Soul's Calling Blurb

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Omnifray:- fantasy roleplay in the mysterious Enshrouded Lands, "a thousand worlds in one", where magic bubbles away beneath the surface, beyond the ken of the common folk, with a unique, detailed, highly flexible rules system

Soul's Calling Blurb

Postby Omnifray » 7:05pm on 18 Apr 14

So this is the current draft of the blurb for the back cover of the revised edition (likely out later this year):-

A game designed specifically for immersion and the riveting experience of stepping entirely into your character’s shoes, Soul’s Calling will put the magic back into roleplaying for you. It’s all about suspending your disbelief that you’ve left the real-world you behind and become your adventurer – the illusion of being that hero, or anti-hero.

This book has all the rules and setting materials essential for running or playing the Soul’s Calling tabletop RPG. More or less everything about this game is designed to help you immerse as an adventurer in the Medieval-ish fantasy setting of the Enshrouded Lands, where magic’s hidden from ordinary folk. The game encourages an actor-ish style of roleplay, bringing aspects of live roleplay to your living room. It supports a sense of exploring the unknown and the mysterious and of confronting trickery and intrigue.

The rules in this book are for the basic edition of the game, but will still be needed for the advanced edition, and basic edition player characters will be portable into the advanced game.

This game isn’t designed for purely tactical play, nor for pure storygaming, but careful thought has been applied to facilitating those styles of gaming within a primarily immersive game.

The text on the inside of this book is written in the OpenDyslexic font created by Abelardo Gonzalez, available at http://dyslexicfonts. com, with a view to being easier for dyslexics to read.

May your fellow gamers look forward to fighting dragons with you!


Any feedback?
Looking for playtesters for the Implodarc Tabletop RPG. If you'd like to playtest it and post public feedback or an AP thread, ask me for the private link to download it, or I can e-mail it to you. At least compared to my usual stuff, it's meant to be simple and quick to play with quick CharGen.
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Re: Soul's Calling Blurb

Postby Omnifray » 6:01pm on 19 Apr 14

Slightly edited...

A game designed specifically for immersion and the riveting experience of stepping entirely into your character’s shoes, Soul’s Calling will put true magic into your roleplay. It’s all about suspending your disbelief that you’ve left the real-world you behind and become your adventurer – the illusion of being that hero, or anti-hero.

This book has all the rules and setting materials essential for running or playing the Soul’s Calling tabletop RPG. More or less everything about this game is designed to help you immerse as an adventurer in the Medieval-ish fantasy setting of the Enshrouded Lands, where magic’s hidden from ordinary folk. The game encourages an actor-ish style of roleplay, bringing aspects of live roleplay to your living room. It supports a sense of exploring the unknown and the mysterious and of confronting trickery and intrigue.

The core edition rules in this book will still be needed for the expanded edition, and core edition player characters will be portable into the expanded game.

This game isn’t designed for purely tactical play, nor for pure storygaming, but careful thought has been applied to facilitating those styles of gaming within a primarily immersive game.

The text on the inside of this book is written in the OpenDyslexic font created by Abelardo Gonzalez, available at http://dyslexicfonts. com, with a view to being easier for dyslexics to read.

May your fellow gamers look forward to fighting dragons with you!
Looking for playtesters for the Implodarc Tabletop RPG. If you'd like to playtest it and post public feedback or an AP thread, ask me for the private link to download it, or I can e-mail it to you. At least compared to my usual stuff, it's meant to be simple and quick to play with quick CharGen.
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Re: Soul's Calling Blurb

Postby Omnifray » 11:56pm on 02 May 14

Updated:-

Be faerie-blooded, or be a merchant-adventurer, a cultist, a scout, a warrior, or a leader of warriors. A game designed specifically for immersion and the riveting experience of stepping entirely into your character’s shoes, Soul’s Calling will put true magic into your roleplay. It’s all about suspending your disbelief that you’ve left the real-world you behind and become your adventurer – the illusion of being that hero, or anti-hero.

This book has all the rules, advice and setting materials essential for running or playing the Soul’s Calling tabletop RPG. More or less everything about this game is designed to help you immerse as an adventurer in the Medieval-ish fantasy setting of the Enshrouded Lands, where magic’s hidden from ordinary folk. The game encourages an actor-ish style of roleplay, bringing aspects of live roleplay to your living room. It supports a sense of exploring the unknown and the mysterious and of confronting trickery and intrigue.

This game isn’t designed for purely tactical play, nor for pure storygaming, but careful thought has been applied to facilitating those styles of gaming within a primarily immersive RPG. Characters are portable into the expanded edition (which still requires this book).

May your fellow gamers look forward to fighting dragons with you!


I thought I might as well make double use of the polling I did which placed the faerie-blooded, merchant-adventurer, cultist and scout types as the most popular PCs from the list in the book (in that order).

