Balanced Party

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Balanced Party

Postby Zackzenobi » Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:58 am

Forgive me. I'm sensing Deja Vu but cant find this topic in the search.

What do we think a Balanced Party looks like in Torg?

The first balanced party was the Thief, Wizard, Cleric, and Fighter. But in Torg we are dealing with multi genre so the needs aren't always the same.

But generally speaking I think there are some things that we might find consistent across the Cosms. Here are my initial thoughts. I welcome yours.

Healer - Yes, I know Storm Knights can soak Damage. But doing that spends a Possibility that could be used for offense. A Priest w the healing miracle is almost essential. Some Perks like Rejuvenate and Rally can help take some of the weight of the Miracle worker.

Tank - Sure the term screams Fantasy, but having someone who can take a hit is good in any Cosm. Cyberpapacy power armor, Dragon Warriors, and Electric Samurai are all from different cosms and I'd be happy to stand behind any of them.

Face Man - there are going to be plenty of damage dealers in every party but sometimes you have to talk your way out of the situation.


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Re: Balanced Party

Postby Spatula » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:53 am

It's a bit tricky in Torg because there are so many different kinds of characters. I would say that the PCs absolutely need a "tank" or someone who can take hits. Other than that... I don't know if you need anything. But I suppose I would rate the following as important:

  • A character with decent persuasion/streetwise skills
  • A character with a good/high reality skill
  • A character with a good attack skill
  • A character with a decent find skill
  • A character with a decent survival skill
  • A character from a high-tech reality who understands computers and whatnot
A given PC could fill more than one of those "roles", of course.

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Re: Balanced Party

Postby fougerec » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:24 am

A character or characters with good interaction skills is a must. Not just for the conditions but also to get more cards into circulation.

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Re: Balanced Party

Postby Gargoyle » Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:51 am

The skill list is short, and gameplay very much rewards covering all the bases, especially with regards to Interaction attacks, and being able to attack with both ranged and melee weapons.

I'd recommend player characters have a wide variety of skills, and each one specialize in a different interaction attack, and everyone put points into Reality. It would be worth it to put one point in each skill that cannot be used untrained. Everyone should take points in Reality, because disconnecting sucks for everyone.

A variety of cosms is nice, but it's more about what they can do and not having too much overlap. I don't tend to think of there being roles like tank, healer or dps because those roles can switch easily. Sometimes the person with the high Willpower is the "tank", like when fighting an illusionist type of caster or psychic. But there are a lot of fights that are pretty standard, like mooks with guns or whatever, so it's not a bad paradigm I guess. But my preference is not to have characters specialize too much too soon.

All that said, we don't encourage party building at my table. My players hate that and prefer new players play whatever they want, not even letting them know what they are playing until the new person decides what they are going to run, and it works great for us. They can always specialize more as they advance, and I imagine the game would still be fun if everyone choose the same archetype and just customized it, though that hasn't happened and would be unlikely. I do have two of four from the same cosm which is fine.
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Re: Balanced Party

Postby Kuildeous » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:02 am

As the GM I'll play up to the strength of the characters while keeping in mind that there are some tasks that they are not well-suited for. For example, no one can fly aircraft (yet). I have to take that into consideration when putting a plane in my scenario. Either I need to provide an NPC or an alternative to the plane. If there weren't a healer, then I'd focus on enemies that do shock damage more often than wound damage. Dice are a fickle lot, of course, and wounds can happen, but better to knock them out through shock than to cripple them for days with wounds if I can help it.

Interestingly enough, my group's tank is he cyberpriest. Not because he's tough but because he has a reality of like 16. Provided he's not disconnected, he can pretty much shrug off any damage I throw at him.

But I wouldn't say that a tank is essential. If my group doesn't have a tank, then I would throw lower-caliber enemies at them. That's the beauty of Torg. The PCs can scale, but so can the bad guys. It's why I couldn't take those early naysayers seriously when they claimed that Torg heroes didn't feel heroic enough just because their numbers were lower. Well, yeah, if all your foes have attacks and defenses of 12, then that's going to overwhelm most starting PCs. If you use the foes with 8 and 9 attack and defense, then Storm Knights can work around it.

