Clarification about zones, transformation and Day One LL adventure

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Kamelion
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Re: Clarification about zones, transformation and Day One LL adventure

Postby Kamelion » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:21 am

ShirtlessOBrien wrote:This argument works just as well the other way. If it doesn't matter which way you do it, you might as well do it my way, right?

If the outcome is the same - namely, fun and cinematic gameplay without spending time worrying about whether thoughts cause disconnection - then no, it doesn't matter. Each group of players will find their most favoured approach.

I mean, I guess it does matter to the designers, because they have limited space and resources to work with - so they're (rightly, imho) going to focus on stuff that affects actual play, rather then spend wordcount on exploring the esoterica of contradictory Twinkie-thoughts. But us players can do what we like :). Which is as it should be, I think.
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Re: Clarification about zones, transformation and Day One LL adventure

Postby Eric USNA » Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:31 am

ShirtlessOBrien wrote:We are customers. We are not your employees. Some of us might even have our name in the credits of an rpg product somewhere or other too, but even if we do not we still are not obliged to put game designers on a pedestal.

If we have a problem with your product you should want to know about it. That is why I expect you to at least read customer feedback. I also have to point out that I did not call your entire response wrong and silly, just the one bit that entailed what seem to be obvious absurdities.


Okay, here is the point where I step in to clarify a few things. You see, Dean is one of the designers, and he is generous enough with his time to spend a lot of it answering questions and even discussing ideas on the forums. However, Dean is not customer service.

I am.

If you have a complaint about a product, you talk to me. If you have a problem with Kickstarter fulfillment, you talk to me. And, most relevant right now - if you have a problem on any of our social media, including the forums, you talk to me.

Dean is not responsible for customer satisfaction. He is responsible for designing a game. His game should be fun, but - and here's where I want to be clear - we do not expect it to be fun for everyone. It should be fun for many people. It should be fun for enough people that it sells reasonably well. But there will always be individuals who disagree with a particular design point or even groups of people who dislike certain approaches to how the game has been made.

It is flat out impossible to please everyone, so I tend to take a very Vulcan approach - "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one." When there is something we have done that bothers many people, such as the resolution problems we had a couple weeks ago, we will go out of our way and put in extra time to solve it. When a single person has a philosophical difference with a design concept that doesn't affect gameplay, that's not a high priority for fixing. Nor should it be.

Respecting someone as a creator is different from putting them on a pedestal. It simply means that you understand they have a particular vision for their work that may differ from yours. You are welcome to have and discuss your own ideas, and (since this is a game) even play with those ideas in your own space, as has been stated repeatedly. However, expecting that the creator will automatically adopt the conflicting ideas of every reader and player is not only impractical, it is disrespectful of the creative process. It presumes that a creation is supposed to be a bespoke work crafted specifically for each individual. That is not how any creative endeavor works, and it is definitely not how game design works.

On the subject of rudeness - being a customer is never an excuse to be rude. You are on my forums, and everyone will treat everyone with civility no matter who they are. That is the rule. It is not up for debate.

I am leaving this thread open for the moment, mostly to see if there are any questions for me. I suggest that everyone consider this topic wrapped up. If discussion continues the way it has been, I will lock it.

-Eric

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ShirtlessOBrien
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Re: Clarification about zones, transformation and Day One LL adventure

Postby ShirtlessOBrien » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:51 am

What kind of questions are you looking for? Feedback on your customer service and social media presence, or about this specific setting/rules question, or something else entirely?

Eric USNA
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Re: Clarification about zones, transformation and Day One LL adventure

Postby Eric USNA » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:56 am

Questions about this specific instance. This is not an appropriate place for more general questions.

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Re: Clarification about zones, transformation and Day One LL adventure

Postby ShirtlessOBrien » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:48 pm

For the purposes of running something like a Day One demo, or a con game, where I'm not trying to present my own house ruled version of TorgE but as close to the official, by-the-book TorgE as I can, do I have the following correct?

1. In a Living Land Dominant Zone, disconnected Ords cannot think about high-axiom ideas like democracy or evidence-based medicine. In a Core Earth Dominant Zone, Ords do not risk disconnection by thinking about fictional, religious or otherwise not-real impossible things which would break Core Earth axioms if they existed, and in a Core Earth Pure Zone Ords can think about such things.

("Not-real impossible things" being defined as impossible and not real by the Core Earth axioms, no judgment of any real-world religion expressed or implied etc.)

