Primer

Hi there!

The basics of this roleplaying ‘campaign’ are to be glimpsed here. There is a fast expanding encyclopaedic source of pages where you can find all manner of details. This may give you an idea, but you can also keep reading below.

What the Hell Is This??

This is NOT typical Dungeons & Dragons – what I do is more analoguous to collaborative storytelling, world building, or co-writing a story. I give my players a lot of creative space to co-create the world. I establish a very big world (largely based on my meandering cartographic explorations over the last decades), add numerous details taken from D&D, but also from movies, books, and dozens of other RPG’s. Play is mostly low on rules initially, and new rules are added mostly by agreement and voting. 

Style of Play

Mostly Diceless.  I start out with a complex storyline and a very detailed character background story (with many hints and resources and contacts and warnings…) and work my way down from there. Initially I have a rudimentary idea of the game system, and when players want something simulated, we decide together what the players want, what they don’t want, I propose the easiest yet most comprehensive mechanic (I am a game designer, don’t worry), players agree and we use it. 

There are 20 characteristics (strength, charisma, etc.) in four (Physical, Social, Mental, Spiritual) categories. You wil recognize the bare bones genetics of some other existing game systems.  I have rudimentary ideas for spell use and skills in mind, and will try evolve towards a ‘stepping stone’ career system, as opposed to a constrictive D&D class (/prestige class) system. 

I may eventually do ‘Dungeons’ style adventures, but these will be quite more intricate than most players will be used to – but only after I have evolved a robust and mostly “unambiuous” game simulation system. The style of play will manipulate fairly intricate tools, roleplay, roleplay, roleplay, as well as collaborative worldbuilding.

As always, if you want something explored, ask me on whatsapp and I will do so fairly quickly.

Current Storyline

There is a Realm of Dreams that is much larger than Earth. In this Realm lies a region known as The Six Kingdoms.

There is one greater Kingdom there, larger the Roman Empire. In this Kingdom live something between 50 and 100 million humans, of which under 10% are citizens, 50+% are civilians, some 10% are counted in census as “other” and the rest is not counted or recognized by the Kingdom, are peons, thralls, outcasts, criminals or slaves.

Other than that in the established borders are about half as many nonhumans, fey folk, humanoids and other creatures of mind, a fraction of which have civilian status. This Kingdom is not perfect, and it’s a dangerous world, so it’s as good as it gets.

The inner Kingdom can produce gunpowder, and this drives simple cannons and muskets. There’s magic, not much unlike D&D however a bit more complex. One could say some careers follow some major aspects of D&D starter classes, with some recognizable features but I will do as much as I can to break cliches, stereotypes, camp and assumptions.

The world is largely grounded in my cartographic hobby. As indicated, the world I have created is bizarrely big, and the map is like nothing out there – 3 meters wide by 2 meters high at some detail, 3,5 meters at lesser detail. I some regions the level of detail is so high that at 300DPI you need a loupe to see the finest region print. 

Such a Kingdom is very big, and its bordera are from all directions surrounded by rivals, if not outright enemies. The storyline commences in the southwest of the Kingdom, a fairly human-centered, fairly conservative region with a sprinkling of other human folk, humanoids, beastlings and stranger.

The adversary du jour is the city of Dylath Leeen, a city swarming with corrupt slavetraders, infested by monsters so gruesome it would send you crying in your sleep for weeks. In D&D terms cxharacters start at an “equivalent” sophistication level of 2 to 3, and Dylath Leeen I certainly would not visit unless you either have very powerful pals to watch over you, OR you correspond to a D&D level of “say” 8.

Before you tangle with this devil, make certain you know much of him!

Ideal Type of Player

Long term I can handle (might be convinced to handle) about 2 groups, each ideally 4, maybe 5 players. 3 players per group might work. Aside from meeting parties, I do also encourage solo play, if respective schedules and calendars permit. The goal is to play every 2 to3 weeks as a group – but certainly not less frequently.  Groups can be incestuous and players can drift between these 2 groups them at will. 

