Monday, March 20, 2017

Ackerley Returns

It has indeed been a very long time between drinks since I last posted any Pulp Alley Adventures.  Sadly my life continues in a downward spiral and I just have been unable to find the enthusiasm to get back into my former swing of things.  With my wife now loosing her job, things have gotten even harder in this household, so I'll try not to bore you anymore with my trivial life worries.

So Ackerley has been on a bit of a holiday, which means my grasp and recall of the rules is.... at best dodgy, so it's going to take me a while to get back into the swing of things.  Hopefully my storey telling will make up for the lacklustre rules explanations until I'm up to speed.  So without any more preamble it's storey time....

A Storey...

The gentlemans club which Ackerley and his chums were members of was secreted off Brompton Road in Knightsbridge.  It's clientele were select members of society most noted for their eccentricities and well padded cheque books than who they might be nobby with, though that did help.  The Bored Boars Club was both envied and reviled within society, it really depended on whether any of the members had done you a turn or you had been done in turn by any of the members.

It was a typical summer downpour in London, the already dim smoking room where Ackerley had seated himself was darker than usual.  He had just found THE comfy chair! The smoking room had dozens of plush chairs suitable to take ease in, but only one was THE comfy one.  The staff took great delight in swapping the chairs around everyday to ensure that the chair was never in the same place twice.  This game of finding the chair was a marvellous game for members and wagers were placed when members entered as to whether they could find the chair. Any Member foolish enough to be found marking the chair in anyway to allow them to find the chair in future visits would be immediately stripped of their membership, as well as suffering a humiliating defrocking ceremony involving a badger, a pound of goose fat, a slice of lemon and a croquet mallet.  Best not to dwell to long on those thoughts I'd wager.

So Ackerley has finally found THE chair and had settled in nicely.  The rain was beating itself against the windows creating a rhythm most relaxing, the low murmurs from the other members just low enough not to register as detailed conversations, the head waiter had just brought him a double malt scotch, when as the story requires it... an interruption occurs!

From outside the room could be heard some commotion and raised voices.  There was definitely the sound of broken crockery, glassware, hmm sounded like a sideboard, some chairs.

The other Members looked over at Ackerley with pitying looks, they had given it before a number of times.  The doors to the room opened and the Manager briskly entered, only hobbling slightly as he did so.

"Lord Banning I'm sorry to disturb you..."

"Ackerely" came the screech from outside!  The soundproofing doing little to deaden that voice.

"but I must ask you again to remind your mother that this is a Gentleman's Club and that woman are not permitted to enter." 

Ackerley reached into his jacket pocket, took out his wallet, removed a 10 Pound note and gave it to the Manager.

"I'm sorry you've been dealt an unwarranted blow to your... self esteem Giles.  Please put the repair bill on my account and i'll settle it at the end of the month."

"Ackerley! Get out here you ungrateful spawn." There followed a meaty thud and a high pitch gasp.

"If you would hurry m'Lord, I running out of staff who can restrain her and I would rather the other members not be disturbed any further by her presence."

Ackerley strode down the hallway towards the entrance, on his way the billiards room door opened and Barrington Mallory stuck his head out to see what the commotion was about, Looked to his right be saw his friend and smiled which quickly vanished though upon seeing Ackerleys expression.  He then looked left, saw what was in that direction and promptly disappeared back into the room, telegraphing his condolences by facial expression to his chum.

Ackerley came to halt in front of the now silent and still ensemble.  An elderly woman was pinned by two hulking staff while a third was in a foetal position rocking back and forth, clearly in agony but not issuing a sound of complaint.

Ackerley sighed, taking out his wallet he lent over the prostate man and gave him a fiver from it before swiftly coming erect and rounding with disdain on his mother.

"Mother, you know quite well the rules, yet you continue to flaunt them and bring our name to shame, which you so often lecture me is of such dire need of rescue! Now why are you here?"

He gestured to the club staff to remove themselves and gripping his mothers arm took her out into the pouring rain.  He had a change of clothes here at the club, the old hag would have to return home soaked.

Lady Wisharts face soured with the removal to the outdoors but knew she had pushed her son as far as was possible, especially as it was she who needed the favour this time.  Putting a tepid smile on her pale and cadaverous face she said.

"Baroness Cawfowl, a good friend of your father," her smile faltered somewhat at this, perhaps the rumours of there being more to their friendship was true? "has asked us a favour, or more precisely a favour of you as your fathers son!" Yes she was beginning to think there was more to their relationship. "One of her tenants a noted scientist has left and he has left his animals loose on a property she leased to him.  Normally this would not be an issue one such as you would need to be involved with, but so far four teams of groundsmen have been lost, I believe eaten by the creatures.  She'd like this taken care of discretely, and..."

