Legions of the Petal Throne


TSR Edition Cover


In December 1976 The Old Guard started selling “Legions of the Petal Throne” miniatures sculpted by Bill Murray (more on those in a future post). The Old Guard advertisement promised upcoming miniatures rules, which were released by TSR in October 1977, also under the title “Legions of the Petal Throne.”


Old Guard Advertisement in The Dragon #4

The rulebook, which is divided into basic (qadárni) and advanced (qadárdàli) rules, drips with Tékumel flavor. Two reprints of articles from The Dragon provide background on Tékumel warfare. The rules include a military magic system distilled from the earlier War of Wizards, as well as many notes on the peculiarities of the military forces of the five empires. An appendix includes statistics for each legion of the five empires, many small nations, and some non-human forces. The book also includes great artwork by Sutherland, D.A. Trampier, and Tom Wham, who also helped edit the rules.


TSR Advertisement from The Dragon #10

I played the rules several times many years ago and recall they were fun, innovative, and included the right amount of “chrome.” Particularly interesting were the rules governing the army and military formations used by the tradition-bound armies of Tékumel.  However, the recordkeeping necessary in the advanced rules could be burdensome and the breaking up of formations into many tactical units could be fiddly. The book recommends a referee or umpire to allow for hidden movement and to “[assist] with the conduct of the game.”

Later miniature rules (Missúm! and Qadárdàlikoi) quickly superseded these rules. Imperium Publishing released Missúm! only four months after Legions of the Petal Throne.  While the latter rules allowed more detailed differentiation of the many legions of the five empires, the rush to replace Legions of the Petal Throne is a bit mysterious to me. For easy-going fun, Legions of the Petal Throne can’t be beat.

There have been two versions of this rulebook.

TSR Version (1977)

The TSR edition came with a semi-glossy purple cover. Some of the charts and record sheets were on perforated pages in the back of the booklet.


  • Author: David C. Sutherland.
  • Publisher: TSR Rules.
  • Versions: Original only.
  • Date: October 1977.
  • Artists: David C. Sutherland, D.A. Trampier, Tom Wham, and M.A.R. Barker.
  • Stock number: F14.
  • Components: Rules booklet (44 pages).
  • Size:
  • Original Price: $5.00.
  • Number published. Unknown.
  • Rarity: Not very rare.
  • Value:
    • Dec 24, 2014 14.00 (eBay)

Collecting notes: I have many of these and they are not that rare, though you’ll see crazy prices asked. Fading of the purple on the front cover is nearly universal.  Confirm with any seller that the perforated pages are not missing.

Tita’s House of Games Edition (1997)


Another great Carl Brodt reprint, these rules were almost an identical copy of the original. The purple cover became yellow. TSR markings were removed. “Tita’s House of Games” was added. The addresses of two makers of Tékumel miniatures were printed on the inside back cover. Finally, the copyright was changed from TSR Rules to “David C. Sutherland.”  Otherwise, these rules are exactly the same as the TSR rules in text and format (including misspelling “foreword” as foreward”).


  • Author: David C. Sutherland.
  • Publisher: Tita’s House of Games.
  • Versions: Original only.
  • Date: 1997.
  • Artists: David C. Sutherland, D.A. Trampier, Tom Wham, and M.A.R. Barker.
  • Stock number: NA.
  • Components: One rulebook.
  • Size:
  • Original Price:
  • Number published. Unknown.
  • Rarity: Not rare.
  • Value:



2 thoughts on “Legions of the Petal Throne

  1. Very nice to discover your Tekumel blog! This is the first place I have seen an author named for this product. I don’t ever recall seeing one of these in Upstate NY where I grew up.

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