Personal Notes & Changes to Day One Adventures

User avatar
Spatula
Posts: 1030
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:00 pm

Personal Notes & Changes to Day One Adventures

Postby Spatula » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:49 am

This is a collection of thoughts I had about how I would tweak the Day One adventures. Others might find it of use for their own games, or not.

Living Land

Personally, I don't care for the Ukhaan info-dump using all the High Lord terminology, or calling stormers Storm Knights*. I get why the adventure does things that way, but I prefer to maintain the mystery a bit, especially on the 1st day of the invasion. So I tweaked the hand-outs, and put them in a Word doc: link.

* In oTorg, possibility-rated characters are called "stormers" until Tolwyn Tancred of Asyle, reborn in a Core Earther body, coins the term Storm Knight in the 1st novel because she doesn't want to use the invaders' word. I imagine Quinn brought the term with him to TE, and its use spread on the TE Core Earth after his arrival. Tolwyn's story takes a different path this time around. Anyway, that's my nit-picky objection to the Ukhaan using "Storm Knight." :)

Orrorsh

I really like this adventure, but... I wouldn't spring the gospog on the players right away. When the characters in a horror movie stop at the creepy gas station on their way to the remote place, they don't fight monsters in broad daylight! They get an inkling that something is going on to ramp up tension. To that end, I would change "The Petrol Station" in scene 1 so that the players encounter this kid hiding in the otherwise abandoned station, crying about how monsters - shuffling, silent people led by a cloaked white man - dragged his parents away screaming into the stormy night. He hid in the jungle but came back to get out of the rain, and now doesn't know what to do. A search will turn up muddy tracks, signs of a fight, and bits of rotting plant matter.

I guess part of the reason the fight is there is to give the characters their moment of crisis, but I would say anyone that advocates for taking the boy with them and caring for him would qualify.

When the players first encounter Edward the werebat, they might think him responsible for everyone else's disappearance. I suppose he is, but I would play up the suspicion and uncertainty more - the players notice that there's blood stains on his pants and under his nails when they go to revive him. As the only person in the village, and the only white guy around (after hearing Jayash's story), it'd be reasonable for the players to think he did something to Rajan and the others. But he will protest, at least initially, and try to get on their good side.

I also feel like the altar of bloody human bones should be found after the players talk to Edward and poke around a bit, so I think I would rearrange the map a little. Basically I would want the story beats to go:

1. minor weird stuff happens on trip
2. abandoned gas station with terrified kid
3. abandoned village, suspicious white dude ranting about getting out before dark
4. investigation of Edward and village
5. find altar of bones behind a house

in order to increase the tension and weirdness in a gradual way.
Last edited by Spatula on Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Gargoyle
Posts: 1767
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:20 pm

Re: Personal Notes & Changes to Day One Adventures

Postby Gargoyle » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:45 am

Spatula wrote:This is a collection of thoughts I had about how I would tweak the Day One adventures. Others might find it of use for their own games, or not.

Living Land

Personally, I don't care for the Ukhaan info-dump using all the High Lord terminology, or calling stormers Storm Knights*. I get why the adventure does things that way, but I prefer to maintain the mystery a bit, especially on the 1st day of the invasion. So I tweaked the hand-outs, and put them in a Word doc: link.

* In oTorg, possibility-rated characters are called "stormers" until Tolwyn Tancred of Asyle, reborn in a Core Earther body, coins the term Storm Knight in the 1st novel because she doesn't want to use the invaders' word. I imagine Quinn brought the term with him to TE, and its use spread on the TE Core Earth after his arrival. Tolwyn's story takes a different path this time around. Anyway, that's my nit-picky objection to the Ukhaan using "Storm Knight." :)



I too thought some of the information from Ukhaan was heavy handed, may use this. Thanks!

