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johntfs

Remake/Remodel: Land Below/Living Land

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Okay, we know how Remake/Remodel works, so let's take a stab at the worst cosm - the Living Land. It's a dull, frustrating cosm whose low axioms and unchanging terrain combine to give a gaming experience similar to watch paint dry that sometimes tries to kill you.

 

I'm combining the Land Below into this thread because it's my belief that the Land Below was essentially an attempt to create a version of the Living Land that didn't, well, suck.

 

The location of the Living Land fits pretty well. The USA is the world's only superpower and it gets that power (at least partly) by its hugely, technologically superior military. The Living Land is the cosm best situated to battle something like that because it takes away all that technological strength.

 

The Axioms of the Living Land work pretty well, though I'd consider raising the Magic Axiom to maybe 8 or 9, but it's not completely necessary.

 

What is necessary is giving people a reason to want to adventure there.

 

Let's look at the World Laws.

 

As written, the World Laws of the Living Land are:]

 

The Deep Mist

The Law of Life

Lanala's Love of Life

 

Okay, the Deep Mist is not a world law. It is a geographical feature of the cosm and realm. So, let's replace the Deep Mist with the Law of Savagery from the Land Below. That brings in something that's been missing from the Living Land - sex appeal.

 

You'd think that sex appeal wouldn't have been a problem, but it was seriously de-emphasized in the materials involving the cosm. The Living Land takes the concept of "If it feels good, do it" and ramps it up to the extreme. So, let's consider that among the human transformed, you'll have a large number of mostly naked people (perhaps wearing leaf loincloths and bikinis) who follow a religion that based around experiencing sensation.

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Okay, the Deep Mist is not a world law. It is a geographical feature of the cosm and realm. So, let's replace the Deep Mist with the Law of Savagery from the Land Below. That brings in something that's been missing from the Living Land - sex appeal.

 

You'd think that sex appeal wouldn't have been a problem, but it was seriously de-emphasized in the materials involving the cosm. The Living Land takes the concept of "If it feels good, do it" and ramps it up to the extreme. So, let's consider that among the human transformed, you'll have a large number of mostly naked people (perhaps wearing leaf loincloths and bikinis) who follow a religion that based around experiencing sensation.

In my games I discovered that no one wanted to play transformed humans from the Living Land, it was edeinos or nothing. And all of them pretty much played them as asexual characters, they pursued pretty much any other kind of sensations, just not the carnal variety.

 

But even when they were playing nontransformed humans in the Living Land they seemed to have no sexual interest in the nearly naked people they kept encountering. It's not that the players were prudish, there was no hesitation in their characters pursuing sexual encounters in the other realms, but once they got into the hot, steamy jungles of the Living Land that all went away. I think deep down they just disliked the Living Land so much they didn't want to do anything like get involved with the locals which might cause the adventure to take any longer to play out than necessary. :(

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First and foremost, for a cosm so attached to sensations, we had no World Law to uphold any sort of importance to it.

Bah.

 

Secondly, Edeinos were too generic. We needed MORE variation.

Bah.

 

Lastly, the Ustana were added so very late in the game and there really needed to be a proper niche for them in the Takta Ker/Living Land Cosm.

Bah.

 

Living Land was a boring obstructive drudge.

It totally FAILED at life.

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We struggles with making Living Lands more exciting as well. We stole ideas from the web and made stuff up but came up with adding the following laws:

 

Law of the Fittest (home made)

Add Law of Savagery but also being a realm of living and survival, the Realm blessed those that excelled in actions with gifts (mutations). These gifts would make the being more adaptive and further them as the fittest. Examples would be a sneaky creature may get camouflage or a person that fought a lot increased strength or hands turned to talons. Treat these as mutations (with Possibility cost). In game, any time a creature takes an action and succeeds with a Glory-like result, the target undergoes a mutation as the world blesses the being. The GM decides the mutation and its impact (normally a modifier to the applicable skill or stat as well as visual blessing) and if an attribute increase add a Possibility cost.

