View Full Version : Things to do in the jungle

shaka gl
2007-07-24, 10:38 AM
Hi guys. My pcs are going to explore a big jungle-like island, and I wanted to know what you, as DMs, have done in this kind of place or some ideas you might have about it. Thats means races and monsters to use, places to be or missions to do. The one thing I have decided so far is to ave a big population of Yuan-Ti, since I have never used and seem interesting. Thanks.

2007-07-24, 10:41 AM
Jungles are great for snakes. And things with climb speeds. And anything that uses brachiation to move around.

Old ruins can easily be in jungles, buried under vines. Old trap doors hidden under vines giving way and dropping a character into an underground city inhabited by undead/constructs/insert new critter here.

Druids would be in their element in a jungle, as they can move through the overgrown forest without hindrance.

2007-07-24, 10:52 AM
How big are we talking about? You could legitimately have some dinosaurs attack (Lost World style). Other options:

- Cursed City of gold
- Ancient temple of an even older and even eviler religion, hidden away in a valley
- Angry jungle/wood elves
- Group of PCs being stalked by a powerful monster that a previous group of explorers unleashed, possibly from the above mentioned ancient temple

The Great Skenardo
2007-07-24, 10:56 AM
Unusual plants and animals are at your disposal in a magical jungle. The Macguffin you need could be hidden in a sentient carnivorous thicket, or a kind of warped tree-walking fey could be preying on travellers.

Lost temples are awesome as well, as are dragon lairs hidden at the bottom of lagoons or near raging jungle rapids.

2007-07-24, 10:57 AM
Giants might be a good staple, seeing how there's almost as many species of giant as there are types of elves.

So...jungle giants anyone? (Or were they just 2nd edition monsters...?)

Keld Denar
2007-07-24, 11:03 AM
Remote jungles, possibly on islands, can be a great place to actually use some of the fun dinosaurs that are in the MM. Some places, the just didn't go extinct.

Other possiblilites include:
Warring human/humanoid tribes with the PCs choosing a side
Invading slavers/conquerors from remote lands slash/burning the jungle
Dark temples of ancient evil god of a long extinct culture seething with hatred
Teritorial feral druidic sects who fiercely harrass outsiders.
Huge or larger snake creatures (see any anaconda movie)
Tribe of humans/humanoids who percieve PC spellcasters or PCs in heavy armor as gods

Um, that's about it off the top of my head. GL

2007-07-24, 11:06 AM
It's a blatant rip-off of Congo, but I've always thought the idea of an ancient city, with gorillas (or gorilla-based monsters) used as incorruptible guardians always seemed cool to me. Combine it with the ancient temple idea, and you might have something cool.

2007-07-24, 11:21 AM
Tasloi (FR Shining South) are mean little jungle dwellers. Forestkith Goblins (MM3) are also appropriate. Let them capture some PCs and then go really pulp style => sacrifice or stew.

Monstrous Spiders and other posionous things should also lurk in a jungle.

2007-07-24, 11:25 AM
Lizardmen, ala Warhammer Fantasy Battles. You already have the various types of Lizardmen in the MMs too.

Other than that...dragons, greens and blacks. Maybe two groups of dragons warring, and the PCs are stuck in the middle?

Then there are the Yuan-Ti, or some other ancient Temple.

2007-07-24, 11:27 AM
Jungles are my settings for all things cold blooded, reptilian, huge bug or carnivorous plant for monsters.

Natural hazards I favor are first off the heat, those in armor suffer or Endure Elements is prepped repeatedly. Even those without armor should need double water intake. Survival checks to avoid poisonous plants, frogs, and insect nests. Quicksand. Trapped magical charms hang from trees meant to ward off outsiders.

Many plots have already been mentioned which I've used myself.

2007-07-24, 11:39 AM
My best idea would be have it heavy with mist making it difficult to see find your way and add a setting of suspense. Really describe how bad the mist is. Then durring random times have a monster attack but make it difficult for the party to see it to know what it is. do hit and run tatics. Should be a lot of fun to make the squirm a little.

