Campaign idea - please help/review

thateffendude
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Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:17 pm

Campaign idea - please help/review

Postby thateffendude » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:03 pm

Hi all,
I had an idea where I wanted to create a fairly powerful Eternity shard, that would essentially be a movable enormous hardpoint.
I was going to start with the group doing a chase in the Blasted lands, like out of Fury Road. I then discovered Demon Death Race from the Delphi Missions which would work perfect.This was going to result in an encoded message about the shard.
I will switch gears on the group by running another significant side mission(s). During that time Delphi will be decoding the message.
After the SKs are done, they will get contacted by Delphi with the information, which is that a demon from Tharkhold or Stormer is terrorizing some people using the eternity shard. I have recently decided that the shard could be baba yaga's chicken leg house and the demon has taken on the role of baba yaga. SKs would go and confront baba yaga and wrest control of the house from her.
I want to have the house do something along the lines of, they can bring it somewhere, set it down. Do some stuff and generate glory, then activate it as a hardpoint. At which point it would have a big radius and have a staging point for fighting back.

Anyone have any thoughts on this as a whole? I am looking for criticism and help on fleshing it out.

Thanks!

GeniusCodeMonkey
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Re: Campaign idea - please help/review

Postby GeniusCodeMonkey » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:57 am

A small house would give you about 250-500 meter radius as a hard point.

Hard points aren't supposed to be moveable so this could be very powerful. In oTorg if a hard point was moved it became a talisman for a time until its possibilities ran out.

Baba yaga was seen as evil (stealing children I think), will there be an evil downside ? I.e. during the day it produces a Core Earth Dominant zone, but at night it produces a Tharkold Dominant Zone. Or maybe it produces a Dominant reality during the day of whoever's you feed it? (Moral choice here)

Will Baba yaga want her house back at anytime?
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Politeness costs nothing.

agarrett
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Re: Campaign idea - please help/review

Postby agarrett » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:33 am

I'm in pretty much the same camp as Code Monkey. The idea sounds interesting as a start, but you need to flesh out some of the limits / future ideas from the beginning. Eternity shards have a purpose, and try to serve that. If you're using Baba Yaga's Hut, that purpose might be something... interesting. Probably not something the storm knights are really interesting in furthering.

So it sounds like an interesting start to the campaign - maybe the hut works as you describe for a while, but then starts demanding its payment, and before they know it the players have a new adversary in the very hut they had been using. Then bring in Baba Yaga, and let things go really bad.

GeniusCodeMonkey
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Re: Campaign idea - please help/review

Postby GeniusCodeMonkey » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:54 am

Isn't Baba yagas hut supposed to fly? And on chicken legs?

After reading a but, it seems that Baba Yaga may have been either anti-establishment or against Russia (talks about fighting against Alexander the Great etc.) So she may align with the SK as long as they fight against the Wolf (and Tharkold); but then equally want to eat the SK afterwards.
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thateffendude
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Re: Campaign idea - please help/review

Postby thateffendude » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:30 pm

So, in most of the folklore that I have read, Baba Yaga's Hut did not fly but did have legs. Baba Yaga flew in a giant mortar which had a dual purpose of being able to grind up the bones from the people she ate.

I am not tied to the Baba Yaga hut idea but I liked the dark aspect of it but have not codified any effects from said dark aspect. Also, a movable hut seems pretty good as it does not tie down the players to any particular location.

Also, I was thinking it would be some sort of ritual to "activate" the hardpoint aspect of it and base it off of the cosm they want to activate it in. I am still fleshing this idea out but I think I would like to have the ritual be a skill check of some kind, probably a fairly difficult one and getting items from the cosm would make it easier, particularly "dark" items in particular, like a freshly

As far as the standard rules, I was thinking it would count as a larger hardpoint so that it could be used, for starting out, converting Ords, with some use of Glory, and eventually staging for invasions.

Maybe this isn't an eternity shard but instead a High Lord's failed attempt to make another darkness device? Might need to workshop that a bit.

Here is my general thought on the house. I wanted something that allowed the SKs to be able to fight above their weight class. In the standard Torg world, removing all of the other Cosms is a nearly impossible task but I want the players to feel like they are contributing on a global scale. But certainly in the Alpha levels and probably much of Beta, that is nearly impossible. But, if say, they get a device that is game changing that they can use directly to effect other Cosms' hold on the Earth as well as to indirectly aid the fight. I also wanted it to become a burden, in what it requires of the players the more they use it. So in that, maybe failed Darkness device is the way to go. Maybe Kranod created it in an attempt to make a second darkness device and when he failed he tossed it aside. It made its way to the blasted lands and "bonded" with Core earth and stole the guise of a piece of folklore in that region?

Also, maybe Baba Yaga is one of the PCs, or eventually is. Maybe that is what the device wants and over time it gets them to do things to start their transformation?

As I said, I am trying to flush this all out. I have The one shot start off from Demon Death race and a full length 3 act adventure afterwards. Once that is done, the PCs will be at 20XP and have a little cred, assuming they did not fail the adventure.

