Story-gaming Tekumel

edited April 2007 in Story Games
I was idly thinking about age-old Tekumel last night and wondering what sorts of hippie games would make a good fit for the setting. FYI, this is all theoretical; I'm not running a Tekumel game anytime soon.

HeroQuest seemed an obvious choice, as it works well enough for that other long-lived, ridiculously detailed RPG setting. :) Not to mention Mythic Russia.

All-around-toolkit FATE also came to mind. I'd bet that Sorcerer would possibly fit, too.

Comments

  • Funny enough I was going to start a thread this weekend about the same topic. I have been involved in a Tekumel campaign for a while now and looking back none of the systems do a lot for me.

    At the same time Heroquest seems poor choice for the system as well. In that Heroquest is much more Mythopic. My thoughts were to TSOY which would have a lot of stuff to drive the players without it all being about the mythology.

    That said I have never played TSOY let alone rebuild anything for it. For my group which is fairly hide bound traditionalists and min-maxers of the first water. I think that something like D20 with Clinton's Keys rubber banded to the system would suite them.

    For the record, since I don't want to derail your thread, what parts of Tekumel are you interested in?
  • I think Burning Wheel would be a wonderful fit. Particularly the Lifepaths as they can be used to break up the wonderfully dense (that is a compliment, believe it or not) Tekumel background into easily digestable chunks. The Garadaysial version of Tekumel used a lifepath-style generator but was too baroque and needlessly complex.

    I'm not sure where Over the Edge fits in the Story-gaming spectrum but I've seen Jonathan Tweet mention on a Tekumel mailing list that many of the mechanical bits that went into OtE were designed for a Tekumel homebrew way back when.
  • Posted By: thorAt the same time Heroquest seems poor choice for the system as well. In that Heroquest is much more Mythopic.
    Is this the system or the setting, though? I mean, I've seen HQ conversions of Buffy and Firefly, too. But, I don't have enough experience to say one way or the other.
    Posted By: thorMy thoughts were to TSOY...
    That's a great choice! I didn't even think of TSOY.
    Posted By: thorFor the record, since I don't want to derail your thread, what parts of Tekumel are you interested in?
    I dunno. I was really just thinking generally. How would an answer to this affect your suggestions?
  • Posted By: MoriartyI think Burning Wheel would be a wonderful fit. Particularly the Lifepaths as they can be used to break up the wonderfully dense (that is a compliment, believe it or not) Tekumel background into easily digestable chunks.
    Nice! I can easily see PCs having Beliefs tied to their caste/house aspirations.
  • If the part of the game you are looking for is beating back the SSu in some long forgotten tubeway station the answer is different from trying to find the traitor among the dignitaries of the Azure Legion.

    I don't have the answers. I was mearly trying to guide you to your own answer.
  • Posted By: thorIf the part of the game you are looking for is beating back the SSu in some long forgotten tubeway station the answer is different from trying to find the traitor among the dignitaries of the Azure Legion.
    I'd probably have fun with either. :) The former sounds like a good fit for d20, while the latter screams BWr to me.

    The one demo I played (for the GoO rules, which I think are pretty good) was a more typical "barbarians/outcasts find intrigue in the big city" setup. It basically ended up being a heist scenario.
  • I personally don't like the GoO rules much, though the people I play with were very much involved with their creation. They, the rules not the people, seem very fiddle-y and don't get much out of all you put into the character.

    I would like something where, like DitV, you got something concrete to say about your character after every adventure.

    I would also like to find a system that made the social heiarchy easier for new players to understand.
  • Posted By: thorI would also like to find a system that made the social heiarchy easier for new players to understand.
    I'd like to see a new attempt at a comprehensive Tekumel setting text, ideally one that eases the reader into everything before getting into the nitty gritty. Granted, all I've really seen is S&G vols 1 and 2, and the GoO version.
  • There must be a weird conjuction of planets going on, because last week I stumbled across electronic versions of the Tekumel texts I owned long ago, which then led me to pull out the few hardcopies I have left, including The Book of Ebon Bindings; I'd forgotten how much I love the setting.

    In some ways, I think the original, 1975, TSR rules do a good job of introducing the world to newcomers in a digestible size. The system gets put down a lot, but it's actually pretty workable---the first real tweaking of the White Box rules, mostly tweaked in a good way. I've read that Barker plays with largely a drama-driven system of "roll low on percentile dice, and good things happen; roll high and bad things happen." Of course, he created the world...

    I've actually been reading TSoY, too, getting ready to play it at Forge MW, and with some work, I think it'd do really well. The different Tekumel nations just beg for Abilites and Secrets and Keys, as do the races: Imagine an Ahoggya with the Secret of the Polysexual, or a Shen with the Key of the Rejected Egg. You'd need to take some time to work it all out, but with the Swords & Glory texts, all the info's there. It'd be fairly easy to work out magic and things like Eyes, as well.

    I've also been working on a Sim-abetting system myself right now that's focused on viewing the Setting as the main character, with players creating multiple protagonists and eventually "embedding" them in the world via thematic conflicts that relate to the world as a whole, shifting and changing as a result of the outcomes. Anyhow, I've been toying with the idea of using Tekumel for some playtesting simply because the world is so rich, and yet begs for further explication.

    Aaron
  • Aaron that sounds very cool even if you don't do it for Tekumel. If however you want outside playtest let me know.
  • I've been tinkering with systems to suit Tekumel as well, since none of the published rules really suit my style of play. After considering adapting vs. Monsters I've narrowed the field to either PDQ or Story Engine, both of which have the mix of description, freedom and structure I favour.

    Sorcerer was on my early list, but I dropped it pretty quickly since my groups all contain at least six players and I don't believe that it's a game well suited to large numbers,
  • Posted By: thorAaron that sounds very cool even if you don't do it for Tekumel. If however you want outside playtest let me know.
    Thanks, Thor. I'll take you up on the outside playtest for sure, and if you're going to be at Forge MW, I'll be playtesting there as well, if you'd like to join in!

    As far as Tekumel goes, from my perspective, an ideal system would make use of its biggest assest, which is of course the world itself. So again, I think TSoY could do a good job, especially if you took some time and made a bunch of decent Ablilities/Secrets/Keys all highly focused on the setting; they would work well bringing its uniqueness into active play, much as they do for the world of Near. However, TSoY is really about the characters more than the setting; the setting buttresses the characters and helps to simultaneously create a rich framework for character choices and a constant vehicle for applying pressure to those characters at precisely the points that their players have decided are most interesting. When I think about it, I would say that's pretty much how Hero Quest functions, too. I mean, after all, they're both Narr games of the first stripe!

    I think that would be a lot of fun to play, but it's still putting the world itself in a secondary position. And in my psyche, the Empire of the Petal Throne is an astounding Dream just waiting for more dreamers. I think it just begs for a system driving a Setting-focused style of Sim play.

    Jack, what is it about PDQ (which I'm not familiar with) or Story Engine that you see as particulary useful to Story Gaming in Tekumel in particular?

    Aaron
  • Hm.

    Call me a heretic, but I don't really think that the sort of setting-wallowing that is implicit in Tekumel (I use the pig metaphor advisedly) is a kind of play that is well-supported in extant games. You'd have to make a system to do it, and you'd need to invent some fairly significant techniques and procedures to make it work.

    If you were to play in a leaner adaptation of that setting, you could use HQ. It's a good system for enabling you to make up setting-bits freely, but I would not want to use it with the full weight of Tekumel behind it. HQ with a lot of 'canon' is the assassin of fun.

  • Shreyas you heretic - that is a good stating of what I was feeling. The system would need to leverage the setting into play. In many ways that is the opposite of what we have been doing in story games.

    I still think that HQ in Tekumel, while do-able, looses what makes HQ burn. Tekumel is the opposite of Myth. It is taking the fantastic and grounding it in as much reality as they can.

    To make Tekumel work the game needs to be mechanically imersive. It needs to make the characters do what they "would" do. At the same time I am not advocating for a thousand level status chart (though that would do some of the trick).

    I have an itchy feeling in my brain and I can't quite get the words out. I will think more at work.
  • It needs to make the characters do what they "would" do.

    I think you have your causation backward - the characters need to do things and then the game needs to contextualise these items into statements about the setting. That's how I'd play it anyway - I am the kind of player that tends to know many details of the parts of the setting I care about, so my character's actions are statements about this knowledge. When I obey, disobey, subvert, or exalt a known tradition, I'm doing something important. The system for me needs to observe this significantly, and for that it must give me the ability to do it at all.

