Omnifray - request for reviewers

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Omnifray - request for reviewers

Postby Omnifray » 8:34pm on 08 Jun 08

[edit] There is now a hosted Omnifray forum on this website which
currently works on this link viewforum.php?f=100 - there are a few bits and pieces
about Omnifray there. Also if you read further down this thread you'll see
Max Bantleman has posted a review here. [/edit]

Would anyone be interested in reviewing my very special new tabletop
fantasy RPG Omnifray?

The books should be out VERY soon and I'll be able to get advance copies to
potential reviewers in the next 7-14 days by snailmail.

Omnifray is enormously flexible, highly innovative, well-balanced and
true-to-life. Omnifray is also a challenging game - but I think it's well worth
the effort. (Well obviously I WOULD think that...) It's very indie. It's not
meant for pure combat-focused hack-n-slash - the points system used
for character generation gives a lot of weight to non-combat abilities.
All player characters have special abilities (feats of physical energy, concentration,
spiritual power - which includes magic - or destiny, or downtime feats)
which can only be used finitely, adding an important tactical dimension
to the game. Those special abilities are not limited to combat.
There's more blurb on the Omnifray site.

There will be two books:- a Basic Handbook (about 320 pages) and an Expert
Manual (about 500 pages), both softback, B&W interior, mostly 9-point
Times New Roman. Full retail distribution may be delayed for a couple of months
but early release versions will be available soon.

To do the game justice, the potential reviewer(s) will need to be people who
aren't scared of a bit of complexity - but the game IS suitable for complete
novices to play, provided you have a decent ref who can explain the rules etc.
Also it's probably worth just looking at the Basic Handbook first, and leaving
the Expert Manual alone until you've played at least one game.

Matt - http://www.omnifray.com
Last edited by Omnifray on 2:24pm on 21 Dec 08, edited 1 time in total.
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 - request for reviewers

Postby Max Bantleman » 7:56am on 19 Jun 08

Matt,

Got the books thanks.
They look very complete! :)

First impressions are I'm gonna need a couple of weeks to get through them for a read, and then a couple of weeks to get a few of us together to try out some of the basics.
They look good. Very professional. They'll stack well against other rpgs on any bookshelf in any store. Their thickness and apparent density of text may put off some novices, but then again, they do offer a huge scope of playing experience, so they will attract those looking for a way 'in' to the hobby maybe...

Any-hoo.
Thanks again.
I'll get reading! :)
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Re: Omnifray - request for reviewers

Postby Mick Red » 5:38pm on 19 Jun 08

Also received my books, wow they are amazing, ill mirror Max's comments, this could be the next big thing!! Gonna take me 5 or 6 weeks to digest this lot :x
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Re: Omnifray - request for reviewers

Postby Omnifray » 10:24am on 20 Jun 08

Cool! Thanks both of you for your initial comments.

I can understand it may take a while to get through the books...
it took me about 4 months just to proof-read them! (I did make some
changes during that process too, which was very annoying.) So I
kind of felt I had to mention the page count and font size in my
first post...

Having said that, my dad somehow managed to read 24 chapters
(out of 27) in less than a week - I think about 4 or 5 days. The missing
ones were Basic Handbook chapters 11 (Malady and Madness) and 12
(pre-genned PCs) and Expert Manual chapter 15 (more pre-genned PCs),
basically because they were the last ones to get finished, though if I
had to pick a favourite part of each book, it would be Chapter 11
in the Basic Handbook, and Chapter 4 of the Expert Manual (Pacta
Sunt Servanda
).
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 - request for reviewers

Postby Max Bantleman » 12:19pm on 20 Jun 08

Omnifray wrote:Having said that, my dad somehow managed to read 24 chapters
(out of 27) in less than a week - I think about 4 or 5 days. The missing
ones were Basic Handbook chapters 11 (Malady and Madness) and 12
(pre-genned PCs) and Expert Manual chapter 15 (more pre-genned PCs),
basically because they were the last ones to get finished, though if I
had to pick a favourite part of each book, it would be Chapter 11
in the Basic Handbook, and Chapter 4 of the Expert Manual (Pacta
Sunt Servanda
).


