Stacking Clarification

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TorgHacker
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Stacking Clarification

Postby TorgHacker » Thu May 23, 2019 11:26 pm

We've been kinda fuzzy on what stacks and what doesn't in Torg Eternity, but with the arrival of magic items, we decided we needed to solidify it.

The rule is pretty simple.

Only the biggest penalty or bonus to any individual trait applies, no matter what the source. So if you have a magic item, Perk, or some other "permanent" effect that gives you +1 Dexterity, and you have the Enhance spell cast on you...or any other temporary bonus, which gives +1 Dexterity...you have +1 Dexterity.

Note though, that Armor bonuses and Toughness bonuses DO stack. The reason is that Armor is a bonus to Strength, to determine Toughness. Then Toughness bonuses can modify THAT.

Note that the bonuses from shields, which may be referred to as a "shield bonus" do directly modify the dodge and melee weapon skills...so shield bonuses do not stack with other bonuses to those. This means that if you have some ability that gives a bonus to a _defense_ does stack.

Admittedly this does get a bit fiddly with dodge since "dodge" can refer to a skill and a defense.

Edit: I just realized this gets more flaky with regards to defenses. So, there may be some refinement on this.


Edit: Here's the revised one:

"Bonuses or penalties from Perks, spells, miracles, psionics, or gear do not stack. Take the best bonus or worst penalty. Modifers such as conditions (Stymied/Vulnerable), combat options (Active Defense, Aim, All-Out-Attack, Darkness), and cards all stack.

Exactly whether a bonus or penalty should stack beyond that is the GM's call. Basically, be reasonable about it."
Deanna Gilbert
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utsukushi
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Re: Stacking Clarification

Postby utsukushi » Thu May 23, 2019 11:37 pm

That is how I've always read it, at least, so I don't think you've been too fuzzy.

So if you had a +2 to Dexterity, a +2 to the Dodge Skill, and a +2 to your Physical Defenses... those would all add up to a +6 to your Dodge, right?

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Re: Stacking Clarification

Postby TorgHacker » Thu May 23, 2019 11:44 pm

utsukushi wrote:That is how I've always read it, at least, so I don't think you've been too fuzzy.

So if you had a +2 to Dexterity, a +2 to the Dodge Skill, and a +2 to your Physical Defenses... those would all add up to a +6 to your Dodge, right?


I _think_ so?

Where I just realized this gets super fuzzy is because we talk about dodge, melee, and unarmed as "defenses" but we're almost always referring to the DN as being someone's "dodge or Dexterity"...which is basically referring to the skills. So we're kinda in this duality of discussing skills and defenses at the same time.

Ideally we should have had the defenses called something completely different and then refer to those...like Toughness.
Deanna Gilbert
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Ulisses North America

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Re: Stacking Clarification

Postby TorgHacker » Thu May 23, 2019 11:47 pm

As a side note, this is essentially the consequence of getting rid of the power/push table from oTorg.
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Re: Stacking Clarification

Postby TorgHacker » Thu May 23, 2019 11:53 pm

Here we go. From Telekinetic Barrier:

"Successful activation adds +1 to all the
caster’s defenses (dodge, melee combat, and
unarmed combat). The bonus follows normal
Stacking rules, so a character with an actual
shield inside a telekinetic barrier benefits only
from whichever is highest."

Besides the oops on melee combat instead of melee weapons, this means that "defenses" actually refers to the underlying skills, not the final result. Still not the clearest it could be, but there you go.

So

So if you had a +2 to Dexterity, a +2 to the Dodge Skill, and a +2 to your Physical Defenses... those would all add up to a +6 to your Dodge, right?


No, it's a +4. +4 for the bonus to Dexterity, +2 bonus to dodge skill, and +2 bonus to dodge skill (via "physical defenses").
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agarrett
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Re: Stacking Clarification

Postby agarrett » Fri May 24, 2019 8:09 am

Does this in any way impact the dwarf armor massive damage build? The perks involved:

- Dragon Warrior / Dragon Claws - Does Str+3/AP2 damage
- Dragon Warrior / Giant Strength - Increase Strength by 2 for tests and damage
- Brawler - Do Str+2 damage with bare hands, stacks with other bonuses like edeinos claw attacks

This combo appears fairly common from what I can tell, and is way over-the-top in comparison to almost everything else. Tentatively, it looks like this change to stacking would not affect this though. Brawler specifically says it stacks, dragon claws adds to damage, and giant strength adds to strength. The dragon claws/giant strength is the only one that might be affected by this, though, so figured I'd check.

Thanks.

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Re: Stacking Clarification

Postby Sir Awesome » Fri May 24, 2019 8:32 am

Ok but you have in the past said that the brawler perk stacks with the Dragon Claws from Dragon Armor Dwarf perk, and it says in the Book that it stacks with the Edeinos Claws. All of those things add to Str for determining in Dmg, and in addition all of those stack with the giant str that the dwarf armor can give you as well.

This seams to be in conflict with your rules as stated above. Or do the stacking rules not apply to dmg?

Also Super skill specifically says that it stacks with all other skill increases. How does that work with your stacking rules? Is it an exception, because that make it so much more powerful that everything else when it is already amazing.

