Red Post Collection: Tahm Kench Q&A

Posted on at 11:15 AM by Moobeat
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"Let us eat voraciously and overindulge!" - With our next champion just around the riverbend , several Rioters have have jumped on the boards to host a delicious Q&A on Tahm Kench!
Continue reading for heaping helping of discussion on The River King!

To start us off, here's an introduction to the Q&A by ADillionMostDirty:
"Hey guys,

We've gathered a bunch of Rioters from the Tahm Kench team for some Q&A about the River King! Whether you're interested in Tahm Kench's gameplay, story, or art, ask away and we'll be happy to answer!

Check out these links if you need to get up to speed:
I've sorted the Q&A responses into several similar sections:


When asked about what positions they designed Tahm Kench for, ZenonTheStoic noted:
My question is, when you conceived him, did you intend him to be a top or support? From the PBE gameplays it seems he can hold his own in top, yet he is tagged as a support. Not all tops were intended to get kills though, many just farm up and provide utility to their team later on, an interesting concept. ( is a perfect example). Was he designed as a top, and you figured he worked even better as a support?
He started out as a top laner in internal testing, but we decided to leave it open to the players where they want to take him. Still think he's going to be a support -- ally devour is too strong a mechanic to not use it from level 1 on the champion in your team who scales the hardest."
ZenonTheStoic continued:
What interesting design space do you feel he has in league of legends?
When we set out to make Tahm, we knew we wanted to make another tank. That was the codename for the slot before we knew anything else about him: "Tank". We looked at our tank roster and decided we had too many tanks that either provided massive aoe CC (Sejuani, Amumu etc) or tanks that picked one enemy from a distance and just stopped them from moving anywhere (Nautilus, Blitzcrank etc). We wanted to try something new, and this was what we came up with! 
You can read about our design process on Tahm in more detail in the design insights article linked to the top post.""

As for what inspired Tahm Kench's Devour ability, ZenonTheStoic  explained:
Why did you include the "Devour" thing in Tahm's kit and not in Gnar's? It would be awesome if a lil' squirrel could become a huge monster and eat you in an instant..
Fun fact: it was originally on Gnar's kit! I stole it from Gypsylord and Meddler! But more seriously: it was a dangling mechanic on a kit built around timing your transformation for a big team fight. We realized that if we wanted to do devour, we'd have to build a kit around it, and that's what we tried to do here."

ZenonTheStoic also commented on when the Q+W combo was added, sharing a "paper" version of the kit from October 2014:
 The tongue lasso combo was added in the very beginning, before we even had a playable champion. Here's what Devour looked like in the very first paper kit from October last year:

Back then it was the ult, and as you can see a whole bunch of things about it changed, but the cast this by itself to make your next Tongue Lash devour from a distance mechanic was always there. In the paper kit it worked on champions, yes, but once I had it in game it became immediately obviously that that wasn't a good idea."
WAAARGHbobo also commented on how long he's been working on Tahm Kench:
How long have you been working on tahm for?
Early December. (I think) A long time ago."
When asked how long Tahm Kench's passive stacks last, ZenonTheStoic noted:
"5 seconds if you applied it with an auto attack, 7 if you applied it with Q. "

As for scrapped or cancelled mechanics for Tahm KenchZenonTheStoic noted they had entertained the idea of allowing him to use Q/W to devour a champion from range but it was bonkers:
"Yeah, we considered QW working on champs for a hot second and then realize it's CUH-RAZY."
[When Tahm Kench is red it means an enemy is currently devoured.]

When asked if target inside Tahm Kench is susceptible to AoE effects, ZenonTheStoic  confirmed:
I wonder , If Tham has a Sunfire Cape and eats an enemy Tham with an Adc with 10hp in his mouth, does the Adc inside the second Tham gets any damage from the sunfire cape ?
Nope! As long as you're devoured by Tahm Kench, you're immune to AOE skills. Only dots that were already on you keep ticking."

As for allies using abilities after being Devoured by Tahm KenchZenonTheStoic noted:
Would Yasuo be able to use his ultimate if he were inside of Tahm? And if the Yasuo was an enemy could he ult the Tahm He was in?
You cannot use abilities inside Tahm (some exceptions apply, but they're generally things like blowing up a Gragas barrel after you've placed it)"

[When Tahm Kench is blue it means an ally is currently devoured.]

