A Tour of Gor …
In this segment, Unwritten will take you on a journey through Gor. Find out the latest happenings, what it means to play in Gor, and other amazing tidbits surrounding the genre.
This month I wanted to gain insight from two Gorean roleplayers on opposite ends of the spectrum – a long time player and a newer player returning to the realm after a long absence. We’ll be talking to Addiction and Daz. Sit back and enjoy the read!
Daz, I understand that you played on Gor a long time ago and then left, but recently you’ve made a return. I’m curious about this choice and I think the readers will be too!
Do you recall what made you step away from the realm years ago?
You know how it goes – people come and go, room popularity wanes, etc. The people I played with moved on, the room went unused, I made some new non-Gorean friends online so I tried out some other genres of roleplaying and opened a medieval fantasy roleplay room. I never really forgot about it or had anything against returning to Gor…just never had the opportunity really. With Calista (who I knew from my time on Gor and before), I was even co-leader of The House on Landon Lake / The Talendar Society on Imaginechat, a D/s roleplay room with ties to Gor. It definitely influenced me during my “early years” online!
What is it about Gor that lured you back in?
Some of my favorite people play in Minus and I wanted to be able to play with them! Gor was also the first “roleplaying” experience I had – I followed some people to Gor from general BDSM chat rooms. So, when I was thinking of making a character for Minus, part of the appeal was “returning” to Gor now that I have all this roleplaying experience under my belt.
Would you like to tell us about your Gorean character?
Sure! Camilla belongs to the caste of Cloth-Workers. She is originally from Vonda, where her parents arranged a Companionship for her to someone she considers unsuitable. So, she fled Vonda and travelled to Minus because The House of Lar-Torvis advertised for a seamstress, and she thought she could escape the unwanted Companionship, earn some coin, and prove she can make it on her own. She enjoys creating elaborate gowns and would one day like to open her own dress-making shop, but for now she is resigned to boring, simple work. She is beginning to settle into Minus, meeting new people, obtaining an introductory job, etc. But she hasn’t yet been able to shake the worry that her old life in Vonda (parents/intended Companion) will come looking for her.
What are you hoping to get out of this roleplay with your Gorean character?
Nothing in particular – I made her just so I could hang out in Minus. I did write the backstory of fleeing an unwanted Companionship to leave Templar an opening if he ever wanted to make a char for Minus, so he could be the Companion come to claim her and take her home.
Have you encountered any pitfalls or stumbling points in your return so far?
It’s been slow getting started and roleplaying out all the “introductory” stuff, but that just takes time. Soon, I will have “met” all the people in Minus and the real fun can begin. It’s also been interesting (and tough) because I am starting in a new place I know only very basic information about. This is different than just making a new character for Marvel because, even though it’s a new character, I have intimate knowledge of the genre, setting, and system.
What is the best or most exciting thing that has happened involving your character so far?
She was “detained” during the Sardar Fair by an unsavory character and questioned about some silly meteorite (The Star of Ar) that she knows nothing about!
How do you find the realm of Gor as compared to other realms you’ve played in?
It isn’t better or worse than other types of rooms: it’s the players that make or break a room. But one of the most interesting things to me is that because Gor is a whole world, there’s lots of potential for cross-room roleplay, where most rooms in other realms are self-contained. I wouldn’t be able to take Dazzler to play in an LKH room (or even another Marvel room and keep her “room history” intact) but I could travel around with Camilla to other places on Gor. That’s both an advantage and disadvantage though. The downfall is that with so many other rooms, the actual players are scattered across them and if you don’t have a reason to travel, you miss out on interacting with them.
Have you read any of the Gorean novels by John Norman or do you have plans to?
I read nearly all of them long ago during my first time on Gor, so I only remember basic things. But I don’t really plan to read them again. Heh, that sounds sort of snobby, but I didn’t enjoy them that much the first time around, and I already have a dozen books going unread at this very moment.
Do you have any advice for someone else who might want to either try Gor for the first time or make a return like you did?
It is a lot easier if you have some pre-existing knowledge of Gor and how things work. Even with my previous exposure, I find myself worried that I will make a roleplay faux-pas (what kind of shoes do Free Women wear? Are there spoons on Gor?) so I try to be as generalized as possible for now and scrutinize other posts until I find my footing. And for your first time, definitely make a character that will fit your OOC personality and any knowledge you do have. For example, don’t make your character a seamstress if you know nothing about sewing (*coughcough*). You will have a lot more fun if you aren’t worrying about all the little details.
If you could change something about the realm for your personal benefit or for the good of Gor as a whole – what would it be?
Haha, and risk stepping on people’s toes? No, thanks… though actually, I will mention one thing I recently thought about: The Sardar Fair. I noticed that there’s a Fair room on Revo and there was one open on PoD – in fact, we thought about doing the “tent detainment” roleplay at the fair room on PoD but didn’t. So my thought was, “What if the different sites (are there other sites besides those 2 anymore? I have no idea) each took a turn to host the Fair and everyone had to congregate in one room for its duration?” I’m sure it’s been tried before, and rivalries exist for good reasons, etc. But it was just a thought I had.
Addiction, you’ve been playing in the Gorean realm longer than I have. That’s really saying something! Let’s dig into what it is that has kept your interest for so long!
When did you first start to roleplay in Gor?
The cretaceous period? It’s really hard to remember. I was having a conversation with a friend about this as I was answering these questions and realized it was right about the time I had graduated from High School or right thereafter. 97? 98? It was pretty much during the “heyday” of all things Gorean.
Would you like to tell us about your Gorean character?
Would it give things away if I did? Likely not. Dephyrius Talon, the son of the same. Though to be fair I have a couple of characters now (what a long way we’ve come!) that I play. The Son of the character that I played for almost a decade was roleplayed years ago having been sent to Ar with his sister to be raised behind those 7 walls to become an educated swordsman and garner an education to build a lifestyle for himself well away from the confines of the life that his father lived as an Outlaw. He was given a different name that He lived by for years, forgoing his family name until one day while traveling to Viktel Aria, where He was confronted by a man from Port Kar whom he had business dealings with in his travels and had long ago recognized him. The man laid his namesake’s weapons on the table of the tavern in front of him and explained his past to him, who He was, a dangerous secret that could undo all He’d worked towards if it were to be revealed. He then left Ar after earning his robes as a member of the merchant’s caste and joining the vosk league a couple of years later to seek out his heritage in Port Kar. It was there that he confronted the ghosts of his past and made the choice to embrace them, spending the better part of his early adult years embracing and learning everything of his fathers legacy and building a steely determination to carry on that legacy.
What is it that attracted you to the realm to begin with?
Naked women, big titties, slave girls, and swords. I was an 18-year-old with a head full of wonder, already into writing, but was basically told there was a world out there where I could be Conan and all these chicks would bang me. I was sold from that moment on.
What keeps you interested in Gor after all of these years?
That very same thing that attracted me all those years ago. The wonder. The excitement. The stories that you can tell and that carry us through the years. The fact that almost everyone in Gor still to this day have been around for a while and there’s history there. There are threads, tendrils of things in the past that can still be played upon, and yet new stories to be made anew. The thought of power, of glory, the revenge in the feeling of defeat. The fact that no matter where you’re at, what you’re doing, whenever someone walks into the room you never know what’s going to happen. What they’re there for. There’s an edge to it that’s indescribable.
Can you recall an event or roleplay situation you were involved in that got your heart pumping the most?
Oh man. Quite a few. So many.
Raids with Viktel Arian Lair. MSR. Every time they came into a room somewhere, you knew some shit was gonna happen and go down. Had to be immediately ready. But turning the tables, and raiding THEM in return, was intense.
Confronting the Rencers in a massively crazy open combat situation where everyone just went ham on one another.
The tournament fights back in the day, the brackets, waiting post for post while sparring with someone, and then the anticipation of the judge’s judgement the next day.
Sitting in that Tavern that day that Devon Maddock came down and open fired on me in open combat. Being so confident in not having lost in open combat, and then knowing as the tables were turned, that the fate of your character that you’d had for a decade was in the hands of the judges. (p.s. My slave was still in the way of that bolt you slimy bastard).
Fighting Cimber. Every. Goddamned. Time. Sparring in general, but there’s something about a really good opponent and the thought of going writing for writing in combat that gets the blood pumping.
What is the funniest thing you’ve encountered during your time on Gor?
Besides Dillinger being killed like 4 times by myself and resurrecting every time, along with 3,481 times by everyone else?
My first day on Gor. I showed up to Kassar on Chatro, and Raggs and Garr were at the gates. What my buddy failed to tell me, is that while its “Conan and shit”, there’s no magic on Gor. I threw lightning bolts at them for an hour. That of course, was after being booted twice after being killed and coming back flying on the back of a dragon. They thought I was trolling. I had absolutely no idea. It was later that night (what a long night that was) after I got a re-education to things, that BLADES gave me a trial membership, pending I learned some shit, of 30 days. Man those were the days. I had a chance to meet them years later on in life, and it was still laughed at years later.
Do you have any regrets about your past or present roleplay on Gor?
No regrets on the past, absolutely not. I’ll remember those stories, the people that were involved, the time that we shared, the stories we had, until I’m old and gray. Most presently? Not really a regret, but to have more time for it amongst this thing that we call life that we all grew up into.
Do you miss the “old days” when the realm was more populated and busy? Why or why not?
The “old days”? That COULD be a loaded question, but talking on population? Absolutely. I do miss it. It was intriguing to look at the whochat and see who was where, see a bunch of people in the crossroads, or the stadium, wondering what was going on and popping in there just to see. To see people in all the rooms and thinking if I wasn’t in my own home at that time “hrmmm where can I take a journey to tonight?” What can we build? Can we raid? Do they have enough? Are they going to raid us?
I think it’s fair to say that anyone would miss it in their realm but even if its through my own nostalgia tinted glasses I don’t believe there’s any other realm where it held and still holds that kind of wonder.
What sort of advice might you have for someone new to the realm or someone curious about trying it out?
“Do it”. Get in there. Talk with people. Explore. A MAJORITY of us started out without reading the books, learned as we went, took our lumps and had a hell of a lot of fun doing it, but like in any genre, don’t be afraid. There’s a metric ton of information out there and shit to learn but its not the begin all and end all. If you have a story that you want to tell, talk with people. Find a room or a “location” in Gor that speaks with you and go with it. Just like in any realm its easy to get intimidated by the most mundane things but if you talk with people, you can find a place, and make some magic happen.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Gorean players that have been around a while and can feel that the intensity of newness has worn off?
Get daring. Get brazen. Explore a different path. Throw a rock at someone’s head. Make an “oops” moment. Add humor. Think about where it is that your character might go, what they might do, or even dare to reinvent them. Take on a different role. Create a secondary character (if your room allows it) and challenge yourself and those around you.
There you have it. Two vastly different people and perspectives. Though this is just a drop in the bucket of what is Gor, of who plays on Gor, I think it shows nicely how exciting and intriguing the realm can be. So…are you waiting to take that plunge on a new beginning or a spectacular return? Stop waiting! Come play with us!