Yes, it's a dungeon crawl, but I like the setting...kind of like a trek through Unseen University (see the Discworld books.)
Also, it seems a dungeon crawl because the University is all you really fleshed out. Give more work to the other locations and people of the city, and there will be more opportunity for different types of play. Go to Comment
I might make the change that Malen, himself, doesn't know why people are trying to kill him. He then becomes a deranged paranoid looking to the adventurers for protection...until they see one of his assailants.
It's like a 1930's Film Noir movie with fantasy adventurers standing in for Humphrey Bogart. I love it and I will be using it. Thank you! Go to Comment
Good adventure starter! I too am a fan of Lovecraft.
"Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fthagan!"
My only suggestion is to add some minions. Perhaps the missing townspeople have been reanimated as laborers and to keep out prying eyes? Or maybe the being called other creatures that used to worship it so it could regain strength and a power base in the area.
The beast, itself, could be more than any physical weapons can handle...needing a spell or specific combination of events to imprison it again. The focus would then be avoiding/defeating the servants while trying to beat the beastie down again. Go to Comment
If the party is somehow honor-bound to help this family, they will most definately go in search of the heirs to protect them.
With only the dying servant's word that the heirs even escaped, and possibly a first direction or destination in mind, this could turn into an epic quest to find the heirs.
Not only would the party want to protect them from would-be assassins, but they might also want to prevent the emotionally scarred duo from enacting some horrible retribution that affects many innocent people. And, even if the party finally catches up to the heirs, would they even be welcomed? How would the siblings know that the party members weren't just out for the big bounty on their heads? Go to Comment
Hmmm...not bad. Assuming the adventurers don't urge the noble to kill his children, the next struggle would probably be against the merfolk! I mean, even if they understand why the adventurers don't take action, they will still want to preserve their own lives and the lives of their families by returning the man. Go to Comment
Just an ecological side-note...running water, in and of itself, isn't immune to this kind of pollution.
You get a big band of Ogres pissing several gallons and dropping a few pounds of solid waste in the same area of the stream every day, the water will be bad to drink eventually...at least for half a mile or so downstream. Throw in some rotten scraps of food and a corpse or two. Foul stream. Go to Comment
If your characters want to move around, then this is a fine story to begin with...assuming they don't give up their man or accuse an innocent, they will most likely sneak away. This could lead to a good fugitive background to link them together.
Or, just have the man get them fired. Then they are free to seek employment that will take them out of the city. Go to Comment
I think there should be SOME way for the players to see the army...just to give them a chance to see what's going on.
Maybe the army was killed in the rain, and their reflections can be seen in pools of water? Maybe they can also be seen if water is pouring through them?
It could be a full moon, just any condition on the night of their death that could repeat at some point and clue the players in eventually. I, as a player, would feel cheated if I never got the army of the undead described to me! 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?