Mord Mar (Rocky's Megadungeon)
System: Pathfinder Rules
SECTION 1: Setting
Setting: The fallen dwaven city of Mord Mar (translation: Under Mountain). The players are member’s of the Mord Mar Adventurer’s Guild. The Guild is located in the one section of the city the dwarves still hold: Var Nae (translation: Loyal Stone). Although Var Nae is about 10% of what the dwarves once held, it is still a complete city. It has a functional government, run by a king and council, shops and guilds.
A brief history of Mord Mar:
About 300 years ago, the city of Mord Mar was overrun by goblins, orcs, trolls, drow and other enemies of the dwarves in a Blitzkrieg style assault. These forces of chaos quickly defeated the unprepared dwarves. Very few survivors were able to flee from the central city to Var Nae. Nobody alive today saw who, or what led this assault.
The dwarves have tried several times over the successive centuries to return to their city, only to be turned back by an army that seems to appear out of nowhere. When small groups enter, however, this unseen menace does not appear. This led to the establishment of the Adventurer’s Guild some 150 years ago.
The Adventurer’s Guild has had some successes recovering lost dwarven treasures and artifacts, but never reclaiming any lost ground. The dwarves of Var Nae wish for a return to their city more than anything, but are glad for their objects of the past to be returned to them.
A brief history of the Adventurer’s Guild:
The adventurer’s guild was established to scout the opposing army that seems to rise from the very stone of the city. Although this army has never been found, the government of Var Nae have found a revenue stream that has allowed them to become importers of most basic necessities. They tax the adventurers on what they return from the mountain with, using a scale from 5-15%. The guild is also imposed a tax as well, but only the council, king and guild leaders know what that tax is.
The adventurer’s guild was once free to join, but these taxes have forced them into collecting dues from adventurers on top of the city imposed taxes. In order for the guild to remain viable, they started this practice about 75 years ago. They charge a flat 100 gp/year fee with 5/10/20% on the hauls out of Mord Mar (and beyond).
SECTION 2: Players, Characters, and Rules
Players and Player Characters:
In the “Megadungeon Campaign” all Player Characters need to be Adventurer’s Guild members to start the game. They may choose to back out after their one year commitment. Most characters will probably not be alive to make the choice. The Megadungeon will be a brutal campaign, with an expected high casualty rate for characters.
Players are expected to be mature players, comfortable with mature themes. There will be violence. There may be explicit content (sexual themes, slavery, racism, to name a few, but not all).
Handling a Character’s Death:
In the likely event that a character has died, a player will have a few options going forward in the game:
1) find a way to bring the character back to life. (probably unrewarding before 5th/6th level)
2) create a new character. This new character will have an XP penalty that will not be more than 1 level behind the party average.
3) take over an NPC, if there are hirelings in the party. It would be expected that the hireling is promoted to a full member of the party in this case.
Treasure and Wealth:
As has been mentioned before, there are hefty taxes to be paid for being an adventurer. Lawful characters are fully expected to follow these taxes/tariffs/dues. Chaotic characters are welcome to hide wealth as they see fit, understanding there will be consequences for their actions, should they be caught. These consequences will be outlined elsewhere.
The adventuring party is expected to be an equal share group. This is to be determined by the players (and characters) as they see fit, as long as all parties feel it is equitable. There are magistrates in game that can facilitate this, and the GM if all else fails.
Rules and Rulings:
The GM running the session has final say on any and all rules. If a ruling is warranted that is not covered in the books, the GM will start a new document detailing these rules, and how they have been implemented. If the GM finds a rule infeasible for the game, he will use it for the remainder of the session, and tell the players how it will be used in the following session.
House Rules and Rules Changes
The GM may remove anyone from the game at their discretion. The person who has opened their home to the game may ask anyone to leave at any time, for any reason.
SECTION 3: Role Playing
Role versus Roll:
It is difficult to role play a megadungeon campaign. We all need to do our best to stay in character when at the table. If the GM hears something, and he assumes it is in game, then it is done from a character (as opposed to a player) perspective. This will generally only be done when talking about situations in front of the characters, but may be done to speed up play of the game as well.
Speed of Combat and Dangerous Situations:
In combat and other dangerous situations (running from a rolling boulder for example), the GM will try to keep the game moving as fast as possible. When your order in the initiative is up, you are expected complete your action quickly and decisively. If you are rolling to attack, roll your damage dice simultaneously. Combat should feel harried and dangerous, not like a strategy session in a locker room before game time. If you do not have your action ready, you may be subject to attacks of opportunity or other penalties as the situation allows in the game.
In a dangerous situation, like the rolling boulder, knowing what you are doing could be the difference between life and death. A character who’s player doesn’t have a course of action in a few seconds may find themselves flattened.
In Game Knowledge/Out of Game Knowledge:
The players knowledge of what a gorgon is capable of should not influence what the character would do, if they do not know the same information. Do your best to keep out of game knowledge out of the game.
Some in game knowledge may not be known by every character. For example, the party may not want the paladin to know they accepted a quest from the thieves’ guild. Try to keep that knowledge away from the player as well as the character, if possible.
1 week notice is required for new players and changing venue.