Core Earth World Laws
Tired of those boring world laws in the Delphi Council
Worldbook that don't give Core Earth any flavor or atmosphere? Well I
was, so I came up with some new ones that I felt better reflected the nature
of a "heroic" Earth.
Except where noted, these world laws replace the ones
published in the Delphi Council Worldbook. The new laws are the
Laws of Resolve , Imagination
and Glory .
Law of Resolve
"Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however
long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival."
- Winston Churchill
"Never give in. Never. Never. Never. Never."
"We shall never surrender."
Core Earthers are a tenacious
lot; they will fight desperately for what is theirs and adversity only increases
their resolve rather than breaking their spirit. In roleplaying terms, a
Core Earther is loathe to the idea of giving up or surrendering a fight if
it means compromising his beliefs, ideals or goals. This does not mean that
Core Earthers will futility struggle against impossible odds - if one means
of resistance won't work than he'll find some other way of continuing the
In game terms, convincing
a Core Earther to abandon his principles or to give up a fight is made more
difficult by this world law. Characters receive a +3 bonus to their willpower
skill or to the appropriate resistance value in such situations, including
ones caused by foreign world laws. For example, if a Nile villain tries to
use Inclination Seduction on a Good Core Earther in a Nile dominant zone,
the Law of Resolve will give him a +3 bonus to resist the villain's
attempt. (Though if the effect of the world law disconnects the character,
obviously it can't provide him with the bonus.)
In cases where there
is no obvious resistance value, the Law of Resolve will seek to lessen
the effects or possibly to reverse them at a later time. For example, Nippon
Tech's Law of Intrigue states that there will always be traitors
in organizations over a certain size. For Core Earthers in Nippon Tech dominant
zones, the Law of Resolve will seek to minimize the number of traitors
the Law of Intrigue generates (fewer Core Earthers would be willing
to betray a trust) or Core Earthers who do turn traitor might have a change
of heart and revert to his previous beliefs at a later time (a staple of
heroic fiction, characters redeeming themselves at the dramatically appropriate
Note that the world
laws does not mean that no Core Earther will ever give up, just that they're
less likely to give up. Those without much resolve in the first place (such
as those who have a low willpower skill value) will probably still
buckle in the face of serious adversity.
Another effect of this
world law is that Core Earthers cling to their reality as fiercely as anything
else, and as a result are harder to transform to another reality. For ords,
this is expressed by lower odds of transforming over a period of time than
for ords from other cosms, as explained in the Law of Hope in the
Delphi Council Worldbook.
characters, this is reflected in their gaining a free add in their reality
skill during character creation. Some characters who transform to Core
Earth reality also benefit from this effect after their transformation;
newly transformed characters with +0 adds in reality immediately
increase to +1 adds in the skill. If they transform with one or more adds
still remaining in the skill though, they do not receive a free add from
the world law.
To further represent
how Core Earthers' resolve strengthens them and enables them to persevere
in the face of adversity, Core Earth characters may play one card into their
pools at the beginning of round play instead of having to wait until after
their first action. Note that non-Core Earth characters in Core Earth will
also benefit from this effect as a contradiction.
Second, in combination
with the Law of Imagination (representing Core Earth's large store
of possibility energy), Core Earth characters get one more card in their
hand than normal. Again, note that non-Core Earth characters in Core Earth
can benefit from this effect as a contradiction.
Finally, the number
of possibility-rated individuals created in Core Earth, both before and during
the Possibility Wars, is much greater than in any other cosm. While this
is in part due to Core Earth's surplus of possibility energy, the willingness
of Core Earthers to "stick to their guns" increases the likelyhood of their
making a strong moral choice during a Moment of Crisis and transcending.
Law of Imagination
"They have dreamed dreams never dreamed by mortals before."
- Edgar Allen Poe
As outlined by Wu Han
in The Chekov Strain, Core Earthers are able to imagine and believe
in things outside of their own reality. Unlike people in most other realities,
they are not constrained by their axioms and world laws to see existence
in only one particular way, unable to think and dream of how the world could
Originally this was explained
as being due to Core Earth's surplus of possibility energy. While that does
play a factor in it, this world law clarifies and establishes how that works
- simply having a lot of possibility energy can't account for it since High
Lords and their Darkness Devices do not show the same types of creativity
and imagination, yet possess huge amounts of possibility energy.
The most prominent effect
of this world law (or of Core Earth's excess of possibility energy if you
prefer to think of it that way) is that almost all of the cosm is dominant
reality rather than pure. Dominant reality allows for contradictions, "things
outside of their reality", while pure reality does not. Most cosms are at
best only fifty percent dominant.
Second, because Core
Earthers have more possibility energy to invest in such endeavors as pushing
an axiom up (or pulling it down), axiom changes can occur at a much faster
pace than elsewhere. Rather than the decades to centuries required for a
one point change mentioned in the rulebook, it may only take a few decades
to change an axiom level by a point in Core Earth (case in point, the Tech
axiom increasing by two points in the last fifty years.)
