Where I skim Tales of Gor

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Bourbonjack

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Hey, now that this is over...:smile:
Is there anyone interested in the World of Gor book? Or do you really want me to skim the adventures for you (starting with the adventure in the ToG book:wink:)?

I’m both curious and apprehensive about the “adventure”?
 

AsenRG

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I really enjoyed the first half dozen or so books in the Gor series, as they were pretty good pulpy sword and planet series.
One of us! One of us!

Of course then, as we all know, things took a turn focusing on the planetwide BDSM lifestyle of the Goreans, and ghen my interest waned.
Well, my interest didn't wane (and I'm not threating it as B/D, it's just a social institution that existed in the classical times). My respect for the main character that did take a plunge, though...:smile:
(But then, he was getting screwed over for not conforming to the dominant morality of the planet...so I keep maintaining that he just broke at an easily-defined point:wink:).

Interesting to see this series have its own RPG.
Indeed. I laughed a lot, mostly sarcastically, upon hearing the announcement:devil:!
I’m both curious and apprehensive about the “adventure”?
Why the inverted commas? It is an adventure, as best I can tell...

OK, you win*! I'm going to skim that one, too.

*The fact that you're one of the few to show any interest no doubt helped your case, too:tongue:! That, and I've got some trouble thinking of a way to annotate World of Gor (due to its unusual format)...I have some ideas, but they can use some more work!
 

AsenRG

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We were talking about WIR threads today. And I just found that there's an OSR publisher on Drivethru named World Gorean Society And they're publishing OSR supplements (OSRIC), including the Book of Paladins and Book of Assassins...:grin:
I found that funny enough that I might actually finish the presentation of the adventure.


So far, I'm looking through the pregens and finding it quite humorous that the peasant has nice odds of defeating either one of the two warriors. Or he just might be able to take on both of them at once, since the difference between 5d and 6d+2 skill is nothing to sneer at:shade:!
 

AsenRG

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So I read the adventure. Not sure how to summarize it in a way that wouldn't preclude you from playing it...and while I suspect that that's not really a problem for many users on this site, there might be some who would appreciate the spoilers.
If you want a tl;dr this is a completely normal adventure for most groups, and doesn't necessarily require you to even address any D/S matters. So, in a way, it's analogous to the first books of the Gor series... :tongue:

The adventure happens on the road to Ar.
See, the background is that in book 20-26 or thereabouts (no, I can't be bothered to check), Ar had fallen, its armies squashed...due totreachery after chasing off Marlenus. Then the city was occupied by Kos, which was presented as "benign", but was about as much so as you could expect it to be.
And then there was a revolt, and they invited Marlenus back.
Now he's chasing collaborators that survived the purges...and he's offering prizes for their heads.
This is something you need to know as you stop at an inn on the road to Ar...

Now: as you can guess from the background above: someone (a veteran from the defeated Ar army) has recognized a collaborator, and wants to hire the PCs to capture her. There's a prize on her head, but he's offering you only a silver a head (which is actually quite the decent sum on Gor - though might seem a bit low for this kind of dangerous work).
See, when you accept, you'd learn that the collaborator is hiding under the guise of a slavegirl. He's still sure that the prize would be paid if she was presented in Ar, and the text of the adventure seems to agree. However, if you help him as agreed, you'd gain his silver and points of Honor, so it's probably worth it.

The rest of the adventure is a description of the compound where she's held - it's owned by the Slave Trading Caste for use of caste members and nobody else. Even the guards are of the caste...and defending their caste means that they're not going to run unless you kill 66% of them!
There are also walls, and trained sleen. The guards themselves are superbly trained, too.
"Either be stealthy or be dead" seems to be the motto of the night.

Now...if you capture her, you might find out that she's been a Free Woman (and manipulating the slaver). She plans to get into Ar in order to recover a money stash - but she's ready to offer anything, whether the stash, her hand in Free Companionship, or whatever else you might want - to avoid being presented to the authorities of Ar. Small wonder, since they'd probably impale her!

It is noted that if the slaver finds out about her willingness to do anything, he'd actually stop respecting her...which is pretty much par for the course in this setting, as described by John Norman. On Gor, honour is above everything, life included.

I suspect that most groups would simply approach that as bounty hunting. Which is basically what it is, after all.


But now I'm wondering what's in the other adventures that have been published (there's almost 10 so far on the Post Mortem page on Drivethru). Are they going to follow the same "progression" as the books:devil:?
 

Edgewise

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That's a good description. The backstory is a bit elaborate if the GM has to explain all that - a lot of players' eyes would glaze over. If it's setup in the previous adventures, I suppose that's more palatable.

I also wonder how easily modern players could get in the spirit of the culture that you describe. I would think that modern players would feel a bit conflicted about fulfilling their mission, but the game mechanically rewards them with honor points if they do. That seems to suggest that the characters shouldn't feel terribly conflicted, so you can get a bit of P/C dissonance.
 

