Crawling From the Monster Island, the Jungle as an Adversary – Hex Crawl and Jungle GM sheets and a Tool

Lovers of sword and sorcery have a field day now with the long awaited hard cover release of Monster Island by the Design Mechanism and the most appropriate new scenario for it – A Bird in The Hand. Run, don’t walk to Lulu to purchase the hard cover for the sandbox and the new scenario. A Bird in the Hand will give you an excellent induction to Monster Island. You will need a hard cover for the Monster Island as the sandbox will last you a long long time with a lot of gaming. It can easily be slotted into your campaign – in mine I changed the lizard folk to native tribesmen and the high folk to serpent folk with some extra camouflage powers.

A Bird in the Hand scenario contains the wonderful hex crawl rules put together by John Holmes and my group was given a chance to put them to extensive play test and have used them in every scenario ever since. The hex crawl rules makes it a must buy for the scenario itself, for the Monster Island travel and also for other jungle related scenarios. The only thing that is “missing” from the scenario hex crawl rules is a GM sheet for the various hex crawl features. The scenario is perfectly playable without GM sheet and has all the rules.

The Core rules have tucked inside them rules for Survival, Precipitation, Exposure and Wind effects. The combination of Monster Island and the Hex Crawl rules in the scenario makes the terrain and weather of the island itself an adversary worth planning for. Your party better have navigation, survival, endurance and several other skills.

Useful Folk Magic for Hex Crawl

Many folk magic spells would also come in useful. It is of course sad that by default Monster Island does not have folk magic. YMIMV. Cool would help quite a bit during a scene. For drying yourself off “Dry” would help in helping survive the jungle night. Might might help when trying to avoid the encumbrance penalties from Burdened or above conditions. Pathway would help in not losing one’s way so easily within a single scene. Preserve would help in keeping the rations good for longer than the Monster Island week. Tire would be nasty spell against the already fatigued – might even kill a person. Vigour would help avoiding the burdened and above conditions Fatigue rolls and Warmth could help for a bit in the night.

These of course will burn quite a few magic points as they are targeted per person, will last only a short while (scene might not be a day, sounds like too strong for a cantrip like folk magic spell) and magic might not work every time. It is also worth noting that Cool and Warmth requires concentration that might be broken by the denizens and surprises of Monster Island.

GM Sheet for Hex Crawl

I was inspired to create a GM sheet for the Hex Crawl and John was kind enough to provide some feedback to tune it a bit.

You will need Mythras Core Rules, Monster Island and the scenario A Bird in the Hand. GM sheets provide summary information at a glance and refer to the books.

The GM sheets contain

  • The Monster Island (and Jungle) Hex Crawl Travel rolls
  • The Monster Island Hex Crawl Travel Distance
  • Camping in Wilderness V1.3

The GM sheets combine information about Monster Island temperature effects,

Monster Island and Jungle Hex Crawl Travel Rolls

Monster Island and Jungle Hex Crawl Travel Distance

Exposure Modfies if not in shelter

The Monster Island Armour Penalty Fatigue Calculator

The Monster Island Armour Penalty Fatigue Calculator tool calculates the effects of Monster Island Jungle rules for wearing armour. The tool is currently an excel – will likely be added to later on. Mark here your current fatigue level (Fresh, Weary…), your strength, worn Armour ENC and all other ENC than armour. Monster Island is unforgiving if you wear any armour at all so be prepared for that. If you need to calculate the weapon, specific armour set and other equipment ENC use the Encumbrance calculator and mark down what you need here.


Tool results when no armour and weeks rations are carried and nothing else
Tool results when just one ENC (note ENC) armour and weeks rations are carried and nothing else
Added just 15 ENC armour
Added a sword and couple of things raising all other ENC to 16
So here wee have the plate armoured warrior with STR11 and weeks rations.
Here one with 21 ENC with weeks rations and 1 ENC worth of other equipment
Here a more reasonable armour with normal equipment load
Plate armoured warrior – when exhausted at the Fatigue level – he will die and he is not even burdened by equipment

The files are here

…and they will appear also in the Mythras charts page and Starting Resources for GMs

To get the best of these you will need the Mythras Core Rules, Monster Island and the scenario A Bird in the Hand from Design Mechanism , Mythras Encounter Generator will create you encounters.

Let’s Spend the Night In the Wilderness – Importance Of Proper Camp Especially in the Monster Island

Here is a small chart to use when characters are traveling in wilderness. Bird in the Hand scenario brings in more detailed rules for finding shelter. If you do not know where a good shelter is your travel will get slower and there is a risk of having to sleep in the open.

The RAW rules state wearing suitable local clothing permits a character a grace period of their CON in hours before exposure sets in. The chart below shows the RAW rules for effect of being exposed to temperature ranges. The wonderful Hex Crawl rules in the scenario Bird In the Hand situated in the Monster Island enhance if you try to rest without proper tent or lean-to you risk exposure and there is no recovery of fatigue or natural healing.

In the jungle you will be wet most of the time either thru torrential afternoon rains, constant wetness of everything or the rivers. If you try to rest overnight without first drying yourself and without a fire and lean to or tent for the night – you are likely to get more and more fatigued. So if you try to sleep in a tree to avoid ground level predators (and encounter the higher order predators above) you are likely to not get rest unless you find a nice nest or build a tree house but how to keep warm there..

So even if there is no check required – there is no recovery of fatigue or natural healing unless you are sheltered.

.and the link to pdf is here