Apr 26, 2011

Xeno-Sepoys at IX

You can see the fully-statted and ready to go Hyadean Xeno-Sepoy over at the IX blog. All-in-all, this was a fun experiment in resurrecting old designs left-over from our work on various Tekumel-related projects from long, long ago. It has likewise been fun to work on illustrations for The Drune's Humanspace Empires RPG.

But fiddling around with old sketches, re-assembling bits and pieces into fresh configurations has pretty much run its course for us now. The Drune asked us to do some new illustrations, of various classic Barkerian aliens and the like. So we did. And we are. Some of those will show up here, at this blog. Eventually.

Two Shen From Mars

Shen From Mars Number One:

Warrior Level 1
STR: 16
DEX: 10
CON: 13
INT: 7
PSY: 7
CHA: 12
HP: 15
Background Skills
Basic: Brawler
Tech: Smuggler
Warrior Skills: Primitive Weapon, Space Swordsman, Space Axeman, Energy Pistol, Energy Rifle, Space Armor, Projectile Pistol
Credits: 1800
Gear: Space Axe, Space Sword, Vibroblade, Space Armor (light), Air Tablets, Communicator, Utility Belt

Shen From Mars Number Two: 
Warrior Level 1
STR: 12
DEX: 12
CON: 12
INT: 10
PSY: 5
CHA: 12
HP: 14
Background Skills
Basic: Brawler, Driver, Gambler, Survivalist
Tech: Air Pilot, Mechanic, Comms Tech
Expert: Spacer, Astronomer, Jack
Warrior Skills" Primitive Weapon, Space Swordsman, Space Axeman, Energy Pistol, Energy Rifle, Space Armor, Projectile Pistol, Projectile Rifle, Grenades, Heavy Weapons
Credits: 2800
Gear: Space Axe, Space Sword, Space Armor (light), Air Tablets, Vibroblade, Communicator, Rope, Utility Belt,Waterskin
Share with Taliat: Heat Ray Rifle, Z-Ray Rifle

Taliat and Tabash are clone-shen bred on Mars as part of the private army of a petty Lordling who has since been dispossessed of his holdings due to the retaliation of a small consortium of his enemies who took it upon themselves to ruin him once and for all. Many of this Lord's clone-shen are now out of a job, and abandoned. since they belong to a foreign egg-group, they smell bad to the other clone-shen and cannot easily enter into another Lord's service. There was talk about possibly working towards avenging their fallen Lord, but since this was never specified in the contract of their service, and seeing as the Lord will no longer be able to pay them, nothing has come of this and indeed most of the clone-shen have all moved on to other things.

So now they salvage things, loot things, and act as freelancers and mercenaries operating from the seedy underbelly of Mars. If they ever accumulate enough wealth, perhaps they can set up a freehold amongst the asteroids and possibly start a nice freefall fern farm, centrifugal-trellis melon-ranch, or something like that.

They have found that they rather enjoy looting old abandoned estates, investigating ruins,and  exploring grotty old space hulks. No shen dies of natural causes, so they are less than finicky about what types of odd jobs they take on in order to pay the bills. They also enjoy Opera, long walks by the dry sea bed, and pickles. Lots of pickles.

Apr 21, 2011

Shen From Mars: Humanspace Empires PbP Game

Two Shen from Mars are in the process of selecting equipment, weapons, sarmak jerky and more weapons as they prepare to go Looting In Space with The Drune and his band of Space Adventurers.

Details on the two very different Humanspace PbP Games can be found at the IX Blog.

Both games are now full to over-flowing.

We'll be posting character sheets for the two Mars-Shen momentarily.

This looks like great good space-fun, with much lootings to be had all around.

How much do explosives cost?

Apr 7, 2011

A Domain-Game Summary: What Was Down In The Hole?

Shen go for a nice walk. Very sunny Spring dayshine. Much good smells. All our hunters very happy with all the good game running around waiting to be eaten. Much lumbers coming in, many buildings getting builded. Patrols out in the woods and along the swampy-bits but not much to see yet. Watch tower getting built. Make it much easier for monkeys to spot bad things at distance. Earthworks getting dug and piled and set-up righty-right by expert shen siege engineers. Smoke house going day and night and another one getting built closer to hunter's main campsite. Root cellars dug, cisterns getting dug, all sorts things getting dug. Much digging going on. Buy more shovels in Butrus.

