The Kingdom of Havak is run by people (or creatures) who are evil: really, really evil. They make deals with devils and monsters all the time. The number one civic organization is the thieves guild. Necromancers are allowed within city limits. Devils have their own neighborhood. Evil.
Not all evil things like each other. Just because the kingdom of Havak is run by evil creatures doesn’t mean that there aren’t evil creatures who want to take the kingdom out. In fact, internal strife between the various members of the royal family is almost as dangerous as outside forces…almost.
Even though the kingdom tolerates evil figures and forces, it still needs people to keep order and to protect the kingdom from outside threats. In fact, because of the presence of seriously problematic beings, those who defend the kingdom have to operate with a certain degree of autonomy…perhaps even more than would be afforded the heroes of law and order in some other campaign.
The judgments of Havak are severe. Those in control are unforgiving. You cannot cross serious Havak authority without being disemboweled. There is no…“let me explain.”
Magic is common. People cast and use spells. They have access to magic items. Monsters walk among us. All of that.
Because the characters are the keepers of the kingdom, they do not have to be good, but they do have to have some way of tolerating evil, possibly even within their own group. If they are “in disguise,” they have to have a good description of how they aren’t quickly discovered by people with magic surveillance.
Characters are expected to be embedded in the organizations of Havak. A character can’t just be some guy at 10th level, because the tyrants who run the kingdom would take notice of a 10th level character running around who isn’t under their control.
The characters represent a Dynasty Squad for the Royal House. A Dynasty Squad is responsible for keeping the situation in Havak safe for the particular House they work for, especially against threats and plots from the other houses of the royal family. They are something like a cross between the Secret Service and the FBI. Obviously, the protection of the Royal House cannot be entrusted to just anyone, and certainly not to the ridiculously evil who have no loyalty. Members of the House Squad, especially high ranking members, need to be intelligent, loyal, and brave, though not necessarily good. The characters begin as a street level squad: good enough for autonomy, but they don’t tend to make a habit of meeting with the members of the Royal Family itself. They defend the palace, they are not, as of yet, let in. Dynasty Squads are often called Hounds.
Yup, the characters have a job. They have bosses…The Hand of the Grim, The Man of Whispers, City Hound Rojal. These are people whose concerns are checked into by Hounds (the characters). How’s that for a hook?
The adventures are meant to be more challenge based (encounters with things to do rather than just things to fight). I intend for enemies to have personalities.