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Delthrien

Torg HERO

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I'm almost certain I've come across a conversion for Torg using the Hero System but I'm coming up with a big goose egg in my search -- both on these boards and the net in general.

 

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

 

Thanks (or "Thnaks" as I more commonly spell it...)

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Re: Torg HERO

 

I remember Torg.

 

Torg was an absolute mess. Moreso even than RIFTS. At least RIFTS was cool as a setting even though its mechanics were #&@%'d. Torg was so haphazard as to be nearly unplayable. I do however remember a few interesting ideas hidden in there that would make good campaign fodder...

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Re: Torg HERO

 

Coincidentally, this same question/ request was recently posted on RPGnet. Was that you by any chance, Del?

 

Unfortunately I have to give you the same response that I gave over there: I've been searching the Internet myself, both via Google and through all the Hero websites I know of which list links to other sites. So far I got nothin'. :(

 

It's possible that some such conversions did exist at one time, but have since been taken down by their creators. I've run into a few "dead links" of that sort in recent years.

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Re: Torg HERO

 

Nope, it wasn't me, LL. I think I ran across that post on RPGNet myself. In my web wanderings, I've found an initial (and possibly aborted) attempt to do a D20 version of Torg. I vaguely recall seeing something on the web a few years back in which the Hero System was used as the game mechanics. I'll have to check my old back-ups to see if I saved a copy.

 

NSG, I was never overly thrilled with the Torg mechanics, though I did think the setting was worth salvaging. I may be slightly biased, though. My initial experiences with Torg were with Greg Gorden acting as GM. It probably helped a tremendous amount that the guy running the game was one of the game's creators. :)

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Re: Torg HERO

 

I have to say that Torg is probably my second favorite game out there. For the most part, the work is already done for you; you can find magic and equipment scattered throughout the Hero books. The problem is going to be the things you say you disliked from the original game: the mechanics.

 

The first thing you would have to consider is how to handle disconnecting and the Cosm Axioms. In Torg the Reality Skill is used for 1) Reconnecting 2) Fighting other characters with Reality Storms 3) Resisting Reality Storms 4) Deactivating Stelae. This means you will need to develop a Reality based Skill and Power in the Hero version. The Reality Skill will be needed for reconnecting, whereas the Reality Power will need to be some kind of Transform - person of one reality to a person of a different reality.

 

You also need to think about if you want to bring over rules such as the Drama Deck, World Laws, Possibility Points (and using them to effect game rolls).

 

If you are still looking for ideas, we can bounce a few back and forth.

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Re: Torg HERO

 

I have to say that Torg is probably my second favorite game out there. For the most part, the work is already done for you; you can find magic and equipment scattered throughout the Hero books. The problem is going to be the things you say you disliked from the original game: the mechanics.

 

The first thing you would have to consider is how to handle disconnecting and the Cosm Axioms. In Torg the Reality Skill is used for 1) Reconnecting 2) Fighting other characters with Reality Storms 3) Resisting Reality Storms 4) Deactivating Stelae. This means you will need to develop a Reality based Skill and Power in the Hero version. The Reality Skill will be needed for reconnecting, whereas the Reality Power will need to be some kind of Transform - person of one reality to a person of a different reality.

 

You also need to think about if you want to bring over rules such as the Drama Deck, World Laws, Possibility Points (and using them to effect game rolls).

 

If you are still looking for ideas, we can bounce a few back and forth.

 

By the mechanics, I was thinking more of the need to roll the d20 to generate a total that would give you a bonus that would then be applied to the base ability... seems like a long way to travel to get to the final result. My main complaint (if it could be called that) was that the basic mechanic seemed to make things needlessly muddy. Could just be my inherent laziness. :)

 

Reality Skill

This doesn't seem like it would be too difficult to implement -- perhaps make it EGO-based. I think the hardest part would be determining how difficult it would be to do things like reconnect, since the axioms can vary so wildly. The other applications (reality storms, etc.) seem more like an opposed test. The actual consequence of failure in the case of Storms would be the transformation. I don't know that an actual power would need to be worked up for that.

 

The Drama Deck

Well... that seemed like a mixed bag to me. There were some nice things about it, but I was never really keen on "approved actions." I have to admit, though, they were pretty good for sparking the cinematic bits in an encounter -- especially when the players had to come up with an "in game" rationale for being able to use their cards to help another player.

