Values and Measures
At the heart of the Torg system is the concept of values and measures. A value refers to a quantity measured in a way which can be used in the game, such as a weight value of time value of distance value of 4 and so on. A measure is a measurement from the real world, such as , one minute, six meters and so on. Values and measures can be converted back and forth so that real world values can be expressed in game terms and so that players will know what a particular value in the game means in terms they can easily understand. Most game systems use either a consistent scale for their attributes—each point of an attribute represents a specific amount of real-world measure—or they have no scale at all. The problem with such systems is that while they work fine in a limited setting (fantasy, horror, etc.) they either fall apart when bigger things are introduced, or they require huge numbers to represent the top end of the scale. For example, if a dagger does “one die of damage,” how many dice do you roll for the main cannon of the Death Star? Torg solves this problem by the use of a logarithmic scale. A logarithmic scale is one like the Richter scale, or the Decibel scale, where each point represents a greater proportional amount than the point before. For example, a level four earthquake is far more than twice as powerful as a level two earthquake, because each point on the Richter scale is 10 times as large as the point before.
Alternate Scale Descriptions
In the first edition of the Torg rulebook, the Difficulty Number Scale used some different labels to describe the various difficulty levels. Since some products published for Torg use those labels, their equivalents in this rulebook are provided here:
DIFFICULTY NUMBER SCALE
Description Difficulty Odds Modifier
Very Easy 3 80% -5
Easy 5 75% -3
Average 8 50% 0
Complicated 10 30% +2
Difficult 12 20% +4
Hard 13 15% +5
Very Hard 15 5% +7
Extremely Hard 18 — +10
Incredible 22 — +14
Nearly Impossible 25 — +17
The Richter scale works that way because earthquakes can range so greatly in size. Torg’s scale is not “each point is a factor of like the Richter scale; instead, every five points is a factor of 10. This allows finer resolution at the low end (so all humans don’t look exactly alike) but still keeps the top end from being impossible to handle. The Torg scale is consistent from one type of measurement to another, so that a given value always has the same real-world measure, whether it’s expressed as time (in seconds), distance (in meters per round), or weight (in kilograms). The Torg Value Chart shows how values and measures are related. A value of 10 for example is always a measure of 100, regardless of whether we’re measuring seconds, meters, kilograms or any other type of measurement. The accompanying Benchmark Chart provides a number of examples for the value of several different real world objects and measurements. These can be used to make a quick estimate for the game value of something when an exact measure isn’t known but its relationship to something on the Benchmark Chart is known or can be guessed. For example, the Benchmark Chart says that a brown bear has a weight value of 12. The weight value of an animal described as being twice as large as a brown bear could then be estimated without ever having to know how many kilograms a brown bear or the larger animal actually weighs.
The Torg Value Chart uses seconds, kilograms and meters as its default units. But what if you need to find the value of something in a different set of units, such as minutes, pounds or miles? Fortunately you don’t have to do a lot of math to convert those measures. That work has already been done for you with the Measure Conversion Chart. To use the Measure Conversion Chart, simply find the value of the measure you have, regardless of what units it’s in. Then, add the listed modifier to convert it to the appropriate game value (which automatically converts the measure into seconds, meters, or kilograms.) Remember, adding a negative number is like subtracting.
When trying to find the value of measures that fall in between the cracks on the Value Chart, the listed measure is the upper bound for that value. For instance, a value of 10 has a measure of 100, while a value of 11 has a measure of 150. All measures greater than 100 and less than or equal to 150 have a value of 11.
TORG VALUE CHART
Value Measure Value Measure Value Measure Value Measure
0 1 26 150,000 52 25 billion 78 4 quadrillion
1 1.5 27 250,000 53 40 billion 79 6 quadrillion
2 2.5 28 400,000 54 60 billion 80 10 quadrillion
3 4 29 600,000 55 100 billion 81 15 quadrillion
4 6 30 1 million 56 150 billion 82 25 quadrillion
5 10 31 1.5 million 57 250 billion 83 40 quadrillion
6 15 32 2.5 million 58 400 billion 84 60 quadrillion
7 25 33 4 million 59 600 billion 85 100 quadrillion
8 40 34 6 million 60 1 trillion 86 150 quadrillion
9 60 35 10 million 61 1.5 trillion 87 250 quadrillion
10 100 36 15 million 62 2.5 trillion 88 400 quadrillion
11 150 37 25 million 63 4 trillion 89 600 quadrillion
12 250 38 40 million 64 6 trillion 90 1 quintillion
13 400 39 60 million 65 10 trillion 90 1.5 quintillion
14 600 40 100 million 66 15 trillion 92 2.5 quintillion
15 1,000 41 150 million 67 25 trillion 93 4 quintillion
16 1,500 42 250 million 68 40 trillion 94 6 quintillion
17 2,500 43 400 million 69 60 trillion 95 10 quintillion
18 4,000 44 600 million 70 100 trillion 96 15 quintillion
19 6,000 45 1 billion 71 150 trillion 97 25 quintillion
20 10,000 46 1.5 billion 72 250 trillion 98 40 quintillion
21 15,000 47 2.5 billion 73 400 trillion 99 60 quintillion
22 25,000 48 4 billion 74 600 trillion 100 100 quintillion
23 40,000 49 6 billion 75 1 quadrillion
24 60,000 50 10 billion 76 1.5 quadrillion
25 100,000 51 15 billion 77 2.5 quadrillion
Example: A gamemaster is writing up a magic spell. He wants the spell to have duration of 25 minutes. What is the value of 25 minutes? On the Value Chart, a measure of 25 has a value of 7, and the “minutes” modifier on the Conversion Chart is +9; 7 plus 9 gives us a value of 16. So the duration value of the spell is 16.
