Torg Eternity Preview #6 – Spells, Miracles, and Psionics

This week we get a bit more in depth with the new mechanics, specifically those dealing with spells, miracles, and psionics. For the sake of this preview, we’ll collectively call them “powers.” They’re described in separate chapters in Torg Eternity, but they have similar characteristics.

As mentioned in our first preview, we wanted to reduce the number of sub-systems while keeping the Torg flavor. This is one of the places where that philosophy has its biggest impact.

A Unified System

The divergent sub-systems in Original Torg are now combined into one system, though each of the categories of supernatural powers has their own tweaks on the general framework.

Each type of power has these features in common:

  • Available Powers: In the core book, each cosm has a list of spells, miracles, or psionics that is available to a native of that cosm. There may be multiple lists for a cosm, and these are significantly expanded upon in the cosm sourcebooks. The ability to invoke powers, and the powers themselves are purchased as Perks.
  • Skill: Each power requires a certain skill at a required level in order to select it.
  • Concentration: Some powers have a duration of Concentration, and if your character takes damage or are affected by an interaction attack, she must make a concentration test. If that test is failed, all powers she’s currently concentrating on end.
  • Failure: If the character fails at the skill test when invoking a power, some consequence happens. For miracles and psionic powers, she takes 2 Shock on a failure, 4 Shock on a Mishap.
  • Success: Powers strongly leverage the success level system described in the first preview, and each spell has an upgraded effect if the caster gets a Good or Outstanding Success.

 Magic

All four of the original magic skills are still in Torg Eternity: alteration magic and divination magic (based on Mind), and conjuration magic and apportation magic (now based on Spirit).

The spell lists included in the core book are:

  • Aysle Mage
  • Core Earth Dabbler (includes some spells above Core Earth’s Magic Axiom)
  • Cyberpapacy Witch
  • Orrorsh Occultist
  • Tharkold Acolyte

The Nile Empire is not included in the core book as far as spellcasting goes, as we’re looking at doing something a bit different for pulp sorcerers and other Nile Empire archetypes.

Failing any sort of power test has a consequence, such as “Backlash” for magic. Regardless of cosm, the caster suffers 2 Shock, and if he rolls a Mishap, suffers an additional effect as well, such as:

  • Aysle: The caster also becomes Very Vulnerable.
  • Cyberpapacy: The caster suffers a bonus die of Shock instead of 2 Shock.
  • Orrorsh: Nothing! The Gaunt Man wants Orrorsh’s spellcasters to explore the dark arts!

One additional item of note is that if you’re casting a contradictory spell, and you get a Mishap, you take the additional backlash and disconnect.

Over 30 spells are included in Torg Eternity, along with several improvised magic spells for Aysle.

Here’s an example spell:

and here’s an Improvised Spell:

Miracles

Miracles are invoked using the faith skill (still based on Spirit). Focus is no longer a skill in Torg Eternity. Additional believers can support the invocation by making a Combined Action, and grant the invoker a bonus depending on how many assist. The reason for only having one skill to invoke miracles is that miracles tend to be less diverse in their effects compared to magic and psionics.

There is no longer a spiritual struggle if a miracle is invoked on a person who has faith in a different belief. In addition, atheism no longer suppresses the invocation of miracles.

The miracle lists include:

  • Aysle (The Exemplars)
  • Core Earth (All religions, but for the core book they all pick from the same list)
  • Cyberpapacy (The Church)
  • Living Land (Keta Kalles)
  • Nile Empire (Amaatism)
  • Orrorsh (Saccelum)

There are over a dozen miracles in the core book, including: bless, healing, hellfire, and pillar of salt.

Here’s a sample miracle:

Psionics

Psionic powers are manifested using one of three skills: kinesis (based on Spirit), precognition (based on Mind), and telepathy (based on Charisma).

The power lists given in the core book include:

  • Core Earth
  • Pan-Pacifica
  • Tharkold

Although the Nile Empire has a Social Axiom high enough to support some psionic powers, it hasn’t actually had any psis manifest as yet, unless they are trappings for what is actually a pulp power.

Torg Eternity has over 20 psionic powers, including: choke pinch, combat prediction, hide, and pyrokinesis.

Here’s an example psionic power:

Do You Want to Know More?

I’m sure this preview will spark lots of discussion and questions, so head on over to our forums and ask away!

6 thoughts on “Torg Eternity Preview #6 – Spells, Miracles, and Psionics”

  1. Paul says:

    Believe it or not, I have no qualms about any of this, for now. I enjoyed the more or less unique systems between Magic, Psionics, Super Abilities, and Miracles, but I have to admit that having less to remember about the individual types of effects may be more welcome.

    1. Dean says:

      One thing I forgot to mention is that the individual player can modify how things work a bit with Perks too, and those options will expand in the cosm books.

  2. Robert Maxwell says:

    The multiple sub-systems was problem with original Torg, an I know many people who either excluded them or altered them. I like the idea of a central system, though I have to admit that I regret seeing the arcane skill requirement “fire” go away. That was a great way to specialize a magical character. I may be one of the few people that loved the “spell creation” system. Yes, it may have been one of the most complex processes of any game, but I always found it fun.

    The central system may loose some of the flair of the different styles, but it is needed to make the game less clunky.

  3. Zack Zenobi says:

    As a card carrying Atheist, im pretty dismayed and disappointed to see that Atheism no longer has the power to supresses miracles. It always helped me balence the fact that miracles existed on our supposed “real” world of Earth. Why the change? Why not throw the non-believers a bone?

  4. Zack Zenobi says:

    I get it and I agree. I just liked using Atheism as a defense against Evil Cyberpriests.

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