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,
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 toolsfrompavis.com 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.
The files are here
- Monster Island and Jungle Travel Rolls
- Monster Island Travel Distance
- Camping in the Wilderness
- Monster Island Armour Fatigue Calculator