Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Encounter at El-Birbir

The word was out that many weird and valuable antiquities were showing up at El-Birbir . . . the former habitation for the mad-inventor, Maximilian Wonderof . . . and so a number of adventurous groups were headed there.

El-Birbir and environs
 Speculation abounded that Wonderof had developed a device capable of locating valuables.

Any such device would probably be housed in the local fort . . . so a night-time attempt at a snatch was indicated.

Three groups chanced to come to El-Birbir under a full moon.

First was "The Dark Fire", a red-robed cult (run by Pete).  They, of course, were primarily interested in some of the dark relics such as the ancient tomes of foul magics.

But it was treasure that attracted the attention of a group of Gangsters known as "Capo Condottiera's Casa" (or CCC for short).  They were led by Silvio, one of Condottiera's chief lieutenants.   (Murdock ran these Gangsters).

Finally were those bastions of goodness and righteousness, "Winchester, Smith and Weston" (run by myself).  They wished to end the wanton desecration of ancient sites and the sale of antiquities.

Rules were "Pulp Alley" with a slight variation added by me.  I added some wandering guards who acted as mobile perils.  They and for 3" around them were deemed "perilous areas".

There were six regular guards (numbered 1 to 6).  "One" patrolled the upper level of the fort; "two" circled the outside of the fort; guards "three" through "six" started out in the areas around the fort.  In addition the Captain of the Guard patrolled randomly.

The way I worked this was simple.  At the start of each turn and every time a "plot point" was attained (or lost), I'd have the caller roll 2d6 and the numbers rolled would each move randomly (1d12" and an arrow die for direction).  If "doubles" were rolled on the dice, that guard would move and two more d6 would be rolled and moved.  In addition the Captain of the Guard would also move.

My League deploys with a plot point in view . . . *sigh*
 In this photo you can see the sentry and Captain of the Guard just leaving the fort.

Another guard is seen not far from the documents (plot point) on the right side of the photo.

Sadly I lost four of my six characters in trying to recover the documents (which twice turned out to be Red Herrings . . . *sigh*).  I never did acquire a plot point and so couldn't try for Wonderof's Device.

Early in the game.  Dark Fire to the right; Gangsters on the left.
Pete's Cultists gained (then ultimately lost) two plot points (the Death Cult Tome and a hoard of Golden Artifacts).

Meanwhile Murdock's Gangsters captured, then lost, then captured, then lost and ultimately captured a final time The Ivory Dagger plot point . . . my leader, Ted Winchester and his wife, Sue, kept shooting the Thugs holding the Dagger . . . *smile*.

Sadly though they kept hold of that plot point even though the threat of the Winchester's shooting prevented Silvio from attempting the major plot point of the Wonderof's Device.

The Winchesters faced a constant stream of Gangsters.
Of the 21 characters to start the game, only 5 remained on their feet at game's end . . . uh, it is possible that some of us were more fixated on eliminating each other than getting that final main plot point . . . but we had fun!

-- Jeff


  1. Hey Jeff,

    Great setup! How are you finding these rules? Would you recommend them? How about for solo gaming? They're sitting on my wish list but i haven't pulled the trigger yet.



  2. John,

    The rules are great and very flexible . . . but they are not really set up for solo gaming. You can get a free "quick start version" of the rules (link below), which explain play but not how you build a league (i.e., your gang). but they do give a pretty good overall . . . certainly enough to decide if you want to go further with Pulp Alley.

    There is quite a lot of info and After Action Reports on TMP, Lead Adventure Forum and the Pulp Alley Forum:

    Hope that this helps, sir.

    -- Jeff