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Pirates, Yo! - That Sinking Feeling

Campaign Grand Opening Adventure

 

The Day At The Beach

 
Why are you at the beautiful beach on Kaia Isle, the small island portion of the town, Jama-Kaia, where the annual Shark Hunting Tournament is going on? Have you come to participate in the tournament, or enjoy the famous drink, Ja-kai Paradise? Perhaps you are here to eat some of the freshly caught and grilled shark, or build a sand sculpture. Maybe you are listening to the bards on the beach while dancers in seaweed skirts and kilts hula on the sand, or maybe you are just lounging.
  Once everyone has decided, continue.  
A cool breeze drifts across Kaia Isle and mingles the sweet scent of the flowers bordering Darro's Tiki Tavern drinking yard with that of the salty tang of the sea. Tanned locals and sun-burned guests play or lounge about the beach, while the shark hunters are preparing to compete in the next hunt. They are armed with harpoons attached to thirty feet of rope, which is also tied to a sturdy belt buckled at their waists.
  Running The Shark Hunt
If any of the party participates in the shark hunt, these are the special rules for it:   STEP 1. The hero attacks the shark with the harpoon using only their STR or DEX bonus unless they are proficient in Harpoon. On a total of 13 or higher, they hit the shark and their harpoon sinks deep and counts as a hit.   STEP 2. Setting the Harpoon's Barb. Designate a player not in the hunt to roll for the shark with a +2. (Shark Roll 1d20+2 ). The shark hunting hero then must make a STR or DEX bonus roll versus the shark. Highest total wins. If the shark wins, it gets away from that hero. If the hero wins, the harpoon barb is set and the shark is now attached to the hero's harpoon.   STEP 3. The shark swims away and hits the end of the rope. Hero and shark (Shark Roll 1d20+2 ) have a STRENGTH DUEL. Each rolls a STR bonus and the highest total wins.   If the hero wins, they brace against the shark, stopping it. This gives other shark hunters and heroes advantage on their attacks.   If the shark wins, the hero is dragged along behind the shark as it swims between the hunters. The hero must then roll an Acrobatics or Athletics Check. 12 or higher is a success and hero waterskis behind the shark. If the hero rolls an 11 or lower, the hero is dragged along on the bottom behind the shark.   Roll percentile. 1d100   1-25 hero takes 1HP blundgeon damage   26-50 hero gets crab stuck in hair/beard   51-75 hero gets fish stuck in clothes   76-100 hero gets starfish stuck to face.   The hero is dragged along behind the shark until someone else hits the shark. The hero must roll another Acrobatics or Athletics Check.   If a hero is already water-skiing and rolls an 11 or less the hero gets dragged and must roll on the drag table above. 1d100 . If that hero succeeds on a roll of 12 or higher, they manage to find a protruding rock and brace against it, stopping the shark. This gives other hunters and heroes advantage on their attacks.   If the hero was being dragged on the bottom, and they succeed with a roll of 12 or higher, they are now waterskiing. If they roll an 11 or less they fail again and must roll on the drag table above. 1d100   STEP 4. The hunt continues until the shark has taken 5 hits, which kills the shark. Until then, the shark continues to circle around and through the hunters and heroes until it is killed or the hunt lasts ten rounds. On the eleventh round, the shark escapes, slipping off a harpoon if it was stuck. Assign other players not participating in the hunt to roll for NPC sharkhunters who each get a +3 (Shark Hunter Roll 1d20+3 ).   Once dead, the hunters drag the shark ashore for measuring. 1d100   1-25 "You call that a shark? My cat drags home bigger fish from mudpuddles!"   26-50 "Well, at least it's eatin' size."   51-75 "Might win a pitcher of Ja-kaia Paradise with this one!"   76-100 "Biggest shark we've seen in years! Free drinks and food for the rest of your stay!"
  Check The Weather
Roll a percentile 1d100 1d100   1-75: Clouds suddenly roll in changing a sunny day to overcast.   75-100: It's still a bright, sunny day (All sea devil attacks will have disadvantage).
  Once the players are celebrating the results of the hunt, continue.  
The ground beneath your feet trembles and cracks. Waves a dozen feet high crash into the shore, and people are flung off their feet. Screams fill the air as people scramble back up, and flee further inland away from the beach. Shrieks add to the screams as those still in the water splash their way to shore as fast as they can. Blue-skinned, sea-weed wrapped man-like creatures pursue them. Four of these creatures charge onto the shore after two teen-aged sharkhunters, a boy and a girl.
  The four sea devils target the two teen sharkhunters first unless a player attacks them, then they will target that player.Sea Devil Stats
Sharkfeather Sea Devil.png
Sharkfeather Sea Devil by Dazzlinkat on HeroForge

