Tékumel and Blackmoor

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Tékumel and Blackmoor

Post by Havard » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:57 pm

Dave Arneson was friends with Professor Phil Barker who created his own world: Tékumel. Apparently Arneson and Barker exchanged many ideas and their worlds have had some influence on one another, even if they at many levels are very different.

The relationship between the two world creators is discussed in a recent video podcast by Jeff Berry.

Dave Arneson even took the Tékumel group (with their characters) into Blackmoor.

Any Tékumel fans here on The Piazza?

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Re: Tékumel and Blackmoor

Post by Nevermore » Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:11 pm

I love Tékumel. The deepest setting I've ever seen together Tolkien's Middle Earth. Also the first complete fantasy world released by TSR, not a simple list of dungeons and city, but a vivid and concrete world.

Also Arneson considered Barker his favorite GM http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._A._R._Barker

To discover this amazing world...

http://www.tekumel.com/about_newtotekumel.html

Also there are free rukes for many systems like D&D or GURPS

http://www.tekumel.com/gaming_unofficialrules.html

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Re: Tékumel and Blackmoor

Post by Justinov » Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:23 pm

How on Earth did I miss this one?!

It has exactly all the factors I like. For instance as it states at the homepage: "scripts, languages (in the case of Tsolyáni, a language that can be spoken, with a grammar handbook and lexicon, like Tolkien’s Elvish or Star Trek’s Klingon), histories, modes of dress, etiquettes, architectural styles, weapons and armor, religions, legal codes, demographics, sciences, adventures".

So Håvard and Nevermore: How did you come into contact with this RPG?
By reading his books, or by chance?
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,/But I have promises to keep,/And miles to go before I sleep,
[Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening - By Robert Frost]

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—/I took the one less traveled by,/And that has made all the difference.
[The Road Not Taken - By Robert Frost]

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Re: Tékumel and Blackmoor

Post by Nevermore » Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:51 pm

Justinov wrote:How on Earth did I miss this one?!

So Håvard and Nevermore: How did you come into contact with this RPG?
By reading his books, or by chance?
I've met Tékumel and Empire of Pethal Throne by reading a short paragraph in a book, about the D&D and RPG's history, called Of Dice and Men by David Ewalt.

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Re: Tékumel and Blackmoor

Post by ripvanwormer » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:03 pm

I actually first learned about it by browsing Geocities' RPG pages in the mid-1990s. It's a very interesting world.

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Re: Tékumel and Blackmoor

Post by BlackBat242 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:47 am

I've had MAR (Muhammad Abd-al-Rahman ) Barker's Empire of Petal Throne novel Man of Gold since about 1986, but the two times I tried to read it I got bogged down quickly (I think I was in a mood for something lighter and quicker-paced at the time).

I kept the book (a compulsive habit of mine :P ), so I suppose I'll try again sometime when I am in the mood for something full and complex.
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Re: Tékumel and Blackmoor

Post by Justinov » Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:10 pm

Thanks for your responses!
I will try to look of the books [when i'm in the mood for complex, or more likely have time for it].

Otherwise how does work as a RP setting for you that have actually tried it?
Last edited by Justinov on Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,/But I have promises to keep,/And miles to go before I sleep,
[Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening - By Robert Frost]

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—/I took the one less traveled by,/And that has made all the difference.
[The Road Not Taken - By Robert Frost]

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Re: Tékumel and Blackmoor

Post by Havard » Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:27 pm

Justinov wrote:So Håvard and Nevermore: How did you come into contact with this RPG?
By reading his books, or by chance?
I think I first heard about it back in the 1980s, seeing ads for the 1987 version of Empire of the Petal Throne perhaps? I always used to mentally group Tekumel with other "weird" fantasy settings like Talislanta and the Skyrealms of Jorune. Maybe even Glorantha. Back then I was extremely curious about all the various fantasy worlds out there, but lack of cash limited what we were able to play in our group. These days the situation is pretty much reversed, doing financially much better, but time and access to players being the limiting factors.

My interest for Tekumel got reignited when I began exploring Blackmoor and the early career of Dave Arneson, the history of D&D etc. I bought the Guardians of Order rulebook a few years ago, but have yet to actually play in the setting.

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Re: Tékumel and Blackmoor

Post by Freedom92 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:01 pm

I've heard of Tekumel from browsing these forms and hearing references on blogs. I like the idea of the setting and its deep roots(I've also grown to like the Humanspace game) but have not gotten the chance to play either. I have a copy of the Tri-Stat/Guardian of Order but could never find a group to play with.

I wasnt aware they crossed into Blackmoor though, I know it influenced some of Blackmoor though.

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Re: Tékumel and Blackmoor

Post by BlackBat242 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:37 am

Havard wrote:Dave Arneson was friends with Professor Phil Barker who created his own world: Tékumel.

-Havard
I never knew that anyone referred to him as "Phil".

But Wiki says that he was christened Phillip Barker, and changed his name to Muhammad Abd-al-Rahman Barker when he converted to Islam in 1951 on a trip to India.
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Re: Tékumel and Blackmoor

Post by Havard » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:14 am

BlackBat242 wrote:But Wiki says that he was christened Phillip Barker, and changed his name to Muhammad Abd-al-Rahman Barker when he converted to Islam in 1951 on a trip to India.
Yeah, apparently he told his close friends that they could keep referring to him as Phil. But I should have used his proper name in my post.

