About the Site

About the Site

The Tékumel FAQ

If you’re looking for an answer to a specific question about Tékumel, this is the right place to start.

Information about this document

This is an introduction to the fantasy world of Tékumel by M.A.R. Barker. It is aimed at people who know little about Tékumel, but want to know more.

The latest and best version is always available on the web at http://www.weirdrealm.com/tekumel/tek_faq.html. This version has been modified slightly for inclusion on this website (Administrivia removed and product listings consolidated on a separate page).

Brett Slocum has maintained the original FAQ since January 1994. If you have any suggestions for new FAQ questions, or if you discover any mistakes, or if you feel some additional info would help a FAQ question, or if you want to write up a FAQ question, feel free to suggest/correct/do it and send it to him (slocum@weirdrealm.com).

Last update: 02 January 2013

General

Professor Barker (1929 – 2012)
What is Tékumel?
What is Tékumel’s History?
Who is M.A.R. Barker?
What does ‘M.A.R.’ stand for?
What is the Thursday Night Group?
What is the Tekumel Foundation?

Game Products

What Tékumel products have been published?
Where can I get out of print materials?
What magazines have had Tékumel articles?
What Tékumel fanzines are available?
Where can I get Tékumel miniatures?
When will the Swords and Glory Referee’s Handbook be published?
I have $50 to spend. Which books should I buy?
Are any products available in electronic format (PDF)?
Did the Professor write Hordes of the Things, the miniatures rules?

The New Game

When was the new game published?
What happened to Guardians of Order?
What will happen to the new game without a publisher?

Online Resources

Is there a web page for Tékumel?
Is there a Tékumel mailing list?
What other online resources are available?

Miscellaneous

What Tékumel books have been published?
Do I have to use [insert rule system] to play a Tékumel game?
Are there any Tekumel game conventions?
How do you make chumetl?

General

Professor Barker (1929 – 2012)

I’m am very sad to announce that M.A.R. Barker died on March 16th, 2012 in home hospice at the age of 83. He is survived by his wife, Ambereen. He will be sorely missed.

What is Tékumel?

Tékumel is a fantasy world created by M.A.R. Barker and first published by TSR Hobbies in 1975. It was the first complete RPG setting published. Instead of the typical medieval fantasy setting based on European mythology, Tékumel is based on the mythologies of India, the Middle East, and Mezo-America. It features large political empires that have existed for millennia, similar to Ancient Rome or China, numerous non-human races, horrific creatures, active gods, powerful magic, intrigue inside of intrigue, rigid social strata, and ancient advanced technology.

What is Tékumel’s History?

Okay, a (not really) brief description of Tékumel: explorers from Human space discovered Tékumel about 60,000 years in the future. There was a terrible nuclear war on Earth around 2013, and the European nations and the U.S. and China were destroyed. South America, the Indian subcontinent, and the Middle East (for some reason) survived (no mention is made in the brief introduction of Africa) survived, and gradually rebuilt and became a world state of sorts, and humanity spread to the stars, using miraculously high technology (FTL ships—the ‘Three-Light Drive’, contra-gravity, beam weapons, super-dense alloys, androids, and power systems which poked holes in the continuum and drew near-limitless energy through from n-dimensional space). Tékumel was a large world, but had a light core and a low density. It was home to acidic native life forms, several of which were sentient and had even attained early space flight. Humans, and their alien allies, conquered the natives and terraformed the planet, making its ecosystem very earthlike and installing massive gravity engines that gave it an Earthlike day and year and 1.0G. Tékumel was situated on a major trade route, and became a mercantile pleasure world, which had to import metals and industrial goods for the very rich that lived there.

Then Something Bad™ happened.

Apparently, through unknown agency, Tékumel and its entire star system fell into a pocket dimension. Gravitic stresses nearly tore the planet apart, and destroyed many cities and installations. Interstellar trade was immediately and permanently severed. The native races, who’d been confined in prison-like ‘reservations’, broke free and made war. Civilization fell rather messily, and the Time of Darkness descended.

Sometime after the disaster, human scientists/philosophers (perhaps aided by the some of the more psychically gifted nonhumans) discovered that in the new dimension, the power of the human mind alone, unaided by technology, could draw power through from extra-dimensional space, and ‘magic’ developed. The sorcerers of the ancient Empire of Llyán of Tsámra mapped nexi between various dimensions and made pacts with various dwellers of other planes, called ‘demons’ by the uninitiated. Great empires rose and fell over the next 30,000 years; the presence of ‘magic’ (really psychic phenomena), along with the obvious superiority (and near-complete inscrutability) of the sciences of the Ancients (whose technology was largely irreparable due to a lack of necessary raw materials) led to a stagnation of the sciences, and to societies which depended largely upon tradition, precedent, and the bonds of family and clan for stability.

Contact was also made with a race of extremely powerful beings that were for all human purposes gods. These beings subtly encouraged human worship and dependence; great unchanging religious bureaucracies developed, and after several millennia of religious warfare, the temples agreed upon a Concordat which disallowed open religious conflict, which further exaggerated the Tékumelani tendency toward stagnation. The people of Tékumel lack the anthropocentric belief that the universe is knowable and conquerable; they know that there are races and beings which dwarf them in power, and that there are magics and sciences which are far beyond their grasp; intellectual and scientific curiosity is rare and even subtly discouraged.

