8, 8, I forget what is for
Grognardia have a running series of post about his campaign. I haven't been able to penetrate it much myself.


Should be playing D&D instead
The best introductions to the setting are the two MAR Barker novels. Barker explains things very well in them, and you can get a feel for the setting that I've never gotten from any of the published setting guides.

It's not a bad or boring setting, but I think it's a bit like Glorantha where there's a portion of the fans who have less of an interest in actually playing in it and really just want to do fantasy anthropology who tend to scare away everyone else. The main draws of it as a roleplaying game setting are that you can integrate evil and good PCs relatively straightforwardly due to the non-hostile relations between the temples of law and chaos, the metal-poor element stretches the imagination in interesting ways, and the core gameplay mechanic of being hustlers working for patrons slowly trying to rise through the ranks to one day become movers and shakers yourselves is pretty straightforward.


Should be playing D&D instead
The novels have been brought back into print (and reedited, perhaps?---I'll get more details from Victor Raymond over NTX next week), and there are three others after the first two (Man of Gold and Flamesong). I haven't read any of them to date, but do own the old DAW editions.

The Tekumel Foundation has also been reprinting the Swords & Glory volumes as the best introductions to EPT, along with the boxed set. Details at https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/57/MAR-Barker039s-World-of-Tekumel and https://www.tekumel.com/gaming_officialrules.html



The original Empire of the Petal Throne RPG - available in various affordable reprints - remains a great introduction to the setting. It is weird, but not impossibly weird, and Prof. Barker explains the idea very clearly. In fact, EPT is also a clean, understandable OD&D variant written by someone who obviously had experience writing college textbooks, skills Gary and Dave obviously did not possess. The rules are not ambiguous, and they are presented quite logically. For extra insight, check out Fight On! magazine for splendid, play-friendly EPT content and advice. This thread on the OD&D discussion forums are highly recommended, too.

On its own, EPT starts your characters as lowly foreigners trying to earn money via dungeon-delving and completing missions for local potentates as disposable forces, making it the definitive migrant worker RPG system. You can then graduate them to wilderness play, warfare (there is a great skirmish game hidden in the combat rules), diplomacy, and whatnot. You learn about the world and its peculiarities gradually (although often at your own expense, impáling stákés included)

I never ran proper EPT, but the City of Vultures described in various issue of Echoes From Fomalhaut is very obviously a homage to it, and you could easily use that stuff in an EPT campaign with a few changes. Otherwise, published adventure materials are pretty scarce; The Tomb-Complex of Nereshánbo is a functional but not terribly outstanding dungeon adventure, and Judges Guild's The Nightmare Maze of Jigrésh is considered weak. Most published Tékumel material lies in the deep "culture-gaming" territory, and perhaps not of much interest to D&D players.


Should be playing D&D instead
Shout out to Grognardias zine. EPT is not scary, its fans want you to think it is
I had picked up the first 6 issues or so of The Excellent Travelling Volume @ http://grognardia.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html as they released, but te content didn't resonate with me the way Gabor's City of Vultures materials did---they made the tone and style of EPT come alive in ways that TETV had not.



High Executarch
Staff member
I actually own and have read FlameSong, and found its worldbuilding fairly interesting but it does suffer terribly from wargame novel adaptation syndrome. Barker is probably a genius, definetely a brilliant setting builder, but a novelist he is not and it shows.

White Dwarf #54 has an adventure set in the world of Tekumel for AD&D/Runequest & EPT entitled Temple of the Doomed Prince. I cannot vouch for its quality as I have not studied it thoroughly.
Thanks for the great feedback, all of you! And Melan for further pushing me down the rabbit hole. I have City of Vultures (and i think all of your stuff), which i will delve into more deeply now.