I was recently on vacation and visited Cozumel, among other places. Also, I didn’t play any Dungeons and Dragons this weekend and I’m not one of the lucky people who already have a Monster Manual, so here are some Dungeons and Dragons related things that I thought about on vacation.
The Caribbean is hot. Seriously, folks, it’s hot down there. I can’t imagine what wearing a big suit of armor would be like in that environment, but at best it would be absolutely miserable and at worst it would be lethal. Keep that in mind anytime you’re running an adventure that takes place in the desert or anywhere near the equator. It’s pretty much impossible for anyone to function for any meaningful period of time in that sort of environment while wearing a suit of armor.
Iguanas were everywhere. I must have spotted over twenty iguanas while we were out on a horse trail in Cozumel. Even in the most mundane of worlds (like the one we live in, for instance) rain-forest-type environments are teeming with life, so the resourceful adventurer should have little chance of starving in such a place. However, in a world where the lizards (and the snakes, and the spiders, etc.) can get much larger than iguanas, travelling too far from civilization in this sort of environment is probably a terrible idea. That’s why there isn’t any road that goes that way, buddy.
If you’re a stranger in a strange land, people will know it. The ports of any major trade destination are likely to be full of locals peddling this or that or begging alms from those fresh off the boats. Outsiders will tend to stay close to the port or the city gates, and there will be places in these areas specifically for them, such as marketplaces, inns, and taverns. The average foreigner won’t be doing a lot of aimless wandering in a strange city, and anyone that strays too far from the “tourist areas” will be noticed, and anything they do will draw the attention of locals. Looking lost or uncertain of where you are going or what you are doing while off the beaten path in a strange city is often a very bad idea.