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Pulp Detective» Forums » Variants

Subject: Playing with the three drawn storyline cards face up. rss

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Frankie Bones
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I was let down by this game on my first few plays. It seemed too random, stamina really has no impact on the game positive or negative and a lot of the game comes down to lucking into clues.

Today, I played with the three drawn cards face up and the experience was much better. It created an entire new set of choices to make. YOu could see the risk reward of each choice and string together the storyline in a beneficial way.

This even makes more sense thematically. You are investigating a case and you start to put your case together and as a result, the story becomes cohesive. When the cards are drawn face down, you're like a detective throwing poop at the wall and seeing what sticks.

I just like the "feel" of the game more this way as it seems to tie the theme into the game more.
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Aaron Sibley
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BrokenAxe wrote:
I was let down by this game on my first few plays. It seemed too random, stamina really has no impact on the game positive or negative and a lot of the game comes down to lucking into clues.

Today, I played with the three drawn cards face up and the experience was much better. It created an entire new set of choices to make. YOu could see the risk reward of each choice and string together the storyline in a beneficial way.

This even makes more sense thematically. You are investigating a case and you start to put your case together and as a result, the story becomes cohesive. When the cards are drawn face down, you're like a detective throwing poop at the wall and seeing what sticks.

I just like the "feel" of the game more this way as it seems to tie the theme into the game more.
I will give the game a try this way.
 
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Jonathan Rowe
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I agree with your motives for recommending this change but there are a couple of other considerations

For one thing, as the rules stand you can deal 3 cards face up. You just limit yourself to rolling 1 die (assuming you're healthy enough to roll 4) on the preceding turn.

And actually you'll be doing this a lot. Roughly 3/4 to 4/5 of the time you are 'rolling to fail'. This is partly to pick up Twists and partly because, without a perfect collection of Twists and bonus dice, you really can't bank on succeeding at tasks so why even try? Just roll to fail, collect Twists, look at cards face-up and work on getting your Storyline to match up.
 
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Andrew Clifford
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Quote:
For one thing, as the rules stand you can deal 3 cards face up. You just limit yourself to rolling 1 die (assuming you're healthy enough to roll 4) on the preceding turn.
Jonathan,

Is there a clarification that I'm missing on the "One Step Ahead" rule? My take is that, irrespective of the number of dice you don't roll, you can only look at the front of one (the bold is in the rule) card next turn. Where does it state that you get one look per unrolled die? I also think the clue is in the name of the rule - "One Step Ahead".

Andrew
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Frankie Bones
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And I thought it was only if you were successful in your previous roll? IF you roll to fail, you are never really getting to look at extra cards correct?
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jamie erskine
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I agree on both last posts. You can only look at the face of ONE card and only if you succeed at the task with at least 1 dice unrolled.

I would like to try the game whereby you can see all the cards as I do believe it would make for more interesting choices.

But perhaps it would make the game too easy as you would be able to match arrows on your storyboards, gaining too many rerolls.

Perhaps if you looked at the cards prior to choosing you can only draw 2 cards rather than 3. This would reduce your chances of too many rerolls, but on the downside you'd reduce the choices between picking an I/C/F card of your choosing
 
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Tim Tix
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You only get that reroll for the current turn so that wouldn't be that bad/easy.

You could make the game harder again by starting from Normal or Advanced. You could also throw in some Crossroads cards.

Sounds overall like a good solution.
 
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Frankie Bones
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I played again like this and once again, came close to winning but lost on the criminal confrontation. I really wish there were some way to mitigate the luck involved in taking down the final criminal.

Playing this way is a huge improvement for me. It involves planning and you can make logical, thematic decisions regarding the investigation.
 
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Tim Tix
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BrokenAxe wrote:
I really wish there were some way to mitigate the luck involved in taking down the final criminal.
There is. You can track the die-face icons and try to prepare (twist markers) for the probable criminals.

Edit: With your rules you can even chose who's the culprit.
 
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Frankie Bones
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TimTix wrote:
BrokenAxe wrote:
I really wish there were some way to mitigate the luck involved in taking down the final criminal.
There is. You can track the die-face icons and try to prepare (twist markers) for the probable criminals.

Edit: With your rules you can even chose who's the culprit.
In theory this sounds right, but I have found that even on beginner, you are saving twists and using them right down to the wire just to acquire enough clues to confront the criminal. I can't imagine actually planning ahead but I am certainly going to try that and see if I can "get lucky."
 
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Craig Groff-Folsom
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My copy arrived last night, so I gave this a try (in addition to rolling the same die multiple times, instead of rolling each dice once).

This variant single-handedly saves the game for me. Seeing the three cards adds so many choices. Do I pick a more difficult roll now to get a specific benefit? Do I pick something with a less-harmful penalty knowing I’ll be “throwing” the roll to get a twist marker? Can I influence which item I’ll get if I win this item roll? Do I shuffle a card back just because it has a late-game clue icon? Do I pick a card with matching colors so I can get a reroll?

This does not make the game dramatically easier, but it adds meaningful decision points where they don’t exist in the rulebook. I lost the game, but I could trace that outcome back to a combination of strategy choices and poor luck in the middle third. It *does* make me want to play again.
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JazzFlight
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Dave41fan wrote:
My copy arrived last night, so I gave this a try (in addition to rolling the same die multiple times, instead of rolling each dice once).

