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...


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

The Dean's Scientists

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.”


  1. I've got the solo deck 'in transit' and being a solo only player can't wait to see how they pan out with my characters and their stats. If need be, I'll modify the hell out of them. lol Cheers.

  2. Very cool! THANKS for posting. It is great seeing your terrain and figures in action. Really enjoy the stories too.

    Yes, Quirk of Fate is also intended to end The Storm effect.


  3. I love your stories John their class.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Great looking scenario! Your figures and terrain go together well in your games.
    You have inspired me to design and try a VSF PULP game with my FUBAR rules...thanks!

  6. Jolly good stuff, what? I like seeing the Solo deck in use, as I'll probably buy it for my own games.

  7. Nice write up. Plot point failure doesn't trigger a recovery roll since there's no injury; unless the solo rules are different. I don't have them yet.

  8. Looks great! I'm looking forward to a couple of solo games now, as we have played through the Perilous Island campaign. Have to make a new league, though, and opponents. The joy!