Sunday, 30 December 2012

Pulp City Monsters Expansion - Rules Look and Review


My favourite game of ALL TIME has gained an expansion! Pulp City Monsters
Whats it all about? Big ass things rampaging through a city with super powered beings trying to stop them!

If you take a look at most Marvel comics lines you will see an invasion of Skrull ships, Mole Mans giant creations, huge versions of Ultron or an attack of a massive Dormammau.
Giant things attacking a city and being fought off or even controlled by Super Heroes or Villains is a staple in most comic books.
Finally you can now battle these things in the Pulp City Universe with their massive roster of Supremes!
Or if you wanted to, take on an evil Monster with a good Monster without a single Supreme in sight.

Here I will take a look over the Monsters book section by section and give you my thoughts on it at the same time.


The book starts with a great 6 page story about the Jade Cult ninja clan and their enemies. I wont spoil it for you but it sets up the appearance of the Monsters perfectly while introducing one of the next big bad guys to enter Pulp City. The Green Emperor!

On to the rules.
The first chapters covers the rules for using Monsters in your games of Pulp City. You have 3 'Ranks' of Monsters. Rank 1, 2 and 3 are the same as using a Supreme team at levels 9, 12 and 15
The next couple of pages cover the rules differences between using Monsters ans Supremes in a game. Not too many major changes but movement and AP generation are different along with a selection of Skills that ALL Monsters have. To top it off, they can Throw almost any piece of movable scenery on the table!
Monsters can use ALL of their available AP a turn and also get to use Trumps Traits on every roll instead of 1 per turn like Supremes.

Once you know the basics of how a Monster works its time to create one!
There are a selection of character Monsters in the book, I will get to those later, but the moan focus of the rules are to pick ANY large models you have and build rules for them.
You start off picking one of 3 main types.

Beasts
A Beast is a Nature origin Monster. Something that is a living breathing creature on the planet.
Above you can see the base stats that you build on to and how to work out damage and AP (Action Points)
A Beast takes damage like anybody else in the game. Physical damage will slow it down and reduce its AP the more it is hurt.
Once you have decided on the Rank of your Beast you then have a TON of options.

The higher the Rank, the more Upgrades you can take.
Beasts have 4 types to choose from.
Cranial Upgrades cover the Mind and Spirit of the Beasts and also any attacks they can do with their head.
Body Upgrades are the Strength and power of the Beast. How hard it hits, how difficult it is to take down.
Appendage Upgrades include Agility, tail and limb attacks and even wings!
Extra Upgrades add more flavour to your creation. Giving the little extra 'something' you want.
There are SEVEN pages of Upgrades choices you can fit the rules to any idea of any model you have.

Elders
Elder Monsters are Mystery creatures from beyond this reality. Gods (good or bad), alternate dimensional creatures and any other worldly creations.
Elders take damage in a different way to Beasts. They use things called Seals. (Mystic wards, not the animals)
Seals are chosen from the list as you play. Each one grants an additional power or skill while it is active and can take 10 damage before it is removed. They do have built in Flaws though. If an attack matches the Flaw conditions the Seal is lost immediately and you have to pick another. Each Rank has a limit to the amount of Seals they can use in a game.
 
Elders have 4 different Upgrade sets.
Mental Upgrades effect the Eldars Mind skills and attacks and how well it can control others around it.
Form Upgrades are physical based and refer to the body the Elder has chosen and how it is used.
Mystical Upgrades give the Elder magical powers, energies and abilities
Ritual Upgrades are arcane abilities that weaken your opponents and help your followers

Robots
These are everything from humanoid machines to alien ships and Supreme Vehicles. Plus everything else Science based.
Robot AP and damage is worked out very differently to the other 2 types of Monsters. Each area of the Robot has Battery Packs, between 3 and 5 depending on the Rank.
Damage is removed from these and once all the packs from an area are lost, so are the abilities from that area. AP used is also removed from the Battery Packs instead of a standard AP pool.
This might sound like a Robot will fall quickly but they have several ways to recharge and restore Burnt Out packs.





