Going Full Tekumel

I’ve been thinking a lot about rail travel of late. The scene I’m currently working on, for Saurids on the Grosvenor Express, is a foot pursuit through a working railyard, the one at Fort Alice, so there’s added complications. There’s an earlier episode to the adventure that takes place on the Express itself and in the Iron Tunnel. The name of the book references a train movie.

I asked a question on the FASA Forum some time ago about the level of detail people would like to see us reach. There was some discussion of rail switching, and I put out the idea of a diagram of a switch box, with all the levers across the floor in the front, the token machines and telegraph systems, all marked with reference numbers, and the legend on a second page. I had seen something like that, with the control panel of a Tibbets Tong Ball in a Traveler game many years ago, used with hilarious effect, as the players, whose characters had no skill with the craft, tried to figure out how to fly it in a very short amount of time. Doing the same perhaps with the footplate of a locomotive was also discussed. After some exchanges, we made a decision.

We’re going full Tekumel. There will be a constructed language for the Saurids, with a grammar and a pronunciation guide. There will be the same for the Samsut. We will delve into the history of the Great Smoke, and explore what’s haunting London. And there will be a Rails sourcebook.

Now, we don’t know when this is actually going to happen. Right now, the schedule is booked out for a while, and our cycle still isn’t as short as we want it. However. That said. There will be a sourcebook. I’m figuring 96 pages, including some full page illustrations as previously discussed. We’ll have maps of the temple to the railway, St Pancras Station, and the layout of the maintenance yards in Fort Alice. We’ll throw in some public domain photographs from the period so that you can see what it was actually like, and we’ll do some custom illos to show you how the game world is different. There will be maps of the various types of rail wagons, suitable for blowing up and using with minis.

Those of you who have discussed this with us on the forum, in the comments of the blog, and at conventions, thank you for your direction, and for leading us where we kind of wanted to go anyway. Your interest in the depth of the game world, your commitment to detail, and your investment in the long term development of a world that feels lived in, the scholarship required to support such a project and to appreciate it, is what will drive us for our near and medium term strategy. Long term has yet to be established.

Fasten your seat belts, folks. We’re firing up the steam turbines.

Tally Ho!

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