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Professor Chaos

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About Professor Chaos

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  • RPG Biography
    RQ, CoC, Traveller, WFRP, EPT etc
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    East Sussex, England
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  1. Professor Chaos

    Greg Stafford Condolence Thread

    Truly the last of our Great Old Ones and my heart goes out to all his family and friends. It is nearly 40 years - pretty much my whole adult life - since my teenage self picked up the boxed set of Runequest 2 in the original and then only Games Workshop in London and since then Greg's worlds and games have given me countless hours of enjoyment. And some of my warmest memories of gaming are Greg's talks and seminars at conventions going back 25 years or so and I only wish I'd been able to attend more of those Convulsions and Tentacles and Krakens. And thanks to RuneQuest Glorantha I've been re-reading all my old RQ and HQ game books - a small mountain of which are literally piled up on my bed now. My house lacks any troll-ish beverages but IIRC Greg was a lover of things Mexican so I will tonight toast his memory with a Margarita or two. Descansa en paz.
  2. Professor Chaos

    Tarshite Sun Dome Temple questions

    Dragging out Tarsh in Flames I find Notes on the History of Tarsh and a map which being by Greg himself surely counts as 'canon' - and I see there is in fact a Danger Line which is roughly where the Guide map puts it and a Deathline where the Sourcebook and King of Sartar put it. We're also told by Greg that the valley of the Black Eel was devastated by the Trio Weave - three dragons that killed most of the population and then flew east towards the mountains and directly over where Ever New Glory would have been if it had existed in 1120 - and that the human survivors of the Trio Weave attack did not stay but fled. As for the Danger Line anyone passing it was 'acutely likely' to be attacked by dragonewts or dream dragons and no one getting as far as the Death Line ever returned from it. Greg also tells us that a Barteri tribe was formed after the Battle of Falling Hills (which means the sourcebook maps which show it occupying the area where ENG is much earlier are wrong) and seems to have been a buffer between Tarsh and Holay for several decades and then disappeared and that by the reign of Illaro the Carafandoli tribe are occupying the area between Borni's Landing and Tarshford having according to another map attributed to Greg driven out the Balazarings from the same area. The Carafandoli - which according to the article on the tribes of Tarsh from same publication - are based at Tarshford and were responsible for the slave raids into Balazar therefore appear to occupy exactly the territory that you would expect to be a Sun County (and a fully fledged SDT surely does need significant agricultural territory to keep its dome gilded and maintain its priesthood and its Templars). In any case it is surely clear that neither Tarsh Sun Dome Temple can have been continuously occupied since the Dragonkill and at some point they must have been refounded by someone....
  3. Professor Chaos

    Tarshite Sun Dome Temple questions

    Looking closely at the maps in the Guide it appears to me that both Ever New Glory and Goldedge are located beyond the Deathline (it is difficult to be precise as I believe the only depiction of the Deathline in the Guide is the Genertela map on page 140 - but you can zoom right in). However the zero, first and second wane maps in the Sourcebook and the Tarsh Map in revised King of Sartar both show the death-line some miles to the south and east of where it is in the Guide c.1220 map - so Ever New Glory would be outside it. So which is correct? - or is there a sort of forbidden but not actually lethal zone between the two lines where a Sun Dome Temple with the right magic might have survived but in relative isolation? Goldedge however if it was a Nysalorean foundation must surely have been abandoned if not destroyed throughout the whole inhuman occupation (unless whatever we call the Elf-cult of Yelmalio now maintained it as a shrine). Goldedge is also interesting in that we are told it is the home of the Goldedge foot which in multiple sources of varying canonicity is always described as a standard Tarshite shieldwall or whatever the current term is and not a Sun Dome Templar unit. So was Goldedge refounded much as Vaantar was but under the patronage of a Tarsh king? And does the Goldedge SDT actually run the city and have its own Sun County or is it just the largest temple in a city with a predominantly Lunarised/lowland Tarshite population? I also wonder why if there was a functioning Sun Dome Temple at Ever New Glory just three or four days away from Elkoi all throughout the Third Age how the Yelmalio (or Tharkantus or whatever the hell it was called) cult in Balazar became as degenerate (or perhaps just atypical) as it appears to have become? Surely the citadel priests at least would have sought training at Ever New Glory and you would expect it to have maintained some trade with the three citadels? And if tribal Yelmalion Praxians from all across the wastes treat their nearest Sun Dome Temple as a pilgrimage site wouldn't Balazaring Yelmalions have had a similar relationship with Ever New Glory? (They don't - as Griffin Mountain tells us they gather instead at Elkoi for Yelmalio's High Holy Day even though they could have carried on just another 3 or 4 days to celebrate at a real Sun Dome Temple with the golden dome and everything). I am inclined to the view that whatever community survived the Dragonkill at the site of ENG was relatively tiny (for a start you'd rather expect pretty much the entire adult male population to have joined the True Golden Horde and been slaughtered) and sensibly kept themselves very much to themselves throughout the Inhuman Occupation - and it was only with the Lunarisation of Tarsh that it became a fully functional SDT (in the sense of having a full hierarchy of priests, light sons, templars etc) again and that as a reformed if not refounded SDT they regard the Balazarings as barely Yelmalions at all.
  4. Professor Chaos

