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PSA: Torg Eternity Kickstarter

June 1, 2017

My old gaming buddies and I played a fair amount of the Torg RPG by West End Games back in high school. Torg was this bizarre game from the early 90’s that smushed several different genres (fantasy, horror, cyberpunk, pulp heroes, ninjas, and more) into one game with a ludicrous setting that attempted to justify it all. There were tie-in novels, splatbooks galore, and the promise of a metaplot (hey, it was the 90’s) that would be continuously updated with the events from everyone’s home game.

In the game world, different realities invade Earth simultaneously in order to steal its ample red-and-blue-colored “possibility energy.” But the invasion causes some of that energy to be unleashed, and special individuals get transformed by it into “storm knights,” heroes or villains who can use the energy to perform amazing feats. Each invading reality reflects a different genre or mashup:

  • The Living Land is a “Land of the Lost” style place with dinosaurs, lizard folk, endless jungles, and so on (North America)
  • Asyle is a fantasy world of wizards and warriors and dragons (British Isles)
  • The Cyberpapacy is like a cyberpunk version of the Spanish Inquisition (France)
  • Orrosh is a Victorian-era horror realm of monsters and fear (Indonesia in the original game)
  • The Nile Empire is an Egyptian-themed 1920’s pulp world (Egypt)
  • Nippon Tech is a world of near-future corporate intrigue, ninjas, and street samurai (east Asia)
  • Tharkold is a place where cyber-enhanced demons have enslaved humans, who developed psionics to fight back (Russia)
  • Akasha is a friendly realm that touches down later on in the war, an Aztec-influenced group of “space gods” who used bio-engineered organisms instead of machinery (South America)

And then there’s Core Earth, the bits of the planet that remained free from the invaders. The PCs are a group of storm knights attempting to defeat the “high lords” that rule each realm, and to roll back the invasion.

In some ways, Torg was a very 90’s sort of RPG – the metaplot, the splats, etc. In others, it was a bit ahead of its time in a couple of areas. It had a deck of cards – the “drama deck” – which gave players special effects to use during the game, and was also used to control the flow of encounters. And it had several “narrative” elements that are more common today, but at the time were pretty new (to me, anyway). The cards gave the players some limited (and random) authority to control or influence the narrative. The heroes and villains were automatically tougher and better than ordinary folk. There were hero/plot/destiny points to boost rolls. Encounters could be “standard,” where the PCs weren’t in much danger, or “dramatic” where the stakes were high, and the odds would be tipped against them in the latter. Published adventures were organized into acts and scenes, like a play or movie, and some mechanics were tied to that. Different realities had different rules meant to invoke the feeling of the realm’s genre. It was largely a “traditional” RPG, in today’s terms, but it specifically set out to re-create the cinematic feel of an action/adventure movie, and other movie genres in the other realities.

Anyway, West End Games went under a long time back. A German publisher, Ulisses Spiele, picked up the rights to the game and has a Kickstarter running right now to fund a new edition. The backing options are rather pricey – I’m told they did that intentionally in order to not poach sales from game stores, which I can certainly respect. So the Kickstarter is more for big fans of the original game, I would say, unless you just want PDFs. So far, the campaign has been a big success – they blew past their initial funding goal in the first few hours, and have been going like gangbusters since.

If you’re interested, the Kickstarter can be found here.

There’s also a Twitter feed that’s live-tweeting the “invasion” over here!

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From → Gaming, Torg

3 Comments
  1. Link to the Kickstarter dutifully passed on to my loal Torg fan.
    Thanks.

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  1. Torg Eternity: Character Generator | Daddy DM

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