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MyGURPS - Torg Eternity Overview

Torg Eternity Overview

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A Storm Is Coming

On the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, violent storms rage. Maelstrom bridges descend from above, crashing down to the earth and warping the reality around them. Technology ceases to function. People are transformed into primitive versions of themselves. Strange plant and animal life, reminiscent of the age of dinosaurs, overwhelms the landscape. Everything we know begins to rust and decay. And then the lizard-men arrive to secure their new home.

Across the world, similar disruptions in reality occur. Fantasy creatures of legend appear in the British Isles. Egypt transforms into a gritty, noir imitation of itself, rife with super-villains and outlandish cults. A strange virus sickens thousands in Japan, transforming people into only what can be described as zombies. France is plagued with devils and witches, but sees possible salvation with the arrival of a "CyberPope" and the introduction of the GodNet. Russia is ravaged by demonic forces wielding advanced technology who decimate all defenses. And India is overrun with unspeakable horrors lurking in darkness.

The invasion has begun — the High Lords have found Core Earth and they intend to drain its populace of precious Possibility energy, until nothing is left. But there is hope! Some people find themselves possessing the extraordinary ability to bend reality to their will. The odds are against these Storm Knights of Core Earth, but fortunately, Storm Knights from other realities have joined the fray. These exiles may have failed to protect their own worlds, but they are determined to protect ours. For if Core Earth is drained of all Possibility, one of the High Lords may rise to become . . . the Torg, ender of everything.

As Storm Knights, players will coordinate with the Delphi Council to fight back against the High Lords. An adventure may involve the deep exploration of a single invaded area, or may be a madcap race in and out of multiple cosms. Some effort will go toward simply foiling their plans — preventing them from gaining new ground or stopping a scheme to tip the balance of power in their favor. But it's possible to take back the land as well, by uprooting stelae, powerful artifacts which anchor their reality to ours. And at all times a Storm Knight wants to inspire the populace, helping them realize that they can rise up and make a difference . . . or in some cosms, just to help them realize that they're secretly under the High Lord's thumb.

Let's prove to these monsters that, when they came to our world, they bit off more than they can chew.

Our Transformed World

Each High Lord brought their reality — their cosm — with them as they invaded Earth. Wherever a cosm has taken root on Earth, reality changes to match it. For example, when the American coasts were invaded by the low-tech "Living Land," guns first ceased to work and eventually changed into spears, while the people became more primitive in nature (though no less intelligent).

In fact, one of the greatest powers the Storm Knights have is the ability to carry their own cosm with them. A Storm Knight from our Earth could wield an assault rifle in the Living Land. One from a magical cosm like Aysle can cast spells even in the most mystically barren land. But this carries a risk, as reality has been known to defend itself, disconnecting the Storm Knight and leaving them vulnerable at the worst possible time.

Each cosm has come to dominate a part of Core Earth (our world), transforming the people, places, and things within:

