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Aliens

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  • Baron Samedi
    Subject: Non-human inclusion Hi again to all, Opinions are divided - which is normal. I would urge, though, to consider that the game s sought clients might
    Message 1 of 28 , Mar 1, 2001
      Subject: Non-human inclusion

      Hi again to all,

      Opinions are divided - which is normal. I would urge, though, to consider
      that the game's sought clients might not just be the Tekumel hardcore fans
      whom would buy anything labelled "Tekumel", but players which know little
      about it that would be interested in discovering what makes Tekumel unique
      without waiting to browse through supplements. If the core book seems to
      discard the most alien aspect as Tekumel as "secondary material", I fear
      some people could discard it, saying "This is not a fantasy game, this is a
      re-edition GURPS Aztecs" - which should not be, since Tekumel is much more
      than just a re-enactment of central-american anthropology.

      In my opinion, Tekumel RPG should feature mostly what makes Tekumel unique
      as a fantasy RPG:

      I believe very detailed background for clans, legions, etc. should be rather
      featured in supplements - as was for the previous books. To fully
      acknowledge Tekumel, the Tekumel core book should not be just a big
      "Tsoylani sourcebook" with the rest of the universe described in later
      supplements. I argue for a more generalistic oversight, which would allow to
      explore each world section/culture/cult/legion in more depth in future
      supplements. Otherwise, it might end up as a partial game with the referee
      incapable of gaming anything but Tsolyani-oriented maetrial, while what the
      Tekumel novels show is the richness of cultural mixes and shocks (see the
      Mihalli, Tsolyani and Yan Koryani in Flamesong for example, or the
      Heheganu/Pe Choi/Tsolyani relations in Man of Gold). Without this, you'd
      have only Tsolyani culture to explore: to anyone but already acknowledged
      Tekumel fans, the book could appear to be very homogenous and monolithic.
      Hence, in my humble opinion, more eclectic and diversified content should be
      sought - leave deep details (e.g. is Prince Dui'chne a Jiaigi?) for
      supplements.

      If Nonhumans, for example, are impossible to understand and play, then it
      would be impossible for the game master to feature them at all. Hence, they
      should be excluded from Tekumel and have no part in the game (save perhaps
      legends). If the GM can role-play these creatures (and I do not see, for
      example, how one could not roleplay Old White-Side in Man of Gold for
      example, or Aluja the Mihalli, etc.) then players can also. If Tekumel is
      shown as too complex to roleplay, this invites not to role-play it - hence
      play something else. A rather suicidal argument, I'd say. I agree with Aidan
      on this.

      -------------
      Now here's a thought. Is there any *real* reason why a character couldn't
      play an intelligent monster, like a Renyu or a Serudla, in a game? How about
      a higher version of one of the undead? (A jajgi for instance)?
      ------------
      There are hints of this in Man of Gold (q.v. the Underpeople). Great idea,
      but I believe this should be for individual GMs to play, and maybe Renyu
      aren't really bright enough to really be enjoyable.

      ------------
      Well, Harshan in Man of Gold was raised by the Pe Choi...
      ------------
      That makes Harsan all the more interesting, doesn't it? One more reason to
      allow some flexibility regarding Pe Choi culture� Original EPT and S&G vol 1
      did allow some flexibility at this point, I don't believe much more to be
      necessary to enjoy play�

      ------------
      The Basic Problem: Impenetrable
      How much effort is there in learning to play Tsolyani characters
      considering they are reportedly closest to the modern-earth-norm?
      ------------
      I found reading the novels great help in this. Maybe references (e.g.
      quotes) could be a good idea, as well as short texts describing "Harsan's
      everyday life in the temple of Thumis"�. Many thoughts in both novels could
      be incorporated I believe.

      -------------
      I think I'm in full agreement with Baron Samedi on this. In the basic
      book you have to have pictures and text but players should be "not
      encouraged" to play Aliens until there's enough material to support
      them.
      -------------
      Agreement is relative� :-) But I believe at least "minimal" information to
      be mandatory. I would also simplify some very complicated things in the game
      system (e.g. the career/skill point costs) to reflect this. This part was
      seen as a nightmare for many players. It was suggested to classify skills in
      broard categories (maybe 6, one for each attribute) with a cost not per
      skill but per skill category - simpler, swifter and less mathematical for
      those not inclined to use Excel, finding the cultural material hard enough
      to understand.

      Example of

      Skill caterogy Military Priest

      Administrative
      Combat
      Scholar
      Artistic/Social
      Rogue
      Nature

      Hence an "aculturated Pe Choi" in the basic system (not culture specific)
      could buy skill levels at (for example) Administrative/5, Combat/4,
      Scholar/3, Artistic/2, Rogue/4, Nature/2, etc. Add in some racial telepathy,
      natural empathy and clicking language, some Attributes/Defects and voil�, an
      acculturated Pe Choi ready to go until the Aliens supplements is out.
      without listing a full list for every new character type/species. Say, for
      example, one would want to create a Ssu sorcerer, or an Ahoggya slaver,
      etc.: a full page needed just for skill lists. Cumbersome and complicated.
      This would simplify greatly including nonhuman characters and allow for new
      skills to be inserted easily. Otherwise my own group, for example, would
      only stay with the archetype, or use another gaming system for simplicity.

      -----------
      I see the GOO book as being my first REAL chance to get INTO Tekumel. I
      see the web pages as being the best resource I have at the moment - I'm
      reading as much as I can. The detail on the non-humans is very well
      done. In fact - the art is beautiful. (�) Can you
      play a Vargr without the Vargr Book. Well yeah...
      ------------
      I agree 100%. The website inclined me to buy the tekumel books and get into
      the game. After reading the novels and S&G, I believe I would have enough to
      allow Pe Choi characters and the like in my game. Even if they're not 100%
      real Pe Choi, it's but a GAME, the object is to have fun playing this and
      seeking more info about how to properly play these aliens. Let the players
      devise their own - but at least basic mechanisms should be offered.

      --------
      For the record, I'm a Jorune fan. I'd love to see Jorune 4th Ed but I
      know that's not going to happen.
      ---------
      I' just trying to buy 3rd ed. since 4 months� :-)

      ---------
      I'm sure that within
      each enclave their are culturally-specific roles that might be useful or
      interesting to incorporate into a game/campaign (eg, in the original
      EPT, Prof. Barker mentioned the Ahoggya "p'chn", but has never, to my
      knowledge, explained what this role was...) if only for added 'color'.
      It is, after all, the 'color' and richness of Tekumel that have always
      made it so special.
      --------
      I agree 100% too.

