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Farcaster
11-02-2007, 12:57 PM
I noticed a number of new campaign settings for the "Omni System (http://www.morriganrpg.com/gm-omni.htm)" being release at the end of the year at Amazon.com. I hadn't heard of this system before, so I took a look at their website, and browsed through the preview (http://www.morriganrpg.com/files/omnipreview.pdf) for the core rule book. For some time, I have been looking for a system that I could use for a campaign setting of my own design without too much translation and complication (a la GURPS). Has anyone used this system before? Any feedback?

fmitchell
11-02-2007, 02:35 PM
For some time, I have been looking for a system that I could use for a campaign setting of my own design without too much translation and complication (a la GURPS).

Call me cynical, but I'd bet by the time you factor in magic, unusual talents, and/or superpowers, you'll end up with something nearly as complex as GURPS, or at least as complex as BRP, Storyteller System, and d20. (Heck, it uses a d20, and simply factors in the default 10 target number.)

I read about Omni System a while back, but I've never played it. It really does look like another "D&D done better" (which isn't necessarily bad: look at RuneQuest/Basic Roleplaying).

If you really want a system that gets out of your way, try PDQ or FATE.

PhishStyx
11-02-2007, 05:12 PM
The real question seems to me what you're looking for in a new game system. What would you subtract from D20 for example?

Farcaster
11-02-2007, 05:29 PM
What would you subtract from D20 for example?

The system I need for this campaign setting needs to do an excellent job of supporting psionics / low powered supers. GURPS would do it, but making a character and keeping the character's balanced to the power level I'm looking for is complicated even when working within the character point buy system. Heck, using the digital Character Assistant program for GURPS, it still took a couple of hours per character for each of my players.

I did look into d20 Modern as a possibility, but the thing that immediately turned me off about it was that it is level based. For D&D, that feels right to me, but for a sci-fi game, it just doesn't fit as well. So, if I were going to change anything about d20 for my custom setting, it would be that. I also want psionics and power use to be more open ended and broad in their application, but not so broad as to be effectively undefined.

PhishStyx
11-02-2007, 06:22 PM
Heck, using the digital Character Assistant program for GURPS, it still took a couple of hours per character for each of my players.

Now see, that really turns me off GURPS. I have no wish to spend more than about 30 minutes doing the math and looking up entries for a single character.

Now when you say "an excellent job of supporting psionics / low powered supers," could you be more specific? Are you looking for lots of optional powers or a heavy crunchy ruleset on using the powers?

I will say that based on your statement, I'd be looking directly at my WitchCraft book (see also- Terra Primate, Conspiracy X, and All Flesh Must Be Eaten). But truthfully, Savage Worlds or even Shadowrun would probably do it pretty well with a fair amount of the tactical stuff that I'm pretty sure you're looking for.

fmitchell
11-02-2007, 06:42 PM
Now see, that really turns me off GURPS. I have no wish to spend more than about 30 minutes doing the math and looking up entries for a single character.

In defense of GURPS, I think it's more a matter of presentation than the system. The 4e Basic Set contains *every* advantage in *every* genre, including magic, psionics, superpowers, non-human physiology, and social/cultural classes throughout history. (It's somewhat like HERO in that respect.) It's easy to drown while drinking from the firehose. (Agh, the metaphors! They burn!)

On the other hand, I created a character using GURPS Lite by hand in about 45 minutes, some of that minimaxing. It's essentially the paradox of choice: the *more* choices you have -- and GURPS cuts their powers fairly finely -- the harder it is to select among those choices.

Perhaps if a GM (and helpers) put together a restricted advantage list and templates for appropriate character types, character generation for players would go faster. Which means the GM takes the initial hit, alas.

Also, IIRC Farcaster was trying to use GURPS as a general supers game, which to put it mildly is out of GURPS's sweet spot. Normals, non-humans, psychics, mages, single-powered supers are fine ... but for superheroes I'd recommend HERO, Mutants and Masterminds, or (best yet) Truth and Justice.

fmitchell
11-03-2007, 12:14 AM
Speaking of GURPS, you could also look into the RPG Steve Jackson wrote before GURPS, The Fantasy Trip.

It's out of print now, but Dark City Games (http://www.darkcitygames.com/) have written "work-alike" rules, including an adaptation to science fiction (http://www.darkcitygames.com/docs/TimeAndSpace.pdf). No psionics, though.

You could also adapt Basic Roleplaying or Mongoose's RuneQuest to science fiction, although that would be yet more work. But it's a cool system.

fmitchell
11-03-2007, 04:30 PM
Last night, I bought the Omni System PDF for $14. From a quick skim, it looks like it has 7 stats (average is 0), skills (bonuses added to stats), talent trees (akin to Star Wars Saga Edition), and a magic system which includes "Mentalism" for psychic powers. I didn't really look hard at the combat system, but it looks pretty standard.

There's no explicit system for superpowers. The Magic system relies on having a Talent for a particular school of magic (e.g. Mentalism, Mysticism, and Elementalism), plus one or more "Mode Skills", where magical modes include Attack, Sensory, Illusion, Manipulate, and Summoning (plus 5 others). So maybe if you restricted Modes, and Talents to thematically appropriate ones, you could get your superpowers. I think.

So, yes, it's simpler than GURPS's point-buy system, and it might fit your needs, if you can get the Magic system to do what you want. The core mechanic seems pretty straightforward (but aren't they all these days?).

Drohem
11-27-2007, 04:18 PM
Morrigan Press has the rights to the Talislanta RPG. They took the Talislanta rules and created a universal system based off it which is called the Omni System. Morrigan Press has now produced several RPGs based off the Omni System. The Atlantis RPG is basically a new incarnation of the old Atlantean Trilogy by Bard Games.

http://www.morriganrpg.com/

Farcaster
11-27-2007, 09:51 PM
Yeah, I went out to their website, but it doesn't look like things have been to active there. I also sent them an email requesting information on one of their new titles coming out (according to Amazon) called "Heroes," but I haven't heard back from them yet. So, I'm wondering if this company still active?

I did pickup a copy of their core rules for Omni, and from what I can tell from just reading it, it isn't a bad system. I'm still toying with the idea of adapting it to my own science-fiction campaign world, but right now I am focusing on a new D&D campaign idea.

Drohem
11-27-2007, 10:34 PM
Well, from the Talislanta group on yahoo.com I understand that they have been going through some legal issues. I am not sure if they have been resolved yet. They have been producing books in their Talislanta line.

In my opinion, Talislanta is the first true d20 system. Some of the authors of d20 worked on Tal4 before they moved over to WotC and developed 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons.

I think that Omni is a great game as well. The Atlantis game is really well done.

coffeedragon
02-15-2008, 03:12 AM
In my opinion, Talislanta is the first true d20 system.
Out of interest, did Talislanta emerge before or after Muants and Masterminds? M&M and True20 are closer to D20 in their rule mechanics as far as things like basic stats, saving throws etc.

There seems to have been a lot of system crossovers in the last while though, with several D20 versions of games. I picked up BESM D20 a little while ago, and it has several sections that are word for word the same as the True20 core book:confused:
It seems companies are getting to the point where they're just copy-and-pasting from one anothers books!

That said, I currently prefer Omni/Talislanta to True20 as I like the simplicity of the rules. It means I can add things in without having to rewrite the entire ruleset like I tried to do with True20

Drohem
02-15-2008, 02:55 PM
Talislanta was first published in 1987, and had the core concept of rolling a single d20, the Action Table System, way before WotC published the d20 System and 3.0 Dungeons & Dragons; that is why I consider Talislanta as the first true d20 system. Also, as I mentioned already, some of the authors of Talislanta material became employeed by WotC and worked on 3.0 Dungeons & Dragons and the d20 System.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talislanta

rabkala
02-15-2008, 06:46 PM
Wow, that is interesting. A rather colorful and tumultuous history I did not know.

Mulsiphix
02-15-2008, 09:49 PM
WOTC seems to be a short lived sespool of highly experienced game creators. They come in, work for a short period of time, and move onto other things. Monte Cook is of course my favorite example. I'm betting Mike Mearls will be no different.

rabkala
02-16-2008, 12:52 AM
You have to empty the holding tanks of the particularly nasty sludge from time to time.
Get some good ideas out of them, then kick them to the curb like last weeks trash. :eek:

tesral
02-16-2008, 08:21 PM
WOTC seems to be a short lived sespool of highly experienced game creators. They come in, work for a short period of time, and move onto other things. Monte Cook is of course my favorite example. I'm betting Mike Mearls will be no different.

Yea Lizards burns through people. Why I can't exactly say. A few of those divorces have been acrimoniously, IE Monte Cook. I have to wonder if they are using the Microsoft method of people management, get them young, use them up, and throw them out. Or they get creative people and then micromanage them right out of the company. I don't know. I have never met anyone that worked inside Lizards to tell me.

However it seems to me that you want to keep those creative minds around. Doing theings that cause them to leave is not in your best interest.

Admittedly new blood is a good thing. Stagnation can kill you. I have to wonder however.

Mulsiphix
02-18-2008, 04:46 AM
I agree. How quickly they burn through talent is astonishing. I find it hard to believe that many of these "greats" have been "all used up" when they leave the company. I suspect working for WOTC isn't as dreamy as it might seem to most game developers. Monte wanted nothing more than to work for ICE when he was an aspiring writer. Once he landed his dream job he found the reality of it was hardly what he imagined. It was actually quite sad to read about.

coffeedragon
02-19-2008, 10:26 AM
I've been trying to make sense of the Omni Combat system... Can anyone clarify how Attack and Defence are supposed to work?



An opponent who does not have the initiative or who
willingly surrenders the initiative can elect to either
Dodge or Parry an impending attack. To do so, the
defender must declare the intent to defend before the
opponent rolls for the attack.


Does this mean that you have to choose between attacking or defending in a round? If you do both does it count as multiple actions and incur a penalty?
Also, if an attacker gets a partial success, and the defender does as well, is the damage quartered?

Drohem
02-20-2008, 04:07 PM
I've been trying to make sense of the Omni Combat system... Can anyone clarify how Attack and Defence are supposed to work?


Does this mean that you have to choose between attacking or defending in a round? If you do both does it count as multiple actions and incur a penalty?
Also, if an attacker gets a partial success, and the defender does as well, is the damage quartered?

A character has one action per round, and can choose one of the four Combat Tactics (Attack, Defend, Movement, and Stunt).

The quote in your post refers to when a character chooses the Defend Combat Tactic.

A character and Attack and Defend (either dodge or parry) in the same round, but does apply the multiple action penalty.

Success or damage is not quartered; it is always just a partial success and halved.

The defending character rolls first for either the dodge or parry.
If the defending character achieves a full or critical success, then there is no need for the attacking character to roll their attack.

If the defending character got a partial success, then the attacking character makes their attack roll to see if they hit. If they achieve any kind of success (partial, full, or critical), then the damage is halved (although they still may suffer the effects of a critical success attack).

Under Talislanta 5th edition rules, there are few extra rules in regards to Defend (dodge or parry):

A defensive action (dodge or parry) has to achieve a full or critical success to succeed and count as an action when determining the Multiple Action penalty.

If a character is using a shield or similiar device, then they get one free parry per round without it counting as a Multiple Action and incurring the penalty for the parry attempt.

However, I would say that's not unreasonable for you to House Rule that if both the attacker and defender achieve partial success, then the damage is quartered.

I would just keep at half damage for simplicity's sake, but I could see the damage being quartered in this case where both parties achieve partial success.

coffeedragon
02-21-2008, 01:52 AM
Cool, thanks. I think I'll stick to the basic half damage as I'd like to keep things simple for now.
Once we're into the swing of things I may bring in extra rules

nijineko
02-23-2008, 06:02 AM
any current links for this one? all the ones i've clicked on so far are broken. (didn't check out the wiki yet...)

Drohem
02-23-2008, 03:02 PM
It's $10 USD for the PDF on DriveThruRPG:

http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?cPath=182_312&products_id=2862

The Morrigan Press website is back up now:

http://www.morriganrpg.com/gm-omni.htm

You can download some preview material from Morrigan Press:

http://www.morriganrpg.com/gm-downloads.html