2. Disconnection may play out slightly differently in different cases depending on what is specified in the module (e.g. disconnecting in the Living Land makes it impossible to understand how engines work at all, disconnecting in Orrorsh leaves you understanding how a car works but bad at driving one and the car won't start for you).

3. I'm not aware of any published cases where it would be relevant, but (1) generalises to fairy stories about impossible magic in Aysle, scifi movies in Nile Empire, manga about mecha in Pan-Pacifica and so on. None of these things are impossible to think about while disconnected or in a Pure Zone.

I think the above are correct based on the implications of TorgHacker's statements, but I am not completely certain. I may have it wrong because I did not find their statements completely clear. Two further questions that I do not think have a clear idea of the answer to:

4. In the official fiction, not the hard and fast rules, what is meant to happen when a bunch of Core Earth Ords in Sydney try to talk about Cyberpapacy technology, or Living Land miracles, or Aysle magic et. al.? Stuff that is definitely real in other cosms but definitely impossible in Core Earth. Do the axioms affect this conversation in any way?

5. In the official fiction, not the hard and fast rules, what is meant to happen when a bunch of Aylish Ords try to talk about current events involving other realites while they are in an Aysle Dominant Zone, or Nile Empire Ords try to talk about current events in other realities while in a NE Dominant Zone, or Ords try to talk about current events involving other realities while in Pan-Pacifica? Do the axioms affect these conversations in any way?

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Re: Clarification about zones, transformation and Day One LL adventure

Postby TorgHacker » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:24 pm

ShirtlessOBrien wrote:For the purposes of running something like a Day One demo, or a con game, where I'm not trying to present my own house ruled version of TorgE but as close to the official, by-the-book TorgE as I can, do I have the following correct?

1. In a Living Land Dominant Zone, disconnected Ords cannot think about high-axiom ideas like democracy or evidence-based medicine. In a Core Earth Dominant Zone, Ords do not risk disconnection by thinking about fictional, religious or otherwise not-real impossible things which would break Core Earth axioms if they existed, and in a Core Earth Pure Zone Ords can think about such things.



Let's give an example. You have an edeinos Ord talking to a realm runner.

Edienos: "Who chooses what your tribe will do?"

Realm Runner: "We have a representative democracy. People go to polling stations and amongst a group of people they choose who they want to represent them and the winner..."

Edeinos interrupts..."... is the one who kills the biggest T-rex?".

Realm Runner: "No..."

Edeinos: "...then the one that is fastest?"

Realm Runner: "No..."

Edeinos: "... then the one that's strongest?"

Realm Runner: "No! The one that gets the most people to choose them!"

Edeinos laughs as edeinos laugh: "Don't be ridiculous. That would never work. Your 'democracy' is stupid. Edeinos would never follow orders of this 'representative'."

Later the Edeinos is talking to another edeinos: "...and then he said they choose people to lead by 'voting' for them! How stupid is that!?"

Later the Realm runner is talking to a professor: "...he just didn't get it. I tried, and tried...even disconnected once. But nope, they just don't get it."


("Not-real impossible things" being defined as impossible and not real by the Core Earth axioms, no judgment of any real-world religion expressed or implied etc.)

2. Disconnection may play out slightly differently in different cases depending on what is specified in the module (e.g. disconnecting in the Living Land makes it impossible to understand how engines work at all, disconnecting in Orrorsh leaves you understanding how a car works but bad at driving one and the car won't start for you).

3. I'm not aware of any published cases where it would be relevant, but (1) generalises to fairy stories about impossible magic in Aysle, scifi movies in Nile Empire, manga about mecha in Pan-Pacifica and so on. None of these things are impossible to think about while disconnected or in a Pure Zone.

I think the above are correct based on the implications of TorgHacker's statements, but I am not completely certain. I may have it wrong because I did not find their statements completely clear. Two further questions that I do not think have a clear idea of the answer to:

4. In the official fiction, not the hard and fast rules, what is meant to happen when a bunch of Core Earth Ords in Sydney try to talk about Cyberpapacy technology, or Living Land miracles, or Aysle magic et. al.? Stuff that is definitely real in other cosms but definitely impossible in Core Earth. Do the axioms affect this conversation in any way?



Core Earth is a special case because it has a TON of Possibility Energy, which is the energy of stories. We can think about time travel because Earth has so much Possibility Energy that allows even Ords to be creative and think of the concepts, even though we know it's 'impossible'. One of the things we're doing in the cosm books is introducing Minor World Laws (like the Law of Decay). I think this would be a good one to include for Core Earth.

