Why be a non "Magic"-person from cosm X?

mystic101
Posts: 275
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:13 am

Re: Why be a non "Magic"-person from cosm X?

Postby mystic101 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:44 pm

This topic is interesting to me because I began playing in a second Torg game recently, and I'm playing a "nonmagical" character. I'd originally thought to go with a Nile illusionist, but I think that they take awhile to really grow into their own, so I relegated it to being the backup character for my Beta pc in the other game. Then I tried playing a psionicist in the first session of this new game, but retired it after only a single session upon discovering that psionic mind control is absolutely, disgustingly broken. :)

So I decided to bring in someone specializing in Leadership perks instead. It was a pre-existing group of players that I was joining, and so I thought that, being a newcomer, it would be polite to play a support-type character that wouldn't come in and steal anyone's thunder. While the perks say "Leadership" on the tin, they're actually pretty oriented toward a secondary support function, rather than for basking in the spotlight by lording it over others.

The good thing about being a Leadership perk specialist is that playing "traffic cop" for the drama deck works pretty much anywhere, and also your background can pretty much be from any cosm you want. Other character concepts, that focus on various other of the "universal" perk trees, could be from pretty much anywhere, too. I ended up choosing the Cyberpapacy, because as you said, it has a lot to offer, even if that person isn't taking magic, miracles, or cybernetics. I put my first five xp into the Wealthy perk in order to have a ton of gear available. Figured I'd be the group's "equipment guy". And let me tell you, 10k of any gear in the game really gives you a ton of extra functionality, even without having any of the normal "magical" abilities. I'm very pleased so far.

On a separate note, though, I wanted to add that I think you're underestimating how good Aysle is for nonmagical characters. A well-built melee elf is probably the best Glass Ninja in the game, and one of the best Snipers too. They can start with a 15 Dex + 3 Melee right out of the gate. Slap a buckler on them and you're looking at a starting character with a 19 defense. And best of all, those superhumanly high Dex rolls are non-contradictory everywhere, unlike a Nile hero with Super Attribute: Dex. There's way less chance of disconnection since it's all-natural. We just added a new player to the Beta level game. She's new to Torg but has a background in D&D, so a melee elf was a simple, easy-to-understand way for her to get started. It's nice because her elf character is so hard to hit that she feels "safe" while getting used to how things work, even though she's being exposed to Beta-level threats. So there's that.

And on the tanky side instead, an Ayslish dwarf can start with 14 Strength/Toughness, +4 Dragon armor, and a +3 tower shield. That's an 18 Toughness normally, or a 21 Toughness while actively defending. Put the Bodyguard perk on them, and they're not only shrugging off deadly damage for themselves, but shrugging off what would otherwise be lethal damage for some of the squishiest members of the team, too. (I've really converted my group over to the advantages of having a high Toughness Bodyguard character. When I retired mine, another character immediately brought a new one in to replace him, a dwarf as described above, and a second person also added a high Toughness electric samurai as their character in the second game, after seeing how useful a good Bodyguard tank was.)

My two cents, anyway.

User avatar
TorgHacker
Posts: 4133
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:40 pm

Re: Why be a non "Magic"-person from cosm X?

Postby TorgHacker » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:50 am

mystic101 wrote: Then I tried playing a psionicist in the first session of this new game, but retired it after only a single session upon discovering that psionic mind control is absolutely, disgustingly broken. :)



Could you elaborate on this?



And on the tanky side instead, an Ayslish dwarf can start with 14 Strength/Toughness, +4 Dragon armor, and a +3 tower shield. That's an 18 Toughness normally, or a 21 Toughness while actively defending. Put the Bodyguard perk on them, and they're not only shrugging off deadly damage for themselves, but shrugging off what would otherwise be lethal damage for some of the squishiest members of the team, too. (I've really converted my group over to the advantages of having a high Toughness Bodyguard character. When I retired mine, another character immediately brought a new one in to replace him, a dwarf as described above, and a second person also added a high Toughness electric samurai as their character in the second game, after seeing how useful a good Bodyguard tank was.)

My two cents, anyway.


This brings a smile to my face since one of the things that I was really, really, really pushing was making brutes functional archetype. :D
Deanna Gilbert
Torg Eternity designer
Ulisses North America

Brandon_C
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:10 pm

Re: Why be a non "Magic"-person from cosm X?

