Follow TV Tropes


Tabletop Game / TORG

Go To

TORG is a tabletop role-playing game with a truly multiversal background originally published by West End Games from 1990 to about 1995; a revised and expanded rulebook came out in 2005. It's a multi-genre ruleset with multiple genres at the same time; the default campaign setting is an invasion of Earth (called Core Earth in the rules) by multiple different realities in search of "Possibility Energy", their rulers looking to absorb enough to become a godlike being called "The Torg". Players take the role of Storm Knights, deliberately larger-than-life heroes engaged in fighting the invasion of Earth, to prevent it being conquered by several invading dimensions (called cosms), each with its own separate reality; cosms largely correspond with popular roleplaying genres.


Among those cosms are:

    Cosms in TORG 
  • Core Earth — "Our" Earth, the base reality. Given the dramatic nature of the game, however, Core Earth has slightly better technology than the real world as well as some basic access to magic and miracles.
  • Living Land — A primitive, Lost World-style jungle covering large swaths of the United States' East and West coasts plus a small piece of Canada. The dominant species are humanoid dinosaurs called edeinos. Technology and magic are almost nonexistent, but the inhabitants have access to powerful miracles.
  • Aysle — A magical, low-technology realm that covers most of the United Kingdom and parts of Scandinavia. The realm is similar to traditional Dungeons & Dragons settings, but with slightly less powerful magic and somewhat better technology.
  • The Cyberpapacy — Covering France and Quebec, this is an interesting realm combining a repressive, medieval theocracy (that wields real miracles) with cyberpunk technology and attitudes.
  • Nippon Tech — An ultracapitalist nightmare society covering most of Japan where lies and betrayal are as common as breathing, and where martial artists, computer hackers, and yakuza fight to bring down the corporate-controlled government.
  • The New Nile Empire — Based in North Africa, this realm combines a restored Ancient Egypt with pulp sensibilities. 1930s technology works side-by-side with Egyptian magical astronomy and "weird science" powers and gizmos, while costumed Mystery Men patrol the alleyways of Cairo.
  • Orrorsh — A Gothic Horror realm with a touch of Lovecraft set in Indonesia where the realm's Victorians consider it their White Man's Burden to protect the natives from the unspeakable monsters roaming the countryside. The greatest enemy in Orrorsh, however, is the enemy within: the realm will attempt to seduce Storm Knights to the side of Wickedness.
  • Tharkold — The nightmare world that invades Los Angeles; best described as a CyberPunk version of Hellraiser with a bit of Terminator thrown in for fun.

In 2010, the rights to TORG were bought by German company Ulisses Spiele, publishers of The Dark Eye, as part of a selloff of West End Games' RPG properties, and by 2014 they'd made most of the books, save the original boxed set and two novels from the first trilogy, available to buy on PDF. In 2015, they announced they'd be releasing a new version, TORG Eternity, as their first English-language RPG, overhauling the mechanics and setting, and including all of the original cosms, albeit tweaked to a lesser or greater extent. A Kickstarter for the Eternity corebook ran in June 2017, smashing through its initial $8000 goal in a matter of minutes, and eventually reaching over $350,000.


    Cosms in TORG Eternity 
  • Core Earth — The world as seen in Western action movies, featuring badass heroes and rare and mysterious magic and miracles.
  • Living Land — The overall shape of the cosm has changed, and it now also includes part of the Yucatan Peninsula.
  • Aysle — Much the same, at least on the surface.
  • The Cyberpapacy — Now covering France, Spain and Portugal.
  • Pan-Pacifica — The old Nippon Tech, now covering most of Japan, Taiwan, North and South Korea, and part of China. Tweaked to more closely resemble Hong Kong cinema, a world of intrigue, determination and vengeance.
  • New Nile Empire — Slightly smaller, having had the extent of its western border reduced.
  • Orrorsh — Now covering India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and parts of Pakistan and Myanmar.
  • Tharkold — The realm proper now covers part of western Russia. Much of northern Russia, however, is now covered by the Blasted Land, a post-apocalyptic mix of Core Earth and Tharkold, the result of a nuclear strike against Tharkold's first invasion attempt.

