Monday, May 31, 2021

The Excellent Travelling Volume #13

TETV #13

The Excellent Travelling Volume #13 is now available in PDF format via DriveThruRPG. The print version to follow, I understand.

Issue 13 contains the following articles:

  • Naqsái Sorcery
  • The Magic-User
  • Shiringgáyi: Queen of the Heavens and of Tékumel
  • Patrons
  • Poisons, Antidotes & Narcotics
  • Puppetmaster Clans
  • The Epic of Hrúgga
  • Hanging on the Ropes

Sunday, January 3, 2021

What happened to 2020?

Sadly, my Tekumel gaming hit a speed bump when I discovered that 54mm "scale" does not necessarily mean 54 actual millimeters, and that "54mm scale" manufacturers are just as wildly variable as the rest of the industry. That effectively derailed my efforts mid-summer, and I have yet to get things moving again.

Instead, I re-focused on larger 60mm figures, in a non-Tekumel, Hyboria-campaign-inspired effort, which can be found over on my Lohwand blog. HERE. 

I am considering 60mm Tekumel, but only in a vague sort of way...

Sunday, August 2, 2020

More 54mm Heroes!

54mm Irregular Miniatures

Moving forward slowly with my 54mm Tekumel dungeon party, I put a second order into Irregular Miniatures. Seen above, this is an eclectic assortment of periods chosen for their suitability of conversion to Tekumel-appropriate adventurers.

Starting with the top photo, in the center of the pic is my Noble character figure, the leader of the expedition. Actually a Samurai leader, I'm going to add some plumes to his helmet to give him that "Tekumel Vibe". To his left is my main magic support (a Chinese noble or general, IIRC) in the form of a lay wizard, temple as yet unknown. In the right of the picture are my missile support: a generic archer in back and two Ashigaru in front, one with bow and one with musket, which is going to be converted into a crossbow. To the right of the noble is his right-hand man, and bodyguard in the form of a Carolingian Guardsman. Currently he is the most heavily armoured of my figures. Nest to him is a generic slinger - more missile support (and general labour.) The last figure on the left is another gladiator; the bulk of the fighters in the party will only be medium or lightly armoured.

The lower photo shows more supporting cast: back left is a native bearer who will continue that role with a little different hairstyle when I've finished. I'll probably want a few more to act as bearers. In front of him is my second magic user, a priestess, probably of Avanthe, to provide healing support to the party. The rest of the front row consists of a Zulu man and boy, a Zulu woman with pot, and on the end two Zulu maidens about to get married. Not in my game: here they are probably going to end up as Aridani warriors as will the woman with the pot. The man is likely going to be the majordomo overseeing the servants, the boy being one of those. The rest of the back row is made up of two male and two female generic nudes, one of each pose Irregular sells. Not sure what I will end up doing with these, but my thinking is more light to medium combat support.

So, including the four figures from my last post, the party consists of:

A nobleman, the party leader;
His well armed and armoured bodyguard;
A lay priest to provide magic support, temple undetermined;
A priestess of Avanthe as back-up magic and healing support;
Six male warriors with light or medium armour and shields;
Four missile armed warriors: two bows, a crossbowman and an slinger;
Six aridani warriors, unarmoured but with shields;
An majordromo to oversee the servants;
Two servants for him to oversee, including the boy.

That's twenty three in total.

Obviously I have to build up the numbers of servants! There probably should be one bearer for each other party member, plus a few extras. And I need to consider torch and lantern bearers.

With twenty three members the party dwarfs the typical D&D party, but then I think Tekumel parties do tend to be larger; they are more like RW archaeological digs that a small band of murder hobos. At least, I think they are!

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Heroes for A Band of Joyous Heroes

L-to-R: Warrior Priest of Hru'u* adventurer with axe, 
adventurer with sword and shield, 
aridani adventurer with spear and shield.

*don't worry I haven't put on 
the purple yet, but I'll get there...

WIP pics of 54mm Irregular Miniatures I am converting and painting for use with A Band of Joyous Heroes.
Behind is a Ru'un, Servitor of the Ancients, supplied by Hydra Miniatures (a Warbot). In front are a Safari Good Luck Dragon mini as a Kuruku beast, a Tekumel Project Serqu spearman for scale, and a Reaper Bloodwolf, as a Hiya-hiyu. Also, in the last pic a Space Scorpion also from Irregular Miniatures.
I am painting eyes on the back of the Hru'u priest's helmet but my first attempt got a little messed up. Actually, I forgot one as well; I think there should be a third eye up and between the first two. That would be proper Tekumel. The idea with the eyes is the same as in India where they wear masks facing behind to ward off Tigers. Tigers always try to sneak up behind you when they attack, or so the thinking goes, so if they think you're watching them they are less likely to attack. 
The 54mm figures are from the Gladiator range, with a Roman Auxiliary as well. The original figure pics from the website are attached as well.