      Regards to everyone,

      Erick

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    • Joseph M. Saul
      If you ve requested a draft from me, and not received a response, please email me again. I ve been overloaded, and think I ve missed a couple people.
      Message 2 of 28 , Mar 1, 2001
        If you've requested a draft from me, and not received a response, please
        email me again. I've been overloaded, and think I've missed a couple
        people. Thanks...

        -- Joe
      • Mark Pawelek
        Joe, I can t imagine any good reason why players starting out in Tekumel would want to play non-humans. Certainly the best AD&D campaign I ever played in
        Message 3 of 28 , Mar 2, 2001
          Joe,

          I can't imagine any good reason why players starting out in Tekumel would
          want to play non-humans. Certainly the best AD&D campaign I ever played in
          restricted the choice of player-characters to human only and I never felt
          the need to play a non-human when playing Tekumel.

          If, after they've been playing for a while, players become jaded with the
          world, Hnalla forbid, then let them play non-humans - but that should take
          years and your supplement will be around then.

          Don't sacrifice content for style. Better to include a longer section on
          scenario ideas for beginners.

          There's enough for beginners to learn - such as the culture, institutions
          and politics of the five empires. This is what constitutes Tekumel - not the
          presence of 6-legged monsters or novel non-humans.

          Including rules for non-humans won't give players a better game. Adding a
          scenario with a core of religious intrigue and/or the intricacies of shamtla
          will.
        • John Marron
          Joe (and all), I m new to the group, but a long time Tekumel fan (it was the first RPG I played in 1976). I just noticed your post on this topic (RPG drafts),
          Message 4 of 28 , Mar 2, 2001
            Joe (and all),
            I'm new to the group, but a long time Tekumel fan
            (it was the first RPG I played in 1976). I just
            noticed your post on this topic (RPG drafts), and was
            wondering if the drafts you mention were of the
            upcoming version of the game which is supposed to come
            out from Guardians of Order this summer? I am just
            sitting down to write some Tekumel adventures, and
            wanted to be able to stat out NPCs, creatures, etc.
            with the new Tri-stat version of the game.

            Thanks for any info.

            John Marron

            --- "Joseph M. Saul" <jmsaul@...> wrote:
            >
            > If you've requested a draft from me, and not
            > received a response, please
            > email me again. I've been overloaded, and think
            > I've missed a couple
            > people. Thanks...
            >
            > -- Joe
            >
            >
            >


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          • David R. Crowell
            No personal flame intended , but.... Spoken like a true Old Guard hardcore Tekumel fan. I can think of lots of players who would imediately say I want to
            Message 5 of 28 , Mar 2, 2001
              No personal flame intended , but.... Spoken like a true Old Guard hardcore
              Tekumel
              fan. I can think of lots of players who would imediately say " I want to
              play
              one of those 8-legged barrel thingies because they're kewl" . Humans only
              role playing in a FANTASY world that is just brimming with exotic non-humans
              is likely to feel like a straight jacket to many players. Should we ban the
              playing of Elves, Dwarves and their like from more traditional fantasy
              games? What about the aliens in science fiction games? Even Phil Barker can
              not properly tell us what motivates the Ssu or the Pe Choi! After all he is
              human and they are not. For that matter he has lived his whole life on Earth
              among terrestrial cultures just think how many of the nuances of Tsolyanu
              culture he must have got wrong through lack of native-born understanding.

              A scenario based on the intricacies of shamtla would leave begining players
              feeling hopelessly lost. (Now you have to fully grasp the sublties of this
              alien culture and it's 40-odd second-person singular pronouns before you can
              play.) Religious intrigue might go over a bit better if you tone down the
              religion and play up the intrigue.

              Perhaps to insure the continued purity of Tekumel Joe's game should only be
              made available to those who can pass a 5 Empires citizenship exam in
              Tsolyanu, with final acceptance being based on their producing an original
              work of research judged worthy of addittion to the canon, and succesfully
              debating Professor Barker and other learned worthies on obscure points of
              obscure religious and/or legal doctrine.

              I can't imagine any good reason why any players starting out in Tekumel
              would pursue it past the begining of character generation if they are going
              to run into a wall of orthodoxy and be told that there is only one true way
              to play Tekumel. Even if they find a less orthodox game to be more fun.

              IMHO Tekumel without the non-humans is NOT Tekumel. And let us not forget
              that NPC stands for Non-Player Character, so the GM at least has to play
              non-hman (even a chlen-beast fits in here) characters every time one is
              encountered.


              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Mark Pawelek <mark.pawelek@...>
              To: <tekumel@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Friday, March 02, 2001 6:23 AM
              Subject: [tekumel] RE: Aliens


              > Joe,
              >
              > I can't imagine any good reason why players starting out in Tekumel would
              > want to play non-humans. Certainly the best AD&D campaign I ever played in
              > restricted the choice of player-characters to human only and I never felt
              > the need to play a non-human when playing Tekumel.
              >
              > If, after they've been playing for a while, players become jaded with the
              > world, Hnalla forbid, then let them play non-humans - but that should take
              > years and your supplement will be around then.
              >
              > Don't sacrifice content for style. Better to include a longer section on
              > scenario ideas for beginners.
              >
              > There's enough for beginners to learn - such as the culture, institutions
              > and politics of the five empires. This is what constitutes Tekumel - not
              the
              > presence of 6-legged monsters or novel non-humans.
              >
              > Including rules for non-humans won't give players a better game. Adding a
              > scenario with a core of religious intrigue and/or the intricacies of
              shamtla
              > will.
              >
              >
              >
              > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              > tekumel-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              >
              >
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              >
              >
              >
            • Matt
              ... A personal note: in a few games with aliens there were no guidelines for playing aliens . One example was the FASA Star Trek RPG. Still...we wanted to do
              Message 6 of 28 , Mar 2, 2001
                >No personal flame intended , but.... Spoken like a true Old Guard hardcore
                >Tekumel fan. I can think of lots of players who would imediately say
                >" I want to play one of those 8-legged barrel thingies because
                >they're kewl"

                A personal note: in a few games with aliens there were no guidelines
                for playing "aliens". One example was the FASA Star Trek RPG.
                Still...we wanted to do a game based on Battlecruiser Vengeance (a
                Klingon craft) and whataya know...no Klingon stuff. So we made it up.
                If the stats for an "average" Ahoggya are included with the briefest
                of NPC description, then people will have enough to play. Even the
                way Tirikelu does it is more than fine.

                Are we panicing over nothing?

                >A scenario based on the intricacies of shamtla would leave begining players
                >feeling hopelessly lost. (Now you have to fully grasp the sublties of this
                >alien culture and it's 40-odd second-person singular pronouns before you can
                >play.) Religious intrigue might go over a bit better if you tone down the
                >religion and play up the intrigue.

