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!". When they got to the last room in the west wing the wizard immediately discovered the Magic Mouth spell because of his Detect Magic. So with some quick thinking I hooked them back on track. Nope, I don't know any priest like that. Now this might actually have been fine. Keep in mind Sinister Secrets of Saltmarsh is, at its core, a horror adventure. 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. And now my players were discussing whether or or not they should leave. Entering the caves + *outrageous combat descriptions\*. To me that makes the experience more verisimilar, but I could imagine some DMs being annoyed if their players skipped all that content. No religions appear above the water here in the Styes. As they lose sense of self, Sgothgah's psychic energies further steal their very existance out of the minds of those who knew the creature. The cave mostly consisted of battling the rest of the smugglers. The Styes includes an investigative location called Hopene'er Asylum. People are more than happy to fill in these lost memories. This story is definitely worth the read when running this adventure. 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. While “The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh” is considered an old-school module, it has many elements found in newer gaming modules. Great adventure for First Level characters. These spelled trouble, but as previously stated I were determined to play them by the book. As with a lot of people I've been spending a lot of time at home because of the viral outbreak. Gothic horror can be challenging to incorporate into Eberron, but it can be done. In short, The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh comes very close to taking Gygaxian naturalism to the next level by teasing out the implications of what a world where the D&D rules apply might look like. After combat everyone was joking about the party's incompetence and the mood lifted again. Th… A Half-elf monk who's on the run from the shadowy Glazier's Guild. Tips for Sinister Secrets of Saltmarsh. Hearing the sound of a raised crossbow he quickly ran up to the trapdoor and threw a harpoon down at the smuggler. Now, the lone smuggler below had obviously heard the magic mouth go off, but I reasoned that he would first go over to trapdoor and listen to confirm the presence of intruders, before alerting his comrades. I don't know what Ghosts of Saltmarsh will include, exactly, but I'd be surprised if it's much more than a straight conversion of the original three modules to 5th edition. The mayor of Saltmarsh was NOT happy about them burning down the house, so I sent them to the Isle of Dread instead. This is completely understandable; running a game requires a fair amount of work (and energy) and he's been running this one for us for... a couple of years now? I'm still fairly inexperienced as DM, so if anyone has tips or tricks I would love to hear some feedback. Investigating the mysterious garden + Oh shit weasels! Inside the secret cellar + and Wizard Duel! So, our warlock stumbled into a burrow filled with giant weasels and the party got their first taste of combat. They were just here for the corpse because their merchant friend had asked them. It's the first adventure that doesn't actually connect to the town of … Lo and behold as the wizard went straight to the spell and set off the magic. 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?". Chapter 4 of Ghosts of Saltmarsh, Salvage Operation, is the first chapter that isn't part of the actual Saltmarsh series of adventures beginning with The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, and Danger at Dunwater. The mistake occurs in Area 11, which Ghosts of Saltmarsh incorrectly lists as having 4 bandits when there should only be 3 (according to the original module). Here he found mention of a spellbook that could fit his dead master's, which he's currently searching for. If the characters have figured out that Skerrin is an agent of the Scarlet Brotherhood, he might make his escape to the Styes and the characters might follow him here. Maybe it was some visitor who came by years ago. Tips for Sinister Secrets of Saltmarsh. New to Sly Flourish? 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. When they ask around town, no one recognizes who they're talking about. The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh is a very nice adventure. and an ominous threat of more dangers to come, as the adventurers must fight to unravel a smuggling ring delivering weapons to a tribe of lizardfolk. As he opened the door he was faced with an angry and prideful enemy wizard. Personally I like it because of the throwbacks to old-school D&D, but the deadliness could certainly be an issue. Ground (garden and first floor of the house); 2nd Floor; Cellar (including the caves that lead into the sea) After this Sanbalet didn't last long with four PCs ganging up on him. The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh is a module for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, written by Dave J. Browne with Don Turnbull. I've been wanting to run Saltmarsh since its release (with the added benefit that I wouldn't have to spend a long time prepping). A Human Barbarian and a local fisherman from Saltmarsh down on his luck. We can also connect The Styes with the larger arc of the Scarlet Brotherhood. Before moving on to boarding of the Sea Ghost, I think we'll do a downtime session where the players will get some opportunity for RP and get to know the town proper. Where Saltmarsh weathered the fall of the sea princes to the kingdom of Keoland, the Styes never recovered. Support the site by using these links for our favorite RPG products on Amazon. Despite this there was no trace of him the room. 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 … I don't think the players did anything special, except for using solid strategies (e.g. A Human Barbarian and a local fisherman from Saltmarsh down on his luck. If you're not satisfied with the old wrecked boat as the lair of the aboleth, you might consider adding in a deep half-submerged temple to Tharizdun that has been here under the Styes for hundreds of thousands of years. 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. To me this created an interesting scenario, because he knew that there was illusion magic cast in the room, but if he wanted to investigate the spell he would probably set off the alarm and alert the smuggler below. As the characters travel around the Styes, they start to see people disappearing all around them and their own memories begin to change. 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. Posted by 1 year ago. I will be running Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh for some newbies in a month. 