Omnifray Lite Development Blog

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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

Omnifray Lite Development Blog

Postby Omnifray » 3:43pm on 18 Sep 09

18 September 09

Just had the private playtest debut last night - thanks Heather, Chris & Bekka!

Random CharGen took something like an hour for three experienced roleplayers obviously having their first taste of Omnifray Lite. That included a lot of time spent on things like deciding on backgrounds and tendencies and other things which are more about concept than mechanics, and time spent choosing equipment. We had a bit of roleplay, and then a fight:- 3 PCs v. 5 bandits (woah! the sophistication of the plot!!). All 5 bandits were duly dispatched and the PCs each suffered a minor injury. They could have been better armed (one only had a dagger).

Everyone seemed to understand everything and the new system of combat stances seemed to work well. There are a couple more things I have to squeeze onto the character sheets and quite a few things came up during playtest which I hadn't written rules for in Omnifray Lite (even though I have written rules for them in full fat Omnifray) and which need to be addressed. Will yoink idea from Chris of including kit packs to help people spend their money faster in CharGen - I will have to give that some thought. Most importantly the core mechanic does seem to fit smoothly into play.

Seeing emergent character design in practice is very interesting - I have always strongly preferred points-buy CharGen, but Omnifray Lite Random CharGen is points-neutral, so there's no game-balance problem with it, and I might even find myself growing to like emergent character design from random chargen, though I suspect I'll always prefer points-buy.

Next step:- beef up character sheets a little (but not too much), write up rules on social interactions (but make sure it's roleplay first and foremost with stats there to help, not hinder) and write up rules on points buy system. Job for the weekend:- corrections to work so far, and finalise magic system!
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: Omnifray Lite Development Blog

Postby Omnifray » 10:07pm on 21 Sep 09

21 September 09

Wow, things are progressing so quickly!

I have now written about 160 pages of the Core Guide, including the introduction.

The Core Guide, at any rate the public playtest edition, will include rules for player character spellcasters to use pagan magic and unholy magic (which are almost the same thing as each other in terms of game mechanics - although obviously very different ethically!), but not holy magic or the mystical arts.

The main outstanding items for the Core Guide are now:- reverse side of character sheet (for spellcasters only); pre-genned spell lists for an easy start to playing a spellcaster; mini-bestiary.

I currently envisage that the public playtest edition of the Core Guide will be something in the region of 190 pages in length.

As things stand I may be able to have a second private playtest session on Wednesday evening, probably just the two players, but introducing rules for magic for the first time.

Exciting stuff!

Cheers

Matt
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: Omnifray Lite Development Blog

Postby Omnifray » 8:45pm on 22 Sep 09

22 September 09

A whole host of minor corrections done, and basically everything finished up to page 164...
that includes a couple of blank pages when chapters end on odd numbered pages - but
there's also a 10 page introduction and spellcaster sheets have been completed!

I think the only thing left to do now as far as basic writing is concerned (for the Core Guide) is the
mini-bestiary, proof reading and minor corrections. Looks like we could be on for public playtest release in
November! It's a really good system, and relatively lite - this really, really ought to be huge.
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: Omnifray Lite Development Blog

Postby Mick Red » 10:36pm on 22 Sep 09

good good, dont be adding rules for the sake of it, we have omnifrey for that, there are some games out there that can resolve a whole combat by rolling one dice............. concentrate on your awesome game world
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Re: Omnifray Lite Development Blog

Postby Omnifray » 10:51am on 23 Sep 09

Mick Red wrote:good good, dont be adding rules for the sake of it, we have omnifrey for that, there are some games out there that can resolve a whole combat by rolling one dice............. concentrate on your awesome game world


I'm certainly not adding rules for the sake of it - I've been stripping rules OUT for the sake of it!

Having said that, the Core Guide is not a setting book. It's not exactly a settingless system either, but what it gives you is a chapter on the core assumptions of the setting (which runs to 6,500 words), not an introduction to a fully fleshed out game-world as such. Those core assumptions are mostly about the essence of the supernatural, the different Realms and the major faiths (though not specific pantheons). Precise geography and history are left open. For the moment anyone who wants info on the Enshrouded Lands only has to look at Chapter 1 of the full-fat Omnifray Basic Handbook and maybe Chapter 4 of the Expert Manual - both cheaply available to download.

The Core Guide will be something in the region of 60,000 to 70,000 words in length. That's much, much less than full fat Omnifray - I think the Basic Handbook plus Expert Manual come to about half a million words, which is a staggering amount of information and equivalent to about 8 of your standard 128-page RPG books.