Next up we have a massive set of answers from ZenonTheStoic focusing on Tahm Kench's DEVOUR (W) and what happens to the things he eats under certain situations:

1) Can Tahm zhonyas while he has a champ in his mouth?

2) Can Tahm devour a enemy Tahm while he (enemy) has a champ in their mouth?
Yes and yes"
What happens if Tahm Kench swallows an ally and than goes in Zhonya's?
It just works ;)

The ally will still be able to leave whenever they want to, and if devour times out they'll be spat out, even if Tahm is still in stasis."
Question. If Tahm Swallows the enemy and is bonded with Tham and ults will the enemy stay in Tham's stomach or nah while in ult?
Yes, they will stay inside."
If Tahm swallows an ally, then gets hit by a Bard Q, does it count as hitting one target and slow Tahm or 2 and stun?
Nope! Units in Tahm's belly are untargetable and as such won't be hit by skillshots like Bard Q."
Ok, so what if, for example, Tahm eats enemy Graves. Graves' buddy Bard waits til Devour is about to time out, then ults Tahm. If Devour times out, is the damage to Graves prevented, or does Devour wait to time out til stasis is up, thus still doing damage?
The damage is avoided!"
What if Tahm Kench uses a Quicksilver Sash after eating an enemy? Does he get slowed or no?
He does. Cleanse and similar effects remove negative buffs that enemies put on you. The self-slow in the devour is a balancing measure so you cannot carry an enemy super-far away, so it's not affected by cleanse."
What if Kali ults Tahm while Tahm has friendly in him, and then Kali clicks a Thresh Lantern? And then same but with an enemy instead of a friendly? And what happens in a Tahm eats a Tahm who has someone in him?
Kalista can always ult a Tahm she has bound to. Kalista can also always click a Thresh lantern, although how she has bound to Tahm while there also being a Thresh in the game is a mystery to me.

As for Tahm eating another Tahm (and so on, in one for all mode), we're going full clown car."

To wrap up the devour section, ZenonTheStoic spat out a giant list of what happens when situations:
Swain with ult on.
Birds come out of his mouth.
Fiddlesticks with ult on.
Birds come out of his mouth.
Shyvana Dragon form with her W on.
Fire comes out of his mouth.
Zac while ulting.
Flubber comes out of his mouth.
Sion with his W on.
Shield explosion comes out of his mouth.
Wukong while ulting.
Monkey-weapon comes out of his mouth.
Singed with poison trail on.
Poison gas comes out of his mouth.
Maokai with his ult on.
Maelstrom comes out of his mouth.
Nasus and Renekton with their ults on.
Ancient space-Shurima fire comes out of his mouth. (sorry narrative team, they'll always be from space to me)
Any other champion who has a sunfire if Tahm has sunfire(will they stack?)
Sunfire comes out of his mouth. Multiple champions with sunfire stack as usual.
A champion ulted by Lulu.
Weird purple slow field comes out of his mouth.
Karthus with his E on.
Death energy comes out of his mouth.
Kennen with ult on.
Lightning comes out of his mouth.
Garen while spinning.
Spinny sword comes out of his mouth.
Jax while dodging.
Magic dodge energy comes out of his mouth.
Blitzcrank with his passive ult on.
Static electricity comes out of his mouth.
Amumu while crying.
Tears come out of his mouth. (Weird!)
Anivia while she has her ult on.
Anivia is coded in such a way that the ult turns off whenever she cannot cast (such as when she's devoured). Sorry friend!
Diana with her W on.
Moon stuff orbits his mouth.
Sejuani with her W on.
Northern Winds come out of his mouth.
Thresh who dropped a lantern.
Allies who click the lantern fly... toward his mouth.
Sona while she has an aura up.
Aura comes out of his mouth.
Phoenix Udyr(while pulsing)
Manbearpig fire comes out of his mouth.
Rumble with is Q on.
Fire comes out of his mouth, turns as he does (Tahm gets Flamespitter!)
Mordekaiser who W'd himself.
Cloud of METAL SHREDS comes out of his mouth. (Ouch)
And of course, any champ who was tethering somebody before being devoured, will the tether break upon being devoured?
Tether comes out of his mouth. 
Hope you spotted the pattern there!"

