I have been talking up my gaming group that we would pull out the D&D 5e books again and try Ghoul Island now that I have every episode of it. Just wanted to ask, did anyone find any issues with it?
Some points I’ve noted is that the books do not really have much premade loot for the players. I think in the early game the only big item is the captain’s greataxe? Most areas reward valuables and gold, but I do not recall seeing anyone in the city section that would buy them or sell adventurer-type items. These can of course be handwaved by the DM and we can once in a while roll in the reward charts inside the dungeons but a firmer grasp on this would still be great.
I have a group of 6 players so most likely difficulty would have to be increased at parts, especially towards the end where +2 characters really starts to matter a lot? Some reviewers have commented that the adventure is harder than average so hopefully this might help offset the player number and their experience with the system?
The player characters in my Ghoul Island campaign are now level 9. That was easily a dozen scenarios, and with the one exception players have received enough loot and have not had a need for selling/buying gear. I know this sounds weird but the campaign takes places in such a short time frame, maybe just a couple of weeks of game time.
I think the amount of buying or selling adventure items is usually a GM thing – I mean, I never had my players be able to buy magic gear. But normal adventuring items like bags or mules or whatever I also didn’t spell out shops for.
I think the level of loot has to be up to the GM. If the adventure seems “too easy” with six players, then you can respond in two ways. Either up the number of foes, or decrease the experience levels your players get. For instance, the normal assumption on the game is that each player gets 1 level per completed adventure. Instead you could assume that it is 4 “levels per adventure” and have your 6 players divvy up those levels. Thus only 4 heroes would level up each time, slowing down their progress and leading to more fearsome foes.
The “Farzeen Gazetter”, that you can download free on the main website, gives a lot of info about the numerous shops in the city and numerous opportunity for the GM to give gold and loot in Act 1.
There’s Peren’s Pawn Shop that could buy or sell rare items, Beatrici Smithing Shop can sell or make/repair weapon or metal gear, then there are also a General Store and the common Market Square that could be used by GM for give some random items or utilities.
Also, Fuengalo’s Tannery gives a great change of getting gold since it’s happy to buy every hide of animal that you collect on the island to make fur made cloaks and gear, so as a GM I personally used the Jungle phase in 1.2 to organize some random encounter with some wild beast of the local fauna, like some great cats (a Tiger fur in good conditions for example could be very well evalueted and it’s only a CR1) or giant reptile/snake for their skin.
I would suggest to read also the free one-shot campaign “Lightouse Adventure” (always downloadable for free), since it gives some nice ideas to add some more loot and payouts in Act 1 in Farzeen.
Honestly speaking, I’m quite unhappy about how the “Farzeen Gazetter” wasn’t included from the beginning inside the regular books of Ghoul Island. I know that for the PDF version users this should not be a problem, it’s just another file and it’s free, but as a phisical manual player I’m terribly disappointed to have these ugly printed papers with so many infos about Farzeen Shops and Places and the backstory of the campaign litterally “flying around” during my sessions alongside the original payed manuals…
I hope that in the future you’ll consider a new version/reprint of Ghoul Island Act 1 with the “Farzeen Gazetteer” part included.