Jasper DMs Ghosts of Saltmarsh


Rotten DM
Ok, either in late June or after I will be dming the Hardcover Ghosts of Saltmarsh for Adventure League(AL). So far no real guidance on how seasonality is going to affect this. So all awards will apply.
But for prep work this is what I am doing.
I bought a ship
I will be using that as a template. I also bought some plywood and been hand drawing all the Ship maps from the book on to one inch grid paper. Suggestions on how to do the decks in three d are welcome. I should be taping the ship maps down tonight. Cutting will be over the weekend.
Chapter 1. I just scanned it. I think official suggestions will be changing some names for groups. Red wizards for scarlet brotherhood.
Chapter 2. Sinister secret. I got my encounters notes first draft written. Level 1 Tier 1.
Chapter 3. Danger at Dunwater. KISSY KISSY KISSY. To whom ever did Page 67. It lists the room number and monsters. First draft took 20 minutes of cutting and pasting monsters. Then 5 minutes of entering room names. And adding magic items to my notes. Level 3 Tier 1
Note XP in this an old AL format/ milestone XP x if did well or Less if you did not do well. The hint is the pcs make to level 4.
Chapter 4. Salvage Operation. Thanks to my local game store I was able to get an advance copy of parts of this chapter. The map of the ship on page 89 is beeping unless. It is back to blue on blue lines from the 80s. I have looked at in color ink, and black and white. It is hard to get the exact dimensions of the ship. This is the widest ship. And longest ship if you include the prow.

I need to photocopy the magic item sheet and the monsters. This generally saves time during the game. I have also update my monster, ac, xp index word doc. I should post that in the downloads section next week. And maybe get the csv file updated.

I will be Going to Magic City Comic Con in Birmingham Al June 21-23 2019 if any of you are attending, lets talk.
As always feel free to comment, suggest, snarky about things in this thread.


Rotten DM
I was wrong The Chapter 4 is not the longest. That goes to rowing galley Page 189. 26 inches or 23.5 on my grid.
Medium Ooops. The T-square I was using to grid. I thought the bar was 1 inch wide, It actually 1 1/4 inch wide. So sometimes on the ships the grid is bigger than it suppose to be.
Chapter 5 has a feel of do it my way on how you land.
Chapter 6. Kissy Kissy Kisssy again. Page 115 has the full roster of monsters. Hurrah!
Chapter 7 Tammeraut's Fate is going to interesting running in Adventure league. I am lucky if I get the same players 3 weeks in a row.
Only skimmed Chapter 8 But I am laughing at the art work on page 169. I think with the various clockworks, etc the realms would have invented arms and nose pieces for glasses.



Rotten DM
Chapter 8 The Styles is going to be a fun run depending on the group.
Chapter 1 Notes are typed up. I only listed the encounters in the city. I think the AL will not allow exploring randomly out into woods. Um swamps. Etc.
So far except for the Special cover none of the art work really stands out. Now to grab some bubble wrap and cardboard and make boxes for each of ships.


Rotten DM
Well making the individual boxes for the ships was a big fail. Any body got any links on how to make small shipping boxes by hand.?


Rotten DM
Ghost of Saltmarsh Session 1

Day 1 – 5

PC Killed 1 Monsters Killed 28 Villains Captured 0 Villains Escaped 0

AP 4 TP 4 Downtime 10 Renown 1

Season 9 would be Gain a Level. 80 GP level limit this more you found, 10 downtime days due gaining a level. Renown is your Tier.

Magic Item unlocked Bag of Holding, Cursed Luckstone. Note Luckstone could be sold but I am waiting on Season 9 docs to see what it will sell for.

I will be printing new renown cards up this week.

I had a strong group of five. Cretin Rogue, Paladin, and Warlock. Bilbo Case rogue. Youngblood a barbarian. Shroudie wizard. And Serious Lee Monk. Shroudie did ask why we were starting in chapter 2. The reason is the village of Saltmarsh is a location you can visit but it more of rest stop than an adventure location. This may change as Season 9 documents are updated.

I ran this in 1983 in Ft Ord Ca. It always nice to see an ancient module brought back to life. I also arrived early and marked out the ground and top floor maps.

The group is hired by Will Shakeshaft to find his brother Ned. Ned hear the old fart alchemist had a nice wine cellar and he was going to raid it. Ned been missing for four days.

The group approached the haunted house about a half hour before sun set. The wizard Shroudie took point opening the door to the grand hallway. Thinking nothing would be interesting on the ground floor, Shroudie was going to walk up the stairs when Cretin the bugbear decided to take point. The Halfling Bilbo decide to climb Cretin and use him as a perch. Cretin took a left turn at the top of stairs and walked toward the west wing when his foot plunged through the rotten flooring. He hopped across the edge of flooring and nearly smeared the halfling along the north wall.

The first west bedroom was empty. WELL except for the yellow mold in the mattress. This nearly killed Bilbo Case and Cretin and made all the group paranoid. Discussions on setting the house on fire were often made. Mainly by the halfling.

The far west bedroom had evidence of someone sleeping in the poster bed.

The north wing was exploded next. The alchemist’s bedroom was boring. (At this time I started telling players if a room was cleared. Aka nothing else of interest.)

The storage room was empty except for some fresh humanoid clothing.

The group explored the north landing and Bilbo Case got a case of curiosity. He climbed up into the attic saw nine striges and dived back down to second floor. He faced planted. Two striges attached themselves to him and the rest attacked the party. Bilbo was zeroed out in the second round. And the wizard killed the strige on him. (First death in the book. Player rolled a fail and then a 1). However due to the landing and stair way being only ten feet wide, the halfling bled out before the combat was over. (Players remember you cannot shoot through walls.)

(Season 9 death. If you can’t pay for a raise dead scroll, you lose a magic item out of your inventory. Case decided to lose his ring of warmth. You still get a -4 penalty to rolls which is reduced by 1 per day. DM Fiat just advanced the calendar by 4 days.)

The group return to haunted house on the morning of the fifth day. Still exploring the upstairs, they entered the guest bedroom. Cretin stuck his head up the fireplace to see nothing. Nothing but two swarms of spiders. The rest of group saw a swarm of spiders erupt from the bed. A few seconds later it was over.