                By the same argument, Tekumel without the culture, 32 methods of
                saying you or whatever and the interactions between clan, lineage,
                profession and religion certainly wouldn't be Tekumel.

                >IMHO Tekumel without the non-humans is NOT Tekumel.

                IMO Tekumel is the "culture" which, judging by the stories and
                whatnot I've been reading, actually have a pretty low penetration of
                non-humans.

                M.
                --
                "$%^& that, get in there and zap them!" - latest quote from the best
                superhero team in London.

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • David R. Crowell
                ... From: Matt To: Sent: Friday, March 02, 2001 8:10 AM Subject: Re: [tekumel] RE: Aliens ... hardcore
                Message 7 of 28 , Mar 2, 2001
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: Matt <pelorus@...>
                  To: <tekumel@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Friday, March 02, 2001 8:10 AM
                  Subject: Re: [tekumel] RE: Aliens


                  > >No personal flame intended , but.... Spoken like a true Old Guard
                  hardcore
                  > >Tekumel fan. I can think of lots of players who would imediately say
                  > >" I want to play one of those 8-legged barrel thingies because
                  > >they're kewl"
                  >
                  > A personal note: in a few games with aliens there were no guidelines
                  > for playing "aliens". One example was the FASA Star Trek RPG.
                  > Still...we wanted to do a game based on Battlecruiser Vengeance (a
                  > Klingon craft) and whataya know...no Klingon stuff. So we made it up.
                  > If the stats for an "average" Ahoggya are included with the briefest
                  > of NPC description, then people will have enough to play. Even the
                  > way Tirikelu does it is more than fine.

                  My point exactly.

                  >
                  > Are we panicing over nothing?
                  I hope so.
                  I was upset more by the attitude that some times comes accross on this list
                  that there is only one true Tekumel and therefor only one acceptable way to
                  play Tekumel.
                  >
                  > >A scenario based on the intricacies of shamtla would leave begining
                  players
                  > >feeling hopelessly lost. (Now you have to fully grasp the sublties of
                  this
                  > >alien culture and it's 40-odd second-person singular pronouns before you
                  can
                  > >play.) Religious intrigue might go over a bit better if you tone down the
                  > >religion and play up the intrigue.
                  >
                  > By the same argument, Tekumel without the culture, 32 methods of
                  > saying you or whatever and the interactions between clan, lineage,
                  > profession and religion certainly wouldn't be Tekumel.

                  True, I just don't want new players to feel they have to understand the
                  whole system in full before they can play.

                  >
                  > >IMHO Tekumel without the non-humans is NOT Tekumel.
                  >
                  > IMO Tekumel is the "culture" which, judging by the stories and
                  > whatnot I've been reading, actually have a pretty low penetration of
                  > non-humans.

                  Also true, but they are there. To leave them out entirely lessens Tekumel.

                  >
                  > M.
                  > --
                  > "$%^& that, get in there and zap them!" - latest quote from the best
                  > superhero team in London.
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                  > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  > tekumel-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Matt
                  Heloooo, Does anyone have something resembling art or pictures of what classic Tekumel HUMANS would look like. I m having a little trouble making some visual
                  Message 8 of 28 , Mar 2, 2001
                    Heloooo,

                    Does anyone have something resembling art or pictures of what
                    "classic" Tekumel HUMANS would look like. I'm having a little trouble
                    making some visual connections.

                    Example: how different are the Livyáni to the Tsolyáni?

                    I bring this up because I'm reading Tirikelu at the moment. It says:

                    Undoubtedly there are some Tsolyáni noblemen who are aroused by the
                    narrow eyes and plump saffron flesh of their Livyáni slavegirls.

                    So I'm thinking: Tsolyáni seem to me to look a little Arabic and
                    Livyáni would seem to be more oriental, perhaos Malay.

                    Then I read this.

                    According to tekumel.com

                    Tsolyáni males average 1.68m in height, and are generally of
                    slender-wiry or medium builds. Complexions range from coppery brown
                    to a golden tan; noses are aquiline or straight; hair is fine and
                    straight, always a glossy black; and there is relatively little body
                    hair. Muscular, square-jawed and hawk-featured is the Tsolyani male
                    preference. Women are 1.57m in height on average with rather
                    voluptuous figures; the common standard of female beauty is Tanulé,
                    one of the Aspects of Avánthe, who is depicted as a slim girl with
                    long black hair, triangular and piquant features, a retrousse nose
                    and wide cheekbones.


                    The Livyáni are tall and graceful: men average 1.70m inheight and
                    women 1.63m. They are often of a boyishly slender build,
                    dolichocephalic, with straight or retrousse noses, wavy black or dark
                    brown hair, a golden copper complexion, and little body hair. Livyáni
                    females are frequently high-breasted and narrow-hipped, and tend to
                    remain in seclusion, only emerging masked in curious disguises
                    representing beasts, demons and gods. Both men and women tattoo their
                    faces with intricately tiny designs taken from their mythology.


                    Which has me more than a little confused.

                    Does anyone have any ideas - I'm not looking for cheesecake art or
                    depictions worthy of the secret chambers of Hriháyal...but just
                    something like a guideline.

                    Hmm....and more info on what GOO are doing....
                    --
                    Remember: Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Calithena@juno.com
                    ... This seems too easy to me. With the webbooks now available there s no reason that they can t pass exams in Livyani, Engsvanyali, and Yan Koryani as well.
                    Message 9 of 28 , Mar 2, 2001
                      > Perhaps to insure the continued purity of Tekumel Joe's game should
                      >only be made available to those who can pass a 5 Empires citizenship
                      >exam in Tsolyanu, with final acceptance being based on their
                      >producing an original work of research judged worthy of addittion to
                      >the canon, and succesfully debating Professor Barker and other
                      >learned worthies on obscure points of obscure religious and/or legal
                      >doctrine.

                      This seems too easy to me. With the webbooks now available there's no
                      reason that they can't pass exams in Livyani, Engsvanyali, and Yan
                      Koryani as well. Further, it seems to me that by context learning
                      they should be able to do a little in Mu'ugalavyani and Salarvyani as
                      well. And if they wish to play magic-users, they should pass yet a
                      sixth exam in Sunuz. It's only fair. Along with the research, an
                      original poem in at least two of the native tongues should be
                      submitted as well; we don't want mere scholars without substantial
                      creative ability playing.

