A year ago, we released Empire of the Ghouls, and after some gentle prodding from my players, I started up my own game a few months ago. It has been a fun experience reading the text not as an editor but as a gamemaster.
I’ve also had the pleasure of communicating with several GMs who are running the adventure, including the lead designer, Richard Green, on the Midgard Adventures Discord. If you’re unaware, Richard has a blog where he posts summaries of sessions from his home game of Empire of the Ghouls. Beware—it contains plenty of spoilers!
In preparing for our treks through this adventure, Richard and I each wrote pre-Session 0 notes for our players. Believing this information might be helpful for other GMs, we decided to combine our notes into a general campaign brief that can be used by any table interested in running Empire of the Ghouls.
This campaign brief is a handout GMs can give players before or during Session 0, and it provides an overview of the campaign, gives five truths about it, and lists some factions and deities that appear in the adventure or who are closely tied to the adventure. If you were on the fence about starting up your own game of Empire of the Ghouls, we hope this campaign brief encourages you to try it!
Content Warning: This adventure features themes of cannibalism, body horror, gore, racism, slavery, sex- and blood-themed cults, unholy rituals, physical restraint, murder, death, undeath, decay, sacrifice, rats, and crawling insects, as the players play epic heroes fighting against these forces. Some areas of the story call on the heroes to make compromises or tough decisions for the “greater” good.
Download the campaign brief right here for free:
For extra encouragement, check out the Rampant Roach menu I wrote for my game. Use it in your own game when serving kobold cuisine to your players!
The Rampant Roach Menu
Starters …2 cp
Fried Frog Legs
A dozen frog legs fried in lard
Four rats smoked on small spits for three hours
Soups …4 cp
Hoppin’ Happy Soup
Rich and creamy tadpole and pea soup
Smooth and Crunchy Bisque
Spider and pumpkin bisque topped with crunchy, baked spider legs
Squeak ‘n Hops
Chunks of rat and rabbit slowly cooked with root vegetables in a rich, rat tail gravy
Salads …2 cp
Grubby Grub Salad
Fresh, local greens topped with carrots and plenty of still-living grubs tossed in a white wine vinaigrette
Tall Tail Salad
Fresh, local greens with roasted beets and rat tails topped with oil and vinegar
Main Dishes …6 cp
Baked rabbit brisket with roasted peppers, beets, and carrots
Slimy Yet Satisfying
Buttered beetle and earthworm sandwich served with a side of baked sweet potato slices
Squeak ‘n Squawk
Chunks of rat and raven marinated in a creamy, garlic sauce with carrots and peas and baked in a buttery pie crust
Desserts …4 cp
Chocolate Larva Cake
Rich and decadent chocolate cake with a molten larva jam and honey center
Slice of Carrot Cake
Spicy and moist carrot cake with pecans and a velvety cream cheese frosting
Sweet and Crunchy
Baked sweet potato with a sprinkle of walnuts and a spoonful of honey
Beverages …1 cp
Cave O’ Cola
Extremely fizzy, non-alcoholic beverage made with a dozen random spices and water from springs beneath the Cartways. Recipe changes weekly!
Fizzing, pale ale with notes of sweet potatoes and honey