On the restriction of some Perks to specific cosms.

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On the restriction of some Perks to specific cosms.

Postby TorgHacker » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:15 am

I'm carrying this over from this topic:

viewtopic.php?f=29&t=1146

and starting a new thread here.

utsukushi wrote:Darn it, Doomweber! In my culture, turning over the soap box is an insult that can only be settled by death!

...Or not.

As I've said elsewhere, I do basically agree with Tia on this one. A rule that you can only start with Perks from your own Cosm is almost so obvious it doesn't need to be stated, but from there, characters should evolve organically. Now, there's a fine case to be made for deciding that Reality just doesn't work that way. Knights from Aysle are just incompatible with laser guns because it's not part of their reality, and they simply cannot incorporate laser guns into their life because they don't belong there. So, sure, they can pick one up and fire it, at risk of at least a One Case Contradiction every time, but they can never actually learn the Energy Weapons Skill because Aysle doesn't allow it and that's not just "where they're from", it's part of what they are.



There is no rule that prevents anyone from using learning a skill. Just clearing that one up.


...But that doesn't fit very well with the shift away from people "carrying their Reality". Plus, that would seem to cover things that your Axioms might allow but just happen to be from another world, and also, it quickly becomes a very fuzzy line and it's hard to tell, really, how far it should go.



There is something I need to point out, namely that the phrase emphasized above is a shorthand that people often say but it has grown into an impression that it is actually true.

Reality-rated people do not 'carry their reality with them'.

They don't.

They do, however, remain strongly connected to their reality. They can manipulate Possibility Energy to be capable of amazing feats, and avoid harm. They can (relatively) easily re-connect to their reality if they are disconnected.

But they don't carry their reality with them.

If that was actually true, there would be no such thing as disconnection. You can't disconnect from yourself.


But if your home Cosm is just where you're from... I just don't see any reason you can't, you know.. what have you. Install cyberware. Devote yourself to Lanaala. Earn a Medal. Get bitten by a radioactive Scarab. And as far as I can tell, that doesn't threaten anyone's niche any more than just.. having two thirds of the party turn out to be from the Nile would. And there's no rule against that, even though it's a Known Issue.



I'll address installing cyberware lower down, since I think it's ultimately the main problematic case.

However, as for your other examples...

You're allowed to devote yourself to Lanala, no matter what cosm you're from. You're even allowed to invoke her miracles, no matter what cosm you're from.

You can earn a medal awarded by the Victorians. But that medal is powered through Orrorsh's Law of Perserverance, and that's why it doesn't grant any special benefit for a native of another cosm.

You can get bitten by a radioactive scarab in the Nile, but pulp powers are powered through the Nile Empire's Law of Heroism, and that's why a non-native doesn't gain pulp powers.

Now, you may certainly ask, "Couldn't those at least work while you're within that cosm?". <shrug> Sure. I certainly wouldn't argue too hard about that as a house rule. However, you significantly increase the amount of combinations that can develop, which makes it harder to playtest and develop, and that problem will get worse with each cosm book that comes out. It also is a poor spend of XP for something that unless you're frequently in a single cosm, won't get a lot of use. We want to avoid having those cases develop for the core game. If you're going to play in that mode, knock yourself out.

Like I've said before, as designers we have a different role than GMs. We have to design a game that takes into account waaaaaaaay more variables than just _your_ group. Your group and you as the GM have definite preferences, but we have to design for all groups, including groups that don't even exist yet because the players don't even know Torg Eternity is around. We also have to design the game with the future in mind...not only with the problems coming, but solutions coming.

However, there IS an issue with stepping on what makes different cosms special. As a designer, we need to have a good answer to the question, "Why would I want to play a Storm Knight from <cosm>?" For several of the cosms, that's an easy answer. But two of them: Core Earth and Orrorsh were really problematic in Original Torg.

