Sometimes you have to step away from the screens. Don’t get me wrong, I love electronic games. I play on my TV, computer, Switch, Nintendo 3DS and occasionally, when nothing else is available, my phone.
That’s a lot of screens. When you throw in time for surfing the internet for cute dog memes and watching “America’s Got Talent,” it’s a lot of time sitting behind the illuminated glow of technology.
So at least a couple times a week, the Rocky Mountain Gamer steps into the analog world and connects with other human beings in an attempt to seem social. I’m happy to report it’s working, and Mrs. Gamer hasn’t taken away my flashy toys yet.
Recently, I decided to take on the role of Dungeon Master with my “D&D” group for the first time.
I wanted to do something different, however, from the single dungeon-centric adventures our group has ventured through for the past few years. And “Ghosts of Saltmarsh” provided just the right opportunity.
In addition to land and dungeon exploration, “Saltmarsh” incorporates sea battles to add a different dimension to the game.
This recent release from Wizards of the Coast actually collects seven older adventures updated for “D&D’s” fifth edition (5e). These adventures all take place in the kingdom of Keoland and are part of the original Greyhawk setting (though it can be easily modified to other locations such as Eberron or the Forgotten Realms).
The seven modules can be weaved into a single campaign, or players may choose to integrate some of these adventures with those in the previous book, “Tales from the Yawning Portal.” Either option will require a little work from the DM, but the structure provided in the books allows you to really make the adventure your own.Making my own adventure is exactly what I set out to do when I happened upon Beadle and Grimm’s “Sinister Silver” edition of “Saltmarsh.”
Beadle and Grimm’s is a small company dedicated to creating special editions of “D&D” adventures, and “Saltmarsh” is their second release (and first Silver edition).
It must be noted that this special edition is a splurge, not a casual purchase. While the “Ghosts of Saltmarsh” book lists for $50, the Silver edition will run you $175.
For that money, you receive a treasure trove of materials to enhance your game and make your job a wee bit easier.
The first thing you’ll notice upon receiving your box from Beadle and Grimm’s is the presentation. The deluxe box comes packed in a burlap bag marked from the Saltmarsh Trading Co.
Inside there’s a specially designed box filled with goodies. It starts with an exclusive edition of the “Saltmarsh” book, split into four smaller softcover books. This mimics the adventure books of days past and makes it much easier for the DM to manage and find what’s needed.
From there, it goes on to more practical items and enhancements.
There are separate cards for each of the creatures unique to the campaign, with a picture of the creature on the front and the beast’s stats on the back. These are done as sandwich cards that can be hooked over the DM screen so the players can see what they are fighting and the DM has easy access to all the stats.There are also dual-sided art cards that serve the same purpose.
Several large maps make it easy to bring locations to life, and there’s even a blank ship model printed on dry erase material so you can incorporate your own ideas.
In addition to the maps, Beadle and Grimm’s included 13 handouts for your table. These are all printed on parchment-like paper and hand-aged to look sufficiently weathered. When you hit certain parts of the game, you can give these to your party to add realism to their journey, rather than just telling them about what they found.
There are also two pieces of jewelry for the same reason. Giving something like this to a lucky player will certainly leave an impression.
Yeah, Beadle and Grimm’s “Sinister Silver Edition” is expensive. But taken as a whole, this spectacular package is well worth its price, especially when coupled with the outstanding series of Saltmarsh adventure modules. The only thing you’ll need to bring is some dice and your imagination to create an adventure your group will never forget.
‘Ghosts of Saltmarsh: Sinister Silver Edition’
Publishers: WOTC/Beadle and Grimm’s
Who it’s for: Dungeon Masters who have the budget for a fancy special edition
Game: Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition