Since these have been requested, here are the basic mechanics-summary sheets for TORG that I usually hand out – complete with a house rule or two which should be marked “optional”. You will, of course, need the complete game – including the Drama Deck – to actually play, but these should help with most of the really common questions.
The PDF version has somewhat nicer formatting, but is in rather fine print to keep things down to three easily-printed pages. That’s available HERE or in the file download box in the right-hand column. Hopefully it can serve as a partial replacement for the game master screen which came with the original Destiny Map adventure, since that is long, LONG out of print.
If you want PDF copies of the game, the best place to check is probably still RPGNow.
Die Rolls and the Bonus Chart:
Die rolls are not used directly in TORG, instead the rolled total is checked against the bonus chart and the bonus from the chart is applied to the relevant base value. If the total equals or exceeds the target number the action succeeds. If a second total is needed the same bonus value is used.
The chart is open-ended, characters roll again on a 10 and – if skilled – on a 20, and add the rolls together. Unrated characters only get to roll again on a ten, and – even then – only if they’re skilled.
You can do many things in one round, but you can only roll the die once – so trying to do many things at once involves large penalties. Simple actions such as moving a bit, shouting orders, drawing weapons, and hitting switches, don’t count.
The Bonus Table:
“Values” : TORG uses a logarithmic scale for all game measurements, every +5 points represents 10x the base value. Common base measurements are seconds, meters, kilograms, and meters per round. (+1 = x1.5 or less, +2 = x2.5, +3 = x4, +4 = x6)
The Drama Deck:
Conflict Line and Interaction (Dis-) Advantages:
|Break||Damaged bad guys flee/surrender at the turns end, unless things go truly well.|
|Confused||Heros/PC’s cannot use cards this round.|
|Fatigued||Take two points of stun damage.|
|Flurry||That side gets two actions.|
|Inspiration||Removes all shock and K/O conditions, Inspired heros may draw a card|
|Knockdown||Must get up on next action, may defend/move only. May stay down and do whatever but opponents get “Blindside” attacks.|
|Players Call||Whatever the player stated he wanted to have happen (within reason) happens if specified in advance (enforcement GMO).|
|Setback||Something goes wrong (GMO what/how) or heros cannot act offensively this turn.|
|Stymied||Characters lose their next “roll again” from possibilities, cards, or rolls of 10/20. “Stymied” cancels out an “Up”.|
|Unskilled||The victim may not use his skill adds during his next action, roll again on a 20, (at all for Ords), or use a skill which cannot be used “unskilled”.|
|Up||Characters get an extra roll at the first opportunity, adding it normally. “Up” counters a “Stymie”.|
Card Pools: Cards are usually played directly from your hand, but when the action is progressing in ten- second rounds “card pools” are used. If you attempt an action that would advance the scene, you can play a card face up into the pool. New cards are gained when you succeed at an Approved Action. Once per act you may announce a Critical Moment and play directly from your hand and pool. Cards be traded between pools or hands, not from a hand to a pool or vice versa. Try to explain what your character is doing to justify the trade. At the end of a scene pools are picked up and hands are restored to four cards. Subplot, alertness, or connection cards are exceptions, once out they stay out until the GM collects them. If you roll a “1” attempting something either your axioms or the local ones don’t allow you get Disconnected. If both sets disallow it, you Disconnect on 1-4. Until reconnected you’ve got to live by the local rules. Making some-thing violate the local rules at range is dangerous.
Other Major Card Rules:
Refreshing Hands occurs at the end of each scene. Card pools are picked up, players discard excess (5+) cards, discard one further card if desired, and refill their hands to four cards. A scene ends when the action takes a break.
“Dramatic” Scenes are important conflicts or very tough situations, normally there is one per act. Game Master Fiat may be used up to three times during any dramatic encounter.
When the villains have “approved actions” given on the conflict line success allows the GM to take a card from the heros card pool, two cards if they succeed by 7 or more, and 3 if by 12 or more.
Dramatic Skill Use requires 2 to 4 steps, “A” thru whatever. They must be accomplished in order and only those shown may be attempted in a round unless a “last ditch effort” is made. Three special problems require a roll to avoid; Possible Setback (lose a step), Complication (+1 on difficulty), and Critical Problem (use another skill or tack). A Successful roll avoids the problem and gains a card but does not count as a step.
One, and only one, personal possibility may be spent to obtain one of the immediate benefits listed below. Cards and other sources may be used in addition.
To provide a an extra roll to add to your first result. If a possibility-fueled roll is is less then ten add ten instead.
To block any three of the following effects of a blow;
Three points of shock.
A “K” condition.
An “O” condition.
A “Knockdown” result.
To block an opponents spending of a possibility on a die roll.
To create a Reality Bubble in which things work as they would in the users home cosm for 15 minutes.
To increase skills and abilities. Cards may not be used in this way.
Gaining a new skill that can be used unskilled costs two possibilities with a teacher or five possibilities without one. No time is required by the rules, but some pretense of initial fumbling around is expected.
Gaining a new skill that cannot be used unskilled costs five possibilities with a teacher or ten possibilities without one. Again, no time is required by the rules.
Increasing an existing skill by one costs it’s (current value + 1)
Improving an Attribute by +1 costs [3 x (it’s current value + 1)
Adding a Specialization – a +1 bonus to a more general skill with a category, species, make, or brand, costs one.
Adding a Trademark Specialization – a +2 with a specific ability, item, or whatever, costs three.
Learning a new Spell costs one.
Attempting a new Miracle costs one. If you succeed, it’s no longer new.
Setting up a Character:
Split sixty-six attribute points amongst Dexterity, Strength, Toughness, Perception, Mind, Charisma, and Spirit. Each has a minimum of three and a maximum of thirteen unless you’re using special racial powers. The average stat in the general population is seven or eight.
Pick a Tag Skill that will be automatically rated at +3 and thirteen other skill points to spend on other skills – none of which can go above +3 and at least one of which must go into the Reality skill (unless it’s already your Tag Skill). The skill value is equal to the skill adds plus the base characteristic
If you have any adds in Faith and Focus, or in a Magical Skill, or a Psychic Skill, or possess some flexible exotic ability, you may spend twelve bonus skill points on Magical Knowledges, Miracles, Spells, or Powers. Optionally, if you don’t, you can buy latent abilities, which will come into play if you ever acquire such talents. (A rule added just to keep everyone from buying at least one add in such abilities so that they get those extra points).
Start with ten possibilities – although you can spend some of them right away if you so desire.
Characters with exotic abilities – enhanced attributes, skills, and other exotic abilities – must pay possibilities from their initial pool AND after each adventure. Several books offer lists, but you can always just consult your game master.
Equipment is up to you and the game master – but equipment is rarely all that vital in TORG.
The Result Charts:
Test of Wills
|2||Av||K 1||O 1||Unskilled||Unskilled|
|3||Gd||O 2||K 1||Unskilled||Unskilled|
|5||Gd||K 3||O 2||Stymied||Stymied|
|6||Gd||D K/O 4||D O 2||Stymied||Stymied|
|7||Su||D K/0 5||D K 2||Stymied||Stymied|
|8||Su||1W K/O 7||D K 2||Stymied||Stymied|
|9||Su||1W K/O 9||W K 3||Stymied||Stymied|
|10||Su||1W K/O 10||W K 4||Setback||Setback|
|11||Su||2W K/O 11||W O 5||Setback||Setback|
|12||Sp||2W K/O 12||W K 5||Setback||Setback|
|13||Sp||3W K/O 13||2W O 4||Setback||Setback|
|14||Sp||3W K/O 14||2W K/O 5||Setback||Setback|
|15||Sp||4W K/O 15||3W K/O 5||Break||Up/Setback|
|+2||Sp||+1W||+1W||Players Call||Players Call|
The Result Charts:
|0||Enemy||Unskilled||Unskilled||+0 (0)||+1 (3)|
|1||Enemy||Unskilled||Unskilled||+1 (4)||+1 (2)|
|2||Enemy||Unskilled||Unskilled||+1 (3)||+1 (1)|
|3||Hostile||Unskilled||Unskilled||+1 (2)||+2 (6)|
|4||Hostile||Unskilled||Unskilled||+1 (1)||+2 (3)|
|5||Hostile||Stymied||Stymied||+2 (10||+2 (1)|
|6||Hostile||Stymied||Stymied||+2 (9)||+3 (10)|
|7||Neutral||Stymied||Stymied||+2 (8)||+3 (8)|
|8||Neutral||Stymied||Stymied||+2 (7)||+3 (6)|
|9||Neutral||Stymied||Stymied||+2 (6)||+4 (10)|
|10||Neutral||Setback||Setback||+2 (5)||+4 (8)|
|11||Neutral||Setback||Setback||+2 (4)||+4 (6)|
|12||Friendly||Setback||Setback||+2 (3)||+5 (10)|
|13||Friendly||Setback||Setback||+2 (2)||+5 (8)|
|14||Friendly||Setback||Setback||+2 (1)||+5 (6)|
|15||Loyal||Break||Up/Setback||+2 (0)||+6 (10)|
|+2||Loyal||Players Call||Players Call||+2 (0)||+0 (-2)|
Combat, Damage, and Healing:
Basic combat is very simple:
The Game Master turns up a card. The Conflict Line will tell you who goes first (heroes or villains, in order of dexterity), note any special bonuses or penalties that may apply for this round, and tell you which actions you can attempt in order to get more cards.
When it’s your turn, announce what you want to do and roll the die. Roll again and add on a ten (and, if you’re skilled in whatever kind of attack you’re making, on a twenty) and add. If you want a better result, either spend a possibility or some relevant cards.
Convert the die roll to a bonus value according to the bonus chart. Add it to your attacking skill; if it exceeds the defenders defensive skill, your attack succeeds.
If your attack is non-physical – a Test of Wills, Taunt, Trick, or Maneuver attempt – compare your skill value to your opponents skill value and check the success chart. They may defend actively (and be actively used to defend others), in which case their bonus value has an effective minimum of +1.
If your attack is physical, add the same bonus to the base effect of your attack – damage value for a firearm or explosive or energy weapon, (Strength+Weapon Bonus) for most primitive weapons and compare it to the targets (Toughness+ Armor) to see how much damage you inflict.
Damage takes effect immediately, reaching Heavily Wounded status counts as a knockdown. Mortal Wounds do one shock per round until treated, when he victim can take no more shock, he or she dies. Spending a possibility extends the time by one round. Stun Damage ignores a “knockdown”, treats a “wound” as a knockdown, and reduces the # by one on a “#W” result.
A mortal wound does one shock per turn, when you run out of shock you die.
Shock damage goes away at one point per minute. An O goes away in one minute. A K goes away in half an hour. Wounds take longer: you get one recovery roll each day after being wounded, you need a bonus total of +0 (wound), +3 (heavy wound), or +6 (mortal wound) to recover to the next lowest wound category. Normal medical attention boosts your roll, but cannot directly heal you.
First Aid will stabilize a mortal wound, remove shock points, and remove knockout conditions if successful. It’s target numbers are 8, 12, and 15, for basic, heavy, and mortal wounds.
Reading The Result Charts:
The General Results are Minimal, Average, Good, Superior, Spectacular
Damage Results are (Number) = Number of Shock. If your Shock Damage exceeds your toughness, you fall unconscious. K and O are complimentary parts of a Knockout (K/O). O’s don’t’ stack, but if you already have a K and take another one it turns into +2 Shock instead. D’s are Knockdowns, and (#)Wounds are bad since characters can’t take many wounds – there’s Unwounded, Wounded, Heavily Wounded, Mortally Wounded (dying), and Dead.
The various results for skill usage are identical to the ones for the Conflict Line advantages and disadvantages (see above).
The Interrogate results indicate what you can get information about – ranging from someone that the person being interrogated considers an enemy, and will be delighted to inform on, to someone to whom they’re loyal and reluctant to reveal anything about. Interrogating is usually done via Intimidation.
Charm and Persuasion “attack” the targets Willpower or Mind. They succeed if the result “equals” the targets current attitude. Charm boosts it one step for a time and may continue on any roll higher then the attitude needed. Users may “Press The Issue” once on a failure or low roll, but failure loses all previous gains and drops the base attitude by one step. Persuasion gets Negotiated Agreement, Yes or Enthusiastic Agreement on success vrs the current attitude, one level worse, and two or more levels worse. Enemy or hostile characters negotiate (and neutrals say yes) at best. Agreements may be reconsidered later if extracted by an enemy or hostile character. Modifiers and other conditions are on Pg 72. Rated characters may “Clear The Mind” with a perception roll vrs their own mind, see pg 74.
Pushing means going past the normal limits – and causes the amount of Shock Damage in (). Roll a total against a difficulty of eight. A character may elect to take a lower-value push than they actually rolled to reduce such damage and always has a minimum net total of 1+, even if they roll very badly. The results are added to the limit value, if any. Base limit values for normal humans are Run 10, Swim 6, Long Jump 3, Climb 2, and Lift 9.
Basic Skills and Difficulty Levels:
Charisma: Charm, Persuasion, and Taunt.
Dexterity: Acrobatics, Beast Riding, Dodge, Energy Weapons, Fire Combat, Flight, Heavy Weapons, Lock Picking, Long Jumping, Maneuver, Melee Weapons, Missile Weapons, Prestidigitation, Running, Stealth, Swimming, and Unarmed Combat.
Mind: Apportion Magic, Artist, Conjuration Magic, Medicine, Science, Survival, Test Of Will, and Willpower.
Perception: Air Vehicles, Alteration Magic, Divination Magic, Evidence Analysis, Find, First Aid, Land Vehicles, Language, Scholar, Space Vehicles, Tracking, Trick, and Water Vehicles.
Spirit: Faith, Focus, Intimidation, Reality.
Strength: Climbing, Lifting.
Skills listed in Italics cannot be used unskilled.
Difficulty Levels: Very Easy 2, Easy 5, Average 8, Two-to-One Against 10, Difficult 12, Ten-to-One 13, Heroic 15, One Hundred-to-One Against 18, One Thousand-to-One Against 18, Never Tell Me The Odds 25.
Spellcasting and Miracles:
Spellcasting: Generate a skill total, the spell works if the skill total exceeds the spell difficulty and ths caster remains conscious after backlash. Subtract the spell skill total from the backlash value and apply the result points on the combat table. Grimoire Spells, but not spells designed “on the fly”, allow the user to substitute his mind attribute against backlash if it exceeds his spell skill total
Arcane knowledges cost two possibilities each to acquire, otherwise an unrated mage will spend 5 years of intense study simply acquiring a basic set of (any) six at +1, a year learning 6 spells, and another year learning each magical skill, exclusive of learning them at higher levels. Since an apprentice does a lot of other things, and may reasonably learn at 1/3 the “college study” rate, a basic apprenticeship (6 knowledges at +1, 6 spells, 1 magic skill at +1) takes 21 years at 5 possibilities per arcane knowledge, but only 9 years otherwise.
Optional – Improving Without Possibilities : Value of possibility cost in months to learn a skill, thus cost 2 = 2.5 months, cost 5 = 10 months, cost 10 = 8.3 years.
Faith provides the power for Miracles while Focus channels it. The same bonus number is added to each, although different characters can provide the faith and focus. If a miracle fails the Focus character cannot try that miracle again for 24 hours while the Faith provider cannot use his faith at all for 24 hours. A Ritual of Hope will fix either condition. Modifiers to the bonus Include : Violates mythos values -15, Defends Believers +3, Not immediately needed -5, Needed urgently +3, Target not providing Faith -3. There are some “Standard” miracles, Storm Knights, and only Storm Knights (Due to their link to Apeiros and thus creativity and eternity) may attempt exotic miracles as the GM and their mythos permits. Thus a priest of Thor could attempt a wide variety of miracles dealing with storms, weather, protection, and battle.
Commonly Sought Pages
|Basic Gospog and Ravagons||Basic Rules, page 90|
|Coordinating Efforts||Basic Rules. Page 47|
|Explosives||Basic Rules, page 81|
|Failing Rolls and “Continuing Failure”||Basic Rules, page 41|
|Miracles and Modifiers||Basic Rules, page125|
|Money Conversions||Basic Worldbook, page 2|
|Multi-Action Rules||Basic Rules, page 45|
|Pressing the Issue and Permanent Charm||Basic Rules page 71|
|Ranged Contradictions||Basic Rules. Page 99|
Characteristic total of 1D6+49, average 52-53
“Normal” characteristic value 7.5
7-12 skill points, skills normally rated at 1-2
The average skill rating is a “9”, skilled normals can manage a task of “Average” difficulty about 60% of the time, one of “2 to 1 against” 40% of the time, and one of “10 to 1 against” about 23% of the time. Unskilled normals with attributes of seven succeed 40%, 15%, and 10% of the time.
Skilled Ords roll again on a 10, but not a 20, unskilled Ords do not roll again on either, see “Ords and Die Rolls” in the Basic Rules, PG 19 “The Reality Skill” and PG 48 “Unskilled Use”.
Benchmarks and Conversions:
|05||x 10||A Turn||Three Stories|
|10||x 100||Man||Football Field|
|11||x 160||Lion||City Block|
|12||x 250||Brown Bear|
|15||x 1000||Small Car||Kilometer|
|16||x 1600||Large Car||Mile|
|20||x 10,000||Empty Truck||10 Kilometers|
|21||x 16,000||Ten Miles|
|25||x 100,000||Day||Blue Whale||Marathon|
|26||x 160,000||100 Miles|
|27||x 250,000||Boeing 747|
|29||x 600,000||Sm. Freighter|
|30||x 1,000,000||Destroyer||Great Britain|
|38||x 40,000,000||Year||Round Earth|
Since the scale is Logarithmic, conversions are easy: just add the base value. Hours to Seconds? +18. Meters per Round to MPH? -3, Tons to Kilos? +15