Tuesday, March 20, 2012

RIP Professor Barker

Professor M A R (“Phil”) Barker died just recently. I was away from home, cramming my head full with new skills for my gong fu, when I friend called me up and told me the news. I have never played EPT but I have read his first novel, and liked it. Right now I wish I could re-read it, but I lent it out and now it's lost. One of these days I'd like to explore Tekumel.

So, what can I say that have not been said already? I didn't know him, and don't have any experience with the game world. I'm thinking of how fans of Tekumel write their setting and rules hacks.

If you check out the official Tekumel site, you will find links to many different rules systems. Those I find intriguing are the ones which don't try to adapt an existing set, but instead start with what is specific for Tekumel. There are a few, and some are not even finished after those specifics are nailed down. Maybe that is what is the core of the rules needed. The main theme of the game is by necessity what should first be written. Can you spot what is the core theme of GURPS? I bet there is one. Those might not be obvious at first, but even fairly setting agnostic rules have themes in them. I'm right now suddenly immediately struck by the necessity of that fact. I think I'm going to meditate on that a bit. Maybe re-reading those Tekumel rules again will make me see the Tekumel behind the rules.

Thanks for the cerebral workout Professor! Even indirectly, your creation makes the gears turn. The power of dream and imagination is amazing. Game on!
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