John Norman's Gor - Tales of Counter Earth

General chat about Mongoose Publishing and its releases
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Postby juggler69uk » Wed Jun 20, 2007 7:48 pm

DM wrote:I imagine a few readers will be "claiming the fifth" on that one :)
And any other amendment that might help :D
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Postby Osentalka » Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:54 pm

I have played orgys in RQ, Nephilim, and (original) D&D up to now. Even with "normal" players. If it fits in the setting players will accept it, according to my experience.
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Postby rozark69 » Thu Jun 21, 2007 2:21 am

I don´t know if the americans and brits would be happy with all the sex, orgies and so on.

I dont know how to past and copy the way you all o but guy who said that, has not been to UK recently I lived there for 8 years and they kinkier then most think.
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Postby The King » Thu Jun 21, 2007 10:55 am

I never read the books, but the setting doesn't seem very dissimilar to Conan's. Howard wrote of naked girls, bondage and whipping while he wrote in the 20's. I am sure he would have gone further censorship permitting.
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Postby Dpetroc » Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:01 pm

Reading John Norman reminds me of the Monty Python skit with the obscene fairy tales ("...with a melon?!?"). The first few start out fairly normal, but they degrade fairly quickly IMO.

To the King's point -- Howard wrote about manly men and vulnerable women (with two major exceptions, one of which claimed to want a man's life). I don't think he would have really gotten into John Norman's "Master and Servant" riff. I think John Norman would have appalled him.

Unless they pulled a WotC and slapped a "Mature Audiences Only" sticker on it, I don't think it would be in Mongooses' best interest to publish Gor as a campaign world...and I think one would want to be careful about re-popularizing some of Norman's themes and 'introducing him' to a new audience.
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Postby andakitty » Fri Jun 22, 2007 8:55 pm

Somehow I don't think Howard would have been very impressed with the meek submissive slave women sort of characters. His female characters tended to be feisty, fierce, independent females, altogether unlike the ones in the Gor stories. I mean, think about Belit, Valeria, Zenobia... :roll:
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Postby The King » Sun Jun 24, 2007 9:05 pm

Just for your information, including sgtzim, who seems to take some pleasure to contradict me as often as he can for a reason I still have to fathom: the following link leads to Vincent Darlage's site with cover pictures of those old magazine (from the '30s) on which Conan's stories were published.

Today such cover are only seen in Playboy magazines and the likes (at least in the US).
http://enworld.org/Inzeladun/conan.htm

Howard wrote a great number of scantily clad women (and even naked more often than not). In fact the only thing that improved today is in the "sexual games" where bondage and SM are much more frequent and tolerated. Perhaps Howard did contribute to open the way.
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Postby Dpetroc » Sun Jun 24, 2007 11:28 pm

The King: Step back. Why is simply disagreeing with you 'contradiction'? You have not by your own admission read the books. I have read a number of them until they became too offensive. Sensuality, even eroticism in Howard is a palpable element -- however, Norman glorifies the submission of women to men as 'the natural order' and glorifies their rape and torture as well. Considering our last disagreement stemmed from how YOU believed Conan was anti-slavery, I find it fascinating that you might suggest Howard would glorify women as slaves as Norman does. Howard's characters of Belit, Zenobia, and Valeria show women who would deny he agreed with that. The strength of those characters are my main points of evidence that Howard would be appalled by Norman.

As you have NOT read the Gor books - you are not in a strong position to comment on their content vis a vis Howard -regardless of the sensational covers on the magazines wherein Howard's stories appeared.

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Postby The Greek » Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:50 am

I read some of Norman's books in my late teens and even then was left thinking the later books were wrong.

The Gor series of books started off well enough (for the first three or so) but quickly degenerated. I read a few more hoping they would return to the earlier style, but they just seemed to get worse and worse, until I finally gave up.

Looking back they are probably the worst fantasy novels I have ever read (that is saying something, given the fact I have read a lot and there is an awful lot of trash out there), the 'all women are sex slaves' angle was truly appalling. The fact the series went on forever (well 26/27 books) is baffling (to use one word).

The Conan stories used sensuality and sexual elements to the stories as part of the overall whole, which I see no problem in. The main basis of the stories was Conan and how he overcame some truly weird (and evil) opponents. That there was a sexual element added colour to the stories (and often was crucial in the plot, a kind of damsel in distress element was often in there). The woman characters were as often as not pretty strong willed types.

The main basis of the Gor stories (at least after the first few) always seemed to promoting the women as slaves 'theory', with a fantasy story tacked on. I discussed them with a friend at the time who had quite seperately began to read them, and we agreed they were okay to begin with but Norman's obsession went OTT. (Actually he said this and I agreed). The female characters were uniformally meek, subservient and pandered to the male lead (who is so unremarkable I have forgotten his name).

I am with Sgt Zim with this one, Norman and his novels are probably best left largely forgotten (which is, to a degree, a shame, as the first few were okay and might have made a decent RPG setting). The Monty Python bit is spot on.
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Further sources for Gor

Postby Taavi » Mon May 26, 2008 12:46 am

Allow me to recommend Houseplants of Gor as perfect source material:
http://www.rdrop.com/~/wyvern/data/houseplants.html
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Postby Allen Varney » Mon May 26, 2008 1:20 am

A lengthy Gor: The RPG forum thread on RPG.net, started in 2002 and recently revived, delves into the worthiness (for roleplaying games) of both the series' standard and its B&D rape-fantasy elements.
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Postby AKAramis » Mon May 26, 2008 2:43 pm

Any companyreleasing a Gor RPG would, at the very least, lose much credibility, if not actually damage the industry by triggering US-wide book burnings.

Gor, as a setting, lives up to much of what people THOUGHT TSR-D&D was supposedly about in the late 1970's and early 1980's: Women as sex-slaves, bondage, fetishism, relatively pointless violence, no sense of right-vs-wrong.

I've read a couple. JN's writing is not bad (nor great), but his focus on B&D leaves them quite unpalatable to most.

A Gor RPG in a mainstream distribution would probably trigger (much as did BoEF) some local protests, pickets at the LGS's, and lots of parents burning their (sometimes even adult) children's gaming stuff.
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Postby Kyorou » Tue May 27, 2008 10:16 am

AKAramis wrote:I've read a couple. JN's writing is not bad (nor great), but his focus on B&D leaves them quite unpalatable to most.
I see it as a great piece of unintentional humor.

The fun part is that he was trying to counter the rise of Feminism and accidentaly wrote the best propaganda material feminists could ask for.
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Postby Diabolus » Tue May 27, 2008 2:28 pm

I'm sure one could just use the Conan RPG and come up with Gor specific mods without too much work if one really wanted. It's d20 and Conan covers all the really good stuff. My game of Conan RPG isn't based in the Hyborian Age Setting, but the Judge's Guild Wilderlands setting.

With a map and rough idea of the races and cultures, you can use Conan RPG for just about any classic swords & sorcery setting.
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Postby Flynn » Tue May 27, 2008 3:18 pm

If you are going to delve into contemporary planetary adventure, I'd much rather see Kenneth Bulmer's Dray Prescot of Antares series (published under the pen name of Alan Burt Akers) become an RPG than Gor. The world is much more conducive to adventuring, the cultures are wide and varied, and it promotes a much stronger heroic ideal than Gor.

More information can be found here:
http://www.throneworld.com/wiki/index.p ... ory:Kregen

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dray_Prescot_series

The books are available in electronic and print format here:

http://www.mushroom-ebooks.com/authors/akers/akers.html

Just my two coppers, though,
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Postby Shadow Queen » Wed May 28, 2008 9:18 am

there is a bit in C'Tech's dark passions (the first adventure) but it has a disclamer I think that the people who would want a GOR rpg is fine by me they have rights as well as everybody.
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Postby Finarvyn » Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:39 pm

AKAramis wrote:Any companyreleasing a Gor RPG would, at the very least, lose much credibility, if not actually damage the industry by triggering US-wide book burnings.
I still think that a clever game designer could build up the setting without some of the more objectionalble details. Make it more Greek or Roman in tone and emphasize some of the confllicts with the Priest-Kings and the Kur.

I guess I look at many eras in history and things we dislike today were part of their culture. The Roman empire was something like 30% slave, but I don't see anyone buring OGL Ancients. Hyboria had slaves but nobody burns d20 Conan.

Clearly it's the "other elements" that everyone objects to, but a clever GM running the world could insert whatever other stuff he wanted to anyway; it doesn't have to be part of the rulebook.
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Postby Old Bear » Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:57 am

It's too much of a hot potato. I've read quite a few and as the series went on it became like reading soft porn. I recall as a teenager actually waiting impatiently for the next 'dirty' bit to stimulate my teenage 'urges'.

Then I grew up.
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Postby OldMongooseFordy » Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:17 am

Old Bear wrote:It's too much of a hot potato. I've read quite a few and as the series went on it became like reading soft porn. I recall as a teenager actually waiting impatiently for the next 'dirty' bit to stimulate my teenage 'urges'.

Then I grew up.
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Postby AKAramis » Wed Jun 25, 2008 10:12 am

Finarvyn wrote:
AKAramis wrote:Any companyreleasing a Gor RPG would, at the very least, lose much credibility, if not actually damage the industry by triggering US-wide book burnings.
I still think that a clever game designer could build up the setting without some of the more objectionalble details. Make it more Greek or Roman in tone and emphasize some of the confllicts with the Priest-Kings and the Kur.
At which point, it ceases to be the Gor setting.

Gor is iconic amongst the BDSM community for being a BDSM setting.
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