2007-07-24, 12:10 PM
Three little words Shaka gl: "Isle of Dread".
Google about for it mate, you won't be disappointed. :smallwink:

shaka gl
2007-07-24, 09:20 PM
First of all, thanks. I found useful stuff here. But now I have one more request: i need some kind of mount for a group of elves to use. What kind of monster/animal could be? No dinosaurs please... :smallbiggrin:

2007-07-24, 09:52 PM
[email protected]!

2007-07-24, 09:53 PM
Dire Capybara (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capybara#Description_and_habits) :smallbiggrin:

Take a dire wolverine (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/direWolverine.htm): take away Rage, downgrade damage by 1 die size per attack, change speed climb 10 to swim 20, loose two HD.

For a "war capybara", dont downgrade the HD or damage die.

Inyssius Tor
2007-07-24, 09:56 PM
Giant scorpion? Umber Hulk? Er, small Mivilorns? Small Mastodons? Large Brixashulties?

2007-07-24, 09:58 PM
A whole lot of Awakened crap. Trees whip out their vines and attack the PC's. Cannibals are always a good choice.

2007-07-24, 10:27 PM
How about something friendly to mix things up a bit? A coatl or lillend in the jungle would be a sight for sore eyes.

2007-07-24, 10:29 PM
Have them re-enact Lord of the Flies.

Keld Denar
2007-07-25, 08:09 AM
Shocker lizards are tropical, aren't they? Maybe a type of shocker lizard that works like the brain rats in Sigil, ie, when they congregate, they gain spell likes to shoot lightning bolts and/or chain lightnings. Maybe a huge dire shocker lizard. Yeah...and give it the "...of doom" template. Yeah....

Oh, and for mounts? A large brachiating primate of some sort. That sounds good.

2007-07-25, 09:24 AM
We met a ninja in a jungle once for some reason. Then killed a bunch of trolls.

2007-07-25, 09:57 AM
for mounts how about advanced jaguars?

2007-07-25, 10:12 AM
Dire animal of some type would probibly be your best bet. I'm guessing they are wood elves so to me that would make the most sense.

2007-07-25, 10:15 AM
Dire Tiger?

As for jungle, can't go wrong with Yuan-ti, lost subraces, poisonous things, deadly plants, big animals, fiendish animals, demons like the Bar-Lgura, and hidden temples of evilness.

2007-07-25, 10:23 AM
A similar thread from a while back (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34530). Includes some encounter suggestions by yours truly.

2007-07-25, 10:34 AM
First of all, thanks. I found useful stuff here. But now I have one more request: i need some kind of mount for a group of elves to use. What kind of monster/animal could be? No dinosaurs please... :smallbiggrin:

Regular tigers should do. They're of the right size and evironment right out of the box.

2007-07-25, 05:22 PM
If your elves are sufficiently acclimated to the jungle (their civilization has been there for centuries/milennia, many generations have grown up there) and they are not strongly connected to other, more "civilized" elven cultures, they probably don't need to ride anything at all.
Maybe swap out some of their racial traits with improved climbing, jumping, and tumbling, for better movement amongst the tangled jungle undergrowth. Better yet, create a technique or technology that lets them move extremely swiftly through the treetops--either brachiating like monkeys, or using special whips/lashes, or having hooks that catch on trees and swing about. Moving amongst the higher branches in a jungle will almost certainly be faster than trying to plow through the undergrowth, not to mention safer--there are no tigers or other ground monsters up in the trees.
If the elves really have to ride something (and not a dinosaur), tigers would be a good choice. Also, dire apes, with armor/war-harness and a single archer or mage on the back would be both mobile and frighteningly violent. Or the larger sizes of monstrous spider, which would be ideal for 3-dimensional jungle warfare, and as a surprise for the PCs.

