Friday, July 12, 2019

New Campaign... and so it begins again...

I've always had a soft spot for The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh - I bought it back in the day when it first came out and ran a couple parties through it over the years - though only one got through both parts. I have several times planted the adventure as part of a sandbox introducing new characters to a new campaign - sometimes they take the hook, often they don't.

So - my daughter has asked me to DM again - she just led some of her friends, brand new to RPGs, through a couple adventures for the Black Hack: Bloat Cave of the Man Flies and Prisoners of the Gelatinous Dome! They had a blast, but she said she missed playing (and felt a little overwhelmed running the game, even with the scaled down Black Hack rules).

So we're going to go through the U series as a sandbox. Yes, I bought The Ghosts of Saltmarsh - I'll be using it primarily for the village and some of the "other" adventures that I don't already own - but I'll use the originals for the "main" adventures.  Though even that's a bit of a misnomer, since it's mostly a sandbox that'll have tons of rumors and clues - there's about a dozen adventure opportunities (a certain reptile cult seems to be forming in Orlan... I mean Burle and there's been weird weather lately... like the very elements themselves are being stirred up... along with the regular humanoid incursion threats and the Lizard men and the Sea Devils and shipwrecks and, well, you get it).

So - here's the introduction for my daughter's party. We're going to start very prescriptive to give her group a strong hook to get them to the Saltmarsh area, but not so much that they will go right to the House on the cliff...

They will be approached by a man in a coach escorted by two of the Kingsguard.

Well, finally we meet.  You have been long away from home, it seems. Do you recognize the name Alvaro D’Alboran? You may not, indeed, as he died perhaps before you were born.  But rest assured, you would do well to remember the name, for he was your father’s, father’s brother, and, while you may indeed not know who he was, he has nevertheless provided an incredible opportunity for you.
 I hold here a writ, to the heirs of [your father], for a house and property near a little fishing town called Saltmarsh along the coast of the South Sea.
 As I understand it, your great-uncle died about 20 years ago. Alvaro was an alchemist of some renown, though not affiliated with the Alchemy Guild. The house on the coast is yours free and clear. But know this, it has stood empty for all these many years and it is certainly in need of repairs. Your great-uncle seems to have taken this into account as he has also left some money for you at the Chapel of St. Procan in the village of Saltmarsh. The exact amount is not given here, but I expect you will be able to care for the estate, should you choose to claim it.
 One other thing to note that you may not know. The law of the land is this: you must lay claim to your property within 60 days of receiving official notice of ownership. This is your notice. You have two months.
 Do you have any questions?

He knows:
·        Saltmarsh – where it is and how to get there; ruled by a town council elected from the prominent families; has a reputation of being friendly with the Sea Princes (pirates); is primarily a fishing village and a trader layover port
·        Uncle – disappeared about 20 years ago (actually 17 years ago) presumed dead; he was an alchemist, was very successful and was considered an enemy of the Alchemist Guild

He suspects:
·        Uncle may have been murdered (no evidence) – probably by the Alchemist Guild
·        House may have squatters or worse (monsters?)

He does not know:
·        Anyone in Saltmarsh
·        Where the house is located
·        What they have to do to claim the property (beyond showing the writ to the local authorities)
·        How much money is at the Chapel

He is willing to accompany the deed holder (for a significant fee) to verify the seal on the document if desired, though he is likely to be a liability on a journey: he is accustomed to certain amenities (a coach, sleeping at inns and wayhouses, warm meals) and he is a non-combatant (in fact, he is likely to faint or flee if combat occurs) with one exception – he will defend the weak or the helpless (not very effectively, but still…).

He is both a monk (of the order of St. Ashar) and a government official and he takes both of those roles very seriously so he will always tell the truth as he knows it and will always seek to uphold the law as he understands it.


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fnstylez said...
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