Character Creation

I don’t ask you – you ask me.

You come with a character idea – “call it an audition” – and I accept the idea or reject it. As I get more players my expectations of what I would regard as an interesting character will go up, and I will take on less and less players. As indicated my current maximum would be ‘about’ 8 players in two of 4 groups. 

I will invest a LOT of early work (easily 2 months on and off) in any newly created character, and you’d better impress me when coming up with an idea. In your Character Idea should be a solid premise, some suggestions from your side on family relations, backgrounds, goals, desires, maybe a dark secret or two, character complications and most certainly personality flaws. Make it spicy!

Ideal Type of Character

You can start with a recognizable D&D archetype. Next step we tear that cliche to shreds by adding all sorts of things. Initially combat is not that important, but if you can fight you can threaten people, and threatening may be a bit smarter than actually having to fight. 

Say …. you want to play a mounted soldier in the edge of being ordained as a junior Knight, then for instance you might want to add our family lineage, a fued or hatred or two, some mental straightjacket, a source of income, some kind of job background other than a guy with a sword and armor (maybe, horsetrader? whaler? vintner? speculator in a trading route? Banker/invester for a guy who runs a casino?). 

Say … you might want to play a Warlock that was just possessed by a strange spirit or demon, and after this possession ‘somehow’ ends, the character is able to cast “something like” warlock spells. Does this warlock have a fanily? How was his or her youth? Does the character get an inheritance from a long lost faily member? Did the character meet similarly “endowed” friends, was there a formal training of sorts? Does he or she have ideosyncratic physical traits or scars? How did his Tutor make money? 

And remember – no “traditional” D&D alignments. 

“Calling” A Game

I don’t chase my players. If you want to play as a player, you call a date with any other players, you come to me and propose a date. I don’t set dates – YOU as a player select your own schedule, find any other players, let me know what you roughly want to do in the established storyline, and I’ll find a date in my schedule. I consider myself a roleplaying drug dealer, and players come to me to score 🙂  Contact me through Whatsapp 06-30308828, khannea.suntzu@gmail. 

 

 

FAQ

Is this Roleplaying?

Yes and No. It’s storytelling, collaborative world-building more so. 

Is this a Complex D&D Campaign?

Mostly yes, except for the fact that although I use numerous D&D tropes (gotta have Drow and Mind Flayers!) I kinds use my own system, insofar I actually use a system.  Most is diceless with only superficial attention to any “rule constraints”.  I like do things primarily narrative wise. I destroyed my life with stupid chasing rules and “simulation”, and it’s about as suck as conceivably to get trapped in such an obsession. If I ever get obsessed about anything it’s about love, passion, art and friendship. Insofar this is a “complex” or “demanding” uhm … endeavour ? I’d say, very much so but the goal is it will be exhillerating, fun, compansionship, a lot of fun and a lot of laughs.

Can we do Dungeons? I love Dungeons!!

Big maybe, but probably not very often. Maybe in the long term when the system has emerged and stablized and has been very much well-tested. I have a lot of experience with making absolutely terrifying Dungeoncrawling experiences, and assume if you go in to that, these adventures will be life changing, and characters will die.  But the reward may be well worth it.  Or not? We’ll have to see.

Why So Sllllooowww??

 

What would you say to your previous (100+) players from back in the day who read this?

I am very very sorry guys, girls – I was mostly a shithead back in the day.  I tried to make it fun for everyone, and  I failed in that. I am deeply sorry for all the wrong I did back then. 

What do I need to make a Character? Can I “import” my existing D&D Character?

You can bring me the idea of any previous D&D character if you so desire, and a general shorthand of what important things happened, and I will respons with a bunch of ideas. As soon as we both have a good feel about these foundations I will go to town and hit you with several pages of backgrounds, mysterious letters, warnings, lists of equipment, animal servants, a few unique tools, some gossip and hearsay. 