A corollary to this effect
is that localized, long-term axiom shifts are more prevalent in Core Earth
than other cosms. Haiti, Tibet and Germany are all examples of this, with
Germany also indicating that localized shifts can occur over the course
of a few years, something unheard of in other cosms.
Also, cosmwide axiom
shifts can result from the efforts of a minority of Core Earth's inhabitants
rather than requiring a majority of the population. In effect a localized
shift is expanded to encompass the entire cosm when there are enough dedicated
and industrious believers supporting that localized shift.
Core Earth's Tech and
Social axioms best illustrate this effect. The population of countries like
the United States have determined those two axiom levels for the entire
cosm even though they do not constitute a majority of the population in
One detrimental side
effect of the Law of Imagination is that it actually aids the High
Lords by making it easier for them to establish new stelae zones. Stelae
zones depend on a minimum number of believers to support the invading reality,
and since the Law of Imagination makes it easier for Core Earthers
to believe in other realities, new stelae zones gain supporters faster than
normal. Because the rules do not provide any concrete information on what
constitutes enough belief to support a stelae zone, this effect is for the
most part unquantifiable.
On the individual scale,
being able to conceive of and believe in different realities or different
ways of viewing the world has a couple of effects. One actually runs counter
to the Law of Resolve: some people are more vulnerable to transformation
to some realities if that reality is similar to the way the character sees
reality or is similar to how they wish reality worked. For example, a technophobe
in search of religion might have found the Living Land or the False Papacy
(pre-Tech Surge Cyberpapacy) very appealing and would have been more susceptable
to transformation to either of those realities.
In game terms, a Core
Earth ord who is predisposed towards another reality has his transformation
odds figured without the modifier from the Law of Resolve when he
is in that reality (in other words, two rows lower on the Transformation Table.)
If he is in a reality other than the one he favors, his transformation chances
are calculated normally. A possibility-rated character caught in a reality
storm (natural or invoked) of the reality that he is predisposed towards
is stymied in his attempts to resist the storm.
Note that this assumes
the Core Earther does not actively wish to transform to the new reality,
that on some level he wishes to remain a Core Earther. According to WEG in
Infiniverse, a character who is totally committed to transforming
to another reality (which should be incredibly rare) can supposedly speed
up the transformation process, but the details were never provided and I haven't
thought up any myself.
Determining whether or
not a Core Earth character has a predisposition towards a different reality
is something for the gamemaster and the player to work out together. A predisposition
is not the same thing as an interest; the average AD&D player or SCA
member is not predisposed towards Aysle and the average spy is not predisposed
towards Nippon Tech. The type of person who would be considered predisposed
towards another reality is someone even people with similar interests consider
a little weird and obsessive, or might be described as "not in touch with
reality" (which may actually become the case in Torg.)
Law of Glory
"My call is to the young at heart, regardless of age; to the stout of spirit,
regardless of party; to all those who respond to the scriptural call, 'Be
strong and of good courage. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed.' For courage,
not complacency, is our need today."
- John F. Kennedy
As stated in the
Delphi Council Worldbook, when a Core Earth character plants a story
seed or is involved in the planting of the seed, a +2 bonus is applied to
the attempt. If the Glory card that forms the basis of the story seed
was played by a Core Earther then the bonus is doubled to +4. These bonuses
represent this world law working through the Core Earth character to energize
the story seed and insure that it reaches people and restores hope within
Core Earth characters
do need to make a contradiction check when the story seed is being planted,
even if he is only assisting and not planting it himself. If there are multiple
Core Earth characters involved in planting the story seed, they must all
make contradiction checks.
As long as one of them
does not disconnect, the bonus is applied to the attempt. Once the seed has
been planted, the world law is no longer acting upon the populace so there
is no need to worry about the character having to sustain a contradiction
over a long period of time.
On a more personal level,
the Law of Glory also allows for "individual glories", small measures
of exceptional ability which can allow characters to serve as inspirations
to others. This is essentially the same effect as the Law of Prodigy
from the Delphi Council Worldbook, during character creation players
may choose to sacrifice three starting possibility points in exchange for
three extra skill adds that are added to their tag skill. Alternately, characters
may pay for their prodigy package with some kind of severe mental or physical
handicaps as described in the Law of Prodigy.
Once applied, these
extra skill adds do not draw upon the world law so they do not cause contradictions
in any other reality. The world law simply caused the character to develop
their particular talent at an unusually rapid rate, but it has no further
effect upon the character once character creation is completed.
Torg, West End Games, and WEG are trademarks of Purgatory Publishing.
You can find out more about Torg at www.westendgames.com.
page created 5/22/97, revised slightly 4/11/2000