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Author Topic: Homebrewed Pulp Alley rules?  (Read 2066 times)
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BugPope
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« on: August 11, 2016, 09:01:26 PM »

Just curious if anyone have any homemade Abilities and other rules they've made. I have a habit of constructing new rules and add-ons whenever I get into a game, and thought it would be fun to see what others might have cooked up, and get feedback.

Currently working on a couple of abilities, such as this one:

Constrict (Level 2)
Enemies in base contact with this character get -1 Dodge die in combat.

It's supposed to represent tentacles, giant snakes, slimes and other things that wrap around their victims to prevent escape, but could also be used for certain martial arts that focus on hindering enemy movement. Once you're stuck in the clutches of a constrictor, it's better to fight back than to attempt to struggle out of the grasp.
I'm a bit worried that it might be overpowered (considering the huge advantage it would have against characters without Brawl skill), or that there might be better ways to represent being wrapped up. And is level 2 too high or low?

First I considered making it impossible for enemies to Dodge Move while in a Brawl with the constrictor, instead of the Dodge penalty. This felt way too good though, and also less fun and pulpy.
 Thankful for feedback, and would love to hear other people's ideas.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2016, 09:11:59 PM by BugPope » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2016, 12:36:38 AM »

I really like the looks of this ability. It has a wide array of "sources" and is nice and short. The version you presented above is well worth testing on the tabletop.

Nothing beats playtesting to determine if an idea works. So I always say -- "Try it out first and let us know how it goes."

Quite literally, at least half of my "brilliant ideas" never survive this step.  Laugh Laugh


I'd be interested to see what happens when Constrict was stacked with Hardboiled.
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David Phipps, Pulp Alley
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ragsthetiger
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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2016, 07:58:47 PM »

Quote
Just curious if anyone have any homemade Abilities...

I have a couple I've been playing around with:

1) Inquisitive (level 2)  As an action, character may draw the top Fortune card from the deck and take the Challenge on it.  If successful, the card is added to the player's hand.  If failed, the card is discarded and the character's activation ends.  (Note that this is a challenge, not a peril.) 
This ability, a lower form of Deductive, is supposed to represent a character snooping around, asking questions, looking into trash bins, etc, and not being very discreet about it.

2) Countercharge (level 1 only)  This character may respond to Shooting attacks against it by rushing the shooter, if within 12".
This ability was created to make level 1 NPC Animals, like sewer rats, large insects, and so, on a bit more menacing.  I have used it only on small NPC animals, and not on league characters, as I think it would likely be broken if used by higher level characters.
Thanks for your interest,
rags
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d phipps
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2016, 12:18:20 AM »

Those look good, rags. Well worth trying out.

Inquisitive -- Doesn't set off any alarms. It looks fairly balanced. Maybe... just "maybe" consider making it a Full Action. This would remove the option from moving and using this ability in the same activation - this may discourage folks from simply giving it to too many characters on the same league. Again, this is where playtesting is so important.


Countercharge -- Maybe say "This ready character may...". That might avoid some questions down the road. With this addition, it might even be worth trying on higher level characters as well.


Good stuff! THANKS for posting.
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warrenpeace
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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2016, 01:42:48 AM »

I gave my big and giant pythons an ability that I called "Big Squeeze": One enemy figure that is engaged with the python is prevented from rolling for recovery while so engaged, including during the end of turn recovery check.

I gave my giant cobra an ability that I called "Venom": Any enemy that fails health checks against two or more hits from a single attack or counter-attack by the cobra suffers a hit from Venom at the start of each subsequent activation by that enemy character, and must roll a health check at that time.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2016, 01:44:54 AM by warrenbruhn » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2016, 04:44:38 AM »

I gave my big and giant pythons an ability that I called "Big Squeeze": One enemy figure that is engaged with the python is prevented from rolling for recovery while so engaged, including during the end of turn recovery check.

I gave my giant cobra an ability that I called "Venom": Any enemy that fails health checks against two or more hits from a single attack or counter-attack by the cobra suffers a hit from Venom at the start of each subsequent activation by that enemy character, and must roll a health check at that time.


Good ones!

We have playtested one called Poison, that is fairly similar to your Venom ability.

With "Big Squeeze" it is always tricky to just say "prevented from rolling recovery". For example, if a down character is  prevented from rolling Recovery then he can't be KO'd. Maybe that is what you were going for? Or maybe the Squeeze effect shouldn't apply to down characters?

THANKS for sharing!








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BugPope
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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2016, 01:46:19 PM »

Yeah, I had forgotten about Hardboiled. It also turned out the rule was more powerful than I intended. I want an Ability that's situational but not useless, something that can be useful even on a weaker character like an Ally or Follower. So I'm scrapping that, and now I'm trying out a whole new rule for the effect:

Constrict (mk II)
Level 1 Ability
Any enemy character that attempts to do a Dodge Move away from this character in close combat must first pass a Random Peril. If they pass, they can Dodge Move as normal. If they fail, they remain in base contact and take hits according to the Peril.

There's probably a better way to put it, but I think this rule will work better for the effect I want. Put it on a strong character, and it can become a useful way to make the enemy stay put long enough for you to finish them off. Put it on an Ally or Follower, and they have a chance of delaying the enemy for a moment. I'll need to playtest this, but what do you think?