The middle bedroom was explored cautiously due to the bad flooring. But someone had been walking along the edge of room. Also a candlestick or lantern had be placed in the window. Perhaps as ghost light to scare people away.

The last bedroom they explored they found Ned. Ned told them, “I was captured by bandits as I entered the cellar.” The group gave Ned his clothing back and made him lead to the cellar. In cellar was the body of dead fighter in semi-good plate mail. Some foot prints lead down the steps and into a blank wall. Cretin explored the blank wall. Bilbo Case search the totally empty wine racks. Shroudie examined the dead body. Serious Lee scoped out the two metal bins.

Serious Lee, “the bins are empty.”

Cretin, “Hey secret door.”

Bilbo Case, “Rats just one bottle of wine left!”

Shroudie yells, “EVIL MAGGOTS!” as two swarms of rot grubs pour out the body. The group quickly destroy the maggots.

Cretin opens the secret door to an expanded cellar. The cellar has seen recent use due to the warm stove and fresh ham hanging in the room. The bedrolls are clean and the room is dust free. On the east side of the cellar is the sergeant’s quarters and a barred room with “Danger Beware” painted on the bar.

The sergeant’s quarters turn up some nice loot in the form of some books. A spell book. A bullseye lantern with the oil half gone. A parchment with a signaling system for the Sea Ghost. The group stacks up and opens the barred door. The barbarian is not happy to see eight skeletons.

During the first round of combat a door on the far side of the skeleton room glows blue. Out pops a skeleton dipped in gold with a belt of acid flasks. The combat starts to go badly for the group. (Yes I should held back the gold skeleton. Oops). The group start to retreat back into the cellar. The rogue falls. The monk dashes out of cellar, out of wine cellar and flees. The wizard dashes up the staircase in the cellar, throws up the trap door and retreats. The barbarian retreats to the wine cellar and is cut down. Cretin follows the wizard out of the trap door and retreats.

(What to do? The skeletons are free to roam the house. OOPS. Did the cowards close the doors behind them? No. The skeletons are free to roam the countryside. Should they take a short rest? Flee to town. Meanwhile, how to handle the zeroed out people. Let the dice decide. The rogue stabilizes and will become conscious in one hour. The barbarian stabilizes and will be become conscious in four hours.)

The living members of the group take a short rest and advance toward the ground floor room where the trap door is. They take down two skeletons in the back yard. As they near the trapdoor a skeleton rises from the cellar and attack. Bilbo Case awakens. He see a skeleton wandering in the cellar. He hears a skeleton in the sergeant’s quarters. He attacks the wandering skeleton and retreats toward the sergeant’s quarters. The party murders the skeleton and start entering the big cellar. Caught between two skeletons Bilbo is cut down again. (And rolls a Nat 1 on his death save.) The party advances and cuts down one skeleton. Bilbo awakens. (Nat 20 up with 1 hp). He attacks the skeleton standing over him. Misses and is cut down again. (Okay it would not be history to get your name twice on Skully in the same session but it would be very rare.) The party cuts down the skeleton over Bilbo. They hear the gold skeleton coming down the wine cellar stairs. The monk grabs the rogue’s potion of healing and feeds it to him. Cretin and Shroudie destroy the gold skeleton.

End of session. The party did not get a lot of gold. So I gave the maximum gp allowed per level.

Note to self. Remember Jasper switching between running a tier 3 strong group on Friday night and Tier 1 strong group on Sunday is very very different.
My group decided start season 9 on Friday. Yes we know it was a few days early but some players were going to boycott if we didn't. And we had already made the announcement.


Rotten DM
Ghost of Saltmarsh Session 2

Day 5 -10

PC Killed 1 Monsters Killed 48 Villains Captured 0 Villains Escaped 0

Season 9 would be Gain a Level. 80 GP level limit you found more but the limit stands. 10 downtime days due gaining a level. Renown is your Tier.

Magic Items Pipe of Remembrance page 229 of GSM. Scroll Gust of Wind, Mariner’s Armour Scale Mail.

I had a very strong group of seven but only bump up the cave encounters. Cretin warlock paladin; he was rebuilt from last week. Serious Lee Monk. Shroudie wizard rogue. John Conner (help a clone. New player using the same name another player uses.) Sorcerer. Rodger Rotten (hmm doesn’t the dm go by that name) cleric. Jack Frost rogue. Sonya Cleric. Pc ranges was 1 to 4. Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh is for 1 or 2 level. APL was 3.

Our heroes discover a secret door and send the bugbear Cretin and monk to take point. The group enters the western cavern. Sonya and Rodger Rotten are slimed. Green Slime falls from the ceiling and tries to eat the adventurers. Sonya and Rodger are screaming for the group to get off, the scouts in the cave to the south open up. The group gets the slime off and start trading range attacks. The monk starts to flank around to the north when he spies a group of smugglers running for southern passageway.

The Great Sanbalet starts demanding their surrender. The Great Sanbalet sends his bandits, scouts, and hobgoblins to attack the party. The Great Sanbalet is not amused when the party cuts down half his minions. The Great Sanbalet offers the party a job in his criminal organization. The Great Sanbalet is not happy the rest of his employees are being cut down and withdraws. The Great Sanbalet nearly escapes climbing the cliff before he is shot off the cliff. The Great Sanbalet is dead when the party loots the caves and his body.

The town council is not happy a smuggling ring was discovered by outsiders. They offer the group 200 GP to capture the smuggler ship. The group agrees. (Note I put out my wooden ship and preplaced all the troops. I did not add any troops. Troops on deck went during the first round. Below deck started moving in the second round. My board eraser was used as the party’s rowboat.)

The group deceives the smugglers using the code they found in the first session. They decide to approach from the shore side. The lookout in the crow nest calls for them to identify themselves. Cretin and Serious Lee both reply with two conflicting answers. The lookout sounds the alarm and the rowboat is still twenty feet away.

Okay about an hour of combat happen. People were toss into the water. Climb back on the ship and were toss back in. Some people were zeroed out. Cretin with his AC of 21 due to bluffs and other was hard to hit and locked down a lot of the crew. Almost everyone used their free potion of healing and inspiration which they got as renown benefits.

