Total Party Wipe

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Kuildeous
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Re: Total Party Wipe

Postby Kuildeous » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:12 pm

TorgHacker wrote:A Hero and Drama card. That's two additional Possibilities.


Which is easier to get in a larger group. Even if no one draws both cards, players can easily make trades so that one player gets both. So you may have a harder time seeing your players get that combination. But having a hand size of 6 with accelerated pools should get those cards cycled pretty easily. You could go one further and when the party draws back up to full in a new scene, let them discard up to 2 cards to replace rather than the canonical 1.

You may want to remove 2 or 3 Glory cards from the deck. Normally, this gets suggested because the group gets Glories too easily, but I think in your case, it may be harder, and someone having the bad luck of drawing 3 Glories could clog their hand.

But the Glory card provides a good litmus test. If you find that your players are discarding the Glory card because they figure they'll never get 60+, then you may need to tweak the card mechanics. If they're excited about a Glory because they feel they can pull it off, then you have a pretty good mix—possibly too good but more likely not.

The hard part is that when you do get more players, then reverting to RAW will feel very different for them.
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Gargoyle
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Re: Total Party Wipe

Postby Gargoyle » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:28 pm

My house rule is that when there are fewer than four players, there is a "ghost pool" of Destiny and Cosm cards and Possibilities, enough to make up for what the "missing" players would have started the Act with. Once on their turn any player can play these as if they were in their hand at any time, just as if they had them in their pool. They are still restricted by the normal rules, no spending multiple possibilities on one roll, etc. So it doesn't require changing the rules much, it's just like there is a ghost player at the table that always has his cards in group pool.

This seems powerful because the cards are always in a pool, but it really isn't. It's not just that you lose cards and possibilities when you don't have enough players, you also take a serious hit to your action economy. Fewer actions is especially bad in Torg because you lose multi-attacks and multi-actions.

And you still lack skill diversity. The skill list itself is low, but for both combat and DSR's it's very helpful to have diversity of skills to get approved actions and exploit weaknesses.

So even with this house rule, you still need to make encounters less about combat, and the failures from DSR's and other skill checks shouldn't have very severe consequences. Having fewer than four players is difficult and will require some careful GM'ing.
"That old chestnut?"

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Taliesin
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Re: Total Party Wipe

Postby Taliesin » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:24 pm

Gargoyle wrote:My house rule is that when there are fewer than four players, there is a "ghost pool" of Destiny and Cosm cards and Possibilities, enough to make up for what the "missing" players would have started the Act with. Once on their turn any player can play these as if they were in their hand at any time, just as if they had them in their pool. They are still restricted by the normal rules, no spending multiple possibilities on one roll, etc. So it doesn't require changing the rules much, it's just like there is a ghost player at the table that always has his cards in group pool.

Having a group of two players, I'm always interested in new ways to make the game smoother. And since I'm not inclined to change the core rules, I do like that idea.

But on the other hand, I haven't experienced any TPK with my group yet, and we play with the rules as written. I usually choose to cut down the number of mooks per character, but tougher foes will always remain a bigger challenge for small groups. But it's not as if you had to kill your way through the story. More often than not, villains will flee and won't fight to the death. And if you need that epic but seemingly impossible kill, well, let your players' imagination do the job. I personally don't mind if a foe is put down thanks to a clever idea from the players rather than through pure dice or card play. Like having one of the F-35s crash land on Trafalgar Square via Whitehall, and after an intense fight, have a character throw a fireball at the plane to blow it up, dealing the beast a fatal wound.

It's a collective experience. We're telling the story together. As long as everybody enjoys the game, I'm in.

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Gargoyle
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Re: Total Party Wipe

Postby Gargoyle » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:35 pm

Taliesin wrote:
Gargoyle wrote:My house rule is that when there are fewer than four players, there is a "ghost pool" of Destiny and Cosm cards and Possibilities, enough to make up for what the "missing" players would have started the Act with. Once on their turn any player can play these as if they were in their hand at any time, just as if they had them in their pool. They are still restricted by the normal rules, no spending multiple possibilities on one roll, etc. So it doesn't require changing the rules much, it's just like there is a ghost player at the table that always has his cards in group pool.

Having a group of two players, I'm always interested in new ways to make the game smoother. And since I'm not inclined to change the core rules, I do like that idea.

But on the other hand, I haven't experienced any TPK with my group yet, and we play with the rules as written. I usually choose to cut down the number of mooks per character, but tougher foes will always remain a bigger challenge for small groups. But it's not as if you had to kill your way through the story. More often than not, villains will flee and won't fight to the death. And if you need that epic but seemingly impossible kill, well, let your players' imagination do the job. I personally don't mind if a foe is put down thanks to a clever idea from the players rather than through pure dice or card play. Like having one of the F-35s crash land on Trafalgar Square via Whitehall, and after an intense fight, have a character throw a fireball at the plane to blow it up, dealing the beast a fatal wound.

It's a collective experience. We're telling the story together. As long as everybody enjoys the game, I'm in.


Sure agree with all of that. But I find I can tell more interesting stories if the players have some firepower and feel like big time heroes. :) Like the time they stole the Iron Crocodile's sub. If they felt weak, they wouldn't have played the Parting Shot card (for no reason other than it looked fun as the adventure was basically over), causing him to activate the self destruct sequence. The DSR where they tried to pilot the sub while disarming the weird science bomb was tense and a lot of fun, no way they could have done that without the ghost pool. ;)
"That old chestnut?"