Altheus

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So I read the adventure. Not sure how to summarize it in a way that wouldn't preclude you from playing it...and while I suspect that that's not really a problem for many users on this site, there might be some who would appreciate the spoilers.
If you want a tl;dr this is a completely normal adventure for most groups, and doesn't necessarily require you to even address any D/S matters. So, in a way, it's analogous to the first books of the Gor series... :tongue:


But now I'm wondering what's in the other adventures that have been published (there's almost 10 so far on the Post Mortem page on Drivethru). Are they going to follow the same "progression" as the books:devil:?


I have solved how I would deal with the adventure.

Visit the camp to browse the slaves if you can, scout it carefully. Then, that night you sneak in, grab the woman, exfiltrate with the aid of a couple of tarnsmen with strong tarns and some long ropes and a bit of luck.

Then enslave the woman so that the doesn't get impaled (a slave is not counted as the same legal entity as the free person was before enslavement). Give the man back his silver tarsk for honours' sake.
 

AsenRG

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I have solved how I would deal with the adventure.

Visit the camp to browse the slaves if you can, scout it carefully. Then, that night you sneak in, grab the woman, exfiltrate with the aid of a couple of tarnsmen with strong tarns and some long ropes and a bit of luck.

Then enslave the woman so that the doesn't get impaled (a slave is not counted as the same legal entity as the free person was before enslavement). Give the man back his silver tarsk for honours' sake.
I'm pretty sure that wouldn't work for two reasons:
1) You're in an inn - meaning, it's night, and you're going to continue your way to Ar on the morning. So are they. They're explicitly not holing any auctions, and if they were, they'd be for other Slavers only. So no visiting.
2) If you had tarns, you'd be at Ar already. What you've got is tarlarions.

Now, once you're out with her - presumably your night raid would be successful - you are right that you could turn her into a slave. "Anything" can be read differently in this case, but I'd read it as "she would be quite unhappy, but if that's what it takes to avoid impalement, she'd agree to slavery as well" (and I can't fault her, more than one lead character in the Gor books had made the same choice, because impalement is an atrocious death:thumbsup:).
And yes, that would give you a chance to save her, if she's ever discovered while in your possession. Some good orratory might be in order to avert the wrath of the Ar citizens.

And yes, most pertinently to RPG players, then you could ask her "where's the money stash that belonged to the free woman that you used to be"...:grin: Slaves have no legal property on Gor. Not even a peculium, as in Ar...sorry, I meant Rome!

Honor is more complicated, however. You must keep in mind that the man who hired you has a personal grudge (I would as well if I'd been maimed due to treason, and then branded while one of the traitors was laughing :shade:).
Thus, if anyone is to turn her into a slave, that should be him, according to Gorean codes. Give him the slave - you might ensure her continuus survival by making sure that she knows she is no longer playing a role - and talk him into keeping her for himself (her showing she's no longer playing a role would help).
That might lead to a competition for owning her between the crippled veteran and the slave trader, if he's alive. Who says life ain't gonna be fun:shade:?

So, if you do it that way, as a Referee, I'd give you the honour points. You can split the money with the beggar when you go over to Ar to reclaim them....though it probably would be wise to give half or more to the City of Ar. (They have to fund recovery and a hunt for other collaborators, you know! There's expenses to be met!) That would also help you erase her conviction.

If you do as you suggested, however, keeping her for yourself...I wouldn't subject you to much scorn - except by NPCs that are on friendly terms with the veteran - but that's basically denying him his revenge, and reneging on the contract you agreed to, after he provided you the info. As such, there's no way I would give you a Honour point for this! You'd just avoid a "hit" to your Honor.

Other Referees might rule differently, of course. That's part of the hobby, and I consider it a feature, not a bug!

So...should I try to annotate World of Gor next? One of the adventures?
 

AsenRG

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That's a good description. The backstory is a bit elaborate if the GM has to explain all that - a lot of players' eyes would glaze over.
Elaborate? What do you mean? Seems pretty basic as backstories go, if you ask me!

And you simply woudn't know much of it. At the start, you know only what the NPC tells you (and he's not seen through the target's ruse). Everything else is something only the Referee knows. Smart players might deduce it from actions seen during the raid, but that's it.

If it's setup in the previous adventures, I suppose that's more palatable.
It's the adventure in the corebook. I'm pretty sure it's meant to be an introductory one (which explains the basic set-up that I noted).

I also wonder how easily modern players could get in the spirit of the culture that you describe.
For me, it's quite easy. But then I'm used to playing in honor cultures...

I would think that modern players would feel a bit conflicted about fulfilling their mission, but the game mechanically rewards them with honor points if they do. That seems to suggest that the characters shouldn't feel terribly conflicted, so you can get a bit of P/C dissonance.
There's no substitute for player buy-in! We all know that and it applies just the same to playing in Ancient Rome as it does to Ancient China, Gor, Traveller's Imperium, or any other setting worth mentioning.

