Preview #7 - The Nile Empire and Tharkold

johntfs
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Re: Preview #7 - The Nile Empire and Tharkold

Postby johntfs » Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:21 pm

This...
Image

is a real thing here on the Earth on which we live. Plush Cthulhu is a thing.

I liked the idea of multiple realities invading in TORG but the thing that made me love the game was the picture of the various reaction of Core Earthers to that situation. Burger Rex. Porn Mobius. Hell, Skippy and Elvis the edeinos would totally be things if this happened. Maybe not the world over, but in America, absolutely. Remember, we just gave an orange-skinned Reality TV star with a dead animal on his head control of our nuclear weapons. You think there wouldn't be creepy BDSM Tharkold fiction out there? Oh, you poor soul how little you know us.

On another topic, you should run with Thranod. He could be the super-tough, brutal but kind of dumb cousin/enforcer to Kranod. Like a Tharkoldu Billy Carter.

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Kuildeous
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Re: Preview #7 - The Nile Empire and Tharkold

Postby Kuildeous » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:31 pm

ryric wrote:I admit I'm having some trouble reconciling in my imagination, "post nuclear wasteland" with "generally chilly eastern Russia." I blame post-apocalyptic fiction for almost always going with a hot desert setting. It's certainly not a bad combination to have a wintry fallout zone, just unusual.


I personally would not rule out the desert setting. Who knows what weird meteorological phenomenon is happening in an irradiated mixed zone? It may have its own ecosystem. Hell, super plants could possibly be grown like how they were in the Wasteland game.

I'd have to think that the radiation levels got lowered somehow. Sending Storm Knights in radiation suits into a realm where a single successful combat hit basically dooms him to a slow, terrible death doesn't sound very fun.

And yeah, nothing to say that Mad Max can't take place in a frozen desert. Food is probably still hard to grow there.
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ZeDiac
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Re: Preview #7 - The Nile Empire and Tharkold

Postby ZeDiac » Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:55 am

I really like your frequency of announcements... it is nice to get regular infos about the work in progress :)
So Nile Empire and Tharkold ? Let's see...

Kuildeous wrote:Tharkold is really exciting. I love the fact that technodemons are rare.

I also like that idea ! I never really liked Tharkold especially because of the Technodemons that always looked too "powerful" for me : cybertech, magic and psionic... that makes people from this cosm potentially very dangerous and powerful which always bothered me. Fortunately they are "lazy" :roll:

Kuildeous wrote:The Blasted Zone sounds awesome, and it is not out of character that Russia would use a nuke on the invaders. It provides an object lesson to the other nuclear powers in case they are tempted to try the same.

I agree with that and like the "treaty" with Russia... It remembers me Mobius who did the same with Libya because he fear they can use nuke before invasion so he will only get a radioactive desert.

Kuildeous wrote:I'd have to think that the radiation levels got lowered somehow. Sending Storm Knights in radiation suits into a realm where a single successful combat hit basically dooms him to a slow, terrible death doesn't sound very fun.

I love the idea of a "winter (..is coming) Mad Max" mixed zone but I agree with the statement above : I don't see the fun in going into a irradiated zone... how do you see that :?:

TorgHacker wrote:It's very 'street level', so more like the Netflix Marvel shows.

This is something some of my former players will enjoy and I am alos OK with that : more like "original pulp" than "super heros" !

Gargoyle wrote:One of the things I love about this game is how it encourages me to learn more about the real world around me.

I feel exactly the same ;)
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Re: Preview #7 - The Nile Empire and Tharkold

Postby ryric » Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:53 am

I figure the radiation in the fallout zone will be a "movie" style threat, where you want to check found food and water and stay away from "bad" areas, but not omnipresent cancer-causing suckiness.

I already have an idea for having a snowstorm where instead of a tiny mote of dust in each snowflake it's a nanite. Get caught out in the storm and it starts doing...things to you.

johntfs
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Re: Preview #7 - The Nile Empire and Tharkold

Postby johntfs » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:46 pm

Maybe I'll be convinced later, but right now I really don't see Tharkold having a Social axiom of 25. The picture I have in my head from the update is Mad Max/Terminator meets Hellraiser. None of those settings feature organized nation-states, much less multinational non-state actors like the Red Cross, Doctors without Borders or Exxon-Mobile, which are the hallmarks of Social 25. Tharkold's main government seems to be a loose fuedal hierarchy based on personal dominance. If Kranod wants low-ranking lord Canod to do something, he orders Thranod to order Zanod to order Danod to order Canod to do that something. Terminator:Salvation gave us the clearest picture of life after Judgement Day. While the human resistance was somewhat organized, it seemed to be a collection of cells living hand-to-mouth coordinated through a mobile command structure (until Skynet blew up the sub, anyway). That's pretty much what I would expect from the free humans of Tharkold, but that's nowhere near Social 25.