Postby Brandon_C » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:52 pm

TorgHacker wrote:This brings a smile to my face since one of the things that I was really, really, really pushing was making brutes functional archetype. :D


Every party needs an Amos Burton :)

mystic101
Posts: 275
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:13 am

Re: Why be a non "Magic"-person from cosm X?

Postby mystic101 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:09 pm

TorgHacker wrote:
mystic101 wrote: Then I tried playing a psionicist in the first session of this new game, but retired it after only a single session upon discovering that psionic mind control is absolutely, disgustingly broken. :)



Could you elaborate on this?


Well, keep in mind we may have been playing it wrong, which I'm sure you'll let me know, if so. This character was the first psionicist I had ever run, and the first one that the storyteller had every gm'ed for. I guess I was initially expecting it to play similarly to pulp Mind Control, which the storyteller and I had much greater experience with because there's a Nile pc in the Beta game that has pulp Mind Control. I discovered, though, that the way the two powers are written, they might as well be night and day from each other, which I found out when I finally got to take the psionic MCer for a spin.

For one, pulp MC specifies that you're able to use it on only one "single foe" at a time, and even that's with strong numeric penalties against doing so unless the player takes several extra enhancements to cancel those out. Even then, all the controlled npc has to do is roll against a relatively easy DN 10 to escape, if they're ever ordered to do something against their nature (ie, most anything actively useful to the pcs in combat). For those reasons, the Nile pc mainly uses it as a way to "park" one npc per battle off to one side, while we're dealing with the npc's friends. Then we can deal with the mind controlled npc later, during mop-up. Sometimes the player will have the npc take a single, directly helpful action at some point during the combat, but only if he happens to have an Opponent Fails card on him in order to make sure that it won't break the MC. But otherwise, it works out to pretty much be equivalent to some kind of single target, glorified Hold Person spell.

Psionic MC, on the other hand, is much better in almost every way. It doesn't have the "single foe" language that the pulp version has. That let me grab several npc's minds at once with Multi-Targeting. In one encounter, we were jumped by three edeinos per Storm Knight. So I grabbed the minds of the three that had been headed toward me, and then diverted them over to attack and tie up another three that had been heading toward someone else. Boom, six foes sidelined at once. And that wasn't a particularly important encounter, either, so I didn't try to go crazy with it. If it had been, I'm sure I could've used cards + Possibilities to take over even more of them at once. Maybe even close to half of them, and they would've been set to work tying up the other half.

There's where some of the real power of the MC was. My character never caused any npcs to get knocked out, not even once that entire session. Setting npcs against other npcs, when they all possess the exact same stats, is just a recipe for dealing out tiny bits of shock here or there unless someone gets lucky on a roll. So I may not have personally KO'ed anyone, but the crowd control ability was just amazing. Way better than pulp MC, and it contributed greatly toward keeping the team healthy and successful overall. Not only because I was grabbing more than one enemy at a time, but also because if they wanted to try to break free then they had to roll against my full Telepathy skill in order to resist, not just a DN 10. And a psionic MCer's skill is automatically super-duper high, just in order to qualify to take the power in the first place. So I felt comfortable telling the npcs to do anything and everything in their power to help, at all times, and not just stand around like with pulp MC. My Telepathy total was so much higher than most of the npcs' Mind + Willpower totals that whenever they tried to break free, the storyteller would either a) roll individually for them, which didn't give any of them a particularly good chance to escape; or b) do a combined resistance roll for all of them . . . but then the relative difference in stats was still such that, even with giving them the many-on-one bonus, the odds were still against them. And if they flubbed THAT roll, then they were ALL prevented from escaping that round, with no one getting free. And since it was a contested roll initiated by them, they had to declare their totals first, before I had to declare mine. So even if they happened to get lucky on their die roll, I had the forewarning to know exactly when, and how much, to spend cards + Possibilities in order to shut the attempt down.

