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Author Topic: High and Dry (may contain spoilers)
hemulen
Nurtsáhlu (Clan-Brother)
Posts: 39
Post High and Dry (may contain spoilers)
on: May 12, 2016, 12:27

I'm going to start running High & Dry next week, so reading through it I have a few questions!

- How has Dijaya survived for 28 days after being taken, and how is it that she just happens to be on the verge of death when the PCs turn up (other than plot reasons, obviously)? Would it be more (or less) interesting if she were already Shedra when they turned up?

- A Karakan acolyte can cast Dispel Universal (5A) to cure the sickness. The description of Shedra merely says that "a person slain by one of these will themselves become a Shedra unless a remove curse is applied within 2 combat rounds". The term "remove curse" is only used here AFAIK and I can't find it elsewhere in the pdf so I suspect that it's left over from EPT. The Tekumel Bestiary merely says "unless sorcery is applied immediately". But as it counts as a magical infection I think that's ok. But why didn't the Shedra just kill her immediately?

- Why is the grain in sacks outside? Wouldn't this let scavengers eat it or it would spoil in the sun? I would expect them to store it in a specially built granary, off the floor with overhangs to prevent rat equivalents climbing up.

- If Shrakan wants to be interred with Dijaya, would he take his other wives with him too? Could be a good dilemma for the players, if not for the PCs. I'm assuming that the priests of Sarku would approve of this course of action.

- Are Atlun-spiders known for eating grain? What would be a good reason for them to be where they are (other than providing an introductory fight, of course!)?

jeffdee
Administrator
Posts: 417
Post Re: High and Dry (may contain spoilers)
on: May 12, 2016, 15:51

1) Shedra are semi-intelligent, and therefor capable of a certain amount of independent thought. Also, we don't know the *precise* wording of the ancient instructions under which they are operating. In any case, if she has already turned then then it would deprive the PCs of a chance to cure her.

2) The fact that Shrakan had the grain left outside rather than storing it properly is in keeping with his general lack of concern for anything other than his fixation on finding Dijaya, and the resulting disfunctionality of the town

3) Love your idea of bringing up the fate of Shrakan's other wives. Though to the best of my knowledge, they would not have to to accompany him if they didn't want to. They're not slaves after all.

4) Atlun are not herbivores as far as we know (though there may be plant-eating sub-species). They are pests, however, and when nobody's going out to the fields to fight them back they can get out of control.

Hope that helps. And if not, feel free to adjust the adventure to suit your own needs 🙂
-Jeff

hemulen
Nurtsáhlu (Clan-Brother)
Posts: 39
Post Re: High and Dry (may contain spoilers)
on: May 12, 2016, 17:13

1/ Can Shedra speak? I did wonder if they are intelligent enough for that - might be tricky with desiccated tongues, etc. I was really trying to reconcile the fact that she's been gone for 28 days. Maybe the other-planar influence is stronger if the subject dies of its effect (over some weeks) rather then just being stabbed by a Shedra? Mind you they must have provided food and water for her...

I was thinking about her already being turned partly to explain the 28 day duration, and partly because it gives the party a dilemma about what to do with Shrakan - do they tell him or not, and they could take her back which would have triggered his desire for interment.

2/ Sure, I was thinking that someone would have stored it, but maybe he has forbidden it. I suspect a lot would be spoilt, so they may end up having to pay Shamtla anyway as a result.

3/ Yes, I was uncertain if they would have the choice or not. Presumably the clan would continue to look after them but their status would drop so they wouldn't be entirely happy about it.

4/ Ok, so they move into an area, and survive on small game, but presumably they do cause damage in the process and are quite aggressive.

hemulen
Nurtsáhlu (Clan-Brother)
Posts: 39
Post Re: High and Dry (may contain spoilers)
on: May 12, 2016, 17:27

BTW, I'm starting them a members of Ripened Sheaf, a stolid Medium clan. One player has expressed an interest in being a priest of Belkhanu, which could be interesting, given the opposition they might face with the Sarku priest and the Mayor.

