Game Mechanics:

Torg Values

The Torg system uses metric units for everything.  It also uses the TORG scale, which is a logarithmic scale used for a variety of purposes by various game mechanics.

The Torg value table is infinitely extendible, but this representation of the first few slots on it should show you the basic principles:

Torg Value Measure
0 1
1 1.5
2 2.5
3 4
4 6
5 10 
6 15
7 25
8 40
9 60
10 100
11 150
12 250
13 400
14 600
15 1000

As you can see, the table repeats itself at a series of powers of ten for as high as you want to go (The TORG rulebook runs up to Torg Value 100).  The number given is the cap of a range.  Thus, a Torg value of 6 covers from 11 -15 in measure, Torg value of 7 then covers 16-25 and so on.

A Torg Value of 0 is 1 Meter, 1 Second, 1 Kilogram or a speed of 1 Meter / Round.  (A Round is 10 seconds, and has a TORG value of 5...)  Thus, someone running 100 meters / round has a Torg Speed of 10.

One might ask the point of all this; TORG uses the TORG value system for a variety of mechanics.  For example, many creatures can run with a speed = the Value of their Dexterity.  So if John has a Dex of 6, he can run 15 meters per round.

Conversion from Value to Torg Value:

Measure is in units of:  Modify the TV of that measure by:
Seconds +0
Minutes +9
Hours +18
Days +25
Weeks +29
Months +32
Years  +38
Meters / Round +0
Miles Per Hour +3
Kilometers Per Hour +2
Kilos 0
Pounds -2
Tons +15
Meters +0
Feet -3
Kilometers +15
Miles +16

These modifiers can be reversed to convert a TORG value into a specific real world unit (To convert TORG speed 16 to MPH by subtracting 3 from the TORG value, for example).

To give some examples.

John is going to drive from Kansas to DC.  This is 1400 miles, roughly.  1400 has a base Torg Value of 16.  Since this is miles, he adds 16, giving him a 32 for his TORG value.

John has to load his car with a hundred pounds worth of junk, most of which he will not actually use.  But he takes it anyway because he is insane.  100 is a Torg Value of 10.  He subtracts 2 for Pounds, resulting in a TORG value of 8.  John's strength of 6 means he can't easily lift everything he puts in his car at the same time; luckily, it's divided into much lighter chunks in boxes.

How much CAN John lift?  Well, he has a strength of 6, which means he can easily lift 15 Kilograms.  (Or, in Pounds, you can add 2 to the TORG value, which means 40 pounds).  He can also push his limits to lift more, but we'll discuss that later.

John is driving a 1937 Mercedes-Benz W125.  (Ahh, the joys of fantasy...).  It has a speed value of 15 (it's a racing car, you see...).  Converting this to MPH, we subtract 3 from the Speed Value, to give us a 12, which we then find the measure (250).  So, we can see John can drive his car at 250 MPH.  In theory.  In practice, the cops will bust him if he tries, but...

What if we want to know how fast John's car will go in a single round?  We can take the Speed Value of 15 and take the measure (1000) directly for Meters / Round.  John's car will go 1000 meters (A Kilometer) in a single round.

This will likely seem complicated at first, but it's mainly the DM's job to keep track of this.

Torg Time

In Torg, in addition to normal time units (minutes, seconds, hours, femtoseconds, etc), there are several special markers of time and plot structure.

Every adventure is divided into Acts and Scenes.  Typically, an adventure is divided into 2-4 Acts which are split into many scenes.  At the end of each Act, the players get a small award of Possibility points.  At the end of each scene, players get to refresh their cards.  Typically, an act contains several Standard scenes and one Dramatic scene which climaxes it.  Standard scenes are tilted in the players' favor in stress situations, while Dramatic scenes push them to their limits.

During scenes, when stress situations happen, time flips over to rounds, which are ten seconds long.  A player can only take one action per round, unless they choose to multi-action, which raises the difficulty of everything they do.