 

World Laws

I think you'd almost have to use these if you wanted to maintain the flavor of the game.

 

Possibilities

I suspect this would be the most difficult to implement. One could go with one of the variant mechanics for "Luck" but since Possibilities were also used for character improvement, that wouldn't quite get it done. I suppose one could set it up so that XPs could be spent in the same way as the Possibilities in Torg, but it might be necessary to tweak the XP awards for a given adventure. :think:

 

 

If you (or anyone else) have any ideas to toss out, I'd love to hear 'em. :)

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Re: Torg HERO - LONG, sorry!

 

Reality Skill

This doesn't seem like it would be too difficult to implement -- perhaps make it EGO-based. I think the hardest part would be determining how difficult it would be to do things like reconnect, since the axioms can vary so wildly. The other applications (reality storms, etc.) seem more like an opposed test. The actual consequence of failure in the case of Storms would be the transformation. I don't know that an actual power would need to be worked up for that.

 

I feel the conversion of Torg to HERO would actually be quite simple. All you need to do is take HERO as is, modify one or two mechanics and add in rules for the new ones.

 

The Reality Skill perhaps features as one of the main new mechanics. I can think of two options. A more literal translation makes it a skill, with special rules. A slightly more flexible translation treats it as a power: more flexible because this gives you much more scope in terms of the range of reconnection difficulty numbers. I'd probably go with the skill though!

 

Difficulty reconnections currently range from 3 to 25 in Torg. In probability terms for an average starting character (say, skill +stat = 11) this ranges from 90% chance of success to virtually zero chance of success. Assuming similarly that an average starting Torg HERO character will have 11-, and 90% chance is 14- gives the following rough conversion:

 

Torg

Reconnection DN...HERO Skill penalty

3-5...+3

6-8...+2

9......+1

10....+0

11-12..-1

13.......-2

14-15..-3

16-17..-4

18-19..-5

20-21..-6

22-23..-7

24-25..-8

 

[Edit: this table is based on comparing probabilities of achieving results on 3d6 bellcurve against probabilities for Torg, as calculated by Kansas Jim, Torg Guru: http://www.aoc.nrao.edu/~jogle/TORG/]

 

You would probably want to redraw the Reality Storm Table to fit, but opposed rolls would definitely be order of the day. Of course, because the TORG bonus value chart is essentially designed to convert a linear d20 roll into a bell curve, it actually fits HERO Skill - Skill pretty well and might not need much alteration.

The Drama Deck

Well... that seemed like a mixed bag to me. There were some nice things about it, but I was never really keen on "approved actions." I have to admit,

 

Interesting view, because for many people this is the real innovation that Torg brought along. Personally I love it. Conversion is easy.

 

Approved actions: These are only relevant to the meta-game of card play, so if you keep cards you can keep approved actions. In theory. The difficulty being the greater prevalence Torg puts on interpersonal skills as combat interactions: trick, test of wills, intimidate and maneuver. Personally I think this can still be done: substitute Intimidate and Test for Presence Attack; substitute Maneuver for any Agility skill; Trick could be substituted for any Intellect skill. Give NPC a situational penalty for the next action for success if the skill use itself doesnt provide some advantage, but gaining a card is the main reward.

 

Initiative: You could give a bonus of +5 Dex only for purposes of determining order of actions to whoever is marked as coming first on the initiative line, or you could ignore it. The special actions on the initiative line could be ignored also, or interpreted as follows:

- Inspiration: Gain free post-12 recovery

- Flurry: gain additional half-phase action (or full phase, but in context of HERO that could be unbalancing)

- Fatigue: Takes 2 STUN damage

- Stymied: -1 on all Skills and -1 to every damage die

- Up: +1 on Skill Rolls and +1 to every damage die

- Confused: Keeps original meaning - players cant play cards into card pool

- Break: Keeps original meaning - villains flee if they dont hit PCs in their next action

 

Dramatic Skill resolution: Again, can function as was, with following modifications:

- Complication: if action fails, add 1 to difficulty

- Critical Problem: keep original meaning - if action fails, have to complete task with different skill

- Last ditch effort: increase difficulty by 2, plus 1 for each step attempted.

