The creation of GE some years ago was welcomed by many of us as a refreshing opening of the game from the Bible bashing strictures to a create a more enlightened and possibly freer opportunity for Gor Role play. However over the subsequent years it has actually opened a rift between the GE world and the BTB world, which grows wider by the day, with the imaginations of people allowing a drift from the core genre of Gor and creating two opposing camps.
Many of the major panther tribes embraced the GE philosophy and now find ourselves in many BTB SIM’s excluded from interacting, all tarred with the same brush as the more extreme excesses of some of the GE world, the creation of Book Based Panthers is intended to draw the pendulum back from the edge of potentially destroying, what for many of us, is a game we love.
The concept is to define an interface, protocol or if you prefer set of rules which specify our interaction with BTB style lands that ensures when they play with panther tribes that are a member of this group they can with confidence know we will play Gor by the rules of the books we all learnt from, and live our RP to the game and the laws of the lands we play within.
So when you interact with BBP tribes you can expect we will play the game as panthers as defined in the books.
We address issues of character type and behavior to ensure we stay in the role defined for panthers within the context of the Gor novels. The weapons we use are consistent; our behavior and dress conform to the definitions of the lands we find ourselves.
We will create a Council of En’s from member tribes to ensure conformance to the rule set and to provide a place of arbitration where any foul play or exceptions can be brought for judgment and resolution. We will organize and present our tribes when facing BTB lands in a way that conforms to the standards expected of Gor role play and play to these rules.
Our objective is to promote role play that is not simply pew pew orientated but that encourages wider, deeper and richer story lines by giving BTB lands the confidence they know what they will get when they interact with us and have a management governance to ensure it is enforced.
The internals and organization of our individual tribes will remain our own business and will be as defined by each group, but the ‘interface’ we present to the BTB groups that they interact with will be consistent and to the rules of the BBP Group charter. BBP tribes will also be able to face into GE groups and interact with them by their rules, or to BTB lands and play by theirs; the objective to promote a mix or RP and pew pew led story lines.
We will encourage a more realistic sense of dress and camp layout. Panthers should be dressed in animal skins, skimpy or otherwise depending on the season. Larger tribe camps tend to be more permanent and elaborate than the temporary ones built by smaller panther bands, reflecting the more advanced tribal structure and seclusion of large wilderness areas, we will get rid of well stocked infirmaries and scribe huts, tone down the super fortress camp look and amount of doors (especially with 3 minute timers). Tunnels can be used to ambush by melee attacker not familiar with them or one or more doors which could be broken down.
More advanced BBP panther tribe structure would need permanent slaves to support it. Those slaves can be branded and collared using primitive means (no filigree collars here). Panther “girls” in the books dealt with their female slaves harshly and certainly did not cuddle them, dress or treat them like princesses. toughen up the RP (but within reason not to get too oppressive, slaves have to have fun too).
We will take into account and be more accepting, as in the books, of the physical advantages of men over women and also that panthers did submit when beaten or ‘subdued’ sexually. That men especially warriors will struggle with knowing if they loose they could be permanently compromised, However if a BTB player chooses death then so be it, or could be traded as per the BBP rules in the prescribed number of days. In the books, panthers submitted to men to save their lives, and men submitted to both panthers and other women to save their lives. On at least two occasions, the great Tarl Cabot submitted to women, and even knelt before the panther leader, Verna, and addressed her as mistress to prevent his throat from being slit.
He also submitted, was collared and humiliated by a rencer woman in the marshes of the Vosk Delta. He had to overcome the shame of breaking his codes just as BBP panthers would have to overcome the shame of a forced submission. Good role-play should entail such personal complexities and dilemmas and defeats and not be just be a constant predetermined heroic fantasy. Panthers submitted to men to save their lives in the books but the extent to which in every “forced submission” of panthers later became voluntary and total is unrealistic and will not happen automatically in BBP panther role play. Both panthers and BTB men can be exposed to the travails of slavery in equal measure (if agreed OOC), if time limits are agreed upon for slavery and capture then this applies to both sides equally. BBP and BTB players should be encouraged to RP capture in a more realistic (less superhuman) way. But BTB players should be made aware a forced submission can be an expedient measure to save a panther’s life and that does not mean it’s permanent if the victim can escape or be traded out.
Tone down the black and white hatred of men which is present in a lot of Panther groups. In the books, there are grey areas where interaction with men was possible. Panthers hated men but respected them too as adversaries and even allied themselves to groups of warriors and tarnsmen, and also to help them hunt other panther bands. Many if not most panthers think there is some universal solidarity between panther tribes against men, even between tribes that otherwise fight each other. That is not to say alliances of Panther tribes or a sense of shared solidarity against men cannot exist but it will be toned down.
It is not possible for a panther tribe to have trained larls at their disposal. Larls acting like pets or allies of a panther tribe simply never happened. In the books Norman describes larls like this:” the larl in its native haunts in the Voltai Range, that incredible panther like carnivore which may stand six to eight feet high at the shoulder.” — Outlaw of Gor, page 21.A kitty that stands 8 feet tall at the shoulder isn’t exactly the cuddly little fur ball that I’ve seen RP’ed so often in SL! Norman describes them as massive, ferocious killing machines! They are driven by instinct to avoid humans and seek the mountains:“None of the men below the mountains, the mortals, had ever succeeded in taming a larl. Even larl cubs when found and raised by men would, on reaching their majority, on some night, in a sudden burst of atavistic fury slay their masters and under the three hurtling moons of Gor lope from the dwellings of men, driven by what instincts I know not, to seek the mountains where they were born. A case is known of a larl who traveled more then twenty-five hundred pasangs to seek a certain shallow crevice in the Voltai in which he had been whelped. He was slain at its mouth.”–Priest-Kings of Gor, pages 19-20.
While the books mention that panther bands like Verna’s were small. It also mentioned are Hura’s band numbering about 100 members which could have if it lasted, eventually constituted a tribe not a mere band. The wilderness areas in Gor (not just the Northern Forests) can be vast and beyond the permanent control of the fractured and small Gorean politics, whose power is more local than regional. In these wild areas, tribes with a more advanced hierarchal and organizational culture than a panther bands can emerge, which could offer an alternative to what must be significant numbers of women who wish or need to flee the strict confines male dominated Gorean societies.
However, while RP should reflect this slightly more stable environment, dangers are constantly present in a panther tribe, life remains hard and role play should reflect this too in a realistic way. Panther tribes’ raid range could be limited but not as limited as BTB panther bands. Panther tribes can be strong enough to attack outlaw camps, merc camps, villages and perhaps even small towns on the borders of the wilderness areas they reside for rescues if in SIM rules. But not major BTB cities. Verna fought alongside Rask of Treve against the forces of Ar. Regarding raids etc it is best, arrangements between individual BTB groups and BTB panther tribes to be made on a case by case basis where the two groups concerned can find areas to agree and compromise one and not with a blanket rule.
Panthers used weapons appropriate to their sex and hence strength, these include; Approved Weapons are bows, panga’s, machetes, knives, whips, spears – no warrior type swords – In reality they are all the same scripts it is only prim shape that differs. The damage thresholds will be defined by individual SIM rules, and are linked to local SIM set up’s i.e. Direct, half and full splash SIM choices; we will obey the strike strength as defined each in each SIM riles. If panthers can trade knives from men like they do in the books, they can trade machetes, panga’s (but these weapons should not be dominant in use and within reason, not any huge two handed swords etc).
© Lizz Dawes