Is it possible for a High Lord to disrupt another cosm's stela/bridge by dropping their own?

Tangent
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Re: Is it possible for a High Lord to disrupt another cosm's stela/bridge by dropping their own?

Postby Tangent » Mon May 13, 2019 10:35 am

TorgHacker wrote:For the record, a maelstrom bridge must be bound by at least three connected stelae, at least one of which must be from the reality of the invading cosm.

That hasn't changed.

So the hypothetical deseating of Baruk Kaah's throne in Atlanta would require that all three of the three stelae around it be replaced, otherwise the maelstrom bridge located there would remain in place.

Well, this is definitely going to help shape the dynamic between Baruk Kaah and Circe:

From Circe's point of view, Baruk Kaah expanded excessively into the south into her assigned invasion territory before her planned arrival time, so she feels justified in retaliating the way she is.

From Baruk Kaah's point of view, Ahzad-Tol wasn't in place yet, so why shouldn't he claim available territory? Besides, he's a successful Reality Raider with many victories under his belt, and Circe is overly cautious from his point of view... Right up until she knocks out his maelstrom bridge in the Georgia Zone and pushes her forces far enough north to cause a stalemate in the now mixed Ahzad-Tol/Living Land Cherokee & Kentucky Zones.

Basically, by that point, Circe wants Baruk Kaah stuffed and mounted in one of her trophy galleries as soon as anybody can make him permanently dead, and he in turn wants her skull on his belt.

Our stelae map for North America is going to end up looking a bit different than the official one in the Living Land supplement, given where we chose to place Ahzad-Tol's maelstrom bridges. I've been considering changing the placement of the one we put down in Peurto Padre because I happen to like the idea of the Caribbean becoming another hotbed of contention between the two High Lords. And I don't particularly want to get rid of Baruk Kaah's reason for bringing along the Bluespine clan.
Last edited by Tangent on Mon May 13, 2019 2:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Is it possible for a High Lord to disrupt another cosm's stela/bridge by dropping their own?

Postby Atama » Mon May 13, 2019 11:08 am

By the way, I love the idea that you’re making Baruk Kaah the aggressor in this and not the victim of Circe, the way he might have been in oTorg.
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Tangent
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Re: Is it possible for a High Lord to disrupt another cosm's stela/bridge by dropping their own?

Postby Tangent » Mon May 13, 2019 11:36 am

Well, he's a credible threat this time, and even though our main GM dislikes the Living Land, he doesn't dislike it enough to replace it completely, and seems to be enjoying the dynamic I'm setting up.

With the premise of Circe being another High Lord who was invited in rather than an upstart who decided to sneak in and grab a slice of the Core Earth pie, I've been trying to think of how she might relate to the other High Lords.

Here's what I have so far (if anyone has any suggestions for additions or alterations, please feel free to do so):


Aysle

Relations between Circe and Uthorian are mostly neutral, as they’ve decided to focus their efforts in separate areas of Core Earth. It is somewhat apparent that their realms had encountered each other at various points in the past, and these encounters had sometimes been cooperative and sometimes competitive in nature, but never quite completely friendly or hostile. The current Possibility War on Core Earth looks like it might be shaping up to be one of the more cooperative ventures between the two cosms.

Both Circe and Uthorian find humor in the odd fact that some Core Earthers are deliberately trying to transform themselves to either Aysle or Ahzad-Tol in an attempt to sort of become like the made up characters from various adventure simulation games, whether it be tabletop exercises or using technology.

Granted, Circe’s ploy with the cursed Goonmanji games at least shows that she’s encountered worlds similar enough to Core Earth before to have recognized this particular phenomena as an exploitable facet of human nature.

The Cyberpapacy

Circe and the Cyberpope, Jean Malreaux, do not get along much at all. She sees him as an insufferable prude while he views her as a seductive and heretical harlot. That said, they do see one another as useful tools for their own ends, and they can both agree to disagree on most matters as long as they do not get in one another’s way… most of the time.

About the one issue that both the Sorcerer Queen and the Cyberpope both agree on completely is that Baruk Kaah has to go.

The Living Land

Circe considers Baruk Kaah to be a dangerous, impatient fool, but is well aware that he is more intelligent than he presents himself to be. She is livid about the fact that he immediately began to advance south into her assigned invasion point before her planned arival time, and he in turn is furious that her opening move managed to destroy his throne and push his forces almost all the way back north.

