Masterfully done! I could take this in many different directions if I used UU in a game, but the core idea of who this god is and what kind of priests and petitioners he would have comes through very clearly. Even without relying on cliches or archetypes. Go to Comment
I can imagine a companion item, or maybe a second use for this one, which reveals the presence of traps in a similar manner. With such a tool, a thief could do well, knowing what is worth going after and how to do so safely. Go to Comment
Sigma Blue Society/ Organizations (Criminal/Espionage)
This is a pretty good breakdown of what I was first introduced to as Aristotle's Incline with a good adaptation to gaming in particular. If I recall correctly, Aristotle came up with the basic 3 Act plot structure by analyzing the plays of the time.
I find that feedback very helpful. I'm not as worried about the vote as I am curious about what you thought worked vs what could be improved. To me a vote means that it was at least interesting enough to finish reading (I consider it a personal win if the reader didn't fall asleep while working through it ;). Detailed feedback, OTOH, helps me improve my writing overall. So thank you for that. Go to Comment
Part of my master plan is to create adventures to go with each of these realms and flesh out the full campaign. For Brocschtal I will really get into the makeup of the locals.They are a stodgy, intolerant bunch and will most certainly fight any attempts to patch up their world. They have 3,000 years of belief in the rest of the world falling to divine wrath. No way would they let their most precious religious icon be used to do *anything* to their small realm. Scras's suggestion about superstition will really come in handy there. What could solidify superstitious beliefs faster than death that comes without warning or predictable pattern?
Of course, if the PCs were to find a way to completely rid them of their ghoul problem... some of them might just be open to new ideas.
And the comparison with the Prime Directive brings up a good point. Will the PCs be making the world a better place by repairing it? Best to keep them ignorant of the consequences until they've already begun the process. (Cue evil GM laughter) Go to Comment
The scenario you propose is one way that things could have gone down and would have made more sense from a survival standpoint. In this case, though, it all boils down to belief. They believed that the gods spared them for being a certain way and so they will continue on that way regardless of the hardships they face. In fact they pride themselves on being simple farmers and a stoic people. They don't burn the bodies for the same reason they don't move the graveyards: "The gods will know something is up if we move the graves too far from the village. The priests ordained long ago that the dead can't find their rest if they lay too far from their living kin. Best to keep things as they are." In addition, "They are not completely mindless and have learned to thwart every locked gate and barred door." The ghouls find ways through every barrier. The nights are completely dark and the people can only burn so many fires for light.
When the rest of the world was ripped away and in their terror the people of Brocschtal decided to respond by blaming the gods, they set the tone for their society. Rather let a few perish here and there than risk everyone else in a cataclysm. What made the gods decide to let them live? Could they know? So they keep to their traditions and continue to fear the dark.
As far as putting up with the killings, collectively they feel that it really isn't *that bad*. Every so often a few people from one village out of many is taken. The rest of the time they have plenty of food, a pleasant climate, and strong communities with hardly any crime. And they do try to fight the ghouls by hunting them and through the use of various (ineffective) herbs and rituals.
People can get used to quite a lot and sometimes make very irrational choices. Women stay with abusive husbands rather than break the sacred bond of marriage. People die from cancer that could have been cured with modern medicine. I have a morbid fascination with this phenomemon and have witnessed it in action in many ways. I see this society as a natural offshoot of that way of thinking. Go to Comment
Jemas Lorne, the most celebrated poet of the age, was found dead, clutching a fragment of verse torn from his journal. The tantalizing fragment spoke of wealth:
Golden sands, empty and cold,
Treasure's crypt, forgotten gold.
Under stone, ancestor's doom,
Noble's prize, troubadour's tomb.
Rumours claim that the poet's father, an eccentric nobleman, had hidden much of his wealth before his death. Perhaps the missing journal has more clues?