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fjw70

Torg -- how does it work?

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Okay, I remember Torg back whne it fisr came out. That was when I was just getting out of gaming (I had moved away from my gaming friends). I did buy the boxed set back then (it has since been long lost). I was always intrigued by the story-line and the mix of genres. I remember the basic story-line and the different realities, but I don't remember anything about the rules mechanics.

 

So my question is how are the PCs effected by the realm axioms? Do the PCs need to re-equip themselves to adventure in each realm or is there some way to take tech and magic from one realm to another?

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So my question is how are the PCs effected by the realm axioms? Do the PCs need to re-equip themselves to adventure in each realm or is there some way to take tech and magic from one realm to another?

 

Try not to uses things that violate the axioms of the realm (Tech is usually the main problem).

 

Hoard Possibilities and burn them when required to form reality bubbles.

 

Avoid the Living Land as it nerfs everyone who isn't a caveman.

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Thanks. So I assume a typical group has characters from a variety of realities and each character has weapons from each reality? Or are there campaigns that just focus on one or two realities?

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Thanks. So I assume a typical group has characters from a variety of realities and each character has weapons from each reality? Or are there campaigns that just focus on one or two realities?

 

I expect the majority of games have characters from multiple realities (that's kind of the point of playing that sort of game for most groups) but there's certainly nothing stopping someone from running a game where everyone is playing all Ayles or the like.

 

The biggest problem we found when running the game (besides some issues where the Reality skill became king) was that the card play got somewhat intrusive, and for some players was a bit too much of a sub-game and tended to pull them out of character. But you can't just remove it without having some side effects on the game.

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Thanks for the input. I was thinking of running a campaign with Torg fluff and d20 mechanics. I downloaded the Torg 1.5 rules and was disappointed that there was very little world info in it (I remember the original rules having quite a bit of stuff from the different realities).

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I downloaded the Torg 1.5 rules and was disappointed that there was very little world info in it (I remember the original rules having quite a bit of stuff from the different realities).

The original rulebook did not have any setting material in it either. You're probably remembering the separate Worldbook which came with the rulebook as part of the boxed set.

 

The R&E rulebook was originally conceived as being sold alongside a supplement pack that would contain the Worldbook plus it was supposed to generate sales of the realm sourcebooks, so setting material was deliberately left out of it. But that plan and plans to publish the R&E were abandoned by WEG's previous owners and when the current owner of WEG decided to publish the R&E it was decided to do it without any accompanying supplement pack.

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So my question is how are the PCs effected by the realm axioms? Do the PCs need to re-equip themselves to adventure in each realm or is there some way to take tech and magic from one realm to another?

PCs are able to take the tools of their own reality with them into other realms, which is one of the main advantages they have in fighting the bad guys. They do still encounter some problems with making it work so in my experience most PCs will also pick up some local equipment to use when their own stuff stops working.

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Guest bave

Quick version of TORG rules...

 

The only thing that matters is how many possibility points you currently have. This is my largest gripe. No matter what your skill is, no matter how good you are at something, the guy that throws a possibility at the same thing and you don't, he will do it better.

 

Combined with the guys with swords against guys with plasma rifles....

 

Yea... the guys with swords have a prayer.

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The original rulebook did not have any setting material in it either. You're probably remembering the separate Worldbook which came with the rulebook as part of the boxed set.

 

The R&E rulebook was originally conceived as being sold alongside a supplement pack that would contain the Worldbook plus it was supposed to generate sales of the realm sourcebooks, so setting material was deliberately left out of it. But that plan and plans to publish the R&E were abandoned by WEG's previous owners and when the current owner of WEG decided to publish the R&E it was decided to do it without any accompanying supplement pack.

 

Ah, yes I meant the boxed set came with the world stuff (its been a long time so i really don't remember whether everything was in one book or not). Thanks for the clarification. I guess I will pick up the source books since the world stuff is there.

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Quick version of TORG rules...

 

The only thing that matters is how many possibility points you currently have. This is my largest gripe. No matter what your skill is, no matter how good you are at something, the guy that throws a possibility at the same thing and you don't, he will do it better.

 

Combined with the guys with swords against guys with plasma rifles....

