Game Basics #4: Action Pool

As you have noticed in previous Game Basics, each Supreme comes with its own AP – Action Points Allowance. In each Game Round, the Supreme may activate multiple times to spend Action Points for performing Universal Actions (see Game Basics #5) and Exclusive Actions (printed on the Supreme cards).

Each Action has its own cost that has to be paid from the team’s Action Pool.

Action Pool is a dynamic and ever-changing way of measuring how much your Heroes or Villains may do in each Round. The Pool is calculated at the beginning of each Round. The calculation is very simple: multiply all Supreme Levels (for instance the starter consists of  three Level 2 Supremes and two Level 1 Supremes for a total of 8 Supreme Levels) by 2 and add 2 Action Points. Then add all the bonuses and penalties from Skills (for instance, Solar, thanks to his Tiara, benefits from Leader skill, contributing one extra AP to the Pool) or/and Actions (some Actions have the power of stealing APs).

Villains straight from the Starter Set are a Supreme Level 8 team so they start the Encounter with 8×2 + 2 = 18 AP. That is more than enough in the first Round to take positions and command Minions but you will soon find out that  making the choices who should perform is becoming a real challenge.

Most of the Action costs range from 1 AP (as simple as Move) to even 6 APs for powerful multiple-target attacks.

Action Points Allowance of each Supreme represents the power limits of each Hero and Villain. A Supreme may never spend more points a Round than his or her limit.

Pulp City game thrives on combos, so called Combined Actions. Instead of performing Move* Action, waiting for the opponent to act and then performing Strike Action, a Supreme may combine two Actions and thus Move*+ Strike, effectively striking. Only Actions marked with an asterisk (*) may be Combined, but the options are limitless and truly strategic.

Imagine Ace of Wraiths Combining Hold* Action with his Queen of Blood Action. When Hellsmith comes charging at Ace, he triggers the Held Action out of the turn sequence to place three bullets in the giants body.

Posted in: Pulp City Basics

Game Basics #2: Supreme Card

Game Basics #2: Supreme Card

Every Supreme blister comes with special cards that detail the specifics and powers of the model.  Let’s talk about our big friendly Supreme, Hellsmith.

 

a/ Name: As you can see, not only does it give away the nick or the true name of the Supreme but also hints his/her affillation with one of  the super teams rocking the city. Hellsmith belongs to the Forgotten faction, evil gods, demigods, demons and their minions. Playing a team composed of one sub-faction gives certain benefits, described on the leader’s card.

Don’t worry, the  non-aligned  Heroes and Villains will form  super teams as well!

b/ Hero or Villain?  (Left Top):  Whether the Supreme is a Hero or Villain … or both!

c/ Sub-faction (Below name): The Team that this Supreme belongs to, if any. Some special rules refer to Supremes of specific Sub-factions.

d/ Origins (Right Top):  Science, Nature or Mystery.  Remember paper, stone, scissors? Works pretty much the same when the rolls are tied between two Supremes.

e/ Traits (Left Panel): Strengths and weaknesses of Supremes: Strength, Defense, Energy, Agility, Mind and Spirit. Red Traits are Trump Traits – for each Supreme Level, there is one Trump Trait. Trumps give re-rolls.

f/ Level: From the lowly 1 to a Leader’s 3

g/ Damage:  Number of Damage Points a miniature may take before becoming Incapacitated or in some cases Eliminated.

h/ Action Points or Action Points Allowance (marked as AP): Number of Action Points a miniature may use per Game Round drawn from the team’s Action Pool.

i/ Skills (Bottom):  Very handy. Our horned friend Knocks Down enemies (thanks to Bruiser) if he inflicts enough Damage,  can’t be Knocked Down and uses Minions as snacks to  improve his health level. Nasty!

The back of the card shows:

Exclusive Actions: A set of Actions that can be used only by the miniature with them on its card.

Team Power: An active power that benefits the Supreme and/or the team. In some cases the Team Power is more of a hindrance than a benefit.

Posted in: Pulp City Basics

Game Basics #1: Building a Super Team

Welcome to the first in series of short Rules briefings that will shed some light on the game mechanics before the release.

How to build your Super Team for the game?
Each game (we call them Encounters) has a set level:

Level 3 being the lowest, Street Fist Fight pits 2 Supremes vs. 2 Supremes.
Level 24, go figure, Apocalypse is an event on a cosmic scale!

For each level of the Encounter, you are entitled to recruit one level of Supremes with several restrictions.

Level 1 Supremes are your basic Heroes and Villains with a decent statline and focused skills – they are usually very good at one thing and very average at rest. Their Team Action is very weak and comes in handy very rarely.

Level 2 Supremes have a slightly better statline, more Action Points and are usually more flexible. What really sets them apart is the Team Action, a special power that immensely helps the team.

Level 3 Supremes are extremely rare and usually happy with being shadowy manipulators or ultimate goody doers! In most of the games you will usually have one or no Level 3 Supremes. They are usually the leaders of their factions.