Ackerley's mind was wandering while his mother was speaking this request.  He remembered Baroness Cawfowl or Aunty Lizzy as he knew her rather fondly.  A lovely woman, kind, beautiful... the exact opposite to his mother.  His father always spent a lot of time at Aunt Lizzies...

"Yes Mother, I'll go, I'm sure the lads will love the chance to bag a new trophy.  Where is this property, somewhere foreign I take it?"

"No dear boy, it's here in London.  The ruined chemical and munition warehouses that blew up in the war, well they were never rebuilt.  The locals claim the chemicals have changed those who live there. Might be why that Moreau person leased the property from her."

"Moreau you say, that name sounds familiar?"

"Well if that doesn't, then I should tell you that the Dean has been spotted in the area.  I sure you don't want him benefiting from anything do you now?"

"Damn right I don't! Of you go mother, tell Baroness Cawfowl we'll deal with the problem at once."

Ackerley pushed his mother forcefully further into the rain and onto the road, and quickly dashed back into the warmth and safety of the club.  He threw the bolts on the door just as a precaution, you never could trust the hag to stay out.

Now for a warm bath, change of clothes a feed and tomorrow morning an adventure in London!


The adversaries...

Moreau's left over creatures, the ones he left behind... or did he?

Ah, Ackerley appears to have found a bear!

Batty takes on Project X and makes a stirling job of... nothing.

The Dean spends much of the adventure directing Hagar in the pursuit of happiness?
No it was the complete opposite, no specimen caught at all!

Good old reliable Sir Garfield, wait until you see the whites of their eyes.
Bloody thing got that close I could see what poor bastard it had eat last!

Assistant Fu sadly realised he was small enough to fit inside the stomach of
a giant toad/frog, they are still determining the species.

Plant 101 had a bad case of aphids which attracted the giant mantis.

Miss Agenda found the spider, lost her heels in the muck making her exit.

Lady Wishart last seen up to her chin in chemical waste...
no one appeared to be concerned about her safety...


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Story Interlude till the Next Adventure

A Story...

Adalberto sneezed as the dust from his work got into his nasal passages again.  This exhalation led to even more dust rising into the air which led to even more bouts of sneezing.  To whit Adalberto had to retreat blowing his nose noisily into his expensive silken laced monogrammed handkerchief.

“Damn it Berti, you make more noise than those geese outside!” exclaimed Niles as he dumped another batch of scrolls onto the work table.  He lent over the table and opened the window which allowed some fresh air in, but with it came the strong gust of wind, which sent a number of papers to scatter across the room.

Adalberto glared with watery eyes at Niles Starling, and drew his puny frame up into an erect state before a coughing fit hit him again.  Once it was over he said in a breathless voice.

“Mister Niles I must again remind you I am Adalberto de Franangelo, not this Berti you have anglicised.  I insist that you must address me by my correct name if you want my help in deciphering these texts.”

“Oh, all right Berti, if you insist!”

“It is Adalberto, Mister Niles!”  At this Adalberto voice started to rise, his face flushed red and he was on the verge of one of those famous Italian outburst, when... yes you guessed it, an interruption occurred!

The door to the room opened and into the room stepped the hero of these stories, none other than Lord Ackerley Wishart, accompanied by Sir Garfield Talbot and Barrington Mallory.  

Adalberto had the wind taken out of his sails and he turned his complaint instead to Lord Wishart.

“Lord Wishart, I am glad you are here.  I cannot work under these appalling conditions.”

Ackerley looked around at the mess on the floor, and of course jumped to the wrong the conclusion.

“I pay you a fraction of a minute fortune to decipher these texts Berti...”

“I am Adalberto de Franangelo!” shouted Adalberto in depesperation and hope that someone in this room of idiots would listen to him.

“Yes, yes, Berti was it...”

Adalberto dropped to his knees wheezing and coughing into his handkichief, “I am Adalberto de Franangelo...” he kept repeating to no one but himself.  Sir Garfield came over and clapped him on the shoulder sympathically and whispered in his ear.

“Don’t fret old boy, yes they are mad as hatters.  Try not to let it get to you.  I know your name, that’s all you need to know Adalberto.  Just ignore them, it helps, otherwise you will go mad.”

“Why are these papers all on the floor for?  I’m not paying you for a sedimentary filing system am I?”

At this Ackerley picked up one of the pages and peered at it.  He then did a double take, clutched the page with both hands and paled visibly to all present.

