Tag Archives: theme

CC’s Free Pulp RPG core pulls together

Like the Blob our plans are coming together and no amount of pump-action shells or nitrogen based coolants are slowing it down, so don’t even try!

This week we have been working hard to bring you the core mechanics of the Pulp RPG. As we draw nearer to the completion of the core rules we’re happy to report that our minds are already racing towards the modules, which will bring the game to life.

Our promised “Chasing Zombie Hitler Through Panama In 1948” module will be the focus of our designing endeavors over the next few weeks, but first we’re going to give you a sneak peak into the core mechanics of the game.

The core mechanics will act as the skeleton crew, with adventure modules fleshing out the rest of the mechanics to round off the game. This helps us design a game which is different for the various eras of adventures we’re bringing to you, yet making a switch from one game to another effortless for the players and GM alike.

Our eras will cover all sorts of pulp titles, ranging from a million years BC, the sword & sorcery age, through to modern times and beyond, into the land of martians, creature-features and all the best that the silver screen ever brought to us.

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So, our alpha stage system, what’s it like?

We’re using the iconic six sided dice.

Why?

Because just about anyone who has looked at a board game in their life knows what we’re talking about. Chances are they have spare ones and we like that you don’t need to go out and spend some cash on getting fancy dice (well, unless you want to).

No need to add up those dice or handle too much mathematics!

Players will create pools of six-sided dice (D6) based on one of four attributes; physical, intellect, charm and luck. Characters will also add dice for having relevant skills, or no skill dice at all!

The GM sets the difficulty of the task the character is trying to perform as a number to get on one or more dice. Success is measured on how many of those dice score equal to or more than the difficulty. Here’s an example:

Tom raider Jones is leaping to roll under a falling stone door. He is quite athletic with 4 dice in his physical attribute. The games master (GM) say’s the rock door is falling fast but the gap is quite wide still, Jones will need to roll 4 or better on any of his dice.

Jones jumps – the player rolls his 4D6 and scores: 2, 3, 4 & 4. Jones makes the jump, rolling two successes on his dice (the 4s). With each success dice, the positive effect is amplified, the opposite is done for rolling 1s!

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That’s about all we’re willing to share for today, but over the next few days we’ll be posting about character creation, competitive rolling, initiative and combat, along with some snippets from our first adventure module.

We’ll keep you posted, but check back for more exciting action from CC’s Pulp RPG!

Why you should try Tales from the Loop…

2017 – Sweden

Are you ready to return to that (your) age of wonder?

Since 2011, Fria Liga (Free League), have released a host of interesting and unique RPGs. Their latest, Things from the Flood (TFTL) has a massive 2.79 million Krona pledged of their 100,000 Krona goal. They’re doing great!

So great, Fria Liga have won a guh’Jillion awards already. Shiny gold ones, too.

Based on the strange technology inspired artwork from Simon Stalenhag, TFTL is a retro RPG set in the “80’s that never was” complete with elements of Stranger Things, ET and perhaps even the Goonies.

After the completion of an underground particle accelerator in 1969, things start to get weird. Machines start to populate the landscape and unusual events pull you away from your family life.

You start the game playing as kids in a juvenile and private era of wonder, exploration and mystery. The secretive world of kids on the loose… are yours again.

There’s no death in TFTL – you just get too old and leave for your adult life of humdrum – but there are still dangers.

So why is it good and why should you try it?

The primary element of play-ability is that you play a child… again. Let’s say your character is 10 years old – hey you can role-play that already, you were there once! The concept is much easier to comprehend than playing a 300-year-old elven wizard in a culture you’ve never seen before!

I’m agreeing with Fria Liga; this game is newbie safe.

The adventures are more like mysteries in which the characters have to solve the enigma in a world that is only slightly different from our own. I think Stranger Things is a good way of looking at it.

Check out some of the art work:

my old volvo

And as ever, it gets better.

2018 – Things from the Flood.

So, it’s a decade later, you’re now in your teenage years and life is different. You’re growing up, changing not just in yourself but in a world that is rapidly developing. And the dark waters have risen.

Things from the Flood brings new elements of danger and “raises the stakes” to Fria Liga’s previous game.

I wonder if they’re going to go all the way into retirement?

With familiar iconic archetypes such as the outsider and the party animal (available in the Kickstarter project) you’ll not be in over your head for character concepts.

The Kickstarter is still open with just a week left to go.

Grab your copy for about £30 (not including the postage) with the extra bits for backing the Kickstarter project and seek out those mysteries!

I’m waiting eagerly to see how it goes!

TFTF book cover

Escape the Dark Castle – A game to introduce people to your hobby

It’s like a gateway drug.

You’ll want to play it with your friends, even your friends not into gaming. Then they’ll want to play it more, and before you know it, it’ll all be your fault they can’t stand the sunlight and hiss at passing cats.

2017…

Themeborne, an independent group of game developers based in Nottingham, UK, kicked off their new endeavour with the amazing Escape the Dark Castle – frankly, one the coolest games you can learn to play, and teach your newbie mates.

An elegant cooperative card game you’ll want to play / smash in the face again and again.

I’ll get to telling you why shortly, but first, let’s meet the gang.

Thomas Pike, games writer and critic; Alex Crispin, designer, illustrator and mask wearer also a musician and composer (guess that’s where the cassette tape came from); and James Shelton, co-designer with experience in film making (he did the promotional trailer).

Escape the Dark Castle (EDC) was successfully funded on Kickstarter at the end of June 2017, gaining a cool 2119 backers and smashing their £11K target with nearly £90K pledged.

What made it so good?

The game. Duh.

EDC puts you in the shoes of one of the several medieval citizens imprisoned in the Dark Castle, the cook, the smith and so on. Each character has particular strengths in one of three attributes; Might, Cunning and Wisdom.

Each character has a single special dice which they roll when the time comes and the combined rolls of all the characters determines their success or failure of certain goals in their epic escape.

You find loot, special items, magical googaws and the iconic GOLDEN AXE (which can backfire a little) which was available to Kickstarter backers and will be made available again in the upgrade box.

etDC Kit

The theme of the game is very much 1980’s fantasy – the artwork is black ink on white, reminiscent of the glorious Hero Quest days when artists couldn’t afford paints and printing technologies were not as they are now (it also explains the cassette tape bonus on the Kickstarter project, retro). The art, the concept tape and the amusing 80’s style trailer all add to that nostalgic feel – rekindling some long-forgotten childhood memories (which I embrace).

Trapdoor
Ahh, memories…

Here’s some tasty boasting from the Kickstarter which I can confirm, having the played the game extensively… the perfect selling points are:

  • Its super quick to setup, learn and play (you can go at your own pace though!)
  • It doesn’t exclude totally new players to the game, the genre or the hobby. The rules are that efficient.
  • It’s a totally social game – no one gets left out, most age groups can play it and enjoy it fully, and you can drink tea, eat biscuits or get smashed on looted grog.
  • It’s random each game, so you’ll never play the exact same game twice.
  • It’s actually hard. I think we win on average 25% of the time. There will always be a crux moment where you realise that the game just got much harder to do!

EDC does all of these things, and I can’t wait to play it by candle light on a stormy night in the middle of winter and feel that sweet cosiness.

And what is even better, there’s already an expansion out, Cult of the Death Knight!

Escape the Dark Castle is priced at around £30, with the expansion a pleasant £15 available on the Theme Borne website or your local retailers.

2018 AND IT GETS BETTER!

They are currently working on their latest Kickstarter which is due to ship sometime this year.

There’re 2 more expansions – Scourge of the Undead Queen and Blight of the Plague Lord.

Watch this space!