When asked about the best "clown car" situation he's run into with Tahm Kench's Devour, ZenonTheStoic  noted:
"In playtesting we had a Tahm top lane on a team with a Kalista/Alistar bot lane. Tahm walked into the river, ate Kalista who had ulted Alistar, then two enemies "found" him and descended upon the helpless catfishman... and found themselves outnumbered."

ZenonTheStoic  also answered a question on if Tahm Kench will swallow corpses of units that die by his W:
with regards to Tahm being a devourer... Like Cho'Gath, will he be able to fully consume yordles, as in killing them with W and leaving no corpse?
I personally feel that leaving corpses on the battlefield is an important learning tool so people understand what happened and who died where, so no: Tahm will always regurgitate bodies."
As for if enemies can hear Tahm Kench's R as he teleports, ZenonTheStoic  noted:
Does the enemy team hear Tahm's ultimate like Rek'sai's?
Yup, if they're within a screen or two of his arrival location."

ZenonTheStoic  also reminded that Tahm Kench can not use R while someone is inside his stomach.
What if Tahm Kench consumes an enemy with his w and then ults right after? Will he tp with the enemy or no?
Tahm is unable to ult while he has a passenger."
He continued, noting the things that stop an ally from using his R:
"You can't jump into his mouth if you're casting or channeling a spell, if you have CC on you that stops you from moving, or if you're in a teleport state (like TF ult).""

When asked about the passive portion of his R that adds damage to his attacks and abilities,  ZenonTheStoic clarified:
Thank you for this cool champion. I read that his damage will scale with his maximum life. Would you kindly specify that for us?
How much will it be exactly?
Thank you, Toonicetolive
Hi! Your basic attacks and damaging abilities gain 4/5/6% of your BONUS health as magic damage (by rank of your ult). There's a flat base damage of 20 as well just so this doesn't literally do nothing when you have no bonus health."

Background & Story

When asked about Tahm Kench's hunger and the bargain from The River King, WAAARGHbobo commented:
What exactly are the terms for his Faustian bargain? He gives you a ride, but cab fare is that he might inexplicably show up at a time that doesn't quite suit you and eat everything, also how is this "Letting him in" And why can't he just eat what he wants whenever he wants? 
He can eat whatever he wants, but his appetites are specific. The bargain enables him to get what he truly wants. "
WAAARGHbobo  continued:
In WHOLE of the game Tham swallow everything around. But still he cant eat (digest) it. He wants that? Or just League of Legends don't let him (Cho can :/)?
Well spotted. 
Tahm tastes and spits out everything in the game. He's a creature of very specific tastes."
When asked about the popular "Boy the world's one river" quote and where it originated from, ZenonTheStoic noted:
To WAAARGHBoBo, how did you come up with the iconic line for Tahm Kench
"Boy the world's one river, and I'm its king. Ain't no place I ain't been. Ain't no place I can't go again." ?
This was in one of his story sketches from very early on. I loved it so much I put it into a tooltip :)"
 WAAARGHbobo added:
"Thanks. I write a bunch of stuff for champs during the development process -- including lines and short stories to help the team align around a personality. This was just from one of those things."  
When asked what lead to the decision to have Tahm Kench have SO many unique voiceover interactions with other champions,  Riot Tokkelossie commented:
What about this guy made you want him to have interactions to so many champions.
Tahm is a legendary in his ability to smooth talk, so quips and taunts are a big part of his personality. Whether he's being silver tongued or just swallowing you whole, all his power lies in his big mouth ;)"
WAAARGHbobo added:
"He is a an orator and a con man. That he would alternate between cajoling and mocking you seemed appropriate."

When asked about his name and if Tahm Kench is a creature from the void, WAAARGHbobo noted:
"Tahm's not void. Void is something else. The Void creature's names are usually ancient Shuriman. "

When asked if the gambler in The River King is Twisted FateWAAARGHbobo  commented:
"And nope its not TF in the story. TF's story is about to move forward however."
As for if Tahm Kench is related to Twisted Fate,  WAAARGHbobo  continued:
Will Tahm Kench be related to Twisted Fate in anyway?
Not currently. Twisted Fate has a number of vices, but they're not currently ones Tahm is interested in."