    Lunar Marines

    The Long Way Home by Moonboat from Pavis could also be a great campaign idea...
  5. Professor Chaos

    Lunar Marines

    Back on the marines in the Roman empire there was an actual 'marine' legion - but then they had a lot of sea to police - which the Lunars really don't - in fact I'd say the Corflu to Karse expeditionary force would have just involved hiring any vaguely seaworthy vessel that came into port and packing troops aboard them rather than the Lunars building actual warships. As for your Lunars stranding them at Corflu with just a regular ship raises the question of where can they go? - not just Sartar and Prax but the whole Holy Country is in revolt so the only way back to the empire by sea would be the very long way round to Sog City and through Arrolia - which could be an epic campaign. But for that the last thing you want is any sort of galley - galleys need to be beached or find a friendly port every night as they can't carry enough food or above all water for all those rowers. And the last place you would want to beach a galley to look for supplies is along the coast of Prax. It would make more sense for me if the 'marines' (who could be a random set of survivors from the Lunar army and the odd civilian - an Etyries trader would be useful as would a 7 mothers missionary) just hijacked a small trading ship and sailed rather than rowed it west. In fact as the river of cradles is navigable all the way to Pavis have them hijack a trading ship as the city falls and flee down the river to Corflu fighting off angry Praxian pursuers all the way - hell have them kill a Khan's favourite son so a pack of Praxians vow to hunt them down and hijack their own ship at Corflu... Once you get past the enemy territories of Kethaela you could actually run it as something like a classic Traveller campaign with the players having to take on all sorts of dodgy missions and do a bit of trading to keep themselves fed and their ship seaworthy and keep ahead of any pursuers. There is also quite a lot of material - whether it is still 'canonical' or not hardly matters - about the Wenelian coast and the Trader Princes including a whole Heroquest campaign book that can be easily converted to RQG. In fact the more I think about the more attractive such a campaign looks...
  6. Professor Chaos