“Good God, I don’t believe it.  After all these years, I may be finally rid of the hag.”

Looking at the other wondering occupants in the room he smiled and said.

“Right, pick up the rest of the pages on the floor and let’s put this manuscript back together.  We have an adventure of epic proportions to conquer and an evil to put to eternal rest.”

Things have been rather unsettled at home these past few weeks.  I'd been involved in a neighbours home invasion and had a knife pulled on me.  My daughters long term relationship broke up and I've had to change all the locks on the house, and a number of other things that prey on your mind when you have to worry about the baser nature of humanity and how they may affect you and your family and home.  Once things have returned to some sort of normality and I can find my sanity (not that there was any there to start with) I'll share some more adventures in due course.  So enjoy the precursor story I had worked on before the unpleasantness hit my life.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Into the Horror of it all!

How did I manage to miss this!???


The Horror Deck for Pulp Alley!

Well have no fear (oh dear a pun), I am here and shall remedy this with an adventure in due course.  Will have a rummage through my monster collection, while I have some Cthulhu games, none of them are any of the newer one with the nice monsters....  might have to mug invite some friends who have the games over.  Sadly I think they may smell a rat though.

So I've printed off my cards, and shall have a muse.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Introduction Video - Will it work?

Well here is an introduction video.  Just a test to see if everyone can see it, hear it.

Please leave comments, can you understand me is the all important question I need answered!


Hello Video

Cheers

John

Monday, August 15, 2016

Pulp Alley SOLO AAR - The Lost Idol

It's adventure time again.  With some of the changes with abilities I've made the reluctant decision to "retire" a character, but only for the solo adventures.  Don't fear Jabari will return, he's only being replaced for the moment by the Mother from Hell.  We all have them, God know I had one.

The Temple board that will be this adventures storyboard.
The treasures, yes treasures this time.  Ackerley at the insistence of his Mother, and most notably his wife, has got to replenish the family coffers.  This means a bit of dodgy temple looting, something that Ackerley is some what hesitant to do, but does in a pinch.

The Major Plot.  This ugly, multi-eyed monstrosity is the local tribes forgotten deity.  Long forgotten by the locals it sits forgotten and neglected, passing the years wondering when someone will come worship it again, or some foolish pagan desecrate it's temple.  Oh and it just happens to be made out of solid gold, so not much chance of carrying that off in a hurry.  Thankfully the eyes are exceedingly rare and beautiful jewels that can be easily removed from their soft golden statue.  Beware the curse though....





A Minor Plot.  Thankfully it would appear to be the run of the standard gold, trinkets.... bones?  What can that mean?  Surely nothing dangerous can be lurking in this pile of perfectly harmless treasure?








A Minor Plot.  Lots of scrolls, perhaps a map to a secret treasure trove, a lost sonet, the last will and testament of Auntie May.  That rat may be a problem?  Surely not, there is only one of it, isn't there!








A Minor Plot.  More scrolls?  Honestly was this place a temple or a library?  We came here to find loot, hard currency.  Oh well, it's sure to be worth something to someone.  Maybe the skull might have some answers?  Actually?  Why is there a skull lying here by the way?







A Minor Plot.  Ah, some hard currency that is easily convertible!  It's a bit blurry, surely it's not an illusion?  A trap, did someone shout trap....









Below if you haven't spotted or read elsewhere in my blog are the opponents of Ackerley - The Scientists of The Dean!

Here is the link to the SOLOs, the opponents!

A Storey...

“Ackerley!”

The cry echoed throughout the entire manor, penetrating every room, it woke every inhabitant, startled the unwary, stopped all from what they were doing – all bar one (of course).  It was the voice of doom, the chill timbre of the grave, the weight of ages, the prophet of doom.

Ackerley Wishart continued working on his memoirs in his study, he was immune to that voice.  The slow and steady footsteps came closer to his study, a dragging sound accompanying it.  Oh dear, he thought who had she caught this time?

The door crashed open to reveal the ancient and withered frame of the Dowager Lady Wishart, grasped in her talon like left hand the neck scruff of the unconscious Jabari whom she had clearly dragged some distance with little effort.  

“Hello Mother,” Ackerley said without paying any real attention to her.

“Hello Mother!  Is that all you have to say Ackerley!  Is that all you can say after you left me on that god awful rock in the Northern Hebrides in the middle of winter - with no way back.  Dilbert would never have done that.”

“No mother,” he said looking up and glaring at her “Dilbert would have stabbed you in the back and buried you in an unmarked grave.”

“How dare you speak of him such.  He was such a caring boy, not like you – you spiteful...”

