Inro to the Ghost of Saltmarsh/Savage Tide Setting notes
- 1 THE HEROES
- 2 RULE SETTING
- 3 THE TEN THOUSAND ISLE SETTING
- 4 THE SAVAGE TIDE/GHOST OVERVIEW
- 5 Saltmarsh
- 6 CULTURES OF THE ARCHIPELAGO
- 7 SAILING SHIPS AND NEW RULES
|Character'sName||Played by...||Class/Level||Species||ALN||AC||Max HP||Speed||Spell Slots||Abilities|
|Federigo Soto||@SirMoogle||Swashbuckler Rogue 3||Human||NG||15||21||30ft||n/a||Sneak Attack (2d6), Expertise, Cunning Action, Fancy Footwork, Rakish Audacity|
|Sister Charity Bronzegg||@Unka Josh||Fighter 3||Stout Halfling||NG||18/19||31||25ft||n/a||Lucky, Brave, Halfling Nimbleness, Stout Resilience, Second Wind (1d10+3), Action Surge, Rune Knight, Cloud Rune, Stone Rune (Darkvision 120ft)|
|Zyran Wroggereth||@jmucchiello||Bard 3||Triton||LG||14||24||30ft, Swim 30ft||4/4, 2/2||Amphibious, Control Air and Water, Emissary of the Sea, Guardians of the Depths, Bardic Spellcasting, Bardic Inspiration, Jack-of-All trades, Healing Song, Expertise, Cutting Words|
|Borgar Silverfist||@Talisman||Paladin 3||Orc||CG||16||28||30ft||3||Darkvision 60ft, Relentless Endurance, Savage Attack, Divine Sense (3), Lay on Hands (15), Divine Caster, Divine Smite, Abjure Enemy, Oath of Enimity|
|Zuri||@Aikireikinu||Monk 3||Wood Elf||NG||16||24||45ft||n/a||Darkvision 60ft, Fey, Fleet of Foot, Keen Senses, Mask of the Wild, Unarmored Defense, Martial Arts, Ki 3/3, Disciple of the Elements, Fist of Unbroken Air, Rush of the Gale Spirits|
|Eckanem Itthobaal||@JasonELeigh||Wizard 3||Dragonborn||NG||15||20||30ft||4/4, 2/2||Breath Weapon, Resistant to Fire, Arcane Spellcasting, Arcane Recovery, Tactical Wit, Aracne Deflection|
|Sticks||@brahnamin||Druid 2||Human||NG||14||19||30ft||3/3||Druidic Spellcasting, Circle of the Land, Wildshape|
|Vex "Gold" Goldenworm||@Mr Adventurer||Paladin 1/ Sorcerer 2||Human||CG||18||19||30ft||2/2||Divine Sense, Lay on Hands, Sorcerer Spellcasting & Draconic Origin|
|Hedgen||NPC||NPC Pirate Captain||Human||N||14||35||30ft||0||Flourish, Multiattack (2), Sea Legs, "Shape Up, Ye Dogs" (2/day)|
|Yessel||NPC||NPC Mutant Pirate||Mutant||CN||14||40||30ft||0||Claws, Magic Resistance, Multiattack (2), Resistance (Resistance (acid, fire, non-magical weapons), Sea Legs|
The key to the manor house the heroes now own
Located 4 miles out of the town of Saltmarsh and on a step hill near the cliff. The attic and wine cellar are not pictured. Also not shown is the alchemist lab and storage room along with the stairwell down to the necromancer's room and caves that led to the sea.
- 1. Entryway Foyer with stairwell to 2nd floor.
- 2. Library (with fireplace)
- 3. Servant Bedroom (shared two beds) includes fireplace
- 4. Study that leads to back porch/garden
- 5. Dinning Hall (there is an open sliding doors from the foyer to here. The hallway in the back of room or the north leads under the broken stairs). Includes large fireplace
- 6. Back study room/office.
- 7. Pantry (does NOT include fireplace)
- 8. Servant Bedrooms (one large bed, includes fireplace)
- 9. Kitchen (with stairs going up to the second floor) door leads to garden, footpath to well.
- 10. Smaller Storage room with stairs leading to the cellar
- 11. Larger Bedroom with fireplace (Claimed by Zyran)
- 12. Larger Bedroom with fireplace
- 13. Smaller Bedroom with fireplace
- 14. Smaller Bedroom
- 15. Smaller Bedroom with fireplace
- 16. Smaller Bedroom with fireplace
- 17. Living room or another study.
- Stairwell up to the attic and down to the kitchen
The attic is full of broken furinture and other random items, some cooking ware
The Sea Ghost
Treasure and Magic
- Household Strongbox: 827gp, 303sp (all used or claimed right now)
- Kraken's Cover: 210gp, 24pp, jewled neckless
- Iron ring?
- 13 random Books (might be worth something if sold) and 4 that have title/names (worth more?)
- Leger of illegal items and diary of the daughter who dies.
- Doll with Jade gemstone eyes (sold)
- Alchemist book (volume I & II) [Eckanem]
- Spellbook of necromancers [Eckanem]
- Long sword +1 [Zuri]
- Half-Plate +1 [Charity]
- This armor weighs only 20lbs and does not impose disadvantage for Stealth or Athletics check to swimming
- Half-Plate +1 [Borgar]
- This armor weighs only 20lbs and does not impose disadvantage for Stealth or Athletics check to swimming
- Goggles Of Night [Federigo]
- Magic Item ImageWondrous item, uncommon
- While wearing these dark lenses, you have darkvision out to a range of 60 feet. If you already have darkvision, wearing the goggles increases its range by 60 feet.
- Gloves Of Swimming And Climbing [Borgar]
- Wondrous item, uncommon (requires attunement)
- While wearing these gloves, climbing and swimming don’t cost you extra movement, and you gain a +5 bonus to Strength (Athletics) checks made to climb or swim.
- Pearl Of Power
- Wondrous item, uncommon (requires attunement)
- While this pearl is on your person, you can use an action to speak its command word and regain one expended spell slot. If the expended slot was of 4th level or higher, the new slot is 3rd level. Once you use the pearl, it can’t be used again until the next dawn.
- Philosopher's Stone [Eckenam]
- Wonderous item, Rare (requires attunment)
- This gem stone has 6 charges. It recovers 1d6 charges at dawn each day.
- The user can use one of the charges to gain their Proficiency bonus to Arcana, History, Nature and Religion (if the already are proficiency with these skills they gain double their proficiency bonus) for the next hour. Or they can use a charge to gain the bonus for 8 hours if applied to only one of these skills.
- Can also cast the following spells...
- The user can use 1 charge to cast the following spell -- Comprehand Languages.
- The user can use 2 charges to cast the following spells -- Locate Object, See Invisbile
- The user can use 3 charges to cast the following spells -- Clairoyance, Sending
- Intelligence is your spell casting attribute for these spells.
- Provided one charge remained, the user is immune to diseasae. They also gain advance on saving throws vs. poison and resistance to any damage caused by poisons. But when the last charge was used, the stone disintegrated.
- Pipes of Haunting [Zyran]
- Wondrous item, Uncommon (requires attunmebt)
- You must be proficient with wind instruments to use these pipes. They have 3 charges. You can use an action to play them and exped 1 charge to create an errie, spellbinding tune. Each creature within 30 feet of you that hears you play must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdon saving throw or become frightened of you for 1 minute. If you wish, all creatures in the the area that aren't hostile towards you automatically succeed on the saving throw. A creature that fails the saving throw can repeat it at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. A creature that has succeeds on a saving throw is immune t the effect of these pipes for 24 hours. The pipes regain `1d3 expended charges daily at dawn.
- Ring of Weapons [Zyran]
- Wonderous item, Rare (requires attunement)
- As a bonus action is can create any one type of Simple or Martial Weapon to appears in the ring wearer's hand (either hand, ring wearer's choice). It cannot create missle weapons like bows or crossbows, but can make a javelin or other thrown weapons. All such created weapons disappear within 1 round after it leaves the hands of the ring wearer OR if the wearer uses a bonus action to create another weapon. These weapons are also magical weapons but grant no bonuses to attack or damage. Otherwise any weapon created appears to be just a normal weapon to casual observers. The ring wearer can also dismiss and weapon as a bonus action.