Oceanus was freed from his secret cell on the ship. He is ally and playable NPC. Page 246.
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Rotten DM
Ghost of Saltmarsh Session 3

Danger at Dunwater

90 minutes to Level!

Day 11-12

PC Killed 1 Monsters Killed 49 Villains Captured 0 Villains Escaped 0

Magic Items. NOTE the additions due very smart play. Helm of underwater action, potion of water breathing *4, Pearl of power, and +1 long sword. (Note you can change that to a +1 weapon of your choice.)

Season 9 would be Gain a Level. 80 GP level limit you found more but the limit stands. 10 downtime days due gaining a level. Renown is your Tier.

We started late and I was packing up before 4 PM. I had a weak group of 4 not including Oceanus who is worth ½ CR. Cretin Paladin Warlock. Shroudie wizard rogue. Magra barbarian. Varis warlock.

Oceanus is a sea elf who was rescued last week. He is an envoy from the sea queen to see who and why the pirates were smuggling weapons to. The Town council has offer some gp for the group to investigate the Lizardfolk and why they are arming themselves. This is a scouting and fact finding mission.

(I ran this back in the 80s and think the original is still in my horde. I don’t recall any great changes.)

The group decides to go buy sea. So they get the use of a free keg boat. Um. Keel boat. Keel Boat. The sailors will guard the boat and wait to recover the landing party. The first choice they have is to take the rowboat to the sea cave or swampy shore. Cretin idea of the swampy shore is voted up. They land at “A” on the map and follow the game path across a small set of streams to “B” where the path branches and becomes a foot path of Lizard Folk. They have a choice east to “D” or south to “C”. (Okay dms open your books to page 70 and 71. Next to room 22 put C. Next to room 1 put D. And E is entrance to 49 the sea cave. Why the rooms entrances are buried in text of 65 and 66 I don’t know.)

The group chooses C and Shroudie pops the lock to the Queen’s bedroom (Room 35. Yes I know I just gave you the correct rooms but I couldn’t find the information fast enough so I did a make it up thingy.) They don’t hear anything but investigate the room.

Cretin, “Stop that. “

Shroudie, “What. I just putting a mustache on the Queen picture of her mummy. No harm.”

Cretin, “Shouldn’t you look around for secret doors or stuff.”

Shroudie, “Already did. Move the chest. “

Cretin moves the chest revealing a crawlspace or just perfect secret tunnel for a rock gnome. Shroudie enters the tunnel followed by the rest of group. Shroudie quietly opens the trapdoor. They are in a combination throne room and trophy room. Two little Lizard Folk kids are playing near the entrance. The barbarian wants to kill them. Shroudie is undecided and both Oceanus and Cretin remind the group this a scouting mission. They hear a patrol pass by.

Shroudie puts the kids to sleep. The group slowly follows the footsteps of patrol but lose them. But they do find the banquet hall. Cretin comes up with a great plan. The group will hide in the hallway and he will surrender to the wait staff. One problem the wait staff does not speak common and no one speaks Draconic. After a couple of different guards examine Cretin on shows up who speaks Common.

Cretin pleas to speak with Queen and the guards start calling for the Queen in Draconic and marching Cretin back to the throne room. The rest of group dashes back to the throne room and hides in the tunnel. The Queen arrives with penciled in mustached mentions the things kids do to pictures.

Cretin starts to lay out what he knows and asks if the town could be a help. To prove he is honesty he tells everyone to come out the tunnel. The Queen eyes Shroudie with suspension. (Shroudie bluffed her and blamed the frame job on the kids.) The Queen is interested in an alliance but wants the group to talk with her people and then she take her council.

(Ok this adventure can be played out as friendly seek an alliance, or murder hobo and then seek an alliance. There is point system. But it ends with just a roll check vs. a DC. Generally the whole group can perform the check. Page 63 hints a single character rolls. I allowed two rolls. Either two pcs or a pc with advantage. This was still too generous. I suggest one roll with no advantage. Unless the group has did some outstanding roleplaying. The group only missed one roll. Note the dc does increase if you murder hobo.)

The town’s folk love their dry footed friends especially their new friendly neighborhood paladin Webless. But the Queen want to see if they were good fighters. (Ok. I threw in the extra bonus combat just to have some combat.) The group defeat the Thousand Teeth with only Magra being TKO.

(I do like the roster on page 67 and think should be include in future adventures if possible. The group was done in under 90 minutes. We around 30 minutes late and I was packing out by 4 PM. So I gave the group all the magic items in the module. The shift from where “C” should have been would add only one combat but the players were going to surrender at the first chance. Back in the 80s my group did some murder hoboing before trying for an alliance.)


Rotten DM
Ghost of Saltmarsh Session 4

Salvage Operation

Don’t Rock the Boat

Day 13-16

PC Killed 1 Monsters Killed 61 Villains Captured 0 Villains Escaped 0

Story Award Aubreck Fortune. Aubreck will cover on spellcasting service up to a 5th level spell per pc.

Magic Item Scroll of Gust of Wind, Scroll Protection from Poison, Potion of Heroism, Potion of Water Breathing, and Cloak of Protection.

I had a weak group of three all fourth level. Cretin Paladin Warlock. Gnasher Ranger. John Anteos Warlock.

Aubreck Drallion a noble who family is about to slip down into the middle class hires the group to fetch a strong box from the abandon ship Emperor of the Waves. Five years it anchor in a mostly empty bay of an uncharted island to get out of storm. Mostly empty except for an evil druid and his cultist minions. For three years the crew was able to fight of the cultists. During the last attack a storm called up by the crew gawds blew the ship out of harbor. At least those are the facts Aubreck was to discover after speaking with the dead.

The ship has been seen fifteen days ago adrift about three days away. The good ship Lolly will take our adventurers to the ship and stay far away. A rowboat with one crew will row the salvage party and then stay five hundred feet away.

(I assemble the good ship Lolly which I bought. I pull out ARGH! After all the trouble I did making ships I pull the wrong ship. I grab some plastic sleeves and slip over the ship and draw the correct map. Also, I started an hour early because I had a meeting to go to at 4 PM. This cause less players and I pushed the combat.)