Tropes that apply to TORG

  • Adaptation Amalgamation: Eternity integrates material originally from The Land Below into its version of the Living Land.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Pella Ardinay is strawberry blonde in original Torg and golden blonde in Eternity.
  • Adaptational Badass: One of the stated goals for Eternity was that Baruk Kaah and the edeinos would not be the Butt Monkeys they wound up becoming in original Torg.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: The Tharkold invasion of Russia is successful in Eternity, though it experiences its own setbacks.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • The Delphi Council in original Torg were a bunch of largely clueless opportunists using the Possibility Wars to make a power play. In Eternity, they have a better grasp of how to properly fight the High Lords and co-ordinate Storm Knight actions against them, and by default the players are assumed to work for them.
    • Advertisement:
    • The Nippon Tech yakuza were little more than goons in the employ of Kanawa. The yakuza of Pan-Pacifica actively oppose Kanawa, as do the Chinese and Korean crime syndicates.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Several World Laws from original Torg were either dropped or downgraded to minor laws in Eternity, among them Aysle's Law of Observation, Core Earth's Law of Prodigy, the Cyberpapacy's Law of Ordeal, the Nile Empire's Law of Morality, and Nippon Tech's Law of Profit.
    • With the more dire situation in Eternity, Dennis Quartermain and his inept power grab shenanigans are a poor fit.
    • In the first edition, the Nile Empire had ten Overgovernors. While there were still ten prior to the invasion of Core Earth in Eternity, Dr. Mobius decided that six would be a more auspicious number. So he had the excess Overgovernors "retired".
    • It's strongly implied in the Gamemaster's Section of Eternity that the Akashans are not going to be making an appearance later, at least not in force. This is later confirmed in the remastered version of the original game's "Relics of Power" campaign, where the goal is to go through the procedure to call the Akashans, except by this point there are only a few left to answer the signal.
  • Alternate History:
    • The Egypt That Never Was, created when the Nile Empire dropped on Earth. The synthesis of the two worlds created remnants of an Egypt that didn't happen in either world, full of tombs to people who never existed. Mainly there so the gamemaster can make up stuff about ancient cities and rulers to base adventures around like they did all the time in the pulps without having to worry about historical accuracy. Also for fair play, so the bad guys don't know where all the good stuff is in advance and just go dig it up, having to go through the same discovery process as the players.
    • In Magna Verita, the major divergence from the Core Earth timeline resulted from the Crusades being far more successful. Other notable differences include the Papacy staying in Avignon rather than moving back to Rome and Pope Clement V standing up to King Philip IV over the accusations leveled against the Templars.
    • In Gaea, the big divergence from Core Earth history resulted from the uprising led by Boudica (known there as Victoria) being successful in driving the Romans out of the British Isles.
  • Armor and Magic Don't Mix: Not actually the case with Torg's magic system. However, it gets alluded to in the Aysle adventure from the Day One collection. The text recommends awarding Possibilities to the player with the character who got transformed into a wizard by the axiom wash should he choose to deliberately play by this trope.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Some of the heretical offenses which can cause your Piety Score to drop in the Cyberpapacy include stealing Church property, assaulting clergy, and typing in all caps.
  • Artifact of Doom: The High Lords get their power from sentient "possibility engines" called Darkness Devices. They don't get much more Doomy than being pieces of the Spacetime Eater, the Nameless One, who made them as a way to trick the various realities into weakening its imprisonment — if it gets free in one set of realities, they're toast.
  • Back from the Dead: A villain in the Nile Empire can never be truly counted as dead unless you've recovered the corpse. But even if you do, it's still not guaranteed ("The Law of Inevitable Return").
  • Badass Bystander: The Day One collection for Eternity consists of seven adventures (one for each realm) which take place on the first day of the invasion. The characters included for play with each scenario are regular folks going about their business when the maelstrom bridges hit the ground. They include teachers, office workers, priests, bus drivers, tour guides, and similar unassuming types, with the occasional cop or ex-soldier thrown in. The one exception is the Tharkold scenario, where characters are Russian soldiers tasked with collecting data from a research station at the Moscow maelstrom bridge before it gets nuked.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Specifically bears in the Blasted Land, which are often fused with armor plating and Occultech implants.
