Thursday, January 1, 2015

And Finally... Pulp Alley

This year's rash of Christmas to New Year gaming culminated in yesterday's four player Pulp Alley game.  I set this up as a potential first episode of a campaign but I have to bear in mind the possibility that it may be  months before we get to play episode 2!

The campaign rejoices in the title of "The Quest for Faulkner's Balls" but at this stage the focus was on finding the Reverend William Featherstonehaugh and a mysterious book said to be in his possession.

The setting was the charming English village of Little Pottering, where the rural quiet was shattered by the sudden arrival of North London wide boys The Muswell Hill Mob (played by Richard Sangar) in their, probably stolen, red Rolls Royce.  Equally out of place were the soldiers of UNIT (led by Jamie Crawley) who arrived in an anonymous-looking van.

Already in the village were the Brotherhood (or is it perhaps Der Bruderschaft?) a shadowy organisation with doubtless nefarious aims that on this occasion was under the direction of Andy Sangar.  The quartet of participants was completed by Gus Woodward who ran the Friends of the Rev Featherstonehaugh.

The event began with heavily armed British soldiers debussing from their van (devanning?) in the High Street.  They soon encountered equally heavily armed Brotherhood agents.  Clearly this was not a normal day in Little Pottering.

Early on in the game (at the start of Game Turn 2) Jamie played the "Parley" card thus preventing any gunfire or brawling for a turn.  This led to an interesting situation when Anders von Krausschlek climbed into the driver's seat of the Muswell Hill Mob's Rolls and found himself sharing the vehicle with Mob members Liquid Len and Harold Demure.

A digression is called for here.  On the fly, Jamie came up with a background for Anders who was UNIT's "Contact" as a result of their Network of Supporters perk.  Anders, it seems, is not a fan of the Nazis not least because the Gestapo have taken over Schloss Krausschlek for their own nefarious purposes.  But back to the action...

When the Parley expired, there was an immediate brawl between von Krauschlek and Liquid Len which led to both being knocked down and falling out of the car.  At which point Harold Demure climbed into the driver's seat and drove off!

As the Rolls left the scene it did so past St Custard's churchyard where Miller and Notter, the leaders of the Muswell Hill Mob, were interrogating Bob the incomprehensible local.  Thanks to unlucky dice rolls this would take the two of them two whole turns, upon which Bob turned out to be not-a-Plot-Point-at-all thanks to a Red Herring reward card!

Jamie dons the Initiative Hat

By this time, Gus had found the first clue to the Rev's whereabouts in the form of a mysterious bronze statue but Jamie subsequently sized the initiative when UNIT realise the significance of the partial stone statue in the rear yard of the Fool and Bladder.

Richard, meanwhile, had checked out the Police telephone box.  Somewhat surprisingly it turned out to be no larger on the inside than it was on the outside!

Perhaps improbably, the Rev's niece Victoria (the Hon Victoria
Featherstonehaugh to you) turned out to be a Hardened Veteran
and she quickly dealt with Gerhardt from The Brotherhood.
Harold Demure, meanwhile, decided to have a go at causing mayhem by driving the Rolls through the narrow streets of Little Pottering without due care and attention.

He narrowly missed the UNIT van and scattered brawling characters in all directions during his mad career.

The Brotherhood, meanwhile had been going round the village collecting unconsidered Plot Points.  Their leader, von Keller, had two as the last turn approached.  He tried to run off with his gains, which included the Faulkner Journal (one of two Major Plot Points in the game), but he was chased down and by Lieutenant Lethbridge-Stewart and Sergeant Manson of UNIT.

At the end of the game the Reverend Featherstonehaugh's friends had managed to rescue him but the Journal had gone missing in the confusion (von Keller was down at the end of Game Turn 6 and so had lost control of the Plot Point at a time when no-one was able to pick it up).

The game was enjoyed by all the participants so now I think I need to provide a second episode where the hunt for the Faulkner Journal continues.


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