Now, granted, this story was taking place in a vanilla Living Land setting, which may have been an exceptionally good place for a psionic mind controller to try doing their thing. In general, edeinos warriors aren't the brightest bunch, stat-wise, so it wasn't hard to grab onto them and keep them under wraps. And furthermore, dinosaurs are pretty dumb, too. Plus, they're very physically powerful, so there was a strongly lopsided cost-to-benefit incentive to MC all of the biggest, baddest dinos that happened to show up in an encounter. Truly, the LL is a psionic MCer's playground (as long as you're staying out of Thrakmoss' territory, of course!). :)

And that's not even getting into how psionic MC lets you use all of the victim's skills and abilities, instead of merely physically puppeteer-ing them like the pulp power does. The victim's magic, miracles, psionics, they're all good to go. Or how useful the MC is even outside of combat. Need to get past the guard at the entrance to that secure facility? Mind Control him into pretending to look at your "paperwork", and then wave you on through. Then, use Alter Memory on him immediately afterwards, so that he "remembers" having seen the correct paperwork and having decided to wave you through. To any observers, nothing untoward would have happened. The observed actions + the guard's later recollections would match up perfectly.

Barring the occasional mindless opponents or obstacles, which aren't super common, then there's ample opportunity for this kind of MCer to shine almost all the time. Just a vast amount of power, really, most of the time, both in and out of fights. Therefore I could not, in good conscience, continue playing it. Which brings me full circle back to my new, poor Cyberpapal character, with no magic, miracles, or cyberware at all. Maybe I overcompensated with him? That is, after my brief flirtation with UNBEATABLE DOMINION OVER OTHERS! NONE SHALL STAND AGAINST ME! KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!!

. . . Um, I'm sorry, I got just a bit distracted there. What was I saying again? :)

User avatar
Atama
Posts: 855
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:30 am
Location: Auburn, WA

Re: Why be a non "Magic"-person from cosm X?

Postby Atama » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:37 am

Everything in the Mind Control description says you use it on “a target”, and use up your action to make the target do things, and it takes a multi-action to have the target both move and act. It doesn’t seem possible to multi-target using that power.

Deanna is fond of saying that the rules tell you what you can do, not what you can’t. I think that applies to this ability; don’t assume that because it doesn’t say you can’t multi-target, that you can.

Reading over the other Psi powers in the Core Rules, based on wording in their descriptions I’d say these powers can only have one target at a time:

  • Alter Memories
  • Clarity
  • Copycat
  • Mind Control
  • Psychometry (target is an object)
  • Read Mind

All other Psi powers either explicitly mention multiple targets (Pyrokinesis even says multi-targeting is per a normal ranged attack) or are self-only.
“You are a bad person, and should feel bad.”
-Torghacker

agarrett
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:05 am

Re: Why be a non "Magic"-person from cosm X?

Postby agarrett » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:30 am

Another point to mention is that the roll to break free of Mind Control is not contested. It has a target of your telepathy, but that's it. You can't spend cards or possibilities making that better.

User avatar
TorgHacker
Posts: 4133
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:40 pm

Re: Why be a non "Magic"-person from cosm X?

Postby TorgHacker » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:38 am

Atama wrote:Everything in the Mind Control description says you use it on “a target”, and use up your action to make the target do things, and it takes a multi-action to have the target both move and act. It doesn’t seem possible to multi-target using that power.

Deanna is fond of saying that the rules tell you what you can do, not what you can’t. I think that applies to this ability; don’t assume that because it doesn’t say you can’t multi-target, that you can.

Reading over the other Psi powers in the Core Rules, based on wording in their descriptions I’d say these powers can only have one target at a time:

  • Alter Memories
  • Clarity
  • Copycat
  • Mind Control
  • Psychometry (target is an object)
  • Read Mind

All other Psi powers either explicitly mention multiple targets (Pyrokinesis even says multi-targeting is per a normal ranged attack) or are self-only.


As it turns out though, the Targeting sidebar on page 188 explicitly says that you assume it can be Multi-Targeted unless it says otherwise. I know this slips my mind myself.

I'm conferring with Darrell about this with reference to Mind Control.
Deanna Gilbert
Torg Eternity designer
Ulisses North America

User avatar
TorgHacker
Posts: 4133
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:40 pm

Re: Why be a non "Magic"-person from cosm X?

Postby TorgHacker » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:58 pm

Okay, we are applying errata to this power, since it was only ever intended to affect a single person.

