5E Alternative final element in Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh [SPOILER]


Skip this thread if you don't want to know about an element at the end of the Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh in Ghosts of Saltmarsh.

At the end of the adventure, the party encounters Oceanus in the ship. For a variety of reasons, I'd like to replace him with something else. Reasons include the fact that I have a large group of PCs, so I'd like to avoid an extra NPC; he doesn't have much new info; my group already features some characters (including a mermaid) who I will likely use to provide useful information during Danger at Dunwater. Oceanus, therefore, feels redundant and a bit anticlimactic.

Ideas for alternatives in the secret room?


You can still have him be in there, but not have him accompany the party to Danger at Dunwater. He can still provide some information about the smugglers and their home port (not listed, but useful for side-quests). I did the same with my group, since we have a Triton, there's no need for Oceanus (I set him up for later shenanigans).

If you want to replace Oceanus, you could simply replace him with a human captive they planned to sell into slavery or ransom (if important, like a noble). Otherwise you could simply split the Lizardmen arsenal between both rooms.

the Jester

Do you want there to be an npc at all? Or maybe some kind of treasure that helps the pcs function underwater later on? Or something else entirely? I'm not entirely clear on what kind of replacement you're after.

One thing is that you could replace him with a new pc, if someone's character dies in the adventure. Or you could change Oceanus into a captive (crippled?) sahuagin, if you want to foreshadow things a bit.


I’m not sure what I’m after yet either. Could be an NPC. Could be a nifty treasure. Could be some info that I haven’t thought of yet.

When I ran and played this adventure when it was first published, we all loved Oceanus. That was partly due to him being a sea elf, which was new and cool. Now, my party is a traveling menagerie already.

I’m mulling a magic item plus a clue that connects to the scarlet brotherhood later on. We’re probably not going to run the whole book, so I might accelerate some elements.
I don't think there is any reason to suppose he has to join the party - he might be too badly hurt, or have urgent business elsewhere. But If you don't need him as an info dump, he might already be dead when the players find him - particularly good if the party have wasted time and you want to show them that inaction has consequences.

Alternatively, if the party are having too easy a time of it, maybe he is a doppelganger, intent on stirring up trouble.