 

The Law of Spirits (from web)

The Living Lands grant even supposedly inanimate objects the Charisma and Spirit attributes. Note that this does not grant inanimate objects the ability to speak, or any degree of actual intelligence, but it does make it possible to have some degree of social interaction - equivalent to the Charm, Persuade, Taunt and Intimidation - with not only other beings, but plants, rocks, animals, etc. In general, objects that do not specifically have CHA or SPI can be assumed to have them at a value equal to their Mass Value or TOU. Highly specialized objects that perform a specific function can have values as high as the value of their functional Attribute, Skill, or Damage or Armor Value or Limit. Most however have no more than their Mass Value plus the Power Push of their highest ability. Devices with any knowledge of problem solving capabilities, equivalent to PER and MIN, are made equivalent to animate beings by this world law, and their attributes should be determined as if they were any normal character. Or even Prated character - Spirits have the same ability to Transcend as any living being, for an average Possibility Rated population of Rare(55). The LL skill of Spirit Sense is used to sense the strength and mood of the spirit.

 

Law of the Tribe (from web)

This world law grants a bonus to communal actions. Groups of two or more have their Many-on-one bonus increased by an additional +1. Any actions which are successfully coordinated - at least one successful coordination roll - also gain a +1 bonus in addition to the value bonus. In addition, the difficulty of all coordination attempts is reduced by 3. Note that this also applies to communal Miracles, granting the +1 additional bonus and reducing the Community Rating by 3, another reason the Church and Religion in general has retained so much power in the Cosmos. Groups aligned with the Empire - defined as the entire group seeing itself as working towards the goals of the Empire, or all having Faith(Imperial Orthodox Church) in the case of Community bonuses - gain an additional +1 bonus to any group actions.

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Okay, we've previously established that it was a sucky cosm, so let's think of ways to fix it, yes?

I'm not certain that it is "fixable".

But the three things I cited as absent really could be added in as some sort of attempt.

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All right. What about instead of having Death be a puny "Johnny come lately" tack-on, it's there with Lanala as a Dualistic force. You know, model Kata-Kellas more after the Zoroastrian religion of God(ess) and Shadow of God(ess). And due to that conflict, the Deep Mist would be less omnipresent. It would wax and wane.

 

As well, the Ustanah could be a subjugated (or hidden) race instead of an exterminated one.

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At this point, I'd just go back to the original concept of a "Primitive Reality" and start all over with a better checklist of vital story elements and how to integrate them.

I'd discard the external "Lost World" influence culminating from it invading Earth and just explore the value of it as an independent reality that might NEVER meet another.

What stories could happen in that setup, and would any of them be important or interesting enough to justify the effort?

From there, I'd then begin extracting the Axioms and World Laws such stories themselves would infer and then begin fleshing out the story of that resulting Cosm.

That is what I'd do, which is a hell of a lot more than just "fixing" the Living Land.

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For those open to a radical change:

 

Back in March, I posted a new version of my modified Social axiom to the Torg List. In it, I suggested that the Living Land could be a very high Social axiom, not a low one.

 

Here's why:

 

My Social axiom, Social 27: "Social structures become highly flexible. Decision making functions are decentralized. Social organizations become a matter of ad hoc interaction between citizens. Such organizations spontaneously form to deal with a given situation or challenge and last as long as necessary. Leadership is delegated on a temporary basis, with the most capable individual becoming the ad hoc leader."

 

So, what if the Tribes of the Living Land aren't primitive low Social groups, but high Social groups? What if they're the norm for a society organized around ad-hoc principles? What if the Eidenos, instead of being primitives, are actually Socially advanced, so advanced that Earthers are too primitive to recognize it?

 

Suddenly, Kaah isn't a fool, he's a canny political manipulator, better than 3327, an expert in tactics and persuasion. He's so adept at persuasion, that he snuck in a major revision of his religion, rewriting its tenets, then persuaded all (or nearly all) eidenos to convert.

 

Social 27, R&E: "Social structures are advanced enough to incorporate factions and societies of a completely alien nature."

