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So... A friend and I have been working on a pseudo adventure path for 3.5 called "The Grand Hotel", and I was hoping to update it to Pathfinder. The plotline is fairly awesome, but only planned in the most general sense, so as to provide other GMs with a framework for the story, and let them fill in the details. I would like to hear some feedback.
Note: I made this for a Homebrew setup that me and my friend used for DND 3.5 that combined Vanilla DND with the Wheel Of Time RPG. It shouldn't take too much tweaking to change the lore and flavor for a normal campaign though.
Preface: During this Golden Era of the Fourth Age, a man named Lord Dagarrion used his vast wealth to construct a great tower where adventurers could rest in style, and normal citizens could go to find work.It was called The Grand Hotel; a magnificent building of unimaginable proportions that was said to be the closest thing to paradise in the entire world, and the epitome of modern day civilization, the epitome of the Fourth Age, and so grand that it would fit perfectly within the Age of Legends. A place where if you happened to walk in, you would soon find yourself with food in your belly, a hot drink in your hand, and a place to stay. It was a place of joy, a place of rest, and a place where just about anyone could find work. It was said that the halls shined like fire, and that the staff were as angels, white as snow, and as kind and gentle as anyone could possibly imagine. It was a place where no one knew exactly where it was, but many have speculated, and many have searched for it over the years. Or at least that was the case before it became corrupted by... something sinister. Soon tales of people suddenly vanishing from their beds in the middle of the night reached the farthest corner of the Earth, and of spindly terrors and ghosts were said to haunt the once bright and beautiful halls. But despite the darkness growing within its walls, many have still found their way into the Grand Hotel, desperate to taste of its glory, and somehow, the full horror of those rumors never left the walls of the Hotel itself...You, bold adventurer, have found yourself, one way or another, within the hallowed walls of this Grand Hotel. But be warned: things are not always as they appear. Something dark has been growing within the Hotel, and one thing is certain that few of those who go in… never come out. Will you dare to brave the unknown dangers of this mighty tower, and potentially unlock the secrets hidden within?
Background information: The Grand Hotel has been through a lot; only the first 4 levels are even habitable. The upper stories are rotting away and falling apart, and are inhabited with monsters that occasionally come down to hunt the guests. Monsters that infest the hotel include: Ghosts of former guests, Raggamoffyns that seek out guests to use as hosts, Giant Spiders, Giant Rats, Giant Scorpions, and a few undead.
Quest 1 is there to allow the players to get a feel for the setting and to setup any plots and subplots, thus it must be the first Quest completed. Quest number 2 is required in order to gain access to quests number 5. Otherwise, the quests can be completed in any order.
1. Arrival: The players arrive in the Grand Hotel, and get checked in. After poking around and getting a feel for things, they should manage to gain employment of some kind to help pay for their stay. Some information may be revealed during this time may include: Levels 4 and up have restricted access.
2. The Tournament: The Master of the Hotel is holding a tournament to judge the skills of the competitors. A group of 4 people can face off against monsters that increase in difficulty each round A cash prize is awarded to all those who survive the tournament past round 5. If they reach round 10, the group faces off against a party of 4 drow of equivalent level and skill. Assuming the players last to round 5, they can receive access to the upper levels.
3. Employment Conference: Employers of all sizes, shapes, races and alignments have come to the Grand Hotel to search for potential employees. They are looking for people of various skills and talents, and are hosting various competitions to pick out the better people. Competitions may include: Blacksmithing, A Beauty Paget, Construction, Bartering, etc.
4. Monster Bounty: The Master of the Hotel has put a bounty on the various creatures that are threatening his guests, and will pay money for every creature creature killed by the party. Of course, you must bring back an appropriate portion of the creature to prove that you did in fact kill it.
5. Reclaim the Upper Floors: The master desires to reclaim the upper levels, and permanently eliminate the threat of hostile monsters to his guests. To do this, he needs you to clear each floor of all the monsters in it and bring in a construction team to repair all the damage. Players will be payed cash for every day of work they perform. Players must kill all the monsters and act as guards for the construction workers, and also help out in the construction work itself.
6. The Ghost: After a few days in the hotel, or the completion of the tournament quest, whichever comes first, a Ghost comes to visit the party. It warns them that "You can check out anytime you'd like, but if you do not leave this place soon, then you will never be able to leave." The players can ignore the advice of this particular Ghost, or can ask it further questions. If they do so, they will find out that the Ghost had been stuck in the hotel for years, unable to leave, and that in order for his soul to be able to be at peace, he must escape the hotel. If the players try to heed its advice and/or attempt to help the ghost, they will find it almost impossible to leave easily... skip to the Endgame.
7. The Gambling Tournament: Every couple of months, the Master hosts a gambling tournament. The game is basically Poker. The entry fee is 1000 gold (50% of it goes towards the victory pot, the rest is held as profit for the Hotel). You fold or run out of money, and you are eliminated from the competition. If you manage to win the tournament, then you get all the cash from the victory pot. This is an all or nothing game. The following checks are used: Profession (Gambler), Perception, Sense Motive, and Bluff.
Eventually, the players will find out the eerie truth of this hotel...
50 years ago, the Hotel fell on hard times, and money was scarce. In desperation, the Master of the Hotel began to sell his guests as slaves to the VIPs, and sealed off the hotel from the rest of the world to prevent the escape of his merchandise. Some of the guests rebelled, and made their last stand in the upper levels of the Grand Hotel, causing the destruction and derriliction seen earlier in this campaign. The survivors were sealed away, and eventually died, becoming the ghosts that haunt the hotel. Eventually, the deriliction was such that the upper levels became overrun with monsters.
Guests that died to the monsters, were reanimated as undead, and sold to the highest bidder.
To make matters worse, the Master had studied the ragamoffyns and created his own version... one that could be controlled.These monstrosities were given to guests as their new uniform for their employers... and when they put it on, they were enslaved and then given to their next masters.
Those who found out about this operation were quickly and efficiently silenced, being imprisoned in the dungeons beneath the hotel, killed, and then sold as undead fodder.
Of course, by the time the players discover all this, they will be wanting to escape, but it will be hard to do. They would need to obtain a special key from the Master's hidden office, and use that key on the outer courtyard gate. Doing so would open a dimensional gateway so that the players could escape.
The other way to get out of the hotel is if you get hired by someone... unfortunately, this means that the players will be enslaved to whoever bought them.
Sooo... any thoughts?
Well, it's an interesting concept, although I don't have much in the way of constructive criticism.
I would suggest having a number of powerful, wealthy guests and entourage serve as "factions" within the Hotel; a rich, powerful merchant prince, a celebrity Bard, a deposed Noble, etc.
Perhaps have the Hotel's functions revolve around a MacGuffin of great power, like a magical food generator, that all of the factions want to acquire. And the Master of the Hotel is playing all factions against each other to keep them from tracking down the MacGuffin artifact.
Alternatively, the MacGuffin could be powered by Fiendish magic, and routinely require a blood sacrifice to keep working. And maybe the Hotel's kitchen offers "Long Pork" to its wealthiest clients?
Are you familiar with the "Murder Castle" of H.H. Holmes?
|Amanuensis RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8
If I were to use this, I would focus on the poker tournament.
A classic heist scenario where the PCs and several other parties participate in the tournament trying to figure out the best way to win or steal the big price (and prevent their rivals from succeeding). The twist: the host is a powerful undead who is not going to allow his guests to leave with all the gold, let alone their lives. One by one, the guests turn up dead and the players need to find a way out of the haunted hotel.
It would be challenging to forshadow the twist without giving it away too early, but if your players are into that kind of scenario (playing poker at the table while interactng with NPCs, planning a robbery), you might be able to distract them long enough to make it work.