Jump to content

Recommended Posts

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.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not remember to have seen anything of the kind, and I do not find anything

of the kind in the download section.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most recommended idea anyways, I have done something for ages ago, combining bits and parts of Pendragon system (or Pendragon Pass) and BRP for Tekumel. I'll dig them up for you if they are of any help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some time ago I saw on the Yahoo Tekumel Group discussion that someone, I don't remember who, was working on BRP Tekumel. I've not seen anything in a while indicating what progress was made.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most recommended idea anyways, I have done something for ages ago, combining bits and parts of Pendragon system (or Pendragon Pass) and BRP for Tekumel. I'll dig them up for you if they are of any help.

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...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say that the "modern" approach to developing a setting is to adapt it to a popular or at least "main stream" rules system, in particular one that has a track record of being playable and already has an established community of gamers. For a long time I've thought that it was a shame that the Tekumel setting, which has some unique features and is really detailed and rich, has "languished" so to speak with such a mish-mash of rules systems and out-of-print source materials. BRP would be an obvious system to use to update the setting, but it's surely not the only one. Maybe the folks who control the setting don't have the time or energy to really do something with it. But when I see what can be done with a setting like Clockwork & Chivalry, just to mention one example, I don't see why someone could not do a lot more with Tekumel.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just downloaded my old Tekumel -BRP/Pendragon pass character sheet on fantasy/others section.

I try to collect all my Tekumel stuff available somewhere later, unfortunately most of it is not very finished. Hope that someone would make something useful out of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not remember to have seen anything of the kind, and I do not find anything

of the kind in the download section.

I've seen it too. Someone called Mark from Oxford (username 'd(sqrt(-1))') had been in contact with Sandy Petersen in 2009 about revising the BRP Tekumel rules:

http://www.gamingtavern.eu/tav/viewtopic.php?p=20314 and http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?455666-Tekumel-Calling-out/page9

Nothing much seems to have come of it, though there was this tantalising fragment from the author in July 2010:

Ok, in 3 sessions we've gone from players who knew nothing, to now being quite ok with clan-structures, the importance of etiquette and how you present things to people, Chlen-hide weapons and armour, low levels of metal and no stars in the sky. They have met and interacted with Shen, Pe Choi, Ayhogga, Mrur, Vorodla, Ru'un and Hra - re the last two particularly they were very lucky both times and managed to escape with no casualties.

They've also had contact with Temples of Thumis, Ksarul, Hrihayal, Sarku and probably soon Belkhanu. They've picked up an Eye (but don't yet know what it does as it is labelled in Ancient Llyani), a Golden Disc of Advancing to Glory (ditto), and the shaman has "acquired" an android (Yeleth) lover (although they don't know that, and think she might be undead instead) - she was found inert in one of a pair of crystal caskets and they woke her up (at a cost in permanent POW). They've also seen a Hrihayal party of priestesses and Temple guards depart on a mission in a tubeway car, have accidentally run into a patch of Food of the Ssu, and spent some time in tunnels worried about what might be round the next corner.

They currently have plans to rent a clanhouse in the Foreigner's Quarter, develop some trade so they can get the rest of their tribe over, and want to form their own clan with a view to getting it eventually accepted by the Empire.

So far no-one has said it's too complicated, too weird or there's too much info...

Edited by Questbird
added more info to post

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.
BRP is 'rule-heavy'? I'd never noticed... maybe I'm playing it wrong?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BRP is 'rule-heavy'? I'd never noticed... maybe I'm playing it wrong?

Rule-heavy? I guess that depends on what BRP is compared to I suppose. Maybe there's a few more nuts n bolts than a system like FUDGE, it's not much more than Storyteller or Savage Worlds in terms of actual rules mechanics (not in regards to how combat occurs, which can be lengthy at times if using the SR option I suppose). But compared to systems like GURPS or Rolemaster, BRP is so much more simple, I'm surprised to hear that it could be perceived as 'rule-heavy'...

