The Tékumel Foundation

News about the World of Tékumel® – the creation of Prof. M.A.R. Barker

Archive for the category “New Material”

Conlangery #115: Tsolyáni

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Earlier in December, the podcast of constructed languages, Conlangery #115, was released.  A “conlang” is a constructed language, such as Elvish, Klingon or Esperanto.  This particular episode focused on the Tsolyáni language.  Victor Raymond, as the chair of the Tékumel Foundation, was the featured guest.  The podcast goes into the history of Tsolyáni and of Prof. Barker, and the background of Empire of the Petal Throne and the world of Tékumel.  The hosts, George Corley and William Annis, discussed the unique nature of Tsolyáni as a constructed language, its linguistic character, and how Tsolyáni has been used in a gaming context.  It’s definitely worth a listen!

For more information about Conlangery, check out the podcast website: http://conlangery.com/ as well as the Conlangery Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/conlangery/ and http://www.facebook.com/groups/Conlang/

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Flamesong proofreading is complete

Flamesong cover

The proofing stage of preparing the Tekumel Foundation’s edition of Prof. M.A.R. Barker’s second novel Flamesong is now complete.  Stephen Hearn has been responsible for the proofing projects for The Man of Gold and Flamesong with proofing partners Theresa Alberti, Kathryn Hearn, and Robert Dushay.  Proofing the first two novels has required two people, one working from Prof. Barker’s marked up computer printout manuscript and the other from the Foundation’s working electronic copy in PDF, both watching for discrepancies between the two documents.

Prof. Barker’s manuscripts are impressively error free.  Much of the correction consists of catching double periods, foreshortened dashes, missed italics and other anomalies in the PDF working copy.  Between the two novels Barker switched from British to American spellings (he had moved from Montreal to Minneapolis in the interim).  The proofing has occasionally corrected a word which missed this transition.

The goal is to produce a clean edition of the book with no anomalies in the text to disrupt the flow of Prof. Barker’s words and imagination.  One side benefit for the proofers has been the chance to read aloud and share these stylish and inventive narratives and immerse themselves again in the world of Tekumel.

The Tekumel Sourcebook is now available!

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The Tekumel Sourcebook, Swords & Glory Vol. 1, is now available in PDF, hardcover and softcover printings from DriveThruRPG.com!  This edition is a reprint of the original Gamescience edition, with the following changes and additions:

  • The original full-color box cover art has been reproduced on the cover, instead of the blue single-color cover
  • Notes about the Gamescience and later editions have been added on the frontispiece page
  • A new index and glossary have been added
  • The original back cover art has been reproduced on the new back cover (see below)

The Foundation will be releasing the maps from the Swords & Glory, Vol. 1 boxed set in the near future, to go along with the re-release of The Tekumel Sourcebook.  The original maps from Empire of the Petal Throne may be used in conjunction with The Tekumel Sourcebook.  You may purchase the print version of the Sourcebook along with the PDF as a DriveThruRPG bundle (nb: you may need to log in to view the Sourcebook).

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The Man of Gold

The Man of Gold

The Man of Gold is available and can be purchased through Amazon.com or CreateSpace.com!  The Tekumel Foundation is pleased to have the first published novel by Prof. Barker back in print.  You can also purchase the eBook for Kindle, Nook, or Kobo.  We’ve learned a lot from this project, and that will help in publishing Prof. Barker’s second novel, Flamesong, in the near future.  If you have never had a chance to read about the world of Tekumel in novel form, The Man of Gold provides wonderful insights into the culture and society of the Empire of the Petal Throne.

In addition to The Man of Gold, the Foundation is getting ready to announce the availability of The Tekumel Sourcebook, a reprint of the original Gamescience edition, with a new index and glossary!

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Proof of Progress

MoG-PODThe proof copy of The Man of Gold arrived in the mail this past weekend, and it looks very good!  Of course, we’re combing through it, making sure that we catch as many errors as possible – some always sneak through the editorial and publication process.  Many Tekumel fans will be pleased to know that the diacritical marks have been restored in this edition, so the transliterated Tsolyani can be read properly.  It will be released through CreateSpace, which does a lot of print-on-demand books and also offers bookstore distribution services.  The price for the 6″ by 9″ trade paperback will be $18.95 – we should be releasing it within the next two weeks.

