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    Canonfire :: View topic - The Ghosts of the Ghosts of Saltmarsh
    Canonfire Forum Index -> Greyhawk- D&D 5th Edition
    The Ghosts of the Ghosts of Saltmarsh
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    Kobold Pinata

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002
    Posts: 92
    From: Melbourne, Australia

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    Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:08 pm  
    The Ghosts of the Ghosts of Saltmarsh

    I want to run a prequel one-shot to set up some basis for why Saltmarsh is special. The idea I had centres around Iuz or Iggwilv somehow being responsible for the cursed siren that makes the township such a profitable fishing centre. I like the idea that somehow they foresaw the need for Saltmarsh to exist so that Iuz could feed the people in his empire and also as a means to access the coast for other nefarious expeditions.

    This needs to be something that can be easily finished in a two hour session, though, whilst providing some amount of mystery and clues for the later campaign, set X years after this module (I was thinking about 100ish years as cursory investigations seem to make that viable and fitting with the township's growth from nothing more than a fishing village to what it is c. 570-76 CY).

    I was also thinking that the characters the players play (premades for this oneshot) could be related to the prominent figures in GoS, like Eda Oweland, Gellan Primewater, etc.).

    Any help with this, especially with canon references I could draw on for inspiration, would be much appreciated. I've been kinda floundering on developing this for several months now and the campaign is starting in a few weeks...
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    In more modern times, only Delglath of Rinloru is known to have crafted any items from the stone of this atrocious place. Even masters of the dark arts such as Xaene and Karoolck would hesitate to follow.
    CF Admin

    Joined: Jul 28, 2001
    Posts: 615
    From: on the way to Bellport

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    Tue May 12, 2020 9:38 pm  

    Hi Delglath.

    I'm late to your party. Did you end up running the prequel you sketched in your original post? If so, please consider sharing what you ultimately did.

    I'm contemplating acquiring Ghosts of Saltmarsh in order to see if I like 5e, but the reviews I've read suggest that the Iuz connection feels strained, so I have wondered about replacing it with a closer power. E.g., the Slavelords.

    Also, iirc, one of Nystul's lairs is near Saltmarsh, so one might have him, or one of his antagonists feature vis--vis the siren.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 31, 2004
    Posts: 114
    From: Charlotte, NC

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    Thu Aug 26, 2021 4:50 am  

    mtg wrote:
    Hi Delglath.
    I'm contemplating acquiring Ghosts of Saltmarsh in order to see if I like 5e, but the reviews I've read suggest that the Iuz connection feels strained, so I have wondered about replacing it with a closer power. E.g., the Slavelords.


    You know, I hear so many purists go on about that. It's such a crock of @#$%. It's one minor NPC in the town that they threw in for some extra scheming. They linked it to Iuz as it's a great Greyhawk bad guy. It is incredibly easy to switch to someone else or even ignore.

    The campaign book is pretty good, in my opinion. It definitely is a frame work of a campaign. It gives you the town and sets up all the tension there. It gives you the major adventures to use. It gives you enough info to run side quests if you want to make them up. It DOES NOT give you a BBEG. It DOES NOT give a real cause for the whole thing. Some can see this as a flaw, but for an experienced DM, it's awesome. You can plug in your own evil plot and schemes into the whole thing. I, personally, like that.

    Also, I really like 5E and I've been playing since the purple boxed set. It's not min-max-ey, which is great. It's got depth, but it's pretty simple. It's built around using minis, which makes it a lot easier to DM.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 31, 2004
    Posts: 114
    From: Charlotte, NC

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    Thu Aug 26, 2021 5:00 am  
    Re: The Ghosts of the Ghosts of Saltmarsh

    Delglath wrote:
    I want to run a prequel one-shot to set up some basis for why Saltmarsh is special. The idea I had centres around Iuz or Iggwilv somehow being responsible for the cursed siren that makes the township such a profitable fishing centre. I like the idea that somehow they foresaw the need for Saltmarsh to exist so that Iuz could feed the people in his empire and also as a means to access the coast for other nefarious expeditions.


