from the introduction:
After roleplaying in countless fantasy worlds based on European/Celtic models, a world that does not rely on these overused backgrounds is a refreshing change of pace. Tékumel, a setting drawing heavily from Middle Eastern, Chinese, Indian, and Mesoamerican cultures, fits the bill perfectly. Tékumel is a place with the politics and intrigue of the Roman Empire, the religions of ancient India and pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, the magic of the Arabian Nights, the monsters and demons of the Cthulhu mythos, plus ancient ruins containing the technology of a good space opera thrown in just to keep things interesting.
Heroic Age of Tékumel uses the Pylon Game Engine, which is derived from the first generation of roleplaying games. Pylon was inspired by Empire of the Petal Throne (EPT), Chivalry and Sorcery (C&S), and the basic version of the first roleplaying game. Pylon has a simple skill system, where the classes have access to different groups of skills. Pylon uses percentile dice for character generation, though 3d6 can easily be substituted, and a d20 die is used for combat and skill resolution. Pylon is compatible with other games from the early years, as well as other OSR games, such as Labyrinth Lord and Swords and Wizardry, and can use the same adventures and monsters.
The goals of Heroic Age of Tékumel and the Pylon Game Engine are to create a game that (1) is understandable to someone who has played EPT or D&D, (2) is easy to create characters for, and (3) is easy to run.
These Quick Start rules present the full character generation system of Heroic Age of Tékumel with skill and spell descriptions plus the player-facing roleplaying rules. This Quick Start does not have much Tékumel content. The two-page Tékumel Summary is all that is provided.