 

It's hard to find more alien beings in Torg than the benthe and stalengers, so how did Baruk Kaah add them to his society? Oh, yeah, a high Social axiom.

 

Why does Kaah invade so successfully? Because an invasion isn't "military, kill, kill" but (from the point of view of Jakatts), they enter a new world, find the primitives who can't survive in the Living Land and then care for them, teaching them the Way of Life.

 

Kaah is exploiting their benevolence, love of Life, and ad-hoc structures. The common eidenos don't know about stelae, possibility energy, or cosms, they only know that Lanala opens up new worlds for them, so they can spread her message.

 

The Living Land seems like an unsubtle invasion, like an obvious imposition of an alien reality. It is, compared to 3327's economic and political infiltration, but this misses the point. Its subtlety doesn't lie in perpetrating an invisible invasion, but in limiting how the natives can respond to the invasion.

 

Kaah's world moves in and devastates existing societies by removing the underpinnings of their culture: technology, magic, or religions that aren't Lanala. They can try to operate as an organized group, but their tools to garner resources and utilize them are absent. This throws them on the mercy of the Jakatts—just to stay alive, they have to turn to the eidenos for food and shelter.

 

(And, if they do organize to fight a conventional war, the eidenos become more organized in response, and show a greater degree of tactical and strategic flexibility. It's a no-win scenario.)

 

Having dissolved their society, having forced them to integrate into eidenos society to survive, winning the war is just a matter of waiting till the ords transform, defending his stelae, and watching out for Storm Knights.

 

3327 can be fought: economically, politically, technologically. Baruk Kaah can't be fought, because in his reality the only tools available are those that, if used, guarantee his victory. Truly frightening, for those who can appreciate the threat. Which, because he looks like an ignorant primitive, most don't.

 

In Baruk Kaah's case, the only tools of war available are Storm Knight Glories, tales, and uprooting stelae. Everything else is doomed to failure.

 

I posted the first more or less full version (using my new 0-21 Axiom charts) last night. It's too long for this forum, but here's the links for those who are interested.

 

The Living Land, Remastered:

 

Takta Ker

One Sentence

Magic & Tech Axioms

Social Axiom

Spirit Axiom

Conclusion

Appendix: Social Axiom 18

 

Jasyn Jones

stormknights (at) me (dot) com

 

"To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."

Ulysses, Alfred Lord Tennyson

 

Check out my Torg webpage, Storm Knights:

web.me.com/stormknights/

Edited by Apieros

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All right. What about instead of having Death be a puny "Johnny come lately" tack-on, it's there with Lanala as a Dualistic force.

I've been thinking about making it a trinity, to match up with their already given viewpoint that there are three types of things - living, the once living (ie, dead) and the never alive (rocks, water, tools, etc). Lanala of course is life, Stalek is death and then the Darkness Device swoops in and Kaah introduces the third god of the pantheon, Pakken, as represented by the great tree of stone (the DD) and the stone knives carried by its priests, the gotaks.

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Well, I'll agree with all the basic principles of the argument. I found the Living Land largely uninteresting. And I loved the Land Below, and got a lot of use out of it, although I never incorporate the Land Above in my campaigns.

 

Still, the cosm has enough going for it to try to save it. To tick off a few examples:

1. The cosm's axioms and world laws make it very frustrating to Core Earth military forces, and the sudden transformation of a familiar major city into utter savagery is terrifying.

2. The cosm has a lot of unfamiliar elements in it, making for a certain learning curve for player characters. And discovery is fun.

3. Some of the unusual intelligent races of the Living Land are really, really interesting (such as stalengers). Weird, but interesting.

4. Giant dinosaurs are awesome.

 

You know, you don't really have to keep the homogeneous geography of the Living Land to retain its feel. Why couldn't the cosm have deserts, tundra, grasslands, oceans, swamps, mountains, islands, river valleys and more types of environments? On Earth, life is found absolutely everywhere; the power of Lanala could pervade any type of environment. What if the realms of the Living Land naturally resemble the environment found in the area where the realm now is, at a particular era of Earth's ancient history? A realm opened up in California could resemble the Pleistocene, with giant ground sloths and saber-toothed cats living in an ice age. A realm in Michigan might instead resemble something from many millions of years ago, turning the entire area into plesiosaur-infested oceans.

