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!