Aysle Backer Archetypes

Fuzzy
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Fuzzy » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:01 pm

Finally got around to reading the backer archetypes... (really long week).

95% of the time I'm 95% in agreement with Utsukushi.

And this is no exception... First, the concepts are all really cool... I think they pushed the boundaries more than most of the other cosm backer archetypes (heh, there's been more time to think about them!). I really like the way the backers and game designers created unique ways to enable character concepts that have different mechanics which nonetheless fit easily in the rules and are fairly self-balanced (elven monk, etc.). I know they're good because every time I read one, I think to myself, "yeah, that would be fun to play!"

However, like Utsukushi, I'm going to call out Spell Slinger. I say this as someone who (when I am on the player side) plays an elven apportation specialist, and is well aware that if I tried to take this perk, the other players and GM would be up in arms. I think the character concept is great (something of a cross between an Auror from Harry Potter and James Bond), but it's just not balanced for all the reasons Utsukishi identifies. It's also simply unnecessary and redundant with a Beta perk. The beta perk was really crucial for addressing a major issue with mages, who were vulnerable to massed ranged fire, but it was also well designed in that it still left some vulnerability to melee. Spell Slinger is missing that balance.

Also, I don't think removing the perk kills the Transformed Agent concept at all. It has a dex of 9 and Spir of 9, so it's not really suffering a lot for losing the perk. The real danger is when someone created a Dex of 6 and a Spirit of 12 to 14... Indeed, it might open an opportunity to create a new perk (maybe he shoots Bullet spells from a magical transformed Glock with a unique bonus to hit and damage? There are unlimited possibilities, so to speak.).

I do respect the backers for putting in support for the game, and I love all the concepts, and I do hope the designers are open to feedback at this stage...

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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Savioronedge » Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:33 pm

Kuildeous wrote:It is good art, and while I'm personally not bothered by it, I feel I'm going to be a bit limited in my demos. The demos I run are usually at public conventions, and I'm having fun expanding the choice of archetypes with each new cosm book. Sadly, it does mean the lone Orrorsh character is outnumbered by the previous cosms, but that's to be expected.

When the Living Land Backer Archetypes final version is released, I'm going to print them out and laminate them along with all the other sample characters. I'm afraid this lady may have to be put aside. She's great for an established group with players you know. In a convention setting where I can't make assumptions about the maturity of others--or where newcomers have no idea of my own maturity--I'm not going to risk it. Fun character though.


Here Comes The Flood wrote:The Primitive Warrior in the Living Land Archetypes is a hirsute fellow wearing less than Leena.

In the Aysle archetypes, the Barbarian and the Berserker are both very buff men showing a lot of skin, and it would seem very odd if they weren't, considering their concepts.

Torg Eternity does diversity pretty well, I think.

So I honestly don't see why Generic Jungle Gal and Red Sonya Centaur are things we should be ashamed of. Let's not be embarrassed at our hobby.


I believe that Kuildeous is saying that at a Demo, we are the Ambassadors of Torg. As such, we, the superior countrymen of the enlightened Torg Empire, must understand the nature of those who have not yet seen the light....ok, that's putting it on extremely excessively, but it illustrates the point.

When we go to a convention or other Demo, we have no way of knowing who will be showing up at our tables. I suspect many of the readers on this forum are too young to remember the damage done to the RPG hobby world by the movie, Mazes and Monsters alongside the accusations of Satanism thrown at D&D. I also suspect many of us did survive parents who bought into all that crap. If not making a spectacular archetype available at a Demo prevents one overprotective mother from making the wrong impression about Torg, it was a small sacrifice. And maybe, through role playing, at least one immature person can be educated to the level where playing or playing with such a character is not just an excuse for juvenile fantasies.

Fair warning, Kuildeous, (and Utsukushi) if JT goes down right now, I want to make an awakened Woad Warrior (Aysle: Transformed) although, that is subject to change.

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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Kuildeous » Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:02 pm

Savioronedge wrote:I believe that Kuildeous is saying that at a Demo, we are the Ambassadors of Torg.


Pretty much. Nobody in my group is going to be offended by nudity or near-nudity. That's not where my concern is.

I want Torg to have a positive first experience among convention goers. Many of my friends have expressed a disdain for how women are presented in gaming. Torg isn't written by a bunch of immature gamers giggling at boobs, but when a player is looking through the dozens of awesome archetypes in a demo, that picture could send the wrong message about the GM. Many people already know what kind of GM I am, but a complete stranger?

In the times where more and more convention misconduct is coming to light, I can't blame a woman for not taking a chance with a GM who offers a character dressed like that. Is the GM mature enough to have nudity be handled matter-of-factly? Or is the GM living out some pervy fantasy with unsuspecting players? I did a quick poll on Facebook, and it's evenly split on both genders with 5/7 of my respondents saying they would pass if they saw that at a stranger's table.

