Creating Mongoose and Meerkat TTRPG Content the #BROSR Way

[Only a few days left to back Tales of the Mongoose and Meerkat Volume 3: The Redemption of Alness!]

When we first started doing the Mongoose and Meerkat books, one of the things I wanted to do for fun on the side as bonus content was do write-ups of parts of the stories that could be used at the gaming table.

This hearkened back to my days of reviewing short pulp fiction and talking about ways in which one could easily adapt short adventure fiction into adventures at the game table. One of the first examples of this was where I showed how you could run Fritz Leiber’s Jewels in the Forest with as little as a single stat block. Later, as something of a tour de force, I not only came up with some stats for Basil Wells’ Raiders of the Second Moon, I eventually ran it as a mini hex crawl for my gaming group.

So, it only seemed natural to provide some examples of how you could adapt elements of Mongoose & Meerkat into your game. I’m still very proud of the writeup I did in volume one for Battlefield of Keres, which can be dropped as an adventuring location into your hexcrawl. I’ve heard at least one person has tried it out and had fun with it.

My own tastes in gaming have changed, largely thanks to my experience with the BROSR. One thing we discovered was the greater wargame at work in AD&D. We went from some impressive skirmishes in the United Caveman Federation in the Trollopulous game to some insanely large-scale battles, such as the Battle for Castle Brovenloft, in the Halloween Braunstein Kes ran last October.

This coincides nicely with the climax of Tales of the Mongoose and Meerkat: while Kat and Mangos have been adventuring together, Mangos has been spending his money on wine, women, and antique weapons, but Kat has been saving her money to raise an army. Following the turning point in Death and Renewal and Thunder in the North, M&M’s scale shifts towards domain level play. The scale is smaller than what we’ve played in our Braunsteins and the factions fewer, but it’s there: Kat and the Alnessi remnants on one side, Rhygir and his free company on another, and Bardor’s Fedai as something of a wildcard.

The second to last Mongoose and Meerkat story features a set piece battle between the Alnessi and the Rhygirians. Mangos, a fighting man, has his first opportunity to command troops and fight on the line.

Flight of the Mongoose is a cool story, but there’s plenty of fodder for dragon hunting to incorporate into your game. I decided to focus instead on Trapped in the Loop, which will first appear in Volume 3 but will later be serialized in the Fall issue this year.

One challenge is that I’ve been primarily writing from a B/X viewpoint, while my gaming and interests have shifted to AD&D. Both B/X and AD&D have the tactical wargame embedded in them, though B/X merely hints at it and ultimately eschews it completely in favor of the “War Machine” rules. You can still use it, though, it’s merely a matter of scaling [1 figure = 20 men, multiply damage done by a unit by the number of figures on the front line, subtract the number of figures killed from the opposing unit].

I ultimately gave the unit stats in AD&D terms with a few notes for if you’re using a system with AC 9 as its baseline [eg. treat units with Scale armor as having Plate -1].

I think the characters themselves ought to convert easily enough, though I do not intent to rework all of their stats’ effect tables.

One conundrum was Kat’s Dragon Steel plate armor. I didn’t feel like rewriting her as a Fighter/Thief dual-class. She’d always been a high-dex fighter, which is more consistent in B/X with the Thief class than the Fighter class [Thief is the big damage-dealer in B/X when used correctly]. The Dragon Steel plate she gets is explicitly ultralight [lighter than Silvecite (think Elven/Mithril equivalent)], flexible, and custom fit to her, so I decided that it would be easier to treat it as an artifact-level item that has properties of magic plate AND leather, so she can get around the class restriction and still keep her dex bonus. She can’t use Thief skills in it, but it’s something of an equalizer against Rhygir, who is a very strong fighting man with Silvecite full plate.

Anyway, I hope you’ll enjoy what I’ve cooked up for the bonus content this time around and might consider either trying it out or trying out large-scale battles in your D&D game. They’re a lot of fun and that’s where you really discover the soul of D&D.

The United Caveman Federation Tell-All (Part 12)

The UCF’s second PC visitor was Fluid the Druid. This was a much more fruitful encounter for the PC, and also established that the cavemen were partial to druids. [Mostly because they are naturalistic neutral-good, so someone that they see in tune with nature is looked on favorably and blessed, even if druids’ true nature is much more sinister.]


Hey. This is Fluid the Druid. I’m traveling to Cave 6. Will arrive in five days. Jeffro says play out the encounter now if nothing of note is happening over the next five days.

Fluid arrives riding a bison with his dog Petunia.


