Hollow Earth Expedition by Exile Game Studio is probably my favorite game to run for Fandible. The setting is rich with opportunities for all kinds of pulp-inspired gaming, but sometimes even the best GMs find themselves prepping for a game, staring at a blank sheet of paper and thinking “What the hell am I going to do this week?”
If you’re in that boat, here are four Hollow Earth Expedition plot hooks based on real life to help create a new pulp adventure deep in the Hollow Earth, or on the dangerous surface world.
- The Lost City Near Angkor Wat
Pulp’s founding father Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote about a forgotten civilization in the jungles of Cambodia in The Jungle Girl in 1929. In 2012, lasers confirmed the city of Mahendraparvata was hidden under the jungle vegetation around the Angkor Wat temple complex.
Of course, in the world of HEX, that city could have had a very different fate. The thick jungle could do more than obscure a city – it could obscure an entrance to the Hollow Earth itself, explaining how a civilization of people could just disappear from the surface of the Earth. Your PCs are surface world adventurers, seeking fame and fortune in the jungles of Cambodia, or natives of the Hollow Earth who have claimed this lost city as a new outpost of a forgotten civilization.
- Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty…
Evading herds of velociraptors and siccing T-Rexes on Nazis may be some of the hallmarks of HEX adventures, but don’t forget our prehistoric furry friends that make their home in the Hollow Earth as well. Check out the saber toothed cat paw print recently discovered in Argentina – it’s 20% larger than a contemporary Bengal tiger’s! What kind of catnip do your adventurers have on hand to distract – or lure – this creature from a tasty snack?
- The Search for Stolen Gold
The Thule Society requires massive amounts of currency to fund their expeditions into the Hollow Earth. As surface world adventurers, or stranded explorers already inside the Hollow Earth, the PCs are searching for a hidden or lost cache of Nazi gold – and have to beat not just the Thule Society, but other treasure hunters, to find their quarry first.
- The Amelia Earhart of the Automobile
While at Fandible Amelia Earhart may have traded her wings for sails, in the 1920s her competition for notoriety was driving on four wheels – while looking stylish and with a furry companion to boot. Aloha Wonderwell (a name MADE for a pulp adventurer!) was the first woman known to drive around the world in an automobile. She joined a race in 1922 to visit the most countries in the world by auto, and was joined by “Captain” Walter Wanderwell, a camera crew, and a monkey named Chango. Use Wonderwell as character inspiration, or surface world adventurers can meet her in the course of another plot.
Fellow HEX, or other pulp-gaming GMs, what real world plot hooks have you incorporated into your pulp adventures?
A big thanks to the Hollow Earth Expedition Explorers Facebook Group for collecting some of these. Join the group for more great pulp adventure discussion!
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