What did you like/disklike about the Space Gods

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TorgHacker
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What did you like/disklike about the Space Gods

Postby TorgHacker » Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:06 pm

This topic was inspired by another convo, and I'd like to get specific.

What did you like/dislike about the Space Gods? Include the intensity of your feels...if you didn't like X but it was because it was boring or meh, or if you REALLY loved Y.
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Kuildeous
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Re: What did you like/disklike about the Space Gods

Postby Kuildeous » Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:18 pm

Mostly I was meh about it. The high-tech weapons were interesting, but that's because I accidentally ran my campaign on hard mode (ALL ranged weapons were considered long-range contradictions, so higher effect was nasty).

I liked biotech weapons. It was different from the other cosms.

I wasn't thrilled with the psionics in general, but now that they're more accessible in TorgE, that attitude may change.

The alignments were unnecessary. I'm not wholly sure why this was in Torg. It would have been better in its own game.

I think I probably would have liked the alien races, but nothing stood out for me. I don't even remember them.

The plague would make a great story, but it was awkward as the defining trait of Akasha. I could have done without it.

The Meso-American motif was kind of fun. There's lots of talk about ancient civilizations influenced by aliens.

I didn't like the World Laws. They were super-passive, which I admit was the point, but they didn't provide much drama for the Storm Knights. With TorgE, the ability to bring your World Laws could be cool, but it would still suck for the Cyberpapacy and Orrorsh players.
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fougerec
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Re: What did you like/disklike about the Space Gods

Postby fougerec » Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:56 pm

I'd have to re-read it but I do remember disliking the power creep, the lackluster world laws, the introduction of even more skills and kewl powerz (tm).

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Spatula
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Re: What did you like/disklike about the Space Gods

Postby Spatula » Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:39 pm

I remember being pretty excited to get the book, and thought the options were interesting, but then... no one in our group ever did anything with it. And it doesn't seem like they did much of anything in the metaplot, either.

Thinking back, I feel like maybe the biotech stuff was a bit too weird compared to the other genres. Which seems strange to say, but I think the other cosms all tapped into movies or shows we had all seen and the Space Gods just didn't do that for us.

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Re: What did you like/disklike about the Space Gods

Postby Nyarlathotep101 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:12 am

I found the whole "Comaghaz Plague" thing kind of uninspiring. I don't think I ever really used it in an adventure, just nothing ever really jumped out about it as far as I was concerned. And that, in turn, made the whole Space Gods realm really something I rarely ever found any use for. I think the only use the book ever really got at my table was as a possible choice for character templates.

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Re: What did you like/disklike about the Space Gods

Postby Wakshani » Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:31 am

LOVED the psionics. It opened up a whole new area of teh game and we used that even when we didn't use teh Space Gods.

The general aesthetic was quality and I dug the Meso-American vibe. A similar version with Nordic, Greek, or Egyptian dieties would also work, but the Meso get so little play that it was a nice touch.

Not a big fan of the assorted aliens. I mean, it's a sci-fi cosm, it kind of needs aliens, but, they all felt... hollow, for lack of a better word.

Disliked the high Spiritual aspect (a side-effect of "Power Creep" in the cosms, teh worst offender, BY FAR, of that being Tharkhold which I hate so very, very much) and the whole idea of workable miracles flew in teh face of the general vibe. Philosophy's fine, but miracle-providing FAITH in philosophy? Not so much.

The tech was fine, and I dug having the biotech around, in contrast to the cyber of the Cyberpapacy (and the, ugh, Tharkhold).

The plague was a tad odd, but I could work with it.

REALLY disliked the reality Trees. They made no sense. At all. They were blatantly a tool for the game designers to use to go, "Hey, when the invasion's over, look! We can keep cool swiss-cheese stuff around and make the game cool, right? .... Right?" It came across high in Poochieness.

And you never want to be Poochie.

Lastly, it clashed with the general vibe ... all these invaders from another Reality, and then in some kind of quasi "We're from here but not from here" middling semi-sense, the Akashans showed up. Were they from another reality? Kinda? But not exactly.

Honestly, they'd have been far more fun to have invading one of teh invaders, taking advantage of their being focused on Core Earth and suddenly dropping in to, say, Marketplace and invading there, dropping some support to Core Earth in the process to make sure that they could keep the main invasion tied up.

They just overall seemed like a great big slice of Special And Unique Snowflake and it didn't quite qork. Good idea, brought soem great tools along (Psionics!), but, woo buddy, that execution. Ugh.

