RPGNow.com
Browse Categories













Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
Tales of Gor: Gorean Roleplaying
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/18/2017 08:49:39

The Introduction, along with recommending that this book is used with its companion World of Gor (which provides more detailed descriptions of the setting and background to the game), confronts the fact that John Norman's Gorean Chronicles are not 'politically correct' head-on, as the author describes how he first encountered the stories and the part they played in his life. Then we hear how the growth of the Internet has ensured the survival, indeed popularity, of this setting in the face of criticism by those who cannot get off their soapboxes and enjoy a piece of fiction for what it is: someplace imaginary. You might not want to live there, but it is fun to visit... and a richer, better-imagined, coherent world it is hard to find.

Next, Scribe of Gor introduces the concepts and themes of the setting and of the game, for the two are intertwined to perfection. It provides the obligatory introduction to role-playing, a particularly good one which is fitting as one of the aims of these books is to introduce the legions of Gor fans to role-playing, as well as to provided existing role-players with a unique and intriguing setting. There are further reminders that this is a fictional setting, pure escapism, rather than a vision of how the world ought to be; and that it's only the 'professionally offended' who complain about what could be seen, if taken out of context of the setting, as rampant racism, imperialist fantasy and misogyny. If even fictional female slaves prized for their skills in the bedroom make you feel uncomfortable, it's quite simple - put this down and find a different game to play. We then are treated to a brief synopsis of the 30-odd novels that make up the Gorean Chronicles. Again, if you don't want to read the books after going through these notes, this is probably not the game for you.

This is followed by Tales of Gor, which provides a quite extensive guide to the setting (although not as detailed as World of Gor it should do for player use). It explains the various power blocs, and details how the views about the role of gender have arisen. Unfortunately, this section needs some proofreading, there are a few typos here. Here we read of Priest-Kings and Kur, and of the Steel Worlds, as well as of Gor itself. 'Civilised' Gor is dominated by city-states and we read of some of the best-known, as well as alliances, nations and other places from trackless deserts to the frozen north. Nomadic tribes and dwellers in deep jungles of the interior are also covered, before the discussion moves on to Gorean society. Here we read of the caste structure, and of clans, families, and slavery.

Now that we have a basic grounding in the setting, the next section - Silver Ship - deals with character creation. The section title refers to the ships used to transport captives from Earth to Gor - perhaps this is a good way to introduce the party to the setting, especially if they don't already know it well. It starts off by explaining the basics of the rules, so that informed choices can be made once you start creating your character. The system is Open D6. Natural abilities are measured in terms of the number of D6s you roll when using them, with any skills you have increasing the number of dice you roll. The list of skills is quite comprehensive. A couple of stand-out ones are Care - to be used when you are taking especial care over what you are doing, e.g. carrying a full vessel - and Pleasure. In a game that has Pleasure Slaves, I think we can guess what that's all about, and it is interesting to see it codified and recognised as a skill both men and women can become adept in. You can further customise your character with one to three Traits, with each conferring both advantages and disadvantages on your character. Template characters, with scope for customisation, are provided, ordered by caste.

The Will of the Priest Kings section then goes into copious details of the rules governing play, and how to use them to effect. There's a lot here but it's all fairly straightforward to grasp and will soon become natural after you've played a few times.

We then reach Game Master territory with a section called Secrets of the Nest. This talks about the different sorts of adventures you can run on Gor, and once you have decided that, there are notes on how to structure your adventure into a compelling plot. Much of this is applicable whatever you're playing. Interestingly there are some remarks about what makes for a poor GM, to help you avoid some common pitfalls particularly if you are new to GMing. There's an extensive bestiary here, too... and notes on sentient adversaries as well.

Finally, Shield and Spear covers a vast range of items, not just weapons and what little armour Goreans use (rarely more than a helmet and a shield). Appendices include more character templates, a short introductory adventure, and notes on playing online and roleplaying sexual encounters. The adventure, The Traitoress, provides some pre-generated characters and is designed to start your adventures off with the hunt for a traitoress escaping Ar after she regained her freedom from Cos (based on events in the later part of the Gorean Chronicles series).

Overall, it is a faithful yet tasteful presentation of the Gorean Chronicles in game form. If you enjoy the stories already, or like detailed and imaginative well-constructed worlds to adventure in, it is well worth a look.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tales of Gor: Gorean Roleplaying
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

The Little Grey Book
by Wendy G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/25/2017 13:26:30

The game is a political arguement, regardless if I agree or not, the whole thing reads like someone trying to make a point rather than a game. That said, I really think a game about rule's lawyering can be found in it, one that's fun and creative. The writer should be commended for his originality and creativity, but the blatant political bias ruins it.

The irony of the game, is that the writer seems to have committed the same political aggrandizement he was protesting when he made it.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
The Little Grey Book
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Tales of Gor: Gorean Roleplaying
by Tim R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2017 16:13:01

Thisis an amazing achievement for source material that is extensive. Not only is the feel authentic and unique, the gameplay is very effective and natural.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tales of Gor: Gorean Roleplaying
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

World of Gor: Gorean Roleplaying World Encyclopaedia
by John A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2017 01:38:13

The World of Gor: Gorean Roleplaying World Encyclopedia is a fantastic addition to the Tales of Gor rpg. First the technical points. The pdf's organization was well done. It contains an introduction section on Gor, followed by the author's experience with Gor, a summation of all 34 Gorean series books, and then a chapter by chapter, A to Z encyclopedia. I'm a sucker for a well laid out book.

The content itself is phenomenal. The book is worth it even if you don't play the rpg but just enjoy the book series. I know from now on, that when I read Norman's books, I'll have this handy so I can look things up quickly and easily. As a gaming tool, it'll make explaining aspects of Gor to the group a breeze. For example, castes can be a rather daunting task to explain. With the encyclopedia, I have an entry for each caste, that describes their profession, dress, and general lot in life. Great detail has been given to each entry within.

The encyclopedia doesn't just tackle the "low hanging fruit" either by just giving certain topics like slavery one entry. But instead, we get the whole picture. I now can confidently understand and explain the intricate and complicated concepts of Gorean slavery to my group. Or Kaissa, a game like chess on Gor, could have had a simple entry but instead we essentially get the game explained to us. With entries such as this, my Gor rpg can come alive for my players because it gives me the tools to do so.

Normally, I'd have to go to various websites to prepare background information or go from book to book of Norman's work to prepare for a game like Gor. Now, it is all at my fingertips. If you are a fan of Gor, I recommend this book, just like I did the actual rpg. They are wonderful reading enhancements to the world. And if you are a Gor rpg player, then to me, this is a must! Also, the price is very, very fair for the amount of time and work that must have went into creating this encyclopedia!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
World of Gor: Gorean Roleplaying World Encyclopaedia
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

World of Gor: Gorean Roleplaying World Encyclopaedia
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/10/2017 10:19:55

This massive work is intended as a companion to the Tales of Gor Role-playing Game or, for those who don't role-play, as supporting material for the Gorean Chronicles series of books by John Norman. The Introduction explains the history and background to the books - and how this book's author was introduced to them in his teens and fell in love with them (just as I did when not very much older). The turbulent history of the series, with its themes clashing with prudishness when first launched and later falling foul of political correctness, is discussed sympathetically: it is what it is and if your prejudices lead you to dislike the fact that Gorean society accepts slavery as normal, and has sexual practises that could be deemed 'kinky' (bondage, dominance and submission in the main), there's ample warning to suggest you find a different fantasy world. Because that's what it is, fantasy. Nobody's suggesting it is real or even desirable, just that this is what Gor is like. To be fair, I have read essays that suggest John Norman wrote the books as a protest against rampant political correctness, but I don't know how true that is!

Next comes a summary of the thirty-four (at time of writing) books in the series, drawn from the cover 'blurbs' (so no spoilers for books you haven't read yet!). Then without further ado, the encyclopaedia entries begin...

In strict alphabetical order, the entries cover everything from prominent individuals to flora and fauna, popular beliefs and customs, and matters of everyday life. They are illustrated by relevant quotations from the books as well as splendid pen-and-ink drawings that capture the exotic feel of the world well. Even where slaves are involved, they remain tastefully done... and are particularly fascinating when they depict the exotic animals of Gor.

Perhaps you want to know about the various castes of Gor, mix of professional/trade associations and inherited positions, or maybe you'd like to know what cards make up the Gorean Tarot or how to play kaissa. Musical instruments, weapons, diseases, clothing... all these and more are described. There are even details of kaissa should you fancy trying to play. Finally, an appendix outlines the Gorean calendar. It is very much a reference book, as one might expect from the title, rather than a thematic discussion of all things Gorean; but should you want to know, for example, what a Horned Gim looks like (a small, purplish owl-like bird, as it happens), you can look it up very easily (although the PDF version could be enhanced by the use of bookmarks and hyperlinks).

This is an excellent resource for all those who wish to understand the world of Gor in all its splendor. Whether you play the RPG or just enjoy the books, this is a useful adjunct to your game or reading.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tales of Gor: Gorean Roleplaying
by CARLOS E. L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/07/2017 01:05:37

Finally an official tabletop Gorean roleplaying game. I like it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tales of Gor: Gorean Roleplaying
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Tales of Gor: Gorean Roleplaying
by Emma R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/04/2017 11:38:10

Tales of Gor: Gorean Roleplaying

It’s fair to say that Gor has something of a polarising opinion on people.

And that's putting it mildly.

While ostensibly derived from the same pulp ‘swords and planet’ genre that spawned adventure romps by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E Howard, Leigh Brackett and Michael Moorcock amongst many others, Gor from an early age ensured its commercial popularity and courted controversy at the same time by making slavery an integral part of the setting, to the point where nowadays that is pretty much all it is (in)famous for.

That said, it was once a common series of books in the 1970s and early 1980s in the Science Fiction sections of bookshops, occupying vast tracts of shelf space, and the basic core idea (setting aside the more controversial elements) of a primitive Counter Earth orbiting the Sun on the opposite side to the Earth, and the secret war between two alien races vying to control both Gor and (as a secondary prize) Earth is a good one and cries out for a role-playing game to match. And now at last it has one.

The core set comes as two volumes – game stats and character design (plus an introduction to the culture setting) in the first, and an encyclopaedic compendium of A to Z reference material in the second. This makes commercial sense as there are thousands of potential Gor fans who might wish to pick up the reference material, even though they don't play RPGs, and wouldn't need to know how many hit points a Sleen has.

43 on average, just in case you're wondering. :)

The first thing to remark upon as I crack open (in a virtual pdf kind of way) the electronic spine of the Tales of Gor game manual is how uncontroversial it actually is once you skim its pages. Yes, there are some pictures of naked breasts, but the author has not produced a game book that beats you about the head with lectures about slavery and the natural order of the genders. What you have is what you would actually want – a sleek, easy to grasp set of rules to establish characters and campaign adventures set on the 'sword and sandal' world of Gor. It takes the adventure setting of Gor first and foremost, and while it doesn't shy away from the prevalent nature of slavery on that world, I wouldn't say the slavery aspect in the game books is any more prevalent than in the old Mongoose Conan RPG or in the Rome TV series. Because the author recognises that any tabletop Gor RPG is going to be about sword play and adventures first, with the erotic overtones of that world mostly on show in the background to add spice and kink to the decadent nature of Gorean society.

And here it comes down to your personal preferences. If you don't like the idea of old school pulp stories having a sexual undertone, then of course this game is never going to be your thing, in much the same way I don't really take much to Cyber Punk or Japanese Manga. But reading the book you'd probably be surprised how readily accessible it is as a complete body of work to anyone who is interested in pulp Science Fantasy games.

What James does very successfully here is he takes all the interesting and imaginative elements of the Gorean world – elements that are often lost or submerged beneath tedious copy and paste diatribes on the nature of the sexes in the later books (and one thing that can't be denied, Gor is probably one of the most detailed and fleshed out worlds in pulp fiction) – and he plays to its strengths, playing down the exasperating aspects that even the most enthusiastic John Norman fan could probably live without.

So yes, it's first and foremost an RPG of 'High Adventure' that benefits from a decadent setting that either appeals or doesn't appeal. If you have set your mind to hating anything to do with Gor, well, this game probably isn't going to win you over, but if you've simply heard it's controversial, you may be surprised to see how the subject matter has been handled here.

The game mechanics are lifted squarely from the open source D6 system that powered the original Star Wars RPG – a system that incorporates 'wild dice' to produce extreme effects at either end of the spectrum. It's simple enough to be picked up by people who are new to RPGs, but elegant enough that it can provide the sort of feel you want from a game that evokes heroism and larger than life adventures.

Gor's strict caste system lends itself well to character templates, and although the most appealing one for me is obviously 'head strong, condescending, reassuringly superficial, and somewhat overconfident agent of the sinister Kurii,' you can if you wish role-play a builder instead.

Though honestly? A builder? Why would you? :)

The black and white art by Michael Manning is all bespoke and with only one or two exceptions, evokes the complex world of Gor very well indeed. I'd best describe it as a comic book take on Aubrey Beardsley with its solid chiaroscuro style. The exception for me at least are the faces of the Kurii that look a bit too cartoon like and not nearly ferocious enough. In some of the illustrations you feel like you want to give them a great big hug and stroke their lovely soft fur, and indeed, there appear to be one or two pictures where slave girls are indeed doing just that (Disclaimer: in real life, never actually attempt to stroke or hug a Kur). On the other hand, the pictures on pages 25 and 56 are just sublime and worth the price of admission alone.

Despite the single minded tone of the official books, the game is quick to assure us that it is designed to accommodate any manner of interpretations of Gor. It’s quite conceivable that a group of player characters could be anti-slavery, for example, odd as that might seem to John Norman himself. And it wouldn’t be that difficult to run a Gor game in the style of Robert E Howard’s Hyborian age, with the added flavour of the secret cold war between the enigmatic Priest Kings and the savage Kurii lurking in the background.

Moving on to the second volume (which was a bit of a beast to download to be honest) we have a hefty compendium of easily digestible background entries in an A to Z format, made more fun by randomly placed interjections by the author writing as an Earth man brought to Gor to live for a few years as a roving scribe. Breaking up what is essentially 202 pages of encyclopaedia entries, with a series of (often) humorous insights and anecdotal observations into everything from Samos of Port Kar to Pleasure Slaves, makes for fun reading, and my only criticism here is there isn’t more of it. It’s a stylistic flourish that I would love to see carried over into supplementary books, especially ones that flesh out specific regions of Gor.

As I well know (because I role-play there), the Internet has long had a sizeable presence of ‘role-players’ gaming Gor in various forms in chat room based sites (not to mention the vast population of such people in Second Life) and it would be very cool indeed if this game with its simple enough rule system that lends itself very well to the dice rolling programmes in Gor based chat rooms, became a standard rule set for people to take their role-play further than it currently stands. It has that potential over and above the more usual tabletop format of role-playing games and it would be a vast improvement on the current anarchic system whereby two players simply argue about who stabbed who successfully with a sword.

Taking into account its small press origins, this is an impressive and inexpensive role-playing game that succeeds in bringing the full flavour of its source material to the tabletop. To my mind it presents a far more elegant and cohesive game setting than, say, the bloated and sprawling world of Pathfinder, and it has the potential to be expanded into all manner of meaty supplements.

High on my wish list would be adventure/sourcebooks for the various regions of Gor – in particular the Tahari, the Northern reaches of Torvaldsland, the Panther Girl forests and the Jungle interior. Taking one of those regions, populating it with fleshed out locations and a format of say, 101 adventure seeds, or perhaps a sprawling campaign on the scale of ‘Shadows of Yog Sothoth', would make for a very cool package indeed.

And I can but dream of a source pack specifically tailored to haughty, over confident agents of the Kurii…

So, all credit to James Desborough who seems to have pulled off the near impossible, when you consider how toxic the concept of Gor can be in certain quarters.

Five stars, which frankly is four stars more than I’d give to the tawdry and demeaning plays of Boots Tarsk Bit. Needless to say, I of course only watch those plays periodically to remind myself how offensive they are... ;)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tales of Gor: Gorean Roleplaying
by John A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/02/2017 10:56:01

Well first let me say that I'm very excited to see a Gor table-top role-playing game. It is a book series that is certainly deserving of such a treatment. Second, the system itself uses the D6 system, which if you are an older gamer such as myself, may be familiar with. West End used it for their Star Wars game and many other products. And I must say it works here, very well.

Third, the pdf itself. I never knew Postmortem Studios exisited before stumbling upon this game. I will say that if the products are as half as good as Gor, I'll be a repeat customer to Postmortem Studios. Gor is packed full of detail and beautiful artwork. The art really reminds me of the old book covers by Boris Vallejo. They scream GOR! Postmortem jammed this game full of background information on Gor. Every book of Norman's Gor series has a short summary. The world is detailed out along with the people.

Just from the small amount of reading I've done so far, I can guarantee I will not be left in the dark on an issue about Gor. The treatment of the "adult content" is done very well and there is even a breakdown of how much and ways how to apply it to your Gorean game! At $9.99 this book is a must buy for anyone who is a fan of Gor. In fact, if your are a fan of Conan, John Carter, Tarzan, etc. you should buy it just on its pulp-action quotient alone!

I'll be buying the companion encylopedia quickly!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gor Preview
by Andrea M. M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/21/2017 13:08:34

Ah... Gor. So many different opinions exist out there about it. Still it is a wonderful Fantasy-Science setting with a greek touch. This preview is very promising and I look forward to see it published. Stuff is more than enough out there to make this a whole series. And the illustrator Michael Manning... a fitting match and because of him alone I will collect what I can get.

The preview is clear, neat written, gives you first glimpses and also a good explenation on how it came into being. I hope that in the final product the bookmarks in the pdf version will already be included.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gor Preview
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Clipart Critters 276 - Well, we did do the nose.
by Aaron F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2017 10:17:42

I've been very pleased with the artwork of Bradley K McDevitt, I think the art captures that 'Old School' feel. I'm usually more drawn to the black and white pieces, but this particular piece worked perfectly for a project I was working on that deal with hags and I decided to put it on the cover. Perfect. The face of the hag makes people think...do I really want to open this adventure module? Or even...are you sure you want to open the door to this 'abandoned' cottage? Anyways...great stuff!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Clipart Critters 276 - Well, we did do the nose.
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Urban Faerie: Pocket Edition
by Patrick H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/28/2016 19:56:47

Simply and straightforward; a good game for a quick one-shot while drinking. Loses one star for being unable to sustain narrative attitude without punching down.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Faerie: Pocket Edition
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

The Little Grey Book
by Alec M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/26/2016 04:26:03

A fun little game that lets you engage in rules lawyering in a socially acceptable framework, wrapped up in a satirical package. I definitely plan on bringing this to the holidays.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Little Grey Book
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Wizkid: The Cheapening
by David F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/07/2016 05:54:41

A game after my heart. Silly, weird, comical and completely off the knocker. Basically the equivalent of combining the Monty Python "The meanng of Life" scetch about sex-ed with the Harry Potter books. Easy to pick up and really adorable in detail. Sadly the cheapness does reflect a bit in the artwork and the presentation.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wizkid: The Cheapening
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Invaderz: Pocket Edition
by patrick m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/02/2016 14:43:50

This game is quick and simple to play. It is perfect for a good laugh and breaking in that new player group.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Invaderz: Pocket Edition
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Fifth Fantasy: The Brock
by Chris B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/10/2016 07:14:11

A great, flavoursome race with beautiful artwork. Although I haven't yet had a chance to get the Brock to the table, reading through this race for the first time left me with a huge smile on my face. The race and lore surrounding it is fantastic - I'd happily read books featuring a Brock protagonist - and the game mechanics are just icing on the cake. The section of Brock Artefacts contains some genuinely great stuff (Moleskin Notebook, I'm looking at you).

The only concern I have - and bear in mind, I haven't had a chance to playtest this yet - is the Born To Fight ability. I'm rarely a fan of abilities that add a static bonus to attacks, and I'm also not sure about it affecting both melee and ranged weapons. That said, it doesn't seem like it would present a balance issue at all, and more importantly the rest of the race looks like a whole lot of fun to play (which trumps any balance issues anyway).

I 'd definitely recommend buying this. For $0.99 you can't go wrong, even if it's just to look at the fantastic art.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fifth Fantasy: The Brock
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Displaying 1 to 15 (of 361 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ...  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates
Powered by DrivethruRPG