As a result of these historical processes, there exist upon the face of the great primary continent of the northeastern hemisphere of Tékumel the Five Empires, all of which are monarchical/theocratic oligarchies in which precedent and tradition hold the strength of law, and many smaller states which balance themselves between two or more of their larger neighbors. There are small enclaves of nonhuman races, most of whom owe allegiance to a human empire, and several states ruled by the inimical races, who still hate humanity and its allies with a passion, but are outnumbered by the more invaders. The Five Empires (one of which is the titular Empire of the Petal Throne, Tsolyánu) have technology about on the level of the European Renaissance (aqueducts, good roads, simple mechanics, wheeled carts, siege engines, crude surgery and slightly more advanced pharmacology, crossbows, water clocks, etc.). Their governments are greatly hidebound and bureaucratic, like those of ancient China. They have mighty, well-organized legions like those of the Romans. Their gods are like those of the Hindus, with a heavy dose of the bloodthirsty Aztec or Mayan deities. Their legal codes and sciences are much like those of the Arab philosophers of the Middle Ages; they are obsessed with personal and family honor, much like the medieval Japanese. The societies presented with the game are very intricate and very old (the youngest governments are some 2,500 years developed, and they have histories, traditions, and myths stretching back some 25,000 years). Professor M.A.R. Barker, the author of the game, is a full professor of linguistics and anthropology; he has developed scripts, languages (and I mean a language one can speak, with a grammar handbook and lexicon, like Tolkien’s Elvish or Roddenberry’s Klingon, in the case of Tsolyáni), histories, modes of dress, etiquettes, architectural styles, weapons and armor, religions, legal codes, demographics, sciences, etc. for all of the major and most of the minor cultures.

Since the societies are so intricate and formal, political maneuvering and subtlety, combined with the right amount of heroic action and appropriate posturing, are the keys to power, and many campaigns, as well as that of Professor Barker himself from reports, thus deal mostly with intrigue and plotting between the various power groups, combined with expeditions after some bit of lost knowledge or some sorcerous object from an ancient tomb (yes, dungeon crawling!!!). There are bits and pieces of ancient technology, which still function (many are self-repairing within limits, others have been maintained carefully by human and nonhuman sages or by robot servitors); these are fought over as powerful tools. The game’s scope is very grand; the Tékumelani do everything BIG. There are mighty legions of thousands of soldiers wearing brightly-lacquered armor, wearing great Kheshchál-plumes, and beating huge Karéng war drums, sorcerers calling on terrible demons with secret names, giant pyramidal temples thousands of years old upon which hundreds of war-captives are sacrificed to Vimúhla, the Lord of Flame, etc.

Tékumelani culture is very baroque, with titles like Reader of the Peerless Scrolls of Martial Glory, huge statues of the 97th Aspect of Lady Avánthe, Tánule the Patron of Lovers, and twenty-three forms of the pronoun ‘you’, to be used when speaking to individuals of varying status and profession!

Overall, the game world is quite alien to traditional FRP gamers (which I happen to think is a good thing, but that’s me). Many people feel that it’s too strange, and can't be run by anyone but Barker. I know that my gamers, a very traditional sword-and-sorcery blood-and-thunder bunch, at first found the difficulty of Tékumelani pronunciation and the lack of comfortable stereotypes like barbarian, wizard, elf, orc, and dragon, to be disconcerting, but after two years of gaming on Tékumel they like it a lot, and use Tékumelani terms to describe other games and situations. It takes some getting used to, and a good bit of homework on the part of the GM, but if you’re looking for a game world that is unique, interesting, and very well thought-out and developed, give Tékumel a go, it’s cool. It’s much better than Cats. You will play it again and again.
(Source: Theron Goudeau)

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Who was M.A.R. Barker?

Professor M.A.R. Barker was a retired professor of linguistics and South Asian Studies at the University of Minnesota. He published several texts on the Urdu language, a common language of India and Pakistan.

For the most of the last twenty years he ran two weekly gaming groups in Tékumel, though he dropped one group a few years ago.

For more information on the professor, see his Wikipedia entry.

What does ‘M.A.R.’ stand for?

Muhammed Abd-al-Rahman.

What is the Thursday Night Group?

The Thursday Night Group is the group that plays Tékumel in Barker’s basement every Thursday. Though the roster has changed over the years, this group has existed since EPT was published in the mid 1970s. In the 80s, they published the fanzines The Imperial Military Journal, em>The Journal of Tekumel Affairs, and The Imperial Courier with the Professor’s help.

(Source: Brett Slocum)

What is the Tekumel Foundation?

The Tekumel Foundation is a non-profit literary foundation created to encourage, support and protect the literary works and all related products and activities surrounding Professor M.A.R. Barker’s world of Tékumel and the Empire of the Petal Throne. They can be found at http://tekumelfoundation.org.

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3. Game Products

What Tékumel products have been published?

