• The VOIDRUNNER'S CODEX is LIVE! Explore new worlds, fight oppressive empires, fend off fearsome aliens, and wield deadly psionics with this comprehensive boxed set expansion for 5E and A5E!

To Sail the Sunless Sea

Ry

Explorer
Tell me this detail doesn't look like a copper dragon:
 

Attachments

  • detail.bmp
    4.4 KB · Views: 142
  • detail2.bmp
    68.6 KB · Views: 141

log in or register to remove this ad

Henrix

Explorer
I don't know if this is what would make the campaign memorable, but I'd feel that this dude has to be involved somehow

03135_G.jpg



And I'll be using some of these materials for my upcoming swashbuckling Planescape campaign - perhaps even a visit to a sunless sea.
 



Stormborn

Explorer
Olgar Shiverstone said:
Any more ideas?

Submersibles crewed by fungus men?

Undead albino dragon turtles?


How about entire floating fungal islands with their own echosystems, including mychonid natives who have tamed phatom fungus and worse things. They give off no heat, light, or sound and are virutally invisible in the dark seas, but they are hated everywhere. If they drift next to the hull of a ship they can detach spores that will carry to new ports and spread, eventually consuming entire cities and fleets. Thus, even bitter rivals put aside their differences to make sure they are burned. In the past great progroms have swept the known seas attempting to kill them all, seemingly with success for a while.; but eventually a new island will be spotted, whether from some hidden spore or some heretofor unknown Fungual Sea.

PCs might be hired by a scholar seeking a final solution to the fungus plagues. He wants to actually LAND on one and take samples. He has numerous magical protections planned for the ship and crew, but one never knows what will happen.
 

JDJblatherings

First Post
I've been toying with but nbever fully got into a "Pirates of Darksea' campaign myself. (pirate/swashbucklign adveture in an underdark sea).


you can make use of a wide host of features that don't come up very often if at all otherwise.

Water temperature- the underdark has volcanism all over the place it'd be pretty uncomfortable to sail into an area with boiling waters.

Mists & fogs- there could be all sorts of mists and fogs, scalding steam from some of the boiling waters mentioned above. Arcane mists that do weird things. posion fogs. rust fogs. a slime fog that over days deposits enough green slime to be dangerous. spore clouds of fungi there is a lot of room here for underdark "'weather" in a wide raneg of mists/fogs.


waterfalls- surface oceans don't have them but underdarllseas can be small enough or shallow enogh to have them. Maybe an area full of waterfalls that connects to another undersea.

the ceiling- don't forget the ceiling. there can be all sorts of stuff crawlign or hanging from them. the ceiling might just be too low to let some boats/ships thru.

stalagmite reefs- a fearsome barrier indeed that would rival any surfce reef for shipping danger.

rockfalls- the cielign doens't hav to be staying in place all of the time, certainyl not in spots where the map wouldn't have to be changes because soem rocks fell from seveal hunder feet above.

drinking water- can you drink the sunless sea? If not that is going to be a serious issue for the campaign at large as real rain might be totally lacking.

currents- curretns in such an odd sea could be fearsome indeed and create difficult navigation.

Naviagtion- how indeed does one navigate when they can't see very far? there are no stars in the sky. Any maritime civilization in the dark seas is going o need soem sort of light house or marker system or navigation is going to be lethal.
 

ericlboyd

Explorer
Excellent thread. This sounds so cool.

One comment. Most of the posts have assumed that "light is bad" because it would draw excessive attention.

One way around this is to make 'winking lights' common. For example, you could posit one or more species of giant firefly that flit about the Sunless Sea. These fireflies are common enough that seeing "winking lights" on the horizon is "normal". Following some real world examples, imagine there are at least 2 species. The smaller population species is dangerous, trying to attract predators to it as well as communicate with each other. The larger population species is harmless, using the lights only to communicate. However, the existence of the dangerous species makes the harmless species appear threatening. (I think there's a technical term in biology for this sort of relationship between two species.)

Building on this, seafarers on the Sunless Sea have learned to pattern their light usage to mimic the fireflies. I'm thinking of rotating hooded lanterns that look like "blinking lights" from far-off. This allows such seafarers access to limited light without drawing excessive attention from other creatures.

--Eric
 

ericlboyd

Explorer
Another idea is "hanging gardens." You could imagine forests of vine-like fungi dangling from a low ceiling. Passage through such areas would require small boats or "icebreaker" boats with large prows that sever/push the vines out of the way. This could be the habitat of albino hadozee or other subterranean simians.

A similar idea would be creatures that look like barnacle/worm hybrids. Imagine giant barnacles on the ceiling of the cavern. From their shells, they extend worm-like bodies down to the surface of the water, where they graze on nutrients brought by the underlying currents. There might be large clusters of such creatures above slow-draining whirlpools. leading to deeper caverns beneath the surface of the sea. All sorts of parasites could cling to or climb through the "forests" of barnacle-worms.

--Eric
 

ericlboyd said:
Another idea is "hanging gardens." You could imagine forests of vine-like fungi dangling from a low ceiling. Passage through such areas would require small boats or "icebreaker" boats with large prows that sever/push the vines out of the way. This could be the habitat of albino hadozee or other subterranean simians.

A similar idea would be creatures that look like barnacle/worm hybrids. Imagine giant barnacles on the ceiling of the cavern. From their shells, they extend worm-like bodies down to the surface of the water, where they graze on nutrients brought by the underlying currents. There might be large clusters of such creatures above slow-draining whirlpools. leading to deeper caverns beneath the surface of the sea. All sorts of parasites could cling to or climb through the "forests" of barnacle-worms.

--Eric

Or dry jellyfish, whose tentacles hang down to the surface of the water, waiting to ensnare passing boats or flying creatures.

I like the idea that the sunless sea might be salt water ... adrift in the blackness, parched, with no hope of rain ... is there a sunless sea analog for the albatross? Rime of the Underdark Mariner, anyone?
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Is there a sunless sea analog for the albatross

My first instinct was to say "bats," but I think any flying creature could nest in the ceiling above and come down to the water to feed. This would mean that bats, birds, and other underdark fliers could always be encountered, not just near shore.

So how *would* you know you're near shore?
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top