For other ideas...
I had great success in a campaign of mine with the classic ruined city of evil concept--ancient, overgrown temples with death-cultists (mostly human) inside. I toned down the cultists' equipment--most of them just had spears, shortbows, obsidian knives, hard granite clubs (light maces). The shortbows were the biggest weapon, and with even the cheaper poisons in the DMG, a volley of light arrows can become frightening to hardened PCs. Plus, the temples allow you to have believable dungeon locations and, more importantly, plausible sources of useful treasure (seeing as most jungle-dwelling tribes are not what you'd call fabulously wealthy)

Rama_lei's idea of trees/plants coming to life and attacking is a good one, especially if the PCs have no way of knowing which trees are threats. Could create a wonderful sense of dread.

And, of course, snakes. (I hate snakes, Jock. I hate 'em!) Whether monstrous or Yuan-ti, snakes are a natural fit for the jungle, and combine well with the ruined temple idea.

Floods could also make things interesting, especially if there's an Amazon-like river nearby. When the rains come, hundreds of square miles might be covered in 5-10 feet of water, and aquatic threats could appear--sharks, sahaugin, kuo-toa.

Finally, if this is a jungle-covered island, like you said, one of the classic tricks is a volcano in the center. It's especially useful as a DM's tool to move the campaign away from the island when you're done, or when the party seems stalled, or for an even more dramatic Final Confrontation. (if you're using a battlemat, prepare the cataclysm ahead of time with baking soda, food coloring, and vinegar...)

Jeggred Von
2007-07-25, 05:36 PM
And don't forget, when looking for a BBEG, in a jungle setting...

Raksasha....all the way man..

2007-07-25, 06:03 PM
Evil talking monkeys...I mean jungle goblins would be a good race. Even though goblins are cliche, the whole clever setting traps thing, and goblin rogues jumping out of trees for sneek attack would be really effective. Adding tumble checks to aviod damage, but having their attacks do more damage because they are falling could result in massive amounts of damage.

2007-07-25, 06:09 PM
How about polar bears? I hear they're all the rage these days.:smalltongue:

2007-07-25, 06:20 PM
First of all, thanks. I found useful stuff here. But now I have one more request: i need some kind of mount for a group of elves to use. What kind of monster/animal could be? No dinosaurs please... :smallbiggrin:

Krenshars. They should ride advanced Krenshars.

2007-07-25, 06:25 PM
Winterking has given some awesome ideas and I think I like every one of them!

Elves riding Dire Apes would be super cool. I picture them riding in a similar manner to these guys.
Just replace the gun with a bolt thrower-type thing and hang on for your life :smallamused:

A campaign setting I'm working on has a jungle region and I'm making it populated mainly by hazards of the very small variety, nothing big really. Lots of tiny things that you don't want to stumble across like leeches, amazingly unpleasant parasites, highly poisonous plants and of course, jungle diseases. I wanted to make the jungle dangerous in a very different way to the other regions that contain your more standard monster hazards.

2007-07-25, 07:05 PM
Yuan-Ti, naga, Kuo toa, Couatl, dragons various other primitive races are all great for creatures.

But if you’re just looking for encounters, you could try some of these:

Heroes obtain a map leading to a hidden ancient temple, rumored to be filled with gold and magic items.
Heroes stumble upon a “lost civilization” living deep in the jungle.
Primitive races wage a guerilla war against others that are encroaching on their jungle home.
Dinosaurs, dinosaurs are always cool.
Evil bard or beguiler is stirring up trouble with the natives, only it’s revealed that he/she is actually helping them fight off the oppression of the more advanced races.
Wild game hunt
“Island of Dr. Moreau” situation
Great hunter decides to hunt the party, seeing it as the “greatest of hunts”

Let’s see… I think that about does it for me.

2007-07-25, 07:15 PM
Heh wow, this thread is so cool cuz it reminds me in so many ways of a jungle zone I wrote for Toril mud which I never got around to completely finishing, as that mud has pretty much crashed and died.. =(

Monsters: (From top to bottom more or less, feel free to include extras)

Main Plot Sentients:
Black dragon and brood of scattered wyrmlings of varying ages.

Intruding Green dragon.

Sylvan (wood) elves, who ride GIANT EAGLES!!! (and who live in the tops of giant trees which only grow in the upper mountainous reaches of the jungle... the lower areas are putrid swamps of the utmost danger.

