RPGaDay2020 Day 8: Shade – the dark of the Empire of the Ghouls

The RPGaDay2020 prompts in a map by dunroaminpress

Yesterday in RPGaDay2020 I asked about character couples in TTRPGs.

Today the theme is Shade, and just in time…look what popped through the letterbox a couple of days ago.

Empire of the Ghouls from Kobold Press was a Kickstarter earlier this year, and while I’ve had the PDF version for a bit, it makes such a difference having it to hold and flick through.

The basic premise is that there is an empire underground run by and for ghouls. As it says in the introduction:

Ghouls … are stand-ins for cannibalism and depravity. [T]hey are perfect villains, if only they were a little more organised. A little…nastier, even.

[H]ere they are, whipped into shape by an emperor cult, a patron dark god, and a stratified society built around the need to feed on flesh. Hunger is the animating principle of the Empire of the Ghouls, the primal need to consume in the worst possible way, and everyone in change of the Empire … is using that survival instinct to control thousands of killers, totally dependent on an abomination of a food chain.

Welcome to the Underworld, a place of horrors, a place that heroes may visit and wish to forget, a place that will leave scares in the soul as well as scars on the body.

Introduction to “Empire of the Ghouls” by Kobold Press, written by Wolfgang Baur

As an underground land populated by ghouls, ghasts and darakhul with their 60′ darkvision, it is a land of gloom and shade, with the only light from phosphorescent fungi and other dim glows. But they aren’t completely disconnected from the sunny lands above.

There is a constant desire for fresh flesh, and the best place to get it is from the plentiful stocks in the lands above. Or it would be if it wasn’t so bright…

Fortunately for the ghouls of the Twilight Empire, there are always individuals happy to exchange anything for personal gain, even if what they’re exchanging are others’ lives. So there is a steady flow of fresh meat for the Imperium to feed on, and a steady flow of precious stones which the ghouls have no use for in the opposite direction.

People go missing all the time in Akorros, and it is usually chalked up to people getting on the wrong side of one of the many gangs. But just recently, there have been kobold tracks and signs of struggles at the windows of the missing, and even artefacts identified as belonging to kobolds. Are the ghost kobolds starting to rebel?

Come back tomorrow for Day 9, when we contrast the Shade with Light.

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