Monday, 7 November 2016

Pulp Alley AAR – The Gate Beyond the Stars Campaign – Professor Arkley’s Manuscript

The Story:
The very established Professor Phineas Arkley has written a series of articles on the relationships between Canaaneic religion, magic in western occultism, natural catastrophes and the influence of intelligence beyond humanity on Middle Eastern cultures. The articles has become more and more bizarre and the latest ones were even refused. 
His very latest unpublished article (Non Euclidic Geometry Cosmology and the excavation of Akkhad VI) is rumoured to contain sensational information that will shake the very bastions of science and history. 
Sinister things happen around Professor Arkley’s mansion, strange lights are seen during the night. The Professor sent a telegram to Logan Sudbury, Chief Publisher at Arkham Press, rambling about threats from an ancient cult that know he has opened The Cosmic Gate.
By coincidence, Anders Einstein was visiting Arkham Press when Logan received the telegram. Anders rightly sees his father as a fraud and here he have a chance to debunk his father’s outrageous theories on relativity. If only Anders can get his hands on those manuscripts, that is.
It seems more groups than Anders Einstein and his companions have the same general idea but maybe different reasons to lay their hands on the fateful article. (Read all about the leagues here)
Enough of this gossip. Let’s move to New England, and the Arkley Mansion.
The major plot-point is the manuscript inside the house. To enter you have to either speak to the minor plot points Elazaar Whately, handyman who stands in front of the house, Dr. Philip Lynott who is on his way towards the front entrance or the housekeeper Mrs Marsh behind the house. These three plot-points will remain in play after someone unlocks them and can be unlocked by several leagues. 
Other plot points is a garden decoration, also behind the house, inscribed with mystic runes (if you unlock this one you will gain a special ability to be used three times in total) and a box of fireworks behind the shed (and if you unlock this one you will get the equivalent of three 3" blast attacks to be used when you feel like you need it)
All plot points in red.
First turn was no-shooting and no-fighting, all leagues just positioned themselves. Albert and friends in orange in lower right, Royal Society lower left in mauve, BOMD middle left in blue, Group T left-middle back in pink and finally HP Castrullecraft and friends right back and yellow. 
The fight starts with a classic well placed Long Burst. Eviline Dark does her dark magic thing on the poor chaps of Group T. 
That was bloody, and it becomes even worse for Group T as HP throws a bomb at the remaining chaps.
 Much applause around the table except from poor Ulf, the owner of Group T. His league is suddenly very low on manpower, and it is just the beginning of turn two.
The imperialists from the Royal Society advances on Mrs Marsh and promptly unlocks her, or rather the information she has. While doing so the also accidentally summons The Hound from Beyond the Stars. That is bad news indeed for everyone
Knowing where the manuscript is they move to the building.
The hound is a Horror and everyone that sees it will have to take a horror check. Most adventurers take it without to much problems but poor Constable Dimir is terrified and runs away screaming. He stops behind a few trees.
A fight starts between some members of the Royal Society and BOMD.
And when Chiang Kai Shreck tries to activiate someone plays the Hostile card on him and the old gardener Jesaia jumps out of a nearby bush...
... and whacks Mr Shreck on the head. Laughter once again at this well placed card. An excellent example on how the cards influence the game and have a real chance of ruining the best laid plans.
Group T gets some revenge as Lieut. Andersson shoots Eviline, and thereby removes the long burst.
My league gets to activate. Anders Einstein unlocks the plotpoint (and gets three one-uses of Winged) while the other members protect the flanks.
The carnage continues in the front of the house...
... as BOMD gets into the action.
I have a cunning plan and move the close combat specialist Greta de Laval to the side of the house.
I birds-eye on the battle-field at the start of turn three.
Evilina has recuperated and she feels wicked...
... which is bade news for Group T.
The Royal Society and BOMD continues to hurt each other.
Which is good news for Anders Einstein as he sweet-talks Mrs Marsh into revealing the location of the manuscripts, meaning my league can also enter the building.
But before I do anything like that I let Lars de Laval fire up his plasma rifle. I love the smell of super-heated plasma in the morning :-)
I let my heroes pile into the building and a fierce close combat commences...
... as more and more people enters it.
Ouch. Lars falls.
As does Plåt-Petter. The Hound is in a Blood Frenzy and continues his attacks, this time jumping Anders (I see a trend here... It seems that Anders will continue the proud tradition of Monsignore and be beset by every monster in sight.)
Anders Dodges the monster and retreats.
A new round and Eviline casts a new Blast, but i play a Lucky Bounce card on her, meaning I can move the Blast. Unfortunately for her her black arts misfire as she herself is blasted. Much enjoyment from everyone around the table except Jeppan, the league-master of HP Castrullecraft and his gang.
At last Contable Dimir gets his act together and joins in the fight against the Royal Society. Successfully it seems.
Anders joins the fight in the house. It is getting awfully crowded.
BOMD seem to have a good day. But both Society-members will recuperate at turn-end.
A new turn. Plåt-Petter feels much better and promptly guns down a man i blue. Good job!
HP Catrullecraft joins the fight in the house and gets soundly beaten.
Col. Soggybottom succeeded in unlocking the plot point, jumps through a window (a perilous move) and tries to flee with the manuscript. Anders follows him and a fight starts. 

