Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Use & Abuse of Dark Wizard games Maximum Mayhem Dungeons: Monsters of Mayhem #1

When it comes to getting in original monsters  for Dungeons & Dragons or its retroclone systems its always a bit of a struggle to insert into an on going campaign engaging & innovative monsters for destroying PCs. But thanks to Mark Taormino & Dark Wizard games Maximum Mayhem Dungeons: Monsters of Mayhem #1 has hit the shelves. 

So what's in Maximum Mayhem Dungeons: Monsters of Mayhem #1, well Mark has actually done a video with all of the contents of his first monster book and there's a very interesting point that he brings up.The blue maps that he has as inner covers are actually lairs & encounters that can be dragged & dropped into existing campaigns.

Even though its only forty eight pages, this book is wall to wall monsters many of which have a classic Dungeons & Dragons or Sword & Sorcery flavor. These are not lower tier monsters but either boss or mid point villain monsters capable of messing a party of adventurers up. This is where the lair aspect comes into play. Many of these mad bastards make excellent side quest monsters for on going campaigns.

Yes I totally stole this from Mark. Let's not tell him.

Here's a small sampling from the book:
FACERIPPERS: These wicked beasts have  a human like torso and a horrible mouth for a head! When they attack they rip your face off and it it mutates onto theirs so you don't know who are your friends or enemies!  

BLUE TROLL: Very rare and little is understood about them. No one knows how they reproduce or if there is even a female Blue Troll (maybe the term 'blue' has a different meaning until they find those female ones, but for now they are viciously mad and deranged). They have amazing regenerative abilities and can heal most wounds within a few seconds. Cut off parts can be reattached or regrown in hours. They are very intelligent and industrious but only when constructing a good con job to get the players to give up treasures. They will usually appear at times and places of great suffering and despair in order to capitalize on the misery in some way.

SHADOWFIENDS: Dark and mysterious beings are these wicked and evil creatures of the night. Nobody has ever see one of their faces and lived to tell the tale. There are rumored to be seven of them, each representing: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth. Each of them has a nightmarish black steed that is their familiar that breaths fire and smoke.

Just from flipping through the pdf I've come to a few conclusions about these monsters, many of them would make excellent mercenary troops or adversaries for a party of experienced adventurers. The majority of them could be used in a variety of Sword & Sorcery games where the players are not quite sure what they're going to encounter. The monster is really the focus of the adventure plot. A good fit for several of these foes would actually be Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea second edition adventure.
Another area that I thought about using these enemies & monsters is actually within a post apocalyptic old school game such as Gamma World first or second edition or its retroclone Mutant Future.

My own working & table top copy of AS&SH has seen a lot of use.

Dark Wizard games Maximum Mayhem Dungeons: Monsters of Mayhem #1 

has several things going for it. The monsters are actual individual personalities such as 
DEMONIA GIGANTICA and they're actually flexible for use inside of an existing campaign. There are several race monsters that can be fitted into the back door & not wreck havoc with the world. The 'treasure as monster' creatures are interesting & very dangerous but are not full TPK party wreckers unless the players are dumb. The monsters are actually useful not simply malevolent window dressing. Overall
Dark Wizard games Maximum Mayhem Dungeons: Monsters of Mayhem #1  looks really good and actually useful on the table top level.

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