Friday, May 4, 2018

Pulp Era OSR Make Over For Advanced Dungeons & Dragons's Modue Dave J. Browne with Don Turnbull's UK3 The Final Enemy

At last! An opportunity to avert the threat to the little town of Saltmarsh! The real enemies have been identified - evil, cruel creatures, massed in force and viciously organized. Can the brave adventurers thwart this evil and ensure the safety of Saltmarsh?

The PC's have proceeded along the path of corruption to the well organized forces of the Sahuagin around the Atlantic area right into the lair of the monsters. U3 The Final Enemy by Dave J. Browne with Don Turnbull is gritty & dangerous with a military feel to the over all module.
U3 is one of the more unusual adventures in that it features a three level dungeon & actual underwater adventure. I've used the entire U3 Saltmarsh series of adventures for Call of Cthulhu & many other pulp based Sword & Sorcery games as well including using it as a lead in for Astonishing Swordmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea second edition's The Mystery at Port Greely.

The whole of U3 is made for three things; exploration, underwater dungeon crawling, & full on old school adventuring. The
Sahuagin lair is almost fully a third underwater dungeon &  a dark & dangerous place with Saltmarsh being the beach head for a full on invasion. The feeling of U3 is the final piece of a very large & corrupt puzzle. The tendrils of the Sahuagin's cults in the upper world can be seen in the Saltmarsh series adventure. The lair of the Sahuagin is a perfectly polished mirror of a sink of evil from the Adventurer, Conqueror, King rpg. 
The Sahuagin are an Atlantic ocean variant of the Deep One species with the Koa Tua being the lower oceanic variation of the species. The Sahuagin are looking to expand their ancient empire onto land especially after mankind has grown so lax.
"Y'ha-nthlei was not destroyed when the upper-earth men shot death into the sea. It was hurt, but not destroyed. The Deep Ones could never be destroyed, even though the palaeogean magic of the forgotten Old Ones might sometimes check them. For the present they would rest; but some day, if they remembered, they would rise again for the tribute Great Cthulhu craved. It would be a city greater than Innsmouth next time. They had planned to spread, and had brought up that which would help them, but now they must wait once more. For bringing the upper-earth men's death I must do a penance, but that would not be heavy. "
The Shadow Over Innsmouth by H. P. Lovecraft

Characters of 3rd–5th level are the rule in U3 The Final Enemy, the module is completely lethal in places & not given for characters of at least the fourth level or below. The fact is that dungeon masters need to flesh out many of the more sinister aspects of the fishmen in U3. Dark Albion's Cults of Chaos is a viable option to do exactly that. The book lends itself quite nicely to fleshing out the more chaotic basis of the cults implied within the U.K. Saltmarsh series.

The world of an alternative history 1904 is a world in flux. There are several reasons to believe that
the Sahuagin are actively on a black ops military warfare campaign across the globe. In 1904, with war in Europe a decade away, Britain and France sign an agreement, later known as the Entente Cordiale, resolving long-standing colonial disputes.On October 21, 1904, this almost happened. While en route to the Pacific Theatre, a nervous Russian fleet fired cannons at British fishing vessels thinking they were Japanese ships. In the confusion, some Russian ships even fired upon each other. Three British fishermen died and a host of diplomatic fall out resulted. Was this the fog of war or were there more sinister forces at work. This period of chaos happens across the globe & there is a method to this madness. Taking a cue from Dark Albion's set up for NPC's almost any can die within such a campaign & this fits with the dark & sinister nature of U3. The whole justifies the means of using Dark Albion's Cults of Chaos to flesh out the more nasty & dangerous of the Lovecraftian cults of the Sahuagin.

Infact U3 The Final Enemy can be used as a jump off point for an extended Lovecraftian campaign. There's enough background for a dungeon master to back fill in the details of the Saltmarsh adventure.This background material is perfect for  enabling a group of players to assume the role of smashing pulp heroes. This can take the PCs to far beyond where they expect to end up at the end of the Saltmarsh adventures. Many of the monsters found in Dark Wizard's Monsters of Mayhem #1 has several monsters that can easily convey the heights of alien weirdness that the player's PC's will be experiencing within the lair of the Sahuagin.

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