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The Curious Case of The Calm Delilah: A Saltmarsh Horror Mini-Campaign
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The Curious Case of The Calm Delilah: A Saltmarsh Horror Mini-Campaign



A Horror Mystery on the High Seas

Set sail with the crew of the
 Persistent Imperial to uncover the mysteries of The Calm Delilah: a merchant ship that was 
last seen leaving Saltmarsh on a secretive expedition many months ago...

Using the waterlogged remains of an old logbook belonging to the Delilah's captain, can the adventurers piece together the events surrounding the ship's 
untimely disappearance, or will this voyage be their last?

This is a Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Mini- Campaign for characters from 1st - 3rd level.
It features hours of unique gameplay, complete with new creatures, magical items, puzzles and lore for the players to sink their teeth into!

Curious Case is now a Gold best seller!
Thanks for all your support!

Now Also Available on Fantasy Grounds!

"An excellently laid out adventure, spanning 1st to 3rd level that can easily be run along side the adventures found within Ghosts of Saltmarsh. Chalking in at over 150 pages, Curious Case of The Calm Delilah is well worth your time and money!" starstarstarstarstar

                          – Trevor Armstrong, author of Adaptable NPCs

"A mystery is only fun when you have enough paths and distractions to keep your players guessing. The Curious Case of The Calm Delilah is packed full of these moments, you'll never be without a tool to keep your players on their toes." 


                           - Isaac May, author of Weird Stuff I Found On The Dungeon Floor

"The layout is stunning, the artwork flows as beautifully as any professional offering I've ever seen." 


                         - Ashley May, author of The Lover's Handbook

What Lies Within This Book?

This mini-campaign has been designed from the ground up to help develop character relationships within new parties, and acts as a great launching point for 
a long-term D&D nautical campaign, be it in Ghosts of Saltmarsh, Forgotten Realms, or a campaign of your own creation.

In this book, you will find:

  • A collection of unique and varying NPCs, each with their own stat blocks, backstories, personalities and motivations the players can uncover.
  • A 25+ page handout of the Captain's Logbook, which the players can use to gather hints and clues to solve the mystery of The Calm Delilah.
  • 20+ Full color battle maps, both gridded and non gridded versions for digital and print.
  • Lore surrounding the history of The Calm Delilah and her infamous captain, which the DM can use to further the story in any way they see fit.
  • 9 new creature stat blocks, complete with harvest tables.
  • Over 20+ encounters, from fighting fearsome monsters to battling the environment itself.
  • Various puzzles and encounters designed to challenge low level adventurers in new and interesting ways.
  • A forgiving system for death for new players, with a character's death presenting potential encounter solutions or creating additional dangers.
  • Many high-risk scenarios, rewarded by creative thinking and skill. Fight or flee? Friend or foe? The choice is yours. 
  • 11 new magical items, both found and crafted, and a mysterious cantrip the adventurers can discover.
  • 10 different music track references to help Dungeon Masters create memorable encounters.
  • Beautiful artwork from talents such as Daniel Clasquin, Tomoya Ishikawa, and Dean Spencer.
  • Over 20+ hours of potential gameplay, spread over 3 chapters, with a focus on teamwork and party co-operation.       


Find more best selling products from the Vall Does DnD team below! 

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Reviews (4)
Discussions (10)
Customer avatar
Eban B September 07, 2021 12:09 am UTC
Hey Vall,

Great campaign, I ran it for Halloween for my players last year and they had a blast. Any chance we will be hearing some news about the Copper Compass follow-up sometime soon? Keep up the great work!
Customer avatar
Vall S October 06, 2021 1:25 pm UTC
Hiya Eban, thanks for the kind words!
I'm still hard at work getting the mechanics of Copper Compass down - I'm aiming to have the story be able to go in multiple directions and utilize some... interesting mechanics, so it's taking a while to put together.
If you'd like to keep up with any news or updates pertaining to the Curious Case series, feel free to check out my twitter: @valldoesdnd, tumblr:, or come say hi over at our discord server:
Glad to know you and your players enjoyed the first instalment!
Customer avatar
Kelly R June 08, 2021 4:20 am UTC
So far, my players are enjoying this adventure. It was a hook given out when the campaign first started, but they got distracted and they're almost level 4 and pursuing it. Dialing up a little bit, but we're good so far. One thing I wanted to mention for future is that there are a lot of sections where you go into DCs for various items and there's a mechanical discussion. You may want to consider paragraphing in these sections a little more aggressively, as it can get a little confusing to take it all in and put together notes.
Customer avatar
Vall S October 06, 2021 1:21 pm UTC
Hiya Kelly, glad to know you're enjoying the story thus far!
And thank you for the feedback - this is all commentary I'm taking into account for the development of 'Curious Case of the Copper Compass', so it's greatly appreciated.
Customer avatar
Kelly R May 30, 2021 2:56 am UTC
Before I start setting up...can you confirm there's no Roll20 version of this?

