Last week I wrote that the Gor universe could make a great setting to play with kids and, rather quickly, this delightful comment has appeared. So, to anyone who reads books in the form of wiki articles and forum gossip, because why waste time reading a book if you can read a few hotheaded comments on it instead, here's what makes Gor a great sandbox setting:
Flying: the heroes of the novels fly everywhere on huge birds of prey called Tarns. In my experience, few treasures are more valued by young players than the power of flight. For some reason, at least for me, flying on a huge bird of all things holds some special kind of magic.
|Do you see these people? They're about to have fun...|
Cities: the world of Gor consists of many hostile yet similar in architecture and organization warring city-states. These cities have a rigid caste system which makes it easy to recognize what a character is from a single glance, they're constructed of huge tall cylinders, turning almost any building into a potential dungeons crawl and because they're in constant war - patrons and missions are never lacking. Because the cities are so similar and scattered all over the world, it makes it easy to quickly understand how the world works and start making educated decisions rather than stumbling confusedly as is often the case with some of TSR's more complex settings.
|This is not a playground. This is a city.|
Home Stones: each city has a home stone that symbolizes its power and can be abused to incite the people into aggression or subjugation. Each home stone is jealously guarded by the rulers. One could make an entire campaign simply of stealing the home stones of hostile cities.
No Humanoids: This is actually a drawback. I deal with it by making all the cities mixed-race and completely lacking in racism. This is true to the spirit of the books as the hero constantly states that the people of Gor have enough reasons to fight without resorting to each others' skin color.
Priest-Kings: the true masters of Gor are intelligent golden insects with a fascinating and yet believable society. These insects live in a huge labyrinthine underground nest full of interesting rooms and technology, human servants and other interesting creatures ranging from the amusing to the terrifying. They have countless Machiavellian schemes against each other and hold many secrets. The strangeness of their culture makes the mere interaction with them fascinating.
For example, there are creatures called Golden Beatles living in the nest. These creatures eat priest kings and yet the priest kings do nothing to fight the "pleasures of the golden beetle." Why? There's something to investigate, as you rescue a six-legged friend from the clutches of one of these armored monsters...
|This is not an over-sized ant. This is the smartest creature |
in the universe AND an over-sized ant.
Bondage: yeah... let's leave that for later :)
|Of course, you don't have to be on Gor to fly on birds...|