So we introduced Reality Perks for Core Earth, and several Occult Perks for Orrorsh. Now we can say, "if you want to be a bulletsmith/alchemist/occultist/medalist" you have to be from Orrorsh. But let's say that we allow Perks from other cosms to be taken. Then we're back to "Why take a Core Earther/Orrorshan?" if you could just be from the Cyberpapacy and get bulletsmithing. Now you've got all the advantages for being from the Cyberpapacy AND Orrorsh. Same thing for Core Earth.

The obvious response is that you can't _start_ with those Perks. Well, true, but that restriction gets eliminated then in that scenario in about two weeks.

Then if you allow cross cosm Perks to be taken for only some cosms, then it gets more messy.

Anyway, so back to cyberware. This is the one we had a lot of debate about, and several iterations on how to deal with it.

Something folks have to understand is that as far as Torg Eternity development goes, we are in a special time...one where we JUST have the core book, no supplements. We have eight cosms we have to deal with, with all the spells, psionics, miracles, and tech to support each one over a large range of axiom levels. We have the rules of the game. We have the setting we need to describe. We need to give advice on how to play and run the game.

We just don't have enough space for everything without getting the book so big that it gets too expensive (also, if the book was longer, we'd still be working on it and the Kickstarter wouldn't have launched yet). So the book covers a wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide range of topics, but as far as the cosms go, what is covered is very shallow. This means that for any specific cosm we can't include a lot of specific stuff, including Perks, tech, miracles, psionics, and spells.

This is why at least for now, a lot of the mages, invokers, psis, etc will feel pretty similar. We need to have the most commonly used spells, etc across the cosms, and just a dash of cosm specific ones. The differentiation will come in the cosm books.

So we come to cyberware. Cyberware is a weird intersection between what is sorta a 'supernatural ability' and 'plain high tech items'. They're something that's PART of you, but still would be subjec to the Tech Axiom. In original Torg they also had cyberpsychosis rules applied to them, so they were effectively a subsystem.

In Torg Eternity that sort of thing is handled by a Perk. Buttttttttttt we had a couple of problems.

1. Players are going to ask why they can't just go and buy cyberware (prediction confirmed!) :-)

2. We're already short on space...and we need more pages just for more Perks (at this point in the development the Perks chapter was probably about half to 2/3 the length it is now).

So here's what the Cyberware and Occultech Perks _actually_ end up doing. They allow you to purchase 'clean' cyberware. In the Cyberpapacy, cyberware is readily available...but it's permanently connected to the GodNet. You can be tracked, or worse. The cyberware you're spending a Perk on is almost completely devoid of those drawbacks, and works nearly perfectly. In Tharkold, occultech originally comes from technodemons. It's tainted with a hint of magic. Technodemons can smell it, and track you down. Easily. Cybertech origianlly made for demons but used by humans is going to have problems...but the Perk you spend represents the occultech you track down that _isn't_ flawed. It's been completely cleaned of magic. It works nearly perfectly.

Now, you could still go buy cyberware that _is_ flawed, but (this is the important part) we don't have the room to go into all of that. It's beyond the scope of the core book.

But it'll be in the Cyberpapacy and Tharkold books. So we don't have to do _everything_ right now, and this is the perfect sort of thing to support in the cosm book.

Anyway, that's a look behind the curtain on what's going on here.
Deanna Gilbert
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MAJT

Re: On the restriction of some Perks to specific cosms.

Postby MAJT » Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:44 am

I'm happy with all that. Looks like you put a lot of thought into it.

It's' not a bad idea to have a balanced game on Day One. And I trust you to treat the splatbooks with us much care, something that didn't always happen with the original game.

Things like CoDzilla or Pun-Pun didn't happen on the first day of D&D3, after all.

I guess that anyone who absolutely must have easily-bought cyberware can just handwave the role-playing detriments anyway.

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Re: On the restriction of some Perks to specific cosms.

Postby Gargoyle » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:11 am

So said another way, clean cyberware and occultech are not that easily obtained, just like dragon armor and electric samurai gear. It costs perks and you have to be a native of the cosm. The perk requirement is because they are powerful, and the native cosm requirement is to give each cosm something unique and valuable. Skills are fair game for cross cosm learning. Certain perks like creating miracles are not cosm specific and so they can be "cross-cosm".

