January 10

Bundle of Holding – Torg

When I was writing my top 10 list of games I mentioned the excellent cross-genre game Torg.

Now for a limited time you can get a selection of Torg books including the players guide which greatly expands upon character creation and the revised edition of Torg from the good people at Bundle of holding

So if you have ever wondered what is so good about this game you can pick them up for a steal.

August 31

#RPGaDAY Day 9: Favourite Die / Dice Set

As a gamer of three decades I have collected quite a number of dice of different sizes, styles, colours and manufacturers.  Trying to pick out a favourite is going to be a bit tricky so I’ll cheat a bit here and list my all time favourites rather than a specific die.

Single Dice:

My speckled Torg die is amazing and there were only available in the Torg boxed set. Later editions of the game swapped this speckled die for a regular D20.  I understand that these may have been manufactured by a company called the Armory as they did a similar looking set of dice called Torgish.  Unfortunately the company no longer makes dice and I was never able to track down a set.

Glow in the dark:

I have several glow in the dark six-sided dice.  One made by Koplow and the other by Flying Buffalo Inc .  The Flying Buffalo dice have a skull in place of the 1 on the die.


I have two sets that I’m fond of.  One of them are the all metal dice from I think Crystal Caste but I’m not sure.  The dice are heavy and appear to be biased or at least the D20 is certainly biased towards the upper end of the range; great for OGL D20 games, not so good for Pendragon.  I’d chalk this up to an anomaly if the fact that all three of the dice all exhibit this behaviour.

The other set is the Traveller 5th Edition dice set I received from the Kickstarter, in black, white, red and yellow with the numbers moulded into the material.

August 27

#RPGaDAY Day 27: Game You’d like to see a new / improved edition of…

I’d love to see a second edition of Torg, there was a promised Torg 2.0 announced a while ago but that never materialised which is a great shame.

If I was to redo the game I’d probably look for a different resolution system but retain all the really cool stuff like the Drama Deck and possibility energies.  You could also tidy up some of the loose ends like ords which shouldn’t really be able to operate outside of their cosms and give the Possibility War  a proper ending.

It was one of those games of the period and I still love it after all these years.

I suppose you could reboot the game using FATE or even Savage Worlds but I don’t have the time or energy to do such a conversion.

August 22

#RPGaDAY Day 22: Best Secondhand RPG Purchase

In the past I used to use eBay and a specialist dealer Second Games Galore to acquire games that I missed the first time around as well as scouring the dealers room at conventions.

I had to think long and hard about this post for today as to what would be my favourite purchase and out of all of the games its TORG by West End Games.  If you recall I mentioned this game in a previous post so have a look at it here: http://www.generaltangent.com/blog/2014/05/05/top-10-rpg-list-number-7/


May 5

Top 10 RPG list – number 7



Torg was the first game I encountered that allowed the party to play a mixed group of characters from a list of genres; so you could have a lost world hero rubbing shoulders with a cybernetically enhanced ninja. It was through a series of teaser adverts in Dragon that piqued my interest and it soon became a hot topic when I talked to other gamers at the local games shop.

In the beginning:

The story was that Earth had been invaded by High Lords from different realms and realities  who wish to strip the Earth of the living energy of the planet.  Each High Lord brings with them a chunk of their own reality and converts their conquered region to their reality.

Inside the box.

The core game came in a boxed set containing three books, an Infiniverse campaign newsletter, a 156 card drama deck and a possibility shard or 1d20 if you prefer 🙂

Storm Knights

In the game the player characters are Storm Knights and they have the ability to control their fates by expending possibility energy which enabled the character to do extraordainary things including re-reolling the die if the result was unfavourable. Posibilites are a great idea and its good to see that the core of this mechanic has been carried onto other games but are called Fate Points or Bennies or something of that ilk.  As the line expanded so did the meta-plot and things like a guild of Storm Knights appeared.


The game also had a meta-plot running through it and by sending the results back of how your group handled certain adventures you could influence how the overall War for Reality would play out.  This was a great idea and I had never seen such a thing ever proposed, the idea that thousands of gamers worldwide had the chance to shape the overall plot arc was just mind blowing.  West End Games did publish three campaign updates based upon the results of the global Infiniverse campaign and the idea seemed to work.  It would be a very different thing to do today as the internet could make submission and compilation of campaign data much easier.

Drama Deck.

This was something else I loved the idea of using the special Drama Deck to govern initiative and also to define that if certain combat manoeuvres were used the player could be rewarded with additional cards from the Drama Deck; it would also set various combat conditions that could hinder or provide you with  bonuses depending on the cards.  Plus there were the “special cards” that players could use in any situation, cards that would allow you to define an ally or contact that you knew in the area and could call upon for help or advice when you needed it.  Apart from West End Games other system Masterbook I have yet to see anything similar to this.


Cosms is how the invading realities were referred to in the book. Each Cosm had their own world laws and different axiom levels.   If your character found themselves outside of their own Cosm and you failed a roll then you could find yourself disconnected from your home reality and instead become part of the invaders reality.

  • The invading Cosms were initailly the following realms:
  • Core Earth — “our” Earth, the base reality.
  • Living Land—a primitive, Lost World-style jungle.
  • Aysle—a magical, low-technology realm.
  • The Cyberpapacy—this realm which was initially a repressive, medieval theocracy.
  • Nippon Tech—an ultracapitalist nightmare society.
  • The New Nile Empire — this realm combined a restored Ancient Egypt with pulp trappings.
  • Orrorsh—a Gothic horror realm.

As the game supplements kept being released new Cosms were added to the list:

  • Land Below—not a realm but a pocket dimension involving the mixture of Living Lands and the Nile Empire.
  • Space Gods—a high-technology, space faring society very much in the style of Chariots of the Gods
  • Tharkold—home of a race of magic and technology-using demons.
  • Terra—not an invading realm but the home Cosm of the invaders from the Nile Empire.

As the game line progressed it started to become somewhat unwieldy to play as a visiting games master unless you could drive, each book added extra weight to the bags.


The game also enabled you to get the game going with templated characters and by adding a few skill packages to the template you could be up and running in no time.  I always got the suspicion that templates found in later books  appeared to much cooler than the ones in the boxed set and each exotic template could only be found in that specific book.

There was a lot to make the game interesting and special but I think the growing number of books required to play coupled with the somewhat bizarre characters that appeared in the books; for example Skippy  , did make me wonder what was going on at West End Games HQ.

How do I do?

The game also used a universal chart for doing things which allegedly enabled you to convert from time to weight just by reading a different line.  I say allegedly as  I could never really figure it out and tended to fudge it when rolls had to be made.

When you came to take an action that required a success roll; you would roll the d2o and consult the success table on the bottom of the character sheet, then you add that bonus value to your skill roll for the action total and this is the final number that had to beat the target number of the gamesmaster.


The good news is that there is a revised and expanded version of Torg available if you want to play in the wars once more. and there is still a lot of good stuff to be had in the book.

If I was to play Torg these days I would use the background provided but use a different system like Savage Worlds as the two games do share several common features.

Honourable mention:


The other game dealing with multiple genre action Rifts takes a different slant on things and I had many fun hours playing this game.  It has been criticised by several parties about power creep and I agree the game does have some issues when playing with some of the later books but I have always said you can use the main rulebook and the books for the region we’re going to be playing in.