I often get messages through my contact form on my website. Sadly, 98% of them are spam trying to screw me out of money. But every now and again a gamer, or gamers, contact me with something interesting. It seems that this is the case today! I have recently learned a lot about the mythology of the Scandinavian/Norse world thanks to Neil Gaiman. And lo and behold I get a message about a bit of work being done for fifth edition (5E) Dungeons and Dragons called Svilland. It is soon going to be in the realm of Kickstarter but they have produced a playable booklet that you can use to build a mini-campaign around. It has been created by the Dream Realms Storyteller group, who appear to be new on the scene.
But you hate 5E!
This is close to true. Hate is a strong word. 5E is definitely not my game of choice, but I do appreciate things that are well made (not 5E – this booklet). As soon as I got the request I was sceptical. Kickstarter’s are not my favourite thing either. But this group actually has some real material to show up front. I feel that they may actually be able to produce the goods on this one. Besides, I could use this booklet as an addition to one of my other games. They have a nice section of setting material in their world and an interesting concept.
What is the concept?
Well, as I said, it is set in the lands of Norse mythology. But to add to that, two of the three signs of Ragnarok has already occurred and so it is a world hanging in the balance. I love this concept already. That hook is not the world will end in Ragnarok some day. It is Ragnarok is nigh! How would your characters live their lives in that situation? For me, it has an element of doom that I love in my games. Some darkness that looms just out of sight but is ever present.
What do we get in the Booklet?
Well, Quite a bit actually. There are a couple of new races included in the booklet. They are the Vestri and the Sami. Both humanoid races, one caught up with the sea and the other a mysterious race affected by the spirits. Then there are a bunch of class options for you to consider. Barbarian, Fighter, Cleric (with four new domains), Bard, Ranger, Sorcerer and a new class, the Runewalker. That class just sounds super cool and at a glance, it is something that would interest me to play! Beyond these changes is where stuff gets very cool.
What they do next is to go over equipment and things become so very Norse. In this small section, they make it feel like you are in the setting. I have not seen an adaptation to this that was as carefully considered before. Having a new found understanding for the setting makes this very important. There is a smattering of feats to be added to the game which also gives a beautiful flavour to the setting. After this, they give you the setting. A part of the realm and it is not so small. I was impressed at the size and the scope of this. You could run a nice campaign in this area. They then finish the book out with a bunch of new creatures for you to use.
Ok, where do I get to look at the booklet?
There are a couple of places you can get it. You could go to the Dream Realm Storytellers website and download it from there. You can even get to look at the team that is putting it together. Or you can click this link and download it from my dropbox account. It is up to you, but I hope you do. I would like to hear of people trying this out.
What if I like it so much I have to Kickstarter it?
Again I would say that you should keep an eye on their website for particulars. They did hand me a neat graphic to tell me that it should begin on Kickstarter of 4 September though. It shows a nice image of the Barbarian – Boar class option character. I like it so much I need to put it in too!
Overall, this booklet looks brilliant. I would seriously urge many of the 5E fans out there to play the heck out of this. For the rest of us, steal the material and use it in the systems that we play in. It looks good. The material is very intriguing. There could be loads of fun had here. Give it a try, Kickstarter it if you want to. Just don’t overlook the free booklet! Keep rolling!