Ghosts of Saltmarsh offers options to set prior adventures in Greyhawk

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Tim Baker
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Ghosts of Saltmarsh offers options to set prior adventures in Greyhawk

Post by Tim Baker » Wed May 08, 2019 6:10 am

According to Newbie DM on Twitter, Ghosts of Saltmarsh offers advice on how you can run the adventures from Tales from the Yawning Portal as a campaign using the Greyhawk setting.
@newbiedm wrote: I thought this book was comparable to Tales of the Yawning Portal... and it is, but it takes its usefulness a step further. It actually helps you craft a campaign with the included adventures, using Saltmarsh’s factions as the drivers. But here’s something that’s welcomed... it does the same thing for the Tales of the Yawning Portal’s adventures. Now the Tomb of Horrors and Against the Giants CAN be (officially) played in Greyhawk.
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Re: Ghosts of Saltmarsh offers options to set prior adventures in Greyhawk

Post by Dragonhelm » Thu May 09, 2019 1:49 am

Here's a quote from NewbieDM on the topic...
First, the setting...The village of Saltmarsh is unequivocally set in Greyhawk. It says so in the book. This is not set in the Forgotten Realms, nor in some ambiguous generic world. This is Greyhawk.
I'm glad to see Greyhawk getting a little love in 5e.

There's conversion notes for the Forgotten Realms, Mystara, and Eberron, but no Dragonlance love!
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Re: Ghosts of Saltmarsh offers options to set prior adventures in Greyhawk

Post by Dread Delgath » Thu May 23, 2019 6:57 pm

I just received my LE copy on Monday, and have had a chance to glance at it since then, but I can tell you a few things about Ghosts of Saltmarsh.

The LE (Limited Edition) cover is not 'velvety' as the previous LE books were, but it is similar to a 'foily', like some of the special cards in M:tG. I think this is a good move, as the velvet covers seem easy to mar and a pain to protect, especially when they are used in everyday gaming. I will still wrap this one in a clear cellophane cover.

The default setting IS Greyhawk. There are sidebars that give some guidance to setting Saltmarsh in Eberron, Forgotten Realms & Mystara. :ugeek:

I was under-informed as to the content, and the reality is much better than I had imagined: (taking only parts of the U Series in a mish-mash 5e mega-adventure), and is instead a total 5e conversion of U 1-2-3, plus a few other adventures from Dungeon magazine and 3.5 sources! This book follows in the footsteps of "Tales From the Yawning Portal", but Ghosts of Saltmarsh goes a step further and provides a way to string all adventures together. They are all connected by being set in a coastal region.

The UA article "Of Ships & the Sea" was a playtest of the expanded content in Ghosts of Saltmarsh. Ships are presented in greater detail, but I haven't fully read through this section yet. :)

Many new monsters! :mrgreen:

Last night after work, I was able to compare the 5e conversion side-by-side to the originals, and while I am happy to have the 5e conversions of the original U Series, I am disappointed by (what I would deem as a major) content change. :(

Why does 5e always have to nerf the treasure and magic items? 90% of the magical treasure has been removed from Ghosts of Saltmarsh. The GPV (gold piece value) of gems, jewelry, and actual coinage is reduced CONSIDERABLY. :evil:

Rant Mode On:
Why? Okay, so 5e was designed so that PCs rely on magic items very little, and this is a flaw in character design vs. reasons to go adventuring in the first place (and this topic was roundly drummed out in other threads here, so I don't want to go over all that again - I am simply providing some information on the altered content of the U series and... venting. :twisted: )

But why nerf the rest of the valuable loot? 5e encumbrance and coin weight rules makes it easier to carry treasure, so WHY can't characters load up on loot? GPV has no bearing on XP (pretty much ditched GP=XP in 2e), so there is no reason at all for reducing treasure.

Maybe throughout regular 5e play and early playtests have shown that PCs wind up carrying too much loot in ongoing campaigns, but I have no problem (as DM) in making sure that PCs always need to keep buying stuff (rations, ammo, NPC services, food & lodging, rent, replacing wrecked equipment, etc.) and extra services that banking services that provide protection of stored loot so PCs can save up to build their own stronghold eventually.

As I keep going along with 5e parameters, I continuously feel restricted by not being able to include elements that I strongly feel should still be part of the game.


The additional 5e material (Saltmarsh as a campaign setting and new MAPS!) are nice, and I can dig this. :mrgreen:

The book starts out with a full color map of Saltmarsh and keyed entries. There is also an area map that shows the greater coastal territory and provides a few other places to explore - and also provides locations for all the included adventures.

The maps kinda threw me off at first, as I failed to notice that North is not always at the top of the map. :oops: :lol:

In the full color Saltmarsh map, North is to the right. In the black and white area map, North is to the left! There is no poster sized map attached at the end, as there is no need for it in this book. All the adventures have maps provided (most by Dyson Logos) in appropriate places throughout the book.

I have not read through most adventures yet (and its honestly been awhile since I read through the U Series), so I don't know how well each adventure fits together as a whole, nor am I aware of any additional writing that provides cohesive connections for a continuous campaign "story", aside from the obvious U Series tie-ins to each other.

Overall, I really like this book. Anything I didn't like, I can change. As a first impression and after several light 'reads', I give it a score of: :ugeek: :) :mrgreen: :evil: :mrgreen: (4 out of 5)
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