Professor M.A.R. Barker devoted over 50 years to creating the World of Tékumel, developing it into a vivid science-fantasy setting with rich backgrounds and unique cultural identities. Inspired not only by the pulp SF and fantasy of the mid-20th century, but also by the rich civilisations of Moghul India, Ancient Egypt and he Aztecs, Tékumel sets the stage for a role-playing experience unlike any other.

Policies Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The following Question and Answer document policies (the “Policies”) are the complete policies of the Tékumel Foundation (the “Foundation”) regarding publication of materials intended for commercial, personal or fan-only use with Tékumel. The Foundation is the exclusive licensee of all intellectual property relating to the World of Tékumel, and as such is the only entity which should be approached by any person or company wishing to produce works in the World of Tékumel.

The Policies are guidelines for use of information and material from the World of Tékumel and the Empire of the Petal Throne. They also form a contract with users of this website (“you”). By using this website, you have agreed to be bound by these Policies. Violation of the Policies may result in legal action. The Foundation takes its role as steward of the intellectual property related to the World of Tékumel very seriously and endeavors to protect the World of Tékumel to the full extent of the law.

Q: What kind of protection does the World of Tékumel have?

The World of Tékumel is protected by national and international intellectual property laws, including both copyright and trademark.

Copyright protects copyrighted material from unauthorized copying, publication, or creation of derivative works (materials, in any medium, based on the copyrighted material), of the written works, unique characters, and unique setting elements of copyrighted material, in this case the World of Tékumel.

Trademark law protects against unauthorized use of the trademarked word, phrase, or image, or similar words, phrases, or images, for sale of the same or similar goods to the ones sold in association with the trademarks.

TEKUMEL®, EMPIRE OF THE PETAL THRONE™, and other trademarks appearing in the written works, on this website, in association with miniatures or other goods, or anywhere else in association with the World of Tékumel, are trademarks exclusively licensed to the Tékumel Foundation.

Q: I want to make copies from a Tékumel book for a game I am running. Can I?

Those copies would be considered copies made for personal use.
The Foundation has a liberal fair use policy for personal use of Tékumel materials. Fans are free to make copies of up to a few pages at a time to support playing games within the World of Tékumel, including scanning copies to a computer, creating spreadsheets which automate processes within the game, or making copies of pages as handouts for players. These personal, non-public uses are all permissible. However, you may not create and/or distribute copies in such a way that it hurts the market for Tékumel books or products, for example by posting a copy of one or more pages from a book on a website.

Q: I want to write adventures that take place on Tékumel for my blog or create other Tékumel-related items to share for free. Can I?

Fans of the World of Tékumel have drawn on and added to the rich setting in various media over the years. The Foundation has no desire to interrupt the free flow of ideas and non-commercial additions to the World of Tékumel; however, it cannot allow others to benefit financially from Professor Barker’s years of work without compensating his heirs.

The Foundation has a liberal use policy for fan-created works not intended for sale, and for which you are not seeking approval as “authorized” Tékumel material (“Fan Publications”). Specifically, all materials written by Dr. Barker ("Official Tékumel" materials) may be drawn upon for the purpose of creating derivative works (e.g., new adventures, new characters, etc.) in the form of Fan Publications, subject to the following conditions:

  1. You will not seek direct payment or remuneration in any form for the publication, distribution, or other development of the work. This means that you cannot charge for access to a website containing Tékumel-based materials you have written; however, you may display advertising on a website containing Tékumel-based materials you have written. If you have any questions about whether your website's money-makers are permissible, please feel free to contact the Foundation at info@tekumelfoundation.org.
  2. If an opportunity to receive any form of payment or remuneration is presented to you, you will contact the Foundation through the usual channels for inquiries (see below) to receive the appropriate permissions. You understand that if the Foundation does not grant these permissions, you may not receive the offered compensation.
  3. You must place in a prominent location (for example, at the beginning , at the foot of each relevant page, or in the credits) the following statement:
    "This work is a Fan Publication, an unofficial work not approved for Tékumel. Tékumel, the Empire of the Petal Throne, and all related products and materials are protected by national and international intellectual property law. For additional information, please visit www.tekumelfoundation.org."
  4. You will not challenge the ownership of any intellectual property relating to the World of Tékumel based on copyright, trademark, or any other theory of ownership or law.
  5. You acknowledge and agree that the materials contained in your Fan Publication may be identical with or similar to materials that the Tékumel Foundation or its licensees or other parties have independently developed; that you shall not be entitled to any compensation by reason of the use by the Tékumel Foundation or its licensees of such identical or similar material; and that the ideas, concepts, know-how, or techniques contained in any Fan Publication may be freely used by the Foundation, its licensees or any third party for any purpose whatsoever.
  6. The Tékumel Foundation would like to preserve copies of all works relating to the World of Tékumel, including any Fan Publications. You may choose to provide a copy of your work for the records of the Tékumel Foundation, to be held as part of the Tékumel archive. In addition, by using the rights granted in these Policies, you agree that you will provide such a copy if requested by the Foundation. You may submit your copy electronically in PDF format by emailing it to submission@tekumelfoundation.org , or you may mail a copy to The Tékumel Foundation, Box 23, 2500 University Avenue West, St. Paul, MN, USA 55114.
  7. You acknowledge and agree that the permission granted in these Policies may be revoked at any time with thirty (30) days’ notice to you. If your permission is revoked, you will remove the Fan Publication from any publicly available location within thirty (30) days of receiving notice to do so.

Q: I want to write an article for publication about the World of Tékumel, and may receive a payment from that. Can I do that?

Yes, with the following provisions. As a policy, the Foundation will approve such publications and the author’s retaining any payments from such publication on a case by case basis (which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld). However the Foundation, as the Licensee and steward of all Tekumel related material, also reserves the right to collect royalties from any author in the Foundation’s sole discretion at any time during or after such publication.

Q: I want to publish Tékumel-related products for profit. How can I become an authorized user of copyrighted and trademarked materials related to the World of Tékumel?

The Foundation welcomes proposals for for-profit publication of Tékumel materials. Please read this downloadable PDF document for further information, available from the Foundation website.

Q: I have created works in the World of Tékumel based on these Policies. Can the Foundation change the Policies?

Yes. Any and all permissions authorizing publication for use with Tékumel may be withdrawn by the Tékumel Foundation, with or without cause, with 30 days' notice. Producers of all material agree in advance to cease all production of material where withdrawal of permission has been made, and to remove all such material from publication, distribution or dissemination in any form of media or electronic distribution. The Foundation does not expect to need to exercise this right but must retain it as recommended by its legal counsel.

Q: I still have questions. Who can I contact?

For more information, or if you have any questions regarding these Policies, please contact the Tékumel Foundation at info@tekumelfoundation.org