...or is he?
Got my first non-solo game of Pulp Alley in and it was a blast. A little too haphazard an experience for a proper AAR, but I can give you the basic rundown.
We went with a Lost Keys scenario which had the opposing leagues searching the table for several lost keys (minor plot points) so they might unlock the major plot point. In the context of the rules, non character could attempt to solve the major plot point unless he was in possession of one of the minor plot points.
This scenario does not mandate a specific deployment zone, but instead has the players deploying as they wish, within specific limitations. Even with these loose deployment options, we ended up on opposite sides of the table (lazy gamer deployment). While I tried to deploy Kro-Ak and his minions skirting the jungle foliage, my opponent deployed in a relatively open area of the board, likely hoping to take advantage of his superior firepower (gun-toting humans).
The game began with my opponent and Countess Velasco's treasure hunters holding the initiative which meant that if I was going to take it from them I was going to have to either engage them in combat or try to solve a plot point. As the ultimate goal of the scenario was dependent upon me being able to first possess a minor plot point. I made my moves with Kro-Ak's lesser minions but their limited mental faculties left them ill prepared for the challenges and perils (cards played against them) of the locating the lost keys.
The Countess and her followers seemed content to let me scrabble for the plot points only trying for one only to watch Zelda, the gypsy mystic, sink into the bubbling swamp. By turn five all of Kro-ak's minions were dead or dying and while he had possession of a minor and the major plot points, he himself was gravely wounded. Attempting to flee the table, he was cut down by the combined firepower of the Countess and her men.
What can I say, I love this game. Pulp Alley plays so fast and the cards add so much variety to the game. My opponent and I both found ourselves easily slipping into a narrative frame of mind, interpreting each dice roll and card play for the greatest story effect. A good example would be the demise of Zelda. While nothing specifically said that she sunk into the bog, it seemed only fitting that when she failed a Finesse check in the bog that her fate would be to sink to an oozing death. Similarly, Kro-Ak's minions failing Might checks was easy to interpret them being crushed as they tried to leverage the stone hiding the hidden keys.