I have almost completed conversion to Helvetica 12-point font in US letter format for a Lulu casewrap hardcover.
Looking for playtesters for the Implodarc Tabletop RPG. If you'd like to playtest it and post public feedback or an AP thread, ask me for the private link to download it, or I can e-mail it to you. At least compared to my usual stuff, it's meant to be simple and quick to play with quick CharGen.
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Re: Soul's Calling Blurb

Postby First Age » 8:18am on 04 May 14

"suspending your disbelief that you've left the real-world *you behind*"

"Magic's" - magic is

My impression taken from the blurb, which may be too long, is that this game provides a very light rule structure to provide a larp like style of play? If so, perhaps the blurb could focus on the top three innovations that facilitate that?

Eg.

Flexible personality traits that draw from deep background to fuel character driven play.
A unified resolution mechanic that draws on character skill and mental state
Outcomes based on player narration

Insert your versions here. I don't know anything about your game I must confess except that it sounds a bit like D&D with different classes. The blurb needs to hook me into what you are doing different or new. I already have 'immersive' RPG experiences with Fate etc, so need a clearer take from you.

Just a few thoughts and wish you well with your new game. Is it out soon?
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Re: Soul's Calling Blurb

Postby thenovalord » 9:39am on 04 May 14

The use of -ish, and more or less is horrible btw. The last short paragraph seems odd too, not sure why!
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Re: Soul's Calling Blurb

Postby Omnifray » 6:24pm on 04 May 14

thenovalord wrote:The use of -ish, and more or less is horrible btw.


I was shooting for an informal feel. See below for an alternative.

thenovalord wrote:The last short paragraph seems odd too, not sure why!


Pop culture reference...

First Age wrote:"Magic's" - magic is


As above, I'm looking for an informal feel.

First Age wrote:My impression taken from the blurb, which may be too long, is that this game provides a very light rule structure to provide a larp like style of play? If so, perhaps the blurb could focus on the top three innovations that facilitate that?


Not exactly a light rule structure; it's hard to describe.

First Age wrote:Flexible personality traits that draw from deep background to fuel character driven play.
A unified resolution mechanic that draws on character skill and mental state
Outcomes based on player narration


Those sound like hallmarks of storygaming. You could match up my rules to the three things you list, but it might seem like a bit of a stretch. There are personality traits, but they're essentially (though not entirely) non-mechanical (which does make them flexible...). There is a more or less unified resolution mechanic (well, there are a few and they are interchangeable), and they can draw on character skill and mental state... but not in a narrative-oriented way. Outcomes are often based on character intentions as described by the player, but not in the way I imagine you mean. Well, I will have another go at the blurb and see what you think of the below.

First Age wrote:Just a few thoughts and wish you well with your new game. Is it out soon?


Thanks, and... hard to say. The public playtest version has been out for a while. I've nearly finished implementing the edits from a read-through I gave it last year.

And my re-vamped blurb:-

Be faerie-blooded, or be a merchant-adventurer, a cultist, a scout, a warrior, or a leader of warriors. A game designed specifically for immersion, the riveting experience of stepping entirely into your character’s shoes, Soul’s Calling will put true magic into your roleplay. It’s all about suspending your disbelief that you’ve left the real-world you behind and become your adventurer – the illusion of being that hero, or anti-hero.

The Soul's Calling tabletop RPG encourages a style of roleplay inspired by acting methods, bringing aspects of live roleplay to your living room. It has a unique take on social interaction, maximising fluid in-character dialogue without jettisoning social stats. For personality traits it favours the lightest-touch approach. For combat and magic it has special, flexible tools for skewing the odds of different outcomes to reflect your adventurer's precise intentions. Even the Medievalesque fantasy setting of the Enshrouded Lands is favourable for immersion, with magic kept hidden from ordinary folk. The game also supports a sense of exploring the unknown and the mysterious and of confronting trickery and intrigue.

Included are all the rules, advice and setting materials essential for running or playing Soul's Calling. Characters are portable into the expanded edition (which still requires this book). This game isn’t designed for purely tactical play, nor for pure storygaming, but careful thought has been applied to facilitating those styles of gaming within a primarily immersive RPG.

May your fellow gamers look forward to fighting dragons with you!
Looking for playtesters for the Implodarc Tabletop RPG. If you'd like to playtest it and post public feedback or an AP thread, ask me for the private link to download it, or I can e-mail it to you. At least compared to my usual stuff, it's meant to be simple and quick to play with quick CharGen.
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Re: Soul's Calling Blurb

Postby First Age » 8:00pm on 04 May 14

Yep, I just plumped for three things that might catch my attention. My suggestion was that you bullet the top three cool things that make your game what it is, something punchy. Not having seen your game I don't know what they are!

The "you behind" typo is still there.