Circe plans to have Baruk Kaah stuffed and mounted in her palace as a trophy if she can manage to arrange his permanent death. Whereas Baruk Kaah simply intends to add her skull to his other trophies should he manage to kill her.

The Nile Empire

Circe and Doctor Mobius actually get along rather well, even if the current Circe doesn’t remember Mobius’ encounters with her predecessors. Actually, Doctor Mobius is the only reason Circe knows that there had been more Circe’s than just her immediate predicessor, although every Circe has looked more or less identical regardless of their original race or gender. Despite, or perhapse because of, this revelation, their interactions with one another on Core Earth have thus far been rather… steamy...

Orrorsh

Circe is cautious around the Gaunt Man and wary of his power. Still, he is the one who made her aware of Core Earth and extended the invitation to join in on the invasion so that no one cosm bore the brunt of the backlash. Circe has accepted the Gaunt Man’s gift of gospogs, as well as a few other horrors that she has adapted to suit her realm, but has been sparing on deploying them outside of certain strategic conditions. That said, a few of his “gifts” have strayed away from their original posts…

Pan-Pacifica

There is little interaction between these two cosms, and neither High Lord had ever even heard of the other prior to the current Possibility War. Circe has thus far chosen to ignore Pan-Pacifica for the time being.

Tharkold

Circe wants little to do with the technohorror that is Tharkold, which was actually more of a factor for her choice of invasion points than avoiding getting between Aysle and the Cyberpapacy. Technodemons are not welcome in her realm, although they do sometimes show up anyway in the mixed zones shared with Core Earth, drawn by the interactions between magic and technology. This usually results in a lot of damage and casualties caused by the intruder before the technodemon either flees or is forcibly transformed into something more harmless by one of Ahzad-Tol’s many sorcerers.

Granted, another reason technodemons don’t tend to stay in Ahzad-Tol for more than a few days or weeks at a time is that they run the risk of being spontaneously transformed into succubi if they disconnect while in that cosm. S&M oriented succubi, perhaps, but still not the same physically powerful demons they were before.

Tangent
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Re: Is it possible for a High Lord to disrupt another cosm's stela/bridge by dropping their own?

Postby Tangent » Tue May 14, 2019 6:20 pm

After going over the Living Land supplement, the main GM and I have decided to keep the Nashville incident, but at the time the five zones lost had been under Ahzad-Tol's axioms rather than the Living Land, meaning that Storm Break managed to uproot both the main stellae as well as the back up one somehow (or Circe hadn't had a backup stellae ready to go at that location yet.

So she's not too happy with Storm Break at the moment.

We also moved the third maelstrom bridge from Peurto Padre in Cuba, to Nassua in the Bahamas, as this would result in more Ahzad-Tol/Living Land mixed zones across the western Caribbean islands. One of the stellae for that is going to be really hard to locate, as it's off of the continental shelf, on an underwater mountain about two hundred miles due East of Sandy Point, not to mention being guarded by a loyal mermaid village and a sea monster.

The GM thought it would be neat if Circe claimed the Bermuda Triangle, but this early on the Sorcerer Queen simply doesn't have sufficient stellae to cover more than just a fraction of it. And unless she was willing to turn great swaths of her captured populations into mermaids, it would be difficult to farm much possibilities from the region anyway. And I'm not even sure what claiming the Bermuda Triangle would even get Circe.

Miami is largely unchanged from the Living Land sourcebook, remaining a free Core Earth city. However, as the southern tip of Florida is now a mixed Ahzad-Tol/Living land zone in our campaign, the locals now have to fend off threats from both cosms.

Circe is currently unaware of the Delphi Council's presence in Miami.

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Re: Is it possible for a High Lord to disrupt another cosm's stela/bridge by dropping their own?

Postby Brandon_C » Wed May 15, 2019 5:27 pm

Tangent wrote:Basically, by that point, Circe wants Baruk Kaah stuffed and mounted in one of her trophy galleries as soon as anybody can make him permanently dead, and he in turn wants her skull on his belt.


The thing is, only one High Lord can become Torg, so there is little incentive to work with each other and a lot of incentive to backstab each other. What you are describing between Circe and Baruk Kaah should represent how any two random High Lords feel about each other.

So, to the subject line, a High Lord should interfere with another cosm anytime it benefits them.

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Re: Is it possible for a High Lord to disrupt another cosm's stela/bridge by dropping their own?