Here is a complete bibliography of all things Tekumeláni that have been published.

Author, Title, Publisher, Year
Alberti, Bob and M.A.R. Barker, Mitlányal, Self-published, 2001
Alberti, Bob and M.A.R. Barker, Mitlányal, Volume 1, The Gods of Stability, Zottola Publishing, 2002
Alberti, Bob and M.A.R. Barker, Mitlányal, Volume 2, The Gods of Change, Zottola Publishing, 2002
Barker, M.A.R., Abenteuer auf Tékumel: Band 1: Kindheit und Jugendjahre in Tsolyánu, AGEMA Verlag, 1994
Barker, M.A.R., Abenteuer auf Tékumel: Band 1: Kindheit und Jugendjahre in Tsolyánu, Tita's House of Games, 2002
Barker, M.A.R., Adventures on Tékumel, Part One: Growing Up On Tékumel, Theatre of the Mind Enterprises, 1992
Barker, M.A.R., Adventures on Tékumel, Part Two, Volume I: Coming of Age in Tékumel, Theatre of the Mind Enterprises, 1992
Barker, M.A.R., Adventures on Tékumel, Part Two, Volume II: Beyond the Borders of Tsolyánu, Theatre of the Mind Enterprises, 1993
Barker, M.A.R., Adventures on Tékumel, Part Two, Volume III: Beneath the Lands of Tsolyánu, Theatre of the Mind Enterprises, 1994
Barker, M.A.R., Armies of Tékumel, Volume 2: Yán Kór and Allies, Adventure Games, 1981
Barker, M.A.R., Audio Recordings of Professor M.A.R. Barker CD, Tita's House of Games, 2002
Barker, M.A.R., Book of Ebon Bindings, The, Imperium Publishing, 1978
Barker, M.A.R., Book of Ebon Bindings, The, Adventure Games, 1981
Barker, M.A.R., Book of Ebon Bindings, The, Different Worlds/Theatre of the Mind Enterprises, 1991
Barker, M.A.R., Citizenship Document, Self-published, 1974
Barker, M.A.R., Death of Kings, A, Zottola Publishing, 2003
Barker, M.A.R., Declaration of War poster, TSR, 1979
Barker, M.A.R., Declaration of War print, Tita's House of Games, 1997
Barker, M.A.R., Deeds of the Ever-Glorious, Adventure Games, 1981
Barker, M.A.R., Deeds of the Ever-Glorious, PDF, 1994
Barker, M.A.R., Deeds of the Ever-Glorious, Tita's House of Games, 1997
Barker, M.A.R., Empire of the Petal Throne, Self-published, 1974
Barker, M.A.R., Empire of the Petal Throne, TSR, 1975
Barker, M.A.R., Empire of the Petal Throne, TSR, 1976
Barker, M.A.R., Empire of the Petal Throne, Gamescience/Dixie Press, 1983
Barker, M.A.R., Empire of the Petal Throne, Different Worlds, 1987
Barker, M.A.R., Empire of the Petal Throne, Tita's House of Games, 2000
Barker, M.A.R., Ever-Glorious Empire, The: Engsván hlá Gánga, PDF, 1996
Barker, M.A.R., Flamesong, DAW Books, 1985
Barker, M.A.R., Grammar of Engsvanyáli, PDF, 1994
Barker, M.A.R., Grammar of Livyáni, PDF, 1994
Barker, M.A.R., Grammar of Sunúz, PDF, 1994
Barker, M.A.R., Grammar of Yán Koryáni, PDF, 1994
Barker, M.A.R., Lords of Tsámra, Self-published, 2001
Barker, M.A.R., Lords of Tsámra, Zottola Publishing, 2003
Barker, M.A.R., Man of Gold, DAW Books, 1984
Barker, M.A.R., Prince of Skulls, Zottola Publishing, 2002
Barker, M.A.R., Swords and Glory Volume I: Tékumel Sourcebook, Gamescience, 1983
Barker, M.A.R., Swords and Glory Volume I: Tékumel Sourcebook, Tita's House of Games, 2000
Barker, M.A.R., Swords and Glory Volume I: Tékumel Sourcebook, Book I, Different Worlds, 1987
Barker, M.A.R., Swords and Glory Volume I: Tékumel Sourcebook, Book II, Different Worlds, 1988
Barker, M.A.R., Swords and Glory Volume I: Tékumel Sourcebook, Book II, Tita's House of Games, 2002
Barker, M.A.R., Swords and Glory Volume I: Tékumel Sourcebook, Book III, Tita's House of Games, 2002