Then I want to start them being sent to look into some odd goings on and the result of that till be the hut being controlled by someone doing nefarious things with it and either one or all of the SKs having to do something to wrest control of the device, which will bond it to them. Bring it back to Delphi, they research it and discover some of its features.

Lots of stuff there. Any of it sound feasible, interesting, silly, ludicrous or what have you?

agarrett
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Re: Campaign idea - please help/review

Postby agarrett » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:44 pm

OK, with your clarification, I think your premise is wrong. Storm Knights punch way, way above their weight class, even in alpha. Because they can trade cards (and trust me, the cards are massively powerful) groups scale even more. As a quick rule of thumb, assume the group doubles their power for each additional player. As to being able to effect things on a global scale, that's largely a function of how you run the game, how much you keep the High Lords and their lieutenants remote, and how aggressive you have your Delphi Council (or how much influence you want to give your players over the Council.) Anyway, unless you're running a group of only 2 players, you're going to have more problems in the other direction than you are with them needing more power.

Setting up a mobile hard point is, as you suspect, a big way to swing things in favor of the players - especially if they've designed their party around it and are mostly Core Earth. One reason I've stressed having long range plans is because I think you'll wind up regretting it. As I've pointed out, characters are already hugely powerful. Unless your players are are unusual, they'll figure out ways to use it you weren't expecting, but even with what you are expecting, I think you'll want to reign this in sooner rather than later.

Still, that's my opinion, and your experience may differ. But you were asking for advice, so here's mine. It sounds like a cool artifact and a neat idea. Build an adventure around it. Then have the hut stop working, and the Delphi Council takes it to figure out what's going wrong. Reintroduce it when you think it's appropriate, but break it again. Maybe give players an adventure chain to learn about Baba Yaga and figure things out. You've now established that this is a tetchy object, so if you give it back as something stable, you can still 'break it' again as needed. This also gives you time to establish the artifact and the players' power levels.

GeniusCodeMonkey
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Re: Campaign idea - please help/review

Postby GeniusCodeMonkey » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:00 pm

I agree. It does sound very powerful. Having Konrad trying to create his own (malfunctioning) mobile core earth stelae would be cool; which eventually goes to the DC to fix and reproduce would be cool.

BUT, as agarrett said an alpha SK can be as powerful as the plan they thwart. Having them do something that stops a stelae from being planted or helping to pull an existing one can still make the player feel as if they are affecting things on a global level.
Question everything.
Politeness costs nothing.

thateffendude
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Re: Campaign idea - please help/review

Postby thateffendude » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:08 pm

In the long term, I would like my players to significantly toss a cosm for a loop and potentially turn back its invasion. I don't want to force a particular cosm on them, hence the traveling hardpoint. I liked the hut both as a mobile base to assault from and as a way to put the players on a level where they can make some serious headway against the invasion.
I have never run a long term game for TE. So I have no experience in the long haul. If you all feel that this is too powerful, maybe it needs to go back to the shop for a retool.

GeniusCodeMonkey
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Re: Campaign idea - please help/review

Postby GeniusCodeMonkey » Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:27 am

Have you asked your players what they want?
Ask them if they have a cosm that they would want to repulse from CE, and then go from there. If they want to remove LL and mainly adventure there, then the hut doesn't make sense (as it's based in Russia). If they want to remove Tharkold from the board, then the hut makes perfect sense, but maybe only within the Russian boarders.

Get input from them as it where they want to go as it will make your life easier and your able to plan better. You don't have to go into specifics.
Question everything.
Politeness costs nothing.

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Kuildeous
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Re: Campaign idea - please help/review

Postby Kuildeous » Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:48 am

While Baba Yaga is an evil being, her hut maybe isn't, so it could be a useful acquisition. And yeah, the idea that Baba Yaga wants her hut back can provide some tense moments, especially if she's unkillable and keeps returning for her hut.

Calling it a talisman will remove a lot of confusion. Talismans are typically temporary, but a permanent talisman is certainly possible. What differentiates between a talisman and a hardpoint is mobility.

Letting them choose the hardpoint is a huge advantage. It pretty much neuters the Cyberpapacy and Orrorsh, which have harmful world laws. Part of the fun of Torg is dealing with the risk of disconnection and possibly even transformation. If your players don't like that aspect of Torg, then letting them choose their battlefield is a way to circumvent this. I would suggest making the zone mixed. This way, the bite of Cyberpapacy and Orrorsh is still there, but they get to operate in the more favorable axioms. It also eliminates the question of which cosm cards do they draw. After all, Mandatory Upgrade is useless if it's not in a Tech 26 realm, but making it a mixed zone means that the cosm card is still valid and doesn't require weird rulings on changing cosm cards; just use the realm's deck.

But if you don't want to force a realm on the players, you could save a lot of steps by removing the contradiction rules entirely. It's a bold step, but it lets the Tharkold psychic work side-by-side with the Living Land shaman with no fear of screwing either one over. I feel that this step takes away one of the seminal aspects of Torg, but it's your game, so go nuts with it.
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