Edited by Mankcam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rule-heavy? I guess that depends on what BRP is compared to I suppose. Maybe there's a few more nuts n bolts than a system like FUDGE, it's not much more than Storyteller or Savage Worlds in terms of actual rules mechanics (not in regards to how combat occurs, which can be lengthy at times if using the SR option I suppose). But compared to systems like GURPS or Rolemaster, BRP is so much more simple, I'm surprised to hear that it could be perceived as 'rule-heavy'...

As you say it probably depends on what options you use. The 'lightest' version (Call of Cthulhu) is really simple but versions like RQ3 and Ringworld were always promoted as comprehensive and detailed simulations. I think unfortunately that the Big Gold Book makes the game look complicated. Far more complicated than it actually is. You could get a perfectly good comprehensive generic BRP core-book into a book the size of Savage worlds if you focused on the core.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen it too. Someone called Mark from Oxford (username 'd(sqrt(-1))') had been in contact with Sandy Petersen in 2009 about revising the BRP Tekumel rules

I'd really love to see that project come to completion!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could get a perfectly good comprehensive generic BRP core-book into a book the size of Savage worlds if you focused on the core.

Perhaps there's a market for a scaled down BRP rulebook, slightly thicker than the BRP Quick Play rules.

I for one wouldn't buy it, but given that the Savage Worlds Explorer Edition (the small digest sized edition of the core rules) has sold really well then maybe it's less daunting for new players - perhaps this is why Mongoose has decided to release LEGEND in digest size - the rules are pretty much the same as MRQ2, but the book's size makes it appear to be less rules-intensive.

Having said that however, Pathfinder has also sold really,really well, and it's a nice big hardcover tome, so it's quite difficult to gauge if gaming audiences are after minimal rule sets or more comphrensive ones. In reality I think that BRP sits nicely between the two.

Edited by Mankcam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps there's a market for a scaled down BRP rulebook, slightly thicker than the BRP Quick Play rules.
I'd buy it! Heck, I'd probably buy several so I can give them to friends and keep them on the table during games.

I love the BGB but if I want to get folks interested it's going to be easier without that big book putting them off.

Pathfinder doesn't have that issue because scads of folks are playing it down at the shop and it gets talked about incessantly online... people want the book because their friends have it. BRP doesn't have that leg in the door.

I think it would also be important that it look really good... color art and such... since it's meant to be 'bait'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, kids these days, LOL. My partner picked up the big book and created two characters while I was at work, with n o help, and only watching her other friends play dnd. The system is easy and complexity only comes from what you hang on it. After the orginal CoC game I went the other way to complexity and ran Other Suns for a good long time. Both BRP based, both fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of people love(d) playing in Tekumel and I would like to try it one day, if I can find/interest the players. It seems there is probably enough info out there to cobble together a workable set of BRP/Runequest rules for it, so never say never.

In its long history, Tekumel has lacked a stable set of rules and a fully developed classic adventure or campaign along the lines of Masks of Nyarlathotep for Call of Cthulhu, The Enemy Within for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Against the Giants for AD&D, The Traveller Adventure or Griffin Mountain for RQ. Of course, such things are difficult to develop if the game rules don't stay stable. But had such a product existed Tekumel might not have such a reputation for inaccessibility.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the past two years I have taken the original D&D variant, Empire of the Petal Throne, and 'upgraded' the rules to 1st ed AD&D. I'm running two different parties on different days (as the Professor did), and everyone is having a blast. I play pretty fast and loose nowadays. I had considered starting with Sandy's rules, and crafting my own BRP variant around them, but it was taking too long -- maybe too many choices? Anyway, we're having a blast. IMO, the group in charge of Tekumel gaming, The Foundation, is perpetuating the mistakes of the past.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started doing a RQ6-based game for Tekumel last year and ran out of time before I could finish it. In the end I ran the game (at Indiecon (a UK gaming con) using Brett Slocum's Heroic Age of Tekumel rules which are more like AD&D and it worked perfectly well. I'd use either those or Kevin Crawford's rules as the main fun in Tekumel is dealing with the society and finding out what, you as a barbarian from over the water, needs to know to avoid being impaled and not the rules used to play. Read the long running thread over on the RPG site for a player's descriptions of playing in the Professor's games..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...