 

What if the Living Land established a huge realm in Antarctica, and, instead of being a waste due to the seeming lack of intelligent life, instead resurrected or revived an ancient reptilian race native to the Earth and long lost beneath the ice, now a warm tropical jungle covering the inland of the continent?

 

The south pole would make a nice place to put a huge portal into the Hollow Earth (a portion of the Land Below).

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Likewise, there is much about the Living Land that could be really cool.

 

Here's my list of the LL's essential elements:

 

1.) Dinosaurs, large spiders, etc.

2.) Eidenos (sapient lizards/dinosaurs)

3.) Lanala, goddess who loves Life

4.) Rec Stalek, god who loves Death

5.) Primitives with spears and miracles

6.) Religion-centric world

7.) “Lost World”

 

I think my most recent writeup keeps all the above intact, but interprets them in new ways (to make them more gameable). More, the new history and POV add more depth to the cosm, and make it more interesting. (IMHO, YMMV)

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I think trying for the "Lost World" angle is what screwed them up last time around.

There has to be a compelling story and environment even when there is no "future world" of the modern age of which to consider it the "lost world".

I also think making them "super social" rather defeats the entire premise, personally.

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I also think making them "super social" rather defeats the entire premise, personally.
That's fine. this is certainly an issue of personal judgment, and whatever you enjoy more is what you should go with.

 

As for "violating the premise", I think that has to depend on what one considers "the premise" to be.

 

Is it "tribes in the jungle?" Cells are tribes, to all intents, purposes, and appearances. (Actually, pre-tribal social groups known as "bands.") Outwardly, the cosm is exactly the same. You can even re-use the same art. The premise of "tribes" isn't violated.

 

But there's more. Torg is full of "genres with a twist": Cyberpapacy, Nile.

 

Where's the twist with the LL? It's exactly what it appears to be: jungle, dinosaur, eidenos, tribes, religion. There's nothing more to the cosm, nothing secret or hidden to discover. Nothing surprising.

 

One thing I learned from Deadlands and 50 Fathoms (by the same company), a good campaign setting needs secrets. Not ones tacked on after the fact, but ones baked into the setting. The Living Land has no secrets.

 

A high-Social "tribal, low-tech" society is such a twist. It's unexpected. And it's a big secret.

 

Is it a change? Absolutely. A change many won't like or want to play. And that's cool. You should play what you enjoy. For my part, the Living Land needed to change.

 

You can't improve a cosm by leaving everything the same. Something has to change. Sometimes, problems can be fixed through small adjustments. Sometimes, major surgery is required. Sometimes, the original concept is flawed, so flawed it has to be revised.

 

In my mind, the premise of the Living Land is: "jungles, dinosaurs, tribes, eidenos, miracles, and ruined civilization." (Essentially, all the stuff I posted in the last message.) None of that requires "Low Social."

 

Nor does "Low Social" enhance the reality, as far as I can tell. And if High Social adds new abilities, new tools unique to the Living Land, and makes the cosm more than it appears to be, and gives it a cool backstory, and makes other enhancements possible and plausible, and gives it secrets to discover, and makes its High Lord into something other than a gullible chump…

 

That's a change I can live with. And if the premise of the Living Land is only (or mainly) "Low Social", and an alternative is more colorful and useful, then the premise needs to change.

 

(Tharkold's too. :P )

 

But like I said, I don't think "Low Social" is intrinsic to the cosm's premise of "tribes, jungle, dinosaurs, eidenos, miracles, ruins." Tribes are, and Low Social used to be the only way to do tribes, but I have an alternative available.

 

(Something about "more resources/better tools can always be utilized, in surprising ways we cannot predict before they're made available" would be appropriate here.)