Fair enough. I think this will be fine, as it is easily house ruled in a number of ways. What would not be easy if it was less restrictive and GM's had to tighten it up to suit their table. Then you'd find yourself constantly reworking NPCs in published scenarios and explaining to some players why they can't be a cyber-werewolf on day one of the invasion.
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Re: On the restriction of some Perks to specific cosms.

Postby Necanthrope » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:31 am

Do we know already how many skills there will have in the final game?
I think that speaking with Lenaianel (who posts here) he told me he found like 40+ skills in the first core book, but after the cosm books and different other things there were more than 102 skills. Many of them will become skills (true, sight, weird science, martial arts) and this is a HUGE plus, but i hope that there won't be too much of an inflation in skills and perks in the future books.

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Re: On the restriction of some Perks to specific cosms.

Postby Gargoyle » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:43 am

Necanthrope wrote:Do we know already how many skills there will have in the final game?
I think that speaking with Lenaianel (who posts here) he told me he found like 40+ skills in the first core book, but after the cosm books and different other things there were more than 102 skills. Many of them will become skills (true, sight, weird science, martial arts) and this is a HUGE plus, but i hope that there won't be too much of an inflation in skills and perks in the future books.


We don't have a number yet, and the table of contents doesn't reveal it yet, but it's less than oTorg, and it has been said that there will probably be no new skills in the new cosm books. Most of the new rules mechanics will be handled by perks instead.
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Re: On the restriction of some Perks to specific cosms.

Postby MAJT » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:10 pm

As Gargoyle says, I believe Dean said the cosm books won't include new skills at all.

They certainly will have new Perks, because that's the best way to handle cosm-specific stuff and 'cool things' in general. Also, these are expensive in terms of XP so no one character is going to have lots of them. This also cuts down the number of superhero-werewolf-ninja-edienos, because the cost in Perks becomes prohibitive.

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Re: On the restriction of some Perks to specific cosms.

Postby TorgHacker » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:28 pm

Necanthrope wrote:Do we know already how many skills there will have in the final game?
I think that speaking with Lenaianel (who posts here) he told me he found like 40+ skills in the first core book, but after the cosm books and different other things there were more than 102 skills. Many of them will become skills (true, sight, weird science, martial arts) and this is a HUGE plus, but i hope that there won't be too much of an inflation in skills and perks in the future books.


There are 40 skills in the core book, and no skills will be introduced in future books. Any of those cosm specific skills are retasked as Perks, which may utilize one of the skills in the core book, even if it's something like profession (weird scientist).
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Re: On the restriction of some Perks to specific cosms.

Postby utsukushi » Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:40 pm

As always, TH, thank you for the deep insight, and especially for the time you spent on it! (I'm going to assume I earned it by making your favorite pun, because that sounds better than assuming it's because I've annoyed you enough... <grin>)

So, almost all of my... questions/feelings come from this part:
You're allowed to devote yourself to Lanala, no matter what cosm you're from. You're even allowed to invoke her miracles, no matter what cosm you're from.

You can earn a medal awarded by the Victorians. But that medal is powered through Orrorsh's Law of Perserverance, and that's why it doesn't grant any special benefit for a native of another cosm.

You can get bitten by a radioactive scarab in the Nile, but pulp powers are powered through the Nile Empire's Law of Heroism, and that's why a non-native doesn't gain pulp powers.

Now, you may certainly ask, "Couldn't those at least work while you're within that cosm?". <shrug> Sure. I certainly wouldn't argue too hard about that as a house rule.

Combined with the part above it, about not "carrying your Reality." In oTorg, people... kind of did. At least, anyone could sort of manifest their Reality, and use their own World Laws and Axioms no matter where they were, becoming a sort of very-temporary Hard Point. I know we all know this already. Now, you've changed that and a lot of things around it -- for instance, it used to be that if you wanted a thing from your Reality (or even another one that was allowed by your Axioms but not where you were) at any distance, like a thrown grenade, this was the only way to do it. Now, you can use a grenade in the Living Land as long as you don't Disconnect when you throw it.

