-== What is it? ==-
The Daring Tales Of Adventure Compendiums (DTOA) are sets of four pulp adventures for Savage Worlds. They are published by Triple Aces Games as part of their Daring Tales series. Currently there are four volumes. A set of characters are provided for use with the scenarios.
These softcover books have color covers and entirely black and white interiors. The books are 6” x 9” and are roughly 112 pages in length. I am reviewing print copies of the Daring Tales Of Adventure Compendiums that I bought. I ran all of the adventures in the first three compendiums. I own and have read all four books.
-== What I Like ==-
My favorite thing about the DTOA adventures is how they capture all of the traditional iconic pulp elements. There are adventures with Nazis that have jetpacks, ancient Hollow Earth tribesman, strange Egyptian snake cults, mad scientists, zeppelins, etc. Each adventure also has several types of encounters. What pulp adventure is complete without a chase!?! Don’t forget a fist fight! Also the crazy locations are right out of the pulps. Ancient Templar tombs, exotic Turkish baths, etc.
The DTOA adventures can also chain off of each other. For example, a bad guy might escape at the end of one adventure to appear in a future story. This is a classic pulp staple.
The Savage Worlds stat blocks for the villains, monsters, and NPCs are for the most part complete and thought out. I did have to make some tweaks based on the changes in Savage Worlds Deluxe but overall the characters held up well.
Triple Aces added several setting rules for the DTOA line to better reflect the pulp genre. My group utilized all of these changes and they worked pretty well. Probably the largest and most important change is that bennies spent to soak are returned if all of the damage is reduced by the soak roll. This means the typical squared-jawed pulp PC can shrug off anything except the most deadly of blows. Also an additional bennie is granted at the start of each combat. That really makes a difference when there might be several combats in a single adventure.
-== What I Don’t Like ==-
The DTOA adventures are based on existing characters that are provided. Personally I think this was a bad choice for the line. In most cases I did not have trouble converting the scenarios so that they would work for the PC in my campaign but at times I could not easily do the conversion. For example, in a couple of the DTOA scenarios the action starts with a flashback where the PC were on some other adventure or story. This is not so easy if the PC did not have this in their backgrounds. If the DTOA products were geared for any group of pulp heroes then they could still have had their own provided PC as an option.
Almost every DTOA story has a scene that I thought did not advance the plot and could be removed. Often these scenes involved some fight with thugs when the PC are trying to gather some clue.
The adventures did not progressively scale in difficulty that well. For some reason my group of PC with less experience than the provided PC were MUCH more combat savvy. It was not a massive problem but it gave me more work than I would have liked.
Some of the DTOA adventures contained rules that were created directly for a particular scene. In a couple of these situations I had trouble as someone who is new to Savage Worlds converting it to Savage Worlds Deluxe.
Triple Aces enhanced the chase rules so that they introduce obstacles. These additional rules are really neat but they can be a bit tricky to convert to Savage Worlds Deluxe. Also chases had to be converted to round. I used the text in Savage Worlds Deluxe to help make the changes.
Artwork in the DTOA books was marginal and sparse. The covers are nice add evocative. The handouts are ok when provided. I would have liked to have the handouts available as PDF from site at a higher resolution so I could print them out easier.
The softcover binding is very tight. I had mine split and spiral bound to try and alleviate the issue. That helped but when spiral bound the text was very close to the binding and overwrote the text in several places.
-== Summary ==-
If you are looking for a set of pulp genre adventures with all the wonderful tropes then look no farther that DTOA. Be prepared for some alterations if you want to use your own PC and Savage Worlds Deluxe.
I give it 7 out of 10 paws.
You can get copies in PDF format at DriveThruRPG at this URL for $10 each. Amazon has the books for roughly $13. Here is a link to the third book. Noble Knight also has copies. Here is a link to the first one on their site.