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Skullport: Shadow of Waterdeep
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Skullport: Shadow of Waterdeep

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As you walk the twisted tunnels of Shadow Pass, the light of your lantern illuminating the fog heavy in the air around you, a silhouette ahead catches your eye. A skull. It floats toward you, grinning. A voice, eerie and creaking like a rusted door hinge, issues forth from its empty, clacking mouth.

"This be safe haven to all traders and customers. Keep your weapons and your uncivil tongue sheathed, lest ye find the grinning skull of Death smiling in your face."

You ready your weapons, but it makes no further move toward you, floating away as though it has spoken its piece. As you turn a corner, the fog clears, and you enter into a massive cavern webbed with crisscrossing bridges of rope and rigging, connecting buildings made from the wreckage of old ships, stacked atop one another haphazardly. An emerald-green light hovers high above, outlining a skull which lazily drifts through, seeming to watch over the town. Welcome to Skullport.


For centuries, Waterdhavians have treated Skullport as a taboo subject. Even Volo himself was barred from writing a guide to Skullport, for fear that knowledge of this terrifying town deep beneath the City of Splendors would lead to widespread panic. But now, in this 86-page guide, experience Skullport laid bare: a place of pirates, scoundrels, slavers, and all other manner of unseemly folk. This book can serve as a companion to Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage, or as a standalone setting for a campaign in the Port of Shadows. Included within are:

  • Detailed information and maps for over 50 locations in Skullport, as well as a further 50+ in adjacent areas such as the Promenade of the Dark Maiden, Xanathar Guild Lair, Sewers, and Dungeons, and numerous different pathways by which to reach Skullport.
  • Information on over a dozen different factions, from the powerful, tyrannical Xanathar Guild, to the benevolent, kind-hearted Protectors of the Song, to the murderous, sadistic Muses of Misery.
  • Simple, accessible descriptions of the history and idiosyncracies of Skullport.
  • An adventure set in Skullport, The Mage of Rags, which gives characters an opportunity to dethrone the Xanathar Guild by making a bargain with one of Skullport's most notorious and dangerous mythical boogeymen--the Rag Mage.
  • Five new subclasses: the College of Hymns for Bards, the Abomination Domain and Song Domain for Clerics, the Oath of Liberty for Paladins, and the Mantrapper Conclave for Rangers.
  • A new Skulker background, for players who wish to play a character whose origins are in the Port of Shadows.
  • Seven new weapons, including the Barbed Net, Lasso, Catch Pole, and Bolas, for those who would prefer to take their quarry prisoner, and the Smokepowder Pistol for those who don't mind either way.
  • Seven unique new spells to enable your players to learn the weird magic of Undermountain—or have it used against them.
  • Random events and encounters to add flavour and savour, or serve as plot hooks, within Skullport.
  • Two new conditions to add extra horror to your games: Haunted, for when a character has contact with something supernaturally terrifying that scars them more than mere fright, and Addicted, for those characters who enjoy partaking in life vice's to excess. Complete with several example addictive substances, and haunting locales.

CONTENT WARNING: addiction, alcohol, animal cruelty, disease, drugs, mental compulsion, mental illness, parasites, self-harm, sex work, slavery, suicide, torture.

THIS SUPPLEMENT CONTAINS ADULT CONTENT, AND ELEMENTS INAPPROPRIATE FOR PLAYERS UNDER THE AGE OF 18.

Cover art by Patrick E. Puller. Find more of his work here.

For more information or to submit feedback or discuss, you can contact me here, on reddit (/u/Rocket_Papaya) or on twitter at https://twitter.com/CassJMac.

