Secret Code: X1 X6 X8 I1 WG6

February 17, 2011

To Sir A. C. Doyle: Your middle name may be Ignatius, but my jungle is on fire.

There are many rpg products out there that deal with or are set in jungles.  These are for a variety of game systems, genres, and play styles.  My interest leans towards “old school” D&D, so I want to make note of these vintage TSR modules set in jungle environments:

X1 The Isle of Dread. Perhaps the earliest wilderness adventure module published.  Lost world, natives, dinosaurs, etc.

X6 Quagmire! Jungle-swamp wilderness adventure leading to a fantastical city in need of rescue.

X8 Drums on Fire Mountain. Voyage to a tropical island volcano to eliminate the savage pirates known as “Orcs-of-the-sea”.

I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City. Explore a lost jungle city in the style of REH’s Conan and ERB’s Tarzan

WG6 Isle of the Ape. A high-level adventure on a dangerous island, facing off against King Kong.

I’ve never played or used these in a game.  As great as they are, they just don’t match up with my conception of “jungle”.  Their jungles are primarily of the Lost World type with dinosaurs and volcanic islands.  That’s cool, but my idea of a jungle is more influenced by Pacific War and Vietnam War books and movies with devastated jungle, post-apocalyptic ruins, and rivers into insanity.   So…I’m making my own jungle setting:  Fire in the Jungle.

The Old School Renaissance has produced some great stuff the last few years, but not much of it is jungle-related.  Lord Kilgore has been creating an interesting Forbidden Jungle setting.  James Raggi has a jungle adventure in the works called Death Ferox Doom.  Paizo has released several jungle-related modules and sourcebooks in recent years. What else is out there?

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4 Responses to “Secret Code: X1 X6 X8 I1 WG6”

  1. scottsz said

    I’m doing a study of module C1, and I’m developing a project out of the research and recently put up a post of some of the research links I’ve been using:
    http://lordofthegreendragons.blogspot.com/2011/02/cold-text-file-c1-research-notes.html

    I strongly recommend reading The Lost City of Z – it’s got a lot of nice details in it that can help make a strong jungle setting.

    • dpbrandt said

      Wonderful resources you’ve collected there. What is the goal of your project? To expand C1 into a larger rpg setting?

      C1 The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan could possibly be added to the list of TSR modules in this post, since it is obviously in a jungle and its real world counterpart is in the jungle. But I left it off because 99+% of the module describes the shrine itself and the word “jungle” is used only once in the book.

      Compare to I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City, which also mostly describes a location in a jungle. But it has some description of the surrounding jungle and ideas for connecting the City to a larger jungle campaign. Its text has 22 occurrences of “jungle”.

      Just explaining myself here. 🙂

      • scottsz said

        C1 is such a small, specific (tournament) module, I would’ve left it off the list myself.

        The project is based on the research I had to do around the module’s text to understand it… more of a ‘build your own module’ kit.

        I1’s scope alone makes it much more useful for jungle worldbuilding.

        Given the pulp roots of some of the classic stuff, I was always surprised that there weren’t more jungle materials for sale back in the day.

      • dpbrandt said

        Yeah, C1 does seem like the kind of module that requires a good amount of study to get full benefit from. I’m eager to see what comes of your work on it.

        Coincidentally, I plan on visiting Chichen Itza within a couple weeks! I’ll try to take some good pics. 😉

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