Robots again have 4 types of Upgrade.
CPU Module Upgrades are based in the head and control targeting.
Weapons Module Upgrades are quite self explanatory. How it attacks other things.
Bulkhead Module Upgrades show the body and structure of the Robot. Things like shields and armour
Movement Module Upgrades let the Robot move around in different ways.
Each Module also has options for Repair Upgrades for the Battery Packs

I really do LOVE the fact you can create an almost endless amount of Monsters using these rules and none of them will ever be the same. (Write it down if you like it)
You can let you imagination run wild.




Chapter 8 gives you a whole load of new Resources for your Supremes to use. These are all Monster based and can help you take them down.
It also adds an additional tactic to use. Traps! These can be set up around the board by certain Supremes and if the right conditions are met, can help you out no end when trying to stop a massive rampaging creation.




After the main rules you have the Fall of Pulp City. This is the bit I have been waiting for ever since I heard about it.
A 12 page time line running from May 1989 to March 1990. This is a record of the events that happened when the Monsters started to appear and how it changed Pulp City for ever onwards.
This evolution of the Pulp City background includes several of the well know Supremes and even introduces a selection of new Monsters and Supremes including Chimpanzer, the time travelling Supreme Alliance and the intergalactic Monster hunter, Slug Muldoon (below, check out the trophy on his belt)

After waiting for this new fluff I can say I was NOT disappointed. Loved every bit of it and it left me with loads of questions about what will happen in the future. Just like a good comic should


The next part of the book is a selection of pre-made Monsters from the Pulp City Background.
Each with some unique abilities to make them stand out from the 'build your own' creations.
Each Origin has a Monster in this section for each Rank
Below are some of my Favourites.

Terrorsaur - A creation of Myserious Man sent from Kodo Island to create havoc in the city

Ging Gong - A massive Ape that is rumoured to be controlled. So far he has been seen to help out the Ape Revolutionary Commitie (ARC) on several occasions

The Dread Sleeper - Some know him as the Old One, Others as C'thul. All know he is bad news for the planet and those that live on it.

Necroplane Harvesters - Its not all creatures and walkers. The Harvester is a killer UFO type creation that sucks souls from those below

Byte Dragon - A legend in its own right, Byte Dragon is the other form of CORE, leader of the Heavy Metal team. This form is used for raw power when the time calls for it.

To give you an idea of how all of these rules go together when you create a Monster or how to the the rules in a game for one of the Character Monsters, here is an example of a stat page for the Dread Sleep.
This show the basic stats and powers. Everything you need to know to use it.
Below that is an example of how the Robots Battery Modules are laid out to be marked off.



All the way through the book are some stunning pictures of the Monsters themselves. Most can be tied to a Character mentioned but some of them are just wonderful sketches that add to the flavour of the book.

Overview
I may be abit bias as I love Pulp City and I love super hero based games but this expansion is awesome!
The chance to run several different scenarios to the main game and a brilliant excuse to pick up that big model you have wanted for ages but just didn't know what you were going to use it for.
'Build Your Own' rules are always a good thing in my book. Lets you make the game what you want it to be without house rules that need to be agreed with others before you play.
I think there would only be 2 things I would change if I could.
1- It would be great to see the other Character Monsters in the background have official stat sheets. That isn't really a big thing as you can make them yourself with the rules.
2- The background image at the bottom of the pages sometimes makes it hard to read what is on top of it. I think that could be fixed just by making the background lighter.

Overall I think the guys at Pulp Monsters have done a great job with this book. Going to be a lot of fun creating different Beasts, Elders and Robots.

9 out of 10 Badger Points!

EDIT: Ok, I have just found out that this was Devons (guy who put the book together) first ever layout.
With that in mind I can overlook the background at the bottom of a couple of pages, making it an awesome-

10 out of 10 Badger Points!

In a couple of days I will take a look at the different models you could use to represent the Character Monsters and maybe a couple I like the look of to use the 'Build Your Own' rules around.
In the mean time head over to www.pulp-city.com and check out the game and expansion.

Hendybadger awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!



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