Episode 51: Tekumel, a fash-fantasy? feat. TENEPOD

Zock Bock Radio Episode 51

Our deep dive into Tekumel and the life & works of Phil Barker continues, with professional help in the form of TENEPOD’s own Fritz. Together we explore facets of the Tekumel setting and the stance the main actors of the Tekumel foundation seem to have taken, and their silence on many topics. We discuss the playstyle of the Barker group(s) and collect ideas for a general explanation about the fascism – fantasy connection. Many tangents are included, not the least of which is where we discuss Gary Gygax’s take on alignment and his Chivington reference on the old EN-World Q&A threads.


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8 Kommentare

  1. the meloni / tolkien connection isn’t that strange. Italy’s free festival movement had one called hobbit camp. it tried to forge a working relationship with hippies, anarchists, and fascists.

  2. Thanks for this salutary episode. A single point:
    – Pygmy Folks: The descriptive bits that become problematic when put together are mainly spread around the „Tekumel Sourcebook“ (1983). Page 24 („they resemble rodents, with a sharp-featured face, large ears“); page 59 („capricious (…) very greedy (…) ‚To bargain with one of the Pygmy Folk is to throw away one’s purse‘.“; page 73 „high incidence of violent crimes [in their communities]“; page 89 („This [creature’s behavior] is all cynical deception“); page 94 („the smooth and crafty pleasantries of the Pygmy Folk which conceal their avarice as a film of oil covers water“). The Tekumel Wiki pages are not the best resource.

  3. Thank you for clearing this up! I only looked at Empire of the Petal Throne: The World of Tekumel (1975) and the Pygmy folk there seemed fine.

  4. Thank you for this episode, and your raster astute reading of the situation. It’s refreshing to see the politics of certain rpg authors being discussed with such verve and enthusiasm. However, why not extend this interest of yours to the authors who actually come on your show? Case in point, „that Gabor Lux character“, to use the parlance you used when discussing the unsavory president of the Tekumel Foundation. When you had Lux over, you decided not to discuss politics right after he got a bit chagrined at the prospect of discussing them. Was that because it would have been too awkward to bring this subject up with him, a person whose work you’ve greatly admired over the years, and one with whom you breathlessly bonded over your love of old-school D&D? This is unfortunate and disappointing, particularly since Lux’s politics are integral not only to the manner in which he publicly expressed and conducted himself on certain forums, but also to some of his rpg output, most obviously his Helveczia rpg, as he stated himself in the episode I refer to here.

  5. We had discussing current OSR on the list, but we reserved that for a different time. I think Gabor Lux describes himself as an arch-conservative. I would disagree on how much that informs his gaming output so far, but surely this could be debated. This is also why we gladly, not awkwardly, stayed away from politics during our interview. I know were I personally fundamentally disagree with his politics (and he does with mine). That seems to me to be a totally different ballgame than, say Barker or the Bledsaw(s).
    In my ideal (and real-life experience, of which I talk a bit in the Patrick Stuart interview), a police and an antifa-person should be able to sit down at the same table and play, say Shadowrun.

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