Preview #1 - Updating a Classic

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TorgHacker
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Preview #1 - Updating a Classic

Postby TorgHacker » Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:15 am

This thread is for discussing the first Torg Eternity preview here: http://www.ulisses-us.com/torg-eternity-preview-1-updating-a-classic/
Deanna Gilbert
Torg Eternity designer
Ulisses North America

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RealityStorm
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Re: Preview #1 - Updating a Classic

Postby RealityStorm » Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:52 am

As stated, some aren't going to like the bonus die (d6). I am one of those. I think its the extra (and different) die that will just feel weird and cumbersome to returning veterans. I also was never a fan of the bonus d6 system from Savage Worlds (which this feels like Shane borrowed from, whether intended or not). I will reserve final judgment for actually testing it, though. I do have one question about it, to start.

Edit: I reread the preview and answered part of my question. Remaining questions follow:

1) Since you get one (or two) bonus dice on Good/Outstanding success, why not just have a flat damage bonus instead? Say, +3 damage or +6 damage (on Outstanding). Is this the intended replacement for continually exploding d20s?

2) Why the choice to have a bonus Six count as a 5 and then explode? I don't think I've ever seen that before and just leaving it as a Six seems like it would be more intuitive for most players.

Thanks for the preview!

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Re: Preview #1 - Updating a Classic

Postby Lambert » Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:41 am

RealityStorm wrote:2) Why the choice to have a bonus Six count as a 5 and then explode? I don't think I've ever seen that before and just leaving it as a Six seems like it would be more intuitive for most players.


Now I have never played Torg, so take this with a pinch of salt, but by counting it as a 5 plus d6 you can actually roll every number. I.e. rolling a 6 followed by a 1 gives you a total of 6.

If you take it as 6 plus d6 you can never actually roll a 6.

Also the probability tables look neater.

Result of 1-5 ... 1/6th of the time.
Result of 6-10 ... 1/36th of the time.
Result of 11-15 ... 1/216th of the time.

Etc.

But as I haven't played Torg I can't tell you why it might be important.

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Re: Preview #1 - Updating a Classic

Postby TorgHacker » Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:42 am

RealityStorm wrote:
1) Since you get one (or two) bonus dice on Good/Outstanding success, why not just have a flat damage bonus instead? Say, +3 damage or +6 damage (on Outstanding). Is this the intended replacement for continually exploding d20s?



We wanted some variability and exploding dice are fun. :-) If we just had a flat damage bonus, that would mean that weapons would have an absolute cap on their damage, and we didn't want that. That could actually result in a character with a particularly high Toughness never actually taking a Wound. Effectively it's the bonus die that allows us to get rid of having to remember what the bonus you rolled was while you're adding and subtracting modifiers along the way. For new players we found that was an issue.

But no, it's not a replacement. The d20 still continues to explode as long as you're rolling 10s or 20s.

Also, there are a few other areas where the bonus die is used, which I'll get into in a later preview.


2) Why the choice to have a bonus Six count as a 5 and then explode? I don't think I've ever seen that before and just leaving it as a Six seems like it would be more intuitive for most players.

Thanks for the preview!


The die is intuitive when you're using the custom die with the eternity symbol on it.

One thing to consider is that since this is a core rule, it will come up quickly and frequently. IMO it won't take long before you're not even really thinking about it.
Deanna Gilbert
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Ulisses North America

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Re: Preview #1 - Updating a Classic

Postby RealityStorm » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:19 pm

side-note: Small visual nitpick about the Preview posting: The "Success Levels" section didn't get broken out and just runs on as part of the Mishap paragraph.

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Re: Preview #1 - Updating a Classic

Postby TorgHacker » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:27 pm

Thanks! Passing that on to Eric.
Deanna Gilbert
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Re: Preview #1 - Updating a Classic

Postby Eric USNA » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:30 pm

Fixed!

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Re: Preview #1 - Updating a Classic

Postby TorgHacker » Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:30 pm

Addressing a few questions and comments from other venues:

1. The push mechanic is gone. You'll see how we deal with that in later previews.

2. I was asked about getting rid of the action and effect totals:

"One Thing that set Torg apart was the fact that the Bonus was the same for the Action total and the Result total. In other games, you can roll really high (a 20!) for the To Hit roll and roll badly (crap, a 1!) for the damage roll.