Now, if the players are unsure - IMO unless they've recently arrived from Earth, the PCs probably wouldn't have similar objections! They might object if they were allied with Kos during the invasion. None of the sample PCs you're suggested would have had an issue, I believe (though in one or two cases that would depend on the player's interpretation).
And people that betray their Home Stone, as the likes of the target did, are lowest of the low on Gor. Most Goreans, free or slaves, would applaud the execution (with slaves possibly cheering even harder, because they know what it feels to have no Home Stone - and thus consider a Free Person traitor to be even more worthy of scorn for spitting on what they're denied).

That said, if I was acting as a modern player, I'd see it as "helping a city-state deal with double agents". And that's something I've done before in RPGs...I'm sure we all have. I mean, ever tried finding cultists in CoC and dealing with them? They are serving another power. Ever had to uncover a traitorous vizier-type NPC? Same deal.
Granted, punishments on Gor might be more barbaric than in a relatively "disneyfied" world, which is what many RPG settings are...but it's a barbarian planet. And, as A Altheus noted, there's a relatively easy way out. Not a nice one, but at least there's a choice...there being no way to completely avoid the punishment for High Treason, however, is a feature of the setting, not a bug.
 

Edgewise

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Elaborate? What do you mean? Seems pretty basic as backstories go, if you ask me!
I admit I'm used to brain-dead generic OSR which are meant to be generic and threadbare.
For me, it's quite easy. But then I'm used to playing in honor cultures...
Honor is only part of the picture, and not itself the hardest thing to relate to about the setting.
There's no substitute for player buy-in! We all know that and it applies just the same to playing in Ancient Rome as it does to Ancient China, Gor, Traveller's Imperium, or any other setting worth mentioning.
Oh absolutely. But FWIW most GMs would have no idea how to realistically portray those kinds of cultures. Even a historian might have a hard time capturing everything from the details of daily life to the spirit of the times. This has been one of the things that has always held me back from trying historical campaigns, although other GM's have assured me that realism is beside the point even in historical campaigns.

So sure, buy-in. I'm just saying some people will have a hard time getting into the head of a character who thinks nothing of slavery but is bothered by the fact that another character is desperate to avoid death by impalement. I mean, who wants to get impaled in the world of Gor? Wait, don't answer that. Anyway, I don't think honor is the hard part.
 

AsenRG

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I admit I'm used to brain-dead generic OSR which are meant to be generic and threadbare.
Well, different POVs. I generally find these boring and if they are any good, I must work to somehow integrate the decent material into a setting I would run.
Tried running a "threadbare OSR setting" once. It was an unmitigated disaster the first two times. Than I sat on my backside and turned it into a setting where I knew everything about everyone. It went swimmingly after that point.
The players, amusingly, commented that they had needed some time to "get" to the depths of the setting and almost left the campaign after the rocky start where they'd "almost missed the deeper parts"...:grin:

Honor is only part of the picture, and not itself the hardest thing to relate to about the setting.
Actually it is. Because it's a different paradigm of the ancient worlds (and should be there in most fantasy worlds IMO) that many Referees forget: you have Honor, not Self-esteem. You have Face/Shame/Decent-fulness*, not Remorse (though there is overlap). You have Position, which has Rights, there's no Universal Rights.
Following from the above: Earthlings have no Home Stone, thus they have NO rights by default. You could say that they're close in status to slaves (and quickly get turned into slaves if captured).

*I'm trying to find a description to the terms I was taught as a kid in Bulgaria. As you can see from the clumsiness above, it's a rocky path!

Oh absolutely. But FWIW most GMs would have no idea how to realistically portray those kinds of cultures.
Then they've got some learning to do, IMO.

Even a historian might have a hard time capturing everything from the details of daily life to the spirit of the times.
Possibly, though I've never seen a history student having issues with that kind of things.

This has been one of the things that has always held me back from trying historical campaigns, although other GM's have assured me that realism is beside the point even in historical campaigns.
Ahem...no, it's not?
There's a limit to how many details you're going to get right. You don't need to get everything right, though. Most historical books also commit mistakes. But that doesn't mean that getting it right is somehow "besides the point".
Fantasy settings are more forgiving in that regard, yes. That said, if I detect that nobody in your setting understands what honor means, I'd be mighty disappointed even if you had warned us that you're running "an OSR fantasy homebrew".
Now, if you had warned us that you're running a disneyfied setting where people behave like 21st century North Americans...fine. I'd have known not to join, or to make a radically different character (though the former is more likely). But the expectation to know at least the basics of such things is still there when I'm playing - some sub-cultures have a honor system even today, and woo to those that stain their honor:shade:!