I hear you have a really Big World Map. Is it really based on Lovecraft’s Dreamlands?

Yes, however vey loosely. But if you insist if you really want, you can seek out Great Cthulhu, and die horrifically in doing so. 

Are these Dreamlands much bigger than where you play?

Yes. I placed my current World Map over the map of Europe and I found the top left corner would be roughly around the Shetlands islands, and the bottom right corner would be well east of Turkey. Also the level of detail is extreme, and travel isn’t easy. You have to plan ahead – you may have to travel through a Duchy in te aforementioned Kingdom that’s infested with the hysterically theocratic followers of Alalvar – and these folks will absolutely guaranteed execute any witch or warlock on the spot … if you wander from the main King’s roads. You can’t just draw a line on the map and travel in a straight line – you may have to go to a a caravanserail, speak to the caravanmaster, or one of his scouts, and ask detailed information of each successive domain you seek to travel through – to see if you need to know any pertitent details, dangers or complications. 

What does the world look like? What are your narrative influences?

Shames me to say – Jack Vance and H.P.Lovecraft, two literary nitwits. 

Seriously … “Cartography” ??

Absolutely. In the 1980s (sigh…) I was running the DD that was functionally the ancestor Campaign to this one, and one of player players was an erudite, very eccentric elderly gentleman (who still lives in Vlaardingen) and he taught me a lot of how an Archaic Kingdom would actually function. It was his genius work that bit me with the Map Making sickness. He taught me a lot, and I am very grateful to him to this very day.

Not on speaking terms with him, sadly. He was always a very unique and strange human being and I don’t think our life choices these days are fully compatible. I don’t dare bother him any more – he woudn’t appreciate that. 

What’s the political structure of the Kingdom?

Extremely, almost incomprehensibly ritualized, with senates and congresses and councils and representation for the Nobility and the rich, and very conservative Legionairs. Worse, the religious situation has completel destabilized with one religion procreating super fast compared to the other religious ethnicities.  Also, each Duchy is VERY different than the next. Crossing boundaries can almost be like moving to a different planet. Plants can change very fast, and cultures can be radically different and contrasting. People (as well as humanoids) in the Dream are weird, eccentric and gravitate towards thinking they are the only small pocket of civilization in the world. Parochialism and folkloristic habits and superstitions and xenophobia are the norm. 

What’s the technology level?

Muskets are rare, occuring in the inner Kingdom (gunpowder can only be manufactured in the inner Kingdom, and only a limited amount. 

Where does the initial storyline center?

Great-Duchy Dragonrender, in the south-to-south-west of the Kingdom, just shy of the city of Speculare. The key consular authority is unwell, and the diplomatic mission to the city of Dylath Leeen is under threat, at the same time “other elements” in the Kingdom want to grab land on the borderland between the Kingdom of Man, and Dylath Leeen.

Is your D&D Politically Correct, “inclusive”, “woke” ?

I am not sure. I will deal with topics such as alternative sexualities, slavery, racism – but not in a way (say..) a black person, or a typical transgender peson, or a staunchly woke might appreciate. For example, I am a transwoman and I keep misgendering my boyfriend (who is an early transguy) consistently. I am a Transhumanist, and I have certain beliefs some confuse for “Eugenical” or radical rightwing. I am not – I am a social democrat. But if you insist in very pure political correctness, or the reverse, this may not be for you. For example – the Kingdom in which most the story transacts is fully called “The Kingdom of Man”, which is a clear hint to the endemic superiority syndrome of male humans in the Kingdom. The idea of gender being a natural thing is under threat in the Kingdom, and extreme conservative elements want slavery of humanoids back, are completely patriarchal, want the amazon elements in the west conquered and pacified, and want city rights dismantled. 