  • Beneath the Earth: In the original game, there was a "sub-cosm" called the Land Below that connected to both the Living Land and New Nile Empire, and had aspects of both realms in its makeup. Basically it was for everyone who wants to run Hollow Earth adventures. While other sub-cosms had their axioms and world laws described in the Infiniverse Updates, none received the same level of detail as the Land Below. When it was reintroduced in Eternity, the Land Below was presented as effectively being a particularly large and stable Wonder, operating on the axioms and laws of the Living Land (albeit with a slight tweak to the Law of Wonders allowing Nile Empire Pulp Powers to work there).
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: In the public eye, Reiko Kanawa is a beloved celebrity who helps keep her brother's ruthlessness reigned in. The truth of the matter is that Ryuchi is just the face of the company while Reiko is the true power.
  • Black-and-White Morality: In the original game's Nile Empire, the Law of Morality makes it so that everyone and everything (yes, even the animals) is either Good or Evil. Eternity replaces it with the Law of Heroism that causes heroes to rise in response to evil — but also allows villains to match those heroes and even win, if they're smart and lucky.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: The Lightning Strike miracle in Eternity requires the invoker to castigate the target for an entire round. The next round delivers an attack with a base damage roughly equivalent to that of a cannon.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: It's a law of reality that villains in the Nile Empire can't just shoot their defeated foes. Instead the captured heroes have to be put in a deathtrap and the villain has to give an overwrought speech about how their doom's inevitable, giving the heroes a chance to catch their second wind and prove him wrong.
  • Break the Cutie: Pella Ardinay did not walk away from Ulthorion's possession in Eternity without some severe mental scarring — she's become obsessed with his destruction to self-defeating extremes.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The Nile Empire is full of them, with Dr. Mobius the biggest one of all. The Gaunt Man in Eternity as well, since he believes only villains are in charge of their own story, and even if he loses, he'll have left permanent scarring of his name.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The Overcharge Perk allows the character to take an extra die roll to add to the final total when using a psionic skill, but at the cost of taking a wound which cannot be soaked.
  • Cast from Stamina: The Aysle Law of Magic as revised in Eternity allows a spellcaster to gain a one shot bonus to a magic skill by taking Shock damage. Ki Power Perks are also powered with Shock.
  • Censor Steam: In Issue 30 of Infiniverse, a team of pulp villains themed on the four elements were featured in a dispatch. Air was a woman whose costume consisted solely of cloud wisps over her naughty bits.
  • The Chosen Many: Storm Knights are implied to be destined for heroics, and can come in any shape and size, from any walk of life that fits within one of the represented genres.
  • Chunky Salsa Rule: In original Torg, the bonus generated for an attack would be applied to both the combat skill being used and (assuming a successful hit was scored) the attack's damage. This could be particularly disadvantageous to a Fragile Speedster, since a high enough bonus to barely land a successful hit could all but guarantee a One-Hit Kill.
  • Church Police: Naturally, the Cyberpapacy has such an organization.
  • Clark Kenting: The Nile Empire's Law of Heroism has an associated minor law called the Law of Masks. Whenever someone wears a mask as part of their hero or villain identity, it will be impossible to determine that person's true identity, even if it's a domino mask or some other distinctive feature is unconcealed.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: 3327/Ryuchi Kanawa. Hands this role off to his Iron Lady Mad Scientist sister Reiko in Eternity.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Characters with cyberware run the risk of succumbing to bouts of cyberpsychosis. Occultech implants that haven't been exorcised properly can do this more literally. However, unlike settings such as Rifts and Shadowrun, having cybernetics does not adversely affect a character's ability to wield arcane energies.
  • Cyberpunk: The Cyberpapacy. Tharkold and Nippon Tech (which has occasionally been described as cyberpunk without the cyberware), too.
