The Importance of Creativity in Pulp!, as Seen on Scentia!

ScentiaCoverThe rules for Pulp! the RPG are light and the character sheets are small, so while playing the game the most important thing is a player’s imagination and interpretation of their Traits. When I was designing “Scentia Besieged From Within and Without” I wanted to make the best product I could and thus spared no expense (drinks are great gamer bait) in assembling playtesters, and by the time things were done I had actually had the benefit of three separate groups who were willing to put Scentia through its paces. Not only did this allow me to make sure that encounters functioned and that the adventure could stand up to the tendency of player characters to Do Something Crazy but it let me see multiple interpretations of the pre-made characters I had created for it.

Let us take a look, for starters, at Cyrus! Cyrus’s Edge is ‘Earth Magic’, meaning that any time his intent has something to do with earth magic that it gets a +3 bonus on the dice roll, so like all Pulp! characters Cyrus want to use his Edge if at all possible. The schools of thought on Edge creation tend to run one of two ways: very specific to force the player to get creative in order to use it and make it interesting, or very broad to see how broad the player’s imagination can take it. Earth magic is quite the broad term, so I suppose I wasn’t surprised to see it taken so many ways. The first player to take Cyrus out of the gate made good use of sinkholes to drop the party’s enemies out of the fight, and from time to time used rock spikes shooting upwards to impale foes. A second player from another group got particularly risky when the group had rock overhead, collapsing passages and using walls to create obstacles for the party to use as temporary defensive Assets. The last time that Cyrus was played was particularly interesting, as the player used Earth Magic to create a rampaging golem and then made the case for Earth Magic to include the ground’s magnetic field to snatch metallic plot items.

To say that the villains were surprised at that last one, never mind I myself, would be a huge understatement.

Cyrus saw a lot of play and is thus one of the better examples, but every time characters were taken out into the field they were a little different than he or she was before. Corrigan Ashbeard’s ‘Playing With Fire’ manifested as relatively normal fire spells in one case and empowering items with fire in another (mostly arcane empowerment but including simply using the Edge as an excuse to having built up a tolerance, lighting Corrigan on fire with lamp oil, and charging towards the enemy). Brug’s “Summoner of Spirits’ (note that this is one of the more specific Edges) was originally used mostly in combat to summon animal spirits to attack, but the next player had a much more utilitarian view of the Edge, talking to spirits to scout ahead and to interrogate fallen foes. And Kale, oh Kale. The first player used “Dirty Fighting” much the way I expected him to, with cheap tricks and flash bangs and smoke grenades and low blows. The second version of Kale? Well, let’s say he put the ‘Dirty’ in ‘Dirty Fighting’ and just leave it at that.

These characters were largely unchanged throughout the playtesting phase, at least in terms of their Edges. Corrigan started off with “Fire Magic” before being changed to make it interesting and to differentiate him from Cyrus, but by and large these particular characters were functional from the get-go. But instead of running four different characters I got to experience what were, between them all and including all their incarnations, essentially nine different characters. Every player brought something new, and I was always in for a treat even though I’d theoretically seen everything my own adventure had to offer.

That’s one of the strengths of Pulp! the RPG. It lets you make up things as you go and use your creativity instead of a book of rules and numbers to make your character. So don’t take your character sheet at face value. Look over your Traits and use that imagination of yours. You’ll have more fun coming up with something interesting and winging it, right?

And your GM will always have something new and fun to experience, too!

Seamus T Conneely

We Are Well Stocked!

Beer Star Games is now fully moved to our new location and settled in. If you ordered from us before Christmas you should have received your orders before 2014.

We still have BEARD!, Estia and Scentia (EDIT: and Dice!) in stock and ready to ship out as soon as the orders come in.

I’m back to work on the Scentia Card Deck and I appreciate your patience on that project. Here’s some shipping action shots to appease you.

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BEARD! Has Gone To Print!

Greetings Beer Troopers!

It’s been too long since we last spoke but I’ve got good news. We recently received the proof of BEARD! The Card Game. We were quite pleased with the results, made a few changes and sent the files back to the printer. Some digital money exchanged hands and I’ve been told the first shipment of BEARD! Decks should get sent out to us in about 7 Days.

As soon as we get the cards they’ll get wrapped in a custom banner by hand and dropped in the mail as soon as we can humanly do so. That means there’s a chance that BEARD! will arrive by Christmas!

We order our decks 50 at a time, and I have not yet taken 50 Pre-Orders. If you want to make sure you get your copy of BEARD! in that first run then the time to order is now!

I took a few pictures of the proof deck with my phone. Sorry for the quality but it will give you an idea what things will look like. As a reminder, we are using premium card stock. Click the image to make larger.

Rules Cards. One of the changes we made after the proof was to fix these margins.

Rules Cards. One of the changes we made after the proof was to fix these margins.

Save or Shave Cards

Card Backs

Card Backs

 

Space High School Apocalypse Public Beta

 

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It’s my (Creative Director and Owner Brian Liberge) birthday! Well technically my birthday has been delayed until GenCon 2014 but we’re celebrating anyway!

Would you like a free game? Great! Have Space High School Apocalypse!

