Mark Tarmino knows how to pack a class A module & get it safely across country! My copy of The Maximum Mayhem Dungeon #2: Secret Machines of the Star Spawn adventure arrived safely and soundly without bends, breaks, or problems plus some extras that the author included!
What can I say, I couldn't be more pleased with the module. The art work kisses all of the right old school buttons and gonzo adult fun I was expecting for me.
The plot will work with anything from a gonzo Lamentations of the Flame Princess rpg game, to Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea, to a Goodman Games Dungeon Crawl Classics style mini campaign. But my question becomes why limit yourself to simply another set of standard fantasy and science fantasy tropes. Friends have suggested to take a science fiction or fantasy game such as White Star and bring your PC's in as agents so that a mixed game of adventurers will result.
Half of the adventure takes place in the Volcano Dungeon Lair and the other half on a huge, Futuristic Spaceship which the Star Spawn has had "parked" above the planet unknown to anyone for the last 1000 years! That basically means that a DM could back draft the science fantasy action right into the back end of their own campaigns if they wanted to.
And zing what's the first thing that pops up from the envelop? A drone that looks like it roared straight out of a certain American classic horror franchise of epic proportions! The Ball is back alright not really but I'm a die hard Phan of the Phantasm films!
Speeder bike racing straight out of the Emp errmm adventure! With the roars of the alien crowd in the background! Love the art on these!
Chocolate Thunder and her barbarian pal sticking it to the alien Star Spawn! And the quality of the module is top notch in my humble opinion! I'm I pleased? Hell yes I'm pleased as punch! I did a review of adventure right over Here
The Maximum Mayhem Dungeon #2: Secret Machines of the Star Spawn adventure never takes itself too seriously but that doesn't mean that its any less deadly to your party. There's lots of back written pulpy action with rayguns, alien menace lurking around every corner, lots of treasure some it down right deadly. The setting is flexible, fast, and well thought out with plenty of room for DYI antics.
The colors on the artwork pops and shines through and I couldn't be happier! The bulk of the action is one part adventure, one part dungeon crawl, and lots of thinking on the party's part or they will die badly. Mark has a style all of his own when it comes to these adventures the same as Venger Satanis, or any other old school author or designer. Something that develops from a certain DM mind set that reels back in the years.
Reading and thumbing through Secret Machines of the Star Spawn I'm reminded in part of the classic series of modules where the party is put into situations of adventure they'll have to deal with because the adventure setting event was already in motion when your party stumbled upon it. This makes dealing with the mid tier bosses in the adventure both challenging and very dangerous.
There is a sense of depth to the fun in Secret Machines that makes survival both a target and a part of reeling in the adventurers into several of the subplots flowing through the adventure. Much of this style of play hearkens back to the Gamma World classic adventure Legion of Gold where the trail of bread crumbs leads into several smaller side adventures within the context of the great whole. A style I happen to be quite fond of. My final opinion is man I'm so glad I got this and can't wait to unleash it on my players in the Winter!
I strongly recommend that you pick this module up when it becomes available to the public, the pdf is right now available on Drivethrurpg, note that certain themes in
The Maximum Mayhem Dungeon #2: Secret Machines of the Star Spawn of an adult nature and that this isn't really work or kid safe. Fun yes but not safe for the kids. But perfect for an old school group of players who want some solid play time in the dungeons of the Star Spawn!