“All of the cosms are going to be tweaked in some way, some a bit, some a lot. But not the Nile Empire. It’s perfect.”
That’s an imperfect paraphrase of what I told a Torg fan at GenCon 2015 after we had announced the coming of Torg Eternity the month previous, and it’s completely, utterly, 100% true.
Well...not so much. I said that in something of a tongue-in-cheek manner, but the Nile Empire was arguably the most popular of the original Torg cosms, which meant that we had to be especially careful in updating it.
Hi Storm Knights,
Deanna suggested this month I do a deep dive on Dramatic Skill Resolution (DSR), and I think that’s a great idea. DSR’s were a major feature of the original TORG, and they’re very similar in Torg Eternity, but not identical. There’s some tricky nuances to explore, and some design tips to cover for GM’s creating their own. It’s easy to go off the rails, even in the published adventures.
Infinite Possibilities – The Torg Eternity Metagame
One of the most interesting features of the original TORG was the idea that your campaign results influenced the overall course of the war. Spending Possibilities in a realm gave the High Lord a boost, so some thrived while others faded. Stelae were mapped and sent out as GPS coordinates so you could follow along at home. Even more impressive was this was all done by mail!
It's no secret that Land Below had a huge impact on the Living Land. Ross Watson had the brilliant idea of threading the "Law of Wonder" through the entire cosm and that opened up so many doors. Why do we have ruined skyscrapers even though according to the axioms there should be nothing but jungle in dominant and pure zones? The Law of Wonders lets them stay intact. Why would anyone go into the dinosaur filled jungles on purpose? The Law of Wonders scatters potent treasures to find.
I get to play Torg Eternity with all sorts of people, from storied veterans to absolute beginners, and the question of game difficulty is always an interesting one. For those who've mastered the system some of our published adventures seem all too easy, and there's a strong reflex to make things tougher all around. But then I'll play with a table of new players fresh to the game and remember just why we set our balance point where we did in the first place!
Shane Hensley had a strong vision for what the Possibility Wars would look like in Torg Eternity, and his keyword for describing it was “desperate.” Early on we had some trouble confusing that with “darker,” which wasn't really accurate. Darker meant less hope overall, more unhappy endings, and more focus on the unsavory aspects of the war. But that wasn’t what Shane was aiming for. Desperate meant there would be more pressure from the High Lords, more danger that forces the Storm Knights to engage, but once they engage they might still win, and win big. Things are intense…but not really dark.
For me, one of the best parts of working on Torg is getting to create the strange creatures that populate the different cosms. Ross Watson did an amazing job on the Living Land sourcebook, but there was room for me to contribute by bolstering the character options—and adding some more monsters!