When asked if there is a connection between Tahm Kench and Bilgewater, WAAARGHbobo noted:
Is there a strong connection between Tahm and Bilgewater? If so, is that something we'll hear more about during Burning Tides?
Tahm Kench is one of the many names given this creature. That form and name is unique to Bilgewater. (Notably Bilgewater has a very different view on vice than our other locales.)"
He continued:
So from what I understood Tahm is just the Gambler's own problems/demons? 
"The gambler is making a bargain (ultimately with himself)" "He's tied to the foibles of mankind-- and his current form is especially tied to vices of Bilgewater"
"Tahm Kench is the name commonly given this spirit in Bilgewater. The real question is what is the gambler's name." 
Basically, what ate the gifts, the guests, the house, was the Gambler's addiction to gambling?
Correct. You also win a cookie. 

WAAARGHbobo  also commented on what Kalista might think of Tahm Kench:
Speaking of which, does Kalista have a problem with him ? Considering that he kinda lies and she has a problem with liars and deceivers.
Worth noting Tahm, isn't a betrayer or liar. Arguably he creates a situation where they come into being. Evil begets evil."

As for Tahm Kench's legacy and his reference to Aatrox as "brother",  WAAARGHbobo commented:
Tahm Kench comes across as ancient, or superbly well-traveled at the least. He refers to most people as "child" in that old genial fashion, as if he is their elder. But not Aatrox, I noticed. Tahm refers to him as "brother", like they’re equals. Aatrox has left a deep cultural impact throughout Valoran, so I got to thinking. Has Tahm left a lasting legacy on Valoran's peoples?

It stands that if Tahm is anywhere near Aatrox's age, so much that Tahm considers him a peer, and that he leaves survivors (he did leave the handsome gambler alive in his teaser trailer), some culture would spring up from him. Come on, he resembles the Devil of American South legend in a lot of ways (e.g., a smooth-talking con-man). Granted, I doubt Tahm has influenced the fate of nations as Aatrox has, but he's bound to have some stories about him!

Invoke the spirit of Tahm Kench and satiate my hunger for lore!

P.S., if Tahm has indeed appeared throughout history to different cultures, has his attire changed at all with the times and to the audience? I read in his Champion Insight that he wears clothes to try and make himself seem less threatening to potential prey. One would think he hasn't had those coats of his forever, and if he's ever lurked the waterways of ancient Shurima, I doubt he'd wear such alien attire. However would he lure in prey then? He'd cater to his audience surely.
I would argue Tahm has his name carved into Runeterra's history exactly like Aatrox. BUT Tahm is too much of gentleman to make a fuss about it."

Art & Visuals 

When asked "why a catfish" for Tahm Kench's design, Skeeziks commented:
Why a catfish?
Hey, Pirette! Thanks for the question. I would say early on catfish kind of naturally worked their way into our visual explorations along with the giant salamander because they are two aquatic species known for having those big mouths. Thematically catfish worked too as they are known around the world as big fresh water river dwellers and to top it off those whiskers would be were a win as a personality indicator. So, while we try not to simply anthropomorphize an animal and call it a champion we definitely leaned on nature's design for catfish for Ol' Tahm because we felt it just worked so well on multiple levels."

Riot Tokkelossie  jumped in to share a sculpt of Tahm Kench's model:
"Hey errbody! To introduce myself, I am a 3D character artist for Champ team and was responsible for Tahm's in-game model and texture. In fact, I'll be putting some final spit and polish on the texture while I'm chatting with you all ;)

If you guys have questions specific to his in-game art, please throw them my way.

Edit: Uploaded some screenshots of the sculpt for you guys."
Riot Tokkelossie  continued:
What poly or tri count are you restricted to when modeling a character such as Tahm? What is your process or what part of modeling characters do you enjoy most?
The poly budgets will vary on the champ to some degree, but we really prefer to hit somewhere around 6k tris. With a big guy like Tahm, we had to push that a bit so he's sitting around 7.5 
I love all aspects! Sculpting is probably what I'm most comfortable with, but I've lately been enjoying texture painting a ton because there's so much I still need to learn about color, so it's always a challenge."

