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The Petal Throne • View topic - New to the Forum, New To EPT.


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 Post subject: New to the Forum, New To EPT.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 1:45 pm 
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Hello, all.

I've been a gamer for many years, and have gamemastered in many different roleplaying systems. I've never played Tékumel before, though, and I am considering purchasing the new core rulebook. If you would all be so kind, I'd like to hear some of your candid opinions about what the game means to you, what Tékumel "feels" like, what sort of diversity is possible in character creation and advancement, etcetera. In other words, I would grateful to hear a few firsthand accounts from a player's point of view.

I have read the introductory sections on this website containing the maps, area and culture descriptions, and so on and so forth (ad infinitum); what I've seen so far has impressed me enough that I actually registered for the forums (!!). (I'm on far too many already, believe me).

Thank you in advance,
"Fnord."

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 12:03 pm 
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C'mon folks, we got a newbie here! Where are the enthusiastic replies?!
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 1:31 pm 
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 4:44 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 6:24 pm 
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fwiw, there are many more Tekumel fans on the tekumel yahoogroup . The forums here are new, and many Tekumelheads haven't added them to their discussion efforts, at least not yet.

Like Dulahan, I'm very keen on good settings. Tekumel's cultural content is great, very distinct from the Medieval Euro-centric patterns that are common in many other games. The setting was invented by a linguist, and a full grammar and dictionary exist for the primary language, with grammars for several others too. That's just an aside, but the linguistic depth does add to the immersive feeling of the setting.

One of the things that the new corebook explicitly supports is different styles of play. You can play grim and gritty, with not much magic and lots of chances to screw up and get impaled, all the way up to running Heroes of the Age, saviors of the universe.

There is a stronger emphasis on social connections in Tekumel than there is in many other games. The society the game is set in is very collective. For most people, the clan they belong to is often more important than who they are as individuals. Temples and Legions are also major sources of social identity. Many character attributes relate to who the character knows, what relationships they have with them (e.g. Friends in High Places, or Nemesis), and traits that affect social interactions (Attractive, Archetypal, Teamwork). The Teamwork skill in particular is notable: it's part of the conflict resolution mechanism that allows members of a pre-established team to influence outcomes for each other in strong ways. Many npc's, from pack-hunting animals to the hosts of a high clan party may have Teamwork going for them.

You can run a traditional party of free-lance adventurers, but you'd probably end up bending the social patterns of the setting a little. Tekumel really isn't a good place for loner characters. More common is to have parties that have some basic thing in common. Often they are clan-cousins, or perhaps all serve in a particular Legion or at a particular Temple. The emphasis on social connection and loyalty to a larger group often stuctures adventures and outcomes. "Treasure" might be successfully defending the clan's interests (and earning the favor of the clan-elders), acquiring an ancient religious text that will bring prestige in the temple hierarchy, or ransoming captive enemy officers. With advancement comes material wealth too, but it is usually mediated through connections.

As to types of action, Tekumel has plenty of dungeons (with actual justification!) for the traditional dungeon crawl (e.g. Something's in the Clanhouse Basement, or Quest for the Lost Shrine of the 4th Aspect of Hru'u), but there're lots of other things to do too. Clans organize long-distance shipping by caravan or sail to distant empires and barbarian regions. The complex political scene makes for plenty of intrigue, and there are duels and gladiatorial bouts in the arenas.

Another good way to get a feel for things would be to look at some of the sample adventures. I particularly recommend Patrick Brady, Krista Donnelly, and Bob Dushay's work.
Look here:
http://www.tekumel.com/gaming_advideas.html
http://www.tekumel.com/vog01_02.html
http://www.tekumel.com/vog02_02.html

How's that for a start? More questions?
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 Post subject: Re: New to the Forum, New To EPT.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 11:28 am 
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La! Chlen beasts, Pocket Universes, Tinaliya not traffic cones, and Undead Legions sound fun? PM me or go to my Tekumel campaign, For the Love of Golden Sapphire.
http://www.guildportal.com/Guild.aspx?GuildID=43297
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 Post subject: T:EPT feel for a new player
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:03 pm 
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I've only set up one character in T:EPT so far, but I have been very impressed with the wide variety of possibilities for characters availible. I set up a "simple" clan merchant who has so really interesting tweaks in his past. So playing whatever you're interested in is very doable. One thing I did find a bit frustrating was grasping the setting and character interaction with NPCs. However, once I'd read the books the game is based on it made a lot more sense. Overall, it's one of the better systems I've played, and I enjoy the "feel" of a society in which politeness is a wise course to avoiding the impaling stake. :-)

