Note to the Big Purple and Gor AMA

sfr-helmet-matt-fluo-purple.7364.fullYes, I am watching you and you’re watching me. A fair chunk of ‘outrage traffic’ comes via you, but we seem to be funding OK in spite of, or because of, that so I don’t really mind. I was resigned to another hate-fest, especially from your quarter, but I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised by the quality of some of the discussion on this thread, though you do have to step around the usual blithering hatemongery.

While I’ve got you, may I suggest therpgsite as a much better platform for honest discussion.

I am watching because I think there are things that should be addressed and your forum doesn’t give me the capability to answer them there. I’ve seen some valid concerns raised and have made a few revisions on that basis. If you want a discussion though, RPGnet isn’t going to be the place to do it and you’re welcome to discuss – in good faith – here.

As to a victim complex, no more or less than other people involved in recent kerfuffles and given the abuse etc I don’t think it’s entirely disingenuous to ‘play the victim’. If you don’t want me to come across that way, you could always stop trying to victimise me.

I am resigned to the hatred from some of you. You never let the facts (or the fiction!) get in the way of a good dogpiling before so why would you now? I’m not soliciting it however. In fact, I kind of hoped the kink-shaming aspect of giving people a hard time over their D/S and BDSM proclivities would give you pause – for some people, thankfully, that has indeed been the case.

I do genuinely believe in the project and have spent a great deal of time and effort on it. I do genuinely love the book series and I do genuinely believe the fans deserve a good product that reflects the enduring popularity of the books. I’ve wanted to turn the books into a game for many years and finally had the opportunity.

I’ve actually been very happy about the quality of the discussion on your forum (apart from the usual suspects) who have brought up many of the things that make Gor such an interesting and challenging environment and setting. These discussions have also made it clear that I will have to be more explicit in the book about certain things and more explanatory and helpful about others, as well as providing notes on less default ways to play.

There was some thought around indie-game format games that would play out the romantic D/S side of Gor. I sympathise and I toyed with that idea for a while but I don’t think it really suits the audience I’m trying to reach with this. There’s already a large, existing fanbase and I think normal, basic roleplaying concepts can be difficult enough to explain without bringing in a lot of indieisms.

I believe Apocalypse World engine was mentioned and I suppose that could work. Personally I find the ‘moves’ etc spoil immersion for me and I wouldn’t choose it for such a game. I did have a more indie-styled BDSM oriented game half finished which used more indie mechanics within a (default) GMless space based around a sort of transhuman future society, but couldn’t get it to work. It seems there might be some interest, so I might go back to that for an indie release sometime.

I’m neither a truly ‘traditional’ gamer, nor a truly ‘indie’ gamer. I believe that system matters and that the right system is the one that is synergistic to the goals and setting. D6 has pedigree as a beginner system, nostalgia quality for older gamers, ease of understanding for newer gamers and the advantage of using D6s with tactile dice pools. Meta-mechanics found in many indie games wouldn’t really suit the kind of sword-and-sandals focus that I expect a lot of people to take with Gor (Spartacus, 300/rise of an Empire) etc. As such I think a more robust and broadly capable system is necessary.

I’ll just end – again – by reminding you that fiction is fiction and does not, necessarily, have anything to do with the feelings or true beliefs of the author (or in this case the one making the game from the books of another author). This shouldn’t need to be said, but apparently it does.

That said, comments are open (but moderated) for genuine questions about any aspect of the project.

I’ll append Q&A to the bottom of this post as we go along.

Does he give you the ‘Hebrew-Jeebies’ RPGnet?

You may recall my friend Uri Kurlianchik from previous storm-in-a-teacup drama over the DNDkids articles and entanglements with transgender, possible-rapist ‘Kynn’.

Uri’s been the target of a lot of hysteria because he tends to talk about things as they actually are, rather than as they should be and because he has a wicked and nasty sense of humour with little or no respect for anyone who gets offended. This is a trait he shares with me and Frankie Boyle.

Recently, as is completely reasonable, Uri went on RPGnet to promote a book project he’s doing (feel free to follow the link and drop him some cash towards it). Of course, RPGnet being RPGnet and Uri being an Israeli anyone with any past experience of RPGnet’s white-knighting crusaders can tell what happened next.

So, Uri appears to have been banned, on a board that champions itself and its moderation as tolerant, progressive and anti-prejudice for… being a heeb.

That’s beyond irony.

My own brushes with RPGnet moderation have been legion in the past, culminating in a company account being accused of being a sockpuppet (it wasn’t) and I’ve attempted to pursue the issue of the totalitarian moderation and moderator abuse with every level of the company right up to its parent company, Skotos, who – as it turns out – ALSO have a shitty reputation and whose representative wouldn’t even take the time to listen to a complaint. I wish I’d kept the recording of our Skype conversation as it was rather enlightening as to the nature of the board, the company and the people running it.

Social Media may have eclipsed fora, but RPGnet should have been, should be, a place for open and heated discussion where people can disagree loudly and vociferously without the banhammer descending on the random whim of a particular arsehole.

I had determined to leave that wretched hive of scum and villainy alone and pay it no heed, but this latest nonsense is such a good illustration of everything that’s wrong with the place that it was impossible to pass up.

If you need me I’ll be shouting ‘I told you so’ over on that mountain top.