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Astounding Adventures - God of the Airwaves report


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Great time last night running this adventure! Always on Roll20... I had 3 players this time, and all reacted with great pleasure to this one, even if one of the PCs is now as the hospital... Just a few remarks about the preparation and the running itself:

  • I modified the god's name (Xhuul), because I was afraid some players could recognize the Ghostbusters allusion and so guess too early there could be a hidden temple in Conrad building...
  • as for the previous adventures, I used Roll20 for illustrations, mainly 1930s photos and postcards. But this time I struggled with Google images to find suitable pulp magazine covers (you find mainly jungle adventures and detective stories illustrations). I had to fall back on old horror comics covers (Creepy) and horror films posters I had never heard about (Killer Granny, Sick Boy...). Good atmosphere according to my players, too.
  • of the three scenarios of Astounding Adventures book, God of the Airwaves is the one with which I had to improvise more. After the kids' scene, my players took original options, breaking in Ashcroft's appartment and so forth... This was great time. I mean, as a GM, I do love improvising on players' unexpected decisions. And this time I was served right!!!

Next time, I'm planning to bring them on Pulp Cthulhu's Two-Headed Serpent campaign - without telling them, of course, they're now playing CoC... I must tell their original pregens are the official Two-Headed Serpent's characters... and they are of course unaware of it... 😄

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2 hours ago, Loïc said:

Great time last night running this adventure! Always on Roll20... I had 3 players this time, and all reacted with great pleasure to this one, even if one of the PCs is now as the hospital... Just a few remarks about the preparation and the running itself:

  • I modified the god's name (Xhuul), because I was afraid some players could recognize the Ghostbusters allusion and so guess too early there could be a hidden temple in Conrad building...
  • as for the previous adventures, I used Roll20 for illustrations, mainly 1930s photos and postcards. But this time I struggled with Google images to find suitable pulp magazine covers (you find mainly jungle adventures and detective stories illustrations). I had to fall back on old horror comics covers (Creepy) and horror films posters I had never heard about (Killer Granny, Sick Boy...). Good atmosphere according to my players, too.
  • of the three scenarios of Astounding Adventures book, God of the Airwaves is the one with which I had to improvise more. After the kids' scene, my players took original options, breaking in Ashcroft's appartment and so forth... This was great time. I mean, as a GM, I do love improvising on players' unexpected decisions. And this time I was served right!!!

Next time, I'm planning to bring them on Pulp Cthulhu's Two-Headed Serpent campaign - without telling them, of course, they're now playing CoC... I must tell their original pregens are the official Two-Headed Serpent's characters... and they are of course unaware of it... 😄

@Loïc what is your opinion of Astounding Adventures overall? How are the adventures? I have been tempted to pick that up...

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Opinion about Astounding Adventures overall... (and please forgive my frenchy english!)

Well, I first bought it because I'm quite found of pulp movies and novels. And more than found of BRP system... To compare, I played Daredevils a long time ago, and ran Hollow Earth Expedition a few years ago. In Astounding Adventures, I felt the epic-pulp atmosphere I enjoyed with Daredevils. And Astounding Adventures is far better, in my opinion, than Hollow Earth. HEX's adventures are too much railroaded, and if the Hollow Earth background itself is very interesting, the adventures and implications didn't convinced me. In Astounding, the 3 adventures explore 3 subgenres (jungle adventure, weird science, pulp horror), and I found very fun to make my players discover each of these (with sometimes unexpected results). The mechanics allow to use Astounding as a sandbox: I didn't use (yet...) gadgets and resources since I wanted some realistic tone in my adventures. And the BRP system is enough flowing to allow easy improvisions to avoid raildroaded sessions. And Action Points systems allow many original solutions to the players. My advise: do not hesitate to prepare extra day to day scenes, and a cool larger-than-life NPC casting.

Last, the BRP system is perfect for easily converting old Daredevils and others adventures...

The only bad point: I ran the 3 adventures online (roll20), and probably missed some good roleplay I should entertain tabletop...

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1 hour ago, Loïc said:

Opinion about Astounding Adventures overall... (and please forgive my frenchy english!)

Well, I first bought it because I'm quite found of pulp movies and novels. And more than found of BRP system... To compare, I played Daredevils a long time ago, and ran Hollow Earth Expedition a few years ago. In Astounding Adventures, I felt the epic-pulp atmosphere I enjoyed with Daredevils. And Astounding Adventures is far better, in my opinion, than Hollow Earth. HEX's adventures are too much railroaded, and if the Hollow Earth background itself is very interesting, the adventures and implications didn't convinced me. In Astounding, the 3 adventures explore 3 subgenres (jungle adventure, weird science, pulp horror), and I found very fun to make my players discover each of these (with sometimes unexpected results). The mechanics allow to use Astounding as a sandbox: I didn't use (yet...) gadgets and resources since I wanted some realistic tone in my adventures. And the BRP system is enough flowing to allow easy improvisions to avoid raildroaded sessions. And Action Points systems allow many original solutions to the players. My advise: do not hesitate to prepare extra day to day scenes, and a cool larger-than-life NPC casting.

