Ghosts of Saltmarsh are definitely going to need to become familiar with the rules for underwater combat and movement. Before the final battle, the characters are sent in to the sahuagin fortress (which is now mostly underwater) to scout enemy numbers and locations. Danger at Dunwater (3rd level) – The party investigates the lizardfolk’s lair and discovers that they’re mustering to fight the evil sahuagin. Speaking of DM material, I’m going to put a spacer image here, and the review with resume below with. An alternate art cover with a distinctive design and soft-touch finish is available exclusively in game stores on May 21. As a trend-line through other recent works, Ghosts of Saltmarsh tells me that the team saw how well Dragon Heist worked as a setting and adventure full of social conflict, and they kept on improving it. Furthermore, this book includes details on the port town of Saltmarsh, as well as plenty of hooks to kick-off each adventure. Ghosts of Saltmarsh features adventures from Dungeon magazine and the TSR UK staff, all connected through their nautical themes. And, while there is a point-tracking system to determine when the players have convinced the lizardfolk to ally with Saltmarsh, and that system involves talking, there’s very little guidance on how to do that convincing other than making charisma checks. In that way, Ghosts of Saltmarsh (GoS) is like Tales from the Yawning Portal, the other D&D 5e book that leans hard into nostalgia by updating seven old adventures, but GoS also includes 40+ pages of crunchy content like rules for ship building. “The Saltmarsh series consistently ranks as one of the most popular classic D&D adventures,” said Mike Mearls, franchise creative director of D&D. © 1993-2020 Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved. And it would be easy enough to say that if you liked Yawning Portal you’ll like Saltmarsh … It’s a fairly light presentation, as one might expect from the space devoted, but I think that’s appropriate, since D&D is not generally a naval combat simulator, even if the player characters end up with their own ship. The three locations are a reef, a shipwreck, and an underwater ruin, so there’s a nice spread of options. J. Burgess. 1) Players brand new to table top roleplaying! Code of Conduct Nestled on the coast of the Azure Sea is Saltmarsh, a sleepy fishing village that sits on the precipice of destruction. The original trilogy (The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, Danger at Dunwater, and The Final Enemy) was published by TSR UK from 1981-83 (designed and developed by Dave J. Browne and Don Turnbull). The signs will readily point to the council member who is the putative head of the cult (note: this is an entirely different council from the one in Saltmarsh, and the setting of The Styes doesn’t really play all that nicely with the rest of the book). Explore the waves above and the fathoms below in these watery adventures for the world’s greatest roleplaying game. Similar to Tales from the Yawning Portal, Saltmarsh brings another seven adventures out of D&D’s past editions and updates them for 5th Edition. In all, then, Ghosts of Saltmarsh presents a few really good adventures (Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, Salvage Operation, Tammeraut’s Fate), a couple that are OK or will require some GM hand-holding (Danger at Dunwater, Isle of the Abbey, The Final Enemy), and one that I’m not too enthused about (The Styes). Once the attack has been repelled, heroic characters will be compelled to venture to the ocean floor and deal with the magical effect that is turning the drowned sailors into drowned zombies. Like the other two adventures in this series, The Final Enemy is an excellent sandbox adventure in which we lay out the situation and the goals and the … The early part of this review will be spoiler-free, but those who don’t want to ruin the surprise should not venture below the space image a few paragraphs down.). Price: $49.95 Privacy Policy While Saltmarsh slumbers, the evils that seek to plunder it grow stronger. I must now have been the only one to appreciate Tales from the Yawning Portal, because the next Dungeons & Dragons release, Ghosts of Saltmarsh (available May 21, 2019) takes a similar approach. With that said, they probably work best being run relatively close in time to each other, as the plots directly flow. There are even half-human/half-fish types around. Release Date: Drowned sailors stir to unnatural life, animated by dark magic and sent forth in sear… Finding adventure is easy in Ghosts of Saltmarsh. Unravel sinister secrets of the sea with Ghosts of Saltmarsh releasing in game stores, digitally, and everywhere on May 21, 2019. The new backgrounds are fisher, marine, shipwright (which has a really useful ability if you’re going to engage in naval combat), and smuggler. Saltmarsh is a town of around 5000, mostly human, with a few elves, halflings and dwarves. In the case of Ghosts of Saltmarsh, that theme is the sea. Helpful. Ghosts of Saltmarsh offers players several new background options that tie in well with the series of classic adventures contained within this book. As the DM, I will also be giving my observations on running the adventures and … DO NOT SELL MY PERSONAL INFORMATION. So there’s a balancing act of putting enough content in between to gain the appropriate levels without stretching things out to much. The seven adventures can be played through for characters 1st through 11 th levels, not exactly as a single campaign, though advice is provided for how to do that. “With its ties to ocean-based adventuring, it was an obvious step to augment it with additional sea-based adventures and a robust set of rules for managing a nautical campaign.”