                      I also was confused by the conflicting descriptions of the Livyani in
                      Swords and Glory. I prefer the second because I think Livyanu is the
                      coolest of the five empires. What's the definitive answer on this?
                    • Mark Pawelek
                      ... non taken but.. ... Which I am not. ... OK by me if the GM allows it. But including rules for playing them might encourage GMs and players to do just that.
                      Message 10 of 28 , Mar 2, 2001
                        > -----Original Message-----
                        > From: David R. Crowell [mailto:gpfarm-dave@...]
                        > Sent: 02 March 2001 12:13
                        > To: tekumel@yahoogroups.com
                        > Subject: Re: [tekumel] RE: Aliens
                        >
                        >
                        > No personal flame intended, but....

                        non taken but..

                        > Spoken like a true Old Guard hardcore Tekumel fan.

                        Which I am not.

                        > I can think of lots of players who would imediately say " I want to
                        > play one of those 8-legged barrel thingies because they're kewl".

                        OK by me if the GM allows it. But including rules for playing them might
                        encourage GMs and players to do just that.

                        > Humans only role playing in a FANTASY world that is just brimming with
                        exotic
                        > non-humans is likely to feel like a straight jacket to many players.

                        When I first gamed Dwarves and Elves seemed like a novelty but I quickly
                        realised that most players were playing them just like humans. Turning elves
                        into you and me takes the 'fantasy' out of frp.

                        > Should we ban the playing of Elves, Dwarves and their like from more
                        traditional
                        > fantasy games?

                        Maybe. I would. The best traditional fantasy (AD&D) game I ever played in
                        didn't allow non-human PCs. [there were no non-humans at all apart from
                        monsters, animals, demons, gods and undead] I certainly think that a player
                        who has never played in a humans only fantasy game is missing out.

                        If we take your argument to its logical conclusion we'll get players will
                        refuse to play Call of Cthulhu unless they can play a Mi-Go. Players will
                        refuse to play Elric/Stormbringer unless they're allowed to play a demon.

                        I know you're not advocating that but...

                        > What about the aliens in science fiction games? Even Phil Barker can
                        > not properly tell us what motivates the Ssu or the Pe Choi!

                        Fantasy is only fantasy when it has that element of mystery, of the unknown
                        and, perhaps, unknowable - that's what 'fantasy' means to me. Aliens are
                        'alien' because we don't understand their motives. To me, many of the alien
                        races in Sci-Fi aren't alien at all - they're just funny looking people who
                        behave exactly like my mate Fred Bloggs would. If that's the kind of game
                        people want then they can play it. But I will to discourage them if I can.
                        Even if I'm certain to lose the argument. Not because I'm a spoil-sport but
                        because it's more fun to play a human.
                      • Peter Huston
                        As much as I love Tekumel, there are contradictions in the various source materials. It can be frustrating, if you worry about it. Generally speaking, the
                        Message 11 of 28 , Mar 2, 2001
                          As much as I love Tekumel, there are contradictions in the various source
                          materials.

                          It can be frustrating, if you worry about it. Generally speaking, the newer
                          things from Barker are considered to be more "accurate."


                          ---------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Peter Huston
                          phuston@...

                          http://www.capital.net/~phuston/

                          "This writing is like cocaine and I'll be damned
                          if I can figure out why people keep at it."

                          ---Hunter S. Thompson






                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "Matt" <pelorus@...>
                          To: <tekumel@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Friday, March 02, 2001 8:25 AM
                          Subject: [tekumel] tekumel...art...


                          >
                          > Heloooo,
                          >
                          > Does anyone have something resembling art or pictures of what
                          > "classic" Tekumel HUMANS would look like. I'm having a little trouble
                          > making some visual connections.
                          >
                          > Example: how different are the Livyáni to the Tsolyáni?
                          >
                          > I bring this up because I'm reading Tirikelu at the moment. It says:
                          >
                          > Undoubtedly there are some Tsolyáni noblemen who are aroused by the
                          > narrow eyes and plump saffron flesh of their Livyáni slavegirls.
                          >
                          > So I'm thinking: Tsolyáni seem to me to look a little Arabic and
                          > Livyáni would seem to be more oriental, perhaos Malay.
                          >
                          > Then I read this.
                          >
                          > According to tekumel.com
                          >
                          > Tsolyáni males average 1.68m in height, and are generally of
                          > slender-wiry or medium builds. Complexions range from coppery brown
                          > to a golden tan; noses are aquiline or straight; hair is fine and
                          > straight, always a glossy black; and there is relatively little body
                          > hair. Muscular, square-jawed and hawk-featured is the Tsolyani male
                          > preference. Women are 1.57m in height on average with rather
                          > voluptuous figures; the common standard of female beauty is Tanulé,
                          > one of the Aspects of Avánthe, who is depicted as a slim girl with
                          > long black hair, triangular and piquant features, a retrousse nose
                          > and wide cheekbones.
                          >
                          >
                          > The Livyáni are tall and graceful: men average 1.70m inheight and
                          > women 1.63m. They are often of a boyishly slender build,
                          > dolichocephalic, with straight or retrousse noses, wavy black or dark
                          > brown hair, a golden copper complexion, and little body hair. Livyáni
                          > females are frequently high-breasted and narrow-hipped, and tend to
                          > remain in seclusion, only emerging masked in curious disguises
                          > representing beasts, demons and gods. Both men and women tattoo their
                          > faces with intricately tiny designs taken from their mythology.
                          >
                          >
                          > Which has me more than a little confused.
                          >
                          > Does anyone have any ideas - I'm not looking for cheesecake art or
                          > depictions worthy of the secret chambers of Hriháyal...but just
                          > something like a guideline.
                          >
                          > Hmm....and more info on what GOO are doing....
                          > --
                          > Remember: Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.
                          >
                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          >
                          >
                          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                          > tekumel-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                          >
                          >
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                          >
                          >
                          >
                        • Kenji Schwarz
                          ... Given the previous track records, I d have thought that *any* encouragement to game in *any* form of Tekumel would be a goal supported by members of the
                          Message 12 of 28 , Mar 2, 2001
                            At 6:30 PM +0000 3/2/01, Mark Pawelek wrote:
                            >
                            >> I can think of lots of players who would imediately say " I want to
                            >> play one of those 8-legged barrel thingies because they're kewl".
                            >
                            >OK by me if the GM allows it. But including rules for playing them might
                            >encourage GMs and players to do just that.

                            Given the previous track records, I'd have thought that *any*
                            encouragement to game in *any* form of Tekumel would be a goal
                            supported by members of the list. I think the more the core rules
                            allow and suggest is possible, the better. Expansions later won't
                            catch any more or better fish if the initial offering doesn't cast
                            the widest net possible. Consider further platitudes and mixed
                            metaphors as read.

