Saturday, March 19, 2022

Neo-Nazis in Tekumel

 So, thanks to Jim Lowder for sharing the news about the big upset that has erupted in the last few days while I've been on the road and only intermittently with online access.

In brief, the late M.A.R. Barker, author of EMPIRE OF THE PETAL THRONE, wrote and published a neo-Nazi novel.

The Link

The Other Link (ENWorld discussion)

Barker was of enormous important to D&D --and hence roleplaying-- for creating an exotic, not to say downright weird, fantasy world, complete with a variety of odd monsters and alien races, bizarre magical technology, a number of gods and cults (some of them highly unpleasant), and even a highly developed invented language. And all this without drawing on the near-ubiquitous Tolkienian medievalism that dominated fantasy (then as now). 

All of which makes it all the odder that Barker's work was much praised but little played. Few read it, and fewer still ever rolled up characters and gave it a try.

TSR used the world of Tekumel as the basis of one of their earliest major releases: the first boxed set supplement in the rpg industry (costing the high-end price of $25 back in 1975), an impressive feat of worldbuilding. 

The fall-out shd be interesting on this one.

--John R.

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