. 15 July, 2014, Release Date: Ghosts of Saltmarsh combines some of the most popular classic adventures from the first edition of Dungeons & Dragons including the classic ‘U’ series and some of the best nautical adventures from Dungeon magazine: ... reliable and punctual DM. I like that the concluding battle has a nice point-scoring system, so it’s easy to know exactly how much the party accomplished and how much it mattered to the assault. Heroes must arise to keep the waves safe! Designed on a piece of driftwood, this immersive sheet is just the thing your players need to maintain their crew and ship. The other four adventures are Salvage Operation (Mike Mearls), Isle of the Abbey (Randy Maxwell), Tammeratu’s Fate (Greg A. Vaughn), and The Styes (Richard Pett). Inside you will find interviews, features, and comics that cover all things D&D. How to be a Great GM Presents Ghosts of Saltmarsh – Call of the Kraken. Cruel sahuagin gather beneath the waves, plotting to sweep away coastal cities. Order now at your local game store, book stores such as Barnes & Noble, D&D Beyond, Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, Steam, or online at retailers like Amazon. Finally, there will be a final battle, because the characters will need to go deal with the infused sea monsters – with a twist that there will be even more aboleths there, because the first one was a heretic (the characters have the possibility of actually recruiting the help of these newcomers, which will make this scene much easier than fighting them and the monster). The initial phase of this adventure is fairly light exploration and combat. Ghosts of Saltmarsh includes details on the port town of Saltmarsh, with new adventure hooks for each chapter. Now the hard part, my players love the politics of Saltmarsh and the mystery of what is really going on. Promotional consideration was provided in the form of a review copy. 3) Players who are interested in developing a story, interacting with quirky, noble, and sometimes nefarious characters. But these probably won’t be immediately apparent to the players without some DM signposting. To help serve as ‘glue’ for the campaign is the town of Saltmarsh itself, which has several factions – Loyalists (who support the crown’s moves to introduce mining and more legitimate trade to Saltmarsh), Traditionalists (who want things to stay as they ever were, mostly fishing and smuggling), and a secret evil faction (who want to wreck the place, but have the obviously good guy member of the city council as their unwitting pawn). Other common races – those found in the Player’s Handbook – are also present and established, but in smaller numbers. The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh (1st level) – The party unravels a smuggling ring delivering weapons to a tribe of lizardfolk. (Note: As Ghosts of Saltmarsh is primarily an adventure/DM book, a significant chunk of this review will contain mild spoilers for the adventures. It is probably also the most difficult adventure to GM out of those in this book. Salvage Operation (4th level) – The party recovers … The cult of a forbidden god extends its reach outward from a decaying port, hungry for fresh victims and willing recruits. Instead, the GM needs to make sure to read in the Saltmarsh town section about how to tweak the adventures to tie back into those elements. Learn how your comment data is processed. Both Salvage Operation and Isle of the Abbey can be done alone as well, although Salvage Operation is more on the nose if you’re aiming for a sea-themed adventure (Isle of the Abbey is set on an island that was previously attacked by pirates, but the challenges faced by the players aren’t really sea-related). Comment Report abuse. Format: Hardcover. Play through each story in a seafaring campaign leading characters from level 1 through level 12, or pull out sections to place in ongoing campaigns in any setting. ), and there are some individual rooms that are flagged as probably being lethal. As the Confederacy has taken more of an interest in the Siren Coast, more members of other races have become more common as well. Smugglers guide their ships to hidden coves, willing to slit the throat of anyone foolhardy enough to cross their path. The way down is pretty standard fare, just with the ‘dungeon’ being the inside of a ship. To be clear, it isn’t a bad book. Ghosts of Saltmarsh Player’s Guide The people of Saltmarsh generally find Nestled on the coast of the Azure Sea is Saltmarsh, a sleepy fishing village that sits on the precipice of destruction. There isn’t a ton there, but that’s probably good because the adventures as written have nothing to do with the politics of the town. For questions about "Ghosts of Saltmarsh" (2019), the D&D 5e collection of adventures published by Wizards of the Coast. These residents, alas, suffered a similar fate to those on the Isle of the Abbey – most of them are already dead at the hands of pirates. Finding him sets up this nice visual with a derelict ship being held up by a crane, with the interior kept in jungle-like heat and humidity, and the first fight, which will likely be an ambush spell attack. The players said they had fun and that they felt challenged