A few years back I began the process of taking Link’s Awakening, my favorite Legend of Zelda game and converting it to 4e. It worked pretty well, but I want to now port that over to 5e and perhaps complete the game as well.
One of the reasons this game in particular should be good to run for a group is that, only those who had Game Boys ever played this one, you’re less likely to have all the players realize you’re lifting the adventure straight from a Legend of Zelda game. Someone has actually gone through and done a Legend of Zelda setting conversion for 5e so if you want to go with the whole setting, there you go.
I’ll post up new updates as I have time.
The adventure would begin with the players sailing to some particular location. Where, doesn’t matter, so long as they’re sailing. If they are in the world of LoZ, they are returning to Hyrule. It could even be on an airship, as long as they’re over the water.
Note that with Saltmarsh, you could use the rules found within for any ship-going rules. In addition, if you wanted to introduce this adventure into the game when the players are between Saltmarsh adventures, you could do so too.
A large storm comes up, destroying the ship and knocking them unconscious. If you want to create a challenge for the players, run the following Skill Challenge. Song of the Blade has a great list of DC levels based on character level. You can use this to determine the difficulty of each of these checks based on your group’s level. Roll an initiative check as you enter the challenge, with each person needing to make some sort of skill check and describe what they’re doing. Don’t tell the players what skills to use, let them come up with explanations as to why they should be able to use different skills. Below are a list of skills they can use, but isn’t a complete list. Some skills just won’t work here, but let the players figure it out. Note that I include Constitution here, if a player wishes to roll against that.
EYE OF THE STORM
While sailing on the open water, a massive storm sweeps in. Can you save the ship?
Complexity: 10 successful roles before 3 failures
Constitution (DC Moderate): Standing firm against the storm, you hold your ground.
This check will not give you a success, but will instead gain advantage on your next two checks. Failing this check will not give you a failure.
Nature (DC Moderate/Hard): You are able to tell of the approaching squall, and are able to prepare the ship for the approaching storm. During the storm, you are able to help navigate the ship on the waves.
If a player thinks to use this skill before any others, it counts as two successes, and is a Moderate DC. Further tests are Hard.
Athletics (DC Moderate): Handling the rigging, you are able to keep the masts from being torn to shreds.
If you fail this check, you lose two healing surges. If you fail this twice, the power of the storm and the pulling of the ropes throws you into the mast, breaking your arm. Gain the Broken condition.
Until your wound is fully healed, you can only use one arm. Take disadvantage to all Strength and Dexterity checks which would require two hands. In addition, you may not use any items in this hand. You may remove this condition by expending 20 Hit Dice (this will be broken up over multiple days).
Design Note: This is designed so that if the player wishes, they can sit out a few days to heal. Or, they may spend a few Hit Dice at a time to remove the condition over a longer period of time.
Acrobatics (DC Moderate): Climbing the rigging, you attempt to fix the sails from above.
Failing this check will force you to lose two Hit Dice, gaining one back each day until replenished.
Arcana (DC Hard): Twisting the arcane fabric, you attempt to calm the storm.
If the heroes succeed at the Skill Challenge, the ship smashes on the reef of Koholint. They are stranded, but the ship is in one piece, and they are conscious. If they fail, the ship is struck by lightning, the ship is destroyed, and they are all knocked unconscious.
If they are still conscious, they’ll want to settle on the beach that night and wait for dawn. At dawn, a girl of about 16 named Marin will be walking along the beach and find them. Quite surprised, she’ll speak to them telling them of the island. See below for the types of things she’ll explain. When the heroes are done speaking to her, they’ll encounter the owl. See below for the owl.
If the heroes are unconscious, they’ll be found by Marin on the beach, who, with her father Tarin will take the heroes to Mabe Village, a little inland, to get patched up. When they awake, they find themselves in Marin and Tarin’s inn, where they are told of the island.
Koholint Island is a moderately sized island, with two distinct villages. Mabe Village, where the humans and elves live, and Animal Village, where creatures who can speak the Common Tongue live. The island is dominated by Mt. Tamaranch, at the top of which is an enormous egg. According to the Legend of the Wind Fish, the island’s guardian resides within the egg in eternal slumber. They also inform them that since their arrival on the island, monsters have begun appearing everywhere: Goblins, Kobolds… and worse.
The heroes are without any of their possessions, and have to head back to the beach to find their things. This is where the owl appears, and the storyline merges from whether they were unconscious or not.
Swooping down through the beach’s palm trees, an owl perches on a low branch. “Greetings, travelers,” the owl hoots. “So you’re the reason the monsters have been acting up as of late…” His feathers ruffle. “I’m afraid it will be quite impossible to leave this island as long as the Wind Fish remains in slumber. If you desire to leave the island, you will find the information you need in the Mysterious Forest north of Mabe Village. Good luck…” With that, the owl flies off.
The heroes will have to venture into the woods. Within, they find it swarming with goblins. The forest is creepy, with ominous trees reaching out in all directions. It is easy to get lost within. They’ll also find some strange mushrooms. If they pick them and save them, they’ll be able to give them to the bog witch later to make into Magic Powder. You don’t want more than two encounters with goblins, or it will get tedious. Eventually, they can open a chest they find a chest in a goblin camp which contains a strange key the size of an arm. When they take it back to Mabe Village, Tarin is surprised to see it.
“That’s the key to Tail Cave,” he says. “It’s believed to be an old crypt built centuries ago. It’s been locked since before I was born, and no one’s been inside. The symbols on the key match those of the entrance to the crypt…”
With that, the heroes will be off to Tail Cave. We’ll look at that dungeon next.