The title above is a song by Grateful Dead which I thought was very apt for this post.
So we have a magical throne that urges one towards the dark arts and necromancy. The last human ruler of the city of forgotten heroes was very magical and it was them that caused the throne to be hurled down into the deepest well, or more accurately a cistern, where it should never be found again.
If we are dealing with a lower level party then I would suggest that a Revenant (3rd level) takes the place of the king or queen.
For a mid to high level party I would like to use a Lich. There are three suggestions here. If you don’t have stats for Sprectre771’s ex-wife we will have to discard the first option. So we are left with two possible Lich ‘builds’. For are hack and slash game a Lich Magician is the most aggressive version. The magician base lists lend themselves to straight out blasting combat and there is plenty of more devious lists to challenge an entire party.
The most fun version if you have the time to role play it out is the Lich Sorcerer. The fun a GM could have with the Transferal and Subjugation spells (Soul Destruction 8th and 11th levels)
A Lich is a 20th level foe and spell caster on its own territory, this is a major opponent.
I would like to see the party being surrounded and pushed back and back by overwhelming numbers of undead spectres, ghostly figures. Finally, with their backs to the gates of a palace there is only one place they can go and that is into the palace grounds and the undead don’t follow.
Any experienced players are going to know they have just gone from the frying pan into the fire but right there and then they have a moments respite, a moment to regroup and treat wounds.
Behind the party a palace stands set in dead and withered formal gardens.
It is here that the party can find the actual location of the throne. You could play so that if the party were to simply ask for Lich about the throne then it will tell them that it was thown into a bottomless cistern so no one will ever sit upon it again.
As the party enter the palace there is one ante chamber and then the hall. The most notable thing about the hall should be that there is no throne but a clear place where one had stood. That is a clear and obvious clue.
At its simplest this could be a straight fight with the Revenant/Lich and then search for clues for the location of the missing throne. It will be much more interesting to up the role playing tension here. There is one caveat. As a GM you should read up on the Revenant and what it wants and how it acts before introducing this element to your game. RPGs are meant to be fun and suicide is a serious subject. You should play this in the right way for your group. Alternatively you can swap out the Revenant for either a lesser or greater Shadow (4th or 8th level). I rather like the Shadow alternative as it adds a touch of the vampire palace to the adventure.
The location could be under the palace or at another site. Right now I am inclined to put the throne below the palace.
Thinking about the entire module we have here the party could simply be tasked with retrieving the dark artifact from the city, maybe before some dark agent gets it first. They are told it is referred to as the kings seat of power before the city fell to an undead army. They should be able to find more information at the city library. So the party have to get into the city (gate house or the marshes), visit the library (wight’s domain) and the palace (Lich/Octopus). Between these location we can have a number of semi random encounters. These are easily scaled to the party level. So one to take place in back streets should the party decide to go that way, one for a market place, square or plaza and a third on the city walls. So where ever the party decide to go they will meet a prepared encounter. Then on the way out the party will meet another prepared encounter on the streets of the city, as they now have a cart and heavy load to move and the final encounter is the original gate house with the spectre.
Is that enough?
5 thoughts on “Brokedown Palace”
The Ex – Type 1-of-a-kind Demon
Often found sowing discord, disharmony, and general unhappiness anywhere peace and harmony may be found. This demon gains its power from the attention it gains by playing the victim no matter what the situation then uses that energy to increase its hold over the unsuspecting victim. The demon then goes on to slowly drain the happiness, finances, credit rating, circle of friends, and overall mental and physical health of the intended target leaving only a desiccated husk of a man. The demon takes on the guise of an attractive, friendly human female façade which hides the true nature of this Type-I (of a kind) demon. Within the demon is an empty, soulless void that suck the living essence from those around it in an attempt to fill that void. In failing to do so, the demon moves on to the next victim and continues to drain the life from the new target all the while claiming to be the victim of the previous target’s lack of empathy and understanding of the demon’s needs.
