and hinted that it might be an opportunity to earn the good grace of the city council. * 1) I only allowed them to discover the smugglers tracks leading to the basement if they actively looked for them and 2) Removed the swarms of rot grubs from the corpse in the basement. People are more than happy to fill in these lost memories. So, our warlock stumbled into a burrow filled with giant weasels and the party got their first taste of combat. Next session I want to set up some scenes with the city council to introduce the party to the council members and the set-up for part 2 of Sinister Secrets. "We haven't even entered the building and we're almost wiped out!" A two-parter, the first half of The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh is set not in a boat, as one would have expected, but in a haunted house. That meant that I had promised myself that I would run encounters as written without holding back. All of the temples to other gods have fallen into decay. One that would try and ambush the players in the tunnels and two that would guard the goods and come to aid the other one in a pincer maneuver in case of an attack. I hope this helps anyone running the Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh in the future. These spelled trouble, but as previously stated I were determined to play them by the book. A Human Barbarian and a local fisherman from Saltmarsh down on his luck. While prepping the adventure I had been worried about these parts. We'll do so in two ways. Overall I think Sinister Secrets of Saltmarsh was a good introduction. In the past I've always ran my own stuff and this was the first time used published material, so I really wanted to do it fairly faithful to the material (Except for two small changes*). I really wanted to end on a cliffhanger or some setup for part 2 of the adventure, but it was getting late in the evening and everyone was beginning to get tired. For our run I liked that there was a ton of stuff the players never interacted with (They never met Ned for example). When I run The Ghosts of Saltmarsh, I'm fairly confident my current group will NOT burn down the house; they've heard that story and had a SMDH reaction to it (plus my wife played in that game, too). A Human Warlock and the long lost sister of the wizard. This campaign adventure can fill out this location in the Styes with one of sinister horror and suspense. Arawen has added new features and content for DMs who wish to run the game in a more improvisational pen and paper style. The warlock wanted to investigate the thorn bushes in the garden, since they were knowledgeable about nature and plants. Ghosts of Saltmarsh takes place on or near the sea, so we thought we’d give you a couple of ships, including the Sea Ghost, a fully detailed ship map, and a more generic ship map that allows you to fill in the details on its laminated surface so you can use it both for Saltmarsh, and for all your sea-faring adventures in the future.. sea ghost An investigation leads to one of the four councilmembers of the Styes, Mr. Dory, who, in turn, is connected to the aboleth responsible for much evil in this dark city. Initially the hook worked pretty well. DM: Sure, roll DEX after you hit and forego any damage") he managed to disarm the smuggler, slide down the ladder and yell "Why are you hiding down here!". Skerrin Wavechaser, the butler of the Saltmarsh councilor Anders Solmor, might actually work for Mr. Dory. As an homage to Lovecraft's Shadow Over Innsmouth, we can fill our running of The Styes with the mysterious transformation of a people into sea creatures who worship a being beyond mortal minds. After this Sanbalet didn't last long with four PCs ganging up on him. We can further connect this adventure with Chapter 7: Tammeraut's Fate by turning Syrgaul's connection to Orcus into a connection with Tharizdun. The pirates and the support they had in the Styes fell and those remaining sought out what comfort they could in the dark shadows of the cold depths. The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh is a module for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, written by Dave J. Browne with Don Turnbull. The wizard and the warlock were at this moment standing around the trapdoor, while the monk and barbarian had been hanging around at the entrance to the room. To make the battle more challenging, you might add a number of chuuls along with the aboleth into a chamber that made reaching the aboleth difficult. In the past I used to fudge a lot of dice rolls to preserve drama (and tone down character death), but I've since changed my mind on this approach. 4. I'm still fairly inexperienced as DM, so if anyone has tips or tricks I would love to hear some feedback. … It features undead horrors, smugglers, pirates (parrots and hooks included!) If you're not getting it, read this Reddit thread on running a False Hydra. I've not run it myself yet but the next time I'm running an aboleth, I'm definitely trying this out. We can also connect The Styes with the larger arc of the Scarlet Brotherhood. SPOILERS FOR SINISTER SECRET OF SALTMARSH FOLLOWS. Hobgoblins with 18 AC and a damage bonus? If you are planning on running The Styes as a stand-alone adventure, you can likely run it as-is from the book and this article will be of limited use. In secret, even to the Scarlet Brotherhood, Mr. Dory might no longer serve the Brotherhood and instead serves the aboleth under the city of the Styes. Let's say Sgothgah transforms Mr. Dory's son into a sea spawn. We can run this murder investigation as-is and still tie into a larger storyline. Like Salvage Operation and Isle of the Abbey, The Styes was originally intended as a stand-alone adventure. They've all suddenly got a lot of time on their hand and not much to do, so I made the simple suggestion: "Why not play some Dungeons & Dragons?". Even the characters no longer remember the son. This Goblin Punch article on the False Hydra is the inspiration for this idea. Entering the house + surprising competency. The people of the Styes will smile at the characters and point to their foreheads as though they have three eyes instead of two (the sign of Sgothgah the aboleth). Salvage Operation (4th-5th level) – the party are sent to investigate a wrecked ship to find a weapon or information, that’ll aid them against the sahuagin. Entering the caves + *outrageous combat descriptions\*. After some quick thinking ("Player: Can I aim for his crossbow? This son is known to the people of the Styes and even as far as Saltmarsh. While prepping I had been pretty nervous about the deadliness of the module, so as a precaution I had given each of the players a potion of healing. Investigating the mysterious garden + Oh shit weasels! It's the first adventure that doesn't actually connect to the town of … This introduction to the module also preserved the Scooby-Doo switcheroo from ghosts to smugglers. When the party returned to the barracks with Sanbalet in tow, the smuggler they had left behind was suddenly missing. The Styes includes an investigative location called Hopene'er Asylum. The only hitch for the party was that Sanbalet managed to slip away during the final battle. They were just here for the corpse because their merchant friend had asked them. In this case, that was the call of Tharizdun and its prophet, the aboleth Sgothgah. Alright cool, that's a neat little piece of RP, that then rewarded them with getting ambushed by four giant weasels. Th… The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh is a very nice adventure. The rest are fighting at a distance. I had them divided into three groups. So with some quick thinking I hooked them back on track. ... We have a Barry Douglas running a Saltmarsh campaign now. Immediately after saving against the fear (lucky bastard) he wanted to investigate the area where the spell had been lain and quickly discovered the hidden trapdoor down to the cellar. Danger at Dunwater (3rd-4th level)– the party confronts the lizardfolk tribe and learns that lizardfolk and other aquatic races are preparing for war against invading sahuagin. 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