Sea Devil, Sharkfeather Clan

Medium humanoid, aquatic, any chaotic
Armor Class 12
Hit Points 22hp 4d8+4
Speed 30ft Swim: 40ft

STR

13 +1

DEX

11 0

CON

12 +1

INT

12 +1

WIS

13 +1

CHA

9 -1

Skills PERCEPTION: +5 1d20+5
Senses DARKVISION: 120 ft.   SENSITIVE TO BRIGHT DAYLIGHT/LIGHT: disadvantage to attacks and DEX saves when in daylight or bright light.
Languages Common, Deviltongue
Challenge 1/2


BLOOD FRENZY: advantage on melee attacks against any creature not fully healed.   LIMITED AMPHIBIOUSNESS: can breathe water freely and breathe air for 4 hrs before having to breathe water again.   SHARK TELEPATHY: magically command any shark within 120 feet by limited telepathy


Actions

MULTI_ATTACK: When unarmed will attack with two claw attacks.   If in bright daylight/light, sea devil has disadvantage on all attacks.   CLAWS. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit 1d20+3 , reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4+1) 1d4+1 slashing damage.   DOUBLE TRIDENT. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit 1d20+3 , reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d8+1) 1d8+1 piercing damage. Gains Bonus Melee Trident Attack: +1 to hit 1d20+1 , reach 5 ft. Hit: 4 (1d6+1) 1d6+1 piercing damage. Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit 1d20+3 , range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6+1) 1d6+1 piercing damage.



A blue-skinned, sea-weed wrapped man-like creature adapted to the dark depths of the oceans.

Saltwater locations

Shark Hunter Stats
Shark Hunter.png
Shark Hunter by Dazzlinkat on HeroForge

Shark Hunter

Medium humanoid, human, any
Armor Class 10 + Dex
Hit Points 11hp (2d8+2) 2d8+2
Speed 30ft

STR

11 0

DEX

12 +1

CON

12 +1

INT

10 0

WIS

10 0

CHA

10 0

Senses passive Perception 10
Languages Common
Challenge 1/2


Actions

HARPOON. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit 1d20+3 , reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5(1d8+1) 1d8+1 piercing damage. Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, range 30 ft., one target. Hit: 4(1d6+1) 1d6+1 piercing damage.



Human in swimclothes armed with a harpoon on a rope with other end of rope buckled at the waist

  After this incident is resolved by combat or some other means, continue.  
The ground shakes again. People and sea devils are knocked off their feet. Ten foot waves crash into the shore. As you pick yourselves up, people are still fleeing and filling the air with screams.
  Roll Perception DC: 10. Those who succeed notice the island is sinking.   There are only two ways off the island. One is the bridge back to the mainland on the East Side. The other is the ships and boats at the South Side docks. The North Side is sinking the fastest and holds bungalows ripe for plundering ... if the players wish to take the risk.  

The North Side

 
A half a dozen bungalows are still above the water but the waves are already lapping at the foundations of those nearest the rising sea. Doors hang open, as do window shutters. A single sea devil leaps out of a window clutching something in one hand. Its trident is missing.
  Sea Devil Stats
Sharkfeather Sea Devil.png
Sharkfeather Sea Devil by Dazzlinkat on HeroForge

Sea Devil, Sharkfeather Clan

Medium humanoid, aquatic, any chaotic
Armor Class 12
Hit Points 22hp 4d8+4
Speed 30ft Swim: 40ft

STR

13 +1

DEX

11 0

CON

12 +1

INT

12 +1

WIS

13 +1

CHA

9 -1

Skills PERCEPTION: +5 1d20+5
Senses DARKVISION: 120 ft.   SENSITIVE TO BRIGHT DAYLIGHT/LIGHT: disadvantage to attacks and DEX saves when in daylight or bright light.
Languages Common, Deviltongue
Challenge 1/2