As for what inspired his coloring and textures, Riot Tokkelossie  shared:
I guess this could be kinda lore but not really but, what kind of skin type were you going for with Tahm? What I mean is, is his skin like a frog's, a fish's, or something else entirely?
I used a lot of different references when painting textures like this. For Tahm, I was looking at Giant Salamander, all kinds of tropical fish (for colors), and lots of catfish, especially Goonch which is where Skeeziks was pulling a lot of inspiration form.

As for Tahm Kench's attire,  WAAARGHbobo explained:
Tahm has the appearance of a Gentleman but in such a rugged way that he looks like a criminal from 17th century England, was this intentional to make him appear more malicious and "Evil" so that people wouldn't mistake him for a "Good guy"?
We intentionally put a lot of contradictions in Tahm's visuals and VO. He wears the garb of a metropolitan gentleman, but speaks with a country accent. His clothes are from fine materials but are tattered. He uses big words but speaks with a guttural tone. He even has two states in his animation. Hopefully all of this combines to remind you never to trust old Tahm."

When asked of Tahm Kench's looks were inspired by a used car sales man, Riot Tokkelossie shared:
Tahm's look and personality remind me a little of a sleazy used car salesman. Anyone else get that vibe?

I love him though, especially all the awesome new stuff on his kit! I'm definitely going to try him out.
We actually described him as a used car salesman internally to help the team understand his personality ;) Glad you're catchin' what we were puttin down"

As for his coat, Riot Tokkelossie  noted:
Where did Tahm Kench get his outfit especially one that fits him.
If you look closely, you'll notice he actually had to stitch two coats together to make em fit. We called him 'Two-Coats' internally for a while before his name was final. Incidentally, it also hints as his duplicitous nature"
As for how many fingers Tahm Kench has: Riot Tokkelossie  pointed out:
How many fingers does tahm kench have? How sharp are his claws?
6 meaty fingers, 3 on each hand....and SHARP! But they're just for show, he's much rather swallow you whole."
As for what inspired his release skin Master Chef Tahm Kench,  Kindlejack  explained:
Where did u get the idea of master chef tahm? Maybe from the fanart of Braum?
Since I started at Riot I have wanted to do cooking skins (Baker Pantheon where). I love cooking and it's something that brings people together the world over! I've been looking for a slot to do one and I suggest it whenever I can. Tahm Kench drew some inspiration from Quina Quen from FFIX and so I pitched the idea of an evil gluttonous chef, serving up delicious meals that you don't pay for with gold (and don't want to know what they're made from), or hey maybe he just cooks for himself in an endless cycle of gluttony?
We feel that it's important for a launch skin to remain true to the character of the new champion; helping to support the introduction instead of conflicting and confusing players. This is something we are still working on but I'm pretty happy with the way the Chef/Koi theme contrasts with the base design without confusing what Tahm Kench is all about. 
I haven't seen that Braum art before but it's really nice! My main inspirations for this skin was Quina Quen, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Adjudicator from Demons Souls, Iron Chef (Japan), Koi Fish and Mario Batali's shoes. I tried to blend elements of both Western and Easter costuming and make him look a little more demonic than straight fishy. Another fun fact is that while Alex and I were laughing evilly over the splash art we were made aware that Manatee are endangered and thus Urf is off the menu in Tahm's kitchen. Poro's however seem to be in abundance... 
Gamsu cooks for Dignitas 
Chef LuBu"

The Hat

When asked what Tahm Kench's hat is made out of, Riot Tokkelossie explained:
Just tell us all of the information you can about his hat.
It's the most vital of information, and we need it all now.
Well, it's constructed from only the finest of polygons, 500 of them to be precise, which is quite generous for a hat. Only the best for ol' TK. He does have a very refined palette and certain standards must be maintained. "
As for who gave him the hat, lonewingy commented:
Important Question: Who gave him a top hat, it's genius?
It started as fez hat... But we turned into a top hat for more cohesive look on his thematic.... Oh and that fez hat was my idea"

When asked if Tahm Kench is hiding hair under that hat, Kindlejack   commented:
Is Tahm Kentch hiding some fabulous hair under that hat? If not, will there be a skin for him that gives him a fabulous hairdo? Or better yet, a scenario where Definitely Not Tahm Kentch is bottom lane, devouring his next meal ;D
I like the idea of more fins and spines on his head than hair (unless we referenced Kappa, the demon not Josh DeSeno) but you just never know. Any sort of hair would probably need animation support though and that could be tricky as Tahm, with his huge expressive face, really pushes the animation limits for LoL already."