It's still fair to say that "carrying your reality" was sloppy shorthand that led to a lot of misunderstandings, though. Now, my understanding for why this isn't true anymore is that it's ALSO mostly to avoid having to track too many unforseeable combinations, and so that the GM only ever has to plan for the current World Laws. But it's still internally consistent and this change doesn't bother me. I had liked that, but I like this, too.

...But a native of another Cosm in Orrorsh IS subject to Orrorsh's Law of Perseverance, and a native of another Cosm in the Nile Empire IS subject to the Law of Heroism. As I understand it, they're subject to these laws in full -- when you're in the Nile, your home Laws don't apply, and the Nile's Laws do. I haven't seen the full text yet, but I bet there's nothing in there that says, "This Law only applies at about 70% strength to visitors from other realities," or anything remotely like that. In Torg, "When in Rome" isn't just a cute cliche, it's a fact.

Likewise, outside of their home Realm, a native from the Nile is *NOT* powered by the Law of Heroism. They can't spend their extra Possibility on any actions. If my understanding of the changes above is correct, they can't even spend a Possibility to invoke their Reality and *then* use the Law of Heroism. The Law of Heroism exists only in the Nile Empire, and a Nile Hero anywhere else is.. a little bit less Heroic than they're used to.

...Yet their super powers, powered through the Law of Heroism, still work as long as they don't Disconnect. But not for someone from another Cosm, even though the Law of Heroism applied to them in the Nile, and doesn't apply to either of you anywhere else. Or, as it stands in the rules, the Law of Heroism can't *give* someone from another Cosm super powers, even though they're subject to the Laws of the Nile, and not their own Laws, at the time.

It's not internally consistent, and that's why it bothers me.

I DO understand your reasoning behind it. I'm absolutely not trying to say it wasn't well thought out or it was a stupid choice to make or... anything like that. But as far as I can tell, it exists *only* for "game design" reasons and doesn't really make sense in the game world.

And from a "game design" standpoint -- based on everything that has been described to us, there already are limits on that. Perks cost XP, right? An increasing amount of XP the more Perks you have? And there are Perks that can be made better (like Ion Gusoku) by investing more Perks into them, and better Perks that will have less powerful Perks as Prerequisites. So over time, it might be possible for someone to pick up a little bit from every Realm, if that's really what they want to do and they can work it into the story... but they're never going to be as good at any of it as someone who stays focused. Which is pretty much the trade off in every system ever, and so far, every system ever has rewarded specialization over generalization. I'm not entirely sure it's possible not to.

Now, for some Perks, I think it makes sense to have a Home Cosm as a Prereq. Especially the Reality-bending Perks, where I agree fully with whoever said that, with the background you've made for TorgE, it MAKES SENSE that only Core Earth has those. No amount of training is going to make someone from another world as "real" as a Core Earther. To just make up another case, if the Aysle cosm book brought back astrological signs as a Perk... well, you have to have been born under that sign. That's hard to do later in life. So that would be something only someone from Aysle could ever have.

But the blanket rule that you can only have Perks from your home Cosm... it doesn't feel right.

However, there IS an issue with stepping on what makes different cosms special.

I do see your points here, but doesn't that work both ways? If the character from Orrorsh isn't limited forever to only what Orrorsh has to offer, then the question of, 'Why be from [wherever]' becomes simply, "Is this world interesting enough to want to be from?" Because why not be from Orrorsh?

Your second question, which has been much discussed, was also, "Why do the Storm Knights want to go to [Cosm]?" With Orrorsh, again, being the biggest problem child. Isn't, "To maybe learn Bulletsmithing" a really good answer to that one? One that's likely to come up a lot sooner than, "Because it's the only place we can defeat the Gaunt Man, and that really has to happen?"