Cretin toss his grappling hook onto the forecastle. Twice. He missed the first time. The group climbs up on the ship. It is listing to port and has damage. Some is storm damage. Some is battle damage. The blood stains are years old. Well except for those three spots which are three days old.

Cretin opens the door to the navigator’s room to be attack by an Ettercap with a giant spider trying to get to him too. (I was adjusting the encounters downwards on the fly. Sometimes I hit the correct mix.) The Cretin is able to kill the Ettercap by himself but the giant spider jumps pass him and attacks the rangers badger companion. While the badger is nearly being ate. The ranger is chewing on the giant spider legs. (Ok I don’t the special attack.) This starts a standard operation plan. Cretin being a tank will stand in the door and fight. The rest of the group will take the overflow. They take a short rest after clearing the main deck.

While examining food storage area they discovered the trap door to the bilge. (I removed the maw demons from here). Instead of going for the lock box, the group decides to clear the rest of ship. One dead druid later, the enter the bilge to discover Two ghasts. (Down from four.) Gnasher is frozen for an hour. (The book hints there is time limit.)

As they pop the chains holding the lock box down, the ships rocks. And not in the music way. It rocks violently to port and starboard. Part of hull cracks and the ocean starts coming in. Fast.

(Ok this becomes an environmental or chase scene. PC have to do a Dex save to not get knock prone. Athletics to climb stairs or knock prone. Difficult terrain on the ship due the rocking. )

Cretin grabs the chest and tries to retreat out of bilge. (Movement is lessen.) The group either run each other over or block each other from getting out. (I love five feet passageways.) Cretin and Gnasher arrive on deck and signal the rowboat. Some waves are coming over the main deck. They jump into the ocean hold onto the handles of the lock box. The swim slowly to the row boat. The rowboat is slowly coming to Emperor. They swim another round to the rowboat. (Note to see when the groups would meet, I wrote on the white board. 500.450.300. Counting down. And did 20. 40 counting up. When the numbers over lapped they met the rowboat.)

Meanwhile John Anteos slipped and failed down the stairs. Twice. Just as he gets halfway up the stairs, the octopus rocks the ship again and John head bounces off the ceiling knocking him out. The Lizardfolk Gnasher turns to swim back to ship to find out what happen to John. Cretin slowly by himself swims toward the rowboat. (OOPS. Missed the rule if only person is holding the lockbox in the ocean they sink.). Gnasher finds John’s body and swims to an air pocket. He forces a potion of healing down his throat. Both swim up the stairs to the main deck which has about two feet of water covering it. The swim for it.

The rowboat recovers Cretin and the lock box. And then the rest of party. As Gnasher and John are getting into the rowboat the octopus breaks the back of the Emperor of the Sea and it finally sinks.

Grr what really tick me off. The owner of the meeting moved at the last minute and only told 3 people. I was already on site at the meeting. I got a message from my boss after I went to car to get AC. I could just blew off the meeting and had a normal group.


Rotten DM
Ghost of Saltmarsh Session 5
Isle of the Abbey
Day 17-20

PC Killed 2 Monsters Killed 93 Villains Captured 0 Villains Escaped 0

Season 9 would be Gain a Level. 240 GP level limit you found more but the limit stands. 20 downtime days due gaining a level. Renown is your Tier.

Magic Items Potion of Healing * 6, Scroll of Command, Scroll of Hold Person, Bag of Holding, Mithral medium armour, Boots of Striding and Springing, Scroll of Light, Scroll of Bless, Scroll of silent image, Scroll of Phantasmal Force.
I had a very strong group of seven so I did some bumping in hit points or changed some monsters. Cretin warlock paladin. Shroudie wizard rogue. Gnasher ranger. Zeal paladin, sorcerer. Keg G Blackwell sorcerer. Guts paladin barbarian. Ben 10 warlock sorcerer druid.
The group lands on the beach looking out for skeletons Major Ursa has warned them the beach has undead hiding in the dunes. Ben 10 looks at his oh my tricks and finds the safe path. (Gripe. Grumble. The adventure calls for a perception roll. After you move that many squares you lose the path. Or with a high enough roll you bypass all the encounters on the beach. But the book does have a backup plan.)
As they climb pass the sand dunes on to the interior of the island, they are first attack by two manticores and then twenty-one zombies. This does some minor damage to the party. They come to the wreckage of the abbey; some one has been cleaning up the site. They lift one door out the way and descend into the abbey’s basement. They stop at the door hearing voices. The voices are playing poker for rations and clean up duty.
Cretin knocks and a huge bluff man name Ogmund the second in command. (Okay hey author three npcs starting with O. Oh please.) Ogmund dislikes these visitors on sight because he dislikes everyone one. After a few minutes Ozymandias the leader and priest of Loki is called. While the discussion of getting the survivors off the island, Zeal casually insults Ogmund for the last time. Ogmund and his buddies attack.
(This is two path module. If the group is hostile everyone, they meet is hostile. If the group decides to be nice, sooner or later Ogmund picks a fight. The paladins were being mouthy. So, I had Zeal roll a persuasion. This divided the npcs into cowards or fighters. I also bumped the npcs fighting to gladiators.)
Zeal ticks off Ogmund. Ogmund and three of his buddies attack, while the rest of cult run and hide in their rooms. Ogmund is very tactical and orders two of his buddies and himself to attack Guts. The spare will attack Gnasher. The team makes great use of shield bash and knocks Guts on the ground and nearly stab him to death. They switch targets and kill Keg. The spare nearly kills Gnasher but Shroudie helps with potions of healing. After a hard fight they kill Ogmund and scare the rest of temple occupations. The cultists make nice and let the group shake them down for treasure. The group secure the survivors and sleep peacefully through the night.
Bayleaf an elf Bard tells the group of the hidden tunnels in the basement. The group ties up the cultists and leave Bayleaf in charge.
Wandering into the first chamber they fight some minotaur skeletons, specters and a Bodak. Gnasher is loudly upset because every time he meets undead it is generally minotaur skeletons.
The group becomes very tick at Bayleaf because he did not mention the traps protection the rest of dungeon. (I think some of the traps did more damage to pcs than some monsters. Also, I was pushing the group to make a decision due to time.)
The group finds the treasure room. NOT. This was false treasure room design to tick off and annoy pcs. (Ok not really.) A jade statue tries to suck all the blood out of Cretin and Ben 10 but is destroyed.
The group finally discovers the real treasure and with the loss of Gnasher’s pet badger destroy some living statues.
(Note I did skip an encounter and some traps due to time.)


