Gorean Chronicles: More Q&A

18lrsr4hxx5qojpg (1)Q: A previous comment mentioned that the existing artwork (featured here) put just enough clothing on the women to avoid any nudity, partial or otherwise. Do you plan on having any nudity in the final books, or will it maintain this level of “skimpy dress that isn’t technically nudity” (perhaps as a style of imagery that’s become associated with this sub-genre in general, and Gor in particular)?

A: By request of the licensor there’ll be nothing too egregiously over the top, however on the inside you can expect some partial nudity. Just don’t expect any graphic ‘in flagrante delicto’. So yes there’ll be nudity, but nothing too gratuitous.

Q: You’ve indicated that the funding will be used to pay for the artwork. In the unfortunate event that you don’t meet your funding goal, what will happen with regard to the books’ illustrations?

A: The money raised will be spent on art from Michael and we’ll see how far it stretches. Depending on the gap I will strive to make up the difference myself (though that will take extra time) and I’ll have to make a judgement call whether to settle for less art, to take more time, or to hire a secondary – cheaper – artist to fill out the remaining art.

Q: I’m of the opinion that successful crowd-funding is purely a matter of getting the word out to enough people. I only found out about this campaign from an interview you gave on a blog, when it was already halfway over; no other mainstream tabletop gaming site had mentioned it (that I had seen)! My advice would be to make a big push to get the word out. I tried to have this campaign headlined as a news item at EN World, but was quietly ignored – perhaps you could contact them to try and get them to run it there? (Or if they did when the campaign first began, then have them re-announce that it has just a few days left.)

A: Usually there is more interest, but there’s a variety of factors at work here. It’s Gor (for one!), D&D5 has just come out, #gamergate is grabbing a lot of people’s attention and the only big site to show interest has been RPGnet to ‘extract the Michael’. It’s a tough sell, but one more crack of the whip can’t hurt.

Gorean Chronicles: Q&A

18lrsqwlqldjbjpgHere’s the first few answers and updates, and another classic Gor cover.

Please send me more questions and suggestions and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Q: Gaming has made big advances in the representations of women, minorities and alternative sexuality. Don’t you think a Gor RPG is a regressive step?

A: Gor has a plurality of representation, despite its reputation and the concentration on a particular outlook within the books themselves. On racial issues, despite some troublesome terminology (to modern eyes) Gor is immensely respectful and inclusive. Alternative sexuality barely comes up in the books, but there’s also no judgement or negative images presented, per se.

As regards the more general comment about representations – and this question was originally asked in a much more abusive form, I’ve translated it – there’s several things to keep in mind I think.

Firstly and most importantly, Gor is a fantasy world. Not reality. It’s a ‘what if?’, and, as such, should be understood in that context.

Secondly, there’s room for multiple ways of going about things. I’m in favour of a plurality of representations and tropes and I don’t think that creativity is a zero-sum game. The new and the ‘traditional’, both have things for and against them.

Thirdly, I see nothing progressive in constricting or limiting free expression, kink-shaming or abandoning classical tropes which can still entertain and serve a purpose, even in different contexts.

Q: How have you changed the D6 system to fit Gor?

A: This will only make sense to those who know the system, but…

  • The Wild Die can now ‘implode’ as well as explode.
  • The health system is a hybrid of wound levels and health points, drawing some inspiration from 4th Edition D&D’s ‘bloodied’ rule.
  • It’s a little bit deadlier.
  • Fate points are replaced with rules to encourage Goreans to act according to the Gorean codes, as a roleplaying prompt.

Q: Why do you keep emphasising the World Book?

A: A lot of people think this is just an RPG project. While the world book stands in support and alongside the RPG book it is really a separate product and one which people with no interest in RPGs, but with interest in Gor, fantasy worlds and art should be able to have an interest in.

Q: What made you choose Michael to do the art?

A: I’m a fan of good art and I wanted to do something different. I have previously been supposed to work with Michael but those projects fell through for one reason or another (a business partner’s heart health in one instance). A lot of game art has become complacent and samey, no matter how well executed. Michael has a distinctive style, familiarity with BDSM and fetish art and a level of skill and talent I’ve long admired. I think he can bring something special to the project and is, absolutely, the right person.

Q: Could you offer spaces in a session on Hangouts as a reward?

A: I cannot reliably offer such due to my anxiety and depression issues. I don’t want to ‘write a cheque my arse can’t cash’ by offering that, especially when I might have to pull out at the last minute. There’s also problems with timezones that make this a less than ideal thing to offer.

Q: What about an introductory adventure and sample characters?

A: These are already present in the RPG book. I could add a second set as a separate file…

Q: What about offering some of your other products as a bonus?

That I can do.

Gorean Chronicles: Playing as a Slave



Playing as a slave in a Gorean RPG may not seem like the ideal choice for most players, despite the long appeal of stories that derive from slavery situations. Spartacus, for example, is a classic story that’s been told in various forms and, in the most recent TV series, is very, very Gorean in tone and content. Slave revolts occur in the Gor books and for female slaves, despite the gender philosophy of the setting, there are also the Talunas and Panther Girls.

Most stories involving slave girls within Gor are love stories, indeed the common thread throughout the entire series is the tension of the relationship between Tarl and Talena, played out in geopolitics, honour, bitterness and – perhaps – reconciliation.

Fighting slaves of various kinds are good characters for a combat oriented game and a good way for the group to raise money and make a reputation for themselves. Female slaves are, perhaps, a little more difficult unless the player is happy taking on all that that entails. For those who want some insulation from the impositions upon a slave, it would be best to be linked with another player character or with a powerful NPC. Even more safety might come from being linked with a female NPC or player character. Gorean honour won’t, so much, allow them to interfere with another’s property without their permission – at least in most circumstances.

Most slaves are unarmed, but that doesn’t make them useless. You could view a slave almost as a ‘healer’ class for the group, taking care of food, comfort, providing distractions and running interference for the rest of the group. Slaves might not be able to be physically dangerous – most of the time – but they’re far from useless. Slaves have an advantage in being ‘beneath notice’ and somewhat immune to threats. Slaves – who follow most of the social rules – are there to be captured and traded, not killed, which can give a creative player a huge amount of leeway and opportunity to get up to all kinds of shenanigans.

To reiterate then:

  • Slave stories are often romance stories on Gor.
  • Fighting slaves are extremely useful characters to the group.
  • Serving and pleasure slaves can be really good as ‘support’ characters for the rest of the group.
  • Slave revolts make for dynamic and high-stakes stories.