  • All this makes me like the idea of using BWr. Lifepaths, and the way they interact with Circles, seem like a good way to bring the setting to the fore. Then you just need to tailor the Skills and Traits to reinforce the setting even more.
  • Shreyas - you're still a heretic and I still agree with what you said before. What I said before was too mechanistic, but I want to make the setting wallow different somehow. I want the system to make the setting more transparent. so that those who are not seting junkies can participate in a similar way. I don't know if that would ruin the game for you but that is what I want.
  • so that those who are not seting junkies can participate in a similar way. I don't know if that would ruin the game for you but that is what I want.

    This is cool! I'd love to see how you would implement it.

  • Sure, thats the question.
  • edited April 2007
    Posted By: kesherJack, what is it aboutPDQ(which I'm not familiar with) orStory Enginethat you see as particulary useful to Story Gaming in Tekumel in particular?

    Aaron
    PDQ is Chad Underkoffler's system, the basis for Truth & Justice and other games. A free basic version is available at his Atomic Sock Monkey website.

    The fact that PDQ is freely available helps, since it means that I can let my players see the rules in advance and make themselves familiar with them: Tekumel has enough to get to grips with as it is, without stumbling over rules in the first session (as I have found out in the past). However, that's obviously not enough to make it the right system. What PDQ and Story Engine both have is a system of flexible, adaptable descriptive attributes. If I wanted to make a studious novice priest of Thumis then I could actually have "Studious novice priest of Thumis" as an attribute if I wanted, helping to define the character's role without restricting him in the way a D&D-style character class would, or even a rigid list of skills. Generally I'd use slightly more tightly defined attributes myself, but they can be set at a level that the group is happy with. Immediately we can build role, class, status and responsibilities into the character, quickly and smoothly.

    The mechanics of each game differ, but essentially it's about applying applicable attributes to a situation to help generate a total. I've been working on a Truth & Justice game with a friend of mine and the results so far are very promising indeed: in the superheroic genre of Truth & Justice we're finding that PDQ let's us handle the sort of ethical, moral and personal dilemmas we enjoy roleplaying without compromising on the superhero action; there's no reason to suppose it would be any less successful with Tekumel.
  • Consider professor Barkers rules lite approach spelled out in one page on Tekumel.com. For myself I like to use his system with the Gardisayal Growing up on Tekumel charachter generation system sinc I think it gives a great intro to Tekumel as they generate characters. I will admit however to being new to story games thou a long time Tekumel fan. So I wouls like to consider other engines. That said what is TSoY?
  • I ran a Tekumel game a while ago, using the Synergy system (from Blue Planet) with the addition of Keys from TSOY. It worked really well. I think a gritty, low-level resolution system fits the feel of the world. We used some of the standard Keys from TSOY as well as making up our own when needed (a big driver of the game was the Ksarul priest's Key of Keeping Secrets). I also think that something like the Secret Arts in 'Weapons of the Gods' may be interesting: characters get a bonus when acting as they should and a penalty when acting ignobly.

    I was thinking of running a high-level real-politik game, heavy on the factional in-fighting and manipulation, using the Sorceror rules. The 'demons' would be the different factions and power groups in the various organisations that abound. Supporters of the Royalist party in the legions would have their own Needs and Desires, and in return could do interesting things for you. Desires, Needs, and Powers would, of course, differ from the supporters of the Military party in the legions and the Royalist party in, say, the temples, and none of these factions would get along with each other. Most of the Sorceror rituals would carry over into the social space, but I've not thought through all the details. For instance, would you interact with a faceless 'faction' or with the person who commands it? If the latter, what happens when he makes one concession too many and gets removed? Is the 'demon'/faction freed or transformed?

    In any case, I think that any Story Game version of Tékumel/Tsolyánu would have to draw out what I think is the central premise in the setting: the tension between social conformity and individual prowess, as exemplified by the dichotomy between Stability and Change at the level of society as a whole, and Noble Action (i.e. conforming) and individual Respect (i.e. seizing opportunities) at the level of the individual. I think that premise should have mechanical support, but I don't know how to do it.

    Neil.
  • Posted By: wwciiiThat said what is TSoY?
    The Shadow of Yesterday
  • edited April 2007
    Posted By: wwciiiI will admit however to being new to story games thou a long time Tekumel fan. So I wouls like to consider other engines. That said what is TSoY?
    Hey, wwciii (in my head I'm pronouncing that as "wiki"...) TSoY is the cryptic acronym used for Clinton Nixon's game The Shadow of Yesterday so that we don't all get hand cramps while typing the name over and over. It's well worth your money.

