When Cosms Collide Discussion Thread

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TorgHacker
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When Cosms Collide Discussion Thread

Postby TorgHacker » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:18 pm

Adding this now, because I know it's gonna be needed.

<leans back, puts feet up, waits for the gasps of confusion and surprise...>

;)

I might be exaggerating, but I don't think I am. :lol:
Deanna Gilbert
Torg Eternity designer
Ulisses North America

Wakshani
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Re: When Cosms Collide Discussion Thread

Postby Wakshani » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:30 pm


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pkitty
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Re: When Cosms Collide Discussion Thread

Postby pkitty » Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:59 pm

GIMME NOW PLZ
Our group's Torg Eternity wiki page
  • House rules, indexes of all perks/spells/etc, form-fillable character sheet, and more

TCArknight
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Re: When Cosms Collide Discussion Thread

Postby TCArknight » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:00 am

Just got the email about the First Look pdf in my Drive Thru account. :)

Going to have to dive in and check it out..

(now if only I could get to see all the other previews... ::sigh:: anxiously awaiting next portion of RoP too... )

Istrian
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Re: When Cosms Collide Discussion Thread

Postby Istrian » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:08 am

I've only skimmed over for now but... HOLY COW, this is GREAT!

There's a lot of new information about the setting as a whole (for example about the workings of reality, as well as a lot of new words and concepts) spread out in notes across various pages (and I assume in the text as well). Perhaps it could be consolidated in a separate section of the book (like Merretika in the God Box)?

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Here Comes The Flood
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Re: When Cosms Collide Discussion Thread

Postby Here Comes The Flood » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:50 am

Okay, I think I need a long sit-down and a longer drink...!

I'm honestly surprised by this; it's not playing things safe, and is a genuine walk on the wild side. It's nothing like the original 'When Axioms Collide' beyond it's nod to that scenario; Torg Eternity seems to enjoy its little references, which is fine.

It's... weird. It's REALLY weird, as in it wholeheartedly embraces the utter bizarreness of Torg's reality themes. And to my astonishment, does it pretty well with one or two exceptions. It feels like it was the result of some Hollywood party involving the writers with copious amounts of alcohol and other substances taken to excess. It really does push some concept boundaries, to the degree that I'm slightly amazed this is just a little side-thing tacked on to an Aysle Kickstarter. Other companies would make it the centerpiece of their game, like D&D's various reboots such as the 'Time of Troubles'.

The first thing that strikes me is that it will work fine for my campaign, which is mostly ruthless independent PCs fighting against Core Earth. There's enough ambiguous potential allies, both good and evil, and realpolitik diplomacy to keep them happy for months, even years. That part of it feels mature and very welcome for what is mostly a simple good vs evil narrative, and it's very well done too.

I might review it at length at some point but I think my head is still spinning. In some weird way, it's what the game needed; it's definitely kept my interest in a game that has otherwise been waning after their treatment of the Nile Empire. It shows there are still good ideas coming forth, and the writers are not afraid to try something truly offbeat and unexpected.

Right now, it defies real explanation, except that it's a glorious mess that relishes being so - the cosms are thrown together in a mixer and it feels like all hell breaks loose. You'll have to read it for yourself but the main surprise is that it really works.

A few things made my eyes roll - there's an apologetic sidebar explaining why they just broke their own rules about how Tharkold communication works... but I'm actually okay with it. Sometimes, you have to go with Rule of Cool, and that's okay. With her amazing super-special unique reality-powers, The Baroness initially felt like some God-tier Mary Sue, in a system that already feels stuffed with GMPC characters... but to my surprise she works really well and I'm genuinely looking forward to using her. She just screams 'offbeat PC benefactor' for an 'amoral stormers' campaign.