We send back first load of trade goods. Oh-boy-dokey those go over well. Of course they do. We say they from Shenyu. Who want to call cranky egg-layer shen liar within her hearing? We send shens most likely get good dealings, not one get into fights so much. Need fighting ones here. Wherever 'here' actually be.

Much moneys made on first trip. We hire more experts. Get some more carts, hire wheel-wright. Get a book-keeper. Send encrypted messages back to Shenyu. Tell them we struggling toughly against much odds in wilderness. Need more troops, more engineers, cheap labor, lots of melon seeds and more settler-shens.

While merchant-shen go back to markets in Butrus, we two boss-shens and a small group of crossbow-shens go take looksee at small talus cave under 2 miles away from our encampment.

Nice walk.

Could make a road later, if cave worth anything. Might use for storage. There's a small river flowing into cave, maybe a grotto. We okay with that.

Shen explore cave. Find markings, bits of pretty-glass, digging around and we find a pair of nicey-nice decanters. One goes into our office. Sell the other one, or use as a gift-bribe if needed. Good lootings, not a lot, but a start.

Then we smell something.


Not Mister Sprinkles.

We find big cave-beasts with long-long teeth. Dumb big stinky cave-cats. Rotten things kill some shens. We kill them back. Skin them and make armor for chieftain of the hunters who come along with us to this place. Eat the meat for dinner. Stringy. At least the skulls look good over our gate.

We get engineers to examine cave. Too crumbly-unstable to make fortified, but might work for storage and a nice resource depot. We go explore other interesting area next time. Maybe we can capture some cave-beasts, make them guard-kittys for the camp? They might make nice pets for the childrens, once they learn no eat shens.

This good place. We make a good life here.

Mar 31, 2011

Moneyspace Empires: Now With 60% More Shen

Shen working much busily on long overdue and suspiciously missing portions of Monkeyspace Empires by The Drune. Why Shen no have psychic powers? Simple. Stupid monkeys completely misled by Shen Telepaths from Bureau of Business Accomodation and Annexations. Also most monkeys like to think that Shen no have psychic powers because most egg groups encountered on backwater worlds are warrior-shen, not thinkerer-shen. No let them out much-often. They make messes. Kind of messes that make Empress send out much-many hoo-biggy-huge starfortresses and largerer ships to smack things around until it all okay for Shen again. We no want to reduce your homeworld to radioactive slag. But if it is a good business move, then no worries, we'll get over it fairly soon. Oooooh look--coppper monies!

Shen Goes To Nowhere (Domain-Level Play-testings)

Shen expedition going very, very well. Explorations have been much encouraging. We now branching out from humble villa-front to much vast tracts of good, rich farmland, lovely swamps, and good trees. Even if the trees are infested with littler, paler monkey-things.

Shen building nice settlement-fortress just past the Nexus Point in the swamps outside Butrus. So far no one know what going on. Shen not stupid--we send ships out to Shenyu, bring in our trade goods as rare and exotic things from Shenyu. Most monkeys too frail to go very far inland. Always complaining it too hot. Constantly whining that it too dangerous. Food no good. Water too full of parasites. Lizard-things too big and frightful. Bah. Monkeys like cold too much, makes their brains worker slowerer. Shenyu very nice place. Monkeys just not strong enough to appreciate it.

Working on reports for boss-shen in Butrus. We building good defensible position, much fresh water, plenty game, loads of firewood. Many things to go explore. Much lootings is very likely. This is a good place. Shen like it here.

Even if it is a bit cool.

Shen Visits Grumpy Old Troll

Grumpy Old Troll making much nobleness and let Shen and others come over to their blog-thingy and go looting about the dusty cellar-spaces. Troll have many strange apparatus and devices of dead old monkeys lying around place. Dead bodies on slabs too. But Shen no judge monkeys. They do that without any help from Shens. We not get pesonal about dead things. They either food or somebody elses' problem.
Link for all Grumpy Old Troll Tekumel Episodes

Below are all Shen's Notes to Shen in order from recentest-most to firstest-forgotten. Shen not sure just what, but Shen sure to be missing something in all these notes, all these lookings around and attempted lootings. Grumpy Old Troll very clever. Shen still no find cats anywhere around this place. Stupid Jarpha lied to Shen about that. Again. They just want to keep all the cats to themselves. Greedy Jarpha.

