So I wanted to spice up the Gorilla class a little…show that it can be more than just a “grunt and smash” class.  Introducing…

The Gorilla Padre

The Gorilla Padre

The Gorilla Padre is the spiritual leader of the gorillas and the only known gorilla that can speak a human language. Because gorillas are highly immune to the effects of radiation, he is able to wander the apocalypse jungle, attending to the needs of his flock, performing rites and calming disputes between gorillas and humans.

The Padre plays both sides of the growing conflict between The Resistance and the Phantom Soldiers, but works as an agent for The Resistance.  He has a secret library of gorilla and human texts from before The Green Fire (aka The Gimmick, aka The Blast. )

His motto is “I don’t think so…but I can try.”  Sometimes he leaves off the second part.

So what does a motto do besides just being a nifty thing to say?  I decided to make it a bonus mechanic tied to Wisdom, which is sometimes the ignored stat.

Mottos are not made at character creation, but emerge at opportune moments during play.  You say something cool in-character and somebody else says “Hey, that could be your motto.”  Then you say “Yeah, you’re right.” Now you have a motto.  Or maybe you’ll say “Nah, that’s not my motto.”  Maybe the DM will want some input into the decision.

Anyways, the first time a motto is used is the most powerful. That player can choose a roll in the near future (within ten minutes or whatever) to be “inspired”…the roll gets a bonus equal to the character’s Wisdom.  So if your Wisdom is 14 you get +14 on that roll.  This inspiration bonus can apply to any roll performed by or directly relating to the character that created the motto.

Characters of average or less Wisdom can get that initial “inspiration” bonus, but no more motto bonuses for them after that.  The motto can still be a fun or useful roleplaying catalyst, of course, but mottos with lasting effects should be born of exceptional wisdom.

Characters with above average Wisdom get a “daily affirmation” bonus equal to the amount by which their Wisdom exceeds 12.  So a score of 14 would give a +2 bonus and so on. This can be added to any roll, once a day or whatever frequency decided by DM, but the player must invoke the motto and it should be relevant to the situation.

Understood in any language...

Understood in any language…

The Ruins of Corregidor

January 22, 2013

I would guess that when people think of ruins in the jungle they usually think of something in Thailand, Cambodia, or Mexico.  Some great ruins there, but for something a little different, consider these…

6 Ft. Mills Hospital

4 Overturned pedestal Battery Ramsey

4 Topside Barracks

2 Battery Cheney

2 Topside Barracks rainy seaon

Middleside Barracks hallway

Battery James before clearing

3 Walkway to Middleside barracks

1 NCO barracks

All these pictures are of Corregidor Island and posted with permission from Steve and Marcia on the Rock. Check out their blog for a treasure trove of photos and stories from Corregidor.

Corregidor Island is the most well-preserved World War 2 battlefield. The remaining structures have a familiar look, but an otherworldly feel to them.  One of the most bombarded 3 square miles in the world, it hardly had any vegetation left after the war.  But you can’t keep a good jungle down.

The ruins of Corregidor have been repeatedly used as a movie set (for better or worse), either as themselves, a battle stage in a Vietnam war movie, a gang hideout in a post-apocalypse flick, etc.  This post is a reference list of movies that feature the ruins of Corregidor. More will be added as I find them. Let me know if you come across a filmed-on-Corregidor movie not on this list (not including stock footage).

The “Cirio H. Santiago” category. Cirio seems to have been the most prolific director on Corregidor. First is one of his Post-Apocalypse movies, then a bunch of Vietnam War entries…

Wheels of Fire (1985)
Corregidor ruins show up for about five minutes as a post-apocalypse militant gang hideout. Also of note is the painting of additional ravaged ruins into the scene during an outdoors shot of one of the batteries (perhaps Wheeler). Makes it look extra epic. Cirio recycled the same painted ruins scene for a few seconds in Raiders of the Sun (1992).

Eye of the Eagle (1987)
Corregidor is the headquarters of a “lost command”. Lotsa shots of the ruins and Battery Way throughout the movie, culminating in an explosive finale. A couple pictures in my Guide to Cirio’s Nam Movies show Corregidor ruins.

The Expendables (1988)
Terminate shirtless Vic Diaz and rescue the kidnapped nurses from the ruins in Cambodia!

Nam Angels (1989)
This contains the infamous gasoline torture scene involving the unfortunate South Vietnamese capitalists tied to the big guns at the abandoned fortress.

