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Everything posted by Apieros

  1. Building the Cosm & Motes [pt 4] Here's the secret of designing a game: everything we do is for the players. If a game doesn't meet the needs of the players or GM, it doesn't matter how intellectually satisfying the game system is, how clever or neat your made up languages or monetary systems are, or how awesome the art looks — If it doesn't work in play, it's useless in play. So what's the point of vril and motes? Yes, they provide deep answers about some historical events I haven't talked about yet. Yes, they explain why the Race built such beautiful and impossible cities and arc
  2. A Magic of Vril and Atoms [pt 3] In every atom, there is vril. And vril is magic. Technodemons discovered techniques to dominate that magic, to bring it under their control. They learned how to control the atoms of Tharkold, and thus were born motes. A mote is an atom, or sub-atomic particle like a photon or electron, that has been dominated. Motes are capable of receiving simple instructions (or sets of instructions) from their dominant and carrying them out. (They are exceedingly literal and not creative. Stupid instructions usually bring disastrous results.) Motes are astoni
  3. Technodemons, Technohorrors, Technomagic [pt. 2] Tharkold is a post-apocalyptic Reality, but not just any post-apocalyptic Reality: it's the Reality of Techno-Horror. It's the cosm of technodemons, technohorrors, and technomagic. Tharkold is a magical Reality. Magic is a prominent and pervasive force; it shapes everything else in the cosm. Technohorrors are malevolent creatures marked by the combination of both magic and technology; much of the technology of both human and demon incorporates magic, and the Tharkoldu themselves are DEFINED by the melding of technology with magic. It's r
  4. The Dead Never Rot In Tharkold [pt 1] To understand this cosm, you must know this: the dead never rot in Tharkold. You can burn the bodies with fire or plasma, hack them apart with a sword or an axe, even feed them to a creature or a hound. But left on their own, human bodies never rot in Tharkold. Abandoned buildings never collapse in Tharkold. Though the Spasm happened five centuries ago, the cities of the Great Age of the Race are as vast and glorious as they ever were, monuments to a time of majesty and peace. You can kick down doors, crash a speeder through a wall, even bl
  5. Actually, I speculated about that here: http://daddywarpig.com/2015/07/22/torg-eternity-on-line-for-gencon/
  6. Resistance to normal weapons was, for Ord Horrors, disastrous. Deal 3 wounds = 22 shock! (15 from Wounds, 7 from 3W result) = unconscious for anything with Tou of 22 or less. 2 W = 16 Shock in one blow 1 W = 9 or 10 shock Shock accumulated right quick, so much so I wrote "never give to Ord Horrors" next to it in the Sourcebook. : )
  7. That's an INCREDIBLE pic of Mobius, the best I've ever seen. Bodes well for the new line's art direction, I think.
  8. I, too, am glad to see you here, Jim. One option, rather than checking every few weeks to see if something was posted: If you're looking at the Torg forum (with a list of threads), click on "Forum Tools" in the upper right. That will allow you to "subscribe" to the whole forum. Once subscribed, you can chose to receive emails whenever a post goes up. Cheers! : )
  9. I did a writeup of Bloodshadows as a Torg Reality and, as noted, it has a Spirit of 1. I'd be interested in comparing it to the one you found. http://stormknights.arcanearcade.com/rulebites/bloodshadows.html
  10. Over on G+, they were talking about the (incorrect) Speed values of the Fast Hero in the Worldbook. On a whim, I decided to calculate the Speed value of some very fast things. The Large Hadron Collider throws things around 500 miles in 2.7 milliseconds. Assuming I've done the dimensional analysis properly, that's about 2,980,266,667 meters in 1 combat round. Which is Speed value 48. Let's try another. The Speed of Light or "c" is 2,997,924,580 meters in 10 seconds. Which is Speed 48. What about Star Trek's Warp Factors? They changed the scale between the origina
  11. I agree. That looks like it would have been really cool. Better than the one they went with, at least in concept. I like "High Lords on the front, Storm Knights on the back". Nice find, Jim. Thanks! : )
  12. Been spending the last week and a bit looking through concept art (for various reasons, but all related to Storm Knights). Then, just tonight, I stumbled upon the following Torg photo in the portfolio of a cover artist: http://www.daveseeley.com/p423924402/h1e8881c#h2ada2c4f The photo is called “Stormers”, and it was commissioned by Humanoids Publishing (WEG’s owners after the bankruptcy). It has, quite clearly, characters from the Cyberpapacy, Core Earth, Aysle, and the Nile Empire. There is a ruined city in the background, with a storm brewing, and they’ve killed some sort of monster
  13. Describing Success (and Failure) As with the other mechanics, the GM is tasked with not only describing the situation the players face, but also the consequences of any Challenges. He translates game mechanics into description, telling players how their characters did. The outcomes above were chosen to be simple, clear, and straightforward. They are also relatable: Everyone knows what it's like to fail or to sort-of succeed (but not fully). Everyone knows what it's like to just squeak past, or to succeed, or to succeed so well others are impressed. Because these are relatable, they are
  14. Skill Challenges and Success Levels Success levels have two purposes. The first is mechanical: the number of Success Levels has a direct mechanical effect. With damage, each SL is a Wound. Skill Challenges are, much of the time, binary: you Succeeded or Failed. For those times when extra Success matters, we use Success Levels. [table] [tbody] [tr] [td]Result[/td] [td]Success Level[/td] [/tr] [tr] [td]-1 or lower[/td] [td]Failure[/td] [/tr] [tr] [td]0-2[/td] [td]Success[/td] [/tr] [tr] [td]3-5[/td] [td]1 SL[/td] [/tr] [tr] [td]6-8[/td] [td]2 SL[/td] [/tr] [tr]