Postby Spatula » Wed May 15, 2019 5:46 pm

There’s incentives to working together when there are lots of strong competitors... Though all high lords being megalomaniacs gets in the way of alliances.

Tangent
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Re: Is it possible for a High Lord to disrupt another cosm's stela/bridge by dropping their own?

Postby Tangent » Wed May 15, 2019 6:46 pm

Brandon_C wrote:
Tangent wrote:Basically, by that point, Circe wants Baruk Kaah stuffed and mounted in one of her trophy galleries as soon as anybody can make him permanently dead, and he in turn wants her skull on his belt.


The thing is, only one High Lord can become Torg, so there is little incentive to work with each other and a lot of incentive to backstab each other. What you are describing between Circe and Baruk Kaah should represent how any two random High Lords feel about each other.

So, to the subject line, a High Lord should interfere with another cosm anytime it benefits them.

Spatula wrote:There’s incentives to working together when there are lots of strong competitors... Though all high lords being megalomaniacs gets in the way of alliances.

One of the reasons the Gaunt Man invited so many other High Lords along on his plan to invade Core Earth is that no one cosm alone could withstand the possibility backlash.

Mind you, I also suspect he had invited as many as he had so that he could subtly plant the seeds of invasion in their respective realms that he could follow up on later if the whole Core Earth invasion thing failed to pan out.

And just because all High Lords are aware that there can be only one TORG (or so their Darkness Devices tell them), that doesn't mean that some High Lords can't decide to play the long game and occasionally work together. Otherwise, why would so many have even bothered listening to the Guant Man's plan?

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Re: Is it possible for a High Lord to disrupt another cosm's stela/bridge by dropping their own?

Postby Kuildeous » Thu May 16, 2019 10:15 am

I feel like there's a cosmic equation that defines the dividing line between working together and betraying everyone else. Of course, this equation is really defined by the speed of plot.

Each High Lord has impetus to work with the others because if someone goes all Lone Wolf early on, then the advantage goes to Core Earth, and the whole invasion is shot. That High Lord loses.

But if a High Lord waits too long to undercut the others, then they get undercut themselves. That High Lord loses.

So the war really has two major stages, which I believe was reflected in oTorg: First the High Lords work together and stay out of each other's way. We see this in Year One as each realm expands without interfering with each other. Mixed zones are rare, though you can see how Aysle is being hemmed in by the Cyberpapacy and Tharkold. But mostly it's a "happy" coexistence.

But at some point, someone has to betray the others. Maybe Aysle doesn't want to try to launch a new bridge into Australia. Maybe it decides it's going to jump the Channel and start taking French Possibilities. Maybe Pan Pacifica wants to "liberate" India. There's a tipping point. It just depends on who strikes first.

That's not to say that the first stage is all peace and love between the High Lords. There are plenty of seeds of betrayal planted around the world. Cyberpapacy's invasion into South America very much threatens Baruk Kaah's expansion even if it's not an overt clash. The Gaunt Man's Nightmare Trees are hinted at being instrumental to his eventual betrayal. Kanawa no doubt is selling weapons to Core Earthers who are fighting back against the invaders.

We haven't really seen what the second stage is like. When most of the population centers of Earth are encompassed by little triangles, the flow of Possibility energy will dwindle. It won't take too long for a High Lord to look at his Possibility intake and realize that he'll get more from invading an occupied Cairo than an unoccupied Wyoming. Then the brutal backstabbing and convenient alliances begin. But when?
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Re: Is it possible for a High Lord to disrupt another cosm's stela/bridge by dropping their own?

Postby TorgHacker » Thu May 16, 2019 11:00 am

<waggles eyebrows>
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Re: Is it possible for a High Lord to disrupt another cosm's stela/bridge by dropping their own?

Postby GeniusCodeMonkey » Thu May 16, 2019 6:20 pm

Of course there is nothing to say that whilst the High Lords are concentrating on attacking CE, someone could always start attacking their Home Cosms. Think about that for a second...

They would end up fighting a war on two fronts.

Is there any existing High Lord(s) who are crazy enough or maybe holding back resources or devious enough to try something like that? Maybe on someone that has over stretched themselves or looking weak?

I could see NE doing this on LL, or CP against T or PP against T or CP.

It definitely gives an explanation for why the Gaunt Man completely drains a cosm of its possibilities before moving on and leaving behind a dried husk. It's a tactic he is immune to.

Was there any High Lords that GM asked to raid CE but they refused him? Maybe an idea for fan fiction for home brew cosms.
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