by the extra hobgoblin. And they’re doing that whole ‘undead walking across the floor of the ocean’ thing to get to the island. Isle of the Abbey – The second adventure to fill the levels between parts 2 and 3 of the Saltmarsh trilogy, Isle of the Abbey is designed for fifth-level characters. For example, a Galley (max crew 80) may take 3 actions--2 if at 40 crew or less, 1 if at 20 crew or less, and 0 if depleted to 3 crewmen or less. This may involve beating stubborn players over the head at some point during the adventure, because the whole point is that they need to change their mindset – the DM doesn’t have the luxury of a quest-giver at the start of the mission ordering them not to engage. But eventually the characters will discover the remaining inhabitants in hiding, and realize that the zombie horde will be back that night. I have a harder time recommending The Styes, because the mood of the adventure feels so out of place to me for the level of the characters involved. Saltmarsh and the Siren Coast region are predominantly human. There’s no way the players will just be able to defeat all of the sahuagin (if they could, what would the point of the alliance be? With the pirates defeated and the abbey weakened, it’s the players turn to finish off the losers. Production Values Ghosts of Saltmarsh (hereafter referred to as GoS) runs to 256 pages, which is the typical length of a Fifth Edition product by Wizards of the Coast.It has a recommended retail price of $49.95 in the US, and £38.99 in the UK. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. But the way back up, with a constant environmental threat, movement restrictions from the treasure, and the danger of sinking, really gives this adventure a distinctive feel. Wizard's of the Coast announced this past Monday that a new nautical-themed Dungeons & Dragons supplement is on the horizon. The reason for the alliance in Danger at Dunwater is that the lizardfolk only moved near Saltmarsh because their old home was taken over by sahuagin, and they were buying weapons to take it back. Fan Content Ghosts of Saltmarsh doesn’t have the same level of star power that Tales of the Yawning Portal did, but it still provides a lot of fodder for the GM to use. The authors of Wizards of the Coast (WotC) have just released (May 21 2019) a 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) ‘mid-season’ hard cover adventure compendium called Ghosts of Saltmarsh (GoSM). Now that all of those prying players have safely clicked away to greener pastures, here are some more detailed thoughts on the adventures, and how they might be strung together. They cannot, however, just be run consecutively, because the levels don’t work out that way. This has the ancillary downside that, if the players are on the ball, relatively little of the adventure will actually be used. In addition to the naval material discussed in the player section of this review, DM’s will also find more environmental rules for use in sea locations, and three underwater locations. Danger at Dunwater – The city council is understandably concerned about a lizardfolk outpost purchasing lots of weapons, and send the player characters to investigate (the players start at 3rd level and will gain 1 level). Smugglers guide their ships to hidden coves, willing to slit the throat of any who cross their path. One person found this helpful. Verified Purchase. Movement (Yes, Moving is now an Action for ships), and each discret… This section includes discussion of both combat and travel (although I’m not including DM material on environment in that 15 pages). Please keep your question's title spoiler-free and use spoiler blocks in the body. 11th level D&D characters are relative powerhouses, able to blow up buildings, slice their way through enemy hordes, and throw lightning at their problems – they’ve been there, done that. The seven adventures updated for Ghosts of Saltmarsh include the original Saltmarsh trilogy and four adventures pulled from the pages of Dungeon magazine. Monsters gather beneath the … Getting to attack a pirate ship will probably go a long way towards floating some players’ boats (if you’ll pardon the pun). Read more. And players going into Ghosts of Saltmarsh are definitely going to need to become familiar with the rules for underwater combat and movement. In the UA, on its turn a ship could Move its speed and fire all weapons--or half of its weapons (rounded down) if the ship was at half-crew or less. The Curse of the Mad Alchemist - Ghosts of Saltmarsh, Chapter 2 The door opened to a small room containing the remains of an old copper still as well as a set of stone stairs leading down. The Saltmarsh trilogy works best as a trilogy, but the other adventures can be plug-and-played at appropriate levels. These locations aren’t tied to any particular adventure, but instead spend a bit over four pages each presenting a map, location basics, and then possible adventure hooks. Looking for a place to stay they stumbled upon The Wicker Goat observing a small fracas outside as a scruffy man was forcefully ejected, as two stern looking figures warned him from stealing customers away from under their nose. For reasons not particularly pertinent, the characters need to board a derelict ship, make their way down to the cargo hold to grab the Quest Item and trigger a monster attack, then make their way back up to the main deck and off the ship before it sinks or the elder octopus gets them. The appendix of Ghosts