The Tékumel Foundation

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

Archive for the category “Uncategorized”

Website Changes Coming!

The Tékumel Foundation is in the process of revising the language on the Foundation website regarding submissions of new material to the Foundation.  We want to do a better job of letting people know how to present their proposals for Board approval – and that means more clarity on the website.  We expect to have new guidelines available sometime after the turn of the year, so you might want to wait before submitting anything new for Board consideration.

In other news, we are getting close to finishing the reprint of the original Empire of the Petal Throne rules.  The new edition will have color art on the cover, introductions by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson (of Captain Hárchar fame), a black and white map of the city of Jakálla, all four original reference sheets, and a citizenship document for the Empire of the Petal Throne!  We’re also hard at work on getting Flamesong and Lords of Tsámra released, as well.


Conventions for 2017!


It’s that time of year again – the Tékumel Foundation is planning on having a presence at the following conventions in 2017:

We’re interested in other gaming and science fiction conventions, so if you have ideas on where Tékumel fans could be found, please let us know – if we can fit it in, we’ll be there!  We also want to support anyone running Tékumel games at these or other conventions with events prizes and freebies, so please contact us with your event plans.

Where are you going to play Tékumel in 2017?  Inquiring minds want to know!


Happy Birthday, Prof. Barker!


Today marks the 87th anniversary of the birth of Prof. Muhammad Abd-al-Rahman Barker, the creator of the world of Tékumel!  Better known to his friends and to fans of Tékumel as “Phil,” Prof. Barker’s creative legacy continues to enchant and inspire gamers and fantasy fans around the world.  There are several events and activities this week and next helping to showcase Tékumel:

  • Coming up November 4th-6th is GameholeCon, in Madison, Wisconsin – where there will be four Tékumel gaming events, all run by Victor Raymond of the Tékumel Foundation.
  • During the weekend of November 11th-13th will be U-Con Gaming Convention, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  There will be an entire Tékumel track of events, with fans from all over the world coming to play.
  • This week also marks the release of the Swords & Glory Vol. 2 – Tekumel Players Handbookthrough DrivethruRPG.  There’s a sale going on for print products from the World of Tékumel – go check out the discounted prices!

Don’t forget that there are additional Tékumel game products and materials available: Jeff Dee’s excellent Tékumel RPG Bethorm and all of the related products from UniGames; Prof. Barker’s novel The Man of Goldthe text-based Tékumel adventure game, Choice of the Petal Throne from Choice of Games; military miniatures from the Tékumel Project; and James Maliszewski’s fanzine, The Excellent Traveling Volumenow in its sixth issue!

Happy Halloween! The Players Handbook is Available!


Just in time for Halloween, the Swords & Glory Vol. 2 – Tékumel Players Handbook is now available, in PDF, softcover and hardcover versions.  The Players Handbook adds a wealth of information about Tékumel beyond what was revealed in Swords & Glory Vol. 1 – Tékumel Source Book.  It provides all of the information to generate characters for Swords & Glory, including warriors, priests, lay-priests, spies, officials, and more. A complete listing of spells and spell descriptions for mages of all temples  is also provided.  This is a reprint of the original Gamescience edition of the Tékumel Player’s Handbook, published in 1984 as a boxed set with additional material as Swords & Glory, Volume 2. The cover is a newly restored reproduction of the original box cover art, and has never been seen before! The new printing includes the character record sheet, errata for early printings, and the combat and sorcery summaries included with the original boxed set.

In addition to the Players Handbook itself, there are a number of associated products:

Best of all, this release is part of a sale in honor of Prof. Barker’s birthday; print products and connected items and being sold at a discount through the end of November – a great opportunity to buy material to share with other gamers interested in the world of Tékumel.

Just a few hours left!

There’s just a few hours left before the Kickstarter for the Kúrt Hills Atlas is finished – and the total amount pledged is almost $10,000!  Help put this project over the top and make exciting things happen for the world of Tékumel!

From the Kickstarter website: “Detailed map & guide to the Empire of Tsolyánu’s Kúrt Hills region, for the Tékumel / Empire of the Petal Throne fantasy RPG setting!” – here’s the link:

Kurt Hills Fantasy Atlas

Two Conventions Coming Up!

Con of the North is happening this weekend – February 12th-14th –  in the Twin Cities, with a line-up of different events all worth attending!  If you are anywhere near the longtime home of Prof. Barker, consider coming out to the convention and playing in the world of Tekumel.

If you can’t make it to the Twin Cities this weekend, then consider going to OwlCon at Rice University in Houston, Texas, next weekend – February 19th-21st.  Jeff Dee will be there, running Bethorm and exhibiting his artwork.  That makes two conventions in two weeks, both with Tekumel games and events.  What are you waiting for?


A Special 20th-Anniversary Reading

Happy Holidays, everyone! It’s the 20th anniversary of the holiday favorite, “Twas the Night Before Chitlásha,” and to celebrate the Tékumel Foundation has brought in a special guest to read you this holiday classic. Jump to the end of the poem to listen!