"Stats" is rather jargon. Is that what you call them?

Is this the back cover? If so it is too long.

I've seen some of the immersion threads so I'm conscious that the term is sufficiently broad that it can be applied to everyone's favourite systems. One man's immersion is another's heating system.

Do you have a sizable play test group?
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Re: Soul's Calling Blurb

Postby Omnifray » 1:23am on 05 May 14

First Age wrote:The "you behind" typo is still there.


That's not a typo.

First Age wrote:"Stats" is rather jargon. Is that what you call them?


Yep...

First Age wrote:Is this the back cover? If so it is too long.


OK, what are the prime candidates for the chop?

First Age wrote:I've seen some of the immersion threads so I'm conscious that the term is sufficiently broad that it can be applied to everyone's favourite systems.


Not meaningfully, it can't. Anyway the "stepping entirely into your character's shoes" and other stuff in the opening part of the blurb reiterates what I mean by immersion about 4 times, which shouldn't leave too much room for doubt...

First Age wrote:Do you have a sizable play test group?


I have had, in the past, but haven't run anything since Indiecon and am looking to get a group organised maybe in the summer time.

I have a few things I need to get done first though.

I would only run it face-to-face. This game can't be done any other way. (Even with webcams on Skype would be straining it.) Sheffield's a bit far, unless you get to Tyneside or Kent from time to time, or at least Darlington... thinking of going to Indiecon?
Looking for playtesters for the Implodarc Tabletop RPG. If you'd like to playtest it and post public feedback or an AP thread, ask me for the private link to download it, or I can e-mail it to you. At least compared to my usual stuff, it's meant to be simple and quick to play with quick CharGen.
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Re: Soul's Calling Blurb

Postby First Age » 3:31am on 05 May 14

OK.

On the immersion thing I suppose I'm looking for you to tell me how Soul's Calling especially enables me to step into my characters shoes? Most roleplay games encourage that notion. It's just a suggestion.

Do you think it is too long for a back cover blurb?

In terms of play testing I meant do you have reviewers and other GMs testing it for you?

Here's another angle: what specific aspects of the game prevent it being played over Hangouts?
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Re: Soul's Calling Blurb

Postby decfeeney » 9:02am on 05 May 14

Can I suggest 'you've left your real-world self behind'
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Re: Soul's Calling Blurb

Postby Omnifray » 3:22pm on 05 May 14

decfeeney wrote:Can I suggest 'you've left your real-world self behind'


Might work!

First Age wrote:On the immersion thing I suppose I'm looking for you to tell me how Soul's Calling especially enables me to step into my characters shoes? Most roleplay games encourage that notion.


Mm. I thought I was addressing that with some of the bits I added last time around. I will give it some more thought.

First Age wrote:Do you think it is too long for a back cover blurb?


The problem I have is that nothing I write is ever too long for me...

First Age wrote:In terms of play testing I meant do you have reviewers and other GMs testing it for you?


Not currently, and I haven't had as much of that as I would have liked, so any expressions of interest much appreciated!

What I am hoping to fashion out of my work on Soul's Calling is a "freeform edition" which might be more to your tastes and a better entry-level stepping stone into the game. But it will be good luck if it's ready by September / October.

First Age wrote:Here's another angle: what specific aspects of the game prevent it being played over Hangouts?


A lot of the focus of the experience of playing is meant to be on in-character dialogue - not just on what is said, but on how it's said, body language and the subtlest of social interaction. You could have a go on Google Hangouts but I think the experience might be impaired.
Looking for playtesters for the Implodarc Tabletop RPG. If you'd like to playtest it and post public feedback or an AP thread, ask me for the private link to download it, or I can e-mail it to you. At least compared to my usual stuff, it's meant to be simple and quick to play with quick CharGen.
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Re: Soul's Calling Blurb

Postby Omnifray » 3:27pm on 05 May 14

Current iteration, under review:-

Be faerie-blooded, or be a merchant-adventurer, a cultist, a scout, a warrior, or a leader of warriors. A game designed specifically for immersion, the riveting experience of stepping entirely into your character’s shoes, Soul’s Calling will put true magic into your roleplay. It’s all about suspending your disbelief that you’ve left your real-world self behind and become your adventurer – the illusion of being that hero, or anti-hero.

The Soul's Calling tabletop RPG encourages a style of roleplay inspired by acting methods, bringing aspects of live roleplay to your living room. It has a unique take on social interaction, maximising fluid in-character dialogue without jettisoning social stats. For personality traits it favours the lightest-touch approach. For combat and magic it has special, flexible tools for skewing the odds of different outcomes to reflect your adventurer's precise intentions. Even the Medievalesque fantasy setting of the Enshrouded Lands is favourable for immersion, with magic kept hidden from ordinary folk. The game also supports a sense of exploring the unknown and the mysterious and of confronting trickery and intrigue.