“Mother! Dilbert was a coward, a traitor and has been dead since 1916. Because of him father is dead and I’ve been lumbered with YOU!  Now what have you done to Jabari, put him down and how the hell did you get off that rock?”

“I swam you ungrateful spawn!”

“In the middle of winter! ”  

Ackerley was truly impressed and aghast at this; clearly the old revenant was as immortal as he thought she was.  That bloody Egyptian curse...

“Yes it was brisk and embracing.  The locals thought I was some banshee when I came out of the North Sea and they legged it.  I had a good laugh, more so as I helped myself to the contents of their cottages, seeing you left me no worldly goods.”

Ah yes thought Ackerley, you always were a grasping opportunistic old cow when it came to other people’s property.  It was why you married father after all, poor old blighter he thought, rest in peace.

“Ackerley I won’t beat around the bush with you.  That rock you stranded me on was an old Pict standing and there was a burial mound there.  I of course had a look..”

“You mean you looted it Mother, say what you mean.”

“I had a look Ackerely.  To loot it would mean that there was something there to take, there wasn’t so therefore I did not loot.  However I did find a map and directions to a temple complex which looks very promising.  Lots of glory for you, and money for me and I’m sure your wife will be more than filled with joy to hear that!  By the way how are your finances...”

“Okay Mother, where  is this place then?”

“On one condition, I’m coming and leave this weak kneed chap behind.  Mind you the moths were pretty, were they anything special, I noticed the staff running away when his hat fell off?”

The Game:
The game flowed quickly this time as I was more aquainted with the cards and the quirks of play style.  The Decoy card only came up once, which meant that the game extended only to turn seven this time, phew!
My only criticism I can find at this time is the level of difficulty.  My Leader and Sidekick can face down virtually all the challenges that are thrown at them, and the Major and Minor plots are not of any concern to them at all.  So much so that I am now considering only sending Allies and Followers to attempt Plots for the challenge. I'll play some more games, but there is no "threat" level, especially for the major players.  As I said, still early days, I may be missing something, but I still need to say that the deck is solid and plays well.
Quirk of Fate does not cancel The Storm (that's how I interpreted it).

The temple.  The Dean and Concept X in a good position to size the prize!

Well it was a good position.  The Dean dodges away momentarily due to unwanted attention (and numbers).

Clearly the plots on top of buildings was a good idea.

Dowager Wishart takes out The Dean. Niles is down.

Assistant Fu stuffing his pockets with loot.

Batty hiding, thankfully the Foul Play card came to his rescue! taking care of Plant 101.

The individuals who secured the plots hid and refused to take part in the rest of the game.

Garfield goes down. The Dowager takes on Concept X.

Ackerley legs it, hoping his mother gets it this time!
Reanimate was interesting.  It literally stopped so much hurt on the Dowager and literally saved the day in the combat stakes.  It tied up The Dean and Concept X, otherwise the Major Plot would have been taken in Turn 2/3.
Again I don't know if it was just my luck (which has always been abysmal and is well known and documented) but the tests were low usually 1 or 2 and usually on skills that I could make.  If I didn't I then at least had a recovery test.  I guess having had played against brutal human opponents the "kinder" solo style play is perhaps something I've got to get used to.  I'm not complaining, oh wait I am... oh just ignore me!

Lord Wishart's Adventurers
5vp

The Dean's Scientists
2vp


A Storey ...

Back at base camp Barrington and Eberhard were piling the scrolls and manuscripts carefully into an old military campaign trunk. Both were looking rather sorry with themselves, they had heard that Miss Agenda and Fu and found a fortune in gold and gems. Garfield was tending his and Niles wounds while watching in amusement as Ackerley attempted to brew himself a cup of tea over the camp fire.

“Dash it all, I miss having Jabari about, at least he knew how to brew a decent cuppa!”

A brittle and cold voice cut through the camp, of which a still sparking metal leg also sailed cutting the air, landing squarely in the fire causing a shower of sparks to erupt, and for Ackerley to pace back a step.

“Where are they! Give them to me!”

“Still alive I see Mother, how disappointing.”

“No thanks to you, you ungrateful spawn.  I saw you legging it once you had the gems, now show me them.”

Her eyes had lit up with avarice and greed; it was the Egyptian curse of course.  It was what powered her unnatural life.  Ackerley sighed, much as he hated his mother with a passion, he could not raise a hand to harm her or withhold from her.  However, he didn’t have to give her everything...

“Here you go Mother, your share of the spoils.”

He handed her two of the many gems he had extracted from the idol.  He was still wearing his gloves, even in this heat; he was always prudent when it came to handling artefacts of unknown providence.