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. I definitely think they haven't seen the last of him. This meant that we quickly got to the house where I let the players loose. Sinister Secret Skeletons and Pack Tactics I'm running the Sinister Secret as a one shot. I've been involved in it since at least 2018. If you're not getting it, read this Reddit thread on running a False Hydra. So now I'm DMing for a group of newbies and excited out of my mind to be playing this game again. Finally, as was mentioned in the original release of the 1981 U1 Module, Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, this is a “thinking man's adventure.” Strength of arms will not ensure victory nor even a successful conclusion to this adventure. The barbarian, in a moment of amazing initiative, had a round of incredible rolls. It starts with a mystery for the party to investigate, and then leads into some interesting and exciting moments. Initially the hook worked pretty well. On one hand this was a good lesson in caution and that not every course of action will be fruitful. A Human Warlock and the long lost sister of the wizard. I had them divided into three groups. There's one major storyline I wish I had done in the two instances in which I ran The Styes. With that of a mysterious mansion... New episodes of Ghosts of Saltmarsh every Tuesday! The warlock wanted to investigate the thorn bushes in the garden, since they were knowledgeable about nature and plants. 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. 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. etc. When a player asks about an NPC who has become transformed by Sgothgah, we tell them that their character has no memory of such a person. There is a lot that goes into creating a successful horror adventure, but the bottom line is, a horror adventure requires the DM to create a sense of dread. Act 1 – The Sahuagin Invasion 1. Entering the house + surprising competency. The players took the plate mail from the corpse in the wine cellar and now their fighter has 20 AC. DnD: The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh So... our Dungeonmaster for the Tuesday night game decided that he needed a break in 2020. I was so happy when the players began to talk about when we would play again. The module details a mysterious abandoned mansion at the edge of a town called Saltmarsh, and the secrets contained therein. Still the warlock player expressed that they kinda thought that the story would go somewhere from this experience, but nope, they where just giant weasels hanging around. sinister secret of saltmarsh Unfortunately my group's first major quest was an excursion to the swamps to hunt for supplies to repair their ship. The only hitch for the party was that Sanbalet managed to slip away during the final battle. I would like to find a roster of NPC pictures to have on hand to hold up as a memory-jogger for these players, as we'll be playing 2.5 hour sessions once a week, and may change players week-to-week, as well. 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. This ended up with the following party: Everyone was completely new, except for the barbarian who I have played with before. WARNING! After some quick thinking ("Player: Can I aim for his crossbow? We can, if we desire, replace this with the excellent adventure location Lamp's Light Sanitarium. That would seem in-character and would have been a fun encounter. All of the temples to other gods have fallen into decay. 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. The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh is the first installment in a series of three modules designed and developed in the United Kingdom, for beginning adventures with the AD&D rules. 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. I could run part 2 of the module even with this ending, but personally as a DM I really wanted them to discover the secret caves and defeat the smuggling gang in its entirety. The Styes feels like it was lifted right out of HP Lovecraft's story The Shadow Over Innsmouth. I mentioned in the beginning that I ended up regretting my hook. When the party finally entered the house they did so with every caution they could muster. They weren't really here to fight smugglers and they really weren't here to check whether or not the house was haunted. 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*). That coupled with some lucky dice roll and the party ended the module with feeling like badasses that took down an entire gang on their own. They also checked out the bullseye lantern and the clues for its use, the barbarian pocketed a slick new oil-skin coat and the monk found s sack with fancy sand for her glassblowing. Even the characters no longer remember the son. He was blown away by the Saltmarsh modules. As he does so, they not only lose their bodies but their minds as well. If I were not running this part for new players I would probably have had Sanbalet try some trick with his illusion magic. In this case, that was the call of Tharizdun and its prophet, the aboleth Sgothgah. ... Community / Forums / Online Campaigns / Play-by-Post / The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh (SW) All Messageboards The dwarf's friend would be the corpse of the dead adventurer in area 20, which would be hard to miss and would conveniently give them a reason to go to the cellar. For example, Mr. Dory may have once had a son. The murder can get some of the key players in front of the characters and take them to the locations that matter. The rest are fighting at a distance. In our running of The Styes we'll focus on the aboleth who has become infatuated with Tharizdun and has created a cult of twisted monstrosities throughout the decrepit city. Arms thickening, veins popping out, and fury rising. For our run I liked that there was a ton of stuff the players never interacted with (They never met Ned for example). They were even fine with letting Sanbalet go! By running the aboleth as a memory-stealing terror we can shake up not only the characters but the players as well. There is a strong element of exploration, roleplay interaction, planning, strategy and puzzle solving. During the next couple of days I sat with each player individually and helped them come up with a character concept and filling out their character sheet. Now, it might be important to mention how I decided to run the adventure. Below, however, lies the temple of Tharizdun. The hook I decided on was a dwarven merchant who was friends with an adventurer that went missing while investigating the haunted house a couple of weeks prior. A brother transformed becomes forgotten by their own family as they turn into a deep spawn and swim into the black depths. 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