                            As someone just pointed out, if players shouldn't run nonhuman PCs
                            without a special supplement, does this mean that the GM shouldn't
                            run nonhuman NPCs either? A human-only game world, then? Or is the
                            expectation that GMs will be Tekumel oldies, and the players will be
                            newbies?

                            The amount of information on even the "friendly" nonhuman races that
                            relates to how they live among humans and their cultural and
                            behavioral differences is frankly so tiny that I don't see why it
                            can't all be included in the basic game package. When you strip out
                            the redundancies and iterations of "they're really, really
                            mysterious", there's not much solid text that *we've* been getting
                            along with all these years.

                            Kenji
                          • Kenji Schwarz
                            ... Heretic! ;) It s just your limited mortal understanding that keeps you from understanding the simultaneous and total truth of *every* piece of Tekumel in
                            Message 13 of 28 , Mar 2, 2001
                              At 1:02 PM -0600 3/2/01, Peter Huston wrote:
                              >As much as I love Tekumel, there are contradictions in the various source
                              >materials.
                              >
                              >It can be frustrating, if you worry about it. Generally speaking, the newer
                              >things from Barker are considered to be more "accurate."

                              Heretic! ;) It's just your limited mortal understanding that keeps
                              you from understanding the simultaneous and total truth of *every*
                              piece of Tekumel in print! :)

                              Kenji
                            • Joseph M. Saul
                              ... In the specific case he s talking about, though, Tirikelu isn t official canon, so -- if you care -- you have to go with Swords & Glory. This isn t a case
                              Message 14 of 28 , Mar 2, 2001
                                On Fri, 2 Mar 2001, Peter Huston wrote:

                                > As much as I love Tekumel, there are contradictions in the various source
                                > materials.
                                >
                                > It can be frustrating, if you worry about it. Generally speaking, the newer
                                > things from Barker are considered to be more "accurate."

                                In the specific case he's talking about, though, Tirikelu isn't official
                                canon, so -- if you care -- you have to go with Swords & Glory. This isn't a
                                case where the canon contradicts itself.

                                -- Joe
                              • Joseph M. Saul
                                ... This discussion has gone on so long that I should probably clarify: as far as I m concerned, the question isn t Should we permit/encourage new players to
                                Message 15 of 28 , Mar 2, 2001
                                  On Fri, 2 Mar 2001, Kenji Schwarz wrote:

                                  > Given the previous track records, I'd have thought that *any*
                                  > encouragement to game in *any* form of Tekumel would be a goal supported
                                  > by members of the list. I think the more the core rules allow and suggest
                                  > is possible, the better. Expansions later won't catch any more or better
                                  > fish if the initial offering doesn't cast the widest net possible.

                                  This discussion has gone on so long that I should probably clarify: as far as
                                  I'm concerned, the question isn't "Should we permit/encourage new players to
                                  play aliens by including them in the book," it's "Given that the team writing
                                  the book can't do a completely detailed job of including aliens without way
                                  more pages than we have, should we include the bare minimum and assume players
                                  can do some extrapolation from there, or leave all of it for a supplement."

                                  I'm certain I speak for the entire design team (yes, I have help ;-) when I
                                  say that we want people to play as much Tekumel as possible and, while we want
                                  to give people enough information to "do it right" if they care about that, we
                                  believe that it's up to them what they do in Their Tekumel. We're not trying
                                  to restrict people's options. We just want to do our part right.

                                  -- Joe
                                • David R. Crowell
                                  ... From: Mark Pawelek To: Sent: Friday, March 02, 2001 1:30 PM Subject: RE: [tekumel] RE: Aliens ... elves
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Mar 2, 2001
                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                    From: Mark Pawelek <mark.pawelek@...>
                                    To: <tekumel@yahoogroups.com>
                                    Sent: Friday, March 02, 2001 1:30 PM
                                    Subject: RE: [tekumel] RE: Aliens


                                    > > -----Original Message-----
                                    > > From: David R. Crowell [mailto:gpfarm-dave@...]
                                    > > Sent: 02 March 2001 12:13
                                    > > To: tekumel@yahoogroups.com
                                    > > Subject: Re: [tekumel] RE: Aliens
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > No personal flame intended, but....
                                    >
                                    > non taken but..
                                    >
                                    > > Spoken like a true Old Guard hardcore Tekumel fan.
                                    >
                                    > Which I am not.
                                    >
                                    > > I can think of lots of players who would imediately say " I want to
                                    > > play one of those 8-legged barrel thingies because they're kewl".
                                    >
                                    > OK by me if the GM allows it. But including rules for playing them might
                                    > encourage GMs and players to do just that.
                                    >
                                    > > Humans only role playing in a FANTASY world that is just brimming with
                                    > exotic
                                    > > non-humans is likely to feel like a straight jacket to many players.
                                    >
                                    > When I first gamed Dwarves and Elves seemed like a novelty but I quickly
                                    > realised that most players were playing them just like humans. Turning
                                    elves
                                    > into you and me takes the 'fantasy' out of frp.

                                    I actually agree with you on this. I want more depth to fantasy races than
                                    they usually get. I have had a lot of fun playing non-stereotypical Elves.
                                    Delving deeper into what might motivate a creature who has a life span of
                                    several hundred years to take up adventuring etc.
                                    >
                                    > > Should we ban the playing of Elves, Dwarves and their like from more
                                    > traditional
                                    > > fantasy games?
                                    >
                                    > Maybe. I would. The best traditional fantasy (AD&D) game I ever played in
                                    > didn't allow non-human PCs. [there were no non-humans at all apart from
                                    > monsters, animals, demons, gods and undead] I certainly think that a
                                    player
                                    > who has never played in a humans only fantasy game is missing out.

                                    I often play human characters, and low powered humans at that for the
                                    challenge of having to rely on skills and native whit rather than funky
                                    abilities. Some great fantasy fiction has been set in all human worlds.
                                    >
                                    > If we take your argument to its logical conclusion we'll get players will
                                    > refuse to play Call of Cthulhu unless they can play a Mi-Go. Players will
                                    > refuse to play Elric/Stormbringer unless they're allowed to play a demon.
                                    >
                                    > I know you're not advocating that but...

