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    Canonfire :: View topic - An attempt to string a campaign out of Ghosts of Saltmarsh
    Canonfire Forum Index -> Greyhawk- D&D 5th Edition
    An attempt to string a campaign out of Ghosts of Saltmarsh
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    Novice

    Joined: Aug 07, 2019
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    Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:24 am  
    An attempt to string a campaign out of Ghosts of Saltmarsh

    Hello all,

    Being a new member of the TTRPG community (mainly Pathfinder and 5e, about 4 years of total experience), i hadn't really touched upon Greyhawk. After reading through Ghosts of Saltmarsh i was really excited to run a campaign in the Grand Olde Setting! Through my quest for assistance through reddit, i was redirected to Canonfire, which seems like it's probably the best place to have a newb's questions answered. Any comments and criticism on my plan are very much appreciated:

    I am looking to run 4 adventures in the book (Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, Danger at Dunwater, Isle of the Abbey, The Final Enemy) as a string of events, the pivot of which is the machinations of the Scarlet Brotherhood. I am looking at a start year of 582 CY, just before SB makes the coup in the Hold of the Sea Princes.

    Essentially the SB is behind the events of those 4 adventures, coaxing the sahuagin to establish their foothold in the Hool Marshes, implicating the smugglers from Sinister secrets as slavers working with the sea princes in order to foster hostilities between them and Keoland, having the cleric's of Abbey Isle be a brotherhood sect of Wee Jas that is in contact with Skerrin, the elder SB assassin in Saltmarsh.

    Later on if the party is successful in defeating the Sahuagin, i'd probably run some false flag raids that lead to open hostilities between Keoland and the Sea Princes, with the intent to make a similar strike in Keoland as is described during the Greyhawk wars against the Sea Princes.

    Eventually i'd like this all to culminate in a fight against the Father of Obedience which i've reimagined as a sort of monk-lich inspired by the practice of Sokushinbutsu, with the blessing of Wee Jas.

    I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions regarding my plan, or any suggestions you might have on reading material that might help me better set my campaign in the world of Greyhawk.

    PS:I have already skimmed through the World of Greyhawk sourcebook.
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    Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:48 pm  
    Re: An attempt to string a campaign out of Ghosts of Saltmar

    HyrkanianBlade wrote:
    I am looking to run 4 adventures in the book (Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, Danger at Dunwater, Isle of the Abbey, The Final Enemy) as a string of events, the pivot of which is the machinations of the Scarlet Brotherhood.

    Essentially the SB is behind the events of those 4 adventures, coaxing the sahuagin to establish their foothold in the Hool Marshes, implicating the smugglers from Sinister secrets as slavers working with the sea princes in order to foster hostilities between them and Keoland, having the cleric's of Abbey Isle be a brotherhood sect of Wee Jas that is in contact with Skerrin, the elder SB assassin in Saltmarsh.


    Hi Blade and well met!

    I ran my own 5e conversions of Secret, Danger, and Final Enemy, although I haven't read Ghosts of Saltmarsh and don't know anything about the Isle of the Abbey. I'm not sure how much of the original modules got ported over, but if you would like an example of a 5e play-through, albeit with a larger group, there is a fairly detailed campaign journal on the campaign journal forum.

    The players IMC were interested in where the smugglers and their illicit brandy, silks, and weapons came from, and after interrogating Oceanus the sea elf, they determined (and I made up) that at least the weapons were coming from the sea princes, although nothing more nefarious than a bribed weapons merchant was involved. There it was the players themselves who were trying to stir up trouble between the nations, and the Saltmarsh Town Council had to restrain them from making inflammatory accusations, so I think what you outline of the Brotherhood trying to implicate the Sea Princes is reasonable.

    One question I have is whether this is a smuggling operation or slaving operation or both. If the smugglers are only slavers, and are perhaps using the basement of the haunted house as a way station, that makes it harder for the players to follow the lead of the weapons to the Lizardfolk and follow the history of the Lizardfolk to the Sea Devils. If instead the players disrupt the smuggler's ring but in seeking the smuggler's base they discovery a slaving operation on the Isle of the Abbey, that seems like it will bring all of those elements together nicely. However, in that case, one wonders why they don't just keep a low-profile by slaving, instead of waving the smuggled goods under the very noses of Saltmarsh. The smugglers are in it for the gold, of course, but their masters at the Abbey should surely know better - unless that is all part of the plan by the Brotherhood for them to be discovered. So if you are playing with any naturally suspicious players you might have to figure out some justifications for the smuggling to avoid tipping the involvement of the Brotherhood too soon or having the players realize that they were meant to stumble upon the conspiracy.