So sure, buy-in. I'm just saying some people will have a hard time getting into the head of a character who thinks nothing of slavery but is bothered by the fact that another character is desperate to avoid death by impalement.
Slaves aren't humans, on Gor. They're closest to domesticated animals: potentially useful, can be quite intelligent, possibly fun to own and play with.
You seem to confound them with humans, which is a grave offense to any Free Gorean - you're basically telling them that they're all the equals of domestic animals. I'll let you guess the likely reaction:evil:!

I mean, who wants to get impaled in the world of Gor?
Impaled on wh...
Wait, don't answer that.
Oh, OK:tongue:!

Anyway, I don't think honor is the hard part.
IMO, it is, because it's the key to the dilemma you mentioned. Keep in mind: Honor is tightly tied up with being proactive, not subject to other's whims.
On Gor, you're worth as much as your honor. Your life has no value without it.
Being willing to do anything to survive means that you've got as much honour as a slave - basically, you have to pick death over surrender, or you're worth nothing, just another nameless slave in a Gorean Slaver's cargo.

...let me explain this with a real-world example. A few years ago I visited a destroyed castle in Bulgaria. There. 40 girls and women tied their hairlocks together and jumped off a cliff instead of surrendering to the Ottoman armies (and being put in harems, like slaves on Gor).
This happened about 750 years ago, unless I'm getting the dates wrong. There are still songs about them, because they preserved their honor!
There have been, in all likelihood, many others who didn't take such measures. They're never mentioned in any detail, unless they're being freed by a hero. But overall, they're not even mentioned...

...exactly as Norman says it happens on Gor. Talking about someone who has been enslaved is basically avoided - too much of a reminder that anyone can become a slave. For this reason slaves have it hardest in their native cities - you can scare a slave into submission by threatening to sell him or her into his or her former city.
OTOH, avenging the honor of those that chose death over surrender can lead to a war (or fuel an already-existing war). It would be considered a righteous clash.
You're worth as much as your honor. Period.
And that can lea you to some interesting conclusions about Tarl Cabbot:devil:!
 
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AsenRG

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Personally if I was playing in Ancient Rome I'd rather be Spartacus rather than Caesar. I think that would be true for a lot of players.
That's the theory that I keep seeing on forums. In practice, most players I know tend to remember the proverb about what you do when in Rome:devil:!

But sure, of course there are Archetypes to support this playstyle! Outlaw/Bandit, Panther Woman and Slave come to mind immediately...:shade:
So, most certainly, thou art free to do as thou wilt!
I'd like to remind you, however, that Spartacus ended up dead, and his followers were crucified. Goreans might follow the historical example, replace it with impalement - both seem like popular punishments - or just feed your still warm bodies to the sleens, tarns and cavalry tarlarions (which aren't vegetarians, unlike the burden-carrying tarlarions).

In our world, there have been other uprisings like that of Spartacus', too (especially when we add anti-feudal uprisings). They suffered a similar fate for a simple reason: When someone is not jockeying for position inside a system, but denies the system as wrong, everyone who depends on the system is likely to oppose and/or backstab him.
In Gorean terms, one person is highly unlikely to change the setting, as long as the people in it haven't changed their minds. But fighting a doomed battle and defeating the Kurii (or the Priest-Kings) while you're at it can certainly make for a fun campaign, even if the PCs might not get to enjoy the benefits of Gorean immortality:thumbsup:!
 

Necrozius

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How is the artwork? I'm familiar with the artist, but some of his stuff is borderline surreal and not what I'd imagine in a sword and sandals RPG setting.
 

AsenRG

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How is the artwork? I'm familiar with the artist, but some of his stuff is borderline surreal and not what I'd imagine in a sword and sandals RPG setting.
It fits the setting thematically although some of the pieces look vaguely off to me, though I can't put my thumb on the reason:shade:.
Overall, I like them, especially his depiction of the Kurii and Gorean fauna.
It's quite possible he's even got some fans, as well as detractors that like him, respectively, way more or way less than I do.

Either way, I'm pretty sure I've seen better art in RPGs. Then again, you can't ask every RPG to be another Artesia/Eclipse Phase:tongue:!
I mean, it sure would be nice, but it ain't bloody likely.
 

AsenRG

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And I finally found a way to review World of Gor: as it consists mostly of alphabetized entries, I'm simply going to cover one entry per each letter of the Latin alphabet:shade:!

The game begins with a credits page...below which is a song from the series (I think I've seen it mentioned). It deals with the enslaving of a Free Maiden, of course. You can't disappoint potential customers, I guess?

Then we get to the introduction, where Desborough is talking about what Gor meant to him in his adolescence. I'm skipping it here...hey, it's a "where I skim it" thread, not a "where I faihtfully retell each detail" thread - and this one is unlikely to impact your game:grin:!