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 Post subject: Re: T:EPT feel for a new player
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 9:54 pm 
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La! Chlen beasts, Pocket Universes, Tinaliya not traffic cones, and Undead Legions sound fun? PM me or go to my Tekumel campaign, For the Love of Golden Sapphire.
http://www.guildportal.com/Guild.aspx?GuildID=43297
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 7:44 pm 
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:54 pm 
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Location: London, UK
Possibly what I like most about Tekumel is the variety of gaming possible. I've played dungeon crawls, inter-clan intrigue and petty squabbling, murder mysteries, high adventure. The game allows all these options because of the complexity of the setting. What I mean by complexity is that society is both complex and different. In many other games it seems like one was always up against the baddies and that they behaved just like baddies always do. In Tekumel you don't really know who the baddies are. They may be your business rivals, some other temple, a foreign power, etc. If you are playing the foreigner introduction then most every NPC seems like a baddie! So the game left me a little 'thrown' like that although that feeling was what I actually liked about it! At first it seems like there is such a huge amount to learn. I found the best introduction was to pick up the first two novels second-hand for a few pennies each. Checkout the MUSH FAQs site:

I wouldn't worry too much about being authentic otherwise you'll never start a game; just jump right in.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 10:16 pm 
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How true, how true.

I just started reading Mitlanyel last week and I am astounded (again) at the depthof the setting. If you don't mind the cultural slant it blows every other published setting out of the water. If you like the culture then you are really in for a treat. I have always liked novels set in the British Raj and other exotic settings...when I was growing up my favorite reading wasn't sci-fi or fantasy but historical novels by the likes of Rafael Sabatini, Samuel Shellabarger, Frank Yerby and such. When I wasn' t reading those it was usually fiction with a fantasy slant such as A. Merritt. If you like exotic, mysterious, convoluted settings you will 'grok' Tekumel. :)
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 1:27 pm 
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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Not only is Mitlanyal a great read, but the author is a really nice guy, and quite good-looking too.

Not that it can't be done in other games, but one of the things I like about Tekumel is the opportunity to role-play the truly mundane. That may sound oxymoronic or boring, but I think it really adds depth.

You can set a whole campaign within a clanhouse if you want to. I mean, you could take a character from childhood through old age and death, and never leave one city. And insofar as that is how 99% of the Tsolyani actually live, you can really get the feel for what life is like there. Now, granted, that's not the cup of tea that appeals to most gamers - typically people enjoy High Adventure and such, and certainly Tekumel can do that. But we've gamed caravan expeditions, and setting up a new fief, and travelling from Jakalla to Bey Su with no more purpose than to celebrate the New Year. And there's no shortage of stuff happening: the roads are crowded and the weather is hot and the bridges sometimes wash out, and there are peasants everywhere who either want to suck up to you for a hlash or slit your throat for a qirgal.

That's what I enjoy about the game at least. As far as the "feel" of it, it feels crowded and busy and dangerous and noisy and scary. And the best sign of a roleplaying game I've ever experienced is when someone says, "Hey, let's go explore the Underworld!" and my first reaction is to look at them in horror and say, "Are you INSANE?" That's when you know the culture has really sunk in.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:06 pm 
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Yeah, you've played Tekumel.

As I said, 'shiver'. Tekumel can be right up there with CoC for scare factor. The setting seems able do about anything well, as you said.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:54 pm 
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I think the biggest shame (for me) about Tekumel is that I may never get to play it, and have an only slightly better chance of being able to GM it.

On the other hand, the biggest draw is that I just plain don't care. Merely being able to read the books is enough for me to picture the setting in my head. And maybe someday I will get to play, and things will be even cooler.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 7:51 pm 
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Location: Redmond, WA
Likewise. I'm 99% sure I'll never get to play again, but I'm working on getting my group to let me run it. One of them sounds interested, and a second usually goes along with whatever we play. I have my fingers crossed. In general , in this area, people usually say 'what's THAT' when I mention it, so I reckon there may be some generation of interest IF I can get it started. What system do you think would be likely to draw in new players? I can't do 3e, and don't want to have the burden of some other complex system. Probably the new GOO ruleset, I suppose. The setting will be the main draw, of course.

Sorry, don't mean to threadjack. Just ruminating. :roll:
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