We just don't have enough space for everything without getting the book so big that it gets too expensive (also, if the book was longer, we'd still be working on it and the Kickstarter wouldn't have launched yet). So the book covers a wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide range of topics, but as far as the cosms go, what is covered is very shallow.

That's a really fair thing that I'll try to keep in mind as we get the PDF. That was true in oTorg, too - and while I guess that was the basis for the complaint that you had to have all the books to play, I really can't see how else to handle it. There's just too much.

First - that's a really cool concept behind Cybertech and I'm excited to see how it works out. Which means waiting for books that haven't even been started yet, so, thanks for that. <grin> But I think the reason Cyber tends to be seen as a bigger issue is that we think of it, and Tech in general, as more "external" than a lot of other what-are-now-Perks. To me, though, the Axioms change that. Tech, magic, miracles, and psionics are all.. well, "internal" and "external" aren't even the right words because they're both. If you pick up, I don't know... a phone, say, your Tech Axiom and the Tech Axiom of the world you're in both have to support that, or it's a Contradiction. Same with Cybertech. Same with casting a spell, or invoking a Miracle, or reading someone's mind, or Being An Elf, or talking to animals, or... pretty much anything.

Why can't we just buy an Ion Gosuko suit? Why can't I just pay that wizard to teach me more spells? Why can't I bribe the Mayor to award me a Medal? Why can't I just buy super powers? (It works for Batman!)

...OK, I'm trying to be silly and make those all about money, but my point is, the Means of Gaining a Perk is, to my mind, dressing. Perks are, clearly, a completely "meta" term that nobody would talk about In Character. So, you find some scrolls with new spells on them? If you buy the Perk to learn a couple new spells, you can learn them. You find an ancient Master who can teach you a new Ki technique? Buy the Perk, and you can learn it! Have an underground cyberdoc who owes you a favor, or a few hundred thousand francs burning a hole in your pocket? Great - buy the Perk and you can get so much chrome installed.

Don't have the XP? Well, then none of those things are going to happen until you do. In game - you just can't wrap your head around the spells, you need another week of waxing cars and painting fences, or the operation goes wrong if you insist on doing it when you don't have the XP. Or maybe, as some games have worked it, if it makes sense in the story now, you can do it now, and your future XP are already spent until it's `paid off'. Or more likely, you've gotten the XP and told the GM this is what you want to spend it on, and buying the Perk kind of creates the opportunity.

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Re: On the restriction of some Perks to specific cosms.

Postby Necanthrope » Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:48 pm

And what is really exceptional in Torg, in that when you go a different cosm, the mood of the game changes accordingly.
Our games in orrorsh were grim, and we stayed as little as possible, we loved to go to Nile Empire, the place where smoking it the best way to get rid of Shock, and drinking really attracts ladies (who are of course femmes fatales in disguise serving the awful Wu Han).
The fact that perks are linked to world laws also makes that it is easier to know if you check for disconnection or not.

It looks like Torg eternity makes it easier for the GM to stay focused on the game, and not on the mechanical shenanigans. The cosm cards are a great example, it reminds me of the pleasure I have when i GM savage worlds, as there is so little bookkeeping, and handwaving stays relatively correct easily (I mean creating NPC on the go, etc...)

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Re: On the restriction of some Perks to specific cosms.

Postby TorgHacker » Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:35 pm

utsukushi wrote:
...Yet their super powers, powered through the Law of Heroism, still work as long as they don't Disconnect. But not for someone from another Cosm, even though the Law of Heroism applied to them in the Nile, and doesn't apply to either of you anywhere else. Or, as it stands in the rules, the Law of Heroism can't *give* someone from another Cosm super powers, even though they're subject to the Laws of the Nile, and not their own Laws, at the time.

It's not internally consistent, and that's why it bothers me.

I DO understand your reasoning behind it. I'm absolutely not trying to say it wasn't well thought out or it was a stupid choice to make or... anything like that. But as far as I can tell, it exists *only* for "game design" reasons and doesn't really make sense in the game world.



It seems internally inconsistent because we haven't come up with the in-story reason that it applies. Remember that we're writing the core book at this point. We don't have the space to go into each cosm specific Perk and explain why someone from another cosm can't get that Perk. That explanation could be different depending on what specific Perk we're talking about. That is beyond the scope of the core book and much more appropriate for the cosm books.

The big problem with the reality rules for Torg is that they don't work the way we think reality should work. They're _not_ self consistent. We don't have the resources to think of all the different ramifications about each axiom...that's what philosophers do for a living. We're game designers. The job of the reality rules is to provide a certain game experience, so sometimes things are just prescribed rather than develop organically.

One example as you alluded to is the long range contradiction. That was a HUGE pain in the ass trying to get something that was internally consistent based on first principles AND did what we wanted it to do.

Finally I said, "Look, what do we want it to do? Let's do that...and then come up with a why afterwards. If at all." In a way this is a lot like quantum physics is...we understand it very, very well. But we really don't understand WHY it is the way it is.

Why can't a non-Pan-Pacfica member get Ion Gosuku armor? Because say...maybe there's some spiritual ritual you need to go through in order to attune to the armor. Maybe you can't get the armor until you've proven your valor to other members of the Electric Samurai and they can sense 'foreign' realities..and so don't trust you. There's lots of possible options.

But we don't have the space to explain all this in the core book. That's stuff we can talk about in the cosm books, if we even want to maintain the restrictions at that point anyways. As I've said before, we have to keep in mind past _and_ future products.


And from a "game design" standpoint -- based on everything that has been described to us, there already are limits on that. Perks cost XP, right? An increasing amount of XP the more Perks you have? And there are Perks that can be made better (like Ion Gusoku) by investing more Perks into them, and better Perks that will have less powerful Perks as Prerequisites. So over time, it might be possible for someone to pick up a little bit from every Realm, if that's really what they want to do and they can work it into the story... but they're never going to be as good at any of it as someone who stays focused. Which is pretty much the trade off in every system ever, and so far, every system ever has rewarded specialization over generalization. I'm not entirely sure it's possible not to.

Now, for some Perks, I think it makes sense to have a Home Cosm as a Prereq. Especially the Reality-bending Perks, where I agree fully with whoever said that, with the background you've made for TorgE, it MAKES SENSE that only Core Earth has those. No amount of training is going to make someone from another world as "real" as a Core Earther. To just make up another case, if the Aysle cosm book brought back astrological signs as a Perk... well, you have to have been born under that sign. That's hard to do later in life. So that would be something only someone from Aysle could ever have.

But the blanket rule that you can only have Perks from your home Cosm... it doesn't feel right.



I get it. There was a lot of discussion on this. But the bottom line is that we wanted at this point to make each reality _absolute_ in having something cool that it can do, and nobody else (maybe with one or two exceptions). The simplest way to make that absolute is restrict it. Once we do the cosm books, and the number of options increase, there will be _more_ things that people from that cosm can do that's unique...and THAT is when we can start opening things up.

Take the Ion Gosuku armor for example...maybe in the Pan-Pacifica cosm book we introduce an Ion Gosuku Perk that will allow a non-native to take that...which means that you're one less Perk if you're non-native. But by then maybe we'll have other Ion Gosuku Perks perhaps that you _still_ have to be a native to take.

But I can give you explanations of why and how we'll address this going forward and it still won't feel right. In that case...

House rule it, baby!

I won't mind.

The point is though is that we're not designing for _your_ game specifically. We're designing for everyone's game. And that means that we have to make decisions and compromises that are different than individuals GMs would make for their game. Heck _my_ game will have house rules, because there's rules in this game that I don't fully agree with and I'd do differently because of my preferences.

If you're looking for permission, you've got it. :D

However, there IS an issue with stepping on what makes different cosms special.

I do see your points here, but doesn't that work both ways? If the character from Orrorsh isn't limited forever to only what Orrorsh has to offer, then the question of, 'Why be from [wherever]' becomes simply, "Is this world interesting enough to want to be from?" Because why not be from Orrorsh?

