Preview #3 - Characters

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TorgHacker
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Preview #3 - Characters

Postby TorgHacker » Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:06 am

So how are characters in Torg Eternity different than the original game?

I get into that in our latest preview on Characters.

http://www.ulisses-us.com/torg-eternity-preview-3-characters/
Deanna Gilbert
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Ulisses North America

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Re: Preview #3 - Characters

Postby RealityStorm » Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:43 am

All of that sounds pretty good.

I want to talk about Perks. First, I'm glad to see Perks. That really was the one thing that always feels lacking from the system when I go back to the original. I seem to recall that it was just shortly after TORG came out that perks/edges/bonuses and flaws/hindrances/penalties became fairly ubiquitous in the industry.

*Are there also any Drawbacks/Hindrances in the system?

*What was the reasoning for making "universal" abilities like Reality Storms and countering possibilities into Perks?

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Re: Preview #3 - Characters

Postby TorgHacker » Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:00 pm

RealityStorm wrote:All of that sounds pretty good.

I want to talk about Perks. First, I'm glad to see Perks. That really was the one thing that always feels lacking from the system when I go back to the original. I seem to recall that it was just shortly after TORG came out that perks/edges/bonuses and flaws/hindrances/penalties became fairly ubiquitous in the industry.



I know that GURPS had them, but other than that, I'm not sure how widespread they were before Savage Worlds came out. I know that Vampire and Shadowrun still didn't have them when they first came out.

But yes, Perks were pretty much a no-brainer. They solved soooooooooooo many issues.


*Are there also any Drawbacks/Hindrances in the system?



Nope.


*What was the reasoning for making "universal" abilities like Reality Storms and countering possibilities into Perks?


We'll be revealing that in a preview pretty soon.
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Re: Preview #3 - Characters

Postby Doc Gordon » Thu Dec 29, 2016 1:21 pm

Yeah, no. I am beginning to drift, here. I am seeing changes that I do not see as good, positive changes; changes that I don't like because I remember the reasoning that came about as a result of these odd, very Torg-esque game systems. Torg is being 'normalized', becoming just like every other RPG on the market, losing what made it truly unique among unique RPGs from the past, and especially among the bland and ridiculous RPGs out today. I think there's one, maybe two more of these preview posts before I'm done. I want to support this game, but you guys are making it extremely difficult and it's all leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

When I picked up the original box-set for the first time, the font used, the shadow on that font, caught my eye more than anything, until I actually started reading. The artwork, the way it was written, three columns instead of two, the examples given, etc., and the way the rules were written -I liked the crunch- all combined together to give a uniqueness to the game that was unquestionable.

Now, we've had several conversions of the game -hell, I tried to make conversions to Dark Conspiracy, Warhammer FRP 2nd Edition, Aliens Adventure Game, Rifts-, including Savage Worlds, and none of them are worth a damn. What I'm seeing here is taking an RPG that has been my favorite since the day I first began reading it and flushing its uniqueness down the toilet.

Possibilities are the Experience Points of the game; why? Economy. As long as you don't have a Monty Hall Game Master, and/or a killer or wussy GM, the players have to make vital decisions about the advancement and/or salvation of their character. That is unique.

The D20, sans the stupid Bonus Die, generates your Action and Effect totals, your Effect based entirely on how well your Action is performed according to the dice, one number, not two. The math was not difficult at all, if you got a bonus of +5 to your Action total you got a +5 to your Effect total, and that's the way it should be, period.

The game is about a fight for survival where your every choice, every card you play and what order you play them in, from ONE Drama Deck, determined if your character was going to learn something new or just survive. The times between when you had life-altering combat and/or had to spend Possibilities in a Reality Storm or to solve a puzzle, or to save another Player's character and the times when you were able to breeze through parts of adventures even'd each other out, so if you earned a lot of Possibilities for playing in the more perilous parts, but didn't really get to spend a whole lot on your character because they spent a LOT of Possibilities saving their butts, were offset by those times where you earned fewer Possibilities because the peril wasn't really there, but you had more to increase your character with. You're removing something you see as an obstacle or a dilemma, but what you're really removing is the GMs ability to help tell the story through the Possibilities.

I don't suppose there will be a way to purchase world and history and axiom updates separately from the updated rules, will there?

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Re: Preview #3 - Characters

Postby wilcoxon » Thu Dec 29, 2016 1:42 pm

There are clearly a lot of widely varying ideas on what made Torg great and what parts of Torg seriously needed revision. Personally, I disagree with you on almost every aspect.

Doc Gordon wrote:When I picked up the original box-set for the first time, the font used, the shadow on that font, caught my eye more than anything, until I actually started reading. The artwork, the way it was written, three columns instead of two, the examples given, etc., and the way the rules were written -I liked the crunch- all combined together to give a uniqueness to the game that was unquestionable.


I definitely liked the crunch as well.

