Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ucon post 3.

Well, things got busy, and I haven't had a chance to finish this. So I will do so now.

In Dra, we eventually discovered that the purpose of the day was to get past all the things that might distract us from our purpose as priests of Dra, prior to formal indcution ceremonies. Several of the acolytes spent time carousing, and gambling. The Hlaka with the broken wing got healed. I scolded him for wanting to be healed, to which he replied by dropping a rock on my foot. I tried hard not to care. It was good training.

Th game ended earlier than expected, in part, because, as good acolytes we couldn't bring ourselves to get all worked up when some Moogs showed up, dissed dra, and challenged us to field a champion to defend him. We figured that if Dra didn't care, neither should we... over all, it gave me deeper insights into Dra, even if we got a little light hearted in our interpretations.

After Dra , lunch (an excellent food truck meal... I know, sounds like a contradiction, but it's true..) we were clansmen who had just had our contract for guarding the tombs outside  Thraya stolen by .. see what happens when I don't take notes.. ok, not going to go look it up.. we'll just say a lower class clan..A high Clan tomb had been robbed, and sundries.. yada yada.. 

Now, we weren't normally the tomb guards. Higher lineage clan brothers did that. But, smelling something rotten, aside from the Nakome body pits, one clan elder outfitted us to go investigate, and try to put things right. What we learned was more disturbing than if we had learned of a plot against our clan. The charges were true. Our tomb guards had been negligent. And there was also a plot against us.. clever ref.. So we spent way too much time trying to figure out how to get the plotters, before we finally figured out that we also had to make up for the negligence. My plan to seek reinforcements from Shedra in the Tsuru'úm never got off the ground. But it turned out we had a friend in Sarku.. so it did, eventually work out.

Then Sleep..

Morning led to my session of Microscope, a game of History creation. We tackled the Three States of the Triangle. I was impressed that we actually kept the game moving at a good clip, and made two full circuits for the position of Lens. I have a lot of work to do to make that all into a single document.. We tried to record the session, but I don't know if that worked out yet. It was on Geo's Iphone.. using an app intended for doing quick notes..

Again Lunch, and a delayed start, and off to save Lord Churasan, an adventure I had once read, and is published in Fight On, an old school revival magazine. Fortunately, I had an imperial Psychic for a character, and my job was, to  a large extent, just to add appropriate color. Outranked by everyone, I was the one guy who sensed the potential dangers that lay ahead, and I was continually stalling to prevent what I knew was going to be the death of us all. I was wrong, of course. Proved only to be the death of me.. and one other, but she had kinda been aiming at that end.. sooo... really, just me.. 

Long drive home, which we broke up over two days, with a stop at the Last Square (we had stopped at Noble Knight on the way down.)

The Tekumel Project sent a pile of figures to the Con, and they were much enjoyed, but, U-Con it appears, is not a big group of minis people. The Shen were distributed generally, to both Tekumelani and Nakome and every one spent time looking at the figs, but most don't use them for game sessions, being more of the Storytelling style of players/refs. In fact, Aside from the paint and take table(which also hosted a fair pile of shen), I don't think I saw any miniatures games being held at the con.. (I understand there were a few..  but I never saw them.). As a result, after people took what they felt they wanted, everyone  agreed that I, being a miniatures guy, should get any not claimed. Which I feel mildly guilty about..  But everyone seemed happy.. So my goal will be to get several painted up by a friend who has more skill than I do, and get pics for promo purposes. And then to find venues to take figs and get them in front of people who will be more likely to become Customers..Possibly back to U'con as well, and host a game..

One thing I bought at The Last Square was a copy of 5150, which uses the same rules system as Band of Joyous Heroes will use. This will give me a chance to familiarize myself with that system as while that system is being finished...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

And Dra does not care.

This AM, four of us took part in a session.. game... board meeting.. using the system "In a Wicked Age". Using the Oracles, we started working on a City for Tekumel, detailed enough to be useful, generic enough to be dropped into any campaign in most any part of the Tsolyani empire.  With a bit of work, it should become available to everyone.. or that was the Goal, of course. For now, I will only say, There are ancient secrets and modern rivalries, and an Annual Rooftop Garden Competition..

Now, we are wannabe temple acolytes for Dra, stranded, for unknown reasons, in the woods, 2 hours from the temple. We are having a lot of trouble getting home. I came up with the theory that, given that the sun rises over the front Gate, in the morning, walking towards the sun would move you away from the temple, walking with the sun at your back, would lead one back.. So long as it was morning. In the afternoon, this would lead you to the back gate, of course..

I am not too bright..  But, by chance, it has worked.. ( This has been an exceptionally silly adventure, remind me of paranoia at its most absurd..)

Our farm boy, turned acolyte has made it back to the Temple, for lunch, and returned. The rest just got past the wall. My view is that some of us aren't going to pass this test. Some people seem to care a bit too much.

We found a scroll with "See other side" written on both sides. Our current theory is that this means we must try wanting, before we don't want. We are not in 100% agreement on this.

I am not actually expecting this party to make it back before our ceremony..

Sunday, November 6, 2011

You are not Forgotten

We are meeting for Games now. We have only done a tiny bit of Tekumel, however. We time warped 3 months or so into the future, as the players engaged in some Clan and Temple obligations, and maybe a little study or recreation. Then they went to the Caves to look in on how things were going.  I will leave the details for a dedicated campaign post.  That is not this.. or this is not that...

Last week we played a game of Microscope, a game by Lame Age, that is about creating histories. There were problems, but the experience, I hope, will improve my event at U-con. Next weekend I will be running this game as a tool to expand upon a possible history of the Three States of the Triangle. I am nervous. Both because the Game is actually a bit tricky, and because I don't feel qualified to build tekumel history. I am hoping the players do.

Update, on my draft..

I am now at Ucon.. gave up my seat at the first game session to another who was pre registered for it, but, whose ticket for the event was lost in the shuffle. I am effectively Auditing the game, sitting in the back, prepping for Microscope.  The adventure is the follow up for one done a few years back, apparently.. members of the Clan Broken Reed are resolving internal clan personality conflicts while trying to address a dishonorable attack on the clans persons and reputation..

We have already gathered for the annual event, Joyful Sitting Among Friends.. in which we got a look at a box full of miniatures generously donated by Howard Fielding and the Tekumel Project, several figures of Shen, Hlutgru and H'laka will go to the paint and take table, to introduce non tekumellani to the line. Several will go to Tekumel track people. I will be getting some, to bring to a painter friend, for a really class treatment. Pics will go up, and will be sent back to Howard for his site and use as promo pics.

no pics yet. Not sure I will have any, but i will try to do kinda live updates over the weekend..

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wrapping up the Catch up...

Back in butrus, the party split up for their respective temples, clan houses. Arrangements were made to meet with the local recruiter for the Legion of Tangled Root Eaters, for whom they had papers with instructions for clearing up the transfer of lands. This was at the Palace of Glorious War. They were mildly surprised to learn that, while the Legions officers had left them cooling their heels in Tumissa - something they had attributed to typical Tsolyani bureaucracy - the legion had sent a runner to Butrus with instructions for the office to have a scout view the land, to determine what all the fuss was about. The legion had decided that, though there was potential there for prophet, the whole thing looked to be a pot of trouble looking to boil. Certainly it would demand resources they could not afford to redirect during these times of international intrigues. They would be happy to facilitate any process that, in fact, kept them out of it.

A meet with the Clan mistress of the Plume of White, an octogenarian, and a bit traditional, led to scheduling a meeting where all parties could fill out proper papers and authorizations and properly transfer all claims to the Temple of Hrihayel on a day that would be auspicious for such and action.

That meant a couple more days wait.  I think during this time they recieved a report from the cave site, which indicated things were going well, generally, though some workers lost, when the refugees who had come in after the Mrur attacks on the local villages were found to be performing sacrifices in the caves during their shift work. The administrator they left felt this might lead to a general lack of discipline, and, who knows what else..  So he dismissed all the refugees and sent them back to their homes.

At the last minute, on the day for transferring the property, Sanjesh decided that it might be good form to dress out his 20 Guards and give the Clan Mistress of Plume of White a ceremonial retinue, in addition to her normal attendants.  The march and ritual (civil) went smoothly, and after escorting her back, the game went into hiatus.

I did let them know that this simple act, had, according to reliable sources, prevent some nefarious actions that may or may not have been instigated by the Ito clan from taking place. I had hoped to end the season with a big fight and a cliff hanger, but I couldn't see the opposition as being so crass as to send a large group against the Plume of White in the middle of the city.

An attempt at elucidation of the non players..

There are other things that happened in this narrative that I have kept secret, some from you, dear reader, some from the party, some from parts of the party. I don't want to include them here, as my players do read this.. which I think is good. But it is sad that the other readers can't..  so, here are some spoilers..

Instructions.. Mouse over this text.. from here to the word end. The text is in white, so I think this will work..

Most of my secrets so far involve Suni, who, being a preistess of  Grugánu: Knower of Spells, Black Sword of Doom, and Reader of the Incantations of the Dark, is prone to them.

First, in Tumissa, she was approached by a stranger the first night when returning to her temple, and told that he represents a party interested in an item they think might be in the caves.. And that they might offer assistance in return for considerations if that object is found. He didn't know what kind of assistance she might need, so he gave her a brooch, which she could wear, as a signal that she would like to contact them, and request aid. He then stepped back into the shadows and, quite literally, disappeared..

Second, Quite a while back, Suni passed the information on the chimney egress from the caves back to her temple.  They sent a team to do their own investigations into the Stele and the big round room. They have not reported back. We shall learn more of them soon.

Third, not all the villagers who were lost were actually sacrificed. A few are gone missing in the caves..We MAY learn more about them later.. 

Probably enough for now. All I can think of anyway...

End spoiler

Saturday, October 1, 2011

crash boom bah ha ha ha..

Last weekend I managed to get together with some friends and play Wreckage, as a minis game.  Nice units, modified  for the purpose (or similar games) by Stan Johansen Miniatures. First some pics of the combatants..

These four were my opposition. All classic American Heavy Metal, Up Armored and loaded for Bear.

These poor suckers brought cars to a Bike Fight.  I chose the bike because I own an Ural..and sidecars rock. Oh, I started a bit poorly. Learning the mechanic for the first time I kinda got stuck in my corner. But I had all kinds of Acceleration and Maneuverability, despite my hack loaded with a pyromaniac ganger..

I cruise Past the badly damaged tank.
A left turn brings it in line with my rear firing flamer
Honestly, getting stuck just worked in my favor. The objective was to collect fuel barrels, and my opponents went at it right off. Which brought them into shooting/ramming range of each other right off. So, they were all  pretty chewed up, all european WWII, when I came out of the corner all fresh and strong..

But, I still have to say, my final two turns were beautiful.  a Three shot sequence. I had a flamer, a card that allowed me to us it forward or backward and land mines. Never figured out a good way to use land mines.
when this beast moves in to pick up the fuel.. I U turn and fire again..

Killing the last remaining opponent. I took home all the fuel, took no damage.. I feel pretty good about that, even if  I have to admit, those early mistakes were critically good fortune..

As this post is heavily Bling.. and substance light.. I want to throw up a couple pics and see what people think of an idea. I have recently missed a number of Tekumel Figs on Ebay. Several Non Humans were scattered across several larger lots of mostly old Ral Partha, and the lots just went to high, which is too bad, because I really needed the Pachi Lei and the Pe Choi.  A few weeks ago I missed a Sro. But, I understand the Sro wasn't that well done in the first place. So, I am at Micheal's crafts, thinking about this, and other things Tekumel, and look at their toys - which includes several Dragons I have considered getting as cheap figs for my (Long on Hold) Mageknight/Hott project. And this time, I looked at this and saw THIS
Now, How hard you think this might actually be. Just ad a set of arms up there.. cut and splice and we might have a readily available Sro proxy.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Back to Butrús

Well, with an agreement in hand the party decided to set out for Butrús again, but, they were now concerned about their shadow. When they left town they encountered a guard on the Sákbe roads who simply would not accept their papers. It appeared they were being intentionally delayed. Never ones to plow through what they can go around, they began to look for a means to travel on the second tier of the roads. They sought a Patron who, by virtue of their clan status alone, would intimidate Road Guards and keep them honest. Mriga found one through his temple and that Grey Robed Priest.

