Why should you buy it? Well first here are some rather thorough reviews that will do a much better job at helping you make up your mind than I will.
and check the trailer – it does a fantastic job setting the overall atmosphere…and it’s a trailer for goodness sake!
Next, whatever you think it is, it’s not that. It’s something else. It’s something wonderful and dreadful at the same time. The art perfectly matches the atmosphere of relentless and inevitable despair; a sense of impending doom and gnawing madness. Anyone walking into the opening encounter should think twice before continuing on. Turn around and go back to your leisurely dungeons with their dragon hoards and goblins and pit traps. It’s safer there. And less hopeless.
Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) is one of those few modules that should say “The GM should familiarize themselves with the whole adventure before attempting to run.” Like a public service announcement or something. I read it times before I understood everything enough to go “Yeah, I got it.” It’s non-linear and complex.
And if all that doesn’t turn you off, it costs an arm and a leg. I’m one of those guys that thinks the greatest thing about the OSR is the plethora of quality free stuff all over the internet. I mean barnacle men? Really? That’s a seriously freaking awesome adventure…and it’s free. Just sitting there waiting for you to read it. And then imagine how your players will inadvertently unleash an oceanic doom upon the nearby fishing village when they ignorantly go pearl hunting in room 19…
Where was I? Oh, yeah, so the OSR stuff I buy is mostly in the free to cheap range. There is a $5 ceiling where I seriously struggle to purchase stuff. DCO is double that.
So all this negative downer talk doesn’t seem like I’m trying to really push this product does it? All I can say is that I bought it and I’m really, really glad I did.
Unique adventures are pretty hard to come by. DCO is very unique, in both presentation and content. It’s more of a sandbox that funnels the party to an amazing find, full of easy money and terrible potential. There are all kinds of experiences along the way and everything has consequences. No kill the bandits and forget about them here. Every action or inaction plays out. And then there’s this rival party that is a serious threat kind of rival. Like “Oh crap! Half the party is dead – where did that come from?!?” kind of threat. Wake up, PCs! Your carefree murderhobo-ing days are over. It’s time to earn your XPs.
And the end…you better hope you choose carefully there in the beginning…
If you need more reasons to love it, how about the fact that both Patrick Stuart and Scrap Princess are awesome people? They don’t know me from the next guy yet when I reached out to them with a comment they both were quick to help. Totally a class act and sincerely appreciated. You gotta support what you believe in…So, I’m glad I own a copy – I’d actually like a print copy!
Finally, what really sold it for me were these happy looking fellas. Nothing makes me giggle like a little school girl more than imagining something like this beating the holier-than-thou confidence out of PCs. Whack whack whack!!!
And…Dungeon of Signs has drawn up some supplemental maps that are, in his typical fashion, astonishing. DMs should check it out.
Deep Carbon Observatory is definitely a top notch adventure worth every penny.