Shore of Dreams is an adventure for 4-5 characters of levels 5 to 7, by Florian Emmerich and Joshua Parry.
Rumors about a pirate treasure are spreading, making adventurers come look for it. All of them stop by a tavern called Shore of Dreams, in order to restock and get more information. However, this is far from the truth. The treasure story has been made up by the owner of the tavern because she needs to lure unsuspecting adventurers in order to further her own goals.
The adventure is set in Chult, so it can be used with Tomb of Annihilation, but it’s really easy to insert it anywhere. Another way to use it, for example, is to link it with Princes of the Apocalypse, because of its story, and we even get information as to where the adventure would take place in the Sword Coast. Moreover, the adventure provides four plot hooks to make it even easier to connect it with your campaign.
The adventure is divided in two distinct parts. The first part mainly consists of social interaction and investigation. Depending on the plot hook used, the characters will be looking for something different but everything leads to the same place, the Shore of Dreams tavern. At the beginning, they will be unaware about the story taking place right behind their backs but, as time goes by they will witness some events that will make them suspicious.
To be honest, how things go in this part of the adventure depends almost solely on the decisions of the players, as well as how inquisitive they decide to be. Overall, however, the NPCs and the story have been fleshed out well enough to provide entertainment even to players who aren’t very interested in this aspect of the game and prefer combat instead. But no matter how things go, the characters will end up visiting a local buried temple, which is the second part of the adventure.
There are two possible scenarios but both end up with the characters visiting the temple. The first one is with them being drugged and carried there as prisoners, stripped of all their gear. The second one is them figuring out what’s going on and going to the temple by themselves.
The temple is a small dungeon delve that features a really nice elaborate trap at the end. There are a couple of combat encounters as well but nothing deadly if the characters have their gear. And that’s another interesting part about the adventure. There is nothing preventing the characters from getting their gear back, if it has been taken from them. There are a few pieces of gear that can be used but it’s probably not as good as gear used by 5th level adventurers.
However, if they go looking for their gear then the difficulty of the last fight will increase quite a bit because of the time they will have spent looking for it. It can also be used to expand the adventure.
The art in the adventure is amazing. The authors went a step further and tried using a different flavor in the adventure, which was really refreshing. They complemented this with using art that reinforces that flavor. It turned out really well.
As for maps, there’s only one but I can’t complain. It’s very well made and has some very beautiful colors in it. I like how the map follows this vibrant colour palette which is also found in the art of the adventure. I’d like to see a map of the village as well but this is more of a comment of someone who really likes maps and just tries to find excuses to get more.
Overall, Shore of Dreams is an excellent adventure. It tells a good story and provides entertainment using all pillars of adventure, making it hard not to intrigue your players. I highly recommend giving it a look.