Aysle is a dark, magical, fantasy world, that now blankets the United Kingdom and Scandanavia. Here, the Light and the Dark are manifest forces, ever at odds. Lord Angar Uthorion, "The Dark One," invaded from below, via a vast cavern system, conquering the land with his armies of viking raiders, necromancers, trolls, giants, dire wolves, wights, undead, and ever-hungry dragons. Many Aylish wizards, priests, elves, and dwarves have joined the ranks of the Storm Knights, fighting back the forces of evil not just in their own land, but in invading cosms all across Core Earth.
The Cyberpapacy are not invaders; they are salvation! Weeks before The Storm, the people of France and Spain came under attack from demons, evil witches, and similar fiends. But then Cyberpope Jean Malreaux and his holy forces arrived to fight back these wicked forces. He even improved the lives of everyone via advanced medicine, cybernetics, and access to the GodNet — a miraculous service that merges instantaneous online access with spiritual blessings and assurances.
The Living Land took over both coasts of the United States, changing it to a low-tech world of jungle, animalistic rage, and virility. Faith and spiritual power rule here, with gods walking among us. Dinosaurs and impossible plants flourish, with the edeinos (a race of lizard-like folk native to this cosm) firmly in charge. High Lord Baruk Kaah, an edeinos himself, leads from the front, claiming this land for himself and his people. However, several edeinos have turned against him and can now be found among the Storm Knights.
The Nile Empire crashed into Egypt, triggering weird-science mind-control bombs that brainwashed the populace into supporting them. By the time people started to recover, Doctor Mobius (a.k.a. Pharaoh Mobius) had conquered much of eastern Africa and parts of the Middle East. This is a land of pulp heroics and sneering villains, where religious faith, astrological magic, pulp powers, and odd inventions all coexist in a way that often leaves the average citizen feeling overwhelmed and helpless.
Orrorsh has turned India and its neighbors into a literal nightmare. Modern technology has failed as horrifying creatures now stalk the land: vampires, werewolves, bloodthirsty animals, and plant/zombie hybrids known as gospog. The Gaunt Man, High Lord of Orrorsh, gathered all of the other High Lords together and orchestrated this invasion of Core Earth. The Victorians, survivors of the Gaunt Man's last invasion, have arrived to help the locals in the fight, but the presence of these colonizers is another source of tension.
Pan-Pacifica (Japan, Taiwan, and eastern China) doesn't even belong in this list, since it was never invaded — ask anyone! Anyway, they're too busy dealing with a viral outbreak that turns people into cannibalistic jiangshi. Fortunately the Kanawa Corporation and High Lord CEO Ryuchi Kanawa work closely with each government to address this issue via secret cutting-edge experiments. Hard-boiled detectives, "electric samurai," and kung-fu Yakuza work to expose Kanawa and convince the populace of the truth.
Tharkold is a cosm of technodemon masters lording over human thralls, many of whom hide psychic powers from their masters. When Tharkold invaded Russia, President Volkov decided to nuke their Moscow maelstrom bridge. This was bad. Much of northwestern Russia is now a post-apocalyptic "blasted land," irradiated and covered in bits of Occultech (demonic cybertech powered by pain). But the blast forced the demons to parlay, leading to a unique cold war where Volkov is recognized as a Duke in Tharkoldu society.
Core Earth deserves as much attention as the other cosms, because it isn't quite the same as our world. It's an Earth more conducive to heroic action, where the laws of Fate genuinely favor the underdog. It's an Earth where Die Hard was a documentary, not fiction. Magic, miracles, and psychic powers all exist, usually with low-key abilities rather than flashy ones. And while Storm Knights from other cosms can wield the abilities of those worlds, those from Core Earth are uniquely skilled at manipulating Reality itself.

(For more on what's cool about each cosm, see Which Cosm Should I Be From?)

The Mechanisms of Reality

The rules are pretty straightforward. Storm Knights have attributes, skills (which add directly to an attribute), and perks (think advantages, edges, feats, etc.). For full character-creation details see Torg Eternity Characters. Any time you need to do something tricky or dangerous, your skill + modifiers + die roll needs to reach the Difficulty Number, which is usually 10. (Example: Thanks to Mind 8 and find +3, your find skill is 11. The GM makes this a hard roll at -4, dropping your effective skill to 7. Assuming a DN 10, you'll need at least +3 on the die roll.) The die roll is a d20, but rolled in a way that gives open-ended results ranging from -8 to +8 or even higher.

But what makes this system unique — and what makes Storm Knights truly badass — is the meta stuff, a "game above the game" that reflects your ability to manipulate Reality itself:

  • Your Possibility Tokens: Your d20 rolled crap? Spend a Possibility to add another d20 to it! (Yes, this means you could roll, say, a 32 on a d20. Yes, the rules are designed to handle this just fine.) Or use them to soak wounds, surviving impossible attacks.
  • Your Hand of Cosm and Destiny Cards: Play a Cosm card to change the narrative in a way suitable to the local reality. Your team is half-dead in the Living Land? Play "The Law of Life" and find respite even in an unlikely place. And use Destiny cards for immediate beneficial effects, like seizing initiative, taking another action, or spotting a clue. Or some of those cards cause you problems, but reward you with free Possibility tokens for playing them.
  • The Drama Deck: This deck of cards determines initiative, throws surprises (good and bad) into a fight, and a few other things. Some Storm Knights acquire perks and powers to peek at or manipulate this deck, which gives things like "future sight" a true mechanical benefit.

Because you only have a few cards in your hand, with their effects written right on them, this extra control comes with almost no additional complexity. And doing awesome stuff keeps new cards and tokens flowing like water, for a self-sustaining cycle that will keep you right at the forefront of the fight for Reality!

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