 

Yea... the guys with swords have a prayer.

 

So the rules as written don't work so well?

 

I probably will just take the idea of Torg (with some reality supplements) and try to come up with a way to mae it work with d20 and maybe eventually with d6.

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I probably will just take the idea of Torg (with some reality supplements) and try to come up with a way to mae it work with d20 and maybe eventually with d6.

 

I've tough of running Torg with d6 mechanics since I'm much, much more familiar with them. However, there are certain problems like roll-agains on a 10 or 20 or rolling to disconnect, which are much easier to handle under Torg mechanics.

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Quick version of TORG rules...

 

The only thing that matters is how many possibility points you currently have. This is my largest gripe. No matter what your skill is, no matter how good you are at something, the guy that throws a possibility at the same thing and you don't, he will do it better.

 

Combined with the guys with swords against guys with plasma rifles....

 

Yea... the guys with swords have a prayer.

 

Torg is meant to be a cinematic system and it works very well for that. The normal guys and goons stand no chance against the heroes and the important villains. A problem though is when you play Torg in a campaign. Players who hord their Poss tend to be much better than those who spend them on skills. Realizing that I took a clue from Masterbook and put a cap on Poss hording. In my campaigns players are allowed to horde no more than 10 Poss, the rest is changed to Skill points on a ratio 3 skill points for 1 Poss that may be horded or spent.

 

There really is no problem with high tech versus low tech in my experience. Of course there are weak and strong character templates but normally the initial realms have a good balance (except for the Living Land - but there are a lot of house rules to solve that problem).

 

The guy with the plasma rifle is probably from the Cyberpapacy, the guy with the sword from Aysle. The guy with the sword may use the plasma rifle too but with some risk of disconnecting (which normally is one of those precious moments in a RPG session that are real fun to play), of course he usually doesn't have the skill but no one is preventing him from using it unskilled or learning the skill. Also, as the sword wielder is from Aysle he has access to better spells and miracles and may have much higher attributes.

 

Torg, though, is a game best played without any munchkins. There are really crazy overpowered template/tool combinations like f.i. a Cyberpapacy heretic priest who dabbles in magic and uses power armor and plasma rifle. And advice for the GM: don't allow it and if you do tempt him to use magic as often as he can, he has a good chance of being possessed by a demon (Cyberpapacy world law) and make it hard for him to use miracles (there is only one god in the CP and he is on the side of the Cyberpope).

 

The realms are very different for roleplaying purposes:

Aysle, Cyberpapacy, Nile Empire are ideal for the average roleplayer who wants to have power combined with some roleplaying challenge.

Orrorsh, Nippon, Core Earth are ideal for gamers who prefer a roleplaying challenge.

Then there are those that are played best as a stand-alone: Living Land (initially crap but I think Kansas Jim's house rules could make it worthwile), Star Sphere (overpowered, don't ever let your munchkins get a hand on the sourcebook but it is great for good roleplayers (the benevolent alien who asks himself why he should help the barbarians from Core Earth) and Tharkold (never let your players take a demon or cyborg template, apart from those the players are always on the defensive).

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Guest bave

Possibilities are the only thing that matters, if you houserule that away you limit it, but it is still there.

 

As for the tech differences it is huge. The guy with his .38 revolver shooting at you doing base damage of 12, guy rolls out the plasma cannon for 250% of that damage as a base.

 

The difference is enormous in the game setting too. The 12 damage firearm is never a real threat to a character or a real enemy. You can roll a 112 with the .38, the roll of 17 on the plasma rifle is still probably better damage (its real close either way).

 

Sure, the other guy can use the plasma rifle, but has a 4x greater chance of having a problem doing it. This is the inherent problem of having two guys seperated by 10,000 years of technology in the same room.

 

IMO the problem with the game is the premise that fanboys in the gaming world have always had wet dreams over. They all want to use the same character in every setting. Fantasy, horror, modern, sci-fi. Now you can take your uber-character you have had since you are 8 and roll him from one setting to another. It reminds me of D&D when they made adventures that gave characters lasers and firearms, look its funny for a minute. Then you realize the game simply won't be balanced...ever.

