Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tekumel Systems I've Played - Updated 3/6/17

During my drive into work today, I was thinking of the various game systems that I have either played or GMed for Tekumel games. With GMs shown in parenthesis, systems played in the order in which I first played them include the following games:

  • Barker's light narrativist d100 system (Berry, Kaiser)
  • Tekumel: Empire of the Petal Throne (Till)
  • The Fantasy Trip Tekumel retroclone (Slocum)
  • Tekumel: Empire of the Petal Throne Lite (Brady, Donnelly)
  • Legends of Anglerre FATE (Till)
  • GURPS Lite Tekumel (Slocum)
  • Empire of the Petal Throne (Leduc)
  • Fate of Tekumel for Fate Core (Till)
  • Entirely diceless (Brady)
  • Heroic Age: Tekumel, an EPT retroclone (Slocum)
  • Warriors of the Red Planet (Slocum)
  • Bethorm (Donnelly)
  • The Petal Hack (Slocum)
This is a pretty comprehensive list of what I have played in the last 6 8 years or so (which is the entirety of my life experience playing and GMing (as opposed to reading) Tekumel. Not bad for a start. There is quite a range of systems too, from very narrativist (Barker's light d100, Fate, and entirely diceless), to light simulationist (such as T:EPT Lite and TFT) to simulationist (GURPS Lite, T:EPT) to light historical legacy systems such as EPT and Heroic Age: Tekumel. 

There's no wrong road to gaming in Tekumel. Each of the above systems has its own strengths and weaknesses, but I can tell you that they all created the "real Tekumel experience". Since this is the 40th anniversary of EPT's publication, and therefore The Year of Tekumel, why not pick a system you like and give Tekumel a try?


  1. I absolutely hope to play or run Tekumel this year. A strange compliment, but it is certainly the fantasy world I've spent the most time thinking about what it smelled like and all I can come up with is a mixture of Mélange and various colors I can't exactly perceive. I've only ever interacted physically with the mid-00's rules, but everything I've read has been very interesting to say the least.

    1. I'm thinking the smells, at least in urban areas, are going to be similar to Indian food. There would also be a stank from feces, which are collected from each clanhouse by a specialized low status clan. Of course, the Tekumel is an alien planet, with a very diverse biology (to say the least!) so the odors could be considerable more unpleasant and strange than on Earth. Then again, as a terraformed pleasure planet of the Humanspace Empire, the smells might be hypnotically pleasing to modern humans. This is an area where the Sourcebook and the Blue Room archives might really help.

  2. Here's my list:

    EPT (Slocum, Finsrud, Juntunen, Craig Smith)
    Barker's d100 narrativist (Barker, Kaiser)
    Chivalry and Sorcery (Slocum)
    Traveller (Finsrud)
    RQ (Sandy Peterson)
    TFT Tekumel (Slocum)
    GURPS Tekumel (Slocum)
    T:EPT (Slocum)
    T:EPT Lite (Brady, Donnelly)
    Some FATE version (Till)
    Diceless (Brady)
    Heroic Age (Slocum)

    So, considering my 40 years with Tekumel, your list is indeed impressive in 6 years.

    1. Wow! C&S and RQ!!! What was it like using RQ? I've always wanted to try Tekumel with RQ. I figure that's a pretty good option for a gritty game.