February 27, 2011
James at GROGNARDIA has just posted the cover art for the upcoming Petty Gods book that he has compiled and edited. I’m not sure how many of the petty gods within are explicitly jungle-related, but that cover art sure is jungle-y.
I’m leaving for vacation tomorrow, so no new posts this week. Remember, the Early Bird Special prices for the Fire in the Jungle supplement end next Sunday, March 6.
And finally, it’s a jungle out there:
February 26, 2011
Your party storms the alley at the heart of the apeman gathering. They stream down the walls and out of the doors. You are overwhelmed by a chorus of roars. A strange, manlike ape leaps out in front of your party, and others come shambling up from the sides.
You see ten of the creatures, but surely there are more where these come from. Nonetheless, you are determined to fight for your loot. You and OT charge into melee, fighting back to back.
But it is hopeless. They quickly deliver a deadly blow to OT. Then you are smothered in a mob. The leader separates you from the dogpile and lines up his gang along each side of the alley. You must run the gauntlet.
Jungle legend has it that some of the apemen are sinisterly intelligent. These creatures certainly don’t show it! They use tooth, claw, and clubs.
(Failed Level 4 Saving Roll on Constitution)
Alas, the punishment is too much for Durby. He dies, forgotten in a forgotten city.
Well, that’s the end of the adventure, fellas. This was a challenging solo adventure, as these T&T solos often are, but lots of treasure to be had if lucky! Maybe I’ll start a new adventure eventually, but not today since I am leaving on vacation tomorrow.
February 25, 2011
The Fire in the Jungle supplement was designed to be easily destroyed. At 16 pages, it is easily shredded in one pass by a home office paper shredding machine.
Hehehe. Hopefully it doesn’t offend anybody to that degree. What I meant to say was that the layout and sections were designed so that, if taken apart, the individual pages are self-contained sections, front and back.
- Remove staples.
- Remove center map.
- Cut the rest of the sheets along the spine.
This procedure results in the following pieces:
- Cover art, with brief jungle history and description of natives on back.
- Two page center spread of the judge’s map of the jungle. The reverse contains all the descriptions of map features and points of interest.
- One page Jungle Event System, with event and encounter tables on front; event descriptions on back.
- One page Ant Exploration System, with event and encounter tables on front; Special Chambers descriptions on back.
- One page Tomb of the Monkey God dungeon, with color map and major room descriptions on front; encounter and discovery table, escalation system, and unique treasure descriptions on back.
- One page with stats and descriptions of monsters and NPCs of the jungle, front and back.
- One page player handout sheet with small map and legends on front; painting of The Witch on back.
The print version comes with a free PDF, so I don’t expect many people will put their book under the knife…easy to just print out the pages at home. But the thick stock paper of the print version makes for sturdy single page reference sheets, and there is room on the inner margin for a three-hole punch. Oh, and the front and back cover art look good in frames and is higher resolution in the print version than in the PDF.
February 24, 2011
Early bird sale:
$4.23 for the Print + PDF combo. 10% savings!
$2.15 for PDF only. 25% savings!
Sale lasts until I get back from vacation next weekend, March 6.
Click below to go to the product page with preview.
February 24, 2011
You are strangely drawn to the jaguar idol. OT suggests that you offer a prayer, so you drop to your knees, bow deeply, and express your soul’s wishes.
The god’s gentle voice speaks in the breeze. “It has been centuries since I have been addressed in prayer. I place my blessing upon you.”
(+5 to IQ attribute)
You smile at your new found enlightenment and thank the god profusely. Then, on to looting…
You crawl over piles of rubble teeming with spiders and centipedes, but, on the other side, you come to the mouth of a tomb. It is obviously the tomb of a king or a high priest. Your search pays off; in a secret vault you recover golden and silver plates, vessels, and wrought objects worth 27,000 gp.
