|The players study their initial fortune cards and try to map out a strategy to be the first to rescue Brother Virigi|
The leader of the secret martial arts society, Opay, saw the Irish head towards the temple and acted first. He found a way into the temple and discovered the skeleton on the floor. The satchel of the long-dead foreigner carried maps, he saw, maps that must not fall into the hands of the foreign devils! Before he could escape the temple, though, the rugged Irish mercenary Ryan O'Shea burst through the door and the two struggled over the satchel. Eventually, Opay disengaged and dove out through the window. There, he had to dodge a fusilade of shots fired by Ryan's companions. Unscathed, he scampered off into the jungle. Here was one clue to the Forbidden City's location that the Westerners would never find!
|Both the German and American archeologist leagues close in on one of the stone idols. Dakota Smith's band would spend the game frustrating their rival Germans, snatching treasure after treasure from under their nose.|
|Dakota blazes away at Von Jaeger and Otto Tulmann below, while Dolly takes a tumble from the rocky cliff path|
|A "Parley" fortune card made for this comic moment as Jaz Minh leaps out from the underbrush at Harris McLeod and Maj. Speke-Eastman, only to have all concerned stare at each other until she darted off.|
|Tex becomes my rope bridge's first (and probably not last) victim as his cowboy boots break through the rotted slats and send him hurtling towards the river below|
|Cue climactic orchestra music: With a display of athletic prowess, French leader Pierre Fournereau kicks aside pygmies and rescues Brother Virigi from the cookpot|
|Jaz Minh bravely hurls herself on the three Frenchmen to keep Virigi (and his knowledge of the Forbidden City) out of the hands of the foreign devils|
|Another agent of the Order of the Fire Coral, Tatko, bravely holds off the Irish leader and sidekick for several turns -- keeping them out of the action|
|Clutching the monk's arm, Dr. Lambert runs the gauntlet of Tatko, Lady Shannon, and Ryan -- aided by not one but two "Out of Ammo" fortune cards|
|A comic end to the tale was a great ape chasing a wounded Dakota Smith out of the jungle|
Our third game of Pulp Alley was a blast. I had six players -- five archeological leagues, and one martial arts society whose job is to frustrate the objective of the others. Each team except for the martial arts society had a Leader, Sidekick, and Ally. Humorously, four of the five allies ended up being knocked down and out -- and all by the play of Fortune Cards. Both Frau Blucher and Dolly Flanders took tumbles on perilous cliff paths, while Tex was the first character to try to cross my rope bridge (and failed). British Clara was ambushed by pygmies in the woods early on. The only Ally to survive was the French Jacques Nero.
The French won the scenario, with the heroic charge led by their leader, Pierre Fournereau. They were really the only faction who made a concerted effort to go for the major plot point -- Brother Virigi stewing in the cookpot. All of the others were distracted by the minor plot points of idols and temples. The Germans in particular, spent the game chasing after Dakota Smith and his band after they snatched a plot point from under their noses. The Irish were also frustrated, but by the Order of the Fire Coral. First, Opay stole the plot point out of the temple just ahead of them. Then Tatko was a one-man wrecking and dodging crew, holding off the Irish leader and sidekick single-handedly. The Order of the Fire Coral has three sidekicks instead of the Leader/Sidekick/Ally combination. They played masterfully this time. They did not win, as the French had the major plot point, but they prevented the Irish from being a factor. The British succeeded in looting one idol, and seemed content with that. Dakota Smith surprisingly ignored the quick pathway to the village and left it to the French to rescue Brother Virigi, while he went off idol hunting. The Americans snagged two plot points, and escaped off board.
The players all seemed to have a good time...well, except for the Germans! We are getting better at creating the storyline of what happens in each perilous area, and making up what form each challenge takes. In the extremely perilous river island -- the cannibal village -- the perils were simply pygmies rushing at the players. Easier challenges represented lone pygmies, while difficult ones were swarms of them. The systems forces us to tell the story as we go along, and it often turns out to be a fairly hilarious one, too! Seven friends sitting around the table can be pretty ruthless when it comes to thinking of embarrassing things that happened to your characters when they fail challenges...!
The next chapter will find the archeologists finally exploring the hidden city that Brother Virigi had spotted so long ago. Stay tuned to this channel for more thrilling Oriental Adventures with Dakota Smith...!