I had a really nice comment on one of my old posts from 2015. It was a free adventure I put up aimed at starting characters in fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons. A person that has used it several times made a comment yesterday about how he liked it and how he had used it in three different groups. The Tomb of the Ghast Queen (which I released for multiple systems) is always a popular post. It has never left the top three or four read posts on a daily basis since its release. But little do people know where the origins of that adventure lie.
I made mention of it in reply to the comment but rather than you having to find it I thought I would make mention of it here. The module itself is a competetive styled module where a Ghast Queen promises to free some prisoners/slaves if they can get out of her Tomb whilst finding the “Hand of the Lich. That idea stems back some way for me. Back to third edition days when I was playing in Queensland Australia. I have always liked let of center things and so my own campaigns always seem to have a distorted view. At the time I was fascinated with the idea of Paladins and their need to uphold the law. I thought to myself about all of the unjust laws that a Paladin needs to uphold and how it would affect them.
So I imagined bigger. I thought about the kind of land that would create such laws. Through this I imagined a kindly, well loved ruler who had been just and fair but had no apparent successor. In the vain hopes to prolong the prosperity of their people he turned to the rites of a Lich. With that they began the process and disappeared largely from public view. In my minds eye it had been centuries since that decision and the ruler was slowly turning to evil. A counsel ruled the lands on his behalf, chosen by a trial of champions. The laws of the land are twisted and changed from what they were. In an effort to be inclusive the land was slowly becoming a dark and haunted place as a result of the Law.
Good in concept
I ran several games in this setting. The twist on the Law ideal had the opposite intended effect on my players though. A paladin rushed into a fight with an orc, cutting him down. It was not the orc that was the antagonist though and the human woman it was in melee with fled with the orc’s belongings. The paladin fell to a crisis of faith and though this sounds fun, it was not for the player. They wanted to play the brave warrior who shone boldly with hope. Instead I had placed them in a setting where up was sideways and down was all over the place.
Tomb of the Ghast Queen
You can see echoes of all of this in the module I wrote. I had hoped to one day revisit the setting and develop it some more. I have moved away from all the major systems now though and so I hope that someone else may find inspiration here. Please steal the origins of this and make something wonderful of it. I really think it has a place somewhere in our hobby. Keep rolling!