    However, with that caveat, I think you have a great scenario outlined.

    Good luck!
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    Joined: Jul 28, 2001
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    Sat May 16, 2020 8:39 pm  
    Re: An attempt to string a campaign out of Ghosts of Saltmar

    HyrkanianBlade wrote:
    I am looking to run 4 adventures in the book (Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, Danger at Dunwater, Isle of the Abbey, The Final Enemy) as a string of events, the pivot of which is the machinations of the Scarlet Brotherhood. I am looking at a start year of 582 CY, just before SB makes the coup in the Hold of the Sea Princes.

    This sounds like a great time to set an adventure using the republished U series. Hopefully you've run the campaign in the past year. If so, please consider sharing what's developed.

    HyrkanianBlade wrote:
    Essentially the SB is behind the events of those 4 adventures, coaxing the sahuagin to establish their foothold in the Hool Marshes, implicating the smugglers from Sinister secrets as slavers working with the sea princes in order to foster hostilities between them and Keoland, having the cleric's of Abbey Isle be a brotherhood sect of Wee Jas that is in contact with Skerrin, the elder SB assassin in Saltmarsh.

    I like what you've articulated. If you'd like to complicate it a bit, you might consider featuring the Slave Lords as a competing power / influence to the Scarlet Brotherhood's efforts.

    HyrkanianBlade wrote:
    Eventually i'd like this all to culminate in a fight against the Father of Obedience which i've reimagined as a sort of monk-lich inspired by the practice of Sokushinbutsu, with the blessing of Wee Jas.

    Despite being a Suloise goddess of death, iirc, Gygax and later GH authors consistently presented Wee Jas as abhorring undeath, so if you want to keep that characterization of her, you might consider using Syrul, the Suloise goddess of lies, deceit, treachery, and false promises instead of Wee Jas.

    Perhaps Syrul has fooled the Scarlet Brotherhood in this regardódeceiving the Father of Obedience that Wee Jas blesses his actions?

    Note that my suggestions accord with the "grey in the 'hawk" argument that the World of Greyhawk campaign setting lends itself to DMs complicating binary notions of good v. evil by featuring conflicts between and across all alignments.

    Hope to hear what you and your players have developed!
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    Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:07 pm  

    When i did that with previous editions i found there were some dead levels. So i added in a few Dungeon magazine adventures to get my players to level up before the next published module.
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    Richard Di Ioia (aka Longetalos)
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    Mon Oct 04, 2021 1:42 pm  

    The DMs guild has a lot of content by freelancers that involve 'fill in' adventures, NPCs, and fodder for the town of Saltmarsh that could be used to flesh out a long-term campaign in the area. All of it is reasonably priced and downloadable as .pdf files.

    I've obtained some of it, along with the Ghosts of Saltmarsh 5E book which also does a good job of fleshing out the town and NPC's, and have been looking at how best to string it all together as a big campaign leading to a later confrontation with the Slave Lords and/or the Scarlet Brotherhood. Since the latter is already featured in the book, my thought was to take the Tiefling who is a front for Iuz and reworking that NPC as a Slave Lord representative of some sort.

    I haven't got into it too deeply yet, but Saltmarsh makes for a rich campaign background.
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    Thu Jan 06, 2022 7:15 am  

    The Hold of the Sea Princes is a great importer of slaves. Port Tavi is one of the largest slave markets in the Flannaess. I have the Pirates of the Sea Princes raiding shipping and taking crew as slaves for profit beyond what is in their holds.

    In Saltmarsh, the smuggling is done on different levels. Most fisher folk do a little bit of smuggling here and there to help pay the bills, but it's the easy stuff. There is more darker and more dangerous smuggling that happens, including some slavery. Gellan Primewater is the crime boss in Saltmarsh, but Sanbalet has his gang running in the Haunted House. Sanbalet usually buys and sells to Gellan's agents.

    As for a time, I am running my campaign before the Greyhawk Wars. The world doesn't really know anything about the Scarlet Brotherhood and they are stirring things up between both Keoland and the Hold of the Sea Princes. The campaign really focuses on Saltmarsh and Skerrin, though.

    In my game, one smuggler player helped Gellan escape being framed by Skerrin, which is always funny as he really is guilty of crime, but just not that one. Gellan fled to the Sea Princes and started to make a name for himself. Agents there agitate to invade Keoland and Gellan becomes their focal point. The campaign will conclude with Gellan leading a big pirate attack on Saltmarsh.
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