The sword, axe and spear blades are from various Reaper Bones chaos warriors with over-sized weapons that I sliced off with the Xacto and drilled out and/or glued in place with super glue. Those are all from figures I wouldn't actually use because they are too outlandish and in heavy plate armour so using them for bits works out perfectly.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

A Tropicana Dais

Tropicana orange juice lids, 
shown with 28mm Figures

Where we are Tropicana recently switched from cartons to bottles for their orange juice. It wasn't long before I noticed the cap - see above pics - and realized one would make a pretty nifty dais. Or perhaps a fancy column as shown in the second pic.

All that is needed is to craft up some sort of surface to cover the logo on the top and voilà, a dais!

Saturday, January 11, 2020

The Tower of the Arch-Mage: Exploring Ngála - Part 2

The Wizard of Zao,
One of my favourite novels...

Often when I visit the local dollar stores I am looking for stuff I can turn into other stuff. Equally often, however, I never get the time to actually execute those plans. Today was one of those rare instances!
I had spotted a Christmas decoration in the remnants of the Xmas section. It was a cone shaped wire thingie covered in gold glitter and a few coloured beads. I guess it is supposed to be a Christmas tree?
I decided it would make a nice frame to build a tower roof around so I bought it. Afterwards I decided I should have three but now all the Xmas stuff seems to be cleared away. Moral: buy it when you see it, don't dither.
So I had decided to make the roof of a tower. The tower of what? For what? For whom? I didn't know. I still don't know! 
For purposes of this blog post I am going with the working title: "The Tower of the Arch-Mage". 
Who is that, you ask? I don't know that either, but my first guess is the Wizard of Zao, that being a favourite Lin Carter book of mine. Not sure if he will have green skin though...
Actually, a thought: perhaps this is the guy with the walking palanquin from my last Ngála post (Part 1 - see previous).
So, some dollar store crafting: a Christmas decoration, some packing material from something I bought online, some duct tape and a few staples... 

1) First I covered the cone with duct tape.

2) I discovered some packing material that was flexible and easy to cut...and not
too thick. Suitable material for tiles?

2) I tried stapling on the first few strips, but quickly switched to duct tape.

3) Somewhat belatedly I realized that I should be cutting the strips into curves!
4) The last step is to cut into the edges of the strips to make the individual

Compared to a 28mm figure they are quite large! Which is why they have lasted so many millenia!

5) Finishing? A coat of Gesso, maybe?
Cost so far:
Christmas decoration: $1.50
Packing material: free (somebody sent it to me).
Duct Tape: $4 for the roll. I used about 3' maybe. Maybe 5% of the roll.
Staples: about a dozen (from "stock").
Time? a little over 2 hours, including time to take pictures and compose email.

A Note About Ngála

When I went to put Part 1 of this series up on other forums, such as the Lead Adventure Forum, or The Miniature Page, I realized that nobody would have any idea what I was rambling on about. Or, at least, many people wouldn't. So I wrote a bit of a blurb as a sort of intro. But then I realized that I should have included that in my original post. I never got around to editing that, so here is the blurb, belatedly, for your enlightenment and enjoyment. ;-)
An ancient city on Tékumel. I tried counting how old it is. The current empire, the Empire of the Petal Throne or Tsolyánu, is also known as the 2nd Imperium and is over 2000 years old; the empire previous to that was Éngsvan hla Gánga, "the Mighty and Powerful Empire" - the Empire of the Priest-Kings, which lasted 3000 years, give or take. Before that was the 1st Imperium, Nayári's Empire. That went on for 10,000 years after her death and Ngála was old even before Nayári founded her empire.
You can see it up at the left edge of this map...

Of course, after 15,000 plus years nothing could possibly be still extant above ground, right? Yes, well, sure, if one were talking about an ordinary city. But Ngála was no ordinary city, and now is no ordinary ruins. We know the Temple of Hriháyel, the Dancing Maiden of Temptation, uses at least parts of the site for summoning demons so it is not a great leap to think the city as a whole is special.
Furthermore, there are probably multiple iterations of the city, possibly some distance apart as the city developed historically. My "take" is that there is 
1) Ngála, the ruins where the Hriháyel priestesses carry out their rituals. This is on the Nyelmáyel river, the River of Dreams. At least in My Tekumel, it is! Your mileage may vary, as they say. I see it as a sort of Tékumel version of Deadwood, or Bartertown, or the Five Points area on NYC in the 1800's.
2) Then there is Pála Ngála, literally "Old Ngála", which sprawls further to the West and comprises many of the older incarnations of the city spread over a large area.
3) Finally there is "Greater Ngála" - I still need to look up this would be in Tsolyáni.  ;)   Greater Ngála exists beyond this realm, in the realm of sleep: the Dreamlands. Greater Ngála exists as it was at its height, or as some version of it at its height, or possibly all versions; the priesthoods are still debating these points.