Sunday, February 16, 2014

more pulpy goodness; now with actual RULES !


Actual rules: Creating a character
Characters have GRIT plus three stats; some Careers (loosely defined) and Advantages.
·       GRIT is about not getting kill-hammered. Grit keeps you alive and in the fight. Try GRIT today !  Keep some GRIT at hand for whatever !
·       The three stats are Action, Wit, and Interaction. They define how well a player does stuff, not physical ratings. 
·       Careers define what a player’s skillsets are.  Note that while these are freeform, they should be fairly broad; specific skills should be treated as advantages.
o    Everyone has the career of CITIZEN.  This covers all the normal stuff you need to do to get by in civilized society: drive cars, cook, dress yourselves, have a mundane job.  The higher, the more you are integrated and advantaged in society. Which brings us to point 2:
o    Citizen determines your access to resources. Plus, in theory, whether you come in the front or back door, and if you need to use the third bathroom. 
·       ADVANTAGES are unique attributes of a character that aren’t career based –such as great strength, lighting fast, dead shot. These come into play if the action is appropriate to that advantage. If so, the roll is resolved with one additional success per advantage (explained later).  Note that advantages are cumulative, and stack.  Having an advantage multiple times gets the bonus for each.
Dude, where’s my Dex ?
Don’t have it. For physical ratings (such as the classics STR, DEX, INT)  the assumption is that the player is at least average, and only extraordinary levels need to be noted,  and are represented as advantages.  So stop whining that this is a statless story game.  It isn’t.
Stats
You have three stats: ACTION, WIT AND INTERACTION. 
·       Stats are rated from 0 to 5.
·       Average is 2, impaired is 1, and 0 means you are unable to use that stat; this is usually bad.
o    For those who care, a two covers 1 Standard Deviation (SD) on each side of the mean, or about 68% of the population. A one is anything more than 1 SD below the mean; the bottom 16% of the population (about 1 In 6). A three is from 1 to 2 SD greater than the mean, which suggests that you are better than about 2.3% of the population for that stat. A four is from 2 to 3 SD which means you are in the top 0.14%.  A  five is > 4 SD, or  the top 0.003 %.
·       Generate the stats by either
o    Rolling Hd-Ld, and making any zero a two.
o    Choose a basic hero profile:  3-3-2, 4-2-2, 5-2-1 ; assign numbers to the stats as you wish.
o    Most grown adults are at best 3-2-2 (one stat well above average).  Many will be a 2-2-2 or 2-2-1, Some will be 2-1-1 (teenagers or aged) or 1-1-1 (child, very old).  Don’t worry too much about them, pay attention to that medium Dinosaur right there, man ! (A7, W0, I1, G3).


GRIT:
You also have GRIT:  Grit starts at 5 but can be reduced to buy extra stat points, career points  or advantages. Note to Minimaxers: Grit keeps you alive, so be careful about spending it.
Using GRIT. 
If you must absolutely must succeed, you can trade a GRIT off for a free success after you roll.  This GRIT cannot be recovered during the current adventure. 
·       Also, you can push any successful task roll (not resource rolls, though) beforehand by declaring your intention and then making a GRIT roll – if you succeed, you gain an extra success, if you fail, you lose a success from your final total. Sure, you can mix and match these, as long as you always note the before and after roll state.
·       You can always trade a GRIT in before an adventure to gain an advantage for that adventure.  At the end of the adventure, lose the skill and regain the GRIT.
Recovering GRIT. 
All GRIT points lost are recovered at the end of the adventure or serial. 
·       During an adventure, Grit lost as damage recovers 1 point any time you heal a level. 
·       Note: you cannot recover to a GRIT higher than you started the adventure with.
Increasing GRIT:
After the adventure, all should get one point of GRIT.  Success may justify more. Excellent play can get a specific player a point.  Epic level play can get an immediate point.  
·       GRIT cannot exceed 5 when play starts.
·       Excess GRIT points above 5 must be spent before play starts or saved in the GRIT bank 401k (and are unusable during the adventure) .
·       GRIT points may be spent between adventures or serials to gain an advantage or a career dice. One GRIT adds one dice to a career,except for CITIZEN (or NATURE) Existing careers of advantages may only be increased by one between adventures. No more than one dice can be added to careers, or one increase to an advantage.  Any number of new advantages or careers may be added at value 1, but not increased until after the next adventure. 
·       Between Adventures, one designate a resource with value no more than one higher than CITIZEN, and spend a GRIT to receive it.  This stays until lost due to game activity, but does not count as  being linked like a GIZMO.
·       GRIT points may be spent to increase a stat other than GRIT, or CITIZEN or NATURE: the cost is the new value.

