Soul's Calling

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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

Re:

Postby Omnifray » 5:31pm on 08 Dec 10

Peturabo wrote:Hi Matt

Omnifray wrote:So if I do that are you definitely up for playing and who's on board?

Dude, I'm up for playing SC even without the crazy-ass anthropomorphic fae badger-boar riders (CAAFBBR).

The CAAFBBR would be different, but I'm really interedted in playing to see what you're doing with immersion. I daresay I could play CAAFBBR in Savage Worlds or an Apocalypse World hack, but the immersion aspect is the draw. CAAFBBR is just icing - and while icing is nice, what I really want is some delicious, immersive cake. I've been reading your posts on theRPGSite - the recent DiTV debacle thread drew me there initially - with interest.

So yeah, I'm in. Pencil me in on the sign-up sheet, but keep that aspect hush-hush because that's kinda frowned upon.

Cheers
Pete


TBH the more crazy-ass your character is, the bigger of an ask it can be to immerse yourself. I'm not talking about things like having the odd magical power or being a bit of a loony. I'm talking about characters who look and speak totally different to you, [EDITED to add] or have a sane mindset very different to yours and which you only partially understand. For instance, guys playing girls. Very difficult to pull it off right, unless you're actually transgendered. I play a lot of Vampire: the Requiem and I find that on occasion the differences between vampire and human psychology are an obstacle to immersion. Playing a CAAFBBR presents a similar kind of issue. The whole point of an ultra-believable fantasy setting like the Enshrouded Lands is to make it easier for people to immerse themselves in their character because it makes suspension of disbelief less of an issue.

But then on the other hand people don't stay immersed if the game stagnates. Playing a CAAFBBR could be just the added excitement which gets people really excited about their characters and could help them to immerse.

It's a question of striking the right balance for the group.

So I might be running one game with CAAFBBRs for the people who want that, and other more puristic games for the people who don't. Usually when I run games set in the Enshrouded Lands ALL the player characters are of human appearance. In fact, I can't think offhand of a character of obviously non-human appearance who I've ever seen played as a PC in any of my Enshrouded Lands games, FF Omnifray or Omnifray Lite (no reffing/playing experience of SC itself as yet as the rules are still being compiled). And there have been quite a lot of characters that I've seen in these games. I did stat one up who looked human but could transform into a wolf - she was the personification of blood-letting in nature - but the player rejected her as too combat-oriented.
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Re: Soul's Calling

Postby Omnifray » 5:35pm on 08 Dec 10

Oh and btw I can't see the problem in a pre-sign up as long as there is plenty of provision made for randoms. AFAICS it helps match up the right people with the right games. But then having said that views can differ; I know there's a policy against in-chalet gaming as far as possible, whereas I prefer a quiet environment where you can hear everything everyone says and concentrate on the game you're playing - especially for immersionist-type play.

PS it's been a good debate on the RPG site hasn't it! So many ideas which I need to put into practice before I wheel this out at a con. This is another reason why I don't want to do it in January - won't be ready by then. March maybe. November 2011 seems like a safe bet.
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Re: Soul's Calling

Postby Kaiserjez » 10:09pm on 08 Dec 10

Omnifray wrote:
Kaiserjez wrote:Matt, I promise if you stat me up a were-deer riding a badger monster then I will sign up to play Soul's Calling for definite! I will even stick around and give you some good old honest feed back after the game!


An anthropomorphic stag-headed halpfae riding a halpfae giant badger and using a modicum of as-yet-(as of November 2011)-unprinted rules?

And... we will have enough people who want to play these crazy-ass creatures or at least adventure alongside them, that we get a game for 6 players or at least 4 on that basis? (Plus me as ref.)

Ok dude, your writing a game set in the same world as omnifray right? And on the omnifray rulebook there's a dude who is at least a bit similar to this? If I can't play somebody like this from out of the core book then I'm out. It's a fantasy game yeah? Does it really matter n the rules if I say I look like a were-deer or a human?
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Re: Soul's Calling

Postby Omnifray » 12:37am on 09 Dec 10

Kaiserjez wrote:
Omnifray wrote:...