It somehow feels... a lot less railroady than what's gone on before. I was very disappointed in the linear quality of the Nile and Living Land mega-adventures but the Aysle one felt much better in that regard (you can finally permanently kill off Tolwyn, one of the most egregious GMPC's in role-playing history). This feels like it might really open things up and rearrange the battlegrounds of the Possibility Wars, introducing new players and shifting the balance of power. There was one moment at the end I dreaded they would pull the 'it's all just a dream!' stunt, when it hints the new realities are only 'half-real', and I feared they'd just banish all the weirdness they'd just conjured up and reset things to how they were before. But thankfully, that doesn't really happen.

There was only one thing I outright disliked; the whole 'Fairy Godmother' sequences. When I saw John Terra's name in the credits my heart sank, but I enjoyed reading the adventure so much I'd forgotten about him until page 85 rears its ugly head. I really wish the writer of 'War's End' didn't have any input into the modern game, to be honest (and if this part ISN'T his input, I apologise now). The cartoony stuff actually jars considerably with the balls-to-the-wall, wacky craziness that ensues - while that crazy reality stuff is shocking, it seems to have its own weird internal consistency, and I think the players can respect it. The Fairy Godmother stuff tips right over into silliness, it threatens the immersion that's been built up and from this point feels like we're now running a straight-up comedy game. Torg in general - and Cosms Collide in particular - is already asking a LOT of 'willing suspension of disbelief' from the players, and something like this just shatters that for me. Mercifully it seems fairly easy just to cut this part out entirely and nothing of value will be lost.

In any case, there's plenty of knife-edge diplomacy, and the in-depth dance scene (no, I'm not kidding about that!) had a real Game of Thrones feeling, a social event where everyone is just waiting for things to kick off. All this is very well done and I tip my hat to the writers here.

The final act is a bizarre and engrossing mass combat that might see any one of the new realities ascendant. It's very well done, to the extent that I have to ask this of TorgHacker or the other writers:

How much of this is 'canon'? Can we just run with whatever transpires, or will you be changing things or retconning it in subsequent adventures?

The existence of 'canon' is a topic that really requires discussion on some other thread, but here it seems especially remiss to retcon the events of 'When Cosms Collide' considering they are just so gonzo, bizarre and intriguing, and possibly very far-reaching in their significance.

Final thoughts from a very confused mind: Congratulations to (almost) everyone involved for mixing things up. A lot of it is very thought-provoking and it feels like it took serious chutzpah to put this out. After three Kickstarters, I felt Torg Eternity was too committed to playing it safe. This hints that's not the case and that the battle for realities might get even weirder in future. I honestly think that's what the game needed right now.
Last edited by Here Comes The Flood on Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“When the night shows, the signals grow on radios
All the strange things, they come and go, as early warnings…”

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TorgHacker
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Re: When Cosms Collide Discussion Thread

Postby TorgHacker » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:59 am

TCArknight wrote:Just got the email about the First Look pdf in my Drive Thru account. :)

Going to have to dive in and check it out..

(now if only I could get to see all the other previews... ::sigh:: anxiously awaiting next portion of RoP too... )


Given where I am now, and what I need to do, and my surgery...I wouldn't expect that until November.
Deanna Gilbert
Torg Eternity designer
Ulisses North America

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Re: When Cosms Collide Discussion Thread

Postby TorgHacker » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:00 pm

Istrian wrote:I've only skimmed over for now but... HOLY COW, this is GREAT!

There's a lot of new information about the setting as a whole (for example about the workings of reality, as well as a lot of new words and concepts) spread out in notes across various pages (and I assume in the text as well). Perhaps it could be consolidated in a separate section of the book (like Merretika in the God Box)?


Not going to be messing with the format at this point, but I can see at some future point having that in a more concise format.
Deanna Gilbert
Torg Eternity designer
Ulisses North America

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Re: When Cosms Collide Discussion Thread

Postby Wakshani » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:04 pm

Innnteresting.

I need the book in my hand to really *read* it, but, lots going on in here.

And, for the record, I positively *adore* the Fairy Godmother and intend on weaving that into a lot of my own stuff in the future.

