Party level 3, 3 PCs, about 3 DMPCs, and 9 NPCs.
The Party and NPCs are vying for ownership of the mansion (I have the mansion floorplan for it and all that jazz). One DMPC will be actively trying to thwart everyone else by controlling the spirits there.
As of now I already know I will be running Attic Whisperers, Poltergeists, and at least one Wraith. I am debating on throwing a low end Yellow Sign (Hastur) in the house somewhere. And I know the ballroom will be host to dancing ghosts, which will end abruptly at a particular time (a little before the spirit activity turns hostile).
The house has played host to numerous Necromancers and depraved nobles over the years, as well as the cult of Hastur. The first family that lived there had the father turn on and murder his whole family and himself (standard fare for haunted mansions). I was thinking of tossing in some animated objects, many secret doors, cult worship rooms, and a -picture of Dorian Grey- (I cannot recall the pathfinder name for it, but the painting which accrues nevative statuses instead of the person)
So what I'm asking you guys: Is there anything you'd want to use in a haunted mansion? I'm open to ideas, because provided they get the mansion I still want retained activity there (to devalue it from sale and odd things they have to live with while having the building)
|GM Hands of Fate|
Haunting of Harrowstone has some really good haunt ideas as well. Perfect haunted house without killing your players with high level undead.
You absolutely should put some reference to He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named, whether a painting of Lake Hali in Carcosa, a woman named Cassilda, a manuscript of a play, a shred of a dirty yellow cloak. Maybe a message scratched in the dirt wall in the cellar that reads "Have you seen the yellow sign?"
CASSILDA: Indeed it's time. We all have laid aside disguise but you.
STRANGER: I wear no mask.
CAMILLA: (Terrified, aside to Cassilda.) No mask? No mask!
Masks.Always creepy as hell.
Remember that Hastur generally has a link to those who are artistically inclined. Sculptors, painters, screenwriters and such. Play up that aspect in a way. Paintings that look like one thing until someone looks too close and swears they see the hanged man's legs moving back and forth, incomplete sculptures of children (shudder), and such. And by incomplete sculptures of children, I clearly mean things possibly turned to stone by the petrifying solution... maybe... All those broken statues in the garden? Those were people at some point, and that revelation when played right gets a throat lurch or two.
So there are the haunts, which alone are a boatload of stuff to work with, generating things occurring at the house well beyond these sessions.
Masks will come in play with the ballroom, standard bury the corpse of the masked woman whose corpse is in the ballroom terrace planters.
References to Hastur will be located in a secret basement cult sanctuary and office, as well as a couple in the walls and the symbol worn into a bookcase.
The artist bit it wonderful and the incomplete statues of children will tie nicely with the attic whisperers.
Animated and illusory paintings will abound. Including the silly eye-hole bit.
I'm likely going to make use of most of the haunts (not necessarily now).
Okay, as for GP value of goods in the house, I was thinking of hiding some valuables around the property which can be assessed to be curse-free and sold, somewhere on the order of equal to the PC's WBL (they rightly need double that amount for my games and it's really showing at the moment).
Any other ideas, I'll check the pdfs, as for the Collector, I'll do that as a flesh and bone sculpture in one of the secreted areas in the house.
This current session I'm going to have each of the PC's design 3 of the NPCs (and my own 3 DMPCs will be mine). I'm going to have them control their actions through the house, until the NPCs discover something, get bumped off, etc. At which point I'll black out the character and return where appropriate. The PCs will gain a bonus the longer their NPCs aren't blacked out, or if they protect the NPCs. This will help save me from running 12 character's activities throughout a building.
Perhaps soulbound dolls? They aren't undead, but they ARE creepy as hell. The third book of Council of Thieves has a haunted lodge where they're used to pretty alarming effect (and some good haunts). Bonus points if they have a lot of stealth and can just hit-and-run the PCs (preferably while giggling eerily).
Maybe one of the haunts is a corrupted loci spirit?
Beautiful. This aids with locational corruption and I can have one of a substantially higher power level to the PCs currently, as a reason to the continued effects. Likea BBEG for the house itself, it's removal or reversing of corruption could restore the location to a safe one. Wonderful.
Soulbound Dolls are an amazing addition.