Cosm description for new GM / Player

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Cosm description for new GM / Player

Post by pierreangem »

I’m still reading the sourcebooks.
I just wanted to share what I noticed:
On all last sourcebooks the content of table of contents are the same but it is missing a more deep and clear description of each of the original cosms.
For example, If you look at the original torg Aysle sourcebook, there is the presentation of the Aysle planet with all drawings, section, explanations etc etc.
I remember that when I was recruiting people to play ... it was so easy to attract all the DD fellows, because the image of Aysle world is very simulating... also on original Terra, Tharkold or original Orrorsh the map of original cosm and description was very useful.
Now, with new players and especially new GM, I think it is hard to feed and supply an uniform image of every cosm if there is no Clear description Into current sourcebooks.
As an example of some ambiguity found in cyberpapacy, If original torg was describing Magna veritas flat with medieval age and no cyber tech for people, while on new sourcebook it is not clear about planet and how cyber stuff Is available...
Could we mind for later pledge to include a reward level that could offer a hard/card double pages with visual description, map, plan of a given cosm inside. On cover, we found a short text description and the rear could be used on table game to see all axioms, Cosm’s laws, specific tables etc ...
thank you
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Re: Cosm description for new GM / Player

Post by Stolz »

I did notice that too. And I agree that was a great way to make each cosm stand out from all others and to amplifiy the multi-genre identity of Torg.

I don't know if there are future projects to produce some "home cosms" stuff, but I suspect the designers' choice was mostly motivated by space economy. Also, we had a lot of details about Gaea, Aysle planet, etc. in oTorg, but how often did we really go there during our adventures? At some point, I can understand it was sacrificed to give priority to more "useful" (in common campaigns) material.

Nonetheless, I think it would be nice to have something about those worlds (could even be one book with all of them inside). For now, many of us have oTorg materials and can elaborate a bit when it comes to explain (or try to) to new players what invading cosms are like. But as more new players will start playing TE without even knowing there was an old version in the 90's, that blank spot will become more of a problem.

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Re: Cosm description for new GM / Player

Post by pierreangem »

Yes, it is why I was thinking to a 2 pages brochures with original cosm informations that you show to player like a Holiday plan brochure ... we could mind to find inside the brochure a small holder for the cosm cards... this would made richer game setting...
Last edited by pierreangem on Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cosm description for new GM / Player

Post by pierreangem »

It’s true that you would never have to visit or set adventure into cosm itself, but reading about map and history help to make better GM “Interpreters” about cosms.
I’m curious to know what a new GM had understood About “world below” into last Aysle sourcebook, if you never see gaea map... you cannot understand that easy.
Last edited by pierreangem on Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Cosm description for new GM / Player

Post by pkitty »

Deanna has confirmed that at some point (EDIT: in Year 3 or later), they plan to do some sort of "home cosms" book or PDF. That wasn't something that needed to be present for Year 1, because it's highly unlikely that the PCs will be visiting those cosms (at least, not until much later in the game), and the priority has to be getting us gamers all of the info we need for adventures set here on invaded Core Earth. Remember, Ulisses' resources (writers, editors, funds, etc.) are limited, so any wordcount devoted to X means less wordcount for Y and Z -- so they have to prioritize.
Last edited by pkitty on Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Cosm description for new GM / Player

Post by TorgHacker »

We will eventually be doing some sort of Invading Cosm book or something along that line, but as pkitty mentions, the intent very much was to focus on what players do on Earth.

That won't be until Year Three though, at a minimum.
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Re: Cosm description for new GM / Player

Post by cloudshaper2k »

And by Year Three, I don't think we'll need to worry about an Invading Cosm description of Gaea . . . we can just put a picture of a raisin in it's place.

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Re: Cosm description for new GM / Player

Post by pierreangem »

cloudshaper2k wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:38 am
And by Year Three, I don't think we'll need to worry about an Invading Cosm description of Gaea . . . we can just put a picture of a raisin in it's place.
I’ve got your point, but normal people start GM or player around day one ... such Gaea description is useful for first reading and so nice when you wish to bring interest from new people ...
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Re: Cosm description for new GM / Player

Post by Stolz »

pierreangem wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:03 am
cloudshaper2k wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:38 am
And by Year Three, I don't think we'll need to worry about an Invading Cosm description of Gaea . . . we can just put a picture of a raisin in it's place.
I’ve got your point, but normal people start GM or player around day one ... such Gaea description is useful for first reading and so nice when you wish to bring interest from new people ...
I agree, but I also understand the choice that was made. I'd like to have some material in each sourcebook (your idea of 1-2 pages to give the big picture would've been great), but it might have made any future and more elaborate product to feel a bit redundant.