Denizens of other realities literally never even think about such things. Nobody in the Cyberpapacy even thought about time travel before they invaded Core Earth. It never even entered their minds. Even now, when they're told stories about it, Cyberpapacy denizens think it's ridiculous and then don't think about it much again.

The Nile is a bit different too in that it has weird science which can extend beyond their axioms.



5. In the official fiction, not the hard and fast rules, what is meant to happen when a bunch of Aylish Ords try to talk about current events involving other realites while they are in an Aysle Dominant Zone, or Nile Empire Ords try to talk about current events in other realities while in a NE Dominant Zone, or Ords try to talk about current events involving other realities while in Pan-Pacifica? Do the axioms affect these conversations in any way?


They'd talk about it in a way that translates best to their own reality.

Aylish dude: "Those Nile Empire folks supposedly ride iron machines that they can make move with magic liquid. I think they call them "tanks". And some of those 'tanks' have guns that are like gigantic wands of fire."

Other Aylish dude: "How do those work?"

Aylish dude: "No idea. Must be magic though."
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Re: Clarification about zones, transformation and Day One LL adventure

Postby Wotan » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:21 pm

TorgHacker wrote:Denizens of other realities literally never even think about such things. Nobody in the Cyberpapacy even thought about time travel before they invaded Core Earth. It never even entered their minds. Even now, when they're told stories about it, Cyberpapacy denizens think it's ridiculous and then don't think about it much again.


I honestly don't mean to be facetious, but how does any kind of advancement occur in cosms other than possibility rich ones like CE? I mean CP didn't always have a Tech of 26 (did it?) so, if residents couldn't ever conceive of the idea of cyberware, before it happened, how did it happen? Who first thought "that would be cool/handy/a useful instrument for state control of the masses"?

As I say, I truly don't mean to be difficult, because (with no offense intended to him) I think Shirtless is overthinking minutia which don't matter in terms of telling a good story- stuff happens because it makes for a better story, end of.
I understand that a lack of internal consistency can be immersion breaking, in the same way that films can be, but sometimes you (singular as a viewer, or together as a group of gamers) just need to "buy in" to a piece of fiction and not "nit-pick" every last detail which might appear odd or inconsistent. *shrug*

FWIW I'm massively grateful that one of the devs is so willing to give their own time to answer fan questions on the official forum, & personally understand (very well!) how crushing, & demoralising, it can be to have ones ideas seemingly torn apart by players, (albeit invested and *generally* well-meaning ones.) I've been active on more than one forum which has gone this way. I've seen devs driven off by well-meaning fans with strong visions of their own, & would hate to see TorgE go the same way!
FWIW the dev feedback, exemplified by TorgHacker's participation on these forums, has been a large factor in my decision to back, & generally become invested in, TorgE. Dean's commitment to this game, & to these forums, deserves way more recognition than he appears to get, IMHO. *shrug*

Here's wishing for the days when CE is Social 30, and we're all able to communicate on fora concisely & without causing any offense to others. :)

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Re: Clarification about zones, transformation and Day One LL adventure

Postby TorgHacker » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:30 pm

Wotan wrote:
TorgHacker wrote:Denizens of other realities literally never even think about such things. Nobody in the Cyberpapacy even thought about time travel before they invaded Core Earth. It never even entered their minds. Even now, when they're told stories about it, Cyberpapacy denizens think it's ridiculous and then don't think about it much again.


I honestly don't mean to be facetious, but how does any kind of advancement occur in cosms other than possibility rich ones like CE? I mean CP didn't always have a Tech of 26 (did it?) so, if residents couldn't ever conceive of the idea of cyberware, before it happened, how did it happen? Who first thought "that would be cool/handy/a useful instrument for state control of the masses"?



No worries! There's always the possibility that we left open a hole somewhere, but in this case it's covered under Bending the Axioms on Page 222.

In some parts of a cosm, the axioms can locally be higher, particularly in areas of research like monastaries, arcane colleges, and universities. In those areas, because of the concentration of people with a particular affinity for a type of knowledge, the axiom bumps up, and that allows the concept to become non-contradictory. The concept is...right...there...at the bleeding edge and then <lightbulb> someone figures it out. Then the scientist/wizard/priest starts spreading the information, and that allows the axiom level to rise throughout the cosm.

