Bards and Sages RPG Resource
DriveThruComics
DriveThruFiction
Powered by DriveThruRPG


Home » SoulMuppet Publishing » Reviews
Browse Categories













Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
Best Left Buried: The Deluxe Edition [BUNDLE]
by Wayne R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/12/2019 05:51:52

I bought Best Left Buried on a bit of a whim if I'm honest. I love grim, gritty and dark fantasy rpg's, but have found many of them to be rather rules heavy. So when I saw this I bought it.

Let me just say that I am very happy I did! The system is simple yet flexible (2d6 + stat vs a TN 9, then some dials that mix this up) and the archetypes evocative (Cabbalist, Cut-throat, Veteran etc). The system allows for some very varied characters in a very simple framework, and one that comes with the tools and guidelines to build your own. The same goes for for fantasy races should you wish to use them. As you would expect in a dark, grim system, magic is there, but you won't be doing Elminster type shenanigans.

Although the game does not come with a bestiary as such, it gives you a fantastic monster builder, which to date I haven't found a monster concept I couldn't replicate. Did I mention this is also very simple to do?

Where's the grim dark I hear you say? Well that comes with the Grip (Sanity, Stress etc from other games) mechanic which is used to fuel abilities, re-rolls, resisting fearsome monsters etc. When this runs out, and it will, you can take afflictions or injuries to regain it. So before long, if your little crypt digger isn't careful, he or she will be sporting a variety of either physical or mental complications. It's all very elegant, and again, simple to use.

The game comes with a ready made scenario which is also well written and enjoyable, and if it isn't your cup of tea, well just buy one of the many Zini adventures that are now available!

If I were to make one criticism, it's that at times the rules aren't always 100% clear, I think this stems from the DIY nature of the game, which is also it's charm I guess. Luckily, as the rules, well the framework they are written on, is very transparent, it's not too hard to fill in these gaps yourself with a little common sense and reflection on other parts of the system. Additionally, although there is/were some errata needed, the author has thus far been very proactive about addressing these and so far I'm happy with the response time of resolving these concerns.

So far I have run 3 sessions (with more to come) with the system and it's been very enjoyable, for both myself as a Doomsayer (GM) and my players, unless they are all lying of course!

Oh the art, I forgot to mention the art. I personally love it, it's hand drawn work which I think evokes the right atmosphere, but if you're in to highly polished triple A productions you may be disappointed.

In summary, a great game that's easy to run, plus it has lots of support coming out for Doomsayers pretty much every other week! What's to not like!

Over and out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Best Left Buried: The Deluxe Edition [BUNDLE]
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Best Left Buried: Doomsayer's Guide to Horror
by Kip C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/14/2019 09:39:57

This is a great rules light game. This small book is packed with brilliant advice and aids to help a GM run this system. Highly recommend.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Best Left Buried: Doomsayer's Guide to Horror
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Best Left Buried: Cryptdigger's Guide To Survival
by Dominic C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/02/2019 17:57:19
A great rules-light game for creative characters and terrifying monsters.

I picked this up during a time when 5th edition just wasn't cutting it for me, and I found myself less and less interested in RPGs as a whole as the numbers and class features piled on, the party becoming effectively superheroes as every fight became a battle of how many dice worth of damage you could roll in a single turn.

I found OSR through questing beast, and one of the first games that appeared was Best Left Buried. A day long adventure and a short one-shot later, here we are.

The game is great. It allows players much more freedom in who they want to be without drowning them in character options. And yet, character creation itself is a doddle, I was able to get someone TOTALLY knew to RPGs to create 3 distinct characters within the space of maybe 10 minutes. Furthermore, the areas I usually find boring in RPGs are greatly streamlined; combat is no longer a slog of who can roll the best dice, and is now quick, hard and brutal, having the knock on effect of forcing the players to think and strategise before the fight even starts, not just when it turns ugly. It's just a really intuitive system and I can't get over how quickly players can get to grips with the system.

The game seems to encourage talking in general, many of the adventures made for this have little monsters at all. This is not a bad thing, it means that tension builds, and when combat does come the players are usually terrified, aided by the bonkers monster designs. In my case, players spent more time talking to each other in camps and conversing with the NPCs, as all confidence they had in their indestructibility was gone. Some of the more soft-design elements are also really neat, the idea of not naming your monsters and instead simply describing them for your players to name is really novel, and is a great way to get them really invested in the world.

On the side of the Doomsayer, the game is great at explaining how it is designed to work, and things like monster design are much more freeform, letting you focus on how grim the monster is over how balanced it is. I love this - I can create interesting monsters in minutes without needing to worry about it's potential balance issues too much. Even if they are strong - the nature of the game means players are likely to run either way, and a straight fight is almost never the result of a well built session.