Another rule I've been thinking about for a while, to solve a few problems I have with the rules. I love monsters, animals and other stuff that fights with tooth, claws and whatever else they have. I also have a habit of giving leagues little animal Followers if I have a single slot over. However, it often becomes cumbersome to have to give everything Animal. Especially if I want to have something like a pet raven: as a Follower in a League without the Animals perk, I'd have to choose between either making a raven that can't fly, or a raven that can somehow shoot! So here's something I'm going to test out:

Close Combatant (Optional Kit)
Add +1d to one of your skills. You have no Shoot skill. This kit can not be given to a Character with the Animal ability.

Nothing fancy, it's literally just a slightly worse Animal that doesn't use up ability or perk slots. Also useful for settings where it's common to not carry ranged weapons.

And finishing off with something that I whipped up because I felt there should be some way to represent pilots and the like. Still a first draft:

Pilot
Level 1 Ability
Once a turn, you may re-roll a Control Check for a vehicle driven by this character.

Simple but feels fair, at least at first glance.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2016, 04:30:35 PM by BugPope » Logged
d phipps
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2017, 12:42:10 AM »

Here are a few new Pulp Alley abilities we have been playtesting for our Lemuria campaign book. Please feel free to try them out and let us know what you think ---

Sneaky (1) -- To spot this character, the opponent must win the opposed check by rolling more Cunning successes than your number of Finesse successes. If the opponent fails to roll more successes, then the Sneaky character is not spotted.


Unseen (1) -- This ability can be selected for Followers and Allies only. This character is never deployed at the start of a scenario. Once per scenario, you may place this character on the table whenever you have the option to activate a character. The character must be placed within 6 of your Leader or within your normal deployment area for this scenario. The Unseen character cannot move or perform any action on the turn they are placed, but may attack/fight as normal.


Beast (1) --
You cannot perform any actions. Select two of the following abilities at no additional cost: Animal, Aquatic, Big, Mindless, Relentless, Speedy.


Goon (1) -- You cannot perform any actions. Select two of the following abilities at no additional cost: Brute, Fierce, Marksman, Sharp, Slam, Trick.



Your questions, feedback and suggestions are welcome.

As always, it is important to understand that these abilities may change as we continue playtesting.


HAVE FUN

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FramFramson
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2017, 03:18:49 AM »

Oh those are neat! Love those pure-combat skills! You could make a VERY dangerous league with those... leading to opposing leads playing an avoidance game where they race to grab plot points while staying away from trouble. Would make make for a very interesting variation!
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blacksoilbill
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2017, 08:18:04 AM »

Yes, love the look of Beast and Goon. Could be very nasty!
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kerrygray8
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« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2017, 01:55:05 PM »

Slightly on a tangent (as its not about 'Abilities') I have been pondering some house rules for Experience.

I have played a LOT of Bloodbowl over the years, where recording a player's stats (TDs, casualties, etc) is both (a) required for league play; and (b) occasionally interesting and / or amusing (e.g. "This Lineman has played 22 games and achieved precisely nothing except a smashed ankle...."). So, for Pulp Alley I like the idea of recording similar info for League members - e.g. number of opponents taken down; number of Plot Points captured, etc.

In addition, my games of PA are likely to be infrequent (indeed, I have played precisely zero games so far......... but like all good gamers that doesn't stop me thinking about tinkering with the rules  Grin) so I thought I'd try and build in a slight increase in advancement speed.

So, my idea is this: every time a League member puts an opponent down (I think down, rather than out.....) or captures a Plot Point, this is recorded on their card / record sheet - I have arbitrarily decided to call these achievements Development Points (DPs) as a nod to my 'wasted' youth playing epic Rolemaster campaigns.....

When a League member reaches a certain number of DPs, they earn 1 Experience Point (which can only be used by that model - either immediately or saved up). Now, it is obviously going to be easier for Leaders to earn DPs than Followers, so my thinking is that Leaders would need 40 DPs for each additional Experience Point; Sidekicks 30; Allies 20 and Followers 10. Obviously these amounts may need tweaking when I discover it will actually take 142 games of PA to really notice this house rule having any effect  Cheesy
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Wolf Girl
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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2017, 03:16:13 AM »

We're having lots of fun with the new abilities. Currently we're playtesting about 20 different ones but I know Dad will trim the list down before long.  Shocked  Laugh


Quote
So, my idea is this: every time a League member puts an opponent down (I think down, rather than out.....) or captures a Plot Point, this is recorded on their card / record sheet - I have arbitrarily decided to call these achievements Development Points (DPs).....

Kerrygray8, looks cool. We playtested something that looked a lot that this idea before releasing Pulp Alley and it was interesting. We ended up going with a different idea but that doesn't mean this won't work even better for you.  Wink
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Mila Phipps, Pulp Girl
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« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2017, 06:37:17 PM »

THANKS guys. Glad you like the new abilities. More to come........  Wink
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blacksoilbill
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« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2017, 04:28:55 AM »

Thinking about abilities. Is there any room for something like 'Animal' for gangs? I'd love to run some Brawl only gangs!
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gary42
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« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2017, 07:48:50 PM »

I use "Animal" for people all the time.  Kung Fu fighters and Bowery Boys! 
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