Game Jump
rating: 0+x

Basic Information

A game jump is a terrain feature consisting primairly of a cliff over which herd animals can be driven to their deaths to allow large numbers of them to be killed at once. This was a particular technique of the North American Amerindian cultures, but appears in many places around the world at some point. Apparently, in at least one method of jumping game, a hunter disguised as one of the quarry species would lead the stampeding animals, attempting to ensure that they bolted in the right direction - doing this well could lead to great distinction, getting it wrong could lead to embarrassment or, indeed, being trampled to death.

Although a fairly primitive way of hunting, the large pile of dead animals that results requires a significant input of labour and technology to be proccessed before it rots. Potentially a tribe may camp close to the bottom of the fall and eat as much of the meat as they can whilst it remains fresh and then working the skins, bone etc. over a longer time … and of course food preservation technologies can allow more of the meat to be saved for longer.

For those with wild herd animals to hand and a lot of mouths to feed (such as an army or wagon train), this could be an efficient hunting method into the modern era.


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • In a stone age game, a PC might win considerable prestige by sucessfully decoying a herd into a jump.
  • Alledegly pre-sapient pack carnivores might demonstrate a worrying level of intelligence by jumping a herd on their own account.
  • The period after a jump is likely to be a significant festival for the tribe in question - given that they have a lot of meat to get through before it goes off. This might also be a cue for gift-giving to other tribes (perhaps expecting a share in return when the receiving tribe organises their own jump) or a good time to discuss trade or other treaties.
  • Equally it might be a wary time with the tribe on edge to guard the rich resource stockpile whilst it remains usable.
    • There may even be conflict ahead of time for control of the jump … and if mishandled, the herd which they were planning to jump might move on or be scared off as a result.
  • This sort of place might accumulate some very grumpy animal spirits - a tribe is liable to need a good shaman to palcate them.
  • They are also good sources of archaeological data given the amount of activity that occurs at the bottom of them.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License