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Empire of the Petal Throne $14.00 $11.00
Average Rating:3.8 / 5
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Empire of the Petal Throne
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Empire of the Petal Throne
Publisher: M.A.R Barker's World of Tekumel
by Brook C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/09/2011 22:15:37

I purchased this RPG because it was a very early RPG (an antique), but I find the Mesoamerican style setting to be very interesting.

The system seems fairly straightforward, but the power curve seems different than I'm used to; Priests and Magic Users seem to be exceedingly limited in their abilities, both in quantity and power of spells. A lot of spells are once per day, ten minutes tops, and you don't seem to get very many spells, even at higher levels.

The scales (from its wargaming roots, I assume) can get confusing sometimes, especially for the spells, when they switch between dungeon and and actual measurements; it took me a while to figure out the three inch light spell had a thirty foot range.

It's definitely very combat focused, and full of random encounter/treasure/event tables, which seems to have been common back then. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it does seem to make it fairly focused on dungeon crawling. I find the descriptions for some of the random events and artifacts to be rather interesting, but perhaps that's just me.

The foreward by Gary Gygax, and the TSR catalog (Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set; $10!) in the back made me very nostalgic for a time that before I was born.

Overall, I don't know that I have much opportunity to play this, but it's an interesting setting and it was an interesting read. I'm happy I bought it.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Empire of the Petal Throne
Publisher: M.A.R Barker's World of Tekumel
by Robert L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/02/2009 01:26:15

This is the first game system (~1975) published for Empire of the Petal Throne, set in M.A.R. Barker's world of Tekumel. The game system is old school, like its contemporary, the original Dungeons and Dragons. Younger gamers who have grown up with rule systems that run into many volumes for a single game may feel that this system is too thin in details. However, this is a strength, not a weakness, allowing the game master and players to spend more time playing and less time looking up some obscure table eventually found on page 87 of the 5th volume of rules.

Everything needed to play is included in this volume, which includes all the game mechanics, a 'monster manual' section detailing the creatures of Tekumel, magical and technological items, spells, and background. The two sets of maps for Empire of the Petal Throne, also available on this site (maps for EPT, Jakalla-City half as old as the world) were included in the original boxed set, and are recommended (especially Jakalla), but not required.

The greatest feature of the game is the game setting itself - no review could possibly do it justice. Tekumel is an unbelievably gorgeous setting providing wheels within wheels for adventures in a society with highly developed religious and political structures, entirely original non-human races, a mixture of arcane technology and magic. Several fantasy/science fiction novels have been written by Professor Barker and are well worth reading to obtain greater detail of the world of Tekumel. A fair amount of information is available online, most easily found through the link for M.A.R. Barker's World of Tekumel Homepage at the bottom of the Publisher Info box above.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Empire of the Petal Throne
Publisher: M.A.R Barker's World of Tekumel
by Scott N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/21/2009 09:36:55

Ok, were do I start, the thing about this PDF is you can see the entire game is a scan of an original type set document, very bland pictures inside for those that are there. The creature section is very bland with not allot of descriptions or hardly any pictures to get the feel for the creature presented. I know its a very old RPG so for nostalgic sake I wont be too picky on that. Character creation is quite different from what I'm use too and is not old D&D at all, it has some of the same feel in a way but its system is quite different, my biggest complaint is they did not include the maps, these you have to download seperate, also there are only 3 classes, Warrior, Priest & Magic User, no thief or rogue class to speak of this I find disturbing in a way. It also is very long on background and history which is ok but the language and pronunciation of words can become down right unbearable at times, also there should have been some type of name generator for player characters to give more of a feel to the cultures and world the players are expected to grow up in.

Overall I would not recomend this to a new player, the world is very detailed almost to the point of too much detail, hardly any room was left for the GM to add to, for those looking for a very detailed world to play in, its a great read, although the game system is a bit dated, I know GOO (Guardians of Order) did a new game thats suppose to be quite pretty and well updated at this writting, but I am not a fan of the Tri-Stat system for which it was made for, so have not sunk my money into that tome.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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