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If you presume that roleplaying is all about playing with munchkins, you are right. As I said before, you should not play Torg with Munchkins. Balance is practically non-existant. For roleplaying purposes, Torg is great. Confronting people from one realm with another realm is a lot of fun.

 

On the topic of disconnection - yes, a character from another reality is in the danger of disconnection but this is a roleplaying opportunity. And btw a rolled 1 is trouble anyway, even without a disconnection.

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Guest bave
If you presume that roleplaying is all about playing with munchkins, you are right. As I said before, you should not play Torg with Munchkins. Balance is practically non-existant. For roleplaying purposes, Torg is great. Confronting people from one realm with another realm is a lot of fun.

 

On the topic of disconnection - yes, a character from another reality is in the danger of disconnection but this is a roleplaying opportunity. And btw a rolled 1 is trouble anyway, even without a disconnection.

 

That is a silly position. You are arguing that a game should not be evaluated on it's internal balance and instead on the roleplaying opportunities it presents? While I realize that munchkins can damage any game, I don't think this is the case. I generally view a munchkin as someone going out of their way to make a powerful character, usually by bending the rules. In the case of Torg, it has very little to do with the character, aside from picking a few basic skills, and everything to do with the tech level. As to your argument that it is better for roleplaying, its absurd. If you like the idea of roleplaying, put the setting in another mechanic. Mechanically the thing is broken, from a setting it may appeal to some.

 

Disconnecting is a roleplaying opportunitiy? Sure, if it wasn't the basis for balance. You are effectively saying that one character gets to use cannons, while another gets to use sticks. If the stickmaster wants to use cannons he has a much greater chance of being made useless. Until then he is automatically behind the 8-ball as he charges the Hellfire Plasma Cannon of death in his leather armor.

 

I mean cmon. Hellfire is 4m radius 30 base damage. So, each shot is a 30' diameter ball of death. Additionally, if you have "Modern" equipment and a decent toughness, you are sitting around a 15 to resist. So, all things even, you are -15 in the hole and heading towards dead real quick.

 

Roleplay that.

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While I don't think Bave is entirely incorrect here, there's two issues I think need to be emphasized:

 

1. Possibilities and skills both matter; a Possibility will tend to trump a skill (just because most people's skill ranks aren't so much higher than their attribute contribution that someone else's Possibility added to Attribute won't make up the difference), but if both sides have Possibilities, skills matter a lot.

 

2. The more powerful abilities are also far more likely to risk disconnects in most places. A Cyberpapacy weapon will probably risk disconnect anywhere but the Cyberpapacy (at least among the original Realities), where as a sword works everywhere but the Living Land without risk.

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Guest bave
While I don't think Bave is entirely incorrect here, there's two issues I think need to be emphasized:

 

1. Possibilities and skills both matter; a Possibility will tend to trump a skill (just because most people's skill ranks aren't so much higher than their attribute contribution that someone else's Possibility added to Attribute won't make up the difference), but if both sides have Possibilities, skills matter a lot.

 

2. The more powerful abilities are also far more likely to risk disconnects in most places. A Cyberpapacy weapon will probably risk disconnect anywhere but the Cyberpapacy (at least among the original Realities), where as a sword works everywhere but the Living Land without risk.

 

1) Possibility is far greater than a skill. Moreover, they can eliminate things that have no refute. Don't want to take damage? Done. Want to do mroe damage or hit? Done.

 

2) Sure, but you are likely talking about a 5% chance, and any character tech dependent will throw enough skill points into reality to ensure that it is a one round inconvenience, this is proven over and over.

 

Obviously you have a different idea about roleplaying than I have and a different idea about arguing too.

 

Fair enough, but the way you talk about roleplaying being more relevant than the basic mechanics, I would argue you should just play without dice at all. If you just want to roleplay everything, go ahead, but the mechanics here are a mess and don't support it.

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In my campaigns players are allowed to horde no more than 10 Poss, the rest is changed to Skill points on a ratio 3 skill points for 1 Poss that may be horded or spent.

 

In the TORG games I played in you'd be lucky if you ever got close to that 10 possibility cap. Not because you were spending possibility points all the time, but because the GM hardly ever gave any as a reward.

 

I remember having precious few possibilities and unless you were in your home realm, you didn't use any of them for your special abilities. You had to save all your possibility points for the end boss scene where all you'd be doing is spending possibility points to counter the villain.

 

GM: The villain spends a possibility.

PC1: I counter.

GM: Villain spends another possibility.

PC2: I counter.

GM: Out of possibilities yet?

 

Basically, you just waited until the villain ran out of possibiliities and then the PCs trounced him. Maybe I had a GM who wasn't playing it right, but I recall we played some published modules, and the GM was doing them as written. After about 5 sessions of the same thing, we went back to SWd6.

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2. The more powerful abilities are also far more likely to risk disconnects in most places. A Cyberpapacy weapon will probably risk disconnect anywhere but the Cyberpapacy (at least among the original Realities), where as a sword works everywhere but the Living Land without risk.

 

And the sword -- and a lot of other things -- are actually available as per the description of Tech 7 despite seeming out of place in the LL as presented.

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In the TORG games I played in you'd be lucky if you ever got close to that 10 possibility cap. Not because you were spending possibility points all the time, but because the GM hardly ever gave any as a reward.

 

I remember having precious few possibilities and unless you were in your home realm, you didn't use any of them for your special abilities. You had to save all your possibility points for the end boss scene where all you'd be doing is spending possibility points to counter the villain.

 

GM: The villain spends a possibility.

PC1: I counter.

GM: Villain spends another possibility.

PC2: I counter.

GM: Out of possibilities yet?

 

Basically, you just waited until the villain ran out of possibiliities and then the PCs trounced him. Maybe I had a GM who wasn't playing it right, but I recall we played some published modules, and the GM was doing them as written. After about 5 sessions of the same thing, we went back to SWd6.

 

I ran into that a lot in the games I ran. I countered it by giving out a lot more possibilities. I found that people rarely hoarded them if I made them easier to get, and spending possibilities to counter the possibilities of major villains made for some very memorable moments.

 

All in all, the idea to split possibilities into "luck" possibilities and skill points works better, and I've implemented it in more recent games.

 

GT

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1) Possibility is far greater than a skill. Moreover, they can eliminate things that have no refute. Don't want to take damage? Done. Want to do mroe damage or hit? Done.

 

 

They aren't automatically far greater than skill. That's the point. I had characters with +8 skills in addition to their attribute, and a Possibility adds around 10 on the average.

 

I really do say what I mean.

 

 

2) Sure, but you are likely talking about a 5% chance, and any character tech dependent will throw enough skill points into reality to ensure that it is a one round inconvenience, this is proven over and over.

 

 

Except that such characters are also the most likely to be skill starved because they have more things they need to spend skill points on than the more primative, and given how frequently you need to check for that, 5% is plenty. If it happens at the wrong time (i.e. when you're out of Possibilities) its also a severe problem.

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And the sword -- and a lot of other things -- are actually available as per the description of Tech 7 despite seeming out of place in the LL as presented.

 

I'm pretty sure that some of the straight melee weapons actually exceeded the LL's axioms, but I can't cite which ones as its been too long and my books are archived.

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Of course a generic problem with TORG, like most of Greg Gordon's designs (and frankly, D6 has this problem too) is that its generally a bad idea to conflate hero point mechanics with experience; it can produce very bad dynamics in a player group if there's much range of philosophy on using versus hording. I first saw this in the old DC Heroes game, and I've never seen another game do it where it wasn't a problem.

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In the TORG games I played in you'd be lucky if you ever got close to that 10 possibility cap. Not because you were spending possibility points all the time, but because the GM hardly ever gave any as a reward..

Interesting. A supposedly big complaint that WEG received about Torg is that published award guidelines were too generous, which is why Shatterzone and Masterbook added things like separate skill points and a cap on Possibility/Life Points. (Though in my experience, those complaints were more likely due to overly generous GMs giving out more than the published guidelines.)

 

Do you recall about how many you would get for a typical three act adventure? You should have been getting 1-3 at the end of Acts One and Two and then somewhere between 9-12 at the end of the adventure if I'm remembering the guidelines correctly. And that's not counting any extras for cashing in Drama cards and if anyone played a Glory card.

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