In Torg, the same Bonus is used for the Action total and the Result total, so you roll big and everything is big! It's so satisfying to really crush an Action total and and know that your Bonus gets added to the damage."


There were three issues with having the bonus apply to an action total and the effect total.

First, you have to remember what bonus you rolled. Especially for new players, this is not a trivial matter, considering that Torg has modifiers apply to the bonus, not the die roll. And then you could have different modifiers for hitting, and then different modifiers to damage. This means that you need to hold a number in your head (say, +3), while adding and subtracting other numbers. Errors would crop in, especially when you got later in the session, and you'd often have players (and GMs!) ask, "What did I roll again?"

Second,because each result point can make a significant difference, either from success levels, or from damage results, you had to calculate exactly what your result points are. This is an additional cognitive load that can cause issues especially when you're late in the session (or you're getting...less young like me!).

Third, this led to the classic 'glass jawed ninja' problem where in order to hit someone with a high defense, you had to roll really well, but then the bonus added so much damage that when compared to the ninja's Toughness you're likely going to kill him. To me, personally, this wasn't that big of problem (if it was an NPC, we didn't really care, and if it was a Storm Knight the player was taking that risk upon themselves), but we did acknowledge that many people felt that way.

Another comment from Paul on the blog post:

The really nice thing about having an Action Total and an Effect Total was that the Effect Total was commensurate to the Action Total, in that if your Action Total was crap, the effect you had on your target or in casting your spell or in surviving Backlash was equally crappy, but if the Action Total was really good, so too was your effect in the game with whatever you were doing. That’s one of the elements I really enjoyed about the game.

Adding the “Bonus Die”, I feel, will still allow those who rolled crappy to potentially reverse the crappy roll, and the point is that your Character CAN fail, not that they can take their trophy and go home, even if they lost. Sorry, that’s just the way I feel about it; I will support your game, but I will stick with the original Action and Effect Total mechanics, thanks.


First off, please don't feel you have to apologize if you house rule your game! When Torg Eternity gets into your hands it's yours to do with what you please. We have the job to get the game such that as many people, both old fans and new players enjoy it. But that means that certain compromises needed to be made, and those may not work for your game. So house rule away!

However, I would suggest playing a few times with the bonus die in order to see what it does and doesn't do, and what impact not using it will have on your game. Torg Eternity is designed with the bonus die in mind, and there will be additional adjustments you'll need to make if you don't want to use it.

But to address your specific comments, if you roll badly in Torg Eternity, you can't get out of it (well, not without playing cards or spending Possibilities). In order to get the bonus die, you (usually) have to get a Good or Outstanding result, which means you need to hit really well in order to get the bonus die in the first place. If you barely hit, you get your base damage and that's it. If you hit by +5 or more, you get that bonus die, and +10 or more you get 2 bonus dice. Now, I agree with those that have an issue with the chance that if you hit really well you might get unlucky and roll poorly, but you also have as good a chance at getting a spectacular result.

Especially with an Outstanding hit, on average you're going to get at least +7 damage, and with two chances at exploding (and maybe both).
Deanna Gilbert
Torg Eternity designer
Ulisses North America

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dev/null
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Re: Preview #1 - Updating a Classic

Postby dev/null » Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:35 pm

Oh hey, that bit did get fixed. Never got a chance to comment on it because of the login problems.

Now that that's out of the way, Regarding the exploding D6:

Is it adding to bonus, or to roll, which then converts to bonus? It reads like it gets added directly to the Damage Value, going through for the third or fourth read.

Thanks.

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Re: Preview #1 - Updating a Classic

Postby TorgHacker » Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:40 pm

That's correct. Let's say you shoot a gospog and hit by 7ish. You get a bonus die that adds to the base damage of your gun.

So the better you hit, the better your damage (although that better damage could have a pretty wide range of...Possibilities. <sorry>)
Deanna Gilbert
Torg Eternity designer
Ulisses North America


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