Attributes and Skills


TORG has seven attributes:

Attributes normally range from 0 to 13 for normal humans, with dead average being 7.  Beings from other cosms than Earth may have higher or lower ranges.

Storm Knights get 66 attribute points.

Example Character:

John Biles, Historian


Skills range from 0 to Infinity, though in practice, most Ords rarely have over 5 adds in a skill unless they are a strange supernatural creature, recieve world law bonuses, etc.

Skills come in two major kinds.  Some skills can be used 'Unskilled'.  For example, you need no adds in Taunt to make fun of someone; having adds just makes you better.  Other skills can only be used Skilled--you must have adds to try the skill at all.  For example, you cannot use Science (Computers) to write a computer program if you have no adds at all.  .

Every skill is tied to a specific attribute, and adds to that attribute for the purpose of doing something.  For example, if you had five adds of Fire Combat, they would be added to your Dex of 9 to computer your base skill total at Fire Combat: 14.

In the following Table, all skills are plain text if they can be used unskilled, or in bold face if they require you to be skilled.

Skill Skill Exists in 
Core Earth
Living Land Nile Empire Aysle Cyberpapacy Marketplace Orrorsh
Dexterity Skills
Beast Riding
Energy Weapons No No No No
Fire Combat No
Flight No Not unless you have wings No
Heavy Weapons No No
Lockpicking No
Long Jumping
Martial Arts No
Melee Weapons
Missile Weapons
Unarmed Combat
Strength Skills
Perception Skills
Air Vehicles No No
Alteration Magic No Special No No
Cyberdeck Operations No No No No No No
Direction Sense
Divination Magic No Special No No
Egyptian Religion No No No No No
Evidence Analysis
First Aid
Forgery No
Land Vehicles No
Mathematics (The NE Magical version) No No Yes No No No No
Research (Orrorshian) No No No No No No
Scholar (Pick specialty) Variable Variable Variable Variable Variable Variable Variable
Space Vehicles No No No
Water Vehicles
Mind Skills
Apportation Magic No Special No No
Astronomy (Nile Magical Skill) No No No No No No
Business No No No No
Conjuration Magic No No Special No No
Cybertech No No No No No No
Engineering (Nile Magical Skill) No No No No No No
Hypnotism No No
Meditation No No No No
Occult No No No No No No
Psychology No No No
Science (Pick Specialty) Variable Variable Variable Variable Variable Variable Variable
Streetwise No
Test of Wills
True Sight No No No No No No
Weird Science No No No No No No
Charisma Skills
Spirit Skills
Corruption (Aysle) No No No Special No No No
Faith (Pick a specific faith)
Focus (Pick a specific faith)
Honor (Aysle) No No No No No No
Reality (All PCs must have at least one add)
Shapeshift No No No No No No
Spirit Medium No No No No No No
Swami No No No No No No

Player characters start with a single skill at +3 adds (Their 'Tag' skill), and 13 skill points to spend however they like among skills, although no skill can start over +3 unless they have some special bonus.

Example Character:

John Biles, Historian

* John is from Core Earth; the law of Prodigy raises his tag skill by 3.

**John is from Core Earth and gets one free add of Reality skill.

The Core Resolution Mechanic:

Torg uses a Skill Total + Modifiers + Die Roll Result vs. a difficulty number system.  The more you beat the difficulty by, the better your success.  (The result points of a success is the Final Skill Total - The Difficulty.  So if you get a final total of 23 and the difficulty was 18, your result points are 5)  Sometimes, the same die roll may modify two different skills or other characteristics, in order to determine both whether you succeed and how well (such as 'to hit' and 'damage'.)