Alright. Not far into the wilderness, you’re challenged by 4 cavemen who have a slight vantage over the trail you’re pushing forward along on your bison. You’re probably not surprised by them, as your dog may have have indicated their presence. The cavemen seem wary of you and await introduction.


They might have met me. Had earlier contact and did battle as an ally of the Ringo tribe. In any case I’ve come looking for Ringo.


Gotcha. They recognize you after a moment, and 7 more cavemen emerge from the bush. They say they’d be happy to escort you to speak with Chief Fudd who rules the caves of Fug. Ringo is busy conducting tribal business elsewhere at the moment, but Fudd can speak on his behalf for his tribe


Okay, I’ll go meet Fud. Also, while a friendly greeting I’ll play with my shiny rock in front of him as the somatic component of Charm Person or Mammal. Save v. Spells to negate.

*[Note: Caveman rolls a 20]



The leader of the patrol looks at you for a moment, chuckles, says “Funny tricksy man. Save your tricks for Fudd. He may enjoy them, especially after last funny man came.”

You’re led to the caves of Fug. Chief Fudd recognizes you and welcomes you, asking what the cavemen of Fug can do for you.


Fluid is looking for help to try to understand what the mushroom men are up to. Next visit I’ll bring tasty animals if they find out anything about the Mushroom men and their doings.


Fudd says that he has no news of the Mushroom men, but a funny man came by speaking blasphemies and discouraging the noble labor of one’s hands. When asked to measure the worth of his god against the God who made the grugs of Fug, his god failed him and miserably. Fudd goes on to say that the stores of Fug are empty and the moon of the Great Hunt is still some time off. There are scraps which are of no use to the grugs of Fug from the funny man which Fluid may find of some use. Fudd invites Fluid to join him and his hunters for a week. With his mighty tricks, he may bring great game, food and ivory, to the caves of Fug and be rewarded.


Fluid agrees to aid them in their hunt. He will find animals that will give themselves freely to the hunters. Also, agrees to inspect the scraps.


Okay, shift to meta-game. I’ll let Jeffro know so he can adjudicate a week’s worth of hunting with Fluid and a bevy of cave grugs. At the end of it, if all goes well, you’ll get a pretty nice cleric scroll.


Awesome possum.


Alrighty. Looking forward to a mighty yield!


Should be able to use locate animals and charms to find some big game for you.

Plus, healing if anyone gets trampled/gored.


Great, we should be able to get some good stuff, take no casualties, and have a pretty nice reward for your help.

I’ve passed all the details along.


Me too.

The United Caveman Federation Tell-All (Part 11)

The United Caveman Federation was so cool, PCs began to insist on being allowed to adventure there during the Braunstein [the Trollopulous PC game was on hiatus at the time]. What happened to Bob Dobs, the first PC to visit the UCF?

Note: this is also the first significant appearance of Chief Fudd of Fug, who has become a [relatively] major figure in both the UCF and the Trollopulous campaign.


So Bob Dobs, Cleric of the SubGenius, arrives safely at Cave 6 on a horse seeking to spread his faith.

*Fighter/Cleric. He’s a half-elf


Okay, you make to the hex of Cave 6, but you don’t exactly arrive safely at Cave 6. You’re stopped by a group of 5 grugs who have been tracking through the wilderness. They want to know what weird man is doing in their forests.


Bob bows respectfully and tries to communicate and/or make hand signals about the great Battle of Mt. Glovermore. He also offers them some tobacco from his pipe.


The leader indicates that he appreciates the gesture, but it would be more appropriate for around the camp fire. What is your business?


He states that the cavemen who fought alongside him in the battle were very brave despite taking heavy losses, and was curious about their gods and if they were interested in hearing about his god who brought blessings during the battle (he literally cast bless on his unit of cavemen during the battle)


The leader replies “God make grug and God provide for grug.” [he gestures to the wilderness around them] “What grug need with new god?”


“Grug’s god provides, but does Grug sometimes wish life was better? Does he wish that life were easier? That maybe there is more to life than getting eaten by a dinosaur? By achieving Slack, goals can be easier to reach and life can be more comfortable”

“I rode through the wilderness alone on a horse for three days. The only things that came close to me were a group of peaceful dinosaurs foraging. This is the path of Slack.”


“The grug walk through forest God made. The grug eat what God provides. The grug work with hands God gave him. The grug of Fug know peace of wilderness till ear-man show up and talk of other god!”

“You want talk God? Go to cave, speak with Cleric, we take you. Else go home and leave grug of Fug in peace.”


Bob graciously decides to drop the subject and agrees to go to the cave to see the cleric.


