Wednesday 10 June 2020

Monty Haul Madness

Phantasmagorical, Montie Haul Dungeon  
Authors Larry Richardson, Kerry Lloyd and Rich Reichly were possibly too embarrassed to put Gamelords name to this so the adventure was published under the name ‘No-Shamelords’ instead (no doubt with tongue firmly planted in cheek).  
For those who don’t know about this infamous adventure, it’s a two level dungeon built inside a pyramid and features as much pun laden nonesense as the authors dare use. There is no suggested level for characters to be in order to survive but the fact that the librarian in the first room is an unhinged vampire might give you a clue. Similarly, the statement in the introduction that at least one encounter will be with a monster of an AC of ‘nigh on infinity’ should warn players that taking your carefully honed 8th level magic user with a well crafted backstory and crew of loyal henchmen, might not be the thing to do. Leaving this dungeon as a corpse might be the least unpleasant outcome!  
This shouldn’t be taken to mean that the dungeon is just a meat grinder, oh no, just that it’s as about as unpredictable as you could wish (or not). There are: sentient toilets, a library of magical books, the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, a police station, a room of drunk dwarves who laugh even as you chop them up, a kind of gladatorial arena, a penguin who is also and artist and a room full of ‘groupies’ just dying to get their hands on a famous adventurer (for a little more than just his autograph). And thats not all.  
Simple but effective art.

To run this game well, you need to be a special kind of DM I would suggest. And your players would need to be up for it with PCs they have some investment in but don’t mind losing (or being transformed into something else).  
As an artefact of the early days of gaming, it’s a brilliant bit of fun. One thing that intrigues me from a design point of view is that although obviously designed for Dungeons and Dragons, the writers have their own alternative set of Characteristics for each PC to have: Strength, Co-ordination, Reflexes, Stamina, Discretion (acts like Wisdom), IQ, Talent (ie psychic power), Magic Resistance, Magnetism (acts like Charisma) and Appearance. All rolled on 3d6. There are also rules for saving throws, all made on 2d12. There’s even a version of THAC0, here called HACØ. In fact, with the exception of a quick and dirty magic/psionics system, they manage to present enough material inside the front and back covers, to play the dungeon without any other set of rules if you wanted to. (As an aside, Gamelords did have a full Fantasy RPG in the pipeline which had a free form magic system. I don’t know if this was ever published though- Theives Guild fans, can you tell me?)  
So, there you are. Not quite as bonkers as it might at first appear- but bonkers nontheless!  
Different Worlds still have some in stock. Also, copies are all over ebay and Amazon for quite reasonable sums if you ever want to try this for yourself. If you do guys, please let us know how it went!


  1. I have read, but never ran it. It seems that to run this adventure, the players would have to know history of TV, as many of the encounters are related to 20th century entertainment and humor. It would mostly be lost on those born in 1980 and beyond --IMHO.

    1. I think you're right! As with all art which makes so many contemporary references. Mind you, that doesn't stop us enjoying what madness we can understand!