Significant inspiration for “The Sacrifice Pit” adventure location in Across the Wide Dark Jungle came from the cenotes near Chichen Itza and all across the Yucatan in Mexico. (Click here for some pictures I took there last year.)
What if the cenote were to be drained of water? Why did it drain? Who would do that? What would be found? That’s what guided the creation of The Sacrifice Pit. Here’s portion of it’s map:
I like to think of the “Entrance Pits” as looking something like these:
I came across some cenote maps that contain cross sections of various locations in the caverns, like the following. These really got me rolling on creating The Sacrifice Pit.
Here’s another cave map that has cross sections. I like how it is a network of passages offering multiple paths to get to where you want to go, which influenced the design of caves in the Sacrifice Pit.
What are some other modules that use cave cross sections? One of my favorites is Snakepipe Hollow, a RuneQuest module by Greg Stafford and Rudy Kraft. This map is from the Avalon Hill version of the module:
You thought Gary Gygax invented the Caves of Chaos? Nope. Snakepipe Hollow contains its own Caves of Chaos and it was originally published prior to Keep on the Borderland. I’m sure Gygax totally didn’t intend to rip off Greg Stafford.
Okay, now this post is just rambling, but I have one more relevant note. After I snapped the above pics from my copy of Snakepipe Hollow, I pulled out the hex map from the Dragon Pass war game and noticed something. Just to the northeast of Snakepipe Hollow is a Vale of Flowers. No relation to the Valley of Flowers in Across the Wide Dark Jungle! I totally didn’t intend to rip off Greg Stafford when I brainstormed the valley’s name last year.
June 18, 2012
The woodcut engravings on the front and back cover of Across the Wide Dark Jungle are by Paul Landacre, originally published in the 1904 novel Green Mansions by William Henry Hudson.
There are several other woodcuts by Landacre that I considered using in the module. I really liked this first one as a depiction of Lung Eatin’ Hayes, but my inkjet printer couldn’t print it with enough detail…
Next are some illustrations from a South America exploration book that caught my eye, but the greyscale details didn’t reproduce well on my printer. (Another one of these was seen in this post.) I liked how these kept with the hunting and trading theme of Across the Wide Dark Jungle:
One last woodcut. Electric Megatherium? Sloths are true monsters…
June 12, 2012
Across the Wide Dark Jungle, the sequel to the Fire in the Jungle Supplement, is now ready for release! Go here for more info.
I was playing around with different colors for the card stock cover, as you can see in the picture above. The black printing is really vivid and crisp on the tan colored covers, so the “official” cover will be one of those, as soon as I get to the store again. In the meantime, I have these extra covers available in other colors, so the first couple orders will get an extra cover (with map inside). Let me know if you want a particular color. First come, first serve.
How to order? Go to the ordering page, here.
How much is it? $5. Cheap. I’ll pay shipping cost no matter where in the world you are. I’ll be using the regular First Class rate. Much more affordable than the expensive Priority Mail rate that I stubbornly insisted on using for the original Fire in the Jungle Supplement digest.