- Spell Stone
- Wonderous Item. Rare (requires attunement to cast a spell into but not to case the spell(s) stored within the stone).
- The stone can store up to a singal 3rd levels spell at a time. Any creature who is attuned can Cast a Spell of Cantrip through 3rd Level into the stone by touching it as if the spell is cast. The spell has no Effect, other than to be stored in the stone. Casting Time one action or longer if the spell requires it. But minimum of 1 action even if the spell normally requires less time.
- Wand Of The War Mage +1 [Eckanem]
- Wand, uncommon (requires attunement)
- While holding this wand, you gain a bonus to spell attack rolls determined by the wand’s rarity. In addition, you ignore half cover when making a spell attack.
- Flame Tongue Cutlass. [Federigo]
- Weapn, rare (requires attumement)
- You can use a Bonus Action to speak this magic sword's Command Word "Ash", causing flames to erupt from the blade. These flames shed bright light in a 40-foot radius and dim light for an additional 40 feet. While the sword is ablaze, it deals an extra 2d6 fire damage to any target it hits. The flames last until you use a Bonus Action to speak the Command Word again or until you drop or sheathe the sword.
- Even when the sword counts as a magical weapon against targets that are resistant to non-magical damage.
- Rapier? (is magical)
- Bracers? (also magical)
- Potion of Water Breathing (6) and Minor Healing (2)
- Oil of Slipperiness
- Potion of Diminution
- Potion of Greater Healing and Potion of Superior Healing
- House on Haunted Hill
- Summary: Clear out the old haunted manor house of the Solmor family. Retrieve legal documents found therein.
- Patron: Anders Solmor of Saltmarsh
- Reward: 2000 gp, 250 gp each, the manor house, whatever was found in the manor house
- The Bullywug Gambit
- Summary: Find Anders' sister presumed to be hiding in Kraken Bay with pirates and smugglers.
- Patron: Anders Solmor of Saltmarsh
- Reward: 1000 gp or 3000 gp brought back dead or alive. 3000 gp for retrieval of the sloop, the Storm Cutter.
This game was originally built as a D&D/Greyhawk world but has expanded and changed to a large collection of an island archipelago ("The Ten-Thousands Islands").
D&D 5th edition CHARACTER CREATION
- Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition Players Handbook basics. Also allows rules from Xanathar's Guide to Everything (XGE) and Tasha's Cauldron of Everything (TCE)
- 2nd level Character Class
- Hit Points Max at 1st level and the the Average for every level after that.
- 27 point buy per the PHB
- All the species from the PHB except the Drow (no real underdark on this world) or Half-Elves. Half-Orcs are just called Orcs, with the 'Half' Orc being more a nickname for the more civilized kind (most Orcs are part of a heavy pirate/Viking raider culture). Humans gain the basic +1 bonus to all six stats and also gain Proficiency bonus in one additional Skill or Tool or Vehicle type of choice (Water craft is very common in this setting). For Gnomes add Green Camouflage (You have advantage on Dexterity [stealth] checks to hide in forest or jungle terrain) for Forest Gnomes and Stone Camouflage (You have advantage on Dexterity [stealth] checks to hide in rocky terrain) for Rock Gnomes. Also allowing are the Triton (as per Volo's Guide to Monsters). I am ok with the racial Feats from XGE along with the spells found there.
- Hero Points from the DMG pg. 264
- Start with a beginning Feat of choice at 1st level (from the PHB or XGE or TGE)
- Start with the begining background and class gear plus an additional 150 gold pieces worth of gear. Unspent gold is lost (only start with what you would gain from your background).
- For Navel Ships and Crews using ideas from the Ghosts of Saltmarsh adventure.
The following pirate flavored feats will allow your players to further customize their player characters.
Prerequisite: Sailor Background (includes variants)
Accustomed to fighting on ships, barges or anything else that floats, you gain the following benefits
- Increase your Strength or Dexterity score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
- You gain a +2 bonus to initiative while standing on anything that is floating on water.
- Climbing doesn’t half your speed.
- You can add your proficiency bonus to any check that involves boarding another sea vessel.
Thanks to extensive practice with guns, you gain the following benefits
- You are proficient with pistols.
- Being within 5 feet of a hostile creature doesn’t impose disadvantage on your ranged attack rolls.
- When you use the Attack action and attack with a one-handed weapon, you can use a bonus action to attack with a loaded pistol you are holding.
- You can use this feat for any pistols you are carrying that are loaded.
Prerequisite: Dexterity 13 or higher
You are built for speed, so you are built to get out of the way of an attack! Gain the following benefits
- Increase your Dexterity score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
- Add +1 bonus to your AC while you are wearing light or no armor. This stacks with any other effect that add to your AC.
VARIANT SAILOR: PRIVATEER
While pirates are often seen as fearsome and cruel criminals, the privateer is more often glamorized as a romantic hero. As a privateer your activities are similar to those of a pirate, but you are authorized by a country’s government by letters of marque to attack the ships of its enemies. You could be a member of the nobility, a commoner or even a former pirate.
What sets you above a pirate is your adherence to the Privateer Code, a set of rules to guide your conduct to be honorable and virtuous.
If you decide your sailing career involved privateering, you can choose the Friendly Shores feature instead of the Ship’s Passage feature.
VARIANT FEATURE: FRIENDLY SHORES
When you are in any settlement that is friendly to the flag you sail under, you are treated as a hero of the high seas. Everyone has heard the stories of your adventures and are inclined to think the best of you.
Both nobles and common folk will make every effort to accommodate your requests in exchange for news of your adventures, unless you act dishonorably.
VARIANT SAILOR: SHIP’S SURGEON
Ship’s rarely have a true doctor onboard and this role is often filled by the cook, carpenter or whoever says yes to the job. In the past you may have been a physician, surgeon, barber, carpenter or nurse who used non magical healing to treat your patients and create medicine. For whatever reason you became a ship’s surgeon, your past medical experience (or lack of experience) is less important than your ability to focus and stop the bleeding when others panic.
If you decide your sailing career involved acting in the role of a Ship’s Surgeon, you can replace the Sailor proficiencies and equipment with the variant proficiencies and equipment below.
Skill Proficiencies: Investigation, Medicine
Tool Proficiencies: Herbalism Kit, vehicles (water)
Equipment: Herbalism kit, a set of traveler’s clothes, and a pouch containing 10 gp If you decide your sailing career involved acting in the role of a Ship’s Surgeon, you can choose the Dead Reckoning feature instead of the Ship’s Passage feature.
VARIANT FEATURE: DEAD RECKONING
Your experience healing fallen allies during combat has provided you with the ability to snatch lives back from death. When using a healer’s kit you are able to heal a creature for 1 hit point. This ability can not be used again until you complete a long rest.
VARIANT SAILOR: NAVIGATOR
You are a skilled navigator who has learned to combine your knowledge of cartography, sense of direction and superb sailing skills. Your past experience as a ship’s navigator makes you invaluable on any sea voyage.
You are used to keeping a daily log and maintaining charts, maps and navigation tools while on a ship.
If you decide your sailing career involved acting in the role of a navigator, you can replace the Sailor proficiencies and equipment with the variant proficiencies and equipment below.
Skill Proficiencies: Nature, Perception
Tool Proficiencies: Cartographer’s tools, Navigator’s tools, vehicles (water)
Equipment: A set of traveler’s clothes, cartographer’s tools or navigator’s tools, a chart, and a pouch containing 10 gp
If you decide your sailing career involved acting in the role of a navigator, you can choose the Sense of Direction feature instead of the Ship’s Passage feature.
VARIANT FEATURE: SENSE OF DIRECTION
Your skills as navigator make you an excellent ship’s pilot, but they also have provided you with an excellent sense of direction. As long as you have a full view of the sun or moon, you can not become lost.
VARIANT SAILOR: EXPLORER
You grew up dreaming of sailing the seas, exploring the far edges of civilization and beyond in search of the unknown. You might have been drawn to a life of sea exploration for the love of discovery or to get rich finding lost treasures.
If you decide your career as a sailor has focused on exploration, you can choose the Secret Discovery feature instead of the Ship’s Passage feature.
