Monthly Archives: May 2020

Ghosts of Saltmarsh, Session 6

Since we’re all living under stay-at-home orders from the governor during the coronavirus outbreak, we switched our game to Roll20! Life may have ground to a halt, but the game goes on!

Characters
Persaadi Norixius, Dragonborn Monster Slayer Ranger
Grothsoron DeNalia, High Elf Battlemaster Artificer
Inanna Bes, Halfing Swashbuckler Rogue
Lord Darius Thornwell, Half-Elf Cleric of Kord (Tempest domain)
Biri Esstyrlynn, Dragonborn Champion Fighter


Speaking to the town guard and Eliander (captain of said guard) brought forth no revelations as to the existence of any possible cult activity in Saltmarsh. Keledek the wizard was similarly of little help, though he did agree to research undersea eldritch entities for a magical price. He resisted the idea that the book that brought forth dreams of undersea tentacled menaces had any connection to the arboreal grapplers in Silverstand Forest, however. Further investigation was cut short; the town council summoned the group for a meeting.

The council had reason to believe that while the “haunted” house was a base of operations for the smugglers, they still had one key component to their operation that needed dealt with: the ship that was using the underground dock at the house. The council bade the group to work with the town guard to board the ship and deal with the smugglers once and for all. After negotiating their fee for such a feat, our intrepid heroes put a plan into motion whereby they would impersonate the smugglers from the house and board the ship. They found the Sea Ghost after a few days and put their plan in motion.

They were able to bluff their way onto the ship, but the bluff fell apart when the shipboard smugglers began to question their mix-ups with the signalling system. It was not long before the battle was joined. Our heroes prevailed against all those who came to the main deck to challenge them, but paused to consider their options when it was time to head below deck to search the rest of the Sea Ghost.


This session went even better than the last, though I suspect the dynamic lighting was causing problems with folks seeing the map, so I may turn that off and just use fog of war to manually reveal what I want the PCs to see. It’s not really much trouble to do that and it’s less time consuming than troubleshooting a system I’m not entirely familiar with during a session. I’m pleased with the way things are going, thus far, and the structure of this hardcover has been much easier to work with than either of the two previous hardcover adventures I’ve used from WotC, thus far. I suspect because it’s design to be a compilation of linked, though stand-alone, adventures, rather than one, super-long adventure But you, maybe making long adventures paths more episodic and breaking the segments up more would make them easier and prevent problems like I had with Hoard of the Dragon Queen or Tomb of Annihilation and have written about at length. Time will tell.

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Ghosts of Saltmarsh, Session 5

Since we’re all living under stay-at-home orders from the governor during the coronavirus outbreak, we switched our game to Roll20! Life may have ground to a halt, but the game goes on!

Characters
Persaadi Norixius, Dragonborn Monster Slayer Ranger
Grothsoron DeNalia, High Elf Battlemaster Artificer
Inanna Bes, Halfing Swashbuckler Rogue
Lord Darius Thornwell, Half-Elf Cleric of Kord (Tempest domain)
Biri Esstyrlynn, Dragonborn Champion Fighter


After a night of carousing, the group decided to check in with Saltmarsh’s resident melancholy druid, Ferrin Kastilar, to make sure he still needed assistance with the situation in Silverstand forest. Ferrin confirmed he still needed help. They left immediately and traveled northwest toward Silverstand. After an uneventful journey, they arrived the next day at a fort on the edge of the forest, Burle. The soldiers there knew little about the goings on in the forest, so the office in charge, Lt. Noname referred them to the ambassador from Dreadwood, a treant called Wander Root.

Wander Root agreed that whatever abominations were in Silverstand needed dealt with, as they were not a natural part of the forest. Before they departed, Grothsorn remarking the ambassador seemed to have resting birch face and there were groans all around. They followed the trail into the Silverstand forest and Persaadi picked up humanoid tracks to follow. The tracks led them to a campsite where they found two mauled bodies. Before they could examine the bodies, arboreal grapplers attacked them from the trees.

The battle was hard-fought, but eventually, they defeated the abominations. They found a few salvageable valuables on the bodies, along with a journal and a burned book in the smoldering embers of the fire. The journal spoke of disturbing dreams, dreams of tentacles beneath oceans that had started when a book mysteriously appeared in one of their packs and a third member of their group. The deceased travelers eventually burned the mysterious tome, but one member of their party had already disappeared. After resting our heroes continued exploring the forest and finally found the third member of the travelers’ group and the final arboreal grappler.

They returned to Burle, but neither the captain of the garrison nor Wander Root knew anything about the mysterious book of which the travelers spoke, so our heroes returned to Saltmarsh. They returned to Ferrin Kastilar for their reward and asked him about the tome. He also was ignorant of its meaning or purpose and suggested they check with Eliander, the captain of the guard who also collected books or Keledek, the town wizard. The group decided to split their investigation: Persaadi, Grothsoron, and Biri would check with Eliander and the town guard, Lord Darius would pay a visit to Keledek along with Inanna, and when there was time, Inanna would see what the more unsavory folk around town knew about it.

The group was determined to discover if this mysterious tome was tied in to any cult activity in the area and how it related to the abominations in Silverstand, and what, if any threat, they posed to Saltmarsh.


Apart from a few hiccups with Roll20’s layers (it’s important to set up your tokens on the correct layer so they’re invisible (if they’re not supposed to be seen when the PCs enter an area) at first and then can be revealed at a dramatically appropriate moment. Otherwise, you disrupt the flow of the game and eventually just give up and drag new copies onto the map only to discover how to fix the problem after the fact. I trust this will not be as big of a problem with the official Ghosts of Saltmarsh content since it’s already set up for me.

The visual effects of the premium features definitely added some ooh and ahhh to the game, even though, bafflingly, there is no lightning VFX. Lightning Bolt is a classic, staple spell. At least, it was. I think a few more sessions of Roll20 will iron out the kinks and things will move along quite smoothly.

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