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I'm digging into the TORG RPG right now. Bought 25 books so far and love the world, the flair and even the rules - at least most of the rules.

Is anyone still playing this systems and is able to provide some tips for starting a campaign with players who do not know anything about TORG?

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closed as too broad by doppelgreener, Ernir, LitheOhm, Wibbs, mxyzplk Nov 16 '13 at 2:53

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

TORG is an underdog; a bit hard to comprehend at times, but overall an outstanding game. I still can't figure out why it faded to such a niche level. The game and all the support products are readily available quite cheaply. This is an 'oldie' worth investigating. (And see Reuben's answer for lots of great pointers.) – ExTSR Aug 31 '10 at 19:08

Oddly, yes. It's one of my all-time favorites that I've played since the books first came out. We just picked up a near-complete set for a guy in my gaming group, so I'm running through the canned modules to give him a feel for the way the rules work.

There are a couple of things I recommend (one rules-based, the rest less so...):

1.) Change the way that damage is calculated. Originally, the rules worked that the better a character's dodge was, the better chance that they would die when hit. (The same bonus that is needed to hit is added to the damage; high dodge means a higher bonus needed to hit, which then goes to damage.) My personal fix is to determine how well an attack hit, and then add that amount to the weapon damage. (If a result of 10 is needed and a 15 was generated, add 5 to the damage and go from there.)

2.) Always use the cards. The Drama Deck is easily the most interesting aspect of the game. I've had games where the subplot cards ended up defining the plot, rather than the scripted ideas that the characters had been following.

3.) Read up on the base setting (even reading the novels, if only for ideas), and then change it to fit your game. The base setting of the game is sometime between 1990 and 1995, as that's when it was published. And play was supposed to start 3 months after the war had started. I've always preferred to start the game before the invasion and allow the characters to influence the metaplot that way. Normally, I had them begin as non-Storm Knight Ords who had to ascend. One game even had them repelling the Invasion of Tharkold, instead of letting it happen off-screen.

4.) Pick up the Masterbook games as supplements. It's pretty much the same rules set (with minor adjustments), so it dovetails nicely and gives a lot of optional rules ideas to work from. Tank Girl, in particular, had good vehicle rules. Bloodshadows gave some new magic ideas to flesh out Aysle. Species and Necroscope gave some depth. Indiana Jones offered some extra flavor to Terra/Nile Empire. I never used the Advantage/Disadvantage rules for Torg, but they might work well for you.

5.) Find something you like about each Realm, and use it whenever you can. A lot of the different Realms have weak points and can be shuffled off as dull if you're not careful. This happened a lot with the Living Land, which invaded North America. My players, on the other hand, hated it because they saw how tense it was when they couldn't rely on their guns or gadgets. I played up the weird, scary aspects of having all of your technology fail on you when you need it most.

6.) If you ever get tired of the setting or it doesn't work for your players, feel free to use the rules somewhere else. My group has used these same rules for games in the Age of Myth or for weird horror games derived from other ideas. (Think DC's Weird War Tales, and you've got what we ran one summer.)

... and so on. I've run a lot of Torg and Torg-based games in my time, and I think it's a great game to use as a frame for a lot of different things.

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Great answer. TORG was great fun and I've thought many times of trying it out again. – clweeks Aug 29 '10 at 11:47
Thx for this rather long reply! Concerning 1) I own the revised rules which allready handle this problem via some optional rules. Talking about 2) I do not own the dram cards but hope to aquire them via ebay someday. 3) I read the novels 15 years ago even I never played the system. Don't ask me why. g 4) This is quite a good tip. I should follow this soon. 5) Try to do this - the revised rulebook is not that helpfull in this regard. But I own some realms books allready and for a start will tell the players that all will be core earthlings. Thx again for your reply! Much appriciated! – Cyric Aug 29 '10 at 15:56
@Cyric, re:#5 -- yes, I agree -- the R&E rulebook does provide a more smoothly developed version of the rules, but it does not really provide much guidance in how to take the various TORG materials and put them to use in play, especially if what you want is to move your game away from the "standard mode of play". – Viktor Haag Aug 30 '10 at 12:52

Anyone wanting to play TORG ought to know about Kansas Jim Ogle. Kansas Jim was responsible for the content of the "revised and expanded rulebook" edition of TORG (and if you don't own a copy, I'd highly recommend that you move to using that instead of the base rulebook).

Of particular interest on Jim's site is his review of the Masterbook rules set: in short, he was not a fan. While you can see that his opinion is slanted in the rules, you can also see that he firmly understands the TORG systems and his examination of Masterbook might be useful for anyone wanting to use those rules instead of TORG for something: frankly, much of his objections to Masterbook were exactly things that I rather wanted, so I was reasonably happy to use MB for a game for a while -- but the review was still helpful to help me know where some sharp corners were in the rules.

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Thx alot fot his answer. I'm allready digging through his website and try to get some copy of the Masterbook series, too. – Cyric Sep 1 '10 at 13:55

I run 3 weekly campaigns, two of which are online through Google+ and Roll20. My advice for running a campaign:

  1. Run it Retro: Torg is very much based in a cinematic version of the 1990's. I like to keep it that way, not only for the geo-political elements, but also for consistency in the technology. I consider the Core Earth Tech 23 to be mid-90's, and Nippon Tech's 24 to be at or a little better then we are today in 2013. For instance, I explain the Sony Talkman video phone in the equipment list to be equivalent to a top of the line iPhone or Android.

  2. Use Google Earth: The fact that Torg is based in the real world, Google Earth is a great tool for mapping your adventures. With integrated photos, Wikipedia pages, and street view, a little prep lets you really immerse your players in the unique setting.

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Questions are never old and new answers are always welcome. There's even a badger for that. Welcome to the site! – doppelgreener Nov 15 '13 at 14:35

If anyone would like TORG advice, I would direct you to the original and best TORG list which relocated to yahoo groups just over a year ago. The group has been running since the beginning (22-23 years now) and has some very experienced TORG GMs there.

Find us at:

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