Tabletop RPG Review: Doom of the Savage Kings

Doom of the Savage Kings cover

Mix in The Hound of the Baskervilles, Beowulf by way of “The 13th Warrior,” and a few dashes of “Brotherhood of the Wolf,” and you’ve got a hint of this short but packed little module for Dungeon Crawl Classics.

Something’s rotten in the village of Hirot.  The PCs stumble into a bad, bad situation and have a lot of leeway in how to solve the problem…and create new ones.  For such a small page-count, this has a surprisingly sandbox feel.  Several different NPCs populate the town, each with different needs and motivations.  How the PCs act and react with each can change the course of the story.  And that’s just in town.  There are three major locations detailed and the town is just one.  Where the PCs go, what they choose to explore, how they explore it, not to mention how and if they survive each set of problems can take things to all sorts of different conclusions.

This is intended for six to twelve 1st level characters.  That should give you some idea of how difficult and potentially deadly the module is.  That said, I’d actually be interested in trying it with sixteen or twenty 0 level characters.  It could make for a really interesting funnel to start a campaign.  Whatever the case, if you run this fairly early in an ongoing game, I could see Hirot becoming a base of operations for your PCs, if they play their cards right.  There are a few cool items that could be found and I imagine quite a bit of experience earned.  There are also plenty of places to seed story ideas for the future.

The thing I find most interesting about this one is that I can imagine running this a dozen times and not having it play out the same way twice.  Sure, there are opportunities for TPKs, but I mean games where at least some of the PCs come out the other side.  How they come out, what they’ve ended up uncovering, how the village of Hirot changes…there’s a lot of possibility.


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