                                    I've met a few of those. They are not fun to game with. Especially when they
                                    get bored of the "freak-of-the-week" and show up with a new and different,
                                    but always outrageous, character each week.
                                    >
                                    > > What about the aliens in science fiction games? Even Phil Barker can
                                    > > not properly tell us what motivates the Ssu or the Pe Choi!
                                    >
                                    > Fantasy is only fantasy when it has that element of mystery, of the
                                    unknown
                                    > and, perhaps, unknowable - that's what 'fantasy' means to me. Aliens are
                                    > 'alien' because we don't understand their motives. To me, many of the
                                    alien
                                    > races in Sci-Fi aren't alien at all - they're just funny looking people
                                    who
                                    > behave exactly like my mate Fred Bloggs would. If that's the kind of game
                                    > people want then they can play it. But I will to discourage them if I can.
                                    > Even if I'm certain to lose the argument. Not because I'm a spoil-sport
                                    but
                                    > because it's more fun to play a human.


                                    That is why don't really care for Star Treck RPGs that much, the aliens seem
                                    to be people in light makeup with one or two exagerated cultural or
                                    personality traits. Not aliens at all. I liked the aliens from Traveller
                                    because they weren't just humans in drag. Tekumel's non-humans seem to
                                    present the same feeling of difference. I wish we knew just a bit more about
                                    them so that they could be gamed in more depth. Joe, I look forward to the
                                    alien supplements. But I think that it is likely if I run a game that
                                    non-humans will be rare. I would like them to be memorable encounters, not
                                    freak show denizens.
                                    >

                                    In talking with one of my players tonight I was told that "kewl alien"
                                    characters and fighter-thief-mage stereotypes are sometimes fun to play at
                                    first just to get to know things and try out the shiny new toys while
                                    learning the ropes of a new game world. After that more developed characters
                                    become more fun.

                                    My biggest worry about Tekumel is how to present it in manageable chunks so
                                    my players do not feel overwhelmed by either the detail or the complexity.
                                    Most of them are new to "Culture Games", they are developing a liking for
                                    it. At least most of the group are, some refuse to move beyond the "kill it
                                    and take its treasure" paradigm. The latter group is unlikely to want to try
                                    Tekumel in any event so that problem may resolve itself.
                                    >
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                                    > tekumel-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                    >
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                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                  • Peter Huston
                                    ... I m so sorry. I just keep waiting for the Chick Comics version of the Guide to Tekumel so that I will then realize the complete and total truth. In the
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Mar 3, 2001
                                      > Heretic! ;) It's just your limited mortal understanding that keeps
                                      > you from understanding the simultaneous and total truth of *every*
                                      > piece of Tekumel in print! :)
                                      >
                                      > Kenji
                                      >

                                      I'm so sorry. I just keep waiting for the Chick Comics version of the Guide
                                      to Tekumel so that I will then realize the complete and total truth.

                                      In the meantime, I will atone for my sins by painting EPT figures.

                                      (Lest someone out there get the wrong idea, these are fairly small armies
                                      with about 4 legions of 16 to 30 figures each. If nothing else they should
                                      provide a nice core to add on to later. I almost have the Tsolyanu "core"
                                      finished, and am begining to see an end to the Yan Koryani force of the same
                                      size.)
                                    • kerf@earthlink.net
                                      Even though it may seem over simplistic and perhaps a bit childlike.. Let us not take the Fan out of Fantasy! Part of the whole joy of Tekumel is that ability
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Mar 3, 2001
                                        Even though it may seem over simplistic and perhaps a bit childlike..
                                        Let us not take the Fan out of Fantasy!
                                        Part of the whole joy of Tekumel is that ability to become lost in
                                        another world, another experience. Those who feel that "humans only"
                                        play is super are right! I have enjoyed many a fabulous adventure in
                                        the humans' only realm. But….. and this is a big but non-humans do
                                        play a large roll and should not be discounted at all. I expressed
                                        some of my views a week ago in another post and wont bore you by
                                        repeating them now. However, if the real question being ask is how
                                        much space to donate to the non- humans in the up coming publication,
                                        then I would say there needs to be more than what we have been given
                                        in the past, but it does not need to dominate a large amount of space.
                                        Enough to help a player establish the basics and the rest can be
                                        filled in by reading other sections throughout the publication and the
                                        many other publications on Tekumel.

                                        If the object is to gain more interested player then there needs to be
                                        something for everyone. We will always have the finer points to
                                        discuss, but not all who play Tekumel based games, and this was a
                                        shock to me as well, are not interested in some of the minutia that's
                                        around. Some are just out for a good time and I can say that there is
                                        plenty of that to be found in Tekumel.

                                        Still looking for players for the Emerald Sphere of Sighs.
                                        Check it out at 2d10.com. Thanks.
                                      • George Hammond
                                        ... Interested parties can go straight to the game s page at cheers, George
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Mar 3, 2001
                                          --On Sun, Mar 4, 2001 2:03 AM +0000 kerf@... wrote:

                                          > Still looking for players for the Emerald Sphere of Sighs.
                                          > Check it out at 2d10.com. Thanks.

                                          Interested parties can go straight to the game's page at
                                          <http://www.2d10.com/display_game.html?game_id=3>

                                          cheers,

                                          George
                                        • james fetzner
                                          ... And much fun it is, even if my hands are burned to a crisp right now. Ssrivan hiTlokhar
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Mar 3, 2001
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > --On Sun, Mar 4, 2001 2:03 AM +0000 kerf@... wrote:
                                            >
                                            > > Still looking for players for the Emerald Sphere of Sighs.
                                            > > Check it out at 2d10.com. Thanks.
                                            >
                                            > Interested parties can go straight to the game's page at
                                            > <http://www.2d10.com/display_game.html?game_id=3>
                                            >
                                            > cheers,
                                            >
                                            > George
                                            >
                                            And much fun it is, even if my hands are burned to a crisp right now.

                                            Ssrivan hiTlokhar

                                            > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                            > tekumel-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                            >
                                            >
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                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                          • Matt
                                            Some people would join in a second if not for their woefully pathetic knowledge of the subject matter. One of the reasons why a humans only game wouldn t
                                            Message 21 of 28 , Mar 4, 2001
                                              Some people would join in a second if not for their woefully pathetic
                                              knowledge of the subject matter.

                                              One of the reasons why a "humans only" game wouldn't work. Some of us
                                              need all the info. Try selling Tekumel to someone who has never actually
                                              SEEN an earlier book.

                                              Matt


                                              On Sunday, March 4, 2001, at 02:10 AM, George Hammond wrote:

                                              >
                                              >
                                              > --On Sun, Mar 4, 2001 2:03 AM +0000 kerf@... wrote:
                                              >
                                              > > Still looking for players for the Emerald Sphere of Sighs.
                                              > > Check it out at 2d10.com.  Thanks.
                                              >
                                              > Interested parties can go straight to the game's page at
                                              > <http://www.2d10.com/display_game.html?game_id=3>
                                            • Joseph M. Saul
                                              ... What is this, Survivor: Tekumel? -- Joe
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Mar 4, 2001
                                                On Sun, 4 Mar 2001, james fetzner wrote:

                                                > And much fun it is, even if my hands are burned to a crisp right now.