If the only reason for Social 25 is to allow for psionics, just drop the psionics. Instead, I would go with the idea of mutant or occultech powers. Maybe raise Magic to 15 and Tech to 27 while lowering Social to 19. Instead of psionics offer powers similar to pulp powers in the Nile, but with the twist that the powers tend to twist the user. Like, you have Super-Attribute (Mind) because you grew a second head. Or if you want something like psionics get it through occultech. Sure, your character has something like Telekinesis, but only because she's got a crown of weird runed black metal spikes that have been driven through her skull into her living brain and spark when she uses that power and ohgod, it hurts ithurtsithurtsithurts!

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Rabbitball
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Re: Preview #7 - The Nile Empire and Tharkold

Postby Rabbitball » Fri Jan 27, 2017 1:33 pm

johntfs wrote:Maybe I'll be convinced later, but right now I really don't see Tharkold having a Social axiom of 25. The picture I have in my head from the update is Mad Max/Terminator meets Hellraiser. None of those settings feature organized nation-states, much less multinational non-state actors like the Red Cross, Doctors without Borders or Exxon-Mobile, which are the hallmarks of Social 25. Tharkold's main government seems to be a loose fuedal hierarchy based on personal dominance. If Kranod wants low-ranking lord Canod to do something, he orders Thranod to order Zanod to order Danod to order Canod to do that something. Terminator:Salvation gave us the clearest picture of life after Judgement Day. While the human resistance was somewhat organized, it seemed to be a collection of cells living hand-to-mouth coordinated through a mobile command structure (until Skynet blew up the sub, anyway). That's pretty much what I would expect from the free humans of Tharkold, but that's nowhere near Social 25.


Kranod probably doesn't even know Canod directly to issue an order, but it (remember technodemons are hermaphroditic) does know that Demon Prince Thranod is in charge of that region, so it orders Thranod, who then finds the human thrall Zanod, and so on. It's basically how the Internet runs, although with a probable internal map of "go to this submissive to get that done" that the Internet specifically avoids.

johntfs wrote:If the only reason for Social 25 is to allow for psionics, just drop the psionics. Instead, I would go with the idea of mutant or occultech powers. Maybe raise Magic to 15 and Tech to 27 while lowering Social to 19. Instead of psionics offer powers similar to pulp powers in the Nile, but with the twist that the powers tend to twist the user. Like, you have Super-Attribute (Mind) because you grew a second head. Or if you want something like psionics get it through occultech. Sure, your character has something like Telekinesis, but only because she's got a crown of weird runed black metal spikes that have been driven through her skull into her living brain and spark when she uses that power and ohgod, it hurts ithurtsithurtsithurts!


I see the Social 25 as a throwback to the pre-demon world. There were such multi-national corporations until the demons came and infiltrated. In fact, such things as Skynet are a probable means for the demons to keep track of the populace, but as mentioned above, they are likely too "lazy" to use it fully.

Remember also that with the Axiom Levels being permissive rather than restrictive, they represent the highest tool available to the cosm in that department, not necessarily the sum total. And with reconnection no longer tied to those levels, it's not really that big of a deal as long as we get a full description of what parts of Social 25 and below are not part of Tharkold.
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johntfs
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Re: Preview #7 - The Nile Empire and Tharkold

Postby johntfs » Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:42 pm

Rabbitball wrote:
johntfs wrote:If the only reason for Social 25 is to allow for psionics, just drop the psionics. Instead, I would go with the idea of mutant or occultech powers. Maybe raise Magic to 15 and Tech to 27 while lowering Social to 19. Instead of psionics offer powers similar to pulp powers in the Nile, but with the twist that the powers tend to twist the user. Like, you have Super-Attribute (Mind) because you grew a second head. Or if you want something like psionics get it through occultech. Sure, your character has something like Telekinesis, but only because she's got a crown of weird runed black metal spikes that have been driven through her skull into her living brain and spark when she uses that power and ohgod, it hurts ithurtsithurtsithurts!


