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monster island adventures


p_clapham

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I figured out one of my summer games. I'm going to run monster island, or a varient of it. Basically the island is a prison/ arena used for political dissidents, criminals, and prisoners of war. The poor souls are transported there through magical means, as the island is surrounded by a series of deadly reefs that make boating imposible. The "gladiators" are told that somewhere deep within the island lies a magic portal that leads to freedom. In addition the island contains a number of dungeons stocked with gear, monsters, and deadly traps. This is very useful as the characters are only allowed to bring one weapon of their choice to the island. They are otherwise unarmed, and unarmored.

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Imagine Indiana Jones tackling ancient temples without his trademark whip or Carl Denham & Co. exploring Skull Island without even rifles to defend themselves with.  A rugged tropical island packed with hazardous terrain, ravenous monsters, and booby trapped ruins is surely dangerous enough even if the player-characters are dumped there armed to the teeth.  After all, one crumbling mountain ledge or rushing river and most of their gear and supplies are gone anyway.  Bounty hunters are unnecessary, but the island could host desperate convict survivors or sinister natives with grisly methods of welcoming visitors.  The ruins aren't stocked with equipment, per se, being the remains of a higher civilization that the current inhabitants remember only as legend if at all, but they do contain wealth and technological goodies the ancients left behind.  The folks that stranded the adventurers on the island have no realistic means of creating such caches or of knowing whether there is really a hidden escape route; it's all a lie.  That doesn't mean that an exit doesn't actually exist, however.  The "treasure" might be a map a previous prisoner made of a risky passage through the surrounding shoals or of the location of a venerable but operable escape vehicle, or of a mysterious tunnel that leads ... somewhere/somewhen else.

 

Inspirations:

 

King Kong

Son of Kong

The Land Unknown

She

King Solomon's Mines

The Lost World

The Lost Continent

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 Ever see the Japanese movie Battle Royale? I believe its on the web now. Story is a Bunch of Kids from a Class that does not meet government  standards are dropped on an Island and they have to fight to the death until one is left alive. They are given a back pack of supplies and a time limit.

 Have several teams drop off on the island at the same time and tell them the teleporter will take the first 6 or what ever number you like off the island so there completion to be the first there. Have the teleporter need an amulet that changes every year and have harden  survivors from last years contest  out to get this years amulet from the players. Or have one of the opposing teams be composed of People the player would normally hold in high regard( A leading Political reformer, a well resected and Noble General or the Standard Beautiful Princess who throne was taken by her evil Uncle etc) Do the players stand aside and let the Princess and her retunue go and try to claim her throne or is it everyone for themselves?

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Not sure why the "powers that be" would provide an escape route at all; much easier if  it is  a one-way trip for your other-wise unwanted riff-raff.

 

Now if it is some kind of martial contest, like some gladiatorial version of  'Survivor',  than yes, there would have to be  some possibility of getting off the island.

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 Just because the Powers say there a

 

Not sure why the "powers that be" would provide an escape route at all; much easier if  it is  a one-way trip for your other-wise unwanted riff-raff.

 

Now if it is some kind of martial contest, like some gladiatorial version of  'Survivor',  than yes, there would have to be  some possibility of getting off the island

Just because the powers tell you there a way off the island does not mean they are telling the truth

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Not sure why the "powers that be" would provide an escape route at all; much easier if  it is  a one-way trip for your other-wise unwanted riff-raff.

 

Now if it is some kind of martial contest, like some gladiatorial version of  'Survivor',  than yes, there would have to be  some possibility of getting off the island.

The island is designed to be both a prison and a arena.  The "powers that be" will be monitoring the characters from afar via magical means, and they'd prefer to be entertained.

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As I see it game-play demands that there be a way off the island.

 

The story though argues against such a fact.

 

I see three possible solutions.

 

"Ace in the Hole":  The final night in their cells, before they are teleported to the dreaded island, the characters receive a mysterious visitor, who tells them  of a teleportation gate that the authorities are unaware of. Who is this mysterious benefactor,  and what is his interest in helping the player characters would be a significant part of the game's back-story.

 

"The Hack": The authorities regularly visit the island, probably to 're-stock' it with dangerous beasts. The gates  though are secured , and only the authorities have the activation codes. Except of course  for the players characters, who somehow have gotten a hold of  one of the codes (perhaps through a mysterious figure, see above). Or there is some way that they just might be able to overcome the gate's security to use them for themselves.

 

"Only the Worthy": So the whole  battle on the island  has religious overtones, and is seen as kind of a trial by ordeal; anyone who survives to reach the gate is considered to the "Chosen" and  cleansed of their past sins.  In this permutation it is expected that at least one group who is sent to the island will return, triumphantly.

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