May 29

June Blog Carnival: Summerland


RPGBlogCarnivalLogoSmallDespite the recent loss of the RPG Blog Alliance, the monthly Blog Carnival it spawned lives on. The Carnival is now under the care of Johnn Four at his Roleplaying Tips website.


Read more about the current incarnation of the Carnival at Johnn’s website.


The host last month was Nils Jeppe at Enderra.


The theme for May was unusual dungeons. My contribution was to brainstorm a temple with secrets from a cool image I found online.


Read Temple Secrets here.


June Carnival

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.


Summer Tasks

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.



Sun Festivals

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.


Summer Solstice

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.


Read more about the RPG Blog Carnival and the schedule of hosts, at Johnn Four’s Roleplaying Tips website.


Happy Writing



Something for the Weekend last week: The Five Scene Plot


Something for the Weekend BONUS article: 101 Uses for a Dead Auroch



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    1. Phil

      Hi Jay,

      Wow, that was fast work! Congratulations on being the first post in the June Carnival.

      I love the idea of the Azure Dragon Festival. I can picture all manner of weird buildings and funny traps on the bamboo rafts. This is a great idea, and one I shall definitely steal for my games.

      Thank you so much for contributing to the Carnival.

      1. pointyman2000

        Hey there! Glad you liked it. I’m hoping that little details like these will help inspire people in their games. Would love to hear what kind of wacky contraptions people add to their game’s Azure Dragon Festival!

        1. Phil

          Hi Jay,

          Oh yes, everyone should share the strange contraptions they add to the Azure Dragon Festival.

          I will let you know how the boys liked taking part when we play over the summer.

          All the best

  1. Grimnir

    But how does one fight against the sun?


    1. Phil

      Hi Grimnir,

      How indeed?

      Another quick post. Only the first day of June, and already two posts to Summerland. Thanks for contributing, Grimnir.

      And some good points in your article. It is easy to forget the cumulative effects of the sun.

      Thanks for sharing, and I hope the flat dries out for you soon.

  2. Phil


    I have stumbled across an article at the Moebius Adventures blog which fits perfectly into the Summerland theme:


    The post even references the June Carnival, so I have taken the liberty of linking to it here so you can all share in the mysterious blessings of the Sisterhood of Summer.

    All the best

    1. grnknight

      Bah! I totally missed this comment Phil! Thanks for linking to the site. 🙂 You can ignore my comment that I added today. 🙂

  3. Phil

    Hi Everyone,

    Today I posted the first of my essays on the Summerland topic. The Hunger Gap discusses what happens in July when the food from the previous harvest runs out. This is forgotten today, but could add some interesting events to your game.


    All the best

  4. dungeonhacking

    Thanks for hosting this month!

    This is my first carnival, and I might be overly ambitious, but I’m using the idea of “Summerland” to practice worldbuilding and give me a framework to convert some older material to 5th Edition D&D. I’ll be posting Summerland-related material all summer, even after the carnival is over, honestly, starting with an overview of the world:


    Since it’s an ongoing project, I’ll check in a couple of times a week with updated links. I hope it’s as much fun to read as it was to write!


    1. Phil

      Hi Quinn,

      Welcome to the Blog Carnival, and thank you for taking part.

      A linked series of articles has worked well for me in the past, so I wish you all the best with your Summerlands project.

      I enjoyed the first of the series, and you have plenty of interesting aspects of the Summerlands to explore. I look forward to reading the next part.

      All the best

    2. dungeonhacking

      I didn’t submit last Friday’s post, due to a busy weekend (and feeling like it was a bit of a workhorse post).

      Last week’s post finished the write-up with origin stories, limitations for races and classes, and an important Summerlands feat: The Ritual of Evolution.


      The Monday post is one that I’ve been looking forward to, where the Summerlands crunch begins: The sea kin human sub-race for 5th Edition:




      1. Phil

        Hi Quinn,

        Many thanks for the double-posting. I hall highlight these great posts in my next round-up of the Blog Carnival.