As for how such a fabulous hat remains on his head, Skeeziks explained:
Also how does his hat stay on?
Thanks, Tempest! As to the hat, the answer is either that his skin secretes a semi-viscous glue-like substance that allows the hat to remain fixed to his head .... or magic. Whichever."
WAAARGHbobo  also joked on how Tahm Kench came about owning such a fine hat:
We know that Tahm Kench got his coat by stitching two different coats together. But how did he find or obtain his hat? An item from someone he ate and decided he liked? Was it tossed into a river and he picked it up? Did he buy it on eBay? This is the most important question.
Ebay forgets the names of the damned.
seems legit."

Group Questions

Last up we have a lengthy series of group question and their respective answers!

ZenonTheStoic  #1:
How good a jungler is he vs legendary monsters?
Given the fact that he can't 'eat' them.
Who first came up with the first 'draft'?
How long ago was that?
How many iterations have he gone through?
Which problems did you run into?
I'm assuming there were some issues with actually 'eating' people, and the visuals, especially from the perspective of the player being eaten.
If your only participation when the team kill someone is you swallowing your teammate, will that grant you an assist?
I can see a great deal of 'trolls' running around eating your teammembers for kicks?
With Tahm, we decided not to explicitly design for a role (let's see how that goes!) As such, I have no strong feelings about how he performs in the jungle vs top lane vs support, but if you asked me to make a prediction I'm going to say he's going to be played mostly as a support. Eating your most important ally is just too powerful an ability to pass up, especially compared to what he brings from the jungle. I can see him working as a supportive jungler, like Nunu, but still, if you have a fragile, immobile marksman such as KogMaw or Draven, support is where Tahm will shine.

He doesn't have a lot of trouble with even the bigger monsters past level 6--the nature of his R passive combined with Cinderhulk means he does an awful lot of DPS if the enemy he's attacking just stands still, which is what monsters do.

The first draft of the fish tank drawing came from our concept artist Gem Lim. You can find out more in the insights article linked in the OP.

Chris Campbell posted a picture of a "fish jailer who eats enemies and keeps them in his belly" on the 25th of September last year, but the dude was tiny. Gem Lim posted this guy on the 2nd of October last year, and that was when we got started on making what would become Tahm.

We work in a highly iterative manner. I couldn't possibly count the number of iterations, but on average I updated his kit 3-4 times a week. You do the math!

We ran into so many problems. Toward the end one of the funnier ones were when we realized that because persistent effects continue ticking around allies (see X comes out of his mouth post elsewhere in this thread) we had to continue showing the allies' particles so you knew why you were being hit. The problem is that many parts of champions that look like they're part of the model are actually particles for various reasons, so things like Arclight Vel'Koz's light tentacles would show through Tahm's belly. My favourite was when we discovered that DJ Sona's hair was a particle, so when Tahm ate her, he inherited her hair. Stylish!

Finally, as for your troll concern: the more we move into a design space of doing interesting things together with your allies, the more we incur the cost of potential trolling. We're okay with that--if you want to ruin someone's experience, you can already do so by feeding on purpose. If you want to screw around with your friends in a winning game, I don't think we should hold that against you."

 ZenonTheStoic  #2
Few questions 
1. How are you doing the duration of existing status effects or abilities while in Tahms stomach. 
2. If someone is immune to CC (as olaf) does it still do damage when Tahm eats them? 
3. Can you quicksilver sash out of it and if you can, do you still take the damage? 
4. If you eat an ally then ulti can you bring 2 people with you or does it just take the one already in you? 
5. If you eat an enemy can you ulti and if so will you spit out the enemy before travelling or after?
Not affected in any way. Everything goes on as normal. 
Everything that breaks suppression breaks devour. 
You cannot ult with a unit already in your stomach. 
See above."

