Escape from Hell: Difficult Recovery in the Jungle

August 17, 2012

I came across this the other day while looking through the blue D&D Expert book by Cook/Marsh:

“In the wilderness, there will seldom be time to heal completely between encounters, and valuable equipment cannot be easily replaced.”

I didn’t really find an explanation in the book about why there will seldom be time to heal completely. I assume it’s the frequency of wandering monsters encountered in the wilderness. Or, perhaps it’s due to an implied nature of wilderness travel as being an exercise in getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible, not stopping to recover. Maybe it’s a resource management situation, where there isn’t time to stop because the party doesn’t have enough supplies to linger out in the wilderness longer than planned.

Whatever the case may be, in the Fire in the Jungle Supplement I decided to ignore the above explanations and just flat out declare the following optional rule:

“(Optional Rule) Difficult Recovery. Wounds just won’t close in the steamy jungle and even small scratches can open up into deep flesh wounds over time. Similarly, wizards may have a hard time re-memorizing spells in these harsh conditions. In the absence of magic or medicine, the only way to benefit from natural healing is to find an ideal camp site that has a clean water source, sunlight, and a food source that is easy to acquire and cook”

When you need to heal and recharge in the jungle, you basically have two choices:

  1. Take your chances with a native tribe. With some luck, they’ll take you in and you can get better. Without luck, you’re out of luck.
  2. Hope to find An Ideal Camp Site.

Some locations in the jungle have the rare mix of nourishment, water, sunlight, fresh air, protection, etc. to make a little healing possible. This an entry in the Jungle Event and Travel System:

“An Ideal Camp Site is a blessing. The PCs can stay here and heal for d6 days. Continue rolling Jungle Event each day, but with a 33% chance of an event, instead of 50%. With some effort, this area could also be made into a decent base camp.”

Want to build a more permanent base camp? That requires considerable man power. Some men are needed for building material procurement and construction. More men are needed for hunting food. Even more men are needed for scouting and defense. You’ll need extra men to replace those that become casualties of the jungle. Such is the difficulty of building a point of light in the green hell.

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