DDAL 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.