Empire of the Petal Throne via Roll20


I remember Empire of the Petal Throne. It was an early Roleplaying game, produced by TSR (the Dungeons and Dragons people) but they didn’t put a lot of money or effort into it. This is a shame as the world upon which Empire of the Petal throne is built is complex, multicultural, multiracial and continuously being developed. 20 year old me tried it a few times and liked it, but it never caught on local to me, so I reverted to bland old Dungeons and Dragons.


Rich Mckee ran the adventure for us, as he is entering a new phase where he will be running Tekumel games for a long while.
We used Roll20, the visual utility that allows you to map and play your roleplaying games online with multiple players playing simultaneously (but not in the same place at the same time)

I had some technical difficulties with Roll20. I had used it before but that was a few years back. So after a few futile attempts, it finally worked for me, the Twitch stream was running and it was suddenly like being in the same room with the other guys (Steve, Rich and Jared).

Dhuktemu, my Warrior of Tekumel

As Steve was playing a priest (and they are pretty powerless at level one), and Jared was playing a wizard of some sort, someone had to provide muscle for this party. Fortunately I rolled pretty well for most physical stats. I made a warrior named Dhuktemu. All of us were playing humans, although we didn’t have to.

As starter class characters, we made stats, starting gear and money and backgrounds. I was a young glass blower apprentice that got bored with village life and headed for the big city to take up warrior training. I played my guy as smart, inquisitive and respectful. He doesn’t back away from a fight but isn’t so stupid he’ll start one for nothing.

Roll 20 screenshot of the Armed Manor we ended up in.

We took whatever work we could get and that entailed doing some travel as caravan guards. On our journey we were holed up on one side of a river, next door to a fortified manor. As we approached it became obvious something was going on– the manor appeard to be under siege by bandits.. but whether it was 10 or 20 or a 100 bandits, nobody could say. We got into the manor in time to insert ourselves into a plot to poison the lord of the manor and steel his money. As if we didn’t have enough to do. So my character is investigating that, when some of the bandits have showed up, deserting their fellows. My theory is there aren’t THAT many bandits in the woods, and the Lord’s daughter poisoned her dad. We won’t find out until next time.

I had a great time playing this game.. I had sold it short over the years.. I remember it being pretty complicated, but it really wasn’t any such thing. When you have the right crowd and the right GM, you won’t notice the system. I look forward to more sessions.