The theme for May was unusual dungeons. My contribution was to brainstorm a temple with secrets from a cool image I found online.
For the month of June, I shall be hosting the Carnival at Tales of a GM. This is a new experience for me, and I am excited to meet new Bloggers and read their articles. This page will act as the central list for the June articles. If you have written something, then leave a comment and a link here, so everyone can find your page. During the month I shall write a couple of contributions.
At the end of June, I shall write a short compilation article of all the submissions. I look forward to reading all the contributions.
But first, we need a theme.
The theme for the June RPG Blog Carnival is summer.
Our campaign worlds are very personal creations, but they all share several traits. Seasons, weather and calendars all serve to bring a sense of realism to the worlds our games inhabit. So, let us share some of these features with the wider RPG community.
What does summer, or the sun, mean in your campaign? What is the weather like? I live in England, so I know the answer to that question can be more than just “sunny”. Are your seasons of equal length? Is the hottest season even called summer?
The name of this month’s Carnival is Summerland, indicating a broader theme than just a description of the season. Here are a few ideas for topics within the remit of the Summerland theme.
Plane of Summer
Literally, the name Summerland could apply to a Plane of Summer. This could be a timeless land where it is always summer. Such a place could even be written up as a desirable afterlife.
In my campaign, this is one aspect of Faerie, where it really is always summer, a land of milk and honey. Yet, nowhere in Faerie can be all good, so there is danger lurking in the background. I think this will be one of my contributions to the Carnival, but this is not to stop you from submitting your version of a plane of eternal summer.
Plane of Sun
If we broaden out from the Plane of Summer, there could equally be a Plane of Sun. This is a fantasy plane absent from the classic Planescape setting, which is unusual. While there are similarities to the Plane of Fire, the sun-theme makes the flames far more golden. Could this be the home of the phoenix and griffin? What other sun-powered creatures would live here?
Another take on this category would be in the style of the classic D&D setting of Dark Sun. This is a world dominated by the sun, an endless land of desert similar to Arrakis in the Dune books. Do you have a desert world in your setting? Or perhaps you have adapted the classic Dark Sun world. Tell us about it on your blog.
For a more traditional game world, summer is simply one of the seasons. So what happens in your world during the summer? What are the peasants doing in the fields during the long summer days? Do the nobles retire to their country estates? Is the monarch on a royal procession around the realm?
Typically, summer means there is a harvest to bring in, but how is this achieved? Tall horse-drawn hay wains filling the roads? Long trains of oxen carts? An endless procession of gnomes staggering under the weight of sacks of wheat? Tell us about it on your blog.
Tastes of Summer
Thoughts of a great harvest make me think about the tastes of summer in your world. Given the lack of an advanced food distribution network in your game, then most people will eat a very seasonal diet.
So what does summer mean to the diet of the inhabitants of your world? Strawberries and cream is a quintessential English summer dessert. What is the equivalent for your setting? Make us all hungry with a lavish description of what the people of your world eat in summer.
Which brings us to the subject of feasts and festivals. Any pantheistic culture is likely to have an impressive selection of feasts and high holidays. How are the gods of your game worshipped?
Through the ages agricultural societies have celebrated the harvest festival with a feast. A successful harvest will stave off hunger and famine for another year, and is cause for a joyous celebration. Tell us about the ways the people celebrate in summer.
Finally, I will highlight the one day in the calendar with the most hours of daylight. The summer solstice is a turning point in the solar year, and thus is likely to be marked in some way. If your setting has a Sun Goddess, then this will be her most holy day.
Technically, this is the first day of summer, but it can also be important for sun worshippers. Does your setting have any special rituals to celebrate the longest day?
As you can see, there are lots of ways to write about the summer. From a narrow interpretation of the title Summerland, to a broad discussion of the sun in your world, there should be enough scope in this topic for everyone. I look forward to reading your submissions to the June RPG Blog Carnival.
Please leave a link, and perhaps a brief introduction, for your submission for the June Carnival in the comments below.