I've had to make a lot of compromises. I've chopped the number of main stats down to 8. Skills are just wrapped up into virtually hand-waved Miscellaneous Capabilities, although a full system of skills and traits will be given in the Booster Book. The feats system has been basically jettisoned, replaced by combat stances and a somewhat more basic magic system. The magic system is still more complex than in a lot of commercially available RPGs, but it's vastly less complicated than in full-fat Omnifray.

Some things I've also been able to do, frankly, simply better with the benefit of the experience of writing full-fat Omnifray and seeing how people reacted to it. The character generation chapter is broken down step-by-step to the simplest possible level and more or less forces you to understand it every step of the way. The book is not a table-free zone, but you don't need tables for the core mechanics, and what tables there are I have combined and simplified as far as possible. The character sheets are beautiful.

I'm really excited about the possibility of bringing to a (far) wider audience some of the amazing concepts and insights of Omnifray. Some things Omnifray Lite actually even seems to do simply better than full fat Omnifray - I actually prefer the injuries system from Omnifray Lite, for instance, and I've done a lot of work tidying up how hiding and sneaking works and the (not unbridled) influence of game mechanics on roleplay situations.

But cramming a whole playable game which does the things I want it to do into 60-70,000 words or so doesn't leave much space for world background. I think what I might ultimately do, if this game is the hit that it should be, is bring out the Core Guide and Booster Book first so that the whole system is out there, then work on the Enshrouded Lands some more and bring out a dedicated setting book.
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: Omnifray Lite Development Blog

Postby Omnifray » 4:30pm on 24 Sep 09

24 September 09

Good 2nd playtest session last night! Thanks Heather Bekka & Emma! Hopefully Chris might
be back for next time?

Playtests are SO good at throwing up the little things that you've forgotten in your rules!
Nothing that couldn't be dealt with ad hoc but definitely things which need to be
settled in the core published rules.

We had the first ever Omnifray Lite PC death, the first ever Omnifray Lite PvP death
and the first time in a game I have reffed when a mean, nasty PC aimed an arbalest
at someone's pet dog!!

One of the playtesters commented after the game on how easy the combat system was
for everyone to follow what was going on, unlike in certain commercially available RPGs
where bucketloads of dice are thrown for each attack! This is the nicest kind of feedback
to hear about Omnifray Lite - that it is LITE! Some aspects of it are bound to be less lite
than others, but generally, LITE is what I'm aiming for as much as possible, obviously
without ruining the spirit of Omnifray which runs through this LITE version of it.

Best news is it looks as if I may have sorted some artwork for the preview edition of the
Core Guide! Obviously far too short notice to expect artwork from an established professional
artist and I don't know how much ready cash I want to throw at the preview edition, but
very grateful to a friend for stepping in to potentially do some artwork for the preview edition
and we shall see!
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: Omnifray Lite Development Blog

Postby Omnifray » 3:42pm on 29 Sep 09

29 September 09

Mini-bestiary done! 24 critters over 15 pages to go in the public playtest edition of the Core Guide. Much smaller than the equivalent in the Basic Handbook of full-fat Omnifray, but should be sufficient for present purposes.

I don't think there's anything left to do now for the Core Guide except proof-reading, the copyright page, possibly indexing and of course as much playtesting as possible!

I have sent off my booking form for Indiecon, so it's getting more and more likely that Omnifray Lite will be having its public playtest debut there.

Looking forward to Playtest 3 on Wednesday!
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: Omnifray Lite Development Blog

Postby Mick Red » 9:25pm on 29 Sep 09

i like the idea of a public playtest, any more of your gameing group coming with you
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Re: Omnifray Lite Development Blog

Postby Omnifray » 9:56am on 30 Sep 09

Mick Red wrote:i like the idea of a public playtest, any more of your gameing group coming with you


I don't know yet. I've mentioned it to a couple of them, but there are logistical issues!
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: Omnifray Lite Development Blog

Postby Omnifray » 11:04am on 01 Oct 09

01 October 09

Nice gentle playtest with main playtest group yesterday evening; more of a game than a playtest really, no proper combat, just a couple of magical attacks (Ban Sidhe's Words of Terror), some minor violence involving the magically possessed corpse of a dog, a few Stealth v Perception rolls and a ton and a half of ordinary Perception checks. No issues with the rules. Nice to see the player stance system in play! - one PC abandoned another to her fate at the bottom of a well, and caused a third to be horribly cursed...

No playtest with main group next week - or if at all, much depleted - as two are away on holiday and one has two LARPs to attend. However another group of players - who have all had some exposure to full fat Omnifray - are hopefully stepping into the breach and there should be a very basic playtest with them next week. Should be good!

