Dour Puritans who fight the forces of supernatural evil with the sheer power of their faith and a vicious scowl are not exactly my cup of tea. If anything, I am a much bigger fan of beefy barbarians who battle dark wizards and seduce lusty wenches. So, when given the choice of Robert E. Howard’s characters, I prefer Conan over Solomon Kane. In fact, I have only read two Solomon Kane stories.
I am, however, a sucker for Savage Worlds and will devour pretty much anything that they produce. So, when I went to the prize support table after running my game at Fear the Con 3 (yes, you get a prize for running games at Fear the Con. You regret missing it even more now, don’t you?) my eyes were immediately drawn to the Savage Worlds of Solomon Kane Travelers’ Tales book.
The book is just over 30 pages long and has about the same dimensions as a magazine. It contains three complete adventure scenarios set in Solomon Kane’s world of supernatural darkness. The stories echoes tales that are familiar from the real world. The first involves the Uffington Dragon and the apparent return of the beast that inspired it. The second is a tale of a Frankenstein style mad scientist. The final story features Kublai Khan and his secret city of Xanadu. The book ends with several sample characters that players can use should they not already have Solomon Kane characters or if they want to try a new character.
The adventures are all well written and well edited and feature interesting stories and characters. The sample characters are likewise well written and have interesting personalities and histories. In fact, I enjoyed simply reading the supplement without knowing anything about the specific world of Solomon Kane in Savage Worlds or much about the character at all.
Of course, the best thing about Savage Worlds is that it is a highly modular system. Though I have no desire to run or play in a Solomon Kane RPG, a few subtle alterations would easily allow these adventures to be dropped into an assortment of other Savage Worlds genres and campaigns. Most obviously, stories of the supernatural in a time where black powder weapons are popular and useful require almost no alterations to fit into a Rippers campaign. Any one of these adventures could also be dropped into a 50 Fathoms game easily if a few of the location names are changed. Changing a bit of the equipment and edges given to the NPC’s would allow the adventures to be viable in a modern campaign, especially if the campaign revolves around supernatural horror. Finally, a change in the equipment and edges in the other direction and an adjustment of the location names will allow me to drop all three of these adventures into my fantasy game. These are all adjustments that can be made in five minutes or less and will provide a game master with a full night’s adventure for their players for each of the tales given.
While it is a good book, I have only one complaint about this product. Given how ridiculously affordable most Savage Worlds products are, this supplement had a fairly hefty price tag. At $14.99 it costs more than the Explorers Edition of the core rules that I bought and is not far from being as expensive as the Explorers Edition of the Fantasy Companion. Given how little content there is in this book relative to these other books, the price tag seems rather exorbitant. In fact, I likely would not have actually paid for this book if I saw it on the shelves.
Nonetheless, it is an excellent product and any Savage Worlds game master looking for pre-made adventures for their campaign would be well served to pick up this supplement.