Greetings, Paizonians. Been noodling about running Mummy's Mask for a while, possibly as a PBP, but life intervened some time back and put that on hold. Life has ceased intervening so I come here seeking advice, like it says on the tin. I haven't yet had time to read the whole thing, due to that life intervening business, but I'm sure some here have and I'll take any advice. :)
I think that I'd like to run it in a homebrew setting that recasts things a bit, but keeps the spine of the AP intact. In kicking around ideas for that, I remembered my deep, abiding love for the 2e Complete Book of Necromancers and it occurred to me that the metaplot of the mini-setting therein seems very close to the plot of the AP. So I'm considering smashing them together. The tentative idea is to set the back half with the wilderness exploration on the jungle island of Sahu. Hakotep, who will probably get renamed, would be entombed there. If anybody is familiar with the CBoN and wants to chime in there, that's also welcome.
Once I got on looking at similar themes, I realized that Age of Worms has the same themes. The BoN even as a Cult of Worms! So I might strip-mine that to augment Mummy's Mask as well. I don't think that I'd import full adventures, but maybe pieces here and there to spice things up. Advice also welcome here.
If anybody's curious, broader context of the homebrew follows but isn't really too important to the individual adventures:
Instead of Osirion, we have a coastal desert that's fairly North African. It used to be part of an empire, but that empire fell apart a few centuries ago, giving way to warring city-states that share a common culture. That culture includes a strong dislike of arcane magic and an indigenous, animistic religious tradition that teaches they must refrain from certain activities (like arcane magic) and engage in various ritual behaviors (like properly entombing their dead) and sacrifices. The various rituals, some of which are fairly unsavory, both serve to lull the Sleepers and renew the bindings upon them. If they fail, they may wake Sleepers, unimaginable horrors that ruled the land in the mythic past before being bound to sleep in their great tombs. Hakotep is variously the Herald of the Sleepers Return, their last high priest, or the last Sleeper bound. Scholars disagree.
The religion has no unified hierarchy and its chief practitioners are not priests but rather what are politely called god-touched. Through various means, these souls are cursed with the attention of the Sleepers's dreams and so realize strange powers at great personal cost. Some of them are initiated into it, but others just get born that way. So they're oracles unwittingly empowered by those they work to keep asleep. :) Alongside them maybe some variety of desert druids who minister more directly to the pastoral needs of the people.
Alongside these faiths are a couple of religions from outside the region that have caught on, one worshiping a the-dead-must-stay-dead kind of death god and another kind of mendicant charitable group of flagellants. Both cribbed from the Book of Necromancers.
Around thirty or forty years ago, the area was conquered by a vaguely Roman power with its own religious traditions that are somewhat at odds with the Sleeper-oriented faith of the natives. The pseudoRomans believe that the dead must be cremated and their ashes stored in modest columbaria, lest they come back as vengeful undead horrors because only blessed flames can free the soul from its body. They took over after a legate was slain during a dispute with the local aristocracy that involved the arrest of a mystic who the legate placed under his protection. It's a very murky affair, but being the pseudoRomans are a prickly, expansionist power they took it as sufficient casus belli to conquer the region in the name of the Republic's honor.
These pseudoRomans do not consider themselves obligated to respect indigenous religious practices. In fact, they consider many of them utterly evil. The Sleepers sound like literal demons, and burying the dead just means offering them up as slaves to whatever bound demons that these "savages" worship. Thus they have chosen to open the tombs of the land to reliable, trustworthy citizens and those vouched for by citizens, in order to demonstrate the power of their rule, the folly of native religious practices, and separate out the undead and other true evils and their cultists from the mere "deluded fools" who the creepy god-touched have taken for a ride. In this, they have the uneasy help of the death god's religion, since they really would like to make sure any undead get cleaned up.
The Isle of Sahu (Book of Necromancers again) sits somewhere off the southwestern coast of the region, historically part of it but long abandoned to pirates and various jungle tribes. PseudoRoman rule hasn't quite extended there in practice yet.
TL;DR: Give me all your advices!