The Best Ghosts of Saltmarsh Books

Cover for Ghosts of Saltmarsh

Ghosts of Saltmarsh is an adventure compilation for Dungeons & Dragons 5e that takes players from the shores of the sleepy fishing village of Saltmarsh into the depths of the ocean and across the high seas. This collection of seafaring adventures resurrects and expands upon classic adventures from D&D’s rich history, such as The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, Danger at Dunwater, and The Final Enemy, while also introducing new, thrilling quests and challenges. Designed to be integrated into any D&D campaign, this book not only offers a series of interconnected adventures that can be played as a campaign but also serves as a versatile supplement for nautical exploration and combat.

The book intricately weaves together tales of piracy, ghost ships, maritime mysteries, and underwater exploration, providing Dungeon Masters with a rich narrative canvas and a variety of settings to bring their seafaring adventures to life. It includes detailed mechanics for naval combat, comprehensive rules for ship movement, and an extensive collection of creatures from the deep, ensuring that each voyage is fraught with danger, discovery, and high-seas adventure.

At its core, Ghosts of Saltmarsh is about the tension between land and sea, the history of Saltmarsh itself, and the heroes who rise to defend it against the threats that emerge from the watery depths. It’s a book that invites adventurers to chart their course, set sail, and explore the vast, uncharted waters of the Dungeons & Dragons universe, where mystery, treasure, and danger await at every turn. Whether you’re defending the village of Saltmarsh from smugglers, exploring ancient underwater ruins, or engaging in epic ship-to-ship battles, “Ghosts of Saltmarsh” promises a thrilling maritime adventure for players and Dungeon Masters alike.

Setting Sail with Ghosts of Saltmarsh

If you don’t have a copy of Ghosts of Saltmarsh yet, the best place to pick one up is over at Amazon or your local gaming store. For those who like to keep everything digital, the Ghosts of Saltmarsh – Roll20 VTT transforms the tabletop experience by meticulously adapting the physical aspects of the game into an interactive, digital format. With Roll20, Dungeon Masters and players alike can immerse themselves in the coastal town of Saltmarsh and its surrounding perils with ease. The platform offers high-resolution maps of shipwrecks, spooky mansions, and treacherous sea routes, allowing adventurers to visualize their journey with clarity and precision. Character tokens and NPC avatars move across the screen with a simple drag-and-drop, bringing dynamic encounters to life as if the characters were navigating the creaking decks of a ship or the shadowy corners of an abandoned lighthouse.

The use of a VTT platform like Roll20 enhances the tabletop experience. The intuitive interface and digital tools at one’s disposal make managing the game’s logistics smoother, from tracking initiative during the heat of battle to unveiling hidden parts of the map as adventurers explore. This seamless experience allows players to focus more on strategy, role-playing, and navigating the intricate plots of Saltmarsh, rather than getting bogged down by the mechanics of gameplay.

Navigating with Essential Campaign Resources

Embarking on the maritime adventure that is Ghosts of Saltmarsh requires more than just a sturdy ship and a brave heart. The depth of the setting and the complexity of its narratives demand resources that can guide players and Dungeon Masters alike through the turbulent waters. From detailed player companions to comprehensive DM bundles, these essential resources ensure that every voyage into Saltmarsh is as immersive as it is thrilling.

The Book of Tides

For players seeking to immerse themselves in the lore of Saltmarsh, The Book of Tides offers a wealth of information to enriche the playing experience. This companion guide provides detailed backgrounds, setting-specific character options, spells, and a wealth of nautical lore. Players can use this resource to craft characters intricately tied to the world of Saltmarsh, with motivations, goals, and backgrounds that align with the seafaring and swashbuckling themes of the campaign.

Ghosts of Saltmarsh Complete DM’s Bundle

Dungeon Masters steering the ship through the Ghosts of Saltmarsh campaign will find the Complete DM’s Bundle to be an indispensable companion. This bundle packs expanded content, detailed maps, and comprehensive guides into one essential toolkit. It offers not just the skeleton of the campaign but the flesh and blood as well, providing DMs with everything they need to bring Saltmarsh and its surroundings to life. With chapter-by-chapter expansions and enhancements, this bundle allows DMs to create a vivid, immersive world that players can explore, investigate, and influence.

