Every Week It's Wibbley-Wobbley Timey-Wimey Pookie-Reviewery...

Friday 2 June 2023

Mörk Borg Minis

The pamphlet scenario or supplement packs as much information as can be got onto an A4 sheet of paper down in a trifold format and aims to make it playable. First seen as a support for roleplaying games such as MOTHERSHIP Sci-Fi Horror Roleplaying Game and Mörk Borg, the format enables publishers to present smaller content in distinct—and succinct—packages of their own that are quick and easy to prepare and run at the table. In many cases these pamphlet scenarios are available in collected bundles as well as singly, enabling the Game Master to pick and choose which one she wants and which ones she wants to run. The format, of course, has its limitations, primarily those of limited space and arrangement of information in that space. This can often lead to poor explanations of the context for their content, or worse, inadequate or missing explanations. In the case of the latter, the Game Master will have to supply that after reading through the rest of the content, whilst for the former, she will simply need to read through the pamphlet for it to make sense.

Loot the Room has published several of these pamphlets. Two are compatible with Mörk Borg, the Swedish pre-apocalypse Old School Renaissance retroclone designed by Ockult Örtmästare Games and Stockholm Kartell and published by Free League Publishing. One is a generic fantasy adventure. All three fall into the ‘GrimDark’ fantasy—or fantasy horror—genre and like the majority of content for the Old School Renaissance, are easily adaptable to the Dungeons & Dragons rules variant of the Gamer Master’s choice.


The God of Many Faces is not only compatible with Mörk Borg, but also set in the city at the heart of Mörk Borg—Galgenbeck, and it shares the Artpunk sensibilities of Mörk Borg in neon yellow as its choice of colour. It begins on the steps of the Cathedral of the Two-Headed Basilisks. Rumours ripple out and back again that a prophet has appeared proclaiming Verhu to be a fraud, that the Calendar of Nechrubel is sham, and the Miseries are the work of the Basilisks themselves. The Basilisks must be torn down and in their stead a new god will arise—the God of Many Faces, The Eternally Open Eye. As the rabble before the steps beats drums and cries for donations to their new god, the Player Characters must decide upon their course of action and examine their motivations. Perhaps they have to gather information upon The Many-Faced God upon pain of death, simply want to witness them first hand, seek salvation and a new life from them for a sick family member, or as an agent of Two-Headed Basilisks, just stop them by any means.

The God of Many Faces is a hex-crawl across the city of Galgenbeck. Just limited to ten hexes, the Player Characters will travel back and forth across the city in search of The Many-Faced God, constantly finding signs of their passing, including warriors with their eyes sewn closed; a rampaging Many-Faced Mare, sacred to The Many-Faced God, so killing it will be an act of blasphemy; and apostates ready to convert the will even as they castigate and execute the unwilling. There are a couple of encounters which the Player Characters must have in order to trigger the final encounter, so the Game Master will need to improvise what happens if the Player Characters need to return to previously visited locations. Other than a quartet of new Sacred Scrolls, The God of Many Faces is a short, direct affair, which can played through in a single session. It does suffer from not being quite clear as to what is going on, at least initially, as the explanation is on the inside back page of the trifold, with the full locations, stats, and map placed across the centre spread. However, read through that and the Game Master has in hands a riotously raucous adventure set across a city in uproar and religious fever that is easy to read through, and prepare in minutes.


SNÜNGEON is a molluscular dungeon that is easy to drop into a location. The husks of dead titan snails litter the landscape, slimy, grimy, and simply odd. Others come to the field of husks to find refuge, the secret treasures left behind by the giant molluscs, or for darker ends. For the Player Characters, might need to find the dead flesh of a titan snail to clear his debts, another to hunt down rivals who have hidden amongst the husks, or simply because wants a snail nail helm because they are cool! SNÜNGEON is linear, its innards spiralling deeper, odd and alien… This snail-themed dungeon might not contain all that the Player Characters are looking for, but what they will find is a secret cult of snail-worshippers, working towards their own molluscular transformation, and snail assassins which creep along the ceiling…

SNÜNGEON has an oozy atmosphere and a mature tone that echoes that of the Xenomorphs of Alien. It is a straightforward dungeon in a different type of environment, which runs to just seven, decently detailed locations. Again, easy to prepare and run, it is actually presented in a more accessible manner so that it is easer to prepare than The God of Many Faces.


The Grasping Tunnels is not for, or compatible with, Mörk Borg, but it could be. It does take longer to prepare because it is systems agnostic and thus needs stats to be created by the Game Master. Once done, it is easy to drop into almost any location. It opens with the collapse of a patch of earth in a fallow field, followed by the expulsion of a blast of foetid air. What is in the tunnel? Where the air come from? Does it represent a danger to the children who used to play in the field? Some have already ventured below, only to return, wounded of body and mind, dragging their dead companions with them, and whispering of the grasping claws and teeth to be found below.

The Grasping Tunnels has Lovecraftian undertones in that its tunnels are home to strange beast with long arms which can snake the length of many corridors in the net, grasping for food to drag back to its babbling, tongue-filled maws. There is a strong sense of claustrophobia too, as the Player Characters face these flailing, grasping limbs in a series of lightless rooms and tunnels of crumbling earth. This is made all the worse by every hand being different—and odd, there being a table provided for the Game Master to roll randomly each time one is encountered. There are no suggestions as what kind of power or ability to pitch the adventure at, though the Player Characters do need access to decent magic, silver weapons, or magical weapons to effectively defeat the creature. The Grasping Tunnels is also clearly laid out and thus easy to use, and overall, provides a horrifying descent into the earth for the Player Characters.


All three pamphlet scenarios are easy to use, in general, well presented, and above all, incredibly quick and easy to prepare. In the cases of The God of Many Faces and SNÜNGEON, very easy to prepare, taking only a few minutes. Overall, adventures like The God of Many Faces and SNÜNGEON, as well as The Grasping Hands, are decent mini-encounters, but worth holding in reserve when the Game Master needs something quick to run. Of the three The God of Many Faces stands out for capturing the rapture of a religious riot and making the Player Characters work their way through it.

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