Sunday, October 11, 2015

Reconsidering The Maximum Mayhem Dungeon #2: Secret Machines of the Star Spawn Adventure By Mark Taormino For Your Old School Campaigns

Sunday I spent with friends and went over the sword & sorcery options for the Fall and Mark Taormino's name came up. He's send out the last of  his backer copies of The Maximum Mayhem Dungeon #2: Secret Machines of the Star Spawn  when it comes to this module you've got to love the way it handles all of its old school gonzo sci fi and fantasy elements with gusto.  Straight up this isn't a module for the kiddies. This is an adult themed mini campaign adventure.

Mark goes over the basic plot of Secret Machines in his Kickstarter Video and it pretty much hits the high points in spades.  The adventure is made for the OSRIC system with lots of sword and sorcery opportunities coupled with a science fantasy back bone. The plot is something straight out of an old school early Eighties module.  Here's the basic plot outline from the module :

Locals have been hearing whispers of strange happenings around the Ancient Volcano. Rumors over the last few months of an unspeakable evil that has risen up inside. An evil that “fell from the stars.” They say there is something wicked and devilish going on inside. Highwaymen report of strange creatures, mechanical monsters, and "Little Green Men" that are roaming the land causing chaos and mayhem!

The locals are at their wits end. They put out a call for the bravest, the strongest, the smartest group of adventurers they could find... and unfortunately for them, your group has "answered the call." You and your stalwart band of adventurers know exactly what to do...  plunder the mountain for the treasure within! And maybe figure out what those pesky locals are bitching about!

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! If we can hit enough stretch goals we'll "unlock" more encounters, dungeon levels and ship levels etc!
As I've said this adventure offers lots of fun and mayhem in a weird setting with lots of neat bits thrown into the mix. This is a very lethal adventure but there's a lot going right in this adventure.
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.

But I'm looking into using this adventure as a bridge gap for a group of mid range PC's and I think this one is going to cut it. The elements here are weird enough to keep the players on their toes at the same time challenging them to really play with some of the elements. Believe it or not there are some highly challenging and dangerous obstacles in the mix in Secret Machines.

This adventure has everything from dungeon crawling to sheer nastiness in the form of some of the technologies and artifacts that will be encountered in this adventure but the DM really has the final say so on how and where the elements of the Secret Machines of the Star Spawn appear in their campaigns. But could this adventure fit into a world such as Lamentations of the Flame Princess or even Hyperborea? Well many of the gonzo and weird elements have been made to be self contained within the adventure settings of the Star Spawn adventure location. They will and do function within their own internal logical. This is in my book an other plus in the favor of the adventure itself. Mark is an excellent author and this adventure is a complete departure then say the Hanging Coffins of the Vampire Queen. But this is one of Mark's best efforts in my humble opinion and its a strictly a plug and play adventure. Plug it in where and when you want it in your campaign world. My advice is to grab this one and start getting in on the Star Spawns nefarious machinations before it gets your PC's! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.