Ok dude, your writing a game set in the same world as omnifray right? And on the omnifray rulebook there's a dude who is at least a bit similar to this? If I can't play somebody like this from out of the core book then I'm out. It's a fantasy game yeah? Does it really matter n the rules if I say I look like a were-deer or a human?


Ah, it's not a generic high fantasy world as such, it's a hidden fantasy world. Looking like a stag-man is actually a pretty huge disadvantage. You would certainly need some way of disguising your stag-man features among the common folk. If they saw you they would either lynch you or run away, and if any of them got away alive you would lose your fate points like sand through a sieve and get hunted down by a wrathful spirit offended by your indiscretion. So, yes, it's a big deal simply looking non-human. It's far more of a big deal looking non-human, in that respect, than actually being non-human. So to my mind inevitably that has an impact on the game mechanics.

I'm actually including an option in the SC core book for playing a spectral undead corpse... but there's a specific reason for that, namely, basically any PC who's Damned has a small chance of coming back as one of the undead if they're murdered. So, there have to be rules for playing them... but it wouldn't be easy. The main way it can work is if you spend a certain proportion of the adventure hiding in walls, trees and hills, watching the party from a few metres away, intervening via the metagame mechanics (spending fate points etc.), making creaky noises, using magic surreptitiously and communicating with the PCs when no-one else is looking, or via blood written on the walls. Obviously at other times you would be stepping out among the PCs in your full undead glory but for part of the time it would be a big disadvantage, especially combined with the fact that the sun fries you, even in full plate.

So there are little rules in the core book on the bonus or penalty you can take for being stunning, good looking or ugly, and there's a package of abilities you can take for being a spectral undead corpse... but beyond those options which are included in the core book there's a whole range of possibilities for how you could look in theory, and they all impact differently on your role in the game.

In FF Omnifray you'd need the Expert Manual to stat up any non-human character at all. The Basic Handbook doesn't have rules on that. Even WITH the Expert Manual, Trissentilith works out as being something like a 70th level character (can't remember exactly), and the recommendation in the book is you retire your characters at 25th level, although stats are given up to 50th. {And in FF Omnifray if you really want to you can work out the stats beyond 50th level with a calculator - it's not hard.}

So why've I included Trissentilith on the cover? Well, why did Larry Elmore's red dragon end up on the cover of the D&D red box? (I mean originally, in 1982 or whenever it was.) Nobody picks up the red box expecting to play a dragon. Trissentilith is fully statted in the Basic Handbook - as an NPC. I don't see what's wrong with that. Maybe more of a problem that you would need the Expert Manual to play Fraggard too...

... but in SC, the core guide will contain everything you need to play a sorcerer, having said which, I haven't statted up an ability which can let you turn four animals into one composite beast.

The options for non-humans in the core book will include halpfae, demonspawn and angelkin, all of human appearance, and ghastly spectral undead.

If the Enshrouded Lands were a high fantasy D&Desque world, I would agree with you. Looking like a stag would be no big deal. But in a hidden fantasy world, it's a huge deal. And that has to be part of the mechanics, if you want any kind of balance at all.
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

Postby Avatar » 8:19am on 09 Dec 10

So, you'll let Jez sit down at the table with a totally unsuitable Character who is going to be burned at the stake by torch-weilding villagers 10 minutes into the game, and then what?

Sounds like fun times to me!
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Re: Soul's Calling

Postby w00hoo » 10:36am on 09 Dec 10

I think you could sell tickets...
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Re: Soul's Calling

Postby Omnifray » 1:08pm on 09 Dec 10

Avatar wrote:So, you'll let Jez sit down at the table with a totally unsuitable Character who is going to be burned at the stake by torch-weilding villagers 10 minutes into the game, and then what?

Sounds like fun times to me!


What I was thinking was that a combination of heavy hooded clothing, a visored helm, illusion magic and staying away from brightly lit places could allow the character to interact with ordinary humans... obviously it would cause him serious difficulties, but he gets extra snacky stuff in return... and when he's deep in the wilderness facing eldritch beasts, he can reveal his monstrous countenance.