I view a balanced party as one that can cover most bases, possibly with some redundancy in case dice go cold. So my list closely mirrors Spatula's. I wouldn't say these skills are essential, but they do open up more avenues of play. Imagine what you would have to give up if the group didn't have any strength at all in these skills:
Persusasion/Streetwise – Don't expect the group to win over allies or find safe passage in hostile lands.
Reality – Missions involving stelae might stall out; reality storms are a significant obstacle.
Find/Evidence Analysis – Investigative scenarios may stall out if there are no safety nets in place.
Survival – The jungle treks could stall out if they can't figure out how to cross a river.
Computers – Missions in Core Earth and three invaders could stall out if the next step involves computers.
First Aid/Medicine/Faith – While I can scale back combat encounters, part of the thrill is taking licks and surviving it; having some means to keep someone from suffering -3 all day would help.
Scholar/Science – This is another place where an adventure can stall out if there isn't an info safety net.

I won't require my group to take any of these, and I have no interest in punishing them by making them feel like they failed because of these shortcomings. I will, however, provide some shortcuts that can be triggered by the right use of one of these skills.

I want them to feel comfortable making characters they want rather than feel obligated to fill a role. I'm cool if they say, "Oh man, this would've been easier if we had someone who could fly a plane." It's much better than them saying, "Well, that was a shitshorm. I guess I'll take Air Vehicles so we don't get screwed again."
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Re: Balanced Party

Postby vaminion » Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:30 pm

It's so campaign dependent I think it's impossible to say. Half of Kuileous' list would be functionally useless in the campaign I was playing in.
Last edited by vaminion on Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Balanced Party

Postby TorgHacker » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:57 pm

Kuildeous wrote:Find/Evidence Analysis – Investigative scenarios may stall out if there are no safety nets in place.

Scholar/Science – This is another place where an adventure can stall out if there isn't an info safety net.

I'm of the opinion that adventures should never stall out because of a lack of these skills. The critical information that's needed to continue an adventure, is, IMO an automatic find. It's kind of a corollary to my philosophy of "every roll should matter". Sometimes you shouldn't roll at all.

However, what these allow is either getting boons or additional information, or avoiding problems and complications.
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Re: Balanced Party

Postby Kuildeous » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:27 pm

Some GMs don't believe in safety nets, which is why I put the condition on there.

I think they're great though, and at the very least, information gleaned from additional find and scholar rolls should enhance the situation. In this case, not having skills in those might not stall out the adventure, but it could close off some interesting side streets. For example, the automatic success tells you that the eternity shard will be at a party. Succeeding at an appropriate fluff skill like scholar or find might reveal that it's being catered by Cyberspies R Us, giving them a whole new scene to check out.

All that to say that no, I don't think those skills are essential, but the game is more fun if at least a couple of people are good at them.
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Re: Balanced Party

Postby Atama » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:48 pm

Our group is pretty diverse. We have a dexterous fighter from Nile with a force field power and some utility skills. My character is a dumb but strong LL savage who has Miracles which are focused on healing. We have a highly intelligent Cyberwitch who is skilled with computers and with a Godlight pistol. And a psychic kid from Tharkold with powerful Kinesis and is a good mechanic.

Really all we’re missing is any sort of social skills, but we’ve found that with enough brute force you don’t really need that.

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Re: Balanced Party

Postby Savioronedge » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:04 pm

Even in OT I felt any party with diversity was balanced, the more diverse the better.

TORG: Eternity has done an excellent job of keeping that feel. This is even moreso a game about normal people doing extraordinary things. Having a plumber, a carpenter, an electrician, and a contractor as a party is completely plausible, but probably not as fun as having a plumber, a swami, a cyberwitch, and a knight would be.

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