The Party was taken on as guards for a high ranking Priest of Thúmis ( a different priest, one from a higher clan, and with higher status in the Temple). He was travelling south anyway, and felt that having a party of soldiers (well, Hriháyal guards are soldiers, in some sense) would be wise, considering the threat of Mu'ugalavyian troops encroaching in the Chákas. As a high noble he took his party up onto the second tier of the Sákbe road, and, again as a high noble, no one much said boo about it. They were advised that travel could be dangerous.

They pressed on without much delay for the first third of the journey, where they reached a guard tower who reported that no traffic was advised beyond that point. There was a confirmed reports of Mu'ug troops on the road the night before, and a dispatch had been sent to Tumíssa to bring a cohort or two of the Tangled root eaters to investigate. But owing to their patrons status, the road guards dared not actually forbid travel. When it appeared likely the troop would continue despite the warning, the guards offered to augment their parties defenses with an extra ten men. At least some of these men were, apparently, members of the Ito clan, though that is not uncommon on the Sákbe roads near Butrús..

Not trusting the offer, the party elected to press on alone. At approximately the mid point between the two cities they found Tsolyáni bodies, merchants, outside the guard tower, which was locked. There were also bodies of a couple road guards, As best as they could tell, the merchants had either arrived late, or left early, and been ambushed on the road. The guard had responded, and also died. It was probably not the whole caravan, some of whom may have escaped and were probably the ones referred to as confirmed reports. And the Sákbe guard tower gates were locked on the second tier.

Climbing down to the lower tier, they found the gates open, but the stairs to the second tier of the Tower locked. And the far gate on the second tier was also locked. Since they were all barred from the inside, it implied that there was someone there, but no one answered. So they decided to breach a bit of protocol, and climb up to the third tier and look around. On the lovely mosaic tiles of the Royal top tier, they saw a blood trail, that led to the guard house door. Which was locked.
 Now, that was too much to ignore, so Mriga decided to try using levitation to manipulate the locks – really just cross bars – to get inside. However, all he achieved was a ringing head ache, as the guard houses all have some level of magical warding against such chicanery. Live and learn. At the top of the Guard house is a watch tower, and someone suggested that there had to be one last door into the structure there. So Suni scaled the guard house and found a door unlocked. Inside she found an imperial messenger, dead from a wound by a Mu'ugalavyian' crossbow. He had managed to retreat to safety, but was not able to survive his wounds.

The party wisely wrapped the body, without too much snooping, and prepared to leave, when they heard foot pads running from a distance, growing louder. Going out, they saw another imperial messenger, approaching. He slowed when he saw them, wary. They shouted that there were Mu'ugs on the road, as he drew near. They saw him evaluate the group, and then, double his speed as he headed to Tumíssa.

Arriving in Butrús, they turned the body of the messenger over to the local officer of the AOL. There were lots of question, but, it appeared nothing had been disturbed on the body, and so, they were released, but advised they may be sought for further questioning.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

oddling thoughts

Random Tékumel related thoughts that have crossed my mind in the past 36 hours

some how the first half of this post was cut..

here is is, restored

I am still working on the campaign updates, between INTERNET distractions. Writing them offline helps get a draft out, but, I need this puter to get Tsolyáni spell checkers. There is, for those who are unaware, a Tsolyáni dictionary for word processors available on in the Yahoo group files. Unfortunately, it was created for MS word in or before 2005 and won't import easily into the current Open Office. I have been manually adding words as I have needed them, and occasionally go off on the net to research an easier way.. without success. Which, by the magic of the Internet, often leads me to waste several hours on Ebay or FB, or reading blogs. Amazing time machine the Internet. All that led me to an blog post on Hill Cantons about RPG narratives and what makes em good, bad, indifferent, justifiable, or offenses against nature. Hold that thought..

There is a new Blog devoted to Tékumel news on the web, called the Skein of Destiny.

It is a group blog, and it was the spawn of a yahoo group discussion that began when the admin of Skein offered to run a newsletter. I countered that a group blog could reduce the individual work load, and he and I, without consultation, both created a blog for that purpose. Only he actually put some articles up.. which makes his much more interesting to read. No reason to compete, but now I have the makings of a Tékumel blog, and no real mission. These two paragraphs are related..

I had been considering making my Tékumel blog a group blog, for the purpose of game session reports. Anyone running or playing in a campaign could, if they desired, become a contrib, and log their campaign sessions as they saw them. I just thought perhaps an additional feature might be to link it to a drop-box for the posters to put Maps, or pics or such.. though drop box may not be a good choice.. .. probably shouldn't brainstorm and blog at the same time..

At any rate, what are your opinions? I am especially interested in the views of potential contributers.. as they would be crucial. Readers, as with all things blog, are optional.

I will probably cross post this question in a few places..

The Dictionary, mentioned above, and the blue room archives, and a few other bits of readily available data on the net, might make good fodder for a collective effort to begin to build a Tékumel Wiki. I am trying to go through proper channels to achieve a Tékumel Wiki, and I understand that such a beast is a frightening prospect for those who wish to control the IP rights.. so this is tricky ground to negotiate. This is not a new thought, it has crossed my mind before, and is beginning to wear a path..

My plan/pipe dream to make a Penóm Gazateer got a minor boost in that I have invented a new beasty that I think will fit well into the Swamps and the Underworlds. Have to try it on my players sometime soon..

“The unsecured path”.. I won't provide stats, as I believe strongly that the path forward is a system-less Tékumel .. But the creature is an intelligent plant/fungus that grows floats in the swamps. Each individual pod is about 5-8 inches in diameter, though not specifically round. They cluster in dense communities making a firm floating surface that can cover miles of open, stagnant water.
But saying too much now might spoil the fun.. I will tell more about this in a future post.