"The psi can only direct this power at a single target."
Deanna Gilbert
Torg Eternity designer
Ulisses North America

Sword of Spirit
Posts: 90
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:03 am

Re: Why be a non "Magic"-person from cosm X?

Postby Sword of Spirit » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:54 pm

I think some of what I was going for was missed (or miscommunicated) so let me redo.

Perhaps a clearer way to phrase what I’m getting at is “non-fantastical” rather than “non-magical”.

Now I’ll go through and try spell out in detail how I would try to fulfill the requirements in each cosm, and what sorts of expansion would help that in each cosm. So this is from the perspective of trying to see what we can do with the material that is currently available, and where the holes are. I would make suggestions for how to fill them, but I trust the designers to do a better job at capturing the feel of the cosms in that than I would. (I also want to thank the designers for putting such loving care into this awesome game. My comments are meant to inspire more cool stuff, not try to point out every little thing that I think could have been done differently.)

I’ll address some prior comments in the sections for the appropriate cosms.

The major premise that I’m operating under is that there are certain non-fantastical, universal (human) character archetypes that make sense in every cosm, and that you shouldn’t be mechanically penalized for creating such a character in one cosm rather than another. Sure, there won’t be perfect balance, but you shouldn’t have to choose between concept and mechanical value. Anyone who isn’t an extreme power-gamer willingly makes minor sacrifices for character concept, but there is a difference between that and having no (or very little) benefit from making a choice—essentially being punished for choosing concept over mechanical effectiveness. I want to avoid this. There should be a meaningful mechanical benefit for setting universal archetype A in each cosm.

It shouldn’t be true that you could make the character you envision more effectively by making them a Core Earth character, and just say that, during their back story they initially transcended to another cosm, and then transformed to Core Earth but kept a conceptual affinity for their cosm of transcendence. That might even be used as a standard for judging this.

Here are three different universal, non-fantastical, archetypes that should fit in any cosm:

The mercenary warrior.

The dashing rogue.

The adventuring scholar.


While “scholar” might need to be interpreted a bit broadly in the Living Land, in general you should be able to build those concepts, non-fantastically, in each cosm.

We’ll start with core earth.


Core Earth

Core Earth has good Tech. They have little in the way of Magic and Spirit, so they cause contradictions using such gear. There is a lot more Tech gear, however, so they win in that area. What they really have that makes them great is the Reality Perks, which work for anyone. The beauty of the Reality Perks is that they mostly non-fantastical. They aren’t some occult power, alteration of your body, superpower, or anything else that you do to yourself or learn how to do. They are just a way that Reality is more lenient in how it treats you than some others. The only reason you’d even realize you have these benefits is when you start seeing that you seem to have this gift for getting disconnected less or being “luckier” or whatever. The only character that wouldn’t work for is someone whose character concept involves being particularly vulnerable to contradictions.

When it comes to building those archetypes, Realm Runner, your basic Reality Perk is, pretty much by itself, as good as having higher Axioms for the purposes of using Magic and Spirit gear. There are other great options in there too. There are so many good options in the Reality Perks, that there isn’t really a need to specifically address them. This is the gold standard by which all other cosms need to be measured.


Aysle

Aysle’s high Magic and Spirit axioms mean they shouldn’t have any problems with those types of gear. We don’t know if there will be Psionic gear yet, but if there is, they won’t be able to use it without contradiction. Their low Tech axiom is taking a hit. This isn’t a huge problem for weapons and armor, because there isn’t a huge difference in effectiveness. The Tech axiom generally comes in regarding other types of gear.

For purposes of Perks, you basically have Outsider Perks as your options. This gives you Berserk for a particular type of warrior (too focused to be broad enough for general purpose archetypes for me, but opinions might differ) and Magic Resistance. Magic Resistance is your best option here, as it works for anyone, though it does come with a drawback.

Elves and dwarves, not being human, are fantastical and no more relevant than spellcasters for these universal archetype purposes.

So with Aysle, all we really need is a few more options in the Outsider Perk category, and we are probably actually doing pretty well. It’s sparse now, but easy to expand based on current precedent.


