Friday, October 7, 2022

The Sarna Len Campaign

 I've been working on this role-playing game design for several years.

The background setting goes back to my first homebrew derived from Dungeons & Dragons, first edition. I think it was a brown box with a white label for the front. I don't have it anymore. The point is, this was from a long time ago.

The Old Homebrew

It wasn't pure D&D. I liked the spellcasting points system that Tunnels & Trolls had, and like a magpie added that to my homebrew. Over time, the setting grew. I remember vaguely that the players, my middle-school and high-school friends, got up
to level 8. Across maybe five years? I was sort of stingy on the whole XP thing. 

The game and setting went across several hands when I entered the Marines. I took over the setting when I returned and expanded it further, as a magpie would, by including ideas from GURPS, Cyberpunk, BRP for Call of Cthulhu, and some BTRC stuff from Time Lords. In 1992 I finished it and  named it FYBS (as in the "white-lie", for fanciful story-telling). 

With FYBS I created several settings ranging from post-apocalyptic to amazon-warrior to cyberpunk to a couple of others, including my Superhero 2044 setting. Another setting was for, of course, Sarna Len, my low-fantasy fantasy campaign.

Thus Sprang Forth DXD

The Old Sarna Len Campaign
For about six years now, maybe 10 to 20 gaming sessions a year, I've been entertaining my nephews and nieces in this "make-believe with rules" hobby. I took lots of notes, re-examined my hand-written rules from the earlier homebrew and FYBS incarnations, and built out DXD. DXD "dice by dice" is the game engine for Sarna Len. Sarna Len being "red deer" in the Polish language. Reasons.

DXD is the RPG ('role-playing game") engine which is derived from my development of MEST Tactics. It expands the Attribute line of MEST Tactics with two more attributes; "PER Persuasion" and "KNO Knowledge". Furthermore, it broadens the stat values from 1-2-3-4 for human normal ability range to 7-10-13-16 within DXD. This required a differet dice system and several other big changes, such as how spellcasting is managed. Regardless, I am stating that this setting goes back more than 40 years (summer 1976 until now 2022) and I've got something new. Maybe a better system than my earlier iterations.

To MEST and Back Again

The effort is cross-platform. As I build out Sarna Len, I take those concepts to build out the default settings for MEST Tactics. Although I don't have such things yet ready for presentation, I have been working on and play-testing several Sarn Len modules for MEST Tactics. This includes "Sarna Len :: Dunjon of Death" and also "Sarna Len :: The Black Gates of Hüyük". One is the underworld ("Dunjon of Death") and the other is the overlands above the underworld which lead into it ("The Black Gates").

To Do

I've got lots to do. Too much. Really, too much.
  • Finish Spells list
  • Finish Lore and Setting. Probably need to break this entire section out into a separate volume.
  • Finish Magic Items lists.
  • Finish Bestiary. I need to convert from MEST Tactics, but then there are new entries, soo ...
  • Finish editing. This is really hard to do.
  • Add Hirelings and NPCs. Sort of like D66 Warriors, D66 Knights, D66 Wizards, etc.
  • Add illustrations. I am really glad for Midjourney.
  • Probably dozens if not hundreds of other things. I have notes everywhere.
I think that I'll need to build a quick-start.

Maybe when everything is ready, it will be 500+ pages. It's already 300 pages, and that is without  diagrams, or illustrations. Wow. I am now definitely thinking two if not three volumes.

For More Information

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