I am toying with trying to create a set of rules for Den Den. The paucity of information on the game is daunting. The only thing I am sure of is that the players can sometimes change one piece for another, and the game is supposedly an abstraction of the complex political world of Tékumel. I am thinking, currently, that, unlike most games known to our readers, players tokens won't be designated by color. And players provide their own tokens for a game, rather than both or all tokens coming from one source. The tokens are standardized in some manner, but customizable. Much as we see lots of different renditions of the common chess set. Pieces are defined by some simple attributes (several sizes, perhaps, and several colors for each set) but they are also customized, possibly with clan markings, or temple markings.. that have no impact on the game except to identify the piece as belonging to one player.

All the above was actually just a distraction from my original reason for creating this post..
Got together with some old friends the other night and played a few classic board games..

First up was Raj, a card/tile bidding game I had never played before. Picked up a copy at a thrift store, and it looked like something I could import to Tékumel .. (hence all the digression above..). It was compelling, and played quickly, but was really just a way to kill time until all the players arrived.

Next a game of Circus Maximus. A departure from our traditional fair, actually. We usually play Dune..I have bling.. We were doing a quick race, 1.5 Laps. The pic is from just before the first corner. In the next turn I entered the corner a bit hot, and rolled badly, flipping my chariot. I spent the rest of my career and life as a charioteer being dragged around the course. Geo flipped one turn later, but cut himself free. Then Jerry ran him over. Mark won, but Jerry was the crowd favorite.. 

 Then we played Dune, but, Chip had to leave – some lame gotta work tomorrow excuse – and the FLGS was closing.. so it was going to be abbreviated. Jerry outsmarted all of us and time itself by pulling a win on turn three while we all tried to figure out if we could get one more turn in before our deadline. Since we still had time, we played out one more turn, and, at the designated hour of 1045, low and behold Jerry still had control of the most cities.. Cudos to Emperor Jerry for pulling off two wins in four turns.. He shall not be invited back..(I kid.. I kid..)

wow.. mustn't post free hand after midnight.. This think is littered with typos and edit errors..  ed.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Still More from the Campaign

I am beginning to understand why I have been avoiding this. A lot happened in the last few adventures, though their wasn't a great deal of activity.

The next day they all paid a visit to the temporary billets of the Tangled root eaters, and made an attempt to gain audience with the Kerdu, G-Gum-Shoggu, or other officer who could make their claim to the land outside Butrús stronger. Their basic story was noted by the officer of the watch, and he promised to move it on to his superiors. They should wait for a reply. So they cooled their heels, did some more sight seeing, and discovered they were being followed. They set a trap, but must have spooked the tail, because it disappeared.

Eventually, they gained audience with the Quartermaster, who had been authorized to deal with the matter. They made their case,

Point 1, the tangled root eaters, a most honourable and devoted legion of the Empire had, with good faith, transferred title of the land in question to the Plume of White clan, and this arrangement had been seen by both as noble and in the best interests of each party and the empire. But for the bumbling of a low level scribe, that would be the end of the story, and none of the parties has ever shown sign to regret the decision.

Point 2, The party bringing the objection (the Ito Clan) to the long established transfer, though, undoubtedly doing so only in the interest of protecting the Petal Thrones deep devotion to perfection in all things of Tsolyánu, and most certainly abhorring, as the Emperor must, any flaw that might stain the imperial record-keeping.. can be assumed to have no other interests in the property in question.

Point 3, Any outcome contrary to the long running understanding can only reflect negatively upon the Empire, the Palace of the Realm, The clans involved, and the Tangled root eaters, for they have allowed this error not only to occur, but to fester, which can only lead to doubt in the standing of all claims of title, and from thence, in the edicts of the empire.. doubts which the AOL would, reasonably, be expected to erase, and probably with blood.

Point 4, Abolition of the long running understanding would would be inconvenient for all involved, as the Clan of Plume of White would probably expect recompense, to include interests, going back a approximately 1000 years, and the Tangled Root eaters would be saddled with land they no longer found useful to their mission. The expenses for the Tangled root eaters would be especially inconvenient, during a time of war, when monies might more readily be spent on armour, and training.

What the players didn't know, but would learn, is that some of the delay that had given them so much free time in Tumíssa was to allow the TRE to send a scout to investigate the property before a final decision. The Quartermaster and the Tirrikámu had learned enough to be very suspicious of the potential hazards that might be associated with laying claim to the unnatural caverns. They chose not be be distracted in war time with a place where the dead walk, without even the calling of Sárku.. to assist them. Better to leave that, in fact, to the temples to sort out.

So they authorized the deal that our party was suggesting. They would have an officer in Butrús with authority, meet with representatives of the Clan of Plume of White, and the temple of Hriháyal, and the former two would both sign over rights to the later, so that no matter the outcome of any challenge, the final owner would be the Temple, and it would all be completed before Avanthár would have any reason to be upset by the errors in paperwork. The will of the Emperor would thus be done.

The learned one other thing from all this. The bureaucrat whose name was associated with this error had, despite his considerable rise in rank, a reputation for similar, minute errors in paperwork that created the potential for challenges to long standing documents.

note: if any one is new to the story, and wants to go back and find the beginning, I have tagged all the narrative posts as campaign..

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Back to our featured presentation

Well, time to start drafting that update..

I am thunderstruck when I realize the last post on the campaign was in March. It ended as this.

They heard rumours of Mu'ugalavyá scouts and small skirmishes being fought in Do Cháka, up near Tumíssa. The Bulk of the Legion of Tangled Root eaters, a Páchi Lei legion, was currently up in Tumíssa, operating the defenses against said Mu'ugalavian incursions. As players are wont to do, they took an end run around my Jájgi plot line, and decided to approach the Legion, to sort simply replicated the original purchase agreement, or make a deal to purchase the land directly, if the courts should determine that they still owned it.

I have drafted enough already to break this into two or three posts, and am nearly caught up with the narrative, so without further ado..