Rotten DM
I know when other players are getting tick off at Gnasher. They mention he has not saved or tracked damage for his pet. Gnasher brings a mini for his pet and wants to be a party member. I generally ignore it unless I need flub a swing or two.


Rotten DM
Ghost of Saltmarsh Session 6
Chapter 6 The Final Enemy
Day 21- 28

PC Killed 2 Monsters Killed 115 Villains Captured 0 Villains Escaped 0

No Level. No Downtime. GP 120. No Magic Items.
I had a very strong party of seven. Shroudie Wizard Rogue. Gnasher Ranger. Zeal Paladin sorcerer. Doc F Cleric. Marble Ranger Hunter. Terelman cleric. Keg G Sorcerer.
I allowed group to buy some potions of water breathing and swimming. They entered through the small cave on the bottom level. (Lots of confusion on which level they were on happen. L should just say ground floor, basement, and subbasement.) They free the triton and sea lion in the cells and release them through the small cave. Not including the cells this level was underwater.
Using pass without a trace and some good perception rolls they scouted out the subbasement level noting the barracks, both guard posts, arena, and other areas. They did get greedy in the second armory. They killed ten shark critters and discovered the secret room was just a trap room. Gnasher was nearly eaten. Terelman was chewed a bit. Not wanting to take on the level they went up to the basement.
The basement was not flooded. They discover the secret door to the baron’s bedroom and loot it. They toss the baron’s living room. Hearing some voices, they crack the door and see the Baron sitting in judgement of two privates. Closing the door, they start making plans to kidnap, capture, assassinate, or just charge. (At this point I told the group to take outside and come back in five minutes with A plan.)
The plan is capturing the baron. (Then initiative was rolled and it all went out the window. The plan was for Keg G to hide above the door and slam it shut after the baron came in. Then silence, hold person, etc. would go off.) The baron gets an attack off and the priestess hears his yell before the door is slammed.
New plan. Kill the baron stuff his body into the portable hole. And what? UM CHARGE AND KILL EVERYTHING as we dash across the throne to escape out the other side of throne room. Doc F goes deep to block the main entrance to the throne room and starts holding off the first patrol. The rest of group do a fighting withdraw to east room, and to the exit. So, a fighting withdraw.
One problem. The first east room is servant quarters. The room after that is Baroness living room. Surely the next room has a way out. Well that is Baroness Quarters.
Shroudie, “You said there would be a secret door. There is no secret door. “
The group is now going to have to fight their way out to the ground floor to escape.
(I gave the group two choices. It as now 6:30 PM they could stop for the day and I freeze hit points etc. And next game we pick it up from where we left off. Which could have resulted in a tpk. Or I could let them go with just the treasure they found and their lives. They chose life.
While they were talking, I notice they had explored the subbasement pretty quick. Since walking speed for mapping out a dungeon is not a thing in 5E, I said they had 30 minutes left on the potions of water breathing and swimming. I then rolled 10d6 to see when the Baron returned to his rooms. I rolled 31. I told the group that even if they could KO the baron quietly and retreat the way they came it would be CLOSE and some of them would be under the drowning rules. So, they decide once the plan was blown, they decided to charge. Reviewing the map for the top two levels, some of them may have been able to get out if they got lucky with combat and guessed the shortest route. If they guess wrong it would be a TPK. Also, I check the rules movement through an ally square is double move unless you are short. I think the ten rounds of combat lasted 90 minutes.)
Arriving wounded and barely alive the group make to the ship. The sailors fight off a small group sahuagin. The next morning sailing for Saltmarsh Doc. F casts raise dead on the Baron.
Baron K. “Oh dry out you rum soaked sailor. You not getting any information from me. Boss. I refuse to come back. “
When the adventures return with only one floor plan, they are given free ship passage tickets. Good for a one way ticket out of kingdom.


Rotten DM
BIG OOPS! The Second level is UNDERWATER TOO. I need to start writing more notes on the maps in the book.


Rotten DM
Ghost of Saltmarsh Session 7

Chapter 7 Tammeraut’s Fate

Kissing toe beans. EEWWWK!

Day 29-30

PC killed 2 Monsters Killed 134 Villains Captured 0 Villains Escaped 0

No level, GP 60 this is bump due hourly gp rules.

Magic Items found two potions of greater healing 4d4+4,

We have stopped at Room 18 1 PM. Gnasher is mad. Marble is mad. I had a weak group of four Terleman Cleric 10th current HP 73. Gnasher Ranger 8th current HP 40. Marble Ranger 7th Current HP 24. Gannlcus battle master 10th current HP 96.

Fleeing from the Saltmarsh Sahuagin tyranny our adventure run south to escape the hordes of angry villagers. They run across a merchant name Davus Raal a half-elf noble who wants them to collect an 8,000 gp debt from Morley Tobe who fled to Firewatch island. They can catch the ferry from the village of Uskarn.

Around noon about an hour before they reach the village, they come across a Grandma Harpy and her four grand kids who are feasting on a body. After killing the harpies, the body is an old warrior who appears to have died of exhaustion before then sinking into the ocean.

They arrive at the Plenk’s Plank the best tavern in the village. The local deputy checks them out and when the group describes the harpy attack, the deputy puts them up at tavern at the town’s expense while the body is recovered. Philpert the dead man was on the Firewatch island when undead critters or underwater critters attacked the abbey. The town agrees to let the adventures have an old fixer upper house if they discover what happen at the abbey.

The next morning they take the ferry over to the island. About a mile offshore of the island they are attacked by a monstrous Peryton. They drive it off. As the boat drops anchor and puts the row boat over the side, the group can hear the alarm bell of the abbey. They roll for shore. After landing they slowly make for the door . A big debate breaks out over how to enter the abbey since the gate door is boarded shut. Terleman activates his boots of flying and scopes out the land. To the west is huge tower. Behind the abbey is a garden with a pool. In front is a truck garden, some apple trees, and some pear trees. He tosses a rope down from the wall of abbey and everyone climbs over.