        All the best

  5. dagorym

    So my post this month is a bit broader and not specifically about summer but was definitely inspired by the topic and reading this post. Rather it’s about a system to determine (and keep track of) the current season on any planet across a host of worlds in a sci-fi game so you know when it is summer. Here’s the link:


    I may do a summer specific post later in the month as well if I have a good idea.

    1. Phil

      Hi Dagorym,

      Great article.

      Thank you for adding a SF article to the Carnival. As you say, it will help to differentiate the planets if the Players visit them in different seasons in quick succession.

      I hope you will find the time for a second post.

      All the best

  6. Phil

    Hi Everyone,

    Another weekend, another essay for the June Carnival.

    This week I have described my take on Summerland, a fae Kingdom of Eternal Summer. Of course, this being a fae realm, everything is not quite as it appears. Drink too much mead at your peril:


    All the best

  7. Phil


    Once again, I have found another post for Summerland elsewhere on the internet, so adding it to this list of submissions.

    The latest article is by James at World Builder Blog. He writes about additional options for the downtime between quests. This is for Heroes who want to be active, and making preparations, rather than taking a (summer) holiday. How do your Heroes use their downtime?


    All the best

    1. Phil

      Hi Everyone,

      Then just like buses, James has posted another article hot on the heels of the first.


      This is a continuation of his first contribution, with more options for downtime activities. There is a lot of potential in a Hero with their own organisation behind them.


  8. Phil


    I also have another post on the topic of Summerland. My latest article explores some of the farming festivals you could include in your setting during the summer months:


    Religious festivals are often focused around a city or big temple. Yet, there are plenty of rural festivities for you to include which can bring to life farming communities..

    Happy Gaming

  9. timsbrannan

    My first ever RPG Blog Carnival post is now up.
    Elena the Fair, the Witch Queen of Summer

    1. Phil

      Hi Tim,

      Thank you so much for choosing Summerland as your first RPG Blog Carnival.

      You are absolutely right, there are so many Winter Witches, there should be one for summer too. Excellent article, thank you for sharing.

      All the best

  10. Mark CMG Clover

    A Summerland post for the first day of Summer on the Grymvald Gazetteer corner of the CMG Blog Triad from Creative Mountain Games.


    And Happy Father’s Day, too!

    All the best,
    Mark CMG Clover

    1. Phil

      Hi Mark,

      Many thanks for contributing to the Summerland Carnival. You have found some fascinating articles to share.

      And Happy Father’s Day to you.

      All the best

  11. Phil


    DJ at Dungeon Hacking has posted another article for the Carnival. This link was left as a comment on another page:


    He wrote:

    This also dovetails perfectly with my contribution for the week: a farmer/ fisher background for 5th Edition.




    It is wonderful to have other writers post multiple articles on the theme.

    Happy Reading

    1. Phil

      Hi Sean,

      Excellent article about the festivities for the Empress’ Birthday. Summer seems to be a suitable time of year for all manner of celebrations.

      Many thanks for contributing

  12. glacier68 (@glacier68)

    Thanks for hosting. Here is a brief meditation on a ritual help by those who don’t welcome the long days of summer….


    1. Phil

      Hi V,

      Well played, sir!

      This is an excellent piece on the Night of Hunger, the view of summer from the perspective of night creatures. A clever spin on the topic of Summerland.

      Many thanks for contributing

      1. glacier68 (@glacier68)

        Thanks! Really, I’m not all dark and gloomy. I appreciate the long summer days as much as anyone…
        But your mention of the medieval ‘hunger gap’ got me thinking from a slightly different perspective…

        1. Phil

          Oh yes, a great angle.

          I may make use of your article to segue between the festivals and food section of the Summerland overview essay.

          Many thanks

  13. Phil


    Today I posted my fourth and final essay as part of Summerland. This discusses how to use summer foods to evoke a setting:


    Next week, I plan to bring all the articles together into a single summary post.

    All the best

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