(But, boy, the power level's way more than I'm comfy with, so I'll have to tone a whole lot of it down.)

Looks super cool!

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Re: When Cosms Collide Discussion Thread

Postby TorgHacker » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:12 pm

Here Comes The Flood wrote:Okay, I think I need a long sit-down and a longer drink...!

I'm honestly surprised by this; it's not playing things safe, and is a genuine walk on the wild side. It's nothing like the original 'When Axioms Collide' beyond it's nod to that scenario; Torg Eternity seems to enjoy its little references, which is fine.

It's... weird. It's REALLY weird, as in it wholeheartedly embraces the utter bizarreness of Torg's reality themes.



I did say earlier it was gloriously bonkers. :-)


A few things made my eyes roll - there's an apologetic sidebar explaining why they just broke their own rules about how Tharkold communication works... but I'm actually okay with it. Sometimes, you have to go with Rule of Cool, and that's okay. With her amazing super-special unique reality-powers, The Baroness initially felt like some God-tier Mary Sue, in a system that already feels stuffed with GMPC characters... but to my surprise she works really well and I'm genuinely looking forward to using her. She just screams 'offbeat PC benefactor' for an 'amoral stormers' campaign.



I take it as a personal challenge to explain exceptions within the story. This is why we've left some things open with how reality works. If we don't have a reason to close something off, we don't want to, or else you can't have cool ideas be able without outright reconning stuff.


There was only one thing I outright disliked; the whole 'Fairy Godmother' sequences. When I saw John Terra's name in the credits my heart sank, but I enjoyed reading the adventure so much I'd forgotten about him until page 85 rears its ugly head. I really wish the writer of 'War's End' didn't have any input into the modern game, to be honest (and if this part ISN'T his input, I apologise now). The cartoony stuff actually jars considerably with the balls-to-the-wall, wacky craziness that ensues - while that crazy reality stuff is shocking, it seems to have its own weird internal consistency, and I think the players can respect it. The Fairy Godmother stuff tips right over into silliness, it threatens the immersion that's been built up and from this point feels like we're now running a straight-up comedy game. Torg in general - and Cosms Collide in particular - is already asking a LOT of 'willing suspension of disbelief' from the players, and something like this just shatters that for me. Mercifully it seems fairly easy just to cut this part out entirely and nothing of value will be lost.



Something to remember is that the Law of Legends is in effect in Aysle. But also when you push the boundaries on something, there's bound to be people who say "That went too far".


In any case, there's plenty of knife-edge diplomacy, and the in-depth dance scene (no, I'm not kidding about that!) had a real Game of Thrones feeling, a social event where everyone is just waiting for things to kick off. All this is very well done and I tip my hat to the writers here.



The ball scene is my favorite in the entire adventure. The fact that it was, according to Greg, inspired by another hobby of mine has nothing to do with that. Honest. Cross my heart. :lol:


The final act is a bizarre and engrossing mass combat that might see any one of the new realities ascendant. It's very well done, to the extent that I have to ask this of TorgHacker or the other writers:

How much of this is 'canon'? Can we just run with whatever transpires, or will you be changing things or retconning it in subsequent adventures?

The existence of 'canon' is a topic that really requires discussion on some other thread, but here it seems especially remiss to retcon the events of 'When Cosms Collide' considering they are just so gonzo, bizarre and intriguing, and possibly very far-reaching in their significance.

Final thoughts from a very confused mind: Congratulations to (almost) everyone involved for mixing things up. A lot of it is very thought-provoking and it feels like it took serious chutzpah to put this out. After three Kickstarters, I felt Torg Eternity was too committed to playing it safe. This hints that's not the case and that the battle for realities might get even weirder in future. I honestly think that's what the game needed right now.


This is definitely Greg's baby.

As for canon, it's canon. This is part of the setting for sure. The details on the impacts in Year 2 will depend on the playthrough surveys.
Deanna Gilbert
Torg Eternity designer
Ulisses North America


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