    Shreyas and Thor:
    Posted By: shreyasHm.Call me a heretic, but I don't really think that the sort of setting-wallowing that is implicit in Tekumel (I use the pig metaphor advisedly) is a kind of play that is well-supported in extant games. You'd have to make a system to do it, and you'd need to invent some fairly significant techniques and procedures to make it work.
    Posted By: shreyas...the characters need to do things and then the game needs to contextualise these items into statements about the setting. That's how I'd play it anyway - I am the kind of player that tends to know many details of the parts of the setting I care about, so my character's actions are statements about this knowledge. When I obey, disobey, subvert, or exalt a known tradition, I'm doing something important. The system for me needs to observe this significantly, and for that it must give me the ability to do it at all.
    I absolutely agree with with what you two are talking about. I was suggesting TSoY, etc., merely as a not-perfect possibility for using already-existing games. I also don't think there's any reason to worry about "canon" issues; Barker was always upfront, much like Gregg Stafford with Glorantha, in saying "Your Tekumel will be different from my Tekumel."

    The system I'm working on, called Perilous Kingdom, gets (I hope) at exactly this idea of making the Setting mechanically important. Any time a player chooses to have one of their characters meet their Fate, the conflict involved must be thematically defined, framed as a question with a yes/no answer. The outcome of the conflict weights the theme on one side or the other, and as more of these fateful conflicts happen, these weighted themes become a resource for those coming down on one side or the other.

    So, to use Neil's insight of the tension between Stability and Change as thematically central to the world, it could be broken down into sub-themes that are really just reflections of the core issue. For example, a fateful conflict might generate the thematic question, "Is clan advancement more important than temple loyalty?" The player would be driving toward an answer that came down on one side or the other, and the outcome would weight the theme. If the player was gunning for yes, but failed the conflict, the theme would now be weighted at a one on the answer of "no". The next time someone claimed a fateful conflict with that theme, if they were trying to answer "no" as a result of the conflict, they'd gain that weight of one as a resource to use in resolving the conflict on their desired side.

    There's more to it than that, but that's the core of how the Setting becomes mechanically significant through the choices players make with their characters. I actually view it as exploration of Setting almost as a character itself.
    Posted By: BigJackBrassIf I wanted to make a studious novice priest of Thumis then I could actually have "Studious novice priest of Thumis" as an attribute if I wanted, helping to define the character's role without restricting him in the way a D&D-style character class would, or even a rigid list of skills. Generally I'd use slightly more tightly defined attributes myself, but they can be set at a level that the group is happy with. Immediately we can build role, class, status and responsibilities into the character, quickly and smoothly.
    Jack, I think this idea is exactly right for guiding novices into the setting. Instead of being befuzzled by a long list of (probably hard to spell) Tekumelish skills and affiliations, you start with something broad. As play progresses and the character starts getting involved in conflicts, you can have discussions about whether or not a priest of Thumis would, say, keep a mouldering Engsvanyali scroll found beneath Jakalla to himself, or would he turn it over to the temple-library so that all might share in the knowledge it contained. And then, formally in my system, less-formally in others, that conflict, that choice, may well become thematically important, to the setting, above and beyond the individual character.

    Aaron

    *edited for clarity.
  • Regardless of the attendant risks of resurrecting a thread from nearly 5 years ago...

    I am thinking and trying to come up with something similar, although I'm taking a somewhat different approach than described here. I completely agree that finding some way of embedding the core things about the setting into the rules is critical - I just think the core things are different, maybe.

    Still early days, but I'll say this much. For me, it's not so much a conflict between change and stability, or many of the other apparent dualisms of the setting. Rather, it's about risk, against safety, and the costs of risk, and the rewards of safety that risk can bring.

    That's way to vague for a game system, probably. But I think there's something there. For everything on Tekumel, in my own view of it, anyway, is a process of how much you want to risk to get what you want. What you want is informed by your clan, your religion, your place. But the rewards are there.
  • Robert Dushay has been doing what he calls the Tekumel Grand Tour, seeing what happens when he adapts the Tekumel setting to various systems. It's a fascinating experiment. I played in his Dogs in the Temple, where the PCs were priests of Dlamelish coming to investigate the situation at a local temple. This Dreamation, he used Cold City (I didn't get to play in that one).
  • Posted By: Lisa PadolRobert Dushay has been doing what he calls the Tekumel Grand Tour, seeing what happens when he adapts the Tekumel setting to various systems. It's a fascinating experiment. I played in his Dogs in the Temple, where the PCs were priests of Dlamelish coming to investigate the situation at a local temple. This Dreamation, he used Cold City (I didn't get to play in that one).
    That's fascinating, and exciting. Thanks for tipping me to this.
  • Wow, I had completely forgotten about creating this thread.

