Ken Hite is creating a fantasy RPG module with some serious Jungle-osity. At Lamentations of the Flame Princess, Ken says:

“…All around, sorcerous echoes and explosions ripple the skies, but as a constant drumbeat of vile thunder, not as anything aimed at anyone in the same country. The Qelong Valley has been poisoned by accident and forgotten by its killers. Only the scavengers remain, and the worms that grow in the corpse.”

“If your campaign takes place on Earth or a close analogue, Sajavedra maps generally to Cambodia; the Qelong River valley specifically to the portion south and west of the Cardamom and Elephant Ranges.”

James adds:

“Magical fallout, the elephant lich, the hundred-mile-long naga, the Lotus Monks, the insect-possessed myrmidons, and so much more…”

Schweet. Obviously, this sounds like it would work well in the fantasy Vietnam War mashup setting of the Fire in the Jungle Supplement.  The “Lost Shell” or “Cylinder” sounds like a stray canister of Agent Orange or the wizard-tech equivalent of a tactical nuclear weapon.

Looking forward to this module.

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Not many posts here lately because I haven’t been working on anything specifically jungle-related. Today’s post is about something I started working on earlier this year: a huge submarine somehow buried in the jungle. Not sure if I’ll ever complete it, but here’s the entrance description and the 1st draft of the map…

THE BURIED SUBMARINE

This area of jungle is exceptionally dense. After some searching, a cluster of “rusty metal trees” will be found. These are the buried submarine’s antennas and other sensory equipment jutting out from the jungle floor. Within the cluster is a pit. Vines and foliage spill into the hole, nearly choking it shut.  After some of the vines are cleared, the hole will be large enough for entrance into the darkness. There’s even a ladder attached to the side of the pit to make descent simple.

Once inside, it will be discovered that the chamber isn’t totally dark. Dim flickering lights can be seen behind the layers of leaf, vine, and root. The floor of the room is a mat of the same, plus a mix of mud and rot that has fallen in from the jungle over the years.

There is nobody in this chamber except maybe the usual small creepies and crawlies of the jungle. The doors to adjacent rooms are sealed shut, but there are some ventilation ducts and service tunnels that can be accessed here to enable further exploration of the submarine.

The dim lights are coming from the command and control panels. Moisture and age have made most of it useless for it’s original purpose of controlling and monitoring the submarine. All labels are deteriorated beyond readability. There is are three functional controls among the hundreds: the Big Red Button, the Sticky Blue Knob, and the Little Green Switch.

SUBMARINE MAP

The various chambers and sections of the submarine are sealed off from each other, so the only way to explore it is by crawling through the mess of ducts and tubing that connects it all together. That mess is indicated by the colored lines on the map.

Anyone who has followed this blog probably realizes that I am allergic to drawing normal dungeon maps. There are so many great dungeon maps to be found online that I can use whenever I want a normal map.  When creating a map from scratch I like to experiment with a different style, especially when the map is to represent a non-standard environment such as a submarine’s ventilation and utility ducts.  For this map, there were two inspirations. This submarine cutout…

…and circuit diagrams, like these below.

If you squint, they kinda look like dungeon maps…

This is MYSTERY CAVE

September 7, 2012

Nothing to do with PHANTASY CAVE.

There’s a great cave in SE Minnesota called Mystery Cave. Several years ago we went on the “scenic tour” along lighted pathways in the cave. Last weekend we did the “flashlight tour” in a different section of the cave.

I was expecting powerful flashlights but only dim LED lights were provided. For the better though, because the feeling of darkness would have been lessened if everyone in the tour group carried D cell lanterns. As it was, the camera on my phone couldn’t take a picture unless many people shined their lights in the same area.

Sometimes my camera picked up the red spotting light that other cameras were emitting. Gave the appearance of a magical effect like you’d see on a cheap 1980s fantasy movie.

Would you drink from this pool?…

Big bats…not really…

A crater on the ceiling…

I took the following pic just as somebody’s flash camera went off. These formations (several feet in height) are usually completely submerged in water, but the dry summer has reduced the water depth to just two inches…

Watch your head…

Don’t touch that…

I told you not to touch it…

A nice roll on the Random Gem Table…