Wednesday, 18 January 2017

My Saltmarsh

As I have mentioned before I was a fan of the TSR Module "Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh".  I probably bought it a few years after it was published in 1980.  At the time I was running a BECM Campaign that was well into the mid-levels so I could not make use of the module.  Although the "Sea Ghost" made it into the campaign.

The Sea Ghost
In the early 1990's I got the chance to run it more or less as it is published for another BECM campaign.  The enemies were changed over to D&D basic and that was the only change.  In the late 1990's I started an AD&D 2nd Edition campaign for Greyhawk and the introductory adventures were U1 and U2: Danger at Dunwater.  I did do a fair bit of re-writing.  The inhabitants of the "haunted" house had similar goals but I changed who they were.  I also was running a more medieval campaign so I changed the "Sea Ghost" into a cog.  I felt the original was a little to modern for my liking.  Attached is a layout of the modified ship.

The much smaller ship made it a little hard to cram everything needed into it.  But the Sea Ghost part of the original module is usually an all-out fight on the main deck anyway.  Usually players try to be stealthy but it soon devolves into a pitched battle with the smugglers.

My Saltmarsh 1998
I have also attached the map I created for the town of Saltmarsh.  I created it using Microsoft Paint. That was the best image software I had at the time.

You can see a dramatic improvement in my map making skills in the area map of Keoland I created to place the first few adventures for the campaign.  It was created in Paint Shop Pro.  I had Campaign Cartographer but I did not like the kind of results I was getting.

So instead I "hand drew" the maps with a mouse in Paint Shop Pro.  I created the little icons for the hills, swamps and trees by looking at icons created on the famous Greyhawk maps and then I just endlessly copied and pasted them to get the right look.
Keoland Players Map 1999


  1. My daughter has returned from university enthused by D&D 5e which has in turn reignited my interest in AD&D albeit 1e. I happened to be looking to run U1 as a blast from the past freshly downloaded from DMs Guild when I came across your map of Saltmarsh. I may just use it (if I may - I wouldn't post it or claim it as mine) but I wanted to thank you for your reminiscences

    1. I hope you find them useful. Note that the area map has details that do not match the offical canon.

    2. The map should provide a good backdrop to the adventure. Most of the players will be beginners or, in my case, ring rusty. The differences probably will not make much difference.