Friday, February 17, 2017

A Bit of OSR History: The Frozen Wave Satsuma

The Frozen Wave Satsuma is one of the modules in the current Advanced Adventures Bundle of Holding (only $16.25 for 15 modules, so quite the bargain). It is the only Advanced Adventure that contains material strongly influence by Asian cultures (Oriental Adventures ftw!). Satsuma began (2010) as an idea Andrew Hind had for an adventure aboard a floating iceberg. Unfortunately, I’d just published a module with a similar theme (The Conqueror Worm, by Alphonso Warden) so I asked him if I could re-work his idea a bit and be a co-author. He said that was fine, so Satsuma came into being! The setup is that a strange fog is rolling into shore bringing fantastic invaders dressed in strange armor and the PCs are sent out to find out what is in the fog.

As I’d recently discovered the remarkable Zheng He and his amazing treasure ships, I combined the idea of a floating iceberg and a treasure ship into a treasure ship made of pure ice – The Floating Wave Satsuma. As you can see by the illustration below, the treasure ships were huge so I had a lot of space to work with. I decided on having the upper decks be “more traditionally” occupied by wako, bushi, and oriental barbarians and the lower decks becoming progressively more strange, ending with a new monster, the krabban (a hybrid of sahuagin and squid). Along the way were an ogre magi, mephitis, monks, and an evil samurai.

The cover for this one was done by Peter Mullen (love his style!) and interior art by John Bingham.

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