Review: Doom of the Savage Kings

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Re: Review: Doom of the Savage Kings

Post by MrHemlocks »

Rick wrote:
MrHemlocks wrote:DCC has been released over two years now and still no campaign setting has been made or even hinted at...sad :(

DCC needs a campaign setting to call its own.
Here's a hint or two for ya - ... -your.html ... n?ref=dash
It has come to pass that The Chained Coffin may be destined for greater things that a simple 32 pp. adventure. If the fans desire it, The Chained Coffin could become a mini-campaign boxed set, one that includes a large 11”x17” regional map, a gazetteer describing the Shudder Mountains, and, in addition to The Chained Coffin adventure, a pair of secondary adventures designed to begin play in the region as zero-level PCs and to encounter later in their adventuring careers.

Needless to say, if this “campaign in a box” idea becomes a reality and is well-received by the fans, it may begin a new trend with DCC RPG. People have been clamoring for an official DCC RPG campaign world (whether a new one or a revised version of Aereth, Goodman’s original campaign world for the 3E DCC adventures) and this could be the first of several steps to make that happen.

DCC RPG encourages judges to abandon the notion that the campaign world needs to be a vast, sprawling expanse filled with countless cities and diverse ecospheres. Instead, DCC RPG suggests taking a smaller approach and limiting the campaign to a compact region, like a duchy, a minor stretch of wilderness, or even a single valley. The Shudder Mountains are precisely this style of world design: a finite area filled with enough adventuring ideas, unusual locals, and unique critters to meet the needs of long-term play.

A series of “campaign boxes” would allow judges to pick and choose what they want to include in their campaign worlds, rather than be given the full world treatment common to most pre-packaged fantasy campaigns. To continue with an Appalachian-themed metaphor, you’d get the patches to make the quilt rather than the whole blanket, and could assemble them using only the squares of color that catch your interest. Not into Egyptian-themed adventuring regions? Then there’s no need to spend the buy that campaign module (although if I wrote that one, I hope you would anyway). Love the idea of sword-and-planet type adventures? Pick up the hypothetical “Perils of the Purple Planet” themed set. And so on down the line.

This way, the folks who want a sense of a shared campaign world could have one—if they so desired—while the maniacal homebrewed campaign designer could pick and choose, utilizing material from the sets that captured their interest whole cloth or just the portions they liked. It’s an interesting concept and I believe it would be useful to game masters of not just DCC RPG, but other fantasy games as well.

OMG!!! I love it! A mini DCC campaign setting...boxed! I am going to support the kickstarter and order a few extra adventures. I could add this campaign setting onto my Blackmarsh setting. Guessing my players will need to find a way through the 'dark pass' in order to enter these new lands :)
Mat Mobile
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Re: Review: Doom of the Savage Kings

Post by Mat Mobile »

I'm currently running the Doom of the Savage Kings. We're currently at 2 sessions and I should complete the module in the 3rd session (I promise to edit my post and add upcoming information once completed).

I was really lucky to have 6 players with great synergy for the first session and then 5 during the 2nd session. It's the introduction adventure to DCC for most of my players. It's also my first level 1 adventure. (Having only played a funnel before.)

Here's my review with little tips and tricks on what to expect/prepare for:

Warning: the following comments contain SPOILERS!

Session 1: Village of Hirot.
  • As others have said, the village of Hirot can really be considered as a "micro-setting", so it's perfect as a first adventure.
  • The players had a lot of fun in the village talking to each NPC. (I think they even had more fun than in the dungeon.) Even though it's just a little more than 5 pages, there's enough juice in there to make it easy to run without having to memorize too much information. The only extra step I did to prepare was to add a little more detail to "Area A-8 - Craftsman" by giving a one word description (ex: drunk, flamboyant, busy, etc.) as well as noting each one of them on the Map of the village. This avoids scrambling and making all NPCs seem similar for lack of ideas during crunch time.
  • The map of the village is great! I used it as a handouts once the adventurers were inside the walls.
  • For some reason, my players weren't asking the right questions to obtain rumours. I had to have the village NPCs start chit chatting and complaining about their misfortunes to ensure the adventurers were on the right track.
  • I would not run this adventure as a funnel because the first part is very investigative. Can you imagine 16 peasants walking around a new village asking all sorts of questions?
  • But if I were to run it as a funnel, I would probably have each character be part of the commoners of the "Player start" encounter.
Session 2: Tomb of the Ulfheonar
  • I was disappointed that my players chose to enter through C6. It took away a lot of the danger from the pit and the Serpent Spirit. A judge might give it a DC15 to find or just completely eliminate it as an entrance.
  • Other than that it's a nice straightforward dungeon of the perfect size for a 1 night session (I had 5 players for that session).
Session 3: Interlude: Exiting the Serpent Mound
  • This battle was a little more difficult than expected, so make sure that you adjust the number of hunters if necessary. I definately would not want this battle to end in a TPK when it could be done at the hands (claws!?!) of the hound. Wouldn't you agree?
  • To me the objective of this encounter was a little confusing. Why is the Yarl hiring the hunters to kill the party? Basically just becauuse they're snooping around. So make sure their motives are clear in your mind before the adventurers interrogate a hunter.
  • At this point, in my game, the players are also confused by the hound. In fact they were even questionning if it actually existed. Is it the Yarl's fault? Is it Sylle Ru? But their confusion is a good thing. :twisted: Still, I really wanted them to fight the hound in the Sunken Fens so I made sure that the Mad Widow told them where to find the Hound's lair. The funny part is that they took Sylle Ru along with them to fight the Hound... That's the kind of unexpected situation that makes RPGs so great! :lol:
Session 4: Defeating the hound
  • I feel like the travel in the Sunken Fens needs a little more detail. The map shows that the lair is about 800 yards in (which is like a 20 min. walk) but this is not the objective. The characters are supposed to wander there for hours. So I decided to establish a minimum of 2 hours and I asked the first character to do a navigation/Intelligence check every hour to see if they're going in the right direction with a DC15 by day and DC20 by night. If they got lost it added an extra hour (which also adds an extra navigation check as well as a random encounter check).
  • The characters didn't have a rope and did a lot of putzing around at the top of the sinkhole. They never made their way down to the pool. Eventually I decided to check for a random encounter (a mud explosion). As they were tending to their wounds, the sun went down and the beast flew up and landed right next to them. And so the battle began...
  • Very early on in the battle, the Chaotic Wizard was killed. I opted to become creative and had the hound carry the body down into the pool. The evil nature of the pool healed the wizard with three minor... issues. First, the wizard has 3rd degree burns all over it's body (corruption), second the Hound became the Wizard's new patron (need to write up something cool for that) and finally he cannot intentionnaly harm the Hound. In the end, once the hound was killed, it's spirit flew straight into the gaping mouth of the wizard to guide him as his new patron. :twisted:

I loved this adventure. It really felt like a "micro campaign". It also gives a good variety of Investigation, Dungeon and Boss fight. I will definately run it again!

All my compliments to Harley!
Last edited by Mat Mobile on Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:17 pm, edited 8 times in total.
Harley Stroh
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Re: Review: Doom of the Savage Kings

Post by Harley Stroh »

Mat, thanks for the kind words! I'm glad it has been a fun adventure for your crew.

The lucky guy who got to write some Dungeon Crawl Classics.

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