Orrorsh

I really like this adventure, but... I wouldn't spring the gospog on the players right away. When the characters in a horror movie stop at the creepy gas station on their way to the remote place, they don't fight monsters in broad daylight! They get an inkling that something is going on to ramp up tension. To that end, I would change "The Petrol Station" in scene 1 so that the players encounter this kid hiding in the otherwise abandoned station, crying about how monsters - shuffling, silent people led by a cloaked white man - dragged his parents away screaming into the stormy night. He hid in the jungle but came back to get out of the rain, and now doesn't know what to do. A search will turn up muddy tracks, signs of a fight, and bits of rotting plant matter.

I guess part of the reason the fight is there is to give the characters their moment of crisis, but I would say anyone that advocates for taking the boy with them and caring for him would qualify.

When the players first encounter Edward the werebat, they might think him responsible for everyone else's disappearance. I suppose he is, but I would play up the suspicion and uncertainty more - the players notice that there's blood stains on his pants and under his nails when they go to revive him. As the only person in the village, and the only white guy around (after hearing Jayash's story), it'd be reasonable for the players to think he did something to Rajan and the others. But he will protest, at least initially, and try to get on their good side.

I also feel like the altar of bloody human bones should be found after the players talk to Edward and poke around a bit, so I think I would rearrange the map a little. Basically I would want the story beats to go:

1. minor weird stuff happens on trip
2. abandoned gas station with terrified kid
3. abandoned village, suspicious white dude ranting about getting out before dark
4. investigation of Edward and village
5. find altar of bones behind a house

in order to slowly ramp up the creep factor.


I really didn't have a problem with the original, but I think this makes it even better. I like the way you think.
"That old chestnut?"

Gargoyle

User avatar
Spatula
Posts: 1030
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:00 pm

Re: Personal Notes & Changes to Day One Adventures

Postby Spatula » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:56 pm

Tharkold

I asked my players (who have no knowledge of Torg) to vote on their top 3 locations for playing out an apocalyptic sort of RP scenario, and listed the sites for the various Day One adventures. Moscow won, mostly by being almost everyone's 2nd choice, so I'm going to run this scenario first (Giza came in 2nd, London 3rd).

What struck me about the Tharkold Day One is that it's the only one where the characters aren't present for the initial invasion, and actually have to cross into the invasion zone. Or not, the text isn't clear, but I like the idea of the staging area being in CE and the players have to pass through some fierce reality storms on their way into Moscow. That allows for an explicit transition into the Tharkold reality, so the players realize that they're not in Caucasus anymore. It also gives me an excuse to ditch the moment of crisis, and just say they're stormers when they come out on the other side. I'm going to be throwing enough weirdness at them without having to explain that their character sheet changes, or they can use these cards but not those cards because they can't spend possibilities yet, or what have you. I'll just hand them everything - final character sheet, possibility tokens, cards - on the other side of the storm. That's the price of doing the adventures out of order, I suppose.

I guess, looking at the map, there's not much support for the idea that there could be a base close to Moscow that wasn't covered by Tharkold axioms. Not unless the zone just east, or the one just south, of the Moscow zone wasn't established yet. But whatever, I like the idea and I'm going to run with it.

I looked up how the border storms worked in oTorg and how they work in TE, and went with the oTorg detail that ords crossing through get automatically transformed to the "other" reality. Which is bad news for those that already got transformed in the initial invasion. I plan to emphasize that traumatized refugees, crying and screaming and laughing and mute, are coming out of the storm as the players are heading in, and being loaded onto trucks by the military. The players have to either drive over cars or go around (as in the adventure) as they head into the worst of the storm.

Inside the reality maelstrom, their heads start to ache. The rain turns to an oily black sludge. Lightning flashes show strange shapes moving half-seen through the storm. Mechanical roars echo the thunder. The characters' mouths are filled with the taste of battery acid. They have to stop their vehicle and get out to wipe the oil off the windshields, and hear the sound of their loved ones screaming in pain and crying for help. The downpour turns red. The characters start to feel an electrical charge running through their bones. Their heads hurt worse. Instead of rain, small writhing tadpole things fall from the sky to splat against their vehicle. It feels like their bodies are on fire. Visions of their past, of other lives they could have led, of another world filled with pain and terror, fill their heads.

