The Red Sadness

The Red Sadness is a three-masted sailing ship, 100 feet long from stem to stern, and 30 feet wide amidships. The ship needs a minimum crew of 20 for normal operation, and presently has only 17 (including the PCs). For every person below the minimum crew of 20, the DC of all checks for work-related tasks increases by +1 (current DCs are at +3). For example, five people (i.e. the PCs) trying to man the ship on their own would need to make DC 25 checks for most tasks, assuming otherwise favorable conditions).

Unless otherwise indicated, interior walls on the ship are of wood, 2 inches thick. Doors are of good wooden construction. Interior rooms are unlit during the day (except for those with windows or portholes), and usually have a single hooded lantern for light at night, providing either normal or dim light (open flames are dangerous on a ship at sea). Many doors and chests are trapped to keep them off-limits to swabs and common sailors.


A1. Foredeck: This raised deck stands some 10 feet above the main deck (area A3), immediately behind the bowsprit, which is shaped like a rearing dragon. The foremast rises 30 feet above this deck. A single cannon is stored here.

A2. Poop Deck: This raised deck stands 15 feet above the main deck (area A3). The mizzenmast rises 30 feet above this deck. The ship’s bridge protrudes forward of the mizzenmast, and holds the ship’s wheel. The wheel is 3 feet across and has 10 spokes decorated with silver inlays, its bolts carved to resemble kraken heads.


A3. Main Deck: The ship’s main deck runs between the foredeck and poop deck. The mainmast rises from the center of the deck, extending 60 feet into the air and topped by a crow’s nest. Rigging connects the mainmast to the ship’s other masts and can be crossed with DC 10 Acrobatics or Climb checks. Several strands of thick rope are secured to the foot of the mainmast for use as a whipping post. An Escape Artist check is required to escape the bonds. The ship’s clock, a macabre brass-and-copper object depicting worms writhing through whale corpses, hangs from the mast above the whipping post. Not only does the clock keep time, but its bell strikes at dawn and dusk to signal the beginning and the end of the workday.

Two 10-foot-square hatches sit in the deck fore and aft of the mainmast. These hatches are thick wooden grilles and open onto the middle hold (area A6) 15 feet below. At the fore of the ship, two doors lead into the officers’ quarters (area A4), while two doors aft lead to the captain’s quarters (area A5). A large wooden box bound in iron sits just beneath the bridge. This sweatbox, used to torment sailors, has just enough room to hold one Medium creature (and can be altered to confine a Small creature). It is locked with a good lock; the two keys vanished along with Captain Herrera and Mr. Plugg.

A4. Officers’ Quarters: The ship’s officers occupy the hammocks in this cramped cabin. A set of steps descends sharply into the middle hold (area A6) below. The two narrow doors leading to the main deck (area A3) are locked with good locks (Riaris Krine has the only remaining key), and are trapped with harpoon traps. The officers store their possessions in footlockers, each with an average lock.

A4a. Armory: This tiny chamber is crammed with chests and neatly ordered weapon racks. The armory is secured with a good lock and trapped with a harpoon trap. The weapon racks currently hold 11 clubs, 9 cutlasses, 40 javelins, 2 shortspears, and 18 grappling hooks attached to 50 feet of rope. Two chests contain 500 heavy crossbow bolts each, while three other chests each hold 12 flasks of alchemist’s fire. Four other chests each contain a breastplate, chain shirt, and buckler. Three powder kegs are also here, along with a small chest containing 79 bullets and and 19 handfuls of grapeshot pellets, and a stack of 10 cannon balls. The ship’s master gunner, Riaris Krine, is meticulous in her job and quickly spots any obvious thefts.

A4b. Peppery Longfarthing’s Laboratory: The ship’s sailing master and resident sorcerer, Peppery Longfarthing, used this chamber as her laboratory. The cramped cabin is overwhelmed with curious and often unsettling objects that Longfarthing was studying. The door is secured with a good lock as well as an arcane lock spell (the key is in Longfarthing’s locker in the Officer’s Quarters), and is trapped with a shocking grasp trap.

A5. Captain’s Cabin: Captain Herrera’s cabin is richly decorated, its walls covered with intricate carvings depicting krakens devouring whales. A quartet of portholes allow light to drift in, and a bed that can double as a navigational or dining table when the mattress is rolled up sits against the aft bulkhead with a chest at its feet. Two rich carpets flank the bed. A flight of steps leads down to the middle hold (area A6). The two doors leading to the main deck (area A3) are trapped with shocking grasp traps, while the door on the stairs is trapped with a crossbow trap. All of these doors have superior locks (Herrera had the only key). The portholes are very narrow, but a DC 30 Escape Artist check would allow a creature to squeeze through. The chest is locked and contains Captain Herrera’s personal possessions, including a selection of nautical charts.

A5b. Captain’s Storage: The captain stores his personal booty in the portside compartment, locked with a superior lock. Inside is a pair of iron chests, covered in a thin wood veneer. Both chests have superior locks and poisoned dart traps, and they contain coins, jewels, and other treasures worth almost 10,000 gp in total (10 points of plunder).