VARIANT FEATURE: SECRET DISCOVERY
Whatever reason you became an explorer, your journey brought you to some secret, mythical, far off, or otherwise inaccessible place from which only you returned. Only you know of the existence of this place and its secrets. Work with your GM on the specific details of the location and its people, dangers, treasure and more.
- Bandana | 5 cp
- Colorful bandanas are used for sun protection or worn under a hat to make it more comfortable.
- Eye Patch | 5 cp
- Eye patches are worn to cover one eye and tie around the head, usually to cover injured or blind eyes. They are also worn to look more intimidating or to keep one eye covered when transitioning from the dim light of below decks to the bright sunlight above.
- Hat | 1 sp to 5gp | 1/2 lb to 2lbs
- Often worn by pirates for sun protection and style, such as bicorn and tricorn hats.
- Nautical Chart | 25 gp
- Nautical charts display settlements, depth of water, shape of coastlines, currents, tides and navigational hazards such as reefs. A chart grants Advantage on Nature checks related to navigation when in the area detailed by the chart to those who are proficient with navigator’s tools.
- Oil Skinned Bag | 2 gp | 1 lb
- These bags are semi-water proof and can be used to carry gear or gunpowder underwater... but only for a short time. Can hold up to 8lbs of items and will keep the dry even if submerged in water for 1d6+2 minutes (not always sure how long).
- Reed Breathing Tube | 1 sp | 1/2 lb.
- Use of a reed tube allows breathing 1-2 feet under the surface in calm waters. Using this device in rough waters is difficult or impossible.
- Sextant | 500 gp | 2lbs
- Used to determine latitude, a sextant grants you Advantage on Survival and Tool -Navigation tools checks made to navigate while above ground at midday or at night. You must be able to clearly see the midday sun or stars to use this device.
- Spyglass | 250 gp | 1lb
- Objects viewed through a spyglass are magnified to twice or three times their size.
- Tattoo | 1 cp – 20gp (or free... ouch!)
- Tattoos provide decoration, indicate group membership or can even provide an arcane focus. The quality, size, and the number of colors used in a tattoo determine its cost. Describe the tattoo you wish to have done to your GM to determine the price.
- NOTE that a Ship's Cargo Master or Super for any merchant ship within the League requires them to have obtained a Super's tatoo at a Merchant League established station. This cost 250gp and have a bit of arcane script included within them.
Explosives & Firearms (Blackpowder) weapons from the DMG pg. 267.
As blackpowder is more mundane and common in this setting update for prices to including the Flintlock Pistol (125gp each) and Musket rifle (150gp each). Both replace the loading feature with 'long-loading (2)' meaning it takes 2 full actions to reload. Ammo costs 1gp for 10 shots and weigh 2lb. A Horn gunpowder costs 10gp for 10 shots worth of powder and weigh 2lbs. A keg of blackpowder (gunpowder) is 125gp and weighs 25lbs. A blackpowder bomb costs 25gp.
NEW MARTIAL FIREARMS
- Blunderbuss | Cost 250gp | Wt. 8lbs
- Damage- 1d10 piercing; Qualities - Ammunition (range 20/60), long-loading (2), special
- This weapon can be fired normally or loaded to make a scattering shot, attacking all creatures within a 20 foot cone. Each creature in the cone takes 2d6 piercing damage if they fail a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. Using a scatter shot requires pellet ammunition.
- Dragon Pistol | Cost- 175gp | Wt. 3lbs
- Damage- 1d8 piercing; Qualites - Ammunition (range 20/60), long-loading (2), special
- This weapon can be fired normally or loaded to make a scattering shot, attacking all creatures within a 15 foot cone. Each creature in the cone takes 2d4 piercing damage if they fail a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. Using a scatter shot requires pellet ammunition
- Pellet Ammunition | Cost 40gp | Wt. 1lb
- 10 shots with a small pellet cloth bags to hold multiple small little pellets in.
|Squalid||1 sp||6 sp||23 sp|
|Poor||2 sp||12 sp||40 sp|
|Modest||1 gp||6 gp||23 gp|
|Comfortable||2 gp||13 gp||40 gp|
|Wealth||4 gp||23 gp||82 gp|
- Wretched is living on the street with no food except what you get out of the garbage (or rations)
- Squalid is living in a floop house with other poor wretches or an inn's common room. Food and drink is very poor quality and not much.
- Poor is living in a small one room with only a bed and not much more space then that. Food and drink are of a poor or lesser quality or not as much.
- Modest is a private or semi-private room with wash area and more room (maybe a desk). Food and drink is enough to get by on and good quality.
- Comfortable in a larger room with semi-private bath area. Food is above average and plenty of it.
- Wealthy is a large private room and kitchen and bath or small cottage or similar home. Food and drink or excellent quality with a large variaty.
THE TEN THOUSAND ISLE SETTING
The world is one of vast sea and thousands of islands, a vast archipelago surrounds by a unchatter (and unexplored) waters. There are no continents within the archielago the largest island maybe the size of the British Island or Irland and thses are fairly rare (no more then half a dozen total). The average is closer to the size of Cuba or smaller. Many are mountainous.
This archipelago is centered on the world's equator but the chain stretches into both a frozen northern and icy southern poles. The environment around the equator is hot and wet with many islands covered in thick jungle forests. Those beyond are split mostly between wooden forests and a few barren rocky islands with the occational fertile grassy islands where various plants are grown or herd animals raised.
The game will be using a lot of Greyhawk organization, gods, city-states and secret cabals but with a bit more of an Earthsea feel then standard medieval Europe. Race and sex (or sexuality) are just not things people worry about or comment on normally. Are there racists peoples? Yes. Especially the Fran of the Scarlet Brotherhood (evil pale skinned humans who not only feel superior to non-Humans but other non-Fran Humans), but they are a minority. There are species like the Gnolls and Sahuagin/Sea Devils that are cannibal (meaning they eat other sentient life in this setting) and Mind Flayers (that consume the brains of other sentients) that are considered 'Savages' and 'Evil' by most folk. However you can find many of the other so-called Monsterous sentient species living upon the other species. Most are fairly rare though and tend to still to their own when possible. They are no real true Evil species except maybe Devils and Demons.
Technology is that of very early Industrial with musket weapons and blackpowder only having been discovered and widely distributed in the last hundred years. Sailing ships are fairly advanced and common by all the Known Islands. .
THE SAVAGE TIDE/GHOST OVERVIEW
The first savage tide has already touched the mortal world. Unleashed from the cruel heart of a shadowpearl. The tide swept over an ancient civilizations transforming the citizens of a proud city into feral cannibalistic fiends. The hateful architects of the savage tide watched, taking pride in the ruin they had wrought. Now, after a thousand years, the savage tide is about to return. Yet this time, the doom will not be limited to one hapless city. This time, all of civilization waits unknowing on the shore. blissfully ignorant of what the tide is about to bring in.
The port city of Saltmarsh is on a good sized island called The Black Opal (for real world comparasion; the island to about the size the of Lawrence Island in Alaska, or about 90 miles long and 25 miles wide at its widest. In interior is all volcanic mountain chain). The island itself is located in the western archipelago chain. The city has traded its fish and its farming produces to many other communities for centuries but recently a number of dwarfs have immigrated and set up a mine on the inner mountain range. The city council has also signed the Treaty of Trade about three years ago. These new developments have not gone over well with everyone in the city and a minor factor among the Council would prefer to return to their old ways and remain completely indendent of this treatry or these dwarfs.
The Treaty of Trade was intially started some 598 years ago in the Free City-Port of Greyhawk. Gathering many local indendent ports together they formed the Merchant League with this treaty. In order to promote trade within the League and combat pirates, every legal merchant ship is required to have a legal Super as the cargo master. This Super bares a unquie and semi-magical tattoo with a hidden number within it. All legal cargo carried by a merchant ship of the legal then stamps their cargo with this number and carries legal document manifest, bearing where the cargo is from etc.
When Saltmarsh joined the League they agreed to this rules on shipping. The traditionalist are not happy as they enjoyed a lot of 'smuggler' trade between various League members of the Hold of the Sea Prines.