 

All the above IMHO, YMMV.

Edited by Apieros

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I can see Jasyn's point about a High-social, Low-Tech Living Land. My problem is that I want the Living Land to not just work on its own, but work in the context of the rest of TORG. Maybe it's the pedant in me, but I find it to be a little irritating that there are only two Cosms with a main Social axiom that's less than 18 - The Land Below and the Living Land.

 

One thing that occurs to me is that the super-high Spiritual Axiom was never really used to its utmost, especially at the beginning. One thing to recall is that at 24, most Rituals can be done as Prayers. And figure that if they are done as Rituals, the difficulty will be greatly reduced. A friendly Jakatt with the Healing miracle is a prize for almost any party.

 

Beyond that, it seems to me that the Social and Tech axioms tend to increase together due to the community pulling together to solve problems of greater difficulty, meaning that they tend to rise (and fall) in tandem. The Cyberpapacy is an aberration because of the Tech Surge. Places with high Magic and/or high Spirit axioms don't (ir shouldn't) tend to have high Social and Tech axioms because miraculous/magical power doesn't require them. What time is it in the Living Land? Whatever time the Goddess wants it to be. Like that.

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Takta Ker really needed to use what it had to better effect rather than scuttle it all.

With the very very basic outline, one could create a diverse and compelling setting that is self-sufficient for stories.

Nearly every Takta Ker story started with "[Cosm] enters the Living Land to do something in the jungle, they must be stopped."

I'd rather go back to the stated Axioms/general story/intent and build the world anew with an eye towards drama and conflict inherent in the Cosm itself.

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With the very very basic outline, one could create a diverse and compelling setting that is self-sufficient for stories.
Then you should do it. I encourage you to do it. Forget this discussion, forget my ideas (they're irrelevant to what you want to do) and write something new.

 

Take the Living Land, exactly as it is, and write a basic outline that changes it from annoying and limited into varied and interesting. There are many people who would prefer such a setting.

 

Personally, I'd love to read what you write. Even if I didn't use it, there might be ideas in it I like.

 

So write it. Post it. And let your work speak for itself. You are the only person who will do what you want. No one else can.

 

I'll be looking forward to it.

Edited by Apieros

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Maybe it's the pedant in me, but I find it to be a little irritating that there are only two Cosms with a main Social axiom that's less than 18 - The Land Below and the Living Land.
I totally agree: the current high Socials for the official cosms is a problem. Not just because they're high, but because they're wrong.

 

The Cyberpapacy is actually a 13, according to the Cyberpapal sourcebook (and would work better as a 12), and Aysle should be 13. Tz'Ravok cannot be an 18. Not at all. It has to be a 5 or 6, tops. And Tharkold's 20 is ludicrous. Nippon Tech isn't a 22. For many reasons. It's Social is a solid 21, same as Earth. And the Akashans simply do not represent their Social well either. It could stand to be much lower.

 

All these problems emerge from the Social axiom chart. Not because it was missing entries (though that might contribute) but because it simply went unused. There was an entry for 13, the entry was well written and historically accurate, the cosm Sourcebook said the Social was 13, why didn't they give the cosm a 13? No one can know for sure. (Though I have my theories, revolving around Social 17.) Had the official chart been utilized, as written, the extant cosms would have been more varied and more textured.

 

(Though an expanded Social would be even better.) So I agree with your point.

 

That said, I would be reluctant to make a cosm have a lower Social, if a higher one would enhance it. Having varied Social axioms is a good goal, but not at the cost of impeding other changes that have a more direct impact on play. "Working better in play" would be my primary goal, in this case.

 

If a cosm that needed a low Social occurred to me, I'd implement it in a heartbeat. Heck, I've been researching and expanding the Social axiom, particularly at the low end (and correcting errors that crept into the official rules). I wouldn't mind using that material at all. Especially Social 6 (Torg 8). I like it, it's cool. I'd like to use it sometime.

