I’ll admit that I’m no scholar when it comes to Dungeons & Dragons. It wasn’t my entry point game and I’ve actually only played it a few times. But I’ve been into RPGs since the 80s and I’ve picked up a few things. Reading through various Dungeon Crawl Classics scenarios, I definitely get the feeling that some of them pay homage to early ‘classics’ of D&D. Moon-Slaves of the Cannibal Kingdom, I believe, is inspired by The Isle of Dread. Both take more than a little inspiration from “King Kong” and other pulpy jungle island tales.
This is something of a sandbox scenario, with multiple ways to start and countless ways for it to play out. There are multiple factions, each with their own goals. PCs might ally with one, play each off each other, fight all, or try to sneak past each in turn. Law, Chaos, and Neutrality have their proponents and the make-up of the PC group could determine which factions are more amenable.
There’s a lot packed into this little book, but there’s also a lot you might want to do to prepare. With some prep work, the Tolomak Islands could be a setting PCs could spend a lot of time exploring, even carving out their own territory. There are places you might plug in other scenarios and recommendations for how to do it.
Running it straight out of the book could be challenging (for Judge & PCs) with lots of roleplaying and some deadly combat options. It’s intended for level 3 characters, so theoretically, the PCs should have some power, but they’re essentially messing with minor gods and their minions. Stuff could get real hairy real quick.
I’ve already got a ton of ideas for manipulating and expanding this and I’m looking forward to taking some PCs through some tropical nightmares.