ProfessorK wrote:One of the issues with oTorg that we ran into was that, in order to keep characters balanced, low-tech was almost as effective as high-tech. It somewhat strained belief that a primative club could do as much damage as a modern day firearm, let alone a future laser-sword.
Sounds like you may have had more of a suspension of disbelief problem than a "balance" issue. A improvised club in TorgE held by an extremely strong individual can do about the same damage as a Tech 23 pistol. Not sure that's too unrealistic, and the club wielder is Vulnerable if they miss (love those effects). So IDK, maybe this problem is maybe not as bad in TorgE?
As far as balance, we did have problems with Tech 26 weapons doing too much damage in oTorg. They did way more damage than the sword wielding barbarians or ninjas. While realistic, that wasn't the most fun thing and I think it should have been closer in damage, with the high tech stuff's edge balanced by the chance of disconnection.
Additionally, there is the still-existant D&D problem where a character's abilities are defined as much or more by what random equipment they find as by the development of the charatcer themselves. A first level who gets his hands on a staff of the magi is going to kich a 5th level's arse.
Other cross-genre systems have solved this by making all equipment cost experience points-- the more effective the equipment the more exp it cost. (Most notabley HERO system.)
How is TORG-E handling these issues?
I did have issues with player characters collecting gear. You don't need spells or miracles when you can pull out the right Tech 26 tool to pick the lock or whatever.
In oTorg I dealt with it OOC by just having a conversation with the players. My approach was to agree not to "take away their equipment" or make them track ammo if they would agree not to carry too much stuff. I didn't make them add up the weight or anything, I just said they had to travel light, it couldn't be more than they could walk long distances with. And I was stingy with eternity shards. That seemed to work for us, but I'm interested in reading the rules before I do that this time...especially curious how players buy equipment, as it was said in a preview that they wouldn't need to keep track of currency.
For the eternity shard thing, I like how it's being done, but I suspect some tables may have problems with it. I think it's fine to have the Delphi Council act as the "Warehouse 13" of Core Earth, and I might even make that a location. But I think it's important to 'sell' the idea to the players too, that it's not a good idea for them to carry these things around. They will likely think it's for the best if they hold onto that stuff, since they're the ones saving the world, etc. I could see them getting stubborn on this, because in other games "loot" is an important thing and they may not trust the game or GM enough to give it up willingly. I could have an OOC talk with them like in oTorg, but I'd rather not be as heavy handed this time.
So I think what I'll have to do is have the Delphi Council be very helpful to them if they cooperate, and also make them understand that having Storm Knights running around with a bunch of eternity shards is not in the best interest of the big picture of the war, that the items are needed elsewhere. I think the idea of the DC loaning them a powerful eternity shard for a specific mission is a good thing. It encourages them to cooperate, encourages me to be less stingy, and also we get to see a lot of different eternity shards instead of the player characters walking around with a golf club bag full of artifacts. "Hand me my Heart of Coyote, Jeeves." So I'm hoping to be less heavy handed about it by making it more of an in character thing and rewarding them for being less loot driven.