Torg Eternity House Rules and Clarifications

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Note: We do not use the optional "(Cosm) Possibility Energy" rules from each cosm book. Cosm Cards already handle this concept just fine without the extra complexity.

Aiming into Melee

Normally shooting into a melee gives a 50% chance of hitting the wrong target. However, if you use the Aim maneuver first, you won't hit the wrong target except on a Mishap.

Why: Just makes sense, and gives the Aim maneuver a slight utility bump without making it more powerful.

Cosm Cards "Played Immediately"

If a cosm card says "play immediately when drawn," do so, but then you get to draw another cosm card. If that one says "play immediately," ignore and redraw until you get one that doesn't.

Why: "Play immediately" cards are great for highlighting cosm themes, but they shouldn't take away the fun of having a cosm card that you're in control of.

Cross-Cosm Learning

It sometimes makes sense for a character to pick up (in play) a perk or arcane ability from a cosm they aren't native to. With GM permission this can be allowed, but such an ability always causes a personal contradiction! In other words, it's a one-case contradiction even in the cosm from which it stems (unless you have the Adaptable perk). In every other cosm, it's a one-case contradiction (even with Adaptable) -- unless it requires the cosm's laws (*), in which case it's a four-case contradiction.

Much like perks dependent on a cosm's laws are marked with a *, cross-cosm perks, spells, etc. should be marked with a ! as a reminder.

Why: This allows for more varied and "out-there" characters, it adds some tension and uncertainty, and it constantly reminds that player of the differences between the realities of each cosm. These are all good things!

Favored and Disfavored

These cancel each other out on a one-for-one basis, so if your roll would be Favored from two aspects and Disfavored from one, it's just Favored. Any "leftover" Favored/Disfavored gives ±2 to your action total (e.g., if you're Disfavored from two sources, you're Disfavored and at -2).

Why: Even if it almost never comes up, this is a bit more fun than the current rules, which give no stacking benefit and have these two conditions cancel out completely.

Glory

  1. Anyone who draws a Glory card may immediately choose to discard it and draw a new Destiny card. For example, if a Glory card has already been played this act, further copies are less useful (since the +1 hand size is not cumulative).
  2. Following the "Nashville Incident," restoring a Zone still requires just one Glory card, but Glory cards can be played only during Dramatic scenes.
Why: #1 lets us keep multiple Glories in the deck without them clogging the players' hands when unwanted. #2 fills the same mechanical role as the "multiple Glory" requirement, but is more narratively exciting, makes Glories more epic, and is a callback to how it worked in original Torg. We also slightly changed the Storyteller perk to better match this rule.

Leveled Arcane Perks

If you take the same arcane perk multiple times (e.g., you already have Spellcaster and you take Spellcaster again), it adds two new miracles/powers/spells instead of one.

Why: This just brings the benefit in line with the other "enhanced arcane perks" being introduced in source books, such as Optant and Pulp Sorcerer, which each give at least two new arcane abilities.

Racial Attributes

If a race has an attribute maximum of 16+, the minimum value for that attribute is (maximum - 10). For example, a Stalenger's max Spirit is 16, so a Stalenger PC must have a Spirit of 6+.

Why: If the idea is that this race is exceptionally spirited, strong, dextrous, etc. — to the point of having an incredibly high maximum — then even a "weak" member should still have a decent attribute level here.

Skill Changes

1. Athletics skill exists, based on Strength

Why: Strength is used for climbing, swimming, endurance running, and more, and it just makes sense that you could train at being better at these things. This skill can be "floated over" to Dexterity for certain situations, but it isn't a replacement for acrobatic maneuvering; that's still the maneuver skill!

2. First Aid is part of the Medicine skill

Why: If "all science" is a skill, then "all doctoring" should be a skill. Medicine remains a trained-only skill except when doing basic first aid.

3. Language is simplified (see Torg Eternity Languages)

Why: Rolling against Language skill constantly is boring. Plus it's good to have guidelines for the languages likely to come up in the game.

4. Lockpicking is now called Thievery, and covers all sneaky sleight-of-hand

Why: We need a skill for picking pockets, shoplifting, concealing pistols, etc., and with Lockpicking using Dexterity, it makes sense. Note that opening electronic keypads and defeating security systems uses Computers instead.

5. Reality is based on Charisma, not Spirit

Why: Thematically, Charisma represents your presence, how the world reacts to you as an inspiring hero, which is the most definitive part of being a Stormer; this is why Reality perks have Charisma prereqs more often than Spirit ones, why Corruption drains your Charisma, etc. Mechanically, this keeps Charisma from being a "dump stat"; Spirit has more than enough utility already and doesn't suffer from this change.

Two-Handed Weapons

Balanced, two-handed weapons -- like quarterstaves and longswords -- are excellent defensive weapons. As such, anyone using such a weapon gets +2 to their melee weapons defense (just as dual-wielders do), unless the weapon has the Min Str or Unwieldy trait.