Barker, M.A.R., Swords and Glory Volume II: Tékumel Player's Handbook, Gamescience, 1984
Barker, M.A.R., Swords and Glory Volume II: Tékumel Player's Handbook, Tita's House of Games, 1998
Barker, M.A.R., Tsolyáni Language, Volumes 1 and 2, The, Self-published, 1977
Barker, M.A.R., Tsolyáni Language, Volumes 1 and 2, The, Imperium Publishing, 1978
Barker, M.A.R., Tsolyáni Language, Volumes 1 and 2, The, Adventure Games, 1981
Barker, M.A.R., Tsolyáni Langage Pronunciation audio CD, Tita's House of Games, 2000
Barker, M.A.R., Tsolyáni Langage Pronunciation audio tape, Adventure Games, 1981
Barker, M.A.R., Tsolyáni Language, Volumes 1 and 2, The, Tita's House of Games, 1999
Barker, M.A.R., War of the Wizards, Self-published, 1974
Barker, M.A.R., War of the Wizards, TSR, 1975
Barker, M.A.R., War of the Wizards, TSR, 1975
Barker, M.A.R., War of the Wizards, TSR, 1976
Barker, M.A.R., War of the Wizards, Tita's House of Games, 1999
Barker, M.A.R. and Bob Brynildson, Armies of Tékumel, Volume 3: Mu'ugalavyá, Tékumel Journal, 1983
Barker, M.A.R. and Bob Brynildson, Armies of Tékumel, Volume 3: Mu'ugalavyá, Tita's House of Games, 1997
Barker, M.A.R. and Bob Brynildson, Armies of Tékumel, Volume 4: Salarvyá, Tékumel Journal, 1983
Barker, M.A.R. and Bob Brynildson, Armies of Tékumel, Volume 4: Salarvyá, Tita's House of Games, 1997
Barker, M.A.R. and Bob Brynildson, Armies of Tékumel, Volume 5: Livyánu and Tsoléi, Tékumel Journal, 1983
Barker, M.A.R. and Bob Brynildson, Armies of Tékumel, Volume 5: Livyánu and Tsoléi, Tita's House of Games, 1997
Barker, M.A.R. and Bob Brynildson, Armies of Tékumel, Volume 6: Shényu, Tita's House of Games, 1997
Barker, M.A.R. and Chirené Bakál, Miniatures for Tékumel, Tékumel Journal, 1982
Barker, M.A.R. and Chirené Bakál, Miniatures for Tékumel, Tita's House of Games, 1997
Barker, M.A.R. and Jeff Berry, Citizenship Document, Adventure Games, 1981
Barker, M.A.R. and Jeff Berry, Citizenship Document, Tékumel Games, 1984
Barker, M.A.R. and Neil R. Cauley, Gardásiyal: Deeds of Glory, Theatre of the Mind Enterprises, 1995
Barker, M.A.R. and Victor Raymond, Tékumel Bestiary, The, Theatre of the Mind Enterprises, 1993
Barker, M.A.R., Berry, Jeff, Fregni, Giovanna, and Raymond, Victor, Citizenship Document, Tita's House of Games, 2001
Barker, M.A.R., et al., U-Con Conversations 1998 and 1999, Tita's House of Games, 2001
Barker, M.A.R., et al., U-Con Conversations 2000 and 2001, Tita's House of Games, 2002
Barker, Phil, Hordes of the Things 2.0, Wargames Research Group, 2002
Barker, Phil, Sue Laflin-Barker and Richard Bodley Scott, Hordes of the Things, Wargames Research Group, 1991
Berry, Jeff and M.A.R. Barker, Qadardálikoi, Tékumel Games, 1983
Berry, Jeff and M.A.R. Barker, Qadardálikoi, Tita's House of Games, 1998
Berry, Jeff, ed., Imperial Military Journal, Vol. II, No. 1, Adventure Games, 1980
Berry, Jeff, ed., Imperial Military Journal, Vol. II, No. 2, Adventure Games, 1980
Berry, Jeff, ed., Imperial Military Journal, Vol. II, No. 3, Adventure Games, 1980
Berry, Jeff, ed., Imperial Military Journal, Vol. II, No. 4, Adventure Games, 1980
Berry, Jeff, ed., Imperial Military Journal, Vol. II, No. 5, Adventure Games, 1980
Berry, Jeff, ed., Imperial Military Journal, Vol. II, No. 6, Adventure Games, 1980
Berry, Jeff, ed., Imperial Military Journal, Vol. II, No. 7, Thursday Night Group, 1983
Berry, Jeff, ed., Journal of Tékumel Affairs, Vol. III, No. 1, Thursday Night Group, 1982
