You say you’re tired of the usual European D&D fantasy settings?
Empire of the Petal Throne is neither “usual” nor “European”. And it dates back to the beginning of Dungeons and Dragons itself.
“… it was the first roleplaying game to come with a setting, the first roleplaying game to come with its own languages, the first roleplaying game not to be based upon West Europe mythologies but rather Asia, Central America, and Egypt, and the first to come with a campaign concept.” –Reviews from R’lyeh
The rules of EPT are derived from OD&D, and while the setting is exotic, the gameplay will be familiar to old school gamers.
Empire of the Petal Throne [BOX SET]
1975 … M.A.R. Barker … TSR 1005
“Tekumel, the world of fantasy and adventure. The setting for this fantasy campaign game is an alien planet, Tekumel, where a cosmic cataclysm stranded human and extra-territorial invaders eons past. A hostile world of poisonous flora and fauna, with intelligent and vengeful native races! Mankind and its allies must battle for survival with nothing save Medieval technology — but magic aids them . . . and there are certain supernatural powers which may intervene.”
The box set became a collectible a long time ago. If you just want a copy to play, DTRPG has you covered: PDF, paperback, and hardcover available.
There has been a long string of companies and authors of Tekumel background and adventures over the years. I hope this page makes sense of it.
Dyson talks about the long-running campaign he’s in, and how to make the setting your own.
See also: Tekumel: Excellent Travelling Volume