Touch of Time

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blackwingedheaven
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Touch of Time

Postby blackwingedheaven » Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:09 pm

Simple question with what is probably a complicated answer: Does the touch of time miracle from the Living Land sourcebook work on cybernetics? The fact that the power calls out that it works on undead and gospog means that "animate objects" aren't off the table for effects. I could see them not working on occultech implants, since they're semi-alive, but Pan-Pacifica and Cyberpapacy cybernetics are just machines. I could also see an argument that Cyberpapal implants are partly miraculous, so they could be resisted by faith as well as dodge or Dexterity, but it really seems to me that an optant has a pretty powerful way to disable cybered-up opponents. Opinions and discussion welcome.
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Re: Touch of Time

Postby Wotan » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:16 pm

A character with Cyberware or Occultech is still essentially alive though, so my instinct is to err on the side of saying that Touch of Time wouldn't affect them. A robot, etc, would be totally fair game though.

I can see the argument that it might effect the cybered parts of a target but, IMO, that's getting below the system's granularity- We have Vital Blows, sure, but they only use the idea of "hit locations" in the most general of senses.
If I were to allow this at my table I'd be inclined to include the Vital Blow attack penalties, as appropriate, but without the standard VB damage bonus (the "bonus" is getting to inflict, armour bypassing, damage on a living person with a Miracle which isn't designed to do that. *shrug*)

Mostly though, I'm wary about things which make a character's Perks a disadvantage, (or which might make it too easy to disable a character's Perks for more than an Act.) I guess this is "only" damage though, so if it's flavoured as causing "biofeedback" on the cybered character, I guess it's just another "attack spell". *shrug*

I'm now wondering if a character's kit (weapons & armour) can be targeted with Touch of Time? From the flavour text, it sounds like it's within the intent, but what about the mechanics? I guess the DN would be the character's Defense, but what's the Toughness of an AK47 or a suit of chainmail? How much damage does it take to destroy them?
I'm in two minds on the idea. On one hand it feels like the sort of thing which (my) PCs might exploit to the extent that every fight starts with the Villains' weapons & armour falling apart, and then ends soon after. On the other hand it could be quite cool if used sparingly, or as a way to up the stakes for the PCs when they're fighting LL Optants or Gotaks.
/pontification
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johntfs
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Re: Touch of Time

Postby johntfs » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:01 pm

Wotan wrote:A character with Cyberware or Occultech is still essentially alive though, so my instinct is to err on the side of saying that Touch of Time wouldn't affect them. A robot, etc, would be totally fair game though.

I can see the argument that it might effect the cybered parts of a target but, IMO, that's getting below the system's granularity- We have Vital Blows, sure, but they only use the idea of "hit locations" in the most general of senses.
If I were to allow this at my table I'd be inclined to include the Vital Blow attack penalties, as appropriate, but without the standard VB damage bonus (the "bonus" is getting to inflict, armour bypassing, damage on a living person with a Miracle which isn't designed to do that. *shrug*)

Mostly though, I'm wary about things which make a character's Perks a disadvantage, (or which might make it too easy to disable a character's Perks for more than an Act.) I guess this is "only" damage though, so if it's flavoured as causing "biofeedback" on the cybered character, I guess it's just another "attack spell". *shrug*

I'm now wondering if a character's kit (weapons & armour) can be targeted with Touch of Time? From the flavour text, it sounds like it's within the intent, but what about the mechanics? I guess the DN would be the character's Defense, but what's the Toughness of an AK47 or a suit of chainmail? How much damage does it take to destroy them?
I'm in two minds on the idea. On one hand it feels like the sort of thing which (my) PCs might exploit to the extent that every fight starts with the Villains' weapons & armour falling apart, and then ends soon after. On the other hand it could be quite cool if used sparingly, or as a way to up the stakes for the PCs when they're fighting LL Optants or Gotaks.
/pontification


Read the miracle carefully. Basically you have to touch the object you want to damage/destroy. If a Cyber-Arm is covered by living human skin, the touch won't work. An optant wanting to work this miracle on someone with cybernetics would have to do enough damage to expose the cybernetics to his Touch of Time. And you can only Toucn one object per miracle working unless you factor on multi-action penalties. So a dude wearing a chain-mail coat and a helmet would have to be Touched twice to affect both items or the miracle would need to be worked twice.

Occultech would likely be more vulnerable to this miracle than cyberwear because it's more likely to be exposed instead of covered by flesh. Figure this miracle would be useful against robots and bodysuits as well as undead. That said, I would rule than any equipment that is a Perk should be able to benefits from Possibilities being spent to soak damage just as a character would.

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Re: Touch of Time

Postby Gargoyle » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:08 pm

Tricky one. I'd rule that a called shot (at -6 for cyberware, -4 for occultech because it's easier to target) could allow one to target it, since it's range of Touch. The tricky part is figuring out how much Toughness and Wounds that cyberware has...I'd say none and that Touch of Time doesn't destroy it, it causes it to deactivate for the scene until the self-repair mechanisms kick in. I would do it this way to make the effect possible because it's appropriate and cool, but to limit the effectiveness because you shouldn't be able to destroy perks permanently. At most it should disable it for the rest of the Act, but I feel that's too much and benefits NPC's way more than players.

And I guess I'm also saying I think cyberware and occultware should self-repair. :D
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johntfs
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Re: Touch of Time

Postby johntfs » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:36 pm

Gargoyle wrote:Tricky one. I'd rule that a called shot (at -6 for cyberware, -4 for occultech because it's easier to target) could allow one to target it, since it's range of Touch. The tricky part is figuring out how much Toughness and Wounds that cyberware has...I'd say none and that Touch of Time doesn't destroy it, it causes it to deactivate for the scene until the self-repair mechanisms kick in. I would do it this way to make the effect possible because it's appropriate and cool, but to limit the effectiveness because you shouldn't be able to destroy perks permanently. At most it should disable it for the rest of the Act, but I feel that's too much and benefits NPC's way more than players.

And I guess I'm also saying I think cyberware and occultware should self-repair. :D


I'd say you called the called shot only if it's accessible. Like, you could target somebody's cyber/occultech-eye, but not their cyber/occultech-arm (generally) because it's covered by living flesh (which is immune to this miracle). As far as damaging the stuff, figure you use the Toughness of the person wearing/using it. Meanwhile, I'm sure Perk cyberware and occultech items have self-repair systems, but non-perk version probably don't.

Figure as we get more books we'll get more ways for various people to access the effects of those cosms without necessarily being from/of that cosm. The Core rulebook notes that it's possible (though very dangerous) for people to get "unclean" cyberwear. Doubtless there's a way to get "unclean" occultech as well. Stuff we've seen from Aylse shows that spells can become available through scrolls. They're one-and-done, but if you have a situation where you really need to Gain a Language and don't have the XP available to buy that spell, something like that can come in handy. Given the nature of the Living Land I would suspect that there are probably objects/plants/etc that are imbued with miracles (I don't recall anything specific from the .pdf of the sourcebook but I might have overlooked it. And if I didn't, put something in there anyway. It's not like Deanna's going to send Baruk Kaah to personally beat you ass for doing it. Probably. A blessed spring of Healing. Berries "cursed" with the ability to inflict Blindness, etc. In the Nile Empire you can potentially get an Electro-Ray gun. It'll be expensive and not all that reliable (and might well blow up in your face on a setback/Mishap), but that's what you get for going to cheap/easy/no-XP way. I can't wait to see the horrifying shit that will rain down on people who want Orrorsh Perks without paying XP for them.

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Re: Touch of Time

Postby Wotan » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:12 pm

johntfs wrote:Read the miracle carefully.

Good advice, thank you! *grin*

Basically you have to touch the object you want to damage/destroy. If a Cyber-Arm is covered by living human skin, the touch won't work. An optant wanting to work this miracle on someone with cybernetics would have to do enough damage to expose the cybernetics to his Touch of Time. And you can only Toucn one object per miracle working unless you factor on multi-action penalties. So a dude wearing a chain-mail coat and a helmet would have to be Touched twice to affect both items or the miracle would need to be worked twice.

Occultech would likely be more vulnerable to this miracle than cyberwear because it's more likely to be exposed instead of covered by flesh. Figure this miracle would be useful against robots and bodysuits as well as undead. That said, I would rule than any equipment that is a Perk should be able to benefits from Possibilities being spent to soak damage just as a character would.

I had clocked the range, and (having now double checked,) what you say about Range "Touch" is certainly RAW. However, I'm sure I recall a discussion here where we had further clarification.
I think the discussion started with the question of whether Offensive Range Touch spells require a successful unarmed attack, in addition to the casting Action. IIRC, the official response was that an unarmed attack isn't required, and that range Touch should be read as "close enough to touch".
Which version of the rules you go with clearly has a big impact on this debate. For me the previous discussion obviously overwrote my recollection of the Core. *shrug*

I accept what you say about it requiring Multi-targeting to effect multiple objects, but an extra -2 on the Invocation Test isn't that big a deal for a Storm Knight, who has resources to spaff &, who wants to remove an enemies weapon & armour in one round.
This still leaves the question of how Tough to make equipment. We have guidelines under "Objects" in the Combat Options section of the Core. From that list it would be hard to peg this kind of kit as Tougher than a Stone Statue (Tou 15), but if you make equipment's Toughness too low then breaking it becomes a go-to tactic. (Creating a problem similar to the one seen in systems which make disarming too easy.)