So theoretically if the axiom is one away from a concept, being exposed to the concept could allow the axiom to rise in general too. This isn't official but it's my headcanon for why Core Earth's Spirit Axiom is 10 instead of 9 now. It's like how Dr. Mobius does know that nuclear weapons are possible, but doesn't understand how it can be done...yet.
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Re: Clarification about zones, transformation and Day One LL adventure

Postby Atama » Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:42 pm

I like this discussion. I like the idea of axioms and advancement having a reciprocal relationship. People can't go too far beyond their axiom because they just can't get it. But if they just push against the boundaries, eventually they'll figure stuff out, and then eventually they advance and that axiom gets bumped up a little.

It fits pretty well with how human history has actually worked, except just adding a cosmic, semi-aware force behind it. Really cool.

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Re: Clarification about zones, transformation and Day One LL adventure

Postby ShirtlessOBrien » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:29 am

TorgHacker wrote:
ShirtlessOBrien wrote:For the purposes of running something like a Day One demo, or a con game, where I'm not trying to present my own house ruled version of TorgE but as close to the official, by-the-book TorgE as I can, do I have the following correct?

1. In a Living Land Dominant Zone, disconnected Ords cannot think about high-axiom ideas like democracy or evidence-based medicine. In a Core Earth Dominant Zone, Ords do not risk disconnection by thinking about fictional, religious or otherwise not-real impossible things which would break Core Earth axioms if they existed, and in a Core Earth Pure Zone Ords can think about such things.



Let's give an example. You have an edeinos Ord talking to a realm runner.


Please don't take offence at this, but the way my mind works I don't find an extended dialogue example to be nearly as helpful as a straightforward declarative statement.

So if I now understand your position, and I welcome correction if I don't, the best way to explain it is "understanding an out-of-axiom idea creates a contradiction", where understanding is just having a reasonable grasp of the basic ideas about how something works. The understanding you or I have of US civics or of iPhones, limited as it may be, is a contradiction in the Living Land. Whereas if we know Core Earth people make much silly talk, hold up hands, talk to shiny rock, that captures the same behaviour but it's not a contradiction. Similarly knowing how a tank works in Aysle is a contradiction but knowing Core Earth has magical metal chariots with no horses that shoot fireballs is not a contradiction. Is that about right?

ShirtlessOBrien wrote:2. Disconnection may play out slightly differently in different cases depending on what is specified in the module (e.g. disconnecting in the Living Land makes it impossible to understand how engines work at all, disconnecting in Orrorsh leaves you understanding how a car works but bad at driving one and the car won't start for you).


I'm still unclear on the official view this one. My revised headcanon is that since functioning internal combustion engines are Tech 18 but modern automobiles are Tech 19+ depending on the details, it follows that in Orrorsh you can understand "my internal combustion engine won't start" but you no longer remember anything about fuel injection and catalytic converters and your car almost certainly contains enough Tech 19+ elements that it will fail to run.

TorgHacker wrote:Denizens of other realities literally never even think about such things. Nobody in the Cyberpapacy even thought about time travel before they invaded Core Earth. It never even entered their minds. Even now, when they're told stories about it, Cyberpapacy denizens think it's ridiculous and then don't think about it much again.


Okay. So people are going to notice that in Japan now Pan-Pacifica has taken over all the people writing novels and movies and manga about FTL travel, nanotechnology, super-cybernetics, force fields, androids, teleportation, time travel and whatnot just stop, right? Because as soon as they disconnect, which won't take long, they "literally never even think about such things" again.

I don't dislike this, in fact I think it could lead to some fun stories. A scifi novelist could be trying to figure out what happened to their inspiration. Or they could be the one manga artist left still drawing giant robots and that's why the ninjas come after them. Clever investigators might map out the borders of Pan-Pacifica by box office takings and rpg kickstarter participation. By Day 90 maybe the Delphi Council is sending Storm Knights out with boxes of flash cards to show to local Ords to figure out the local axioms. ("Hey, excuse me, can I just ask you a few questions? Stop me when I say something stupid. Submarines exist. Flying machines exist. Flying machines that hover exist. Robots exist. Robot arms for people exist. Fusion-powered personal laser guns exist... bugger. Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.")

It also makes it clearer that even the "fun" cosms like Aysle and Nile Empire are still pretty seriously dystopian in their own way.

Do you have a strong opinion either way on whether the lack of imagination in the invading cosms is because the High Lords have sucked up all the fun, or more because Core Earth is just super special? As far as I recall the fiction mostly supports the latter, but the former raises the stakes and makes the High Lords even more villainous and in need of a punching. It's a pretty depressing multiverse if we're the only cosm amongst trillions where people can make things up.


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