                                                What is this, Survivor: Tekumel?

                                                -- Joe
                                              • james fetzner
                                                ... Actually, Ssrivan had way too much fun playing with an object stored away in a nastily trapped secure storage area. He was havin so much fun untangling
                                                Message 23 of 28 , Mar 4, 2001
                                                  > On Sun, 4 Mar 2001, james fetzner wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > > And much fun it is, even if my hands are burned to a crisp right now.
                                                  >
                                                  > What is this, Survivor: Tekumel?
                                                  >
                                                  > -- Joe
                                                  >
                                                  Actually, Ssrivan had way too much fun playing with an object stored away in
                                                  a nastily trapped secure storage area. He was havin so much fun untangling
                                                  the traps that sealed the object in that he didn't notice it was trying to
                                                  destroy him another way (the aforementioned crisped hands). Concentration
                                                  can be a really bad thing at times :)

                                                  This incident also predates the Survivor thing by quite some time. He is
                                                  now lounging nicely on his litter as his companions try and figure out why
                                                  the Sakbe road guards aren't responding as they should. Rest is a good
                                                  thing, and it is likely to carry him through the next several weeks of
                                                  travel.

                                                  Jim
                                                • james fetzner
                                                  ... I know of no better way than to play to learn more about it :) Books are helpful too, but play enhances the right thought patterns. Join us--we are most
                                                  Message 24 of 28 , Mar 5, 2001
                                                    >
                                                    > Some people would join in a second if not for their woefully pathetic
                                                    > knowledge of the subject matter.

                                                    I know of no better way than to play to learn more about it :)
                                                    Books are helpful too, but play enhances the right thought patterns.

                                                    Join us--we are most tolerant of mistakes (and we help each other out when
                                                    we can, so as to make the game more interesting for all).

                                                    Ssrivan hiTlokhar
                                                    >
                                                    > One of the reasons why a "humans only" game wouldn't work. Some of us
                                                    > need all the info. Try selling Tekumel to someone who has never actually
                                                    > SEEN an earlier book.
                                                    >
                                                    > Matt
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > On Sunday, March 4, 2001, at 02:10 AM, George Hammond wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > > --On Sun, Mar 4, 2001 2:03 AM +0000 kerf@... wrote:
                                                    > >
                                                    > > > Still looking for players for the Emerald Sphere of Sighs.
                                                    > > > Check it out at 2d10.com. Thanks.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Interested parties can go straight to the game's page at
                                                    > > <http://www.2d10.com/display_game.html?game_id=3>
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                                    > tekumel-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                  • Peter Huston
                                                    ... Although I m not involved with this project for a new game, it is my understanding that the intended purpose IS to provide a complete game, with complete
                                                    Message 25 of 28 , Mar 5, 2001
                                                      > One of the reasons why a "humans only" game wouldn't work. Some of us
                                                      > need all the info. Try selling Tekumel to someone who has never actually
                                                      > SEEN an earlier book.
                                                      >
                                                      > Matt
                                                      >

                                                      Although I'm not involved with this project for a new game, it is my
                                                      understanding that the intended purpose IS to provide a complete game, with
                                                      complete background, in one box, that a new person with zero background can
                                                      pick up and take home and play relatively easily after reading the rules.

                                                      My understanding is that one of the purposes of creating a new game is to
                                                      correct and avoid mistakes that were made in the past where players could
                                                      not obtain a complete game or a complete background because necessary
                                                      materials were either not available in print (Gardasiyal) or never released
                                                      (Swords and Glory). Obviously, to put everything in one box is going to be a
                                                      tough job, and I can't imagine that all experienced EPT players everywhere
                                                      will agree completely with what was left in or left out of the package in
                                                      terms of background or rules, but I think we should understand that the
                                                      purpose of the project is to make all necessary material for a new judge,
                                                      and required rules, available with one purchase.

                                                      Some materials, i.e. the planes beyond, non-human PCs, detailed descriptions
                                                      of far away little visited countries, grammar and vocabulary guides for
                                                      foreign languages, are probably simply going to have to be left out
                                                      completely or carefully chosen or the end result will be that the publisher
                                                      will not wish to publish the result as it will be just too big.

                                                      The folks involved in the project have stated that their goal is to produce
                                                      a complete game with necessary background while keeping under the specified
                                                      page count that the publisher has stated. They've also stated that they hope
                                                      to please as many people as possible.

                                                      Sounds like we shouldn't be too critical when they ask a question as to what
                                                      they should or shouldn't include while staying within those guidelines.

                                                      Good luck guys! I can't wait to get my copy!
                                                    • Peter Huston
                                                      ... Peter Huston phuston@capital.net http://www.capital.net/~phuston/ This writing is like cocaine and I ll be damned if I can figure out why people keep at
                                                      Message 26 of 28 , Mar 6, 2001
                                                        ---------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        Peter Huston
                                                        phuston@...

                                                        http://www.capital.net/~phuston/

                                                        "This writing is like cocaine and I'll be damned
                                                        if I can figure out why people keep at it."

                                                        ---Hunter S. Thompson






                                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                                        From: "Peter Huston" <phuston@...>
                                                        To: <tekumel@yahoogroups.com>
                                                        Sent: Monday, March 05, 2001 12:44 PM
                                                        Subject: Re: [tekumel] re: Aliens