BLOOD FRENZY: advantage on melee attacks against any creature not fully healed.   LIMITED AMPHIBIOUSNESS: can breathe water freely and breathe air for 4 hrs before having to breathe water again.   SHARK TELEPATHY: magically command any shark within 120 feet by limited telepathy


Actions

MULTI_ATTACK: When unarmed will attack with two claw attacks.   If in bright daylight/light, sea devil has disadvantage on all attacks.   CLAWS. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit 1d20+3 , reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4+1) 1d4+1 slashing damage.   DOUBLE TRIDENT. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit 1d20+3 , reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d8+1) 1d8+1 piercing damage. Gains Bonus Melee Trident Attack: +1 to hit 1d20+1 , reach 5 ft. Hit: 4 (1d6+1) 1d6+1 piercing damage. Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit 1d20+3 , range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6+1) 1d6+1 piercing damage.



A blue-skinned, sea-weed wrapped man-like creature adapted to the dark depths of the oceans.

Saltwater locations

  The sea devil is carrying a shark-tooth necklace Value = 10gp.   If Party Wants To Search Bungalows
Searching one bungalow takes 10 minutes and the water rises to half-fill these houses. Party can split up to search at the same time. Roll Investigate DC: 13. If the party does a second search of 10 minutes, Investigate is now DC:15 as the houses are half-full of water. There is no time to do a third search of ten minutes as all the house are completely under water now. On a success they find 4d6+1 gp 4d6+1 and something worth 25gp.   Roll 1d10 1d10   1 Silver Pitcher   2 Whalebone figurine of a shark   3 Gold-link bracelet   4 Black velvet mask with a silver-thread skullface stitched onto it   5 Copper chalice with silver filigree depicting Relnu, God of the Moon (or some other god)   6 Cloth-of-gold vestments for Puliro, God of the Sun (or some other god)   7 Pair of engraved whalebone dice   8 Small polished steel mirror in a mahogany wood frame   9 Silk Handkerchief embroidered with a seahorse   10 Gold locket with a painted portrait of a red-haired, green-eyed young woman
 

The East Side (with bridge to mainland)

 
The fifty feet of sea channel that seperates Kaia Isle from Jama is supposed to be easily crossed on the bridge but the bridge is broken. Ten feet of bridge on each side of the sea channel remains, leaving a thirty foot gap between them. Looking out across the water, Jama seems to be suffering the same ground shakes as Kaia Isle and people are fleeing further inland in droves.   About a dozen villagers stand upon the Jama shore shouting encouragement to seven others swimming across. Their shouts turn to screams as two sharkfins race through the water towards the swimmers.   The Kaia Isle end of the bridge drops lower towards the water as the island sinks a little more.
  Adjust the number of sharks to be 1 shark per 3 heroes if needed for smaller or larger groups. Beneath the water is a sea devil telepathically commanding the sharks to attack the swimmers. Sea Devil Stats
Sharkfeather Sea Devil.png
Sharkfeather Sea Devil by Dazzlinkat on HeroForge

Sea Devil, Sharkfeather Clan

Medium humanoid, aquatic, any chaotic
Armor Class 12
Hit Points 22hp 4d8+4
Speed 30ft Swim: 40ft

STR

13 +1

DEX

11 0

CON

12 +1

INT

12 +1

WIS

13 +1

CHA

9 -1

Skills PERCEPTION: +5 1d20+5
Senses DARKVISION: 120 ft.   SENSITIVE TO BRIGHT DAYLIGHT/LIGHT: disadvantage to attacks and DEX saves when in daylight or bright light.
Languages Common, Deviltongue
Challenge 1/2


BLOOD FRENZY: advantage on melee attacks against any creature not fully healed.   LIMITED AMPHIBIOUSNESS: can breathe water freely and breathe air for 4 hrs before having to breathe water again.   SHARK TELEPATHY: magically command any shark within 120 feet by limited telepathy


Actions

MULTI_ATTACK: When unarmed will attack with two claw attacks.   If in bright daylight/light, sea devil has disadvantage on all attacks.   CLAWS. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit 1d20+3 , reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4+1) 1d4+1 slashing damage.   DOUBLE TRIDENT. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit 1d20+3 , reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d8+1) 1d8+1 piercing damage. Gains Bonus Melee Trident Attack: +1 to hit 1d20+1 , reach 5 ft. Hit: 4 (1d6+1) 1d6+1 piercing damage. Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit 1d20+3 , range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6+1) 1d6+1 piercing damage.



