The TeleGLOGela was a crime against humanity perpetrated by the OSR Discord. Twice.
Somewhere, in theory, there's something playable in it. In this post, we're going to look through the original TeleGLOGela, which you can read here, if you hate yourself.
We are not looking at the even worse second edition, which among other things has a set of rules for dentistry and also removed every J, L and C from the document. There is nothing worth taking from it, and it should be abandoned. However, at the end of this post will be screenshots of some especially surreal parts.
Remember that none of this (except some of it) is original to me. This is research, not authorship.
Names & Deeds
The TeleGLOGela's advancement system (or, at least one of them) is Names and Deeds, a player-driven variation of milestone experience. Every time a PC accomplishes something significant, they can choose to append a fitting Name to themselves. Each time they wish to append a Name, their accomplishment must be grander than the last.
With each new name, they can choose one of three bonuses: an HP increase or Mutation (if you pass a Blood check), a new class template (if you pass a Sweat check), or a new skill or language (if you pass a Tears check).
Deeds are where the player-driven component comes in: at any point, the player can swear to complete a Name-worthy task. If they succeed at this, they can choose two bonuses instead of one. If they fail, they lose "an ability" of their choice.
The book also recommends using Names as a type of currency - giving it away to demons or other things in exchange for power.
Sundering & Spellcasting
Along with the common Shields Shall Be Splintered rule, where a shield can be sacrificed to lower the damage of a physical attack by 1d12, you can sacrifice a Skill to add 1d12 to a Save against a mind-altering effect.
Spellcasting works on the same system. Once a spell is found (for they are all found, and never known), you cast it by choosing to sunder up to 4 Skills, gaining 1 MD for each skill removed. MD can also be gained from natural means such as ley line intersections, some specially-built architecture, and sacrifices.
Sacrifices must be done in a specific way. You must take two opposing things (fire/water, metal/plants, etc.) and give the lesser to the greater. Plunge your last torch into a pool of water, abandon your sword in the weeds. These sacrifices must be of something needed. You can't throw a sword away when you're carrying three more, because you didn't really need it.
Experience and Unlocking Classes
The TeleGLOGela also recommends that some classes must be unlocked during play. While its ideas of what unlocks classes are all surreal (destroying the moon, finding an orb, inventing a medical technique, and killing (N ^ 5) + 1 cops are all options), I've played some GLOG campaigns where this was in effect, and thought it worked very well.
Not only does it give your players something they will definitely want to do, it also lets you slowly ease players into weirder games: start off with a Fighter, Thief, and Wizard, let them unlock the Flying Psychic Eyeball Man.
The scattering of the Cleric class, and its replacement with a more accessible form of religious magic, has become a widespread idea over the last year, but it is rarely reinforced with mechanics. The TeleGLOGela not only has this reinforcement, but does it excellently.
It instructs vows to be given in 4 parts:
- the name of the god you are beseeching
- what you ask the god to do, right now
- what you vow to do in return, either immediately in the future
- your name
- Small things that could have plausibly happened without divine interferences (finding a lost set of keys)
- Medium things that are technically possible, but very unlikely (evading the notice of bandits on the road)
- Large things that aren't technically impossible, but would never happen (finding a weapon in a sack of potatoes, a locked door suddenly and randomly coming open)
- Impossibilities that only happen because of divine intervention (causing the blind to see, incinerating false idols, banishing demons).
Part 2: The Screenshots
|sounds about right|
|give me the Egg|
|dibs on making the Pi Bug class|