TORG, however, does not use a straight die roll, rather, you roll the die and consult the bonus table to see how your skill is modified.  This table is open ended.
Die Roll 1 2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 11-12 13-14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21-25 26-30 31-35 36-40 41-45 46-50 +5
Bonus -12 -10 -8 -5 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 +1

For example, Alfred is a doctor.  He has a skill total with Medicine of 13.  He is trying to treat a wound (Difficulty 8).  Alfred rolls a 19, giving him a bonus modifier of +6.  13 Medicine +6 = 19.  Since the difficulty was only 8, he beats it with flying colors.

Later, Alfred is trying to treat a second stage Comaghaz victim.  The difficulty is a 23.  EEEE!  He rolls a 17, which gives him a +4.  13 Medicine +4 = 17.  This is less than the difficulty, which is a 23, so he fails.

There are several conditions which can modify the results of a roll:

The Difficulty Table:
Description Difficulty Number Difficulty Modifier Example
Very Easy 3 -5 Remembering what century WWII was in
Easy 5 -3 Remembering what part of the 20th century WWII happened in
Average 8 0 Naming the Major combatants of World War II
2: 1 against 10 +2 Identify the specific date of a major battle
Difficult 12 +4 Identify the specific date of a minor battle
Ten to One 13 +5 Discuss the merits of the T-71 tank.  In excruciating, soul-destroying detail
Heroic 15 +7 Know the life story of the Nazi in charge of Bavaria. 
Hundred to One 18 +10 Discuss what happened to Cut and Shoot, Texas, during WWII
Thousand to One 22 +14 Recognize a Japanese Lieutenant from a faded picture and know his major deeds
Don't Tell Me the Odds  25 +17 Identify what Churchill had for Breakfast on Day 2 of the Tehran Conference

This table can be used both to set base difficulties and to modify them to reflect environmental conditions.  Some situations have target numbers set by the skill of the person you are fighting (such as combat).


John has Perception of 12 and a Land Vehicles skill of 1.  He gets a flat tire on the way to DC, and stops to put on his spare.  Putting on a spare tire is an Easy Task, so the base difficulty is 5.  If John was stuck in the Deep Mist, it would get a little harder, though he would still have enough visibility for tire fixing.  The DM might assess a 2:1 difficulty modifier, adding +2 and raise the task to 7 in the Deep Mist.  John rolls a 17, gets a +4 bonus, and totals a 17, easily fixing the tire with a spectacular success.

Later, John is driving down the road at 250 MPH in his 1937 Mercedes-Benz W125.  This is not wise in a Living Land zone, as he suddenly spots a Roadblock, 30 meters away.  The DM decides that this would require a Heroic effort to avoid, a difficulty of 15, complicated by the Deep Mist leaving the road slick, so he adds +2 to the difficulty, making it a 17.  John is lucky, and his car is so manueverable that it boosts his skill by 4 for driving.  John has a 17 skill to beat a 17 difficulty.  This is quite likely going to be ugly.  John rolls a 4 and spends a possibility because he doesn't want to crash.  He gets a 15 on the second roll for a total of 19 on the roll and a +6 bonus modifier.  That gives him a skill total of 23, and with a good success, he pulls off a bootlegger reverse.

Having managed to get past the roadblock, John finds one of the old rest stops and stops there for the night.  He decides to set up camp and try scavenging some food from the local fruit bushes.  John has all the survival skills of a rock, but he has a Mind of 11, so he gets to use his base Mind.  The difficulty is only a 5, as gathering food is easy in the Living Land.  As John is searching, he finds a sign which indicates a past historical event, related to the Sac and Fox War.  He has Perception 12 and Scholar (History) 6 (his Tag Skill).  The battle marked here is fairly obscure, and part of a fairly minor war itself.  Plus, the sign is damaged and hard to read.  The DM sets a base difficulty of 13, with a +2 penalty because the sign is hard to read and John has other things on his mind.  The total is 15, equal to John's base skill total of 15.  John rolls a 1, giving him a -12 AND he disconnects because literacy contradicts the local reality.  DOOOOH.