 

Card meanings: Mostly can be interpreted fairly straightforwardly. Treat a +3 as perhaps +1 to Skill Values and/or +1 to Damage dice.

Possibilities

I suspect this would be the most difficult to implement. One could go with one of the variant mechanics for "Luck" but since Possibilities were also used for character improvement, that wouldn't quite get it done. I suppose one could set it up so that XPs could be spent in the same way as the Possibilities in Torg, but it might be necessary to tweak the XP awards for a given adventure. :think:

 

I think you should try to pretty much bring possibilities over as complete. So, 1 possibility can:

- add 2 to a skill roll and, if applicable, every damage die.

- achieve 3 effects out of: Remove 2 BOD from attack, Remove 5 STUN from attack

- create reality bubble - effect as per Torg

 

 

I would then create a ratio of possibilities to XP. Should be fairly straightforward. Standard award for HERO is 2-3XP, Standard award for Torg is probably 8-10. Call it 4 P-points = 1 xp and you'd be in the right ball park.

 

Something else you might like to consider is the fact that p-rateds (e.g. PCs) can achieve extraordinary actions even without spending p-points because they get to roll again on a 20, which norms dont. Could interpret that as maybe:

- On 5-, subtract 2 from roll. Roll 3d6 again, subtracting 2 and rolling again everytime you roll under 5.

- As above, but when you roll 5 or 16 (prob my favourite, as it spreads the odds a bit)

- As above, but when you roll double 2s [edit: or any other designated double for that matter!]

 

You could complicate it further so that, for example, if you took the 5/16 option, you'd subtract 1 if you rolled a 5 and 3 if you rolled a 16, which perhaps better reflects the greater influence of roll-agains in Torg on bad rolls than on good rolls. (actually, they have the greatest effect on mid-range rolls - perhaps rolling double-2s is the way to go?).

 

Well, I think that will do for now. I'm guessing it's too late for a confession. HERO system is just a childhood love with whom I now enjoy the occasional fling. However, I've been happily married to Torg for 13 years. How ashamed do I now feel?....:tsk:

 

Phil

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Re: Torg HERO

 

First, no apologies for the long post -- that's awsome! I may be able to make use of that in the near future. We're about to start up a small group here (found out both one of my co-workers as well as my next door neighbor are gamers) and we're trying to decide on both a system and a setting we can all enjoy. :)

 

Second... well... If ya want, I'll keep your, er, relationship(s) under my hat. ;)

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Re: Torg HERO - LONG, sorry!

 

I really can't add anything to the excellent post by Phil, but...

 

Don't forget that Possibility Points can also negate knockdown effects and KO effects.

 

As for Reality vs. Reality Skill during a Reality Storm, the winner each round would strip a certain number of PP from the loser. I don't have the chart here at work, but I would say (off the top of my head) each point of success in Hero would read straight off the chart from Torg. Once a person losses all of their PP, he would start losing levels in his Reality Skill until he was down to zero and transformed.

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Re: Torg HERO - LONG, sorry!

 

I really can't add anything to the excellent post by Phil' date=' but...[/quote']

...you did, so you are an evil, lying super-genius arch villain of the Nile Empire!

 

Don't forget that Possibility Points can also negate knockdown effects and KO effects.

 

But I had. Depends whether the game would have knockback or knockdown (i'd drop knockback personally, Torg is more heroic than superheroic), in which case the list of damage effects that p-points can ignore should read

- 2 BOD, 5 Stun, Knockdown or Stun

 

In the context of the HERO system that may sound quite powerful. It is. In the context of Torg, spending a possibility can turn fatal trauma into a flesh wound. In fact, given that 4 Wounds in Torg is equivalent to 0 BOD in HERO, it might even be 3 BOD rather than 2. YMMV depending on the number of points you allow PCs to be built on. 125 point PCs can afford a few points to boost their BOD, so use 2 BOD per p-point; 50 point PCs should be given the breaks, so use 3 BOD per p-point.

 

Phil

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Re: Torg HERO

 

If there's sufficient interest, I'd even consider doing a full and thorough article on converting TORG to HERO. Although it'll be ready in 2008 - I've got a long list of projects that are in a permanent state of 'nearly finished'!