Restrictions: You can have one Level 3 Supreme for every full 12 Levels of Encounter. You should always  try, as near as possible, to have as many Level 1’s as Level 2’s unless a game scenario says otherwise . That means you can usually get away with having three Level 2’s and two Level 1’s or five level 1’s and four Level 2’s but never ten Level 1’s and two Level 2’s.

In Game Basics #2: we’ll cover the alignment issues: Heroes and Villains.

Posted in: Pulp City Basics

ABC of Pulp City

Hi, my name is June Summers and I am a Channel 4 reporter. Recently I’ve been asked by Pulp City Planet to brief readers on all-things-Supreme going on in our city. So here it is, my Pulp City Alphabet. Don’t come to Pulp City without reading it!

Ape Revolution Committee. Ideals of freedom and equality for all apes and monkeys in the world are one thing, but Apes know how to make sure the cash flows to support their goals. In the steel grip of Guerilla’s leadership, the mercenaries have evolved into a highly specialized team able to cope with any situation. Whatever problem can’t be solved by Guerilla’s and Howler’s massed gunfire, the answer might be a couple of Dr. Red’s specialty grenades, Apebot’s steel fists, Chimp-Chi’s blades, or the pure computer genius of Virus.

So what’s hot with the monkeys these days? It seems like they are after something big. I do believe even Guerilla is intrigued with the possibility that one other shuttle full of apes and monkeys might have been launched after the failure of the initial phase of the Soviet project. Are the passengers of that shuttle still alive?

Blood Watch. These guys are dark. All the goth kids adore them. Though maybe not as spectacular as other teams (you know, not much spandex and cape stuff), Blood Watch does a great job of keeping us safe from the Necroplane threat. They don’t do interviews, but hey, what do you expect from guys that have a teenage werewolf and a nine foot giant on the payroll? Their leader, V.H. (which is supposedly his initials, standing for Victor Helsing, see the ties?), managed to gather a truly unique bunch of Supremes that get in the way of MANY Villains. First and foremost, Necroplane . Blood Watch’s HQ is located just outside of the city, next to the only known active gate to Necroplane, so rarely do any Necro Supremes makes it past the welcoming party!

The Coven. See, I got this problem with The Coven. Every time I do a story on their Strike Team’s infamous exploits, they sue Channel 4. And man, they can afford good lawyers. The Coven’s influence over politics, media, and business has a long and bloody history. There is no written evidence about how a group of white people from the South, mostly slavers and plantation owners, has managed to turn into Coven Enterprises. Look around. I’m pretty sure you will find at least one of their products.
Their Strike Team is an extension of their politics. They love to recruit the best. It is said that Papa Zombie, a guy that looks like Rob Zombie’s cheap imitation (or maybe it is the other way round), was a faithful servant of one of the founders. 200 years old? Come on, even voodoo can’t be that good! If I’d have to describe their team’s methods in a couple of words, I’d say: well aimed bullets from nowhere backed up with a few voodoo gimmicks.

Diplomacy. It is becoming a common practice to open diplomatic facilities and Chambers of Commerce in Pulp City. Why? The movie industry, more Supremes per capita than anywhere in the world, and politics.

Excalibur. I interviewed this guy, Arthur Black, for the weekly reality show Who Wants to Be a Supreme? He was British, tall, handsome, and insane. See, talking about the mission, the prophecy, the magical sword, the assembly of the Dark Round Table, and that sort of crap is nothing unusual. Most of the contestants do that. The problem proved to be real when this guy showed up at the City Hall, wielding a sword that was crackling with lightning and started severing heads before Heroes stopped him. And what’s wrong with his sidekicks, Lancelot the Dark and Shadow Percival?

The Forgotten. It all started with a teenage cheerleader exacting revenge on another teenage cheerleader who supposedly stole her boyfriend. Enter the long forgotten manuscripts, a bloody ritual, and voila, we have the first long forgotten evil deity awakened in the middle of Pulp City, who proceeded to devour most of the neighborhood. It’s a chain reaction; I guess these guys feel misunderstood and lonely so instead of going to a shrink, they resurrect their kin.
See, fallen gods get off on emotions. And since there’s not much love for those bloodthirsty murdering beasts, they usually pump up their strength by drawing on fear and terror. There is much more of it coming in the future.

Grimm Under Empire. Grimms are SO photogenic. Love them! They make the loveliest of invasions. First, a hole in the city center opens, cars fall in, people scream, then hordes of biped humanoids burst out and pursue their current agenda. Robbing, pillaging, and food hunting are the most common. After a couple of minutes, all that is left is a gaping hole.
Grimms are controlled by smarter Grimms, called Alphas. Sometimes they bring a beast or two with them, just to create some distraction for the Supremes. There is a hive mind structure to Grimm activities and behavior; some claim that it is actually a human that pulls the strings.

Heavy Metal. Shiny knights in shiny armor. Immaculate. They are more than celebrities, more than role models for children. The C.O.R.E sends its Heroes to battle for everything that common people care for. They are some of the few Supremes that use their power to help the city deal with mundane tasks like building bridges, fire fighting, and such. Heavy Metal are great ambassadors for many causes: Iron Train is an honorary president of city Unions, Androida is a feminist, Dr. Mercury researches alternative power supplies and is an UN expert, while Chronin is strongly involved in Little Asia’s promotion. Good folks, I’m telling you.

Invasions. Bread and butter of our lives, we love to watch them from afar. Ulthar aliens, Grimm, Necroplane, sea monsters. Yep, we got it all.

June Summers. I had to mention myself. Duh! Specializing exclusively in Supreme affairs.

Kodo Island. This small island used to be a favorite location for sunny holidays, just two hours southwest of Pulp City Harbor. The tourist traffic stopped after something went awfully wrong in a biological facility dedicated to restoring endangered and lost species. I hope I can get there one day to investigate, but the only way to do so is on the board of a military plane or on the back of a flying Supreme!

Little Asia. This cozy little touristy district turns into a battlefield when night falls. It is a constant conflict of various ethnicities fighting for supremacy.

Mysterious Man or Hooded Man. Is he really the infamous Doctor Van Der Beek coming back from beyond the grave? Or just a guy that wants us to think so? Just let me name several things that he might be involved in: Nuke, military facility raids, quantum holes to 1940’s, Kodo Island. That makes him a major player.

Necroplane. Don’t want to go into the scientific speculations, so in a nutshell: there is a parallel plane of existence where the dead rule, and these dead need life essence to thrive. Since they are sort of low on it these days, their government, the dreaded Lords of Necroplane, developed a new policy: punch a hole in the fabric of reality and sip on our energy. Yes, that requires killing us. Of course, there will be always a couple of traitors willing to work for Necroplane. With their help and the back-up of Scourge, the Necroplane’s Supreme team, these guys are getting more and more dangerous.

Oppahua Tribe. Used to dwell in these lands, now just a handful of them run a casino northeast of the city. Supposedly Pulp City was built on their burial grounds and, as Ace of Wraiths claims, this makes it a whole lot easier for the Lords of Necroplane to tear reality and open gates. Angry spirits don’t rest easy.

Pulp City. We are hotter than Miami and more dangerous than New York. We are more beautiful than SoCal and weirder than Portland. Come and visit us on the West Coast!

Quantum Holes. Instant time and space travel is possible for a few lucky Supremes. Chronin for instance is able to slow time around her for seconds thanks to Quantum Holes. Twilight travels short distances by punching Quantum Holes in reality. Neat, huh? Now think about somebody vile enough to travel back to 1940’s and support the Nazis. Or assassinate the father of a business competitor. I hope Quantum Holes won’t be the future trend in business and politics.

Royal Investments. The major business player, just next to Coven Enterprises. Quite frankly I love to watch the big bad guys bleed out combating each other. Guilamme Sanguine, the owner and the CEO, is one bloodsucker. And that is literally beyond the early capitalism cartoons depicting businessmen as vampires. He is a vampire. Just forget that garlic and mirror crap. Being an extremely smart player, he is on very good terms with Lords of Necroplane and The Forgotten.
He gets off by resolving most of the issues personally. Either as a tough negotiator or… as a cold blooded combat monster.

Stygian. Since her hairdo is made mostly made of hissing snakes, she will not win a beauty pageant any time soon. The petite, olive skinned lady is a bitch from hell and probably the most powerful Villain ever to walk the streets of Pulp City. A goddess revered in ancient Stygia (where the heck is that?), Stygian is dead keen on awaking an army of gods. To avoid suspicions, she mostly hires mercenaries to do the dirty work.

Trinity Inc. are mercenaries. High end, that is. If you can afford them, they will deliver the punch. Don’t mess with them. There are no late payments with these guys. And they have a couple of Supremes to boot.

Ulthars. They are a warlike race of aliens travelling to Earth through Quantum Holes. Yes, they do have the technology. It’s funny because they do embody every damn stereotype of an alien we had before: green, funny language, high pitched voices. Even their ships look like flying saucers! Ulthars come to Pulp City quite often, I guess it is the old grudges and unsettled debts; since so far they’ve been beaten badly every time.

Villains. Supreme Villains are so funny. They are so narcissistic that they demand to be interviewed. It happened to me twice this week, a Villain boasts about his future plans only to be immediately knocked down in front of the camera and carried away to the prison cells for Supremes located under Heavy Metal’s HQ.

The Weird Well. This bottomless pit just right out of the city leads to… oh well (lol), we truly don’t know where. What we know is that twice a year, on the night of the solstice, a beam of light shoots out of the Well and turns the night into the day. Some believe that if you immerse yourself in the light, weird things may happen. There is at least one Supreme I know who claims his power comes from the Weird Well.

Xen is a new generation enhancement drug. Hot with rich kids, very expensive, but for that money you get a glimpse of what it is to be a Supreme. Xen augments the senses and enhances strength and speed. The problem is that it is highly addictive and there is no going back after the first dose.

Y. There is nothing interesting going on in Pulp City that starts with “Y”.

Zen Studios. Famous film studio, on the top in 70’s, now struggling to survive the competition. But their celebrities still believe they’re the best!