Torg Eternity Preview #10 – Combat Basics

This week we get into the basics of combat in Torg Eternity.

Using the Drama Deck

As mentioned in our previous preview, each round the GM flips over the top card on the Drama Deck. The card indicates which side goes first in the round, and whether there are any advantages or disadvantages for each side. Standard Scenes tend to see the heroes get initiative or have the advantage (or the villains get a disadvantage) while Dramatic Scenes have the opposite bias.


Characters on each side can take their turn in whatever order they wish. On their turn, a character can move up to their Dexterity in meters, or run up to Dexterity x 8 meters (but takes a -2 penalty on any actions).

A character can take multiple actions on their turn, but every action gets a -2 penalty per action taken (so three actions would all have a -6 penalty).

After taking an action, even if unsuccessful, the player can then play a Destiny card from their hand into their Action Pool.

Interaction Attacks

In addition to physical attacks, characters can make interaction attacks in order to disrupt their opponents. Much of the time Approved Actions, which can allow a player to draw a new Destiny card, are interaction attacks.

The four kinds of interaction attacks are maneuver, trick, taunt, and intimidation, all of which use the corresponding skill and target the opponent’s skill. Fans of Original Torg will note the absence of test of wills, which is no longer in the game.

On a Standard Success, the player chooses one effect (Stymied or Vulnerable) to apply to the opponent, or two effects on a Good Success. An additional Stymied or Vulnerable effect makes the character Very Stymied or Very Vulnerable.  Stymied characters have a -2 penalty to all actions they take and any attacks on Vulnerable characters get a +2 bonus. The effects are doubled for Very Stymied or Very Vulnerable conditions.

An Outstanding Success additionally provides a “player’s call” which is negotiated with the GM to have a character surrender, fall off a building, or simply miss their next turn.

These attacks are vital to even the odds against opponents that are significantly stronger or faster than the heroes are, and provide a weakness to be exploited on the villain’s side. A player choosing to leave his Charisma at 5 is opening himself up to an easy taunt and becoming Stymied, Vulnerable, or worse!

Physical Attacks

Most of the time though, the villain just needs to get beat down. Physical attacks are attempted using an attack skill against the appropriate defense skill. Ranged attacks (fire combat, missile weapons, heavy weapons, energy weapons) target the opponent’s dodge, while close combat attacks use unarmed combat or melee weapons against the target’s unarmed combat (if they don’t have an appropriate melee weapon) or melee weapons (if they do). Some other skills such as those used for magic, miracles, or psionics can be used as well, and sometimes willpower is used to defend against mental attacks.

A target can make an Active Defense as his action, which allows him to roll a bonus to all of his defenses until his next turn (with a minimum of +1).

Attacks at medium and long range have penalties (and there is no longer a minimum +1 bonus for firing at ‘point blank range’). Attacks against large targets get a bonus to hit.


If the attack hits, the target (usually) takes damage. On a Good hit, the damage is increased by +1dE, or +2dE on an Outstanding hit. As mentioned previously, any rolls of E count as +5 and then the die is rolled again and added to the total.

The damage is then compared to the target’s Toughness, even if the attack is considered ‘mental’ or ‘spiritual’. The damage table is simplified from Original Torg:

First, there is no differentiation between Ords and reality-rated characters. Ks and Os are no longer damage types, but instead are a condition: ‘KOed’. Finally, unless the attack is significantly weaker than the target’s Toughness, at least 1 Shock will be inflicted on a hit.

Damage Mitigation

Reality-rated characters can negate (or “soak”) damage by spending one or more Possibilities. For each Possibility spent, one Wound, or dE Shock are negated. In addition, at any time a reality-rated character can reduce Shock by spending a Possibility, which gets rid of dE Shock.

Damage Results

When a character reaches her Shock limit (based on Spirit), she’s KOed. Any additional Shock is ignored.

For each Wound, a character takes a -1 penalty to all actions, up to a maximum penalty of -3. When she reaches her Wound limit, she must test for Death and Defeat. Any additional Wounds are ignored, and once the character is conscious again, any subsequent Wounds just mean another Death and Defeat test. Ords usually have a Wound limit of 1. Reality-rated characters usually have a Wound limit of 4.

A Death and Defeat test is a Spirit or Strength test (whichever is less, though that can be mitigated by Perks). On a failure, the character dies (but can make one last dramatic action). On a Standard Success, the character suffers an Injury: a permanent reduction in one attribute. A Good Success makes that Injury temporary, and an Outstanding Success merely KOs the character.

Do You Want to Know More?

There’s a lot more to come next week with regards to combat, including combat options, vehicles and foes, but if you have any questions about the basics, head on over to our forums!

10 thoughts on “Torg Eternity Preview #10 – Combat Basics”

  1. Paul says:

    I don’t like that K and O effects were removed; I can understand why, but to me a character taking a K or O condition represented them getting their bell rung and, likely, I will return them to the game once I have it in-hand, if you guys EVER get the Kickstarter begun, in at least a limited fashion.

  2. Ebatbuok says:

    I can undestand too. I was fun to be Koed without being really hurt. But, you could always do that with a K = 1 wound and X shocks = 1 O..
    I dunno.
    I liked a lot the differences between an ord and a reality character. But there is a bit of savage worlds in your new way of seeing things. One wound to get rid of an ord is the same…
    You could also go for one wound = KO for Npcs 🙂
    Possibilities seem to be less powerfull now to get rid of damages…

  3. Tommy says:

    I can appreciate Ulisses Spiele effort to improve the old game system, but there is a thin line between “Streamlining” and “Watered down”.
    The KO-system stays with in my system. Guess we have to “house rule” that one.
    Please stop making game systems for the ADHD-generation of our time. Let them stick to console gaming and leave the Pen and paper roleplaying to the people how likes a system works.

  4. Dave says:

    Why is there no longer a differentiation between Olds and P-rated characters? That is a pretty big change. How did Boromir kill 67 Urukai singlehandedly? How did Indiana Jones take on multiple Nazis at a time?

    We always had the heroes fighting multiple ords In standard encounters and then less in dramatic encounters.

    Why the change?

  5. Dean says:

    @Tommy. Thanks for your suggestion. I understand that you enjoy playing a version of Torg much more similar to the previous edition, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, we are designing the game to be more approachable and resolve faster, applying lessons learned over the last 25 years in game design. A big part of designing a new edition is to make the game for multiple playstyles. And if you want to house rule, go for it! Once the game is out, it’s your game to do what you wish. We’re not going to send over Kanana security forces to make you play it exactly to the rules.

  6. Dean says:

    @Dave. Hi Dave! I think you missed the bit where Ords usually have a Wound limit of 1, which means when they take a Wound, they’re out. Reality-rated characters usually have a Wound limit of 4.

    So they’re still different. It’s just that instead of applying more Wounds to Ords to take them out faster, we apply Wounds the same, but give them less before they get taken out.

  7. Zack Zenobi says:

    What replaces Test of Wills?

    1. Dean says:

      Nothing! It’s not needed. It’s one of the benefits of eliminating Perception as an attribute (so trick could go into Mind instead).

  8. Theodore Wilson says:

    I think this helps on some points means you have work a bit smarter now work around the people(ords/GM charecters) not just go in guns blazing except in Nile Empire although I’m afraid about Dr.Mobius the way the my GM played him was impressive already now what’s he gonna be like?

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