Cargo Cult Adventures
Here’s how it goes.
First, Cargo Cults is something from real life: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult, and not so surprisingly, it’s weirder than most fantasy stuff we can find.
So Cargo Cults, in short, turns around a myth device invented by insular and low-tech societies that believe that foreign goods (strange and magical as thay appear to be) really should be theirs to own and, in fact, would be theirs if only they’d demonstrate the proper behavior to earn it. That means adopting the same “rituals” that seem to work so well for the foreigners, which includes building planes, airport strips, having military parades and such, but, huh, using wood and hay instead of anything else.
So based on that weird premise, how about adventures? What if the cargo cults weren’t that delusional? What if planes are indeed sent purposefully by the gods every now and then to bring otherwise unavailable goods to the faithful? The gods are generous indeed, but you know, maybe a little bit fickle? So inconveniently the gifts from the sky are bound to land miles away in the dangerous jungle…
It starts with a myth-dream
Of course it does.
The nutjob- I mean- the Seer of your small jungle village had another vision: “Behold, a holy gift from the sky from the Great Douglas C47A! I’ve seen it falling slowly, like a feather, and landing somewhere err, near a high cascade! and… I’ve seen a cave too, dark and deep, and… ugh! scaly, fierce monsters… But don’t you worry, the ancestors will help you on this quest. You youngsters, must find the shipment! Go! And don’t you dare come back empty-handed…”
There you go for the MacGuffin. Explore, fight some nasties and find the treasures. Should work well on a hexcrawl too, methink.
Also, rival tribes compete to find the precious shipments and violence isn’t out of the equation.
Could be anything, from the seemingly useless, to powerful high-tech/magical stuff. But even the prior would bring prestige to a tribe that manage to bring it home.