Underwater Campaigns

Venturing beneath the waves presents unique challenges and opportunities for adventure, and Underwater Campaigns is the perfect guide for DMs looking to navigate these uncharted depths. This resource delves into the mechanics of underwater exploration and combat, offering tips and rules to ensure adventures beneath the sea feel as engaging and dynamic as those on dry land. The book, available in PDF and print, includes combat riles, encounters, new foes and NPCs, spells, magic items, and more.

Blood, Salt, & Bones

For those looking to infuse their Ghosts of Saltmarsh campaign with a healthy dose of piracy and seafaring flair, Blood, Salt, & Bones is a must-have. This supplement enriches the nautical theme with 24 fully detailed ships that includes maps and a statblock. It also includes 25 story seeds that can help spark a sea-faring adventure, and a collection of sailing equipment. Plus a ton of random tables to populate ships you encounter on the high seas.

Together, these resources form the compass and chart for any group daring to explore Ghosts of Saltmarsh. They enhance the setting’s immersion, expand the narrative possibilities, and ensure that every journey into the waters is as rich and deep as the sea itself.

New Adventures for Ghosts of Saltmarsh

The call of the sea is irresistible, beckoning adventurers to explore beyond the familiar coastlines of Saltmarsh into tales of mystery, intrigue, and peril. For those ready to set sail into uncharted waters, a collection of standalone adventures and expansions offers new horizons to discover.

The Lamenting Lighthouse

The Lamenting Lighthouse is a 4 hour adventure for characters between level 5 and 10, and it has a strong nautical theme mixed with undead and horror. This standalone adventure can seamlessly integrate into the Saltmarsh narrative, offering players the chance to investigate the sinister secrets of a haunted lighthouse. As the characters approach the dangerous shoals, the lighthouse is out. They must forge ahead and light the beacon and discover what happened to the light house’s keepers. Ideal for a spooky and suspenseful detour, this adventure adds a layer of supernatural intrigue to the maritime campaign.

Down Came A Blackbird

Plunging deeper into the shadows, Down Came A Blackbird is a 4 hour adventure for characters between level 1 and 4. Birds are attacking the locals in Saltmarsh, and the players must solve the mystery that involves dark rituals, powerful foes, and an ancient curse. This adventure weaves elements of mystery into the fabric of the Ghosts of Saltmarsh campaign, or it can be used as a standalone adventure in any coastal town.

Murder on The Primewater Pleasure

For those with a taste for intrigue and the thrill of a whodunit, Murder on The Primewater Pleasure invites adventurers aboard a luxury vessel for a mystery that will require all their investigative skills. This adventure is a murder mystery at sea, where everyone’s a suspect, and the truth is as elusive as a ship in the fog. Designed for characters at 4th level, it integrates into a Ghosts of Saltmarsh campaign or could be run as a standalone adventure.

Tendrils of Saltmarsh Expanded Content Bundle

Expanding the horizons of the campaign, the Tendrils of Saltmarsh Expanded Content Bundle is a collection of adventures designed to flesh out the gaps in the original Ghosts of Saltmarsh campaign book. With three adventures, Sigurd’s Island, The Serpentine Path, and Pinnacle of Power, these allow you to expand the campaign with extra encounters and mysteries. This bundle also includes Shipboard Encounters, to add more dynamic elements to travel on the high seas.

Together, these adventures and expansions allow you to chart their course through tales of ghostly lights, dark mysteries, and seafaring intrigue.

Encountering the Unknown

The vast and mysterious seas surrounding Saltmarsh promise not only treasure but also the thrill of the unexpected. To navigate these waters is to invite encounters with the unknown, and for those intrepid souls steering their ships into the heart of adventure, a host of resources stand ready to enrich the journey.

Daerdan’s Tall Tales: 101 Seafaring Encounters

For a voyage filled with surprises, Daerdan’s Tall Tales: 101 Seafaring Encounters is an essential compendium. This collection is overflows with ideas for dynamic encounters on the high seas, filled with loot, characters, twists, and advice for integrating into your campaign. These encounters can be used to create story lines, multiple encounter variants, new monsters, new magic items, and more.

Saltmarsh Encounters and Encounters in Saltmarsh

Two resources with useful run-ins and scenarios are Saltmarsh Encounters and Encounters in Saltmarsh. Both provide a series of quick, engaging encounters specifically tailored to the coastal and maritime themes of the campaign. These resources allow Dungeon Masters to seamlessly integrate encounters that reflect the unique culture, dangers, and mysteries of the Saltmarsh region into their storyline. Both of these expand your sessions with short adventures that can be dropped into nearly any session.

