Welcome to Telrhin. A world setting for dice & paper rolepaying games. Home to my campaigns since 1984.

Site Blog

The Site Blog: thoughts and stray comments on developing an FRPG world as well as the odd story from the campaigns.

Follow @telrhin or grab the rss feed.

Dwarves and Elves: De-Elfing the Fantasy World

As we rebuilt Telrhin a few years back, the impulse was a full embrace of nostalgia. The whole panache of beloved geek fantasy from our gaming years. But there comes a time to de-elf the world.  We may have re-invented everything top to bottom in Telrhin Mark IV, but the old names were still there, ripe with stereotypes and the stolen ideas of others before us. The backstory to the "older" races was re-imagined, history re-thought, origin myths re-invented. But as soon as someone hears the world elf, that's all out the window.

Blog Type: 

The Adventure Log Lives!

Back in the day we put out a newzine for the campaigns called the Adventure Log. There were over 40 issues by the end. To honor our current campaign's second year we put out a Rahman Brothers Special Edition. The campaign centers around brothers from the Rahman clan. When someone dies, we roll up a new brother! It's almost like Clone Club.

cover: Adventure Log Special Edition

Blog Type: 

Tavern Tales

Tavern Tales is an appendice to the Field Guide that sums up popular stories and legends, the kind of things you'd hear and know about if you spent time in the Lowlands. Faierie tales, parables, myths and the tale of an adventurer or two. This is the latest addition:

Blog Type: 

Encyclopaedia Telrhinica

Victory at last! The tedious job of manually entering all of the old entries from the WordPerfect file to the new database is complete. Yes, I said WordPerfect. Started that file in the 80s. The encyclopedia has about 750 entries right now. Each of the old entries needed to be integrated into the new world 'vision' (read: totally rewritten/re-imagined) and all of the fields carefully selected for political, social and geographical assocations, various checkboxes checked...   glad that's over. Now I can search it, sort it and mine it to my heart's content. Excelsior!

Blog Type: 

A Bird's Eye View of the City of Pearl

(from the Field Guide to the Lowlands)


From overhead the City sits perched on an outcrop of rock, thrust into the Valek and shorn from the Lowlands by the wetlands between them. The broken bridge says it all, and from above looks like a finger pointed toward land. The city is a sea of whitewashed stone, dotted with colorful doors and shutters and the tiles and slates of the rooftops.

Blog Type: 

Things Here and There

The current campaign has made the leap to the Borderlands of Wallendahr following their expedition to the Mad Labyrinth of Zen the Mad. This takes the Rahman Brothers out of the Lowlands for the first time, which will help expand the world design and development.

The Encyclopaedia now has over 700 entries. And I've finally finished migrating the 'S' section from the old version.

And for those of you following the blog: I made the final table at Origins! Go Catan! I then managed to squander my lead through a series of catastrophically poor moves.

Blog Type: 


Since last post many things have developed. The new HQ for Telrhin has moved cities for one.


Playtesting the new spellcasting rules. It's coming along nicely. Magic as a 'gift' (both for mages but also 'true faith' for divine powers). This gift is class-independent, so the class of mage or priest is a form of specialist.

Die pool for casting, rules for 'subversion' and control tests, 'stealing vis' and other fun stuff. 


Blog Type: 

Field Guide to the Lowlands

At long last I've finished the new Field Guide to the Lowlands, a player's guide to the main campaign region of the world. The old Field Guides, written over the years, had covered the whole world. And covered it poorly. So as I got about developing the re-imagined 'mark iv' I thought I'd keep it focused on one area. This also lets me keep a steady perspective and point-of-view based on the culture of the Lowlands.

Blog Type: 

Stabmaster 8

Thought I'd tinker with rules again.  Not ambitious, mind you -- our in-house rules, affectionately called 'stabmaster', aren't meant to re-invent the wheel.  A happy blend of old-school nostalgia and story-focused simplicity. 

v7 was a cobbled re-imagining of the old broken house rules, band-aided and patched more than anything.  It did manage to simplify a little, which was a good start.  But it's time to re-work it all into something more congruous.  Well, as congruous as an AD&D inspired set of house rules can be. 

Blog Type: