A little back history...why was it called the "lost" rulebook for so long?
Back in 1999, West End Games was in the middle of a bankruptcy. They were looking for a way to raise some money and had noticed that Torg merchandise had sold quite well during a "fire sale" they held shortly after filing for bankruptcy. They decided that a new release of a Torg rulebook could serve to generate more sales of the backstock in their warehouse. So the fateful decision was made to find someone willing to write a new, revised Torg rulebook. But it had to be someone who knew Torg very well, and was willing to work basically for free.
That's where I came in.
Technically it wasn't for free, I did get some merchandise up front and theoretically at least once the rulebook was published I would be paid a share of the profits. But I figured the latter would be miniscule if it amounted to anything at all so yeah, I basically did it for peanuts. But I knew that going in and accepted it.
Due to a combination of health problems, crashing computers, some serious writer's block and conflicts with my regular job, I was unable to meet any of WEG's deadlines for the manuscript on the new rulebook. It was not entirely my fault, we had all underestimated the page count that would be necessary to cover all of the rules that had been developed for Torg over it's five year run. Even after cutting out chapters devoted to martial arts, psionics, weird science and cybernetics the final page count was estimated to be well over 300 pages, half again what was asked for in my contract.
While all this was going on, WEG was undergoing some changes. I don't know all the details but the way things turned out the old WEG went down in flames and the new WEG, known officially as D6Legend, became part of a large French publishing filrm called Humanos under it's American division, Humanoids Publishing. This changed the business landscape for D6Legend dramatically and they really no longer needed to raise money by clearing out old Torg backstock. And with Humanoids in charge, all business decisions had to go through higher channels, including what to do exactly with Torg. And Torg was a small part of D6Legend, which itself was a small part of Humanoids....
Back in the summer of 2001, Scott Palter from D6Legend posted to the Torg mailing list that Humanoids felt "the prospects are too uncertain and too complicated to deal with now." Probably the final nail in the coffin was a company reorganization in the fall that saw Palter and others being let go.
So what finally happened to the manuscript?
It sat on at computer at D6Legend for the longest time gathering virtual dust. But then the company's IP was bought from Humanoids by Purgatory Publishing in 2003 and reborn yet again, back under the old name of WEG. In January 2004 they announced that they would polish up my manuscript and publish it the "revised and expanded" Torg rulebook, first as an e-book (PDF format) and then in a limited hardcopy print run. This was being done to tide people over until an all-new edition of Torg would be published in 2005.
Various delays got in the way and 2004 came and went without any sign of the R&E rulebook. But it did finally come into existence, the PDF edition was released in May of 2005 and a limited number of hardcopies were first available at GenCon that year. Two products in support of the R&E rulebook were also announced, one was an adventure that's currently available as PDF. The all-new edition of the game was targeted for release at the August 2006 GenCon, though that's become a bit uncertain.
(Scroll down further for the PDF adventure entry.)
Some errors crept into the first edition of the PDF rulebook. These were corrected by the time the hardcopies were printed and the PDF was updated with the fixes. People who downloaded the early edition with the errors should be able to download the current version from RPGNow via their account history but in case that doesn't work, here are links to PDF files of the corrected pages:
Unfortunately a few more errors were discovered just recently.
On page 209 in the section on spell manipulation it says in one section that duration has a two-to-one exchange rate. That is incorrect, range has the two-to-one exchange rate as it correctly says elsewhere in that section, duration is a one-to-one exchange in all cases.
On page 21 in the first example Roger gives Magoth +3 adds in the Folk arcane knowledge; the maximum that can be assigned during character creation is +2 adds.
A new version of Torg?
That's right. Purgatory intends to release a new and completely revamped edition of Torg. I don't have any details about what changes are in store, the new owner has indicated that there will be some minor alterations made to the game mechanics in order to simplify things and hopefully make the game more attractive to the current crowd of gamers, but then he's also talked about it being a complete rewrite from the ground up and has thrown out some rather significant sounding changes. I suppose it'll end up being something in between those two.
The original campaign setting will not be continued, the Possibility Wars will be restarted (though he's said that there will probably be some support for the original campaign setting for the old-timers still using it.) The new Infiniverse plan is to be looser than the original and allow GMs to pick the realms they want to use in their campaign instead of there being a single, official campaign setting. More information about WEG's plans for Torg can be found by searching through WEG's forums.
Torg, West End Games, WEG and a whole bunch of other stuff are trademarks of Purgatory Publishing. You can find more about Torg at their website, www.westendgames.com.