 
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Reviews (7)
Discussions (7)
Customer avatar
stephen T July 02, 2020 9:19 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I really like this and want to use it instead of the skullport levels that comes with Dungeon of the Mad Mage, but having trouble finding maps that match up. Any news on making a vtt version (roll20 especially) or is my best bet to just copy the maps from the pdf and turn them into images for the game.
Customer avatar
Cassandra M July 10, 2020 8:38 pm UTC
CREATOR
Apologies, I know this has fallen by the wayside somewhat. The .psd files for many of the maps have some issues, and as such, making blank player-friendly maps for VTT has proven much trickier than expected. Nonetheless, I'm going to see if I can't find a solution in the near future!
Customer avatar
Anna K July 21, 2020 4:00 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I don't think my players would really mind having a blank map vs one with location markers on it. Would it be possible to have the non-player friendly maps released? I really love what you've done here, way better than the watered down Skullport in Dungeon of the Mad Mage.
Customer avatar
Cassandra M July 21, 2020 7:31 pm UTC
CREATOR
I've added a zip file to the download that includes maps in .png format, both with and without labels. Sorry for the delay!
Customer avatar
Corey B May 22, 2020 1:53 am UTC
PURCHASER
It's mentioned this can go with Dungeon of the Mad Mage. What player level range is recommended?
Customer avatar
Cassandra M May 22, 2020 6:06 pm UTC
CREATOR
I would say around 8th-level is the sweet spot, as that's the level players are expected to reach Skullport in DotMM.
Customer avatar
Scott T May 06, 2020 1:25 am UTC
Hullo! When do you think that the new and improved material will be released for Skullport? I have been excited about this sinister area since AD&D.
Customer avatar
Cassandra M May 06, 2020 1:37 am UTC
CREATOR
Well, I'm just waiting on a cartographer now for some high-quality maps, and I'm planning on commissioning proper cover art as well. The major thing that will be changing is the Promenade of the Dark Maiden, in the interest of being more canon-compliant with it. I also recently launched an update that fixed some errors, rebalanced some of the class features, and added a bit more content and clarification to a few more area.

If I had to guess, most likely end of the month for the new maps and updated Promenade!
Customer avatar
Robert Y April 15, 2020 8:42 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Howdy! Really enjoying it so far! I think I found one error on the first map. I believe SI-1 and SI-3 should be swapped based on their description. I see on the map that SI-3 seems to be a bridge and SI-1 seems to be a pool or lagoon. Just thought I'd ask if this is the case.
Customer avatar
Cassandra M April 16, 2020 9:03 pm UTC
CREATOR
Whoops! Must have happened when I redid the labels. Thanks for the catch. A revision is coming soon, potentially with improved maps more generally, so I'll be sure to fix it in time for that!
Customer avatar
Joshua B April 08, 2020 8:04 pm UTC
Does this add new creature stat blocks?
Customer avatar
Cassandra M April 09, 2020 12:10 am UTC
CREATOR
The majority of new statblocks are for NPCs. There are a handful of monster statblocks for things more specific to Skullport, like the Skulls, the Wizshades, and Raggamoffyns. Apart from that I felt that most of the important creatures were covered by modifying statblocks in Volo's Guide or Tome of Foes.
Customer avatar
Joshua B April 10, 2020 5:23 am UTC
Ok thanks for the answer greatly appreciated
Customer avatar
QL G April 08, 2020 7:07 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I run most of my campaigns in the Waterdeep area because I love it so much. I am very much looking forward to purchasing and incorporating this document into my games. Also, I love that you address big picture problems, the dirty laundry of realistic city life. I also like putting that kind of content into my games (depending on the group, the intended feel of the campaign, and the mood I'm in) because I enjoy having my characters be able to live in a world that's realistic - where the Xanathar Guild, honestly, is probably a drug/slave (sexual or otherwise) trafficking business. Suddenly you, the heroes, become much better people by comparison.