Berry, Jeff, ed., Journal of Tékumel Affairs, Vol. III, No. 2, Thursday Night Group, 1982
Berry, Jeff, ed., Journal of Tékumel Affairs, Vol. III, No. 3, Thursday Night Group, 1982
Berry, Jeff, ed., Journal of Tékumel Affairs, Vol. III, No. 4, Thursday Night Group, 1982
Berry, Jeff, ed., Journal of Tékumel Affairs, Vol. III, No. 5, Thursday Night Group, 1982
Berry, Jeff, ed., Journal of Tékumel Affairs, Vol. III, No. 6, Thursday Night Group, 1982
Berry, Jeff, ed., Journal of Tékumel Affairs, Vol. III, No. 7, Thursday Night Group, 1982
Berry, Jeff, ed., Journal of Tékumel Affairs, Vol. III, No. 8, Thursday Night Group, 1982
Berry, Jeff, ed., Journal of Tékumel Affairs, Vol. III, No. 9, Thursday Night Group, 1984
Berry, Jeff, et al., ed., Best of the Journal 1, Tékumel Games, 1986
Berry, Jeff, et al., ed., Best of the Journal 2, Tékumel Games, 1986
Berry, Jeff, et al., ed., Best of the Journal 3, Tékumel Games, 1986
Brady, Patrick, Joe Saul and Edwin Voskamp, Tékumel: The Empire of the Petal Throne, Guardians of Order, 2005
Brigdon, Floyd, ed., Visitations of Glory, No. 01, PDF, 2001
Brodt, Carl, ed., Seal of the Imperium, Vol. 1, Issue 1, Tita's House of Games, 1999
Brodt, Carl, ed., Seal of the Imperium, Vol. 2, Issue 1, Tita's House of Games, 2008
Brodt, Carl, ed., Seal of the Imperium, Vol. 2, Issue 2, Tita's House of Games, 2009
Dalluhn, Keith, U-Con 2000 Tékumel Track Adventure, Self-published, 2000
Donnelly, Krista, Great Chlen Race, The , Tita's House of Games, 2005
Fletcher, Ken, World of Tékumel Battle Kibitzers Guide 1 & 2, Self-published, 1981
Fletcher, Ken, World of Tékumel Battle Kibitzers Guide 3 & 4, Self-published, 1982
Fletcher, Ken, World of Tékumel Battle Kibitzers Guide 5 & 6, Self-published, 1982
Fletcher, Ken, World of Tékumel Temple of Vimúhla (Lord of Fire) in the City of Kátalal, Self-published, 1983
Foster, Steve, ed., Eye of All-Seeing Wonder, No. 5, Self-published, 1995
Foster, Steve, ed., Eye of All-Seeing Wonder, No. 5, Tita's House of Games, 1998
Foster, Steve, ed., Eye of All-Seeing Wonder, No. 6, Self-published, 1996
Foster, Steve, ed., Eye of All-Seeing Wonder, No. 6, Tita's House of Games, 1999
Fregni, Giovanna, City of Dlash, The, Map and Gazetteer, Self-published, 2003
Fregni, Giovanna, Notes from the Thursday Night Group, Self-published, 2003
Healy, Zane H, Gardásiyal Character Generator, Avanthár Software, 1997
Healy, Zane H and M.A.R. Barker, MacKévuk, Avanthár Software, 1997
Johnson, Brad, ed., Visitations of Glory, No. 02, PDF, 2001
Johnson, Brad, ed., Visitations of Glory, No. 03, PDF, 2001
Johnson, Brad, ed., Visitations of Glory, No. 04, PDF, 2002
Johnson, Brad, ed., Visitations of Glory, No. 05, PDF, 2002
Johnson, Brad, ed., Visitations of Glory, No. 06, PDF, 2002
Johnson, Brad, ed., Visitations of Glory, No. 08, PDF, 2005
Johnson, Brad, ed., Visitations of Glory, No. 09, PDF, 2005
Johnson, Brad, ed., Visitations of Glory, No. 10, PDF, 2006
Johnson, Brad, ed., Visitations of Glory, No. 11, PDF, 2007
Johnson, Brad, ed., Visitations of Glory, No. 12, PDF, 2008
Kaiser, Donald, ed., Introduction to Tékumel, An, Self-published, 1989
Kaiser, Donald, ed., Introduction to Tékumel, An, Tita's House of Games, 2002
Kaiser, Donald, ed., The Imperial Courier, Vol. 2, No. 2, Tékumel Consortium, 1987
Kaiser, Donald, ed., The Imperial Courier, Vol. 2, No. 3, Tita's House of Games, 2005
Kelly, Belinda, ed., Visitations of Glory, No. 07, PDF, 2004
