Tékumel Archive

The Eye of All-Seeing Wonder

Issue Five | Summer 1995

Opening the Way

Ngángmuru! Let me, as your new editor, welcome you to this fifth Issue of the Eye of All-Seeing Wonder. Dave Morris has stepped down from the editorship for a while, and I volunteered to take over rather than see the Eye disappear. I agreed to produce at least one Issue, and I hope to produce at least three Issues before handing over to someone else. Anyway, many thanks to Dave for his excellent work on the first four Issues.

Just let me say a few words about the Eye. Producing the Eye is a labour of love. It takes a lot of effort to collect, edit and lay out the material but there seems to be a real need for a Tékumel zine. The cost of each Issue is calculated to just about break even if the whole print-run of about 150 is sold, but in practice each makes a loss which the editor has to bear. The more Issues that are sold, the smaller the loss so encourage your friends to buy their own copies rather than read yours. I will hold the price for the next Issue at £2.99 in the UK. European readers should send £3.50, and subscribers elsewhere should send £4.00 in UK funds or $6.00 in US funds—send notes rather than money orders. Please note I only accept subscriptions ONE Issue in advance—I don’t want to rip people off if I have to drop the Eye through preSsúre of work.

The Eye also needs material. I am always glad to receive articles, scenarios or drawings for inclusion, but I cannot pay for any material (...except maybe with a free copy...) nor return anything you send to me (...so don’t send originals of your artwork). Those of you with access to the Internet can e-mail articles to me, sfoster@cix.compulink.co.uk. You can also send scanned artwork if it is in TIFF format and UUencoded. If none of this "sorcery" makes any sense to you then stick to snail-mail!

I’ve often wondered why Tékumel inspires such devotion in its fans. I’ve been involved with Tékumel for 19 years now, and I’m by no means an exception. Other role games come and go, but Empire of the Petal Throne (as I still think of it) keeps on going. Clearly, rules have nothing to do with it. I’ve gamed Tékumel under six different rule systems, but when I recall my favourite moments it’s the world and the events that I remember. I can’t think of any other game where I do this. Why, I can even remember having dreams about Tékumel—a friend of a university friend was realy a Ssú and was bumping people off!

I can think of no other game setting where you can discuss politics, law, ancient history, mythology and social niceties of polygamy all as part of the adventure. No other setting has that amount of detail. Even those that pretend to it don’t have the originality and imagination. Tékumel is more than a work of art, it is one of the great archetypes, and I consider myself fortunate to have been a small part of it.

Something of such originality transcends the rule system that we use to play it. Personally I liked the original EPT and I like TIRIKELU. GURPS is ok, but slow. I’ve not seen any other systems that I like. Sometimes, I’d rather forget the rules altogether and just wing it. (As the Thursday night crowd will testify: "Oh God! Steve’s just phoned to say he’ll be late. That means he hasn’t prepared anything!"). Tekueml lets you do that. That’s why I’d prefer to see more world material than rules material. I don’t think I’m alone in this, and I hope TOME take that to heart. I’ll continue to publish rules materialin the Eye of course. You’ve no idea how difficult it is to get copy otherwise.

By the way, I think a big hand is due once again to Martin Helsdon and Russ Nicholson for the excellent artwork in this Issue.

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