  • Darker and Edgier: The situation in Eternity is more desperate than in the original — Tharkold successfully invades Russia, Orrosh takes over India, and the Gaunt Man is an active player, rather than being trapped in a reality storm. Played with, in that the Darkness Devices are letting rebellions happen as part of their nature to provoke disorder, the Delphi Council are the Big Good, and Core Earth has a World Law that manufactures Storm Knights with far finer control over reality.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If an Orrorshan Horror is not killed by its True Death, its corrupt soul just goes to the Waiting Village until it gets recycled into a new Horror note .
  • Dimension Lord: The High Lords, or more accurately the sentient Darkness Devices responsible for their power.
  • Downer Beginning: The Pan Pacifica adventure included in the Day One collection ends with the characters on the roof of a Kanawa installation surrounded by Infected. Things look up when a VTOL craft lands and unloads several security troops. However, their commander orders that the characters be shot, aside from one to be kept for study and questioning. It's possible to not get killed or captured immediately, but that requires both the presence of mind to have stolen disguises (while being chased by an angry super-zombie, remember) and a really high check, and still leaves the characters on a helicopter full of heavily-armed hostiles who will no doubt soon realize the deception.
  • Enemy Civil War:
    • In original Torg, the High Lords put as much effort in screwing over other High Lords as they did in expanding their own realms. With the Gaunt Man still around in Eternity, should any such tomfoolery occur, it'll likely be more discreet.
    • A significant minority of ravagons believe that the Gaunt Man's claims of divinity are false.
    • Six months into the Possibility Wars as presented in Eternity, Kranod falls victim to a coup led by Volkov and Thratchen, with Jezrael landing the killing blow to claim his Dukedom. The three of them then vie for the favor of the Darkness Device Malgest so as to become the new High Lord of Tharkold.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In the first edition supplement featuring the Gaunt Man telling his story, he mentioned a moment when he felt sickened when the cult worshiping The Nameless One he was a part of decided to sacrifice two people they'd kidnapped — because the cult leader talked about it pleasing The Nameless One, and the Gaunt Man had just undergone a ritual that made him aware that the Nameless One wasn't even aware of their existence. He even spelled out that if the cult leader had said they'd sacrificed the two victims for fun he would have approved of it.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The Living Land.
  • Evil Knockoff: The Warrior of the Dark is a doppleganger of Tolwyn Tancred.
  • Explosive Leash: The technodemons of Tharkold use these to keep their Race thralls in line. Some thralls are so heavily conditioned that, even if being in a realm with a lower tech axiom causes the collar to cease functioning, they'll still meekly return to their masters.
  • Expy: Word of God is that Eternity sample character Anishaa Nayar is essentially an Indian Lara Croft.
  • Fantastic Nuke: Dr. Mobius' signature "reality bombs", which force a temporary axiom wash to his rules in a place he hasn't established a stelae network yet.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Pretty much the point of TORG, which is about various realities invading each other. So, indeed, we can have a monster from a horror reality meet up with heroes from a technocratic reality, and so forth. In a twist, stuff from one "paradigm" tends to malfunction in others, so don't expect ray guns to work in a stone age world.
  • Fat Bastard: As the most slothful of the High Lords, Kranod is quite bloated.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Some High Lords employ these. One such example is Dr. Mobius's Omegatron, which he uses to foresee the likely outcomes of his plans, and which repeatedly kills and revives the captured heroes he puts in it to show what might happen.
  • First Law of Resurrection: A law of reality in the Eternity version of the Nile Empire; no matter how they seemed to die, interesting characters always come back for more. Especially if they Never Found the Body.
  • Fisher Kingdom: There are several parallel Earths invading "the real world"; each one has a tendency to warp the new inhabitants to the new rules of that domain. Player characters have the ability to resist this effect to some degree.
  • Flat World: The High Fantasy realm of Aysle, an Earth-sized discworld with life on both sides and a hole in the center through which a small sun rises and sets.
  • For the Evulz: The Orrorsh sourcebook for Eternity has this to say regarding The Gaunt Man: "Villains usually think of themselves as the heroes of their own stories, but not The Gaunt Man. He has chosen to be the villain of his own tale. Villains have power. Villains cause fear, rather than feeling it themselves. This is The Gaunt Man's sole, grand vanity: he is never satisfied with being the lesser evil."