In a recess in a wall, you find a magic item…
A lucky crocodile tooth encased in a sphere of crystal. (increase Luck by 50%)
A hooting cry makes you whirl around. You spot a gorilla-like thing on the rooftop and others shambling toward you in the shadows below it.
Rush the creatures, not knowing how many there are? Or try to flee through the gate of the city, into the jungle, leaving behind almost all the treasure?
(560 adventure points earned so far. Next level at 1000.)
February 23, 2011
Still waiting for the final proof to arrive. Meanwhile, here’s another outtake from the Fire in the Jungle supplement…Exploding Bamboo. Removed for two reasons (in addition to simply being pushed out of the 16-page book by other things):
- I wasn’t inspired to write an interesting description for it. My best/worst effort: “Bamboom is exploding bamboo, naturally.”
- Paul Jaquays included exploding bamboo in his excellent The Enchanted Wood, calling it “Boomboo”.
Not that I couldn’t recycle the idea of exploding bamboo, but it was already done quite well in The Enchanted Wood. Though little of Mr. Jaquays published adventure modules and settings are jungle-related, they did influence the creation of my jungle setting. Here are my favorites:
The Enchanted Wood is more of a “dark fairy forest” than it is a jungle. It has a nice mix of wilderness, dungeon, NPCs, and random weird stuff. I tried to give the Fire in the Jungle supplement a similar variety.
Griffin Mountain describes a large wilderness setting, reminding me of the Upper Midwest and Great Plains. No jungle there, but just prior to getting deep into creating my jungle setting I had used Griffin Mountain as the basis for a “Lewis & Clark”-type exploration campaign. Sadly, it was short lived, but it did influence the direction I took in creating Fire in the Jungle.
The Book of Treasure Maps is a collection of mini-dungeons. One of them is “The Journal of Valan the Bold”, detailing a small tomb located deep within a dark jungle. Check out the adventure log of when my brother and I played this, ending with a Carousing Mishap.
Caverns of Thracia is a large dungeon complex set in a jungle, but there isn’t much, if any, description of that jungle. I’ve yet to use it in actual play, but check out this excellent collection of posts at The Alexandrian for a taste of adventuring in the caverns.
The lesson of all this: Keep your bamboo dry and your dungeons jaquayed!
February 22, 2011
The water imparts The Curse of Weakness, cutting your Strength in half. The fountain water then drains away until empty. You leave the temple and return to exploring the city.
You approach a temple door of corroded bronze, part of which lies on the floor, almost buried by mud, rank grass, and vines. Your party picks its way over the threshold and looks around the interior. It is lichen-stained; the ancient columns sag with the weight of centuries and are garlanded with dry, brown creepers. A humid, sickly-sweet jungle breeze breathes in through the gaping windows, whose shutters have been long-lost through the storms of time. A jaguar-headed idol sits menacingly at the far end of the chamber, camouflaged by shadows and leafy vines.
Worship the jaguar god? Or simply search here for loot?
(542 adventure points earned so far. Next level at 1000.)
February 21, 2011
The Fire in the Jungle rpg supplement contains a basic, chart-based jungle ruins generator. It gets the job done, but my preferred method is more exciting and tactile. I’ll let the pictures explain.
February 20, 2011
You quietly retreat away from the Taweii village. Once again you endure…
…attacks of fever-bearing insects in all shapes and sizes. The weakened condition of your party allows jungle fever to strike.
(Successful Constitution saving roll)
(Henchman #1: failed Constitution saving roll)
(Henchman #2: Successful Constitution saving roll)
The Fever claims another victim. While digging a shallow grave for the dead, your last henchman begins to loose his sanity. He claims you are cursed and insists that you and him go separate ways.
(Failed Charisma saving roll)
You are unable to convince him to stay and he runs off. No use chasing after him…better to save your energy in search of food.
(Failed Luck saving roll) (Failed Jungle Lore saving roll)
Foraging and hunting is once again fruitless, but…
Somehow, fate has smiled. You encounter a friendly Taweii village which will give you your immediate food needs.