Terleman is suspicious. He calls lightning down on the bell tower flushing out the monstrous Peryton. After it is dead, the party splits. Gnasher checks out the apple trees. Gannlcus sledge hammers open the front door. Terleman sees movement in the pool and hits that with a lightning bolt. Marble checks out the pear tree. And it is not a partridge in the tree but three killer kudzu (ok assassin vines). They rope Marble down and start chocking the Tabaxi. The vines also cause the garden to grow making the ground difficult terrain. (OK. As a DM I will describe the effects of what happening. If your pc has a counter I just need to know if counters for you, or the party. BUT ONLY when it is your turn. DON’T interrupt the dm while he is giving out the information. He loses track of where he is at.)

Terleman starts flying back to the front yard. Gnasher and Gannlcus start shooting the vines. Marble just lays there chocking to death. (Death arrives an asks does Marble want to take a survey. Her reply is to roll a 20 on her death save. Death is not a happy camper.) Marble breaks the grapple of the vines and dashes ten feet away to be brought down by the vines. After a few rounds the vines are defeated. The group gives Marble a few potions of healing and go to explore the pool in the back.

Being wary Marble climbs the roof and provides overwatch. Terleman provides high cover since his call lightning is still going. A sea hag pops her head out the pool scaring Gannlcus to death. Then an invisible stalker attacked him. (Ok mostly to death. Well. Ok this started some take backs. The player initially said he failed the roll. Then remembered a bonus. Since it was at the top of round, when he discovered this, and I had already announced damage to him from the invisible stalker. I allowed him take damage from the stalker, but he was still prone. Why because being prone would not matter to his pc in the upcoming round. Also evil icky nasty DM gives out penalty. Moving on.) Another sea hag who was hiding in the rose bushes pops out below Marble and whistles at the cute lizardman Gnasher. Who passes his death glare save. A few round later the hags, and stalker are dead.

Being evil icky nasty okay smart. Terleman uses the rest of his call lightning to blow a hole into the room 18 of the abbey. Gnasher and Gannlcus drop into the room to land on a large 12-foot-long coral snake. Also two other coral snakes which attack. One bite later, Gannlcus is attacking the evil purple dinosaur Gnasher. Marble ropes in to help and blocks one attack from the second coral snake against Gnasher.

A round later Gnasher is attack and goes mad. And starts licking and kissing the tabaxi’s warm toe beans. Gannlcus is attacking Gnasher. The snakes are attacking everyone in the room. Marble is bit and loses her save. She sees Gannlcus in lime green swim suit which looks like a jock strap and two suspenders over the shoulder. He is singing staying alive while dancing the can-can. Terleman flies down and uses lesser restoration to remove Gannlcus madness. After combat is over, Gnasher is still mad but is no longer kissing the tabaxi’s toes. Marble is now seeing everyone else in lime green swimsuits who occasionally break out into the can-can.

Notes for next week. We pick up with NO LONG REST. You are in room 18. 5 Minutes left on the short-term madness. If anything is left still alive on the second floor, it may come exploring. EVERYTHING in the abbey knows something is throwing lighting bolts.


Rotten DM
Ghost of Saltmarsh Session 8
Chapter 7 Tammeraut’s Fate
Good Gawds Bad Gawds, Oh Gawd.
Day 30-33
PC killed 2 Monsters Killed 158 Villains Captured 0 Villains Escaped 0
Gain a level . 240 GP.
Magic Item Unlock Brooch of Shielding Table F, Charm of Plant Control page 229, Oil of Slipperiness Table B * 2, +2 bolts * 12 Table C, Quaal’s Feather Anchor Token Table C, Helm of Underwater action TP 2 page 229, Ring of Free Action Table G, Potion of Water Breathing * 3, Immovable Rod Table B, Folding Boat Table C, Bag of Holding Table B, 1 Pressure Capsule Page 229, +1 Breastplate Table H, Gust of Wind Scroll, Speake with animals scroll, speak with plants scroll, control water scroll. Note 1 pressure capsule left, it is a consumable.

I had a weak group of five . Marble Ranger 7. Gnasher Ranger 8. Terleman Cleric 10. Feralda the all-seeing Wizard 6. Guts Barb 3, Paladin 6.

Two of the party members take the rowboat back to the ship and two new party members arrive. It is all quiet on the second floor of the hermitage. So the party decides to loot the place. They loot the second floor, ignoring the dead bodies on the first. They loot the big tower. They loot the small tower and steal the Mad Dog 90/90. They even loot the midden. OKAY who walls up or even puts a poop pile INSIDE the building. They loot the first floor.

They even scare the survivors, demand loot from them because they are the new gawds of the isle. Marble does listen to survivors and knows drowned sailors have been attacking the abbey at night. So they prepare by boarding up the back door. Side door. But not the front door. They board up the gate using some of the supplies from the junk room and the immovable rod. Night falls and since everyone is watching the front, they see the first wave of monsters coming out of the water. 150 feet away. They don’t notice the monsters soon to be knocking at their back door. Or the other monsters who attack from the sides. (How they got there only the module knows. Also the module thinks the group is just going to board up the windows and doors. ) Within 3 rounds the front wave is destroyed without getting to the gate. Four rounds later the ones who came in the back and side doors are destroyed. OOPS. They forgot to protect their three new worshippers. OH well. Cleaning the loot and checking out the map with the name of which some how matches the module name, they take a long rest.

In the morning while Guts is cooking pancakes, a sea gull flies into the kitchen. Eats Gnasher’s pancakes and poops on him. It talks to the all-seeing Feralda (Observant and other factors had the pc passive perception at 20 and Investigation at 19). Gus Gull was a familiar of one the mages which had been eaten the week before. Gus has found the rift where the undead are appearing. Get your swim trunks on. Take your pressure tablets. And move on out.

The final battle takes place 300 feet underwater. I did zero out the kitty Marble. And both Marble and Gnasher had blue rot. (This would be a stat disease. But hello paladin in the group. The module does have a nice idea of two different types of attack. One if the group forts up. One if they are stupid. And it does supply the group with the needed defense materials. I include some sovereign glue as a story item because it is needed to close the rift.)


