Saturday, August 6, 2016

Preview: Monkey Business (a procedural junglecrawl)

I had exams and was quite busy the last few days. But it wasn't all business, as I've managed to complete the draft for one (of the many) things I'm writing for the blog: Monkey Business. I should get ready to publish this in the next couple of weeks and thought it's time to make this a little bit more public. It's definitely not the first thing I started writing here (and all the other things are still happening, too), but it'll be the first thing out there with my name on it. And here's a sneak peek ... 



The tone will be very pulpy and all the test readers agree that the whole thing is wacky as hell. So if the following passage does it for you even a little bit, you might have fun reading, if not DMing Monkey Business:
Tarzang – King (Slacker) of the Jungle 
Not one of the circus people, but totally zoned out by the
drug anyways. His real name is Viscount Lonny
Graustock and he led an expedition into the jungle to rob
some poor natives just a few months ago. Now he swings
naked (and muscular) from tree to tree (mostly hitting
them and screaming in pain because of it or in fear to hit
another one ...) and thinks he is able to talk to animals. 
He seems harmless (and well built), but he will bring a group
into trouble if they believe he really is some sort of king of the
jungle (as he will claim, of course). His primary motivation is
to get the next score and he’ll try to use a group as distraction
against an orangutan pusher on drug delivery, grabs what he
can carry and makes a run for it. If there are females in the
group, he’ll pick the prettiest one and schemes to kidnap her.
He’ll also call her Jane all the time. No one knows why.
This thing has around 160 different encounters, a random jungle location and treasure generator, mushroom pygmies, cannibals and exploding goblins! There is a nice poem by Rudyard Kipling in The Second Jungle Book that pretty much sums up what kind of chaos this module will conjure as the drug conquers its surroundings:
I will let loose against you the fleet-footed vines—
I will call in the Jungle to stamp out your lines!
The roofs shall fade before it,
The house-beams shall fall,
And the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall cover it all! 
In the gates of these your councils my people shall sing,
In the doors of these your garners the Bat-folk shall cling;
And the snake shall be your watchman,
By a hearthstone unswept;
For the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall fruit where ye slept! 
Ye shall not see my strikers; ye shall hear them and guess;
By night, before the moon-rise, I will send for my cess,
And the wolf shall be your herdsman
By a landmark removed,
For the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall seed where ye loved! 
I will reap your fields before you at the hands of a host;
Ye shall glean behind my reapers for the bread that is lost;
And the deer shall be your oxen
By a headland untilled,
For the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall leaf where ye build! 
I have untied against you the club-footed vines,
I have sent in the Jungle to swamp out your lines
The trees—the trees are on you!
The house-beams shall fall,
And the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall cover you all!
Neat, isn't it? Other inspirations are Super Mario, Ufomammut, Planet of the Apes, Breaking Bad, Futurama and many, many others. It'll also feature some fantastic illustrations by +Mark Van Vlack and his fabulous Monkey Generator (which kind of kicked the whole thing loose).

It'll be out there in the wild as soon as I'm done with the layout and some lose ends. I'm aiming for end of September, but you guys know how it is ... Definitely before November, though, I can promise that much :)

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