Day 19: Hollowfaust

Sales, Scarred Lands

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hollowfaust“These are the gates of the Free City-State of Hollowfaust. Beyond this portal are no laws save those of Hollowfaust. Beyond this entrance is peace, unless you bring war with you. May you find what you seek within.”

— Formal greeting of the Guards at the First Gate

Hollowfaust. I find it to be one of the most evocative and unusual settings in all the game worlds I’ve ever experienced. The notion of a city of necromancers who are not evil, but who approach necromancy as a science to be researched, understood, and then practiced for the betterment of society — that’s interesting, it’s novel (or at least it was when the Scarred Lands first appeared), and it makes for some fun mental exercise.

These aren’t your typical hooded, cloaked villains raising up swaths of skeletal warriors for your PCs to defeat. They are the good guys, or at least the not-so-bad-at-all guys. (Well, okay, to be fair, there are some bad seeds.) But as a whole, the wizards of Hollowfaust see necromancy as a tool, not a road to power and domination. Their skeletons don’t claw your face off; they endlessly draw water from the village well so you don’t have to.

So when the guards say, “Beyond this entrance is peace,” they really mean it. This isn’t a necropolis ruled by maniacally laughing wizards who thirst for your soul. It’s just another town where people are trying to get by, make a living, take care of their families, and prosper. It just so happens that their economy depends on the labor of their great-grandparents in a slightly more literal way than in other places.

Players experiencing Hollowfaust for the first time will be surprised and delighted, and maybe a little grossed out too. It’s all good. Have fun with it.

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  1 comment for “Day 19: Hollowfaust

  1. Andrew Thomas
    October 20, 2015 at 3:50 am

    Favorite splat for S&S by far. Especially for the spells and prestige classes. And it solved a lot of problems inherent to playing a 3rd ed. Necromancer.

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