    Lisa, that Grand Tour sounds amazing.

    I still think that TSoY would serve as a good starting point, but I suppose it all depends on what your ultimate goal is. And now, with the OSR going full-steam, I would really love to try Barker's original EPT rules.
  • That's fascinating, and exciting. Thanks for tipping me to this.
    Sure thing!
  • edited March 2012
    I never got around to making the system I wanted for Tekumel. But lets take a minute and develop a prolegomena to a working Character creation system. The first thing I want the player to feel in Tekumel is the social standing and obligations attached to that. This sets the player up to understand the challenges in the game which Malcom was trying to talk about. in his 5 Selves thread.

    First build and populate the clan-houses available to players. Each clan would provide a number of status points to the player. While we know that the number of status points is equal to the population we want two things to come out of this. we want the players to understand their place in the social order so we want the number to be non-trivially large but we want occasional situations where you have to prove you standing with someone of equal-ish standing. I would propose that the social standing number system be on a 1-100 level. The higher class clan houses provide the character with more social standing but tend to be inbred and thus provide fewer points for characteristics.

    The clan-houses also help to generate a character stats. With the higher prestige a clan-house can pass on there is unfortunate inbreeding. So, I propose that the character get the majority of stats from the clan house with a small number added after this phase. I like the idea of a 5 selves stat system so we could have something like:
    High Clans
    Red Sword - 80 Social Standing points(hereafter SS) A military clan Mind 2 Body 3 Spirit 1 Shadow 0 Enemy 2 plus three points to add at players discression
    Domed Tomb - 77 SS Wealthy Rural Farmers M2 B3 S2 Sh1 E0 Plus 3 pts.
    Medium Clans
    Golden Lintel - 55 Money Lenders M3 B1 S2 Sh1 E2 Plus 4 pts.

    And so on.

    Secondly Clan-houses along with birth order are the gateway to a characters Religion and profession. I would add small increases in stats for both religion and profession. So a follower of Thumis might get +2 Mind and a follower of Vimhula might get +2 Enemy. Similarly a military profession might give +2 Body.

    Following the family path will probably make a character more boring but more balanced. My thinking here is that the higher you are on the birth order the less able the character is to chart his own path without incurring a loss of status. Following the family path will net the character more more resources at the beginning of the game but also obligate that character is ways that other characters aren't. So we need a way to decide your characters place in the family. The cool, but time consuming, way would be for the GM to act as the head of the family and tell the player what they are going to do with their life and for the player to accept or decline. Then roll under your place in the birth order or loose 10 points of SS. Some Clans will have the same thing for professions.

    Lastly the GM and the player decide where the character is in their development. Is your character a novice priest of Thumis or a battle tested Sellsword? Another mini-game between the Player and GM would be nice. Each level of character development should be done as a wager. The GM offers the level of development against some fictionally possible disaster which takes away some of the characters stats.

    After the player has decided all of these things you are left with a character who has already made life decisions. At most turns in the game your character will be challenged to comply with the expectations of the world or do what the player wants to do. The GM is also primed with an understanding of the characters place in the world and the challenges which the player would find more interesting .
  • Interesting ideas, Thor! I like the idea of characters that chart their own course running the risk of losing status. If a lifepath system was used, what if each deviation from the lifepath caused 1dX SS to be lost?
  • edited March 2012
    Interesting ideas to be sure. Let me do some out loud thinking.

    I am not sure I agree that having more status necessarily means having less on the stat side, though. That doesn't seem right to me, and seems like some sort of way to make characters from different classes more equal. Frankly, they're not, at least on my Tekumel. If you're lucky enough to be born into a high status clan, you are simply going to have an easier time. Which is why most of the games I've ever played in this setting first decide what general level of status you'll be operating at - as in all the characters are from low clans, or high clans, or whatever. Cross-status stuff is hard.

    Moreover, if you were to in my opinion accurately represent what really goes on with a 1-100 status system, you would find that you might have very low clans at 1-20, low from 21-40, medium from 41-60, high from 61-80, very high from 81-100, and you would have specials for a) the clanless (0), b) foreigners (generally 0, but possibly as much as 70 if they're very powerful, are high status in their own society, etc), and c) aliens, in which case this stat doesn't really matter too much, or is the same as for humans, if the aliens in question are members of a clan. Along with that, a low clan person could NEVER get a status stat above 40 - at least not without Imperial intervention, intermarriage, or something hugely rare happening.

    Now, it is possible, for example for a medium clan member to become, say, a Drítlan (colonel) of a elite legion. Rare, but it can happen. Likewise, a medium clan member might even become a highly ranked member of some clergy. Were either of these folks to meet a very-high clan person of no particular renown - they would probably get more respect than otherwise, but they certainly wouldn't be in a position to boss the very high guy around. Unless it was in situ in the military, or in the temple.

    So, let's consider doing it this way:

    1) each clan level has a base. For simplicities sake, we'll do 10,30,50,70,90
    2) each lineage within a clan has an add: say from -10 to +10. -10,-5,0,+5,+10
    3) for a person who just is a clanmember, that's what they get to start - and this can be adjusted through play or chargen, to a point.
    4) if the person is in the military, clergy, or government, each rank they get will add, I dunno, 1-2 points, or possibly something scaled, since higher is harder to get. Probably more for the legions, because there are a limited number of ranks. Less for the priesthoods and government, because you can end up being a 22nd "circle" person.

    Hmmm. Bigger ranges are needed maybe.

    But putting that aside, yes to risking status (because, if you chart your own course, and are successful (in the eyes of the society), the Tsolyani have a marvelous way of figuring that this was OK, in retrospect, anyway. If you f it up, i.e. don't succeed in the eyes of society, then you lose status. Sure. If you drop so far in status as to bring you out of the range of your general clan rank, I would propose the immediate risk of you being kicked out of your clan, i.e. dropping to 0. Because that's what would happen.

    As far as the other stats go, I kinda figure everyone starts at some low-median, and then depending on choices in chargen/development gaming, you get additions, and can get even more additions (and/or skills, not sure how these play in yet, if at all), if you risk lowering either status, or other stats. You might get the opportunity to get +2 E if you're in an elite Vimuhla unit, but also have to risk 1-2 of shadow, because of the horrors that you will witness.

    OK, random speculation done. More thoughts? I think that this discussion is very fruitful!
  • The GoO Tékumel game does something very similar to this. Characters have a Status, defined by their clan[*]. They also have Respect, earnt by their actions. 10 points of Respect is equivalent to another level of Status, in the form of celebrity and fame. Noble deeds open doors for you, but never change your underlying status. Respect fades over time. Respect is also used for borrowing resources and getting services from your clan.

    [*] This doesn't apply in professional settings. While on duty, or at official functions, a medium-clan captain has higher status than a high-clan trooper. Such situations can make for ripe story meat.

    I don't like the GoO Tri-stat system used in that game, but the background information and other mechanics are top notch (including planning and teamwork systems). It's worth picking up. (My beef with the system is one of flavour. Tri-stat favours broad stats over narrow skills, so characters end up broadly competent over a range of tasks. But I think Tékumel is more about narrow specialists and the system doesn't really emphasise that. I ran a Tékumel game using the Synergy system from Blue Planet, and that worked well.)
  • What about generational play? Maybe your efforts boost your clan's status by 10 points in this generation, and that's about as far as it can go while people still remember the days when the Blue Diadem Clan was shoveling manure. But your daughter only knows the Clan's mercantile ventures, and if she trades cleverly and discovers new islands for the glory of the Empire, she might boost them by another 10 points ... and then after her death the ship passes to her niece, the dwarf born under an inauspicious star ...
  • What might also be helpful for newer players would be a drafting mechanism. Have a group of features that you as GM think would be fun in the game. Write them out on cards and let the players take turns adding those features to their characters. Thant way you have the features you need in the party but don't know how they are going to be arranged. It also shows you which things they are excited about.
  • It may be because I am reading Apocalypse World right now, but handling a lot of this stuff with character playbooks seems like a good solution.
  • Posted By: buzzIt may be because I am readingApocalypse Worldright now, but handling a lot of this stuff with character playbooks seems like a good solution.
    That could work in some situations, but for many Tekumel settings, the PCs are necessarily of the same type. All soldiers. All priests. All clansmen. So you don't have the mix that you might in AW. However, you could use this pretty well for sub types...soldiers and commanders, say.

    There's one (common?) situation where this is particularly apt. One way to bring new players in is with the trope of a nobles entourage, in which case, this works super well, and resembles Lady Blackbird a lot.
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