WAAARGHbobo  #1
First off, I'd like to thank you all for delivering another masterpiece of a champion. One of my favorite things about LOL's champion roster is how diverse it's become. Mister Kench is a great example of a well-rounded and interesting character who would never be offered as playable in any other number of games. Seeing as this may be my only chance to ask them, I have a few burning questions that have been confusing me for the past week on the narrative side of things. 
Is Tahm Kench a supernatural being? I ask this for couple reasons. First, it's been confirmed that Tahm is a one-of-a-kind creature (a demon) and not part of a larger species. Secondly, his short bio on the PBE suggests that Tahm literally feeds on despair. What is a demon in the context of Runeterra? 
Where did Tahm come from? Did he cross over from another realm, like the voidborn? Was he wildlife now transformed beyond recognition, similar to Gromp? Did he simply exist since the beginning of time? 
In the River King video, Tahm makes a bargain with the gambler then comes to collect years later. Why does Tahm even need to make a Faustian deal in the first place instead of crashing any party whenever he wants? Is he bound by certain rules? Is that what he meant by being "let in"? 
Within the story, how did Tahm acquire his name. Did he name himself or did someone else? 
What exactly is Tahm's diet? Obviously, eating is a very central thematic to his character. In the video, he is shown feeding on treasure and people, but his lore entry suggests he only does this to create misery, Does Tahm actually eat to nourish and survive, does he only eat to state a gluttonous desire, or are his mouth and gullet simply means to sadistic ends? 
Would you say Tahm is more of a fish or amphibian, equally both, or neither? 
Where did Tahm learn all them fancy talkin' words?!
Hey all, 
1) Yep. He is a demon. We are not using the judeo christian meaning. At this point all I can reveal is that it is an powerful, supernatural, being, with an agenda. Foundations will be revealing more on them in the future. 
2) His is tied to the foibles of mankind-- and his current form is especially tied to vices of Bilgewater. This is not to say he has feed on things before man-- only that he existed differently before we provided him with sustenance. 
3) Yes. Traditionally there are always rules with demons and devils. The gambler is making a bargain (ultimately with himself). It is the bargain that allows Tahm to create the human misery he feeds on. 
4) Tahm Kench is the name commonly given this spirit in Bilgewater. The real question is what is the gambler's name. 
5) yep. you pretty much got it.

6) This is an art question. We wanted him to be unique. Both in lore and visuals. We mixed a lot of things to brew him.

7) Ultimately Tahm educated himself about his prey."

WAAARGHbobo  #2:
A few things:

1) Looking at Kalilsta, she seems to go after betrayers. Would she consider going after Tahm (pronounced Tom or Tam or something?) seeing as he actively lies and decieves people or would he not be on her radar?

2) Also on the story, why not eat everyone, including the Gambler? Wouldn't that satisfy him more or does he eat in a figurative way as well, such as the Gambler's suffering?

3) If he were to encounter a Void champ, would he try to fool them or wise up and run the heck away before he is the one that's eaten?

4) To the story as well, did he need permission to come to those fancy tables he claimed he wasn't invited to? Does he have to be invited or given permission like a cross roads demon before he can just go and eat something?

5) He's the 'River King'. Why not in cooperate anything river related to Tahm, in gameplay, or is this just part of him as an overall character?
Both champs are more interested in the living. Worth noting, Tahm never betray's anyone. He keeps his bargains. Tahm probably would have loved to have offered Kalilsta a bargain before she died... but she didn't live long enough after she was betrayed.

PS (Tom but with a faint Boston accent.)

2-3 see previous posts

4 He is a crossroads demon. Demons, devils, Vampires, all are a related Jungian archetype. They require letting the evil inside you.

5 Like many things about Tahm think of a river metaphorically."

WAAARGHbobo #3
Hey guys! I'm gonna be that guy who posts all the questions about lore. Sorry, but I need more than "Tahm takes people places and than eats their families later." I'm more interested in his backstory, since that really defines who he is.