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Re: Torg HERO

 

There *is* interest. I'm the original poster over on RPG.net (Ascending Crane). I was thinking of just putting my collection of Hero books and Torg books (all!) in a room and hoping that 'something' would happen, but alas. Nothing did. However, Phil has in one post taken a crack at a large portion of what needs to be converted. And a darn good crack it is, too.

 

Rather than just you doing this, Phil - what about the rest of us? Is anyone else interested in putting together a little unofficial project here? Doc Mobius (oh, I KNOW you'd be up for it with a name like that)? Delthrien?

 

Imagine! Starting templates for the various realms that are *balanced*.

 

Imagine! No more glass ninja problem.

 

Imagine! Putting stats to Hachi Mara-Two, Kurst, and the other NPC's we probably all know and love.

 

Think about it folks, we could divide up the work and have it done in no time (ahem, with what Phil has already done!).

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Re: Torg HERO

 

I was wondering how far you wanted to simulate the gameplay of TORG?

 

The damage results give Ks and Os (essentially the same as STUN) whereas damage values count towards killing (or BODY)

 

I was wondering whether all characters should have the same STUN which would be removed due to K and O results and K + O would render any character unconcious.

 

That does leave the issue of REC...

 

I'm sure there are other gameplay issues that could be simulated using the toolkit. I'm convinced that TORG could be replicated using HERO but there will have to be some consideration made as to what is converted as it stands and what is converted in spirit.

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Re: Torg HERO

 

I don't think there's a need to try and simulate the K's and O's. A mechanic like that is there purely for guaging pc/npc mortality; we already have stun and body.

 

Part of a game's attraction is the gamerplay. HERO is able to be set to provide any number of gameplay experiences.

 

If there is no desire to have K and O results then that's fine but I think that it removes some of the cinematic nature of the TORG system. In TORG all characters have pretty much the same propensity to KOs but that is not true of HERO.

 

There are any number of variables in HERO that could probably be set in TORG Hero. Of course, I am a complete TORG novice, I just love looking at novel ways of presenting the HERO system.

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Re: Torg HERO

 

The difference between losing consciousness from Shock damage and losing consciousness from KOs is the largely capricious randomness of KOs! And, as Dr D says, the fact that they happen irrespective of characteristics.

 

STUN clearly replicates Shock directly, and as such I see no particular need to have a fixed value of Stun. Introducing KOs would need a new mechanic and, in order to repliate the propensity of KOs in Torg, would need to be absent at very low damage, Ks and Os spread equally around in the medium range, and KOs present together at high end.

 

[for those who dont know, Torg has a damage mechanic where you get Wounds and Shock damage, like BOD and STUN. In addition you get awarded Ks and Os which individually do nothing, but as soon as you have one of each, you're unconscious for at least 1 minute]

 

Personally I wouldnt replicate this mechanic, for 2 reasons: I'm not sure it's fundamental for a Hero-Torg conversion to cover every mechanic, and secondly, and more pragmatically, because it's likely to be dropped from the forthcoming 2nd edition!

 

However if you did, I'm guessing what you need is:

- mechanics based on damage taken, not damage inflicted

- two separate mechanics that at low levels of damage dont occur together but at high levels of damage they do

- at least one KO effect should occur on all but the very lowest damage totals.

 

Those are pretty challenging parameters IMHO. Perhaps we should just live by the KISS principle:

STUN dmge 2,4,6,8 = K

STUN dmg 3,5,7,9 = 0

STUN dmg 10+ = KO

 

If you were considering using KOs, then I would definitely scale up the effect of Possibilities to 3 BOD and 6 STUN, otherwise fights are going to be over pretty quickly.

 

Phil

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Re: Torg HERO

 

Imagine! No more glass ninja problem.

 

Oooh, dont get me started on that old chestnut!

 

The main thing I'd like to check is the exact ratio of +1 in Torg to HERO, so that we can ensure things like drama deck and possibilities have similar effects for both systems.

 

Then, it's usually a simple matter of discarding half of the tables (interaction, value/measure chart, damage table) and converting the others.

 

Other thoughts:

variable cosm limits: Torg 13 = HERO 20. Well, not exact, but let's assume that. Torg operates on 5 points = x10, so a cosm limit of 14 is 58% better. So, for HERO, let's make that 23. Roughly :)

powers, cyberware, etc. = the chief benefit of moving to hero is getting better regularity of special abilities. Plus, no adventure cost - yay! Dont convert these, use Hero. It's what it's best at.