  • Fun with Acronyms: TORG stands for "The/That Other Roleplaying Game".
  • Functional Magic:
    • Magic is a combination of force magic and rule magic, arcane energy that can be manipulated in accordance with certain rules. Its capabilities rely on the Magic axiom.
    • Miracles are theurgy, calling on higher powers. Their capabilities rely on the Spirit axiom.
  • Game Master: The "leader" (although he spends most of the war offstage in the original game) of the invading armies is the Gaunt Man. Also, there is a game mechanic (the Drama Deck) for players to introduce subplots into the storyline, although almost no one ever plays the Martyr card.
  • Genre-Busting: Really the game's whole gimmick. You can have knights and wizards saving the day alongside modern super-spies, vampire hunters, cyborg hackers, 30's-style masked pulp heroes and prehistoric Lizard Folk.
  • Genre Savvy: A subtle example in the Pan Pacifica Day One adventure. One of the pre-generated characters is a science fiction writer whose special Storm Knight power is extra possibility points—the author in the party has more chances to affect the "narrative", get it? This is further enhanced with her maxed out reality skill.
  • God Guise: The Gaunt Man convinced the ravagons to become his servants by claiming to be the latest Irishanti prophet. He further solidified his claim by easily defeating one of their most powerful warlords with a single pimp slap.
  • GodNet Is Watching: In Eternity, every conceivable object (as well as a few inconceivable ones) in the Cyberpapacy is connected to the GodNet. Those surprisingly inexpensive cybereyes the Church bequeathed to you monitor your every action unless you have the connection hacked (which is a heretical offense). Be careful what you say, because the toaster might be listening in. The GodNet sees all and knows all.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Pella Ardinay during the time she was possessed by Uthorion.
  • Happy Fun Ball: "Conjure The Bouncing Hordes Of Doom", found in the supplement "Pixaud's Practical Grimoire". The material component for the spell was a rubber ball with arcane symbols carved into the surface. When the caster tossed the ball while saying "I invoke you", the ball would split into six armed and armored Munchkins with Speedball's bouncing powers and resistance to kinetic damage, combined with Wolverine's skills with blades AND a gremlin's sheer nastiness.
  • He's Back!: The Gaunt Man in the appropriately-titled The Gaunt Man Returns.
  • Hero Killer: The Gaunt Man's Ravagons are presented this way, because they have the devastating ability to steal possibility points from Storm Knights.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The yokai in the Pan Pacifica Day One adventure is impossible to beat, fitting the cosm's generally darker tone. The instructions note that if the characters do manage to hurt it, a wave of jiangshi should immediately show up to make the fight more obviously unwinnable. Basically, the yokai's there to keep the party moving, induce a sense of dread, and maybe provide some chances for characters to trigger their Storm Knight powers.
  • Horny Vikings: The Vikings of Aysle play this straight, much to the annoyance of Core Earth Scandinavians.
  • In the Hood: Dr. Mobius is never seen without one.
  • Ironic Echo: Each adventure in the Day One collection ends with the arrival of a VTOL craft. In most, it carries Quinn Sebastian, who offers the Storm Knights the opportunity to join the Delphi Council. But in the Pan Pacifica adventure, it carries a Kanawa security team, whose leader orders that the Storm Knights be executed, except for one, who he wants captured for study.
  • Ki Manipulation: Pan-Pacifica's world laws make it possible for warriors to channel their internal energy into powerful fighting techniques.
  • King Incognito: One of the Overgovernors of the Nile Empire is actually Dr. Mobius without his hood. Thanks to the Law of Masks, almost no one realizes that this is the case.
  • Klingon Promotion: When Volkov had the Moscow maelstrom bridge nuked, this killed one of the seven Dukes of Tharkold. This in turn earned him the right to become the new Duke.
  • Large Ham: Both pulp heroes and villains of the Nile Empire are like this to some degree. Though none can quite match Dr. Mobius.
  • Living Gasbag: The stalengers of first edition's Living Land are floating, gas-filled beings with manipulative tentacles.
  • Lizard Folk: The edeinos of the Living Land, and the ravagons, a pterodactyl-like race who have become unwitting dupes of the Gaunt Man.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: In the Aysle adventure from the Day One collection, defeating Antenoch results in the temple collapsing.