Is your story suitable for people with PTSD, unpleasant experiences, people who are sensitive to abuse, sexual topics, religious topics?

Maybe not. Discretion is advised.  I run a mature game, with brutal politics, and the things that happen here can be very confronting – and I think I am pretty good at painting a horrible picture in your Mind’s Eye. 

Can I play an Elf/Orc/Minotaur/Draconian??

Not initially. Maybe later.

I hear you might eventually do a Vampire LARP in Amsterdam???

Shh, it’s a secret. I might in a few years. Let me know if you are VERY interested, then we can have a careful dialogue about setting it up. 

What this with the Armoury Bar??

In the 1980 I would have been ecstatic having a place such as the Armoury within walking distance of my home. It’s an amazing place.

This stuff sounds all very intense!

It is, very intense. Maybe too intense for about 80% of conceivable, potential participants. 

Are you a Transwoman?

Yes. I have always been a trans woman. I had my passport changed in 2014, my first name to Khannea in 2013, I had HRT start in May 2014, I had my GRS in 2016, some elaborate FFS in 2018, breast enhancement in 2019. 

You were married? With like, an actual woman???

Yes. If you can succeed in finding it, try locate a copy of “De Grafdanseres”, of  the “Paradijsvogels” TV program. They took it offline a bunch of years ago. That’s my ex-wife. I hear she is still alive, living in Velp in Gelderland. She joined some cult? Hare Krishna? I am not sure. I lost contact with her in 2011. Marriage for ten years with her nearly killed the both of us. Such a thing is not meant for mortals.  Wayyy too intense. I wish her well, but I am no longer in any way interested in her, hearing about her or meeting her.

Are you some kind of Weirdo or Pervert ?

Yes. I am a weirdo. I am a pervert, But let me divulge a secret – everyone is.  Everyone has guilty secrets, no exception.  I guarantee it.

Are you a Vampire?

I don’t think so. I am very slightly allergic to direct sunlight, and I do not like the taste of blood. I may however be a half Succubus though 🙂 

Are you a Satanist? a Pirate? Are you an ordained Priest of the Occult? Do you worship Demons?

I am not a “Satanist” in the Lavey tradition of Satanism, but I am very close with the current High Priest of Lavey Satanism in Amsterdam.  I consider myself ordained Priestess of Lillith, fwiw. I have been ordened High Priestess by the founder of the Church of Kopimi.  It was a very fast ritual ceremony.

What other hobbies do you have?

…. do you really want to know? I like to fuck hard. I’d probably do it more if I didn’t gain 20 kilo during Covid. But I dance pretty good.  If that’s your thing, come along to Wasteland one of these days 🙂 

PLAYER IMPRESSIONS

“A new, detailed, expansive setting with a complex and interconnected array of interests, plots and ideas. The Dreamlands reprents a unique opportunity for co-operative storytelling supported by a custom rules system (that may or may not require further tweaking as the campaign progresses). The setting leans dark, with the possibility of exploring difficult themes, wether that falls into the campyness or grim darkness seen in properties such as 40k or retains a more serious tone will be dependent as much on the players as on the GM. This is a literal world of possibilities, come carve out your slice of this story.”

-Pablo

History of all this

(TL:DR) Somewhere late 1970s (…??) I wandered along with some folks to a first DUCOSIM convention. There I beheld my first session of AD&D, which is at best a hazy memory. I believe it was run by one Nico Oostebaan (a wellknown figure in those days, probably long since deceased). You have to remember that back then everything was analogue, there were scarcely any computers or internet to speak off, and the world was a lot more stupid, simpistic, unsubtle and boring than it is today. I was at the time a very young and very traumatized individual of dubious moral fibre. In retrospect, I wan’t a nice person at all, and very much troubled and lonely. So when I came across AD&D I went more or less certifiably insane with obsession. I started playing with the likes of Louis de Koning and Bernd Timmerman in Rijswijk, and aquired good friends, such as Jacco Boer, Dennis Matla, Stephan van Anker, Koos de Jong, Herman Krommenhoek.  I was positively smitten, like so many other young and lost kids of that age, with lousy parents and directionless lives, lonely and often clueless what to do, following the dictates of an ever more unreasonable world. I started playing along in open sessions where everone could DM (a slogfest of miniatures and matchboxes for walls, rolling dice, casting spells, consulting rulebooks), but I quickly violated that social order by starting a socalled “campaign”. This was something new “apparently”, and was well received. I tried and failed a first time, and tried a reboot. My reboot was Thanatos (that later morphed in Thanatos Stichting, that still operates in Leidschendam, to my complete surprise, 30+ years later).