So, until then, I think we'll have to rely a lot on oTorg stuff. Keeping in mind that many details changed in the process...

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Re: Cosm description for new GM / Player

Post by pierreangem »

Exactly...this would mean that the old sourcebooks will always be useful ;)
Anyway, having the pdf about old stuff available it would be easy to compile a simple book about each original cosm .. just to gather what could be useful to read for anybody who want to know a bit more... cool lecture ...
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Re: Cosm description for new GM / Player

Post by pkitty »

pierreangem wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:03 am
I’ve got your point, but normal people start GM or player around day one ... such Gaea description is useful for first reading and so nice when you wish to bring interest from new people ...
I understand your point, Pierre, and I agree it would have been nice to have details on "home cosms" right from the beginning, in the core book. But let me ask you two questions. First, how many pages do you think should have been devoted to home cosm descriptions ? Second, what pages would you have cut from the core book to make room for that?
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Re: Cosm description for new GM / Player

Post by Greymarch2000 »

I've been harping on about having more info from the home cosms since day one, especially as you can actually play people from the invading realities and not just transformed Core Earthers. So your character comes from Goguraku, what did they do, where did they live? *gestures vaguely*

And I have the advantage of owning the old Torg sourcebooks that gave this information (though I feel some such as Marketplace would be completely different). New players and GMs will have a very superficial background for what happened in those cosms.

Now I realize that space is a premium and all that, and its been like 3 years so obviously people can play just fine without all that extra info. I'm just saying I hope we get more extras like Secrets of the Cyberchurch that are filled with useful thematic background information and less like Secrets of the Resistance which seemed to be a random mishmash of stuff.
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Re: Cosm description for new GM / Player

Post by pierreangem »

pkitty wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:18 pm
pierreangem wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:03 am
I’ve got your point, but normal people start GM or player around day one ... such Gaea description is useful for first reading and so nice when you wish to bring interest from new people ...
I understand your point, Pierre, and I agree it would have been nice to have details on "home cosms" right from the beginning, in the core book. But let me ask you two questions. First, how many pages do you think should have been devoted to home cosm descriptions ? Second, what pages would you have cut from the core book to make room for that?
Honestly, I didn’t re-read the old sourcebook since I’m bathing into new books.
But after 20 years I Still have a clear image of Gaea for example, I’m pretty sure I would still be able to talk hours about Gaea or arrange a story taking place on Gaea on the fly. I see the place.
It is why I’m pretty sure that a double page about map, visual and a page about the main description would be enough to anybody to impress an image in the head that would be the same for all.
If invasion Result and Evolution could be different for any GM Because it is depending on the results on Each table ... Instead, the source cosms have to be the same for all. It would not need that much than one page description, but made well without deep in matter... And again, a few map, a few town names... that help much to identify where a character comes from and what he would have already see and visit before to came across bridge ...
This is important for most of Aysle fellows , orrosh subjects Terra people, tharkold tralls...and more important for cyberpapacy and kanawa people because those cosm are different from original source and would avoid confusion.
Thank you for sharing.
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Re: Cosm description for new GM / Player

Post by princeearwig »

However, the "Secrets of.." documents from each crowdfunder that included them have been very useful for filling in some gaps.
So, considering Orrrorsh is next and that its fate is pretty grisly.. Maybe a stretch goal in its crowdfunder would fit the bill?

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Re: Cosm description for new GM / Player

Post by pierreangem »

About current sourcebook, well this is a trick question.
If looking to cyberpapacy book, I would have compress from “war zone” until “Delphi council and resistance” to earn 1/2 pages and located description as an introduction to Malraux story.
And for last page needed, what about the eternity shards pages at the end of book? Those could be stretch in half page: a table with compared stats and Small images of the eternity shards Under the table would be far enough.
When I’m reading the books those last pages looks added in rush and fury to make the page count ok. I’m always going fast on those pages and shut the book right away. But it’s very very personal taste.
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Re: Cosm description for new GM / Player

Post by TorgHacker »

cloudshaper2k wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:38 am
And by Year Three, I don't think we'll need to worry about an Invading Cosm description of Gaea . . . we can just put a picture of a raisin in it's place.
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Re: Cosm description for new GM / Player

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Greymarch2000 wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:57 pm
I've been harping on about having more info from the home cosms since day one, especially as you can actually play people from the invading realities and not just transformed Core Earthers. So your character comes from Goguraku, what did they do, where did they live? *gestures vaguely*

And I have the advantage of owning the old Torg sourcebooks that gave this information (though I feel some such as Marketplace would be completely different). New players and GMs will have a very superficial background for what happened in those cosms.