  • Lured into a Trap: In Issue 10 of Infiniverse, there was a dispatch in which the heroes investigate a rumor that Dr. Mobius has created a time machine. Should they actually locate it, the "time machine" proves to be a Disintegration Chamber to dispose of unwitting heroes by their own hands.
    • The time machine "trap" was created because at least one reader pointed out that although it was stated in the Nile Empire Sourcebook that time machines were allowed by weird science, West End Games didn't want to deal with the ramifications.
  • The Magic Goes Away: The Magic Axiom of Tharkold has been in decline and is barely high enough for the technodemons to physically manifest.
  • Magic Is a Monster Magnet:
    • In the Cyberpapacy, rolling a Mishap on a magic skill runs the risk of accidentally summoning a demon.
    • In Tharkold, casting a spell attracts attention from any nearby technodemons.
  • Magitek: The weird science gadgets of the Nile Empire run on distilled Possibility Energy.
  • The Man in Front of the Man: The Darkness Devices feign subservience towards their respective High Lords, all the while being the ones calling the shots (aside from Heketon, the Gaunt Man's Device, who finds the High Lord more of an equal than it'd like, and is locked in an endless battle for supremacy with him - but if he were any less, it'd destroy him).
  • Mêlée à Trois: Thrakmoss and his Whitespear Clan are equally hostile towards Core Earth forces and Baruk Kaah.
  • Metaplot:
    • Unusually for its time, the original game's metaplot was primarily driven by the original novel trilogy, and by the Infiniverse newsletters, which had things take place in response to player feedback.
    • Eternity takes a more traditional approach, with sourcebooks advancing the timeline. However, Infiniverse has come back in the form of a wiki.
  • Monster Protection Racket:
    • There are some who find the Kanawa Corporation's efficient handing of Infection outbreaks to be highly suspicious. As well they should; Reiko negotiated with the Gaunt Man and Gokuraku, offering them entrance and all the Possibilities they could harvest so long as they attacked to her exact specifications. Notably, Kanawa is much more militant and controlling in areas which initially refused their help, like South Korea — all to keep people safe, of course.
    • Malraux has a cadre of broken witches who he uses to summon demons, which are let loose in areas where the people are considered insufficiently pious.
  • Must Make Amends: A major reason why the elves in Eternity fight against the High Lords dates back to Uthorion's original invasion of Aysle. Faced with extermination, they made an ill-advised deal with the Gaunt Man. This action resulted in the Akashans being wiped out when their cosm was invaded by Orrorsh.
  • Nay-Theist: The dwarves of Aysle don't hold the gods of their cosm in very high regard. This is particularly reflected in their story of the creation of Aysle, where the Creators come across as rather buffoonish and, once done with their work, get bored and wander off.
  • Needle in a Stack of Needles: The stelae used to anchor the Nippon Tech reality look like Bank of Japan automated teller machines. In Pan-Pacifica, they look like cell signal towers, and in the Nile Empire, they look like obelisks — just like every other one Dr. Mobius erects.
  • Nepharious Pharaoh: Dr. Mobius, ruler of the Nile Empire and supervillain par excellence.
  • Nuke 'em: In Eternity, Russia tries nuking Tharkold's maelstrom bridge, rather than sabotaging it beforehand as in the original game. The result is the Blasted Land.
  • One Steve Limit: One premade adventure for the Nile Empire in Torg Eternity has a pulp villain named the Storm Kite. Which gets a little confusing in a game where all player-characters are called Storm Knights.
  • Phony Newscast: During the Kickstarter for Eternity, a Twitter account called Near Now News gave an in-universe recounting of the events from the opening weeks of the Possibility Wars through tweets. An archive of these tweets can be found here.
  • Planet Looters: An interdimensional instead of interplanetary example, but applicable all the same. A High Lord will invade a new world, conquer it, suck up all its possibilities, then leave a dried husk in his wake when he moves on to find a fresh source.