Saltmarsh’s Notice Boards – 30 Quest Seeds for Nautical Campaigns

Notice boards are a simple and effective call to adventure. Saltmarsh’s Notice Boards – 30 Quest Seeds for Nautical Campaigns is a dynamic tool for inspiring side quests and diversions. Each quest seed offers a starting point for stories that can take adventurers from the docks of Saltmarsh to the most remote islands and harbours. This resource is perfect for Dungeon Masters looking to add variety to the campaign, providing opportunities for character development and exploration beyond the main narrative.

Saltmarsh Sidetreks

For those moments when the main path needs a detour, Saltmarsh Sidetreks offers a collection of short adventures that add depth and color to the world of Saltmarsh. These mini-adventures are designed to be easily inserted into the ongoing campaign, serving as interludes that explore the lore, characters, and settings of Saltmarsh in greater detail. Each of these encounters are ideal for characters level 1 to 4, and they included new monsters, magic items, and NPCs galore.

Together, these resources ensure that every voyage into the unknown is filled with potential for discovery, danger, and storytelling. As adventurers chart their course through Ghosts of Saltmarsh, these encounters and quests promise to keep the seas mysterious and the journey unforgettable.

Treasure on the High Seas

The allure of the sea is not just in its mysteries and adventures but also in the promise of untold riches waiting beneath the waves or hidden in pirate coves. For those navigating the treacherous waters of Ghosts of Saltmarsh, the thrill of discovery is matched only by the rewards that await. The right loot can turn a simple maritime quest into a legend. These resources give Dungeon Masters unique and thematic treasures to reward their players.

50 Magic Items – Treasures of Saltmarsh

50 Magic Items – Treasures of Saltmarsh is a collection curated to immerse players in the nautical theme of the campaign, offering magical items that are not only powerful but also deeply rooted in the lore and setting of Saltmarsh. From potions and armour to magic weapons and wondrous items, each is designed to add incredible rewards to power the adventurers’ journey. Perfect for loot in the possession of a pirate or mercenary, salvaged from a shipwreck, or owned by former adventurers.

Monster Loot – Ghosts of Saltmarsh

To ensure that the challenges faced by players on the high seas are as rewarding as they are perilous, Monster Loot – Ghosts of Saltmarsh provides a comprehensive guide to loot for the creatures and villains of Saltmarsh. This gives loot for each monster in the Ghosts of Saltmarsh book, giving you the opportunity to dole out treasure appropriate for the campaign. It also includes a series of crafting mechanics to help players make their character’s gear completely unique.

Ancestral Weapons and Ancestral Weapons – Nautical Upgrades

The Ancestral Weapons book is extremely popular, and its Nautical Upgrades expansion introduces a seafaring element. These resources allow players to find or inherit weapons that grow in power alongside them, creating a personal and evolving narrative around their gear. The Nautical Upgrades specifically tailors this concept to the seafaring theme, offering upgrades and enchantments that draw from the ocean’s depths and the legends of sailors and pirates. An ancestral weapon could become a symbol of a character’s journey, bearing witness to their trials and triumphs on the high seas.

Incorporating these treasures and magical items into the Ghosts of Saltmarsh campaign not only rewards players for their bravery and ingenuity but also deepens their connection to the setting. The right piece of loot can advance the story, evoke a sense of wonder, or even alter the course of the adventure.


The sea calls for adventurer, and Ghosts of Saltmarsh offering a campaign setting that is as unpredictable as the ocean itself. Yes, crafting a story that captures the essence of maritime adventure requires more than just a map and a ship; it demands a trove of resources that can bring the coastal town of Saltmarsh and its surrounding seas to life. Through the use of detailed guides, adventurous expansions, dynamic encounters, and thematic treasures, Dungeon Masters have the opportunity to create a campaign that is uniquely tailored to their players’ journey through the high seas.

We invite you to delve into the resources highlighted throughout this post, and integrating these invaluable tools into your Ghosts of Saltmarsh campaigns. Whether you’re setting sail for the first time or revisiting the shores of Saltmarsh with new tales to tell, these resources stand ready to enhance your experience, promising adventures that are as boundless as the sea itself.

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