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Maure noob (please excuse the rambling)


Maure Castle


At first glance, Maure Castle doesn't seem like the adventure for me as it seemed a bit story-lite and focused more on that "1st Edition Feel" of bunches of challenges with little apparent reason other than being challenges (I mean, seriously, who makes a killer statue to guard his lair and includes two weapons the critter is especially vulnerable to?*).

However, I was eventually drawn to it by virtue of it being one of the few high-level adventure series I could find and my readings here have revealed a deep level of mystery behind the dungeon that I hadn't expected (and of which, I confess, I understrand very little).

So as I come in to this completely ignorant, let me see if I've got the basics of this thing down pat:

- Maure Castle itself is completely looted up to whatever barrier kept the explorers from reaching the next level of the basement.

- Eli was one of the more dedicated looters and eventually found these "Unoppenable Doors" some distance to the west that lead to a couple dungeon levels that aren't actually under Maure Castle...or any building it seems.

- From those levels, Eli dug a tunnel east to breach the previously inaccessable dungeon levels that are actually below Maure Castle.

Is all that right? So...what were those "western" levels for? Did the Maure family make dungeon levels with no building on top of them? It doesn't seem like they were even designed to connect with the lower Castle levels.

I also can't seem to wrap my head around the Maure's themselves. I can't tell if I'm being dense or if the information is conflicting, but are the family members themselves still alive?

Finally, while I took a peek recently at Rob's website (at Pied Pipers), I'm still not sure if there are any plans to finish the dungeon series and actually answer the mysteries that have been hinted at throughout. Since that's the thing that interests me the most, I can't even consider running this adventure until I know there's going to be a satisfying conclusion.

* Probably the same fella who built the Scorpion King's pyramid with the heiroglyphic description of how to kill the Scorpion King...


Oh, another curiosity popped into my head.

The eight-pointed star thingy...is each triangle its own key or do you need all eight to open the gate? The key found in Big D's treasure pile says it opens to a particular plane, do they all go some place different?

Since most of what I know of Greyhawk I learned from Paizo, I was struck by the connection between the Maure's 8-pointed star and the symbol of the Seekers that I first saw mentioned in 'Whispering Cairn'. While the Seekers in Maure Castle wear a sunburst symbol, it pleases me to think that the other symbol (the star) might've been based on the Maure's keyhole. Could the entire Seeker organization be based on a group questing to find all eight of the key triangles?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

I'm not sure about the geography of Maure Castle itself. I don't own Dungeon 112, though if I recall correctly, I was a little confused by the dungeon's layout myself. As far as I could tell, the Maure family built themselves a massive dungeon complex, perhaps even rivalling Forgotten Realm's Undermountain in size.

As for the Maure family, their current status is kept intentionally vague. There's no real information on what happened to them after Elluvia betrayed them, though I recall reading hints that the elusive Uncle still existed in some form in the deepest reaches of his dungeon. As for the others, who knows? They may have died, or cloned themselves, or turned undead, or entered suspended animation, or... well you get the idea.

Alas, we will likely never see a proper conclusion to Maure Castle. Because Maure was published in Dungeon Magazine, it is Wizard of the Coast's intellectual property, and Paizo can't legally continue to publish it. That is, perhaps, the greatest tragedy of Paizo losing the rights to publish Dungeon.

As for the eight-pointed key, my understanding was that each part of the key would open its own plane. As for what happens when you collect them all, who knows?

I'm not sure if you know this, but a level of Maure Castle is also detailed in Dungeon 124 ("Chambers of Antiquity") and Dungeon 139 ("Return to Maure Castle").


Fletch wrote:

At first glance, Maure Castle doesn't seem like the adventure for me as it seemed a bit story-lite and focused more on that "1st Edition Feel" of bunches of challenges with little apparent reason other than being challenges (I mean, seriously, who makes a killer statue to guard his lair and includes two weapons the critter is especially vulnerable to?*).

* Probably the same fella who built the Scorpion King's pyramid with the heiroglyphic description of how to kill the Scorpion King...

LOL :D (Perhaps in-game, the rituals to create the golem required the creation of the other two items too?---and, truthfully, how likely are your PCs to walk up to the other two statues to ask them for their weapons vs. just assuming that they'd animate too?).

Fletch wrote:

So as I come in to this completely ignorant, let me see if I've got the basics of this thing down pat:

- Maure Castle itself is completely looted up to whatever barrier kept the explorers from reaching the next level of the basement.

From the comments in the World of Greyhawk box set/folio, and in WG5 Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure, it sounds like MC is still inhabited. RJK also posted a few articles on the PPP site @ http://site.pied-piper-publishing.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&a mp;view=category&layout=blog&id=44&Itemid=47 (along with materials in Oerth Journal #23 @ http://www.oerthjournal.com/oj23.html too). I think it's sufficiently open that you can do whatever you want with the castle proper, either way: inhabited, ruined, insert another castle in its place, etc.

