Tuesday, March 12, 2013

BloodLust : Diving into RRtK

Lately I caught myself reading RRtK Blogs and reports. Caught myself because I didn't plan to. Finally, I decided to fight Evil with Evil and bought the pdf (here)

 The Concept

 Bloodlust, Tanaephis were designed long time ago and went out of print until recently. Imagined by Croc and largely distributed in France, it is using an unusual universe that did attract some interest in the English speaking world even though it was never translated happened, it's in the pure Sword and Sorcery genre and finally it was my first RPG.

I will be using some of the key element of the universe and try to reflect as much as possible the brutality of Tanaephis.


Long long time ago, the Gods envied the mortals and wished to experience the most extreme feelings: Violence, cruelty, blood, lust, power. They merged their spirit with the most desired object by mortals: Weapons. Since then, Weapon Bearers have played important role in the societies and History, sometimes on their own, most of the time by agreement with the Weapon and sometimes as an extension of the Weapon’s will.

Weapons have always chosen their Bearer. If they don’t like him/her, the bearer usually finds himself/herself killed by design of the Weapon. Weapon can’t be trusted and as time went, Weapon were lost in the wilderness, hidden in remote area or carried by men plotting in the darkness.

Another aspect that makes the world interesting and the weapon-bearers important is that there is no sorcery per se in the game. The powers of weapons and, to a lesser extent, spices, are the only form of magic available on Tanaephis. This confers an important (if somewhat strange) social function to weapon-bearers, who often end up as leaders, especially in less civilised areas. This has had a number of side effects, like the continuous warfare, but also a virtual non-existence of maritime or fluvial trade on Tanaephis: God Weapons fear water. While they are virtually indestructible, they can’t  bear the idea of being dropped at the bottom of a river or sea and spending eternity there lying in the mud.

Tanaephis also had magical races but they all faded as man proved stronger and better suited to accomplish the Weapon’s plans.

Meet the inhabitants

Nowadays, Tanaephis is in the middle of never-ending wars to control the continent. There are 9 distinct societies - Derigions: The Derigion people have ruled over most of the continent for nearly 1000 years, but their empire is now crumbling and reduced mostly to the capital city of Pole and its proximity. They are decadent and somewhat disconnected of the harsh reality outside of Pole.
- Vorozions: The Vorozions were once subject to the rule of the Derigion, but they are now the main external cause of the Derigion’s decline. They have conquered back their ancestral territories and are now in the process of conquering the rest of the world.
- Batranobans: The Batranobans are Berber like people who have also shrugged off the control of the empire over them, but with less violence than the Vorozions. They know the secret of the Spices that confer incredible powers to those who use them, and sell these goods for high prices everywhere.
- Piorads: Viking like people, they control most of the North, although they are constantly at odds with the Thunks. On the battlefield, they use Chagars, a fearsome species of carnivorous horses, which confers a great advantage to them since their civilization relies very much on warfare and pillaging.
- Thunks: A Mongol like people, they are cunning warriors who use small, fast horses and hit and run tactics. They also live mostly in the North and the Piorads are their sworn enemies.
- Gadhars: A Masai like jungle people, they are considered primitive by the rest of the world. They live in the South where fearsome dinosaurs live and are feared in their own territory but despised elsewhere.
- Sekekers: Although not a race per se, the Sekekers have their own customs and traditions. They are amazons who fled the society of men and live in hatred of males. They do not reproduce, obviously, but raid towns and villages to steal baby girls and raise them to despise men. They practice self-mutilation and can be of an incredible cruelty to men or women who follow men willingly.
- Hysnatons: Despite their lack of cultural identity, the Hysnatons are something of a race in the sense that they all share physical characteristics inherited from the ancient races. They are universally despised, and usually band together for protection.
- Alwegs: Alweg is more a term of exclusion than a social body. It is generic term that regroups chiefdom and groups of humans not ruled by the major kingdoms. Alweg also defines people who have been rejected or banished as well as slave.  
Tanaephis, Year 0 - Spring

Finally, another interesting characteristic of Tanaephis is the influence of celestial bodies. The planet on which Tanaephis is set circles around two suns (Fey and Raz) and is circled by three moons (Oephis, Taamish and Naenerg). Fey is the sun on whose cycles the years are determined. Raz has a much longer cycle (21 000 years) that affects civilizations in the long term through extreme climate changes. The cycles of the three moons are irregular and result in astrological months that are distinct from calendar months. These months (like the month of conquest
or the month of happiness) are named after their effect on people’s behavior.(Note : this will not be in play at the beginning)


  1. Very interesting setting. From your description of "almost 1000 years" for the decaying empire you could start with 986 and be done with it. The map is interesting, but the overlay of the color and the pennants obscures it a little. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  2. Good suggestion. I will bring the map soon with a summary of the first season.