Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Return of Greyhawk? - Ghosts of Saltmarsh coming in May 2019 (D&D 5e)

I generally don't get excited all that excited about D&D 5e releases but this is an exception. Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh is one of my favorite AD&D 1e modules and I've run it multiple times. Ghosts of Saltmarsh uses that module as the springboard to a whole campaign.
Ghosts of Saltmarsh brings classic adventures into fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. This adventure book combines some of the most popular classic adventures from the first edition of Dungeons & Dragons including the classic “U” series, plus some of the best nautical adventures from the history of Dungeon Magazine: Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, Danger at Dunwater, Salvage Operation, Isle of the Abbey, The Final Enemy, Tammeraut’s Fate, The Styes.

• Ghosts of Salt Marsh includes a variety of seafaring adventures, enough to take characters from level 1 to level 12.

• This supplement introduces the port town of Saltmarsh, the perfect starting point for a nautical campaign.

• Each adventure can be played individually, inserted into your ongoing game or combined into a single epic nautical campaign.

• Dungeon Masters will find rules for ships and sea travel, deck plans for various vessels, an appendix with rules for new and classic monsters, and much more
Some observations/questions on my part:

  • Is it just me, or is WotC mining much of the 1e and prior era and updating it to 5e?
  • Goodman Games updated Isle of Dread to 5e. Definitely a pattern.
  • Amazon pre-order does not YET appear to be discounted. 
  • Does this mark the return of Greyhawk? Will the setting see a 5e update?
  • Reaching into old Dungeon Magazine for adventures leaves me concerned about the current creative ability at WotC's current design team
  • Wasn't Yawning Portal all rewrites too?

Ghosts of Saltmarsh is available on Amazon as a preorder for 49.99.

https://amzn.to/2U9WHqP (this is an affiliate link. by using affiliate links on The Tavern's various pages, a percentage of the purchase price goes to support The Tavern. And beer.)


  1. I have to admit I am looking forward to this, although I'd be surprised if it heralds a resurgence of Greyhawk, I suspect it's more a ploy to try and lure fans of older versions of D&D into giving 5E a try.

  2. Updating old adventures is cheaper on the whole. Use a staff writer who already gets a pay cheque over a freelancer or independent voice who will ask for a better one to me pay.

  3. Mining Dungeon Magazine is a bad idea, must of the adventures are pure garbage filled with useless bloat. That said they mostly picked ones from know authors in the RPG field . Not that they are better but at least they have name recognition. Hopefully they edit the heck out of them.

  4. Yup it's what I like to call "rehash city!". Elemental Evil (princes), Against The Giants (Whatever the giant one was called), Strahd, now this.

  5. Believe it or not, for the majority of the 5e market this is not a rehash. This only gets truer as time goes on. The old-timer minority’can simply ignore it as they bask in the glow of their vast adventure collection.

  6. I think we see products like this because its easy to put on the schedule, convert to 5E while at the same time not tying up significant resources.

  7. The interview with Kate Welch on D&D Beyond mentions that Saltmarsh was originally in Greyhawk. She says they have isolated the locale so it can be fitted into any campaign world.


    1. Works for me. When I ran these back in the 80's I never even realized that they were Greyhawk settings and used them in my own campaign.

  8. Almost sad they didn't start their nautical campaign with the original "level 0" adventure: N4 -Treasure Hunt.

    I understand the concerns about creativity but frankly, if they ever remake B1-9 + B10 I will join the flock.

  9. I don't mind the rehash, it helps build a shared experience among the community , I just hope they look at adapting quality material.

  10. Now THIS feels like an "Old School Renaissance". Lol!

  11. “Does this mark the return of Greyhawk? Will the setting see a 5e update?”

    Probably not. No more than Curse of Strahd meanta Ravenloft update. Barovia was (re)written to be fit into any other setting. Forgotten Realms seems to be getting the most love from WotC. Although they have released quite a bit of material on Magic the Gathering settings for 5e play.

    And Dungeon of the Mad Mage had a link to Spelljammer. But sadly, only a link.


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