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Torg Eternity: Character Generator, Custom Perks Part 3

July 12, 2018

This is part of the continuing discussion on how to customize the game data in the TOCG character generator for the Torg Eternity roleplaying game. Please go here for the start of the series. This is post number three in examining how to customize perks.

Custom Perks 201

Having examined how to construct basic Perks, as well as Prereqs, Choices, and Effects elements, we will take a look on putting them all together to define some more complicated perks. Let’s take a look at an example:

<Perk name=“Blessed Weapon” category=“Faith” contradiction=“false” takeAgain=“false” limitations=“false” enhancements=“false”>

<Summary>Low-tech weapon gains +1 damage, +2 vs. supernatural evil.</Summary>
<Description>Please see page 15 in the Living Land Sourcebook.</Description>

<Prereqs>

<Attribute name=“Spi”>8</Attribute>
<SkillAdds name=“Faith”>1</SkillAdds>
<HomeCosm name=“LL” />

</Prereqs>

<Choices>

<SelectItem type=“Weapon” maxTech=“7” />

</Choices>

<Effects>

<ModifyWeaponDamage>1</ModifyWeaponDamage>

</Effects>

</Perk>

In this case we have a perk that has three prerequisites (four if you include the category), one choice, and one effect. The perk can only be taken once and doesn’t cause contradictions.

Because the perk belongs to the “Faith” category, a character can belong to any realm but Pan-Pacifica or Tharkold to add this perk (the list of permissible cosms is defined in the PerkCategory named “Faith”). But the perk also has a Prereqs element with a nested HomeCosm element, that says the character can only come from the Living Land. And the Prereqs element has two more nested elements – Attribute and SkillAdds. As a result, the character has to come from the Living Land, needs a Spirit of 8 or higher, and must have at least 1 add in the faith skill. All four of these requirements must be met, so it’s important that none of them are mutually exclusive. For example, if the HomeCosm requirement said that the character had to come from Tharkold, no one would ever be able to add the perk, as Tharkold characters can’t take Faith perks.

The Choices element and its nested SelectItem element means that when the user selects the perk to add to the character, they will be asked to choose a weapon in the character’s inventory that has a Tech axiom of 7 or lower. If there is no such item, the user will be informed of that and the perk can’t be added.

The Effects element and its nested ModifyWeaponDamage element will then increase the damage of the chosen weapon by 1.

Take it Again

Aside from Prereqs, Choices, and Effects, there is another optional nested element: TakeAgain. The TakeAgain handles particular perks that (wait for it) can be taken more than once. A simple example with this element is:

<Perk name=“Cyberware Implants” category=“Cyberware” contradiction=“false” takeAgain=“true” limitations=“false” enhancements=“false”>

<Summary>Gain $10,000 in cyberware implants. Take again for +$5,000.</Summary>
<Description>Please see page 84 in the Torg Eternity Core Rulebook.</Description>

<TakeAgain type=“Cyberware” starting=“10000” repeat=“5000” />

</Perk>

Note that if a perk can be taken more than once, the Perk takeAgain XML attribute should be set to “true”.

The TakeAgain element has three XML attributes. The type XML attribute must be one of: “Axiom”, “Cyberware”, “Follower”, “ImproveFollower”, “Miracles”, “Occultech”, “PsiPowers”, or “Spells”. The starting XML attribute is the budget that the character is given the first time the perk is selected, and it has a different meaning depending on the type. For “Cyberware” and “Occultech”, it’s money to spend on cybernetics. For “Miralces”, “PsiPowers”, and “Spells”, it’s the number of spell picks. The repeat XML attribute is the budget that the character is given on subsequent takings of the perk.

If the TakeAgain type XML attribute is “Follower” or “ImproveFollower”, there is a special nested element that has to be placed inside of the TakeAgain element, like so:

<TakeAgain type=“Follower” starting=“1” repeat=“1”>

<Follower attrPts=“36” skillAdds=“12” perks=“0” wealth=“1000” />

</TakeAgain>

<TakeAgain type=“ImproveFollower” starting=“1” repeat=“1”>

<ImproveFollower attrPts=“1” skillAdds=“3,2,1” perks=“1” wealth=“0” />

</TakeAgain>

This nested element tells the application how many attribute and skills points (and perks, and money) can be used to create or improve the follower character.

