Brainstorming Aquatic Adventure Ideas


Okay, I'm beginning to sketch out a concept for a swashbuckler-themed homebrew to be played as a PbP on these boards. What I'm looking for is any interesting encounter ideas anyone may have involving port towns, ships, docks, underwater, and anything aquatic and piratey. I've got some ideas of my own, but don't want to spill anything due to the high chances of somebody reading this who might end up playing in the actual game.

I'm looking for inspiration from other successful encounters you may have had, that kind of thing. The campaign will probably be open to any alignment, so something for a CN party would be best. I'm just assuming that the party will be working on a CN privateer ship, so a job is a job.

Thanks in advance for whatever you give me :)

A suggestion and some preliminary thoughts (most of which you have probably thought of already)

I'd suggest you ensure all your players have some skill in stealth as it tends to be a swashbuckly pirate theme

A group of naval recuiters moving through the dockside knocking out anyone they deem recruitble including the pc's (lso not a bad way to get the party together if they are all in a tavern when the recruiters turn up after fighting them off a privateer captain may offer them a position (of course if the party lose you can keep going and actually have them recruited which may lead too escape attampts or after thier navy ship gets captured by your privateer captain they can join that way).

A bar fight with a rival crew or perhaps something more serious is always a fun portside encounter

In a magical world clearing the ship of vermin is certainly not a cabin boy's job

One of the party or a crewmember they get along with/owe something too is accused of stealing from the captain can the party find the true thief before the punishment (keel hauling) is inflicted?

The party members by this time have probably distiguised themselves and rank above common sailors so after a time becalmed the captian puts them in charge of keeping the peace amongst the increasing nervous and wild crew

During the night the ship lurches to a sudden halt and waves of foul saeweed covered creatures (zombies, ghouls, skum ect.) climb up the tendrils of kelp holding the ship in place the party has to fight off the seemingly endless attack and cut through the kelp to free the ship (or possibly go underwater and find whats causing the kelp to grab them

Just throwing out ideas.


Their ship is skirting a sandbar when they encounter a shipwreck banked on it. It appears to have been damaged recently (maybe during that storm yesterday) but not to have sunk. The party boards to discover that the loot is guarded by a few very unfriendly undead – former crew members – and a haunt – created when the captain murdered her crew in a paranoid frenzy.

Pirate Camp:

Some Fay creatures sneak aboard their ship and create some humorous chaos. Once found, the creatures beseech the party’s help. Some pirates have overtaken their atoll for use as a base and they need help getting rid of them (maybe for a reward).

Grand Lodge

an undersea race, such mermen, sahuagin, skum, etc, are tired of the surface dwellers dumping trash into their kingdom. They demand a toll for crossing their territory and and use massive whales or sea serpents to stop ships and force them to pay tolls.

Buried Treasure:
The captain has decided to take a small crew ashore to bury the treasure. But everyone knows the unlucky ones chosen to go ashore never return...

Ship Wrecked:
A storm has cast the ship about and the crew is beached on a deserted island. They must explore their new home and find a way to escape.

Probably a tad too epic, no idea what APL you're working with.

When it becomes apparent that rough waters aren't to blame for the ship's erratic movement, the crew decides to investigate. Much to their horror, they find that a particularly aggressive giant squid has its attention on the boat, and is all too happy to devour them all. Alternatively, you could have some fun with the Kraken's Rend Ship ability to grapple the pirate ship.

Ghost Ship:
On the sea, the crew comes across what has been rumored to be a ghost ship. Little do they know that the ship is actually an animated object, and that the wizard responsible for it has his own agenda...

Another idea this one could form an adventure or even a campaign

Treasure Map:

It all starts when an Aquatic elf sells/rewards the party with a chart leading to a hidden treasure. The chart shows a hidden inlet to a large bay on a distant island where the map claims a fabled pirate had a hidden base...

... The base could be real a hidden Tortuga like place or abandoned and in ruins, The map could be fake leading to a dangerous place, The elf could be a Malenti Sahuagin whoes task is to send ships and crews to their doom for a bigger plot.

BTW if you do set this up warn us here i'd love to play (hence why i'm giving broad ideas not specifics :D) and i'm sure the other posters here are thinking the same thing.

Alright, I'll be sure to throw up a post here as well when I open the game up for recruitment. For the time being I'm just waiting on my laptop to get fixed before doing too much preliminary work.

Thanks to all of you so much for the ideas, I've got a few things mulling around in my head now to consider: opened lots of creative doors for me, haha.

The recruitment thread for the campaign is up in Gamer Connection. ashbucklerCampaignRecruitment

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