• Resources are back! Use the menu in the main navbar. If you own a resource, please check it for formatting, icons, etc.

The New D&D Book Is Called "Ghosts of Saltmarsh" [UPDATED!]

It seems those who suggested that the upcoming 'nautical themed' book was based on the old Saltmarsh trilogy were correct. Ghosts of Saltmarsh is the new book, with a release date of May 21st, 2019. UPDATED WITH NEW INFORMATION ON ALT COVER & RELEASE DATES!

saltmarsh.jpg

Explore the waves above and the fathoms below in these watery adventures for the world’s greatest roleplaying game.

“D&D acolytes are everywhere...Tech workers from Silicon Valley to Brooklyn have long-running campaigns, and the showrunners and the novelist behind ‘Game of Thrones’ have all been Dungeon Masters.”—Neima Jahromi, The New Yorker

Ghosts of Saltmarsh brings classic adventures into fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. This adventure book combines some of the most popular classic adventures from the first edition of Dungeons & Dragons including the classic “U” series, plus some of the best nautical adventures from the history of Dungeon Magazine: Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, Danger at Dunwater, Salvage Operation, Isle of the Abbey, The Final Enemy, Tammeraut’s Fate, The Styes.

• Ghosts of Salt Marsh includes a variety of seafaring adventures, enough to take characters from level 1 to level 12.

• This supplement introduces the port town of Saltmarsh, the perfect starting point for a nautical campaign.

• Each adventure can be played individually, inserted into your ongoing game or combined into a single epic nautical campaign.

• Dungeon Masters will find rules for ships and sea travel, deck plans for various vessels, an appendix with rules for new and classic monsters, and much more.

• Dungeons & Dragons is the world’s greatest roleplaying game. Created in 1974, D&D transformed gaming culture by blending traditional fantasy with miniatures and wargaming.

It's already on Amazon.

[video=youtube;GajoKmh9-68]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GajoKmh9-68[/video]


Updates!
WotC has just announced the book. Full press release below, but a couple of key points:
  • There's an alternate cover (below)
  • Preferred stores and regular stores get it on the same date, instead of WPN stores getting it early

Sail the Seas in Dungeons & Dragons with Ghosts of Saltmarsh Adventure Releasing Everywhere May 21

Renton, WA – February 25, 2019 – Dungeons & Dragons is excited to announce a new adventure book called Ghosts of Saltmarsh, which takes classic sea-faring adventures and updates and expands upon them for use with D&D fifth edition. The book details the port town of Saltmarsh and the surrounding lands players can explore using their own ship and the vehicle mechanics included in the 256-page book. Unravel sinister secrets of the sea with Ghosts of Saltmarsh releasing in game stores, digitally and everywhere on May 21, 2019. An alternate art cover with a distinctive design and soft-touch finish is available exclusively in game stores on May 21.

“The Saltmarsh series consistently ranks as one of the most popular classic D&D adventures,” said Mike Mearls, franchise creative director of D&D. “With its ties to ocean-based adventuring, it was an obvious step to augment it with additional sea-based adventures and a robust set of rules for managing a nautical campaign.”

The book includes details on the port town of Saltmarsh, as well as plenty of adventure hooks for each chapter. Fans can play through the whole story in a seafaring campaign leading characters from level 1 through level 12, while Dungeon Masters can easily pull out sections to place in ongoing campaigns in any setting. The appendices cover mechanics for ship-to-ship combat, new magic items, monsters and more!

Ghosts of Saltmarsh will be available both in game stores and everywhere else on the same date – May 21st. Fans are encouraged to pick up the adventure in the way that’s most convenient for them, but there is an alternate art soft-touch cover that will only be available in game stores. The alternate cover image was created by N. C. Winters and features a snarling sahuagin.

For more information on Ghosts of Saltmarsh and all things D&D, please go to dungeonsanddragons.com and check out the breadth of live D&D programming and interviews available on twitch.tv/dnd. You can also listen to interviews involving Ghosts of Saltmarsh as well as D&D mechanics and lore on Dragon Talk, the official D&D podcast.

Ghosts of Saltmarsh combines some of the most popular classic adventures from the first edition of Dungeons & Dragons including the classic ‘U’ series, plus some of the best nautical adventures from the history of DungeonMagazine:

  • The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh
  • Danger at Dunwater
  • The Final Enemy
  • Salvage Operation
  • Isle of the Abbey
  • Tammeraut’s Fate
  • The Styes
All adventures have been faithfully adapted to the fifth edition rules of Dungeons & Dragons. Furthermore, this book includes details on the port town of Saltmarsh, as well as plenty of adventure hooks for each chapter. Play through the whole story in a seafaring campaign leading characters from level 1 through level 12, or Dungeon Masters can easily pull out sections to place in ongoing campaigns in any setting. The appendices also cover mechanics for ship-to-ship combat, new magic items, monsters, and more!

