Your party storms the alley at the heart of the apeman gathering.  They stream down the walls and out of the doors.  You are overwhelmed by a chorus of roars.  A strange, manlike ape leaps out in front of your party, and others come shambling up from the sides.

You see ten of the creatures, but surely there are more where these come from.  Nonetheless, you are determined to fight for your loot.  You and OT charge into melee, fighting back to back.

But it is hopeless.  They quickly deliver a deadly blow to OT.  Then you are smothered in a mob.  The leader separates you from the dogpile and lines up his gang along each side of the alley.  You must run the gauntlet.

Jungle legend has it that some of the apemen are sinisterly intelligent.  These creatures certainly don’t show it!  They use tooth, claw, and clubs.

(Failed Level 4 Saving Roll on Constitution)

Alas, the punishment is too much for Durby.  He dies, forgotten in a forgotten city.

Well, that’s the end of the adventure, fellas.  This was a challenging solo adventure, as these T&T solos often are, but lots of treasure to be had if lucky! Maybe I’ll start a new adventure eventually, but not today since I am leaving on vacation tomorrow.

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You are strangely drawn to the jaguar idol.  OT suggests that you offer a prayer, so you drop to your knees, bow deeply, and express your soul’s wishes.

The god’s gentle voice speaks in the breeze.  “It has been centuries since I have been addressed in prayer.  I place my blessing upon you.”

(+5 to IQ attribute)

You smile at your new found enlightenment and thank the god profusely.  Then, on to looting…

You crawl over piles of rubble teeming with spiders and centipedes, but, on the other side, you come to the mouth of a tomb.  It is obviously the tomb of a king or a high priest. Your search pays off; in a secret vault you recover golden and silver plates, vessels, and wrought objects worth 27,000 gp.

In a recess in a wall, you find a magic item…

A lucky crocodile tooth encased in a sphere of crystal.  (increase Luck by 50%)

A hooting cry makes you whirl around.  You spot a gorilla-like thing on the rooftop and others shambling toward you in the shadows below it.

Rush the creatures, not knowing how many there are?  Or try to flee through the gate of the city, into the jungle, leaving behind almost all the treasure?

(560 adventure points earned so far.  Next level at 1000.)

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Jungle of Lost Souls: Curses!

February 22, 2011

The water imparts The Curse of Weakness, cutting your Strength in half.  The fountain water then drains away until empty.  You leave the temple and return to exploring the city.

You approach a temple door of corroded bronze, part of which lies on the floor, almost buried by mud, rank grass, and vines.  Your party picks its way over the threshold and looks around the interior.  It is lichen-stained; the ancient columns sag with the weight of centuries and are garlanded with dry, brown creepers.  A humid, sickly-sweet jungle breeze breathes in through the gaping windows, whose shutters have been long-lost through the storms of time.  A jaguar-headed idol sits menacingly at the far end of the chamber, camouflaged by shadows and leafy vines.

Worship the jaguar god?  Or simply search here for loot?

(542 adventure points earned so far.  Next level at 1000.)

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You quietly retreat away from the Taweii village.  Once again you endure…

…attacks of fever-bearing insects in all shapes and sizes.  The weakened condition of your party allows jungle fever to strike.

(Successful Constitution saving roll)

(Henchman #1:  failed Constitution saving roll)

(Henchman #2:  Successful Constitution saving roll)

The Fever claims another victim.  While digging a shallow grave for the dead, your last henchman begins to loose his sanity.  He claims you are cursed and insists that you and him go separate ways.

(Failed Charisma saving roll)

You are unable to convince him to stay and he runs off.  No use chasing after him…better to save your energy in search of food.

(Failed Luck saving roll) (Failed Jungle Lore saving roll)

Foraging and hunting is once again fruitless, but…

Somehow, fate has smiled.  You encounter a friendly Taweii village which will give you your immediate food needs.

Reinvigorated, you are eager to renew your exploration of the jungle.  Your enthusiasm has infected a young Taweii warrior…the son of the chieftain.  As you leave the village, the young warrior sneaks out of the village to join you.    You have a hard time pronouncing his name.  You learn that it means “Optimistic Thought”, so that is what you call him.

