Review: Ulisses Spiele – Delphi Missions: Living Land (Torg Eternity)

Delphi Missions: Living Land
Delphi Missions: Living Land is a set of adventures for Torg Eternity set in Living Land, written by James Dawsey, Greg Gorden, Miranda Horner, Rick Jones, Steve Kenson, Bill Keyes, Henry Lopez, Ron Lundeen, Aaron Pavao, Wendelyn Reischl, and John Terra and published by Ulises Spiele via Ulisses North America.
By Aaron T. Huss

Learn more about Delphi Missions: Living Land here
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Delphi Missions: Living Land is a series of eleven short, disconnected adventures, 6-8 pages each, for Torg Eternity set in various North America locations around the setting known as Living Land. The adventures are designed to be dropped into an existing series of adventures or campaign or can be used as standalone one-shots for introduction, convention use, or just kills some time between other gaming sessions. None of the adventures go deep into the setting nor do they get deep into any overarching storyline, but they do offer a glimpse into what an adventure in the Living Land would be like. This can then be used as guidance for the GM to create a much larger campaign or storyarch.

Each adventure is not really an adventure, and would be better thought of as a short scenario in the form of a mission. For each mission, you have a task to perform, and the scenario allows you to achieve that task or resolve whatever problem is trying to thwart that task. And that’s really it; the adventure is very straightforward and has little means for resolution other than what’s depicted in the adventure. It’s not trying to railroad your game, not even close, but it does have a definite beginning point and end point that marks that mission resolved.

The Living Land setting is definitely well represented here; almost too much so. Each adventure takes place in a completely different location, bringing the content all around North America including Seattle, Philadelphia, Vermont, Yucatan Peninsula, Chicago, and more. It’s almost as if the purpose of the book is to say “This is how Torg Eternity fits in North America” as an example for creating something much larger. And, it definitely does a good job of that.

I personally am not a fan of this style of publication. These types of adventures (how they’re written, the fact they are completely disconnected, and the randomness of location) is what you would find in a magazine-style publication supported by a lot of other cool content. And these adventures wouldn’t even be the pillar of the magazine; they would just be one of those cool adventures you find in every magazine. To me, each adventure is too straightforward and doesn’t leave much for easy incorporation into a larger series of adventures or campaigns UNLESS your entire campaign is nothing more than going from one mission to another. That military-style of gameplay is very boring to me (it’s a lot like vanilla dungeon delving where you do nothing more than run through dungeons collecting loot). However, that is a personal preference and does not reflect on the product itself; it is clearly not designed for my tastes.

The adventures, however, are well-written and well-illustrated. It is a great looking book that explores the flexibility of Torg Eternity and the Living Land setting. Struggling GMs who need a little assistance or those who run lots of short or convention games should put this in their toolbox. It could even serve for those filler days when you just need to bridge to parts within your larger campaign.

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