Role playing games (RPGs) can transport the player from the mundane real world to a new landscape of fantasy and epic proportions. However, getting there can sometimes take a while. You need to make your character, come up with a back story, and add in some details such as height and weight. It's the fine details like this that can make or break a new player. That is until "PULP!" came along.
"PULP!", from creator Brian Liberge of Beer Star Games, takes the complicated world that is RPGs, and simplifies it while maintaining the fun and storytelling at its core. Thus making for a great introduction for players new to the world.
How to play 'PULP!'
While most RPGs will make you buy all different kinds of dice, "PULP!" only requires you have a six-sided die (a.k.a. a d6).
The game consists of a Game Master (GM) and the Player Characters (PCs). Along the way other characters can be introduced and they are known as Non-Player Characters (NPCs). Beyond that, it's up to your imagination.
'PULP!' at the BFIG
"PULP!" was one of the many games showcased at the Boston Festival of Indie Games. They were running live demos all day long. During the demo sessions they ran bits from the "Estia the Isle of Giants" campaign. Along with the campaign book were six pre-made character cards. Their stats included Charm, Grit, Smarts, Vigor, and Luck.
Battle is done through contests. According to the website core rules:
"A Contest is when two characters are working in direct opposition. The initiating character rolls first and then the targeted character rolls a reaction, both adding in modifiers as with a Test. The higher Total wins the Contest. The difference between the two scores is the Margin of Success."
For example, a character may want to use their magic abilities combined with their Charm to attack another's Grit. The Margin of Success is basically the amount of damage done to that skill. Once the skills is overcome, the game can proceed with whatever was trying to be accomplished.
Here are some of the things that were accomplished from that session:
- Vines got drunk
- One character had his rope stolen and used against him
- A dwarf tried to jump off of EVERYTHING
- A dragon was tricked into being a spellcaster's best friend
- That same dragon also willingly gave up all his treasure
As you can tell, "PULP!" is not your ordinary RPG.
The core rules for "PULP!" are currently available on its website. The campaign "Estia the Isle of Giants" is available via DriveThruRPG for the price of anything, but if you want to get the deck of cards it will cost you $10. The recommended group size is two to six players.
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