Field of Fire (1991)
In the other Nam movies it’s the “bad guys” that control the Corregidor ruins. This time it’s the US soldiers that defend the “Fort Bien Hoa” ruins.

Kill Zone (1993)
Corregidor as weapons depot. Brief exterior shot and some interior shots that may actually be from Intramuros, Manila.

The “Corregidor as Corregidor” category…

Impasse (1969)
This movie has a common theme: find the gold hidden in post-war Philippines. The gold is on Corregidor, of course, so the final 35 mins or so is among and under the ruins. Notable for starring Burt Reynolds AND Vic Diaz.

Fortress of the Dead (1965)
A moody ghost tale by Ferde Grofe Jr. set on Corregidor Island with great B&W shots of the ruins and tunnels.  Warning: this contains a totally unexpected and eye-popping wet t-shirt scene about mid-way through the movie.

The ‘I haven’t seen these yet” category…

The Hell Raiders (1988)
Another one by Ferde Grofe Jr. I haven’t watched this or ever seen it available anywhere, but the Dutch VHS cover clearly shows scenes filmed on Corregidor, as seen at When the Vietnam War Raged…in the Philippines.

Island of the Living Dead (2006)
One of Bruno Mattei’s final movies and it looks like a hoot. Looks like I need to rewatch some of the earlier Mattei movies to see if he ever used Corregidor previously.

2012 was the year of the homemade digest booklet here in the jungle.  The limitations of the format were actually liberating in a way and I cranked out a couple last year.  Best of all is that they were cheap to send to anywhere in the world.

Well, at some point last year Magcloud significantly lowered its cost for international shipping.  So I’m heading back onto the print-on-demand service (actually never left…as the original FitJ Supplement has always been available there.) and the first order of business was to get Across the Wide Dark Jungle on there.

It’s ready!  Bigger and better than before…

Across the Wide Dark Jungle Find out more on MagCloud)

Click the image above to order. $5 for the book+PDF combo. $2.50 for just the PDF.

What is it? The table of contents page describes it well:


Additional preview of the book can be found at the Magcloud page. This is the same format as the original Fire in the Jungle Supplement: 16 full size pages (including covers) of heavy stock paper. Order both together to save on shipping. 😉

This book was originally published as a homemade digest in June 2012. This new edition has the full text of the original (slightly changed to fit the new layout) plus a few more small sections such as a Resurrection Quest table, an expanded Hunter Band Names table (including groaners such as Ded Lyppyrd, Blue Örangutan Cult, and Trampled by Monkees), and new Tribe Peculiarities tables based on the What Makes Them Special system. Plus another dozen old jungle woodcut illustrations.

Featured in the book is The Sacrifice Pit, a ready-to-play adventure location that starts out as a low-level mundane jungle hack, but gets weird, weirder, and utterly bizarre. Here’s the intro to the location and a section of the Pit’s map:



So the digest edition of Across the Wide Dark Jungle has been discontinued.

To get completely out of the business of printing, folding, stapling, stuffing, addressing, and stamping, The Rise and Fall of Zamzer is also no longer available as physical digest.  Instead, it’s now a free PDF download, with which you can create your own digest in the comfort of your trophy room.

Escape from the Dark Cathedral on the Mountain lest you become…”A Eunuch for Zamzer”!!  Amateur Illustrations by yours truly.  I’m very embarrassed by it…check it out.


Jungle Alert! CASCADA film

January 15, 2013

Check out CASCADA, a new short film about kayaking over waterfalls in Mexican jungle…

I likey.  Reminds me of when ol’ Mossy Hayes plunged over the falls.

As I was updating my old Trash of the Apocalypse post (adopting the style of the Guide to Cirio’s Nam Movies) I noticed that most of them contained Little People.  You’ve gotta give credit to these directors for not succumbing to stereotype and using them differently each time…

Post-Apocalypse Dwarves d6

  1. Buzzing Dune Dwarves
  2. Babbling Scavenger Dwarves
  3. Leper Bandit Dwarves
  4. Cavemen Dwarves with crossbows
  5. Gypsy Dwarves with battle axes
  6. Immortal Assassin Clown Dwarves

The Philippines is also home of the Hobbit House grill and bar entirely staffed by little people.  This made me wonder… Are little people mad at Peter Jackson? Yes. Yes they are.

"Short people are just the same as you and I...a fool such as I...all men are brothers until the day we die."  Or in this case, "don't die".

“Short people are just the same as you and I…a fool such as I…all men are brothers until the day they die.” Or in this case, “they don’t die”.