Cyberpapacy

(This is my favorite cosm. It’s just cool. That isn’t really relevant, but I thought I’d share. :D )The Cyberpapacy is a real winner in the axiom categories. It can use any (presumably) Tech, Magic, or Spirit gear. It lacks Psionics, but them’s the breaks. The high Tech allows you to build any of those archetypes and have a real benefit for being from this cosm, since high Tech supports any universal non-fantastical archetype. The only weakness here—and this is the best cosm to highlight it because it’s the axiom gear winner—is that taking one or two Reality Perks (say Realm Runner and Adaptable, or just Realm Runner by itself) is arguably better than having axioms so high that no gear is contradictory for you, because the end result likely ends up with you spending less time disconnected even using contradictory gear. This is why Core Earth is so hard to compete with.

When it comes to Perks, we currently have nothing of use for those universal archetypes. This is the area where a couple of universally useful Cyberpapacy exclusives would round it out and give it what it needs to measure up well.

(While I will comment on the cosm axioms, exclusive universal archetype appropriate Perks probably really are needed in every axiom to stay somewhat balanced with Core Earth, because of the points I mentioned. Or…maybe having a unique Reality Perk for each cosm!?! There is precedent of Reality Perks outside of Core Earth in the Beta primer, so that might be an interesting way to handle it.)


The Living Land

The Living Land’s axioms really don’t do much for our universal archetypes. They don’t let you use any gear except Spirit gear. On the other hand, there is the benefit I mentioned in my first post, that if you stick with cosm appropriate weapons and armor, it will never be contradictory anywhere. That generally is inferior weapons and armor, but they have some Perks to make up for it.

What they have here is Savagery. This is limited to Beast Companion sort of stuff in the Core Book, which at least borders on the fantastical. It definitely complicates the idea of a universal archetype in such a way that I’m going to count it as not working. Fortunately, the Living Land sourcebook helps us out a lot here by providing Perks that can work well for universal archetypes. Unsurprisingly, some work better for warriors, but your dashing rogue and adventuring scholar (interpreted in Living Land terms) can also benefit from most of them just fine.

To make your universal archetype character in the Living Land, you pick whichever exclusive Savagery Perks you like amongst: Fast Healing, Ferocious, Hardy, Scarred, and Savage Strength. Mission accomplished; the Living Land works just fine.


The Nile Empire

The Nile Empire’s Tech axiom isn’t bad for weaponry, but it suffers for other gear. You can gain a lot in that one cosm upgrade to Core Earth. It does have the Magic and Spirit axioms to use all the (non-Psionic) gear, which is nice, and it comes with Weird Science devices which you get the exclusive ability to use without contradictions. What you’re really getting here above some other cosms is Weird Science gear. However, just like Magic and Spirit, if you are too dependent on that, you are veering away from the universal non-fantastical archetype category. (I’m not saying using that stuff veers away—making use of things from various cosms is part of Torg and works with universal archetypes. Rather, relying on the fact that you can use Weird Science gear and making that a focus of your character concept moves you into the fantastical realm.)

Pulp Powers is the exclusive Perk category that we have available to us. Most of what you get from it is too fantastical to work for these purposes, but there are some things in there that help out. Super Attribute and Super Skill are useful not because they allow you to exceed human norms or be “the best” at something (as I’ve mentioned, Indiana Jones wasn’t “the best” at anything), but because efficient application of them can allow you to have better stats than you could get without them.

This is tricky to do right. For instance, you don’t want to take Super Skill until your skill is at least 5. Taking it can get you to a 7 (not “the best” but very good) at something for the cost of a Perk, whereas everyone else would have to take a Perk (Mastery) and spend 13 more xp to get there. This is advantageous as long as you don’t plan to buy more than 4 Perks post character creation. However, if you take the Super Skill upgrade also, you now have a 9, which is better than you could otherwise get, and would be contrasting 2 Perks to 1 Perk and 30 xp if you could get there. So that’s a good deal unless you are buying a lot of Perks. (The more Perks you buy, the less worthwhile Super Skill and Super Attribute become except as ways to exceed the caps.) There is the downside that the benefit of these Perks goes bye-bye when you disconnect though, so they aren’t as good as they otherwise would be for getting more efficiency out of your character creation. (A GM might be convinced to house rule that using a Super Skill/Attribute isn’t contradictory unless it exceeds the normal human caps…) Super Attribute is similarly useful, however it does require an attribute of 10. It can save you 22 points getting that 11 or 24 for that 12, so depending on how many Perks you are taking and how high you want your best attribute to be it can be good for efficiency. It’s worth noting that if your GM lets you rebuild your character periodically (ie, reassign xp as if you were making a new character with that total) Super Attribute and Super Skill become better.

