Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I want 2011's EPT too

I want 2011's EPT too...but the first one was a result of decades of invention and creation. Will we even notice 2011's EPT, most people in the RPG hobby never noticed the 1975 EPT even when it was published by the biggest publisher in RPG-land, most have still never played it and most never will.

There were no boundaries recognized for the world of Tekumel when it was first invented and then hammered into a D&D-like game. Modern RPG campaigns have lot's of boundaries and boxes folks are going to shove a campaign or game into. We could lose sight of it because someone shoves it in the wrong box.

What good is 2011's EPT if most folks simply rip it apart for a few pieces to shove in their plain old games? Is 2011 EPT fated to evolve in 2017's Swords and Glory to be followed by 2027's totally-unpronounceable-esoteric RPG?

As for Blackmoor, almost every DM since has done Blackmoor (many may have done far better) but we didn't do it first. We weren't the spark of original genius. There will be no Blackmoor but there might indeed be a Caverns of Thracia.

EPT and Blackmoor were both inventions of men who had no experience with RPGs as most readers of this most certainly do. Each of us has likely has decades of experience and has read many hundreds times more about RPG then either innovator was exposed to when they got to work.

Who has the decades of non-RPG invention that will let them come up with the 2011 EPT? Are they going to let us know they did it?


  1. Interesting that you made that a provision for the creation of the 'next Tekumel'.

  2. @Timeshadows. I'm just going with an example someone else set. Tekumel was (as far as I know)a pre-RPG invention so using it as a bellwether of creativity and innovation in RPG brings that along with it.

  3. Barker was carving wooden figures when he was 10 years old. When the Pulps came about in his life, he began to alter his imaginary world accordingly, and writing fiction in that vein. When he learnt of RPGs, he had already been an active historical miniatures for years if not longer. If the existence of RPGs is the benchmark, then only folks from countries that have no RPG exposure (including MMORPGs) or folks older than Barker, Arneson, and Gygax have any hopes of meeting the criteria.

    It raises an interesting point, though.

    I was gaming prior to my exposure to Moldvay, but had no rules or dice, and my world setting was being shaped by coin-ops, the TRON film, and all of the comics and TV sci-fi (horror, etc.) to which I had been exposed prior.

    I wonder if 26/27 years of game-world development is a respectable measure in this regard? :)

    Please realise I am not complaining for my own sake, but rather that the benchmark seems...arbitrarily unlikely to be met, especially if one of those candidates must then become initiated into a rules-set (even one of their creation) without being influenced by others with a gaming history.

    Just some thoughts on your post and the possible 'implications' of that benchmark.

  4. The real question is what exactly does it mean to be the "next EPT?"

    Does that mean in terms of innovation? detail? longevity? Just a non-Western setting? What exactly?

  5. @timeshadows, that might be why it's a tricky standard to set,

    @trey, I figure we'll know it when we see it.