Then we get to the "real" intro, where we get to introducing the narrator, who - presumably - compiled those books. It's called "Scribe of Gor" and tells how an Earthling was hired by the Priest-Kings to visit the Counter-Earth and produce this volume.
I quite like this approach. And I'll let you guess how his story ends...:thumbsup:

Then we get back to the entries dealing with "Race and Sex" (which manages to use the words "enjoying a guilty pleasure like Gor"), "Post Mortem Studios", and "Gor's Genre". I think you all know who's Desborough, and that Gor is science fantasy, so I'm not planning to dwell on this.
After this, you get a brief re-telling of the plot in all the Gor novels (up to "Plunders of Gor", 2016, because this was published shortly after). OK, analyzing your primary sources is always a good idea!
And then we get to the entries.
Amusingly, the first entry is Abdul (a cover identity for a character in the Tahari-based Gor novel). Here are also mentioned the Acquisition Ships (which might bring some of the PCs), how the Goreans applause, and Ar.
Ar is the entry I plan to cover.
The city of Ar, known as "Glorious Ar", amongst the greatest and richest cities on the planet. Its story, which is central to many of the novels starting with the first, is covered in enough detail to make the city playable for an RPG campaign. It mentions how the tall cylinders are tallest on Gor, and tallest amongst them is the Cylinder of Justice, crowned with a silver spike for the impalement of traitors.
What is more likely to be used often are the "famous places in Ar". Those include alleys and avenues, paga taverns, the gladiatorial stadium, and such. Amusingly, many of the entries on it also have their own entries in the Encyclopedia, so this entry is acting mostly as an index of the names you can check as needed before (or even during, though that is obviously to be avoided) a game :tongue:!

Also, the A letter has the notes on armour, which explains why armour isn't used: simply put, the Priest-Kings forbid Goreans from doing so, under the same penalty as using firearms. The penalty is, of course, the Flame Death!
 
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AsenRG

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Tonight we get to the letter B.
We get entries for Bag Fish, Barbarians, Barges, the Barrens, Baths, Beaked Turtles, the merchant Belisarius, Black Court, Bladed Chain, Border Forts, and quite a few others. Which one to focus on?
Why, Barbarians, of course:devil:!

Namely because that includes Earthlings.
"Many of the different peoples of Gor regard each other as barbarians, especially if they do not habitually speak Gorean". But, and it is noted, the ones that all Goreans agree to be barbarians (or the language equivalent)? Earthlings.
"Goreans are mystifeid and horrified by what they hear of Earth, its people and its civilization much as many on Earth would feel the same way about those of Gor", reveals the treatise. "When a Gorean speaks of a 'barbarian' in reference to someone from Earth it is with a mixture of amusement, disgust and well-guarded pity".
Why? Because Earthlings don't live according to the natural order of things, of course! That includes...no, not only what you're probably thinking about, but the environmental issues we have created as well:thumbsup:!
I guess that on Gor one doesn't behave like that towards the Home Stone, right? It pays to remember that the name "Gor*" means "home stone".
The whole planet is their damned Home Stone. If you ever happen to encounter Goreans, most likely during a game, it would pay to keep that in mind:shade:!


*Actually it is also omophonic to the name of a province in Afghanistan (AFAIK, the "h" is not pronounced). I've always found the similarity...amusing.
 

AsenRG

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Continuing with the letter C...but first, an announcement!
When I'm done with World of Gor, I'm planning a Where I Read of either Aquelarre, Capitan Alatriste, Maelstrom: Rome, Servants of Gaius, Maelstrom: Gothic, Strange Tales of Songling, !

Caste of Musicians:
Gorean society is caste-based. The Caste of Musicians is a sub-caste of the Caste of Entertainers. Musicians play instruments and sing, earning coins in taverns "by performing for the wealthy" (and those that have come of means, I'd expect), "or by wandering from town to town and busking".
Most importantly for PCs: Musicians and other entertainers share an advantage that Caissa players have, too: They're never enslaved (as long as they're part of the caste). The tradition is strong enough that an woman can actually travel alone.
There you go. You want female PCs? Make them Musicians, Entertainers, or Caissa players! You could even have an all-female party on Gor...and then make heads explode by your exploits!
 

AsenRG

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D....many entries start with a D:tongue:. So which one should I take?
Double Knowledge. Because I'm trying to show the outlook of Goreans, here. It's a major point of interest in a roleplaying game, after all... at least to me it is:thumbsup:.

Society on Gor is divided in High and Low Castes and they learn different things in childhood. Including about the world.
There's First Knowledge - the supersticious "facts" that are taught to the lower Castes, like the world being flat, and not telling your name to strangers...
Then there's "Second knowledge" - those of High Castes learn a mostly scientific approach to the world. They're still taught the First Knowledge (in order to manipulate the Low castes, I suspect - but that's me, AsenRG:shade:). But they know that Gor is a planet, that Earth exists, and so forth and so forth.
And then there's the "third knowledge" that is not spoken about openly - about the Kur and the Priest-Kings, and the war between them, You only gain that by being part of the war, though...