A blue-skinned, sea-weed wrapped man-like creature adapted to the dark depths of the oceans.

Saltwater locations

Shark Stats

Kaia Reef Shark

Medium beast, aquatic, unaligned
Armor Class 12
Hit Points 22hp (4d8+4) 4d8+4
Speed Swim: 40ft

STR

14 +2

DEX

13 +1

CON

13 +1

INT

1 -5

WIS

10 0

CHA

4 -3

Skills PERCEPTION: +2 1d20+2
Senses BLINDSIGHT: 30ft., passive Perception 12
Challenge 1/2


WATER BREATHING: Can only breathe water.


Actions

BITE. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit 1d20+4 , reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8+2) 1d8+2 piercing damage.



A sharp-toothed predatory fish that can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh up to 500lbs

Saltwater locations

Swimmer Stats

Kaia Isle Swimmer

Medium humanoid, human, any
Armor Class 10
Hit Points 4hp (1d8) 1d8
Speed 30ft Swim: 15ft

STR

10 0

DEX

10 0

CON

10 0

INT

10 0

WIS

10 0

CHA

10 0

Senses passive Perception 10
Languages Common


Actions

PUNCH OR KICK. Unarmed Melee Attack: +2 to hit 1d20+2 . reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 bludgeoning damage.



Human in beach party clothes.

  If Party Is Slow To Act
If the party hesitants to fight, swim for it, or leave, the top of the bridge sinks yet again until its only three feet above the water. They are now standing in ankle deep water.
  If the party sucessfully crosses the channel, they escape the sinking island. Advance to the next chapter, Pirates Yo - Landfaring  

South Side (with last remaining ship at the docks)

 
The docks are empty save for one last ship whose crew is desperately trying to board it but have to battle sea devils, and very big crabs with vicious pincers. Under a tree, a young villager in a blood-stained white robe yells out a prayer and a shower of golden flames burns a sea devil, who falls to the dock, dead. Around this villager are several terrified people, including women and children. Seeing you, he waves frantically for you to join them under the tree.
  If the party joins him or even draws near enough for conversation, he offers to heal any wounded. He has 3 Cure Wounds Spells left: heals 1d8+2 1d8+2 hp.   He then begs the heroes to help the sailors so they can all board the ship, their last hope of escaping the sinking island. As he says this, the sea gets halfway closer to the tree.   There are four crabs and two sea devils. Four sailors are fghtin the sea devils and crabs. They will rush aboard the ship to help prepare it to sail if the party joins the fight. War Crab Stats

War Crab

Medium beast, aquatic, unaligned
Armor Class 15
Hit Points 13hp (3d8) 3d8
Speed 30ft Swim: 30ft

STR

13 +1

DEX

15 +2

CON

11 0

INT

1 -5

WIS

9 -1

CHA

3 -4

Skills STEALTH: +4 1d20+4
Senses BLINDSIGHT: 30 ft., passive Perception 9
Challenge 1/8


AMPHIBIOUS: Can breathe both water and air.


Actions

CLAW. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit 1d20+3 , reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6+1) 1d6+1 bludgeon damage and the target is grappled (escape DC: 11). Though it has two claws, a war crab can grapple only one target.



A stoutly built eight-legged crab with two strong pincers. Its colors are yellow above shading into bright orange beneath.

Saltwater locations

Sea Devil Stats
Sharkfeather Sea Devil.png
Sharkfeather Sea Devil by Dazzlinkat on HeroForge

Sea Devil, Sharkfeather Clan

Medium humanoid, aquatic, any chaotic
Armor Class 12
Hit Points 22hp 4d8+4
Speed 30ft Swim: 40ft

STR

13 +1

DEX

11 0

CON

12 +1

INT

12 +1

WIS

13 +1

CHA

9 -1

Skills PERCEPTION: +5 1d20+5
Senses DARKVISION: 120 ft.   SENSITIVE TO BRIGHT DAYLIGHT/LIGHT: disadvantage to attacks and DEX saves when in daylight or bright light.
Languages Common, Deviltongue
Challenge 1/2


BLOOD FRENZY: advantage on melee attacks against any creature not fully healed.   LIMITED AMPHIBIOUSNESS: can breathe water freely and breathe air for 4 hrs before having to breathe water again.   SHARK TELEPATHY: magically command any shark within 120 feet by limited telepathy


Actions

MULTI_ATTACK: When unarmed will attack with two claw attacks.   If in bright daylight/light, sea devil has disadvantage on all attacks.   CLAWS. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit 1d20+3 , reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4+1) 1d4+1 slashing damage.   DOUBLE TRIDENT. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit 1d20+3 , reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d8+1) 1d8+1 piercing damage. Gains Bonus Melee Trident Attack: +1 to hit 1d20+1 , reach 5 ft. Hit: 4 (1d6+1) 1d6+1 piercing damage. Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit 1d20+3 , range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6+1) 1d6+1 piercing damage.