Customer avatar
Vall S May 31, 2021 5:49 am UTC
Hi Kelly, I can confirm there is no roll20 version of this adventure as it would violate the guild's CCA.

Hope that helps!
Customer avatar
Matthew T October 29, 2020 4:36 am UTC
WARNING! I bought this on the strength of the reviews, thinking it would fit seamlessly into the Ghosts of Saltmarsh campaign I am planning. I've only just skimmed the contents so far, but for anyone else who cares about this sort of thing... this product definitely assumes gunpowder is part of your campaign world.

The pirates have pistols and the ships are outfitted with cannon (instead of ballistas and mangonels as per the assumed tech level of Ghosts of Saltmarsh). The pistols are probably dispensed with easily enough, but the cannon are *extremely* conspicuous on the maps.
Customer avatar
Manuel L July 21, 2020 10:55 am UTC
Hi Vall,

Any news on The Curious Case of the Copper Compass?

You mentioned on Reddit a while back now you'd look to write that as a follow-up if this adventure reached Gold :-)

Customer avatar
Vall S July 21, 2020 4:20 pm UTC
Argh, ye caught me! ;)

I'm currently writing out the initial adventure as we speak. Not sure on a timeframe just yet, (I didn't expect the first entry to hit Gold so quickly!) but hopefully I'm aiming for a release sometime during Q4 of this year.

Thanks for your interest and support! <3
Customer avatar
Vaughan M May 17, 2020 5:28 am UTC
I have a party of four playing this adventure and they're liking the mystery so far. Downloaded my copy of this just a couple weeks ago, so I should have the most recent version.

I'm having an issue while setting up the Cursed Barrow (page 28). The Solution to part 2 (The Arcane Lock) says there are Dwarvish runes on the two doors that have to be activated to open the two doors, but the Solution paragraph does not say what words have to be activated to open said doors. What is the answer intended to be?
Customer avatar
Vall S May 21, 2020 10:01 am UTC
Hi Vaughan, thanks for the support!

The words written in dwarvish script should read: "My word is protection. My release: death".

So to unlock each door, the characters must run their hands along the runes translating to 'Protection' and 'Death', respectively.

I hope this helps!
Customer avatar
Vaughan M May 22, 2020 9:01 am UTC
Yes, that does help. But I just realized that none of my players took Dwarvish as a language. *facepalm*

Any suggestions for how they might work around that, or might I just be better off pretending it's a language they know?
Customer avatar
Vall S May 22, 2020 11:46 pm UTC
Oh dear!
The words don't *need* to be read to work out the puzzle - a simple Intelligence (Investigation) check made to check the wall for any runes could also yield the same result.
Granted, it might take them a little longer to run their hands along the correct rune doing so, but such is the dangerous life of an unprepared adventurer!
I'd suggest letting them attempt the check, and if they've not found the exit by the start of round 3, have them stumble across it.
Alternatively, you can always just change the language to one a character knows - it's not overly integral to the story to keep it in dwarvish.
Customer avatar
Neil B December 17, 2019 12:25 pm UTC
The logbook handout is one of my only (constructive) criticisms so far, and I'd wager it's more of a reflection on me as a new DM than how its written (it's fantastic, by the way). The biggest being that the alter puzzle is still VERY unclear. The only reason I know the answer is cause I can read it in the DM's information, but it conflicts with the logbook handout, as poor ol Jasper has been buried at sea according to Page 12 (and was notably not hanged). I believe you're trying to implicate Martin on page 25 of the logbook, but again, it never mentions hanging him. In fact, the only time I can see the word "hang" in the logbook is in the word "changed" on page 18. Based on the logbook, I think the PC's are much more likely to assume they need to put Lavina's severed arm in there, or possibly Gabriella's, but I can see no clear relationship between the correct answer and the logbook.

The other main issue I'm having is that the logbook is pretty much the key to the whole adventure...See more
Customer avatar
Vall S December 18, 2019 7:59 pm UTC
Hiya Neil, thanks for the kind words! I'm really glad your players are enjoying it.

