Empire of the Petal Throne
In 1975, Tactical Studies Rules, Inc., the publishers of Dungeons & Dragons, published M. A. R. Barker's roleplaying game and setting as a standalone game under the title of The Empire of the Petal Throne (a synonym for the Tsolyáni Empire), rather than as a "supplement" to the original D&D rules. The game brought a level of detail and quality to the concept of a campaign setting which had previously been unknown in the nascent RPG industry's publications. It could be considered a qualitative reimagining, less heavily entrenched in the tactical mass-combat, wargaming roots of D&D. The game was the subject of articles in early issues of Dragon Magazine, but factors led to its decline in popularity, including inconsistent support from TSR. Over the subsequent thirty years, several new games were published based on the Tékumel setting, but to date none have met with commercial success. While published as fantasy, the game is sometimes classified as science fantasy or, debatably, as science fiction.
TSR was locked into a deal that made the financial end of the game unpalatable to them. They had agreed to pay a "finders fee" on sales in addition to royalties as well as to certain expensive overrides. As a result, the product was more expensive and thus less profitable.