 

Places with high Magic and/or high Spirit axioms don't (ir shouldn't) tend to have high Social and Tech axioms
Tools of the Tech and Social axioms have each influenced the other. Stipulated. That wouldn't support (IMHO) establishing a general rule that "high Spirit or high Magic tend to contraindicate a high Social" (or the inevitable converse, "high Tech and high Social are almost always found together.")

 

You talked about the higher Social being needed to manage problems of a Higher tech. But a good argument could be made that rising Magic and Spirit axioms would present as great or greater difficulties than a rising Tech. I think the emergence of dragons and demons into the world (along with djinn, boggarts, sea serpents, harpies, centaurs, elementals and so forth) would be as big a challenge as the invention of the mechanical loom (which lead to the industrial revolution, the rise of the British Empire, and many other things). If your thesis is correct, and the Social does rise in response to crises, both Magic and Spirit are capable of providing plenty.

 

And a higher Social would aid Magic and Spirit in rising. Scholarship, organized academic endeavors, and scientific experimentation and classification could cause any axiom to rise. (In the game, mind. Not in real life.)

 

Moreover, part of Tech's influence on raising the Social axiom has been through decreasing travel time and communication time. We have spells in Pixaud's that enable fast communication over a distance and the spell creation rules delineate how to make such spells. Shortening communication time will act to raise Social, and Magic and Spirit can both do that. Therefore, they can act to raise Social.

 

Last, there are a number of fictional settings with high Social and Magic: Incarnations of Immortality, all of the Urban Fantasy genre, Perdido Street Station (and sequels), many pulp stories from the '30's, Shadowrun, GURPS Technomancer, Magitech, The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump, and others.

 

I admit it is an idiosyncrasy of mine (perhaps even a fetish), but I envision Torg as a system that apprehends and supports many settings. Torg's mechanics should be as versatile, extensible, and ecumenical as possible (bearing in mind other considerations, like playability.) Having a general "Magic and Spirit are inversely proportional to Social" would seem to militate against that.

 

Again, strictly in my humble opinion. Your mileage may vary. Feel free to disregard anything I say.

 

I do. :)

Edited by Apieros

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Is it a forgone conclusion that a Social axiom is necessary? One could make a strong case that the social development of a culture is a part of that culture's technological development. Social science is, after all, a science, and advances through the same means as other sciences: study, observation, experiment and an educational system. A more advanced system of education (such as including a university system, a system of libraries, etc.) shepherds the development of social sciences.

 

Let's take the example of the field of psychology. Basic psychology is an expression of the Social axiom. But true understanding of the mind requires knowledge of neuroanatomy and neurochemistry, and advanced mathematics, all of which are linked solidly to the Tech axiom (this is an opinion, but it's an opinion from someone with a graduate degree in Psychology, so maybe that helps my case).

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It should also be noted that more advanced social/political structures are difficult (if not impossible) without the introduction of advanced communication & transportation methods to support them.

 

Good roads, postal systems, the telegraph, radio, telephone, television and satellites have had significant impacts on political systems and government throughout history (and therefore, the social axiom).

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Is it a forgone conclusion that a Social axiom is necessary?

I can give you my opinion. This is just my opinion, not a foregone conclusion.

 

First, I will agree that there is, in the history of Earth, multitudinous evidence for the feedback between technological advancements and changes in cultural (social) outlooks. (But the same goes for geography and climate.) If one wanted, you could make a combined Tech/Social axiom. GURPS' Tech is just such a beast, and it serves that game well.

 

When I started my Storm Knights stuff (10 years ago), I was going to eliminate the Social axiom. Further experience and exploration convinced me otherwise.

 

Here's why:

 

1.) I think it is useful. If they were together, we couldn't support a post-apocalyptic High Tech, Low Social world. With high Technology comes high Social. (And, again, my "Torg as a system that apprehends and supports many settings" belief comes to the fore.) Nor could we have low Tech, high Magic, high Social settings.

 

2.) Even though Tech did influence Social, that doesn't mean other axioms couldn't. (My argument above.)

