Torg Eternity Preview #2 – Reality
This week’s preview features the rules and lore of Torg’s unique reality. Arguably Torg’s reality rules make it unique, and it was important that we get things right here. Again, we didn’t want to change anything for the sake of change. Any changes need to have benefits.
It was also a challenge to try to think through any consequences of tweaks and changes we did make.
The axioms of a cosm define what tools (spells, miracles, social concepts and psionics, and technology) are permitted to function. The axiom tables have changed, now going from 0 to 30, and there are no gaps.
- Magic: This axiom changed the most. The axiom level of spells is determined not just by the type of magic (e.g. divination) but how powerful the spell is. Aysle now has a Magic Axiom of 25.
- Social: A few changes, most importantly that we decided this is the sole axiom that governs psionics.
- Spirit: Many changes, mostly making more powerful miracles have a higher axiom level, as well as specifically defining what miracles are capable of at each level.
- Tech: Few changes, mostly just accounting for real world tech advances.
‘Split’ axiom levels are gone. Axiom levels are more about the potential for a cosm, not what is actually found there. This is particularly the case with regards to the Social axioms of the Cyberpapacy and Tharkold (more details on that when we preview those cosms).
Each cosm has three World Laws which further define the flavor of that cosm. For example, the Nile Empire’s Law of Action emphasizes the incredible feats of which the heroes and villains are capable. The World Laws themselves have changed in many cases, at least in effect if not by name. Some grant bonuses or penalties, but all of them affect the game via Cosm cards (more details on those later).
One significant change is under most circumstances, World Laws no longer can be used by reality-rated beings outside of that cosm. This cuts down on the number of World Laws players and GMs need to keep in mind, and emphasizes the flavor of the cosm the PCs are currently in. It also eliminates the need for rules on what World Laws can apply in other cosms.
However, there are some specific abilities that are supported by a cosm’s World Laws that can be used by Storm Knights and Stormers in other cosms, although causing a contradiction. Those will be detailed when we preview Characters.
Contradictions are defined as something not permitted either by a character’s home reality, or by the reality the character is currently in. Characters can cause contradictions until they get ‘disconnected’ from their reality by rolling a Mishap.
There are a couple of changes to how contradictions work:
- Long range contradictions act just like normal contradictions now. A grenade will explode as long as you didn’t disconnect when throwing it. However, don’t leave things like anti-personnel mines lying around too long, or they’ll transform.
- Passive contradictions, such as high tech armor, are handled with a disadvantage on the conflict line of the Drama Deck.
The vast majority of people in the Torg Eternity world are called “Ords.” When Ords disconnect from their reality while in another, they’re unable to reconnect. Reality-rated beings (Storm Knight heroes and Stormer villains) however, are able to reconnect to their reality, and be able to cause contradictions again.
Disconnection is harsh. Not only can’t you create contradictions, but you can’t spend Possibilities including Possibilities used to soak damage!
Original Torg was a bit vague on what happens with ‘passive’ tools like armor when you disconnect. We know this will be a bit controversial, but we ended up deciding that when a character has disconnected, none of their contradictory tools, including armor, will work. Instead they start to ‘phase’ in and out as if they’re about to transform, and it’s only the Storm Knight who’s barely preventing it.
Each round you’re forced to attempt to reconnect, but this no longer takes your action. However, if you roll a Mishap on your reconnection attempt, you might transform! This is up to you though (mostly). If you don’t want to transform you don’t have to, but you will have to spend all your Possibilities to prevent it. Fortunately transforming isn’t as nasty as it was before.
Invading realms are divided into triangular zones of different strength: Pure, Dominant, and Mixed.
Pure zones are less ‘pure’ than they were previously. Gone are the days of dragging your Rocket Ranger battlesuit through New York City. They’re more like super-strong Dominant zones, although Ords still can’t create contradictions here. Reality-rated beings find it really hard to reconnect.
Do You Want to Know More?
There’s a fair bit I had to cover lightly so if you’d like to ask any questions, just go to our forums.