Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Encounter at El-Birbir

The word was out that many weird and valuable antiquities were showing up at El-Birbir . . . the former habitation for the mad-inventor, Maximilian Wonderof . . . and so a number of adventurous groups were headed there.

El-Birbir and environs
 Speculation abounded that Wonderof had developed a device capable of locating valuables.

Any such device would probably be housed in the local fort . . . so a night-time attempt at a snatch was indicated.

Three groups chanced to come to El-Birbir under a full moon.

First was "The Dark Fire", a red-robed cult (run by Pete).  They, of course, were primarily interested in some of the dark relics such as the ancient tomes of foul magics.

But it was treasure that attracted the attention of a group of Gangsters known as "Capo Condottiera's Casa" (or CCC for short).  They were led by Silvio, one of Condottiera's chief lieutenants.   (Murdock ran these Gangsters).

Finally were those bastions of goodness and righteousness, "Winchester, Smith and Weston" (run by myself).  They wished to end the wanton desecration of ancient sites and the sale of antiquities.

Rules were "Pulp Alley" with a slight variation added by me.  I added some wandering guards who acted as mobile perils.  They and for 3" around them were deemed "perilous areas".

There were six regular guards (numbered 1 to 6).  "One" patrolled the upper level of the fort; "two" circled the outside of the fort; guards "three" through "six" started out in the areas around the fort.  In addition the Captain of the Guard patrolled randomly.

The way I worked this was simple.  At the start of each turn and every time a "plot point" was attained (or lost), I'd have the caller roll 2d6 and the numbers rolled would each move randomly (1d12" and an arrow die for direction).  If "doubles" were rolled on the dice, that guard would move and two more d6 would be rolled and moved.  In addition the Captain of the Guard would also move.

My League deploys with a plot point in view . . . *sigh*
 In this photo you can see the sentry and Captain of the Guard just leaving the fort.

Another guard is seen not far from the documents (plot point) on the right side of the photo.

Sadly I lost four of my six characters in trying to recover the documents (which twice turned out to be Red Herrings . . . *sigh*).  I never did acquire a plot point and so couldn't try for Wonderof's Device.

Early in the game.  Dark Fire to the right; Gangsters on the left.
Pete's Cultists gained (then ultimately lost) two plot points (the Death Cult Tome and a hoard of Golden Artifacts).

Meanwhile Murdock's Gangsters captured, then lost, then captured, then lost and ultimately captured a final time The Ivory Dagger plot point . . . my leader, Ted Winchester and his wife, Sue, kept shooting the Thugs holding the Dagger . . . *smile*.

Sadly though they kept hold of that plot point even though the threat of the Winchester's shooting prevented Silvio from attempting the major plot point of the Wonderof's Device.

The Winchesters faced a constant stream of Gangsters.
Of the 21 characters to start the game, only 5 remained on their feet at game's end . . . uh, it is possible that some of us were more fixated on eliminating each other than getting that final main plot point . . . but we had fun!

-- Jeff

Saturday, January 11, 2014

1st Game -- Good News / Bad News

Well my friend David and I played our first game of Pulp Alley this Friday afternoon.  And, as they say, there is "good news" and "bad news".

We certainly enjoyed the game . . . but (bad news) when I tried to take a photo, my digital camera wouldn't work (and changing the batteries didn't help) . . . indeed I think that it needs replacing . . . *sigh*.

The game's only photo was one David took of me using my scratch-built "microphone" to "broadcast" the action.

However you can see what our playing board looked like by checking out this earlier post.

The mic was my attempt at an object to keep track of who had the Initiative (because it can change hands so quickly in Pulp Alley) . . . and it worked splendidly.

It was simple to build.  It consists of a candlestick, an old-fasioned clothespin, a bunch of cardboard stuck into and around the clothespin, masking tape and a bit of paint.

Note that I do want to get a different candlestick for it . . . one with straight sides . . . then I'll finish painting the whole thing a charcoal color.

As for the game, it was somewhat hampered by our both rolling only a 12" visibility so there wasn't much shooting.

I "won" with 4 victory points to David's three . . . even though I lost 4 of my 6 characters; while he only lost his one Follower, keeping his other 5 characters alive.

However, in the post-game discussion, David came up with an idea about the microphone.  Since we were using it to "broadcast" the action describing what was happening, he suggested that (particularly in multi-player games) the best storyteller get a prize.  Perhaps their choice of one of Tips, Contacts, Gear or Backup.

Anyway, with the camera excepted, we had an enjoyable afternoon.

-- Jeff

Monday, January 6, 2014

Another Old West League Added

Just in case I might need a fourth League for a Pulp Alley training game, I've added another cleverly-named League, the Grey Hats . . . to go along with the equally cleverly named Black Hats, White Hats and Brown Hats featured previously.

The Grey Hat Gang is lead by Ira and his sidekick, Gus.

Ira's abilities are Hardboiled, Intimidating and Fierce; while Gus is known to be both a Daredevil and Specialist.

As usual, the three allies (Vince, Quinn and Owen) have a range of abilities (one each of Sharp, Fierce and Marksman); while Xavier, a follower, is also a Marksman.

So now I have four "training game" leagues all set to venture into Grizzlyville in our first attempt at playing Pulp Alley . . . and yes, I do know that none of these leagues is really very well designed . . . indeed they are designed more to introduce us to a variety of different character Abilities and the game system.

-- Jeff

Friday, January 3, 2014

Grizzlyville -- a Preliminary Look (maybe)

Here is my first attempt at terrain for my initial 3-person "Pulp Alley" game. 

I say "first attempt" because I'm going to be floating this terrain by some more experienced players to find out if it is too crowded or not.

Of course I don't know where people are going to place the four minor plot points; but the Main Plot Point is, of course, the lady about to be hanged in the middle Grizzlyville:

The main plot point . . . the lady in red awaiting the noose
 As you can see the middle of the board is pretty open . . . but much of the rest of it is relatively cluttered.  All hills (including Gallows Hill) are perilous areas; so are the enclosed corrals; and not only are the wooded areas perilous, but so is the land within an inch of them.

I'm using a 4' x 4' playing surface and players will be allowed to deploy their troops anywhere within 12' of the corner they choose . . . which will force them to choose from a number of different paths for relative safety . . . or to chance a more direct route by choosing to pass through perilous ground.

The following images will work your way around the table (starting from the SE side looking North -- all the way around to the SE side looking West).  As usual clicking on a photo will give a larger image . . . but opening them in a separate window will allow for a much larger image.

South East quadrant looking North

South West quadrant looking North
South West quadrant looking East
North West quadrant looking East
North West quadrant looking South
North East quadrant looking South

North East quadrant looking West
South East quadrant looking West

Again, I don't know where the minor plot points will be placed but I've tried to allow a number of channels from each corner that will bring the Leagues into contact with each other.

Anyway, I await the counsel of the more experienced . . . and we will see how Grizzlyville might evolve.

-- Jeff