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Friday, October 20, 2017

Dungeons & Dragons - Jungle Goodies: Treasures of Chult

You can buy this right here.

I was poking around on the DMs Guild and this one popped out at me. I love the cover! I took a look and saw that it had.. stuff... that I might be able to use in Tomb of Annihilation. It's only $2, so what the heck, right?

Short Version: I'd recommend this to anybody running Tomb of Annihilation or any jungle adventure. I really like it. If you want a massive pile of items, seeds and ideas, you most definitely want to buy this, no question! 

Pricing: This book is 20 pages long. How do you, the reader, feel about the price? Is $2 too low? DCC RPG adventures are about 20 pages long, are in black and white, and sell for $8. I, personally, think that Jungle Goodies could have been priced higher. $4? $5?

I know there's a ton of products out there on the DM Guild site, but generally it feels like people underestimate their own value.

Sideways: I put part of my pdf reader in the title image for a reason. This book is widescreen! It's not 8.5 x 11, it's sized similar to the 4e Dragon and Dungeon online magazines. On the one hand, it feels really wrong to me. I like books that are book-sized. On the other hand, it makes sense. Most of us are going to look at this on a computer, right?

They also included a print version, so you can do your thing.

The book is full of charts and lists. Here's a rundown of each one. I'm trying not to spoil too many, but I am spoiling some so you can get an idea of what's in here.

Animal Bits: There are some cool ideas in this one. Boots made of snakeskin that seems to shift when looked at. A black claw in a small glass dome! Some are a bit too vague for me.

Art Objects: Tremnendously useful! The values seem a bit high, but that's easil fixed. I've always found it very difficult to come up with art objects. LOVE this one: Inside a vase is studs of amber that contain ancient insects. ou could do tons of cool stuff with that one. Are they still alive? Did they suck the blood of some ancient entity (such as Ubtao) that might afford you magical properties? There's too more that I love, but I don't want to spoil too much.

Found in the Tavern: Some fun items in this. A dead, coiled snake that serves as a drink container. A giant flytrap in a bar that eats insects and rodents, keeping the place clean. Love that one!

Gifts from Nature: This one is really tremendous. Preparing the jungle for my campaign, I'm trying to come up with different fruits and foods for the group to find when foraging each day. I am going to use every single one of these!

Primitive Tools: I'm not sure how much I'd use these. I don't plan on using the grung or other more "civilized" places in Chult. I think my favorite tool is the bamboo blowpipe that shoots cactus spines.

Recovered from the Library: This stuff could be placed in a merchant prince library, the ruins of Mezro or Omu. These are a bit too vague for my liking.

Relics of a Lost Civilization: Some of these are good. I would have liked more concrete ties to Omu. I love the clay tablet with the star map, which seems like a great way to direct the heroes to the lost city of Omu. I also like the sarcophagus that might link to some other realm.

Storage Solutions: Man, these are tremendous! This is the kind of stuff I have a hard time coming up with. A hollowed-out iridescent beetle as a trinket box! A chest made from a preserved, hollowed-out mimic?! That's fantastic! I love this list, can't wait to use it. These are actually more closely tied to the actual Tomb of Annihilation book, really good stuff.

Weapons and Armor: Again, fantastic. These little details will set your campaign apart and make it feel special. A spear inlaid with thousands of petrified spiders?! I am surprised they didn't make a dinosaur skull helm. Maybe it was too obvious?

Weird Magic: More treasures! Some are a bit too vague to be useful. My favorite is the small ivory frog with emerald eyes that produce light similar to a torch.

Adventure Hooks: Tomb of Annihilation is so full of hooks and mini-adventures that I won't need this. I think they should have named the NPCs in this one to throw the DM a bone. The elderly wizard seeking the lost mage college can be linked directly to the college in Ruins of Mezro. I love the hook where a woman hires the heroes to go get her severed leg back from the beast that tore it off.

Hazards: Non-monster stuff to encounter in the jungle! Very, very useful. This one is very classic: A swift-moving stream that has stepping stones that you can use to cross. You can do a million fun things with this.

Locations: Woo! Check this out. A shrine made from the remains of a dragon turtle. Those who live in it are trying to animate the corpse! There's more really, really good ones, but I don't want to spoil it.

NPCs: Again, I wish they had named these people. Very good, though. I love the druid with the vine tattoos. I will try to work that in to my campaign.

Strange Creatures: These feel unnecessary. There's a billion monsters to use in tomb, and none of these really jump out at me. I do like the dragon hawk and the water elemental/beholder/thing.

Overall

I think that this is extremely useful and will really enhance your campaign. It's always better for the group to discover a spear with petrified spiders affixed to it rather than "a spear." It goes the extra mile and helps make the world feel fully-fleshed out, and should get the players imaginations revving up.

I would have preferred one more sentence of detail on many of the entries. I think that it is better to have too much information than not enough. I can toss aside the info I don't like but, if there's too little info, I'm stuck doing work that I am hoping this book will do for me.

I personally would have liked it if they directly tied more of the items to the stuff in Tomb of Annihilation. In almost every chart, there's one or two things screaming for it! it's up to the reader to connect the dots, though.

Highly recommended!

1 comment:

Peter V. Dell'Orto said...

How would you rate this just as a general supplement - like, how useful is this if you've got a jungle but aren't running Tomb of Annihilation or a game in Chult?