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[50F] Start a 50 Fathoms campaign with PCs from Earth?

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  • [50F] Start a 50 Fathoms campaign with PCs from Earth?

    Has anyone written or GM'd a 50 Fathoms game that begins with all the PCs arriving to Caribdus from Earth? My players want to explore the 50F campaign but continuing the adventures of their characters from an old Pirates of the Spanish Main campaign. I'd like to start the game with them arriving at Caribdus but connect to the main plot point campaign as quickly and easily as possible. Has anyone done this before? Any tips to share?



  • #2
    Being from Earth is how humans ended up in the setting at all.

    If you mean having a session where the characters arrive in Carribdus then you can do that. But the arrival portal is in the Flotsam Sea (pages 72-73), so you'll need to put some serious thought into how to structure the session so that the player characters all have good odds of survival, without downplaying how terrifying that region is.
    Originally posted by Page 73
    Ships from Earth appear within a few hundred yards of the Devil’s Cross, so octopons and other horrors are always present waiting for prey. Those ships which escape the Cross and the Flotsam Sea are lucky, well-crewed, or both.
    Maybe they're well-crewed, maybe they're just lucky, or maybe both, but you need to play up how dangerous it all is.
    One good option is to have a different ship arrive shortly before the players' ship. They can watch in horror as monsters and galleon-sized squids destroy the other ship, giving a few minutes for the players' ship to flee during the distraction.

    To hook into the main PPC, you simply need to give them a hook for the Tressa the Red adventure.
    Normally, the Equais encounter in the Maiden Voyage adventure gives that hook after a thrilling exploration and escape that unites the PC and NPC crew on their small craft. You could have the ship rescue the strange talking giant crab Equais, who mentions the "sinking world" problem and suggests talking to the last archmage, or you could give them some other reason to go see Tressa (she is the best lead on how to return to Earth).
    Regardless of why, once the crew reaches Tressa the real plot can begin.

    Good luck!
    I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.


    • #3
      That sounds like a really cool idea.

      One potential stumbling block will be language, since the PC's won't be able speak with the natives of Caribdus at first. Not a deal breaker since there are so many Earthers around to act as translators until they learn the local language themselves. Or you could have them find a magic item early on granting Speak Language.

      The other thing is you'll have to do is re-jigger how they meet Equias to learn that Caribdus is still drowning. Though you could have them exit the Flotsam Sea to the south, and if they continue south they'll be heading towards the Savage Land and you can run the meeting with Equias more or less by the book. Except for the language thing. You could have Equias not be the sole survivor of his ship's destruction and include a visitor from Earth to act as a translator, and to convince the PCs the strange crab creature is friendly.

      EDIT - ValhallaGH posted while I was composing my response. He writes much faster than I do. lol
      Last edited by JamesG; 05-08-2020, 05:29 PM.


      • ValhallaGH
        ValhallaGH commented
        Editing a comment
        Maybe, but you highlighted the Language issue, which I skipped right past. Good catch!

    • #4
      These are awesome! Just what I was looking for. Thanks!