You and OT journey for several weeks, then…

To your great surprise, here, in the unexplored reaches of the Jungle of Lost Souls, your party has discovered a lost city!  Around the ruins, the jungle is deathly quiet.  Even the jungle fowl cut off their raucous cry in  mid-flight when they flap near its dark, brooding walls.  It has been long-deserted; vines have overgrown its ramparts, and its stones are thickly caked in moss.  You notice a wide crack in the wall through which your party can enter.

While exploring the avenues of the ruined city, you discover its state of decay.  Tree roots have broken many monuments and foundations; walls and obelisks lean at dangerous angles, undermined by the shifting of the rain-soaked soil.. You scrape layers of moss from the walls and from altars you find, often discovering paintings of human figures and composite monstrosities.  You hope the latter are only mythological and not still lurking in the jungle-choked city.

You advance through a shattered colonnade and enter a temple which must have once been very beautiful although most of the glass tiles are now broken, and the bas reliefs are masked by lichens.  Statues of beautiful youths and maidens stand around a still-bubbling fountain.  Is this a temple to a god of health and youth?  Is the water magical?

Do you taste the water?  Ask OT to taste it first?  Skip it and continue exploring the city?

(492 adventure points earned so far.  Next level at 1000.)

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You construct a raft of bamboo and vine, fortunate not to have any encounters while doing so.

Your expedition glides swiftly along the current of the river.  The jungle-shrouded banks drift by; bue macaws dart between the treetops, and cranes glide swiftly over the water.  Sometimes, the river carries your party through shaded gorges where swarms of mosquitos sting your exposed skin.  At other times, you must pole clear of gigantic crocodiles or the evil-tempered nynniaws, blunt-nosed waders which might overturn a raft.

A surprise whirlpool catches your raft and pitches a member of your party into the river.  Alas, the channel her teems with schools of the man-eating mochdrev fish which can strip an entire bull of its flesh in ten minutes.

(Successful Luck saving roll)

Fortunately, the whirlpool briefly subsides and you are able to quickly pull your henchman onto the raft before the killer fish arrive.  But travel by river is proving more arduous than expected and it isn’t long before the hardships continue.  Your party is subjected to…

…attacks of fever-bearing insects in all shapes and sizes.  The weakened condition of your party allows jungle fever to strike.

(Successful Constitution saving roll)

(Henchman #1:  failed Constitution saving roll)

(Henchman #2:  Successful Constitution saving roll)

(Henchman #3:  Successful Constitution saving roll)

One of your henchman is hit hard by the fever and, unable to bear it any further, unwisely jumps into the river to cool himself.  He sinks like a rock and is never seen again.

Your henchmen are starting to get ornery and begin questioning your leadership.  In hopes of assuaging them, you suggest heading back to civilization and its comforts.

(Successful Charisma saving roll)

They agree and you pole the raft to shore.

(This is rather funny.  Strange rivers in this jungle…)

It will be necessary to walk back to civilization because the rivers flow into the Jungle of Lost Souls, away from the coastal highlands.

(Failed IQ saving roll) (Failed Jungle Lore saving roll)

A wise man would have stuck to the river to keep from getting lost, but Durby isn’t a wise man.  You decide to take a shortcut and become lost.  You don’t let your henchmen know that you are lost.

Your expedition tramps wearily along the trackless jungle…

Moist heat.  Putrid air.  Annoying parrots.  Laughing monkeys.  Itches everywhere.  Crushing rain.  Booby traps.

Uh-oh…booby traps!

(Successful Luck saving roll)

You are lucky to detect a pit trap just as you put your foot down.  You lean back and wave your arms to rebalance yourself.

Then a spiked log swings down from above…

(Successful Luck saving roll)

…but you are lucky in that vines slowed its descent slightly, allowing you and your men to duck in time.

Your party has spent weeks in the jungle; supplies are very low.  Your party grumbles that this wilderness is accursed; it teems with animals, but they are shy of the hunter;  it rains daily, but fresh water is short.  You try to forage for your needs.

(Failed Luck saving roll) (Failed Jungle Lore saving roll)

You encounter a village of Taweii that does not look friendly.