Skimmed through for a quick feel of the layout / style of the presentation, picked up a few key facts, mainly relating to what I always pick up on: combat and character gen :)
I'd like to do a fairly in depth review, so will need a couple of run throuhghs with my 'usual suspect' helpers for testing...
Shouldn't take that long ;)
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Re: Omnifray - request for reviewers

Postby Omnifray » 1:32pm on 20 Jun 08

As well as the skeletal basics of chargen in Basic Handbook Chapter 2
[and some relevant stuff in later chapters - 5, 8, 9], there is
a big load of chargen stuff in Expert Manual Chapters 1-4
[and some relevant stuff in other chapters - especially
5-9, 12-13]. The stuff in chapters 1 to 4 of the Expert
Manual is guidelines, not firm rules, but once you have
that book it's intended to be your main port of call for
chargen. The CGP values of ability scores are on the blank
character sheets, in brackets.

Chapter 4 of the Expert Manual serves two main purposes:-
(a) background information on secret cults etc.; (2) chargen
options.

Combat - apart from chapters 3 (basics) and 8 (advanced)
of the Basic Handbook, there's stuff in chapters 5 and 14
of the Expert Manual. Chapter 5 has the Four-Tier Action
Resolution Table which will be on the game-aids for the
advanced game too. Chapter 14 is full of entirely optional
rules and is for masochists really ;-)
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 - request for reviewers

Postby Lusus Naturae » 4:23pm on 20 Jun 08

I'd be interesting reading the reviews for this. Looked at the website and it sounds interesting. So get reviewing Mick and Max. :D
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Re: Omnifray - request for reviewers

Postby Mick Red » 6:43pm on 20 Jun 08

Character Gen is IMO a really strong point of the consumed so far book, and is really open ended about how you wanna play it, the combat (although pretty damn lethal) is also fine with 2 slight varients, the one hit to kill (vs mooks) and the slightly different varient against players/major NPC's. The style of Omnifrey is down to the GM so combat can be as (un)important as you like, im loving what i have seen so far, if i had any wish with what to change is that the books were in hardback, which is a very minor niggle
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Re: Omnifray - request for reviewers

Postby Omnifray » 10:20pm on 20 Jun 08

I wish it was in hardback too :-(

- sadly I don't think it can be done for an A4 book
with the current printing arrangements. And colour
interior would be prohibitively expensive, both in
terms of initial outlay on artwork and in terms of
production costs.

As for combat, there are more variants later in
the books... hits struck using the basic combat
system are equivalent to critical hits using the
advanced combat system, so if you're using the
combat system from Basic Handbook Ch. 3,
every blow that hits home can do as much damage
as a smash to the face. Average jane hits average
joe with a broadsword and does an expected 67%
injury if he's not wearing armour, which would mean
a 30% chance of knocking him unconscious and
eventually he'll bleed to death if he's not tended to,
unless Fate intervenes or he has the Rapid Clotting
ability. If you randomise the damage (optional),
it would range from [edit] 15% [/edit]
to 96% if memory serves.

The other thing is that it was a conscious design
choice to make combat deadly so as to speed up
play, meaning deadlier than it might be from a
purely simulationist perspective. This is
because of two things mainly. First,
if your characters are in armour, that soaks up
lots of damage. Average joe swings his longsword
at fancy-pants-wearing-but-otherwise-average fred
in his full plate armour and great helm and
does him an expected 15% damage using
the basic combat system (randomised to something
like 3% to 67%). If you're using the advanced combat
system and get more modest hits and clear hits, they
would have an expected damage of only 5% and 10%.
The second factor in choosing to deadlify combat
deliberately was that most melee-oriented PCs are likely
to have special feats of physical energy, concentration
or destiny which can be used to enhance or resist a single
blow, and affect only that one blow. This inevitably adds
a layer of complexity to the combat system so I felt it
would be a good idea to speed things up a bit.

