Haunts can be fun (especially for the GM!), and they are particularly enjoyable when there are good reasons for each haunt to be precisely where it is... even more if they are tied in to the plot of your adventure. This work contains a collection of haunts built specifically around a sea-faring theme, and are well worth considering if your adventure includes sea travel or even a trip to the seaside.
It opens with flavour text, a letter from a librarian to his friend explaining about a collection of notes on haunts that he has compiled. This leads in to several stories which will lend themselves readily to being tales that the characters might hear - from a minstrel in a tavern, or when they get intrigued and start trying to find out what is behind a given ghost story for themselves... perhaps after they have encountered a haunt and want to know more about it.
Next comes some explanatory material about haunts themselves: general concepts and the underlying game mechanics). If you have not used haunts before, this should set you on the right path, enabling you both to design your own haunts customised to suit your plot and then to run them to effect once the game begins. This leads into details of fully-developed haunts, all ready to drop into your adventure as appropriate. You might need to change the odd name or bit of history to make them fit, but these are basically ready to run as is.
The haunts range from the merely annoying to quite dangerous ones, and there are some interesting ones designed to weaken seafaring characters so that they are more vulnerable to the hostile environment afloat - perhaps to be brought into play as a storm approaches...
Finally, an appendix presents Piers Veilborn, the librarian mentioned at the beginning. He's quite an interesting fellow and you may well wish him to feature as an NPC - there are several roles he could play as advisor or even patron.
This is a neat little collection and, provided you like the spooky and have an adventure involving the sea, ought to prove very useful for ideas if not for haunts you can incorporate into the scenario directly. Moreover, if you want a spooky sea-story, you can weave a plot from the backstory and as many of the haunts as you want: they all fit together quite nicely and it ought to be straightforward to write an adventure around this framework, something with a piractical theme, perhaps?
Return to 30 Haunts for Ships and Shores page.
Reviewed: 11 September 2012