 

3.) Even when separated out, Social changes do form an whole axiomatic arc: Specific precepts formulated, discoveries made, and tools devised, that form a path of advancement from weak to powerful in utility. There is nothing missing from the progression, it's internally consistent and complete. Tech isn't necessary to make the chart make sense.

 

4.) Tech and Social advance in different ways. Tech discoveries usually take the form of ideas for new tools which are crafted, or insights into physical laws that lead to new tools (Bernoulli Principle and airplanes). Social advances are usually traditions and customs that form and become widespread, and only when widespread are they identified and named. Tech advances are Done, Social advances Happen. This indicates a different mechanism behind such advancements, which argues that the two are not synonymous and if not synonymous don't have to be put together.

 

Once again, I grant the accuracy of your observation. Tech does cause social changes. We can point to cars and the Sexual Revolution, speed of communication and the perception of nationhood, the invention of clocks and changes in how people perceive time's passing. All of these are specific examples supporting your idea.

 

Yet in the balance I think a Social axiom is good for the game, and a combined Social-Tech would make the game less flexible. It isn't a foregone conclusion that we should have one, but it isn't a foregone conclusion that we shouldn't, either.

 

YMMV and IMHO.

Edited by Apieros

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How about removing the Social axiom altogether? What does the mechanic really buy you? So, the PCs can't set up a democracy in a low-social reality without spending possibilities?

 

Why not just describe the social/political systems of the different cosms and leave it at that? Why does a number value have to be assigned to it? How does the axiom value affect the PCs in their adventures?

 

My knowledge of Torg is a bit rusty, but I can't really remember when it was even necessary to roll for a disconnect related to the social axiom.

 

e.g.

I want to cast a spell in a low magic cosm! GM: ok, spend a possibility or possible disconnect

I want to fire my high-tech blaster in a low-tech cosm! GM: ok, spend a possibility or possible disconnect

I (the enlightened socialite) want to talk to this primitive in his low-social cosm GM: ok, spend a possibility or possible disconnect?!?

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My knowledge of Torg is a bit rusty, but I can't really remember when it was even necessary to roll for a disconnect related to the social axiom.

I want to say that there's an example in the Living Land sourcebook of Storm Knights having disconnection problems when making some coordinated plans because the concept of minutes and hours is a contradiction.

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To me, the Social axiom has seemed rather too much of an anomaly. With Tech, Magic and Spiritual axioms, you are basically setting up conflicts when something is used -- with Social what you say or even think can cause a contradiction. I personally think this makes DDs far too powerful. It's one thing to affect the minds of those who have been Transformed, another to affect those who are just visiting. Torg requires too many things under willing suspension of disbelief and I think this one isn't necessary.

 

It also implies DDs are capable of mind control, which I think is a path not worth taking.

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with Social what you say or even think can cause a contradiction.
It may not be immediately apparent, but all the axioms do the same thing.

 

Torg Rulebook, Spirit 0: "There are no concepts of higher beings or afterlife."

 

Anyone thinking about higher beings or an afterlife will cause a contradiction. And in a Pure Zone, they couldn't do that at all.

 

Tech 17, Torg Rulebook: "Bacteria recognized as transmitters of disease. Cell structure explained. Evolutionary theories first developed."

 

Each of those is a theory, thoughts and knowledge.

 

Mental process are affected by all axioms, not just Social. Axioms limit not only what you can do, but what you can conceive of and understand.

 

(World Laws, too, though that's off topic.)

 

Now, I'm not saying that's a perfect idea. It causes some metaphysical knots. But it is an inevitable corollary of having contradiction and disconnection at all.

 

The alternative would be to make it universally possible to know anything and think of anything, but not actually use what you're speaking of. It would be like knowing that a rock will hurt someone if thrown at them, while not ever being able to throw rocks. (For some reason.)

 

That would seem to be as big a problem, disbelief wise.

 

(One alternative is to eliminate disconnection and contradictions totally. I'm not endorsing that, just pointing out that it's a possible alternative.)

 

In any case, if contradictions and disconnection are part of the game, reality will limit/affect people's thoughts.

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