John now has to try to reconnect, or else he's going to be Cave John for a while.  He has a Spirit of 10 and a Reality skill of 3.  This gives him a 13 to beat the standard difficulty for a Core Earther in the Living Land:  16.  John is hideously lucky and rolls a 20.  He rerolls, scoring 18 more for a total of 38.  This gives him +11 for a skill total of 27.  He easily reconnects.

Degrees of Success and Failure:

Doing Many Things at Once:  One on Many and Many on One rules

A standard TORG round is 10 seconds.  You can normally do one thing per round; however, it is possible to do more than one thing per round by using the One on Many rules.

You declare a series of actions, then modify their difficulty using the table below.  You then roll as normal, spend any cards, and modify all the skills you're using by the same bonus modifier from the die.
Number of Foes or actions  Difficulty which must be scored to effect this many foes Toughness Increase of Foes if Relevant.  Always use the measure for the total number of foes, actions.
1 DN + 2
2 DN + 4 +2
3-4 DN + 6 +3
5-6 DN + 8 +4
7-10 DN + 10 +5
11-15 DN + 12 +6

So, for example, if you wanted to shoot 8 people, the difficulty would go up by 2 to hit the first person, 4 to hit the second, 6 to hit the third and fourth, 8 to hit the fifth and sixth, and by 10 to shoot the seventh and eighth.  All 8 foes would get +5 to Toughness, however.

To expand the example.  Let's say that H. Beam Piper is armed with a Cyberpapacy Laser Pistol and is shooting at 8 shocktroopers.  He has a Laser Skill of 14, and they have a base dodge of 9.  The difficulty becomes 11 to hit the first person, 13 to hit the second, 15 to hit the third and fourth, 17 to hit the fifth and sixth, and by 19 to shoot the seventh and eighth.  The bonus gives them a Toughness of 14, effectively.   Piper rolls a 5 and spends a possibility point, getting an 11.  He gets a total of 16, which boosts his skill of 14 to 17.  He successfully shoots the first six shocktroopers, but they will resist with extra Toughness.

This can also be used to mix skills together.  Let's say H. Beam Piper wants to jump up and grab a Vine (Long Jumping 12 vs. a difficulty of 8), swing across a chasm (Acrobatics 12 vs. a difficulty of 10), leap into a parked convertible (Acrobatics 12 vs. a difficulty of 8), then shoot the stormtrooper in it (Laser 14 vs. a difficulty of 9), then start the engine up and take off down a dirt road at night (he only needs roll because he has to hotwire the engine.  Hotwiring a car in one round isn't easy, his Land Vehicles of 11 vs. a 15).

The first task (grabbing the Vine) goes up in difficulty by 2 to 10.  The second task goes up by 4 to 14.  The third and fourth tasks go up by 6 each to a 14 to leap into the convertible and a 15 to shoot the shocktrooper.  The fifth task goes up by 8 to a 23.  EEP.

Piper rolls a 9, and decides to spend a poss.  He rolls a 19, the total is 28, his total bonus for all his actions is +9.

This means Piper gets a 21 vs. Difficulty 10 to grab the vine and succeeds.  He gets a 21 vs. Difficulty 14 to swing across the chasm.  He gets a 21 vs. difficulty 14 to leap into the convertible and a 23 vs. difficulty 15 to shoot the Shocktrooper (whose toughness goes up by 4 against the shot).  However, he gets a 20 vs. difficulty 23 and fails to hotwire the car.

Many-on-One is used for when a group of people are cooperating at a task.  It is mostly intended for the GM when he doesn't want to roll 20 times for the shocktroopers, but can also be used by PCs.  Everyone involved must have the same or nearly the same degree of skill.

