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aquatic

A Piece of Rotten Fish

“Two feuding and starving fishing hamlets. One tasty rotting carcass of a giant sea monster in between. The meat could feed both hamlets for a long time. Unfortunately, the hamlets are not in a sharing mood.”

A Spluttering And A Splashing

Concept: “Ancient legends tell of a creature with supernatural powers that is able to stop the apocalypse.”
Content:
A 12-room semi-aquatic dungeon
Writing:
Well written with lots of character and atmospheric details
Art/design:
Primarily uses the clean, clear style of Rotblack Sludge
Usability:
Layouts and design make this simple and easy to run

Blighted Merman

Concept: “What is left of your humanity is pervaded by the tides and the salt-soaked waters that you now call your home.”
Content:
A character class adapted to aquatic environs
Writing:
Class options provide mechanics, color, and some humor
Art/design:
Illustration helps to visualize the characteristic transformations
Usability:
Aquatically oriented but usable in landlocked situations as well

Blood Money

Concept: “While languishing in a drunken stupor in a coastal town flophouse … you were abducted by a press gang.”
Content:
A seafaring framework inspired by Tom Waits (and Herman Melville (and whoever wrote The Book of Jonah))
Writing:
Sets the scene and provides a plethora of options for play
Art/design:
Supports the nautical theme subtly but effectively
Usability:
Intended more as a toolbox than a unified dungeon or set of mechanics

Boarding the Ouroboros

Concept: “… word has come to you from an old fisherman with great promise. He says he has seen a hulk adrift far from the shore and wants a crew of brave souls to climb aboard and plunder its riches.”
Content:
A maritime salvage adventure full of mutiny and mystery
Writing:
Lots of atmospheric descriptive text along with well-written letters, stats for black powder and nautical weapons, and a whole slew of monsters
Art/design:
Nicely made maps; monochrome palette conveys the sensation of approaching and exploring the ship by night
Usability:
Rotblack Sludge-inspired layout is extremely efficient

Call of the Siren

Concept: “The crew of the Unjust must retrieve the Heart of the Sea, a relic said to be in the clutches of shipwreck-luring Sirens.”
Content:
A perilous nautical adventure with stats for characters, monsters, and mechanics for maritime hazards
Writing:
Provides the necessary information and atmosphere but avoids being prolix
Art/design:
Primarily textual but well organized, and includes some illustrations with an OSR feel
Usability:
Mostly presented in bullet points, which makes skimming and quick reference easier; download includes graphic and text-only versions

Clamdash!

Concept: “For a few hours each year, the seas beneath the glaciers of Kergüs retreat, revealing salted dungeons in their wake. Within these waterlogged tunnels of ice – the CLAMS.”
Content:
Grab your CLAM-picking gloves—an audience with Anthelia awaits the winner
Writing:
A briny feast for the senses with Karl’s signature sense of humor
Art/design:
Easy to read with ample visual cues for navigating each room’s description and for moving back and forth between descriptions and map
Usability:
The CLAMS are barbed, and the tide waits for no scvm

Corpsewake Cove

Concept: “There is no nest of scurvy rats as foul or felonious as the pirates of Corpsewake Cove!”
Content:
A self-contained, sandbox-style swashbuckling adventure from inciting incident to bloody climax
Writing:
Text-heavy but clean, clear, and effective on all levels; includes lots of description as well as stat blocks, tables, and other mechanical components
Art/design:
Balances out the verbal elements with lots of vivid, nautically themed designs
Usability:
A fair amount of content and moving parts to manage, but nothing a seasoned and conscientious GM can’t handle

Down the Altamaha(-ha)

Concept: “The king’s cartographer has deciphered the horn’s coordinates – but of all places, it had to be in the Altamaha. Who would be foolish enough to go there?”
Content:
Boating, fishing, treasure hunting, and gruesome death in one package; some interesting interconnected elements and connections to other 3rd-party adventures
Writing:
Straightforward and descriptive with an undercurrent of humor
Art/design:
Clear, easy-to-navigate layouts with some nice illustrations
Usability:
Nonlinear but not particularly complicated

Draugen, the Drowned

Concept: “The drowned shamble aimlessly along shorelines seeking to steal the life-breath they so desperately desire.”
Content:
An undead denizen for coastal settings
Writing:
Sets the tone and scene for encounters
Art/design:
Relatively subtle and unintrusive
Usability:
Well-demarcated sections and stats for easy reference

Drowned Kobieta

Concept: “Sharp claws cuth through flesh and drag you down to the bottomless pit.”
Content:
A drowning-based monster derived from Slavic myth
Writing:
Provides some inspiration for hooks and haunts
Art/design:
Reinforces the theme with heavy chiaroscuro and cool spot colors
Usability:
Initiative is influenced by PC class; otherwise, straightforward

Endless Sea Raider

Concept: “Predator of the Endless Sea”
Content:
A piratical player-character class
Writing:
All the standard features with some inspired class-specific items/companions
Art/design:
Graphics convey the grim bleakness of the Endless Sea with some appropriate splashes of Mörk Borgy color
Usability:
Nicely blocked out for easy reference

Fisk Borg

Concept: “An expansion that adds somber and ominous fishing”
Content:
Primarily an optional rules supplement but also includes a new class, fishing gear, hirelings, and a sprawling aquatic bestiary
Writing:
Knows that it’s a grimdark fishing simulator and revels in that
Art/design:
Combines various image types and styles to create an eclectic visual character; text is laid out for easy reading and navigation
Usability:
Absolutely packed with content, but the table of contents and graphic design make it easy to find what you’re looking for

Kh’akh’Awin

Concept: “Bad tempered wisdom seeker bipolar Sea-wolf of Lake Onda”
Content:
Includes lore, narrative for Reaction temperament, and a random loot table
Writing:
Delivers the lore in an engaging second-person narrative
Art/design:
Designs capture the petroglyphic inspiration highlighted with plenty of Borgy colors
Usability:
Simple to use as a monster but has lots of narrative potential

Lake of Oil

Concept: “Will you embrace the Fish?”
Content:
A dungeon focused on a flaming fish, sacred fire, and the fellers that worship them
Writing:
Fairly concise and focused more on actionable content, letting the map convey visual character and atmosphere
Art/design:
Large, yellow room numbers against a greyscale (but nicely illustrated) map make navigation easy for GMs; descriptions are presented alongside or overlaying the relevant locations
Usability:
Highly flammable

This entry was sponsored by Philip Meagher as part of the Ex Libris RPG crowdfunding campaign.
“Just a very simple and fun dungeon! Well laid out and easy to understand, my player had dark vision (playing a night witch) and refused the torch to look cool but was shocked when the Feller turned aggressive! There’s a lot of room for things to go sideways as well though my player suggested editing the riddle by removing the third line to make it a bit harder and to have a chance at all hell breaking loose. Overall an excellent dungeon!”
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