Why: Not only is this more believable and accurate, it also allows for a wider range of "weapon master" characters. Cinematic staff-slingers are just as cool as ambidextrous blade-dancers!

Upgrading NPC Allies

A player with an attached NPC ally (e.g., a follower or animal companion) may choose to spend XP on the NPC instead of on her own PC. The first perk added costs the usual 5 XP, regardless of how many perks the NPC's base template contained.

Note that, at Beta Clearance, the Intense Training perk is a wonderful way to upgrade a companion or follower! But it must be taken by the PC (not bought as part of the NPC's character sheet) and it can be taken only once per NPC.

Why: There's already a precedent for "buy a perk that gives your NPC a perk," so this just generalizes that rule further and makes it simpler by not having to track which PC perks actually boost NPCs and so on.

Official Clarifications and Errata

MetersDamage
0-5none
6–1010 +1BD
11-2015 +1BD
21-5020 +1BD
51-10025 +1BD
101+30 +1BD
  • Perks, even cosm-specific ones, are not necessarily lost upon transforming to a new cosm, just those that the GM rules are "incompatible" with the new world (like Spellcaster in the Living Land). Racial perks are the most likely to stay. Thus, you could create a starting PC edeinos who has transformed to Core Earth but still retains one or two Edeinos perks; however, she could not acquire any further Edeinos perks. These retained perks are not considered "cross-cosm" (!) as discussed above.
  • Bonuses don't stack unless they explicitly say so. However, pay attention to the way damage is phrased; e.g., edeinos claws inflict a fixed "Strength +2 damage" just like a weapon, so they can receive a bonus on top of that fixed damage.
  • Disfavored is a status not found in the core book. It cancels out Favored, or on its own, it negates the first additional die roll you'd get (e.g., from Up or from a Possibility).
  • If you use a Multi-Action to attack the same target with two weapons or affect the same target with two different interaction attacks, the effects do not stack. Resolve both attacks (including damage/effect) and then apply the better result.
  • A active defense cannot be combined with any other actions (just simple actions). You can declare it even if the villains have initiative (basically using your action early). It lasts until the end of the current round.
  • Card and token play is simultaneous on an action. This doesn't normally matter, but if you were to play Drama and Hero on an attack, you could not then play Malestrom to prevent the foe Soaking because doing so would negate the Drama and Hero card play.
  • When you Play For The Critical Moment, you discard all of your cards at the very end of the action(s). So even if an effect would cause you to draw cards during or immediately afterward — like Rally or doing an Approved Action — you'll just discard them anyway. (Confirmed by Deanna on Discord.)
  • Casting an arcane power requires the target(s) to be in range, and within line of sight, but it can then be maintained until the duration ends (or for Concentration spells, until Concentration is broken).
  • When forced to make a Concentration test, if the target of a spell isn't within line of sight and range, the spell effect ends regardless of the result of the Concentration test.
  • If a "resisted" power (e.g., DN equals willpower or Spirit) is cast on a willing subject, the DN is unchanged but the subject can use Extra Effort to assist the caster.
  • If the Drama card shows multiple DSR (Dramatic Skill Resolution) steps that would apply, one character can attempt to fulfill them as a Multi-Action. Alternatively, multiple characters can attempt those steps individually, in order, but all attempts have a penalty equal to -2 per step attempted (harder than a Multi-Action would be, due to the added complexity of coordination). For example, if ABC is showing, one character can attempt A, then B, then C, all at -4 for the Multi-Action -- or two or three different characters can attempt A, then B, then C, all at -6 for rushed coordination.
  • Armor has three pieces: torso, head, and leggings. Full body armor covers all three. Other armor misses one or more.
  • Flash grenades (from the Beta Clearance Player's Primer) just do 8 damage in a Medium Blast. A Good hit also causes one condition (Stymied or Vulnerable, attacker's choice), but doesn't deal any extra damage. An Outstanding hit inflicts two conditions. They have Value 5 if requisitioned; they are not normally available for purchase.
  • Surge: Determine the character's Contradiction level including all carried gear and passive abilities, even those not "in use" at the moment. Anyone not native to this cosm is a minimum one-case Contradiction. (Both of these rules only apply to Surge checks!)

  • Repair Rules: Fixing something takes a skill roll, usually a Mind-based operation skill (e.g., Mind + land vehicles to fix a car) or science. Time required is around an hour for most things, a day for a Large item, or a week for a Very Large one. DN ranges from 8 for simple mechanisms with one or two parts, to 16 for a motor with hundreds of complex pieces, to 20 for microcircuits and advanced tech. Apply -2 to -6 if tools and/or parts aren't available. (From Ruins of the Living Land, plus skill notes from the forums.)

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