                                                        > > One of the reasons why a "humans only" game wouldn't work. Some of us
                                                        > > need all the info. Try selling Tekumel to someone who has never actually
                                                        > > SEEN an earlier book.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Matt
                                                        > >
                                                        >
                                                        > Although I'm not involved with this project for a new game, it is my
                                                        > understanding that the intended purpose IS to provide a complete game,
                                                        with
                                                        > complete background, in one box, that a new person with zero background
                                                        can
                                                        > pick up and take home and play relatively easily after reading the rules.
                                                        >
                                                        > My understanding is that one of the purposes of creating a new game is to
                                                        > correct and avoid mistakes that were made in the past where players could
                                                        > not obtain a complete game or a complete background because necessary
                                                        > materials were either not available in print (Gardasiyal) or never
                                                        released
                                                        > (Swords and Glory). Obviously, to put everything in one box is going to be
                                                        a
                                                        > tough job, and I can't imagine that all experienced EPT players everywhere
                                                        > will agree completely with what was left in or left out of the package in
                                                        > terms of background or rules, but I think we should understand that the
                                                        > purpose of the project is to make all necessary material for a new judge,
                                                        > and required rules, available with one purchase.
                                                        >
                                                        > Some materials, i.e. the planes beyond, non-human PCs, detailed
                                                        descriptions
                                                        > of far away little visited countries, grammar and vocabulary guides for
                                                        > foreign languages, are probably simply going to have to be left out
                                                        > completely or carefully chosen or the end result will be that the
                                                        publisher
                                                        > will not wish to publish the result as it will be just too big.
                                                        >
                                                        > The folks involved in the project have stated that their goal is to
                                                        produce
                                                        > a complete game with necessary background while keeping under the
                                                        specified
                                                        > page count that the publisher has stated. They've also stated that they
                                                        hope
                                                        > to please as many people as possible.
                                                        >
                                                        > Sounds like we shouldn't be too critical when they ask a question as to
                                                        what
                                                        > they should or shouldn't include while staying within those guidelines.
                                                        >
                                                        > Good luck guys! I can't wait to get my copy!
                                                        >
                                                      • bean_counter@blackcactus.co.uk
                                                        ... This is the one sentiment that appears to make sense in all the postings on this subject. I am simultaneously humbled and overjoyed at the thought of a new
                                                        Message 27 of 28 , Mar 6, 2001
                                                          > Good luck guys! I can't wait to get my copy!

                                                          This is the one sentiment that appears to make sense in all the
                                                          postings on this subject. I am simultaneously humbled and overjoyed
                                                          at the thought of a new game set.

                                                          This is a great undertaking. We all feel pain when anything of
                                                          Tekumel is left out of a boxed game. However, there are real
                                                          financial and practical pressures on the publisher when it comes to
                                                          amount of material that can be included. If non-humans are out, and
                                                          the rest of the game is excellent, Tekumel will still be much richer
                                                          and our meme will spread further.

                                                          If I had a comment to make, it would be this: "invite the buyer to
                                                          explore the web and find out about non-humans and all the other
                                                          richness of the tekumel community".

                                                          The publishers I deal with are much happier to deal with a series
                                                          that a one-off (it makes better use of marketing and distribution
                                                          costs). So, I might also have been tempted to include a little flier
                                                          that said "coming soon: Non-humans expansion pack. You've played the
                                                          people, now play the other people". Of course, someone will have to
                                                          produce it, in due course ...

                                                          As a computer games developer, I might have been tempted to have put
                                                          the whole thing, including a licenced copy of everything good from
                                                          the web on a CD-Rom insert in the back page and said "there wasn't
                                                          room to print all of this, but here is a master reference, complete
                                                          with hyperlinks." That costs about $1 to master, print and mount, so
                                                          would add about $2.50 to the street price.

                                                          Anyway, I already have the complete set of existing materials and
                                                          will review any work carefully to see:

                                                          1 - does it have /new/ material that enriches our games?
                                                          2 - are the mechanics or explanations /substantially better/ than
                                                          those I already have?
                                                          3 - would the material /help a newcomer/ to get into our games?

                                                          Any one "yes" would swing the deal for me.

                                                          Midori Ito
                                                          "Chaos is not an illusion"
                                                        • Brett Slocum
                                                          ... I think these are planned. The BESM book has 5 pages of GoO full-page ads for other products in it. I m sure they ll make at least one of those about
                                                          Message 28 of 28 , Mar 6, 2001
                                                            On 6 Mar 2001, at 11:23, bean_counter@... wrote:
                                                            > If I had a comment to make, it would be this: "invite the buyer to
                                                            > explore the web and find out about non-humans and all the other
                                                            > richness of the tekumel community".
                                                            >
                                                            > The publishers I deal with are much happier to deal with a series
                                                            > that a one-off (it makes better use of marketing and distribution
                                                            > costs). So, I might also have been tempted to include a little flier
                                                            > that said "coming soon: Non-humans expansion pack. You've played the
                                                            > people, now play the other people". Of course, someone will have to
                                                            > produce it, in due course ...

                                                            I think these are planned. The BESM book has 5 pages of GoO full-page ads
                                                            for other products in it. I'm sure they'll make at least one of those about
                                                            future Tekumel products, and perhaps one about tekumel.com (perhaps even
                                                            Peter's flashy ad from the back of Seal). I'd also like to see it mentioned in
                                                            the Foreward.

                                                            > As a computer games developer, I might have been tempted to have put
                                                            > the whole thing, including a licenced copy of everything good from
                                                            > the web on a CD-Rom insert in the back page and said "there wasn't
                                                            > room to print all of this, but here is a master reference, complete
                                                            > with hyperlinks." That costs about $1 to master, print and mount, so
                                                            > would add about $2.50 to the street price.

                                                            The D&D 3E PHB is the first major game book to include a CD-ROM glued
                                                            to the back cover (it's got the Character Generator). Perhaps this can happen
                                                            in the future, but the price point for this book couldn't handle +$2.50.

                                                            > Anyway, I already have the complete set of existing materials and
                                                            > will review any work carefully to see:
                                                            >
                                                            > 1 - does it have /new/ material that enriches our games?
                                                            > 2 - are the mechanics or explanations /substantially better/ than
                                                            > those I already have?
                                                            > 3 - would the material /help a newcomer/ to get into our games?
                                                            >
                                                            > Any one "yes" would swing the deal for me.

                                                            From what I've seen, I think at least two of those criteria are met (2 & 3).
                                                            The BESM rules are quite nifty in my mind, and I'm pretty picky. Of in-print
                                                            systems, there are only two that have made me contemplate using anything
                                                            but GURPS in the last 15 years: BESM and C.J. Carella's Witchcraft, which
                                                            uses the Unisystem I previously mentioned. I've seen the new manuscript
                                                            and I'm confident that it is better than any of the other Tekumel systems in
                                                            print (official systems: EPT, S&G or Gardasiyal/Adventures on Tekumel). So,
                                                            that's #2.

                                                            I think the amount of background material and the complete nature of the
                                                            game will attract new players. It will certainly be easier to keep new players
                                                            with an in-print system that's supported, and distributed by people who know
                                                            what they're doing (like last time -- the ISBN fiasco). And, if we get some
                                                            professional artwork, that would also really help. BTW, GOO also knows
                                                            about art direction and production values: BESM is one of the most gorgeous
                                                            game books I've ever seen. The format and art doesn't cut into the word
                                                            count, unlike so many White Wolf books. So, I'm confident that #3 will be
                                                            covered.

                                                            ---
                                                            Brett Slocum -- slocum@... -- ICQ #13032903
                                                            Home page: http://www.skypoint.com/~slocum/
                                                            "Ah'm yer pa, Luke." -- if James Earl Ray was the voice of Darth Vader
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