Old School Gamers

Version 1

Saving the world one dungeon and Dark Lord at a time

Session 9

S1: Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh

The 9th full game session. Dean (Thic Duc), Larry (Michael), Matt (Barron), returning player Mary (Kriselle) and new player Mariel (Leah).

As we left the party, they were returning to Saltmarsh on board the Sea Ghost. The goal was to sell the cargo, possibly the ship itself, and to figure out where to take the party next. The obvious next step would be to investigate the lizardfolk village expecting a shipment of weapons, but those lizardfolk had also paid for those weapons and would not be inclined to pay twice. They would also be familiar with the Sea Ghost and might take it amiss that the ship had captured by pirates and their shipment intercepted.

Meanwhile, in Rookroost, Kriselle had found a merchant willing to consider a bulk purchase of silk, brandy, and other cargo for a reasonable price. With that task settled, she found a tavern near the southern gates (named The Pearly Gates) and set herself up to wait for the party to return. In the meantime she made friends with Leah, who also seemed to be waiting for someone.

The party arranged to hire carts to transport the cargo to Rookroost at a cost of 25gp per trip, and with some effort (and an assist from Chesty) managed to talk their way past the various gate guards with the first load. Kriselle spotted them at the gates on the way into Rookroost and introduced Leah to the party, who noticed the exchange of glances and aliases with the man they know as Barron. Kriselle’s contact among the merchants turned out to be a man named Astenon, who handed the first half of the cargo off to his own guards, led by Michelin.

Thick Duck made use of new friend and Thieves’ Guild contact Barron to acquire his own set of lockpicks. Barron made use of his new affiliation with the party to fence a number of their goods, including the astrological instruments from the top of the Sage’s Tower. (As it turns out, the tower itself had burned while the party was in Saltmarsh, with the cause of the fire unknown and the fate of those staying at the tower also in question. Fafhrd and his friend the Mouser were alive and well, having left the burning tower and returned to their normal lives, but the dwarf and his research into a cure for the plague were both missing).

Other information gained from the interaction with the Thieves’ Guild through Barron, as filtered through Barron’s account to the party, included confirmation that the 2000 electrum coins found on board the Sea Ghost were counterfeit.

Michael accompanied Barron on one of the trips to the guild to offer the spellbook found in the mate’s quarters at the manor to them. Being offered 300gp for it, he asked to think about it and withdrew. After suitable prayer and contemplation, he realized that his urge to deliver the Second Mate’s spellbook to the Thieves’ Guild was a suggestion that Sanbalot had cast on him as the second mate had fled the battle beneath the manor. This suggests (heh) a connection between Sanbalot and the guild, and might also explain Daphne’s apparent problem with sleep-murder.

Arrangements were made to sell the weapons onwards to the Thieves’ Guild for a small discount on their original price: 800gp.

Thic Duc has been punching walls. A lot.

Rookroost guard captain Malcolm said he was unaware of a recent lizard man incusion into the city’s extended territory and would appreciate the party scouting their lair and determining if the lizardfolk presented a threat. If the party does not investigate, he will arrange for others to take up the task, so he would like a solid yes or no from the party within a few days.

Despite a passionate plea on behalf of honor, justice, friendship, and loyalty, the party chose to leave Shaggy to his fate among the lizard men. A small sop to politeness allowed Fred to invite them to help in a rescue attempt later, should their assistance seem required and the party be available.

Barron purchased a falcon (Polly) and is training him to attack. Leah purchased a guard dog (Pyro), already trained to attack.

To be continued…


100xp for showing up


The Sea Ghost itself (5000gp with Thieves' Guild discount)
The (visible) contents of the ship's cargo hold totaling 15,480 gp
Astrological instruments from sage's tower (400gp)
Hidden cargo of weapons sold through Thieves' Guild (800gp)
Electrum "counterfeit" coins laundered through Thieves' Guild (800gp)
Total: 22480gp

Identified magic items

2 Rings of Protection +1
Captain's Sabre +1
Wand of Magic Detection (found on ship's wizard)

Going back over the session notes for the Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, I calculated the number of shares in the Sea Ghost’s capture. Those are in the table below. Each share indicates showing up for a session in this part of the campaign; for NPCs it means contributing meaningfully to combat or otherwise being helpful.

Since you sold the ship through the Thieves’ Guild, you can get 5000gp for it. The total value of the cargo at the prices paid by the merchant Kriselle located is 15480gp. Combined, your total haul is 22480gp, and after taxes, 12364gp. That’s 661xp per share, and 364gp per share. Assuming the gold is divided by shares the same way as the xp:

There are a total of 34 shares. Characters who have undertaken vows of poverty still receive shares, they are just expected to contribute those shares to their own organization or, lacking a local branch, charitable causes. For the sake of convenience, assume there is a working local postal system to send the rewards due to characters no longer present, though they may not arrive entirely intact…

My advice as a DM is to consider what your character’s long term goals are and talk them over with the rest of the party. Do people want a keep on the borderlands? A tower in a major city with fewer half-orcs? Seed money for a thriving merchant train? A church to call their own? Followers, peasants, a faithful flock? If you know what you want, you might be able to get there, and the first big lump sum might be better invested than spent. If you don’t know what you want, you’ll never recognize it when you find it.

Roleplaying moments and quotables

There were a few of these but they have already slipped my mind due to all the math above. Nominations welcome.

Dangling Threads of Fate

Velma claims she was captured by sailors while exploring the basement of the haunted manor
Shaggy is still missing. The sailors said he might be with the lizard men. Velma says she heard him once on board ship.
Last updated on 6 Nov 2020
Published on 6 Nov 2020
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