Friday, September 11, 2009

Death (?) Doom

After taking care of some banking and promotional activities today, I'm taking today and tomorrow off. Then there's the weekly game on Sunday, then it's back to the writing and revising and coordinating on Monday.

After the already-planned releases (Insect Shrine, The Grinding Gear, Deranged and Insane: The Lunatics of the Stone Hold Asylum), I think I'm going to revisit the Duvan'Ku thing.

I have this idea for a series of adventures, unrelated in any way except that they all involve remnants of the old Duvan'Ku civilization. They won't be "sequels," or have connecting plotlines, and let's face it, how many characters will volunteer to go anywhere else they see the Dead Sign after the first encounter?

Hell, how many parties will stay alive and intact enough to sustain any sort of continuing narrative involving these places? :D

Each will involve some sort of location theme. Death Frost Doom takes place on an icy mountain, for instance.

The next one will take place deep in an Amazon-like jungle. Over the next couple days I'll be researching source material to get the feel right. I've rented the following films that I've never seen:

  • Cannibal Ferox
  • Mountain of the Cannibal God
  • Eaten Alive!

(I already own Cannibal Holocaust, the movie that features real-life animal mutilations and as the interviews claim, the director had to produce the actors in court to prove he didn't make a snuff movie, and I believe served time in jail anyway for the movie... this stuff is bad news. Check just the first three items in IMDB's Trivia section for the movie, which is all consistent with what I have heard from other sources. I felt horrible after watching this movie. It really is difficult to stomach, and I say that as a lifelong gorehound.)

By reputation, Cannibal Ferox might be as bad (although Cannibal Holocaust has the reputation of being the gold standard for brutality and sleaziness), Mountain of the Cannibal God is more of a "real" movie, and Eaten Alive! is crap, but I'm not watching these movies just to watch primitive natives eat people.

While the pure filth of Cannibal Holocaust could never translate to RPGs (where PCs have no issue slaying their enemies, hunting for food, or killing threatening creatures, and it is in these activities that the movie causes disgust by their rather uncinematic depiction), it does have several themes which are interesting and definitely suitable for a gameable adventure:

  • The cannibal tribe are not just mindless savages who eat any old person that shows up - this is a tribe of humans, not hairless animals
  • The setting's utter isolation and separation from civilization is very well-done
  • "Who are the real savages, us or them?"

I hope these other movies have similar redeeming qualities hiding somewhere among the more obvious elements.

So research today and tomorrow, but no actual writing (or any other aspect of production) until either the current releases are done, or my regular game group ends up in a jungle environment. :D

However... what to call it? Death Jungle Doom, Death Cannibal Doom, Death Malaria Doom, all that sort of thing just seems cheesy. Death Amazon Doom might imply the wrong kind of Amazon. But I want to keep the Death x Doom title format for the Duvan'Ku-themed adventures... for people that want them, or not, to more easily identify them.

So what should x be?


  1. I would suggest Fewer.

    BTW Have you seen Aguirre, the Wrath of God?

  2. Green

  3. Might be a bit too close to Death Frost Doom but I like the sound of Death Feast Doom if cannibalism is going to play a part in the adventure

  4. I'm a fan of Death Malaria Doom. :P

  5. Death Morass Doom.

    Death Feast Doom ain't bad neither.

  6. It looks like blogger ate my earlier comment: Verdant or Primal.

    Death Primal Doom
    Death Verdant Doom

    Primal sounds a bit more to the heart of what you’re presenting.

  7. I'll put in another vote for "Death Feast Doom". I'll also put in another vote for picking up and watching Aguirre, The Wrath of God.

    Also, even though it's not expressly cannibal-related, Apocalypto is a 100% badass movie and definitely worth watching for any jungle-based adventure.

  8. James, off the top of my head I like "Death Green Doom".

    I suggest reading David Grann's "The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon". Not only does it give insane accounts of just how nasty (with disease and vermin) the Amazon is, it also makes a comment about something similar to your words above: "Who are the real savages, us or them?"

    The book tells the story of Colonel Fawcett, explorer of the Amazon who finally disappeared therein. He was no stranger to cannibal tribes, and he was also in WWI. He made a comment along these lines: 'The Amazonian cannibals aren't half as bad as us "civilized" European Christians. In our war the body count was FAR higher than anything the Amazonians do. Plus the fact that at least they kill for food. We slaughter and mangle our human brothers for...what? Absolutely nothing.'

  9. If you're going to keep the format, I like both Death Feast Doom and Death Green Doom, the former a bit more, I think.

    Personally, I would go for something simple like Green Hell, but it would be a shame to lose that Death x Doom format.

  10. I'm going to vote for "veridian" Death Veridian Doom just rolls off the tongue, and I can't hear it but in Vincent Price's voice. ;D

    And, while it's not a jungle movie, I'd also suggest taking a peek at "Ravenous", and surprising little movie with an excellent cast and a different take on cannabilism.

  11. I own Ravenous. Wonderful little movie, and doing the Wendigo angle crossed my mind, but that changes cannibalism from "horror" to "power-up potion in meat form."

  12. I feel like I've overlooked the obvious.

    Death Ferox Doom.