Now I realize that space is a premium and all that, and its been like 3 years so obviously people can play just fine without all that extra info. I'm just saying I hope we get more extras like Secrets of the Cyberchurch that are filled with useful thematic background information and less like Secrets of the Resistance which seemed to be a random mishmash of stuff.
Something folks need to realize is that in most circumstances, the Secrets docs are stuff that didn't fit in the Sourcebook. It's not just the amount of space we have, but the amount of time we have to do 'extra' stuff. At this point, we just don't have a lot of it.
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Re: Cosm description for new GM / Player

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pierreangem wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:05 pm
About current sourcebook, well this is a trick question.
If looking to cyberpapacy book, I would have compress from “war zone” until “Delphi council and resistance” to earn 1/2 pages and located description as an introduction to Malraux story.
And for last page needed, what about the eternity shards pages at the end of book? Those could be stretch in half page: a table with compared stats and Small images of the eternity shards Under the table would be far enough.
When I’m reading the books those last pages looks added in rush and fury to make the page count ok. I’m always going fast on those pages and shut the book right away. But it’s very very personal taste.
We had 40 extra pages we had to cut from the Cyberpapacy Sourcebook, almost all of which ended up in either the end of Unhallowed Data, or in the Secrets PDFs.

Trust me...we didn't rush to fill the last few pages.

There is a LOT of decision making that goes into what shows up in books and what doesn't. Fortunately we have the Secrets PDFs to use as a pressure valve when we do happen to produce too much text for a product. But you'd be amazed how many decisions are made to cut something simply because of layout problems.

For instance, in the production of books, things aren't actually based on word count. They're based on spreads. And we need to have space to break the text up so it isn't just one giant wall of text (hence sidebars, quotes, art). But the important thing is that you're always worried about _two_ page spreads. One of the worst situations is having one extra page, or one two few pages.

Plus you can't have a situation where you have a single line at the top or bottom of a column...which can add as much as a 1/4 page per chapter.

And then on top of THAT each chapter MUST start on the left hand side. So you can't just compress the Delphi Council and the Resistance by 1/2 page. You can't even compress it by 1 page. You must compress it by TWO pages. The Cyberpapacy SB was a devil (pun intended) to layout, simply because we had sooooooooooo much stuff.

Additionally, books have to be printed in groups of 8 or 16 pages. No more, no less.
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Re: Cosm description for new GM / Player

Post by pierreangem »

TorgHacker wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:29 pm
pierreangem wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:05 pm
About current sourcebook, well this is a trick question.
If looking to cyberpapacy book, I would have compress from “war zone” until “Delphi council and resistance” to earn 1/2 pages and located description as an introduction to Malraux story.
And for last page needed, what about the eternity shards pages at the end of book? Those could be stretch in half page: a table with compared stats and Small images of the eternity shards Under the table would be far enough.
When I’m reading the books those last pages looks added in rush and fury to make the page count ok. I’m always going fast on those pages and shut the book right away. But it’s very very personal taste.
We had 40 extra pages we had to cut from the Cyberpapacy Sourcebook, almost all of which ended up in either the end of Unhallowed Data, or in the Secrets PDFs.

Trust me...we didn't rush to fill the last few pages.

There is a LOT of decision making that goes into what shows up in books and what doesn't. Fortunately we have the Secrets PDFs to use as a pressure valve when we do happen to produce too much text for a product. But you'd be amazed how many decisions are made to cut something simply because of layout problems.

For instance, in the production of books, things aren't actually based on word count. They're based on spreads. And we need to have space to break the text up so it isn't just one giant wall of text (hence sidebars, quotes, art). But the important thing is that you're always worried about _two_ page spreads. One of the worst situations is having one extra page, or one two few pages.

Plus you can't have a situation where you have a single line at the top or bottom of a column...which can add as much as a 1/4 page per chapter.

And then on top of THAT each chapter MUST start on the left hand side. So you can't just compress the Delphi Council and the Resistance by 1/2 page. You can't even compress it by 1 page. You must compress it by TWO pages. The Cyberpapacy SB was a devil (pun intended) to layout, simply because we had sooooooooooo much stuff.

Additionally, books have to be printed in groups of 8 or 16 pages. No more, no less.
First of all thank you for sharing !
I’m far of the idea to diminish the work you are doing ! you did a great job into re-forging the Torg rules, I assume it was not easy at all, and to guarantee the best result it was necessary to invest every piece of energy around the game mechanic, it is now clear that the existing material about the game background and atmosphere has been already consolidated with time and it was not necessary to invest time in this.
I’m sad if you mind that I was willing to hurt the work you are all doing.
My last comment was raised by a “game” question, there were no malice in my comment, please.
My original comment was not intended to cut anything, but to add something, like a pledge award made of 2 sheets (or 4 pages signature), if so, because I am aware that you cannot change the book chassis in the middle of the project. it is clear that you balanced the contents to stick with the constraint of the given project, where facing pages are always tricky when you have to fit contents.
Since we are dealing about rule books and not story books, it is also obvious that the end on any rules books are “problematic”, because when you arrived to the end you do not have the “end of story” but the start of many ! And ANY last chapter would have been hard to swallow because we always want more, last chapter is always like a sentence announcing the index.

The comment I did about having More Information About original cosm, map and detail did appear to me because of very personal fact: I wish to introduce my son and nephews to Torg soon.
As I’m preparing for this very big event, I was preparing myself about every question they may ask (why this … why that …. ), and then I just realized and shared that new GM and new player would have been helped too by a couple of fresh information about each original cosms.

It looks like the old sourcebook are still useful, so I will arrange a simple paste and copy from original books for what it is possible to do, and it will be fine.

Nevertheless I’m now wondering how Magna veritas would be different from original description, because the cyberstuff seems to be established from ages and not just before invasion like original book. Another question is about Market place, I am wondering if the virus problem is existing on original cosm or if it’s a special gift for earth, only ?

Thank you
Last edited by pierreangem on Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Cosm description for new GM / Player

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Greymarch2000 wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:57 pm
I've been harping on about having more info from the home cosms since day one, especially as you can actually play people from the invading realities and not just transformed Core Earthers. So your character comes from Goguraku, what did they do, where did they live? *gestures vaguely*

And I have the advantage of owning the old Torg sourcebooks that gave this information (though I feel some such as Marketplace would be completely different). New players and GMs will have a very superficial background for what happened in those cosms.
Just for your information, the cosm you mentioned is Gokuraku, which means "the Paradise".
Speculating from the Core Rulebook, it seems to be a false utopia which enjoys unsustainable prosperity based on exploitation of other cosms, and combined with oTorg Marketplace there would be rampant mammonism, ruthless corporate republic, and obsession for economic growth. There may even be compulsive consumption fueled with unending waves of propaganda.
Maybe Michael Ende has written something about there in Momo...Gokuraku is the cosm where the Men in Grey, a.k.a. the Timesavings Bank, had won.

(I basically agree on the needs for more info about invading cosms, since I'm exploring some possibilities of the heroes who hail from the underrepresented area of the invading cosms. I have seen a player on Twitter considering "the Samurai Templar" who came from Magna Verita Japan, but I had to point out that the Cyberpapacy Sourcebook suggests there is NO Japan in TorgE Magna Verita...instead he can think of a transformed Templar recruit from Core Earth Japan)

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Re: Cosm description for new GM / Player

Post by Kuildeous »

If I read the hints correctly, the jiangshi are created through gospog seeds, so that would be a new feature of Kanawa's plans. That's not to say that Gokuraku didn't suffer a pandemic of their own, on which Kanawa learned how to exploit something similar on Core Earth.
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Re: Cosm description for new GM / Player

Post by pierreangem »

Kuildeous wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:48 pm
If I read the hints correctly, the jiangshi are created through gospog seeds, so that would be a new feature of Kanawa's plans. That's not to say that Gokuraku didn't suffer a pandemic of their own, on which Kanawa learned how to exploit something similar on Core Earth.
That make sens, thank you.
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Re: Cosm description for new GM / Player

Post by pierreangem »

QuarrelBlue wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:48 pm
Greymarch2000 wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:57 pm
I've been harping on about having more info from the home cosms since day one, especially as you can actually play people from the invading realities and not just transformed Core Earthers. So your character comes from Goguraku, what did they do, where did they live? *gestures vaguely*

And I have the advantage of owning the old Torg sourcebooks that gave this information (though I feel some such as Marketplace would be completely different). New players and GMs will have a very superficial background for what happened in those cosms.
Just for your information, the cosm you mentioned is Gokuraku, which means "the Paradise".
Speculating from the Core Rulebook, it seems to be a false utopia which enjoys unsustainable prosperity based on exploitation of other cosms, and combined with oTorg Marketplace there would be rampant mammonism, ruthless corporate republic, and obsession for economic growth. There may even be compulsive consumption fueled with unending waves of propaganda.
Maybe Michael Ende has written something about there in Momo...Gokuraku is the cosm where the Men in Grey, a.k.a. the Timesavings Bank, had won.

(I basically agree on the needs for more info about invading cosms, since I'm exploring some possibilities of the heroes who hail from the underrepresented area of the invading cosms. I have seen a player on Twitter considering "the Samurai Templar" who came from Magna Verita Japan, but I had to point out that the Cyberpapacy Sourcebook suggests there is NO Japan in TorgE Magna Verita...instead he can think of a transformed Templar recruit from Core Earth Japan)
Thank you for this “paradise” description, this cosm Is becoming more and more interesting.
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Re: Cosm description for new GM / Player

Post by Greymarch2000 »

For my campaign I've decided to take many elements from the game Corporia (a mash-up game of corporate dystopia mixed with Arthurian legend (referred to as Knights in Shining Armani)) which also has a setting which at first appears as a glistening corporate utopia but once you look closer you start to see how rancid things are under the surface.

I also take some visual cue from the Mirror's Edge video games, all clean white and mirrors.

Some of the elements that I've included:
  • The Corporation is All - Almost everybody works for one of the megacoroprations one way or another. Even a family business ends up being a subsidiary of a subsidiary of a subsidiary of one of the Megas. Everything a citizen can do is gated by their corporation with entire towns and sections of cities being owned by particular corporations. Citizens eat branded meals and live in branded homes and drive branded cars. The brand and corporation is king
  • Kanawa is not the Only Game in Town - while the Rauru Block has not been mentioned at all so far I kind of see the Torg Eternity version of Pan Pacific as being similar to The Nile Empire in some ways. It sounds like the High Lord has not been active very long and much like Tharkold, Core Earth was only the third invasion. I feel it's quite possible that the Kanawa corporation may not have an iron grip on its competition back home. Probably the largest and strongest player, but there are many other hungry companies out there.
  • The Company Owns You - one idea I really liked in Corporia was that of corporate serfdom. If a person ever goes into debt or is convicted of acting against a particular corporations interests they become "property" of that corp. Going so far as to have their last name changes to match the company (like "Dave Hachiman" or "Sai Ichi" if becoming a drone for Hachiman Arms or Ichi Publishing). Wonder how Storm Knights would feel if they found that so many Kanawa Security Troopers started as being in debt to Kanawa...
  • Almost All Services Are Free - The corporations make a big show that anyone can do almost anything. Travel is free along company mass transit. Power and A/C are free as long as you live in company homes. The Internet is free as long as you use your company account to access The Marketplace. Meals are free if you go to restaurants that have partnerships with your company. You can watch as much entertainment as you like so long as your company approves the accounts. But it's rare for the general public to own anything. That's reserved for the wealthy elite.
  • The Marketplace - The internet in Pan Pacifica is extremely limited for the average citizen, most have access only to pages promoted or directly approved by their corporation (this kind of uses the ideas of DataPools that they had in Cyberpunk 203X). If you work for InfoSoft you'll generally only see ads for InfoSoft products, links to competitors products will be blocked as well as any media speaking ill of the company. All companies will lead a gated connection to The Marketplace which acts in the manner of Amazon on Core Earth. Imagine that the entirety of the internet was essentially just Facebook Marketplace and that's the whole of the internet for people without specialized hacking skills/contacts.
Mind you all the brainstorming I did about Pan Pacifica was basically for naught as my players never really wanted to go there. But there you go.

These probably won't jive with that US comes up with, but that's the headcanon I have for Gokuraku.
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The Storm Knights' Guide to Monster Hunters, The Storm Knights' Guide to Dragon Warriors, The Storm Knights' Guide to Realm Runners
Operation: Grim Harvest - A one Act adventure set in Core Earth featuring Stormbreak
Cosm Card Boosters: Aysle, Core Earth, Cyberpapacy, Living Land, Nile Empire, Pan Pacifica, Tharkold & Akasha

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