TORG Sandboxing

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Re: TORG Sandboxing

Postby Spatula » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:17 am

Zackzenobi wrote:So how do we give players choices or the illusion of choices and still get 1 act of a Torg adventure done in 4 hours?

If an Act is a session, that's probably a fairly easy undertaking depending on your prep and/or improv skills. The players have a choice of leads to pursue. Each is an adventure that is composed of 1 or more Acts. There were a couple of books of 1-Act adventures in the old game that can serve as examples.

You can provide some illusion of choice either on an Act or adventure basis. For a particular Act, all roads lead to your dramatic climax, though perhaps the reasons the players are there are different depending on the path they took. For a multi-Act adventure, all Acts eventually lead to a common point. You can sketch out a flowchart of scenes/Acts based on knowledge of your players and modify it if needed based on their actions. You don't necessarily have to go into too much detail, just enough to close out the session/Act.

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Re: TORG Sandboxing

Postby Kuildeous » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:56 am

Last weekend, I got to run some Torg events at a convention. Now that I have all of the cosm cards, I felt free to run something that wasn't part of the demo package. I came up with an end goal and then placed the PCs in a starting spot appropriate for the realm we chose. The bare-bones adventure summaries were:

1. Stop the Nile villain from recovering the Mask of Set.
2. Install a computer chip to send false information to the GodNet.
3. Acquire the Oni Blades in an auction house.

I had little idea of how these would play out. Fortunately, I only needed to plan about half of my 4-hour slot because cosm cards were played that introduced new scenes, brought in new villains, or presented an obstacle.

If you can't think of a great way for that cosm card to do something, ask the player for some suggestions. You might get a suggestion that you never even considered. New York City doesn't sit on a fault line, so you might not consider that a volcano could erupt there. But when someone is asked for a suggestion for Perils of the Living Land, he might suggest a spontaneous volcanic vent opening in an alley under a vine bridge. I can remember most of the twists the cosm cards provided us.

In the Nile, an additional villain crashed into the nightclub to pick a fight with the masked crusader. The dwarf played Dramatic Reveal, so of course the villain had run afoul of this dwarf before and kidnapped his sister as retribution. This padded some time before they met up with the original storyline.

In the Cyberpapacy, a routine roadblock erupted into a fight. When a PC went to the security console to lower the spikes, a card was played so that the GodNet was aware of a crime being committed. A silo of drones dispatched some death-from-above enemies. Later, I presented them with a cathedral to infiltrate, and that's when someone played La Resistance. One of the guys at the loading dock was part of the resistance, and he let them in.

The Pan Pacifica realm was the least fleshed out, but it was also the most fun. Their Delphi Council contact told them how to find the Oni Blades and provided clothing so they could blend in better. A Sold Out card gave me the idea that he laced the clothing with an isotope for tracking purposes. He was extorted by his daughter being taken hostage. Then the masked crusader played Feud, so I decided that one of their competitors in the auction was a Nile villain in disguise who hated the PC. I had no plans to use the plague here, but someone played an outbreak card during the auction house, so the patrons were all affected and started biting the PCs. The Nile villain was also bitten, which made him reveal his pistols and blast his way out. He made off with one of the Oni Blades while the PCs had the other.

It's funny how my Pan Pacifica adventure was the barest of bones. I literally simply decided that the Oni Blades were spotted in an auction house and the Delphi Council gave the PCs a credit chit for $500,000. I had no plans for what was going to happen; the cosm cards kind of took over the storytelling at that point. I want to sit down and write out an actual con scenario for this, but I don't know that it'll be as good.

Players might dictate what happens in the story. Not necessarily because the players choose their action but because they want to see what this cosm card does.
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