Monday, 5 March 2018

Summerland - The RPG That Got Away From Me.

A while back I did a list of the best RPGs that I have played. This had the emphasis on the word "played". There was one game that has fascinated me since it came out called Summerland. It was a great narrative game. This made it a difficult thing for me to get my players involved in. Most like a good narrative but they don't like playing games that are not heavy with stats. So this became a game I loved but could not play. If anything I became a bit of a fanboy about it. I spent some time trying to recreate it with Savage Worlds but never quite got there.
The premise is that the world has suffered an apocalypse called "The Event". Somehow it was caused by nature itself called The Sea Of Leaves which appeared overnight. One day people woke up and the world was a forest. The forest emitted a strange siren like summoning known as The Call that called people into the woods permanently changing them. Most ended up subject to it and were effectively lost forever. Some became a darker version of themselves and some were twisted into something else altogether. Even those not taken by it straight away were vulnerable and almost anyone staying in the forest too long was taken by it. Those with a survived found that it was possible to resist The Call if they had a strong human connection.
A few were able to resist The Call. Their past history was always full of traumas and this in some way makes them immune and they can travel through the forests. There is still danger for them but The Call is not as strong. However, their traumas and the nature of the world mean that they can never stay anywhere for long assuming that their mental or emotional traumas were not by themselves enough to cause people to drive them out. The people of the world call the Drifters and they wander from settlement to settlement trying to find a way to heal themselves. This is the role of the PCs.

This is a world full of dangers. Settlements are always a place of risk and reward. There are often people within communities who are far more damaged than the players. Other drifters pose all sorts of mundane dangers to the players. Then there are The Lost, those that have succumbed to The Call and The Wild who have lost their grip on reality and become completely feral. The world is also populated by a variety of unusual and unnatural animals which have become twisted by the ramifications of The Event. Darker still are the spirits and the ghosts that inhabit what is left behind.

As backgrounds go Summerland is fairly lightweight. Whilst there is an incredible amount of ideas within the game, it is very much open to how a GM wants to run it. When and where the game takes place is pretty much down to the person running it. Likewise, what you take

So why am I bringing this up now? Well a second edition is up on Kickstarter and I am just loving the idea. It has been converted to the Open D6, the system of the original Star Wars game. Having given the game a system more amenable to players, I can now run a game of it. There are a lot of ideas floating around in my head and it would appear the designer is about to release a lot of Kickstarter freebies along with it.

No comments:

Post a Comment