Friday, April 13, 2012

Revisiting The Mega Dungeons Of Indiana Jones -One Year Later! A Campaign Idea For Your Old School Pulp Game


[Indiana needs his bullwhip to swing across a chasm
Indiana: Give me the whip. 
Satipo: Throw me the idol. No time to argue! Throw me idol, I'll throw you the whip! 
Indiana: [throws the idol] Give me the whip! 
Satipo: Adiós, señor. 

I've been rewatching the original Raiders Of  The Lost Ark movie again & something weird occurred to me. The movie is fantastic with its locations, openings, characters, backgrounds, but about those locations what the hell happens to them after Dr.Jones gets done with them. They're just left sitting there while Indy moves on to something else that's important! Sitting there with all of their secrets, other treasures, artifacts, & traps to be put back together for another band of adventurers to despoil them!
Case in point the ruins of  Tenc'na'al guarded by the fierce tribe of the Hovitos.

They didn't exist in a vacuum here. The complex is still there even after this occurs

 The temple & all those wonderful traps. What other treasures might have been in there besides the fertility idol that Dr.Jones liberates?

The temple is still there & still being guarded by the blood thirsty tribes one year later! The idea is a simple one. The events of  Raiders occur naturally but the characters are hired to follow in the footsteps of Indy who might have disturbed some really nasty.... 
So there's the gold, the traps, & a butt load of antichambers that still might being waiting for a group of cut throat adventurers
Who Is Abner Ravenwood? 
Marion: Well, Jones, at least you haven't forgotten how to show a lady a good time. 
Indiana: Boy, you're something! 
Marion: Yeah? I'll tell you what; Until I get back my five thousand dollars, you're gonna get more than you bargained for. I'm your goddamn partner! 
By the time of the events of Raiders of the Lost Ark  Abner Ravenwood is dead. His daughter has taken over his bar. Whatever journals,diaries, etc. the very core of this man's work goes up in flames after Indy visits. Or have they!
This was the guy who trained Dr. Jones in his field. There might still be a fortune hidden wi
thin the remains of the Raven.
 The other thing is we really don't have a clue who this man was & what other occult or Biblical secrets he took to the grave!
Marion & Indy certainly didn't have time to put out that fire. So the remains of the Raven & its treasures might still be there hidden under floor board or a safe..
Cairo 1936 
The city of Cairo in 1936 was a hot bed of activity as the Nazi stretched & flexed their muscles within the Middle East. At least that's the impression one gets watching the movie! Cut throats, thieves, & madmen all are attracted by the Nazi menace. Where there is coin to be made there will be trouble for the characters to get into.
Egyptian artifacts on the black market, assassin cults, German agents, etc. Cairo is teeming with them!
Cairo of 1937 isn't going to be much different at all. The possibilities following our heroes are endless. What happens to the Tanis dig for that matter after it is abandoned by the Nazi?
What other artifacts might have been uncovered? If they found their way onto the international black market relic & antiques market what then?
Is there a mega dungeon under the city of Cairo itself? 

The Tanis Dig [Belloq and the Nazis are walking
 and arguing
Belloq: I told you not to be premature in your communique to Berlin. Archeology is not an exact science. It does not deal in time schedules! 
Dietrich: The Fuhrer is not a patient man. He demands constant reports. You led me to believe... 
Belloq: [interrupting him] Nothing! I made no promises! I merely said it looked very favorable. Besides, with the information in our possession, my calculations were correct. 
 Then there's the Tanis Digs. This has the Nazi uncovering one of the largest Egyptian lost cities ever. We hear nothing about it because they've got the Ark!  So what if they've gotten the Ark. What happens to the city? Do the Nazi abandon it? Does the gold of ancient Egypt find its way into the coffers of Hilter? Is there a hidden cache of these artifact still hidden after all these years?
I'm getting ahead of myself. The fact is that this is supposedly one of the largest digs sites ever. What other relics, artifacts, mummies, cursed items might still lie waiting to be discovered?
The Tanis Map Room

Possbbly one of the greatest scenes is indy basically crawling right under the Nazi's collective noses to use the map room with the staff & the Eye Of Ra!
He sets the staff after uncovering all those other holes!
Where did all of those other holes lead?
 He breaks the staff & throws it away!
What the hell happens to the Eye Of Ra? One year later might find the characters exploring an other megadungeon under the ruins of Tanis itself!