A6. Middle Hold: This is the ship’s main cargo hold. The hold currently contains 300 cases of moonplum wine (3600 bottles, 3 points of plunder), as well as 11 pigs; normally kept caged, they periodically escape and run loose within the hold. In the forward section, a flight of wooden stairs climbs up to the officers’ quarters (area A4), while a second set of stairs descends into the lower hold (area A10). Another flight of stairs in the aft section next to the galley leads up to the captain’s quarters (area A5), but it is common knowledge among the crew that the door is trapped. Stored near the mainmast are two light ballistas, a disassembled light catapult, and 12 barrels containing 20 gallons of oil each.

A7. Quartermaster and Cook’s Cabin: This tiny cabin contains two beds and two footlockers. Red Sadness’s ship’s cook, Ambrose “Fishguts” Kroop, shares this cabin with his chickens.

A8. Galley: The galley is the domain of Ambrose “Fishguts” Kroop, the drunken ship’s cook. The cramped and chaotic kitchen holds two wooden worktables, several wooden cupboards, and two small stoves against the port wall, as well as virtually every cooking utensil imaginable and a frightening array of meat cleavers. A score of chickens and three goats wander freely throughout the chamber; the goats are meant to be caged, but have a distressing tendency to escape their bonds. The kitchen is a madness of dirt, food, and knives, and finding anything in here requires a Perception check. The stoves are perpetually lit, and large cauldrons bubble away atop them all times. A huge array of spices mingle with barrels of rainwater, two tuns of rum, cupboards full of ship’s biscuit and salted beef, barrels of sauerkraut, and a small supply of fresh vegetables picked up in Port Montague. Despite the chaos, the entire galley functions as a set of masterwork tools for Profession (cook) checks.

Several items of value are lost among the ruin and squalor in the galley: a masterwork dagger being used as a butcher’s knife, a pair of handaxes used as meat cleavers, 10 knives, a short sword, a vial of holy water, a good lock hanging unused off a pantry cupboard, 2 pounds of soap, four waterskins, a barrel of poor wine, six bottles of good brandy, three bottles of magnificent rum, a large cookbook, a prosthetic leg made of wood and edged with a silver band, and 12 brass bits fallen behind a cupboard. In addition, a trio of harpoons, a spear, and Kroop’s steadfast grapple hang on the walls.

A9. Quartermaster’s Store: This cramped, crowded storeroom contains numerous barrels, boxes, and chests. The door is locked with a superior lock (the key has been lost), and features a 3-foot-square serving hatch (also with a superior lock). The quartermaster’s store contains two tuns of rum (each holding about 105 gallons at the start of the journey) and six other containers.

  1. Wooden Locker (simple lock, Disable Device DC 20, no trap): Contains a large selection of mundane adventuring gear with a value of 10 gp or less (2d4 of any given item).
  2. Wooden Locker (simple lock, Disable Device DC 20, no trap): Contains a masterwork fiddle, a starknife, 3 flasks of acid, 6 flasks of alchemist’s fire, four sets of thieves tools (one of which is masterwork), and a battered iron box containing six candles, one of which is a candle of truth.
  3. Wooden Chest (broken lock, arrow trap): Contains a potion of barkskin, a potion of cure light wounds, a potion of haste, a masterwork climber’s kit, a disguise kit, 4 flasks of holy water, a magnifying glass, a set of manacles, and two tanglefoot bags.
  4. Wooden Chest (average lock, Disable Device DC 25, arrow trap): Contains a masterwork light crossbow, three cutlasses, 31 daggers, three masterwork daggers, 43 masterwork darts, four saps, a masterwork sap, 120 arrows, 20 masterwork arrows, six +1 arrows, and 200 crossbow bolts
  5. Wooden Trunk (good lock, Disable Device DC 30, no trap): Contains a suit of banded mail, a breastplate, two chain shirts, masterwork leather armor, three suits of studded leather armor, 12 bucklers, two masterwork bucklers, and a small cash box containing 231 pence, 99 shillings, and 103 crowns.
  6. Metal Trunk (good lock, Disable Device DC 30, poisoned dart trap [Core Rulebook 420]): Contains a +1 animal bane dagger, a +1 short sword, a masterwork warhammer, scrolls of cure moderate wounds, mage armor, magic missile, scorching ray, and summon swarm, and a wand of bless weapon (16 charges).


A10. Lower Hold and Crew Berths: Sixteen pillars support the deck above this spacious hold. At night, the Red Sadness’s common pirates tie their hammocks between the walls and pillars and sleep until dawn.

A trap door just behind the mainmast opens onto the bilges below (area A11). The hold is currently empty of cargo, but several footlockers line the walls. Each member of the crew has a locker, equivalent to a small chest. Fourty such lockers and hammocks are available, but not all are in use.

A11. Bilges: The lowest deck of the ship, the bilges are a foul, damp place with thick cobwebs above and 1–2 feet of dark, brackish water that stinks abominably below. A ladder leads up to a trap door that opens in the lower hold (area A10), and a single bilge pump rests near the stern. The bilges also double as the ship’s brig, and six sets of masterwork manacles with average locks are fixed to the bulkheads in the forward portion of the deck.

The Red Sadness

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