One consults the table, adds the appropriate bonus to the skill of those involved, then rolls on the table.  Depending on how well you do, you can then read over to see how many people succeed.
Number of People who Succeed Bonus to the Skill Check Difficulty number which must be equalled or beaten
1   DN
2 +2   DN +2
3-4 +3  DN +4
5-6 +4  DN +6
7-10 +5  DN +8
11-15 +6  DN +10

For example, let's say that twelve Gospog are all firing submachineguns at H. Beam Piper.  He has a Dodge of 13, and they have a Firearms of 9.  If all twelve fire at him at once, they get a +6 bonus to the group roll, which is made with a skill of 15 as a result.  They roll a 15, adding +2 which gives them a 17.  This beats H. Beam Piper's Dodge of 13 by 4.  This means 4 of them hit him.

Dramatic Skill Resolution

Dramatic Skill Resolution is one of the key mechanics of TORG, used for situations where a single skill check is not adequate to give a task proper dramatic weight.  Changing your flat tire is suitable for a simple skill check, disarming the bomb which is going to destroy the UN's new HQ in Moscow calls for Dramatic Skill Resolution.

Dramatic Skill Resolution typically involves having to perform three or four subtasks (coded A, B, C, D) in order within a limited amount of time before something bad happens.

Example:  John, Dan, Drew, and David have been raiding a Cyberpapal base, trying to find data which will lead them to the Holy Grail.  Unfortunately, while they slaughtered the guards, they then discovered the whole base is rigged to explode in 3 minutes (18 game rounds).  Curse those Option Zeros.  Dan has that long to try to hack the bomb controls before they are blown sky high.

Fortunately, Dan has a Mind of 11 and Science (Computers) of 6, giving him a skill total of 17.  He has to perform the following tasks:

Dramatic Skill Resolution is keyed to the Drama Deck.  Each round, the DM flips a card and sees which of the tasks can be worked on that round.  The tasks must be completed in order, so a card that lets you work on C is useless if you haven't finished B yet.  Sometimes, multiple letters may come up and you can try to do them all with a one-on-many action.  If you do not get a problem or a letter you can use, you can make a skill check to get a card to add to your hand.
  The DM tells Dan that the difficulty of his tasks is 18, because the security on the bomb program was extremely well done.  Dan grumbles and begins.

Round 1 (2:50 remaining):

Dan gets a possible setback right off the bat.  But the dice gods are with him.  He rolls a ten, then another ten, then a 12 for a total of 32.  This gives him a +10 bonus for a skill total of 27, which beats 18 by a longshot.

Round 2 (2:40 remaining):

Dan gets a B and a C result, which doesn't do him much good.  Dan makes a skill check to try to get a card for his hand.  He rolls a 12, which adds 0 to his skill.  He fails and gets no card.

Round 3 (2:30 remaining):

Dan gets an A and a D.  He can try for the A.  He rolls a 16, which adds 3 to his skill of 17, totalling 20.  He beats the 18 difficulty and now has found the bomb-controlling files.

Round 4 (2:20 remaining):

Dan gets a B and a D.  He can try for the B.  However, he rolls a mighty 5, giving him a -5 to his skill of 17 for a total of 12.  He fails.

Round 5 (2:10 remaining):

Dan gets an A and a B and a Fatigue result.  He takes some shock damage and tries to guess the password again.  But he rolls a mighty 4, and this time that's -8 to his skill for a total of 9.  Failed again.

Round 6 (2:00 remaining):

Dan gets a critical problem.  Then he rolls a 3.  He grits his teeth and spends a possibility.  This adds 15 for a total roll of 18.  This gives him a +5 to his skill for a total of 22.  He thus avoids accidentally moving all the files and having to find them again.

Round 7 (1:50 remaining):

Dan gets an A and a C.  He tries for a card, rolls an 18, adds 5 to his skill for a 22 and gets to get a card for his hand.

Round 8 (1:40 remaining):

Dan gets a B and a D.  He goes for the B.  He rolls a mighty 2.  Gritting his teeth, he spends another possibility point.  But he only rolls a 4, which even with the minimal addition of 10 to his roll for spending a poss, means he only gets a 12.  A 12 gives him a +0 bonus to his roll and he scores a 17 and fails.

