Saturday, March 14, 2020

Retro Review & OSR Campaign Commentary On Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride By Levi Combs From

"Tales of the cursed pyramid and the sleeping tomb of the Mummy Bride have long been a traveler’s tale, passed along by wayward explorers and greedy plunderers alike. Deep within the verdant jungles of the south, amidst a Green Hell of impenetrable jungle, savage cannibals and ancient myth, lies the shattered remnants of a once-powerful civilization and the terrible gods who ruled over them. Rumors swirl of untold riches and un-plundered magic for those brave (or foolish!) enough to claim it. Will your players survive… and what will be left of them?"

Some months ago on Twitter Levi Combs approached me with a fifth edition adventure called 'The Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride'. Now normally I don't review any adventures fifth edition but PX Games has been on my back radar for some months now. I totally missed the Kickstarter for  'The Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride'. Real life & all of that sometimes comes into the hobby more often then not.

If your thinking that somehow the fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons incarnation makes  'The Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride'. any less of an adventure then your missing the point. Fifth edition D&D with the right application of mathematics can easily be back retro converted. And that's percisely what I'm gonna do with  'The Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride'.. The adventure is way too well done not to.  'The Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride'. touches several areas & does them very well. This is an over the top retro Pulp style adventure. Its done with savage abandoned towards the PC's & its very brutal. The writing, cartography, & layout is tight & well done almost as a testiment to the Weird Tales & Pulp magazine stories that spawned this module here's a room description that provides what I'm talking about ;"Ssssssssslime Something slimy, something green – someone bloody, someone screams! At one time, the ceremonial vestments of the faithful were kept here, and stands made of bamboo held feathered headdresses, elaborately painted loincloths and wide belts festooned with tiny human bones. The walls held cruel-looking ceremonial daggers, ready for sacrificial rituals. Now, all that is left are two broad, circular stones that were once painted a bright turquoise but have faded with age, draped in rotting garments and a few odd bird feathers. Bits of dry, brittle twine and old vines hang from empty hooks where daggers once rested. The walls are cracked but stable, and twisting vines snake across the ceiling. There is a doorway in the west wall. Hidden amongst the vines and hanging moss on the ceiling is a patch of particularly virulent and sticky mottled slime. It drops down onto the player characters if it detects any sort of movement beneath it. The 5-foot patch of mottled slime is caustic and will erode flesh and metal on contact with its acidic secretions. The mottled slime has blindsight to a radius of 30 feet and reacts to the movement within this area. If a creature is aware of the slime’s presence, a successful DC 10 Dexterity saving throw by that creature is sufficient to avoid being struck by the slime. A failed saving throw, or lack of awareness of the slime, prevents the creature from avoiding the slime as it drops onto its unsuspecting prey"
The mottled slime does 5 (1d10) acid damage to any creature that it comes into contact with. The creature takes an additional 5 (1d10) acid damage at the start of each of its turns, or until an action is used to scrape the slime off or until the slime is destroyed. Metal that comes into contact with the slime takes 11 (2d10) acid damage each round, and any nonmagical metal weapon used to remove the slime is destroyed. The patch of mottled slime can be destroyed by direct sunlight, cure disease effects, and cold, fire or radiant damage."

Like I said this isn't all that difficult to translate over to your favorite old school or OSR incarnation of the grand game of Dungeons & Dragons or Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. The vibe that echoes throughout the 'The Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride'..  is one of Saturday Matinee Serials, Pulp magazines, & midnight movie marathons.  One part Indiana Jones meets Robert E. Howard in a back alley with some South American style liches for some bad dangerous fun. 

The encounters & rooms of 
'The Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride' are brutal,dangerous, & straight up nasty. This isn't a jungle romp of easy & niceness for the PC's. An experienced group could have a hard time with 'The Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride'. That's not a joke & the tag line of  'devilishly-designed dungeons for levels 5-7' isn't a joke  moniker.  'The Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride' encounters are designed for the sixth to eighth level of old school gaming in my opinion & even jaded old school veterans are going to have to give this adventure its due. 

Back cover art by the amazing Adrian Landeros. Check him out on Instagram at @ghoster9 for more of his work.

The maps & cartography of the 'The Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride'  are well done & fit the aesthetic of the Pulp & 30's serial roots of adventure. Encounters & events fit the over all pattern, aesthetic, & weirdness of this Pulp slated adventure. 

An example of one of the many maps in Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride, courtesy of the talented Karl Stjernberg.  Check him out at @skullfungus on Instagram.

 One of the many maps in Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride, courtesy of the talented Karl Stjernberg. Check him out at @skullfungus on Instagram. Karl does an excellent job of his work on The Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride'

How would I use '
The Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride' ? Well that's not all that tough actually. Personally  I would take the this adventure & glue it into a campaign right along with the classic Expert Dungeons & Dragons adventure X2 Isle of Dread. The overall Pulp look, feel, classic material serial tone of 'The Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride'  means it fits into a campaign by Isle of Dread as simply another island. 

'The Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride' could be dropped ad hoc into Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperobrea rpg as another island in the chain of 
Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess fragment of  the Isle of the Serpent just waiting for the PC's to stumbled into its machinations. 

I would also be remiss to say that  'The Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride' could easily be entirely slotted into a classic Castles & Crusades campaign without any problems what so ever. The encounters link up & line up quite nicely with that game's numbers & formula.

The 'The Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride' lines up quite nicely with some of my OSR asthetics that I've had rattling around my head for the last year or so. I think that my time using this adventure at my table hasn't begun yet. But I know that 'The Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride' will be played at my table coming soon. Stay tuned for that & I highly recommend 'The Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride' for your own table top! 

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