Honestly, I'm trying to find things to criticise. While some people I've talked with think that the "playing the game" section should come before the character creation, I disagree - the way this is laid out let's people new to it create their character first, and then learn to actually play afterward. I've found a fair few spelling errors, but nothing that really obscures intent, so it's excusable. I think the game could do more to cover longer-length adventures and campaigns, at the moment it seems a little geared more toward 1-3 session long adventures. This isn't a bad thing, but I think some expansions could cover long-resting in more detail, as well as more in the way of how to handle an adventuring company, as that seems to be the best way to run this game, where the corpses pile up often.

Overall, the game is just fun to play, and really encourages the elements of RPGs I love the most, whilst simplifying the elements that can either make my planning tedious or the session itself drawn out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Best Left Buried: Cryptdigger's Guide To Survival
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Best Left Buried: The Deluxe Edition [BUNDLE]
by Dominic C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/02/2019 17:48:47
A great rules-light game for creative characters and terrifying monsters.

I picked this up during a time when 5th edition just wasn't cutting it for me, and I found myself less and less interested in RPGs as a whole as the numbers and class features piled on, the party becoming effectively superheroes as every fight became a battle of how many dice worth of damage you could roll in a single turn.

I found OSR through questing beast, and one of the first games that appeared was Best Left Buried. A day long adventure and a short one-shot later, here we are.

The game is great. It allows players much more freedom in who they want to be without drowning them in character options. And yet, character creation itself is a doddle, I was able to get someone TOTALLY knew to RPGs to create 3 distinct characters within the space of maybe 10 minutes. Furthermore, the areas I usually find boring in RPGs are greatly streamlined; combat is no longer a slog of who can roll the best dice, and is now quick, hard and brutal, having the knock on effect of forcing the players to think and strategise before the fight even starts, not just when it turns ugly. It's just a really intuitive system and I can't get over how quickly players can get to grips with the system.

The game seems to encourage talking in general, many of the adventures made for this have little monsters at all. This is not a bad thing, it means that tension builds, and when combat does come the players are usually terrified, aided by the bonkers monster designs. In my case, players spent more time talking to each other in camps and conversing with the NPCs, as all confidence they had in their indestructibility was gone. Some of the more soft-design elements are also really neat, the idea of not naming your monsters and instead simply describing them for your players to name is really novel, and is a great way to get them really invested in the world.

On the side of the Doomsayer, the game is great at explaining how it is designed to work, and things like monster design are much more freeform, letting you focus on how grim the monster is over how balanced it is. I love this - I can create interesting monsters in minutes without needing to worry about it's potential balance issues too much. Even if they are strong - the nature of the game means players are likely to run either way, and a straight fight is almost never the result of a well built session.

Honestly, I'm trying to find things to criticise. While some people I've talked with think that the "playing the game" section should come before the character creation, I disagree - the way this is laid out let's people new to it create their character first, and then learn to actually play afterward. I've found a fair few spelling errors, but nothing that really obscures intent, so it's excusable. I think the game could do more to cover longer-length adventures and campaigns, at the moment it seems a little geared more toward 1-3 session long adventures. This isn't a bad thing, but I think some expansions could cover long-resting in more detail, as well as more in the way of how to handle an adventuring company, as that seems to be the best way to run this game, where the corpses pile up often.

Overall, the game is just fun to play, and really encourages the elements of RPGs I love the most, whilst simplifying the elements that can either make my planning tedious or the session itself drawn out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Best Left Buried: The Deluxe Edition [BUNDLE]
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

A Doom To Speak: The Ravines of Karn
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/28/2019 18:22:36

There's quite a lot going on with a number of possible interactions, given the size of the location.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Doom To Speak: The Ravines of Karn
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Best Left Buried: Cryptdigger's Guide To Survival
by Nick H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/04/2019 09:58:17

Many games today like to use the words "grim", "dark", "edgey" and "horror" to lure in gullible dice-ers to part with their hard earned gold, only to pass off a half-arsed reskin of the usual dragons-&-stuff-wot-u-can-wack-in-a-dungeon. Zzzzzz.

So it's with a sort of morbid joy that I can honestly say that discovering Best Left Buried has been the answer to my cries of despair. Here is a game that has clearly taken a look at all that is tired, cliched and homogenised in modern (or even retro) RPG's, hacked off the flab with a blunt axe, glued it back on in a new way, and shoved its' still bleeding body into the dankest of crypts to see what survives.

Here you'll find characters with actual character, stats that add filmic dimension, a world that warps the tropes with smile-inducing surprises, and an intrinsic infusion of everything with a real and palpable sense of the excitement of dread blended with the stoic determination of real adventurers...all sprayed with lumpy dollops of horror in both edgey and schlocky varieties.

The word that sprung to mind the most (to me) as we read, created with and then played Best Left Buried was DYNAMIC. There's a fresh edge to this game that I have sought long and hard. Boring it never is...which is more than can be said of many.

It's not perfect, but I find perfect boring...this had us all engaged on every level as we worked WITH those little flaws and rough edges and get truly stuck in; emotionally, mechanically and physically. Bums edged onto the corners of seats, hands gesticulated wildly and expressions of anticipation and repulsion were met with roars of victory or doomed despair. This is RPG'ing as it should be: brutal fun with alluringly dark tones, a creeping sense of real dread with moments of heart-racing kinetic action.