Also, is "the natural look" a thing with Cyberware? I can see it fitting with Cyberware's aesthetic, but mainly I have an impression of Cyberware (usually) being "worn" quite openly*- It's a thing of beauty, a gift from the CyberChrist!
I'd allow a player to have a subtle version, if it fitted their character concept, but I wouldn't want those kinds of (free!) aesthetic choices to have major mechanical effects (beyond the already quite significant effect of potentially making it easier to fit in on other Cosms- Actually that is quite significant, maybe synthskin should be additional cyberware, hmm?..)

I digress.
IMHO, having different rulesets for how Touch of Time effects Cyberware & Occultech feels like more bother than it's worth. So, if I did decide to allow Touch of Time to work on them at my table I'd want to keep it simple, & use pretty much the same rules for each. *shrug*

*with the exception of Internal organs, obviously. *grin*
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johntfs
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Re: Touch of Time

Postby johntfs » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:13 pm

Honestly, the more I look at it, the more I think cyberware and occultech (especially if bought as Perks) should be immune to the Touch of Time effect. These are from the TORG: Eternity Core book:

Tech is the minimum axiom of the implant. A
contradicting implant stops granting bonuses if it
becomes contradictory, but doesn’t disappear. For
example, a disconnected user with a HardPlas Arm
doesn’t gain extra Strength, but may still use items
that require two hands.

Tech is the minimum axiom of the implant. A
contradicting implant stops granting bonuses if it
becomes contradictory, but doesn’t disappear. For
example, a disconnected user with Digan darksight
eyes can’t see in the dark anymore, but isn’t blind.


The first paragraph above regards cyberware, the second, occultech. Together they address one of the things I kind of hated about O-Torg. If you were heavily cybered and entered a lower Tech Pure zone, you were screwed unless you had a talisman or a crapton of Possibilities to burn.

What that says to me is that cyberware/occultech is that's been implanted becomes part of the user. Even if you disconnect, the tech still works on a basic level, something untrue of pretty much any other equipment, even Perk equipment that I can think of. If a Rocket Ranger disconnects in the Living Land, she's basically dragging around a bunch of scrap metal that won't protect her until she reconnects. If a dude from the Cyberpapacy with cybereyes, cyberlegs and a cyberheart heart/lungs set disconnects he loses the advanced extra stuff the cybergear gave him but he can still see, walk and won't suddenly keel over, stop breathing and die because his cyberorgans became "dead things."

Since you can't use Touch of Time to affect a living person's arm, eye, etc, you shouldn't be able to use it to affect cyberware/occultech either. Unless it's outside a living body at the time. An optant inside a Cyberpapacy storage area for this stuff could seriously ruin some inventory.

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Re: Touch of Time

Postby TorgHacker » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:18 pm

johntfs wrote:
If a dude from the Cyberpapacy with cybereyes, cyberlegs and a cyberheart heart/lungs set disconnects he loses the advanced extra stuff the cybergear gave him but he can still see, walk and won't suddenly keel over, stop breathing and die because his cyberorgans became "dead things."



Darrell and I are discussing, but I wanted to point out that this part isn't true.
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Re: Touch of Time

Postby Atama » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:01 am

Quoting the Ghost of TorgHacker past...

"Whatever is phasing out cannot provide any benefit to the wearer. If it's a cyberarm, it doesn't work. If it's a cyberleg, it doesn't work. If it's a cyberheart...well...you'd better reconnect or transform fast.

That said, things like cyberhearts aren't going to be included in the game, for that reason. Yes, they're 'there' but we're not going to provide mechanics for them."


So as clarified on this board last year, your cybernetics stop working even at a basic level if you disconnect. Including eyes and legs, and even cybernetic organs if there were such things (and there aren't for PCs because disconnecting would probably kill you and that's no fun).
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Re: Touch of Time

Postby Gargoyle » Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:10 am

Regarding the range of touch, I see it as abstract, yet it's fairly intuitive in the case of this miracle IMO. The miracle's DN is the target's dodge or Dexterity. You're using Faith to make the check, but for the narrative I can see you actually touching the target. It's pretty cool IMO, because the old optant with the low Dexterity and no adds in Unarmed combat can still easily walk up to you and place his hands on you. His Faith makes it so that he sees how to move, no need for more rules.

As far as skin covering up cyberware, I agree that if the GM rules that skin is covering it up, it shouldn't be targetable by this miracle. I don't see many references that specifically say that real skin is covers cyberware though (trigon body plating and hardplas lifelock backup systems being a couple of exceptions), and the artwork tends to indicate otherwise, so most of the time I'd say it's not covered up. I like cyberware visible personally, I think it makes the setting a bit more interesting and easy to visualize the motley Storm Knight crews.

But I could see the official ruling coming down to be that cyberware is not affected by Touch of Time in the same way it's not affected by EMP (see the FAQ). There is something to be said for keeping things simple to avoid all these sticky corner cases and not taking away toys that players have bought with perks, even if it means taking away a little bit of verisimilitude.
Last edited by Gargoyle on Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
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