Let Me Show You Why I Love TORG

In the summer of 1989, during a comic convention called “The Dallas Fantasy Fair” someone posted an advertisement for a multi-genre role playing game, in other words, instead of just playing in fantasy, horror, or sci fi, the players can be in all the different genres of literature. That Sunday, I first met Torg: Roleplaying the Possibility Wars. The game that the person ran was a train wreck. However, I could see the potential this game had. After I read the rules and ran my first game, the potential became love, and this became my favorite role-playing game of all time.

Let me describe the setting of the game. Some day in the near future, Earth becomes invaded, not by aliens from space but creatures from other realities. In America, a primeval reality takes over causing building to crumble, technology to fail, and people to convert to primitive humans. In the United Kingdom and Scandinavia, a fantasy reality takes over. Dragon’s fly the sky and people begin to cast magic spells. In France, a computerized religious uprising begins bringing forth the age of the Cyberpapacy. In Egypt, a mad villain takes over and expands an empire fueled by pulp powers and fantastic gizmos. In the Philippines, horror dominates the land. While in Japan, a silent business organization with futuristic technology corrupts the government and people. In each different version of reality, a High Lord plots to take over more land and drain people of Possibility Energy. The players, called Storm Knights, fight against the High Lords and their minion to reclaim the land and people for Core Earth.

I could see myself in this game, I could actually play Kent Henry, Storm Knight (and often did as a Non-Player Character who sent other Storm Knights on missions). Creating a character in Torg was extremely simple. The game allowed for the villain to not only be killed but could also be stumped by a great quip or dazzling display. This made dialog just as important as weaponry. The game came with cards that allowed the players bonuses, allow the players to escape harm, or create a subplot to the game to involve the player in other opportunities to role play. The makers of Torg created a newsletter with adventure ideas and the gaming group could fill out forms to send back to the publisher and that would influence the game setting so Torg would change based on player input.  

So, through the early ‘90s, I ran Torg. However, all wars must end and so did Torg, in a complete anti-climax module called “Wars End.” The publisher of the game, West End Games, gave the rights to another company to keep going with Torg. The company used this thing called the Internet to replace the newsletter. One issue was published and then nothing happened after that. Torg slipped into obscurity. Then in the early 2000s, a new rule book was published by West End and it seemed, for a time that Torg would come back, until the company folded. Then in 2015, a news report that a German Company, Ulises Spiel, would revamp Torg. The new game called Torg: Eternity was being developed. I kept cautiously optimistic. I mean I heard this before…twice. However, in 2018, Torg: Eternity made its way to the market.

The new Torg, takes all the great things about its older version, the cards, the easy character creation, and the use of verbal skills and action to taunt and tease a foe. It removed some of the less savory aspects of the game like the dreaded “glass-jaw ninja problem.” A complicated magic creation system (at this time, I’m not sure the create-a-spell system is being replaced, but if it is, it has GOT to simplify the spell creation system).   

Currently, the main game book is on the market and the first sourcebook, “The Living Land” just finished a successful campaign on Kickstarter. The Living Land covers the primitive reality that occupied Canada, the United States, and Mexico. It describes what has happened to the nations under the new reality and how the nation struggles to fight the invaders who use faith and forces everyone to use primitive weapons instead of modern firearms.

I love to run this game for new people and to listen to storied of those that have played the game. I invite you to try Torg: Eternity, my favorite role-playing game. Let me show you.

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