Your second question, which has been much discussed, was also, "Why do the Storm Knights want to go to [Cosm]?" With Orrorsh, again, being the biggest problem child. Isn't, "To maybe learn Bulletsmithing" a really good answer to that one? One that's likely to come up a lot sooner than, "Because it's the only place we can defeat the Gaunt Man, and that really has to happen?"



Sure, and again, that's something we can explore in the Orrorsh cosm book. Just not in the core book.

Something that folks should realize is that this game won't be the same three years from now as it will be next week...but that Core Book has to stand up for the next three years and beyond. While we've said we aren't going to make those cosm books _necessary_ for play, we do hope that people will _want_ to get them, because what's in there is cool. This entire conversation will probably be quaint once the cosm books are out.

It's a lot like D&D 5th Edition...does anyone care anymore that the three main books came out staggered?


First - that's a really cool concept behind Cybertech and I'm excited to see how it works out. Which means waiting for books that haven't even been started yet, so, thanks for that. <grin> But I think the reason Cyber tends to be seen as a bigger issue is that we think of it, and Tech in general, as more "external" than a lot of other what-are-now-Perks. To me, though, the Axioms change that. Tech, magic, miracles, and psionics are all.. well, "internal" and "external" aren't even the right words because they're both. If you pick up, I don't know... a phone, say, your Tech Axiom and the Tech Axiom of the world you're in both have to support that, or it's a Contradiction. Same with Cybertech. Same with casting a spell, or invoking a Miracle, or reading someone's mind, or Being An Elf, or talking to animals, or... pretty much anything.

Why can't we just buy an Ion Gosuko suit? Why can't I just pay that wizard to teach me more spells? Why can't I bribe the Mayor to award me a Medal? Why can't I just buy super powers? (It works for Batman!)

...OK, I'm trying to be silly and make those all about money, but my point is, the Means of Gaining a Perk is, to my mind, dressing. Perks are, clearly, a completely "meta" term that nobody would talk about In Character. So, you find some scrolls with new spells on them? If you buy the Perk to learn a couple new spells, you can learn them. You find an ancient Master who can teach you a new Ki technique? Buy the Perk, and you can learn it! Have an underground cyberdoc who owes you a favor, or a few hundred thousand francs burning a hole in your pocket? Great - buy the Perk and you can get so much chrome installed.



Right. But given the goal we have at this point in development, do you expect us to go through every possible reason that someone could come up with to get X Perk and write it down in the core book? Because that way lies madness. :-)

I keep harping on this, but it's critical.

We want each reality to have something unique that is cool that only it or one other can do.

As soon as you allow some reason, any reason, for that to not happen breaks that goal. When we get to the cosm books, there will be _more_ unique things that people from that cosm can do...and then we can relax things.

This reminds me of the convo me and Darrell had regarding trying to rationalize some way to get a benefit from something when you're disconnected. We have to keep it simple, and not deal with crazy side effects and rationalizations during disconnection.

"You're disconnected. You can't benefit from your contradictory stuff."

"But what if I..."

"Nope."

"What about..."

"NOPE."

The why is subservient to the rule, at least in this case. Absolutely need a why? Make something up. Pretty much any reasonable...uh...reason will work. Coming up with reasons after the fact is much, much easier and simpler rather than having to lock down every possible loophole or edge case.



Don't have the XP? Well, then none of those things are going to happen until you do. In game - you just can't wrap your head around the spells, you need another week of waxing cars and painting fences, or the operation goes wrong if you insist on doing it when you don't have the XP. Or maybe, as some games have worked it, if it makes sense in the story now, you can do it now, and your future XP are already spent until it's `paid off'. Or more likely, you've gotten the XP and told the GM this is what you want to spend it on, and buying the Perk kind of creates the opportunity.


And again, if you want to do that in your game, go for it.
Deanna Gilbert
Torg Eternity designer
Ulisses North America


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