Twas The Night Before Chitlásha

by Bob Alberti

©1995 Bob Alberti, Jr. with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, M. A. R. Barker, Santa Claus, and most of Western Civilization.

Twas the Night before Chitlásha and all through the clan
Not a person was stirring, neither Pé Chói nor Man.
The slaves were all locked in their stables with care
For I didn’t wish any more trouble down there.

The children were nestled all snug on their mats,
With nightmares of Ssúganar tormenting the brats.
And I hung the méshqu “Don’t disturb, I relax”,
While my wives settled down for a night on their backs.

When out in the courtyard there arose such a clatter
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.
Leaping over Third Wife, cross the room did I dash
Threw open the shutters and saw a great flash.

The moons on the breasts of the demon Quyó
Gave a red-and-green luster to her statue below,
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But a shining blue oval that filled me with fear.

Then out leapt a creature with a nose glowing red
And I feared in a moment I soon would be dead.
More rapid than Hláka these monsters they came
As one ’round the back called out their true names;

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As leaves which before a wild hurricane fly
When they meet with an obstacle mount to the sky
So up to the rooftop the first creature flew
With eight more behind it, and a palanquin too.

And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each demon-hoof.
As I entered the room and was looking around
Down the chimney a humanoid came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
From the brick fireplace that appeared at his back
He withdrew an enormous red tarpaulin sack

His eyes, how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a berry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow
And my wives and I feared there was nowhere to go.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke seemed to come from burning a leaf.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
Which shook when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, like a demonic peasant,
And the smile I gave him was carefully pleasant.
But the wink of his eye and the twist of his head
Seemed like a spell-gesture, and filled me with dread.

He spoke not a word for the spell he would work
And had just turned around when he stopped with a jerk.
A finger was laid to one side of his nose
When he started to glow a bright shade of rose.

Third Wife’s Ruby Eye also captured the sleigh
You can see them in Bey Su where they’re on display.
A priest closed the nexus with a ritual spell
But I left the brick fireplace. Why not? It works well.

I rewarded Third Wife with thesun and gold
And named her First Wife though just sixteen years old.
Therefore she exclaimed during our evening rites

Please consider making a non-tax-deductible donation (we’re working on the nonprofit paperwork!) to The Tékumel Foundation.

You can roleplay in Tékumel with the rules found in Béthorm by Jeff Dee available at

If you enjoy “The Night Before Chitlásha” and you’re in the Twin Cities, come see a new comedy written by Bob Alberti with director Susanne Becker, “Hard Wired,” opening January 7th at the Bryant Lake Bowl.

And Bob Alberti performs adult insult comedy with Vilification Tennis at 10 pm on Saturday Night, December 26th, also at the Bryant Lake Bowl.

Without further ado, here is your special reading of

Twas The Night Before Chitlásha

Upcoming conventions and website update

Gamehole Con in Madison, Wisconsin was this past weekend, and Madison Traditional Gaming was one of the groups running games, including an Empire of the Petal Throne game referreed by Victor Raymond.  There are also some excellent after-action reports from other events, including a naval scenario at Fall In! run by Howard Fielding.  All of which is a decent reminder that there are more Tekumel events coming up in the near future:

  • U-Con is in less than two weeks in Ypsilanti, Michigan.  The Tekumel Track at U-Con has a long and glorious history – think about going!
  • Con of the North will be happening after the turn of the year in the Twin Cities – many Tekumel events are being planned!

In other news, The Tekumel Foundation website is offline while transitioning to a new host designed to provide better responsiveness and email service.  We want to make sure this is done right, so look for an update later this week about it.

Choice of the Petal Throne

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!

More conventions this spring!

Haven ConBack from GaryCon VII – several Tekumel related gaming events and lots of people having a good time, so definitely a win!  Coming up – Jeff Dee has informed the Foundation that UNIgames will be at HavenCon this upcoming weekend, April 3rd-5th, 2015, at the Holiday Inn Midtown in Austin, TX.  HavenCon describes itself as “The First LGBTQIA Geek and Gaming Convention of Texas” so this will be an opportunity to find more fans of Tekumel.

In addition to HavenCon, other upcoming conventions include North Texas RPG Con, Celesticon, U-Con, M.A.G.E. events and GameHole Con.  If you are planning on running something Tekumel-related at an upcoming convention, please let us know!

In other news:

  • Choice of the Petal Throne is coming closer!  Be ready for a new text-based game for the world of Tekumel from Choice of Games.  Their latest release, Hero of Kendrickstone, has been a recent hit; go check it out!
  • Work progresses on The Man of Gold print release.  After that will be Flamesong and Prof. Barker’s other novels.
  • More cardboard minis from UNIgames are in the works!
  • The Tekumel Sourcebook is just about ready; a new scan of the back cover is the last major item to finish and then it can be released.


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