Frequently Asked Questions
For one reason or another, none of the Tékumel-based RPGs remained in print for long. TSR withdrew EPT because it was too expensive for its time. Gamescience only ever published the first 2 books of the 3-volume Swords & Glory game. TOME published a large range of books for the Gardasiyal RPG - right when Magic: the Gathering hit. Guardians of Order went out of business soon after publishing Tékumel: Empire of the Petal Throne.
Well, here at UNIgames we think the world needs a new Tékumel-based RPG that can both remain in print and get the kind of support it deserves, and we are committed to providing exactly that.Last updated:
In my experience, the only part of Tékumel that poses a serious challenge is the pronunciation of the character and creature names. Everything else is pretty straightforward, even if it's not standard medieval fantasy fare: the basic history, the lack of horses, the clans, the 'Noble Action'-based morality, are all pretty easy to grasp. There are a lot of little cultural details that you'll keep running across (the Tsolyáni don't 'knock', for example - they clap), but that's just flavor, and you can phase it in (ignore it) without much harm. And anyway, the chance to be immersed in an exotic culture isn't an obstacle, It's one of the big reasons why Tékumel is so cool!
One simple thing helps make the pronunciation easier to grasp, and it's this: the Tsolyani vowels always sound the same. Not like in English, where a 'e' can sound like 'he' or 'hello' depending on the context. The Tsolyani 'a' is always pronounced like in the English word 'far'. Their 'e' is always like the English 'they'. The 'i' is always like 'martini'. 'O' is always 'oh'. And 'u' is always like in 'brute'. Remember those sounds, and you're 90% of the way there!Last updated:
Our support for Béthorm: the Plane of Tékumel RPG will include rules expansions, adventures, and source material. In addition the two adventures listed in the Stretch Goals (see below), we're working on a Kurt Hills Gazetteer & Map Set similar to Prof. Barker's Northwest Frontier Gazetteer & Map Set. Our plan is the develop the Kurt Hills region further though an ongoing series of adventures, providing everything needed to run an ongoing campaign based in that region.Last updated:
Put simply, we don't control the rights to any of those previous games - and we hear that other teams are already working on Tékumel RPGs using various 'OGL' game systems. Luckily, I'd already put 3 years into the development of Béthorm - my conversion of the material in Prof. Barker's Swords & Glory and Gardásiyal games to our own Pocket Universe game system - for my own use, before it ever occurred to us to attempt to publish it. So for us, this is the obvious path forward.
Happily, the many years of Tékumel gaming development that have gone before are far from wasted. Literally dozens of volumes of information about the world of Tékumel - most of it entirely independent of any particular game system - are available to help immerse new or returning players and GMs in the fabulous world of Tékumel!Last updated:
First published in the year 2000, Pocket Universe is our attempt to create a set of tools that does all the heavy lifting that GMs need without getting bogged down in minutia. It's fast and simple, but not so simple as to gloss over anything truly important. Of course GMs need the flexibility to 'wing' things, and Pocket Universe doesn't get in the way. But when the GM relies on rules, they need those rules to reliably produce results that make sense. That's Pocket Universe.
Pocket Universe is a skill-based system, so every character is a completely unique combination of attributes, personal traits and skills.
The core attributes of any character are Physique, Deftness, Intellect, Willpower, and Psychic Ability. Attribute scores range from 8 to 12 (average 10) for typical humans, except for Psychic Ability which is 2 for non-psychics. Each attribute point is a big deal: a Pocket Universe character with an 11 Physique is significantly stronger than a character with only a 10.
'Personal Traits' include both advantages and disadvantages, ranging from things like ambidexterity to phobias. Taking disadvantages generates points which can be used to purchase advantages.
Skills are based on the character's core attributes. For example, a character who takes the 'Intimidation' skill begins with a score equal to their Willpower attribute.
There are only two kinds of die rolls in Pocket Universe:
* Roll 2d10 (for a result from 2 to 20) lower than or equal to a character's attribute or skill score to succeed at a task. Doubles that succeed indicate a critical success, while doubles that fail indicate a fumble.
* Roll 1d10. A result of 1 or 2 is 'low', 3 to 8 is 'medium', and 9 or 10 is 'high'. For example, a typical sword deals 3/5/7 damage when it hits, where 3 is 'low', 5 is 'average', and 7 is 'high. The 1d10 roll selects between those three possibilities.
In Pocket Universe, lighter 'finesse' weapons get a bonus to accuracy, while heavier weapons are less precise but do more damage. Characters armed with light weapons can use the accuracy bonus to pull off multiple attacks, called shots, and other tricky moves - making them just as effective as those swinging giant broadswords, but in a different way.
Pocket Universe also features an innovative system for 'contacts' - significant NPCs with whom the PCs have pre-established relationships. Each contact has a cost, which is higher the more influential they are. Players are allowed to pool their 'contact points' during character generation to pay for more powerful contacts - which simultaneously forges connections between the PCs at the start of the game through their shared contacts.Last updated:
* Non-Tsolyáni Character Creation. Béthorm focuses on adventures by Tsolyáni characters, within their homeland. Future expansions may add rules for human characters from other empires and minor nations.
* Non-Tsolyáni Creatures: In keeping with Béthorm's focus on adventures within Tsolyánu, creatures which are not found within its borders will not be included in the basic game. Again, expansions may add that content in future.
* Extensive World Information: There's a TON of source material available for Tékumel, and it's not our intention to duplicate it all. We'll explain everything that comes up during character generation, and the basics that GMs need to know in order to get started. Some of the previously published material is out of print, but the Tékumel Foundation is working on re-releasing it. They already have a bunch available in PDF right here: http://www.rpgnow.com/browse.php?manufacturers_id=57Last updated:
That is to cover the shipping cost of any physical add-ons - art prints, character drawings, etc. If you don't intend to order any add-ons that require shipping, then you should select the $20 TELEPATHIC MESSAGE backer level.Last updated:
You can add a hardback rulebook to a pledge for an original piece of art for a total pledge of $190.Last updated:
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