2009-10-13 To Tékumel Or Not

Some months ago I bought the original Empire of the Petal Throne (HOG reproduction) for $24.95 from Tita’s House of Games. I read through it, and had no group ready to start playing it – I’d probably just use Swords & Wizardry or Labyrinth Lord limiting character species to humans. So I left it in my bookshelf. Then I started following Planet Algol. That campaign uses a strange mix of Carcosa, Mutant Future, and Tékumel with heavily house-ruled AD&D 1st ed. rules, if I remember correctly.

So now I’m thinking about Tékumel again. And buying more background material for inspiration. It’s weird. I want to buy settings and all that, but at the same time I hardly read the books I buy if I’m not playing them. So I seem to be buying books because I’d like to play. This is dumb.

Anyway, I was browsing Tita’s House of Games pricelist :-( and reading the reviews making up the The Tekumel Special Collection. And I sent Carl Brodt an email, asking for a quote.

Tékumel: The Empire of the Petal Throne (Tri-Stat RPG by Guardians of Order) $39.95
Swords and Glory Vol. 1, Books 1-3 (reproduction of Gamescience World Sourcebook) $39.95
Book of Ebon Bindings $9.95
Flamesong (very well read) $5.95
Man of Gold (very well read) $3.95
Shipping $45.00
Total $144.95

Argh! Any comments? Stuff I don’t need?

Heh. I know the answer myself: I don’t need any of it!

But I want to play it… and that makes me want to buy it… This is hopeless!



Man of gold is entertaining, and probably gives a good view of how it feels like to play in the Barker campaign. I’d skip the GoO rules if I were you. They are overly complex and if you are buying the other stuff you will get the world info, will you not?

Andreas Davour 2009-10-13 14:31 UTC

Good point! Thanks.

AlexSchroeder 2009-10-13 14:50 UTC

I have tried playing in Tekumel a few times but without much success. It really is quite alien, though mostly in a good way. As you are not using the system, I would aim for sourcebooks over game books but I do not know the line well enough to recommend any specifically.

Sean Holland 2009-10-13 16:47 UTC

I guess I’m looking for source books to inspire a Planet Algol-like blend of weird. Getting Swords and Glory Vol. 1 seems to be my best bet based on a review I read: “As a reference work, the Sourcebook remains without peer. Even though S&G is a dead system, the Sourcebook remains current, because it contains no rules information whatsoever. As such, it is a useful adjunct to any Tekumel game—or for any fan of the world, whether they play or not.”

AlexSchroeder 2009-10-13 16:52 UTC

I really really dig the Empire of the Petal Throne reprint for the monsters (best dungeon monsters ever) and magic/technological items, easily usable with most old-school D&D incarnations pretty much as is. The bestiary is good for more monster info, illustrations, and you can calculate some sort of monster attack/damage info from it.

I haven’t really read anything aside from EOTPT, the Tekumel Bestiary and the Book of Eibon Bindigs, all three are great.

Blair 2009-10-13 23:04 UTC

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