posted by Tolan Original SA post

Tékumel: Empire of the Petal Throne

Per request, this is a quick overview of Tékumel: Empire of the Petal Throne (EPT from here on out), which was released by Guardians of Order in 2005. It's the 4th iteration of official RPG rules for the Tékumel setting. The Wikipedia page on Tékumel is a reasonable introduction to the history of the setting and its rules. I'm going to summarize the various parts in this version, ask if you want details.

A caveat: I've never actually played any of the iterations of Tékumel. I'd heard about the setting since forever, starting with ads and articles in Dragon back in the day, but my groups have been solidly in the Western European end of the fantasy pool and unwilling to venture out. I picked up the GoO version when it came out since I happened to have the disponsable income and an interest in odd settings. I haven't actually looked through the book in detail for several years, so it's going to be new again to me as we go through it.

Chapter 1 - Introduction to Tékumel

This short section gives us the basic background on Tékumel. It's a terraformed world, made into a playground and resort for humans, thrown into a pocket dimension along with the rest of its solar system. Game present is ~50,000 years after this event; in the meantime there's been horrific wars, a resurgence of the native sentients and an emergence of "magic" due to the pocket dimension's properties.

This version of the game is concentrating on the Tsolyánu, which is one of the surviving Five Empires on Tékumel. There are occasional mentions that things might be different elsewhere but we generally aren't going to be provided that information.

The authors give us a quick rundown of the major differences between Tékumel and most (all?) RPG settings:

The chapter then wraps up with a quick "What is an RPG?" section that is honestly pretty thin; I think GoO realized they aren't really going to be pulling in a lot of new folks to the hobby with this one.