Which reminds me(!), on the table on p 246 Sec 18.3 for Temple branch, the title "Priest" is Circle 1, and Circle 2-4 are "Junior Priest". Is that the right way round?

hemulen
Nurtsáhlu (Clan-Brother)
Posts: 39
Post Re: High and Dry (may contain spoilers)
on: May 12, 2016, 17:40

I'm a bit surprised by the temples in the compound being Karakan (War) and Sarku (Death). They seem a bit odd for an agricultural clan. I looked in Mitlanyal for a suitable Karakan aspect to be in the shrine but didn't really see an appropriate one - unless "Nagotai the Upholder" would work, covering leaders, strategy and protection against the dark, or "Niyounu of the Hand of Gold" - education of children. Sarku - perhaps Ha'otl of the Tattered Shroud (burials and disposal of corpses)?

I would almost have expected Avanthe (perhaps Quyela as aspect?) to be likely for such a clan, and perhaps Dlamelish (aspect Morova) for Change.

jeffdee
Administrator
Posts: 417
Post Re: High and Dry (may contain spoilers)
on: May 12, 2016, 23:52

All of your speculations are interesting, and completely valid for your Tekumel.

On the issue of the Karakan shrine... remember that not everything the Tsolyani do makes immediate, obvious sense. Some of their practices derive from ancient, half or wholly forgotten tradition, which made sense at the time.

To answer your one direct question... the sequence of priestly rank names come from Barker (Gardasiyal, perhaps?). I take it to imply that the *generic* term 'Priest' is less lofty than the specific rank of 'Junior' in the hierarchy.

-Jeff

hemulen
Nurtsáhlu (Clan-Brother)
Posts: 39
Post Re: High and Dry (may contain spoilers)
on: May 13, 2016, 13:11

Ok, all good stuff . Thanks!

I know what you mean about half or completely forgotten tradition, and that's fine, it adds a lot of atmosphere, but as a GM, I like to know the reasons behind things! Partly because it helps to have a cohesive view of what's going on, and partly to be able to react plausibly if PCs do something unexpected.

Will see how it goes!

GeorgeHamm-
ond
Nakomé (Clanless)
Posts: 12
Post Re: High and Dry (may contain spoilers)
on: August 25, 2016, 16:28

Quote from hemulen on May 12, 2016, 17:40
I'm a bit surprised by the temples in the compound being Karakan (War) and Sarku (Death). They seem a bit odd for an agricultural clan. I looked in Mitlanyal for a suitable Karakan aspect to be in the shrine but didn't really see an appropriate one - unless "Nagotai the Upholder" would work, covering leaders, strategy and protection against the dark, or "Niyounu of the Hand of Gold" - education of children. Sarku - perhaps Ha'otl of the Tattered Shroud (burials and disposal of corpses)?

Good question. I'm late to the party, but posting to share how I think about Tekumel. I would also expect a farming village to included Avanthe in its devotions, unless the clan was strongly Change-focused. In my Tekumel, most Tsolyani are pretty polytheistic, and to some extent will go to whichever god they need at the time. I think the details of Aspects reflect what you see in the mighty temples of the cities, and out in the countryside things get blurred and merged.
It could be that the two temples have subordinate shrines or idols for other gods of Change/Stability. So the Karakan temple would have Karakan as the dominant, but also include an altar/idol/niche/shrine to Avanthe (perhaps as his wife?). The same might, or might not be true for Sarku's temple having shrines for other Change deities. Sarku's focus on death and decay and worms might extend to include soil and fertility, and maybe he is worshiped as the mighty 5 headed worm. I think I've read mention of an agricultural take in Sarku somewhere, though maybe I'm imagining it. Another possibility is that there are shrines or altars to Avanthe, but they are out in the fields, or maybe along a nearby stream or pond.

BrianEye
Nakomé (Clanless)
Posts: 7
Post Re: High and Dry (may contain spoilers)
on: October 15, 2016, 22:49

I ran High and Dry today for a couple of my friends; experienced fans of Tekumel / EPT (it had been their first RPG, I believe, back in the day). I used The Petal Hack instead of Bethorm for rules, but the story ran very, very well.

I'm appreciative of the discussion of this thread for some ideas and troubleshooting. I moved the wife's abduction to within a week of the PCs arrival to better account for her still being live, and added another, earlier disappearance.

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