The Dowager snatched them from him, eyed them with suspicion, expecting him to have switched them for some common gems.  She then held them up to the sun and watched the light shine through them, then without any hesitation, popped them into her mouth, crunched them, then swallowed.

“That will do for now Ackerley, but you had better do better.  Now let me make the tea dear before you burn yourself.”





Saturday, August 13, 2016

Meet the SOLOs

With the release of the Solo Deck and rules for Pulp Alley I've come up with the SOLOs.  Okay they may have originally been designed as a League as can been seen with The Dean but I'm not going to tweak him to fit into Solo mode.  SO without ado here is the bot's!

The Dean
Leader

Brawl
2
d
8
Shoot
2
d
8
Dodge
3
d
10
Might
3
d
10
Finesse
3
d
10
Cunning
3
d
10

Danger Sense: You automatically pass the first peril you encounter each turn.
Deductive: Draw one Fortune card.
Inventor: Before each scenario, when determining Resources, roll your Cunning dice.  You may equip one Gadget or Gear item with a point cost equal or lower than your number of successes.  This roll may not be combined with any other Gear points.

A man before his time they said!  Indeed he was, so much before his time he never got his chance at any time in the job as Dean of Old Weebly College.  This made him bitter, twisted and made him the mad genius he is today... the Mad Genius Before Anyone's Time.  His genius created Concept X, the first mobile analytical device, pity it's as mad as it creator.

Concept X
Sidekick

Brawl
2
d
8
Shoot
3
d
6
Dodge
3
d
6
Might
2
d
8
Finesse
3
d
8
Cunning
2
d
6

Dread Gaze: Action: Target one enemy anywhere on the table and roll an opposed Finesse check.  If you win, the target may not run or shoot this turn.  Otherwise, there is no effect.
Quick-Witted: Once per turn, shift your Might, Finesse or Cunning dice-type down to gain a +2d bonus to that skill.

The Dean lied about Concept X being a true mechanical construct, he's sort of half right.  The core of Concept X is an organic brain which powers the mechanical components of the mechanical man.  Not just any brain but the brain of the man who denied The Dean his post at Old Weebly College.  The process left the individual insane but totally loyal to The Dean, go figure?


Hagar Hagarman
Ally

Brawl
1
d
6
Shoot
2
d
6
Dodge
1
d
6
Might
1
d
6
Finesse
1
d
6
Cunning
2
d
6

Burst Fire: Action: Place 3” burst within 12” and line-of-sight.

Hagar is The Dean's test "subject".  He's always willing to test any new device that The Dean comes up with, especially something that makes lots of noise, makes pretty lights or turns laboratory animals inside out or explode.  Needless to say Hagar is not a very nice man, is best not invited to children birthday parties or asked to walk the family pet.


Assistant Fu
Ally

Brawl
-
d
-
Shoot
1
d
6
Dodge
2
d
6
Might
2
d
6
Finesse
2
d
6
Cunning
2
d
6

Sly: Add +1d to your Dodge and +1d to Finesse.  You have no Brawl skill.

A wily oriental of midget proportions.  Rumoured to be the half brother of Manchu the terrible.  Fu spends most of his time trying to get a date with Miss Agenda but his amorous advances do not seem to be succeeding.


Miss Agenda
Ally

Brawl
1
d
6
Shoot
2
d
6
Dodge
1
d
6
Might
1
d
6
Finesse
2
d
6
Cunning
1
d
6

Daredevil: Once per turn, you receive a +1d bonus when rolling for a Peril.

The devil wears Prada so the saying goes and perhaps Miss Agenda does as well.  Not averse to controversy, constantly fending off the amorous advances of Fu, she has an Agenda that only she knows, but just what is it?

Plant 101
Follower


Brawl
2
d
6
Shoot
1
d
6
Dodge
2
d
6
Might
1
d
6
Finesse
1
d
6
Cunning
1
d
6

Animal: Add+1d to two of your skills. You have no Shoot skill.

An unusual plant that The Dean brought back from one of his expeditions to South America.  To his extreme surprise, his cleaner one day came up to him, plant in hand and started to talk to him.  At first he thought it was just the damn impertinence of the cleaner, but then it became clear that it was the plant doing the talking.  It had managed to send it's root system through the skin of the woman, mesh with the nervous system and eventually meld with the brain stem.  The cleaners boyfriend Roger Corman had been asking about her welfare lately, he'd have to have a word with him. After all who'd believe a story of talking plants...

So there we have it, who can spot a bit of culture?  Next up another adventure.