...The players outfitted a small excursion to Tumíssa. And figured they would do some business on the side, in part as a cover for the real mission. That didn't actually keep anyone from following, as their opposition in this affair is both numerous and dedicated. Due to my neglecting to bring my maps, I over estimated the travel time from Butrús to Tumíssa. I explained this away by heavy traffic and heavy security, what with the harvest season starting, and Mu'ugs in the Chákas. There were some casual encounters along the way, but things were mostly quiet.. again, due to heavy traffic and heavy security. They did meet a Priest of Qón who was crawling.. as a means of mentally preparing to fight demons.. to Tumíssa. He was a dedicated demon fighter.. and an Ascetic, and a bit of a crazy, by the parties reckoning. Still, he invited them to his temple to research the Goddess of the river.. and possibly related matters. The party figured he might take a month to get there, at his current speed.

On to Tumíssa. , They traveled as a Merchant Caravan transporting fine papers from Mriga's Clan for sale in the big city, and Sánjesh brought his Hriháyal Guard for protection. Once in the city they did a bit of touristing, finding two places of great interest. The first was the Hall of Cool Air.. Which Mriga returned to repeatedly. The other was the Avenue of Stele, where they found another stele which seemed markedly similar to the one in the cave. It had been unearthed during the construction of the Lushman canal, and, as they had learned from other sources, that event appears to have coincided with an earlier renaissance in worship of the Goddess of the Turín river. Sánjesh stopped by his temple to try to toady a bit with Mis hiRakádi, and her entourage, but Mis was in a state of seclusion in preparation for the Ritual of Ecstatically Traveling to the Isles and Back again. He did find her protégé Kaiyor, and she invited the party to a the special holiday festival that were in store for the evening. Mriga nervously bowed out, returning to his own temple to do research, But Suni and Mriga attended. As it happened, the festival was a feast, more than an orgy, which brought in all the most exotic foods that could be had at the beginning of harvest, for the gluttony of the temple faithful. (It was noted by Suni, that there might be a correlation between the nature of the festival, and the rather severe diet I had place upon myself about a week prior... suni is wise, I suspect, as I was rather obsessed with food at the time..) The party goers (well Suni, I think) ordered a plate to go to be delivered to the studious Mriga... who had discovered that the Priest of Thumis from chapter 2 was doing research in the facility on the Stele they had all discovered in the caves..

The next day they all paid a visit to the temporary billets of the Tangled root eaters, and made an attempt to gain audience with the Kerdu, G-Gum-Shoggu, or other person who could make their claim to the land outside Butrús stronger. Their basic story was noted by the officer of the watch, and he promised to move it on to his superiors. They should wait for a reply. So they cooled their heels, did some more sight seeing, and discovered they were being followed. They set a trap, but must have spooked the tail, because they disappeared.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


My blogging is weak, from lack of exercise. I promised an update on the Empire of the Petal Throne campaign, and haven't delivered. There is a reason, not a good one, but a reason. We didn't actually manage to get together that week that I planned to confer with the players and make sure my info was accurate and complete. And we haven't managed to get together since. Early summer vacations spread us across several states, and – I think – a couple continents. There was a brief period, I think, when we were all in town, then Geo went to MI to visit his brother. And there is is to this day.. with a broken engine. Not really an excuse for my not posting... something.. anything... even stupid things... As a result, my readers – if any of you still view yourselves as such – I am behind..

I am writing this post offline, which, now that I try it, may prove to be the system I use in the future. I can do this when I have time, and no I net connection, and copy and paste it. This avoids the common distractions of the Web, FB, G+, BootCamp, Ebay, Email, etc. As I write, I am at my friendly local Game Store waiting to see if anyone shows up looking for a pick up game of 4ofnordK. The place is quiet, though someone with an Army just came in after being waylayed by a Dog, which resulted in some broken models, a minor limp and a foul mood. I have been busy with my IfnordG army, compulsively buying, adequately painting, and now, for the first time in my Gamey Career, basing the figs. (as it turned out.. I forgot my Company Command Squad at home, so, I ended up leaving when I finished this draft)

I have come up with some fluff to account for the variety of figures I use. I will be fielding the 703rd Segmentum Obscura Regiment of Detachments. I hit on the idea while reading Sharpe's Eagle, one of the Napoleonic high adventures of Captain (as of this book) Richard Sharpe. Early in the book, a pompous general, with no experience, gets his regiment badly massacred. As a result, the survivors are formed up with other depleted units into a combined regiment, with no real identity. My plan is to pull any unit effectively destroyed in a battle, to be replaced by another unit of similar value. I plan on heavy use of range, as IG that get into assault tend not to survive. This mechanic will serve to keep me honest in troop use, I think, as it means pushing units into a meat grinder guarantees I won't have them next fight.

Units will come back, of course, Can't afford to buy figures forever. I may build a random chart for replacements. I will never use a colour guard, as a regiment of detachments would have no colours. Locally, I will play mostly against SpaceFnordMarine, as that is the most commonly fielded force. I have chosen never to field a commissar against SpaceFnordMarine. Fluff wise, fighting SfnordM makes no sense anyway.. figure it only happens when Mil Intel wishes to keep the SfnordM in training, and a Regiment of Detachments would be a good sacrificial goat.

But, I have been spending an inordinate amount of time on 40FnordK lately. There is a certain attraction to the build process, but the game is, so far, less than compelling. I miss the More nuanced world of Tekumel. I will be devoting more time to that for a while. There are interesting things happening in that world as well. More later..

editors note. It appears that in publication, pictures have been truncated.. please click on the pic to see the whole thing. We will try to learn how to address this in the future..
decided to add a bit of bling. Introducing the current 703rd Segmentum Obscura Regiment of Detachments

the above is a typical infantry squad.. two squads combined, 20 men with missle launchers and grenades launchers. Currently have two of these.

This unit is a Veteran Demolision team. Minitures are Pig Iron Kolony Militia. On the right we see two heavy lasers proxied in for multifnordmeltas. Can have up to 3, so I have another few soldiers en-route.

This is a typical Platoon Command Squad. The soldier on the left has a flamer. On the right we see a VoxfnordCaster. Currently two of these, and another unfinished that will be have a heavy weapon. Their function is command and control.

The last two photos are of hvy weapons teams. There are both GW and Pig Iron in the mix. I can take no credit for the upper three, as they shipped in all finished from the Eba nebulaay..