The city itself was consumed by a sand storm that lasted one year! Consumed by the wrath of God! There might be all sorts of accursed undead, mummies, & who knows what.

Tanis offers a Dm endless possibilities to really get into a cursed lost city! 

The Well of Souls 

The Well of Souls is the big pay off for the watcher of this movie. This is the resting place for the Ark! The place is covered by serpents of every variety. They come shooting out of walls, cover the floor, & seemingly have come from outside attracted by the aura of the Ark!

The place is a great source of intriguing possibilities for a One Year Later campaign!
 There are hordes of snakes down there but after the Ark leaves what's left?
Ten possibilities for the Well Of Souls 
  1. There might well be other treasures down there! We have no real idea how many rooms were in the Well because of the snakes. 
  2. Who were the mummies that Marion sees before their escape & for that matter what happens after Indy & Marion escape. 
  3. The cairn where the Ark is kept could those spells carved into it be of some value to others such as a cult of Egyptian god worshipers of serpents or the like 
  4. Why were there all those serpents really & where were they coming from? Could there be more levels to the Well that we really never saw. 
  5. Was the Well really Shishak's treasure chamber? Were there other vaults within the Well? 
  6. There were four guardian gods within the Well. Was their wrath released along with a curse? Could a mummy guardian be roaming the waste even now searching for the defilers of his temple. 
  7. The Well seemed to have a very suggestive religious function & might hold other terrifying  secrets perhaps of a Cthulhu mythos nature? 
  8. Could the well hold the remains of other ancient dead such as ones from Valusia or even older 
  9. The well might still contain the dire energies we see released from the Ark. Changing the snakes, & other desert creatures which have been released due to the meddling of Dr. Jones & Marion. The Pc might have to clean up the remains  seal the place forever! 
  10. There are more dangerous artifacts left from the conquest of Shishak of the Israelite. The party must capture & seal them within the  well
The Raid On The Secret Nazi Submarine Base 
Geheimhaven was a secret Nazi supply base located on a deserted island north of the Greek island of Crete
After the events of 1936 when the Americans took command of the Ark. There's no word on the fate of  Geheimhaven. America was not yet at war with Germany for a couple more years. The capture of the U boat facility would have been a major coup for the Americans but not one they could hold. 
This was possibly a lightning raid & given the events of that night when the Ark was opened you can bet that Hitler wanted to know the outcome of his troops on that island. 
One year later finds the Nazi back on that Island perhaps searching for another occult treasure. Did the opening of Ark kill everyone on that Island? In campaigns I run in the past using this place it had. It became an eerie abandoned hellhole in the middle of the Greek islands. Nothing grows there to this day 

The Mega Dungeons Of Indiana Jones & The OSR 

There are myriad of ideas for using these locations. Time travel such as Dr. Who or Time Master . Perhaps making sure the right outcome comes to pass or even following in the footsteps of  Dr. Jones at the right moment

One closer to my heart is the Keep. Perhaps the forces unleashed by the Ark echo across time & space itself all the way back to the time of Shishak. Here the players play themselves during the time of ancient Egypt & their future adventurer selves.
This isn't original at all & was used in the module by Mayfair games called The Keep

For a completely different take on the subject this might help

Another final possibility is a raid upon the Warehouse at Area 51 to steal the Ark! The party might be mercenaries from across time & space hell bent on getting the Ark for a client.. Then deciding that the Ark is far too dangerous for one person or organization to have 


  1. This post is amazing, my man. Soooooo much fun stuff.

    If you ever make it to GenCon, I want to buy you some beers.

  2. Well, you finally got me to comment, because I've been reading this blog for a couple of months and, there has been some brilliant ideas here! This, though, is fantastic! So many ideas and/or inspirations here. Your bit on Abner Ravenwood started the gears rolling on just what Marion could get up to as a character (You might need to retcon a bit with Mutt, I don't even dislike him, but I like Marion a lot). Okay, I'd better stop here, or I'll go on (parting thought, Marion hires the players to search the Raven?). Okay. Done now. Sort of.

  3. Thanks Justin! Hope you enjoyed it!

    Greg grab a note book & plan a campaign! There's more to come! Thanks for the comments! Great idea!

  4. I do always like the idea of somebody investigating after someone else's mess. Awesome stuff!

  5. Thanks for the comment S.P. glad you liked this. PC's cleaning up someone else's mess is essential to a great game & one that has consequences for others as well!
    There's some other stuff I'm going to be doing with Dr.Jones soon.. Stay tuned!


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