Why?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.
ArtFrenden 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.
LayoutDavid 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.
EditingShane Liebling helped find what felt like hundreds of spelling errors and suboptimal phrases. He also ran a playtest of the module.
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.
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.
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.