Someone has to do it....

johntfs
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Re: Someone has to do it....

Postby johntfs » Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:49 pm

Kuildeous wrote:Yeah, if we focus on the original folklore and not what they evolved into in D&D, we can blow some minds.

Expose players to original goblins, gnomes, and trolls (which I just found out in Wikipedia sometimes turned to stone in sunlight, so well played Tolkein). The Dresden Files is really good at this because Jim Butcher obviously researched the folklore of these creatures.

I've had fun in my campaign with using redcaps. My group is very unhappy with them, and they were quite happy to kill a redcap lieutenant.

I'm also shaking things up by using original rakshasa as Orrorshan horrors. Their true deaths are tied to what I could learn about the individual rakshasa.

I want to also have oni, which would not normally show up in Pan Pacifica. Huh, lucky thing there's a mixed zone with Orrorsh.


Speaking of Dresden Files, remembers the Hobs from Book 10.

GM: Suddenly you're plunged into pitch darkness as things swarm around you inciting the crowd in the square to scream and panic.

Elf-player: I can see in the dark.

GM: Okay. You see something charging at you to eat your face. It looks like this:

Image

mystic101
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Re: Someone has to do it....

Postby mystic101 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:29 am

Gargoyle wrote:I second the notion that I'd like to see Aysle pull from the source materials for fantasy like mythology and fairy tales and focus on the more original aspects of the setting from oTorg rather than being just a Tolkein /D&D derivative.

But I realize some of the design direction was not to go that way as one of the plusses of having a "D&D cosm" was familiarity for people from that game. I don't really agree with that direction, but it's fair enough, can't please everyone.


I agree, but don’t want to lose the D&D aspects, either. Fortunately, realms are big enough to encompass multiple different moods and atmospheres within them, and I hope the designers took that into account. Take Tharkold for example. You’ve got the Blasted Lands for Mad Max stories, but I’m hoping that demon strongholds will be more Hellraiser-y, while urban areas with large human populations will be more Mojoverse. Different feels, but all within the same realm. It gives storytellers the freedom to set the adventure in whichever areas best fit the type of story they want to tell at the moment.

For Aysle, I can imagine the tunnels and catacombs that underlie everything being the place to have a good ol’ fashioned dungeon crawl, D&D style, complete with D&D style monsters like lurks (which function like D&D kobolds, goblins, or orcs, by any other name). Meanwhile, in wild, forested areas, it’s Earth’s own myths and magics that could have become real, beyond those native to Aysle, and you get versions of goblins and fae that instead correspond to how they’re presented in Earthly lore. In addition to all that, there’s room for Game of Thrones-style courtly intrigue in urban areas; a Norse feel to the cold, northerly wilderness zones; and you could even squeeze in a steampunk feel here and there, if any Dwarven strongholds happen to pop up.

Lots of room for lots of different takes, that players and storytellers could get to pick and choose from whenever they want. At least, that’s my hope, anyway.

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Gargoyle
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Re: Someone has to do it....

Postby Gargoyle » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:40 am

mystic101 wrote:
Gargoyle wrote:I second the notion that I'd like to see Aysle pull from the source materials for fantasy like mythology and fairy tales and focus on the more original aspects of the setting from oTorg rather than being just a Tolkein /D&D derivative.

But I realize some of the design direction was not to go that way as one of the plusses of having a "D&D cosm" was familiarity for people from that game. I don't really agree with that direction, but it's fair enough, can't please everyone.


I agree, but don’t want to lose the D&D aspects, either. Fortunately, realms are big enough to encompass multiple different moods and atmospheres within them, and I hope the designers took that into account. Take Tharkold for example. You’ve got the Blasted Lands for Mad Max stories, but I’m hoping that demon strongholds will be more Hellraiser-y, while urban areas with large human populations will be more Mojoverse. Different feels, but all within the same realm. It gives storytellers the freedom to set the adventure in whichever areas best fit the type of story they want to tell at the moment.

For Aysle, I can imagine the tunnels and catacombs that underlie everything being the place to have a good ol’ fashioned dungeon crawl, D&D style, complete with D&D style monsters like lurks (which function like D&D kobolds, goblins, or orcs, by any other name). Meanwhile, in wild, forested areas, it’s Earth’s own myths and magics that could have become real, beyond those native to Aysle, and you get versions of goblins and fae that instead correspond to how they’re presented in Earthly lore. In addition to all that, there’s room for Game of Thrones-style courtly intrigue in urban areas; a Norse feel to the cold, northerly wilderness zones; and you could even squeeze in a steampunk feel here and there, if any Dwarven strongholds happen to pop up.

Lots of room for lots of different takes, that players and storytellers could get to pick and choose from whenever they want. At least, that’s my hope, anyway.