  • Power Levels: Eternity has these as "Clearance" levels, measured in steps based on the Storm Knight's experience total and thus the threats they should be balanced for. They run from Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta Clearance, which is usually the level where directly taking on a High Lord starts being considered viable for a group. There's also a level beyond that, Omega Clearance, rated for enemies even worse than the High Lords such as the Nameless One himself.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: The Shock damage that occurs when a psionics skill test is failed manifests in this way.
  • Psychic Powers: Available in the original game, albeit requiring a specific combination of axioms. Eternity simplifies things, making them dependent only on the Social axiom.
  • Public Domain Artifact: Given the nature of Eternity Shards, historical items that a lot of people put a lot of significance in, it's inevitable that some legendary treasures would find their way onto the list. The Aysle world book has Excalibur, and the Nile Empire book has the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail, for example.
  • Puff of Logic: The fantasy world of Aysle in first edition, where the local laws of reality stated that Your Mind Makes It Real to the extent that real people could cross a sufficiently convincing illusionary bridge.
  • Quarantine with Extreme Prejudice: The Kanawa Corporation is accused of resorting to this in dealing with Infection outbreaks, something which they deny.
  • Rapid Hair Growth: Caused by a law of reality in the original game's Land Below which has been incorporated into the Eternity version of the Living Land, causing characters to have to cut it very frequently.
  • La Résistance: The underground group of freedom fighters working to undermine the Cyberpapacy (and who are actually called the trope In-Universe).
  • Ring of Fire: Has a mechanic that generates a Ring of Fire that goes up to 11. The game is based around variant realities, and when two "possibility-rated" characters (read: PCs and important villains) from different realities face off, they can invoke a 'reality storm' that separates them from any other interference so that they can get down to the business of forcefully shoving their realities down each other's throats.
  • Samus Is a Girl: The Eternity sample character Tworek is often mistaken for a male thanks to a combination of her rarely being out of her Dragon Armor and her stocky dwarvish build.
  • Scars Are Forever: While the Living Land's Law of Life greatly accelerates natural healing, the process always leaves scars.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: For part of the original game's metaplot, the Gaunt Man was trapped in a reality storm.
  • Setting Update: Much of the then futuristic technology of the Cyberpapacy and Nippon Tech in original Torg can look positively quaint nowadays. Eternity takes into account the ways computer and Internet technology have developed since then.
  • Shark Pool: Dr. Mobius has one with crocodiles for occasions whenever a minion is insolent enough to question his intents.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The origin story for Dr. Mobius where loyalists transported his mummy to an island in the Pacific likely alludes to the Tales of the Gold Monkey episode "Trunk from the Past".
    • In Issue 38 of Infiniverse, a rumor was included which stated that Dr. Mobius had built a weird science space capsule. His intent was to launch a trio of Storm Knights into orbit with a large quantity of B-movies for the purpose of monitoring their mental state.
    • In the When Cosms Collide campaign, during the scene which takes place in a facsimile of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, one of the possible encounters is with "Very Dangerous" Asps.
    • The Cyberpapacy version of the Drama Deck has a card that causes reality skill tests to be Favored on the turn it's drawn. Its title: "There is no spoon".
    • One of the gangs in the original "Living Land" was called the Links, not explicitly stated but discernably meant to be talking about a certain video game hero.
    • The module "The God Box" has an extremely involved one for Land of the Lost (1974). A father, son, and daughter family (Spencer, Wesley and Kathy Marshall) were on a river rafting trip when they were pulled down a waterfall into the Land Below and surrounded by prehistoric horrors. Chakan, one of the natives who befriended the family, gets the Storm Knights involved in saving them after they're kidnapped by other less welcoming natives. note 
  • Significant Anagram: "Orrorsh" is an anagram of "horrors". And boy has it got plenty of them.
  • Social Darwinist:
    • Technodemons are a mixture of types 1, 5, and 6. The Law of Domination is the primary factor in determining the pecking order in a pride (with humans stuck at the bottom).
    • Ravagons are a mixture of types 2 and 3. The ability to wield Possibility Energy is considered paramount. As a result, Ord ravagons never survive to adulthood, effectively making all ravagons Stormers.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Jonathan Wells is not assassinated during the opening months of the Possibility Wars in Eternity.