Last Updated: April 13, 2011

Tekumel Eleven
Tinaliya gets up. Definitely undead tinaliya. Sloshes a bit. Smell not too bad. Yet. 
It get's up and starts to wander around talking to itself. 
Hookay. Shen follow the tinaliya. He no need to eat--that definitely not so good a sign. Undead have problems staying together, tend to rot fast in the hotter places. Shen no use undead. Make lousy slaves, no good to eat. Just bad business all around. 
Laboratory. Nice word. A place where monkeys do sorcery-type jiggery-pokery. Hah. Good. We look for magic-type lootings. Maybe tinaliya know about mechanism-things. We tell him what we know, what we've learned, what we've seen so far. Maybe his curdled brains will still work and he can help us sort things out more. 
We missing piece of puzzle. Solve that and we can go on to something more fun, more loot-able, maybe more edible too...

Tekumel Ten
Tinaliya wakes up. Kind of. Speaks shen. A good sign. Call shen 'master.' Not so good sign--bug-thing looking for promotion maybe? Not trust those types. Besides, shen no pay. No pay, no slave. Tinaliya-sect need to get that straight.
Good. Tina-buggy things only good if you roast them and then use lots of butter. We say untie the little bug. Maybe find something useful for it to do. Who this Johannes? Does he have anything good to eat with him? What is 'German'? It good to eat?
Tekumel Nine
Shen watch tinaliya. They sneaky. Not taste so good either. No gems come loose. Not understanding this place. Overlooking something? Mechanism-thing seem to make undead. Not so good. Taste bad, often make sick if eat them. Yick.

Two bodies now become undead. Are we undead? If not, how we end up different than last two? Big question.

Time to re-examine the space, sort out if there are other areas, entrances/exits, maybe find someone who knows more about this place. Not having much luck figuring out mechanisms. Maybe more clues. Maybe more better think to re-look at everyting from beginning.

If tinaliya not help, smash in it's brain so it can't hurt either.

Sloshy tiniliya not good bet for helpful companion. Most likely flesh-eating undead thing.

Maybe we need ot try another sequence on the mechanism-thing? Can we switch it to another setting on tinaliya before we need to smash in its brain-pan?

Tekumel Eight
Shen no like barbequed raisin-hearts. Yick.

Now have pack to carry. Weapon to hit with. The big cabochon-thing looks like a one-way trip to burning death, so not go that way. Does this thing have controls or levers or buttons that can be rearranged, maybe give it a new setting? There still plenty other stuff to throw into it to test things out.

This nest-hat; does it make my tail look fat, or does it do anything special when worn, other than encumber the head?

Maybe good idea to wake up another body. At least it'd be something to smack around if no good lootings are to be had.

Any gems that can be pried loose?

Tekumel Seven
Shen no eat dried-out old raisin-hearts. At least not right now. Might be better things to eat elsewhere. Not sure why a box of dirt is in this place. Not like funny green liquid-thing. It trying to be sneaky. Dumb liquid. It no outsmart shen.

Lid go away--no puff of smoke, no shrieking of damned souls, no lamentations of monkey-wimmins: maybe the lid not destroyed, just sent somewhere else.

Shen lob the box of dirt, then box of colory bird-nest thingys at big buzzing gem-thing.

If they disappear, not much mess. Still have box of raisin-hearts.

Jiggle box with green liquid in it. Shen wonder if it would make a good pet. Probably not. How to house-break slimy green liquid-thingy?


Shen lob box with green goo at big gem if other two boxes disappear. Might as well clear the shelf. Green liquid maybe alive. Might make a differance to buzzing gem.

If boxes all just go away, leae shen all alone, shen go look for fabric in other room to make a bundle. Then go try to pry out some gems. Maybe wake up another body. Especially if one is another shen. But no ahoggya. They stink. No wake one of those. Kill it maybe, but no wake it.

What else there around here for shen to eat or to be making the lootings with?

Tekumel Six
Shen open boxes. Any food? Weapons? Something usable to carry loot-things in? Wasn't there some fabric-stuff over where the metal bar was? Can shen rig-up some sort of loot-satchel? That'd be handy--then we cna start looking for gems to pry out of pedastels or maybe some of these other things, if they look suitably portable enough...

Tekumel Five
Shen like book. First try read book. If no nice pictures or it not in Shen-script or some language shen recognize, close it and carry it along. Books worth money. Especially books recovered from sorcerer places at great personal risk...

Shen look through chlen hide boxes, look for food, look for wayto carry good loot-things from this place. Weapons other than blunt bar of silver would be good things to find as well.

