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Ghosts of Saltmarsh

Uqbarian

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I basically think the adventure is really cool, but that it works better if the lizardfolk are a little more obviously not hostile and more willing to tell the PCs they don't really want to fight.
Yeah.

One way not to do that, mind, is what our GM did in our uni days: switch the sea-elf captive on the pirate ship out for a plucky, helpful fish-person with a squeaky voice like an animal sidekick from a Disney movie, who tells you that the lizardfolk are evil invaders and then backstabs you when you attack the lizardfolk lair, leading to an effective TPK,* because he turned out to be a sahuagin spy. The GM's point was something about how none of the PCs knew what sahuagin looked like and we couldn't take appearances for granted, but what I took away was more that how a GM frames and presents information can push players down a particular path. *(One PC ran away, and the GM said the other PCs might have been taken captive, but we weren't keen on continuing after that.)
 

Zeea

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Yeah.

One way not to do that, mind, is what our GM did in our uni days: switch the sea-elf captive on the pirate ship out for a plucky, helpful fish-person with a squeaky voice like an animal sidekick from a Disney movie, who tells you that the lizardfolk are evil invaders and then backstabs you when you attack the lizardfolk lair, leading to an effective TPK,* because he turned out to be a sahuagin spy. The GM's point was something about how none of the PCs knew what sahuagin looked like and we couldn't take appearances for granted, but what I took away was more that how a GM frames and presents information can push players down a particular path. *(One PC ran away, and the GM said the other PCs might have been taken captive, but we weren't keen on continuing after that.)
Thanks to this story, I cannot stop imagining the sahuagin cheerfully singing Under The Sea while eating the flesh of their latest victims.
 

Roger

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I seem to remember something from some earlier edition about some tiny percentage of sahuagin being born looking exactly like sea elves, but still all evil and such, but I might be entirely mis-remembering this.
 

Constructman

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I seem to remember something from some earlier edition about some tiny percentage of sahuagin being born looking exactly like sea elves, but still all evil and such, but I might be entirely mis-remembering this.
It's still a thing in 5e.
Sahuagin entry in the Monster Manual said:
So intense is sahuagin hatred for the aquatic elves that the sea devils have adapted to combat their ancient foes. A sahuagin born near enough to an aquatic elf community can enter the world as a malenti — a sahuagin that physically resembles an aquatic elf in every way. Sahuagin are prone to mutation, but whether this rare phenomenon is a result of the wars between the sahuagin and the aquatic elves — or whether it preceded or even began the conflict — none can say.

The sahuagin put the malenti to good use as spies and assassins in aquatic elf cities and the societies of other creatures that pose a threat to sahuagin. The mere shadow of the malenti threat incites paranoia and suspicion among aquatic elves, whose resilience is weakened as the prelude to an actual sahuagin invasion.
 

Uqbarian

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Thanks to this story, I cannot stop imagining the sahuagin cheerfully singing Under The Sea while eating the flesh of their latest victims.
Ha! If we'd ended up with that happening in the game, it would have been worth it. :)
 
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