One look at the cover for Call from the Deep by JVC Parry and I knew it was something special. Gabriel Cassata’s art immediately evoked a sense of wonder, intrigue, and dread. This was something I needed to read as soon as possible. Luckily Josh Parry afforded me an opportunity to take a look at a preview copy prior to publication. Let’s take a (comparatively brief) look!
Call from the Deep by JVC Parry
Writer: JVC Parry
Publisher: DMs Guild
Product Length: 270 pages
This campaign’s intent (beyond giving you a great story to role-play with your players) is to carry adventurers from 1st to 12th level via milestone XP. Of course, you can decide to level your player characters however you choose. Within these pages you will find a compelling story line, memorable NPCs (and lots of them), and rich and detailed environments. Players will have great opportunities for social interactions, exploration, and combat employing all manner of ability checks.
The players are charged with investigating a mysterious crash-landing in the Trackless Sea and the Sea of Swords. They will also investigate the illithid colony of Zellix’Phor. Will they actually survive without atrocious scars or PTSD? Will they survive at all?
There is A LOT of content in this campaign and Parry does a great job of not rushing the material while also not being long-winded. Scenes and NPCs are compellingly written. Some scenes are meant to be tense and it comes through in the writing. The rest is up to a skillful DM and cooperative players. The page count in this adventure may be overwhelming at first but this isn’t a one-shot. So, take your time absorbing the material and creating a great campaign your players won’t soon forget.
This is a great story and it’s epic in the true meaning of the word. The scale of this adventure is big and it is consequential. The players’ choices will matter not just for their own sake but for Gundarlin and other areas in and around the Trackless Sea region.
I’m thoroughly impressed with the production of this work. It’s a veritable who’s who of creators and artists. Aside from Parry and Cassata, this work features interior art by Dean Spencer, cartography by Dyson Logos and Elven Tower, layout assistance by Phil Beckwith plus many more! Even the Guild Creator Resource art looks nicely integrated rather than a cobbled together mess that would have been all too easy given the sheer amount of content included in this adventure.
Yes. Yes. And YES! In this adventure, the cleric will have his time to shine. The rogue will get her turn to be instrumental. Meat shield barbarians and warriors will have their moments. Rear flank casters will be crucial. Everyone will be pivotal at one time or another and no one, no matter their class, will be a third wheel. Many of the encounters are intentionally deadly so the players will need to talk their way out of confrontation or find some other means of conflict avoidance just as much as they will need to fight. Or, they’ll get their time to die! I’m certain that if you run this campaign from start to finish that you will explore just about every ability check and condition in 5E.
Ordinarily I would suggest that you only start a campaign of this magnitude with a consistent and a consistently reliable group. However, given the deadly challenges in this campaign, I think you’ll be okay with a group that meets regularly even if each player is unable to be at each session. There are ample opportunities to explain someone’s absence during the campaign or introducing new characters (people will die in this campaign). Depending on frequency and length of sessions, this adventure could go on for several months. You’ll get your money’s worth with Call from the Deep!