So I've been running around like a mad man trying to play catch up with work & the stack of old school reading, writing, etc here at Casa De Fabiaschi. Its been an interesting three weeks to say the least. But I wanted to do some commentary on Mark Taomino's Maximum Mayhem Dungeons titles. Here's the first thing about these adventures and supplements they work with OSRIC or adapted to 1st Ed AD&D, 5e, DCC, Pathfinder, D20, Labyrinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry.
So Mark Taormino's latest Kickstarter effort funded. He sent me a copy of The Vault of the Dwarven King PDF two days ago more on that in a second. Vault is a solid adventure & fun house dungeon romp on steroids spun through with some heavy duty dungeon crawling cred. While it looks really fun and it is, this is a really deadly dungeon romp. This is one of those adventures that as a DM you pull out for a mid tier campaign fest. Deadly, nasty, and one of those that folks around the table will be talking for years to come.
Mark's Monsters of Mayhem #1 funded the other night & I didn't really have the time to dedicate to speaking about it. As a DM you really can't have too many monsters & its when you get into horrors like the
FLUORESCENT OOZE; "These things are particularly awful and get attack players when they least expect it, leaving their dead bodies glowing a bright green, orange or yellow color. Artwork by William C. Pfaff"
"PROJECT FUNDED! Special thanks to my 174 Kickstarter backers that pledged $7,323 towards my Monsters of Mayhem #1 product! Also thanks to my friends who helped support and promote my works! Thanks for your awesome enthusiasm, love and dedication to my projects! Not only do we get to make something amazing and fun for you to play with your friends and family, but you are also helping to be job creators for all the artisans that work on my games."
What this basically means is that another two kick ass OSR titles have entered the fray & this in my estimation is a good thing. Mr. Taomino's material is usually pretty high quality gonzo retro old school adventures with some really good oversight on his crew's part. A lot of his stuff is pretty damn useful at the table. Because sometimes you need a monster in the dungeon for tonight. You don't have time to go searching through the more then three thousand monster books in your study. So you grab Monsters of Mayhem#1 come across the LURKING GREEDLING! "This thing resides in the darkness of caverns and dungeons. They are rumored to be some kind of hideous magical beast but scholars are still unclear of their origin. They just know one thing: stay the Hell away from it or die! Artwork by Brian McCranie!"
Look I'm a jaded son of a gun of a dungeon master, I've used tons of weird & strange monsters but its using these horrors in the right place & time that's critical. These monsters are easy to place in a dungeon or ruin setting, easy to adapt to a wide variety of settings, & their ones that players are going to complain erm remember for years to come. Take for example the LAGOON CREEPER a direct homage to one of my favorite Universal monsters the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
"LAGOON CREEPER: These thing live in murky swamps and bogs. Rising out of the water and darkness to prey on their unsuspecting victims pulling them into the deep. Artwork by Brian McCranie!"
Throw one of these guys into your dungeons & players are going to start asking tons of questions about where it came from, how did it get there, are there more of these, & is there a campaign invasion? Suddenly you as a dungeon master have a ton of openings for further adventures. "The monsters make the campaign and this is something I've said for years." Don't over think the monsters let the players fill in the gaps and take you on the ride with them. This is where Mark Taormino's stuff shine, he gives the DM just enough for them to run with and modify out his adventures.