So there you have it - a world with supremely trained warriors who know the world is not flat, but pretend they do when speaking to the commoners, which aren't being told anything better. Nice, ain't it:devil:?
 

AsenRG

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E is for Exchange.
There are two Exchange Somethings entries, however: Exchange Islands and Exchange Points. Exchange Islands are "free islands", owned and ruled by the Caste of Merchants, and subject to merchant law. While Gor has been becoming more cosmopolitan on the last half a century, Exchange Islands still play an important role in the trade between cities...including some that are officially at odds.
I'd add that such places are also a natural hotbed of spy activity. Both among humans, and between Kurii and Priest-Kings.
A list of exchange islands is included. Non-coincidentally (given the above), it reads like a list of the locations of many of John Norman's novels.
 

AsenRG

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F is a bountiful letter: Frame of Humiliation, Fukuro, First Girl and and Fossils are all here...:tongue:
But instead, I'm going to mention a short pair: Flame Death and Flame Lock:shade:.

Flame Death is a punishment of the Priest-Kings of Gor for those that betray them or break the technology edicts. Such people are consumed by blue fire and reduced to ashes! (It also explains how it is administered and how are the targets chosen - but suffice it to say, you can't stop it with the Gorean technology levels, you can at most hide).
The Flame Death can also be applied to objects, and such measures can even be "programmed" under certain conditions. The "letter falling in the wrong hands" option was called out explicitly, which basically means the Priest-Kings' counter-spy network has a nice "homeworld advantage":grin:.
There's also a sidebar - though it's centered on the page with the text flowing around - where the narrator explains having seen it and how impressed he was.

With that concludes today's installation in this thread.
 

AsenRG

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Time for the dreaded G letter:devil:!
Why dreaded, you might ask? Because I'm sorely tempted to make it G for Gender, that's why:shade:!
Yes, there's an entry for Gender in World of Gor.
The other possible entry is "Gor" itself.
Decisions, decisions!
 

AsenRG

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OK, G for Gor it is! (And the short and sweet of gender is that Goreans aren't into gender equality if it assumes both genders are equally capable in all areas. Instead, possibly due to the harshness of their planet, they're looking for what each gender is naturally capable of contributing:devil:).

Gor: The Counter-Earth, in an antichton orbit (always in a straight line with Earth and the line always passing through the Sun). In older dialects its name means "Home Stone". We'll get to that entry next time, but for now, let it be known that Goreans really value their planet.
Slightly smaller than Earth, slightly closer to the Sun and with slightly less mass. Relatively unspoilt planet with slightly higher amounts of oxygen. Has three small moons, one of which was named Prison Moon, and the other two are unnamed...btw, the Prison Planet is used as a prison by the Priest Kings.
Gor has travelled to the Sun from another system in the deep past and the Priest Kings use it as a kind of "zoo" and living experiment. Thus, it's full of life from Earth's past and other creatures that may or may not be native to our solar system.
 

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H is for Home Stone:shade:.
All settlements have a Home Stone, a tradition deriving from the flat stone around which houses and such were built. To a Gorean, it's highly symbolic, like a flag (or a Constitution, or a Bill of Rights, or the holy items of the Japanese emperors) does on Earth. You stand when merely speaking of them. Desecration is the worst crime. Capturing a home stone is a sign of dominance over a city or other settlement.
Goreans show incredible bravery and tenacity when it comes to preserving those. "Beware, I carry a Home Stone" is a warning you give to wayfarers...meaning you're going to fight to the death, and often, with superhuman endurance and neglect towards personal safety.

And from me, you're bound to be courteous to those you share a Home Stone with (but those that shared it and lost it, like slaves and outlaws, are that much worthier of suspicion and are almost a disgrace to the Home Stone:thumbsup:).
 

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I is for Impalement, which is the most common form of execution on Gor.
As the scribe notes, Goreans prefer to punish with slavery, making the criminals useful, but they still do not hesitate to turn to execution for a variety of crimes.
Amusingly, the same scribe also notes he's personally opposed to the death penalty:grin:!
 

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In Gor, slave girls get regularly impaled as well.
Yes, and sometimes this is a substitute for the execution, according to the source material:thumbsup:.
But that kind of details wasn't mentioned in the source book, so I didn't dwell on it, either.
 

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The letter "J" is kinda short. So here's a quick entry:
"Jit Monkeys: Jit monkeys are nocturnal, tree-dwelling monkeys that inhabit the rainforests around Schendi."
Also, this chapter has a warning that Gorean carrionbirds (Jards) are smaller than on Earth, but are also a sign of ill omen. They're reputedly as sapient as corvids.
Hmm, I wonder, what are the odds of them being fully sapient and hiding it from Goreans:devil:?


