Torg: A Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Hack

Torg was one of the more interesting settings I’ve seen.  A brief summary (from the primer linked articles below):

In Torg, a cinematic version of our Earth (known in the game as Core Earth) has been invaded by other realities, led by powerful beings known as High Lords.  These High Lords invade other realities in order to drain their “possibility energy.”  Core Earth has a massive amount of possibility energy and as such, it was necessary for multiple High Lords to invade to avoid the destruction of their own realities from the backlash from Core Earth.

Each reality is defined by a set of four axioms (Magic, Spirit, Social and Tech) which limit interactions between the living and unliving. For instance, in a low Tech reality, someone’s M-16 simply wouldn’t fire. Computers don’t work. In extreme cases, Middle Age era swords are no better than clubs. In low Magic or Spirit realities, magic and miracles don’t work. In low Social realities, people simply cannot fathom the concept of nations or money. In addition to the four axioms, each reality has a set of three or four World Laws that further define the flavor of the reality.

Ordinary people (known as Ords) are unable to contradict foreign realities for long. Once the universe notices that they are creating contradictions, the ‘Everlaw of One’ disconnects them from their home reality. Then, over time, Ords transform to completely integrate into the invading reality, giving up their minute amounts of possibility energy to the High Lords. Possibility rated people on the other hand, are able to rec0nnect themselves to their own reality and even briefly prevent the universe from noticing that they are creating contradictions.

I remember it as being some crazy fun to play in, where being genre-savvy was not viewed as meta-gaming but properly fitting in.

Arcane Springboard is working on a Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Hack to bring Torg to the Cortex Plus system.  There are several articles in this series so far.

  • A Primer, describing the Torg setting.
  • Hacking the Datasheets, describing some changes needed to accommodate the peculiarities of the Torg setting.
  • Storm Knight Datafiles, describing some sample Storm Knights (characters who are able to see and work around the differences in realities.

I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes.

I also now feel an urge to grab the Torg box set off my shelf and go upstairs and have a nice, long read.

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