Doc Gordon wrote:Possibilities are the Experience Points of the game; why? Economy. As long as you don't have a Monty Hall Game Master, and/or a killer or wussy GM, the players have to make vital decisions about the advancement and/or salvation of their character. That is unique.


Nope. This was (in my opinion) one of the huge flaws in Torg and I'm happy to see this change. If you use Possibilities as XP then you will get players spending the absolute minimum to barely survive - not enough to pull off grand maneuvers or other fun/interesting things not absolutely necessary to survival. I'm glad they learned the lesson from Savage Worlds, Hollow Earth, etc and separated Possibilities from XP.

Doc Gordon wrote:The D20, sans the stupid Bonus Die, generates your Action and Effect totals, your Effect based entirely on how well your Action is performed according to the dice, one number, not two. The math was not difficult at all, if you got a bonus of +5 to your Action total you got a +5 to your Effect total, and that's the way it should be, period.


Again, I disagree. I'm ambivalent on the addition of the bonus die - it's the core rolling mechanic that I hate. The sometimes exploding d20 with logarithmic chart was a horrific rolling method. Early on I was one of the ones posting to please change the rolling mechanic (and, early on, we were told that they were keeping the original rolling method). This is the single biggest point that massively dropped my interest in the revision.

Doc Gordon wrote:The game is about a fight for survival where your every choice, every card you play and what order you play them in, from ONE Drama Deck, determined if your character was going to learn something new or just survive. The times between when you had life-altering combat and/or had to spend Possibilities in a Reality Storm or to solve a puzzle, or to save another Player's character and the times when you were able to breeze through parts of adventures even'd each other out, so if you earned a lot of Possibilities for playing in the more perilous parts, but didn't really get to spend a whole lot on your character because they spent a LOT of Possibilities saving their butts, were offset by those times where you earned fewer Possibilities because the peril wasn't really there, but you had more to increase your character with. You're removing something you see as an obstacle or a dilemma, but what you're really removing is the GMs ability to help tell the story through the Possibilities.


I don't think the number of decks necessarily makes a difference. I'm just hoping they have significantly modified the cards in the deck(s). In the original, there were cards that frequently got played simply to get rid of them and other that were held onto for months waiting for when they were needed. Having all of the cards be more balanced/necessary (in some fashion - it could be something like giving a small XP or other bonus for playing the less-useful cards) would/will hugely improve the game.

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Re: Preview #3 - Characters

Postby Doc Gordon » Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:04 pm

wilcoxon wrote:Personally, I disagree with you on almost every aspect.
I don't think you do... you didn't hit on all of the points I made that were most important to me. However, since you and I have both been in the Torg community for a very long time, I'm going to leave this one alone, agreeing to disagree. I like to tell stories, and I used Possibilities to do that. I love everything from the original system the way it was, I think to this day that it's one of the more perfect game systems I've ever seen -and I've played a hell of a lot of games-, and I think EVERYTHING I've read about the changes made, here, are wrong and unnecessary. I am heavily disappointed, thus far. I'll leave this thread at that, as I have other things to do in other games I'm working on for my players.

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Re: Preview #3 - Characters

Postby TorgHacker » Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:40 pm

Doc Gordon wrote:Yeah, no. I am beginning to drift, here. I am seeing changes that I do not see as good, positive changes; changes that I don't like because I remember the reasoning that came about as a result of these odd, very Torg-esque game systems. Torg is being 'normalized', becoming just like every other RPG on the market, losing what made it truly unique among unique RPGs from the past, and especially among the bland and ridiculous RPGs out today. I think there's one, maybe two more of these preview posts before I'm done. I want to support this game, but you guys are making it extremely difficult and it's all leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

When I picked up the original box-set for the first time, the font used, the shadow on that font, caught my eye more than anything, until I actually started reading. The artwork, the way it was written, three columns instead of two, the examples given, etc., and the way the rules were written -I liked the crunch- all combined together to give a uniqueness to the game that was unquestionable.

Now, we've had several conversions of the game -hell, I tried to make conversions to Dark Conspiracy, Warhammer FRP 2nd Edition, Aliens Adventure Game, Rifts-, including Savage Worlds, and none of them are worth a damn. What I'm seeing here is taking an RPG that has been my favorite since the day I first began reading it and flushing its uniqueness down the toilet.

Possibilities are the Experience Points of the game; why? Economy. As long as you don't have a Monty Hall Game Master, and/or a killer or wussy GM, the players have to make vital decisions about the advancement and/or salvation of their character. That is unique.

The D20, sans the stupid Bonus Die, generates your Action and Effect totals, your Effect based entirely on how well your Action is performed according to the dice, one number, not two. The math was not difficult at all, if you got a bonus of +5 to your Action total you got a +5 to your Effect total, and that's the way it should be, period.

