The Blasted Jungle and its Factions

September 23, 2011

One of my goals when I started this blog was to create several jungle settings loosely connected in their geography and history, but each with its own style and adventure possibilities and usable together or independently.  It started with just “The Jungle”.  Next came “The Dark Jungle”.  Now “The Blasted Jungle” is born.  Let’s explore…

To the north of the map in the Fire in the Jungle Supplement is a region called the Blasted Jungle.  (The southern edge of which is visible on the FitJ map, depicted as a string of Scarred Jungle hexes.)  The Blasted Jungle is similar to Scarred Jungle, but on a larger scale.  Whereas the latter consists of scattered areas of magic diseased jungle to the south, the Blasted Jungle was the epicenter of the greatest destructive magic unleashed during the Wizard Wars…The Blast.  This place is not a scar.  It’s an open wound.  Some areas were wiped clean of vegetation and are still bare, shattered rock.  Other areas look like Scarred Jungle…a tangle of misshapen and hostile vegetation in shades of yellow, gamboge, and puce.  How could there possibly be civilization there?

Maybe “civilization” isn’t the proper word to describe what is found in the Blasted Jungle.  There are two major factions of humans:

The Resistance
This faction consists of descendants of soldiers (those that weren’t cursed to become Stragglers) and natives who survived The Blast.   The Resistance has a small assortment of unreliable firearms, but are more commonly equipped with blades and bows.  They typically wears white scarves to hide their deformed faces, caused by magical radiation remnant from The Blast.  The Resistance holds non-deformed humans in high regard and the few that remain in their society are treated as royalty:  all but held hostage in secure bunkers, away from exposure to radiation and sunlight.

Long ago the Resistance held radio contact with their faraway motherland, but then the empire went silent.  For centuries, they heard nothing from the outside world until one day a voice came through the speakers.  They called the voice “Rad Joe” and began worshiping it as a god.  The Resistance often talks of “The Help” that Rad Joe and/or their motherland will send to support them in their weakening fight against their enemies.

Phantom Soldiers
The Resistance has always defended itself against scattered Stragglers and other mutant beasts ever since The Blast, but recently some have rebelled and joined forces with Stragglers to form an army called the Phantom Soldiers.  They reject the worship of Rad Joe and aim to take control of all “Beam Boxes” to learn how they function and who Rad Joe really is.  They see Rad Joe followers as mindless drones to a false god…slaves to The Beam.

Phantom Soldiers usually dress entirely in black and wear Blast Masks.  These masks have allowed the Phantom Soldiers to explore contaminated areas and discover more weapon caches than the Resistance.  Now they aim to leverage that advantage to eliminate the Resistance and dominate the Blasted Jungle.  They wield an array of light and heavy machine guns in various states of disrepair.  AOKs (Alpha Omega Kans) are another deadly tech in their possession.  To conserve gun ammo, squads will herd groups of the Resistance into confined areas where the grenades can be efficiently employed.  Skulls are then placed in the area as their calling card.


Leadership

The leader of the Phantom Soldiers is General Li, a gregarious man with shoulder pads, mirror lenses on his Blast Mask, and a machete attached to his left arm (instead of a hand).
The leader of the Resistance is unknown.  The One is thought to exist but nobody has seen him…or her.

How can the PCs fit into this conflict?
However they want.  Unless the DM has special reason to align PCs with either faction, I recommend starting a campaign in the Blasted Jungle with the usual D&D agenda of “The PCs are here to explore eldritch ruins and discover magnificent treasures.”  In this case, the ruins are sometimes abandoned military installations and the treasures will sometimes consist of tech left over from the Wizard Wars.  Of course, Phantom Soldiers and the Resistance greatly value these things too.  PCs can choose sides if they wish, or play the factions against each other for their personal gain.

Some options for kicking off a campaign in the Blasted Jungle:

  • The PCs courageously chose to cross into the Blasted Jungle from the region of “normal” jungle in the south.  Somehow they survived the journey through contaminated terrain and find themselves in this alien landscape.
  • The PCs start as members of either the Resistance or the Phantom Soldiers and decide if they want to continue supporting its cause, rising in rank towards leadership (if not already).  There is much jockeying for power within both factions.  Or they could decide to rebel, either switching allegiances or forming a new faction.
  • The PCs arrived in the Blasted Jungle by accident.   For example:
  • Landed their viking ship on the coast expecting it to be Greenland.
  • Crashed their starship smack dab in the middle.
  • Accidental inter-dimensional journey from 1980s Fargo, North Dakota.

Related topics and posts
Like a trashy Italian action movie, The Blasted Jungle is a mashup of awesome things that, when combined, multiply the awesomeness exponentially.  That’s the theory at least.

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2 Responses to “The Blasted Jungle and its Factions”

  1. […] In preparation for a little campaign set in the Blasted Jungle that I hope to run soon, I’ve been jotting down some additional notes about a few locations in that post-apocalyptic setting.  The seeds of a sandbox.  To make more sense of these notes, please read a previous post about the Blasted Jungle. […]

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