Do you retreat back into the jungle, starving and vulnerable?  Or surrender to the mercy of the chief, hoping your previous experience with the Taweii will keep you alive?

(415 adventure points earned so far.  Next level at 1000.)

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Three Durenian warriors…spring from their seats and embrace you warmly as fellow explorers.  “We’ve had a terrible time, their spokesman complains.  “Taweii attacks, monsters, and near starvation! Why don’t we join forces?  There is safety in numbers, you know.”

Your new henchmen are equipped with short swords and leather armor and appear to be capable warriors.

(Successful Luck saving roll)

After a short while traveling by foot, you are lucky to find a navigable river.  You don’t have any craft, but your group can build a respectable raft from nearby materials.  Doing so will take time and will necessitate two wandering monster checks, each with a 1 in 6 chance of producing an encounter.

Build a raft, or continue into the jungle on foot?

(223 adventure points earned so far.  Next level at 1000.)

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Jungle of Lost Souls: Alone

February 14, 2011

(Failed Charisma Saving Roll)

You are unable to convince the rest of the party to continue the adventure.  They chicken out and return to civilization after giving you a share of the gold.

You tramp wearily through the trackless jungle, alone…through a jungle made poisonously beautiful by multi-colored orchids and hibiscus.  You see or sense signs that you are not alone in the vicinity.

Eventually, you find…a wisp of smoke above the coconut trees and move in closer to investigate.  You see a Durenian (colonist) warrior tending a cookfire;  you don’t know how many others there might be.

Do you make friendly contact or attack?

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You toss down your weapons in surrender, as does the rest of the expedition.  You try to explain that your expedition wishes no harm to the Taweii, but they are having none of it.  Their chieftain will decide your fate.

As Taweii captives, your party is proded along a wooded trail.  The moon is hanging low behind a glowing veil of mist before you  come to a village composed of a score of circular huts.  Your party is shoved in to one of these.  Worn out, you sink to the rush-strewn floor but lurch again to your feet, aghast – the floor crawls with stinging ants, spiders, and centipedes.  Staggering over to a log bench, you sweep it clean and then sit down and fret.  You have heard that some Taweii offer the hearts of their victims to the Snake God, and even some practice cannibalism.  You know that you must think of a way to get out of here before it is too late.

(Failed IQ saving roll)  It is too late…

Rough hands drag you to the far side of the Taweii village.  There, seated on a bamboo chair with a high back crowned in skulls, the painted-faced chieftain awaits your party.  The native warriors throw you on your knees before him.  The smug chief rises, satisfied that he has chosen a fitting way to deal with you.

(Successful Luck saving roll)  Luck shines…

In order to establish better relations with the Durenians (the colonists), the chief will adopt you into the tribe.  You party is taken to a gathering of important villagers, all of them draped with handsome animal skins and bird plumes.  You are not sure what’s hapening and tremble inwardly when the witch doctor brings a large, green viper to the assembly and passes it to one of the village elders.  The elder takes it in both hands, raises it in a salute to the heavens, and passes it to the man beside him.  Soon, it is passed to the first member of your party.  If the snake-holder shows fear, the odor and trembling of him will incite the snake to give him a fatal bite.

(Porter #1 fails Willpower saving roll)  The snake bites a porter, who then goes into a violent seizure and dies.

(Porter #2 succeeds Willpower saving roll) The other porter passes the test.

(Warrior #1 succeeds Willpower saving roll) A warrior lives to die another day.

(Warrior #2 fails Willpower saving roll)  A warrior dies a horrible death.

(Warrior #3 succeeds Willpower saving roll)  The last warrior is a powerful, though rather dumb, brute.  He handles the viper as if it were a kitten.

(Negley succeeds Willpower saving roll)  The wizard with a nickname of Scarecrow shows no emotion as he passes the viper to Cirio.

(Cirio fails Willpower saving roll.  Fails Constitution saving roll.)  Cirio can’t control his nerves and is struck by the viper.  He tries to fight off the poison, but succumbs and dies.

(We’ll continue the adventure as Warrior #3.  Your name is Durby.)

