A Basic Role Playing (BRP) Tschai Planet of Adventure?

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Offline ORtrail

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A Basic Role Playing (BRP) Tschai Planet of Adventure?
« on: April 11, 2019, 03:27:46 PM »
I first read the Tschai books decades ago, and eagerly grabbed a copy of the GURPS setting book when it released back in 2003.  It always struck me as a cool setting for some RPG fun.  My biggest issue was how much I felt I needed to know about the world, the various alien races, the various human cultures, etc.  Plus I was never a big fan of the GURPS game system.  So run a Tschai campaign I'd need to:

     -Pick an RPG system and create a character sheet
     -Read through the source material and GURPS setting book, plus figure out the pronunciations of a number of things
     -Assembly a decent amount of art to help myself and the players to visualize the world and various beings in it, including the PCs
     -Outline some campaign notes and adventure ideas, which is probably the easiest part

I discovered, and purchased, the unabridged audio book version of the Tschai books about a week ago.  They've been around since 2015, but I stumbled upon them when searching online to see if there was another printed series with more illustrations.  I've owned both the Bluejay Books that came out in the 1980's but sadly only the first two books got printed before the publisher went under. 

BRP is an easy choice as my players know it well, and converting a character sheet was pretty easy for use with Fringeworthy, so why not one for Tschai?  The audio book at least gives me some possible options for pronunciation (the audio book reader says "Chai" for "Tschai" and I prefer the "shy" used in a promotional video on the offical website for Jack Vance's books.  Since this is fiction, picking a pronunciation and sticking to it is the way to go. 

I found a slightly battered second copy of the GURPS book (only $10), which I am planning to cut up to make decent scans with our printer, then assemble those into a PDF.  I love my physical copies, but a PDF version is always handy and there is no PDF version of the Tschai GURPS book as it was never released in that format. 

Artist Craig Henderson did a good job with the art for the GURPS book, so that along with some scans from the Bluejay books, and the Heromachine dot com website should be enough for my needs. 

I was hoping to have an adventure ready to run for Free RPG Day this year (June 15th) but Guardian Games in Portland is keeping all the game time slots to 2 hours or less, so I may shoot for RadCon 2020 instead, so I have plenty of time to ease the players into the world.




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Offline ORtrail

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Re: A Basic Role Playing (BRP) Tschai Planet of Adventure?
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2019, 03:56:31 PM »
An example of the artwork by Craig Henderson, the four main alien races (from the viewpoint of Adam Reith anyway).  The books also mention several other alien invaders having occupied Tschai in the distant past, so there are plenty of ruins and other aliens could be introduced as desired. 


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Offline ORtrail

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Re: A Basic Role Playing (BRP) Tschai Planet of Adventure?
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2019, 12:46:47 PM »
The Tschai character sheet, which still needs some skill names tweaked and maybe some basic equipment added (Pilgrim Pod and Sequins as the Tschai money for example).  I started an Adam Reith character sheet just because, but I'd want to run with all new PCs.  Maybe another Terran survivor from the Explorator IV who managed to dive into an escape pod moments before the starship got nuked?

Also, I've got other variations of this character sheet with the other main Tschai aliens.  Just for variety. 



« Last Edit: April 12, 2019, 12:49:15 PM by ORtrail »

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Offline Chvant

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Re: A Basic Role Playing (BRP) Tschai Planet of Adventure?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2019, 04:17:03 PM »
Tschai has been one of my favourite worlds since the early 80s.  I did a fairly full BRP/RQ3 write up of it, if you like I'll dig it out for you.  I'm angling to run the campaign across the Lok Lu Steppe heading for Pera, a year or so after Reith left.  The party will be guided by an outcast Dirdirman (Naturally) since the only other player to have read the books demanded it on pain of spoilers.

I agree with the artwork, but I felt the Chasch weren't entirely right- they needed 'complicated nasal processes' IIRC which they almost have- I'd have preferred them to have noses like a complex horseshoe bat or something similar.

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Offline wasahbe

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Re: A Basic Role Playing (BRP) Tschai Planet of Adventure?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2019, 12:26:18 AM »
Cool.  Yes.
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced. 
--Gehm's corollary to Clark's Third Law

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Offline ORtrail

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Re: A Basic Role Playing (BRP) Tschai Planet of Adventure?
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2019, 12:50:46 AM »
Tschai has been one of my favourite worlds since the early 80s.  I did a fairly full BRP/RQ3 write up of it, if you like I'll dig it out for you.  I'm angling to run the campaign across the Lok Lu Steppe heading for Pera, a year or so after Reith left.  The party will be guided by an outcast Dirdirman (Naturally) since the only other player to have read the books demanded it on pain of spoilers.

I agree with the artwork, but I felt the Chasch weren't entirely right- they needed 'complicated nasal processes' IIRC which they almost have- I'd have preferred them to have noses like a complex horseshoe bat or something similar.

That would be great; I'd love to see another take on BRP Tschai.  Just PM me. 

As for the look of the Chasch, it depends on the artist in question and how they interpret the written descriptions.  For example, in the French Tschai comics, they clearly had their own ideas, or maybe just decided to take a more Barsoom approach to the Chasch. 



Of course, I should label the Green Chasch from the Blue Chasch and also there are the Old Chasch.  You could use the idea that it's all variety within a species, but yeah, a horsebat nose would work really well on a Chasch.  For my taste, the Dirdir art in the GURPS book is the one I'm least happy with, while the Pnume and Wanek are great and the Chash (both blue and green) are okay. 

BTW, there was a nice article in The Spacegamer magazine #40 about adventuring on Tschai.  Another art take on all the aliens too, but only the Dirdir looked good to me. 

Oh, there was a thread a while back on RPG dot net (I think it was there) about using the A-Team as the basis for a campaign.  Of course I had to write up something with Tschai in mind.

“Years ago an elite unit of mercenaries was sent to prison by an alien court for a crime they didn't commit. These mercenaries promptly escaped into the wastelands of Kislovan. Today, still wanted by the Dirdir Overlords, they survive as soldiers for hire. If you have a problem... if no one else can help... and if you can find them... maybe you can hire... The First Unit.”


« Last Edit: October 15, 2019, 03:27:16 PM by ORtrail »