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Lord of the Hidden Layer
I was not really interested* until I saw the module that located Earth's Darkness Device with the Aztecs. Then I was intrigued. But that was about the last I ever saw from the game.

* Alternate History(ies) for Western Civ but almost nowhere else?! Nothing new to learn here ...

I backed the Kickstarter, so I've had the game for a couple of months, and it is *amazing*.

I always wanted to play the original based on concept, but never actually got a copy or had a chance to play.

Torg: Eternity has the most successful blend of narrativist, simulationist, and gamist mechanics in one game that I've ever experienced. I didn't even think it could be done, but they did it.

It succeeds on so many levels. Basic character stats use a familiar style of attribute + skill with some derived stats, plus perks. Nothing revolutionary, but good choices. Action resolution relies on a stand alone potentially exploding d20 which modifies your attribute+skill value either up or down, so that the average is no modifier, but it could end up a huge one.

But you also have a hand of cards that you can play to influence gameplay in a variety of ways some as simple as a bonus to an action, others doing things like making an NPC into a personal nemesis, or allowing your character to accomplish a significant goal and then perish.

Then there is a second, different deck of cards that governs initiative and encourages certain types of actions (such as a taunt, or attempting a multiaction) each turn.

And there is even a third type of card each player gets one of and can use to reinforce cosm genres.

Plus you have Possibilities, which are points you can spend out of character that are actually representations of an in-world reality.

The way it works together is so smooth that its antique frequent referencing of a table mechanic isn't even a big problem. It is easy to see why it had to be done that way, and you just go with it.

Me and my friend both felt that our first session was one of (maybe *the*) best play sessions we've ever had in *any* game system.

Part of what made it work so well in a physical and aesthetic way was that all the little play aids representing things like wounds and foes and such meant that we didn't even need to write stuff down. We just looked at character sheets and handled toys instead. The theme music didn't hurt either. Even without all of those extras, you would still have the cards (required to play) and the handing out of Possibility tokens (you could just write a number for these, but why?) which enhances the overall experience. (The special cards do a lot more than a regular deck of playing cards for initiative in Savage World's, for instance. It's like there is a hint ofa CCG going on in the action flow.)

And I haven't even addressed the setting, which is of course why someone would potentially be interested in the first place. :)

You can buy the core rules, cards, and at least some other stuff on the website last I checked.
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Also, if anyone wants to grab the awesome Cargo Box (that I highly recommend) that has all that stuff, and/or fund the Living Land Kickstarter, you have 29 hours to do it before the Kickstarter closes.

(This poster is not affiliated with the producers of Torg Eternity in any way, and has not been compensated at all for this glowing review. He probably should have been, but he hasn't. :))

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