Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Pulp City - a little about the game

Pulp City is a tabletop superhero action game. The Pulp City game is intended to be played with forces comprising two or more miniatures, with the only restriction being the Encounter Level which in turn determines how many Supremes (characters, not the 60's girl-group) of specific levels (1-3; Level 3 Supremes may only be used at Encounter level 12 and above games) may be taken in a team.

In my view (and opinions are always subjective, aren't they?) the game and setting has a number of influences. The titular Pulp City is the 1980's West Coast battleground for conflicts between the forces of good and evil, personified by superhuman Supremes and their henchmen and helpers (Minions) on either side. There are two factions - Hero and Villain (with some characters playing both sides of the fence), and a number of subfactions (Allegiances) - models can be mixed beyond these sub-factions; they are premissive rather than restrictive.
The main influences that I see in the game are: comic book superheroes and supervillains (naturally); pulp stories (a given with that title); horror; science fiction; fantasy; Wuxia (probably in the more modern sense); 80's action TV shows and movies; mysticism; intelligent primates (a past comic book staple as well as Planet of the Apes of course); and lots more I probably haven't recognised yet. It is a melting pot setting yet it works well in my view - but then as noted I love the game and models.

Basic Game Concepts
Faction - Supremes are Hero or Villain (or both - Hero/Villain - playable by either side); teams are always good guys (Heroes) or bad guys (Villains)
Action Pool - the mechanism limiting actions through a game round
AP Allowance - the individual limit for a character
Origins - there are three: Mystery, Nature, Science, and each has an edge over the next in that sequential order (with Science edging Mystery)
Traits - 6 attributes that are paired and that govern action use
Trump Traits - the personal areas of special capablity of a character; they allow re-rolls
Opposed Rolls - these match two specified Traits, usually as an action (see below)
Damage - how much harm a model can withstand after rolls are made
Movement - there are a number of movement modes, actions and effects
Allegiance - many Supremes are aligned to a specific team; they can be used outside of these teams, but can sometimes gain bonuses if used with other team members
Actions - generic actions that most or all models can take in the right circumstances
Team Powers - bonuses (and occasional restrictions) that apply at all times; every character has a Team Power
Special Abilities - exclusive actions (unique to a given Supreme or Minion), trump actions (based on trump traits) and skills (standard bonuses and penalties that apply in particular circumstances)


  1. Good synopsis. I think the comic book influences are pretty well tied to the 1980's setting, also. Definitely after the Silver Age tales, but not mired down in the darker books that came out in the 1990's.

  2. I think I have to agree with the Silver Age influences (especially the apes and monkeys), but then many eras of comic books are also discernible as antecedents simply due to the fact that the character line up is so enjoyably eclectic in my view.


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