Example: A character is trying to lift a couch, which the gamemaster says weights about . On the Value Chart, a measure of 160 equals a value of 12. “Pounds” have a -2 modifier, so the game value of the couch is (12 - 2) 10. If the character can lift a weight value of 10, she can lift the couch.
If instead you want to convert a game value into one of these other units, the modifier on the Measure Conversion Chart is subtracted from the game value. Remember, subtracting a negative number is like adding. If the result is a negative number, it means that the value is less than one of whatever unit you’re converting to.
The Value and Conversion charts can also be used as a sort of mini-calculator to transfer between measures, say to find out approximately how many seconds there are in six days or how many pounds there are in .
Example: How many seconds in six days? 6 has a value of 4 and “days” is a +25 modifier, which is a value of 29. The measure of 29 is 600,000 so there are approximately 600,000 seconds in six days. (The actual number of seconds in six days is 518.400, which is pretty close to the result of using the Value Chart.)
Converting from kilograms to pounds is just as easy since like seconds, kilogram is a basic unit of the Value Chart. is a value of 14. The modifier for “pounds” is -2 which when we subtract gives us (14 - (-2) = 14 + 2) 16, which is a measure of 1500. (The actual conversion is .)
If you need to know the Toughness of an object, a good starting point is its weight. Find the game value of the weight, modifying downward if the object is delicate, upward if it is armored or particularly tough to damage. Humans, for example, are quite variable, so their average Toughness could be anywhere between
of their weight value.
MEASURE CONVERSION CHART
Measure is in units of Value Modifier
Meters per round 0
TORG BENCHMARK CHART Edit Edit
|0||1 Second||1 Kilogram||1 Meter|
|3||Human Baby||Tallest Giant|
|9||1 Minute||Human Female|
|10||Human Male||Football Field|
|30||Destroyer||Length of Great Britan|
|32||Month||Six Flat Building||Paris to Moscow|
|33||Fully Loaded Train||NY to LA|
|34||NY to London|
|35||NY to Tokyo|
|38||Year||Circumference of the Earth|
|45||Loaded Oil Tanker|
For many actions, as long as the action total equals or exceeds the difficulty number the action is successful. But there are times where the result points of the action are important in gauging success. Combat and character interactions (charm, persuasion, trick, etc.) in particular regularly involve the use of result points. For all tasks involving the use of result points, there are three tables provided which explain the outcome of successful actions. The Interaction Results Table covers the use of charm, persuasion, test, trick, taunt, intimidation and the maneuver skills. The Combat Results Table is used to determine the amount of damage inflicted in combat. And the third table, the General and Push Results Table, covers everything else that might make use of result points. In each of the three tables, the S in the Result Points columns means “same”, as in the action or effect total was the same as the difficulty number. Another way to think of it is that it means the same thing as zero result points.
General Results Table
The General Results Table is used by a large number of skills. The quality of a success, also known as a success level,is noted by a descriptive word: Minimal, Average, Good, Superior or Spectacular. Minimal implies that the character just barely succeeded, avoiding failure by the skin of his teeth. Average is, well, average; no extra description is warranted.Good success sometimes merits a more detailed description, particularly if the character faced difficult odds. A success deserves special emphasis; the task was performed faster, better or with more precision than expected. For aSpectacular success, things go so fabulously well that the gamemaster should give the character some kind of fringe benefits for his amazing performance. The Speed and Power columns of the table are used whenever a character attempts to exceed one of their limit values, as listed in Chapter One, with a push. Some other game mechanics, such as spell design, also make use of the columns but they are primarily used for pushes.