The Hold of the City Princes is a group of islands to the southeast of Saltmarsh that is made up of pirates, slavers, smugglers and all around unruley raiders who have been a plauge to the League for hundreds of years. Saltmarsh itself has been a victim of their attacks in the past also which is why most on the council favored joining the League -- for protections and and end to the lawlessness.
The sea port of Seamarsh is a nondescript fishing village tucked away on the south-eastern coast of Black Opal Island. It was formed on the bedrock of an oldern unknown town or village that disappeared serval centuries ago (its old wall still remains on the south part of the village). Decades ago, the pirates who prowled the waters off Saltmarsh grew strong enough to create their own realm, a loose confederacy known as the Hold of the Sea Princes. The Sea Princes' raiding ships pillaged the coast for more slaves to support their growing realm. and Saltmarsh suffered heavily. The memories of those times loom heavily over the area, and the locals' hatred of the Sea Princes runs deep.
In time, the city's council (made up of the seven riches landowners and merchants of the town) decided that their best course was to sigh the Treaty of Trade out of Greyhawk and join the Merchant League for protection against these raids. That was three years ago and the village has seen a lot of influx of new comers in that time. Not everyone is happy but the fact that the pirate slave raids have dropped off is a testament to most.
- 1. City Gate. Saltmarsh was built on the ruins of a much older settlement, sometimes called Old Saltmarsh or the Old Harbor. One sign of this is that the town has a small stretch of wall and a single town gate secured by two or three guards. The wall is old, crumbling, and badly worn by centuries of rain and wind coming in from the Azure Sea.
- 2. Barracks and Jail. Built on a low hill, the Saltmarsh barracks are also its jail. It is one of the few structures in Saltmarsh with an underground level. Location of the Town's Guard (most Merchant League mercenaries).
- 3. The Wicker Goat. Bearing the dubious honor of being the oldest tavern in town, the Wicker Goat is owned by Lankus Kurrid (Human male), a retired officer of the Keoish army (island nation to the north of Saltmarsh) who caters to the dwarven miners and town guard.
- 4. Ellander's Manor. One of the city's council members. Tucked at the edge of town and overlooking the sea, Eliander's home provides him with a relaxing sanctuary away from the bustle of Saltmarsh.
- 5. Mining Company Headquarters. Once a mansion owned by a local landowning family, this building was purchased by dwarf mining interests and serves as their company's headquarters in Saltmarsh. Manistrad Copperlocks (Dwarf female) stays here when she must do business in town. Otherwise several dwarf clerks work here during the day, logging deliveries at the docks to be transported to the mine and arranging for the processed ore to be loaded on trade ships bound for distant ports.
- 6. Keledek's Tower. This three-story tower is home to the town's resident sage and wizard, Keledek the Unspoken (Human male). Keledek's dusky skin, bald head, and bright red silk turban-not to mention his height of nearly 7 feet-make him an unmistakable figure in town.
- 7. Faithful Quartermasters of Iuz. A trade delegation led by Captain Xendros (Tiefling female) has come to Saltmarsh to acquire large quantities of fish (salted and preserved for transport) in the name of luz, a mighty cambion and demigod who rules a number of islands in the distant north. She is also the only known person in town who might be interested in purchasing or selling of random magical items.
- 8. The Empty Net. Partially supported by stilts driven into the harbor waters. this rickety tavern is purportedly a haven for smugglers, mercenaries, assassins and even pirates. The owner, Kreb Shenker (Human male), takes coin from anyone and asks no questions. Troublemakers are thrown out the door, over the railing, and into the reeking harbor.
- 9. Green Market. A strip of open land that is the place for everything that isn't fish, salt, or nautical wares, this market stretches among a dozen stalls down to the bridge.
- 10. The Sharkfin Bridge. This single large bridge spans the river, with shops and homes along its length. The bridge predates the village and is large enough for laden carts to pass two abreast. Elves and fey folk feel vaguely nauseated when they cross the bridge, rumored becayse of an ancient curse placed on it long before Greyhawk rose to existence.
- 11. Kester's Leather Goods. Kiorna Kester (Gnome female) runs this tannery. where she produces smooth, colorful leather for every purpose and sells both the cured hides and items she fashions from it. Kiorna is keenly interested in acquiring hides from exotic creatures to craft into expensive leather.
- 12. Hoolwatch Tower. This 60-foot-tall tower was the first defensive building of Saltmarsh. and it still serves as an armory and lookout as well as the official base of the town guard cheif, one Eliander Fireborn (Human male, he also sits on the city council).
- 13. The Slapping Line. This popular inn and tavern is built from the planks and hulls of half a dozen decommissioned fishing ships. Its decor is predictably nautical in theme and its sleeping rooms are plain but comfortable renditions of a ship's cabins. The smell of fish has never been scrubbed from its walls, and those who chose stay the night find their belongings steeped in the scent, which lasts for several days. The inn is run by a young woman named Hanna Rist (Human female), who comes from a family of well-known lobster catchers.
- 14. Council Hall. This large brick building contains the offices of the town council and the chamber where they meet to discuss the town business. The hall is built from sturdy stone from the nearby cliffs and a variety of hardwood from the nearby Hool Marshes. A wooden sign depicting a net filled with fish hangs above the double doors leading into the hall. A small tower rises from the building, housing a horn at the top, which is blown to announce the beginning of a council session or other significant events.
- 15. Weekly Market. Built around the first well dug for the fishers in the town's early days is a large market square where merchants of all descriptions gather on the first day of each week to sell their wares.
- 16. Pinewood Mansion. Gellan Primewater (Human male) maintains a large mansion right on the docks, allowing him to oversee his ships from his upstairs window. He sometimes leans out to shout orders or answer questions for his captains and crews, his booming voice echoing over the docks.
- 17. The Dwarven Anvil. The blacksmith's forge has a single anvil with a clear sign of dwarven origins, and a backlog of orders ten miles long. The human smiths make hooks, nails, harpoons, knives, fishing weights, and much more all day. Their master smith is an elderly. dark-skinned woman named Mafera (Human female). Her son, Jasker (Human male), is her best journeyman.
- 18. The Fishmongers' Plate. The large fish-processing buildings in this area reek of prosperity (and fish). All are engaged in salting or brining the catch brought in by the fleet. Most of the time these places are busy, and the workers have little time for chatter.
- 19. The Oweland House. The Oweland family has owned this sprawling mansion for generations. Despite the family's wealth, the building is a sprawling collection of new construction, expansions, and additions. Each generation of the family has added to the building to accommodate the clan's growth. The family takes in fishers who have fallen on hard times, sharing their wealth with others until they can recover.
- 20. The Solmor House. The Solmor family owns several buildings in this modest complex. The largest is the personal mansion of the Solmor family. Three smaller buildings house servants, employees of the family's trading fleet, and secure storage for expensive goods.
- 21. The Mariners' Guildhouse. The mariners' guild serves all the towns among the League, providing a bunk and a meal for sailors passing through. Sea captains in search of a crew stop here, as do others seekjng news from afar.
- 22. lngo the Drover's House. A fairly recent arrive to Saltmarsh from places unknown, lngo the Drover (Dragonborn male) is slowly building a reputation as a good source for guards, marines, and muscle when sailing through difficult waters. Many such mercenaries live at his home when passing through the village.
- 23. The Carpenters Guildhouse. Run by a snobby gnome named Jilar Kanklesten (Gnome female), the carpenters' guild has plenty of work building houses, assembling fish barrels, repairing docks, and much more. The whole building is a marvel of workmanship, made without a single nail. jilar is obsessed with rare woods; she pays handsomely for adventurers to make expeditions in search of specific trees in the Hool Marshes, the Drowned Porest, and even from the Dreadwood.
- 24. Crabbers' Cover. Just east of the docks, built along the shores of a secluded bay, are a handful of buildings known collectively as Crabber's Cove. The buildings are weathered, abandoned by the residents of Saltmarsh years ago. Since then, thousands of crabs have taken up residence in the crumbling remains. Crabbers from Saltmarsh are cautious about the cove, as more than one overeager fisher has disappeared into the clacking darkness. never to be seen again.
- 25. The Leap. The Leap is an outcropping of rock nearly a hundred feet above the churning water below. Several stone benches stand near this precipitous edge, and a few stone markers sit in the tall grass nearby. Traditionally. the people of Sahmarsh leap from the cliffs into the water below when a loved one drowns at sea. The jump is usually not fatal: the water below the Leap is free of rocks, and it is a short swim back to dry land.
- 26. Temple of Procan. Services at this long-standing sea god's temple are well attended by the locals (especially fisher families). The congregation is led by a one-legged former whaler: Wellgar Brinehanded (Human male) priest), an older man with a sharp memory for every storm, lost ship, and enormous catch ever brought into Saltmarsh harbor. He knows many fanciful stories of shipwrecks, lucky escapes, and famous captains.
- 27. The Saltmarsh Cemetery. The town's cemetery is well-kept, but many of its graves are little more than memorial stones laid for those who died at sea. Krag (Orc male) is the town gravedigger, as well as something of a town historian and local loremaster. He has conducted extensive research into the folk buried here and events in the region.
- 28. The Winston Store. The owner of this establishment, Winston (Halfling male), is often telling tales and seems to know a great deal about the Hool Marshes. His general store carries most common items and goods.
- 29. Sea Grove of Obad-Hai. Open to the air and set in a grove outside town, the sea-grove is a gathering place for seagulls, sailors, and swamp folk, as well as an information market for traders and trappers. Ferrin Kastilar (Halfling male), a somewhat melancholy individual of middle years, tends the shrine with his bullfrog companion.
- 30. The Standing Stones. Two enormous runcstones stand on this island. In ages past, legends tell that a siren was chained to the stones here and sacrificed by an evil human tribe as an offering to the sea. Since then, the fishing in the region has flourished. Or so the legend goes...
Other Locations in Saltmarsh
- (31). Mechant League's Office and Manor (just above #17 in the square open building). This building has been greatly exadened as the offices for the Merchant League after the signing of the growing importants the village has in the League. Many popular fish types and sea marsh plants have become very popular within the greater League.
Map of the surrounding area
Hool Marshes. To the north of Saltmarsh is a massive salt marsh lands called the treacherous Hool Marshes, which are notorious for pools of water that seem easy to cross but hide deep wells and layers of mud. The area is full of tall, sickly trees and great swarms of biting insects. None but the desperate venture into this place, making it the ideal hiding place for outlaws or raiders. There is little dry land within and almost all travel is via flat bed small boats or canoes. Lizardfolk tribes live deep within the swamps but are xenophobic and have no contact with outsiders.
- Lizardfolk Lair. This old abondoned camp has all but been swallowed by the swamp. 20 some years ago the lizardfolk from the marshes would trade with the few merchants from Saltmarsh for the exotic plants and herbs of the deep marshes. But they abondoned it without warning and have never been back.
- Dunwater River. The Dunwater River meanders its way through the marshes and into the Azure Sea. It is a broad, slow-moving body of water. choked with reeds and too shallow in many spots to allow boats other than rafts to traverse it.
Drowned Forest. To the north of Saltmarsh and perched at the edge of the Hool Marshes, the Drowned Forest was once a verdant region. A few decades ago, the marsh began to encroach on this area. As the water level rose, the forest was transformed into a more foreboding place. Shambling mounds and blights appeared in the forest in increasing numbers while the water rotted away the trees themselves. In time, strange mushrooms and fungus sprouted throughout the woods. Today, the Drowned Forest is perhaps the most dangerous location in the region. The trees remain standing, but they long ago lost their foliage and are little more than dead, rotting timbers projecting out of the mud. Mushrooms and other fungi sprout everywhere. A thick cloud of spores fills the air and blots out the sun, allowing the unnatural growths to fiourish.
Tower of Zenopus. The wizard Zenopus once dwelled in this tower on the cliffs outside Saltmarsh. He built his lair next to the remains of an ancient graveyard rumored to be haunted. One night. the tower was engulfed in a fiery green aura. A few brave folks from town investigated the tower and found it abandoned. The door at the base of the cellar stairs was covered with strange symbols and wrapped in silver chains. An explorer tried to open the door, but a jolt of lightning from the door·s runes nearly killed her. Shortly afterward, strange spirits and capering fey were seen atop the tower. After a few travelers went missing nearby. the town council asked a Keoish galleon to bombard the structure with catapult fire until it was battered into rubble.
Abbey Island. This island south of Saltmarsh is the site of a small abbey that was long ago abandoned by the order of monks that built it. Since then, various outlaw gangs and monsters have claimed it as a lair. The village has occasional set out adventures or marines to clear it if they start causing trouble for the area.
Silverstand. This small crop of hardwood has a few animals within but ratherly anything danagerous due to the proxity of the fort of Burle. There is an ancient treaten by the name of Wander Root who protects it and does not allow the cutting down of any live trees by the locals. It also acts as an informal ambassador between locals and the wood elves and good-aligned fey of the Dreadwood.
- Years ago, the warriors from Saltmarsh helped the denizens of the forest defeat an incursion by cultists worshiping elemental evil fire. Since then, the elves, the treants, and Saltmarsh have observed the Wild Flame Pact- a treaty that calls for mutual defense against the Dreadwood's horrors.
Burle. Burle is a fortified outpost that is always on guard for monsters emerging from the Dreadwood. It serves as a key stopover point for travelers venturing inland from the southern coastal region. The community is dominated by a small keep set atop a hill that overlooks the forest it borders. A few farms cluster around it, the locals relying on the garrison to keep them safe from marauders.
Dreadwood. Long a home of horrid monsters and vicious raiders, the Dreadwood hides within its borders a multitude of terrors. Saltmarsh maintains ranger patrols that sweep through the outer reaches of the forest periodically, while several wood Elf clans dwell at its edge. The two forces are generally successful at keeping the monsters of the Dreadwood in check. but at times a threat that avoids them or overcomes them emerges to wreak havoc across the land. Wild rumors say that there is a portal into the mortal world and the Shadowfells is located somewhere within its depts and the cause of much of the regions evil.
Dwarf Mines. These cliff side mines are only one of the dwarven mines in the other is some 8 miles to the west at the base of the Black Opel Mountain range. The mine here is a broad shaft dug into a steep hillside near the shore. Stone walls encompass it, with two guard towers overlooking the main gate and three other towers spaced evenly around the perimeter. The inner area contains a small village with warehouses, workshops, and houses, all erected during the time when the excavation was beginning and enormous amounts of stone became available for building.
Black Opal Mountains about 8 miles west of Saltmarsh are a chain of mountains that split the island from north to south. This is a chain of six long dead volcanic mountains. that run most of the length of the island. The highest, the Eagle Eyrie Mount, is 6,000ft above the sea level. All are cloaked in thick jungle forest. Rumors of mineral wealth in the mountains has drawn the Dwarf mining company 'the Copperlocks' to the area. The peeks are said to be home to a nest of Wyvern but if so they must limit their hunting to the west side of the island as most never have personally claimed to have seen one. Other monsterous beasts do roar their foothills and the Dwarfs in the area are suppost to be heavily armed at all times.
The Azure Sea. The Azure Sea has long been a turbulent body of water in every sense. Its storms have sent countless ships to their doom, and warfare of one sort of another is conducted across its surface all the lime. Pirates affiliated with the Sea Princes, along with independent marauders, prey on ships that attempting to cross it to other civilized isles. Strange monsters, including vicious dinosaurs from the southeastern island chains of Ameclio, emerge from below its waves from time to time.
CULTURES OF THE ARCHIPELAGO
BASIC HUMAN CULTURES
- Baklunish. These are golden-skinned humans. They dwell mostly on the Eastern part of the Island Archipelago chains. Many of their island nations have joined the Merchant League and their ships can been found throughout.
- Flannae. These are the aboriginal inhabitants of the northern Archipelago Island chains, their bronze skin ranges from a lighter coppery hue to deep brown. Their hair tends to be wavy or curly, and from black to brown. They have strong, broad faces and sturdy builds. Many have immigrated to other Human Islands and migled well with the other nations.
- Oeridian. These people have olive or tan skin and any color of hair from honey-blonde to black. The Oeridians founded the mighty Great Kingdom of the Easter-Northern Island Chain (on one of the larger Islands of the Archipelago) and co-founded the kingdom of Keoland (in the West-Nothern chain). Many of the island nations were also once territories of the empire and so their influence on everything from language to culture in the A is considerable.
- Olman. The Olman are a brown-skinned people found mainly in the tropics of Hepmonaland and the Amedio Jungle Islands of the Central Archipelago. Their hair is straight and black, and their eyes are very dark. They have high cheek bones and high-bridged noses.
- Rhennee. The Rhennee have olive-toned skin like the Oeridians, but darker, curlier hair. They tend to be short, but wiry and strong. They are a very different people culturally, thought to have originated on another plane of existence. In the Archipelago, they exist culturally as nomadic sea wanders aboard great galleys where many of the live full time. While few of their ship-homes have joined the Merchant League they are on good terms with Greyhawk and many other members and enjoyed favored statues even through not members.
- Suloise. The Suloise are pale, some nearly albino, with kinky or curly hair of blonde or red. They tend to be narrow and lean. Their island nations are concenttrated in the southern polar regions of the Archipelago.
- Touv. The Touv have dark brown or nearly black skin, straight or wavy black hair, and brown or startlingly blue eyes. They dwell mostly in the island nations along the equator to the east and west of then the more central jungle islands. They tend towards isolationism but a few city-states have joined the Merchant League.
Most of the civilized nations form a ring of island chains around the central islands of the equator (which are mostly jungle islands).
- Greyhawk. Home of the Merchant League, this city-state is located in the north-cemtral parts of Archipelago chain. Their merchant ships are found throughout the Ten-Thousands Islands and they are one of the best known city-states.
- Keoland. Located in the western parts of the Archipelago, it controls five islands. It is a full member of the Merchant League and trades thoughout the Ten-Thosand Island. This nation state has existed for many centuries and has had a great deal of influence of much of the western island chains.
- Furyondy. Once a part of the Great Kingdom it gained its independence over two hundred years ago. Located in the south-western parts of the Archipelago, this island nation-state controls at least a dozen islands (most of only average size), but their navey is very strong (one of the strongest in fact) and they can be found through the Ten-Thousand Islands (both war and tradeships as they are also part of the Merchant League).
- The Great Kingdom. Only a shell of its former glory, the island where the nation-state was first form is only partially held by them today. Other port cities on the island are full independent of the Kingdom which is now rumored to be lead by an undead 'Emperor'.
- Kingdom of Nyrond
- United Islands of Ahlissa
- Urnst Islands
- Ulek Island
- Kingdom of Iuz. A chain of some eight islands (of various sizes) in the north-eastern chain. Ruled over by luz, a supposedly mighty cambion (deamon) and demigod. These lands are dark and forboddin and almost no one trades directly with them. They have been at 'peace' with most other island nations however for over a hundred years. Most just assume their ruler is bidding his time for something.
- Hold of the Sea Princes. Pirate nation formed by so-called Pirate Kings and Queens some 20 years ago. Many up of all species and cultures of the Archipelago. These islands are located in the south, far-western parts of the islands.
- The Frost Islands. Located in the far southern parts of the Archipelago these islands are home to the Frost, Snow and Ice Barbarians tribes of Human, Dwarf and Elf origins. They are have similar cultures to the Blood Stone Orcs of the north but they are also just as likely to hire themselves out as mercenaries for a season or two.
- Ironhold. The largest Nation-State of the Dwarfs is located in the southern extermes Island of the Archipelago on a large island. This nation state has joined the Merchant League and Dwarf Ironclad ships due prowl the Seas to trade but most trade they conduct is at their own island markets.
- The Steel Islands. Located in the south-eastern Island chain of the Archipelago is the island Chain of Steel and Iron as it is called. Here the Dwarfs have a string of six islands where they dig deep into the volcanic mountains of the chain. They trade with the League but are not members (nor are the allied with Ironhold). Gnomes are also common here and are a few villages of Halflings and Human farmers who feed the nation.
- Celene. Another large forested island located in the south-western Archipelago is where the Elf nation of Celene and is home to both High and Wood Elf. Somewhat isolationist they never the less have the Port of Green on their northwestern coast where the trade with anyone who wishes to come (and are peaceful).
- The Seven-Silver Hill Islands. Located in the north-western far fringes of the Archipelago are a seven islands chain where the Halflings hold sway and their rather peaceful nation sits. Two of the islands are full members of the Merchant League but the nations only have a few merchant craft that are manned by other species and a few Halfling captains.
- Blood Stone Islands. This is a collection of Islands in the far northern exterme of the Archipelago where the Orcs (amd many of their Ogre allies) reside. Their culture is very 'Sea Raider' based. Most Trall warriors are farmers and herds people during much of the year but 'go a raiding' during the late summer period. Many peoples fear these raids as they do not consider anyone 'civilian' and they especially like to attack and pillage holy sites and places of worship. Their own gods encourage this among them.
- Ring of Surtr. Within the Blood Stone Islands these islands are inhabited by the Silfursvin clan of orcs, who dwelled on a small island chain. The central island of this chain, the largest, ad bares a volcano known as the Eye of Imix; clan legend held that a portal to the Underworld lay deep within it, and it was true that the mountain would at times disgorge terrible monsters: fiends, mutated animals, creatures of living lava, and worse. The Silfursvins believed it was their sacred duty to contain the horrors within the mountain, and their greatest warriors, the Andariddari, dedicated their lives to doing just that. Their patron was the god Silfurloginn, seen as an enormous silver boar with the silver scales of a dragon and tusks of fire, and whose sign was flames that burned silver.
Otherwise all people and cultures have intermingles on many of these islands. The Merchant League trades with most except those of the Blood Stone Islands and the Hold of the Sea Princes.
Other Islands and Unusual Features
These islands hold no real dominate nation-state but are well known and occasionally visited. Some even have minor ports set up as semi-permentant cities run by other nation-states or independently.
- The Bone Isle: Located south of the main Great Kingdom island, this curse island was the sight of a great battle where the dead where abondent in the aftermath. A necromancer (or two) set up shop here and is rumored to import bodies from unsavory sorts to the island. It is now overrun by the undead and avoided by all but the desterate or greedy.
- Bright Islands. These three larger islands located in the north-eastern part of the Archipelago chain are rocky deserts with little or no vegetation on them and even less life. They are avoid by most and rumored cursed. However there does seem to have been an ancient civilization on it at one time in its past and ruined stone structures can be seen dotting the islands.
- Hepmonalands. A chain of volcanic islands near the center and eastern-cental parts of the Archipelago chain. Many of these islands are quite large and most are only lightly populated by sentient beings. Thunder lizards and other mythal monsterous creatures are far more comman and plentiful.
- Amedio Jungle Islands. Another island volcanic jungle chain of islands these are located on the western-central parts of the Archipelago chain. They tend to have more civilized cultures and ports then then in the Hepmonalands but are also populated by a great number of 'thunder-lizards' (big dinosaurs) that threaten all peoples.
- The Pomarj. Located south-western chain this is a heavily forested and cursed island. Fairly large in size it is home to only one sentient species -- the Gnolls. These cannablist tribes fight each other as much as they raid the surrounding islands for their demon god Yeenoghu.
- Crystalmist Islands. These huge volcanic islands are located on the far eastern fringes of the Archipelago chain. They are the location of some of the tallest islands in the Known World and many have no places for a ship to easily land on. They are for the most part inhabated only by Dragons and a few other wild flying beasts. This chain is made up of at least a dozen fairly large islands.
- The Sargasso Mire: On the western half of the equator is a large expanse of brown sargassum seaweed and often calm water. It bounded by four currents forming an ocean gyre of unatually stable water where the seaweed has grown exponentially and is dangerous to sail even close too. Many an unprepaired ship has been trapped within the expanse and moved deeper into it. Legends say that some of these ship retain their treasure holds full of bouty.
- Vesve Isle. This is an uninhabited heavily forested island in the northwester part of the Archipelago. There are rumores of a few wild elf communities on the island or at least there were at one time but now the island is cursed. Those whom have set foot on one of the island's few beaches have described a overwelming sense of foreboding and quickly left. Passing ships have heard monsterous cries coming from the thick interior but no creatures are ever seen (except a few island birds).