You’re taken to the caves of Fug. Your arrival has been expected. runners must have been sent that you did not see. On a stone throne, you see a guy who is obviously the chief, along with several warriors and a man who is obviously a Shaman. Women and children watch the scene with curiosity from a distance, while dozens of other cavemen look on. The leader of the patrol makes a summary of your case. The Chief, Fudd, demands to know what you are doing here. He doesn’t seem immediately inclined to allow you to enter discourse with the clan’s shaman.


“Hail, great chieftain! Having seen the strength of the people of the caves during the grand battle of the mountain, I have come to show proper honor to you.” He bows and offers some tobacco.

“Word of your deeds has spread to the city of Trollopulous, and undoubtedly elsewhere, and I have concerns for your people’s safety, both physically, from the armies beyond, and spiritually, from the debauchery of the great, wicked city.”


[Some underlings take the tobacco]

“you are first man we have from wicked city, and you propose the grug of Fug abandon God who created them for god from wicked lands beyond?”

You notice Fudd doing a point with his chin and some subtle nodding.


“I may be of the city, but I have no set place among them and my god is not their god. But I am at peace, because the SubGenius has given me the wisdom to know that my god wants me to be free and comfortable in this world.”


“Your god is greater than God who makes and provide for grugs of Fug? Depart from these lands, never to return, or show us, and we will be convinced that your god and God of grug are on in same,”

[do you leave or accept the challenge?]


“What would you have me do to?”



10 cave bears attack you.

They have been ushered in by the various cavemen while the spectacle was going on, and the nod was the signal to release them.




I’ve let Jeffro know we have a trial by combat to adjudicate XD


I don’t have my stats at hand, but I’m pretty sure a lvl 2 fighter/level 1 cleric can’t take 10 cave bears in a fair fight. Let me see what kind of spells I have.


oh, yeah, I think one of them probably tears you apart.


All right. I can see the chief from where I am yes?


maybe, but I don’t know if you have time to do anything.

what are you trying to do?


Light takes 4 segments. If I have that, I cast it right in front of his face trying to blind him and scare him into calling off the bears. If not…


lol, sorry friend! The cavemen of Cave #6 were not ready to be proselytized to.


Lol, ah well. The life of a missionary is often brief.


Indeed. However you can take solace in knowing that your death has affirmed in them that there is no God but God who made the grug!



AC/BC – You Shook Me All Night Long (PALEOROCK CLASSIC)

HA. May their feasting be merry tonight.

I’ll have to see what Items the grugs looted off his corpse later. I don’t think he had anything magical


All right

Whatever’s left of him will be given a proper burial


This domain shit’s hilarious.


Yeah, it was fun, thanks!


Best part is, there was a chance that he could’ve pulled it off. Maybe a different cave. Maybe a different hustle. Maybe casting a spell during the convo to impress the chief.


I’ll let you in on a bit of a hint: the cavemen really don’t need all that much, least of all a new religion. They more or less function as a neutral faction, with no grand designs.

[Also, for some reason I was thinking your cleric was higher level]

[Should’ve known better if he was multi-class]


He was trying to get them hooked on tobacco as leverage, so they were probably right to kill him.



I don’t know if cavemen had taken up tobacco usage. I should look that up.

[I’m running the faction based mostly on having read Clan of the Cave Bear, but don’t know if we’re going to be migratory.]


Besides, meme PCs get old after a while. I won’t really miss him.


Okay, Jeffro says that once you have your character sheet in front of you, let me know what loot you had so he can award Fudd XP.


Cool. That’ll be after work, so like an hour or two.

“City Man think he smarter than Grug. But City Man not smarter than Cave Bear.”

All right, Bob had 1,291 gp on him, a battle axe, set of plate mail, and a dagger. Also a 10 ft pole, backpack, 50 feet of rope and some yucky city food rations

The United Caveman Federation Tell-All (Part 10)

An early [and somewhat inaccurate] timeline of the United Caveman Federation!

The Elric incident and the death of Bob Dobbs will be covered in later posts.

6/11 – Prince Elric arrives at the United Caveman Federation to conduct negotiations for a pact of non-aggression between their domains and establish trade.

Details: Elric arrives at Caves of Bog [Cave 2] to conduct business in person with Ringo.

6/14 – Negotiations conclude, and the cavemen will trade ivory for iron and women.

Details: 7 tons of mammoth ivory traded for 100 footman’s maces, 600 daggers, 1200 spears, 1200 hand axes, and 96 Trollops [used].