Meanwhile both Society members are felled again. They don't have a good day.
While all this fighting is going on we have sort of missed Special Agent Dick Dalton who not only found and grabbed the case of fireworks, he also tries to flirt with Mrs Marsh and succeeds. Such a coward, staying out of all the fun and grabbing plot-points while everyone else is slogging it out. Unfair and close to cheating. We will have our eyes on him in the future...
Everyone is after Col. Soggybottom as no-one wants him to have the manuscrips. 
And here comes the Hound. Guess who's on the menu?
A new turn. Some downed members recuperates, others do not.  There are significantly fewer members on the board now.
The very last turn starts with Plåt-Niklas attacking Eviline, and it doesn't work out at all...
Dick Dalton gets into the fight and starts to shoot it out with Col. Soggybottom. Last chance to get him now.
My sidekick Hans de Laval makes a heroic jump from one of the upper windows but he fails his Peril and is down. I play a card that makes everyone around take the same Peril, and the area is now considered extremely perilous for the rest of the game.  I guess Hans accidentally bumped into a paraffin lamp and set the house on fire. 
With that we see that no-one can take out Sir Soggybottom and there are no-one in range to unlock any more plot points. We call it a day and go home to lick our wounds.
That was a great start on a new campaign. As much fun as always with the Pulp Alley rules that works so well even when we have five players around the table.
Hope you enjoyed the AAR. More to come.
This first scenario was written by Jeppan.


  1. Off to fabulous start, I always enjoy your Pulp games.

  2. Wow! That's about all I can muster because I'm still picking my jaw up off the floor :)
    Really fantastic stuff Joakim!

    1. It sure helps to have the collected terrain of a games club when you play these scenarios. Really talented members helps to.
      Btw I'm building some pieces for another scenario. Muahahahaha!

  3. Great fun! Really love these rules...and cards!

    1. The cards really make the game. The best laid plans scatter so fast :-)

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Michał!
      It was a very fun game (even if Anders Einstein took the brunt of the Hound's attacks)

  5. What a carve-up! Great AAR.

    1. Thank you, A J!
      It was a bloody affair. Strangely enough most players seem to favor very shooty leagues. Wonder why...

  6. As allways a most execellent AAR! :)

    1. Thank you, Jeppan, and thanks for a most excellent scenario!

  7. Really, really nice gaming there Joakim.I really envy you and your gaming mates.My club doesn´t play anything near your games and I am also into all the details with nice scenery and plot.If you ever come near Lund please let me know.Thankyou for this report! Excellent.

    1. Thank you, and I will certainly call you if I'm close to Lund anytime.
      You've got a standing invitation also - if you're in Stockholm then contact med and I'm sure we will get a game in at the club.

  8. Where did you obtain the mechanical Bobbies? They look like the ones RAFM proposed for their Airship Pirates line.

    1. They are from that KS. Got them just before the campaign started

  9. Another great report! A clever scenario - I like the use for the minor plot points. A merry amount of blast and monster mayhem too!

    1. Thank you!
      I think the permanent plot points were really good when you have a lot of leagues on the board.