Thanks so much for giving Pulp Alley a try. I really enjoyed reading your review.
Just a little clarification regarding this comment -
"The game does not differentiate between a throwing knife and a SMG... "
When you select your abilities and skills, you are building the full character - including the weapons and equipment they normally carry. If you want a character to have a smg, then you might choose to put more points into Shooting, or pick and ability like Burst Fire or Blast. So if you want something special then it is going to cost a slot.
In your example, you compare Indians armed with bows to ones armed with muskets. Again, this can simply be represented by giving the bow armed Indians 1 or 2 Shoot dice and giving the musket armed Indians 3 Shoot dice. Remember, in Pulp Alley your skill represents your overall combat effectiveness and this is intended to take into account the various advantages/disadvantages of different weapons. By giving the Indians with superior weapons a higher Shoot value you are increasing their likelihood of winning a fight and
increasing the amount of damage they can inflict.
We hope players appreciate the freedom to be a little more creative. For example, if you decide a character's thrown bowler hat has noteworthy stopping power then that's your decision - not a chart.
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I am glad you had fun playing Pulp Alley and I hope we get to see more of your games!