The Heir Apparent - Campaign Idea


Homebrew and House Rules


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Prince Lirkoy has a problem. His father, King Crowlez, became a vampire sometime during his reign, and sired his heir in that state of undeath. Once the truth was out, a band of inquisitors quickly and properly laid the afflicted King to rest. However, the legitimacy of the Prince is now called into question.

Does a child fathered by a non-living parent possess the right to claim their sire's holdings and last affects? A high council of nobles and clergy have decided that they will allow the crown to pass to the Dhampir Prince IF he completes three special tasks that will test his strength in arms, his devotion to his church and people, and his intelligence to solve puzzling dilemmas.

He is allowed to assemble a small party of adventurers to help him complete these tasks. In return for their assistance, he promises lands, titles, gold, and pardons for past crimes.

I will post the three tasks later, as I should be in bed right now. Feedback welcome!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sounds an interesting campaign premise, but I'd recommend one of the players be the prince, otherwise you'll risk a lot if the PCs take a disliking to the NPC.


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How/where was the prince raised?

It has got to be ruse. The tasks are a PR setting him up to fail. A conspiracy by the people that may even have somehow been involved with the history of his father. Are the accounts told to him true? Or are they a fabrication hiding something darker. Do vampires lurk in the background of all this?

You must set this in Ustalav.


I agree with Dudemeister, he either needs to be part of the party or as an NPC that is with the party the whole time and it is going to be some tricky RP.


A steward is appointed to rule in the prince's absense, and of course when the tasks are completed he must vanquish the disdainful pretender who will not surrender the throne to such an abomination. Intrigue, mass combat, or treachery may follow. Eating the steward's heart is probably bad, unless the dhampir returns with enough power that he can embrace his vampiric heritage and rule as a tyrant.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like Thanael's idea. Really depends on how you want the game to feel. His idea works really well for a mystery campaign, especially if there are enough clues throughout.

Liberty's Edge

Remember that vampires are not the only supernatural creatures capable of siring mortal offspring. Werewolves, Hags, and even deep ones are capable of producing hybrid offspring(skinwalkers, changelings, and deep-one hybrids). Offspring that may have ties to older kings and thrones than those of our dhampir prince's family. Having all of these monsterous political elements could make completing those 3 tasks even more complicated, since all might have eyes on the throne, and hold a greater level of support from the court nobles.

Getting his highness on the throne might not be as big a problem as holding the throne from fanatical zealots, Witches and hags from the forests and mountains, Were-beasts adapted to the potentials and limitations of court life, creatures and servants of the old ones, and the machinations of ambitious nobles, pale and rosy in skin.

And this is not counting the possibilities that come with the conspiracy angle. All the court may(or may not) have had a hand in orchestrating the kings change, discovery and subsequent destruction, but all might have had different backers and candidates to take the throne, so the court is also divided, giving the prince a possible opening to succeed where others expect him to fail.


The First Task: The Annual Kobold Cull

In accordance to the truce made by King Muertomir II and Chieftain-Baron Krizzil of the Argent Mines these 142 years past, each year, a formal skirmish is held between the native kobolds and the King's men. Typically, a few dozen kobold braves face off against a few dozen conscripted recruits, matching spell and steel, until one side is completely vanquished. This helps the kobolds prune the weak from their numbers, as well as establish control over their population.
The Cull is also fine sport for the nobility to watch (from a safe distance), and it keeps the silver trade flowing.
The High Council has decided that the Prince Apparent must participate alone in the Cull to prove his skill in combat. He is allowed only a handful of bodyguards to see him through this task.
Prince Lirkoy and his chosen bodyguards must vanquish each and every kobold brave involved in the skirmish. Quarter is not allowed.

By the way, great feedback, everyone!


Do the two rulers send criminals to participate in this? For most of those involved it is a death sentence.


Ciaran Barnes wrote:
Do the two rulers send criminals to participate in this? For most of those involved it is a death sentence.

Yes. It also functions as a proving ground for young warriors.


The Second Task: Render a Sound Judgement

The Prince Apparent and his chosen advisers will hold court and render justice in a dispute between a swineherd, a cobbler, a prostitute, and druid over the rightful ownership of a gold bracelet worth about 142 gp. Apparently, all of these individuals had business with each other that involved the bracelet at some point.
The High Council tells the Prince that, through certain means, they have already determined who the true owner is. It is given to the Prince Apparent and his advisers to employ non-violent investigation to arrive at the same secret conclusion as the high council.
The Twist: The four plaintiffs are all paid liars and the bracelet belongs to none of them, but in truth to one of the council members. If this truth is uncovered, the task is completed.


The Third Task: Survive the High Priest's Blessing

The Prince Apparent must undergo and withstand a series of seven scrutinizing divine spells which will determine if his human half is stronger than his vampire half. Members of his chosen circle may match these spells "blessing for blessing" with spells of their own. If the Prince Apparent is still standing and alive after the seven divine spells are cast, then he will be crowned King on the spot.

Thank you all for reading. Feel free to put your own twist on this idea.


For the first task: the kobolds may have been less fecund than normal this year. To bolster their numbers, they've gotten a few mercs to join them under the use of illusion magic. Their king doesn't want the kobolds to seem too weak for political reasons, so he's paid a few goblins to join in. They'll be disguised as kobolds, but won't act the same. They'll run off if half their side is killed, complicating the task as they still must be put down. If the prince is careful, he can take out the braves AND the goblins, then negotiate a better deal for next year's silver in exchange for his silence on the matter.

For the second task: give the prince a week to investigate. During this time, he can run into false leads, have attempts on his life (some related to the tasks, some not), and otherwise have a grand ol' CSI kind of day. At the end of the week, he must give his judgment.


These tasks are amazing! Great idea.


Lathiira wrote:

For the first task: the kobolds may have been less fecund than normal this year. To bolster their numbers, they've gotten a few mercs to join them under the use of illusion magic. Their king doesn't want the kobolds to seem too weak for political reasons, so he's paid a few goblins to join in. They'll be disguised as kobolds, but won't act the same. They'll run off if half their side is killed, complicating the task as they still must be put down. If the prince is careful, he can take out the braves AND the goblins, then negotiate a better deal for next year's silver in exchange for his silence on the matter.

For the second task: give the prince a week to investigate. During this time, he can run into false leads, have attempts on his life (some related to the tasks, some not), and otherwise have a grand ol' CSI kind of day. At the end of the week, he must give his judgment.

Both excellent ideas!

Liberty's Edge

While the third task is one of the most seemingly fair(just the high priests divine spells against the parties spells), the crown for the king is apparently stolen by a group of thieves before the third trial can even begin. Without the crown, the prince cannot be truly legitimatized before the people, so the coronation is stalled until the crown is recovered.

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