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World of Thennla - Taskan, Korantia, Iron Simulacrum


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The world of Thennla setting intrigues me and I am hoping someone here can shed some light on it. How is the setting? Is it going to continue to be developed? What other adventures (Monster Island, Book of Quests etc) are suited to the setting?

I believe, there have been 4 sourcebooks so far, but The Taskan Empire is a reprint/re-imaging of the Iron Simulacrum.

  • Age of Treason - The Iron Simulacrum (Legend)
  • The Iron Companion (Legend)
  • The shores of Korantia (RQ6)
  • The Taskan Empire (RQ6)

Where is a good place to start?


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Thennla feels like a setting made with RuneQuest in mind. It has an ancient world setting with lots of cults woven into its societies for players to interact with. Korantia has a Greek vibe as a culture of competing city-states. Korantia used to be an empire. The island at the heart of the empire was devastated in a magical cataclysm, with the city-states have descended from the surviving colonies. There are two attempts to reunite the cities. One of the most powerful city-states is trying to empower a council with representatives of all cities. There is also line of the Imperial family, which currently has a lot more respect than authority. 

Korantines are a nautical people so the book comes with full rules for ships and ship combat. You also get cool fantasy ideas like binding elementals to ships, allowing ships to fly or even submerge. There is plenty of room for exploration as a source of adventure. It wouldn't be hard to drop the RQ6 island adventures Sarinya's Curse or Monster Island into Thennla. 

Each city has a patron Goddess that are all aspects of the same Goddess. Theism is the primary form of magic. Sorcery is looked down on as an anti-social form of magic not fitting for a civic-minded Korantine. Folk Magic is replace with a Rites skill based on your culture (Korantine Rites, Assabian Rites, etc.). They can also be used to augment ritual castings. 

The Taskan Empire is the neighboring threat that may absorb Korantia or unite them. That's not to suggest they are the bad guys. While Korantines are more deomcratic, they practice slavery, which is outlawed in the Taskan Empire. As an Empire, they have a much more diverse population, which gives a more cosmopolitan feel. It makes it a little harder to sum up in a paragraph though.

I'm not familiar with the Legend books. I've never found them at a price I was willing to pay. Shores of Korantia is the first Thennla supplement for RQ6. It's the larger of the two books and gives an overview of the world despite concentrating on Korantia.  It's meant as the starting point for someone new to the world. It also details a fairly new colony as a setting, with three adventures that can be woven into a campaign. I'd say it is the best place to start.

I believe that The Taskan Empire is the RQ6 replacement for Age of Treason, although AoT has adventures that aren't reprinted elsewhere, so it might be worth picking up for those. 

Both books give you a lot of crunchy bits in the form of custom cultures and professions, cults, combat styles, and variant magic rules. They each also have nice Encounter sections, many of which are adventure hooks in their own right. Even if you never use the settings, there is plenty of stuff to steal for your own homebrews. It's also interesting to see the RQ6 rules put to use for a setting not made by one of the game's designers. I bought the core book along with Monster Island and Shores of Korantia on the same day, and it was great to have the toolkit of RQ6 along with examples of the different ways you could play with it. 

TDM has said there will be more Thennla in the new year. I don't believe they have announced the next title. If I were to guess, Assabia seems a likely choice. It's the home of sorcery and has an Arabian Nights vibe.

What I like about Thennla is that it feels like it was made for RuneQuest, but that doesn't mean it feels gamey. It balances being an inviting setting to play in with having a rich classical feel. 

Edited by Baulderstone
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Thanks for that summary Baulderstone. I looked at a friends copy of Shores of Korantia awhile ago and was impressed by it.  The recent review by rpgpundit at the rpgsite got me interested in Thennla again:


Checking other positive remarks around the web, confirms my suspicion that Thennla deserves way more attention and recognition than it has received.

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That's a solid review. Like Pundit, I was a bit surprised that the book details a colony rather than full-fledged city-state, but once I absorbed the book it made sense. Thyrta is right on the brink of becoming a city and forming its own Goddess cult and developing its own government. Players can be movers and shakers as the institutions of the city are formed. It can be their city-state, letting them feel they are making a lasting mark on the setting.

As for forthcoming books, I did some searching on the TDM forum. There is indeed a forthcoming book called Assabian Rites that will detail sorcery of the world. Manuscripts for the adventure campaigns in the Legend books are also in the process of conversion to RQ6, so it doesn't seem worthwhile to pay the currently inflated costs for the older books. You'll be able to get the same information at standard retail soon. 

The fact that the out-of-print Thennla books have a higher price than most of the books in the old Mongoose line does seem to indicate their is some real love for the setting. I've had no problem getting copies of other out-of-print Mongoose titles below retail. 

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