But the backer archetypes were not designed for demo play. They were designed for established Torg players, who are already aware of how carnal the Living Lands can get. I hate that I can't use the full 32 archetypes for each new cosm, but the collection won't notice it's missing.

And now I had to do a reality check and see if any of the other archetypes have the same reaction for a convention game. I felt that they were fine, but I shouldn't go off of my instinct. Still early on responses, though one did state some discomfort at the Femme Fatale artwork for similar reasons. I probably wouldn't cut that, but I'll see what others say.

Though as it stands now, my demos have 64 character options, soon to be 80 when Cyberpapacy comes out. That's already plenty even before I add the backer archetypes. I'll probably have a list of commonly used archetypes for the demos. Everything else can be kept in a separate folder, including the ones that could be considered overly sexual. Players have already seen the 20 or so that I'll have front and center, and they should feel comfortable even when they look at the rest. Not really a problem unless I make it so.
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Gargoyle » Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:58 am

TorgHacker wrote:
Gargoyle wrote:I've been very impressed with U.S. handling of female character art, particularly with the modesty and common sense for armor, etc.

The art for Leena made sense to me as well. If anything it provides a stark contrast to the other characters and accentuates them. It's the exception that proves the rule. It's genre appropriate and the art needs to reflect that. If one doesn't like that aspect of the genre, that's a different criticism.

However, why just women? A mostly nude hero or villain in the LL setting would have been most welcome too! Perhaps Deanna can pass that feedback on. I'm less inclined to feel like women are being exploited if guys are being given similar treatment...and...uh, I like to look at guys too.


We do! I can't remember where he is, but there's a primitive human male who just has a loincloth.


Ah yes, Harry. He's forgettable for a couple of reasons in my mind. One, unlike Leena, he looks more like the old Torg primitive humans, almost Neanderthalish. I really didn't like that artwork for that reason. More of a homo sapiens look would have been consistent. Two, he's not an archetype (or is he? Again forgettable) and the artwork isn't as detailed. I'll also say that I don't find that look very sexy, but that's just my preference. But it's sort of like you gave us Angelina Jolie and Jack Black. Not that Jack Black isn't a sexy mofo...but yeah.
Last edited by Gargoyle on Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Gargoyle » Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:15 am

Kuildeous wrote:
Savioronedge wrote:I believe that Kuildeous is saying that at a Demo, we are the Ambassadors of Torg.


Pretty much. Nobody in my group is going to be offended by nudity or near-nudity. That's not where my concern is.

I want Torg to have a positive first experience among convention goers. Many of my friends have expressed a disdain for how women are presented in gaming. Torg isn't written by a bunch of immature gamers giggling at boobs, but when a player is looking through the dozens of awesome archetypes in a demo, that picture could send the wrong message about the GM. Many people already know what kind of GM I am, but a complete stranger?



I think your intentions are good here, but you need to give female gamers (and feminists of any gender) more credit. If they judge you personally by one picture in a published game that shows a single character out of dozens wearing something skimpy yet appropriate for the setting, it says way more about them than you. When I look at the Torg Eternity archetypes, I see lots of options with strong, smart, interesting female artwork. and I have no problems gender swapping a character to make a male Tarzan character out of Leena.

In the times where more and more convention misconduct is coming to light, I can't blame a woman for not taking a chance with a GM who offers a character dressed like that. Is the GM mature enough to have nudity be handled matter-of-factly? Or is the GM living out some pervy fantasy with unsuspecting players? I did a quick poll on Facebook, and it's evenly split on both genders with 5/7 of my respondents saying they would pass if they saw that at a stranger's table.


Not very scientific but okay, the perception is out there to some degree at least.

But the backer archetypes were not designed for demo play. They were designed for established Torg players, who are already aware of how carnal the Living Lands can get. I hate that I can't use the full 32 archetypes for each new cosm, but the collection won't notice it's missing.

And now I had to do a reality check and see if any of the other archetypes have the same reaction for a convention game. I felt that they were fine, but I shouldn't go off of my instinct. Still early on responses, though one did state some discomfort at the Femme Fatale artwork for similar reasons. I probably wouldn't cut that, but I'll see what others say.

Though as it stands now, my demos have 64 character options, soon to be 80 when Cyberpapacy comes out. That's already plenty even before I add the backer archetypes. I'll probably have a list of commonly used archetypes for the demos. Everything else can be kept in a separate folder, including the ones that could be considered overly sexual. Players have already seen the 20 or so that I'll have front and center, and they should feel comfortable even when they look at the rest. Not really a problem unless I make it so.


