Sunday, November 3, 2019

Tekumel at Gamehole Con

Adventurer Party from Jeff Dee's Bethorm

This weekend I attended Gamehole Con in Madison, WI, where The Tekumel Foundation sponsored at Tekumel RPG theme track. The GMs included Victor Raymond, Mark Seifert, Amanda Dee, Scott Kellogg, Jeff Dee, and myself. I was able to run three games, and play in another four games by other GMs. It was also really nice to GM for and game alongside Mark Eggert, a Tekumel veteran whom I haven't seen since my early years playing Tekumel!

Games I GMed included a two-part Fate of Tekumel RPG adventure set in the time of the Pe Choi Revolt (yes, there was one!), with Part I called (surprise, surprise): "The Pe Choi Revolt" and Part II called "The Time of No Emperor" (and this is NOT the same thing as the "Time of No Kings"!). The players represented an expedition/delegation sent by the ruling Temples of Change to enter into negotiations in the Chakas with a newly independent/separatist Pe Choi state. The PCs defeated Feshengas in the deep jungle, discovered an ancient Bednalljan Sarku shrine guarded by a Pe Choi Jagji, and eventually arrived at the Pe Choi village at the center of the new nation. I was pretty stunned to have a full table of 6 players ready to go for Part II at 8 AM on Saturday! Gamehole is a convention that draws about 5,000 players, and people are ready to game!

If you're interested in Fate of Tekumel or this adventure, be sure to come to Con of the North in February. At that convention, I  am going to pick up where Part II of the adventure left off, in an adventure titled "Tekumel: The Time of No Emperor."

I also ran a Barsoom-Tekumel crossover adventure, "Red Moon, Red Planet" using the 2d20 John Carter of Mars RPG from Modiphius Entertainment.

My fearless Barsoomians

Players started on Barsoom, and had landed in Katalal by the end of the adventure. But the player right in the center of the photo remarked that by the end of the game, his PC had lived in three different worlds!  He played Joseph Stands Alone, an American Indian spy from the Jemez Pueblo in New Mexico, who had previously been transplanted from Jasoom (i.e., Earth) to Barsoom! The players picked up the system very quickly, and play was evocative and fun!

Amanda Dee ran a great Bethorm RPG game called "Maidens of the Mist". The PCs played priestesses-in-training in the Temple of Dilinala who had been sent on a spooky mission to a spooky, spooky place in the Kurt Hills. That was a great game for Halloween night!

Scott Kellogg ran an EPT-Dungeon Crawl Classics funnel in the underworld of Penom. His scenario, "The Rising Tide of Darkness" was a real hoot, with a lot of surprises for both Tekumel veterans as well as players new-to-Tekumel.

Jeff Dee ran "A Little Bit of Ice", another great Bethorm RPG game that became a TPK. You'd think that would have been the EPT-DCC game - which did have causalties - but no. Tune in to an upcoming Hall of Blue Illumination podcast for more about what happened in the story.

Finally, I also played in Scott Kellogg's Saturday night EPT game, "Hirilakte Hijinx", in which the PCs played a Stability-oriented gladiatorial team ("Red Rage"), that ended up with hijinx in the Underworld.

Gamehole Con was a great convention, and I plan to be back next year for more Tekumel gaming!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Clans for Characters Starting in Thráya

One of the challenging aspects of character generation at the game table, is having a list of clans that is easy to visually scan and from which players can select a clan that "feels right" for their character concept and that does interesting things. The Sourcebook has the definitive list of best-known clans on Tékumel, but the Professor was also clear in the text that there are many other local clans. We know that players at the Professor's table also worked with him to create new clans, such as Ensorcelled Goblet, a Drá-focused clan. The challenge is how to carry on that tradition in a way that is respectful of the source material and continues to build the world in ways that are respectful, natural, and interesting to players.

It has been a busy few weeks for the Fate of Tékumel RPG, as I have been developing a new document, "Clans for Campaigns Starting in Thráya". The focus of the document is a resource to help players choose clans at character generation. My focus is on clans that are based-in or have a presence in the city of Thráya and its immediate surrounds, since Thráya the area of the Empire that I am developing for the RPG.

