One of the criteria I set myself for my starting adventures for RMu was that the creatures had to exist in all versions of RM, right from RM2 to RMu.
Once you take into account that I writing for 1st to 5th level, this has lead to a rather refined list of available monsters.
The most commonly occuring have been goblins; the lowest levels of undead, Skeletons to Ghouls and surprisingly Demons.
I have used the lowest level Man-Demon, the Hothrog in ‘A Murder of Crows’ and the lowest level Elf-Demon in the last outline, the dungeon crawl.
Constantly at the back of my mind is City of Forgotten Heroes. The keystone of that adventure is a magical throne that corrupts those that sit upon it into becoming a necromantic tyrant.
I bet you can see where I am going with this….
Who or why would anyone ever make a magical throne that creates necromantic tyrants, they are only going to be trouble.
The answer is probably some kind of chaotic Demon who can just light the blue touch paper and retire.
I made CoFH scalable so characters of pretty much any level could attempt it.
What I am thinking is a Man-Demon vs Elf Demon rivalry or even war brewing. The temple adventure I outlined last week becomes one side trying to create a foothold in the mortal world. A probing attack. The tower in A Murder of Crows is the same thing but the other side.
These could be two early steps on an adventure path that has the backdrop of two demon princes waging a personal war. There are Elf and Man Demons at 2nd, 4th, 6th/7th and 11th/12th levels and then the big bad boy is the Celebdel a 20th level Elf Demon.
I have never read an adventure path but I can see the characters gaining a reputation as demon slayers and a linked set of adventures against increasingly dangerous foes.
If we have a region of the world that is succumbing to demonic invasion we can challenge the characters with both increasing numbers of lower level demons as well as increasingly more dangerous demons. As this is a regional threat, just a spat between rivals, it could be dropped into anyone’s campaign and it will not spell the end of the world. As the threat starts as a minor and unrecognised threat that would explain why inexperienced PCs end up dealing with it. As their experience grows as does their reputation for demon slaying so they naturally become the ‘go to’ group of adventurers.
One of the entry points for CoFH was that there was a body of elves that would sponsor the party in some way. At that point it was because it was essential that the characters had some sort of magical weapons as the adventure only used non-corporeal undead.
Now we would have that group of elves as an organisation that has an awareness of powershifts in the Elven demonology. We could even have a bias. Is CoFH a result of Man-Demon manipulations so the Elven elements want it disrupted and the elves their to serve their Elf Demon dark lord?
Is the cursed throne sought by the Elf Demon for his or her own schemes?
Right now I have four dots that I could put in a line, the temple, the tower, the elves and the city.
I know there is an official group of volunteers trying to put together an adventure path. I am not part of that group. I lack the Shadow World knowledge. I also do not know how active that project is or its scope.
I can see the cumulation of this idea being a showdown with a Moloch complete with demonic lieutenants. That is a 35th level end of level boss, maybe with a number of 20th level demons equal in number to the number of party members. That is a tough confrontation against virtual demigods.
What are the odds of a party of 20th level PCs surviving their own number of 20th level foes with a 35th level overlord?
How big would I have to make this thing?
10 thoughts on “An RMu Adventure Path?”
The adventure path collaboration it not terribly active at the moment. Mostly posts seem to be along the lines of “Is this still active?”
A typical Paizo Pathfinder adventure path (other companies make them as well) is six 96 page supplements. However, Paizo use the paths to introduce new rules, Golarion background material and monsters that are later added to rulebooks, and also include fiction. So of each 96 page adventure path supplement perhaps less than half is the actual adventure.
So we are looking at six distinct chapters of at least 50 pages a piece. Am I right in thinking that an AP takes characters from 1st to 20th level typically?
For Paizo ones, often, but not always. Of the three I own, one ends at 13th level and one at 17th. I don’t know about other publishers. Some of Goalrion material is used in the adventures, say if it’s a town or something, but that varies.
Incidentally, I think adventure paths are a good idea if the intention is to bring more people to Rolemaster. Many RM adventures are rather more free-form than D&D/Pathfinder, and an adventure path would be in a format that Pathfinder/D&D players are familiar with, Pathfinder especially.