Fletch wrote:
- Eli was one of the more dedicated looters and eventually found these "Unoppenable Doors" some distance to the west that lead to a couple dungeon levels that aren't actually under Maure Castle...or any building it seems.

Eli's initial motives for moving into the MC environs are murky, but presumably "power-hungry" has something to do with it (IIRC, Rob said something to that effect in one of my first letters to him many moons ago).

Fletch wrote:
- From those levels, Eli dug a tunnel east to breach the previously inaccessable dungeon levels that are actually below Maure Castle.

Spot-on.

Fletch wrote:
Is all that right? So...what were those "western" levels for? Did the Maure family make dungeon levels with no building on top of them? It doesn't seem like they were even designed to connect with the lower Castle levels.

Likely a series of levels built by one or more of the Maure scions who desired a secret redoubt nearby, perhaps?

Fletch wrote:
I also can't seem to wrap my head around the Maure's themselves. I can't tell if I'm being dense or if the information is conflicting, but are the family members themselves still alive?

It sounds like most are dead, but that a few are still around. Again, I think that leaves a lot of flexibility in how you deal with them, insert them into your campaigns, etc.

Fletch wrote:

Finally, while I took a peek recently at Rob's website (at Pied Pipers), I'm still not sure if there are any plans to finish the dungeon series and actually answer the mysteries that have been hinted at throughout. Since that's the thing that interests me the most, I can't even consider running this adventure until I know there's going to be a satisfying conclusion.

There will be more material related to Maure appearing at some point, I think, but even so I think you'll not find all 18+ levels detailed before 2010, so you'll either have to truncate the levels, create them yourself, insert others in their place, or perhaps change the backstory to accommodate your needs. I can definitely recommend several places for you to find maps you can key as the levels, if you're so inclined.

Fletch wrote:
The eight-pointed star thingy...is each triangle its own key or do you need all eight to open the gate? The key found in Big D's treasure pile says it opens to a particular plane, do they all go some place different?

All 8 are keyed to individual planes/adventures/settings, and then if all 8 are brought together, they then open a new, 9th gate to somewhere even cooler. This was more explicity in the original WG5 module vs. the Dungeon version, too.

Fletch wrote:
Since most of what I know of Greyhawk I learned from Paizo, I was struck by the connection between the Maure's 8-pointed star and the symbol of the Seekers that I first saw mentioned in 'Whispering Cairn'.

Good catch, that's intentional, per comments from Erik Mona and/or Gary Holian at some point, perhaps in Living Greyhawk Journal's article on the Seekers??

Fletch wrote:
While the Seekers in Maure Castle wear a sunburst symbol, it pleases me to think that the other symbol (the star) might've been based on the Maure's keyhole. Could the entire Seeker organization be based on a group questing to find all eight of the key triangles?

That sounds good to me! :D

Allan.


Generic Villain wrote:
I'm not sure about the geography of Maure Castle itself. I don't own Dungeon 112, though if I recall correctly, I was a little confused by the dungeon's layout myself. As far as I could tell, the Maure family built themselves a massive dungeon complex, perhaps even rivalling Forgotten Realm's Undermountain in size.

That's correct: Maure Castle was the Greyhawk-based equivalent to RJK's "Castle El Raja Key", the megadungeon in his Kalibruhn campaign world (where EGG did his primary adventuring).

Generic Villain wrote:
As for the Maure family, their current status is kept intentionally vague. There's no real information on what happened to them after Elluvia betrayed them, though I recall reading hints that the elusive Uncle still existed in some form in the deepest reaches of his dungeon. As for the others, who knows? They may have died, or cloned themselves, or turned undead, or entered suspended animation, or... well you get the idea.

Exactly: you can mold them to be whatever and whoever you need them to be.

Generic Villain wrote:
That is, perhaps, the greatest tragedy of Paizo losing the rights to publish Dungeon.

I can't disagree with that, although never getting an Age of Worms hardcover ranks high up there too :(

Generic Villain wrote:
As for the eight-pointed key, my understanding was that each part of the key would open its own plane. As for what happens when you collect them all, who knows?

Like the family, you can shape it however you want to.

Generic Villain wrote:
I'm not sure if you know this, but a level of Maure Castle is also detailed in Dungeon 124 ("Chambers of Antiquity") and Dungeon 139 ("Return to Maure Castle").

RJK published one additional level: he wrote "Warlock's Walk" for GenCon 2007 (1e version on the PPP site, 3.5 conversion in the OJ#23 I mentioned in the previous post), and also published another Maure-related article there (it was originally intended to be a Living Greyhawk Journal article).

Allan.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
grodog wrote:
It sounds like most are dead, but that a few are still around.

actually, IIRC, dungeon magazine #112 says that they are all alive, somewhere in the dungeons (but i could be wrong).

messy


Could be, I haven't re-read 112 in quite some time, messy!

Allan.

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