The survivors of the viper test have earned the respect of these Taweii natives.  In the future, potentially friendly natives are more likely to respond favorably.  On the other hand, many other natives are never friendly- they are savage through and through.

The chieftain gives the party their equipment back, plus a basket stuffed with gold trinkets, worth 500 gold pieces total.  His native warriors then lead you far into the jungle and point out which direction leads back to civilization.  Then they leave you.  Your expedition now numbers four:  Yourself (Durby), Negley the wizard, a warrior henchman, and a slave porter.

Your party gathers beside a stand of twisted palm trees entwined with vines and creepers.  Dejected by the hardship of the journey, your party argues about whether to continue on or try to find its way back to civilization.

You attempt to convince the rest of the party to follow you.  Which way do you want to go?  Back to civilization?  Or continue into the jungle in search of fame and riches?

Durby, Level 1 Warrior
Strength 16
Charisma 11
Dexterity 17
Luck 18
Constitution 19
IQ 6
Speed 13
Stealth 17
Willpower 8
Jungle Lore 3
Combat Adds +15
Machete 2D+3
Leather Armor (absorbs 6 damage)

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You attempt to communicate with the natives, using a simple shared language of common words and hand signs.   The natives can take offense at even seemingly innocent things.  Establishing trust with them sometimes feels like just a matter of luck, at least until the vagaries of their psyche is better understood.

(Luck Saving Roll failed, Jungle Lore Saving Roll Failed)

Things seem to be going well at first, but then one of your men accidentally coughs, triggering an aggressive response from the natives.  They start shouting in an unknown dialect and seven more natives materialize out of the bushes to the left and right of the expedition.  They all point their bows at the expedition and begin to pull back on the strings, yelling in wild commotion.

Surrender, Flee, or Fight?

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This solo adventure relies heavily on random events and encounters, which means the paragraphs in the book sometimes don’t connect together in a smooth narrative.  I’ll try to fill in some of the gaps so it reads better.

A couple comments in the previous post asked about Cirio’s swimming capability.  He has decent scores in Strength and Dexterity, so he should be a fairly good swimmer.  Because this is Tunnels & Trolls, there isn’t a “skill system” and so difficult tasks are resolved as Saving Rolls using one of the character’s attributes.  This particular adventure adds a special attribute called Jungle Lore that can be used in many situations.  This attribute starts quite low and is built up as the character learns and survives the dangers of the jungle.

You push through the crowd of natives, soldiers, and travelers at the trading post where a foot expedition is equipping itself.  You spy its leader, a craggy, stolid-looking man, haggling over the price of some leather armor with a bearded merchant from the coast.  He nods to your greeting and you tell him you want to talk about joining his trip into the Jungle of Lost Souls.

The leader is a wizard named Negley.  “My friends call me Scarecrow,” he says with a flat grin.  He explains that there is already 3 warriors and 2 porters (to carry the 100gp worth of gifts for natives) in the expedition, plus himself.  “You look like the quick and stealthy kind of warrior.  Just the type that would make a good point man for our expedition. Welcome aboard.”  Before you can respond, he says, “We leave right about…”  He looks up at the sky and scratches his beard of three-day growth.  “Now.”

Your expedition tramps wearily through the trackless jungle.  The moist heat is stifling; the air has a musty putrid odor.  As you chop a path through the undergrowth, parrots whir away from you and monkeys chatter angrily overhead.  The itch of the insect bites has made your party irritable, but the crushing presence of the endless forest awes every voice into a hoarse whisper.  For a distance you follow the game trail of wild pigs, whose heavy stench pervades the thickets.  It begins to rain; at least that will make it harder for the savage Taweii tribesmen to pick up your trail.

That’s the theory at least.  Fresh human footprints are found in the mud going in all directions, which means natives are very near.  The expedition scans the surrounding jungle nervously.  You know that some natives are approachable; but some are headhunters and cannibals.  Not much choice but to stay calm and continue ahead.

Natives step out of the bushes ahead of you.

You see four natives, but more are likely hiding in the bushes nearby.  They have small bows, but if you charge to attack without hesitation, they won’t be able to get any shots off before melee begins.  Do you immediately attack, or try to communicate?

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