    Not sure if you have done this or not. Iuz or Iggwilv is a bit of a stretch for the area. The best bet is either some early Suel refugees from the Imperium or some Ur-Flan (perhaps under Vecna).

    The Viscounty of Salinmoor (that whole stretch of coastline) has only been populated for about 100 years by Keoland. It was just wild coast for a long time. The town has been built on the ruins of another city, including the town walls and the bridge. The standing stones have been there a long time, as well.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 16, 2003
    Posts: 201
    From: Calgary, AB, Canada

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    Mon Feb 14, 2022 1:10 am  

    I 'm currently prepping my own Ghosts of Saltmarsh campaign, so in case this topic remains of interest to newbies...

    I'm going to have Captain Xendros work with the cultists on the Isle of the Abbey (which I am making into a cult dedicated to Olhydra) to recruit members--and acquire slaves and sacrifices--for the Temple of Elemental Evil and its outposts, like those found in Princes of the Apocalypse. (Note: One might interpret the origins of the Wildflame Pact in the Dreadwood as involving forces that joined to defeat an elemental cult of Imix/fire in the forest).

    Xendros doesn't walk around out in the open with horns, tail, red skin, etc showing, she does not fly the flag of Iuz on her ship's mast, and her crew are known only as the Faithful Quartermasters (i.e., they drop the "of Iuz" when docking/dealing in realms not strongly allied with Iuz). As a matter of fact, I will probably give her more subtle tiefling traits than what is presented in the PHB (or her illustration in GoS), but she'll still only meet with locals while cowled and under cover of darkness or dim light.

    She is buying barrels of salted fish and dried fish in bulk to ship to the ToEE (rather than the lands of Iuz) via Dyvers, Verbobonc, or Wild Coast river pirate contacts... but the purchase of food is primarily a cover for her other less savoury activities in the area.

    With reference to the OP, if Captain Xendros/Iuz/Iggwilv have an effect on the cursed siren and fishermen's fortunes in Saltmarsh, then so much the better... they'll associate her presence with good luck (and fair/regular payment for the goods she buys), and will be less likely to connect the few missing locals with her.

    IMC, the "goodwill" aspect of Xendros's mission also involves improving the attitudes of Keolanders towards "her people", who have been terribly mistreated by those treacherous Furyondians--yes, those same folk that went to war against Keoland during the Small War, and who still greedily covet the March of Bissel. From my perspective, commoners know little of the realms beyond their regional borders, and Furyondian talk about an "evil demigod" on their northern border is nothing but fearbabe stories designed to cow their own populace into submission, and to make rivals like Keoland think they are too preoccupied with the northern front to pose a threat to their western/southern neighbours.

    Even though Saltmarsh is in the middle of nowhere, if local merchants can spread the word within Keoland that Furyondy continues to oppress "innocent folk," then the growing distrust hopefully will keep Keoland from coming promptly to Furyondy's aid when Iuz is ready to invade in a few years time (i.e., at the start of the Greyhawk Wars).

    The Scarlet Brotherhood may not be aware of Xendros's true aims in Saltmarsh, but will not interfere with someone they suspect of contributing to the destabilization of Saltmarsh/Keoland. Some of their agents in the Pomarj or Dyvers may have a better idea of what she's up to. Ultimately, the Brotherhood will probably compete with Xendros over control of Gellan Primewater's slaving/smuggling networks.

    I'm also going to see whether I can adapt some of the AD&D 2e sahuagin trilogy modules (especially Evil Tide) to fit in the dead levels between Danger at Dunwater/Isle of the Abbey and The Final Enemy. I also think I can tweak Salvage Operation to make it fit more seamlessly in the timeline.

    EDIT: added a few minor details.
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