Rotten DM
Ghosts of Saltmarsh Session 9

Chapter 8 The Styles
Dying with Style
Day 34-35
PC Killed 3 Monsters Killed 166 Villains Captured 0 Villains Escaped 0
No magic. No level. No gold. Not a single luxury.
I had an average group of three. Sorry Wizard Bladesinger with simulacrum and cloak of displacement . Key G. Blackwell Wild magic Sorcerer. Zeal Paladin Sorcerer.

Fleeing from the Saltmarsh and Tammeraut’s mob the group has taken to a leaky row boat to escape. The air is getting thick and Sorry starts coughing. (Grr. Okay some pollution problems in the module but with a Paladin’s Cure disease. No problems.) The group is rowing toward Styles a merchant town which is being destroyed by industrial pollution and evil merchants.

They arrive at the pier to be met by a three carton a day sailor who ties the row boat to pier and tells them to get to the harbor master fast. The harbor master is huge! Think of double size Boss Hogg. He shakes them down for 3 gp entrance fee and tells them no killing. Since they are looking for work slaying demons. (That is Zeal thing. ) he directs them to go halfway across town to talk to the priest red rum um Refrum. On the way while crossing one of the walking bridges a city patrol tries to shake them down. The party does not kill any of them. They toss nine of them into the harbor and give the captain a platinum piece of his trouble.

At the church Refrum prayers have been answered. An adventuring party will help the cause of law and justice. One of the church members Jamie has been arrested for the Lantern Ghost murders. Six murders have happened during the darkness of new moon. Jamie was caught red handed standing over the last body. The gawds have send the party to prove Jamie’s innocence. (Okay I wish I did a better job with set up. ) Jamie’s trial is in three days. The group needs to talk to Jamie, the cops, the coroner and witness and save Jamie.

In the morning they go to the Never Hope Asylum a combination prison and insane asylum. The group asks Madam Emily to talk to Jamie. She asks do they want to be fitted with nice warm white jackets which allow you to give yourself great hugs. They say no but want to still talk with Jamie. Um, Jamie was hung, and the body burned three days ago. (oops see I needed to do a better job with the set up.) But they do examine Jamie’s cell. The group suspects due to the drawings left behind an Aboleth is causing the murders.

As they leave the mad house, the screams of extra extra Jamie’s Ghost rises from the sea and kills again. The group arrives at the fresh murder scene and investigates. Keg discovers some strange muddy tracks leading away from the murder. The muddy tracks lead straight to Mr. Dory’s warehouse. Mr. Dory is one of the town council and had order the current victim burned before anyone could examine it. They stake out the busy warehouse.

The ware house is a huge three-story structure. A huge work crane on the third floor lifts cargo from ships up to roof and down into the warehouse. Yes, a huge twenty by twenty foot hole is in the roof, and it is an open floor layout. Sorry sends his owl familiar to investigate. (Some discussion on if the owl’s perception is used or the pcs.). The owl does spy an manticore feather on the second floor and smells a red Slaad. Various crates have danger explosive on them. (FIRE BAD. NO bumping the crates.) Dory owes a house boat. Okay. He is freaking strange. His house boat is just off the third floor. It is being held up by a second huge crane. At closing a plank is lower from the working crane to house boat. Mr. Dory retires early during the night.

Night falls. Time passes. At midnight, Zeal uses his bat cloak to fly everyone to the roof. (He drops them nearly face first onto the roof alerting the monsters.) Sorry pops the lock and the group enters the warehouse. They quickly get rid of the two manticores and red Slaad.

They open the door to working crane and try to sneak onto the house boat in the air over the muddy harbor. Oops three Skum were sleeping in the crane house. A small fight starts out. Keg thunderwaves one off the crane platform. This alerts three more Skum from the house boat. They arrive. BEATING ZEAL INTO ONE HP OF HIS LIFE. (Note the player running Zeal has been talking trash about Skully since he arrived at the store six months ago. I hit him with three Nat 20s.) Sorry polymorphs him into the standard T-rex. (Okay. ) Being so heavy the T-rex breaks half the platform and falls into the muddy harbor. A Skum and the simulacrum falls to. Everyone else gets a free reposition on the crank. The roars of T-rex alert the town guards and everyone in the house boat. The T-rex decides to eat the two Skum first.

While the T-rex is eating, the Skum are able to zero out Keg. But Sorry saves him. Then he is zeroed out. Then save. (Whine Whimper Whine. I zeroed out the pc three times during the combat.) As more reinforcements come out of house boat, Sorry force cages them. (Ouch upper tier pc in low tier module throws off the encounter.) The T-rex decides to eat the simulacrum. (Note some debate here. Polymorph says the mental stats are change to critter. Some people say the critter knows it allies. I say the critter attacks the nearest creature. And if there is a choice, an int rolled is made. If the critter fails it will attack an ally.) Sorry ends the polymorph and Zeal with 1 HP left uses his cloak of the bat to fly up to the roof.

Mr. Dory comes out his house boat and is magic missile by Zeal. Zeal then flies directly over head Mr. Dory. The Skum try to attack Sorry, the simulacrum, and Keg. Keg had the lowest AC of 17. The Skum repeatedly try to hit Sorry but AC 26+ it was not happening. A lucky hit zeroes out Keg for a third time. Zeal is mocking Mr. Dory. FIREBALL. (Yes I wasted a fireball to zero out Zeal.) Zeal’s body crashes to deck of the boat. A flesh golem steps out of the cabin. He kicks Zeal. MISS. He groin stomps Zeal. MISS.

Sorry throws up a wall of force sphere and gives Keg another healing potion. Mr. Dory fireballs the pcs on the platform. This takes out one Skum but does not hurt Sorry or Keg. The Flesh Golem boots Zeal in the head. MISS. Another boot to the head. DEATH of ZEAL.

Keg dimension doors away. Sorry drops his wall of force and fights his way to his simulacrum . (Okay not really. Store was closing so we ended the session. )

Note to players.

Zeal needs to spend 1,000 GP for a raise dead scroll or lose a magic item.

