Sunday, 31 August 2014

Combat Actions & Dice Pooling

One of the main and earliest settled on adjustments for Pulp City SE was to replace the Opposed Roll which mostly produced either results based on difference - Damage; or binary results - success or fail achievements.

What we wanted and what we have created is a mechanic that allows Actions to have multiple results, and that the spread of results is not limited to Damage alone.

Consequently most Actions have a menu of extra Effects (EFX) that can be chosen from and added when you have an especially successful roll. Success is measured by winning the basic roll (your best die plus Trait vs. opponent best die plus Trait or target Number), and additional success is through each result of 5 or 6 (Trump Traits) or 6 (no-Trump), or for Powerhouses each 4, 5, or 6. Enemies cancel those successes with their own dice achieving the same values (except for Powerhouses Defending don't achieve cancels on a 4+).

One of the keys to success is to maximise the number of dice you roll. This is done through Combat Bonuses, spending Power Up dice, Effects (bonuses to Attack or Defend) and any situational benefits such as from Powers.

Example: Six Feet Under Activates. He Moves in to engage Night Fright & Leech in Base to Base (BtB), and uses his Ashes to Ashes Action before Attacking with his Power Smash Action.

Normally you can you one Exclusive Action (the Actions on cards) per Activation, but because Ashes to Ashes is Combinable you can use it as well as Power Smash.
Six Feet Under succeeds with his Ashes to Ashes Action, but does not get any EFX.

For the Power Smash Each player rolls a basic 1d6 plus dice for appropriate modifiers:
Six Feet Under: Strength Trait + 1d6 +
  • Momentum (from Moving) 1d6
  • Size Matters (Six Feet Under has a bigger base) 1d6
  • Strong/NonLiving (from his Undertaker Power) 1d6
  • Attack 1 (from Ashes to Ashes) 1d6
  • Power Up dice (Six Feet Under gets 3 new Power Up dice per round in addition to any unused dice) 3d6
For a whopping 8 dice; if he wins, any dice results of 4+ yield EFX.
Night Fright & Leech: Defense Trait  + 1d6+
  • High Ground (because they are Flying) 1d6
For a less spectacular 2 dice. This will probably hurt. A lot.

So it is a good idea to learn how to maximise your modifiers to get the best advantage you can.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Character Cards - Pulp City SE

Figure 1
With Pulp City SE, we decided to revamp the game cards used for the different Supremes and Minions.

We set out with the design principle that as much information as needed as possible to play the model was on the card. That in turn affected how we re-engineered characters, folding Skills (we had around 60-70 or so in the old game) into the Powers, Actions, Traits and Movement Values/Types of each character, while still retaining the flavour of the character in question.

That also meant making a change in how the card was used to Recruit your Team as well as play the game. Previously, both sides of the card had the game information, meaning you had to flip the card during a game. Now one side is the Recruitment Side (top image) while the reverse side is the Action side used for gaming.

So the Recruitment Side lets you know the key information to build your broader strategy: the model's Role (what it is best at); its Level; its Origin; its Alignment; its Faction if any; how much it contributes to the AP Pool; how many Minion Levels (Minion+) it contributes; and also its base size which we included as a couple of minis have changed official base size.

Figure 2
Figure 1: Nuclear Jones is Level 2 and can be used in a Hero or Heavy Metal Team. He is a Support Supreme which means he contributes a lot of AP (Action Points) to the Pool. He adds 1 Minion Level to the Team (Minion+).

The Action Side is of course a run down of how the character can be used in an Encounter.

Changing all of this meant we had more information to cram into less space. Thankfully Melvin helped us achieve this minor miracle and we are very proud with the game cards we have.

Images copyright © Pulp Monsters 2014. 

Monday, 25 August 2014

Seabolt - Mini Painting Exchange

Hendybadger's Seabolt
Ah, yet another delay in regular blogging for the Pulp Citizen - sorry guys! But that said, I can defend myself by saying we have been working hard on delivery of the Pulp City KS, and I hope backers (and even non-backers!) have been watching for the weekly updates with all the new minis.

So apology done, onto the reason for this post!In the past couple of years I have participated in 3 'mini exchanges' based around Pulp City, and admittedly it took a while to get mine done, and also for those sending to me to do theirs. Here is Seabolt painted by my friend and Pulp City fan Hendybadger. So a big thank you goes out to Hendybadger for doing this! I now have two Seabolts for gaming purposes, which is more than good - you can never have too much of anything you like! Now if only we could get HB to paint more of his own minis... :)

You can never have too many Seabolts!
Regarding the blog, this week I hope to get a few posts written about Pulp City ahead of the KS delivery, and a few new aspects of the game when compared to the original version. They won't all appear this week, but should come out over the next few weeks.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Aurelius (New Villain Starter)

Villain, Tank, Level 2, Mystery
30 mm 

Okay, okay, my last 'welcome' post stated that I planned to paint one of those minis I have not yet finished, but after a painting slump in May I had to go with motivation, and since I felt motivated to paint this, it is what got done!