Round 9 (1:30 remaining):

Dan gets an A, a B, and a D.  He goes for the B again.  He rolls a 9, then spends a card that lets him reroll a failure.  But instead he gets a 6.  He doesn't want to spend a third poss, and he still has 9 rounds, so he lets this pass.

Round 10 (1:20 remaining):

A wise choice, as next round is A, B, and C.  He could try to finish B and C at once, but he decides to wait and see.  When he rolls a 3, he decides that was very wise.

Round 11 (1:10 remaining):

Dan gets a complication.  The program is getting jumpy from all these password failures.  However, Dan scores a 13 roll for a +1 bonus.  He hits the difficulty exactly and avoids the complication.

Round 12 (1:00 remaining):

The cards kick Dan in the face.  Critical Problem--a watchdog program is sniffing around and must be defused.  Dan rolls a 16, gets +3 for a total of 20 on his skill and defeats it.  Time is running short...

Round 13 (0:50 remaining):

Dan scores an A and a B.  Dan goes for the B.  He rolls a 7, spends a possibility point, and rolls a 2, which counts as 10 because it's a poss.  Roll of 17 means a +4 bonus, means a 21 skill.  Dan finally guesses the right password.  He has five chances left to shut down the bomb.

Round 14 (0:40 remaining):

Dan scores a B and a C.  He goes for the C and rolls a 5.  He fails, and doesn't want to spend MORE posses if he doesn't have to.

Round 15 (0:30 remaining):

Dan scores A, B, C, and D.  He goes for the C and rolls a 7.  He fails.

Round 16 (0:20 remaining):

Complication!  Dan's frenzied typing causes him to hit the wrong keys, now he has to undo his damage quickly...  Dan rolls a 17, adds 4 to his skill, gets a 21, and is able to avoid the complication.

Round 17 (0:10 remaining):

Time is running out.  It's this round or next round or the bomb goes KABOOM.  Dan desperately types, and gets an A and a C.  He goes for it!  The dice are kind and Dan rolls a 16, adding 3 to his skill.  His 20 beats the 18 and he shuts down the bomb with ten seconds to spare.  WHEW.

The Drama Deck

The Drama Deck is one of the key components of TORG.  Every Drama Deck card has two sides to it.  One end of the card contains information the DM uses to determine things like who wins initiative and so on.  We won't get into that, as only the DM needs to know how it works.  The other end of the card, however, is used by players.

Cards exist in either of two conditions, once you draw them from the deck.  Cards start out 'in your hand'.  Cards in your hand can be freely played in non-stress situations (generally, situations where you have not gone to measuring time in rounds).  Once a stress situation begins, cards must be played into your 'pool' for you to use them.

Each round of a stress situation, you can play one card from your hand into your pool if you do something relevant to the situation that round.  (For example, if your character is unconscious, you can't play any cards into your pool).  It doesn't matter if you succeeded or failed, just that you were doing something relevant to the situation.  During a round, you can spend as many cards out of your pool as you like.

Each round of combat, the DM flips a Drama Deck card to determine any special conditions for the round.  This includes something called 'Approved Actions'.  If you successfully perform an Approved action, you get to draw a new card from the Drama Deck.

Players may freely trade cards from their pools, but must always trade one-for-one.

At the end of each scene, you gather all your cards and then discard down to four cards or refill your hand up to four.

There is a category of special cards known as 'gold' cards.  They do not count against the 'beginning of scene' limit of four cards, but instead go immediately to your pool when drawn and stay in your pool until used.  Most such cards are 'Subplot' cards.

Subplot cards allow the player to introduce a plot-twist to the adventure (a romance, a sudden betrayal, etc) which complicates their lives.  However, they also recieve a possibility point for each act in which the subplot is active.