We’re still waiting on the proof copies of The Tekumel Sourcebook.  This may allow for enough time to see if we can get the maps from Swords & Glory made available about the same time.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Now make it YOUR Tekumel

The following excerpt is from The Tékumel Sourcebook; Prof. Barker presents some advice about how to approach playing Tékumel:

“There is no need for ‘your’ Tékumel to be identical with ‘my’ Tékumel. Introduce other characters, different animals, further races — after all, my terrain maps show only a portion of the planet’s northern hemisphere, and there is lots of room around the other side! Change the social structures, throw out or ignore features which do not appeal to you. Use your own imagination to bring in features which you and your players will enjoy. The game can function as a springboard into your own fantasy mythos, and if you go on to develop this, we shall all be the richer. If you have a campaign which uses some other set of rules, you may still wish to utilize these background materials either directly or as a stimulus to enhance your World. Even were we to issue a monthly newsletter or exchange data by telephone, there is no real way to prevent your history from diverging from mine. I can indeed provide further material — and some are already available from the publisher of this book — but we cannot keep your Tékumel from drifting away from mine. This is as it should be. You have just bought MY Tékumel. Now make it YOUR Tékumel.”

This advice is, if anything, more true today than in the past.  What Prof. Barker wanted was for people to go out and play in his world, and then share the results with one another and with him.  Trying to “get it right” is just falling down a rabbit-hole of needless worry.  It’s understandable that players and game-masters would want to capture the essence of Tékumel, but that should include testing out your own Tékumel inventions and imaginings in actual gameplay.

From time to time, the Foundation blog will present various excerpts and notes from Prof. Barker which should be of value to Tékumel fans.  This is the first in that series; we hope to provide some insights into what he thought was worthy of consideration as you explore Tékumel, the world of the Empire of the Petal Throne.

Help make other projects happen

It is really exciting to see how Choice of the Petal Throne is being received.  If you haven’t gotten your copy of the game, now is the time to order it – you will help the Foundation make other projects happen this year, including but not limited to:
– The print-on-demand edition of The Man of Gold
– The ebook and print-on-demand editions of Flamesong
– The reprint of Swords & Glory, Vol. 1. The Tekumel Sourcebook
– The PDF and print-on-demand editions of The Jakallan Underworld
– The release of new material for Tekumel and re-release of out-of-print material for Tekumel.

The Tekumel Foundation is a non-profit organization; all of our proceeds go to helping preserve and promote the creative legacy of Prof. Barker – the amazing world of the Empire of the Petal Throne!

Choice of the Petal Throne

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Congratulations to Danielle Goudeau and Choice of Games LLC!  The Tékumel Foundation is very pleased to announce the release of Choice of the Petal Throne by Choice of Games LLC.  Set during the Tsolyáni civil war following the death of Emperor Hirkáne, this interactive novel by Danielle Goudeau provides a new opportunity to enter into the world of Tékumel.  In upcoming weeks, we plan on providing more background information about Choice of the Petal Throne, including a short interview with the author of the game.  Until then we encourage you to go try this new game for Tékumel!

The Man of Gold – next steps

The Man of Gold is now available as an ebook for Kindle, Nook, and Kobo.  The next step is to release it as a print-on-demand book, available for direct order as well as bookstore distribution.  The Foundation expects to do this in the very near future.  The next novel in preparation is Flamesong, which we hope to release later this year in both ebook and print formats.  Other projects underway include:

  • We are close to a re-release of the Gamescience edition of Swords & Glory, Volume One: The Tekumel Sourcebook.  The new edition will include an index, and will be available through DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.
  • We are planning on producing the maps from Empire of the Petal Throne and Swords & Glory, and for the the Jakallan Underworld.  We’re exploring the best way to make large-scale maps available for print product purchase; Jeff Dee of UNIgames has begun using Deviantart for maps for Bethorm; go check out the fantastic map of Katalal produced by Alyssa Faden!
  • James Maliszewski has begun to produce The Excellent Traveling Volume, an informal and unofficial fanzine for the world of Tekumel.  Issue #2 is now available in print format only; go get your copy today!

 

Now available: Notes from the Thursday Night Group

Notes from the Thursday Night Group was originally a booklet printed in limited copies and sold at the U-Con gaming convention a decade ago.  The booklet is written as a series of vignettes that offer a rare glimpse into both the everyday events and the secret rituals that are intrinsic to the vast and richly detailed world of Professor M.A.R. Barker’s Tékumel. These stories were taken from games played by the Thursday Night Group in Professor Baker’s home. Rather than entire game sessions, these are highlights taken from gaming sessions that include a day at the Hirilákte arena, witnessing a midnight ritual of the mysterious Pé Chói, notes on the hideous hybrid people of the Nyaggá, and a detailed account of a ritual of revivification and an after-death experience in the Isles of Teretané.

While this is a slender volume, it provides never  before published primary information, making it an invaluable resource for the game masters and those who wish to learn more about the vast world of Tékumel.  By purchasing it, you will help us make other Tekumel material available in the future.  Currently, a softcover version is available; a hard-cover version will be added in the very near future.  Order your copy today!

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