Aurelius has mastered the art of alchemy and turned that mastery to himself, his body transformed into gold.

When we formulated the Roles for the Supreme Edition, Tanks went through a few changes until we were happy. We wanted as many different Roles as possible in the new Starter sets which meant we wanted a Tank. Unlike a lot of Level 2 Tanks however, Aurelius is a bit different. He is only on a 30mm base, but compensates with better AP generation.

We also wanted straightforward Powers and Actions for the new Starter minis, but that does not stop them having subtleties which will be clear when people get gaming with them.

I love this sculpt by James Van Schaik, and it is unmistakably Pulp City in style. I can definitely see Aurelius being used to bodyguard Mysterious Man in future games. Of course thanks to the new Leader Cards, any team will be able to use pretty much any Supreme, which of course includes Aurelius.

Pulp City Minis Painted: 119

Friday, 18 April 2014


A new 'welcome to the blog' post, this time to the coolly named Ronin Plumber, as Follower #139. Even though new content is added at a slower rate than when I started over four years and 625 posts ago, I will continue to add to the blog, so it is great (for me) to see new people signing up ever so often. So thanks again to Ronin Plumber (and everyone who signs up or stops by).

While I have only painted a couple of Pulp City minis this year, I do have ambitions to get several more done before September (when the KS is anticipated to be delivered). Ideally I would like to have painted most or all of the following Supremes before then:

  • Green Serpent
  • Doom Train
  • Blacksmith
  • V.H.
  • Comte Vendredi
  • Red Bella
  • Papa Zombie
  • At least one Terror Cotta Warrior
That would bring me to the point where all the retail-released minis except the Monster are done, which would be nice, and would take me to around 125 painted Pulp City minis. Watch this space!

Monday, 31 March 2014

Wildman (New Hero Starter)

Hero, Brawler, Level 2, Nature
40 mm 

My first Pulp City minis painted since January, and only my second of the year. That needs to change. I have now painted 118 Pulp City minis in my personal collection (some of them more than once; I have painted a further 3 for 'mini exchanges'), and by the end of the year I want that to be at least 130. I have a few part-painted so that is not beyond the realms of reasonable possibility.

Wildman is one of the new Hero Starter Set minis. The new Starter Sets have been designed to have as few parts as possible. The Hero Supremes are all one-piece, making it quick and easy to prepare them for gaming and painting. The Villain set requires only minimal assembly on two minis, and the third is one-piece like the Heroes.

Wildman himself epitomizes a lot of key design features of Pulp City: Supreme Edition. He is on a 40 mm base which has an important impact as Size Matters in SE. He is able to pool dice very well based on his base size, his Brawler Power, his movement type (Bounding), and a built-in bonus to his core Combat Action (Rending Slash), meaning when he unleashes 5 dice or more for Rending Slash he gets to use another Action called Shrug Off for no cost. He is a tough hombre.

On painting him, I wanted to keep it simple; I thought about painting a tartan pattern kilt, but knew that I don't have the skill, so settled for plain black. It meant I finished Wildman quite quickly and right now, with so many minis to paint from so many games, completing stuff is key. Anyway, another cool looking James Van Schaik sculpt which I am sure many can't wait to use in their own Teams.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Pulp City SE Kickstarter Final Hours

As I type this there are approximately 32 hours to go for the Pulp City SE Kickstarter project, and we have been awed by the tremendous response of our backers.

Based on the support the project has had so far, Maciej has commissioned a number of sculpts before we conclude, which would not have happened without the positive response we have seen. As well as Cro Mag and Soul Golem, sculpts have been created for other minis unlocked as stretch goals, and work continues on yet more as we look toward delivery in a few months.

Rosie 'Baby' Rude (top) is another Powerhouse, an independent Hero who has possibly the best Knockback Actions in the game; excellent for control of objectives.

Below Rosie is Amok, a martial artist whose body houses a spirit of rage-fueled violence; he attempts to use meditative techniques to quell the anger within, but more often that rage spills out. Amok can feature for The Way, but also can give in to his darker side.

Then we have Grimm Lee Chan; a Grimm who has become fascinated by chop-socky movies and their stars. His sense of honour has drawn him towards The Way. All backers at Supreme level and above receive Grimm Lee Chan for free.

Next up is the Toxic Grimmvenger. An unfortunate Grimm whose body has been further mutated following a toxic spill. That accident left him with dangerous powers which Grimmsham (the human leader of the Grimm) uses to sow terror among hapless Citizens.

Finally there are Grimminions; the tiniest examples of the Grimm species, these little critters are everywhere that other Grimm go, and can be a terrible nuisance when found in large numbers.

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