And then we come to the letter "K". I bet you know what I'm going to list here, right?
Sorry, not "kajira":shade:, There are important things in this world, and then there're parts of the background/pet animals.

K is for Kaissa
(Though I was tempted to list the Killer Humans instead. Ah well. Bestiary entries are better left for those with the full game...just like in the Kajira/Kajirus case:thumbsup:).

Kaissa is a Gorean game much like chess, usually played with read and yellow pieces, and with 20 pieces to a side. The pieces are named
"Spearman, Tarnsman, Riders of the High Tharlarion, Ubar, Ubara, Physician, Scribe, Initiate, Builder and Home Stone".
The goal is, of course, to capture the Home Stone, duh! See the previous entries...BTW, the Home Stone doesn't start at the board: it must be placed later, by the 10th move.

The game is very widely played and studied across virtually all civilized Gorean cultures and is an obsession for many, even having its own caste of players. Of course, slaves are forbidden to play it...and Kaissa Players cannot be enslaved, IIRC.
So yes, Gor is that barbarian setting where you can be safe from slavery by being able to play chess very, very well. Kinda makes you reconsider the popular opinion, doesn't it:grin:?

"Kaissa is so well known and understood by many Goreans that it can be played without a board, simply by memory. Notation of great games is common and these papers are also used to transport codes. The agents of the Kur are more fond of this method than those of Priest Kings but it is used by both sides as well as in the intrigues of cities, merchants and other forces."
 

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L is going to be something unexpected, too...Lipstick
Given the importance of the veil in Gorean society it is only natural that lipstick is considered a slave cosmetic and not something to be worn by free women. Or, rather, I'd say that those that wear it don't remain that way for long.
For this reasons lipstick is usually in bold and alluring colours, and many forms are sweetened for obvious reasons.

IMO, you can guess what Goreans think of Earthlings by this example alone.
 

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That thread is becoming a chore, but I'm not in the habit of giving up.:thumbsup:.

Now forgetting is another matter entirely...:shade:

Magistrates are the enforcers and executioners of the law of the initiates.Yes, they're "separate and more ideologically motivated than the civil praetors, with whom they often clash".

This also means that if you want a criminal story with different jurisdictions clashing, there you go:grin:!
 

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N is for the Nameless One: The 'god' of the Kur! "It's an organizing force in the universe, a creator, maker and shaper.
The Kur refer to many faces of the Nameless One and some powerful Kur, such as Agamemnon, take on the mantle of one of those faces."
Note: Agamemnon is a Kur whom fans of the series would know from the books. There's an entry in World of Gor, too.

Why do I like this entry? Well, for one, it shows that Gor avoids the pitfall that some Swords and Planet stories fall into, the one of making all the high-tech the societies utterly atheistic.
For another, it means that both the Kurii and the Priest-Kings are Lawful:devil:!
 

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Twice in my life I've been involved with women, well the first one was a girl, who wanted to be submissive. Eventually, it's too much damn work to suit me, so I stopped reading the Gor books pretty early.
 

AsenRG

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Twice in my life I've been involved with women, well the first one was a girl, who wanted to be submissive. Eventually, it's too much damn work to suit me, so I stopped reading the Gor books pretty early.
I still maintain that the world is more fun than the sex in it:thumbsup:.

Outlaws live beyond the system of honor and law, outside the cities and outside the caste system. Their status makes them punishable by impalement (he kind that nobody really likes) and they are, generally speaking, guilty of something. Otherwise they'd have a caste.
Most people hate them, peasants have a more complicated relationship with them, seeing them as potential protection against bandits (though they might be bandits themselves) and as people who might be able to trade with them or sell them meat.
The corpses of bandits are often strung from trees as a warning. And avoiding detection is hard.
Only the city of Lydius turns a blind eye to the presence of outlaws.
 

Bill Reich

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I still maintain that the world is more fun than the sex in it:thumbsup:.

Outlaws live beyond the system of honor and law, outside the cities and outside the caste system. Their status makes them punishable by impalement (he kind that nobody really likes) and they are, generally speaking, guilty of something. Otherwise they'd have a caste.
Most people hate them, peasants have a more complicated relationship with them, seeing them as potential protection against bandits (though they might be bandits themselves) and as people who might be able to trade with them or sell them meat.
The corpses of bandits are often strung from trees as a warning. And avoiding detection is hard.
Only the city of Lydius turns a blind eye to the presence of outlaws.

I guess I don't need another person's game world. People have played in mine for a long time. Arrogant? sure.
 

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OK, I'm not going to delay this any more.
P is hard. No, not what you think: it's a fight between Paga taverns and Port Kar.
Paga taverns are where your party is likely to do lots of work...
And Port Kar is like, the city to set Gorean adventures in, along with Ar. But I'd probably pick Port Kar over it.