Hit Points ?
·       None.  Just health in one of five states: FINE, HURT, INJURED, WOUNDED, OUT
·       Start at FINE.  Try not to get hurt. See the Punches and Perils section for details


Careers
The main things that drive your adventurer is their career, The longer you’ve been in it, or the better you are at it, the more dice you will roll when doing stuff related to that stat. Typically they should be about this level of detail and specificity of the old childrens’ skipping rhyme: Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, Doctor lawyer, Indian chief (etc.)
·       For 193nazi pulp, we have: Soldier, Drifter, Pilot, Trader/ Rich man, Newsman, Daredevil  Thief/ Doctor, Lawman, Engineer, Chief
·       Notes:  for Doctor, specify MEDICINE, SCIENCE or PROFESSOR
·       Chief is exactly what it suggests.  You spent time as a native or otherwise uncivilized leader of other savages. 
·       Now divide up six points between them – max four, min one (no 0 point careers to take advantage of the always roll 1d6 roll, you frikkin’ munchkin). You can have as many (or as few as you want, as long as you allocate a point.
·       Everybody has an additional skill: CITIZEN. Some of you may have NATURE instead (chief, drifter)
·       CITIZEN is used for anything to do with normal civilization that isn’t covered by your career.  Also, for stuff. See below.  This adds to your” one dice for everything default” if it is, in fact, related to everyday life.  If you want, you can specify a mundane career which uses CITIZEN for tests.
·       NATURE is the opposite of CITIZEN.  NATURE is the equivalent of CITIZEN for situations in the wilderness (round down).  You can have both if you have two relevant careers. 
·       Initially, you roll for one; if you have a career that allows the other, it starts at half.
·       You can either assume a 2 or roll Hd-Ld – and start with 0-5

Advantages
Start with 1 free advantage, each extra one costs 1 GRIT (higher level campaigns start with more for free)
Quick partial list of advantages without explanation: STRONG, TOUGH, INDOMINABLE, FAST, DEXTEROUS , AGILE, ACADEMIC,CUNNING, GENIUS, WEIRDNESS, WILL, CHARM, CON, LEADERSHIP, AUTHORITY, ORGINIZATION, SIDEKICK, GIZMO, LOOKS, FAMOUS, PATRON, CONNECTIONS, RESOURCEFUL, WEALTHY, EXPERT (),LOWLIFE, UNDERCLASS, SOCIALITE, DRIFTER, THUG, BURGLER, SURVIVAL, STEALTH, SHARPSHOOTER, BRAWLER, GUNSLINGER, KEEN, SPELLCASTER,PSYCHIC (ignore the last two for now; this means you, Joel)
Some explanations now available !
·       EXPERT () You are expert in something specific which is what you fill in the ( ) with.  It may be a specific academic discipline (Expert(Psychology), say) or a very granular subset of a career e.g. Expert(Airship pilot), (Tommy Gun), (Safecracker), (Demolitions), (Boxing) .
·       GIZMO: you have a very cool signature item; often unique, it is yours and yours alone. You have an extra success when using it to do stuff.;
o    if it is lost or destroyed, it is regained by the next episode.
o    if you intentionally decide to lose the use of it for the rest of the episode, you can
§  Add a second success to any test that includes the Gizmo.
§  Stop all damage from one source before you roll GRIT. 
§  Recover all your GRIT
§  NOTE: only one GIZMO can be lost per episode, even if you have several.
·       SIDEKICK: You have an extra loyal character that you control. Can be expended as above, but is lost for good.  You (and he) have an extra success on any task that you work together on. The SIDEKICK Starts as either
o    a 221-G5 with any mix of three advantages or one dice careers,
o    a 222-G4 with three career dice and one advantage
o    a 321-G3 with four career dice and one advantage
·       PET: as a sidekick, but an animal. The PET starts as
o    111-G5 with two advantages
o    211-G4 with three advantages;
o    311-G4 with two advantages, or
o    411-G4 with one advantage
o    In almost all cases, the only stat above 1 is action. Advantages need to be animal based.
·       WEALTHY: gives you a success when rolling to get a resource by paying cash.
·       RESOURCEFUL: The same, but only for scrounging and McGyvering, and fixing.
·       ORGANIZATION:  You are a member of a powerful or influential group and have an ADVANTAGE when dealing with them. Generally the more likely you are to encounter a member, the less power they will have. Examples: mob, police, FBI, Radar Secret Service, Comintern, NKVD, Masons, Illuminati
·       UNDERCLASS, LOWLIFE.  The former is being a member of an oppressed or disenfranchised but insular minority that looks out for each other as a result (Poor, Black, Romany, Jews) ; lowlife is being either part of, or very familiar with the underworld/criminal world (street gang thug, wiseguy, beat cop, private eye)
Lifestyle
Choose your lifestyle: STEADFAST or CORRUPT. Avoid obvious gender preference jokes.
·       STEADFAST means you are basically a good citizen, and stay (as much as possible) on the right side of the laws, morals and ethics of the period. 
·       CORRUPT  means that you cut corners, look out for number one, possibly are on the wrong side of the law in a minor way.  Note that this isn’t necessarily criminal. 
If we had alignments, we would have Saintly and Straight above Steadfast, with Criminal and Evil below corrupt.  Those are for NPCs; generally if a player gets there, it is out of the game.
What effect does this have on the game ?
None, really.  I just included it for compatibility with Pulp board games and MYTHOS.

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