The list includes traditional, canonical clans as well as some new local and regional clans. The clan list is currently at 4,500 words (about 10 pages), but will grow a bit as I add a few more clans.

Oh, and every clan has Aspects now.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Tékumel Sourcebook Chiaroscuro

I just completed a read-through of Swords & Glory Volume 1: The Tékumel Sourcebook.  This reading spanned several years, from before my mom's passing through to breakfast this morning. I read intermittently, sometimes taking a break for several months. Quite a bit of the reading was done during travel - either by air, or as the dachshund-tending passenger on a road trip.

This is not the first time that I have read the Sourcebook, but it IS the first time I have read the entire Sourcebook.  I believe in the past I had read both volumes of the Sourcebook that saw print in the very readable Different Worlds imprint, and I know I read chunks of its original Gamescience edition.

In fact, I was about to read the Sourcebook in its entirety when the binding on my Gamescience edition suddenly failed! We are very fortunate to have this book now available from DriveThru in both POD and PDF formats, with the wonderful, ever-so detailed index and glossary prepared by Krista Donnelly. They are quite remarkable, and improve the usability of the product quite significantly.

As I noted above, I had previously read parts of the Gamescience edition, as well as the Different Worlds editions cover-to-cover. But the last third or so of the Sourcebook was never published in the Different Worlds edition. This was the first time I had read the final Sourcebook sections on arms and armor, military units, assassins' weapons and the assassins' clans, and the arts and sciences. There is a LOT of great content packed into the last third of the Sourcebook; that's for sure!

A friend once said that Tékumel is the only world he needs for gaming, and there is a lot of truth to that.

So what's next? I really need to read Swords & Glory Vol. 2. But I need to wait until I have a sturdy POD edition of that in-hand. In the meantime, I am going to read this one cover to cover, as preparation for running Empire of the Petal Throne at Con of the North in February. I have played
EPT several times, and I have certainly used it as a reference for Fate of Tékumel, but this will be my first time running it!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Tubecar Discs

© 2017 Tangletown Games

There are many forms of wealth on Tékumel, but a satchel of tubecar discs, like the image above by Juan Ochoa, are a sure way to put a price on your head.

Imagine all the places these discs could take a party!

Where have you been on Tékumel?

Sunday, August 27, 2017

New Illustrations for Fate of Tékumel

Juan Ochoa just turned in a whole passel of spot illustrations for the Fate of Tékumel RPG.

Here is a great one of a Feshenga:

© 2017 Tangletown Games

Monday, August 21, 2017

U-Con Tékumel Events

I'm attending U-Con this year (November 17-19) for the Tékumel track. The scheduling times haven't been set yet, but here are the events I am planning to run:

Title: “The Labyrinth of Elongated Shadows”

System: Lamentations of the Flame Princess

Short description: 17th Century Stargate! Servants of the Spanish Crown step through an obsidian mirror, entering a strange plane adjacent to fabled Tékumel - one filled with unearthly monsters and threats.  

Title: “Under Hmakuyál”

System: Fate of Tékumel RPG (Fate system)

Long description: In the year 176, Seal Emperor Trakonel I “the Blazing Light” laid siege to the city of Hmakuyál to put an end to the Pariah Deities. Unfortunately your relatives were in the city at the time of the siege. You’ve learned they are hostages of the Temple of the One Other. You’ve gained access to the city and must now enter the temple and rescue your kinfolk! FYI, “Under Hmakuyál” is the sequel to a scenario introduced at Con of the North 2017.

Title: “Borrowed Trouble”

System: Fate of Tékumel RPG (Fate system)

Short description: The Temple of Lord Belkhánu in Thráya has sent you to recover books and scrolls loaned to the Great Temple west of the city. But chaos lurks within this great temple of Stability!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Fate of Tekumel for Free RPG Day

Art by Mahlon  Blaine

Starting at 6 PM on Saturday, June 17, I'll be running a Fate of Tékumel game for Free RPG Day at Source Comics and Games in Roseville, MN.

The game session is titled "Lords of the Latter Times". This will be a free-wheeling Barsoomian style adventure in the early days of Tékumel. If you like strange mutants, psionics, aircars, crossed swords, and battle harnesses, come on by and play the game!

No knowledge of Tékumel is necessary for this game.