1 – Make-up 1: Demon uses common cosmetics to alter its appearances to suit the environment
2 – Attire 1: Demon uses existing wardrobe to alter its appearances…
3 – Invoke Stylist: Demon uses the services of a third party profession to alter its appearances…
5 – Invoke Mani/Pedi: Demon enlists the services of specialized professionals to increase the appearances…
7 – Acquire Attire: Demon spends money she doesn’t have to buy clothes she doesn’t need to alter its appearances…
8 – Acquire Shoes: Because the demon has “absolutely NO shoes at all that match the recently acquired attire” the demon uses even more money that she doesn’t have to add to the collection of shoes piled on the closet floor, none of which match the newly acquired attire. Shoes may only be worn once of course. Gods forbid anyone see the demon in the same pair of shoes for an outfit.
9 – Acquire Jewelry: Because there still isn’t enough debt, the demon needs to acquire baubles to go with the newly acquired attire. The jewelry is also only worn once. Gods forbid the demon be seen in the same outfit twice.
10 – Acquire Leather/Suede Clothing: Demon takes advantage of special human celebrations as a ploy to get the really expensive Leather/Suede gloves, coat, jacket, boots.
11 – Attire 2: Demon uses guilt to manipulate others into getting clothing for her that she cannot afford.
13 – Invoke Stylist 2: Demon cajoles parents or grandparents into getting a “really nice” stylist to treat her for a day.
17 – Acquire Master: Demon is able to get anything she wants from people and is able to survive by feeding off the charity and altruism of others
20 – Acquire True: Demon is able to cast all lower spells on this list without PP expenditure and is able to keep the source of all these items a secret from the current victim.
The Ex: Type-I (of a kind) Demon Level 40 (years old)
Spell list: MANIPULATIONS This is an extremely powerful list and GMs should use careful consideration when allowing this list in the gaming world.
1 – Manipulate Situation: Demon is able to manipulate an existing situation to her ends to make her look like the victim in a situation when she was the actual cause of the bad situation.
2 – Draw Empathy: Demon is able garner the empathy of others to her cause.
3 – Draw Altruism: Demon is able to gain small items, trinkets, or even money to “get by until pay day” This is assuming the demon bothered to look for a job.)
4 – Cause Guilt: Demon is able to make the intended target feel guilt for not knowing exactly what the demon wanted or for some slight that was leveled against the demon
6 – Mild Demands: Demon is able to demand a task be done by using perceived threats of impending misery if the task isn’t fulfilled.
7 – Drain Altruism: Demon is able to take everything the target has to offer while the target feels it is actually doing something truly good and will truly help the demon out of a bad situation.
9 – Drain Empathy: Demon is able to take all of the empathy from a target leaving the target with a sense of purpose and a righteous need to save the demon from whatever perceived peril the demon has conjured up.
12 – Conjure Situation: Demon is able to take the smallest detail from a bad situation, leave out the facts that make her look bad, and paint the victim in the most horrific light possible to gather an army of followers to her side.
15 – Gather Army: Demon now uses the phenomenon of “She told two friends, and she told two friends, and she told two friends, and so on and so on” to gather friends of friends to her cause while completely leaving out facts
16 – Use Sex: Demon just uses sex to get followers to her cause.
17 – Turn True: Demon is able to turn friends and family members of the victim against him because they don’t know the real truth of the situation. Victim loses friends either from Use Sex spell or from Conjure Situation. * – The earlier spells do not need to be cast prior to using Turn True.
18 – Create Evil Spouse: demon is able to make her spouse look like the true demon in the relationship while she is the victim of the whole mess and needs to turn to others for comfort and support.
19 – Drain Empathy True: Demon is able to drain every bit of emotion caring, and altruism from the spouse leaving an empty husk of a being with nothing left to live for.
20 – Manipulation True: Demon pretty much does whatever the F*** she wants and gets away scott-free because they are all beguiled by her lies and truth-obfuscation skills leaving the spouse a drained husk. * – Drain Empathy True doe snot need to be cast prior to Manipulation true as it is automatically cast for free when Manipulation True is cast.
25 – All spells on this list may be cast up to 5x per day and no longer cost any PP leaving that much more resources to really screw the spouse over.
Be forewarned. Even though the demon has been exorcised from the victim’s life, the demon still manages to come back to haunt the victim at the most inopportune times like getting herself invited to Thanksgiving dinner somehow, 6 years after the exorcism.
I detect a hint of bitterness.
Anyone fancy making a weird bestiary?