Lorince, Andrew, Qadardálikoi Battle Cards, Tékumel Journal - Fenul Office, 1986
Lorince, Andrew, Qadardálikoi Battle Cards, Andrew Lorince, 2002
Marschall, Kathy and Jean Messer, ed., The Imperial Courier, Vol. 1 No. 1, Tékumel Games, 1984
Marschall, Kathy and Jean Messer, ed., The Imperial Courier, Vol. 1 No. 2, Tékumel Games, 1984
Marschall, Kathy and Jean Messer, ed., The Imperial Courier, Vol. 1 No. 3, Tékumel Games, 1984
Marschall, Kathy and Jean Messer, ed., The Imperial Courier, Vol. 1 No. 4, Tékumel Games, 1985
Marschall, Kathy and Jean Messer, ed., The Imperial Courier, Vol. 1 No. 5, Tékumel Games, 1985
Marschall, Kathy and Jean Messer, ed., The Imperial Courier, Vol. 1 No. 6, Tékumel Games, 1985
Marschall, Kathy and Jean Messer, ed., The Imperial Courier, Vol. 2 No. 1, Tékumel Games, 1985
Mayeau, Michael E, Nightmare Maze of Jigrésh, The, Judges Guild, 1981
Mayeau, Michael E, Nightmare Maze of Jigrésh, The, Tita's House of Games, 1997
Morris, Dave, ed., Eye of All-Seeing Wonder, No. 1, Self-published, 1992
Morris, Dave, ed., Eye of All-Seeing Wonder, No. 1, Andrew Lorince, 1994
Morris, Dave, ed., Eye of All-Seeing Wonder, No. 2, Self-published, 1993
Morris, Dave, ed., Eye of All-Seeing Wonder, No. 2, Andrew Lorince, 1994
Morris, Dave, ed., Eye of All-Seeing Wonder, No. 3, Self-published, 1994
Morris, Dave, ed., Eye of All-Seeing Wonder, No. 4, Self-published, 1995
Morris, Dave, ed., Eye of All-Seeing Wonder, No. 4, Andrew Lorince, 1995
Pettigrew, Mark, Best of the Journals, The: The Pettigrew Selections, Tita's House of Games, 1999
Pettigrew, Mark, Jakállan Intrigue, A, Tékumel Games, 1984
Pettigrew, Mark, Jakállan Intrigue, A, Tita's House of Games, 1997
Pettigrew, Mark, Tomb Complex of Nereshánbo, The, Tékumel Games, 1984
Pettigrew, Mark, Tomb Complex of Nereshánbo, The, Tita's House of Games, 1997
Rudolph, Gary, Míssum, Imperium Publishing, 1978
Rudolph, Gary, Míssum, Tita's House of Games, 1997
Rudolph, Gary and M.A.R. Barker, Armies of Tékumel, Volume 1: Tsolyánu, Imperium Publishing, 1978
Rudolph, Gary and M.A.R. Barker, Armies of Tékumel, Volume 1: Tsolyánu, Adventure Games, 1981
Rudolph, Gary, ed., Tékumel Journal, No. 1, Imperium Publishing, 1977
Rudolph, Gary, ed., Tékumel Journal, No. 2, Imperium Publishing, 1978
Scott, Curtis M., Gateway to Tékumel, Self-published, 1983
Scott, Curtis M., Gateway to Tékumel, Tita's House of Games, 2000
Scott, Curtis M., Popósyal Newsletter, Volume I, Number 1, Self-published, 1983
Scott, Curtis M., Tsolyáni Primer, The, Tékumel Journal, 1982
Scott, Curtis M., Tsolyáni Primer, The, Tékumel Games, 1986
Scott, Curtis M., Tsolyáni Primer, The, PDF, 1995
Scott, Curtis M., Tsolyáni Primer, The, Tita's House of Games, 2000
Smith, Craig and M.A.R. Barker, Northwest Frontier Maps, Adventure Games, 1979
Smith, Craig and M.A.R. Barker, Northwest Frontier Maps, Tita's House of Games, 1997
Sutherland, David, Legions of the Petal Throne, TSR, 1977
Sutherland, David, Legions of the Petal Throne, Tita's House of Games, 1997
Thompson, Thomas, Swords and Glory Index to Volume 1 The Source Book, Tékumel Games, 1985
Thompson, Thomas, Swords and Glory Index to Volume 1 The Source Book, Tita's House of Games, 1997
Thompson, Thomas and M.A.R. Barker, Gazetteer for the Northwest Frontier Maps Set, Tékumel Games, 1986
Thompson, Thomas and M.A.R. Barker, Gazetteer for the Northwest Frontier Maps Set, Tita's House of Games, 1997
Tiehen, John, Art of Tactical Sorcery, The, Tékumel Games, 1986

