King for a Day is a system-free setting and sandbox campaign for any fantasy role-playing game. A dense manual containing all the writing you should need for months of play, Jim Pinto’s King for a Day is a really cool product that is easily overlooked due to the designer’s somewhat conservative sense of graphic design.
Who will like this setting and campaign? If you like the works of H.P. Lovecraft and Fritz Lieber (or you’re a lover of gritty low-magic fantasy settings in general) you will certainly have fun with this book. It wasn’t until the arrival of Dungeons & Dragons 5e that I gave this setting a serious second take and I’m glad I did. It’s really loaded with some awesome stuff.
So what’s in the book? King for a Day contains an extensive catalog of interesting NPCs (nearly 200 of ’em), several interesting scene locations, as well as hooks and stories galore. The main hub (the town of Brycshire) is richly detailed insofar as its customs, superstitions, gods & goddesses, titles, economics and secret factions (such as the Dangrin Gnolls, Order of the Serpent, and the Scorched Hand). The tone is something strange as it blends semi-historical Anglo-Saxon culture (c. 800 AD) with D&D fantasy races and some not-so-subtle Lovecraft shenanigans. Don’t worry if you’ve never run horror before: the book contains some really useful advice on running that sort of stuff.
The metaplot is huge and tasty and offers some great opportunities for several systems. Which system should you run King for a Day with? Well, there’s Dungeons & Dragons (Brycshire could make a GREAT domain for Ravenloft), Harn, Pathfinder, Lamentations of the Flame Princess (when this came in I thought it WAS a licensed LotFP product), Dark Ages Cthulhu, or your favorite generic system (FATE or GURPS anyone?).
Even if you don’t use it as written, it’s a massive amount of horror flavored fantasy writing you won’t have to do the next time you prepare.
-Today’s Cool Thing is a series of short articles detailing whatever cool thing our staff members are currently buzzing about.
-George likes Indo-European history almost as much as he likes tentacles and unbidden madness. This juxtaposition accounts for our excellent selection of both Viking and Lovecraft RPGs…