I love it. Thank you!
Customer avatar
Cassandra M April 09, 2020 12:19 am UTC
CREATOR
Agreed! I approach this quite a bit in the Foreword, actually. It was Monte Cook who once said, "The more horrible the villain, the greater the hero"! This was my guiding principle in writing this supplement. I wanted to make the evils in Skullport as reprehensible as I possibly could while remaining within content restrictions and taste. One of the first encounters in the Lower Port is the Old Slave Market (LP2, if I'm not mistaken), where a slaver attempts to sell several slaves to the players. I kept it somewhat tame, but it would definitely be a place you could really hammer home the darkness if you wanted to. Maybe even put an NPC the players know in there--I certainly did, when I ran it for my playtesters, and it gave them an immediate gut reaction.

Above all, remember to ensure that your players consent to the dark themes! I for one love to delve into horror and depravity, but not everyone's looking for that. Check in and have contingencies for people to tap out as needed.
Customer avatar
Jarod B April 05, 2020 2:06 am UTC
Is this available on Roll20? With the current quarantine going on, a lot of DnD is moving to VTT's. I wouldn't mind manually converting content to Roll20 for my games, but if it's on there already, it would be a massive time saver.
Customer avatar
Cassandra M April 05, 2020 2:51 am UTC
CREATOR
I'm actually in the process of assembling player-friendly maps to put out for people who want the tools to run this on VTT, but I haven't done a lot of running on digital myself, so I'm not incredibly familiar with what would be best. Apart from unlabelled maps, is there anything else that would help in terms of running this on Roll20?
Customer avatar
Jonathan W April 05, 2020 2:57 am UTC
Here are tips for publishing content on Roll20, and it gives guidelines for what should be included.

https://wiki.roll20.net/Creating_Marketplace_Modules
Customer avatar
Christian E April 05, 2020 8:51 am UTC
Congrats to your first release! :D Since I stumbled on the discussion here: You can't release content published on the DMsGuild anywhere else. In other words, you can't sell this content on Roll20, for example. However, you can release a Fantasy Grounds conversion via the DMsGuild to cater to VTT.

This is also only in regard to any written word. Maps or other art you create do not become community content and you can sell them anywhere else.
Customer avatar
Cassandra M April 05, 2020 3:33 pm UTC
CREATOR
Ahhh, thank you! And the input is much appreciated. I'll see about doing a VTT conversion then. Good to know!
Customer avatar
Jacob R April 19, 2020 4:19 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Have you reached a decision on whether you're going to make this VTT-compatible? I'm toying with the idea of buying this to expand my Mad Mage campaign.
Customer avatar
Cassandra M April 19, 2020 10:16 pm UTC
CREATOR
I'm working with an associate to make a Fantasy Grounds conversion, currently, but it does not look like I would have the means to publish this anywhere else, VTT-wise.
Customer avatar
Jacob R April 21, 2020 12:31 am UTC
PURCHASER
If I wanted to use your maps for, say, Roll20, how would I do so manually, if you won't provide a conversion?

Thanks.
Customer avatar
Cassandra M April 21, 2020 2:04 am UTC
CREATOR
I can add a player-friendly map pack to the download. I had been holding off on doing so, as I'm working with a cartographer to get new maps made, but if people want it immediately, I can do it in the next couple days. In the meantime, if you want some graphic maps for Skullport, u/Clawless on reddit has a lovely set of maps they've provided for the community: https://bit.ly/3aqK16q
Customer avatar
Jacob R April 21, 2020 8:45 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Not at all. Take your time.
Customer avatar
Jacob R April 24, 2020 1:35 am UTC
PURCHASER
Is there a DM or Private Message system I can use to contact you by?
Customer avatar
Cassandra M April 24, 2020 11:22 pm UTC
CREATOR
You can get in touch with me either through reddit (/u/rocket_papaya) or Twitter (@CassJMac).
Customer avatar
Cassandra M July 21, 2020 7:32 pm UTC
CREATOR
Apologies for the delay, there were some complications with the original files, and an old PC finally giving out. But I have added a zip file with all the maps to the download, in .png format!
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86
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File Last Updated:
July 21, 2020
This title was added to our catalog on April 03, 2020.