Tunse’al Setting Guide writing is incredibly close to completion. With a few things besides editing left on my pre-layout to do list (solidify the text for general info on magic and related sub-sections, make some notations on the bestiary, fine-tune the third and final bipedal fae, make some adjustments to give tips on using Tunse’al Setting Guide with whatever system, and double-check that we didn’t skip over anything we meant to put in there), the end really is nigh.
How can I say that, you might wonder. Well, because this is what we’ve already gotten done:
History of the Gods (Story of the Gods, Inclinations of the Gods: Aspects, Symbols, Powers, Duties, Sins, and Trappings)
Lands (All ten prominent areas, including for each: physical location, climate, elevation, soil type, vegetation, animal life, population, land use, commerce, government, and description)
Life in Tunse’al (Baarek’s Grandchildren, detailing each of the five main races: Geographical Origin, Physical Characteristics, Special Racial Features, Racial Disposition Toward Magic, Materials & Weapons, and Culture & Lore; plus Cultural Rituals outlining the most popular forms of rituals for a set of specific events as they would occur in the lands of the playable races)
And now, for a snippet of how the descriptions work for the races…
Skin Eater (Sa’ra’s Children Born of Insanity)
They are not mindless monsters, but rather a villainous race who feed on the skin, and sometimes flesh, of the other races. The Skin Eaters share the same creator god as the Kresh, and as such have a similar look.
While the Skin Eaters travel throughout Tunse’al, their home is The Dreamlands. The mostly flat land sits beyond The Headlands.
Resembling a grey-skinned, primitive version of the Kresh, Skin Eaters stand 5’5” to 6’. They are often bulkier than their cousins and have a ridge of bones along the top of their heads going down the center of their spines. Some have 1-3” spikes, rather than just a ridge. Their eyes don’t glow, but they do glint like reptiles’ eyes do. Their open mouths expose fangs as well as sharp teeth. Skin Eaters have males and females, neither of which have any hair.
However, there are some who look less fierce. When they are in hooded robes, with some effort, they can blend in with other races who often just presume they’re Kresh by their stature.
So you see, things are coming along. Thoroughly. And we hope you enjoy them!
Anyone familiar with the RPG industry knows that many publishers are loathe to display public production schedules. With that in mind, Obatron Productions asks that you take this schedule as a way to know what we are going to put out, not a promise as to when. ETA means Expected Time of Arrival. It’s when we expect the product to arrive for sale. It is not a promise that we won’t run into delays. With that said…here you go!
Tunse’al Setting Guide
World background and character creation for Tunse’al.
Caravan of Troubles
A Kresh elder has a vision that must be shared with the Gales on the opposite side of the continent. Time is of the essence as the Skin Eaters put a dangerous plot in motion.
The tribes of Tunse’al have much lore and superstition. When your party is implored to find a youth who failed his rite of passage, they’ll discover not all the elders’ tales are just parables.
Edge of Destruction
The most horrific fate a tribe can face is its destruction. The Ha’tu Tribe has been targeted and it is up to your party to put a stop to the efforts before it’s too late.
Journey through the Hall of Shadows
Vledis, the great valley, possesses qualities so disconcerting that even the Skin Eaters avoid it. You are part of a mission charged with not only crossing into Vledis, but with surviving a journey through the Hall of Shadows.
Ian H. from the U.K. won Roleplayers Chronicle‘s Prize Pack #4 at the conclusion of the month-long entry period that ended July 22, 2012. Tunse’al Setting Guide was part of the dozens of RPGs that comprised the package. Tunse’al is still several days away from being available for sale. The first download will go to Ian as part of the package.
Thanks to Roleplayers Chronicle for giving us the opportunity to participate in the debut indie RPG giveaway! We look forward to annual participation.
I took a break from writing today to do some marketing prep. I’ve heard some decent things about VistaPrint and have been getting what seems like a zillion offers from them. So, I finally took them up on one to try a huge number of free products with a few paid items and upgrades thrown in for good measure. I didn’t have complete flexibility that way, but I think the preliminary results look sharp. We’ll see when the physical items arrive in a couple of weeks! In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek of the Tunse’al poster.
A few days ago, we posted a segment about the mountain ranges collectively known as The Extremities. Today, we feature a portion describing one important region within one portion of those ranges, Baarek’s Knee.
None of the peoples of the Great Tribes inhabit the land. The only beings that do are the animals and the fae. No one knows how large those populations are.
Historically, it is believed that the First Peoples delved into the land, seeking its gleaming gems and metallic ores.
Once, before the people of today’s Tunse’al, the Gelids believe the First Peoples devised methods of extracting ore from the land to turn it into strong metals. They also believe that gems were added to the goods, often weapons or jewelry.
The Gelids theorize that the First Peoples had a tribal system similar to today’s Tunse’als. They have found evidence of tyee-style headdresses and markings on stone that resemble some of their own writing symbols.
Crime and Punishment
It is unclear what kind of crime or punishment there might have been when Baarek’s Knee was an inhabited region. Some unburied bodies indicate scores of First Peoples hand been bound by links of the metal forged there.
