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sábado, 29 de septiembre de 2012

Review of Omertà

At Barnalúdicas 2012, besides collaborating with the event organization, I had also the chance to purchase the basic book and referee screen of Omertà, el poder de la Mafia at the stand of L'Andrómina bookshop, thanks to which the authors, Pedro Nieto and Andres Ramos, signed the book.

Omertà cover

Omertà back cover

Omertà book compared with the Spanish edition
of Call of Cthulhu published by La Factoria

This game is intended to show the origins and operation of the Italian-American mafia (main group referred to in the book) during the 1920s and 1930s, coinciding with the era of Prohibition.

The Omertà book with the referee screen

Yes, attending gaming days have these things: the authors will sign their works

After a brief introduction by Ricard Ibañez Omertà is divided in three general parts: Setting, Game System and Scenario and Adventures.

Contents index



First two chapters, Origen e Historia de la Mafia and Los Locos Años 20, are devoted to describe Mafia origins, how it manage to be in the USA and how was the way of life of the time.

Origins and History of Mafia

The Roaring 20s

Mafia is born in Sicily and manage to be in New York and Chicago thanks to late nineteenth century immigration, which will have its greatest exponents in figures like Alfonso Capone and Joseph Bonano among many others. As for the 1920s we will find enough information to build the background of our gaming sessions, as in the chapter we have data about customs of American society of the time, its legal system and details of the mafia gangs.

Game System

There are then chapters devoted to the game system (thus the game nucleus): Creación de Personajes, Habilidades, Coraje, Suerte y Reputación, Combate, Persecuciones, ¡Necesito un médico!, Creación de Bandas, Experiencia and Equipo.

In this part we could choose the character class we want to play among the various kinds offered in the book, it also implies creating past life previously entering in a Mafia family (it’s not mandatory to create Mafia characters, you could create characters defending the law or citizens trying to lead a normal life).

Character Creation

The Omertà system is basically percentile, thus very similar to Basic Roleplaying (as the system used in Call of Cthulhu): a character will be successful if his dice roll, using a D10 for tens and a D10 for units, is equal or minor to the skill score (if he has a 65% he will succeed with 65 or less in the dice).


There are also specific game systems for many situations that could appear in gaming sessions, like chases (by foot or automobile), weapons using or the creation and evolution of the Mafia gang of the characters.

Courage, Luck and Reputation



I need a doctor!

Gang creation



Scenario and Adventures

In this third and last part we find chapters Creekville and Ejemplo de Aventura with the adventures Ritual de Iniciación, El Intercambio and El Expreso de Michigan, and some appendixes with useful information (game characteristics for historical characters and books, films, television series and music of this era) and characters’ sheets.

In this part there’s the description of Creekville city, a fictional setting where we can develop our adventures if we don’t want to set them in New York or Chicago (the book adventures are settled in the city).




The game screen is made of hard plasticized cardboard, with a proper illustration for the game’s setting in the player’s side and the corresponding game tables in the referee side. With the screen we have the adventure titled Por los Viejos Tiempos, written by Iván Mata and Andrés Ramos, divided in six chapters and beginning in 1927 New Year’s Eve, characters will know the meaning of joining the Mafia over two years.

Referee screen

For old times

And to conclude, I can only recommend you Omertà, el poder de la Mafia in case you like games with historical setting, I'm sure that if you are interested in these topics will enjoy the game.

This entry it's also available in the following languages:
Castellano Català

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