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Re: Tékumel and Blackmoor

Post by Havard » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:22 am

Freedom92 wrote:I've heard of Tekumel from browsing these forms and hearing references on blogs. I like the idea of the setting and its deep roots(I've also grown to like the Humanspace game) but have not gotten the chance to play either. I have a copy of the Tri-Stat/Guardian of Order but could never find a group to play with..
I have the Tri-Stat book (GoO) and Empire of the Petal Throne (1987 edition), but haven't played any of them. When my players do have time to play, we tend to stick with the long lasting campaigns. The time for experimentation is long gone it seems... :/
I wasn't aware they crossed into Blackmoor though, I know it influenced some of Blackmoor though
Chirine ba kal has been talking more about it in the thread I linked to in my first post. Apparently Dave Arneson Refreed several sessions with the Tekumel group where they used their Tekumel characters. Professor Barker was also a player for at least some of these sessions. I'd be interested to find more about out how these two campaigns influenced eachother. Apparently Toska Rusa, the leader of the Afridhi was originally a Tekumel PC for instance.

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Re: Tékumel and Blackmoor

Post by Justinov » Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:28 pm

Havard wrote:I have the Tri-Stat book (GoO) and Empire of the Petal Throne (1987 edition), but haven't played any of them. When my players do have time to play, we tend to stick with the long lasting campaigns. The time for experimentation is long gone it seems... :/

Chirine ba kal has been talking more about it in the thread I linked to in my first post. Apparently Dave Arneson Refreed several sessions with the Tekumel group where they used their Tekumel characters. Professor Barker was also a player for at least some of these sessions. I'd be interested to find more about out how these two campaigns influenced eachother. Apparently Toska Rusa, the leader of the Afridhi was originally a Tekumel PC for instance.

-Havard
I'm amazed of how much RP material you have Håvard! ;)
Sadly time makes it impossible to play it all.

The "History of Early RP" is truly intriguing - where the influences comes from. Old undercurrents now being brought to the surface.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,/But I have promises to keep,/And miles to go before I sleep,
[Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening - By Robert Frost]

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—/I took the one less traveled by,/And that has made all the difference.
[The Road Not Taken - By Robert Frost]

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Re: Tékumel and Blackmoor

Post by Havard » Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:42 pm

Justinov wrote:I'm amazed of how much RP material you have Håvard! ;)
Yeah, I had quite a good collection from back in the 80s and 90s, but over the last few years I have expanded, buying more of the old material that I really wanted to get back then, but didnt have the cash for, or even hadn't heard about.
Sadly time makes it impossible to play it all.
Yeah, I keep talking about how when I was in high school I had all the time in the world for gaming, but we didnt have money to buy all the books. Now I have the money, but no time to play. Or rather my players have very little time.

Of course, not all gaming books are bought to be played. I like to steal and borrow ideas and material from multiple games and bring them into whatever game I actually am playing.
The "History of Early RP" is truly intriguing - where the influences comes from. Old undercurrents now being brought to the surface.
Yes, this is something I have gotten more and more interested in, especially since getting into Blackmoor.

If you are interested in more links between Tekumel and Blackmoor, Chirine (Jeff Berry) just started some more threads in the Comeback Inn Forum.

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It is pretty interesting to hear the stories about Dave Arneson as a player rather than a DM as well. :cool:

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Re: Tékumel and Blackmoor

Post by Nevermore » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:54 am

I found a Jaeffy Berry interview (one of the first Tékumel players) talking about many things: I think the most important topic is the role of Arneson in the Barker's campaign.

http://hillcantons.blogspot.it/2010/11/ ... aying.html
Having Dave as a player out at Phil's was truly fun to be a part of. Phil was in awe of Dave, and Dave in awe of Phil. Watching the two of them try they're hardest to put one over on the other was awesome to watch. All you could do was hang onto your chair for dear life as they took off and ran with stuff. There was also a really distinct difference between Dave and Harchar. Dave was a good actor, you could always tell who you were talking to.

Dave played Harchar like a combination of Blackbeard and Don Vito Corleone, and he did it with style and energy. It was some of the very best gaming we'd ever done, having him there, and we all enjoyed it hugely.

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Re: Tékumel and Blackmoor

Post by Yaztromo » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:31 pm

Havard wrote: Now I have the money,
If you need help for spending it, just give us a shout! :lol: :mrgreen: :lol: :mrgreen:
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Re: Tékumel and Blackmoor

Post by finarvyn » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:38 am

BlackBat242 wrote:I've had MAR (Muhammad Abd-al-Rahman ) Barker's Empire of Petal Throne novel Man of Gold since about 1986, but the two times I tried to read it I got bogged down quickly (I think I was in a mood for something lighter and quicker-paced at the time).

I kept the book (a compulsive habit of mine :P ), so I suppose I'll try again sometime when I am in the mood for something full and complex.
My first exposure to EPT was mid-1970's. The friend who introduced me to OD&D bought a copy of EPT and ran a few adventures for me. I never quite "got" the world, but we had fun playing. I bought a boxed set a few years later but still never quite figured out the world.

As far as Man of Gold goes, I feel your pain. I own that one and 1-2 other EPT books and have started reading several times, only to stall out really early each time. I think it's the same issue I have with the boxed set -- the language and vocabulary intimidates me and I just can't get into the flow of the world because of that.
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Re: Tékumel and Blackmoor

Post by BlackBat242 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:58 am

finarvyn wrote:
BlackBat242 wrote:I've had MAR (Muhammad Abd-al-Rahman ) Barker's Empire of Petal Throne novel Man of Gold since about 1986, but the two times I tried to read it I got bogged down quickly (I think I was in a mood for something lighter and quicker-paced at the time).
I think it's the same issue I have with the boxed set -- the language and vocabulary intimidates me and I just can't get into the flow of the world because of that.
I handle that sort of thing really well (I had college English Lit credits before I graduated from High School), so I don't think it was that.

Perhaps I'll try again.
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