Monday, March 21, 2011

Mini Review - Fire in the Jungle (Your Choice of Old School Rules)

Fire in the Jungle is a sandbox setting for the Old School ruleset of your choice.  Dustin Brandt, author of said sandbox and fellow blogger was kind enough to send me a copy to review.  I'm grateful, as it's a great read.

Jungle settings aren't usually the first choice of setting for most of us, I think because it isn't a setting that we can relate to.  North America and Europe are pretty much jungle free.  For gaming purposes, it gives the players a wild, alien world to explore.  It  keeps them on their toes.

Justin gives us a nice assortment of tools to bring the jungle to life.  We get natural medicines, major NPCs and monsters (most of which are native fauna with a twist).  We also get a Jungle Event System.

The Jungle Event System is similar to a Wandering Monster Table, but it isn't just adversaries to be fought. It's locations, events, personas.  The short of it is that is is much more useful then a Wandering Monster Chart.  I need to borrow this concept for the next game I run, Jungle or not.

We get a detailed and keyed hex map, with hexes listed and detailed briefly when there is something important there.

Then we come to the Ant Tunnel Exploration System.  Modeled on those lovely ants that visit in the summer, but much larger, these ants and tunnels are a challenge for any party.  We are also gifted with a Tunnel Event Chart - lets just say ant tunnel exploration should entertain both the party and the GM.

Next, we are given The Tomb of the Monkey God.  If this dungeon doesn't get the party lost, they are better mappers then me.  Oh, and more random tables.

A Player's Handout Sheet rounds out the package.

I'm still amazed at how much "stuff" Dustin squeezed into 16 pages.  It is certainly reads as if it much more.  Fire in the Jungle is almost system neutral, in that the few D&Disms could easily be converted to Tunnels & Trolls without much effort.

I'm not sure if I'd run this as is, but as its a sandbox, who will run it as is?  It's certainly made me think about jungle adventures and how it could be a nice change of pace to take a party out of civilization and drop them in the jungle.  Very well done and worth the price of admission, even if it's just to crib the charts ;)

From the Blurb:

A ready-to-go jungle adventure or a toolkit for creating your own jungle setting. This supplement contains:
  • A brief history of the jungle’s troubled past and the natives who have survived there.
  • A color judge’s map of the jungle with dozens of described locations to explore.
  • A color player map to give the player’s a vague understanding of the shape of the jungle.
  • A comprehensive Jungle Event System that reflects the harsh reality and wondrous excitement of journeying through this jungle.
  • The Ant Tunnel Exploration System provides a framework for running adventures in these infinite, living tunnels.
  • The Tomb of the Monkey God.  A dungeon module with an Escalation mechanic that ratchets up the tension the longer the PCs remain inside the tomb.  Unique, overlapping color map of this four-level tomb.
  • Plus a variety of monsters, NPCs, hirelings, magic items, etc.
  • And, of course, the cover art by Rommel Joson and the back cover art by Edbon Sevilleno.


  1. Damn! I was going to review this as well this week, perhaps we should do a Jungle week? :) Nice review, thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks CW. I look forward to reading your take on it.


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