The Players Introduction sets the scene: while browsing in an adventurers' supplies emporium, the party discovers the proprietor in a distraught state. His supply ship has been lost at sea, and worse than the loss of the cargo apparently he had what he refers to as a 'family heirloom' aboard... and he's willing to pay well to have it retrieved. When the party starts to ask about it, it turns out that the ship has run aground on a reef rather than sunk, but the crew refuse to return to it despite it not being that far away. Smell a rat? Or is the lure of the reward too great?
The DM's Background explains the real story behind the wreck and the true nature of the family heirloom. Interestingly, the adventure provides a good test of the party's honesty. Brief notes cover the trip to the wreck - you'll have to fill in any details or encounters you deem necessary - then the party will have the ship to explore. There's a good plan and notes on what's where aboard. Rather oddly, the ship hit the reef broadside on, staving in the side - anyone knowing much about sailing ships should realise that's somewhat unlikely.
Most of the critters the party encounter will attack without much thought, but it may be possible to enter into negotiation with the final encounter (who was behind the wreck in the first place) although as he's a bit of a religious fanatic they are unlikely to sway him from his purpose. The end of the adventure assumes the party come back to their patron, the owner of the ship, and deals with various options - although one fairly possible one isn't covered at all, you'll have to work out your own response to it. There's a neat new magic item and the new 'monster' is that final encounter.
This makes for a neat little adventure to spice up a shopping trip in a seaside town, but more could have been made of the moral dilemma.
Return to The Wreck of the Venerable Drake page.
Reviewed: 21 October 2017