The basic game mechanic of Pulp Quest can look complex at first glance but is in fact quite simple once you use it. One of the strengths of the system is that numbers can increase indefinitely without the game falling apart in the math department. Without further ado here is the gist of it:

Look up your score for your intended action. Compare this number with the number of the opposition. Check table (which you will have memorized in no time). Roll six sided die.

To succeed
Roll 2+ if your score is double that of the opposition.
Roll 3+ if your score is higher than the opposition’s.
Roll 4+ if the scores are equal.
Roll 5+ if your score is lower than the opposition’s.
Roll 6+ if your score is half (or worse) of the opposition’s.

I don’t care much for tables but I’ll make an exception for this particular game mechanic. The reason is two fold:

First this mechanic allows for a simple comparison of numbers with no modifications or subtractions, and yet most rolls will succeed at 3+ (the sweet spot of all die rolls).

Secondly this mechanic allows me to include a sublime rule of character improvement. -The Insight point.
By showing up at the game players receive 1 IP each. The IP can be used to turn a failed die roll into a successful one AND raise the pertinent stat by 1. Yes, when push comes to shove you force success and improve at the same time.

This organic improvement model makes characters excel at the in-game important stuff and not just what looks best on paper. Now, will you focus your IP on one schtick or will you be a Jack of All Trades? Only by playing the game will you find out.


Check Your Head

Posted: 07/21/2011 in 3. Check Your Head

I have a favorite model that I think will be great as a character in Pulp Quest. A friend of mine offered to paint it for me as my ability is not quite as impressive as that of my friend’s. Let’s have a look at the model, shall we. What we have here is a Reaper of Alahan from the discontinued Ragnar√∂k game from Rackham. I adore the look of this guy. Now, in a steampunk setting the reaper is a bit anachronistic but I’ve got an idea. This is the personal body guard of some back water French count. Due to complications in the count’s personal life this trusty old guardsman is somewhat free to roam in this brave new world. I’m going to have to think about a name for this character. In order to discern what his abilities are I’m going to have to examine the model and cross-reference a list of traits. In order not to overwhelm you with detail I’m going to do the head first.

List of Traits (Head)

Bald: Discipline +1
Right ear visible: Awareness +1
Left ear visible: Awareness +1
Short hair: Leadership +1
Long hair (doo): Charisma +2
Long hair (unkempt): Feral +1
Long and short hair (mullet): Cunning +1
Head band (laurels, crown or high collar): Leadership +2
Helmet: Toughness +1
Hood (including cape): Stealth +1
Masked face (disguise or mask): Cunning +3
Mask (face protected): Stealth +3
Jewelery: Wealth +1
Hat: Skill +1
Beard (with or without moustache): Knowledge +1
Moustache (no beard): Leadership +1
Scar: Bestiality +1
Fangs: Bestiality +2
Horns: Bestiality +2
Skull (undead):  Bestiality +2

All I need to do now is check the head for features on the list and jot down the corresponding ability scores. Let’s see: My french aristocratic body guard is balding and has short hair.

Discipline +1
Leadership +1

Also both ears are visible. Only one of them are shown on the picture, but trust me. If the ears had been hidden by the hair or a hat I would not have gotten the awareness ability. The logic being since the sculptor took the time to model the ears he wanted the model to hear well. Have look at a couple of your own miniatures. Ranger models show ears and knights do not.

Awareness +1
Awareness +1

It might seem strange to list them both but according to the rules (not mentioned yet) several instances of the same ability adds up like this: -Pick the highest ability score of a certain type and add 1 for each extra instance of that ability. I’ll wait to add up Awareness since I could get more as I list more traits from the model’s entire body.

The sideburns don’t count as a beard (use your own judgement in case you stumble into a grey area). Other than that my character does not have jewelery or a hat nor does he have fangs or horns. I guess I’m one of the good guys.

In the next article I’ll show you how to decode the right arm. For now I’m satisfied my character seems to be a focused and take charge kind of man. I’ll call him Janoux Garde du Corps.

While browsing the internet or when lovingly painting your miniatures you might start envisioning what it would be like to be this character in a role-playing game. Pulp Quest is set “in the age of steam” which roughly translates to the 18th or 19th century. This means most models out there can be part of the great adventure this game has to offer. In Pulp Quest a bare-chested barbarian can coexist with a gun-toting suffragette! Keep an ear open towards your fellow gamers as to what exactly is appropriate in your game. Pick a model you think is great, and sell the idea to your peers. Remember in the fancy world of pulp and steampunk just about anything is possible. Dinosaurs! Time-travel! Revolution!

This is a game of conflicted heroism in a uchronic age of steam. In Pulp Quest your character’s traits and abilities are derived from the attributes of a miniature model chosen by you. True to the pulp genre anything goes and the miniature set to represent you can be chosen from the ranges of the many talented sculptors active around the world. This blog will help you decipher your model as well as kickstart a game of role-playing steampunk for you, your friends and your Game Master. Full steam ahead!