Included are all the rules, advice and setting materials essential for running or playing Soul's Calling. Characters are portable into the expanded edition (which still requires this book). This game isn’t designed for purely tactical play, nor for pure storygaming, but careful thought has been applied to facilitating those styles of gaming within a primarily immersive RPG.

May your fellow gamers look forward to fighting dragons with you!
Looking for playtesters for the Implodarc Tabletop RPG. If you'd like to playtest it and post public feedback or an AP thread, ask me for the private link to download it, or I can e-mail it to you. At least compared to my usual stuff, it's meant to be simple and quick to play with quick CharGen.
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Re: Soul's Calling Blurb

Postby First Age » 4:56pm on 05 May 14

Omnifray wrote:The Soul's Calling tabletop RPG encourages a style of roleplay inspired by acting methods, bringing aspects of live roleplay to your living room. It has a unique take on social interaction, maximising fluid in-character dialogue without jettisoning social stats. For personality traits it favours the lightest-touch approach.


Well, I look forward to seeing how you do this...

A lot of the focus of the experience of playing is meant to be on in-character dialogue - not just on what is said, but on how it's said, body language and the subtlest of social interaction. You could have a go on Google Hangouts but I think the experience might be impaired.


Ahhh, now we are getting to the heart of it, to the 'how' you encourage this style of play. I think this is what I meant about the blurb. Now from the above I gather you are looking for some kind of amateur dramatics performances, maybe with carefully prepared game room ambience settings? Does costume figure? I'll be interested to see what your game brings to the table to support these acting techniques? To allow for differences in the character portrayed and the capacity of the player. I've done a lot of stage acting and enjoy bringing some of that to the table.

Are you also a big fan of Graham Walmsley's 'Play unsafe'?
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Re: Soul's Calling Blurb

Postby Omnifray » 10:57am on 06 May 14

First Age wrote:Now from the above I gather you are looking for some kind of amateur dramatics performances, maybe with carefully prepared game room ambience settings?


Ambience is important. At Indiecon for instance I prefer to run the game in chalet rather than amid the din and chaos of the main convention hall. It never bothers me for other games, only for this one.

First Age wrote:Does costume figure?


It gets a cautious mention in the core book... but it's not something I've used for tabletop personally. (LARP, plenty, but not tabletop.) People are resistant to the idea as a matter of culture. My suggestion is that if you use costume it should be moderate, so as not to clash too heavily with the obvious modern trappings of polyhedral dice etc.

First Age wrote:I'll be interested to see what your game brings to the table to support these acting techniques? To allow for differences in the character portrayed and the capacity of the player.


The main lynchpin of this is that the ref adjusts his roleplay depending on the stats of those involved (and potentially the results of dice-checks, if the ref calls for them). But this is about process, not outcomes. The process becomes biased one way or another, but the result is not dictated. Instead it has to come naturally from the dialogue.

First Age wrote:I've done a lot of stage acting and enjoy bringing some of that to the table.


I'm not expecting people to produce stage-worthy performances, just to get that internal feel.

I've never done any proper acting but I've read a few books on Stanislavsky with a view to seeing what I could apply from that to tabletop. A very small proportion, it turns out, partly because (as you will know) a lot of acting techniques have to do with the way you approach the script, and stage-acting is a carefully rehearsed performance even if you are also living in the moment spontaneously on stage, whereas roleplay is simply for fun and all made up on the spot. Likewise any acting technique which amounts to calculated and deliberate artifice on the part of the player would be a no-no (e.g. in the middle of the game trying to remember something in your real world life which would inspire similar emotions to the game - that could work for an actor, but not for RPG enjoyment IMHO; though it has found its way into a pre-game warm-up thingy I do, which gets a mixed reaction). So a lot of things I was reading and it was interesting but there was absolutely no way to adapt it to tabletop. Still, I've been able to port over a few things, modified to suit a tabletop environment.

A considerable inspiration for this game has been my experience of LARP. I must have accumulated something in the region of 900 hours of foam-sword LARP experience and 250 hours of salon LARP experience.

First Age wrote:Are you also a big fan of Graham Walmsley's 'Play unsafe'?


Haven't read that.
Looking for playtesters for the Implodarc Tabletop RPG. If you'd like to playtest it and post public feedback or an AP thread, ask me for the private link to download it, or I can e-mail it to you. At least compared to my usual stuff, it's meant to be simple and quick to play with quick CharGen.
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Re: Soul's Calling Blurb

Postby First Age » 12:20pm on 06 May 14

Graham is an actor and has applied many improvisation and other techniques to tabletop RPGs. I suggest you take a look at it.

I will be interested to see your finished text on this. Translating a house style of GMing to a reproducible set of techniques through your text is challenging. But hey, that's part of the fun. :-)
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