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!
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 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.