Back to the rest of the Pulp Power Perks. We are looking for powers that can just represent being a cool action hero from a world where things work a bit more cinematically, rather than representing actual “powers”. There are a few things here that can work. If you are comfortable framing Adrenaline as non-fantastical, it is probably the most solid one that any archetype could benefit from. Uncanny Dodge is cool, but it has a couple of drawbacks that make it not as good for any archetype as I’d like. It has a high requisite (Dex of 10) and you can’t wear a flight jacket with it. A leather jacket is perfect for our universal non-fantastical archetype in this sort of cosm, so that hurts me a bit somewhere on the inside. Still, if you are okay with those drawbacks, conceptually it’s great and works for anyone. Deflect is one I’m on the fence about. I initially thought you get the +2 Dodge against projectiles all the time, with the reflecting being only on Active Defense, but then I re-read it and realized you have to use Active Defense to get any benefit from it. I’m going to pretend that’s an error and say you get the +2 all the time, which makes it a cool way to represent not getting hit by bullets as often, and if you happen to take an active defense things tend to richochet back at bad guys because it is cool. If the text is not in error and the Dodge bonus only works on an Active Defense, then it isn’t really as useful as it could be for universal archetype purposes. The other one that you could do would be to take Tough as Nails for a non-agile warrior type. It’s narrow enough that I’m not sure I’d count it as fitting my requirements, (much like Berserk) but it gets an honorable mention.

So with the Nile Empire to have a universal non-fantastical archetype, you need to make efficient use of Super Skill, take Adrenaline and/or Uncanny Dodge, and consider Super Attribute, and/or Deflect to really reach the goal I’m going for here. It would be cool if one or two more options came out somewhere (and adoption of my house rules by all humankind is of course the only correct and righteous human choice :D ), but it’s doable as-is.


Orrorsh

(Ah, the cosm I rarely remember how to spell.) Tech here is a bit worse than the Nile Empire, so what I said there applies here, just more so. Also we have Magic and Spirit gear usage, and no Psionics. I’ve discussed the ramifications of axioms enough by now that you can probably place these relative to the others without further elaboration. It’s not doing so hot, but it does have the one-two Magic plus Spirit combo for using supernatural items.

What Orrorsh has for us all falls under Occult Perks. Fortunately, these perks are broad enough and dissimilar enough, that you can theoretically find something for…well, most at least. Most of these are too fantastical to works for universal archetypes, but there are two that work: Medals and Occultist. Occultist is narrower than I prefer, but it seems like something that would be relatively common for an adventuring scholar archetype in Orrorsh (remember, that perk is all about knowledge of threats, it doesn’t grant any fantastical abilities). Medals is the one that works for most universal achetypes here. The downside of Medals is that you have to be a somewhat heroic personality to earn any medals. This makes it less universally applicable. Although many mercenary warriors or dashing rogues could take it, others couldn’t. Conceptually, the category of “Occult” doesn’t lend itself well to universal non-fantastical archetypes, so specific Perks are needed to cover bases.

So what Orrorsh needs is really just a few more non-fantastical Occult Perks that hit some different universal archetype expressions—maybe one for a rough and tumble warrior and one for a devious rogue, for instance.


Pan-Pacifica


(The exciting thing about Pan-Pacifica, is we still don’t know what interesting things they have in mind for how it is going to substantially change after the first year, we just know that it will. So I can only address what we have in the Core Book.)

Pan-Pacific gives us respectable near-future Tech, so we are looking at Core Earth+ Tech here. We also get Psionics, but it is unclear whether such a thing as Psionic gear (whatever that would look like) will exist, so whether that is as generally useful as Magic and Spirit is unclear. And of course, the Magic and Spirit axioms are not a thing here, so no help there. What we have on the axiom front is Tech a step up from Core Earth and nothing else.