The game is about a fight for survival where your every choice, every card you play and what order you play them in, from ONE Drama Deck, determined if your character was going to learn something new or just survive. The times between when you had life-altering combat and/or had to spend Possibilities in a Reality Storm or to solve a puzzle, or to save another Player's character and the times when you were able to breeze through parts of adventures even'd each other out, so if you earned a lot of Possibilities for playing in the more perilous parts, but didn't really get to spend a whole lot on your character because they spent a LOT of Possibilities saving their butts, were offset by those times where you earned fewer Possibilities because the peril wasn't really there, but you had more to increase your character with. You're removing something you see as an obstacle or a dilemma, but what you're really removing is the GMs ability to help tell the story through the Possibilities.



I understand your disappointment. We know that there will be people who don't like the changes at all, and much prefer the original system, and that's fine! There's a reason you've been playing Torg for as long as you have.

However, rebooting a game after 25 years brings with it certain expectations, and we have to make certain decisions in order to make the game attractive to as many people as possible.


I don't suppose there will be a way to purchase world and history and axiom updates separately from the updated rules, will there?


Sorry, no there won't be.
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Re: Preview #3 - Characters

Postby hawaiianbrian » Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:56 pm

Doc Gordon wrote:What I'm seeing here is taking an RPG that has been my favorite since the day I first began reading it and flushing its uniqueness down the toilet.


It's impossible to please everyone, as they say. But honestly it sounds like you don't want or need an update anyway. If you can find people to play the original edition, why not just stick to that?

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Re: Preview #3 - Characters

Postby lenaianel » Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:21 pm

Quite pleased, again, by the preview (still i have a few questions)

- Attributes :
5 instead of 7 is ok yet i think strength seems a bit lacking comparing to other attributes. i may be wrong.

- Skills :
I will need to see the whole skill list to forge an opinion. As i understand it skills like true sight are perks now, right ?

- Perks :
Perks are a good tool for design. The tricky part is balance between the different options.
Here i have an interrogation : how do perks work for spells and/or miracles ? how do they balance with other options and between characters with different axiom levels (say how it is different for a aylish mage and a core earth one to gain access to spells ?)
Perks linked to word laws is good (i wonder what word law justify the medal example ?)
preventing an opponent from spending a Possibility, or invoking reality storms as perks : seems odd

-Advancement :
no more possibilities used for advancement : Yes ! a million time yes !
I had the same experience as Dean (as he post on the Torg group on Google +), players using possibilities almost exclusively to soak damage or counter possibilities spend by villains. For me it causes two problems :
1 : it doesn't help make a great story.
2 : it favors advancement for characters that are good at survival in comparison to more fragile characters.

regarding advancement i have two questions about the improvement of attributes because I hate games where the cost for an attribute is not the same at creation of the character and later in game.
At the creation of the character, does a high attribute cost more than a lower one ?
Does the cost for improving an attribute varies with the level of the attribute or is it the same (like in savage world) ?

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Re: Preview #3 - Characters

Postby TorgHacker » Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:48 pm

lenaianel wrote:Quite pleased, again, by the preview (still i have a few questions)

- Attributes :
5 instead of 7 is ok yet i think strength seems a bit lacking comparing to other attributes. i may be wrong.



It always was lacking, but now at least it counts as the basis for Toughness, so it actually does more than it did previously.


- Skills :
I will need to see the whole skill list to forge an opinion. As i understand it skills like true sight are perks now, right ?



Correct. True sight won't be one of the Perks included in the Corebook though, but I'm almost positive it'll be in the Orrorsh cosm book. Basically if you could see an Original Torg skill being really more of a 'specialized' skill based on something else, it's probably a Perk.


- Perks :
Perks are a good tool for design. The tricky part is balance between the different options.



Yepppppp. :-)


Here i have an interrogation : how do perks work for spells and/or miracles ? how do they balance with other options and between characters with different axiom levels (say how it is different for a aylish mage and a core earth one to gain access to spells ?)



We'll be previewing spells, miracles, and psionics in their own blog post 'soon' which will answer those questions.


Perks linked to word laws is good (i wonder what word law justify the medal example ?)



That will be revealed when we preview Orrorsh. :-)


preventing an opponent from spending a Possibility, or invoking reality storms as perks : seems odd



Yep. The reason will be covered in another preview very soon.


-Advancement :
no more possibilities used for advancement : Yes ! a million time yes !
I had the same experience as Dean (as he post on the Torg group on Google +), players using possibilities almost exclusively to soak damage or counter possibilities spend by villains. For me it causes two problems :



Actually, I am Dean. :-)


regarding advancement i have two questions about the improvement of attributes because I hate games where the cost for an attribute is not the same at creation of the character and later in game.
At the creation of the character, does a high attribute cost more than a lower one ?
Does the cost for improving an attribute varies with the level of the attribute or is it the same (like in savage world) ?


No, there isn't a premium on high attributes. However, the amount of points you have to spend at character creation pretty much ensures that if you _are_ amazing at one attribute, you either are going to have one or two really bad attributes, or the others will be below average.

And yes, it does cost more to improve a higher attribute...it just isn't as expensive as it was in Original Torg (which was 3x the new level).
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