Thanatos D&D quickly became a monster in numerous ways – we went too far in terms of House Rules, The intricacy of our stories, the obessiveness of me as DM and my players was close to psychiatric levels. We did storylines that were often childishly offensive. In those years I must have pathetically offended so many people, but it is what it is, and things couldn’t have gone any differently. I was the victim of severe child abuse, a extremely demoralizing parenting style, a laughably inadequate schooling system, and near vesuvian ADHD. In my ten or so years of D&d I Went Way Too Far in every possible way. In 1989 I was clinically depressed and close to death, literally. I wronged people quite badly – in particular one Harmen de Boer, which to this day deeply shames me and fills me with regret. Suffice to say I was not a nice person back then, and I have since then dedicated myself to becoming nicer.

To continue,  I played all RPG games back then – Space 1889, Warhammer, Warhammer fantasy, Dark Conspirac, GURPS, Cyberpunk 2020, Cyberspace, Dark Conspiracy,  Call of Cthulhu, Runequest, Shadowrun, Powers & Perils, I can scarcely remember them all. I played AD&D, I translated the basic set for D&D from english to Dutch in the late 80s, I organized conventions, and I wrought untold misschief. Then in the 90s I evolved to World of Darkness and I owned literally every book. I played live-action Vampire Masquerade, I was closely involved with Father Sebastian and would have possibly written the second Strigoi VII – I played Wraith on Graveyards and corresponded with Anders Sandberg about Mage. I quarrelled with White Wolf games about the ludicrous decay of their quality of books – and they blocked the WWGS server to the entire Wanadoo ISP in retribution.  Around 1995 I met my ex wife, Thyrza, and we went crazy on the vampire sillyness. Sh had her teeth elongated by a dentist, we went to every Gothic party, people sincerely believed we WERE actual vampires, we slept in coffins and I was suspected of being a dangerous political and occult extremist and a most degenerate criminal and sexual deviant across the country.  We appeared on TV a handful of times.

But in 1989, 1995, 2003 I suffered almost catastrophic depressions. There was a call inside me for something more, something more real, honorable, kind, loving and passionate and I realized slowly mid 2005 that I was running away from an undeniable truth. It took me ten years – 2010 to 2019 to rectify that, and I must say I did that without looking back a second. Maybe a bit late? I nonetheless experienced passion and freedom I scarcely believed possible, I fell crazy in love with several amazing  (but also deeply flawed)people in 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020. Then I realized I had cleaned myself of most of the lies, the self-deception, the shame, the wrong I did to so many people, the way I disappointed so many others, my hubris, my hypocrisy and most of all that horrible fear that haunted me all my life.

The moment of liberation was me moving to Amsterdam in May 2020. I lived a year with Madeline, my bestestest friend, along the River Het Ij, and the n moved to de Pijp, where I now live with my beautiful bestestest friend Vinnie, a 23 year old transboy so beautiful I just lose my mind sometimes when I watch him walk by.

So I thought – let’s avoid all mistakes this time and do it good, with whatever’s left of my mind, soul and body. Let’s do this hobby like 40+ years of life experience has taught me – no compromizes, pure artistry, pure sincerity, no lies. Just make everything as much fun for all involved I can muster.