Phil had appropriate material written to cover that "gap" way back: even the "initial package" (in 1950) contained an historical overview, world geography, travelogue primer, script, language and language primers - all of which were worked into the EPT text except the primer material which was ditched. It's possible that this was, in part, because Phil himself was revealing the world to his players and there was thus less of a "need" to provide such material in print, as opposed to the requirements of another GM attempting to run the game without that inherent knowledge. I can also see why TSR might not have encouraged inclusion of such "primer" material on the initial release both because of the extreme novelty of selling a setting above-and-beyond what's required to contextualise the game mechanics and/or that that could be released "at a later date" either as a useful sales hook through their 'zines (as was done) or as an additional product (which wasn't).
Yes, EPT was a huge leap forward in terms of providing a setting alongside a RPG but it could easily have gone even further right from the start.
Great ideas. However, I was thinking more along the lines of rules.
Ok... you lost me there. I've Never noticed a need for More Rules, different ones maybe but certainly not More. I mean, from what I understand the Professor rolls a D6 and goes with it. If he can do that ... However, I have Often noticed a need to ease people into the setting.
Not just the new more detailed release but also the original rough hewn one. More supplements that assume little exposure to The Way Things Are but are still fun for players to get started with. =
Keeping with the spirit of first generation rpgs, I would have had an alternate start for characters who were citizens of Tsolyanu ala some of the early Metamorphosis Alpha articles in the Dragon. A basic adventure would have been nice also..... But a reprinting of "Tsolyani Names Without Tears" from the Strategic Review SHOULD have been included to help people with naming characters! One thing that has always stood out in my mind is that Barker didn't apologize for the adult content of his work. Rather he expected people to be mature enough to accept that other cultures have different mores and motivaions. A bit high brow for some perhaps, but it is nice to be thought of as mature at 16 when I first played EPT.