I like that people, especially guys, are thinking about these issues critically and with an eye toward feminism. But I disagree that artwork showing the female form in something you could see at the beach is always bad in RPGs, and these types of posts make me feel like it's thought of that way. I don't want every female or male to be covered up head to toe, just out of fear. I like that when it makes sense, the human body can be brought to life in art in the worlds I play with.
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Kuildeous » Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:03 am

Gargoyle wrote:I like that people, especially guys, are thinking about these issues critically and with an eye toward feminism. But I disagree that artwork showing the female form in something you could see at the beach is always bad in RPGs, and these types of posts make me feel like it's thought of that way. I don't want every female or male to be covered up head to toe, just out of fear. I like that when it makes sense, the human body can be brought to life in art in the worlds I play with.


It's just a marketing thing for me. My needs are in the minority, and I'd hate to squelch creativity. Most people aren’t out there shilling Torg at conventions. Whether it’s the beholders’ problem or not, I’m presenting a look for new and interested onlookers. But I do need to dial it back anyway. Though it’s been spoken in a tone of breathless wonder, I’ve heard complaints that I present too many options for the demo. I have to face facts and cut it down to 25 or so. Maybe keep the rest in a binder for the repeat customers, which are always a great sign.

I am eagerly waiting for the final LL archetypes so I can print out the stalenger and sloth. Considering I’ve mostly had to deal with the line art from oTorg, I really like the artwork for this star ninja.
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Gargoyle » Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:26 am

Kuildeous wrote:
Gargoyle wrote:I like that people, especially guys, are thinking about these issues critically and with an eye toward feminism. But I disagree that artwork showing the female form in something you could see at the beach is always bad in RPGs, and these types of posts make me feel like it's thought of that way. I don't want every female or male to be covered up head to toe, just out of fear. I like that when it makes sense, the human body can be brought to life in art in the worlds I play with.


It's just a marketing thing for me. My needs are in the minority, and I'd hate to squelch creativity. Most people aren’t out there shilling Torg at conventions. Whether it’s the beholders’ problem or not, I’m presenting a look for new and interested onlookers. But I do need to dial it back anyway. Though it’s been spoken in a tone of breathless wonder, I’ve heard complaints that I present too many options for the demo. I have to face facts and cut it down to 25 or so. Maybe keep the rest in a binder for the repeat customers, which are always a great sign.

I am eagerly waiting for the final LL archetypes so I can print out the stalenger and sloth. Considering I’ve mostly had to deal with the line art from oTorg, I really like the artwork for this star ninja.


And to be clear I think it's fine to exclude lovely Leena for that purpose. You do have to consider your audience, I get that. It's the general idea that showing some skin is bad that makes me cringe. And stalengers are awesome characters.
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Kuildeous » Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:07 am

It’s not that showing skin is bad. It’s the message people take away from the artwork. The tee-hee expression causes them to question if the GM respects women at all. It’s all “male gaze-y” with the intentional placement of the thorns. I’ve heard enough from my comic book friends about how much of the mainstream comics are done for male eye candy—even the way males are drawn. So it’s not that convention goers are necessarily put off by the showing of skin. It’s more of them asking themselves, “Do I want to spend 4 hours with this person I don’t know when he offers characters drawn in this way?”

There are plenty of reasons that a gamer might not like Torg—it’s not D&D enough, it’s too fiddly, it’s not fiddly enough—but I want people to make their impressions based on the actual game itself and not due to how I set out the table. So I have a few candidates for characters to put in the for-experienced-players-only file.

One of my cheeky friends pointed out the centaur was the biggest offender because she got no pants on!

Also interestingly, Leena's artwork isn't that bothersome. Though her skin is showing, it's not done in a tantalizing fashion, and she looks totally badass and not ditzy.
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Flash » Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:22 pm

It is very fascinating discussion you have here.

From my German perspective the artwork in Torg is as tame as it gets when it comes to nudity or skin. There are German TDE (I think the English translations are somewhat censored when it comes to this) products that have more nudity in it then the whole Torg Eternity line has. And they are appropriate for age 14+ here. That Leena could be inappropriate wouldn't even have registered for me if I am honest.

What would cause issues for a game here in Germany would be stuff like excessive violence in the artwork.

Generaly speaking do I like the huge range and diversity Torg offers. There should be stuff for almost everyone in the Archetypes.

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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Savioronedge » Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:46 pm

Gargoyle wrote:I think your intentions are good here, but you need to give female gamers (and feminists of any gender) more credit.

Spoiler is for serious subject matter. You have been warned.
► Show Spoiler

It is not the gamer we need to wory about. It is not the Feminist, either.

The persons we must not offend are the well meaning 'parents' who only want to protect their children and are all too capable of developing Tunnel Vision, ignoring everything else once they see something they perceive as a threat to their children's future.

I cannot find it in me to fault them for wanting to protect... I would wrestle a bear to protect my children though it would be unfair (to the bear if my children were in danger). And it is all too human to become fixated on "The Shiney Object" missing the big picture. So, if not bringing a few perfectly good archetypes out of so many to a Demo can prevent a parental argument, I say that is a wise decision.


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