Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Islands

I just got back from an extended second honeymoon in Hawaii, and since then I've been absolutely fascinated with Polynesia. The geology of it, the original settling, the various Polynesian cultures and their recent expansion... I'm mesmerized by all of it right now. I like the idea of having an element of that history and geology in the DINO-PIRATES setting. If DINO-PIRATES geographically resembles, at least vaguely, the East Indies, then why wouldn't you have a more extended eastern area, out in the ocean, where volcanic activity caused by oceanic crust traveling over magma hotspots, has created isolated chains of islands farther afield? And if you had it, what would be out there?

This is where you can introduce another classic adventure story element into the setting; the "Robinson Crusoe" story. What if a fleeing ninja clan was blown off course? Starving and dying of thirst, a tiny remnant of them crashed on a reef just offshore from a seemingly paradisical island with a smoldering volcano in the background, and lush tropical rainforest around it. Rebuilding in this apparent paradise, they find that maybe it's not so paradisical after all... unique dinosaur-like monsters that developed in isolation prowl the jungle, tattooed natives in outrigger canoes ply the waters looking for human sacrifices, and occasionally, you find that a far-flung pirate ship makes contact because they've got a stash hidden somewhere on the island that they want to protect.

It's not much of a stretch from DINO-PIRATES as it already stands, just a slightly different take that relies on relative isolation from the rest of the setting. So, that gives us the premise for SHIPWRECKED ON THE ISLAND OF DEATH, an adventure that we should be writing right now.