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Torg Eternity - Core Rules €21,23
Publisher: Ulisses Spiele
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/13/2019 12:19:10

I never played the original Torg. I did play a hack that a friend of mine wrote for Fate and I really enjoyed it so I was looking forward to Torg Eternity. I loved the playtest beta so much I bought the rules as soon as I could because I wanted to support the product. But the more I learned about the rules the more evident it became that Torg Eternity is simply a clunkier, poorly written, and incomplete Savage Worlds.

How long do some spells last? Can you cast the equivalent of Dimension Door without Line of Sight? Can you tell when a psychic power is being manifested? What can you do with an Interaction Attack? Do attacks that deal fire damage obey the fire rules? A medium blast can hit 3 targets under "typical battlefield conditions", but what exactly does that mean? The core rules don't answer these basic questions. You might find the answer on the forums or in the game's FAQ but you're essentially left to fend for yourself when, not if, you find yet another grey area. Torg isn't the first game I've played that requires some GM Fiat to make the rules work but it is the first one I've played where it felt like a cop out on the designer's part.

The core book also doesn't have much reality specific content. I can't fault the designers for that due to how much material it has to cover. But the perks available to some realities are flat out broken compared to the others, an issue will only get worse until more of the reality specific sourcebooks are out. On the subject of sourcebooks, the power creep is already obvious. That's to be expected as higher level spells and technology become avilable. But I fear Torg's reached a tipping point where you either play with all of the sourcebooks or none of them, lest you risk leaving some of your players in the dust until their own reality books come out. Given that as of this writing only 2 of the 7 realities have fully released books with a third about to be posted to kickstarter, it could be years before your Pan Pacifica street samurai is on par with the Nile Empire mystery man.

You need Torg's Drama Deck to play. So the PDF may cost $25, but to go from zero to being play ready you also need to spend another $25 on cards. Groups with more than 5 players may find that they need a second deck. I like the card play, but having to spend an extra $25 for a second initiative desk and set of cosm cards when all I need is the Destiny deck is annoying. That's a minor complaint though.

With all of that said, the lore of the game is original and fairly well written and the core mechanics are fun if you can wrap your head around the logarithmic d20 chart. The card play is enjoyable. There's fun to be had here but it doesn't outweigh the frustration of trying to understand the system.

The bottom line: if reading about Torg Eternity's setting is your cup of tea go ahead and buy it. But as a game I can't recommend this tabletop equivalent of a fixer-upper.

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Torg Eternity - Core Rules
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