This variant single-handedly saves the game for me. Seeing the three cards adds so many choices. Do I pick a more difficult roll now to get a specific benefit? Do I pick something with a less-harmful penalty knowing I’ll be “throwing” the roll to get a twist marker? Can I influence which item I’ll get if I win this item roll? Do I shuffle a card back just because it has a late-game clue icon? Do I pick a card with matching colors so I can get a reroll?

This does not make the game dramatically easier, but it adds meaningful decision points where they don’t exist in the rulebook. I lost the game, but I could trace that outcome back to a combination of strategy choices and poor luck in the middle third. It *does* make me want to play again.
If you end up with a final preferred variant for this game, keep us posted. I was looking through all the posts yesterday and agreed with your criticisms but was hopeful that there could be a great revised ruleset that can still make use of all of the same game components. Everything looked good on paper until I started seeing the places where the player is given no chance to succeed or make meaningful decisions.
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Craig Groff-Folsom
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JazzFlight wrote:
Dave41fan wrote:
My copy arrived last night, so I gave this a try (in addition to rolling the same die multiple times, instead of rolling each dice once).

This variant single-handedly saves the game for me. Seeing the three cards adds so many choices. Do I pick a more difficult roll now to get a specific benefit? Do I pick something with a less-harmful penalty knowing I’ll be “throwing” the roll to get a twist marker? Can I influence which item I’ll get if I win this item roll? Do I shuffle a card back just because it has a late-game clue icon? Do I pick a card with matching colors so I can get a reroll?

This does not make the game dramatically easier, but it adds meaningful decision points where they don’t exist in the rulebook. I lost the game, but I could trace that outcome back to a combination of strategy choices and poor luck in the middle third. It *does* make me want to play again.
If you end up with a final preferred variant for this game, keep us posted. I was looking through all the posts yesterday and agreed with your criticisms but was hopeful that there could be a great revised ruleset that can still make use of all of the same game components. Everything looked good on paper until I started seeing the places where the player is given no chance to succeed or make meaningful decisions.
I’ve played twice now with the two common variants discussed here:
1. Reveal the three cards drawn in Phase 1
2. Roll the yellow dice one at a time. Use the yellow markers to track results. You may roll any die, including one you have rolled previously in Phase 2. Your maximum is dictated by your Stamina.

I’ve lost both times, but it’s been enjoyable. In both games I’ve made it to the criminal, but just simply not had enough rerolls to compensate for my poor initial luck in the confrontation. I know this aspect of the game is still up in the air for some, and I’m not sure what the fix (if any) should be. You really have to prepare for the showdown; not stockpiling twist markers is an easy mistake. It’ll probably be a few more plays before I have enough experience to house-rule the confrontation. For now, I recommend starting with the two mentioned above.
(If you want a meaningful “A Step Ahead” ability for succeeding without rolling all your yellow dice, look at the top card of the deck and choose whether to discard it.)
 
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Russell Corbally
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BrokenAxe wrote:
I was let down by this game on my first few plays. It seemed too random, stamina really has no impact on the game positive or negative and a lot of the game comes down to lucking into clues.

Today, I played with the three drawn cards face up and the experience was much better. It created an entire new set of choices to make. YOu could see the risk reward of each choice and string together the storyline in a beneficial way.

This even makes more sense thematically. You are investigating a case and you start to put your case together and as a result, the story becomes cohesive. When the cards are drawn face down, you're like a detective throwing poop at the wall and seeing what sticks.

I just like the "feel" of the game more this way as it seems to tie the theme into the game more.
Just got to playing my set and have lost horribly in 4 games (best I managed was to get 2 clues). This is a variant I will likely adapt as it will make for some meaningful choices. Thanks!
 
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Paulo Segundo
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Interesting to note that, at two players cooperative games, you play with cards face up (see p.
17 of rulebook) .
 
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Kevin Fitzgerald
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I have played a few games with this variant, and I recommend it. I felt way more engaged with the game because I was making interesting choices about which card I wanted to tackle, which one I wanted to have in my discard (as a future potential item), which one I hoped to see show up in the deck again soon, and attempting to build a tableau that would give me a chance at rerolls.

Even with perfect knowledge about what I was drafting it was still difficult to get rerolls and on more than one occasion I had to turn down rerolls to manage something else.

In my opinion a solo game should be a series of interesting choices you get to make and you make far more of them with this variant.

You lose some randomness, but this game has enough of that already.
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Thank you Broken Axe for your ideas. It has reminded me that PAX and Herbaceous have a similar and very good card distribution. I have been playing with their idea now.
You draw three cards, one at a time. With each one, you decide of one of the 3 actions availble for the round. Either play one, discard one, or place one on the bottom of the deck.
It seemed hard enough just to find a clue, let alone 4, and then succeeding at the task.
Also, one part of the rules say place the card back in the deck anywhere you want. Almost the very next sentence says place it back in the deck randomly. To me, that is not the same thing.
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Carlo Rossi
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dear all,
as many of you, after having played some games I was very disappointed by Pulp Detective; so I went here in the forum to, at first, check if I was missing some key rules affecting the experience (and no, I wasn't) and finally landed in this thread; definitevely the right place indeed!

I tried the variant of playing with all the 3 cards face up (and just ignoring the "One Step Ahead" rule) and I found the game pleasant enough to be continued to play

I truly think that this variant should actually become the official way to play it

carlo

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