On the other hand, how much do you think I can get for those tickets???
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

Postby MaxBantleman » 8:05am on 17 Feb 11

Omnifray wrote:At the moment, just about the only aspects of combat which are in a sense crunchier than other RPGs (bearing in mind it is lighter in some respects too - no separate hit + damage rolls by and large) are:-
1) different stats for armour v. blunt, slash & thrust weapons
2) you can get re-rolls


Sounds good.
I'm a big fan of armour protecting against diff damage types by construction.
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Re: Soul's Calling

Postby Mick Red » 4:03pm on 18 Aug 11

i see in your playtest char gen is taning anywhere between 55mins (with the author assisting) and 2 hours..... thats alot of time mate
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Re: Soul's Calling

Postby Omnifray » 5:03pm on 18 Aug 11

Mick Red wrote:i see in your playtest char gen is taning anywhere between 55mins (with the author assisting) and 2 hours..... thats alot of time mate


One of the major tasks which has come out of playtest so far is that I am going to be splitting the current draft character genning chapter into two... a Basic CharGen chapter and a CharGen Extras chapter immediately following it. The aim of this will be to reduce CharGen time significantly, especially for new players who are working their way through the CharGen system for the first time without assistance. I have had some very helpful feedback on this from Bekka in particular. This is a big job and I can't get around to it until I've finished rejigging the magic system which is also a big job in terms of writing/editing, even though all the conceptual work is already basically done, and all the new rules are clear in my head - just not on paper yet.

For yesterday's playtest session we were due to convene around 7pm. In fact three of us were still eating around 7:30pm or so when the other two turned up. Between around 7:30pm when the stragglers arrived and around 8:15pm when the actual game started, we had to (1) finish eating, (2) move the furniture around to accommodate Chris if he turned up, (3) get Gemma and Emma to pick invocation patterns for their eldritch powers with my assistance (and I picked two new eldritch powers for Gemma's character, with 3 invocation patterns each), (4) hand out everyone's booster tokens and get set up for the game and (5) gen up a new player character for Chris in his absence as he was anticipated to be turning up late.

In the space of about 45 minutes we did all of that. I genned up Chris's character on my own in I would say around 20 minutes, could have been slightly more, could have been slightly less, but at any rate not more than 30, and that was with the distraction of people chatting at the same time. I did already have a fairly clear concept for his character in my head [a shepherd of Primal soul who is good looking and very good at herding sheep...] but this was random CharGen as far as all the stats and numbers were concerned. So, CharGen can go relatively quickly if you know the system.

The real question is what it will be like for new players once I've rejigged the presentation of the CharGen chapter - same rules, slightly different presentation.
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

Postby Omnifray » 10:09pm on 18 Aug 11

Well I just genned up a character randomly with my phone set to stopwatch and it took me just over 20 minutes. That included writing out all the equipment and all the weapon stats. A non-magic-using character (though demonspawn). Say 22 minutes total if you include checking over the character sheet after I had read it, and writing in "paranoia" as an extra description for the character's Mild Insanity ability.
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

Postby Kaiserjez » 7:57am on 19 Aug 11

You need to get somebody who is unfamiliar with the system (as most players will be when genning a character) and get them to go through it. Remember that most people aren't going to have the author of the book sat next to them, to help them out.
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Re: Soul's Calling

Postby Omnifray » 10:43am on 19 Aug 11

Kaiserjez wrote:You need to get somebody who is unfamiliar with the system (as most players will be when genning a character) and get them to go through it. Remember that most people aren't going to have the author of the book sat next to them, to help them out.


I've done that plenty [with me in the room but essentially just watching, not intervening]. As I said to Mick, the conclusions I've drawn are that I do need to split the CharGen chapter into two - the first Basic CharGen chapter being simpler with a lot of the stuff cut out and shoved into the Chapter Extras chapter. There's no real point me watching more newbies do CharGen from the book without assistance until I've done that, as I think I know what the problems are, but it will take me time to fix them!

[The reason I did the stopwatched test-run was just to see how quick it could be done in ideal circumstances... i.e. by someone who knows the system as well as anyone is ever realistically conceivably going to know it.]
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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