So, Tahm has been confirmed as a one-of-a-kind creature, but where does he come from? He obviously doesen't come from the spirit world, since he looks nothing like Bard, and does not have the motives of a Void creature. Is he a mutated creature, like Gromp? Or does he come from someplace new? I always thought that the Spirit World was like the Anti-Void, but maybe wherever Tahm comes from is the anti-Spirit world.

Why does Tahm feel the need to trick people? He could easily walk up to a village and eat everybody, since he obviously isin't threatened by most beings. He said that when he devoured the gambler's wife, it left him satisfied. Does he have some sort of physiological disorder? Supposedly he feeds on "despair", but i'm pretty sure anybody getting eaten by a giant monster will be in despair.

Has Tahm ever had any run-in's with any current champions (or future ones), or is he just not connected to the rest of the lore? I feel like Kalista would try to go after him, since he certainly betrays a lot of people.

Where did Tahm learn to talk?

Tahm says that "the world is one river, and i'm its king. Ain't no place i can't go, aint no place i cant go again." Is this true? I find it hard to believe that Tahm can go anywhere in Shurima. And how does that work anyways? Does he burrow through the ground? Not every lake, river, ocean, pool and oasis is connected, so either he burrows through the ground, or he teleports. Maybe there is a massive underground ocean that only he knows of?
If I can answer a question with a question. Who's despair is Tahm eating in the story? How is his bargain causing the maximum amount of sorrow? Yep he could show up in a town and just start eating people, but that wouldn't provide him with meal he wants. Also -- he's a picky eater. 
Tahm knows many of the champs-- both as fellows and adversaries. Certainly all of the Yordles have encountered him at various times.

You could say Tahm taught himself, but it was more evolutionary than that. He developed the ability as his prey did. 
There is an ocean of darkness in every man's soul."

WAAARGHbobo  #4:
Okay, a handfull of questions for you guys, after I say this is a champion i've been eagerly awaiting since his release. 
Was his release video released early on accident? 
I know he is a demon, but if so, there are many different demon lores, and in the video it explains him singing. So does that make him a siren? One who sings and calls to lure in the unwary? 
Obviously a lot of people have been speculating as to who the gambler is, but my question is, is the gambler apart of any other champion's lore, or is he a completely new face to LOL? Or is he maybe just a character meant specifically for Tahm's Entrance? 
If Twisted fate is eaten by Tahm while his ability is activated and he uses Gateway, can he escape from his mouth?
1 yep regional team f'd up. 
2 We look at a lot of Jungian archetypes when making champs and look for areas they overlap, with the assumption that is fertile ground for us to explore and find something resonate.
3 This gambler is a part of this form of this demon's story. Remembering that "Tahm Kench" is one of this demon's many names."

WAAARGHbobo #5

Getting this out of the way, but personally I LOVE and ADORE Tahm Kench. He's such a unique and flavorful character that I think really adds a lot to League, and Bilgewater specifically. But enough gushing, question time! 
1) Why is it that Tahm's kit only went with the "Hunger" aspect of his character? I personally would've liked to see his siren song or the idea of making a bargain incorporated into his kit. Is this because his kit was made before those aspects were finalized or was it just purposeful? 
2) With the new Bilgewater event, are we going to have some ray of hope for the island? Between the Shadow Isles and Kench wrecking everything that they hold dear, it seems that everyone there is up the creek without a paddle. Or anchor. Or Trident, and etc. 
3) Was Tahm inspired by the South's old view of the devil as a smooth talking con-man? He gives me that Ol'Scratch kinda vibe so I'm curious. 
4) And finally, WHY is his passive another 3 hit to proc a thing combo? It's getting a bit redudant especially considering it's come out on two champs in a row now.
1) We had several aspects of his personality, including siren. Many of those elements still exist (calling champs to him) But we wanted him to be as clear as possible- so they were deemphasized.
2) Things are going to get worse, much much worse. Then, perhaps, a savior will arrive. 
3) The crossroads devil was one of the archetypes we were looking at. Also Kappas, Siren, and Vodniks and plethora of other things. We don't look at one thing. We look for the connections between several overlapping things. Then we try and make something as unique and specific as possible. Hopefully, the regional teams have given him appropriately rural accents for his other languages."
Haven't had your fill? For more on Tahm Kench, check out these links:

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