The 70 odd page players' rulebook is tidily laid out, clearly and concisely written and peppered with a sort of charmingly naive art style of scratchy pen and ink that really suits the tone.

Awesome from cover to cover. Highly recommended to anyone bored of false RPG promises and fantasy horror with all the terror and grit of a service station cheese sandwich.

You want something fresh in fantasy RPG's? You want ACTUAL horror and gritty doom? This is the real deal!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Best Left Buried: Cryptdigger's Guide To Survival
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Best Left Buried: Doomsayer's Guide to Horror
by Nick H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/04/2019 09:24:55

We live in a golden age for RPG's and self publishing. You know this. You're here aren't you? The downside to this for any new game, system or book is that it has to compete. So why should you pick this one up rather than one of the similarly dark, gritty and gnarly RPG's currently saturating the market?

Why not go splurge on the flabby schlock of Dungeon Crawl Classics, the knowing gory grind of Torchbearer, the crunchy Germanic polish of Warhammer Fantasy, or the straight-to-the-point doom of Blackest of Deaths?

Well, you'd be missing out for a start.

This part of the double whammy that is Best Left Buried books is at base level just fun. Sounds a bit of a bland recommendation but this is a game that will have your players leaning in to hear what lies before them, glints of excited trepidation in their eyes...then frantically scrabbling to survive what befalls them. THAT, for both player and GM, just has to be FUN, right?

This, the gamesmaster's (Doomsayer) guide, does a quite brilliant job of showing where and how to balance your game's tone, style and intension. That's not to say you can derail it, but the author's have realised that the fun for the players lies in staggering breathless from the last challenge, bloodied, mortally wounded even...but alive and defiant. This game excels at that, offering the flavour and concise system to make it happen. The system is not too light, not too crunchy, just right. There are a few rough edges...but they're of the good kind. Edges that make you consider how you are playing, and adjust to your tastes.

The setting and worlds described within are quite traditional and won't alienate the D&D crowd but they offer enough depth and character to differentiate themselves. Their biggest pluses are the constant and varied places you can plug in...THE HORROR. As the title suggests this is a game that really tries to bring back a bit of the psychological yuckness that makes you hesitant to turn your torch to the darkest corner of the chamber. The Doomsayers book has some deliciously insightful steers on how, when and where to dripfeed and layer the horror on your players, and the game really screams for you to turn down the lights and chill some spines.

You could run a grim and dark chop and sock...a creaking door gothic nightmare...a spit and gristle realistic stomach churner...even a gonzoid b-movie schlockfest, but the tone is there with a dial attached and instructions on how to get that sense of grinning desparation from your party...without killing them for sport.

At 80 nicely crafted pages, with a roughly hewn art style and conversational writing style it's one of the best of the gritty bunch of RPG's out there. There is a real sense of passion in this book and that makes running a game enthusiastically for any Doomsayer incredibly easy.

Go on, get grizzly and dig this one up!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Best Left Buried: Doomsayer's Guide to Horror
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Best Left Buried: Cryptdigger's Guide To Survival
by Thomas R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/09/2019 10:49:46

So far, I love it. Its simple like Pbta, but holds the Fantasy Horror line really well without relying on a complex mechanical penalty system to show fear. Instead it instills fear. The deadly combat due to the low vigour system and the insidious grip economy snowball from the first encounter til pc's are broken by the crypt. Some flame out early Heros ... pffft. Others , the real Crypt delvers who understand it isn't about being a hero but about either the loot, the challenge, or the duty they break slow and they more than anyone break hardest.

It has in my opinion, four defining features that make it a stand out game. The first is (typos aside) the writing throughout sets a tone that inspires creativity both for players and gm's. Without that... games fall flat. The second is mechanics that reflect the tone from the grip economy to the moves to combat everything enforces the tone. Next, the monster creation and lack of naming them is a stroke of genius. With just a couple pages any number of horrors can be made and yet none of them will fall flat on invoking horror at least mechanically. The lack of naming means no matter what players are forced to name their enemies and the names they give will always have more power to evoke emotion than any monster list. Lastly, the character generation process hits the three E's , its easy, its equitable for new players and veterns ( can't really min max in a way that breaks the game) , and it is economical for time. No multi hour sessions of just building up a characters stats referenceing several dozen chapters throughout several books. A few times through the character creation process and it can be done in less than five minutes... with four of those minutes spent thinking up a name.

thats my thoughts at least.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Best Left Buried: Cryptdigger's Guide To Survival
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Best Left Buried: Cryptdigger's Guide To Survival
by pat e. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/21/2019 12:02:53

This is a well written, horror-fantasy system that just nails the feeling of characters being worn down as they ransack dungeons and fight against monstrosities.

I also love the concept of nameless, bespoke monsters isntead of fighting orcs time after time.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Displaying 1 to 9 (of 9 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
Powered by DriveThruRPG