Reinvigorated, you are eager to renew your exploration of the jungle. Your enthusiasm has infected a young Taweii warrior…the son of the chieftain. As you leave the village, the young warrior sneaks out of the village to join you. You have a hard time pronouncing his name. You learn that it means “Optimistic Thought”, so that is what you call him.
You and OT journey for several weeks, then…
To your great surprise, here, in the unexplored reaches of the Jungle of Lost Souls, your party has discovered a lost city! Around the ruins, the jungle is deathly quiet. Even the jungle fowl cut off their raucous cry in mid-flight when they flap near its dark, brooding walls. It has been long-deserted; vines have overgrown its ramparts, and its stones are thickly caked in moss. You notice a wide crack in the wall through which your party can enter.
While exploring the avenues of the ruined city, you discover its state of decay. Tree roots have broken many monuments and foundations; walls and obelisks lean at dangerous angles, undermined by the shifting of the rain-soaked soil.. You scrape layers of moss from the walls and from altars you find, often discovering paintings of human figures and composite monstrosities. You hope the latter are only mythological and not still lurking in the jungle-choked city.
You advance through a shattered colonnade and enter a temple which must have once been very beautiful although most of the glass tiles are now broken, and the bas reliefs are masked by lichens. Statues of beautiful youths and maidens stand around a still-bubbling fountain. Is this a temple to a god of health and youth? Is the water magical?
Do you taste the water? Ask OT to taste it first? Skip it and continue exploring the city?
(492 adventure points earned so far. Next level at 1000.)
February 19, 2011
Here’s the lowdown on the Fire in the Jungle fantasy RPG supplement:
To be available at the print-on-demand site Magcloud.com, a service of Hewlett-Packard. I found this site to be easy to use, trouble-free, and with responsive customer service. Publishing there has been a breeze.
To be released: As soon as I get the final proof from Magcloud…likely in just a few days. I could make it available for purchase right now, but I figure it’s best to play it safe and wait for the proof to arrive. The first proof looked great.
16 pages on 100# text stock paper and color interior. The heavy stock paper is impressive and sturdy!
$4.7o + shipping for the Print + PDF combo.
$2.86 for only the PDF.
Shipping costs are very reasonable to US, Canada, and the UK. It cost me $1.25 to ship my proof copy, so I believe US customers will pay a similar rate. The last time I checked, for a single 16-page book, Magcloud charges $1.52 to ship to the UK and $2.54 to ship to Canada. Shipping to other countries is via Flat Rate Priority Mail envelopes for $13.45. Pricey for one issue, but I believe up to 18 copies can be shipped in the Flat Rate envelope for $13.45. 🙂
What’s in it?
A ready-to-go jungle adventure or a toolkit for creating your own jungle setting. This supplement contains:
- A brief history of the jungle’s troubled past and the natives who have survived there.
- A color judge’s map of the jungle with dozens of described locations to explore.
- A color player map to give the player’s a vague understanding of the shape of the jungle.
- A comprehensive Jungle Event System that reflects the harsh reality and wondrous excitement of journeying through this jungle.
- The Ant Tunnel Exploration System provides a framework for running adventures in these infinite, living tunnels.
- The Tomb of the Monkey God. A dungeon module with an Escalation mechanic that ratchets up the tension the longer the PCs remain inside the tomb. Unique, overlapping color map of this four-level tomb.
- Plus a variety of monsters, NPCs, hirelings, magic items, etc.
- And, of course, the cover art by Rommel Joson and the back cover art by Edbon Sevilleno.
Because the back cover art shows bare breasts, buyers must mark the box at Magcloud that allows them to purchase “Restricted Content”. It is packaged in a sturdy, clear plastic bag with the shipping label covering the nudity on back. You postal worker may fold it when putting it into your mailbox, like mine did, but I discovered that it smooths out quickly and completely.