Mobilis in Mobili

By Tamir Levi
Stellagama Publishing
Levels 1-3

The manor once belonging to the nobleman Rodemus Von Sarr lies ruined on a cliff near the ocean. Local fishermen whisper of great treasure and a curse placed on this manorhouse. Adventurers exploring the ruins will encounter a wondrous secret, hidden in the caves deep beneath the manor…

This forty page digest adventure uses about 21 pages to describe about thirty locations in a cursed seaside manor. Lame descriptions, poor interactivity and text out of a fourth grade essay. 

There’s not really anything much going on in this adventure. Wander around the manor and fight a few zombies and a couple of vermin. I’m not sure how that fits the definition of “haunted.” I guess there are a couple of descriptions that mention a ghost wandering around, that you can’t interact with. BORING descriptions, that is. “You can see a ghost wandering about the yard.” Great. I’m terrified. 

It takes us sixteen pages to get to the keys, which is always a great sign. From there things gets more mediocre. You find a blind lady inside pissed that you are in the place she is squatting in. SO she throws a bucket of blood down some stairs and jumps out of a second story window. It’s ok though … because for no reason she’s also a wererat. I mean … it has nothing to do with the adventure. It has nothing to do with the way she interacts with the party. So …. Yeah. I guess if you roll “Wererat” then making her an old blind woman is cool. But, also, she doesn’t actually do anything? It’s just window dressing. It doesn’t actually advance the adventure at all. You might as well say that a random tree outside falls down. 

Okey doke … let’s talk about shit descriptions. And, in particular, burying information not relevant to the room at hand inside of a rooms description. This is seen quite often when the room description for, say, room eight says something like “the mummy here will react to noise in room four.” Well, when the party is in room four then the DM is going to be looking at the description for room four, right? So … they are not going to know about the mummy reacting …. Right? This sort of thing happens about a hundred zillion times in this adventure. You come upon the manor. The outdoor keys start. You reach the one for the gate and you then get a description for the manor … what the party sees of the house beyond the gate. Do we get this in the wall section? Or the yard section? No. Do we get this in the general overview section … where it probably belong? No. We get it in the gate section. Great. The fucking wall is 6’ high … presumably I can see the fucking manor over the top of it. Or, some random location in the adventure telling us that if a mage concentrates anywhere then they can tell there was a great magical energy released in the past. Wonderful. Hope I’m reading that key when the mage concentrates. This happens over and over and over again in the adventure.

Descriptions padded out. “Other than that there is nothing of value in the room.” Yeah. That’s what we fucking expect. “It is a simple matter to break down the door: make an open doors check.” You mean  like the fucking rules say how to? You mean what the party does a hundred times in any adventure? Why the fuck say this? Its the overly flowery style in which the designer writes. “Even during the day you can feel the sea breeze” Great. Wonderful. Fuck off. 

Trivia. The descriptions are trivia. A description of a bathroom that is meaningless. A cloakroom description telling us that one cloak, a red one, is smaller than usual. For no fucking reason. Trivia. Sure, you can get away with this shit in an adventure, but when the ENTIRE adventure is this … then no.

Out interactivity here is stabbing shit. Nothing else. The haunted house consists of “there is a zombie here” or “there is a giant centipede here.” And, maybe, a ghost wandering around that disappears before you interact with it … with no other interactivity with it beyond that. 

This is $5 at DriveThru. The preview is ten pages. It just shows you general overview and none of the keys. However, the general overview is so non-specific that you can get an idea of how non-specific the keys are. Try page eight, and then never walk Cornelia Street again

This entry was posted in Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Review, Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Mobilis in Mobili

  1. Chainsaw says:

    The cover had me pumped for some cool undersea exploring. Sounds like not so much. Man.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Title and cover is a reference to 20000 Leagues. Mofule itself is a shitty house. Fucking what and why.

  3. Gnarley Bones says:

    What is “Gorgoyle 74?”

  4. Artem of Spades says:

    My inner Sherlock tells me that it is an imitation of Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh. Purportedly haunted house, alleged nautical themes. Except ten times lamer.

    • Bailey says:

      A number of TSR adventures benefit from nostalgia, “my first time” afterglow, and the lingua franca effect that more grognards have played them so they’re easier to start a conversation about. The OSR has some gems that are strictly better but not as many people have played any individual one so they get less forum discussion.

      Which leads to, if you want to do a reprise or an homage you’d better knock it out of the park. No one needs or wants a shittier Saltmarsh, B2, Moathouse, or anything else. But better to go original.

  5. Aezu says:

    The players do get a submarine (a yellow one) at the end which is cool. I got the whole reference to the bx example module (they were called the rodemus family, the guys name was zeb etc). Was a decent one.

  6. Tammir levi says:

    Hey there
    I wrote the damn thing :).
    Is it a mediocre shit at best plagued by lame aspect of…well, everything about it?
    Nahh. I don’t think so. If I thought that, I wouldn’t published it or wrote it.
    Does it have numerous flaws? Sure.
    I actually play tested it with more than 50 players. They liked it enough. I guess at least third of them deserve lobotomy but that’s a different subject.
    So…the whole thing was intended to achieve 2 goals:
    1: homage to bx and TSR – hence the wererat, the rodemus family, port Easley, the obligatory wight at the end and the 16pages layout and many many more references . And also a submarine for the players to continue onward maybe to the isle of dread?! The severed ear on blue velvet (heya lynch) and a small sized red cloak with the remains of a wolf in the oven are just for giggles.
    The second goal was to strengthen the gargoyle clone, mainly its dealing with undead (they can’t die even if Hp goes to zero etc).
    So.. I guess you didn’t like it. That’s how perceptive I can be sometimes.

  7. Tammir levi says:

    Oh and one more thing. I knew a lot of people won’t get it or enjoy it ,either because their style of play or not interested in the whole homage reference thing and it might very well got ignored for all the right reasons. That’s cool. Ain’t no popularity contest going on or money to be made in the first place. For people fanatic on original vision, I advise to play tekumel using the Latin translation of rolemaster and add acid. Your review is definitely legit, the only reason I replied is because your style dude… insisted on clarification on my part (it’s the first time I actual read this blog).
    All good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *