Summerland indie game

Started by blodwin, October 02, 2009, 02:05:31 PM

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Hi I'm thinking of running Summerland and cant get my head around, getting my mates to play a band of drifters stressed out with god knows what traumas they think up.
Keeping them together could end up in a blood bath, I could be seeing this a bit on the extreme side, but you don't know my mates.

I have been thinking of not having trauma come into the game until they go deep into forest.
I haven't given this much thought but how about they just struggle with the trauma of loosing their humanity like every one else( The wild and lost) as they go deep into the forest. Maybe the players are just a little more resistant to the call, which makes them different from the community populous so becoming drifters.
Am I missing the point of the game?
Some advice please

Regards Paul


Hi back again trying to get some help, I like Summerland but think its Trauma rules while great and well thought out are not going to work with the group I play with.
So I thought to drop them completely for now.
This does remove the characters ability to resist the call from the sea of leaves.
So I was thinking of replacing it with something else? Self-aware or just Self
My Plug in rules idea is:

Self-aware or just Self
I think the Sea of leaves removes Humanities Quality of self-awareness. Reducing a persons awareness on a scale from:

Self - Confused - Lost  - Wild - Feral

When Characters encounter the call from the Sea of Leaves the call level has to be determined depending on were they are.

Level 0 Home among Friends
Level 1 The edges of the sea of leaves
Level 2 Within the forest on paths or it's beginning in sight
Level 3 Dense forest following markers no path
Level 4 Dense forest unexplored leaving markers for return journey.
Level 5 The Deeps. 5-30

The level of the call is the number of dice rolled to determine its strength
Level 3 = Three six sided dice a value of 3-18

If a character sleeps within the forest. (Use the same mechanic used in the game for conflicts and distress)

Depending on the distress level created by the difference between the level of the call and the characters roll for self.
If the character wins he sleeps soundly, but if the call overcomes the characters sense of Self determine the level of distress i.e. Cosmetic, Minor or Major (Page 47 Summerland book).

Cosmetic Distress   Confused –
Minor Distress      Lost  -
Major Distress            Wild
Feral –

Feral has been purposefully left blank for if the wild character is not quickly bound or subdued he will become feral in the next scene.
There is a werewolf theme here, which I think could be sprung on characters as they explore the depths of the Sea of Leaves.

I want the characters to have no idea about this game only that they are average people possibly on a plane flight which when coming into land through the cloud base find the sea of leaves! The runway over grown.
Any ideas or criticism much needed
Regards Blods

Ron Edwards

Hi there,

I'd like to help you, but we have to work together to tweak this thread a bit first.

To be eligible to post about playing Summerland, you need to include a little bit - not much - context that includes some real-life experience in role-playing. For instance, you mention that you don't think the Trauma rules will play well in your group. What needs to be added is why, so a person reading this post won't have to fill in the blanks and perhaps mis-read the point you want to make.

Even just a couple of sentences will do - perhaps describing how the group had less fun when using similar rules, or more fun when using different rules.

Once you post that, or something equally based in real play, then I'll move this thread to the Actual Play forum and we can proceed from there.

Best, Ron

P.S. For folks who are interested, here's the Summerland page at Fire Ruby Studios; they also publish Ruby, which features one of the best SF settings in gaming.


Apologies for any confusion, I see a bit more background to my prob might help. So here goes
Our gaming group of 6-7 get together once a week. We play Rpgs like D&D, D20 Pendragon traditional stuff.
I am a great fan of Indie games my first venture into this was with Hubris games Maelstrom. I thought it was so cool but when played with our group eventually nose-dived with comments like " lets get back to proper character development and away from die pools" I must admit the die pools could get cumbersome.
Other games I have tried 3:16 "Too abstract" was the outcome of that one. I managed to get away with WOD stuff but for me it was still rules heavy.
So Summerland came along looking the business, great setting rules light but no character development. Well I'm ready for that  "its about survival, setting and role-playing". (I might throw in some points to spend on tags or getting new ones.)
The other prob I can see for our group is with traumas. Just the name will be lifting eyes.
Some will love it but others will struggle being that creative. I'm trying to sell this to let me roll die type guys.
So I'm after rules light with min creative onus role-play.
Just to ease them off traditional stuff.
I could be barking up the wrong tree, and there could be other alternatives?
Any ideas welcome.
Regards Blodwin.