I see the Social 25 as a throwback to the pre-demon world. There were such multi-national corporations until the demons came and infiltrated. In fact, such things as Skynet are a probable means for the demons to keep track of the populace, but as mentioned above, they are likely too "lazy" to use it fully.

Remember also that with the Axiom Levels being permissive rather than restrictive, they represent the highest tool available to the cosm in that department, not necessarily the sum total. And with reconnection no longer tied to those levels, it's not really that big of a deal as long as we get a full description of what parts of Social 25 and below are not part of Tharkold.


Tharkold is a post-apocalyptic cosm. The throwback stuff, to me, would depend on how post that apocalypse was. If it was five, ten maybe twenty years ago with a lot of people remembering that Social 25 society then I could see it. But I recall from the old game that the initial demon invasion was a long time ago and that Kranod had been a High Lord for centuries at the least. Once stories of Pre-demon Tharkold begin with "Long ago, in the ancient days before the demons..." that Social 25 isn't a thing anymore. It'd be a little like me deciding that Aylse has a Tech Axiom of 22 because I want it to have Harrier Jump-jets. For everything else there's be swords, chainmail, maybe black-powder pistols, but they also have Jump-jets. And the thing is that Aylse can have Jump-jets without the incongruous Tech jump. An Aylish wizard could go into London, see one of these things and decide to build one. It'll look kind of like the real thing but fly using magic, make that horrifyingly loud noise using magic, shoot bullets with magic and fire missiles (Conjured Fireballs formed into the shape of missiles) with magic.

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Kuildeous
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Re: Preview #7 - The Nile Empire and Tharkold

Postby Kuildeous » Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:16 pm

johntfs wrote:None of those settings feature organized nation-states, much less multinational non-state actors like the Red Cross, Doctors without Borders or Exxon-Mobile, which are the hallmarks of Social 25.


Maybe it does. Maybe that's why technodemons are "lazy." Hints of ancient Rome perhaps?

The Social jump is definitely one of the biggest changes for Tharkold. I'm hoping that the developers are taking that into account when rewriting Tharkold. Perhaps the reason that they are rare but still able to rule is because of the social structure.

While the cosm would not generate a Doctors without Borders organization, it is supported. The preview describes it at "Cold War-style techno-horror in the cities, with near post-apocalyptic survival in vast stretches of the plains between." So you have plenty of Mad Max possibilities in there, but the Cold War intimates at warring demon cities or nations. With occultech and domination, you could see some wacky espionage situations that could overshadow Pan-Pacifica's (which is slightly problematic).

Just because there's a wasteland doesn't mean that there can't be massive military-industrial complexes. The Hunger Games has a lot of savagery, but it's played out in contrast to the authoritarian government that uses this savagery for its entertainment. I wouldn't be surprised if Tharkold had some twisted bread and circuses to placate the masses.

I agree that the sudden change is a bit jarring, but we know that this will be a different Tharkold. We'll just have to see what they give us.
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Plageman
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Re: Preview #7 - The Nile Empire and Tharkold

Postby Plageman » Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:18 pm

As far as I'm concerned, I envision the blasted zone as being like in the Stalker games.

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hawaiianbrian
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Re: Preview #7 - The Nile Empire and Tharkold

Postby hawaiianbrian » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:13 pm

Well, a wasteland in Russia doesn't have to be cold. Keep in mind reality can change the environment in pretty fundamental ways. The Living Land is the prime example -- there's a permanent steamy, tropical jungle in Pennsylvania. You can visit the Living Land in the dead of January and it might only be a few degrees cooler. So I don't see any reason the Tharkold wasteland can't be baking hot year-round, either.

For my own reboot campaign back in the 90s I created a "Wasteland" reality because I wanted to send heroes on Mad-Max-esque adventures. Mine was more vanilla and placed in California (no Tharkold or Living Land in the western states). Back then my creativity in adventure creation was more limited, so I held exactly one adventure there which, no surprise, was basically a rip-off of The Road Warrior. But I'm excited to try it again, now with more variety. It's also nice to see Tharkold revised a bit -- in my 20s I was a fan of Hellraiser but got tired of that kind of horror. It's refreshing to see Tharkold given some new utility.


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