Where can I get out of print materials?

Sometimes Tékumel materials show up in the used game bins of game stores. I’ve picked up many items, including an original TSR set of EPT.

Tita’s House of Games has many out-of-print books in stock, as well as reprints of many of the classic Tékumel books. Yah! A price list and ordering information are available at their site.

Also, Andrew Lorince has a lot of stuff available at very reasonable rates. Send inquiries to the following address:

Earth Tékumel Transfer Station
C/O Andrew Lorince
862 Flemington Avenue
Pittsburgh PA 15217 USA
Phone: (412) 521-0448
Email: alorince@yahoo.com
(Source: Andrew Lorince, Carl Brodt)

What magazines have had Tékumel articles?

Best of the Journals, The, Volume I
Best of the Journals, The, Volume II
Best of the Journals, The, Volume III
Different Worlds #17
Different Worlds #47
Dragon #4
Dragon #11
Dragon #20
Dragon #24
Dragon #26
Dragon #31
Dragon #34
Eye of All-Seeing Wonder, Issue 1
Eye of All-Seeing Wonder, Issue 2
Eye of All-Seeing Wonder, Issue 3
Eye of All-Seeing Wonder, Issue 4
Eye of All-Seeing Wonder, Issue 5
Eye of All-Seeing Wonder, Issue 6
Gryphon #2
Imperial Military Journal, Vol. II, No. 1
Imperial Military Journal, Vol. II, No. 2
Imperial Military Journal, Vol. II, No. 3
Imperial Military Journal, Vol. II, No. 4
Imperial Military Journal, Vol. II, No. 5
Imperial Military Journal, Vol. II, No. 6
Imperial Military Journal, Vol. II, No. 7
Journal of Tékumel Affairs, Vol. III, No. 1
Journal of Tékumel Affairs, Vol. III, No. 2
Journal of Tékumel Affairs, Vol. III, No. 3
Journal of Tékumel Affairs, Vol. III, No. 4
Journal of Tékumel Affairs, Vol. III, No. 5
Journal of Tékumel Affairs, Vol. III, No. 6
Journal of Tékumel Affairs, Vol. III, No. 7
Journal of Tékumel Affairs, Vol. III, No. 8
Pyramid #11
Seal of the Imperium, Vol. 1, Issue 1
Seal of the Imperium, Vol. 2, Issue 1
Seal of the Imperium, Vol. 2, Issue 2
Space Gamer #6
Space Gamer #71
Strategic Review #4
Strategic Review #7
The Imperial Courier Vol. I No. 1
The Imperial Courier Vol. I No. 2
The Imperial Courier Vol. I No. 3
The Imperial Courier Vol. I No. 4
The Imperial Courier Vol. I No. 5
The Imperial Courier Vol. I No. 6
The Imperial Courier Vol. II No. 1
The Imperial Courier Vol. II No. 2
The Tékumel Journal No. 1
The Tékumel Journal No. 2
Visitations of Glory, Issue 01
Visitations of Glory, Issue 02
Visitations of Glory, Issue 03
Visitations of Glory, Issue 04
Visitations of Glory, Issue 05
Visitations of Glory, Issue 06
Visitations of Glory, Issue 07
Visitations of Glory, Issue 08
Visitations of Glory, Issue 09
Visitations of Glory, Issue 10
Visitations of Glory, Issue 11
Visitations of Glory, Issue 12
Wargamer's Digest Vol. 3 No. 5
White Dwarf #10
White Dwarf #54

A complete article index in Excel format is available at Brett Slocum’s Tekumel Site.

(Source: Ed Whittaker, Brett Slocum, Steve Lopez, Bruce Roberts, Phil Polli, Zane Healy, Ted Lyng, and Chris Davis)

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What Tékumel fanzines are available?

Brad Johnson is the compiler of the Tékumel APA (Amateur Press Association), a fanzine published on the web. A mailing list on Yahoo! is used to distribute it at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/apatekumel. Back issues are available, either as web pages or PDF files, on Tekumel.com.

Carl Brodt (carlbrodt@aol.com), of Tita’s House of Games, has published several issues of Seal of the Imperium, a Tékumel fanzine that has even higher quality than the Eye of All-Seeing Wonder. Copies of Seal are available from Carl.

Eye of All-Seeing Wonder (1992-96) was a very high quality magazine with good original art and well-written articles. Sometimes better than old Imperial Couriers in content, always better in production quality. Sadly, the Eye of All-Seeing Wonder has ceased publication after six issues. All issues are available on this site or from Tita’s House of Games, or Andrew Lorince.

Regretfully, James Roach, publisher of Realms of Wonder, a RPG fanzine with lots of accounts from his alternate Tékumel campaign, died in July 1997.

Before that, the players in Barker’s campaigns published several fanzines, including The Imperial Courier (1984-87), The Journal of Tékumelani Affairs (1982-84), the Imperial Military Journal (1980-83), and the Tékumel Journal (1977-78).

Where can I get Tékumel miniatures?

Eureka Miniatures, a company in Australia, has begun production of a new line of 28mm Tekumel miniatures. See their web page for more info and photos. These miniatures are available direct from Eureka Miniatures, from Tita’s House of Games, from Eureka USA, and from Fighting 15s in the UK. A blog discussing progress on the Tékumel miniatures can be found here.

The original 25-mm figures produced by various companies since the ’70s, as well as new figures, were available from PHD Games, but they haven’t produced any miniatures for several years. Talk of someone else picking up the miniatures line has been circulating for a while.

Robert Smith’s 15 mm miniatures are no longer available.

(Source: Carl Brodt, Howard Fielding)

When will the Swords and Glory Referee’s Handbook be published?

Work on this book was halted due to financial concerns.
(Source: Carl Brodt)

I have $50 to spend. Which books should I buy?

I’d buy the Empire of the Petal Throne PDF from DriveThruRPG.com for $11 and $40 for the Swords and Glory Sourcebook from Tita’s House of Games.

Are any products available in electronic format (PDF)?

Yes, the original EPT, the temple articles, the language grammars, Deeds of the Ever-Glorious, The Tsolyáni Language, and more have been converted to PDF. They are available from http://www.drivethrurpg.com or http://www.rpgnow.com.

Did the Professor write Hordes of the Things, the miniatures rules?

No, Phil Barker, who wrote Hordes of the Things, is not M.A.R. ‘Phil’ Barker, who created Tékumel. He wrote the Tékumel army lists into the game after reading about Tékumel. The two men met and corresponded. They were also distant cousins.

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The New Game

When was the new game published?

The new Tékumel: The Empire of the Petal Throne game was published by Guardians of Order in 2005. The new game is based on Big Eyes, Small Mouth and the Tri-Stat System. The core book is a complete game with character generation, some nonhuman races as PCs, monsters, all Universal and Generic spells, some Temple spells, and focuses on Tsolyánu. Its suggested retail price is $39.95. It is available from Tita’s House of Games.