There is a free adventure path called ZEITGEIST Adventure Path. I may take a look at it to see what the goal posts look like.
If that’s the EN World one, I don’t think the entire path is free. There are some free supplements but the entire path costs about $50 for Pathfinder.
Working backwards… I seriously doubt a group of level 20 PCs would triumph over a group of level 20 NPCs with level 35 overlord. The group would be so battered and beaten by the time the level 35 steps out they would be hard pressed to win. If the level 35 joins in the battle, there’s no way. At level 35, the demon can cast a level 20-25 spell every round, where the PCs are at 3 rounds to cast level 20 spells. It would be a beautifully epic battle though!
As for why a person would create an item that would corrupt and convert the creator… There’s dozens of reasons and not all are nefarious.
– Plain ole ignorance: The PC may not have known what he was doing. I didn’t know sodium was going to explode when I put water on it. Oops. The PC didn’t know it was an old graveyard he was defiling when he built his castle. He didn’t know that the gold/Mithril/laen/platinum was a very good focus for a demon. The ruler didn’t know it was cursed. That wise old man from Scene 42 seemed to honest!
– The road to hell is paved with good intentions: The PC was trying to create a throne that all the realms would admire and respect, not knowing there was an evil octopus controlling things. The ruler was benevolent but was murdered in such a heinous manner that his tortured soul was trapped in the throne.
– Humans are weak: The throne was meant for elves, or another race that is more resilient to magic, and a human sat on the throne and he was corrupted… easily. Humans are soft and squishy. They are infinitely creative in their cruelty… but they are not very magically resistant.
– Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely: The PC wanted dominion over life. Animating undead was easy. He reached out to control demons and failed. now he is the plaything of the demon spirits.
– It’s not my fault! It’s not my fault: A demon did trick a human into doing its bidding because it was too easy.
– GREED!: More and more gold, melted into a throne that couldn’t be stolen. More and more gold melted and added onto the throne that no one could ever lift. The greed became so consuming that the ruler become an evil, greedy man. Once he was murdered, his soul inhabited the source of his greed.
– One throne to rule them all: The throne was created by someone whose name is lost to the aeons of time. The throne slowly imposes its will on the ruler until he is merely a husk of his former self.
– Whosoever can draw me thence, will rightfully be the one true king: Perhaps the throne chooses the ruler. Maybe the throne isn’t evil, but the person who sat upon it abused its gifts and that led to corruption of the area. As more bodies piled up and more souls were killed in the attempt to retrieve the throne, the challenge to retrieve the throne grew until it’s nigh impossible. Only the true heroes can recover the throne.
– You wouldn’t understand… it’s an Elf thing: The throne is pure evil to elves and needs to be destroyed. The throne was stolen from the elves and they want it returned. The area surrounding the throne is the antithesis of all things elven and they are unable to enter the area. The throne or the creature protecting it are ‘of slaying’ to elves and they are unable to enter.
Warhammer FRP did this exceptionally well with “The Enemy Within” campaign, which was scaled and accelerating from first level on. They factored in PC reputation and the like.
I tend to agree with Spectre as well regarding the odds. RM is one game where the military adage of needing 3:1 odds to succeed often rings true, especially when PCs and NPCs are the same level. My parties used to take on Chaos Warriors and Chaos Commanders from time to time, and the Commanders in particular gave them fits. You always have to be careful of scale in RM.
Oh, and don’t forget “There’s no place like home” The throne was originally created as a gateway to other planes and intended for demons to use as a sort of transit system. Over time it was forgotten and perhaps broke down, but the demons in question learned of it and think it’s still usable or can be repaired. If you really hate the party they might let something worse in when they try to activate it…
Yes, I think it may need a bit of toning down.
Regarding the throne, it works as a thing that a demon may make just for the hell of it.
Just one quick note: a level 20 PC caster in RMU could cast at least a level 21 spell every round (and probably could do a level 22 or 23 spell). The casting rules have been relaxed so that spells of the caster’s level or below only take one round to cast. Rounds of spell prep are really only for spells above the caster’s level, or if the caster has penalties to the casting roll from things like armor, trying to cast the spell with hands free or without making noise, etc.