We’ve just released the Beta rules on DriveThruCards! To be awesome please do the following:

  1. Follow the link.
  2. Download the rules.
  3. Grad 1-2 decks of playing cards and some friends,
  4. Play the game.
  5. Send us feedback.

You are now awesome!

Full Concept: You live in the nearly fully automated satellite facility Space High School. Here there are no adults, and the super computer AI known as The Hall Monitor keeps things running day to day. Even in the future, your social ­­­standing is the most important thing in high school. Everyone is plugged into SpaceBook, the future’s preferred social network. SpaceBook taps into The Hall Monitor’s statistics and security feeds to keep a live public score of every student’s social status.

Recently you’ve stopped getting news from the adults on the p­lanet below, and The Hall Monitor is beginning to make mistakes. You may die up here, but if that happens you’re going to make sure you rule the school first.

Mechanics: The game breaks down your spheres of influence into 4 areas, each represented by a suit. Through the game you draw new cards, try to increase your ranks, and attack the ranks of others. It’s all about being the coolest before the world ends!

Why DriveThroughCards? I know it would have been easier to just put a download link here but DriveThroughCards lets me track download numbers, and push out new versions of the game via email.

I hope you have fun!

 

Scentia Besieged From Within and Without is Here!

It’s Friday! Two weeks since our Kickstarter ended and that means two very important things. Thing the first! Our new Pulp! Adventure is here!

This is the first product we’ve released where I wasn’t directly involved with the writing. Seamus Conneely does a fantastic job presenting an adventure with a classic tabletop feel and over the top Pulp! Possibilities. This adventure also features way more pregenerated player characters, color art and a greatly improved layout over our last Adventure Estia. It’s a steal in Print at $8. As always, the PDF is Pay What you want.

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Scentia Besieged From Within and Without! 

Scentia’s strength has been sundered, it’s trade slowly choked off, as old foes from the island’s own marshes rise to overrun half of Scentia in brutal savagery. The surviving residents suffer under the threat of continued attacks and the strain of limited resources. As the proverbial wolves close in, a call for help goes out across the Confederacy. Shall you answer?

Order The Print Copy Now for $8.00!

Available as Pay What You Want from DriveThruPRG.

20 Pages

Includes:

  • Background on the  Shattered Seas World
  • Hooks for grabbing players
  • A preconstructed adventure
  • A Bonus Bestiary
  • An Improved Layout
  • Chock full of a mic of Black & White and Color Art

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The 2nd important thing today is that it’s the last day to snag BEARD!, The World’s 7th Greatest Card Game, for only $10! Head over THE STORE and reserve yours today!

My Birthday Wish – Go to GenCon

Hello everybody.

Today I’m not announcing a new product or pushing an existing one. No today I have a bit of a personal announcement. Next week, on the Wednesday the 20th, I will turn 30. I don’t want you to send me a present, and I’m not asking you to buy my stuff on that day (you should buy my stuff today though. They make people happy).

What I want, more than anything, is to have as many people as possible come to my birthday party. You’re invited. Everyone who loves fun is invited. No need to RSVP.

Its going to take place in Indianapolis, Indiana from August 13th to August 17th 2014. Why the long wait? Well that’s because for my 30th Birthday, we’ve decided that GenCon is my birthday party.

What’s GenCon Brian?

GenCon, if you didn’t know it already, is the greatest tabletop gaming experience ever. There is no place or time that is filled with more joy and acceptance. It is better than PAXEast. It is better than Disney World. I’m biased mind you, and if you’re reading this, so are you.

What’s so great about it?

I don’t even know how to answer this question. There’s this feeling about GenCon that fills your body like the best parts of Christmas. Everyone is there for the same reason. Everyone shares your passion. Everyone wants to game and make gaming awesome.

If you’ve been to GenCon please leave a comment with a favorite memory or activity at GenCon. I’ll consider it an early birthday present.

How do I get there?

We at Beer Star Games really wanted to take a train from Boston to Indianapolis, going through either Chicago or Washington DC. I really need to get GenCon on Wednesday by 5 PM. So far I haven’t seen any trains that allow me to do that without leaving on Monday (instead of Tuesday).

We have hopes that Amtrak will add new trains in the coming months. Once we know and have picked a train we’ll make sure you all know. If we all are on the same train we can play games all the way to GenCon!

Isn’t that kind of a long time away?

Badge Pre-Registration starts on January 26th. You have been given super notice. If you don’t come, I’ll assume you’re pregnant, a terrorist or you don’t like me. You should come even if you don’t like me.

I understand that taking a trip like this can be expensive, but GenCon is worth it. 2014 is also the 40th Anniversary of D&D and will probably be the release of the next edition, so it’s extra special.

I hope to see you for my Birthday. Which is not next week, but in August 2014. Don’t forget to leave a comment so we can all get super excited.

Get the BEARD! Print and Play Now

1BeardBackDuring our Kickstarter we offered the print and play version of the game for free to every backer. We want to that opportunity to everyone now so you can take a look at the text of the game in a very layout simple word document. Here they are below.

The Save or Shave Card plus Rules.

The Beard! Cards.

The pre-order sale of BEARD! and Scentia, Besieged From Within and Without continues until November 15th. On that day we will release Scentia to the world and the price of BEARD! goes from a crazy low $10 to a very reasonable $14. Order yours today in our Store!