sword & sorcery 3.5 - dead man's chest.pdf

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Concept and Design:
Lance Hawvermale
D20 Content Editing:
Erica Balsley
Writing Team:
Lance Hawvermale, Rob Mason, Robert Hunter,
Patrick Goulah, Greg Ragland, Matt McGee, Chris
Bernhardt, Casey W. Christofferson, Chad Coulter,
Skeeter Green, and Travis Hawvermale.
Att Direction and Design:
Mike Chaney
Interior Art:
Brian Leblanc, Llyn Hunter, James Stowe,
Chad Sergesketter, Grey Thornberry, Eric Lofgren,
Richard Thomas,Becky Jollensten, Jeff Rebner, and
Ed Bourelle
Additional Contributors:
Erica Balsley, Lindsey Barrentine, Jay Decker, Rachel
Mason, and Nadine Oatmeyer
Front Cover Art:
Rick Sardinha
Erica Balsley and Bill Webb
Matt Milberger
Clark Peterson
Shane and Danielle Shirley, Kathy Christofferson, Clint
Bennett, Bill Webb, and Steve Meyer..
Pat Lawinger
Special Thanks:
This book is dedicated to June McGee and Linda
Mason; you are the wind in our sails.
Product Update Password for Dead Man’s Chest: Bonjo Tombo
This product requires the use of the
Dungeons and Dragons® Player’s Handbook,
published by Wizards of the Coast®.
This product utilizes updated material from the v.3.5 revision.
©2005 Necromancer Games, Inc . All rights reserved. Reproduction without the written permission of the
publisher is expressly forbidden. Necromancer Games, Necromancer Games, Inc., the Necromancer Games
logo, and Dead ManÕs Chest are trademarks of Necromancer Games, Inc. All rights reserved. All characters,
names, places, items, art and text herein are copyrighted by Necromancer Games, Inc. ÒD20 SystemÓ and the
D20 System logo are trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast and are used under the terms of the D20
Trademark License contained in the Legal Appendix. The mention of or reference to any company or product
in these pages is not a challenge to the trademark or copyright concerned. Dungeons and Dragons¨ and Wizards
of the Coast¨ are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, and are used in accordance with the Open Game and D20
Trademark Licenses contained in the Legal Appendix. Creature Collection and Relics and Rituals are
trademarks of Sword and Sorcery Studio.
Wind speed value and the point-of-sail diagram contained in Chapter 2 are based upon ideas from Run Out The
Guns , Copyright 2003 by Aurigas Aldbaron LLC. All rights reserved. No reproductions without permission.
Produced and distributed by Mjolnir LLC, dba Iron Crown Enterprises, 112 Goodman Street, Charlottesville,
Virginia 22902. This content is used by permission.
This book uses the supernatural for settings, characters and themes. All mystical and supernatural elements are
fiction and intended for entertainment purposes only. Reader discretion is advised.
Check out Necromancer Games online at http://www.necromancergames.com
And check out the Sword and Sorcery Studio online at http://www.swordsorcery.com
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Table of Contents
Chapter One: An Oceanography Primer
Chapter Two: Supplemental Ship and Sea Rules
Chapter Three: Weather
Chapter Four: Feats and Prestige Classes
Chapter Five:New Magic Items
Chapter Six: New Monsters
Chapter Seven: New Spells
Chapter Eight: The Ghosting of the Lady Quay
Chapter Nine: The Isle of Bonjo Tombo
Chapter Ten: Where the Ocean Meets the Sky
Appendix One: Monsters and NPC
Appendix Two: Random Shipboard Events and Monster Encounters 193
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No place offers more adventure than the ocean.
No dungeon is as deep, no jungle as full of exotic
and dangerous life. Most folk spend their lives on
dry ground, unaware that entire civilizations thrive
beneath the waves, sometimes far more ancient
and steeped in mystery than any on the world’s
upper surface. Though player characters (PCs)
have long grown familiar with the air-breathing
world above, seldom do they venture into the
depths, and when they do, they discover wonders
they never dreamed existed. The ocean environ-
ment is radically different from the surface world,
in at least three very important ways: an insuffi-
ciency or complete absence of sunlight, the
ever-increasing ambient pressure, and the fact that
water rather than air is the omnipresent medium
for respiration, movement, and all other activi-
ties. Because of these and other factors, the ocean
offers a venue for adventure that is at once alien
and appealing. Strange things exist down there, as
perilous as they are compelling.
But the water’s surface is also a world unto itself. Great
ships vie for control of the trading lanes. Dangerous reefs
protect lost islands full of treasures yet unearthed. Dead
Man’s Chest lays bare the ocean, the ships that sail it,
and the creatures that inhabit it. Within these pages
you’ll not only find dozens of new monsters, spell, feats,
and wondrous items, but also information from the
science of oceanography. Also included are three full
adventures to test the PCs against the rigors of the
trackless sea.
Note that this is not a book in which you will
find complex rules for sea combat, or rules govern-
ing constructing and operating a sailing ship. There
are other sources available to the D20 gamer that
cover those aspects of the genre, such as Seas of
Blood by Mongoose Publishing and The Seafarer’s
Handbook by Fantasy Flight Games . The weather,
navigation, and ship rules herein contained are
instead meant as an extension of the DMG to help
flesh out ocean travel and adventure. The rules in
Dead Man’s Chest can be added to those other
D20 sources to further enhance them as well.
You, the DM, should have at your disposal the core
rulebooks, including the PHB , DMG , and the MM .
A few of the creatures presented in the included
adventures are described fully in the Tome of Hor-
rors , by Necromancer Games .
To start things off right, here’s an original sea
shanty. A song like this might have been sung aboard
a pirate ship of a bygone age, such as Robert Louis
Stevenson’s immortal Hispaniola .
Shanty o’ the Sea
A pull o’ the rum and a pull o’ the row;
Away o’er the bitter waves I go.
I lost my love and my life on the sea . . .
She stole my treasure from me.
Damn, damn, damn the sea!
She stole my treasure from me.
Sweet William, my boy, played on the
With the gulls and the shells and the
salt-white sand.
The rum’ll for aye my comfort be . . .
She stole sweet William from me.
Damn, damn, damn the sea!
She stole sweet William from me.
I called my wife from the lonely shore,
And she sailed to me but wept the more.
Seein’ her babe on the thievin’ swell,
she reached to him and, Oh!, she fell!
I’ll always curse and blame the sea
For stealin’ my Frances from me!
Damn, damn, damn the sea!
For stealin’ my Frances from me.
A pull o’ the rum and a pull o’ the row;
My gold and my bright brigantine’s gone
My mates are asleep in the cold blue
sea . . .
She stole my treasure from me.
Damn, damn, damn the sea!
She stole my treasure from me.
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Chapter One:
An Oceanography
ting its crest up to hundreds of miles in either direc-
tion. The fracture zones appearing between two offset
segments of the ridge are recognized as transform
faults, and the fracture zones outside of these seg-
ments are simply remnants of the plate’s movement
over millions of years. The segmented ridge is gener-
ally widest and highest in the middle of the offset, and
slimmest and shortest near the ends, and is believed
to occur due to an interaction between fracturing of
the seafloor and magma accumulation.
Another feature of interest to be found on the mid-
ocean ridge are hot springs, or hydrothermal vents.
Hydrothermal vent fields are areas of underwater geysers
that form in places along the mid-ocean ridge axis.
When seawater creeps into deep cracks and fissures
found in the flanks of the ridge, it reacts with the hot
volcanic rock, chemically altering and heating it up to
temperatures reaching 700 degrees Fahrenheit. This
superheated fluid rises, dissolving metals found within
the rocks on its way back up to the surface. Continuous
streams of thick black or white immensely hot fluid
projects straight up through vents in the surface, show-
ering the surroundings with precipitated minerals.
The fluids in vents known as black smokers precipi-
tate so quickly as they cool in the seawater that the
metal sulphides form solid, smokestack structures,
typically a couple of stories high (the largest ever
discovered is 160 feet tall). In regions where the
altered seawater is substantially cooled before reach-
ing the surface, the ejected fluid is usually spread out
among numerous vents in the area and takes on a
diffused, clear glow. These diffuse vents are often
found among larger more focused black smokers.
Life on the ocean floor is known for its scarcity, but
hydrothermal vent fields are packed with an abun-
dance and variety of life in one of the most volatile
and unlikely of places. Organisms such as tubeworms,
mussels, clams, and crustaceans gather or attach them-
selves near vents in incredibly dense clumps. However,
it is the sulphur-eating bacteria found around and
inside those creatures that grants them nourishment.
The sulphide-oxidizing bacteria convert the vent
chemicals into energy for the organisms through a
process called chemosynthesis. This localized ecosys-
tem is one of few known to exist independent of
sunlight and photosynthesis.
The ocean contains a variety of natural occurrences
that can enliven any campaign. A DM shouldn’t be
dependent solely on monstrous encounters to make a
PC’s life eventful on the high seas. This chapter reveals
the scientific low-down on many oceananic features,
enabling you, the DM, to present your players with a
more realistic gaming environment.
Each entry also explains how best to use that
particular feature in your own game.
Mid-Ocean Ridge
The mid-ocean ridge is the region along the ocean
floor where new seafloor is created. This typically takes
place near the center of an ocean basin, though it exists
in any location where two ocean plates spread apart from
one another. Mid-ocean ridges are featured throughout
the world, stretching over 65,000 kilometers in length.
Their pattern winds across the globe in a fashion that is
often likened to the seams of a baseball. They appear as
mountainous formations or merely as mild swells upon
the seafloor up to 4,000 km wide. Their crest is marked
with a V-shaped depression running throughout its range,
up to a couple kilometers deep and 20 to 35 kilometers
wide. This rift valley is actually a volcanic fissure from
which the new seafloor extends from below gradually
over time.
The origin of the seafloor naturally begins beneath
the surface. Within the rift where the two tectonic
plates diverge, the reduction of pressure affecting the
mantle allows the rock of the asthenosphere to rise
and melt. The upwelling leads to the formation of
magma chambers just beneath the mid-ocean ridge,
acting as focal reservoirs of the material needed to
produce new ocean crust. Molten rock from the depths
of the magma chamber gradually hardens, producing
several miles of coarse rock. Vertical sheets of magma
from within the chamber rise up through fissures in
the overlying crust, creating dikes. Portions of this
uprising magma will break through to the surface,
oozing along the seafloor exterior. The outer layer of
the surface lava solidifies immediately in the near-
freezing seawater, forming a pillowed layer of volcanic
basalt—the surface of the new seafloor.
The mid-ocean ridge axis is marked with deep,
jagged indentations known as fracture zones. These
appear in frequent intervals across the ridge, offset-
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