  • The Spark of Genius: In the Cyberpapacy, technological advancement comes about through divine inspiration rather than application of the scientific method.
  • The Starscream: The technodemon Thratchen is this to the Gaunt Man in first edition. Jezrael is this to the Tharkold High Lord Kranod (she succeeds in the first edition's metaplot and is about to in Eternity).
  • A Storm Is Coming: Earth is invaded by a coalition of armies from various cosms with the capability to bring their own differing natural laws (read: genre conventions) into the territory they occupy. The borders between two reality zones are marked by "reality storms", leading to one of the game's slogans: "The Storm Has a Name."
  • Straw Nihilist: The Gaunt Man's core motive in Eternity is born from having witnessed the Nameless One, and with it, the ultimate death of all things - since even every Hell will decay into peaceful nothingness, he feels that any action he takes is ultimately excused, and the only rational reaction is to merge with the Nameless One and become the one truly immortal thing in existence to rule over the rest.
  • Stripperific: There was actually a law of reality in the original setting's Land Below that clothing rapidly falls apart while in that territory until there's just enough left to preserve modesty. This led to another law where persuasion and seduction rolls against the opposite sex got bonuses.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: The Eternity campaign The God Box centers around trying to prevent an edeinos optant from using a Mayan artifact to capture and imprison the goddess Lanala.
  • Theme Naming: The various divisions of the Eternity Delphi Council have names that allude to Ancient Greece. Archimedes Division performs research, Homer Division is involved with spreading tales of Storm Knight accomplishments, Marathon Division handles inter-realm communication, and so on.
  • Thriller on the Express: The players ride the Orient Express in the "Forever City" module, having to deal with a small army of Cyberpapacy warriors, and other less malicious troublemakers.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The High Lords were all made equally competent in Eternity via this - the Cyberpope is a lot more familiar and canny with his tech and the social effects it has, Ulthorion is still in control of his Darkness Device, and Ryuchi Kanawa has been retconned into being his sister's second in command.
  • Up to Eleven: The different "Axioms" of each dimension have a number showing what's possible in that dimension's territory regarding that Axiom. The scale goes far beyond what any of the included worlds are actually capable of, though (For instance, Aysle, the Swords and Sorcery world, has the highest Magic Axiom at 24, but the scale, and list of examples of what's possible, goes all the way up to 30).
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Both Jean Marleux and the Kanawa Corporation have fooled their territories into thinking they aren't invaders in Eternity. In reality, they made the very crisis they saved their zones from.
  • White Man's Burden: Played With in Orrorsh, which takes over our world's Indonesia in the original game. It's a world hunted by Lovecraftian Horrors, and fighting them off (or at least keeping the knowledge about them secret) is said burden. Noted in game was the irony that despite the invading Victorians' sense of superiority, they were quite a bit less technologically advanced than the native Indonesians.
    • Actually the real irony was the fact that while the Victorians were motivated by a genuine desire to help Core Earth fight back against the invasion, they didn't understand the mechanics of reality invasion well enough to know that THEIR PRESENCE actually aided the invasion.
  • Wretched Hive: The Cairo of the Nile Empire is dominated by gangsters and pulp villains, who operate openly and unhindered. This is actually a bit of a Xanatos Gambit on Dr. Mobius' part, in that by having a place in his territory with so many obvious criminals and villains, the world laws of the Nile Empire tend to make the bulk of the realm's heroes congregate in one place instead of spreading out all over the place where they can do more damage.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Ultimately, it's the Darkness Devices who call the shots. If a High Lord proves unable to harvest sufficient Possibility Energy, the Darkness Device will ditch that High Lord once a suitable replacement has been scouted. In original Torg, Baruk Kaah and Uthorion find this out the hard way, as has Kranod in Eternity.
  • Zerg Rush: Thanks to the low Social Axiom of the Living Land, the combat tactics of the edeinos aren't very sophisticated and consist largely of this.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: In Eternity, the Kanawa Corporation made one to provide a crisis to invoke a Villain with Good Publicity status. It's not that numerous (most people killed by it just die after going mad), but about a third trigger the gospog genome inside the Contagion and become contagious jiangshi.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: