The Tékumel Foundation

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

Archive for the category “Recent Events”

News from Sokátis – Part Two

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[The Foundation has invited James Maliszewski to describe his on-going Empire of the Petal Throne campaign, set in the city of Sokátis.  This is the second part of a two-part entry.]

Over the course of months of weekly sessions, the player characters ventured beyond Sokátis, following in the footsteps of a revered clan elder who had been something of a ne’er-do-well in his youth. Their travels took them to Rü on the Salarvyáni border (and beneath it), where they became entangled in local politics, and to the Salarvyáni city of Khúm, where they tangled with a group of Yán Koryáni exiles seemingly in the employ of a Thirreqúmmu prince. More recently, an ill-timed use of an untested Eye of Departing in Safety obtained earlier in the campaign has transported the characters somewhere cold and even farther from home than Salarvyá. Such are the hazards of adventure!

What I have found most delightful to watch is the way in which the players, including those with little previous experience of Tékumel, have quickly become acclimated to the setting. In one notable example, the characters had been invited to dinner with a former high priestess of Avánthe in Rü. The players spent some time thinking about how their characters would dress for the occasions. What impressed me about this was the players considered this topic worthy of discussion at all. This was proof to me that, for all of Tékumel’s oft-mentioned complexity, newcomers could indeed get into the spirit of the setting.

I think it worth noting that, as the referee, I have not found my duties unduly onerous – certainly no moreso than when I refereed other roleplaying game campaigns. Now, it is true that, after more than two decades as a Tékumel fan, I am no neophyte. At the same time, it is worth noting that, for several months, the characters were based in Salarvyá, about which Professor Barker wrote very little. For that reason, I often had to come up with answers to some of the questions that arose through play, e.g. What are the Salarvyáni names of Pavár’s gods?

Rather than fret about how little I knew about Salarvyá, I decided early in the campaign to answer questions only as they arose. My initial mantra of “start small” evolved into “think small,” which is to say, “think only about matters at hand.” There was no need to know everything about Salarvyá in advance. Instead, I drew on what I already knew to come up with answers to questions that emerged through play. I felt no pressure, no stress, to “do it right.” Moreover, it is my firm belief that, so long as the players and referee are enjoying themselves in Tékumel, they are doing “right.”

My campaign will soon reach seven months of weekly sessions, which is admittedly not long in the annals of Tékumel campaigns. Nevertheless, I am greatly satisfied to have found six players who have not only turned up week after week to play at my virtual table but who have entered into the world of Tékumel and found it very much their liking.

[What’s going on in your Tékumel campaign?  Share your stories with the Foundation – we’re always interested in finding out what people have discovered playing in the world of the Empire of the Petal Throne.]

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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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Progress is made in small steps

The re-issue of the Tekumel Sourcebook is just about ready to go for proof production.  The index will be in a two-column format, rather than three column, for readability.  Additionally, the sections of the Sourcebook will be bookmarked, so readers of the PDF copy will be able to go right to the section they are interested in.  Once the proof copy is reviewed and approved, it will be released through DriveThruRPG.com as a PDF ebook, as a POD (print-on-demand) physical book, and together as a bundle. Assuming the proof of production is approved quickly, the Sourcebook should be available by Memorial Day.

With the re-release of Ral Partha miniatures, and the availability of 28mm miniatures from the Tekumel Project, there is growing interest in building miniature collections for Tekumel.  We are working on a re-release of the army lists for the Five Empires as well as the military-related articles which appeared after the publication of Empire of the Petal Throne.

Sales of The Man of Gold have been highly satisfactory – we’re working on making The Man of Gold available through the iTunes store as well as for Kindle, Nook, and Kobo.  Choice of the Petal Throne has also been doing very well – there is a very positive review of the game by James Maliszewski on the Black Gate website.  Many people over the years have asked for an introduction to the complexities of Tekumel; the Foundation hopes these two releases are a step in that direction.

Because of all of the production work required this spring and early summer, we won’t be able to attend North Texas RPG Convention.  However, Jeff Dee will be there – it will be a great opportunity to play Bethorm with its creator, as well as getting some of the other marvelous products for Tekumel UNIgames has available.  North Texas RPG Convention will be June 4th-7th, in Fort Worth, Texas.

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!

Gamer’s Tavern interview with Jeff Dee and Talzhemir Mrr

GT_Banner1-clippedThe fine people at Gamer’s Tavern did an interview with Jeff Dee and Talzhemir Mrr at Chupacabracon in February in earlier this year.  There was significant discussion of Bethorm, as well as other products from UNIgames.  Here’s the link for the podcast!

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!

 

Making Proposals

Readers of the Tekumel Mailing List will have seen recent statements about the foundation’s “response” to various proposals, specifically for “To Serve the Petal Throne” and “Qadardalikoi: Advance Standards.” To this point, we have not received these proposals, nor have we formulated or expressed any response to them, including licensing fees or charges. We cannot evaluate a proposal we have never seen.

In general, we really appreciate the efforts various fans of Tekumel undertake and share with others. If someone has a specific Tekumel-related project they would like to do, they should send a proposal to the Foundation. We’re happy to review proposals, make suggestions, and facilitate creative efforts, if it is something possible to pursue.

Best regards, and keep enjoying Tekumel!

What Every Old School gamer should have

Nice video about Empire of the Petal Throne, Runequest, and Bushido.  Very cool – and some fun interference from a VERY young gamer.  Kudos to Hedgehobbit for mentioning Tekumel!

 

Work Continues

Lots of stuff

Files and files

We’ve been quite busy at the offices of the Tekumel Foundation, with over 120 volunteer hours over the past month. This video was shot a couple of weeks ago but we’ve only had the time to post it now! We met our timeline of getting everything out of the storage locker in time to give notice and avoid paying for another month. Now the hard work of sorting and organizing this materiel begins.

Workspace for volunteers

There’s been a lot of associated labor surrounding the move. The windows in the space, and the space itself, needed to be cleaned. There’s an associated kitchenette in which GFI electrical outlets and shelves have been installed, in preparation for providing amenities for volunteers to use. Meanwhile, projects on licensing language and even a new publication are underway.

It has been a busy summer, and it promises to be an even busier autumn!

The Tékumel Foundation Gets Premises

Fred looked around at the assembled students, and at the silent, watchful crowd. ‘If anyone fancies buying a Portable Swamp, as demonstrated upstairs, come to number ninety-three, Diagon Alley — Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes,’ he said in a loud voice, ‘Our new premises!’

-JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Foundation Gallery

Entry/Gallery

It doesn’t* feature Fizzing Whizbees or portable swamps, but the Tékumel Foundation has moved into its first premises. And before you ask, the answer to your first question is “No, of course we can’t afford it.” But we had to break the Catch-22 of being unable to raise funds without a workspace and being unable to get a workspace without funds, so we bit the bullet and are planning to work hard to make this space productive. And in order to control costs we’re sharing the space with another organization.

Workspace

Workspace

Goals for the space include a working archive wherein documents can be preserved, restored, digitized and tracked, and a gallery to display the restored Temple of Vimúhla model, costumed mannequins in Tsolyáni armor, and artwork by Tékumel artists. While not intended as a public space, volunteers and guests will be provided access and for security there’s a second, securable entrance to the archives themselves. We’ll be spending the month of August moving in book shelves and documents and getting basic office functionality established, and we’ll track that activity here.

Clip of floorplan

Clip of Floorplan

It is our hope that this significant investment will allow work to proceed much more quickly and efficiently than has been possible to date.

And of course, you can help with your donations and with your volunteered time if you’re local to the Twin Cities metro area. To donate,visit our main page at http://www.tekumelfoundation.org (And yes, we’re working on linking from there to this blog.)

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