Please explain Other Gaming Systems


Lord Mhoram said:
Heya Buzz, nice to see you over here too. :D

I was going to post basically what Buzz did, but he beat me to it, and did a great job.
Hey, hey! Thanks.

Lord Mhoram said:
HERO has a rulebook that has stripped a lot of the complexity out of the system, and written as a "learning guide" rather than the ultimate encyclopedia of the game system. If you want to learn the game, that is a great place to start. You lose some of the flexability of the system with it, but it makes it much easier to learn.
Yup. It's called Sidekick. US$9.99 for print, US$7.00 for PDF.

Lord Mhoram said:
By comparison, building a HERO character is about on par with buildinga 4th or 5th level D&D character (higher level if you are doing supers), but the complexity of upkeep is much simpler. A skill at base costs 3 point. A Lightning Bolt spell might cost 5-10. A point of a characteristic is between 1 and 3. At the end of each adventure you get 3-9 XP (depending on length ect) as an average. So it takes about 3 minutes to update the character.
Yep. The complexity is generally up-front. Once you're character is built, gameplay is on par with D&D.

Sorry to turn this into a HERO promotional thread. Us HERO fans just tend to be whores. :)

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I'll tackle TORG.

First, let's look at the basic mechanics. Each character has seven ability scores: Strength, Dexterity, Toughness, Mind, Perception, Charisma, and Spirit. For a human, Joe Average has 8 in all these, and the normal maximum is 13. For PCs, the average is about 9.5 (66 points spread across the seven stats).

In addition to the ability scores, characters have skills. A starting PC has 16 points ("adds") to spend on his skills, with no more than three points to any one of them. One of the skills is called a "tag skill", which is the character's specialty. This skill has to be assigned 3 "adds." The total skill value is equal to the skill's governing stat plus the skill adds for that skill. So a starting barbarian warrior might have DEX 10 and 3 adds in Melee Combat, for a total Melee Combat value of 13.

So far there's nothing special. But now we take a look at task resolution. This is handled by rolling a d20, looking up the result on a small table that's printed on your character sheet, getting a "bonus number", and adding that number to your skill value. You then compare the total to a difficulty to see if you succeed. The system also allows for different levels of success, depending on how much you succeed by. The bonus number can range from -12 to infinity. Infinity, you say? Well, it's an open-ended roll. If you roll 10 or 20 on the d20, you roll and add another. You also have a number of Possibilities, that serve double duty as XP and action points. If you spend a possibility on an action, you get to roll an additional d20 and add to the first, with a minimum of +10.

One big innovation featured in the TORG game is the Drama Deck. Basically, you have a hand of cards that you can play in order to influence certain things in the game. Some of these cards are pretty straight-forward (e.g. "+3 to one action total", "+3 to Strength, Dexterity or Toughness for one round"), others are a little bit more esoteric ("Retry a failed roll", "Get one extra action", "Opponent fails"), some manipulate the card system itself ("Pick up the card on top of the discard pile", "Give your cards to the other players and refill your hand"), and some are subplots ("One of the NPCs is your arch enemy", "You get a romantic interest in one of the NPCs", "You are mistaken for someone you're not.") This last category also gets you some more XP, because you make things more interesting. The Drama Deck also serves double duty to determine the flow of combat.

As you can see, the cards have different stuff on the ends. The initiative is determined by the stuff on the right card, where it says:
S: H -- V Stymied
D: H Fatigue V --

This means: If the combat is "Standard" (basically, a fight that's not meant to be really dangerous, mostly a bunch of mooks), the heroes win initiative and the villains are stymied (meaning they don't get rerolls). If the combat is "Dramatic" (important fight, usually against the main villain or some important henchmen), the heroes win initiative but are fatigued.

Next, you see where it says "Act: Maneuver/Test". Those are the "approved actions" for the round: if you perform a Maneuver or Test of Wills against an opponent and succeed, you get to draw a new card. This is to reward players for doing something other than just shooting/beating their opponents up - however, it should not be overdone, in many cases attacking is the best option (and sometimes Attack comes up as the approved action for the round as well).

Finally, there's the bit that says "Possible Setback". This is part of the Dramatic Skill Resolution system. In some cases, solving a problem isn't as easy as just rolling a skill check. Think of a James Bond movie, where Our Hero has to disarm a bomb. This usually involves several steps, like opening the thing up, figuring up what goes where, dismantling the anti-tampering systems, and finally disarming the bomb itself. Each of these steps is assigned a letter: A, B, C, or D. These have to be performed in order, and the relevant letter has to appear on the initiative card for that round in order to perform the action. Usually, there's also some sort of time limit involved. This particular card is a little nasty however, because instead of a letter (or several), it says "Possible Setback." That means that unless you succeed in the appropriate roll, you backslide along the path to success.

Then we come to the built-in setting. TORG is set on Earth, but an Earth that has been invaded by other realities, which bring their own laws of nature with them. In Indonesia, Victorian horror holds sway. In France, there's the Cyberpapacy - think of the worst excesses of the Catholic church, add miracles that actually work, as well as cybertech. Britain and Scandinavia are largely under the influence of Aysle, a fantasy realm. The US along the coasts is covered by the Living Land, a vast pre-historic jungle with powerful spiritual forces. Northeast Africa, focusing on Egypt, is ruled by the New Empire of the Nile - think pulps like Indiana Jones and the Shadow, with an additional touch of Egypt-flavored magic and miracles. Finally, Japan seems to have become more sinister and hi-tech lately, due to the hidden influence of the realm of Nippon Tech.

So, you wonder, why wouldn't you just use the biggest laser gun you can get from the Cyberpapacy, and load up with magic from Aysle and miracles from the Living Land? Well, because things that are too advanced for the user, or for the place they're used in, tend to mess things up. Each character has a "home reality", to which he has a metaphysical connection. It is this connection that allows him to momentarily break the rules of the reality he's in. However, when he does that there's a chance that the reality he's in will take notice, and break his connection to his home reality. Fortunately, PCs are among the few people who are capable of reforging this connection - the difficulty of doing so depending on the differences between the local reality and his home reality.

Well, I guess that's TORG in a nutshell.


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First Post
Ah, it's so nice to see some other RuneQuest and Hero fans!! I played both of these systems before I learned D&D, so I have a soft spot for them both. I still miss hit location rolls every time we play D&D. Nothing like trying to keep fighting on your knees, or with your weapon arm disabled! :lol:


First Post
jdrakeh said:
Also, your list is missing the three different Star Trek games (DS9, Classic, and TNG) published by Last Unicorn Games.

Not to mention the original Star Trek RPG, published by FASA back in the 1980s.

Scribe Ineti

Dannyalcatraz said:
Scribe, just to put your last comment into context, which of the Star Trek RPGs have you played?

Last I checked, there were:

StarTrek RPG CODA (Deciper Games)
Star Trek D6 (West End Games)
Prime Directive (Task Force Games)
Prime Directive D20 (WOTC)
Prime Directive GURPS (Steve Jackson Games)

As mentioned, WEG didn't do a Star Trek RPG. You also missed the Last Unicorn Games versions of Trek (TOS, TNG, and DS9), and you missed FASA's older Star Trek RPG.

I've played all of 'em except for Prime Directive, which I have no interest in. Coda's top of the pile for Trek games in my experience.


Staff member
Rulemaster...It occurs to me that this string, while fun and informative, might be more effective if you first posted a basic PC or 2 (like a 1st level Wiz and a 1st level Ftr), and let others post a version of it in another system, with explanations.

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