SAILING SHIPS AND NEW RULES
These are a bit of a mix of rules found in Ghosts of Saltmarsh and Navey Adventures
The ocean is a vast and dangerous place, ripe with adventure both above and below the waves. This appendix expands the material available in the Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide, providing further resources for waterborne adventures.
SHIP STAT BLOCKS
To aid in running adventures where ships engage in combat, undertake precise navigation, or face situations where their various capabilities become relevant, the following section presents new rules and stat blocks for a spectrum of vessels.
A ship stat block has three main parts: basic statistics, components, and action options. Ships can't take any actions on their own. Without effort from its crew, a ship might drift on the water, come to a stop, or careen out of control.
- Size, Most ships are Large, Huge, or Gargantuan. A ship's size category is determined by its length or width, whichever is longer. For instance, a ship that is 10 feet long and 20 feet wide would use the size category that has a 20-foot width, which means the ship is Gargantuan.
- Space. A ship doesn't have a square space unless its stat block specifies otherwise. For example, a ship that is 20 feet long and 10 feet wide occupies a 20-by-10-foot space. A ship can't move into a space that is too small to accommodate it. If it tries to do so, it crashes, as described in the CRASHING A SHIP section below.
- Capacitty. A ship's stat block indicates how many creatures and how much cargo it can carry. Creatures include both the crew of the vessel and any passengers who might ride along. Passengers don't generally engage in running a ship, but they also don't need to be mere bystanders. Seasick merchants and marines thoroughly capable of facing menaces from the deep both count as passengers. Cargo capacity notes the maximum amount of cargo a ship can carry. A vessel can't move-or might even start taking on water- if its cargo exceeds this capacity.
- Travel Pace. A ship's travel pace determines how far the vessel can move per hour and per day. A ship's movement-related components (described later in the stat block) determine how far the vessel can move each round.
- Ability Scores. A ship has the six ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma) and the corresponding modifiers.
- The Strength of a ship expresses its size and weight. Dexterity represents a ship's ease of handling. A ship's Constitution covers its durability and the quality of its construction. Ships usually have a score of 0 in Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.
- If a ship has a 0 in a score, it automatically fails any ability check or saving throw that uses that score. It also ignores any effect that would normally be imposed on it for a failed save (GM descrition)
- Vulnerability, Resistance and Immunities. A ship's vulnerabilities, resistances, and immunities apply to all its components, unless otherwise noted in the stat block.
- A ship's Sails are vulnerable to fire damage (unless treated. See SUPERIOR SHIP UPGRADES below).
- Ships are typically immune to poison and psychic damage.
- Ships are also usually immune to the following conditions: blinded, charmed, deafened , exhaustion, frightened, incapacitated, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, stunned, and unconscious.
This part of the stat block specifies what the ship can do on its turn, using its special actions rather than the actions used by creatures. It even relies on its actions to move; it doesn't have a move otherwise. The ship's captain decides which actions to use. A given action can be chosen only once during a turn.
A ship is composed of different components, each of which comprises multiple objects:
- Hull. A ship's hull is its basic frame, on which the other components are mounted.
- Control. A control component is used to steer a ship.
- Movement'. A movement component is the element of the ship that enables it to move, such as a set of sails or oars, and has a specific speed.
- Weapon. A ship capable of being used in combat has one or more weapon components, each of which is operated separately.
- A ship's component might have special rules, as described in the stat block.
- Armor Class. A component has an Armor Class. Its AC reflects the materials used to construct it and any defensive plating used to augment its toughness.
- Hit Points. A ship component is destroyed and becomes unusable when it drops to 0 hit points. A ship is wrecked if its hull is destroyed.
- A ship doesn't have Hit Dice.
- Damage Threshold. If a ship component has a damage threshold, that threshold appears after its hit points. A component has immunity to all damage unless it takes an amount of damage that equals or exceeds its threshold, in which case it takes damage as normal. Damage that fails to bypass the threshold is considered superficial and doesn't reduce the component's hit points.
Officers and Crew
Each vessel requires people to run it: the officers in charge and the sailors who follow their orders.
TYPES OF OFFICERS
If you'd like to explore running a ship, it needs officers to oversee its operations- officers who fill six different roles. Some roles aboard a ship reflect the need for trained experts to direct a crew's efforts. Other roles focus on keeping the crew's health and morale in order.
The roles are meant to provide a sense of the types of ability checks useful to managing a ship. Of these, though, captain is the only role that must be filled for the ship to function. A ship needs a single person to issue orders and respond to threats, otherwise a ship risks chaos and confusion during a crisis.
Each type of officer is described below, along with the abilities and proficiencies that help a character excel:
- Captain. The captain issues orders. The best captains have high Intelligence and Charisma scores, as well as proficiency with water vehicles and the Intimidation and Persuasion skills.
- First Mate. This specialist keeps the crew's morale high by providing supervision, encouragement. and discipline. A first mate benefits from a high Charisma score, as well as proficiency with the Intimidation and Persuasion skills.
- Bosun. The bosun (or boatswain) provides technical advice to the captain and crew and leads repair and maintenance efforts. A good bosun has a high Strength score, as well as proficiency with carpenter's tools and the Athletics skill.
- Quartermaster. The quartermaster plots the s hip's course, relying on knowledge of nautical charts and a study of weather and sea conditions. A reliable quartermaster tends to have a high Wisdom score, as well as proficiency with navigator's tools and the Nature skill.
- Surgeon. The ship's surgeon tends to injuries. keeps illnesses from spreadin g throughout the ship, and over sees sa nitation. A capable surgeo n benefits from a high Intelligence score, as well as proficiency with herbalism kits and the Medicine skill.
- Cook. A s hip's cook works with the limited ingredients aboard a ship to make meals. A skilled cook k eeps the crew 's morale in top shape. while a poor one drags down the entire crew's performance. A talented cook has a high Constitution score as well as proficiency with brewer's supplies and cook's utensils.
- Cargo Master or Super. While having little direct interaction with the crew this officer's position is never the less vial for crew moral. They are in charge of the supplies and rations that the crew consumes (making sure there is enough to eat and drink and also making sure it does not spoil and the right foods are packed, etc.). They can also be vital for the record keeping on the cargo to make sure a merchant ship makes money and can pay its crew. The should have a good Intelligence and proficiency with calligrapher's supplies tools.
A ship requires a number of ablebodied sailors to crew it, as specified in its stat block. A crew's skill, experience, morale. and health are defined by its quality score.
This score can affect a number of general ship activities, like the crew's ability to notice threats or contend with hazards. A crew starts with a quality score of +4, but that score varies over time, going as low as -10 and as high as +10. It decreases as a crew takes casualties, suffers hardship, or endures poor health. It increases if the crew enjoys high morale, has good health care, and receives fair leadership.
A typical crew member uses the commoner stat block in the Monster Manual.
OPTIONAL RULE: LOYALTY AND QUALITY
When dealing with an individual member of the crew, you might find it useful to use the optional loyalty rule from chapter 4 of the Dungeon Master's Guide. To convert a quality score into an individual's loyalty score, add 1O to the crew's quality score.
A poorly led or mistreated crew might turn against its officers. Once per day, if a crew's quality score is lower than 0, the captain must make a Charisma (Intimidation or Persuasion) check modified by the crew's quality score. If the check total is between 1 and 9, the crew's quality score decreases by 1.
If the check total is 0 or lower, the crew mutinies.
They become hostile to the officers and might attempt to kill them, imprison them, or throw them overboard. The crew can be cowed into obedience through violence, combat, or offers of treasure or other rewards.
When the DM ends tbe mutiny, the crew's quaity score increases by ld4.
Life aboard a ship is a constant wear on the crew. Spending time in port allows the crew to relax and regain its composure. If a crew's quality score is 3 or lower, the score increases by 1 for each day the crew spends in port or ashore.
Ships in Combat
Whether sailing to war or hunting notorious pirates, ships make deadly weapons and dramatic battlefields. This section provides guidance on using ships in combat.
SHIPS AND INITIATIVE
A ship rolls initiative using its Dexterity, and it uses its crew's quality score as a modifier to that roll. On a ship's turn, the captain decides which of the ship's actions to use.
SPECIAL OFFICER ACTIONS
During an encounter, the captain, first mate, and bosun each have access to two special action options: Take Aim and Full Speed Ahead, both detailed below.