of Saltmarsh features a few nifty magical items suited to the setting, a collection of new foes your adventurers will face throughout the campaigns, and, most impressively, a large section on ships and the sea. Ghosts of Saltmarsh is the brand-new book for D&D. The party travelled together from Seaton sharing stories along the way over a two day row, arriving in Saltmarsh on a Saturday. Customer Support Tammeraut’s Fate – This adventure, for a party of 9th level characters, features another abbey on an island. I think that’s a pretty good ratio. In addition to the adventures, players will find new background and some variations on existing backgrounds to fit them in with the town of Saltmarsh (or any other random coastal town). Drowned sailors stir to unnatural life, animated by dark magic and sent forth in search of revenge. The PCs chose to protect the Ghost instead of the council house so I am going to say Eilander is badly wounded and the Lizardfolk ambassador is dead. That part is fairly straightforward to run, but only once it’s read very, very closely, because it isn’t entirely clear what is where (and a glaring typo doesn’t help). There’s supposed to be a lot of sneaking, but entire parties of characters are notoriously bad at sneaking. In Ghosts, a ship can take multiple Actions per turn, dependent on how fully staffed it is. There’s a very Lovecraftian vibe here, as the threat is an aboleth who has converted to worshipping a mad deity, controls an evil cult from behind the scenes, and is infusing a sea monster with evil power. Among the passengers and cargo on the ship are some lizardfolk and weapons, which leads to the next adventure. This is a great "getting started" adventure. It was to my great joy to read through Ghosts of Saltmarsh, and discover that it is indeed another excellent supplement to have on hand. Nestled on the coast of the Azure Sea is Saltmarsh, a sleepy fishing village that sits on the precipice of destruction. A book that updates seven D&D adventures from yesteryear can’t be all bad. Legend of the Five Rings – What Clan Am I? The two Waterdavian defense ships were sunk and many villagers and guards died. Both of those adventures are pretty self-contained and can readily be run out of the town of Saltmarsh. Entertainer: Bards and other performers are always in demand in a town like Saltmarsh. 5.0 out of 5 stars Yo ho ho & a bottle of rum! The Final Enemy is the last adventure of the trilogy focused on the sahuagin threat which began in The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh and continued on in Danger at Dunwater. Players can journey through the entire story in a seafaring campaign leading characters from level one through level 12, while Dungeon Masters can pull sections to place in ongoing campaigns in any setting. 30 September, 2014, Terms Although it’s the sort of think we’ve generally come to expect in modern times, the Saltmarsh trilogy was distinctive at the time in assembling adventures with thematic presentation and something of a story, instead of an independent location for the party to search and loot. The muddy footprints led downstairs. In The Final Enemythe characters travel to the former lizardfolk island, assess the threat of the sahuagin, and perhaps end the threat the sahuagin hold over Saltmarsh before their attack begins. Ghosts of Saltmarsh doesn't involve saving the world from death curses, dragon gods, or demon lords, but that doesn't make it any less fantastic or … As noted above, the adventures in Ghosts of Saltmarsh can be, but don’t need to be strung together. In the adventure, Ghosts of Saltmarsh, new mechanics for ships have been introduced. I get that fighting aboleths requires a certain power level, but to me part of the Lovecraftian mood is characters who are first learning of the crazy world out there and have a relatively limited ability to do anything about it. In Publishers Weekly's "Best-selling Books Week Ending 5/25/19", Ghosts of Saltmarsh was #6 in "Hardcover Nonfiction". One-click unsubscribe later if you don't enjoy the newsletter. As a last word for players, I’ll note that I have a thumbs up for most of the adventures, but found myself unenthused about one of them. The new backgrounds include Fisher, Marine, Shipwright, and Smuggler. A specific interest in sea-themed adventures will give players an extra kick out of these adventures (this is probably more pertinent to pirate- and ship-related adventures), although it isn’t required. Smugglers guide their ships to hidden coves, willing to slit the throat of anyone foolhardy enough to cross their path. This includes ship layouts, crew actions, weaponry, movement, and upgrades. One of the better modules for D&D 5E, Ghosts of Saltmarsh takes players from Level 1 to Level 7-ish. Cookies Ultimately, I’d suggest running the first five as a campaign, and I think I personally would mostly stick with a minimalist approach to incorporating the town politics, but then weave those politics into something more substantive to fill the one-level gap between Isle of the Abbey and The Final Enemy – get the town unified before the big confrontation (or maybe I would get lazy and just go look for a pre-made 6th-level adventure elsewhere). The appendices also cover mechanics for ship-to-ship combat, new magic items, monsters, and more! Explore the waves above and the fathoms below in these watery adventures for the world’s greatest roleplaying game. 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