Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tékumel News

In my recent Gamma World zeal, I'd forgotten to post about two things related to Tékumel that I'd intended to mention.

First is The Drune's Humanspace Empires RPG, which he announced here at the end of last year, and whose latest playtest draft is available here. Humanspace Empires is a retro-future "prehistory" to M.A.R. Barker's Empire of the Petal Throne, taking place in the far future days before Tékumel and 722 other worlds disappeared from normal space for reasons unknown. I've been having a blast reading it. As both an intellectual exercise in attempting to theorize what Barker's Humanspace universe might have been like and (more importantly) as an old school pulp sci-fi game, it's really remarkable. I'm particularly impressed with the game's system for skills and psy powers, which build on those of EPT and extend them in logical, elegant ways.

Second is the appearance of the new blog, The Eye of Joyful Sitting Amongst Friends, written by long-time Tékumel fan, Brett Slocum. I made Brett's acquaintance back in the late 90s, when I was much more heavily involved in Tékumel fandom -- I co-wrote several articles with Professor Barker, though they didn't see publication until fairly recently -- and he was one of the people whose enthusiasm and friendliness on various boards and mailing lists I distinctly recall helping me overcome my initial uneasiness about becoming involved in this notoriously esoteric RPG setting. In any event, it's great to see him spread his love of Tékumel through a blog and I live in hope we'll see even more devoted to one of the hobby's great fantasy settings.


  1. Having GMed a playtest Skype game of Humanspace I have to say that it plays very well. Hats off to the Drune for getting this product out--and free to boot.

  2. Once again, James, your blog points me towards really interesting stuff that I really wish I knew about just a few weeks prior.

    Did you consider the Human Empires rules for use under your own new SF game?

    I'm now trying to (a) get involved in The Drune's online game(s) and (b) trying to convince my gaming group to have someone else run this next in our rotation.

    I found out about Stars Without Number here, too; you're an invaluable resource, James. 8/

  3. Did you consider the Human Empires rules for use under your own new SF game?

    Nope. I didn't even know of its existence until fairly recently and, since one of the purposes of the campaign was to further playtest my Thousand Suns revision, it wouldn't have been an option in any case.

    you're an invaluable resource, James. 8/

    I live to serve :)