Well, cosm cards like Wandering Monster and Treasure are already there, and I'm not saying throw out all D&D references or even that they shouldn't add more, I agree with you and I think they're fun to a point. I just don't want a D&D clone when it could be so much more. If I were king of the world and made the original design decisions I wouldn't have went in a "D&D cosm" direction at all, but that ship has sailed and what they've done isn't too shabby, I think Aysle is going to be pretty cool.
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mystic101
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Re: Someone has to do it....

Postby mystic101 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:16 am

I guess I was saying I do hope there are a lot more options than just “D&D clone”, but at the same time I’m also glad that “D&D clone” is still one of the options, for anyone who chooses it. I have fond memories of playing D&D in my youth, and it sounds fun to re-experience some of those tropes again now, only without the baggage of the D20 system’s rules and philosophies. You know, the Levels and Saving Throws and what have you, with little to no room for any non-combat, interaction-style solutions to problems. Plus, as has been mentioned, it is a familiar setting to many newer players, so it being there can help newbies get their feet wet in the game.

You make a good point about the cosm cards, and I think Aysle is one of those cosms where it’s most important for the storyteller to do some trimming and pre-sorting of the deck before the story begins. If your group’s going to be dungeon crawling or roaming the forests, courtly intrigue cards aren’t going to fit, and could be filtered out ahead of time. Likewise, if the group’s not going to be doing a D&D-style adventure, getting rid of all those dungeon crawling cards instead is probably a good idea. Other cosms have this issue, too. If you want a story of intrigue and betrayal in Pan-Pacifica, a storyteller might want to strip out the zombie-related cards ahead of time, so as not to sidetrack things.

I’m glad Torg has incorporated the options we already have for such tailoring, and I hope they continue building in even more new customizing options as well. That way, no one’s really doing it “wrong”, if what they’re doing is how it’s being done at least sometimes, somewhere in Aysle. I think the Nile Empire is much like that. Someone, somewhere in the Nile, is probably being grim, gritty, and deadly serious in their action adventuring, while someone, somewhere else, is probably doing something campy and over-the-top. There’s room for both.

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Gargoyle
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Re: Someone has to do it....

Postby Gargoyle » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:08 pm

mystic101 wrote:I guess I was saying I do hope there are a lot more options than just “D&D clone”, but at the same time I’m also glad that “D&D clone” is still one of the options, for anyone who chooses it. I have fond memories of playing D&D in my youth, and it sounds fun to re-experience some of those tropes again now, only without the baggage of the D20 system’s rules and philosophies. You know, the Levels and Saving Throws and what have you, with little to no room for any non-combat, interaction-style solutions to problems. Plus, as has been mentioned, it is a familiar setting to many newer players, so it being there can help newbies get their feet wet in the game.

You make a good point about the cosm cards, and I think Aysle is one of those cosms where it’s most important for the storyteller to do some trimming and pre-sorting of the deck before the story begins. If your group’s going to be dungeon crawling or roaming the forests, courtly intrigue cards aren’t going to fit, and could be filtered out ahead of time. Likewise, if the group’s not going to be doing a D&D-style adventure, getting rid of all those dungeon crawling cards instead is probably a good idea. Other cosms have this issue, too. If you want a story of intrigue and betrayal in Pan-Pacifica, a storyteller might want to strip out the zombie-related cards ahead of time, so as not to sidetrack things.

I’m glad Torg has incorporated the options we already have for such tailoring, and I hope they continue building in even more new customizing options as well. That way, no one’s really doing it “wrong”, if what they’re doing is how it’s being done at least sometimes, somewhere in Aysle. I think the Nile Empire is much like that. Someone, somewhere in the Nile, is probably being grim, gritty, and deadly serious in their action adventuring, while someone, somewhere else, is probably doing something campy and over-the-top. There’s room for both.


I'm all about options. The only real problem I had with Aysle being presented as the D&D cosm is that because we got so little information about each of the cosms in the core book due to space restrictions, it didn't feel like there were other options. I realized some time after the core book release that there would be, and I saw great potential in things like the Seeker tunnels so no worries now.

And I agree about the cosm cards, GM's really should consider trimming them to fit the adventure. Or you could include elements that support them; I did that for the Cyberpapacy...we had no magic using PCs so I added a cyberwitch NPC to the group, and kept the default deck. That worked well to give some more of the cosm's flavor.
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Kuildeous
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Re: Someone has to do it....

Postby Kuildeous » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:40 pm

mystic101 wrote:if the group’s not going to be doing a D&D-style adventure, getting rid of all those dungeon crawling cards instead is probably a good idea.


I agree with taking out court-related cards if you don't use them at all, but I could see the traditional dungeon-crawling cards being usable in courtly scenarios.

