Solår celebrates play and storytelling as effective and uniquely personal modes of education. We strive to create art that engages audiences through thematically rich narrative and situational experience that tests the same judgement and attitudes we use to move through the real world. Our guiding values of curiosity, experimentation, innovation, and collaboration seek to build worlds that immerse, include, and inspire.


Who’s running this thing?

That’d be me, Valarij Solår . I’m a novelist, writer, and freelance creative based in Saint Paul, MN. Solår is my art and creative studio. Anything visual, we make it.

How’s your name pronounced?

The Scandinavian Aa (or Å as it’s written now) makes a long O sound in English. So you’d say sol-or.

Questions about Runemaker:

What is Runemaker?

Runemaker (RM) is a role-playing-game currently being developed as both a tabletop product in the vein of DnD, Pathfinder, and Rolemaster, as well as a video game for Steam, featuring a full cast of characters and a 1300s/1400s-esk early colonial fantasy setting. RM is a base 12 system that combines mechanics from a variety of other role playing games and systems.

Why are you doing this? Do you have any experience as a game maker?

The why:

I believe storytelling and play to be among the most effective approaches in teaching people of early adolescence to adulthood. Also who doesn’t want to make their own RPG?

Solår seeks to enrich the Hamline Midway and Prospect Park communities by fostering a culture of artistry that is freely shared and anchored in our work. This commitment demands a proactive endorsement and commitment to foster a love of of lifelong learning and a culture of civic good will and communal generosity. We look forward getting to know our neighbors, colleagues, and representatives in a more democratically empowering contest through our efforts as a public benefit Creative Studio.

Runemaker’s interactive role-playing framework will allow players to articulate representations of themselves and the people they imagine themselves to be with a fidelity that we believe to be still not wholly present in games, particular with games in education.

My credentials:

Lifelong Experience as a Player and Playtester – Video game series like Pokemon, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, and The Elder Scrolls have dominated my imagination since I was very young. My father is a certified OG Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (DnD 1st edition) nerd, and introduced me to tabletop around the same time I started reading. Since the age of 16, I’ve played regularly in campaigns with him and his fellow gamemakers,which in turn has exposed me to an innumerable variety of different systems.

Academic and Professional Qualifications: I was enrolled at the University of Wisconsin – Madison for a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction in 2016 with a focus in technology integration and gamified curricular design. I only stayed in the program for one semester, but during my time at the school, I took a Game Design course under the direction of Professor Kurt Squire. This was the first real opportunity I’d had making my own games, and I walked away with several functional (and fun!) prototypes of board and narrative games.

I made my first full functional game, a drinking card game called Cats of the Boofhouse, in December 2018 for my brother and sister-in-law. You can check out a few sample cards here if you’d like.

What can I expect from this project?

A rich and narrative-focused role playing experience with fluid and fun strategic turn based combat. Runemaker is a d12 base system, so the mechanics are designed to be simple and utilized with ease. The complexity comes in the characters. There are twelve mortal ancestries to choose from for your Player Character. The Steam Runemaker games will feature 24 fully realized characters, each with 12 different endings of their own! Map every characters path, and unlock a Rune that can be used in a future expansion.

Do you have a timeline or goals for completion?

My timeline is entirely contingent on funding. The more money the Patreon takes in, the more we can afford to purchase equipment, and contract with artists, writers, designers, and coders. I will be taking on a bulk of these responsibilities myself, but I have other projects like my novel(s) and clients for my freelancing business to attend to.

Ideally, I’d like to have a digital edition of the Players Guide released near the beginning of June 2020.

This sounds cool, can I help?
By donating to the page here of course! If you’d like to collaborate or have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email: val@valhallmn.org

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