WHERE CAN I BUY IT?

Unravel sinister secrets of the sea with Ghosts of Saltmarsh releasing in game stores, digitally and everywhere on May 21, 2019. An alternate art cover with a distinctive design and soft-touch finish is available exclusively in game stores on May 21.

Price:[FONT=&amp] $49.95 [/FONT]
Release Date: [FONT=&amp]21 May, 2019 [/FONT]
Format:[FONT=&amp] Hardcover


[/FONT]

[FONT=&amp]
[/FONT]
saltmarsh_alt.jpg


saltmarsh_keyart.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Russ Morrissey

Comments

R_J_K75

Explorer
Having been reading Twitter, I've discovered a pretty big problem with this book: the absence of pirates. People want pirates. When this was announced I saw a number of people excited by the idea of a sailing campaign and possible piratical PCs. But this isn't that. The first three sessions underwater adjacent or inland. Others take place in and around islands. There may only be a couple encounters that take place on a ship.I expect a lot of new players will be really disappointed by this adventurer, going into it thinking one thing and then discovering it's something else entirely...
Gotta be honest Im not to excited for this. Rehashing old adventures/ideas just with new mechanics just seems uninspired. Its seems besides the three core 5E books everything else has been a rehash to some extent.
 
Having been reading Twitter, I've discovered a pretty big problem with this book: the absence of pirates. People want pirates. When this was announced I saw a number of people excited by the idea of a sailing campaign and possible piratical PCs. But this isn't that. The first three sessions underwater adjacent or inland. Others take place in and around islands. There may only be a couple encounters that take place on a ship.I expect a lot of new players will be really disappointed by this adventurer, going into it thinking one thing and then discovering it's something else entirely...
There's already a lot of pirate-oriented content out there and if Freeport or Razor Coast ever get ported to 5E, there will be even more of it.

That said, this seems like a no-brainer for the DMs Guild: Pirate content for Ghosts of Saltmarsh, including a Random Pirate table to roll on.
 
Gotta be honest Im not to excited for this. Rehashing old adventures/ideas just with new mechanics just seems uninspired. Its seems besides the three core 5E books everything else has been a rehash to some extent.
Most of their campaign books haven't been, unless you want to say that setting anything in the Underdark, or having evil elementals or dragons is automatically a rehash. And once you take those off the table, I'd argue you're cutting away a pretty big chunk of D&D's appeal for the general audience.

In other cases, it's gamers who are demanding a return to the classics, as seen on this thread. WotC didn't pull Strahd out of a hat for no reason.

That said, if D&D tropes are boring to you now, this is a really rich time in RPG history. There's a lot of other games to try until the thrill returns with D&D.
 

oreofox

Explorer
Gotta be honest Im not to excited for this. Rehashing old adventures/ideas just with new mechanics just seems uninspired. Its seems besides the three core 5E books everything else has been a rehash to some extent.
The core 3 are basically rehashes of the core 3 from previous editions, with a few new things added in, and dressed in a different coat of paint. There's nothing wrong with rehashing something from an older time to introduce that to a newer generation. Many people playing D&D now don't know a time where D&D didn't have feats, a Con of 14 didn't give anyone bonus hit points, a dwarf could only reach level 8 in the fighter class (don't quote me on the exact number), etc.

I actually kinda enjoyed Yawning Portal, as they were self-contained adventures that you could possibly run in order, or plop them into an existing game. It will be nice if this one is similar.
 
I don’t know. I’m just reading the same PR you’re reading. :)
Yep, they make it pretty clear on the product page for it:

"Unravel sinister secrets of the sea with Ghosts of Saltmarsh releasing in game stores, digitally, and everywhere on May 21, 2019. An alternate art cover with a distinctive design and soft-touch finish is available exclusively in game stores on May 21."
 

R_J_K75

Explorer
Most of their campaign books haven't been, unless you want to say that setting anything in the Underdark, or having evil elementals or dragons is automatically a rehash. And once you take those off the table, I'd argue you're cutting away a pretty big chunk of D&D's appeal for the general audience.

In other cases, it's gamers who are demanding a return to the classics, as seen on this thread. WotC didn't pull Strahd out of a hat for no reason.

That said, if D&D tropes are boring to you now, this is a really rich time in RPG history. There's a lot of other games to try until the thrill returns with D&D.
Im personally not a fan of the mega adventures or a groups of connected adventures, but I do use pieces oof them sometimes. An entry on Salmarsh sounds interesting but I wonder how much will be reprinted from the 3.5E DMG 2? The seafaring rules might be useful but again its been done in 2Es Of Ships and Sea and 3.5s Stormwrack. As the premise of 5E was that in every situation the rules dont need to be quantified so is this part really necessary? I'll admit the monster manual and deck plans will be useful. I just wonder how many people actually wanted to see an update of the U-series and a few others? Why not just write a new adventure set in a setting neutral locale and put the rules/MM appendix at the end?
 