Loot cards can be played when opening a container, and surely investigation may be important in these types of stories.

A Wandering Monster could be a new assassin entering the story. Or maybe even an amusing diversion where the succulent boar breaks out the kitchen before slaughter and rampages through the dining hall. Or perhaps a ghost of one of the inhabitant's ancestor.

A Trap could certainly be placed in any place that the Storm Knights are not welcomed, such as the owner's bedchamber or the mysterious secret passage that leads to the haunted harpsichord.

Finders Keepers can apply to the main antagonist who has a mask that changes their appearance or a comb that enhances their persuasion ability.

Some cards requiring more mental gymnastics than others, of course.
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hawaiianbrian
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Re: Someone has to do it....

Postby hawaiianbrian » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:57 pm

I don't want to say anything that leaks material before U.S. is ready and undercuts the Kickstarter previews once they start up, plus the people working on the Aysle Sourcebook are here on the forums and can inform this thread better than I can. But I'm working on the Aysle mega-adventure and have seen the Aysle draft in progress. It has a blend of Core Earth mythology (both English/Irish/Scottish and Scandinavian) along with more typical fantasy elements. We're hoping it has something for everyone.

One of the things about Aysle, just like all of the Torg realities, is that they're intended to have some fun with genre tropes – and mix them up sometimes, as well. Some realities are more "trope-y" than others, and I think Aysle is closer to that end of the spectrum, along with the Nile Empire, which practically lives tropes. But I think that's why Aysle was included since the days of oTorg, because it allows the representation of a very strong and common genre, and though there are other ways it could have been framed, I think some kind of fantasy needs to be present in Torg and the game would be lacking without it.

Anyway, this puts the writers in a position where they need to both explore and subvert genres.

johntfs
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Re: Someone has to do it....

Postby johntfs » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:30 pm

hawaiianbrian wrote:I don't want to say anything that leaks material before U.S. is ready and undercuts the Kickstarter previews once they start up, plus the people working on the Aysle Sourcebook are here on the forums and can inform this thread better than I can. But I'm working on the Aysle mega-adventure and have seen the Aysle draft in progress. It has a blend of Core Earth mythology (both English/Irish/Scottish and Scandinavian) along with more typical fantasy elements. We're hoping it has something for everyone.

One of the things about Aysle, just like all of the Torg realities, is that they're intended to have some fun with genre tropes – and mix them up sometimes, as well. Some realities are more "trope-y" than others, and I think Aysle is closer to that end of the spectrum, along with the Nile Empire, which practically lives tropes. But I think that's why Aysle was included since the days of oTorg, because it allows the representation of a very strong and common genre, and though there are other ways it could have been framed, I think some kind of fantasy needs to be present in Torg and the game would be lacking without it.

Anyway, this puts the writers in a position where they need to both explore and subvert genres.


One thing I admit that I'd like to see a bit more of is realm and characters kind of ricocheting off each other. I'll admit that I liked Elvis the Eidenos. And Vito Tattaglia, the giant/troll who transformed after he fell in absolute love with the Godfather movies. Yes, some of it was silly and didn't reflect the grim desperation of a war for reality, but silly shit happens in war, too.

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QuarrelBlue
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Re: Someone has to do it....

Postby QuarrelBlue » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:27 pm

I hope Aysle to have more player races than Dwarves, Elves, and Giants, since it has the biggest chance for new player races among Cosms with sourcebook to come.
(Cyberpapacy, Tharkold, Pan-Pacifica, and Orrorsh may still have chance, but they seems to be more Humano-centric or xenophobic than Aysle. Living Land and Nile Empire may still have some unexplored possibilities, but that's another story.)

Besides of so-called "Half-Folks"(Minotaurs, Centaurs, Harpies, and Satyrs), "Lesser Folks"(Gnomes, Trolls, Kobolds, Ogres), and Uvwe oTorg had, Some kind of playable PlantFolk(Mandrake/Alraune, for example) may be a good addition...
(Faeries and other mythological beings of Core Earth may have lots of potential for both heroes and villains, but digging deep into it is beyond me for now...)

*Maybe origins of "Half-Folks" have to be newly invented, since now Axiom Wash doesn't turn poeple into different race.

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Spatula
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Re: Someone has to do it....

Postby Spatula » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:28 pm

I had not expected to get giants as a PC race. I guess you could represent their great strength by giving them a bonus to Strength tests and damage, as with various Strength boosting elements already in the game.

I'm "meh" on more PC races, really. Unless they have their own perks (as with dwarves, elves, and edeinos) or are really and truly unusual (as with the Land Below races in The God Box) I feel like the space could be better spent on more material for the existing races. Elves in particular could use some more interesting perks.


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