Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Reading Through Maximum Mayhem Dungeons #3: Villains of the Undercity By Mark Taormino For Your Old School Campaigns

"Danger lurks at every corner of the small coastal city of Las Farporte. The locals insist people are being abducted in the night and taken into into the bowels of the rumored "Undercity Dungeon" below. A lone survivor managed to escape and give some information before dying in your arms: “Secret door... Tavern of the Wiley Wench... The password is... the password is... Ugh!” You and your brave team of adventurers have decided to investigate these rumors, plunder the dungeon and destroy the dreaded "Villains of the Undercity!" Oh but first loot the body, of course. He won't mind... he's dead." This is the set up for Maximum Mayhem Dungeons #3: Villains of the Undercity By Mark Taormino & its a viciously funny SOB of an adventure. Mark sent me a review copy and I've got to say its even more impressive then it was as a PDF. The paper is crisp, the images good, and the text is clear for these old eyes. The module is very well done & up to mark's usual standards of excellence in old school adventure fun.

"This module is designed for character levels 1-3 and can be played with the OSRIC(tm) system or easily adapted to AD&D, D&D 1e to 5e, Pathfinder, D20 System, Labyrinth Lord, BFRPG, Swords & Wizardry, Warrior & Wizards, etc or any fantasy role playing system you may want to use it with under the Open Gaming License v1.0a! The module will have a mix of hack & slash and interesting puzzles, traps and characters. I need your help to actually finish it and turn it into a real game book for you and your players to enjoy. It can easily be adapted to most campaign settings as well. If you like this module, look for future ones soon (I have about 10 more planned so far and will make more after that)." 
This looks like so much fun to unleash on my party of fools erm adventurers & he really delivered the goods with this one. The artwork is well done and the layout is top notch and possibly one of the better products I've seen come out of kickstarter besides some Venger Satanis's old school ventures, all of the usual tropes including the detachable map are here.

There are tons of potential with this module & with a bit of modification this module could be made to work any number of retroclones or neo clones including Dungeon Crawl Classics which would fit this one to a tee because it delivers on ; "irreverent characters, diabolical villains, over-the-top monster encounters, outrageous magic, mischievous NPCs, traps, puzzles, and more blood and gore." Here the set up for campaign and urban play is built right into the module with old school nods and Easter Eggs scattered throughout the module.

Take the idea here that the Caves of Chaos have been cleaned out, & the Keep on the Borderlands had been destroyed. A certain group of Slave Lords moved in & a city has been built over the remains of these dungeons of the past. The break down for this module goes something like this:
- 36 page module
- 3 blue dungeon maps (two dungeon levels and one tavern map)
- 8 Pre-Generated Characters

This whole package screams beer & pretzels module with friends over AD&D 1st edition or your favorite retro clone system. The balance here between Maximum Mayhem Dungeons humor, the nastiness of the adventure and the old school weirdness is tight as well as well done. The adventure moves you right into the cross hairs with an attention to plot of adventure that drags the party into the deep end of things right away.

Let's not even get into good old Wendell and his issues being one of the main forces of nastiness in Villains of the Undercity because he's not someone to trifle with at all. He's got a chip on his shoulder & he's going to be taking it out on your PC's!

There is enough details on the campaign setting of  the small coastal city of Los Farport that I can see porting this location over into either DCC or a similar retroclone system or even as a post apocalyptic location especially given The Secret Machines of the Star Spawn adventure or The Hanging Coffins of the Vampire Queen 

Given the location details of Los Farport these modules could be placed back to back to form a great whole cloth setting. I sure as hell enjoyed reading the module last night and it works on a lot of levels & personally I can't wait to see what's next in the Maximum Mayhem Dungeons bag of tricks!
I give  Maximum Mayhem Dungeons #3: Villains of the Undercity By Mark Taormino  a five out of five for style, substance, and old school weirdness!


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