An entry on Salmarsh sounds interesting but I wonder how much will be reprinted from the 3.5E DMG 2? The seafaring rules might be useful but again its been done in 2Es Of Ships and Sea and 3.5s Stormwrack.
Released in 2006, 1997 and 2005.

If you have those products and don't find this useful, rock on. Not every product is about or for you. (I have no interest in 99 percent of the big campaign books WotC has put out, although the summoning Tiamat storyline, amusingly, is the exact same one as a long running campaign I had just finished off when it was announced.)

But today's new gamers shouldn't be required to hunt down a 22 year old source book so that they can run 35+ year old adventures.

As the premise of 5E was that in every situation the rules dont need to be quantified so is this part really necessary?
As mentioned in Kate Welch's video interview, vehicle rules are already in the DMG. This clarifies and expands them, with lots of sample sea vessels. It's optional content for people who want it. Based on reaction online, it seems like a lot of people think it sounds good.

I'll admit the monster manual and deck plans will be useful. I just wonder how many people actually wanted to see an update of the U-series and a few others? Why not just write a new adventure set in a setting neutral locale and put the rules/MM appendix at the end?
Because those adventures are 35+ years old, most people never subscribed to Dungeon, much less kept all the adventures handy, and to many of today's gamers, these are new adventures. (I've never run any of the Dungeon adventures, for instance.)

The people who have a D&D collection dating back to at least 1E are the minority and are not representative of the gaming population as a whole. WotC is producing new content for you, but not every product will be.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Having been reading Twitter, I've discovered a pretty big problem with this book: the absence of pirates. People want pirates. When this was announced I saw a number of people excited by the idea of a sailing campaign and possible piratical PCs. But this isn't that. The first three sessions underwater adjacent or inland. Others take place in and around islands. There may only be a couple encounters that take place on a ship.I expect a lot of new players will be really disappointed by this adventurer, going into it thinking one thing and then discovering it's something else entirely...
That's probably what WotC folks meant about the early speculation being off-target. However, Welch has said there will be about a dozen deck plans, and robust random tables: pirated being part of that seems likely. And a Seord Coast high seas AP might be around the corner, which would be primarily piracy oriented on all likelihood, so we'll see where this goes.
 

R_J_K75

Explorer
That's probably what WotC folks meant about the early speculation being off-target. However, Welch has said there will be about a dozen deck plans, and robust random tables: pirated being part of that seems likely. And a Seord Coast high seas AP might be around the corner, which would be primarily piracy oriented on all likelihood, so we'll see where this goes.
Possibly an AP focussed on the pirates of the Nelanther Isles, I believe they were detailed in Lands of Intrigue. Also I seem to remember reading there being lots of piracy on the Sea of Fallen Stars. Cormyr gives letters for certain ship captains to attack and apprehend known pirate vessels on site.
 

Hussar

Legend
Certainly successful computer games and novels where what initially propelled FR past Greyhawk, but that raises additional questions: Why did SSI choose FR for the Gold Box games? Why was the breakthrough D&D novel (The Crystal Shard) set in FR?
Umm, the Dragonlance novels were the breakthrough D&D novel quite a few years before The Crystal Shard. The DL novels were incredibly popular for a number of years.
 

Jester David

Adventurer
There's already a lot of pirate-oriented content out there and if Freeport or Razor Coast ever get ported to 5E, there will be even more of it.
IF they’re updated you mean.
If Frog God Games or Green Ronin were going to, they already would have. And updating from Pathfinder is more for experienced DMs.
Regardless... an official D&D product likely sells an order of magnitude more copies as those books, reaching ten times as many gamers.
 
Not being familiar with the original adventures, I wonder if I should start now trying to figure out how to handle underwater breathing assistance in such a way that the half-aquatic elf* in the party can still feel special in an underwater adventure. Obviously the whole party should get to be there, but there needs to be something in the way it goes to make having natural water-breathing capability be a plus.

I suppose I could require attunement for any water-breathing items, and overload the party with attuneable items so it eats up a precious attunement slot the half-elf doesn't have to use...if I wanted to create a perfect example of a solution that is worse than the problem.

Umm, the Dragonlance novels were the breakthrough D&D novel quite a few years before The Crystal Shard. The DL novels were incredibly popular for a number of years.
Yep. My friend and I disagreed over whether Forgotten Realms or Dragonlance had more novels. I thought that it was Dragonlance for sure, and he was certain it was Forgotten Realms.