And then they're on the other side. Salvo, if present, is now... different. The storm rages all around, fires burn throughout the city, strange airships swoop through the sky, and a massive black writhing metal tentacle dominates the horizon. Welcome to Torg.

Other than that, I plan to run the adventure as is. I'm really looking forward to the creepiness of the insect drone attached to the boy, and the insane scientist in the secret lab!
Last edited by Spatula on Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Kuildeous
Posts: 1460
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:41 pm

Re: Personal Notes & Changes to Day One Adventures

Postby Kuildeous » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:58 pm

Gargoyle wrote:
Spatula wrote:This is a collection of thoughts I had about how I would tweak the Day One adventures. Others might find it of use for their own games, or not.

Living Land

Personally, I don't care for the Ukhaan info-dump using all the High Lord terminology, or calling stormers Storm Knights*. I get why the adventure does things that way, but I prefer to maintain the mystery a bit, especially on the 1st day of the invasion. So I tweaked the hand-outs, and put them in a Word doc: link.

* In oTorg, possibility-rated characters are called "stormers" until Tolwyn Tancred of Asyle, reborn in a Core Earther body, coins the term Storm Knight in the 1st novel because she doesn't want to use the invaders' word. I imagine Quinn brought the term with him to TE, and its use spread on the TE Core Earth after his arrival. Tolwyn's story takes a different path this time around. Anyway, that's my nit-picky objection to the Ukhaan using "Storm Knight." :)



I too thought some of the information from Ukhaan was heavy handed, may use this. Thanks!



The information may be best disseminated through the Heart of Ukhaan from the Delphi missions. At least it would be information discovered by the Storm Knights in the campaign.

But I feel that the purpose of these segments is to give the players a better understanding of what game they're playing. I can see why that would be appealing, though I can't disagree with withholding that information for later.
The Boneyard – Friends and foes within Tharkold's Blasted Land

Infiniverse Exchange Word template – Infiniverse Exchange template for MS Word users

User avatar
Gargoyle
Posts: 1767
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:20 pm

Re: Personal Notes & Changes to Day One Adventures

Postby Gargoyle » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:53 pm

Kuildeous wrote:
Gargoyle wrote:
Spatula wrote:This is a collection of thoughts I had about how I would tweak the Day One adventures. Others might find it of use for their own games, or not.

Living Land

Personally, I don't care for the Ukhaan info-dump using all the High Lord terminology, or calling stormers Storm Knights*. I get why the adventure does things that way, but I prefer to maintain the mystery a bit, especially on the 1st day of the invasion. So I tweaked the hand-outs, and put them in a Word doc: link.

* In oTorg, possibility-rated characters are called "stormers" until Tolwyn Tancred of Asyle, reborn in a Core Earther body, coins the term Storm Knight in the 1st novel because she doesn't want to use the invaders' word. I imagine Quinn brought the term with him to TE, and its use spread on the TE Core Earth after his arrival. Tolwyn's story takes a different path this time around. Anyway, that's my nit-picky objection to the Ukhaan using "Storm Knight." :)



I too thought some of the information from Ukhaan was heavy handed, may use this. Thanks!



The information may be best disseminated through the Heart of Ukhaan from the Delphi missions. At least it would be information discovered by the Storm Knights in the campaign.

But I feel that the purpose of these segments is to give the players a better understanding of what game they're playing. I can see why that would be appealing, though I can't disagree with withholding that information for later.


The method was fine, I just think it was a little too much too soon.
"That old chestnut?"

Gargoyle

User avatar
Spatula
Posts: 1030
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:00 pm

Re: Personal Notes & Changes to Day One Adventures

Postby Spatula » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:22 am

Tharkold (again)

One thing that struck me about the Day One adventures is that in some, almost everyone transforms (Asyle, Nile). In others, almost no one does (LL, Tharkold). I wonder if there's a reason for this? Anyway, I was looking at the Tharkold characters to see if any others would be good targets for transformation. There are 6 pregens and I have 4 players, so there's a good chance no one would pick Salvo and no one would get to play with the experience of transforming. Also, there are some unexplored possibilities - for example, Salvo only gets one occultech implant (and a passive one at that), and no one gets psionics. Though part of the problem with giving one of the soldiers psionics is that their skills are spread really thin, and their mental stats are close to PC average, meaning they'd need to move around a lot of adds into a psi skill to qualify for powers.