Sunken temple of undead yuanti led by a yuanti lich... (in a pact with the black dragon to keep himself alive)

Yuan-ti survivors, pissed off but willing to talk under the right circumstances

Elder Treants, guardians of the upper reaches

Sentient Giant Spider with wizard levels, controls a spider infested island in the lower reaches.

Lizardman tribe, using evil druidic magic to fortify their island compound, are in a pact with the lich to increase their powers.

Kobold tribe, enslaved by the lizardmen and forced to mine platinum, which lizzies pay to lich, who then gives to black dragon in exchange for dragon blood to keep himself alive (he lichified in a hurry as the temple sunk, the spell was not complete, and now he is dependent on dragon blood to stay "alive".

Primitive human settlement.... not much here, but the chief and the shaman can teach some useful skills/spells, and there is much to be garnered by listening to the natives before venturing into the jungle...this is where the PC's start.

Various other baddies:
Hydras, Water Nagas, Giant (insert all types of vermin here), Giant slugs, Giant crocodiles, Dinosaurs, Swarms of (wasps, mosquitoes (carry disease), stirges, piranha), molds, spiders and snakes normal, grey render, ogres in the hills, Giant Ant colony, various jungle mammals, trolls, aboleths, will-o-wisps, basilisks (in the upper mountainous reaches), cockatrices, umm... I could go on... basically anything that you can find that fits the monster manual.. oh giant leeches homebrewed were my personal favorite tho, think King Kong.

Make the lower reaches like a maze, thick with mist and fog, impassable areas of jungle which fence your players in, a maze of twisting, muddy channels and each island holds its own, nasty surprises. IF they can fight their way out and up, they reach the more lively, jungley upper reaches where the help of the elves can be had, perhaps. Tons of room for quests, side quests, interconnecting quests, you name it. Also, dont forget to add caves, full of even darker nasty crap, and entrances to the UnderDark, and the drow.

Tokiko Mima
2007-07-25, 07:36 PM
Things to do in the jungle...

Rumble. You Rumble in the Jungle. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumble_in_the_Jungle) :smalltongue:

2007-07-25, 08:19 PM
The first step to a jungle campaign is deciding on how the jungle shall be fireproofed. Otherwise, the campaign will run like this.

PC 1: Damn, I hate this jungle. We're getting ambushed constantly, and we're all fatigued.:smallfrown:

PC 2: Yeah. If only we could get rid of it somehow, in a way that wouldn't take forever. :smallsigh:

PC 3: That can be arranged. :smallamused:

One day later.


2007-07-25, 08:19 PM
Rumble. You Rumble in the Jungle. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumble_in_the_Jungle) :smalltongue:

“It's gonna be a thrilla and a chilla and a killa when I get the gorilla in Manila!”
--Muhammad Ali

2007-07-26, 10:15 AM
Tasloi (FR Shining South) are mean little jungle dwellers. Forestkith Goblins (MM3) are also appropriate. Let them capture some PCs and then go really pulp style => sacrifice or stew.

Monstrous Spiders and other posionous things should also lurk in a jungle.

Since my initial reaction on seeing this thread was 'Run Dwellers of the Forbidden City', I am glad that Tasloi are back in the game. The module was the one that introduced them, mongrelmen, aboleths and yuan ti to a world of delighted gamers. Fab module, or so I thought, mainly because of the reason others didn't like it - it basically gave you a ruined forgotten city with very little detail to run riot in with your imagination.

But for those who don't own it, yeah yuan ti are fun, as are the tasloi boys. Dinosaurs, I have never got on the dinosaur bus so can't see the point of. But the thing with 'lost world' type settings is that you can create alternative versions of well known races - always messes up the munchkins when your orcs have 60 HP and innate magical abilities. Or just four arms.

Troglodytes are also good for jungles and just don't get enough love in my opinion.

2007-07-27, 08:15 PM
Bullywugs (Frog Men) also make for a good Jungle type enemy.