What happened to Guardians of Order?

In August 2006, Guardians of Order closed its doors. It had been a one person operation since January, 2006. Various factors, including a weak dollar, led to the decision. For more information, see the Guardians of Order website.

What will happen to the new game without a publisher?

Joseph Saul, one of the authors of the new game had this answer:

The copyright to T:EPT (not to Tékumel itself, which is held solely by Prof. Barker) is, and has been, held by a company called RPGDesigners, Incorporated, which is owned by the design team. We are making arrangements with Mark to transfer all of the computer files and artwork, along with any remaining copies of the game he may have, to us. He will also sign over the right to use any of Guardians’ intellectual property that appears in the game. Understand that we are securing the intellectual property we do not already own associated with T:EPT. We are NOT assuming Guardians of Order’s liabilities.

We will license the right to produce Tékumel material from Professor Barker, with whom we have been in contact, and who supports this effort. We plan to keep T:EPT in print (in both hardcopy and PDF), bring out supplements, and set up website support. We will be working with an established game company on distribution and marketing (we’re talking to several). And yes, you will have access to the errata.

(Source: Joe Saul)

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Online Resources

Is there a web page for Tékumel?

The Official Tékumel: The World of the Petal Throne web site, maintained by Peter Gifford, is gorgeous. Best source of background for Tékumel on the web.

Brett Slocum’s Tékumel home page has a variety of resources available, including characters, a campaign events board, alternate rules for Tékumel (GURPS, RQ, Tirikélu, etc.), and more.

The Tékumel Web Ring has been created. A web ring connects related sites together.

A list of other web pages is on Brett Slocum’s site or on the Tékumel Links section of this site.

Is there a Tékumel mailing list?

An unmoderated mailing list has been started at Yahoo! Groups. Several members of the Thursday Night Group are members here. This site also has downloadable files, a chat room, links, some player/referee databases, polls, etc. To subscribe, send a message to: tekumel-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tekumel.

A moderated list also exists at Yahoo! Groups. It is intended for specific questions about the world of Tékumel. No rules discussion is allowed. This mailing list is a wealth of information about Tékumel. To subscribe, send a message to: tekumel-moderated-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tekumel-moderated.

Other mailing lists:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tekdevel Discussion of computer projects related to Tékumel.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tekheretic In-character discussions of Tékumel without attempting to remain within canon.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tekumelnovels Discussion of the Tékumel novels of M.A.R. Barker.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/apatekumel Home of Visitations of Glory, the Tékumel Amateur Press Association.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tsolyani A discussion group of the Tsolyáni language for those using the available language resources.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TekumelMinis-WarA discussion of Tékumel miniatures and warfare.
(Source: Brett Slocum)

What other online resources are available?

There is a Google+ Tekumel Community, as well as a Facebook group.

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Miscellaneous

What Tékumel books have been published?

Man of Gold, M.A.R. Barker, DAW Books, 1984
Flamesong, M.A.R. Barker, DAW Books, 1987
Lords of Tsamra, M.A.R. Barker, Zottola Publishing, 2003 (published out of order)
Prince of Skulls, M.A.R. Barker, Zottola Publishing, 2002
A Death of Kings, M.A.R. Barker, Zottola Publishing, 2003

Do I have to use [insert rule system] to play a Tékumel game?

Well, since their are currently four ‘official’ rule systems for Tékumel, I’d say a most definite ‘No’. I’ve played using Runequest, Chivalry and Sorcery, Traveller, GURPS and the Thursday Night Group’s freeform rules. I’ve heard of people using AD&D, Rolemaster, and several home-grown rule sets. So, the important thing is to play in the world, not what rules you use.
(Source: Brett Slocum)

Are there any Tékumel game conventions?

Yes. U-Con (http://ucon-gaming.org) is held every November in Ann Arbor, Michigan on the campus of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. They have a Tékumel Track with games in every time slot. Members of the Thursday Night Group often attend.

How do you make chumetl?

The recipe is the same as for a salted lassi from Punjabi India: 1 cup plain unsweetened yogurt, 1 cup water, ½ tsp roasted cumin powder, a shot or two of Tabasco sauce, salt to taste. Or substitute 2 cups buttermilk for the yogurt and water.

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Credits

First, without Professor Barker, none of this would exist. Thank you for the gift of your imagination.

I’d like to thank several people for their continuing support of Tékumel: Bob Alberti, Jeff Berry, Patrick Brady, Carl Brodt, Jeff Dee, Krista Donnelly, Giovanna Fregni, Jim Garrison, Peter Gifford, George Hammond, Malcolm Heath, Brad Johnson, Andrew Lorince, Victor Raymond, Joe Saul, Edwin Voskamp, Joe Zottola.

Many thanks to the legion of contributors to this FAQ, including, but not limited to: Robert Dushay, Theron Goudeau, Zane Healy, Peter Huston, Steve Lopez, Andrew Lorince, Ted Lyng, Phil Polli, Bruce Roberts, Ed Whittaker, Howard Fielding.

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