6/29 – Bob Dobbs is apprehended near the Caves of Fug [Cave 6]. Unsuccessful at convincing the cavemen to abandon their god in favor of Slack, the Chief puts for a divine challenge, the god Slack vs. the god who provided Fug with cavebears. The cavebears tear Bob apart.

Bob leaves behind 1,291 gp, a battle axe, set of plate mail, and a dagger. Also a 10 ft pole, backpack, 50 feet of rope and some yucky city food rations. + a Cleric spell scroll with Insect Plague, Animate Object, Blade Barrier, Conjure Animals, Speak with Monsters, and Stone Tell.

7/1 – Caravan arrives from Elric near caves 1 & 2.

7/2 – Cavemen conduct the goods back to cave 2 for later distribution, while Elric’s on his way with the ivory.

7/5 – Fluid the Druid arrives at Fug. Fluid is made welcome and taken to Chief Fudd despite a failed attempt to charm the patrol’s leader. [F3 Caveman rolls 20 on his saving throw vs. spell]. Fluid inquires about the doings of the Mushroom Men, but the cavemen have no news. Chief Fudd invites Fluid to spend a week with his men hunting, using his tricks to catch big game and replenish the stores of Fug in exchange for the Cleric Scroll. Fluid agrees.

7/6-7/12 – Fluid and Fudd hunt big game, at least one large animal per day.

7/13 – Fudd gives Fluid the Cleric Scroll

The United Caveman Federation Tell-All (Part 9)

The Braunstein began with Elric needing gold for something he was doing, and he approached the Cavemen to see what he could get from them. This led to the ill-fated convey that would change the face of greater Trollopulus forever.

Elric’s Caravan

The 7k is being taken from Cave 2, Ringo’s cave. It’s being carried by 5 Paleoscincus.

Our caravan is made up of:

60 cavemen, 20 Cave Bears, 5 Paleoscincus, 5 F3, 2 F4, 1 F5, and Ringo [this is important enough he wants to be there]

The caravan will be meeting Elric at the west base of the plateau to trade the 7 tons of Ivory for:

100 footman’s maces – 800

600 daggers – 1200

1200 spears – 1200

1200 hand axes – 1200

???? Trollops – 2400

The United Caveman Federation Tell-All (Part 8)

If u are in Jeffro’s campaign, please do not take advantage of these vulnerabilities during the full moon.

Cave Defenses during a Great Hunt:

The Caves are at their most vulnerable during a Great Hunt.

Defenders include: 10 cavemen who remain to guard, 1-2 F4 (depending on cave), 20-30 Cave Bears, 5 dinosaurs. Male children may use slings against intruders but will flee and hide after one missile round.

Against a serious threat that cannot be driven off easily [such as a wandering dinosaur or something] the inhabitants will flee and hide rather than stand and fight.

If a patrol encounters a threat that may be heading towards the caves when a Great Hunt is being conducted, runners will be sent both to the cave and to the hunting party. It will be the Chief’s call, based on the threat, whether to send any lieutenants back to the caves with additional men.

The United Caveman Federation Tell-All (Part 7)

The secret of the United Caveman Federation economy revealed!

Great Hunt

At least one “Great Hunt” must be conducted per month, where the 5th level must demonstrate his prowess by bringing down a beast worthy of his stature. [He does not have to do this alone, but basically, he needs to hunt with his men and lts. to show that he’s necessary to the tribe’s survival.]

Great Hunts = anything that brings food, skin, and ivory enough for more than just subsistence and allows for trade with other tribes and the outside world.

For the Great Hunt, the following will be done:

Patrols are reduced to 5 to free up manpower.

The Great Hunt party consists of:

60 Cavemen, 4 F3, 2 F4, 1F5.*

Dinosaurs are ONLY used to haul back game during the hunt or to assist in directing the gauntlet.

On the night of the full moon, the Cleric of each cave will cast Augury, and the hunt will be planned accordingly.

The Cavemen have developed sophisticated hunting strategies that will maximize the yield of the hunt while minimizing individual risk. Prior to the hunt itself, the patrols will have scouted the area thoroughly so they can devise a cunning gauntlet to drive prey through. Each hunter is tasked with either striking a blow or driving the beast further down the gauntlet. After each blow is struck, the hunter withdraws and lets his brothers continue their task. At the end of the gauntlet, the cave chief will deliver the killing blow.

Cavemen don’t fight toe-to-toe with prey, and will attack from the sides and rear angles with jabbing spears and will drive the beasts onward using thrown or slung rocks. Injuries during hunts are rare, but a hurt caveman will withdraw immediately, covered by one of his brothers, and will be healed back at the cave by the Cleric.