The deadliness of combat does have game style implications.
If your PC takes 67% injury he'll need to rest for a long
time to recover fully, and suffers real penalties in the
meantime, so if you don't have access to magical
healing (which is quite a specialist thing and has
drawbacks of its own - and is only in the Expert
Manual), the campaign probably shouldn't try to be
a pure hack-n-slash-fest - you have to give the PCs
something that they can do when they're still on
crutches!! Of course, weaker opponents may mean
that you're fine, but there's always the risk that they
just get lucky. On the other hand, if the characters
have magical healing, they can easily handle several
brutal fights a day over a short period of time, though
at low levels using that much healing can cause them
big, big problems:- the healer and the injured frontliner
both use up their energy very quickly - some of which
may take a long time to get back -, the radiance
of the healing magic may be problematic (attracting
malevolent spirits etc.) and less problematically
you also have to watch out for the Shrouding (don't heal
in front of the common folk!).
Last edited by Omnifray on 10:32pm on 20 Jun 08, edited 1 time in total.
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 - request for reviewers

Postby Mick Red » 10:25pm on 20 Jun 08

You need to come to Indiecon and run this :)
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Re: Omnifray - request for reviewers

Postby Omnifray » 6:06pm on 01 Jul 08

Links to Omnifray stuff available now:-

Basic Handbook:- http://www.lulu.com/content/2693087

Expert Manual:- http://www.lulu.com/content/2693289

Basic game-aid:- http://www.lulu.com/content/2801840 (currently a free download)

Advanced game-aid:- http://www.lulu.com/content/2801876 (currently a free download)

Blank character sheets will probably be freely downloadable soon too.

A basic write-up of examples of chargen and combat is in the pipeline.
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 - request for reviewers

Postby Omnifray » 1:35am on 06 Jul 08

Freely downloadable text-only 23-page Preview Guide now up:-

http://www.lulu.com/content/2952451

Feedback on the Preview Guide would be most welcome :-)
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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Thanks: 182 given/230 received

Re: Omnifray - request for reviewers

Postby Max Bantleman » 1:17pm on 13 Aug 08

Apologies to Matt and the Omnifray crew for the delay in the review, moving house, lots of 'silly' excuses.
Review will be up by next Weds.
(I really wanna get a full and proper review in... :) )
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Re: Omnifray - request for reviewers

Postby Max Bantleman » 12:48pm on 23 Sep 08

Matt: open apology to you and anyone in the Omnifray crew.
I have been patently rubbish at getting the review done.
Lots of 'real life (TM)' excuses but all rubbish really :)

Truth is I like what I've managed to read, but am finding it very hard to get in to as the writing is, what's the polite way to put it, involved?

I've managed to get the core mechanic sussed, it is in fact delightfully simple, but part of my point is illustrated by the fact that it took me several reads to get this :)

Time has been my main enemy with lots of 'time burgling' stuff going on.

Again, sorry for the lack of a review. I have not forgotten it and will post as soon as I can.

As a potted 'strap line' summary for anyone seeing Omnifray on the shelf / net and wondering about it:
It's very, very involved. It takes a lot of work and commitment to get the best out of it, but it has a good core system and presents masses of options to GMs and Players alike in character / story development. Artwork is patchy and does not properly convey the scope and mystery of the setting. And it has a strong setting that you'd be best off using: it's not a very 'portable' game for being applied to other backgrounds.
Would I buy it? Yes: there is enough that I can get something worthwhile out of it even if I don't immerse myself in the game world and full system.
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Re: Omnifray - request for reviewers

Postby Omnifray » 12:06pm on 02 Oct 08

Max, no need for apologies!

Sounds like a good review in the making, I'm glad you find the core mechanic
"delightfully simple" and your bottom line of yes you would buy it is obviously
welcome! I can certainly accept that if you take the Basic Handbook and Expert
Manual together, it is very involved, in the sense that you have to put work and
commitment into it to get the best out of it. if the main books themselves are a
little involved, did you have a look at the free-to-download preview guide?
That sets out a lot of the basics and I did TRY to make it easier to digest.

Well I look forward to reading the finished review! In the meantime may I
quote your post on the Omnifray website? I'll probably quote it in full rather
than cherry-pick, the only question will be where I fit it in on the website.
When your full review is up, I'll probably just link to that instead.

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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