Perks also (currently) leave us high and dry. One might think that Ki is just martial arts, so warriors and rogues can have some of that, right? Ki isn’t just martial arts though. If it were there would be plenty of it in Core Earth (especially since we are talking Action Movie Earth). Since the upcoming Perk that will allow Ki in Core Earth requires one to be an ascetic, you basically you need to be a Shaolin monk or something to get Ki even in an action movie version of Core Earth. So Ki is most definitely in the realm of the fantastical—unless the designers want to say that it is an inherent part of martial arts in Pan-Pacifica (ie, their martial arts are just better, and you qualify for Ki Perks just by getting a black belt at a typical Karate dojo, rather than requiring mystical practices), and it’s only in Core Earth that you have to be an ascetic to get to the same level. That would make it similar to a minor world law, like how Pulp Powers and world laws in the Nile Empire can make it pulpy without requiring fantastical-ness. That’s a possibility, but until we get more info, I cannot assume that to be the case.

So right now you are just out of luck on your universal non-fantastical archetype in Pan-Pacifica. We’ll need some sort of new category of Perks, clarification that Ki in Pan-Pacifica is just non-mystical martial arts butt-kicking, or some exclusive Perks (maybe just Tech or Social axiom reqs?) in non-exclusive categories to make this one work.


Tharkold

(I feel like there should be an ominous pause for effect here.) Tharkold’s Tech is almost as good as the Cyberpapacy, and that’s the problem. Anything their general gear can do, the Cyberpapacy can do better—or literally just manufacture the same thing (demonically infused stuff excepted, but that isn’t pure Tech). They effectively lack a Spirit axiom, and their Magic axiom might theoretically allow some temporary low-powered magic items according to the Axiom charts, but I wouldn’t count on it. Psionics is awesome, and if there will be psionic gear, they’ll definitely have it here, but the very existence of such a thing is uncertain. While its Psionics is really awesome cool, it is zero help here for having our universal archetype be from Tharkold (and only a minor help should Psionic gear become a thing).

Perks are a complete failure here. Tharkold is basically in the same category as the Cyberpapacy (no Perks that help with non-fantastical universal archetypes) but without the compensation of being able to use basically all gear (except Weird Science) that the Cyberpapacy has. And I even mentioned that the Cyberpapacy still needs a universally useful Perk or two. So we can see there is just nothing to be done here without more material on Tharkold.


So that would be my attempt at a “guide” to how to express those universal non-fantastical archetypes in the various cosms: which work well, which kinda work, and which aren’t really doable at the present time.

Hopefully this is helpful for players and useful for designers (although based on the Living Land and Nile Empire sourcebooks the designers are already working on enabling this sort of thing).

Savioronedge
Posts: 385
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:55 pm

Re: Why be a non "Magic"-person from cosm X?

Postby Savioronedge » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:27 am

I fear I must, respectfully, disagree with the overarching premise which is summed up
Sword of Spirit wrote:The major premise that I’m operating under is that there are certain non-fantastical, universal (human) character archetypes that make sense in every cosm,


My contention is in the word "fantastical". That which is fantasy is judged differently in each cosm. The old Worldbook had the Asylish Barbarian with the quote, "These trucks, are they as powerful as trolls?" The very idea of a vehicle flying through the air without magic is fantastical in Aysle as is the very concept of 'vehicle' in the Living Land.

Elves, Dwarves, and Edeinos are Natural where they are from. To rule them out is, in my opinion, specifically Core-Earth-centric.

As for the Reality perks, their use is altering the fabric that binds the multiverse together. They are manipulating the Everlaws, not just some flimsy physics or magic. To include the Reality perks and disallow perks that are perfectly natural in the cosm of choice is again, Core-Earth-centric.

All that said, I do agree with the premise that a concept shouldn't be mechanically locked to any cosm. My favorite Spellcaster are CE and CP; I desperately want to build a Shao Lin miracle worker.

It is just unnatural, in my eyes, that some of your 'universal' archetypes would not go supernatural in some cosms...The 'LL scholar is just going to know how important Lanala is to their world and would almost certainly have Faith, enabling the automatic miracles if not the work. In Aysle, the ease of access to Magic means the Scholar has likely learned some. In the NE, well, in Temple of Doom,
► Show Spoiler
and Jones is the perfect example of a NE adventuring scholar.

That which is everyday-all-around-commonplace is not Fantastical in its home.


Return to “Tangents and Miscellany (TORG)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests