Friday, 2 March 2018

dinosaur swamp

I can basically do swamps forever. This one is the swampy jungle from Tarzan at the Earth’s Core. Everything is impossibly huge. Roots arc meters over your head, leaves as big as your boat flitter heavily to the ground. Leg-length silverfish scatter at a splash; a bone-dry pteradon, mummified in golden web, is dropped from far above. Then the space between trees snaps into focus, a game trail bigger than castles, bigger than you thought dragons could grow. Gargantuan forms have snapped branches into rotting stakes, dredged new courses for the river, scattered spears of shattered wood as the sea vents fury on a shipwreck.

SIZES: 1: jackal, 2: person, 3: hippo, 4: stegosaur, 5: brontosaur, 6: a minor godzilla.

Creatures will largely ignore anything 4 or more categories smaller than themselves. Whenever something hits the water or roars, roll d6. If you get its size or less, something one category larger turns up to investigate in 1d6 turns. When something of size 6 enters the scene, it brings a wash of water that throws everything below the highest roots into disarray.

Path Find Big Bigger Madre de dios...
1 Kneeling on a bark canoe, paddling as quietly as possible An abandoned pleasure barge, plated in gold, bloodstained 1: 10d10 swarming silverfish penalise 1str and 1dex when attached. Will try to drag in into the water; either you drown or splash about until something kills you 3: Puppeteer spider, the males jump at you and grip tight, the female drags you back with their web 5: Giant octopus, capable of dragging itself slowly across the ground and surprisingly quickly through the trees
2 Wading through chest-high water, gear held over your head A hollowed-out hometree, villagers peeping from murder holes in the spike studded walls 1: Green ape shadows you, steals food when you sleep. If threatened it hoots as a size 3 creature 3: 5d6 muttaburrasaur, stampeding over anything that looks at them funny 5: Brontosaur, so large that to step out of the water would surely kill it
3 Weaving between mangrove roots twice your height A sprawling corpse, crabs and lizards nibbling away 1: Colourful oviraptor is adorably dorky, if its frill is spotted by a creature size 5 or 6, they will fly into a murderous rage until it is destroyed 3: Mudmaw, sickly tentacles thrash about and the mud drags everything down 5: Tyrannosaur. Not sure you need my advice for this
4 Teetering on a broken path of worked stone A nesting ground, parents temporarily absent 2: 3d4 raptors, patient and risk averse, communicate with you surprisingly well in whistles and chirps 4: Stegosaur, tail whipping through the air, frills pulsing with angry energy 6: Two headed serpent, touching it is said to make you immune to venom
5 Hiking across a range of fallen branches The skeleton of a great beast, impaled on a dozen wooden shafts 2: 3d4 good-humoured natives, smiles and bone weapons stark against their muddy camouflage 4: Massive, coal black gorilla, drags its kills into the trees above 6: Dragon turtle, who grants wishes to the bravest warriors
6 Climbing through a sprawling complex of vines A squat spiderweb, man-sized bundle in the centre 2: Sabre-toothed jaguar, happy to eat you, but happier if you lead it to larger prey 4: 1d3 allosaurs, brutish tactics and not enough regard for their own lives 6: Spinosaur, whose roar haunts you. Like actually haunts you though, all blowing out fires and slamming doors and shit


  1. I think this may be finding a way into my Jungles of Chult game ... very cool