Saturday, 23 August 2014

RPG A Day - Day 23 - Coolest looking RPG : Alpha Omega


Every once in a while, you encounter something that just screams at you to buy it, something that’s so shiny it can’t possibly be anything but excellent.  The unfortunate thing here is that anything where they’ve spent all the money on the artwork is likely to be something that they haven’t spent any time on playtesting...


Enter Alpha Omega, Stage Right...


This game has the highest production values of anything I’ve ever seen, bar none, the whole book is perfect bound in full colour, excellent layout, the background is phenomenal, the artwork...

Well, if I was to say these are the images of the world

 

These the characters

  

These the creatures



And these



And these



The problem here is the system, because as much as this world is unbelievably detailed, lovingly crafted and put together with the meticulous hand of a architect, the gameplay itself would drive even a rolemaster fan to distraction. The character sheet is four pages long, no big thing I hear you say, well, take a look at this...



And tell me again...



(Those two images are one character sheet by the way...)

Statistics use a variety of dice, ranging from 1d4 to 6d20, using every permutation in between, there’s a massive range of skills, and there’s a special abilities, innate powers, gods and monsters everywhere (and that’s just the players), it’s one of those things that makes you sit up and notice it, and then spend forever lamenting that the world they made isn’t something you can play in...



But then what do all gamers do with a game that they can’t use the system for, they borrow another one and use that instead, the problem with that is so much of the game is invested in the system that it becomes difficult to dissociate one from the other, the balance that might be had between characters is destroyed when you find that one of them can throw fireballs the way the other one might open a book.  It would be possible to play this game using another system, but in doing so, you’d probably lose something of what this game is about, because any other system would have the players start roughly equal instead of one of them being a cast down angel and the other one being street trash.


Then there’s the amount of time and space devoted to the rules themselves, all of it done in the most complicated language that can be mustered.  Inanimate objects don’t have damage points, they have structural integrity, why take one step to resolve something when you can take five, or better yet eight, just to make sure you’ve covered every single possibility within the rules.



All of which results in a serious lack of desire to play the game as it is presented.  It would be possible to do a conversion to another system and if someone ever releases this as a Savage worlds or FATE book, I’d buy it again, just to support the level of commitment that went into it to make it what it is.

And they named it so well, Alpha Omega, Alpha because when you’re looking at games, it’s the first game you’d pick up, and Omega, because when you’re coming to play games, it’s the last one you’d play...

So for now...

Look...


Look...


Look...



And if anyone gets it to work, let me know, I’m in...

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