Noir Pulp "Back in Business" Chapter 3

*En español al final de la página*

After a few days having a rest, one afternoon that Joseph passed by his office to check if Rivas had gone looking for him ... it seemed that no, the investigator breathed with relief. But, by the door, he found a note as if someone had slipped it under the door.
"I hope you're already recovered from your injuries, remember that you have a debt, I'm still waiting for the book."
 With doubts about the authorship of the note, he decided that the best place to go was to Professor Morgan Fletcher's studio, to clarify what debt existed ... because they beat him up was not on his payroll ...
  When he arrived to the studio, it was found that no one opened the door, with marks that it had been forced to access, after knocking on the next door, an old woman told him that Professor Fletcher was in the hospital, because two nights before he had begun shouting, as if suffering a nightmare, the doctors came and forced the door, after injecting tranquilizers to Morgan, they indicated that the man had fevers, and they took him to the hospital, and that she knew nothing else.

 Given that it seemed that the case was going down the drain, Cornellius decided that it was best to try to access the studio and get paid the services provided, at least with a whiskey that the old man probably kept somewhere ... After a couple of attempts, he managed to enter the room.


  He sneaked through the shelves without making any noise, after about twenty minutes he found a bottle of brandy, to which he took a swig, while he entertained looking over the books that the old man had on the shelves of the room, the bookcase was most of the room... until he found an invoice for several books among which the missing book was registered. It looked like it had been bought in the Pitgilli bookstore ...



Cornellius went out of the studio with his bottle, a buck of dollars and the invoice

______________________________________________________
Después de unos días de descanso, una tarde que Joseph se pasó por su oficina para comprobar si Rivas había ido en su busca... parecía que no, respiró aliviado el investigador. Pero junto a la puerta, encontró una nota como si alguien la hubiera deslizado bajo la puerta.
"Espero que ya estés recuperado de tus heridas, recuerda que tienes una deuda, aún sigo esperando el libro".

 Con dudas sobre la autoría de la nota, decidió que el mejor sitio a donde ir era al despacho del profesor Morgan Fletcher, y aclarar qué deuda existía... pues que le dieran una paliza no estaba en su nómina...

  Cuando llegó, se encontró que nadie abría la puerta, con marcas de que se hubiera forzado para acceder, tras llamar a la puerta contigua una mujer entrada en años le comentó que el profesor Fletcher estaba en el hospital, pues dos noches antes había comenzado a gritar, como si sufriera una pesadilla, vinieron los médicos y echaron la puerta abajo, después de inyectarle tranquilizantes, indicaron que el hombre tenía fiebres, y se lo llevaron al hospital, y que no sabía nada más.

 En vista de que parecía que el caso se iba al garete, Cornellius decidió que lo mejor era tratar de acceder a la casa y cobrarse los servicios prestados, al menos con un whisky que seguro que el viejo guardaba en alguna parte.... Tras un par de intentos, consiguió entrar en la habitación.

 A hurtadillas fue revisando los estantes sin hacer ruido, tras unos veinte minutos dio con una botella de coñac, a la que dio un tiento, mientras se entretenía cotilleando los libros que tenía el viejo en las estanterías de la habitación que era la mayor parte del piso...hasta que dio con una factura de varios libros entre los que se encontraba el libro desaparecido. Parecía que había sido comprado en la librería Pitgilli...


 Cornellius se quedó con la factura, y salió del estudio con su flamante botella de coñac.


Noir Pulp "Run Joseph, Run!" Chapter 2

After an educative beating, Joseph learnt that is not good to enter other's people house without permission, one lip broken, and twisted shoulder were the price... but not only this, since Christopher Rivas decided that Joseph's hour had arrived, so he was send with a thug to finish him.

But Cornelius is our hero, and he can't die during the first chapter, let's watch what happened with him....



 Joseph ran and ran, till he arrived to Roth Sloth barrio, where he could get shelter for sometime to heal his wounds....
_________________________________________________________

Después de una educativa paliza, Joseph aprendió que no está bien meterse en casa ajena sin permiso, un labio roto y un hombro dislocado eran el precio... pero no sólo esto, ya que Christopher Rivas decidió que la hora de Jospeh había llegado, así que le mandó con uno de sus matones para que terminase con él.

 Pero Cornelius es nuestro héroe, y no puede morir en el primer capítulo, así que veamos qué pasó con él....



Joseph corrió y corrió hasta que llegó al barrio de Roth Sloth, donde encontró refugio por un tiempo para sanar sus heridas...

Noir Pulp "The kidnapping of the Wife" Chapter 1

*En español al final de la página*
That night Joseph Cornelius Hallenbeck was finishing his last cigarette, when the phone rang. Rocco Freda, a 3rd avenue policeman was offering him a protective job, for university professor Morgan Fletcher. Joseph scratched the back of his neck, picked up his revolver and approached the professor's house.


The scholar was sitting on a couch, shaking, while Rocco took the data, and made the appropriate presentations.

Someone had assaulted the house and stolen several objects, the main one was an old book of the eighteenth century called "The Wife of Dusk", an incunable. Cornelius did his researches, until he found an escort who might know where the objects had gone, so the next afternoon he went to a motel in the lower part of the city.

A couple of drinks after talking with a reporter and a political assistant took him to the motel where Miss Lacey Morris was staying.

The girl tried to confuse Joseph by evasive, but a couple of slaps made her realize who was in charge in that room, in the end she said that a client, a man called Aaron Chapman told her that, he had managed to sell an old book by more than 3 of the greats to an antiques dealer.



The next morning, Joseph got dressed, left a couple of dollars on the bedside table and left to investigate where he could locate Aaron.

Three days later, he contacted Rot Sloth a rogue who has been watching the curb crawler's house for a couple of days, it looked like he had a beautiful woman who was ignored. She was a rich tycoon's daughter, and was not used to spent a lot of time alone...

 He decided that it would be good to enter the house and wait for Aaron to return, and perhaps coerce him with his visits to Lacey and get information.

  The lady was initially surprised by the presence of Cornelius, but she was bored and thought that male company would always be nice, so she shared a whiskey with him.





A couple of hours later Chapman appeared, who was initially upset and then violent, tried to throw Joseph out of the house. It was unsuccessful, proof of that was the black eye that remained after the visit of the investigator.

  The next night, Joseph wearing his only ironed suit approached the mansion of Christopher Rivas, the man who had bought the book.



When he knocked on the door, a butler opened the door and let him pass by making a face.

While the butler was looking for the lord of the house, Cornellius sneaked down the hall and sneaked in behind the doors.

  At the first door that a male voice was hear, he entered pointing the gun; a couple of minutes later, the bodies of a femme fatale and a thug, contrasted with the red blood dripping on the carpet.


  The door suddenly was opened, and a shadow threw at Joseph knocking him out, and throwing him against the ground ...

  Some time later, our investigator woke up tied to a chair, and with tremendous headache in a dark room and unable to move.

                                                                                                    TO BE CONTINUED...
*********************************************
  Aquella noche Joseph Cornelius Hallenbeck estaba terminando su último cigarrillo cuando el teléfono sonó. Rocco Freda, un policía de la 3rd Avenida le ofrecía un trabajo de protección para un profesor de universidad, el profesor Morgan Fletcher. Joseph se rascó la parte de atrás del cuello, cansado, cogió su revolver y se acercó a la casa del profesor.

  Cuando Joseph entró en la casa, se encontró al profesor sentado en un butacón, muy nervioso, mientras Rocco tomaba datos. Un gesto con la cara sirvió de saludo entre ambos hombres, y el policía hizo las presentaciones pertinentes.

  Alguien había asaltado la casa y robado diversos objetos, el principal objeto era un viejo libro del siglo XVIII llamado "La esposa del anochecer", un incunable. Cornelius hizo sus investigaciones, y consiguió localizar a una señorita de compañía que podría saber algo de los objetos robados; así que en la tarde siguiente quedó con ella en un motel, en la parte baja de la ciudad.

  Un par de tragos después de hablar con un reportero y con un asistente político, le llevaron al motel donde Miss Lacey Morris se hospedaba.

  La chica intentó confundir a Joseph con evasivas, pero tras un par de bofetones quedó claro quién mandaba en aquella habitación, al final la chica cantó, y dijo que un cliente, un hombre llamado Aaron Chapman le había contado que, había conseguido vender un libro antiguo por tres de los grandes a un anticuario.

 A la mañana siguiente, Cornellius se vistió, y dejó un par de dolares en la mesita de noche y se marchó para investigar dónde podría localizar a Aaron.

Tres días después, contactó con Rot Sloth, un granuja de medio pelo que hacía favores a detective por un comida caliente. Rot había estado vigilando la casa del putero durante un par de días, parecía que tenía una hermosa mujer a la que ignoraba, era hija de un rico hombre de negocios, y no estaba acostumbrada a pasar mucho tiempo sola...

 Decidió que podría ser bueno entrar en la casa y esperar a que Aaron volviera, y quizá presionarle con sus visitas a Lacey para obtener información.


 La dama en un principio sorprendida por la presencia de Cornelius, cambió su actitud pues estaba aburrida y pensó que tener compañía masculina podría ser entretenido, así que compartieron un whisky.

 Un par de horas después Chapman apareció, en un principio se mostró molesto y luego violento, intentando echar a Joseph de la casa. No tuvo demasiado éxito pues al día siguiente fue a trabajar con un ojo morado por la visita del investigador.

 A la noche siguiente, Joseph se puso su único traje planchado y se acercó a la mansión de Christpher Rivas, el hombre que había comprado el libro.

Cuando llamó a la puerta, el mayordomo abrió y le dejó entrar con gesto adusto.

Mientras el mayordomo iba a buscar al señor de la casa, Cornellius se escabulló por un pasillo, y a hurtadillas fue revisando las habitaciones de la mansión.

  En la primera puerta en la que escuchó una voz masculina se introdujo a punta de pistola; unos minutos más tarde los cuerpos de una femme fatale y un matón hacían contraste con la sangre roja que goteaba en la alfombra.

  La puerta de repente se abrió, y una sombra se lanzó sobre Joseph noqueándolo y lanzándolo contra el suelo.

 Un tiempo indeterminado después, nuestro investigador se despertó atado a una silla, con un tremendo dolor de cabeza, en una habitación oscura y sin poder moverse.


                                                                                                    CONTINUARÁ...

Duel between knights

Sir Thijmen had challenged Sir Archibald to a duel for the honor of Lady Stefany, then his honour had been questioned. 
Both knights gathered at sunset in the castle courtyard, and drew their swords to fight. 
When the judge gave the order, both began to move across the battlefield, looking for a weak point of the opposite, when suddenly, Archibald threw a slash against his enemy's helmet, causing him to stumble and fall to the ground. (-2Rep)
After a tense silence, Thijmen stood up sputtering, and prepared to return the blow, without much success. 
 The fighting continued, with various bites that broke Archibald's shield, and Thijmen's chest. 
 In the end, an accurate Archibald rapier threw Thijmen back to the ground (-1Rep), who surrendered, and Archibald took the duel for granted, keeping the lady's honour clean.




- En Español -
Sir Thijmen había retado a Sir Archibald a un duelo por el honor de la dama Stefany, pues, su honor había sido puesto en duda.

Ambos caballeros se reunieron al atardecer en el patio del castillo, y desenfundaron sus espadas para batirse.

Cuando el juez dio la orden, ambos comenzaron a moverse por el campo de batalla, buscando un punto débil del contrario, cuando de repente, Archibald lanzó un espadazo contra el casco de su enemigo, haciéndole trastabillear y caer al suelo.(-2Rep)

Tras un tenso silencio, Thijmen se levantó farfullando, y se dispuso a devolver el golpe, sin tanto éxito.

 El combate continuó, con diversos embites que rompieron el escudo de Archibald, y la pechera de Thijmen.

 Al final, un certero estoque de Archibald, lanzó de nuevo al suelo a Thijmen (-1Rep), quien se rindió, y Archibald dio por saldado el duelo, quedándo el honor de la dama limpio.

CITY BELOW - Chapter 4 "Wandering"

You know the Duke’s daughter is somewhere down in the sewers. You’ve gathered some sell –swords and other mercenaries to help rescue her. But first you must find her. 

For this mission, Slorm contacted with Carl Hirsch (the knight from the tavern) he was busy, but decided to sent to Slorm one of his men, Lutz, a spearman.

 The group started to descent into the sewers, when some scratch sounded hidden in the darkness...
(NfP: During the first turn, I rolled for activation, and I got three consecutive doubles:1,1; 6,6 and 3,3; for that reason, I added three new PEFs)


 Our heroes had no problem to eliminate the creatures hidden in the dark corners, till they find a terrifying pack of rats, who not only knocked Slorm, but also finished with Lutz. A successful shot from Victarii disbanded the swarm.




 Another lucky strike, save the day, since they found the stairs to the next level very near to the last combat.


 The warriors recovered without penalties.

From Joust 2011 to Road to Ekra 2019

During the last week I have had the opportunity of play testing the new version to play Joust with Two Hour Wargames. It is called "Road to Ekra - Jousting Tournamentsand in a hasty manner than Chris Rea with his song, in this supplement we will go along with our star William "Billy" Pink in his journey from the Edges of Ekra to the heart of Ekra, it is not going to be a bed of roses...

 This wandering will bring us trough nine scenarios plenty of action and adventures, where we will be able to carouse, fight against not only bandits but also wrathful knights to protect the honour of a lady, or discover a betrayal...

 Although, this book not only brings a campaign, but also improves (and in what way!) the rules for playing joust tournaments.

 This week I have had the opportunity of play both rulebooks with just one day of difference, what has permitted me to explore the differences and the improvements... Let's take a look.

 In Joust from 2011, the stats for the knights were very complete, you had one stat for Prowess, another called Martial Skill and the last one Horsemanship, and you was going using one of them in each part of the joust. The main problem was that the tables were plenty of modifiers that were modified by the use of Bonus Dices, thus... at the end you must check for each part with a bunch of dices and some doubts if you were rolling correctly...

 With this method, the tournaments were interesting since you could customize your knight developing its skill each time that you won a tournament, the downside was that each tournament was an ordeal... enjoyable the first battle, but losing interest during the next assaults.

  In Road to Ekra, the stats are simplified, you just have the race and the Reputation of your knight, with the blessed Bonus Dices. And in each turn you roll 2D6 against your Rep, adding o removing dices by your race or Bonus. At the end, you just have to roll around 4 or 5 dices, something very affordable.

  Also, the Charge phase has changed since, now you just roll to know what is the sally of your horse, and you don't have to roll to control if your horse change its speed during the stretch till you arrive to your enemy.

 But here not only have the good news, since in road to Ekra we can find the rules to fight the second part of a Joust, the Melee!. In this second part, the knights fight on foot, using their weapon, against the other knight. These rules were not in Joust, so you needed to buy "Black Sun, Red Sand" with a complete bunch of stats, similar to Joust stats to represent the fighting skills called Savvy, Strength and Speed. Now you just use your Reputation, your race and your Bonus Dice.

 Here we can see the difference when you play Joust or when you play Road to Ekra Tournament:


 Here we can watch some photos of the Torunament:









An interesting tournament afternoon

CITY BELOW - Chapter 3 "Explore"

“Flesheaters took her,” Slorm said to the Captain.
The Captain shook his head in disbelief and replied “They’ve returned.”
“Well I hope that helps you out,” Slorm said as he got up to leave.
“Oh, you seem to be confused Slorm,” the Captain said ominously as his mood changed. “You need to take your friends from the Guild and go get her.”
Slorm looked at the Captain, but before he could speak the Captain finished with, “That’s if you don’t want them to know about your little, shall we say, indiscretion?” 


Slorm and Victarii decided to investigate in the neighboring streets, after some hours investigating, they found a group of scoundrels who tried to assault them.


 They were no obstacle, except for one of them who fought bravely, Slorm said "It's a pity that this warrior was in the wrong side.... he was a great warrior..." (This scenario was played with Distant Shore combat system, and it was not bad...)


While they looting the bodies, a noise similar to thousand of scratching claws, but suddenly
A huge shadow obscured the torches that lit the street. Two groups of rats attacked our heroes.
The combat was horrible, Slorm suffered wounds, but at the end he could kill them, Victarii tried to use a torch to burn them but finally, he was knocked.


 Finally, in a dark corner, under some rags, they found a hatch that guided to the city's sewers, but they were no alone, as soon as they went downstairs, some flesh eaters attacked them, but they were no foe for the investigators, who in a pair of turns killed them without problem...

 They have found the way to continue investigating the disappearance....

Notes for the game.
   During this scenario I decided to compare the combat rules between Distant Shores and Warrior Heroes Legends. I have discovered that the -1 Rep rule is very useful if you are going to fight against high Rep enemies... the problem, as far as I am concerned, is that I love to roll dice, as much of them, as possible, so, probably, I will continue using WHL rules, but adding -1Rep rule when possible.

CITY BELOW - Chapter 2 "Confrontation"

Slorm walked down the alley where the bodyguards had been slain. Searching the ground he looked for anything that might be of any use, of any information. At the edge of a pile of wood and other debris he saw a small rotten piece of…?
Victarii picked it up and rubbed it between his fingertips.
“Flesh…”



 At the end of the street a group of shadows was moving, like looking out our heroes...


Slorm decided to advance to get closer to the creatures, when they started to hiss... Victarii, getting nervous, took out his bow and shot against the shadows, killing one of them, another jump out from the light sneaking out into the darkness...


Slorm charged against the creatures, they were ready to combat, the sword cut a pair of hands, and the warrior avoided the creatures jaws...



 After a pair of minutes, the body of the creatures laid down on the cold stones....

 Quickly, Victarii run close to Slorm, and helped him to gather the bodies, putting them into a sack, to show them to the Captain.

Notes for the game.
This scenario was played two times since the first one the enemies were just 2 and Slorm killed them without problems... In the second one, the ghouls had horrible initiative rolls, however, in combat they maintain the attitude for a pair rounds. That is the reason since I prefer to use Characters with Rep 4, since the combats are much more balanced.

Another interesting aspect is that you can play a skirmish in the official 3'x3' table or you can do like me, and play on a 10"x15" table, and enjoy it in the same way.

CITY BELOW - Chapter 1 "Carousing"

As the City Watch kept the small crowd out of the alley, the Captain surveyed the two dead men. Strange, he thought. They had been surprised, throats slashed without even drawing their weapons…and what of the girl?
“Captain!”
The Captain turned towards the voice and stopped. “What was the Duke himself doing out this late at night and in such a questionable area of town?” 
It didn’t take long for him to find out.

The Captain contacted with Slorm to request from him for solving the situation. Something about the bodyguards having their throats slashed without drawing their weapons just didn’t sit right with Slorm.
Victaii, Slorm's friend, was a sell-sword, and he knew of the bodyguards. They had a good reputation and weren’t easily surprised. Maybe Magic or someone had slipped something into their drinks?
Slorm thought it best to start at the Velvet Slipper Tavern where the trio had been last seen.


 When they arrived the tavern was plenty of kirk men, so Slorm decided to interview some of them while they were drinking some ale.

Coins were PEFs
The first group of men were no other than Sly Kobe and his brother, who were plenty of ale, and eating a big roasted chicken.

After some words, Slorm decided to go another table.


The table was occupied by Benedice and his wife, who seemed nervous when she saw Slorm arrive. After a bit of talk about the cattle and the last attacks of the wolves. Slorm was able to put aside Benedice's wife, and he could ask her, she murmured between what she had heard, that the dead rise at night, and that the eaters of the dead had been the ones who had kidnapped her.

To celebrate the clues, Slorm decided to invite a round of drinks to Benedice and Victarii... when he bumped into a group of soldiers, they turned around 2 knights and a pair of troops, enjoying of big ale mugs, frowned and looked angry to Slorm. Victarii quickly take out his sword... a silence flooded the tavern... when a loud laugh sounded and one of the knight run to embrace Slorm, he was Carl Hirsch an old acquaintance for Slorm, since their parents fought together in the Hollow Inlet Bridge.


 The night finished watered with ale and women, with a big hangover at dawn....

Notes for the game.
Slorm has gained 2 increasing 1d6. 
The last PEF discovered was more a "push your luck" movement required by the development of the game, than an action required from the game. It seemed to me out of place that being in a tavern and having discovered a track, our protagonists did not decide to celebrate it.
If the encounter would have finished in a row, probably, the city guards would have entered the tavern and stopped it. The blue troops were really a dangerous enemy, but... the dice were helping, this time... ;)



"Massacre in Grayhollow"



The wanted outlaw Ted the cold, has reached the town and a group of citizens has decided to arrest him to keep the peace in the town.



Ted and his men were drinking something in the saloon, when at some point, the leader decided to go to the latrine to relieve himself, so the villagers decided to take advantage and assault him.

The problem is that Ted is not a rookie, so before entering the canteen, he had sent little Jimmy with his rifle, to put himself behind a fence, to protect the back of the canteen.



With all this, the citizens approached by the side of the canteen, while two men of Ted, with a watchful eye, went to the back door of the canteen to control the movements.


When a couple of citizens tried to reach the back of the latrine, Jimmy fired and Bob, from the door of the canteen did the same. This caused a crossfire that ended the life of one of the citizens.



The leader of the group, turned the corner, and tried to shoot Jimmy without success, but received a bullet impact that left him dead.



Of five assailants, there were only two leaves ... this caused one of them to flee in terror at the massacre.

Emboldened, or rather desperate, the last citizen left the corner of emptying his boot against Timmy, and killing him ... but Bob did not quail and killed him ...



When the silence was made, the door of the latrine opened, and while Ted went out lighting his pipe and placing a brace .... a wolfish smile was drawn on his face, whistled and headed towards the canteen ....


Boardgame: Flah Point!



Today we played another time Flash Point!, the boardgame where you play the role of a brave firefighter who must save some civilians who are in a house that is on fire.



 At the beginning the things were very clear, three POIs awating for the arrival of the firefighters, this was the initial set up:


 The plan was easy, one cleans the kitchen, the other doing the same with the WC....

 The action evolved with a little of tension, but leaving beautiful scenes, like a firefighter saving the pussy....



 However... we decided to push our luck, and not only we tried to save the established 7 civilians, but also, did we try to save everybody. All was OK, till the end, when a firefighter was going out from the building with the last victim, and an explosion caused a chain of explosions, that finished falling down one of the main walls, and the last firefighter was buried among the rubbishes.... :(