  15. A Little Bit of Storm Knights Design Theory Most role-players play to interact with the imaginary game world, as described by the gamemaster. "At the end of the street is a tall building, old and dilapidated. The yard is overgrown with weeds, the paint is peeling away in wide strips, and you can see several holes in the roof. You hear cicadas and the wind is picking up. The streetlight by the house is burnt out. What do you do?" "Well," the players say, "we park well up the street and…" Through his descriptions, the GM brings the world to life. Through their character's actions
  16. Success Levels Challenges are tests of a character's abilities, they represent the character attempting to do something. "I want to search for the Cardinal's letter." "I want to repair the car's engine." "I want to shoot at the griffin with my bow." The third critical component of Challenges (after the Skill Rating and Challenge Rating) is Success Level. To get this, you roll the dice, which gives you a Bonus Number. You add this bonus to your Skill Rating. Examples: Skill 10, bonus 0 = 10 Total Skill 10, bonus -3 = 7 Total Skill 14, bonus +5 = 19 Total That's your Skill Tot
  17. Challenges Challenges are the bread-and-butter of the system. When a character attempts something significant, their Skill Rating (modified by a die roll) is compared to the Challenge Rating. The Challenge rating (or CR) is a numerical representation of how difficult a task is; it ranges from -5 to 50. Odds: When a character's Skill Rating is equal to the Challenge Rating (Skill 10 vs CR 10, for example), they have a 55% chance of Success. The character succeeds more often than not, but they still find it a struggle. (Hence the name "challenge".) Rules: A character automatically su
  18. Attribute and Skill Ratings, Design Notes [Note: I have been shuffling some labels around. The labels below don't exactly match those in the Skill Points and Skill Ratings posts, but are correct.] One of my design goals is to make mechanics that can easily be understood and described in relatable terms. The idea is to give labels and information which can easily be compared to people’s real-life experiences. This begins with the Attributes, which are described with labels people can easily grasp. We all know what Average is, we know Exceptional people, we know people who are Weak i
  19. Skill Ratings Attribute bonuses are added to Skill Points to get a character's Skill Rating (often abbreviated as "Skill"). Skill Ratings can be used to gauge how competent a character is in a specific skill: 2-4 is a Novice, a raw recruit or an inexperienced beginner. Brand new employees, like the trainee trying to learn to flip burgers at a fast food joint, are Novices. 5-9 is an Apprentice, someone employable in a field at an entry level. Telemarketers and Tech Support employees are typically Apprentices, as are most interns. 10-14 is a Journeyman, someone prepared for an in
  20. Skill Points Skill Points represent the sum total of a character's knowledge, practice, and experience in the area covered by the skill. 1 Skill Point represents minimal understanding, 9 represents a solid grasp of the subject, and 29 total mastery. 0 = Untrained. You know essentially nothing about the skill. 1 – 3 = Familiarity. You've learned the basics of the skill, but little else. There are massive gaps in your understanding, but you don't fully appreciate that fact yet. 4 – 8 = Competency. You have mastered the basics, but struggle with intermediate concepts. You make mis
  21. Skills, The Basics Skills — such as firearms, athletics, or charm — represent specific areas of a character's expertise. The firearms skill represents the character’s ability to shoot (e.g.) pistols and shotguns, athletics their ability with physical sports like mountain climbing or swimming, and charm their ability to ingratiate themselves with others. Nearly every action one wishes to attempt will have an associated skill. Skills are measured in Skill Ratings (higher is better). To get a character's Skill Rating you take their Skill Points (which represents knowledge, practice, and e
  22. Attribute Rating Attributes are rated numerically, with higher values representing more potent Attributes. For normal adult humans, Attributes range from 5 to 15, with 10 being average. (Crippling injuries can lower Attributes below a 5, and children or infants are often lower.) 5 represents a sadly deficient rating, while a 15 is emblematic of the greatest heroes in legend and history. The higher the Attribute Rating, the larger the bonus it provides to associated skills. [table] [tr] [td]Rating[/td] [td]Description[/td] [td]Bonus[/td] [/tr] [tr] [td]5[/td] [td]Deficient[/
  23. Attributes As in most RPG's, Storm Knights characters have a number of Attributes, which represent innate abilities of the character (whereas skills are learned abilities). The six Attributes are Dexterity, Strength, Endurance, Intellect, Influence, and Spirit. Each Attribute has a number of associated skills. Dexterity skills include acrobatics and climbing; Strength, lifting and melee weapons; Influence covers charm and persuade. Attributes provide a small bonus to associated skills and influence how easy it is to improve those skills. In addition, each Attribute has certain inhe
  24. Rolling the Dice Storm Knights uses two differently colored ten-sided dice, numbered 1-10 (or 0-9, the 0 representing 10). One color is the Hot die, the other the Cold die. Players can use any color pairs they like (white and black, green and yellow), but for the sake of the rules we assume red and blue (for obvious reasons), red being Hot, and blue being Cold. Depending on circumstances, players may be rolling either die by itself or both dice together. If rolling only the red or Hot die, known as rolling Up, the player adds the number rolled to the character's Skill. (This nu
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