What does a Torg Eternity Ninja look like?

utsukushi
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Re: What does a Torg Eternity Ninja look like?

Postby utsukushi » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:27 pm

Gargoyle wrote:Balance wasn't the problem though, it's more pacing. Torg is designed so that the first couple of rounds feel hard. As you get cards in your pool, it gets easier and you come back and are a badass.

Huh. From my side, that was one of the things I remember admiring about her -- that "front loading" made her good when we were otherwise at our weakest. But I don't remember it being so much that it disrupted that element of the game.

Almost every PP character I've seen has had Wealthy, and almost every Wealthy character I've seen has been PP. Even though CP and Tharkold have higher Tech axioms, they just don't seem as... gadgety, I guess, as Pan-Pacifica encourages.

I honestly feel that the ninja archetype deserves an Ion Gosoku style perk package in PP but I don't think U.S. is going in that direction for them and is focusing on samurai instead.
I do agree with Atama that the Ion Gusoku is easily themed for a Ninja, but the lore isn't there. I find the lack of corporate ninja very disturbing. I feel like really, the whole corporate espionage aspect from old NT was lost under a wave of zombies, and I miss that. I mean, I do get it - there's a reason there aren't a lot of games based on boardroom deliberation and stock market manipulation, and that's because it's insanely boring and complicated. But oTorg made it work and it was, IMO, one of its signature pieces just because of that, so as a legacy item, I really notice its absence. Lots of games have zombies, or magic, or dinosaurs, but an accountant as a viable Storm Knight? That was cool.

Kuildeous wrote:He was crap at combat though, relying on never getting caught and talking his way out if he did.

Gunnar also really brought out another of Eternity's strengths - the ability for a wholly non-combative character to still contribute in combat. His Tricks and Taunts did a lot to set us up. (I mean, when he didn't fumble and throw his wallet at the enemy, of course. ;) ) When I was building Colette - who really is meant to be a corporate ninja, along with being my experiment in running a "balanced" character rather than a specialist - I had to work really hard to not copy Gunnar because I liked him a lot, and that made it hard to think past his model.


Given the purpose of this thread and that I suppose Colette does indeed count - she has 8's in all of her Attributes. We already had some XP in that game, but as a starting character she would have had Wealthy and Psionic, with Awareness, Copycat, and Read Mind. I focused her skills a bit - her important ones are Dodge, Melee Weapons, Telepathy, and Trick, all starting at 3, and with 0 XP, I'd have given her those, then Reality 2, and Precognition 2, with the intention to Copycat whatever else she needed. With her balanced Attributes, I figured she'd be a great jack-of-all-trades.

Copycat hasn't worked out well in practice, though. The 3-turn limit makes it almost impossible to use effectively. In combat, having to take a turn to set yourself up to be able to even try, say, Taunting someone, is useless. The main reason she might want to do that would be to take advantage of an Approved Action, and she can't do it fast enough. Out of combat, if someone else has the Skill she'd be copying, they can just use it, plus a lot of out-of-combat situations need it to last longer. (For example, the only person we have with points in Land Vehicles has a Dex of 6. She could Copy his Skill and be two points better... but only for 30 seconds. That's not very useful for driving anywhere.) Especially since it also turns whatever Skill she copied into a Contradiction almost everywhere. I love its concept, but it's been very disappointing.

From there, Ki Strike and Focused Strike were her first two Perk adds. As a "balanced" character, she's not defense-focused enough for Block Strike, and those actually help make up for her Dex and Strength, letting her fight as if she had Dex 10 without having had to sell anything short to get it. I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but I do somewhat regret Focused; she already has an Electric Katana, and how many enemies have 6 Armor? But if we ever meet one, I'm sure I'll be excited to see this in action. Assuming Copycat hasn't gotten her Transformed before then.

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Greymarch2000
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Re: What does a Torg Eternity Ninja look like?

Postby Greymarch2000 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:50 pm

The price of magic items has made Wealthy a pretty standard perk for Ayslish characters I've noted.

utsukushi
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Re: What does a Torg Eternity Ninja look like?

Postby utsukushi » Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:54 pm

Oh? Apologies if this is straying too far from ninja, but... can I ask what you've seen being done with that? I found magic items in Aysle so prohibitively expensive that it seemed like they were specifically making sure Wealthy didn't work for it. Like, you can get a +1 to a couple things, I guess? Though generally higher Tech is still just better - like, for $3600, you can have Plate Mail be 4 Armor, but for $1000 Armor of God is identical with no minimum strength, and for $700 Kanawa Security Armor has a lower strength requirement and doesn't Fatigue.

I was looking for a Reality Runner because I wanted her to just have bits and pieces from everywhere, and I was able to give her some cute magic items, but nothing with any real effect. I think the closest was maybe the Oversized Rapid Backpack, which I did like for someone who had a lot of random things, but that was an awfully big chunk of her allowance for something still with a pretty minor game impact, compared to say, $750 for a Hologram Clasp.

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Atama
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Re: What does a Torg Eternity Ninja look like?

Postby Atama » Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:27 pm

Some Living Land gear is expensive enough that I took it as code for “you can’t have this”. Like the Life Lance is relatively cheap for a “Sacred” item at $250K, but it’s still 25 times what the Wealthy Perk gets you. I assume things like that are intended to be plot items or potentially gear for very high level campaigns acquired during the course of play.
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Gargoyle
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Re: What does a Torg Eternity Ninja look like?

Postby Gargoyle » Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:36 am

Atama wrote:Some Living Land gear is expensive enough that I took it as code for “you can’t have this”. Like the Life Lance is relatively cheap for a “Sacred” item at $250K, but it’s still 25 times what the Wealthy Perk gets you. I assume things like that are intended to be plot items or potentially gear for very high level campaigns acquired during the course of play.


Sacred items were disappointing to me in general because of their exclusive nature; the text for them encourages making them extremely rare items, which I feel is a design space better used by eternity shards. I have mixed feelings though, they aren't the kind of things I'd want to see a lot of either.
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Gargoyle
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Re: What does a Torg Eternity Ninja look like?

Postby Gargoyle » Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:41 am

utsukushi wrote:
Gargoyle wrote:Balance wasn't the problem though, it's more pacing. Torg is designed so that the first couple of rounds feel hard. As you get cards in your pool, it gets easier and you come back and are a badass.

Huh. From my side, that was one of the things I remember admiring about her -- that "front loading" made her good when we were otherwise at our weakest. But I don't remember it being so much that it disrupted that element of the game.


Not yet. If I had Situational Awareness and some other perks or skills ramped up, I think it could have been. She's very newbie. But my issue wasn't balance necessarily, or even that she could be a disruption. I mean, all SK's can be a disruption in some fashion and that's fun. What I meant by pacing was just that I feel like the way her abilities work, frontloaded to the very first round, are so counter to what I love about Torg combat, the increasing tension and then victory against all odds feel, that I personally disliked that aspect of the character as a GM and worried that she'd be annoying to other players in time. As a player it's a good shtick, but I would have liked some ways to shine later in the combat, perhaps an Aim like option where you give up your action to hide in plain sight and reset Stalker.
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Re: What does a Torg Eternity Ninja look like?

Postby Kuildeous » Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:15 am

Gargoyle wrote:What I meant by pacing was just that I feel like the way her abilities work, frontloaded to the very first round, are so counter to what I love about Torg combat, the increasing tension and then victory against all odds feel, that I personally disliked that aspect of the character as a GM and worried that she'd be annoying to other players in time. As a player it's a good shtick, but I would have liked some ways to shine later in the combat, perhaps an Aim like option where you give up your action to hide in plain sight and reset Stalker.


I can see where pacing could be an issue, especially since you usually get your really good stuff later in the encounter. When you roll a 2, you can salvage it with a Possibility, Hero, and Drama. But if you don’t have a pool yet, then there’s likely no salvaging. Things like Situational Awareness and the Core Earth beta perk (can’t remember the name) can offset this though.

Something interesting about the Stalker perk is that the GM is in a bit of a bind. Does the GM craft the encounter too easy so it can be short-circuited by the Stalker, or do they make it harder to account for the Stalker only to have a really bad situation if the Stalker fails their shtick? But that’s not really the fault of the perk. Torg is a very swingy game, and part of the fun is watching the players defy the odds and come back. I ran an encounter last night that I thought would’ve been easy, but I ended up distributing 6 wounds among 4 players. It didn’t help that despite it being a Standard encounter, the drama deck screwed the heroes in the first three rounds of battle. That deck is another source of uncertainty.

Stalker is pretty cool, but I see how it runs contrary to the general flow of Torg—which can often be its strength as well.
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Gargoyle
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Re: What does a Torg Eternity Ninja look like?

Postby Gargoyle » Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:36 am

Kuildeous wrote:
Gargoyle wrote:What I meant by pacing was just that I feel like the way her abilities work, frontloaded to the very first round, are so counter to what I love about Torg combat, the increasing tension and then victory against all odds feel, that I personally disliked that aspect of the character as a GM and worried that she'd be annoying to other players in time. As a player it's a good shtick, but I would have liked some ways to shine later in the combat, perhaps an Aim like option where you give up your action to hide in plain sight and reset Stalker.


I can see where pacing could be an issue, especially since you usually get your really good stuff later in the encounter. When you roll a 2, you can salvage it with a Possibility, Hero, and Drama. But if you don’t have a pool yet, then there’s likely no salvaging. Things like Situational Awareness and the Core Earth beta perk (can’t remember the name) can offset this though.

Something interesting about the Stalker perk is that the GM is in a bit of a bind. Does the GM craft the encounter too easy so it can be short-circuited by the Stalker, or do they make it harder to account for the Stalker only to have a really bad situation if the Stalker fails their shtick? But that’s not really the fault of the perk. Torg is a very swingy game, and part of the fun is watching the players defy the odds and come back. I ran an encounter last night that I thought would’ve been easy, but I ended up distributing 6 wounds among 4 players. It didn’t help that despite it being a Standard encounter, the drama deck screwed the heroes in the first three rounds of battle. That deck is another source of uncertainty.

Stalker is pretty cool, but I see how it runs contrary to the general flow of Torg—which can often be its strength as well.


I forgot about the burden to the GM. You're quite right on that. You had mentioned it a couple of times, and being a great GM you adapted, but I doubt that would be easy for most GMs all the time (including me). No one wants to render a perk useless, but sometimes it just doesn't make sense to have it be useful. It might be that not reprinting it in PP and replacing it with some sort of "Batman" perk where you can hide in plain sight would fit the flow of Torg better.
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