Gargoyle

Taliesin
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Re: Total Party Wipe

Postby Taliesin » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:02 pm

Gargoyle wrote:If they felt weak, they wouldn't have played the Parting Shot card

I do have to admit that, like Badger3d, my players are a bit reluctant to play Cosm cards, for fear of having to go through another fight during which they would spend the Possibilities earned with the card. That's one of the biggest downsides of being a small group in my opinion. Cosm cards are really fun, and a great way to have the players directly contribute to the story.

Gargoyle wrote:The DSR where they tried to pilot the sub while disarming the weird science bomb was tense and a lot of fun, no way they could have done that without the ghost pool. ;)

I never said I wouldn't try it. Actually, I've submitted the idea to my players and they're eager to test it out next week! :D

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Gargoyle
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Re: Total Party Wipe

Postby Gargoyle » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:14 pm

Taliesin wrote:
Gargoyle wrote:If they felt weak, they wouldn't have played the Parting Shot card

I do have to admit that, like Badger3d, my players are a bit reluctant to play Cosm cards, for fear of having to go through another fight during which they would spend the Possibilities earned with the card. That's one of the biggest downsides of being a small group in my opinion. Cosm cards are really fun, and a great way to have the players directly contribute to the story.


Yeah, I try very hard to make cosm cards favorable for them. For instance, Dino Attacks, their first comment was "Why would I ever play that?" When they were being overwhelmed by edeinos warriors, I gave them some time to think about it, and when they didn't...I just tapped the card. "OOOOHHHH". They played it and a wounded triceratops plowed into the edeinos and they were able to get away from that with a Trick much easier than they could have handled the edeinos. I usually don't have to hint anymore, they realize that they can trust me not to screw them on cosm cards if they are a tiny bit clever or at least are playing them to make the game more fun.
"That old chestnut?"

Gargoyle

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Greymarch2000
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Re: Total Party Wipe

Postby Greymarch2000 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:47 pm

It's funny, my players LOOOOVE playing cosm cards. Especially if they mess with the other players. The cyberpriest and Tharkold psycher seem to spend half their life under cyberpsychosis.

fougerec
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Re: Total Party Wipe

Postby fougerec » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:10 pm

Taliesin wrote:I do have to admit that, like Badger3d, my players are a bit reluctant to play Cosm cards, for fear of having to go through another fight during which they would spend the Possibilities earned with the card. That's one of the biggest downsides of being a small group in my opinion. Cosm cards are really fun, and a great way to have the players directly contribute to the story.


I find the older players who are used to decades of GMs messing with them are reluctant to play Cosm cards. Oddly enough also the players most likely to complain about bad dice rolls and not having enough possibilities.

The less experienced players tend to play their cosm cards as soon as they can to see what happens. I think we had one game where the most rambunctious (and youngest of course) player had like 11 possibilities. Primarily because he played "Helpless Bystanders" in the Nile and then, even though he was the most combat capable character by a wide margin, spent several turns saving civilians because that's what heroes do!

Badger3d
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Re: Total Party Wipe

Postby Badger3d » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:20 pm

I ran the CyberPapacy day one with a different group, three players this time I let them each have a hand limit of 8 and play 2 cards from their hand to the pool during combat.
This group was much more aggressive and caught on to the playing the destiny cards quickly.
they managed to take out the CyberGargoyle and Host fairly quickly with good card plays being able to play a Glory card each time.
The Host battle was a little tricky they were failing to hit or damage it for a few turns, while spending possibilities to avoid dyeing from its attacks. Eventually they got a good hit and played everything they could getting the roll total up to 97! and doing 3 wounds on the host, which tried to soak and got an outstanding success stopping all damage, they were heartbroken until they thought to play Opponent Fails, I probably shouldn’t have allowed that card to stop a wound soak, but I didn’t want to see another group wiped out at the same place.

The original 2 person group played the Nile Empire Day one Adventure, this time they each played 2 characters for 4 total, having more characters slowed down the game a bit. They breezed past most of the encounters until the end, they decided to steal a tank and escape, ignoring the captives and 3 stormers. But they were a bit noisy and Brick-Knuckle Banko attacked them on the tank, KO’ing Heidi, before being knocked off the moving tank by the Lion, who fell with him. so half the group escaped but 2 were captured. Better then all dieing but not enough to inspire confidence, I may up their Destiny card hand limits going forward, as I don’t think this group is using them enough.

Looks like we are going to start one or two campaigns, hopefully I can keep things interesting without being too lopsided.

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TorgHacker
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Re: Total Party Wipe

Postby TorgHacker » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:49 pm

Badger3d wrote:I ran the CyberPapacy day one with a different group, three players this time I let them each have a hand limit of 8 and play 2 cards from their hand to the pool during combat.
This group was much more aggressive and caught on to the playing the destiny cards quickly.
they managed to take out the CyberGargoyle and Host fairly quickly with good card plays being able to play a Glory card each time.
The Host battle was a little tricky they were failing to hit or damage it for a few turns, while spending possibilities to avoid dyeing from its attacks. Eventually they got a good hit and played everything they could getting the roll total up to 97! and doing 3 wounds on the host, which tried to soak and got an outstanding success stopping all damage, they were heartbroken until they thought to play Opponent Fails, I probably shouldn’t have allowed that card to stop a wound soak, but I didn’t want to see another group wiped out at the same place.



This is more of a GM style thing than anything else, but it would definitely have been fine to just have the Host not Soak a Glory-worthy attack...especially if they've already had a hard time and sweated a bit.

I wouldn't do that on the 1st round of the Dramatic scene, but after 3-4, yup.
Deanna Gilbert
Torg Eternity designer
Ulisses North America


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