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A decision, for the short term

After all, is any decision final. This blog will be my only blog for the time being. I am way behind on it, so starting another will only divert my attention. It will cover all things Gamey in my world.. So, this will be a start to bring things up to date..

First, on the Glorious precipice of the Empire of the Petal Throne, my players are all done with school. We will meet again in on Monday, mostly for book keeping and planning the way forward, because over the next month or so, we will all be off on vacations, in sequential order, meaning we will not all be available at the same time for a bit. Hate to jump into a campaign arc and then have a one month lapse. They are a bit ahead of the narrative on this blog, and I will begin in earnest to correct that tomorrow. I am going to draft that post, then bring it to the group meet, to see if I left out any juicy bits. It should be up mid week.

Geo and I got together and puttered around with a game mechanic called Microscope.., which I learned about from Risus Monkeys' blog. We decided to undertake a Tekumel pre-event history. The game begins with the players setting an opening and closing event for a timeline. We started with discovery of Tekumel, and ended with the stars going out. Then you take a couple turns putting in some broad time phases, and start zooming in on events within those phases. .

The game looks like it would work better with a group, larger than two. Still, we muddled through a S'su attack on an terraforming operation that led to a new mythical location refered to as the "City in Amber". I could see this being taken out at a con like U-con, by Tekumelani and used to fill in possible histories of the vast periods of history that are only hinted at in the game. (oooh.. just noticed they have established the dates for U-con this year. Can't say I am thrilled about the drive in Nov, but it looks doable right now... wonder how it lines up for Aethervox activities..) Risus also suggested this game might work well with a website called corkboard.. And we may take what we have done so far there, and invite others to join..

And the last Tekumel based report for this post is the acquisition of some old EPT figs from Ebay. There was a guy selling a pack of figs, which led me to look at his other auctions. In some random lots I found a nice set of Vimuhla worshippers. Not an expert, but I think think they are from the Legion of Red Devastation, a few swordsmen, and a pair of priests.. I have seen the priest figure often before, as it is the same one used to represent Chirine... On his blog he has been prepping some figs for a game event in North Texas, that looks really interesting.. and appears to be full.. Oh, and a few old shen missing the tails.. but that seems fixable.. I also acquired a few random figures that are proxy-able.

On the 40fnordk front, I have been puttering on painting myImperial Guard army. So I will share a bit of bling here.. I think.

This is the Commander, for the time being. Don't really love this figure. Skull mask, and dancing pose.. but, twill serve..
next down here are a couple of my Sentinels. Hope to eventually complete three squads, two scout one armoured..

These are the mounts I will use for Rough riders. They turned out really well, I think. The one in the back, with the black saddle came to me with a paint scheme completed. I used approximation to achieve the same on the other six. These were fun to paint, as I could try a lot of experimentation with the colors, and didn't have to stay "in the lines.."

And the next two are samples of troops. 40fnordK is a pretty figure intense game, and IG perhaps more than most armies. My earlier post explained how I initially acquired these Steel legion figures in the upper picture. But, despite their high value, they don't add up to a hill of beans when building a 40fnordK army. It gave me the mandatory HQ unit and infantry Platoons, which adds up to one to one and a half of the mandatory troop choices.

Steel legion figs are spensive, so when someone posted the Pig Iron figures in the lower pic for sale on TMP, I decided they could make a nice second infantry platoon troop choice. And the price was pretty good.. though I don't recall what it was. And some came painted. That buy inspired the color scheme.

Problem is, they didn't have figures for Sgts (who carry hand guns and swords and such.. stupid 40fnordk rules sets..) or the Platoon Command Squad. I got twenty figs like these, half painted, which really only accounts for the troop figs. I purchased some NCO's from Pig Iron (well, technically The WarStore.. who will be the Sgts for both the infantry plts and the Platoon Command Squad PCS) leader. Then I realized that I needed four more infantry for the PCS and it wouldn't hurt to have some heavy weapons in the mix.. So now I have some of those on order. All of which adds up..

Then came Tax time.. and it appears my tax situation changed a lot last year, cause now I am broke.. so mini purchases are on hold for a bit. going to have to figure out a way to fund new purchases, though I probably have enough for a decent 40fnordk army, I see the Tekumel Project is putting out oodles of tempting products..

At the moment, those are my two major gaming fronts.. I have some odd projects on the back burners. A host of terrain making materials cluttering up my geek space.. and a currently dormant Mage Knight Hordes of the Things Project. It would be much easier to get caught up if only I could put caffeine back on the menu..

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Wither, Hence?*

It has been, arguably, more than a day or two. I apologize. The Tekumel Campaign has been on hiatus as players were being swamped with their college commitments. This was good, as I needed to recharge a bit as well. I am not, by nature, good at maintaining focus, as many things tend to take my interest. Ooooooh.. shiny.... Unfortunately, it also led me to feel no pressure to get campaign to pixel. We were not planning to meet again until mid may, or so, which should leave plenty of time to post a couple sessions worth and bring everything up to date. I work well under pressure. Without pressure.. well.. I drift. Does that make me a follower, rather than a leader? Don't know.

I have also been toying with the affections of a another game universe. She means nothing to me, but, she is popular, and has some attractive qualities. Her most attractive quality, unfortunately, is that she is popular. We are talking, of course, of that trollop of a game universe, 40Fnordk. I have been painting and building an IG army, because I see the opportunities to bring Tekumel to the table locally as being limited. Don't get me wrong, I love the RPG, but, sometimes I just want a little fling on a table.

Anyway, This has led me to reconsider the nature of this Blog. Most of my followers are here for the Tekumel, and don't give a hoot about the GW, I suspect. The blog was originally supposed to record all my gaming, but, all my gaming has tended toward Tekumel, in large part because last year was devoted to that. But as you can see by the side bar, the year before I had declared several different interests. So.. followers.. dear readers.. if you are still with me... should I stay on Tekumel track here, or just blog on anything Gamey that suits me at the moment... The latter may lead to more posts.. and more bling.. but.. if you are primarily interested in the Empire, that may not be a plus.. But my non miniatures focused RPG leaves me with almost no bling....

Another alternative might be to start an second Blog, devoted to Tekumel. I had considered this before, and then considered making it a team blog, for any person running a campaign. That might prove confusing, or it might prove cool... or both... I suppose they aren't exclusive.. At any rate, The Superior Force is not a very Tekumalani sorta name..

In other news, Chirine and the Aethervox Gamers did the Dave Arneson Memorial again, and I missed it. There are a pile of new Tekumel blogs out and about, but if you are here for tekumel, you have probably already seen them, as this is a very tardy posting.. (if not, I will try to make a list...or at least point to a blogger who has done so..).

I really need to spend time trying to find sources for bling on these posts as well.

Oh, and Hot Elf Chick..

* A pun.. is that bling?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Playing catch up

Well, last month I failed to make a post. For unexplained reasons, the month blew by. We did play, and I will try to bring this up to date. This first post is several weeks overdue and will be sparse on details, I am afraid.

With the midnight ritual droning on, the party began to explore again. They returned to the halls near the library, and found the ranking priests offices, and quarters. They entered and found another copy of the book, an older copy, which they pilfered. And eventually found another exit but it led down, not to the sewers, but to the Tsu'urum. It was locked, and chained. They left Suni to pick the lock, and went back into hiding, and awaited a report of success. She was successful, though it took a while, but she made did not alarm anyone in the process. She made a furtive effort to explore below on her own, but she had no lighting. She returned for the group, and they escaped to the level of the red hat Ditlána of Xkcd. They emptied into a chamber of Thúmis, with, apparently, only one exit. And, to their surprise, it appeared to be guarded, or at least light could be seen, and footsteps heard. (Here I will say that I was unprepared for this eventuality. I had not expected them to go this way, so I went to Dave's Mapper, and started mapping randomly. They knew they needed to find a way up to the sewers, or perhaps to underworld temples to one of their Gods, preferably Hriháyal or Grokking.. And these were both Northish. Trapped in this room, they searched for secrets, and found a hidden exit North. Ksárul must be favoring them.

They then wandered aimlessly, finding old clan houses, and clan house temples. They managed, by pure luck, to avoid a number of hastily justified encounters, simply by choosing the right exit from areas. They nearly stumbled on some items that had surprised me. But, it was surprisingly uneventful until they found a Clan House for a Clan that follow Sárku. There they disturbed the Mrúr Guards. Here they used a wedge like object to jam a door, and fled. This led them to a ladder, which led them to the surface, in the slave pits of a slaver clan, just north of the north wall. Here they found an Ahoggyá slave keeper, who found their predicament amusing. And took a liking to them. So, he made a deal with them to ransom the group in exchange for slaves, and Sanjesh went to purchase some while the rest remained hostage. The Ahoggyá held up his bargain, and when the slaves were delivered, the party was released.

They took the books to Mriga's clan, paper-makers, and scribes, and set the resources of the clan to work copying and comparing them. That was the end of the game session, and the next week was largely book keeping, as the players waited for the copies, and did research.

They were notified by the temple of Hriháyal that the purchase agreement for the land was being contested by the Ito Clan, who had unearthed a 1000 year old flaw in the title paperwork. Ito's had dispatched a messenger to Avanthár as well. They learned that the current owners of the land, the Plume of White, had purchased it from the Tangled Root Eaters at that time, and they had received it as a land grant at their formation, approximately 1400 years ago. They also learned that, the bureaucrat who had made the error was believed to still be roaming about, having earned the prestigious status of Jájgi. It was suggested that they try to find him, and clear up the error.

They heard rumors of Mu'ugalavyá scouts and small skirmishes being fought in Do Cháka, up near Tumíssa. The Bulk of the Legion of Tangled Root eaters, a Páchi Lei legion, was currently up in Tumíssa, operating the defenses against said Mu'ugalavian incursions. As players are wont to do, they took an end run around my Jájgi plot line, and decided to approach the Legion, to sort simply replicated the original purchase agreement, or make a deal to purchase the land directly, if the courts should determine that they still owned it.

More in a day or two...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Jan Project update

Well, the ref screen has not moved much. I have printed a few charts, still collecting others. Trying to decide what data I want at my fingertips and what I can live with looking up. Titles, Clans, an abbreviated History. But how abbreviated. It would be nice if my clan chart showed temple affiliations, and it would be nice to have a temple chart with clan affiliations. Andw the two are not redundant, really. We played last night (campaign update in the works) and the group was in the underworld, and managed to get themselves into the lower levels, which I was mapping as we wet using Dave's Mapper.. And I found myself saying, " The space you've entered it an excavated Clan house of one of the clans that follows Thumis.. " It would have been nice to look at a chart and pick a clan. I know the data is in the Mitlanyal, but, looking it up takes time, and I havent' got the memory anymore to get it all in my head at once.

Daves Mapper is nice, and I quickly had the party going in circles. I was using it via an Ipod touch, which was interesting, but left me no good way to record the spaces they went into for possible future reference. I saved most of the individual tiles they travelled through, and they weren't mapping, relying on dust footprints to back track, should they find the need. Everytime I rolled an encounter, they skipped a few doors and made a bee line for their destination.. I probably could have been better prepared..

But we ate well, as Mriga, and Suni cooked some very tekumeliani fare.. We are going to add occasional dinners to the regular routine... So there goes any serious plan to lose weight, I suspect..

I have found a bit of time to paint, or, at least do what passes for painting in my world. I am painting some Romans to proxy as Tomb Guard.

The colors are washed out in real life as well. Not sure how to fix that, except possibly spend money on quality paints. Not sure what color to paint the plumes. Currently, the chest armor is brown for Sarku, and the kilt and shoulders red for Vimuhla, being soldiers and all. The shin guard will be copper,as will the breast plate or perhaps just the plate trim. The Plums I haven't decided yet, though Blue for the Empire seems likely. Still need to come up with some awesome shields. Opinions welcome.. Be kind... but honest..


Well, I didn't have access to a printer, so I didn't make any progress on the screen, but I did have my paints, and I worked on the tomb guard a bit.. improved. still hack quality, but, improved. Had purchased a brighter red, so the kilt pops a bit more. Added copper and touched up some things. Plumes in Red and Blue..

