• Mistfactor

The Lamenting Lighthouse from Sven Truckenbrodt

My first thoughts when I heard “haunted lighthouse” were of the old Scooby Doo mysteries. Those older Saturday morning cartoons are destined to become timeless and beloved if they aren’t already, and if you are a Ravenloft DM, then they should be on your list, since they are so much like a typical party of adventurers, solving mysteries in spooky castles and abandoned mines. An adventure at sea is also only fair to take a look at, with the book Ghosts of Saltmarch still fresh off the press. The book might not be required for this adventure, but as I own a copy of it, consulting it while I read this horror adventure helped make things all the better for it. As I was reading, a theme really stuck out to me, which is one I think any DM should keep in mind: Greed. Many good pirate stories show that what truly destroys a pirate in their pillaging and plundering is their greed and the paranoia that comes with it. Here we have a story that leads to one half of a pirate literally trying to destroy the other half because of the treasure he stole. This is something I can highly commend the author for, because they took a metaphor literally while writing this adventure, and it works once the players get involved. What also attracted me to this adventure was the promise of treasure. As a DM, the creative juices really get flowing for me with legendary artifacts like this Dread Orb that can be found in the adventure. With how little you are told about it, you can already tell that it has in-world history, and maybe even the highly perceptive players will realize it’s another one of the kind of artifacts that corrupts absolutely, while giving away some awesome powers. This adventure might come across as very simple, and you would be correct in doing so. However, simplicity does not guarantee a bad experience, and in this case, the simplicity helps keep the party on their toes. That and the constant reminders from the text to keep using imagination tactics to paint a picture for the players in their minds. Make them hear the crashing waves and moaning monsters. Let them smell the salt air and feel the cold sting of the ocean. This is one adventure that takes a somewhat classic trope and still find ways to keep it alive. And it’s done with expert formatting, sidebars, and balance of art and text. This one is definitely a keeper for the high seas DMs looking to satisfy the Ravenloft thirst while running Ghosts of Saltmarch The Lamenting Lighthouse gets 9/1 You can get this adventure for 4.95$ here! ~Connor Svensrud