OSR: Magical Murder Mansion Megapost

I wrote a funhouse dungeon. You can buy it in print and in PDF form here.


I wanted to try writing a dungeon full of traps and unusual encounters, in the style of classic funhouse dungeons like Tomb of Horrors, White Plume Mountain, and Tegel Manor. 

Some of the traps in classic funhouse dungeons seem like jokes designed for the module’s author and the GM to share, with the poor players left frustrated and baffled. I’ve tried to make Magical Murder Mansion entertaining for everyone; even the deathtraps and surprises should get an joyful “oh no, I can’t believe we walked into that one” from the players. The GM knows it’s a trap. The players know it’s a trap. But someone’s got to open that door.

Magical Murder Mansion isn't revolutionary and it's not designed to be. It's just a solid, playtested, fun, cleanly laid out, and tightly edited dungeon designed for immediate use.


Frenden did the art and it's excellent. From the tasseled fez of the Auburn Bulk to the grin on Hubert Nibsley's smug face to the screaming hordes of ravenous Veggie-Mites, Frenden did an excellent job in capturing the mansion's flavour and tone.


David Shugars, once again, stepped in to polish the layout and make the PDF do all those lovely fancy hyperlinked things. All page references are linked, all layers optimized, all... other things I don't completely understand done to make the PDF product as convenient to use as possible.


Shane Liebling helped find what felt like hundreds of spelling errors and suboptimal phrases. He also ran a playtest of the module.
Print Copy
Oh yes, way back in this post, Brian Ashford and Chris Wilson provided
the prompts for the Corpulent Callowfex and the Tooth Fairies.


Before you stands a bizarre creation: a funhouse dungeon that tries to make sense. It is a neatly engineered mishmash, an IKEA nightmare that would pass an EU inspection. You see, the killer cucumbers are all according to directive, and the death ray room will kill you in a fair way. Do not run. You will, in fact, have fun. Welcome to Magical Murder Mansion.
-Gabor Lux, Beyond Formalhaut
In 30 pages, Skerples manages to detail almost 75 different rooms. It's an extremely easy read and the material is whimsical and fantastic. Another one written for an unnamed OSR system. Another strong recommendation.

-Edgewise, Artifacts and Relics
Video Review - Questing Beast

Anyway, Murder Mansion continues Skerples’ trend of excellence as well as providing a really FUNNY dungeon crawl experience. Plenty of adventures have jokes or puns, but few are actually funny. This one is. My players were laughing and sweating through the entire adventure.

-David Schirduan

The adventure has a clear goal in what space it's trying to fill, and it delivers in spades. Increased verisimilitude compared to other funhouse dungeons was something I liked and worked well, and the main adventure structure (with the 4 keys) was well received by my players. Deadly traps and situations are not too capricious or random; clever players will be rewarded. The whole adventure evokes a Saturday morning cartoon feel. [...]

The PDF version is more than enough, ideal for print & play, there's really no need for a physical version. Price to content ratio is a steal, and it belongs to any OSR collection as a masterclass in the space it's trying to fill: funhouse dungeons. Very much recommended. 

-Adrian Hammer, The Man With A Hammer

Useful Tools

Virtual Tabletop Map (Tim Clark)

Final Notes

Backers at the $5 level or above level on Patreon get PDF copies of this book and all future books for free. If you read this module I'd like to hear about it! Feel free to post links to play reports or reviews in the comments below.


  1. Quick question -

    //Hubert Nibsley//

    Is that a reference to Mormon apologist and pseudohistorian Hugh Nibley?

    1. I'm afraid not (though what a coincidence!). I just tried to pick a name that sounded funny but didn't belong to anyone.

    2. I was reminded of Hugh Nibley's name too! Of course, how could the man help but apologicize (is that what apologists do?) for a book that contains such gems as the Rameumptom, Liahona, 2000 unkillable warrior youths, and whatever Cureloms are supposed to have been?

      Gamable content inspired by the Book of Mormon: The Rameumptom. This enchanted structure, a sort of podium raised high above the ground, has space for one person to stand upon at a time. If a cleric, or other devout believer, stands upon it and for one hour recites obsequious yet pompous praise to their deity before fellow believers, they will be able to break any and all vows or expectations of their religion without fear of divine reprisal, naggings of conscience, or even loss of class abilities. This effect lasts for the next seven days, or until the cleric speaks of their deity or religion at all (other than to cast spells or use class abilities).

      Congratulations on another great publication, Skerples! My gaming group thoroughly enjoyed Tomb of the Serpent Kings and Kidnap the Archpriest. I look forward to using this.

    3. That's fascinating. I really don't know a lot about mormon doctrine or pseudohistory. I tried reading the Book of Mormon a few years ago and I'm sorry to report that it didn't go well. Could've used an editor.

      I'd be very interested in a "gameable content" series on the topic.

    4. Interest in a gameable content series from the Book of Mormon, eh?
      I don't know where I'd post it. I've thought about tossing my hat into the ring of GLOG blogs but hardly have enough writing time to scrape together adventures. (Kidnapping the pope of fantasyland took my group four sessions - it was a great relief not having to prep for a month! Thank you again for producing such a useful book!)

      I'll write some up though. It's not as rich with stories to rip for adventures, miraculous spell ideas, or potential magic items as the Old Testament, though, as its authors were obsessed with preaching about Christ and repentance.

    5. Wouldn't worry about the system/adventure side of things if you don't have time. Glad to hear KtA went well!

      I think the relatively limited knowledge of mormon esoterica really helps. Sure, people know about the Tablets of the Law, but the Liahona (a compass that only works when you're faithful and sometimes delivers instructions, so basically a divine smartphone) is news to me.

  2. Ran MMM for a group from start to finish, and wrote some thoughts about it:


  3. Hi. I've been running Magical Murder Mansion for the past few weeks, and typed up a review on Pastebin.