Paga taverns are, in the end, combination BDSM dungeons, striptease bar and whorehouse where Goreans chill out.
Port Kar wins, however...
It's a great, somewhat ramshackle city built on the Vosk delta.
It's also best described as "a den of scum and villainy". Cross Tortuga with Venice and Marocco of the age of piracy and you have 90% of it. Now make it dirtier, except the civil servants might be a tad harder to bribe lately (after they got a Home Stone).
"The men of Port Kar are a rough lot of rascals, notable by the knotted ropes they wear over their shoulder to show loyalty to their city.
It is a city without the pretense to civility and honor that the rest of Gor succumbs to and this makes it chaotic and vibrant. The city is divided between holdings, each a fortress, each separated from the other by filthy, crowded canals and defended as much against its own city as any potential invader."
Also, loyalty is not to the city, but to the Captain. The city itself is ruled by a Council of Captains, each having 5+ ships (often many more).
Something PCs are going to love: Captains are permitted a crest of sleen hair on their helms. And you can take what a Captain owns if you kill him in single combat.
Even better: this is now one of the three most powerful cities on Gor, along with Ar and Cos. Interesting times ahead, I say:devil:!
 

AsenRG

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Q is for Quiva
"The saddle knives of the wagon people are around a foot long. Traditionally seven of them are sheathed in their saddles of their steeds while one – or more – are carried on their person in separate sheathes.
Quiva are perfectly balanced for throwing and this is what they are notorious for."

That was easy: there's exactly for entries under Q!
 

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I actually own this book. I don't know that I'll ever get to actually run it, but it's an interesting curio.

Leaving aside the BDSM fetishism and politics, Gor is not exactly conducive to a traditional TRPG game experience. It suffers from having lots of weird, arbitrary rules: no full-plate armor, no inventing crossbows or you burn, restrictive caste rules. It also suffers from a problem that afflicts many RPG settings based on published works: the Canon characters already did all of the cool stuff.

Still I do have some online groups who might be willing to try it. I am curious as I do like the D6 system.
 

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Today's entry is Rence.
But it's not one entry. There's Rence Beer, Rence Root, Rence Knife...and yes, the thing is edible as well.
Otherwise, it's a plant similar to papyrus. Yes, they make paper out of it as well, as "a cheaper and more abundant version of rag paper and vellum".
So instead, I give you the comment from the scribe who allegedly penned the whole work: "There are a few things on Gor that are just too useful to have evolved naturally. Rence is one of them".

Priest-Kings, anyone? He doesn't mention it, but it's an obvious allegation:devil:!
I actually own this book. I don't know that I'll ever get to actually run it, but it's an interesting curio.

Leaving aside the BDSM fetishism and politics, Gor is not exactly conducive to a traditional TRPG game experience. It suffers from having lots of weird, arbitrary rules: no full-plate armor, no inventing crossbows or you burn, restrictive caste rules. It also suffers from a problem that afflicts many RPG settings based on published works: the Canon characters already did all of the cool stuff.

Still I do have some online groups who might be willing to try it. I am curious as I do like the D6 system.
...so frigging what:shock:? There are multiple settings where full plate doesn't exist, and have strict social hierarchies. As an example: Ancient Rome, Vikings Era, Medieval Japan, Medieval China, Medieval Europe pre-13th century!
For that matter, most actual societies in the past had hierarchical, restrictive, caste-like rules. Starting with Medieval Europe.

Some of those wouldn't really have crossbows, either...:shade:

I mean, can't we just accept the technological level of the time and that not every setting is meant to have all weapons you can think of:tongue:?

Also, no, the cool stuff ain't relegated to what the canon characters have done. It's like claiming you can't do stuff in Star Wars, or, even better, that there can't be an Ancient Rome game, because everything cool is already in the works of Tacitus:grin:!
 

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Sardar Fairs or Samos?

Sardar Fairs, because they hint at "cool things to do".

The Sardar Fairs, held at the gates to the Sardar Mountains, are considered peaceful, neutral ground and are held four times a year on the solstices and
equinoxes.
At these times the initiates perform their rituals, sacrifices, observations and have their squabbles over theology and rank. The knowledgeable high castes also use the fairs to spread information amongst one another.
Treaties and trade happen on grand scale, and there's lots of entertainment (kaissa included, of course).
It is a crime against the Priest-Kings to bloody your weapon at the fair. Enslavement is also forbidden.
It is the convention that all Goreans should visit the Sardar Fair at least once in their lives.

Between the fair site and the Sardar itself lies a timber wall of sharp logs with an iron gate, open only to those seeking death with the Priest Kings. None have ever returned.
 

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Also, no, the cool stuff ain't relegated to what the canon characters have done. It's like claiming you can't do stuff in Star Wars, or, even better, that there can't be an Ancient Rome game, because everything cool is already in the works of Tacitus:grin:!

I had a Roman history professor who would agree with this:thumbsup:
 
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