Here is a more complicated perk that can be taken again:

<Perk name=“Miracles” category=“Faith” contradiction=“false” takeAgain=“true” limitations=“false” enhancements=“false”>

<Summary>Gain Ward Enemy and 2 other Miracles. Take again to learn 1 more.</Summary>
<Description>Please see page 89 in the Torg Eternity Core Rulebook.</Description>

<Prereqs>

<SkillAdds name=“Faith”>1</SkillAdds>

</Prereqs>

<Choices>

<SelectFaith />

</Choices>

<Effects>

<AddSpell type=“Miracle” name=“Ward Enemy” />

</Effects>

<TakeAgain type=“Miracles” starting=“2” repeat=“1” />

</Perk>

So before the character can take the perk, they have to be able to select Faith perks and must have at least 1 add in the faith skill. Then when the character is taking the perk, the user must choose a faith for the character. After the character takes the perk, they gain knowledge of the ward enemy miracle, and can select two more miracles from the list for their faith. If the character takes the perk again, they can select one miracle from the same list.

Corner Cases

If you want to create a perk that allows the user to select from a list of cybernetic implants or spells to the character, or that allows the user to construct a follower for the character, the TakeAgain nested element is the only way to manage that. But what if the perk cannot actually be taken again?!? The Optant and Gotak perks from the Living Land sourcebook are an example of this: they work in a similar fashion to the Miracles perk but can only be taken the one time. Here is how to define such a perk in the CustomGameData:

<Perk name=“Optant (Priest of Life)” category=“Faith” contradiction=“false” takeAgain=“false” limitations=“false” enhancements=“false”>

<TakeAgain type=“Miracles” starting=“2” repeat=“0” />

</Perk>

For space reasons I cut out unrelated nested elements. The key takeaways from this example are that (a) the Perk takeAgain XML attribute is set to “false” as the perk cannot be taken more than once, and (b) the TakeAgain repeat XML attribute is set to “0”, so there’s no budget for more miracles if it somehow were to be taken a second time.

Editing Nested Elements

As discussed in the previous post on perks, if you want to edit a nested element (or two) of a perk, you can add just the Perk element and the nested elements you want to modify to your CustomGameData.xml file. Here is an example block of XML that could be included in your file that edits only parts of perks detailed above:

<Perks>

<!– edit Blessed Weapon to remove Living Land requirement and remove the Tech maximum on the target weapon –>

<Perk name=“Blessed Weapon” category=“Faith” contradiction=“false” takeAgain=“false” limitations=“false” enhancements=“false”>

<Prereqs>

<Attribute name=“Spi”>8</Attribute>
<SkillAdds name=“Faith”>1</SkillAdds>
</Prereqs>

<Choices>

<SelectItem type=“Weapon” />

</Choices>

</Perk>

<!– edit Followers to increase the strength of the NPC –>

<Perk name=“Followers” category=“Leadership” contradiction=“false” takeAgain=“true” limitations=“false” enhancements=“false”>

<TakeAgain type=“Follower” starting=“1” repeat=“1”>

<Follower attrPts=“38” skillAdds=“14” perks=“1” wealth=“1000” />

</TakeAgain>

</Perk>

<!– edit Miracles to require more adds in faith and provide more miracles each time it’s taken –>

<Perk name=“Miracles” category=“Faith” contradiction=“false” takeAgain=“true” limitations=“false” enhancements=“false”>

<Prereqs>

<SkillAdds name=“Faith”>2</SkillAdds>

</Prereqs>

<TakeAgain type=“Miracles” starting=”3″ repeat=“2” />

</Perk>

</Perks>

Next up, we’ll finish up our discussion on perks with enhancements, or upgrades for perks that can be taken multiple times.

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From → Gaming, Software, Torg

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