Preview #5 - Aysle and the Cyberpapacy

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ZeDiac
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Re: Preview #5 - Aysle and the Cyberpapacy

Postby ZeDiac » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:31 pm

Gargoyle wrote: Please try to add more mysterious things to the maps for us to go crazy over in the next months!

This guy is a masochistic... don't listen to him we want answers... no brain destroying enigmas, please ! ;)
"Storm is coming"

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Re: Preview #5 - Aysle and the Cyberpapacy

Postby TorgHacker » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:08 pm

Rabbitball wrote:It appears as though the English Channel is actually connecting the Aysle and Cyberpapacy stelae to make the mixed zone. That's reasonable once it was established that stelae from different realities could do that.

Are we still going to have light and dark Aysle triangles that flip at random intervals? My first "month" in my "main" campaign (I had two running at once at the beginning of Torg) flipped the London Triangle (which needed a 40+) and it never flipped back. That made for a much darker story than the Infiniverse narrative.


I knew I'd forgotten something with that preview. No, there won't be a 'patchwork realm' this time.

As for the Mixed Zones, yep, we're doing that again.
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Re: Preview #5 - Aysle and the Cyberpapacy

Postby TorgHacker » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:10 pm

Rabbitball wrote:On another front, the "improvised magic" idea is probably the means of unveiling the simplified spell design system. Expect a reworking of every spell ever created into that new system.


Not exactly. Improvised magic will be only supported by Aysle's Magic Axiom. They're pretty high.

However, yes, every spell in Torg Eternity is completely reworked. Spells, etc are on the preview schedule, so I can't elaborate just yet.
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Re: Preview #5 - Aysle and the Cyberpapacy

Postby TorgHacker » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:11 pm

Rabbitball wrote:Law of Enchantment: Is that the "we make eternity shards" law?


No. Just magic items.
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Re: Preview #5 - Aysle and the Cyberpapacy

Postby TorgHacker » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:33 pm

hawaiianbrian wrote:These two realms appear to have changed the least, from what I've seen.



I'd say the least changed is the Nile Empire, but yes, I'd put these in #2 and #3 for least amount of changes.


It's a shame Aysle didn't stretch down into eastern Europe instead of Scandinavia. Seems like the population there, being greater, would make for a juicier target. Lots of cool castles throughout Germany and the Alps (including Castle Dracula!) and even down to Italy. Aysle "wrapping around" the Cyberpapacy would be interesting. I might do that in my home games, who knows. Plus, Aysle is the only realm that could plausibly create pirates (of the Caribbean variety), but having them sailing frigid North Sea waters somehow throws off the image. With some of the Mediterranean under Aysle influence, that could be more possible.



They're tough, those Germans. :-)


One thing I never did with Aysle, ever since it came out, was have magic as ubiquitous as the rules suggested. I never liked the idea of everyone knowing a magic spell or two, in part because it complicated things a lot, in part because it led to some weird ponderables (If magic were that common and accessible, would they have ever needed technology at all? Wouldn't all buildings be constructed using magic, all fields plowed using magic, heck maybe all food just be summoned with magic?), and in part because I had a really hard time picturing what it would actually be like there. My personal favorite fantasy "flavor" is low magic, somewhat dark fantasy, where very few people can master magic, most don't trust it (or its practitioners), and it has its drawbacks. In my most recent Torg games, I've also borrowed heavily from the Savage Worlds setting Hellfrost, in which the world of Rassilon is in the grip of a supernatural Ice Age. I turned Uthorion into a lich and plunged Aysle into a hundred-year freeze. It gave just enough unique flavor to make Aysle less generic.



Yeah, we had a fair bit of debate on exactly how to handle how common magic was in Aysle, and largely decided against the 'everyone's got spells' thing, and a good part of the reason for that is the reason you give above.

The way I look at it is the magic in Aysle is like technology. Everyone can use it to some degree. People drive cars. People use smarthphones. But then you've got the experts who can use computers really well. Then you've got the hackers, people who LIVE this stuff and can do crazy stuff with it.

We did think a bit about going a bit more crazy with Aysle but we decided not to largely for making it easy for some players to get into the game. Beyond the fact that Torg has all these different realities intermixing, some of them are a bit bizarre or at least a bit unfamiliar. We wanted one cosm to be the 'non Earth' cosm that people could slide into and 'get' really easily.


As for the Cyberpapacy, things look good here. I like the idea that this tech isn't new to them. I never played with that being the case, anyway. It was hard to tell from the preview how bleak this realm will be. When I run it, it's a pretty drab, hopeless place for most people who live a life of work in service to the Church. The only break in their purgatory-on-earth is that their labor buys them time in the GodNet, where they feel the ecstasy of being close to God, and can enjoy that rapture in a VR heaven. After their time is over, they're returned back to their miserable lives of servitude, and push through their work so they can enjoy the GodNet again tomorrow night. Hackers know how to access other parts of the GodNet, of course.



The intent is for it to be oppressive but not 'grimdark'. The wonderful thing about the Cyberpapacy now is that we have a lot more great pop culture examples to feed off of. Person of Interest comes to mind.


I also moved the Cyberpapacy to Brazil. I felt like Europe was unnecessarily crowded. The population there is significant, but the real reason so many realms are there is because of some of our cultural Eurocentric bias. Parts of Brazil, however, have a dense population, and is already deeply religious. Plus the wealth/poverty disparity is even more exaggerated. Plus that spreads the realms out a bit better, using an otherwise forgotten part of the planet (I haven't used the Akashans since pretty much that book came out).

