Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Jungle Ruins: Dungeons In Reverse


What about using a city map as a dungeon, but instead of the DM creating the hallways between the rooms and or buildings, the players have to use machetes to clear a path through the jungle, between the locations they want to explore?

Essentially, as each 10x10 or hexagonal section of the wilderness map is cleared, the DM denotes the clearance in a color (yellow for instance). Once the players clear a path, they can then explore that particular building.

It's a little bit like a hexcrawl, since the players may have only a vague idea of which direction each of the taller ruins are in. In addition, the DM can place certain natural hazards and encounters in various locations, that take some effort to reach.

This would also have the benefit of being able to give players a map of the ruins, a map that may have certain inaccuracies that the DM can exploit.

12 comments:

The Drune said...

Great idea.

Some of the vegetation could fight back too. I've spent some time cutting machete transects and usually get pretty sliced up by thorns. Add some vine covered wells and tiger pit traps too.

Tȅsār said...

How long would it take for each 10x10 area? 1 Turn? 1 Hour?

Talysman said...

Pretty cool!

Kind of fits with an idea I had recently of using towers that have had their lower floors buried, so the only way in is to dig down or climb up, then down.

fireinthejungle said...

Cool idea, even if only to reinforce to the players that "Hey, see those yellow lines drawn on the map as we move? We're truly in the jungle now, so watch out!"

I'd give you a good old Jungle Alert! but I'm busy packing and I'd feel silly for having a post that says "My next post might not be for a month or so." followed by another post later in the day. Remind me again in a month!

Spawn of Endra said...

As someone writing a dissertation based on fieldwork that is the LARP version of this scenario you're describing, my gut reaction is this is the last thing I want out of my gaming experience. Yes it sounds cool, but clearing the bush is slow and tedious and exhausting and frustrating. And it will involve hiring locals to do the chopping, and it'll involve random tables of poisonous plant afflictions, stabbing and scartching vines, hitting fire ant nests, chasing out venomous snakes, spider attacks .... Maybe it does sound cool on paper. Maybe I'll work up a post in this.

kaptainvon said...

I... wouldn't necessarily say no to this sort of thing. The idea of a 'dungeon' where the routes are determined by player agency has a certain appeal to it and a jungle-crawl makes a nice change in terms of atmosphere. Abstract some of the tedium and it could be a lot of fun...

Simon Forster said...

I play one of my games on-line using Map Tools, and this sort of reverse dungeon would work wonderfully with it.

Mothman's Dog said...

I like the idea, but it reminds me of a ruined city adventure I tried to run (many) years ago... the party stuck to the cleared areas, and didn't shift any rubble even after I asked (in a manner that made it clear there was something worth digging for - and then they complained it was all wandering monsters and no treasure, and went back to the traditional hole-in-the-ground dungeon...)

Roger the GS said...

Dig Dug your Dungeon!

fireinthejungle said...

Regarding the tedium of blazing a trail through the jungle, I don't think the Paladin's idea here is to ask the players to roleplay the process of clearing the bush or generally make things difficult for the players. Most rules systems already incorporate the difficulties of jungle travel into the movement rates and encounter tables (sort of*).

Most jungle travel involves passing through a relatively vast jungle area in order to arrive at some far away place. Paladin's idea involves exploring a relatively small jungle area. I.e. treating it as a dungeon. In a way, this idea makes things easier for PCs, because once a path is cleared they can reuse that path with a faster movement rate. (Depending upon the DM's determination of how fast the jungle reclaims the path.)

*I say "sort of" because I feel most games don't go far enough to spice up jungle travel. So I created my own jungle travel system.

Akrasia said...

Brilliant idea! I think I'll use it for my OSRCon adventure in August. :D

Pierce said...

Really cool idea. I love the idea of hacking a dungeon out of the jungle.