Saturday, March 9, 2013

Back To Tekumel

Today we got to play some Tekumel using Professor M.A.R. Barker's Empire of the Petal Throne RPG. We are playing first level marine trainees from a legion based in Penom, a city notorious as the "armpit of the Empire". I am very certain that +Jeff Berry will do a post in the near future with a few more details about the session and his excellent collection of "not-Barsoom" miniatures, which are perfect for Tekumel.

Here is our GM, +Rob Leduc with his son Evan in the background.

These days, I am kind of notorious at the gaming table for writing down witty or evocative things that players or PCs say that sound like perfect FATE Aspects.

Here's the take from our session today:
  • "The Last Metal Hlyss" - This is Jeff Berry describing an item from his Tekumel miniatures collection, but as a creature in its own right, it sounds respectably fearsome and interesting to me, and may show up in a future FATE Tekumel game of mine. 
  • "Mall-walk, if you will" - Evan dropped this one liner after a bloody encounter with a particularly nasty group of critters. We lost two of our contingent of 20 marine trainees. This is the equivalent of the "step lively" command you often hear conductors announce when the doors open after the train arrives at station on the NYC subway. You never walk slowly in the wilderness of Tekumel. Or run blindly. Instead, it is often prudent to walk briskly.


  1. If I may comment...

    It was a very fun game, with the players being reminded that humans are not at the at the top of the food chain on Tekumel.

    The miniatures are from David Soderberg at; very dynamic poses, many with open hands for customization, and lots of that 'Frank Frazetta' charm from Ye Olden Dayes of Ye olde Schoole Gaming (what ever that is.) when I was young, stupid, and hair and energy.

    "The Last Metal Hlyss" is just that; the last survivor of about a dozen metal castings of this insectoid race I did for use in Prof. Barker's games from a plastic master model that I cobbled together. He's still with us, in his bright metallic red chitin, terrorizing players for all these years.

  2. @Chirine: I was reflecting on the way home that the experience of travelling over a landscape and encountering life there, is an adventure in itself. This is one of the strengths of the sandbox tradition - one made more so by having an extremely interesting world, and the experience of risk and danger.

    The adventure also showed that there are many places left to explore on Tekumel - some quite close to cities. GMs have plenty of room for their own creation, without worrying about knocking over the Professor's scenery. Rob is doing a good job making that island come alive. Literally.

  3. I was going to ask about those miniatures. Thanks very much. This sounds like a really good time, people who know the world well getting together to go deeper still.

    1. Porky, your recent comments on the value of adventures which explore a world by traversing its landscape really applies to this campaign.

      It was also fun seeing the youngest two players start to figure out military tactics.