Thursday, June 11, 2020

A Great Deal: Monty Haul #1

Monty Haul is a sweet little ‘zine written for 5e D&D but with its feet firmly planted in the Old School cool. It gives off a bit of an ‘80s DRAGON vibe but is a lot more friendly with a stronger personal tone. TL;DR: some neat stuff to make spell-slingers more S&S/Lovecraftian eldritch, plus other goodies worth checking out.

Disclaimer: I backed the Kickstarter and got a sneak peek at #1 so I could help with proofreading. More than that, Mark Finn is an awesome guy I used to hang out with every chance I had when I lived in Austin (which mostly meant seeing him at conventions like ArmadilloCon). He's a literal raconteur of exceptional skill. And his brother was my therapist for a while. I think Mark rocks on and off toast.

More importantly for this discussion, Mark is a widely recognized Robert E. Howard scholar. (And yes, Amazon gives me a kickback if you buy from that link). So when he talks about Swords & Sorcery, he knows whereof he speaks. And he worked for Chessex in the ‘90s. The dude has been around and he has some stories to tell.

So, what is Monty Haul? Mostly material Mark’s created for his home game: homebrew rules, world-building, monsters, and other fun stuff that isn’t what you’re finding elsewhere.

Monty Haul #1 is dedicated to spell-slingers, specifically wizards, warlocks, and sorcerers. Because he’s writing for 5e, this means subclasses. Because it’s Mark, they’re not the usual sort of stuff. For instance, he’s got a new warlock patron, the Yellow King, who gives your warlock the power to blast enemies with mind-jarring visions of Carcosa. There’s a new sorcery origin, eldritch ancestry, that allows you to pick from three different flavors of eldritch horror (the Black Goat, which is all about chthonic deities and tentacles, the Void Dweller who are all about warping time and space, and the Deep Ones with their aquatic powers). My favorite bennie for these comes at 6th level: whenever you take physical damage, your eldritch birthright boils out from under the thin shell of your ruptured flesh, allowing you to deal greater unarmed damage to your attackers. The more hits you take, the more wrongness erupts through the holes in your skin, and the more dangerous you become. There’s also a new school for wizards, That Which Man Was Not Meant to Know, that starts off giving you some AC bonuses (due to your extreme paranoia) and ends at 14th level where the simple act of casting your spells causes psychic damage to those who can see and hear you.

There’s also a trio of “monsters” designed to plague spell-slingers specifically. I put monsters in quotes because these things have no stats; if you can see them, you can squish them pretty easily. But each is a parasite that infests the body. The ear worm is a sort of anti-babble-fish, translating the words you hear into a random language you might not understand. There’s also the mind mite (aka the brain cloud) that eats spell slots.
If you’re not into spell-slingers, there’s still some good stuff for you, including a nifty melding of the TSR-era reaction table with 5e’s social skills that I’m now using in my campaigns.

My favorite section is probably the Design Notes for a Magical City. This is not a keyed map of a magical city, but instead ideas Mark has used to make one of the city’s in his homebrew campaign more magical. This makes them very easy to slap a new coat of paint on and drop into your home campaign.

Even better, the first section is Mark’s design notes for all the different sections, the why’s and wherefore’s of the choices he’s made. Since you know why he made the choices he’s described, you’re in a better position to judge how useful his work is for your campaign and how you might want to tweak it for optimal performance at your table.

You can get Monty Haul #1 at drivethrurpg.com as a .pdf. I’m not sure if there are options for getting it in dead tree form if you missed the Kickstarter (you might contact Mark directly if that’s something you’re interested in).

26 comments:

JB said...

*sigh*

Interesting as this stuff sounds and cool as Mark appears to be, you completely lost me with the phrase "written for 5E" in the first sentence. I am sorry.

Best wishes for his 'zine to sell. I like the title.

Venger Satanis said...

Sounds pretty system-neutral to me. Your friend is lucky to have such a supportive friend helping promote it.

digital blog said...

Thank you for sharing this information.
https://www.ludoskill.com/

john said...

Hmm, interesting!!!
https://onfield11.blogspot.com/2020/12/onfield11-is-leading-trustworthy.html

Ashvini said...

sounds very pretty system-neutral to me. Very Nice.
https://onfield11.blogspot.com/2021/02/beginners-guide-to-win-fantasy-cricket.html

Ashvini said...

Superb, keep doing. https://ludoskill.blogspot.com/2021/02/highlighted-features-to-earn-online.html

Anonymous said...

It was fun to read,
https://onfield11.blogspot.com/2021/03/top-5-strategies-to-choose-right_19.html

bhagya said...


Good

https://onfield11.blogspot.com/2021/03/5-reasons-online-fantasy-cricket-game.html

Anonymous said...

I had good time reading your blog, It was quite comprehensible.
https://onfield11.blogspot.com/2021/03/history-of-cricket.html

Anonymous said...

Your blog quite enjoyable to read, Because it was quite informative and comprehensible,
https://onfield11.blogspot.com/2021/03/why-cricket-is-popular-in-india.html .

shree said...

Very Nice

https://onfield11.blogspot.com/2021/04/fantasy-sports-has-huge-potential-in.html

Mcafee.com/activate said...

When I visit your blog page I found So much Useful information from here that help me a lot to gain my knowledge. Dear admin you are doing amazing work keep it up I get so much informative information from your article. Thank you so much for all the information and all the best for the next comment. mcafee.com/activate, www.mcafee.com/activate, mcafee activation code, mcafee.com/activate

Anonymous said...

DR EMU YOU ARE REALLY GREAT. I WILL KEEP COMING TO YOU WHEN EVER I NEED YOUR HELP.
WEBSITE: HTTPS://EMUTEMPLE.WORDPRESS.COM 
WHATS APP: +2347012841542

I want to thank DR EMU for the wonderful work he done for me and my family, i was having a serious breakup with my ex but when i contacted him for help he brought him back to me with his historical powers, and also helping me to get a job, since he cast his spell for me things has really be good to me and since i know him my husband has been faithful to me, well i will say that this man is a really great spell caster that every one must contact for help, if you are facing breakup or marriage problem just contact this man for help he will help you settle everything with his power, please contact him on his email: emutemple@gmail.com once you contact him all your problems will be solve.

Unknown said...

I have got a lot of information on this blog.
https://ludoskill.blogspot.com/2021/04/online-ludo-game-top-tactical-ways-to.html

Ashvini said...

I have got a lot of information on this blog. https://ludoskill.blogspot.com/2021/05/5-tips-will-make-you-unbeatable-at-ludo.html

Ashvini said...

Loved your blog post. https://ludoskill.blogspot.com/2021/05/5-tips-will-make-you-unbeatable-at-ludo.html

Ashvini said...

I just loved reading your blog, https://ludoskill.blogspot.com/2021/05/common-mistake-while-playing-online.html

Ashvini said...

Fantastic work, thank you so much! https://ludoskill.blogspot.com/2021/05/common-mistake-while-playing-online.html

bhagya said...

blog quite enjoyable to read, Because it was quite informative and comprehensible.

Ashvini said...

Fantastic work, thank you so much! https://ludoskill.blogspot.com/2021/05/how-to-always-win-in-ludoskill.html

bhaggya said...

great tutorial and I will be making some for myself and my friends!! thanks!!

bunty yenpuer said...

Great blog, keep doing.
https://ludoskill.com/blog_in.php?title=Ludo_Earning_APK_Download

Anonymous said...

Useful blog .

https://onfield11.com/blog/2021/06/helpful-infowhat-skills-should-be-used-to-play-fantasy-cricket-onfield11/

bhagya said...


Nice blog...Thank you for your blog it was quite helpful,
Learn more - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvf0_mpSEug&t=3s

Ashvini said...

I just loved reading your blog, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0V2xPRBWOU

bhagya said...

Hi! Your Article is very educative Great post, every Knowledgeable article.
Thanks for sharing in-depth content.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_yA9T90ftE