Sorry has Sight Rot This painful infection causes bleeding from the eyes and eventually blinds the victim. A beast or humanoid that drinks water tainted by sight rot must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or become infected. One day after infection, the creature’s vision starts to become blurry. The creature takes a −1 penalty to attack rolls and ability checks that rely on sight. At the end of each long rest after the symptoms appear, the penalty worsens by 1. When it reaches −5, the victim is blinded until its sight is restored by magic such as lesser restoration or heal. Sight rot can be cured using a rare flower called Eyebright, which grows in some swamps. Given an hour, a character who has proficiency with an herbalism kit can turn the flower into one dose of ointment. Applied to the eyes before a long rest, one dose of it prevents the disease from worsening after that rest. After three doses, the ointment cures the disease entirely. Lose 40 GP for a lesser restore scroll.
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Rotten DM
Sorry is a level 16 pc and with simulacrum, it really unbalanced the module toward the pcs. I could only hit Sorry with a NAT 20. The simulacrum could only be touch with a 17 or better depending on the conditions. I do warn other dms to not allow high end tier 3 pcs. Oh. Keg was level 9 but wanted to play, I allowed it but combat was iffy with him.
I also thought the group was going to sneak thru most of the warehouse, or do combat quietly.


Rotten DM
Ghosts of Saltmarsh Session 10

Chapter 8 The Styles

Snuggle Bunny

Day 36-40

PC Killed 3 Monsters Killed 186 Villains Captured 3 Villains Escaped 1

Gain a level. Downtime 20. GP standard 1600. All diseases cure by Paladin off board.

Magic Item Unlock Potions of Healing *3, Potions of Greater Healing * 4, Potions of Water Breathing 1

Instrument of the bards Cli Lyre Table G. I don’t remember if you used the healing potions.

Story Award Snaggle Tooth Friend You helped an Aboleth. Next time you meet an Aboleth you gain an advantage on your first saving throw. This goes away after that.

Story Award Saltmarsh Sap. You have tick off a lot of people around Saltmarsh and the surrounding area. Disadvantage on the next social encounter with someone from Saltmarsh.

All new players and strong group of 6. Jasper Swashbuckler, Bard, Cleric 13. Lynus Fighter 12. Green Wizard 13 with simulacrum. Name Withheld Paladin 12. Plebius Bard 14 a Triton.

The former party members (aka last week group) leaves a note to tell the new group to check out Mr. Dory. They arrive at the Mr. Dory’s warehouse to see the crane is being repaired. The house boat is dangling from one crane. Three Manticore bodies, a red Slaad, T-rex tracks, and strange octopus tracks are in the mud flats. Plebius talks his way pass the guards and Barney is assigned to take them to Mr. Dory. The group decides to check out the mud flats for clues. And then go to the library to see if any local lore books have any information on the octopus tracks. (The group did not pay attention to my recap and were having fun playing their pcs.)

The local lore book has some pages missing. It was recently checked out by the town council. No name. Just a generic check out form from the council. The group returns to the warehouse and questions Mr. Dory under a zone of truth.

Mr. Dory thinking the cult of Tharizdun has turn against him; tells the group about the cult and last night assassination attempt. He gives the group the location of cult’s church. It is in the bad part of ghetto. The cult has upscaled an old wreck. The main deck and prow of a warship has been moved near the bluffs. The ship is the front porch of the church and the main doors lead into the bluff. The bard enters part the harbor and checks out the prow. The rest of the group takes the walk way. Jasper is given greater invisibility and opens the prow door. Four Skull (oh lookly a new monster. With octopus’ feet.) The group makes short work of the skull but don’t hear the main doors being locked behind them.

Jasper takes a sledge hammer and with two blows knocks the door down. (Belt of Fire Giant Str). He then dashes inside upsetting the cultists during their afternoon sewing circle. He kills two cultists before anyone else has a clue. Half the group charge down the corridor the other half stay at the main door and fling spells. Two Chuul pop out of floor of the tunnel. (I had drawn the trap door for Jasper, but one player was trying to say he knew the trap door was there. We agreed it was my mistake to place the trapdoor, but the pc could not act on the knowledge.) The Chuul try to eat the paladin and Lynus. Two more have moved underwater and appear at the prow of the ship. Three cultists are hypnotic pattern taking them out of fight.

After killing off the Chuul, Green hears a voice in his head. The gawd of the temple offers him a deal. A magic item if the group kills a snuggle bunny. Snuggle Bunny is behind the murders and has control of Mr. Dory. Snuggle Bunny is living in the underwater lair of Landgrave’s Folly. A church which sunk into the harbor ten years ago. The party agrees to off Snuggle Bunny.

The group rows out to church after a short rest. Due to the pollution and other things visibility is down to ten feet and pcs with no swim speed are in difficult terrain. (Yes, the adventure throws environmental challenges to even out the odds for the monsters.) As they descend the stairs, they trip a glyph of warding taking some electrical damage. Green finds and removes two out of three others. This alerts Chip and Dale two Aboleth. Chip ask the group to reconsider and go back and kill Snaggle Tooth the gawd of temple. The group decides to fight.

Jasper charges um slow walks into the next room to finally see Chip and Dale are Aboleth. Green’s simulacrum follows and unnamed Paladin swims behind them. Chip and Dale tail slap Jasper a lot. Jasper finally gets tired of it and moves out of Dale’s reach. Dale getting slightly ticked off, charms the simulacrum and tells him to give Snuggle Bunny a hug. Snuggle Bunny is over in a deep part of the church.

Snuggle Bunny is a young Kraken. Who destroys the simulacrum with the first attack. The triton paladin charges Snuggle Bunny followed by Lynus. Green forcecages Dale. Jasper and some of the others take out Chip. The triton is grabbed by Snuggle Bunny and throw against the wall. (Doing fall damage which was almost the same as the tentacle attack.) He is prone. (It is a monster affect so that how he is prone.) Jasper and the triton paladin finish off Snuggle Bunny. (and I call the fight due to time. )

The group flees the Styles due to hearing Mr. Dory has sworn out a warrant on them for being a part of the assassination team. Snaggle Tooth cult regrows and gains a seat on the council.