From Heroes and Villains – the concept for my fantasy campaign

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In this post, I want to give a quick preview of the concept for my Pulp Alley fantasy campaign. Months ago I started a small project to create my own fantasy campaign. What should be just another small hobby project, has now become the biggest hobby project I ever made. While my original deadline is long gone, I am still working on the project.

The concept for my Pulp Alley fantasy campaign

Although the campaign uses the Pulp Alley rules, there are some major changes. At first, the whole campaign will be much more focused on narrative than on competitive gameplay. Because of that, the first edition won’t even contain a head-to-head section. In video games terminology: more Player-vs-Environment, less Player-vs-Player. Nonetheless, the campaign will be playable with more than one player. Due to the fantasy setting, there will be also new game mechanics like a quest system and road events.

The quest system

There will be main quests and side quest. While the main quests drive the story forward,  the side quests are mostly optional and add more depth to your gaming experience. But keep in mind, that both will have an effect on the plot.

Example:

As a side quest, you successfully recover some precious cargo for the merchants guild. Later in the game, this gives you the option to gather some support from the merchants guild in the next main quest. Maybe the guild sends a couple of mercenaries to your support.

But keep in mind that a failed side quest can have a similar effect but this time to your disadvantage. As a result, there will be different storylines in the campaign. But don’t worry, I work hard to make this easily manageable.

Road events

Eskana is a dangerous place and while traveling the world your league must face various challenges. To illustrate this, your leader must face a random challenge for longer travels. The implementation will be pretty simple. If you have to travel to a distant place, you will have to draw a card from the road event deck.

Example:

You arrive at a crossroad. Some joker has manipulated the signpost. You have no clue, which way is the right one. Your leader must roll at least 2 successes on Cunning.

Pass: You continue your journey in the right direction.

Fail: You continue your journey in the wrong direction. Draw another card.

The world

The campaign will take place in the world of Eskana. The first adventures take you to Thelloras, a northern European medieval style continent. The realms will have there own style and there own setting. The Kingdom of Crecia, for example, relies heavily on feudalism and agriculture. While the nobility is rich, the people suffer from high taxes. While playing in the Kingdom of Crecia, you may become involved in this conflict. Maybe some rebels have a side quest for you, maybe the local sheriff could need some help to collect taxes.

Character and league development

One of the key features of any character-driven game is the character development. In my campaign, there will be several ways to boost your characters and your leagues. And like in every fantasy game you will be able to loot enemies or hunt for treasuries.

Pulp Alley uses a very slick cards mechanic to reward the player. I like that and so my campaign will also use Reward Cards. You’ll gain them for specific actions like complete plot points, killing bosses or completing quests. To make things easier the rewards are split between the characters and the league.

Your characters on the one hand gain experience (XP) which you can spend in new abilities. Besides experience, there are resources like:

  • Potions: Healing potions, Potion of Invisibility, you name it.
  • Backup: Like in the original Pulp Alley you can hire thugs or other specialists to support your party.
  • Contacts: This works also pretty similar to Pulp Alley. But I will adopt it to the overall fantasy setting.
  • Gear: Gear is a wide variety of weapons, armor and tools, which every decent adventurer needs. Well, you would not sly a dragon with your bare hands, would you? You can also find maps, whom may become useful later in the game.

Your league, on the other hand, gains reputation (Rep) for their actions. This includes accomplishing quests or killing notorious bosses. You can spend your reputation to buy new rooster slots or new locations. These locations provide your league with advantages for the upcoming quest. For example, you gain +1 gear through the Blacksmith’s shop. And finally, reputation reflect your overall standing in the world. For some quests, you need a specific level of reputation to start.  For example, a King won’t give the secret quests to rescue his daughter to a band of greenhorns. But reputation can also be lost. Sometimes you will have to decide your actions and carefully consider the consequences.

While there is still a lot of work to do I am pretty excited to finish this project. It has become much bigger than I had ever expected.  Because of that, I had to change my schedule totally. Now I am planning to start the playtesting of the beta version with my mate in June 2018. Don’t let the term beta version fool you. At that time the campaign will be perfectly playable. After that, I will have to put all the stuff in a nice layout and it will be available here on GlueandDice.com.

Thanks for reading this post and if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to put them in the comments.

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