There’s nothing better than watching a master craftsman of adventure writing take an almost clichéd idea (the haunted ship) and turn out something so fresh and entertaining. At times it seems more like a ghost story than just an adventure. Particularly since it’s written in that distinctive “Loguian” style that has already given us “Chimes at Midnight” and “Mask of Diamond Tears” (one of my personal favorites for its sheer inventiveness) to name just two.
One of the most intriguing and memorable elements of this adventure is the way it handles the influence the ships’ restless spirits exert over the PCs as the claustrophobic setting slowly presses down on their psyches. In the hands of most writers this would get handled with a few Will saves and some sort of combat penalty but Logue goes so much further. He actually creates distinct personalities for each of the spirits and gives PCs both advantages and disadvantages should they fall under their sway. Many of the encounters contain additional information or challenges specifically tailored to of these entities, subtly affecting the way the adventure progresses based upon which spirits have cast their shadows over the party.
For instance, imagine fighting the decapitated zombie remains of one of the crew while his horrified ghost gibbers in the back of your mind. Who but Logue would think to include the impulse of putting on that zombie’s clothing once you defeat it? Or the frantic search for the rotting head (now a chew toy for a monster I won’t name just in case a player happens to read this)?
In addition to the adventure itself this product also includes a number of additional sea based adventure hooks. Several of them (particularly the one about the sentient ice berg) are worth the price of admission in and of themselves. All in all, this adventure offers DMs a huge amount of useful material in a very compact package. I don’t think anybody looking for a dark and suspenseful night’s entertainment