Loving this so far!


Yes, South America is certainly on Malraux's radar. :-)
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Re: Preview #5 - Aysle and the Cyberpapacy

Postby TorgHacker » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:43 pm

Gargoyle wrote:Casting on the fly was something I always wanted players to get to do, but they never did get into magic, and that particular set of rules seemed very cumbersome, so I'm looking forward to Improvising Magic to see how that works. If it's fast and magic is at least in the same ballpark of effectiveness as simply shooting people with a laser, my players and I will probably love it.



We'll be previewing magic soon, but I want to lower expectations. Improvised Magic is low-level but versatile magic, and isn't the core of the magic system.


I like that the maelstrom bridges from Aysle will be tunnels coming up rather than the stonework literal bridges. Suites my D&D roots and gives me some rationale to do "dungeon crawls" that lead to some very interesting places.



That's the intent.


In original Torg it was three months, from April to June in some year in the 90's, from the time Indonesia went dark to the campaign setting and the adventure to destroy the Gaunt Man's Infernal machine. The maps at that time didn't have Spain, Scandinavia, or a mixed zone between Aysle and the Cyberpapacy yet. So we can deduce from this that the war has been going on for longer than three months at the time of the campaign setting, or perhaps the invaders are just more successful and have just gotten further in that initial three month time frame. Or maybe these aren't the only maps, and just show progression at a certain time? That last would be ideal, but probably not the best use of resources. Of these theories, I like that the invaders are just more successful and only a few months have passed, Core Earthers are still in shock at all the changes, and there is a veritable playground of transformed areas to play in.



Here's the opening quote in the book:

"The invasion of Earth told in previous tales of Torg took place on one version of our world. The High Lords there were successful for many eyars, but were eveutally stopped by the planet's valiant Storm Knights.

But there are infinite versions of our world. This is a tale of a different Earth. One where things did not go as well..."

These maps are on D+90, roughly three months after the war starts.


And yes, the snowy region is intriguing. My guess is that since the Tharkold invasion was challenged but still succeeded, that they had to put in place something other than stelae to continue to invade, something like the Akashan reality trees but far more insidious. Please try to add more mysterious things to the maps for us to go crazy over in the next months!

James Garr


Heh heh heh.

Well, let's just say there are things we're NOT going to preview. They're gonna be nice little surprises for when you read the Corebook. :-)
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ryric
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Re: Preview #5 - Aysle and the Cyberpapacy

Postby ryric » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:58 pm

I assume improvised magic will be on the order of D&D style cantrips - stuff you can use to flavor food or clean the dishes but mostly minor "daily life" style effects.

I also have to figure that even with an invasion and war, some enterprising fans have already started constructing a certain wizard school in England as soon as magic showed up. I'm already planning on including such a thing in my game.

Since we now have a preview of European areas, can I ask how languages are going to work? One issue that often comes up in a setting like Torg where PCs zoom all over the world, is that it can be very tough to justify speaking so many local languages.

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Re: Preview #5 - Aysle and the Cyberpapacy

Postby TorgHacker » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:14 pm

There will be a language skill, but we're leaving it up to the GMs how much to worry about differences in language.

I like to run my games as TV shows or movies would work, so in my case, it won't be a lot. IMO it's just something that slows the game down for not much benefit.

What I would do with language is use it for something to get 'extras' but not things that you NEED in order to progress in the adventure. Though needing to translate something during Dramatic Skill Resolution is 'interesting' to me. :-)

Your mileage may vary.
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Re: Preview #5 - Aysle and the Cyberpapacy

Postby johnomar » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:01 pm

I must say I'm impressed with where Ulisses is going with Torg Eternity. I had a 5 year campaign and a 3 year campaign that I ran in the 90s and Torg has always been my favorite gaming world. I love how the very setting calls for adventurers to rise to the challenge and I don't really think any settings I've seen since OTorg have captured that same urgency. Include the fact it is the only place I've ever been able to logically allow players to have the character they want at the table in one setting. Elven wizard? Check. Cyberpunk Decker? Check. Lycanthrope? Check. FBI agent? Check. Actor from the cancelled 8 episode sci-fi show "Space Opera" (singing sci-fi)? Check.

A quarter century on and the setting still calls to me. And everything I've seen in the previews seems totally like a loving update of the game to an accessible rules set. I loved the original, but it did have some--at times--game breaking mechanics.

I really like the fact that each realm is being tweaked to make it, in my humble opinion, easier to envision as a player/GM. Everyone should be able to spend time playing and enjoying the game rather than trying to figure out how Edeinos could coordinate attacks if they had no concept of time, how exactly cyberware was meant to be the body of Christ, or how exactly that Ayslish brigde looked...

Cyberware's been around for a while...they know how to use it. Means the cyberpunk fans have a hook into the realm they'll find interesting.

I'm most excited about the changes to Aysle since the invasion comes from below. Simple genius.

Keep up the good work. I can't wait to support the Kickstarter...I hope the Near Now is coming fast!

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Re: Preview #5 - Aysle and the Cyberpapacy

Postby Rabbitball » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:16 pm

TorgHacker wrote:
Rabbitball wrote:Law of Enchantment: Is that the "we make eternity shards" law?


No. Just magic items.


So is Excalibur a magic item or an eternity shard?
Dominick Riesland, aka Rabbitball
Co-author, Aysle Sourcebook for Torg Eternity
Creator of the Cosmversal Grimoire
"Those who will not follow are doomed to lead"—Anarchist, Magic: the Gathering


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