Which Cosm Should I Be From
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When creating your Storm Knight PC, you have to decide on a home cosm. This is an important decision, as it determines both your personal axioms and what perk categories you have access to. Here's a quick summary of what each cosm has to offer from a game-mechanical perspective, to help you choose. Of course, if you simply like the flavor of a particular cosm, that's more than enough reason to go for that one!
Each title links to the cosm's official description on the Torg site. Be sure to read this first!
A Racial Decision: If you're not playing a human, you have a strong incentive to choose the home cosm appropriate to your race, as that's the only way to obtain additional racial perks! For example, an elf from Aysle can have any of the Elf perks -- but an elf who transformed and is now part of Core Earth, though able to retain a few existing Elf perks (GM's discretion), cannot acquire new ones because those perks are from the Asyle cosm.
- Magic 24 / Social 16 / Spirit 18 / Tech 14
Spellcasting, spellcasting, and more spellcasting -- you can learn more potent spells in Aysle than anywhere else in the multiverse. Elves make amazing wizards and archers in particular, and dwarves are hardy in any role. The Darkness and Light perks are unique and incredibly potent, and combine well with a faith-based build. Asyle offers a solid selection of miracles. And the Berserk perk is one of the best "pure fighter" abilities around. All you're denied is psi. And frankly, if you're a huge fan of classic fantasy, you've probably already made your decision.
- Magic 9 / Social 23 / Spirit 10 / Tech 23
A solid "default" choice, if only because you know this one pretty well! Core Earth is the only cosm that offers miracles, psionics, and spells -- if for some reason you plan to dabble in all three -- along with high-tech weapons and equipment. However, its main strength is the Reality perk category, which offers some of the most potent meta abilities in the game. If you get Realm Runner, you can pick up Cosm Adaptation once you hit Beta Clearance, and grab perks as if you weren't from Core Earth.
- Magic 14 / Social 18 / Spirit 16 / Tech 26
If you're a fan of dystopian, cat-and-mouse technothrillers, there's a lot to love in the Cyberpapacy. The most advanced gear available in the game is from here; it's nice to wield Tech 26 equipment with no personal contradiction. This is reflected by the availability of cyberware, which is extremely versatile, and can be used to improve your spellcasting. Or instead of spellcasting you can focus on Cyberpapacy miracles, turning the Cyberpope's faith against him. This cosm lacks psionics, due to its "technopathic" focus.
- Magic 1 / Social 7 / Spirit 24 / Tech 6
This is home to bare-chested hunks, toned heroines with catlike reflexes, and canny lizardfolk. The most potent miracles also hail from here, particularly those involving living beings and nature in general. Spirituality is so strong that magic, psi, and tech fall completely by the wayside. You can be an edeinos or (via Chosen of Lanala) a human who can nonetheless grab Edeinos perks. Savagery perks connect you to animals -- granting a wide range of "pet" companions and mounts -- and/or improve your ability to fight. Remember, "primitive" doesn't mean "stupid."
- Magic 14 / Social 20 / Spirit 18 / Tech 20
Have you ever wanted to roleplay an over-the-top pulp hero? Now's your chance! The Pulp Powers perks are what the Nile Empire is known for, both as inherent abilities and impossible gadgets, and it's easy to use them to build a potent cinematic hero. However, you also have access to a respectable range of miracles (particularly via the Amaatism religion) and multiple forms of spellcasting, ranging from numerology to outright sorcery. There's no psi, but many pulp powers are "psi-like."
- Magic 16 / Social 18 / Spirit 16 / Tech 18
The scariest cosm! You get to decide if you're a stiff-upper-lip Victorian from Gaea or a local (probably Indian) who transformed when the Gaunt Man invaded. Knowledge is power here, with Occult perks that reward scholars and weaponize science into Alchemy and alchemical Bulletsmithing. Both miracles and magic are available (no psi), with horrific options for both. Basically, this is the cosm for those who fight monsters and/or have become a bit monstrous themselves.
- Magic 4 / Social 24 / Spirit 8 / Tech 24
If you like anime set in our modern world, zombies, and John Woo "neo-noir" films, this cosm is for you. It's one of the few cosms where psionics are possible (though neither magic nor miracles), and its cinematic Ki Powers are to the body what psi is to the mind. Its tech is slightly more advanced than Core Earth, with Electric Samurai perks that play those differences up. If the Nile Empire is the world of pulp heroes, Pan-Pacifica is the world of modern action heroes.
- Magic 12 / Social 25 / Spirit 4 / Tech 25
Tharkhold can be tricky to wrap your head around. Demons lord over their human thralls, yet also have to share the world with them. The high Social axiom means that psi is common and powerful, but also that every cog has a place in this terrible machine. Think Brazil meets Mad Max meets Dante's Inferno. Faith is nonexistent but magic is available and fairly strong. Technology is advanced, but weird, with Occultech implants a prerequisite for using the best stuff.
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