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Re: What did you like/disklike about the Space Gods

Postby Kanaris » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:53 am

My two groups felt pretty similar to what has been said above - flavour was meh. Psionics and biotech was pretty cool, as was the Andean civilization flavour, but didn't really like or care about the alien races, didn't like the reality trees (though there was an obvious need for a way to interact with their reality without stelae and conquest), didn't like the spirit axiom (though as has been said Tharkold was a much bigger offender in this regard). I thought the Comaghaz had great potential, but I didn't use it because no-one was excited by the reality itself, as opposed to some of the stuff. All psionicists in my campaigns were always Core Earthers, and Akasha was one of only three cosms (with the Living Land & Land Below) that were never chosen by my players (one player did choose Akasha on a min-max basis using the bonuses granted by the Coar alignment and I nixed it). Then the Akashans proved to be huge ditherers in the metaplot - I thought, fairly or otherwise, that the designers did not really know what to do with them.

I think strong cosms in the game have strongly evoke a genre from Core Earth culture / pop culture. The new designers are obviously alive to this: the tinkering with Living Land, Core Earth, Pan Pacifica, Tharkold and Aysle in each case, for example, are to make the reality more closely align to an existing genre, and often to specific manifestations of that genre in which people are already invested (Die Hard/Bourne for CE, Hellraiser/Mad Max for Tharkold, Resident Evil for Pan Pacifica, dungeons and magic treasure for Aysle! etc). If a space genre is going to be invoked, to be popular and effective, it needs to connect in the same way. At the moment, I find it hard to see how multiple new alien species of the Star Trek / Babylon 5 kind can be introduced and have people care about them when there is so much else going on in Torg (probabkly the main reason no-one cared about Akashan politics between Gudasko, Lorbaat etc. Might be different if somewhere in Core Earth becomes a sort of cross between a lifeboat and Cantina bar for various aliens (who might also be seeking revenge against the Gaunt Man and the Elves).

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Re: What did you like/disklike about the Space Gods

Postby Necanthrope » Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:45 am

We never played a lot with it, the esthetic was not to our taste, we called it the scrameustache cosm : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrameustache

Also a space empire did not bring anything avluable to our fight against the High Lords.
And the power creep.... Tharkold was bad, but we had a new character who was an akashan monitor who through his armor and gun alone was far more affeicient then character who had played like 2-3 sessions a week for more than 1 year.

Psis were great as it gave Core Earth character something to do and invest XP in. The new psis are great in Torg Eternity.

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Kamelion
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Re: What did you like/disklike about the Space Gods

Postby Kamelion » Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:13 am

An excellent addition to the game, mashing genres as Torg is supposed to. So we have space opera, ancient aliens, and zombies. I love the biotech because it's so different, and the psionics and weird alien races are a great change of place and add colour and richness to the setting. The Mesoamerican angle makes for very cool flavour and gives us a much-needed realm in South America.

Most of all, though, I loved the art. Nunis' artwork it top-notch and I don't think it has been equalled in original or Eternity. He really is the best.

My main dislike was the fact that the Space Gods promised so much and delivered so little. The whole thing with their reality trees seem to suggest that this would be a way to fight the High Lords, and yet so little was done with it. I saw them as being something of a "turning of the tide" moment in the war, but they really weren't.

That, and lack of ongoing support for the cosm in the form of adventures, supplements etc. I understand why this was (lack of sales etc.) but it meant that the Akashans never fulfilled their potential.
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Re: What did you like/disklike about the Space Gods

Postby jhosmer1 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:47 am

Kamelion wrote:My main dislike was the fact that the Space Gods promised so much and delivered so little.


This is my feeling exactly.

The Space Gods offered a lot, and then it didn't do much. Really, I felt like Core Earth had been invaded by aliens from Yes, Prime Minister.

"Ooh, an invasion of multiple realities and a zombie plague, you say? We better form a few committees and discuss this properly. No, no, you can't use your biotech weapons, we need to debate the appropriate use of force and work the peacekeeping measures into our budget, first."

None of the High Lords or the Delphi Council ever seemed to really be interested in doing anything to the Akashans, either. There was so much story potential, but then it withered.

I think the only real effect of the Space Gods in oTORG was the Orrorsh Reality Tree in New Orleans.

I think TORG Eternity has already salvaged the best parts of Space Gods with Psionics, the Nightmare Trees, and the Jiangshi Plague. If the Akashans show up in TORG-E in any meaningful way, they need to be proactive. Something along the lines of SciFy's Defiance perhaps, which had a pretty good "first contact gone horribly wrong and now we have to deal with the aftermath" storyline.


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