[Lesson Learned] Using GM Fiat to avoid bad habits in Torg intros

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Kuildeous
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[Lesson Learned] Using GM Fiat to avoid bad habits in Torg intros

Postby Kuildeous » Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:38 pm

So I run a lot of Torg Eternity demos at local conventions and sometimes at game shops. I was running a weekend last night, and the first round of combat I flipped over a card with Any action approved. Great start, right!

Well, these are mostly new players, so when I reward them with a Destiny card after they succeed at any action, that's what they remember. The following round, Trick was the approved action. Sure enough, they attack, and they try to draw a card. This conditioning was so ingrained that they kept trying to draw cards for nonapproved actions in round 4.

Mental note to myself: Next demo I run, I'm going to fiat the first round. I'll likely pick a round that don't fling too much weird stuff at the new players (i.e., not Surge or Setback), but I'll certainly make sure the Approved Action isn't Any. Bunch of trained rats, I tell you.
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darrell
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Re: [Lesson Learned] Using GM Fiat to avoid bad habits in Torg intros

Postby darrell » Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:38 am

Do you keep writte copies of the adventures that you use? 'Cause I'm thinking of running Torg Eternity at an RPG taster day locally in January. I was going to try something from either a Delphi book or Day One.

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Kuildeous
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Re: [Lesson Learned] Using GM Fiat to avoid bad habits in Torg intros

Postby Kuildeous » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:43 pm

No, I don't keep written copies. I usually just cobble together a basic plot for them to follow. After I describe the game to them, I ask them what realms sounded interesting to them. Sometimes they shrug and let me decide, but if someone thinks Tharkold sounds cool or the Nile Empire, I'll go that route. For this event, a woman said the Nile Empire sounded interesting, but her husband lamented that he wanted to face a dinosaur.

The basic plot is that the Storm Knights are chasing after a McGuffin. I'll throw in some obstacle scenes and have the main villain. Sometimes the real villain is from another realm doing something else.

For example, in the table I describe, I had the group chase after a villain who robbed the Cairo Museum of Natural History and then blew it up. Nobody knew what he stole. They only know that he then chartered a flight to a city in the middle of the Sahara that didn't exist before. The group hit a couple of encounters while traveling through the desert and then found a giant patch of jungle enveloping the city. They entered the jungle, which was really a Living Land hardpoint. The villain had stolen dinosaur bones and used a Living Land device to resurrect it within the jungle. Bam, dude got his wish to fight a T-Rex.

I've done some Delphi Missions before. I like Hostel Takeover. I've done Kali Station. I've done Ukhaan a bunch since that was originally the demo module before Torg Eternity was Kickstarted. But mostly I make up a basic plot and try to make it sound cool.

I know that others have used Day One. It's not something I want to do as an intro. The appeal of Torg is that players can play from all sorts of realms. I like watching the players decide to play the Tharkold scrapper with the Aysle Corsair with the Electric Samurai with the Pulp Sorcerer with the Orroshan Monster Hunter. You don't get that with a Day One; Storm Knights are either Core Earthers or Core Earthers transformed to that one reality. You only have two choices for realms versus eight. Though when you consider that weird tunnels connect the realms, a GM could bring in a cyberwitch or amazon to the Tharkold Day One. But the characters are usually situated for that specific scenario, such as how the Orrorsh PCs are all involved with a wedding.
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darrell
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Re: [Lesson Learned] Using GM Fiat to avoid bad habits in Torg intros

Postby darrell » Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:00 am

Good points, thanks. :)

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Rabbitball
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Re: [Lesson Learned] Using GM Fiat to avoid bad habits in Torg intros

Postby Rabbitball » Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:33 am

The Heart of Ukhaan mission in the Delphi Council Missions book is an adaptation of a standard pre-launch demo adventure. Take a sampling of archetypes you think would be fun and have at it.
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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Gargoyle
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Re: [Lesson Learned] Using GM Fiat to avoid bad habits in Torg intros

Postby Gargoyle » Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:44 pm

For a demo or intro game, you could just full on stack the Drama deck. I've done this once for a particular scene that was sort of a Groundhog day thing, definitely not a normal thing, but I could see this as a way to keep things simple and to avoid very easy or very difficult results, especially for DSR's etc.
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