I found the altar to be the toughest of the 'hints' to get right - have you downloaded the V3 update? I believe I tweaked the logbook slightly with some updates to reflect/clarify some things, including tweaking the altar encounter slightly.
As for your player not sharing (as is his right) I found that with our play testers, there was a little confusion, but more that nobody communicated their findings more than one person hogging the book. You could always have the book 'link' itself to another PC, or instead have the NPCs express more of an interest in it, or read it a little for themselves and vocally point out key elements, should your players be struggling to catch small hints.

As for the dates - nice catch! As per the CCA on the Guild, we aren't allowed to mention Greyhawk, so I had to use the FR calendar instead (we CAN use the Ghosts of Saltmarsh setting, but NOT Greyhawk. It's.. a fine...See more
Customer avatar
Neil B December 19, 2019 11:58 am UTC
I do have the updated version, and try as I might I can find no reference to a hanged man in the logbook handout. The adventure itself has been updated (from P.36 of the main adventure book):
"On a success, it is revealed to be Jasper Dalanthan, a sailor aboard The Calm Delilah. Marks around his neck..." but on page 12 of the logbook handout you explicitly state that Jasper Dalanthan was buried at sea after being impaled by a displacer beast on the 6th of Elasis, which is well before the mutiny and the whole Spiteful Shores thing. The only clues to the alter puzzle in the log (that I can see) are on page 22; the crossed out line "Perhaps it is her hand the altar wants. It wont open for the living," and on page 25; "I have hidden it. Under Darkness, in a place where the living aren't welcome." I feel like I'm probably missing something, but my eyes are going googley trying to flick back and forth from the log to the DM's stuff and piece it together.

I thought I...See more
Customer avatar
Nathan H December 03, 2019 4:48 pm UTC
Vall, awesome read. I am still reading through, but I was very impressed with the supplemental material and the logbook. I especially loved the last seven days of the logbook as the author drifts into madness; very well done.

One thing that drew me to your adventure was that it is thematically similar to an adventure I put out on DMs Guild a few months prior. If you wanted to browse through a different author's take on a high seas ghost story, I offer you Legend of the Chaos Wind. (
Customer avatar
Martin D October 17, 2019 12:43 pm UTC
Problem with the files, while download and opening the assets file -- it's a avernus adventure. No access anymore to calm delilah stuff
Customer avatar
Vall S October 17, 2019 12:51 pm UTC
That's... extremely bizarre. I've not touched the files at all.
Could you elaborate further? What's the Avernus adventure that it's giving you?
Customer avatar
Martin D October 17, 2019 1:17 pm UTC
Monster Hunts Avernus by Vall Syrene and Jimmy Meritt PF Version.pdf
All maps are monster hunt related
Customer avatar
Vall S October 17, 2019 7:20 pm UTC
Strange. I've updated the files now with the amended versions (V_3), so let me know if that fixes things!
Customer avatar
DmDomination @ October 15, 2019 4:08 pm UTC
There is a part on location 5 that i'm struggling with. It says the logbook, "The captain’s log explains the altar can “only be opened by the hand of the hanged man”, but doesn’t give any more details." but I cannot find it. I've read it 3 times and i'm starting to go cross eyed. Can someone help me locate it please.
Customer avatar
Vall S October 15, 2019 4:18 pm UTC
That's a fault on my part as it's missing from the captain's log book. I'm working on integrating that in the next update, which should be out Friday 18th October. The log book should mention it in the final pages when the Captain has clearly gone mad. If your group is arriving near that location before I manage to get the new version up, you could always have them notice the hand mark on the altar to be missing a finger, then point them to the zombie that's missing theirs?

Apologies for the missing hint though! It's a massive book, and with only myself writing it, there's bound to be something I missed. But I'll have it updated as soon as I can.
Thanks for the support, and I hope this reply helped!
Customer avatar
DmDomination @ October 15, 2019 4:21 pm UTC
No problem at all. Definitely not a criticism, your work is amazing. My players went to locations 5 and 6 last night instead of the main camp so they don't even have the last logbook pages yet.

Im just glad I'm not missing it lol. Keep up the good work you've got a permanent fan and customer from me.... Although I'll be getting the fantasy grounds version first on the future. Thanks for the rapid reply.
Customer avatar
Vaughan M May 28, 2020 4:38 am UTC
Found this part in your logbook, page 25. It does currently say "The Hand of the Mutineer" which is supposed to be the hand of Lavina? Haven't found a mention of the "Hand of the Hanged Man."
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File Last Updated:
January 12, 2020
This title was added to our catalog on July 23, 2019.