Also I thought it odd that Salvo's equipment doesn't transform - maybe because space limits prevented detailing nearly identical weapons? I don't have to worry about that, though! The Tharkold firearms mentioned below are detailed here.

So, for Salvo, I will be replacing his carried gear (presumably all but the RPG?): his AN-94 is replaced by a Mim-8/Bith Assault Rifle, his Saiga-12 transforms into a Nu-15 Combat Assault Weapon, and his combat knife is now an electro-dagger (as Dagger, +Painful). His tac armor goes away.

If one wanted the RPG-32 to transform, it becomes a Thav-5/Mim Minigrenade Launcher with a clip of 3 anti-armor mini-grenades. In that case I would say Salvo's "Extra Magazines" does not include any extra clips for the launcher.

I initially thought it would be cool to give "Prowler" (the sneak/infiltrator) telepathy and Cloud Mind, but he uses Charisma for a dump stat so that would require a lot of re-working of the character, in addition to lacking the skill adds to cover all of his bases. So instead I gave him some occultech with darksight eyes and concealed blades. His AN-94 transforms as above, his MP-443 becomes a 13/Zan Magnum, the grenades just become offensive grenades from PP, and the combat knives gain a monofilament edge (as before, +AP 1). Transforming Prowler does remove the one character with the Negation perk. So maybe that could be given to another character - maybe the medic, Stitches, instead of Endurance.

Transformed Prowler:

"Prowler"
Cosm: Tharkold (Magic: 12, Social: 25, Spirit: 4, Tech: 25)
Attributes: Charisma 6, Dexterity 9, Mind 7, Spirit 9, Strength 9
Skills: Dodge 10, Find 8, Fire Combat 11, First Aid* 7, Land Vehicles 10, Maneuver 10, Melee Weapons 11, Missile Weapons 11, Reality 10, Stealth 12, Streetwise 7, Survival 8
Move: 9 (27); Tough: 12 (3); Shock: 9; Wounds: 3
Weapons: 13/Zan Magnum Pistol w/silencer (Damage 12 [14], Ammo 18, Range 10/30/- [50]), Mim-8/Bith Assault Rifle (Damage 14, Ammo 48, Range 40/80/260, Long Burst, Two Handed), Monofilament Knife (x6) (Strength +1/10, AP 1, Thrown), Offensive Grenade (x3) (Damage 17, Range 10/20/30, Small Blast), Zan Slashers (Strength +2/11, hidden in forearms)
Equipment: Extra Magazines (5 reloads for each weapon), First Aid Kit (First Aid is Favored), Flashlight, Hands-free Comms, Multi-Tool, Scavenged Chestplate & Helmet (Tough +3, Max Dex 10), Digan Darksight Eyes MK III (ignore 6 points darkness penalties), Digan Touchmike (can "hear" through touched walls, windows. etc), Vav Sensation Suppressor (-1 Shock taken)
Perks: Double Tap (Use 2 bullets, +1 attack), Occultech Implants (Digan Darksight Eyes MK III, Digan Touchmike, Vav Sensation Suppressor, Zan Slashers)
Possibilities: 3

User avatar
pkitty
Posts: 302
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:09 pm

Re: Personal Notes & Changes to Day One Adventures

Postby pkitty » Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:37 pm

Thanks for posting these, and please continue to share your thoughts. I'm finding them very useful and will probably adopt much of it if/when I run Day One adventures for my group. If these forums had a reputation/+1/GeekGold feature I'd give you some. :)
Our group's Torg Eternity wiki page
  • House rules, indexes of all perks/spells/etc, form-fillable character sheet, and more


Return to “Setting Discussion (TORG)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests