Cypher system for TORG.

As I was reading through The Strange, I couldn't help but get nostalgic for what we like to call "the best game you never played..." TORG. I think the Cypher system is perfect for a less crunchy implementation of the reality wars.

Now I haven't run, or even played in a cypher system game yet, but I suspect beyond coming up with Cypher versions of TORG world rules flavored by the originals, Disconnection on a 1 and via GM intrusion...

I'm wondering if anyone else has had similar thoughts on running a game. I'd love to pick the brains of more experienced cypher players.

What the hell was TORG anyway?
In a nutshell, TORG was a cross-genre RPG from West End Games. The fluff allows for multiple Big Baddies from other 'realities' that invade the Earth at the same time, bringing their genre tropes and world laws with them. Fantasy in England, Cyberpunk in France, Pulp heroics in Egypt, Victorian Nightmare in Indonesia... and more.

It was a great setting that had a pretty huge product line, but it's long dead... and not many other game systems can do multiple genres at the same time well IMHO.

Lictor X


  • the best game you never played
    I played the heck out of it back in the day. I was fortunate to get in when the initial boxed set was released, and rode that thing all the way to "The Gaunt Man Returns". Big fun.

    I look at The Strange as the spiritual successor to Torg. It isn't the same thing, naturally, but it's thematically similar. Several of the players I had back in the Torg days are with me in the Strange days, and they all agree.

    But to stick more to your question - you could pretty easily make foci map to cosm specific traits. "Wields Magic", "Follows Lanala", "Hunts on the God Net", etc. Disconnections would be GM Intrusions, either when rolling 1 or when it's interesting. The 1 case and 4 case contradictions affect the GM Intrusion range, similar to the horror rules in the Cypher System rulebook. When disconnected, a PC can't use anything from her home cosm until reconnecting, which is an Intellect based task.

    It could definitely be done. But check out The Strange if you haven't already. It's really good.
  • I was also a big fan of TORG back in the day. There are a lot of elements in The Strange that harken back to idea in TORG. The big difference that I see is one of perspective and direction. In TORG, it is about the conflict between realities: you carry your reality along with you when you plunge into another. In the Strange, however, you always conform to the new reality. My players and I have had a really hard time wrapping our heads around who you are and what you know and how you fit in when you translate to a different recursion. My players also didn't like effectively being a totally different character each time they translated. In TORG, you are always you, even if you've picked up some schticks from other realities.

    I've actually been toying with running a game of TORG using the Cypher system. The Types are generic enough to fit any of the realities, and adding in the Flavors makes it perfect. For example, you could easily say that any character of any type from Aysle can choose from the Magic flavor in addition to their normal Type abilities.

    You could even curate new Flavors for some of the more mixed-genre realities: say a mixture of Magic and Tech flavors selectable by folks from the Cyberpapacy.

    The biggest hurdle I see if trying to figure how Cyphers fit in. These effectively replace the original Drama Deck for purposes of on-demand, somewhat-random boosts. The more out-there cyphers would probably be best modeled as low-powered eternity shards, and the more powerful eternityshards would be Artifacts.

    As for disconnections and such, that is easily just GM Intrusion, and since Cypher System uses a single d20 just like TORG, it is very easy to model the original disconnection chances.
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