This just raises more questions, and once again you are making a global ruling to fix a problem in something that hasn't even been published yet. If you think that stacking is a problem with magic items then create a key word for magic items and say that magic doesn't stack with anything else and vice a versa. This appears to me to be the spell line of sight problem all over again.

Trying to define stacking rules in a system where you are specifically trying to stay away from key words will just confuse the issues, and raise many questions on clarification.

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Re: Stacking Clarification

Postby ZorValachan » Fri May 24, 2019 8:38 am

Sir Awesome wrote:Ok but you have in the past said that the brawler perk stacks with the Dragon Claws from Dragon Armor Dwarf perk, and it says in the Book that it stacks with the Edeinos Claws. All of those things add to Str for determining in Dmg, and in addition all of those stack with the giant str that the dwarf armor can give you as well.

This seams to be in conflict with your rules as stated above. Or do the stacking rules not apply to dmg?

Also Super skill specifically says that it stacks with all other skill increases. How does that work with your stacking rules? Is it an exception, because that make it so much more powerful that everything else when it is already amazing.

This just raises more questions, and once again you are making a global ruling to fix a problem in something that hasn't even been published yet. If you think that stacking is a problem with magic items then create a key word for magic items and say that magic doesn't stack with anything else and vice a versa. This appears to me to be the spell line of sight problem all over again.

Trying to define stacking rules in a system where you are specifically trying to stay away from key words will just confuse the issues, and raise many questions on clarification.

Specific over general. So if the general rule is no stacking, but the Perk states it stacks, then it stacks.
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Re: Stacking Clarification

Postby Sir Awesome » Fri May 24, 2019 8:58 am

This discussion is actually I believe a perfect place to put this personal feeling that I have been having about the system for awhile now.

Character growth and character improvement is a very important part of any roleplaying game. If peoples character are not getting "better/more powerful" than you are eliminating a large part of that "growth" feeling. I am not saying that characters getting more powerful is the only way to feel growth, but I believe that it is a part of that feeling of enjoying a campaign and story. If Ironman had the same suit for all of the movies we would have enjoyed them, but not as much because there wouldn't have been as much growth in the character.

In this system members of my group have felt that it has been too easy to get to the top of the ladder for awhile. Armor and dmg are super easy to max out as you can almost come right out of character gen with them maxed. Interaction skills take a little while longer, but realistically characters will pick one or two to be really good at and be avg at the rest of them. Spells/miracles/psi prob take the longest, but you can still have everything you really care about by your 5th or 6th perk.

To sum up we feel that most characters can have everything they really want by about 60 to 80 xp before they are just buying +1 to this or that, and this stacking rule makes that even more true.

I know power creep is very very important thing to watch as more and more books get released, but you don't want to loose character growth in the process, and I believe this stacking rule as a global rule will contribute greatly to that.

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Re: Stacking Clarification

Postby vaminion » Fri May 24, 2019 9:25 am

So random examples to try to make sure I understand this.

  • I have Melee Weapons 10. I have at +2 shield. Some dude gives me +3 to melee weapons. Is my melee defense is now 13 or 15?
  • Presumably if I am dual-wielding swords (+2 to defense) and holding up a shield with telekinesis I get either the shield bonus or the dual-wield bonus but not both. Which is how I hope this already works but I'm being thorough.
  • I have Melee Weapons 10. I also have a ring that gives me +1 to melee weapons, so normally my defense is 11. If I pick up a plexiflex shield (+3) my defense becomes 13 (10+3) because the shield's +3 overrides the ring's +1.
  • I use the Energize power at +1. If I'm not wearing any armor at all my toughness goes up by 1. Otherwise, no change, because armor and Energize are both bonuses to strength.
  • My spirit if 10. I have a ring that gives me +2 to spirit, so it's functionally 12. If I cast Mage Hands and get a Good success (The hands' Strength is Spirit+1), do I use 12 or 13 for the strength of the hands?
  • I have a +2 Bow. I take the Aim action. I am assuming this should be a total of +6 given Aim's wording, but there's an argument to be made that it's a bonus to Missile Weapons and therefore overwrites the magic weapon's bonus. So +4 instead of +6.
  • How does this interact with Copycat? For example, if I have Dex 10, Energize running at +2, and I use Copycat to steal 3 ranks of a dexterity based skill I don't already have, what's the final total? Reading the power as written ("Copy up to 1/3/5 adds, and you're no longer considered unskilled") I'd say 15 but that doesn't seem right.
  • Does this mean that Vulnerable and Aim don't stack? I would assume they still do, and It's a ridiculous question, but they're both untyped bonuses to the final roll so it's safe to assume that some GM somewhere is going to say they don't due to the wording of the stacking rules.

Which brings up a somewhat related question while reading Telekinetic Barrier. It says "This bonus follows the stacking rules, so a character with an actual shield inside Telekinetic Barrier benefits only from whatever is highest". Does that mean it also doesn't stack with dual wielding for melee weapon defense and that Awareness and Dual Wielding don't stack either?
Last edited by vaminion on Fri May 24, 2019 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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