Well, it turns out we were both kind of right (although he was more right than me). At the time I was following AD&D there were a ton of DL novels and much fewer FR novels. But afterwards, at the time when he was into AD&D and 3e, is when FR novels overtook and surpassed DL.

Dragonlance used to be the D&D novel line, with anything else just a bit of dabbling.

*Yeah, I realize the official aquatic half-elf doesn't get water-breathing, but that is ridiculous, so I overruled it.
 
IF they’re updated you mean.
If Frog God Games or Green Ronin were going to, they already would have. And updating from Pathfinder is more for experienced DMs.
Regardless... an official D&D product likely sells an order of magnitude more copies as those books, reaching ten times as many gamers.
Razor Coast's situation is pretty complicated, I suspect, between its path to publication and the sheer bulk of it. But with Pathfinder going through a tricky moment, it wouldn't be a huge shock to see Frog God to shift that way.

Green Ronin is trying to make a go of it with AGE, so may not be interested at all. I was disappointed they dropped the systemless version of Freeport in favor of updating the timeline with a Pathfinder core book (and held onto my systemless core book for that reason). If they decide they need an infusion of cash, though, I think 5E Freeport is likely something they have in their back pocket, if they need it. I mean, they came out with Book of the Righteous 5E, of all things, which is available at my local Barnes & Noble alongside all their AGE games. (There's probably a market for all of their AGE games in 5E, especially Game of Thrones, if they still have the license, but that would mean kind of giving up on their own system, which would likely be a tough pill to swallow.)
 
Not being familiar with the original adventures, I wonder if I should start now trying to figure out how to handle underwater breathing assistance in such a way that the half-aquatic elf* in the party can still feel special in an underwater adventure.
Without spoiling anything, there's a hell of a good roleplaying hook in U1 for that character.
 

doctorhook

Adventurer
All I can assume is that, despite my own lukewarm feelings on it, Tales from the Yawning Portal sold really well (and/or was sufficiently cheap to make) that they identified that format as revisiting. I'd think it was lazy to re-use old adventures, but you might argue this way they have the benefit of being able to pick the most beloved ones, rather than gambling on a new one being as beloved. As per their usual wide net strategy, they've added just enough crunchy bits on top to attract DMs who might not be able to justify a pure adventure compendium.
Say what ya will about this “updated compilation” format, but I kinda like it! It lets me get copies of old stories I don’t have, but redesigned for modern rules. I think it’s a nice change of pace from the mega adventures (which are often a bit daunting). I really like the shorter adventures—good for mining ideas or plunking into casual games.
 

The Glen

Explorer
Yep. My friend and I disagreed over whether Forgotten Realms or Dragonlance had more novels. I thought that it was Dragonlance for sure, and he was certain it was Forgotten Realms.

Well, it turns out we were both kind of right (although he was more right than me). At the time I was following AD&D there were a ton of DL novels and much fewer FR novels. But afterwards, at the time when he was into AD&D and 3e, is when FR novels overtook and surpassed DL.
Towards the end of TSR they were churning out novels, mostly FR. And a large amount of them were drek. Extremely formulaic, lots of famous cameos there to just add a name brand to the book, and very little in the way of actual substance. Dragonlance was huge in its day though, until the Realms just shoved everything out of the way at the end. They got the new modules, most of the video games and became a constant source of splatbooks. They've got 30+ video games set there, the next nearest is Mystara with seven.
 

Jester David

Adventurer
Interesting, rather different than what most of us imagined. By that, I think it is safe to say the general assumption was a 'nautical stuff' book with mainly monsters, campaign ideas, and ship rules; this appears more like an adventure compendium with probably 20-40 pages of ship stuff appended to it, which is also very useful but certainly different.

All I can assume is that, despite my own lukewarm feelings on it, Tales from the Yawning Portal sold really well (and/or was sufficiently cheap to make) that they identified that format as revisiting. I'd think it was lazy to re-use old adventures, but you might argue this way they have the benefit of being able to pick the most beloved ones, rather than gambling on a new one being as beloved. As per their usual wide net strategy, they've added just enough crunchy bits on top to attract DMs who might not be able to justify a pure adventure compendium.
That and it’s easy.
They did four books last year, with three being in the fall. They did a book a month for a while. This was their break, as they just needed to update and do a quarter of the work of making a full book.
 

Gorath99

Villager
Think I'll run this in Dark Sun on the Sea of Silt. Bet they wont include ideas on how to do that!!
Not knowing any of the adventures listed, here's my attempt. :) Don't use the Sea of Silt, but instead the Last Sea. Have a Mind Lord go rogue to explain anything in the adventures that wouldn't normally make sense in Dark Sun.
 

Advertisement

Latest threads

Advertisement

Top