    Tekumel BRP

    Pretty much where I got to before I lost all my files was I had developed a magic system loosely based on the 4th edition Pendragon rules. IIRC I ditched the sleep owed mechanic and rather than fill the charsheet with separate skills for each spell, the success roll for any spell known was Insight divided by the spell cost (with U spells costing 10 points, G 15 and T 20 per level - so a 1000 Insight sorcerer casting a G10 spell needed to roll 7 or less, the same sorcerer casting a T10 had to roll 5 but any U spell would be cast with no chance of failure). Learning spells was a 'winter-phase' activity and once you learned say Aeriality you could cast any version of that spell in the Gardasiyal book. The Gardasiyal spell descriptions also mapped relatively well given that they feature durations, distances and the like that don't need to be converted - damage effects were just rated at 1d6 per Gardasiyal damage class (i.e. 1d6 for A, 6d6 for F). Insight/100 also gave you the Sorcerer's circle rank. A sorcerers Pedhetl (effectively personal magic points) was calculated by adding together the 5 religious traits for his deity and ambient magic points were generally set at 5d20 in normal or 10d20 in magic-rich areas - plus you could get additional d20s of mana by employing the correct ritual implements, sacrifices, assistants, 'psychic batteries' etc. This meant that summoning a Demon (a T8 spell costing 160 mana points) was a major challenge requiring either a Mage with several thousand insight who has maxed out his pedhetl or who has made major preparations first - but low level spells could be thrown about relatively easily. I did consider including INT and POW as per Pendragon Pass but one of the things I liked about Pendragon is that the characters intelligence is measured not by rolling 2d6+6 but by his players smartness and by character ratings in skills like Intrigue and by his traits. Plus having an INT 18 character played by the dumbest guy in the group never made sense to me. I also found that Pendragon traits mapped really well to Temples (except IIRC for Dra who is not called the Uncaring for nothing). Glory became the key social mechanic with persuade rolls being modified by comparing Glory levels with each 100 difference giving a +1 or -1. My rule of thumb was that each 100 in Glory was roughly equivalent to a circle rank (although mechanically you got Glory by circle promotion rather than the other way round) Accordingly Glory awards were less generous than in KAP and capped out about 3,000 or so (as 30 is about the highest circle rank possible) with IIRC over a 100 being honourably obscure, 1,000+ locally notable, 2,000+ famous and 3,000+ legendary This eliminated the need to modify every interaction by relative clan and lineage status and circle/military rank. There was also some general modifiers for opposed temples - dealing with an opposite temple (i.e. Vimuhla/Karakan, Belkhanu/Sarku) was worth a -1 per 10 points of the the character's Love of his Deity or -1 per 20 if alignment alone was different - this made religion a social barrier but only for true fanatics. The battle system just used a regular Medium Infantryman as the Knight value of a force with each units total being further modified by experience level (from the Armies books), more or less armour etc. Biggest conceptual challenges were the campaign timescales and how to fit in clans and the like as active entities rather than just passive organisations you gain Glory and Passions from joining. One adventure a year and a winter phase doesn't really seem very appropriate to Tekumel where you'd want to cram a lot more action into the decade or so of the Tsolyani civil war and it is unlikely that you'll want to run a trans-generational dynastic game - and Tekumelyani being generally polygamous and polygynous and polyamorous (not to mention polymorphously perverse if you are a follower of Dlalemelish or Hrihayal) means that you'd have a lot more relatives to keep track of. Rather I would just have had several adventures per year interspersed with variable lengths of down-time during which one can attempt one activity which gives you a single winter-phase benefit. I'd also done most of the bestiary creatures as Pendragon style stat-blocks (which given that you aren't going to be encountering many Sro saves a lot of time on rolling up a new individual's stats every time as per BRP). For combat I looked at ways of factoring Dodge into every combat roll by averaging DEX with armour to give less heavily armoured characters a better chance of surviving (naked barbarians and foppishly dressed swashbucklers have very short lifespans in RAW Pendragon as without full knightly armour and shield it usually only takes one hit to kill or incapacitate you). Having dredged this up I am now feeling inspired to ditch the BRP concept and revisit this project - as perversely Pendragon being such a simple system needs less tinkering than a supposedly generic but rule-heavy one like BRP or GURPS. I also see rules as driving the style of play - IMO BRP is best at the gritty style of play of RQ2 era Glorantha before it got Gregged and Lawsed out of all recognition, but Tekumel should always be played in a much looser Sword and Sorcery style where heroic roleplaying trumps number-crunching. And if I ever did get a game going it would be online - and Pendragon is far better suited to online play than BRP.
  7. Professor Chaos

    Tekumel BRP

    Yes please! Also did some work on a Pendragon system for Tekumel but lost it all on a hard disk crash and never had the heart to redo it all...
  8. Professor Chaos

    Tekumel BRP

    A while back someone on rpgnet said they were working on an update to Sandy Petersen's old RQ3-era rules for Tekumel to BRP and would publish them here. Wonder if anyone's heard anything more of this as I am in the process of starting something similar myself - combining the few bits of Swords and Glory/Gardasiyal that work for me (primarily the background chargen and the wonderfully evocative spell lists) with BRP mechanics.
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