Baarek’s Knee is a large region covering about 250 miles in both directions. When people speak of it, they are usually referring to what is most often thought of as a very compact village carved into the knee of Baarek by the First Peoples. The Gelids believe they died for having carved into Baarek’s body. Tunse’als universally feel it is against their gods to hurt the mountain. People avoid the region and stay clear of the carved area if they realize they have unwittingly in Baarek’s Knee. It haunted by the spirits of the dead race.
Because the association with harming their sleeping god, metals and any gems requiring digging into the mountain are taboo. Weapons and other items are studied, but kept in the highest parts of The Spine where they are protected. Using taboo items is an offense in all five Great Tribes. It is grounds for banishment or even death.
Stay tuned for more previews as we push to finish up the last three geographical areas in need of detailing. –Vickey
With five distinct Greater Tribes and even more regions of land, we have characterized many details of Tunse’al to allow the GM the broadest range of information to create scenarios or describe the environment in featured supplements. Here’s an example of a listing for The Extremities, a set of mountain ranges:
Vegetation The plants are much like that of The Spine, but with berry bushes and creeping vines being more abundant. Fungus, ferns, vines, and moss enjoy the rich, shaded soil. There are fewer evergreen trees than deciduous ones. Some provide fruit or nuts. The a’kir tree bears a deceivingly similar fruit to the apple, both of which are found on the Footlands sides of Baarek’s legs. The tell-tale difference is the look of the core when cut. Where the apple looks as if it has a five-pointed star when cut in half width-wise, the a’kir fruit resembles no uniform shape and its seeds are a blackish purple instead of brownish black. Both come in various shades of red, yellow, and green. The a’kir is poisonous, and in severe cases can result in partial paralysis and death.
There are grasses and similar growths where there are some open spaces. Some plants yield fruits and vegetables during the summers and autumns such at the der’ist (juicy, round, brown, fist-size fruit with a sweet and sour taste), h’na (long, green pod that hangs from a tree with a bitter flavor), and myt’il (a leafy plant that can be eaten to relieve a cramped stomach or chewed to freshen breath).
As is the case in life more times than most of us probably would like, little bumps in the road can delay the journey you’re on. In our case, the journey to getting Tunse’al RPG launched has been delayed by more than two months. We’d planned to launch in April. Technically, we planned to launch in January, but a personal tragedy occurred the very next day from setting that date. So now, after redirecting to some more immediate, personal matters, we’re back on track!
Last night I ran another playtest, this time Part III of Caravan of Troubles, a Tunse’al supplement. An interesting thing when you don’t tell your friends that the setting they’ve been playing is your own creation? You get very candid feedback. And that’s one of the reasons we didn’t let them in on the deal immediately! I’ve run playtests with our gaming groups before. They are honest about their experiences. Sometimes brutally so. And when you can separate yourself from the feedback, that can be incredibly helpful. At the end of the night, one of our friends commented that he liked the system (I was running it in Savage Worlds, for which we hope to get a license) and he loved the setting. He thought it was really neat.
That did it! I couldn’t keep it a secret anymore. While one of our players already knew (hey, when you start mucking about with a binary star system with a planet orbiting the pair and having its own three-body satellite system, you take advantage of having friends who are literally astrophysicists!), the rest had been in the dark. So with the positive declrations came a surge of energy driving me on to get more done than I thought I could do in the number of hours available.
Check back in the next couple of days for our trailer with custom-created music, depictions of Tunse’al by very talented artists, and a nutshell of what the world of Tunse’al is. It’ll be ready. This time nothing’s going to stop me!
We really thought we would have had our first product out last week, but that just wasn’t to be. We want to get the launch right. We’re not willing to settle for “good enough.” We want the Tunse’al RPG debut to be something we are proud of and don’t say to folks, “Well, we were in a hurry, so we rushed it to get it out.” Instead, we’re opting for the fashionably late approach. At least that’s how we hope those few who know we planned to be ready in April will see it. Luckily, we were only doing a “soft opening” leading up to April.
As I write, I’m taking a brief break from what really is the last major developing in the master guide for Tunse’al. That’s the document we work from to drive all related products: the Tunse’al RPG Setting Guide and supplements, regardless of game system used to play. Once that is finalized, the next hurdle is in line. That would be laying out the actual setting guide. Following that, we’ve got the Pinnacle Entertainment Group licensing process. We hope to be able to sell two versions of Tunse’al: systemless, so you can play with any rules system you feel like converting it to, and Savage Worlds, one of the most popular non-Dungeons and Dragons, non-D20 systems out there.
There are some minor things we still need to do in after that to make the products available. We’re already set up for DriveThruRPG.net, but we’ve got others we want to use, too. Before we launch for sales, we plan to run a contest to award the setting guide as a contest prize and get it in the hands of some reviewers.
As we continue to work toward file completion to launch our systemless Tunse’al RPG setting and to submit a Savaged version to Pinnacle Entertainment Group for license consideration, we thought site visitors might enjoy a visual of the races of Tunse’al.