Secrets of the Black Marsh

by Claude LeBrun
Levels 10-14

Black Marsh is a large wilderness area, most of it and unknown and unexplored. Over the years many explorers have entered the marsh never to be heard from again. Those that have returned brought back tales so outrageous that people thought the explorers were insane. Rumors about the Black Marsh tell about a treasure trove hidden somewhere in its depths. Does your party have what it takes to survive this dreaded place?

This 35 page adventure has the party having their magic items stolen and then venturing in to a 600 square mile swamp to ght a Level 30 Thief/Assassin Lizard Man and his evil druid buddies. There are only about twelve pages of adventure, with the rest being appendix. God this sort of adventure gets on my nerves. This is why I don’t look forward to high level adventures.

Evil druid hates magic items and pays level 30 Lizard Man to steal them so she can destroy them in her swamp lair. Long read-aloud, in italics, so both the players AND dm can be miserable. Thief hires some halflings to steal them from the party on the street. This, I suppose, motivates the party to give chase. It’s all sort of fucked up, with forced shit against the party, cutting open their bags to let them scatter on the street, hiding in the crowd, etc. It’s all one big gimpy set up to force the party to go on the adventure. “Hahaha! They stole everything you have! Hahaha! Guess you have to do the adventure now!”

They flee to a ship, which leaves in 30 minutes so you probably miss it. Except the party is level 10-14 and one does not steal from, or hide from, level 10-14 characters. “You miss the ship!” can be countered twelve ways to Sunday with high level cleric/MU spells.

You track the ship to a swamp town/hideout. It has 26 lizard men. One is a level 20 Thief and Level 10 assassin, while six others are level 9 thieves. The adventure then spends a page and a half on tactics porn describing how they attack the party and how deep the water is at all points. But you get like $50k, mostly in gems, when you search their huts!

Enter now the 600 square mile swamp, with an emphasis on food, water, getting lost, and getting a parasitic infection. Except, again, the party is level 10-14 and so that shit probably don’t happen. Remember how I said the adventure was actually only twelve pages and th rest appendix? Well, i fibbed a bit, the appendix contains most of the swamp encounters. By which I mean the random encounter tables. There are only two encounters, proper, in the swamp, one of which is the climax. There are 4 druid patrols covering the 600 sqmi swamp, so, you know, exciting action!

Oh! Oh! I forgot! You remember that fleeing boat? The captain is level 10, the mate level 8, and all the crew level 6 fighters! Joy. 🙁

There’s nothing to this. Just another ill conceived high level adventure. Throw shit at the party, think up implausible situations like level 30 lizard men, and over describe mundane shit tactics. I suspect over-investiture.

This is available on Dragonsfoot, for free.

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5 Responses to Secrets of the Black Marsh

  1. JD says:

    This is a 1e adventure with a level 30 lizard man and evil druids? umm, what? lol

  2. James M. says:

    Hmmm… It sounds like you may have paid too much for that one.

  3. Jeff says:

    Seems like the plot might work if the halflings try to steal the party’s magic items, fail miserably, but let slip that there is a massive on-going operation to steal magic stuff and take it to the swamp. The PCs might then decide to go there anyway so they can get their hands on all that loot. Or if they don’t bite, maybe someone else lost something and they’d like to hire the PCs to get it back.

    Of course, you’d still need to write an actual adventure in the swamp. Would it be too mean to keep the plot point of “they are stealing the items to destroy them, so you don’t get the loot you are expecting”?

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