Summerland is a game about desolation and redemption in a post-apocalyptic world destroyed by a vast supernatural forest. The game was first published nearly ten years ago, and has since been translated in to French, Catalan and Spanish.
In Summerland, players take on the roles of Drifters, characters who travel beneath the Sea of Leaves, the vast supernatural forest that has devastated the works of humanity. They are driven to constantly move on due to a past trauma that while protecting them from the Call, the siren-song of the forest, prohibits them from being accepted in to what's left of society. Instead they must confront their past, resolve their trauma and at last join the remainder of humanity. Like my last game Exilium, also funded via Kickstarter and delivered earlier than anticipated, this new version of Summerland uses mechanics specifically to model the process redemption, giving the game a clear 'end-game' linked to actual play.
The original version of the game came out around ten years ago, quickly followed by a revised and expanded edition. I'm now raising funds for a new full colour second edition of Sumerland, with new mechanics based on the Open D6 rules set as used in Exilium, so still rules light, but modified to fit the themes and goals of Summerland.
Summerland has been out for some time in it's original form with different mechanics to this new version. Check out some reviews at the links below (and bear in mind what's changed in this new edition, listed in the next section)...
'What captivated me about this setting was the mysteries and the connection to nature. It reminded me very much of the books of Robert Holdstock, where a huge forest places an important role as well. There is something strange here that I hope to one day explore! The cover art is amazing!
Rating: [4 of 5 Stars!]'
'The premise is both intriguing and deceptively simple: a primeval forest has overtaken the world overnight, destroying civilization in one fell swoop. Why and how? That's up to the narrator to decide--or to leave as a mystery. It's an evocative, open-ended setting with unlimited possibilities and designed with an eye to letting the players and narrator create a very personal, collaborative story. Personally, it's just the thing I was looking for. I can't wait to play it.
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!]'
Since it's release, Summerland has been translated into French, Catalan and Spanish.
For a Q&A on the new edition which talks about the game, check the link below:
The core of the game is identical, the setting material and 'Fallen leaves' the sandbox campaign, are all as before. There are two main changes...
- Full colour layout, featuring art from the talented Tithi Luadthong. The original game was black and white with treated photos. This version will be packed full of wonderful and evocative art like below in both one page and double page spreads. The game will also feature the beautiful original cover by Paul Bourne of Cubicle 7, modified for the new edition.
- New Open D6 engine. The original game had a short, very narrative rule set, which these days has proven to be insufficiently robust in play. So it's been replaced by the Open D6 rules based on MiniSix from Anti-Paladin games that I used with my other game Exilium. The rules for resolving traumas and stress are the same however, as they riff off of die results from actions.
The Open D6 game system is extremely versatile, and can be implemented in various degrees of detail for games that are light to heavy in style. Summerland is definitely rules light, but that doesn't mean you couldn't bolt on things you like from the free to download Open D6 rule books. It's a great, simple versatile system, so that's why I use it in my games.
200 page full colour softcover book