This is the first game system (~1975) published for Empire of the Petal Throne, set in M.A.R. Barker's world of Tekumel. The game system is old school, like its contemporary, the original Dungeons and Dragons. Younger gamers who have grown up with rule systems that run into many volumes for a single game may feel that this system is too thin in details. However, this is a strength, not a weakness, allowing the game master and players to spend more time playing and less time looking up some obscure table eventually found on page 87 of the 5th volume of rules.
Everything needed to play is included in this volume, which includes all the game mechanics, a 'monster manual' section detailing the creatures of Tekumel, magical and technological items, spells, and background. The two sets of maps for Empire of the Petal Throne, also available on this site (maps for EPT, Jakalla-City half as old as the world) were included in the original boxed set, and are recommended (especially Jakalla), but not required.
The greatest feature of the game is the game setting itself - no review could possibly do it justice. Tekumel is an unbelievably gorgeous setting providing wheels within wheels for adventures in a society with highly developed religious and political structures, entirely original non-human races, a mixture of arcane technology and magic. Several fantasy/science fiction novels have been written by Professor Barker and are well worth reading to obtain greater detail of the world of Tekumel. A fair amount of information is available online, most easily found through the link for M.A.R. Barker's World of Tekumel Homepage at the bottom of the Publisher Info box above.
[5 of 5 Stars!]