Shanties or Ballads?

I've been working on a small RPG about collecting folk songs before they disappear, but I'm stuck between two different types of songs for the PCs to collect: sea shanties or old British ballads. Which of the two below do you like better?

Shanty Hunters. 1880. You are sailors and scholars traveling the world’s distant sea lanes to document the dying art of the sea shanty. Commercial sail is obsolete in the face of new steam technologies, and its majesty is slowly fading from the world. Shanties – exclusive to the sailing trade – will surely vanish unless someone writes them down. But shanties do not like falling into the hands of landsmen. The imagery and events from each song you collect will manifest to oppose you, threatening the very ships you sail aboard. Can you anticipate these dangers before they strike? Can you safeguard the ship and her crew?

Ballad Hunters. Britain. 1830. You are ballad hunters: friends and colleagues who venture into the countryside to document old folk ballads before they are lost. These timeworn songs recount stories of grief, betrayal, magic, and danger. They do not like being written down. Every ballad you chronicle plays itself out once, forcing the ordinary people around you to carry out its tale in their own lives. The ending is often tragic. But you know the ballad, and you know how the story will go before it happens! If you stay sharp, you can keep yourselves and the innocents around you safe until the tale concludes and the song loses its power. I'm equally excited about both, but don't have a sense of which you, my readers, might prefer. Would you tell me? It can be as simple as shooting me your preference via email, Facebook, or Twitter. This would be super helpful!


Everyone needs content for their RPG campaigns: adventure hooks, puzzles, NPCs, political machinations, combat encounters, and adventure sites. That’s what this site provides! I draw RPG content from real-life fact and folklore, then give advice on how to adapt it to your fictional campaign. I believe content that is grounded in reality (however fantastical) is richer and more vibrant, and your players will appreciate the difference.


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