- TAKE AIM: As an action, the captain. first mate, or bosun directs the crew's firing, aiding in aiming one of the ship's weapons. Select one of the ship's weapons that is within 10 feet of the officer. It gains advantage on the next attack roll it makes before the end of the ship's next turn.
- FULL SPEED AHEAD: As an action while on deck, the captain, first mate, or bosun can exhort the crew to work harder and drive the ship forward faster. Roll a d6 and multiply the result by 5. Apply the total as a bonus to the ship's speed until the end of the ship's next turn. If the ship is already benefiting from this action"s bonus, don't add the bonuses together; the higher bonus applies.
CREW IN COMBAT
Managing a ship's entire crew in combat can prove cumbersome, especially as larger ships often host dozens of sailors. Typically the crew is too busy managing the ship to do anything else during combat. Don't worry about tracking their specific positions unless you want to add that complexity. You can assume that the crew is evenly divided among the upper two decks of a ship.
Slaying a ship's crew reduces the number of actions most s hips can take, making the crew a tempting target in combat. Resolve individual attacks as normal, using the guidelines for resolving many, identical attacks at once from the Dungeon Master's Guide as needed.
In the case of spells that cover an area, such as fireball or lightning bolt, you might track the exact location of lhe spell and crew to determine how many sailors it affects. Alternatively, you can roll ld6 per level of the spell. The total of the dice is the number of crew members caught in the spetrs area.
Ship Types and Stats
Galleons. Are large, multi-deck ships which operates as armed cargo carrier. Galleons have three masts and use square sails on the foremast and mainmast and triangular sails on the aftmast.
Typical Price: 30,000gp
Gargantuan vehicle (160 ft. by 30 ft.)
Creature Capacity 80 crew, 100 passengers
Cargo Capacity 400 tons
Travel Pace 5 miles per hour (120 miles per day)
STR 24 (+7), DEX 5 (-3), CON 20 (+5), INT 0, WIS 0, CHA 0
Damage Immunities poison, psychic
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, exhaustion, frightened, incapacitated, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, stunned, unconscious
Armor Class 15
Hit Points 800 (damage threshold 20)
Armor Class 18
Hit Points 50
Move up to the speed of its sails, with one 90-degree turn. If the helm is destroyed, the ship can’t turn.
Armor Class 12
Hit Points 200; –10 ft. speed per 50 damage taken
Locomotion (water) sails, speed 45 ft.; 15 ft. while sailing into the wind; 60 ft. while sailing with the wind.
WEAPON: 12-POUND CANNON (12)
Armor Class 17
Hit Points 45
Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 500/2000 ft., one target; Hit: 22 (4d10) bludgeoning damage.
WEAPON: 18-POUND CANNON (8)
Armor Class 17
Hit Points 60
Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 600/2400 ft., one target. Hit: 33 (6d10) bludgeoning damage.
On its turn, the galleon can move using its helm.
It can also fire its cannons. If it has half its crew or fewer, it moves at half speed and can fire only half of its cannons.
Sloops. Are single-masted ships with two or more triangular sails, fore and aft of the mast. Known for being quick and agile, sloops are a popular choice with pirates and smugglers. This type of ship also includes corvettes and cutters, which vary slightly from the typical sloop.
Typical Price: 10,000gp
Gargantuan vehicle (60 ft. by 20 ft.)
Creature Capacity 20 crew, 10 passengers
Cargo Capacity 50 tons
Travel Pace 6 miles per hour (144 miles per day)
STR 18 (+4), DEX 8 (-1), CON 16 (+3), INT 0, WIS 0, CHA 0
Damage Immunities poison, psychic
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, exhaustion, frightened, incapacitated, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, stunned, unconscious
Armor Class 15
Hit Points 250 (damage threshold 15)
Armor Class 18
Hit Points 50
Move up to the speed of its sails, with one 90-degree turn. If the helm is destroyed, the ship can’t turn.
Armor Class 12
Hit Points 100; –10 ft. speed per 25 damage taken
Locomotion (water) sails, speed 55 ft.; 15 ft. while sailing into the wind; 70 ft. while sailing with the wind.
WEAPON: 12-POUND CANNON (6)
Armor Class 17
Hit Points 45
Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 500/2000 ft., one target; Hit: 22 (4d10) bludgeoning damage.
On its turn, the sloop can move using its helm. It can also fire its cannons.
If it has half its crew or fewer, it moves at half speed and can fire only half of its cannons.
The cannons on a ship come in a variety of sizes, from the small maneuverable guns found on the top deck to the heavy guns below. Cannons are made of cast iron, and are generally described by the size of the cannon ball they fire (the "pounder" referring to the cannon balls weight), ranging from the small 1-pounder swivel guns to the heavy 32-pounders guns.
The larger the ship, the greater the quantity and size of its cannons. Gunpowder is a mundane substance composed of sulphur, charcoal and potassium nitrate. As cannons are commonplace in this world, they replace the siege weapons found in a more traditional game.
A large keg of gunpowder (generally stationed by most guns) costs 125 gp and weights 25
Swivel Gun | 500gp | 100lbs | Crew Min 1 | Medium object
- Damage 2d8 bludgeoning damage, Range 300/1,200ft. Each round weighs 1lb and cost 1gp. Each shot requires ¼lb gunpowder.
Cannon, 9 pounder | 850gp | 1,500lbs | Crew Min 2 | Large object
- Damage 3d10 bludgeoning damage, Range 400/1,600ft. Each round costs 2gp and each shot requires 2¼lb gunpowder per shot.
Cannon, 12 pounder | 1,250gp | 2,200lbs | Crew Min 3 | Large object
- Damage 4d10 bludgeoning damage, Range 500/2,000ft. Each round cost 3gp and each shot requires 3lb gunpowder per shot.
Cannon, 18 pounder | 1,750gp | 3,700lbs | Crew Min 3 | Large object
- Damage 6d10 bludgeoning damage, Ranged 500/2,000ft. Each round cost 5gp and requires 4½lb gunpowder per shot.
Cannon, 24 pounder | 2,500gp | 5,500lbs | Crew Min 3 | Large object""
- Damage 7d10 bludgeoning damage, Range 600/2,400ft. Each round costs 7gp and requires 6lb gunpowder per shot.
'Cannon, 32 pounder | 4,000gp | 8,500lbs | Crew Min 4 | Large object
- Damage 8d10 bludgeoning damage, Range 600/2,400ft. Each round costs 10gp and requires 8lb gunpowder per shot
For fewer crew add +1 round to each action for each crew missing (min 1)
All cannons requires a round to reload, a round to aim and a round to fire as a standard ranged attack.
A swivel gun can be turned to attack nearly any target, but it is not recommended to fire across your own deck. Swivel guns are positioned on the top deck and can be easily moved around the deck. These weapons are designed to attack crew and sails.
Cannons are meant to fire at other ships and generally mounted facing one arch on the ship --bow, port, starboard and aft and can only fire in that direction.
Special Cannon Rounds
- Chain and Bar Shot (18-pounder and higher). Two iron balls or two halves of a ball joined together by a chain or iron bar. Used to destroy rigging, boarding netting and sails. Range is one-half standard range and changes the damage to d8s (instead of d10s) slashing damage. Any creature within 5 feet of the target must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw or take 1d6 slashing damage. If the target is an object that has a size of Large or greater, it takes an additional 2d6 slashing damage. Double the Ammo cost for each shell, min 5gp.
- Explosive Shell (all but swivel guns). A grenade like projectile that explodes and sends shrapnel everywhere. Uses base short ranged (no long range) with a 15 ft. sphere (DC 12) and change damage to d6s (instead of d10s) fire damage. A flammable object within the area of the shell ignites if it isn’t being worn or carried. Add +10gp and double the base price of each round.
- Grapeshot or Canister Shot (18-pounds or heavier). Used against personnel, this is a canvas bags or cans filled with musket balls. When fired, the container breaks open, firing like a giant shotgun. Change range to 500ft and target to 20 ft. sphere AOE (DC 14) and change the damage to d6s (instead of d10s) bludgeoning and slashing damage. A successsful Dexterity saving throw halves the damage. Double the costs of each round.
The following ship improvements must be built and installed by a skilled shipbuilder in port.