 

Miracles: replicated with HERO powers, with various side effects and lims.

- skill roll

- side effects (failure of skill roll means that miracle cant be used again for 24 hours or until purified)

- gestures, incantations etc. as relevant

 

Implementing separate Faith and Focus skills would be hard but not impossible. How about this? Use a general EGO skill roll, plus:

- Faith Skill Levels - add to the success chance of skill roll (penalty based on active points of power, as per fairly common magic limitation)

- Focus Skill Levels - add to effect, as per converting CSLs to damage

So no 'miracle' skill as such, just two types of skill levels. Make sense?

 

Magic: More difficult, in part because of metaphysical arguments that still rage as to whether the magic presented in the Aysle Sourcebook IS Magic and everything else is an exception to that rule, or whether there is no one system.

 

However, you could do as little or as much conversion as you want - such is the beauty of HERO!

 

The main spell system can have different skills creating the same effect: you can Apport a fire to make a fireball, you can Alter a small flame to become a fireball or you can just conjure a fireball from scratch. Each is progressively more powerful (apport moves fire, alter makes the fire move and makes it bigger and explosive, conjure has no limits) but progressively more difficult to use. One neat solution is simply to rely on a single magic skill with penalties based on *real* points value AS WELL AS active point value: so a spell with the limitation of 'must have existing flame' is easier than one without. The details of such a system would take some working, but it would be time rather than effort that is called for. You could then replicate the different types of magic skills again, as per miracles, as limited Skill Levels. Wish I'd bought the Ultimate Mystic now, as I'm sure there'd be good advice in there that could be valuable as well.

 

[arcane knowledges are only really important for spell design. you could drop them entirely without suffering major loss. Technically, all Torg mages not only know spells but have access to a large VPP, the amount of which they can access depends entirely on their skill and the time they put. Gaining a new 'power' is not down to experience so much as time. Given that casting-on-the-fly in Torg is virtually impossible for all but the most skilled mages, however, I think you can safely ignore it. Moderately skilled mages are able to design their own spells in down-time however, or learn new spells from grimoires at the price of just 1 p-point. If you treat the game as Heroic and treat spells as tools, like guns or armour, then this isnt a problem.]

 

Occult magic is wish magic, which makes it in HERO terms a variable power pool. What's unique about it though is that the Cosm itself provides the power for it, not the character, meaning occult mages dont carry around a personal 100point VPP: anyone with the occult skill can access it. It's something of a handwave magic system and, as such, I'd suggest directly translating the existing rules rather than converting it to a personal power.

 

Nile Empire magic is a fairly simple variant of Ayslish magic, so whatever system is derived for that could work across both.

 

Psionics similarly is a fairly simple conversion, like the magic system but a whole lot simpler.

 

Anyway, I have a job to do! Perhaps I'll mull this some more and post later...

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Re: Torg HERO

 

The difference between losing consciousness from Shock damage and losing consciousness from KOs is the largely capricious randomness of KOs! And' date=' as Dr D says, the fact that they happen irrespective of characteristics.[/quote']

 

I'd forgotten shock. The KO is something similar to STUNNED in Hero except that it lasts longer. I suppose what you need is an expanded mechanic for STUNNED.

 

Personally I wouldnt replicate this mechanic, for 2 reasons: I'm not sure it's fundamental for a Hero-Torg conversion to cover every mechanic, and secondly, and more pragmatically, because it's likely to be dropped from the forthcoming 2nd edition!

 

However if you did, I'm guessing what you need is:

- mechanics based on damage taken, not damage inflicted

- two separate mechanics that at low levels of damage dont occur together but at high levels of damage they do

- at least one KO effect should occur on all but the very lowest damage totals.

 

Yeah - KO probably isn't needed but it would introduce an element of randomness that Hero lacks in its basic form - an element that I know you would welcome. Perhaps this isn't the place for it...

 

 

Doc

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Re: Torg HERO

 

Phil: Out of curiosity, would you be inclined to leave the axiom ratings as they are or would you tweak them a bit for Hero?

 

My own inclination is to leave them alone (the less work the better) but if tweaking them would make a better fit, I wouldn't mind...

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Re: Torg HERO

 

Given that axioms have little impact on day-to-day play, I wouldnt bother.

 

If you're playing the game to the letter, where axioms come in is modifying disconnection difficulties. Because it's been necessary to tweak disconnection difficulties to fit the 3d6 bellcurve, it would probably be necessary to adjust them slightly as well. However, my experience from Torg mailing lists is that many Torg GMs dont use this.

 

Main use is in 4-case contradictions, when PC uses a tool that is above his personal axioms AND above axioms of the land, such as an Elf using an M16 in Living Land. There the difficulty of reconnecting would be increased by:

[Elf Tech axiom = 16, M15 Tech axiom = 22, Living Land Tech axiom = 7]

22-16=6, 22-7=15. Total penalty=22.

 

4-case contradictions will often make a difficult reconnection impossible, which is why they're often ignored.

 

Other use is in 1-case contradictions, but only when PC uses a tool that exceeds their axioms but NOT those of the land. Then there is a bonus equal to that difference. This rule is used even less often than the one above.

 

But, in short, you're right. If you use these rules, you need to convert them, either by extending the DN conversion chart up to around 40, or by converting the axioms.

 

Side note: Torg has no automatic success or automatic failure. Do you therefore drop this element of HERO system, or keep it?

 

Phil

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Re: Torg HERO

 

I don't think the Axiom Charts need to be changed, but we would need a table that would convert the Torg penalty to the appropriate HERO penalty. Since I have none of the books with me at work (the only one I have here is Transdimensional TMNT; weird) I would have to think about this topic later.

 

Since you are converting Torg into a different system, I would say use the rules of the new system for automatic success/failure.

 

So to recap some:

 

instead of a re-roll on 10 or 20 (Torg style) we have a re-roll on 6 or 15 (Hero style) depending on if you are skilled and/or P-Rated.

 

A 1 Case Contradiction will occur 5% of the time in WEG Torg, so we have a roll of 16-18 on 3d6 in HERO Torg (gives a 4.68% I think).

 

A 4 Case Contradiction will occur 20% of the time in WEG Torg, so we have a roll of either 14-18 (gives like a 17%) or 13-18 (gives about a 25%). I would go for the 14+ roll personally.

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Re: Torg HERO

 

Amazingly unwieldly? Not at all. Essentially, Torg was just a generic system with a relatively simply game mechanic bolted on to limit the ability of characters to wield spells, miracles, psi and high tech all at the same time. Having said, like so many game systems, the basics were simple, the devil was in the details. And boy, is there some detail!

 

BTW, had some further thoughts on Torg magic. I wasnt entirely comfortable with the thought that spells were just tools for a Heroic game, like guns or armour. Then I thought some more about arcane knowledges (AK):

- every spell is linked to one main AK, whether Fire, Living Forces, Time or whatever (there are 22 in total)

- you can only have one spell of any given AK active at the same time

- your Magic Skill + AK skill directly limits what spells you can learn. The more powerful spells are almost always going to be harder to learn.

 

Know what this says to me? It says multipower. Each AK is a separate multipower, and the power of the spells you can deliver is obviously then going to be limited by your AK (i.e. by the size of the multipower). You can also usually only have one power active at a time - if the multipower pool is large, then you'd just add a custom limitation to enforce it.

 

Raises more questions of Possibility Points to XP conversion though, as a new spell can be learned for just 1 PP from a grimoire, or designed from scratch for free (given a few months of downtime). For the purposes of Torg HERO I'd be inclined to make Characteristics more expensive to increase, and Powers cheaper to increase - the main way characters develop in Torg is through the addition of new abilities like magic, psionics, cyberware and better skills.

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Re: Torg HERO

 

Sounds like a way to go. I'm wondering, though. Would you be including Arcane Knowledges as skills in Hero or merely replacing them with the Multipowers? Was there ever a use (in Torg) for the Arcane Knowledge skills beyond casting spells? (I plead failing memory :o)

 

If so, it might be an interesting bit to allow the multipower to represent an ArcKnow skill (Abbreviated this way to avoid confusion with Hero's Area Knowledge) with the roll being based on the points in the MP reserve, perhaps something along the lines of the first 5 or 10 points representing a familiarity, with each additional 5 points representing a +1 to the roll. Or something...

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