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stuck in a box

Backing up a moment, Our heroes convinced the Swamp Folk to assist them to get into the sewers inside the walls again. The Swamp Folk agreed to take them down into the restricted level of the Tsu'urum to lead them under the walls. They knew of an old Clan house there of the Great Stone Clan, which contained a labyrinth, which led, among other places, to a passage. The party would have to travel in darkness, so as not to attract what might reside in the labyrinth. But the Swamp folk, who are sensitive to “wrongness”, knew a way through the labyrinth, and would guide them.

So, hand in hand, they all made their way, quickly and silently as possible, through the maze, with their non human guides leading and taking the rear. Suni toyed with the idea of detecting foes, but, decided not to risk attracting attention with a spell, even a psychic one. The came out, and were given directions to a room that would lead back up into the sewer levels, and were left to their task. They were advised not to try to take this way back out.

Once back in the sewers, they moved downstream until they found a junction, just above the SW gates, leading to the river. They split into groups, to try to avoid looking conspicuous, but, somehow, they managed to attract the guards notice. Still, the guards let them pass without question – there was nothing technically illegal about being in the sewers, even if their arrival from that direction seemed odd. Technically, the guards were there to keep people out, not interfere with people who were already inside. So the party moved back upstream to the north, and eventually found the sewers that should put them below the Temple of Avánthe from the Red Hat Ditlána of the mid 1700s. And with much searching, they found the trigger to open a wall, and go in.

They found themselves in a supply room, off two converging halls, with the sound of chanting coming from each hallway. The halls were empty, and they knew it was getting on in the day. They assumed that rituals were in session and they decided to take advantage of this to look around. Down the right hallway they found three doors, two apparently private quarters, one a communal quarters, and a dead end, leading to UN-excavated space. Down the left they found Lavatories, and an office. Both directions seemed to flank the main ritual hall with doors that probably led inside.

Further left they found the smell of cooking, and, accidentally ran into slaves carrying Hot water to ritual baths, but the slaves were too busy to take notice of which priests were in the hall way. They found a side passage that led to administrative rooms and, in that section found the library. It took a little time to figure out the organization, but they did locate the book “A history of the flood of 643 and the appearance and disappearance of the Irriguous Dead”. They purloined it, and a few random others, and beat back to the storage room. Unfortunately, they still had not found the mechanism to open the door from the inside. And the ritual ended, so they hid back in the stair well. Slaves brought ritual paraphernalia into storage, and left and the halls outside became much more active. Another thorough search of the room, and still no mechanism. It was late, and eventually, the halls quieted down again. The midnight ritual to bring back the light began, with a skeleton crew of junior priests and priestesses, and the ranking members retired. A quick journey into the hallways found “Silence, I slumber”, Méshqu plaques on various doors. And time ran out for the session...

Friday, January 7, 2011

More from the desk,

Though we played last week, this post is not a campaign post. My apologies. I had the latest update mostly written, but I can't find it, so I will start again tomorrow. I had planned this post for after that, but, due to the delay in that, I decided to write and post this.. which is my January Project plan.

I debated what to do first, and my first inclination was to do something with my growing pile of lead. The mass is becoming a gravitational force in my geek room. But, my campaign is not focused, as yet, on minis. Probably won't be. Occasionally I hope to break out the 28s for a skirmish, and eventually maybe the 6mm for a campaign. But, Essentially, we are meeting round the table for improvisational readers theater. So, my focus for January is to get my campaign info in better order, and first up is a Ref screen with charts. The idea is not new. Most game mechanics have some kind of Ref screen available. I bought the one SJG produces for GURPS in PDF, but it needs work to customize it for my campaign. And it, obviously, only addresses game mechanics.

Honestly, I tend to run on a slightly crunchier version of the roll a die system that the Professor uses. The official game math only comes out occasionally. Roll 3d6, low is good, works 90% of the time. But the combat portion of the screen is complete now.

What I really need, however, is a Tekumel cheats screen. I find that I am still often forced to stop play while I research part of the Timeline, or the name of a Legion. The world is rich, and detailed, and my mind is not so supple anymore. So I am working on a screen that shows Temples, and Clans, and History timelines, and such.. I hope to post pictures when done.

I did not go down to the New Years Games in the cities, and I regret that. I was scheduled to work NY day, and the weather was not great, with rain leading to ice. Sounds like a good time was had by those braver than I. No guts, no Glory, as they say.

I found a blog with a very different Tekumel slant. The author is working on some very ancient Tekumel History. Pre history.. pre bethorm (pocket plane). Humanspace.. Well, look for yourselves. It is a very intriguing concept. Geo, you were thinking of running something?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Tis the Season

Well, last year I managed 24 posts. On average 2 per month, though some months had more and some less. It is up from the year before, and more focused, as is appropriate for my Year of Tekumel. So with the first of the year it is the season for making plans and resolutions for the new year.

Tekumel activities will continue. The campaign has had a number of canceled games of late, but that is not due to lack of interest. Work and school schedules have conspired against us at times. That probably can't be helped, after all, none of us has the luxury of a high school life anymore. But Mriga and Suni have found employment locally, which was a concern.

I hope to bump the blog posts up, shooting for 36 for this year. That seems doable, if I simply keep up on the campaign, and trivial if I also record other game activities. For example, I don't think I have mentioned here my recent ACW game with Chip and friends. Forgot to bring a camera, so there wasn't much to report. I have also not blogged about recent mins purchases, and I could certainly have said more about UCON. I will also try to add some more Bling. I have plenty of figs to paint, and terrain to build, so that should help.. And there may be a top secret project about which I can leak some info.....

This year will still focus on Tekumel, but will include other gaming. However, I, like many gamers, am easily distracted. So this rule will apply. Each month I will set a goal for myself, and I can't do non-Tekumel projects until the month's tekumel project is done. This will probably involve completing a few projects that I have half done right now.. and breaking down some unpainted figures into project groups.

I think better with Pen and Paper than keyboard, so details will probably come after some time away from the screen. I need to think about the Butrus underworld as well. More later..