In other news my friend who has offered to provide some artwork has apparently been busy and should have something for me to look at any time soon! Planning to proof-read the entire Core Guide over the weekend if I can. Public playtest release is then a possibility - Indiecon here we come?
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: Omnifray Lite Development Blog

Postby Omnifray » 1:04am on 05 Oct 09

05 October 2009 (1 AM)

OK, Mick is going to tell me off now:- I haven't managed to keep to 150 pages. This beastie is now 190 pages long, not counting the 10-page introduction. At least it's in line with my initial projections of a 200-page book I suppose!

The good news is that in a marathon slog this weekend I have proof-read the entire Core Guide. "Riddled with errors" would be an understatement - some of them were quite embarrassing (reading the previous version literally, the average peasant had spellcasting ability...). Proof-reading is a horror. Although I've done it as part of my day-job in the past (not items for general publication though), that doesn't make it any less ghastly; I suppose it might make me a bit quicker. But finally I have spotted all the errors I could, and implemented necessary changes.

Anyway, that's it for the basic text content of the Core Guide. All that's outstanding now are a title page / copyright page and ideally a rudimentary 1-page or max. 2-page index.

I have another playtest lined up this week but I'm viewing it as confirmatory rather than exploratory - unless I find some horrendous error or omission, I don't want to revisit the basic text before public playtest release. On the other hand it will be a confidence-booster if the stand-in group take to it well.

Public playtest release at Indiecon is now looking like the most likely scenario. I've sent off for my accommodation and now the text of the book is essentially final so I very much hope to be there to run some demo games!

This game is amazing. It has to be a hit - has to!

I suppose the question is going to be:- how lite is it? Well, compared to full-fat Omnifray, immensely. Compared to commercially available roleplaying games generally, that's more subjective. Some aspects - combat stances and the magic system especially - could be seen as towards the more complex end of the scale for commercially available roleplaying games, but I think they are genuinely well within the bounds of typical commercial roleplaying games in terms of complexity. Other aspects are I think simpler than in many games - for instance, the basics of attacking mooks.

Very excited!
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: Omnifray Lite Development Blog

Postby Mick Red » 8:10pm on 05 Oct 09

Compared to commercially available roleplaying games generally, that's more subjective. Some aspects - combat stances and the magic system especially - could be seen as towards the more complex end of the scale


Dude this is not good news............

You have yet again crunch monkied it when you didnt need to....conceptrate on your cool game world not combat stances and uber spellcasting ****.....its not IMO what the public want, look at the awesome games released to high acclaim recently 316, duty and honor, little fears.
You seem to like complex maths equations, but sorry mate they dont give me a stiffy......i wanna know if i kill something with one roll...if i want pointless long drawn out combat ill play standard omnifrey or cursed empires........
I dont wanna piss on your fire dude, but when people told you your game world was cool but your system to crunchy, and that you should release a lite version, this wasnt what they invisenged....... still ill give it a go, but ill also be brutal in any feedback
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Re: Omnifray Lite Development Blog

Postby Omnifray » 11:24pm on 05 Oct 09

Mick Red wrote:You have yet again crunch monkied it when you didnt need to....conceptrate on your cool game world not combat stances and uber spellcasting ****.....its not IMO what the public want, look at the awesome games released to high acclaim recently 316, duty and honor, little fears.
You seem to like complex maths equations, but sorry mate they dont give me a stiffy......i wanna know if i kill something with one roll...if i want pointless long drawn out combat ill play standard omnifrey or cursed empires........
I dont wanna piss on your fire dude, but when people told you your game world was cool but your system to crunchy, and that you should release a lite version, this wasnt what they invisenged....... still ill give it a go, but ill also be brutal in any feedback


Mick no offence but giving you a stiffy really isn't on my agenda ;-)

Omnifray Lite does indeed let you know if you kill someone with basically one roll, at least if they're a mook (well, first a speed of action roll to see when you act; then you and the ref each roll a dice, add a number and compare what you get). Maybe I'm overestimating how complex people will find the magic system. Hopefully the way it's packaged it should seem easy.

Let's put it this way:- it's as lite as I can currently bear the thought of it being. By my standards, it's tremendously lite. By your standards? Well, it's kind of hard for me to judge. But I'd be surprised if you find it uncomfortably crunchy. It's not Risus, but it's not Harnmaster Gold either.

Feedback please as brutal as it needs to be. Gentleness isn't going to make the game better; hard truths possibly might!
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: Omnifray Lite Development Blog

Postby Mick Red » 11:29pm on 05 Oct 09

Oh i fully intend to give it a go, but your pulling your baby to bits and i fear your not pulling enough, roll on public playtest
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Re: Omnifray Lite Development Blog

Postby Kaiserjez » 3:59pm on 06 Oct 09

Omnifray wrote:
The character sheets are beautiful.



Lets see one then!

I've not bought games before after looking at the insanely long character sheets. How many A4 pages is it for a Omnifray Lite character sheet?
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