A blue-skinned, sea-weed wrapped man-like creature adapted to the dark depths of the oceans.

Saltwater locations

Sailor Stats
Wind Chaser Sailor.png
Wind Chaser Sailor by Dazzlinkat on HeroForge

Wind Chaser Sailor

Medium humanoid, human, any
Armor Class 10 + Dex
Hit Points 11hp (2d8+1) 2d8+1
Speed 30ft

STR

11 0

DEX

12 +1

CON

12 +1

INT

10 0

WIS

10 0

CHA

10 0

Senses passive Perception 10
Languages Common
Challenge 1/8


Actions

CUTLASS. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit 1d20+3 , reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6+1) 1d6+1 slashing damage.



Human dressed in worn black and red clothes. Armed with a cutlass.

  If The Party Hesitates
Round 1: one sailor is killed.   Round 2: a crab dies.   Round 3: a sailor dies.   Round 4: a crab dies but the sea devils and crabs get on board the ship. Another sea devil and two more crabs come out of the water and get on the ship as well. The isle sinks more and the terrified villagers under the tree are now standing in ankle deep water.   The ship cannot sail until all enemies are killed or driven off the ship.
  If the party successfully boards the ship and defeats all enemies aboard, they escape the sinking isle. Advance to the next chapter Pirates, Yo - Seafaring.

The Intro

  This adventure is designed for a party of four level one characters based on DnD 5e rules. The encounters within are easily adjustable for various party sizes though it is balanced for four.   'That Sinking Feeling' could be placed in any setting that has a tropical region on a sea coast, but is intended to be the opening adventure of the campaign: 'Pirates, Yo!'.

That Sinking Feeling: Background

 
Sharkfeather Sea Devil.png
Sharkfeather Sea Devil by Dazzlinkat on HeroForge
  The sea devils have always encouraged the reef sharks to feed on Kaia Isle landfolk once the schools of spawning clubfish have returned to the depths of the sea, and before the sharks break up their schools to spread out and hunt alone for the rest of the year. It is the sea devils' belief that as long as landfolk fear the sea, they will stay on land and out of sea devil waters. To the sea devils, the entire Haven Sea is theirs.     The People of Jama-Kaia quickly learned that the shark attacks happened the same time each year. Unfortunately, it was the time of year when they would get the most visitors from Swampshoal Point. To save their guests, and the source of most of their wealth, they created the Annual Shark Hunting Tournament. This not only warned their guests to be careful but turned it from a panic-causing danger to one of adventure and fun.  
Shark Hunter.png
Shark Hunter by Dazzlinkat on HeroForge
  The Sharkfeather Clan of Sea Devils has recently gained a new young matriarch. She disapproves of trading with the land folk even though such trade has benefitted the clan. Further, she has decided that the tournaments are an act of war and her clan must rid their waters of the threat.

Adventure Synopsis

  The players start out deciding what they are doing on the beach.   One or all can choose to participate in the Shark hunt.   After the hunt, the attack begins. The isle is also starting to sink.   The players must find and succeed in one of the two ways to escape the island.   If they manage to escape, they can continue on to one of the two next chapters.

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Cover image: Marvellous Journey by deviantart

Comments

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1 Jan, 2021 22:47

Can't like this article too much

2 Jan, 2021 11:20

Thanx!

Master Kaerith
Richard Abfalter
1 Jan, 2021 22:54

I like this article because it gives a nice mixture of new rules (the shark hunt) interesting creatures that aren't simple copies from a bestiary and then gives better loot than only coins. The added part for what happens if people hesitate also helps immensely for newer GM's or stressed ones.   All in all a very nice Adventure with which I might want to start a campaign on soon.

2 Jan, 2021 11:21

Thanx. You're welcome to use it.