Maybe we go try to wake one more body?

Tekumel Four
Kill this thing. It no friend to shen. Bad monkey. Break his head with metal rod. Break it thoroughly and very professionally. Just like they taught us as hatchlings back in Shenyu.

Tekumel Three
Shen no like sound of this. Metal rod worth much Kaitars in monkey-city. Make good weapon for now. Rather have a heavy crossbow, but this work good enough, maybe.

This body waking up--it too quiet for any good thing to come of this. Shen prepare the rod to smack this body if it gets uppity or not like shen.

Can any of those gems get pried loose? Might be good to have a few gems handy, for later...

Tekumel Two
Shen like the warm air. No like the buzzing. Bad memories of time in Merchant Marine. Ugly bugs make stupid buzzing noise.

Shen look around. What is close-by in terms of weapons, food or loot?

Need to go check out one more pedastel, close to shen, that has other body on it. Pull off the draping-thing. Maybe wake them up. Even if tehy not shen, two fighters better than one, usually. Maybe they sorcerer and can send shen home. Hah! Not likely. But shen try.

Bits of wood might make a club, if it not all wormy and worthless. Better get club made first, then try wake next body...

Tekumel One
Shen no like dusty-musty place. Too cold. Stupid monkey sorcerer bring shen here for what? Get eaten-taken-disappeared by funny tentacle-things. Pah! Not much good wizard that one.

Shen look for food. Look for weapons. Shen want go home. Maybe kick dumb monkey if find him.

Feb 5, 2011

Shen go look around blog-o-sphere

Shen wake up on polished iron table. Stupid monkey sorcerer bring shen to this dusty, cold place. Stupid monkey gets eaten-taken-disappeared by gray-green tentacle things. Pah! Shen no ask to be in this place. Shen look around. Maybe shen find some weapons, gather up some good lootings. Where there are sorcerers, there are often objects worth acquiring and redistributing, by force if necessary...

The Grumpy Old Troll blog features a rather nicely done play-by-blog adventure set on Tekumel. We've given the shen permission to go visit, as long as he doesn't bring home any trolls, grumpy, old or otherwise...

Jan 13, 2011

Going Nowhere Fast

Going Nowhere Fast
So, we have the Expeditionary Force of the Glorious (Yet Necessarily Somewhat Discrete) Shenyu Empire out and about in Chris Kutalik's 'Nowhere' as part of the Hill Cantons' Domain-Level Play-test. We've sent-in our first set of orders for the first two-week turn and now the Shen are busily digging latrines, setting up defenses and investigating their surroundings. They look forward to meeting their neighbors and doing much good business dealings. Once we finish compiling the Summary Report that we are drafting for Mr. Berry for matters back in Butrus, we'll excerpt a few bits here to keep you all in the loop. Let's just say that there are a few rather interesting proposals on the proverbial table and we're looking forward to the results of our initial scouting, hunting and foraging/gathering forays. It will be nice to be able to import exotic wares from Shenyu without having to sail all that way...

Jan 5, 2011

Shen Branching Out

Our Most Noble & Virtuous Leader
Shen are by nature peace-loving and friendly and foreward-lookingest peoples on whole world. We know this to be true because we travel farther than anyone else. Shen ships are the best there is. But sometimes shen no use ships. There are nexus-points that lead to other places. Not long ago Shen's monkey-friends found nexus points. Priest-monkeys all take turns explaining nexus points to shen. They go slow. Use many new words. But shen learn. Get ideas.

Many new shens arriving in monkey-city Butrus. They not very old, still smell like inside of egg. But they shen, and they good fighters. They listen to Shen. Listen to ideas. It agreed amongst all shen present: the glory and strategic long-term safety of the territorial interests of the great empire of Shenyu are best served by our exploring these nexus points. But shen are not piddling amateurish ahoogya prone to molesting hmellu. No. Shen very smart. Shen do things right. Shen set up base camps out past these nexus points and send in professionals--trained soldiers, engineers, and cartographers. They locate suitable sites and begin the building of stockades and such things. One day these become fortresses overlooking thriving colonies.

One day. Some day. But for now, it is enough to send out parties to go exploring these new places beyond the Nexus Points. Some say that there are entire other worlds out there, worlds that still have stars like in the ancient songs of our egg-group. Shen like to see stars someday.

Welcome to the Domain of the Shen