Last, the BRP system is perfect for easily converting old Daredevils and others adventures...

The only bad point: I ran the 3 adventures online (roll20), and probably missed some good roleplay I should entertain tabletop...

This is awesome! It's on sale for $9.99 right now and I just ordered it! Thank you!

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1 hour ago, Loïc said:

Opinion about Astounding Adventures overall... (and please forgive my frenchy english!)

Well, I first bought it because I'm quite found of pulp movies and novels. And more than found of BRP system... To compare, I played Daredevils a long time ago, and ran Hollow Earth Expedition a few years ago. In Astounding Adventures, I felt the epic-pulp atmosphere I enjoyed with Daredevils. And Astounding Adventures is far better, in my opinion, than Hollow Earth. HEX's adventures are too much railroaded, and if the Hollow Earth background itself is very interesting, the adventures and implications didn't convinced me. In Astounding, the 3 adventures explore 3 subgenres (jungle adventure, weird science, pulp horror), and I found very fun to make my players discover each of these (with sometimes unexpected results). The mechanics allow to use Astounding as a sandbox: I didn't use (yet...) gadgets and resources since I wanted some realistic tone in my adventures. And the BRP system is enough flowing to allow easy improvisions to avoid raildroaded sessions. And Action Points systems allow many original solutions to the players. My advise: do not hesitate to prepare extra day to day scenes, and a cool larger-than-life NPC casting.

Last, the BRP system is perfect for easily converting old Daredevils and others adventures...

The only bad point: I ran the 3 adventures online (roll20), and probably missed some good roleplay I should entertain tabletop...

Oh and by the way, your English is WAY better than my French!

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I was waiting for Your game report @Loïc. This is another diffrent kind of flavor of pulp adventure.

Astounding Adventures... I have only one complaint. There are only three scenarios in the book, one another free scenario - Murder in the floodlights (on the net) and nothing more. No campaign, no scenario book. Shame. I know, that inside there is adventure generator, but couple of scenarios in a Book form would be greate! 

Edited by alter
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I do agree with you, Alter! Then, we can always convert other scenarios (and many pulp RPGs can be easily taken as inspiration sources), or adapt our favorite pulp movies (I did once with Alan Quatermain's King Solomon's Mines for Dark Continent)... I'm not found of adventure generators, I must confess... Prefer building scenarios and/or campaign reacting to my PCs actions!

Nota: I forgot Murder in the footlights! Maybe my next session...

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I Just reviewed Murder in the Footlights. It's very short and not very detailed. Might take two hours to run max. Anyone know of any other pulp adventures? I have Pulp Egypt and Rura Tonga.

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I remember of Daredevils, a fine one, and I've heard about Justice Inc., but never looked at it. I ran Hollow Earth Expedition, and I think it can make a good campaign background - but the scenarios are too railroaded for me, and I don't like the implication (a secret society protecting the secret of the Hollow Earth). Then, it's still a good campaign ground.

And maybe looking towards Pulp Cthulhu?

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Sadly I encountered it after I run Murder as a starting adventure for my Pulp Egypt campaign. You may ask why? Because I needed to move one character from NY to Cairo. Cannot for the world remember who was the dame in distress, but I make her the daughter of NY mayor. After rescuing her and leveling the whole block of buildings, the mayor said only that if lonely hero stays in NY, he will wreak vengeance upon him. So using the character from free Pulp Cthulhu adventure Midnight Mascarade (You can find it on this very forum in Cult of Chaos section) - a chap who is in Department 17 (I think), who offered help with this situation, using the increase in contacts between FBI and mafia (Our lonely hero is gangster), they send him to Cairo to help with excavations (Pulp Egypt Adventures). I need to mention that he is the only survivor of the Mask of Nyarlathotep campaign so he has contacts in this city... After events from Pulp Egypt, I want to run for this character Armored Angels - my favorite adventure for Call of Cthulhu (as a matter of fact this is first truly Pulp adventure years before Pulp Cthulhu was even announced), then he will return to Egypt for Tomb of Sebek, then Waiting for Hurricane, and then on to Rura-Tonga and this will be whole story arc for this particular PC. 

And sorry for my English also. This is not my native language. 

Edited by alter
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I just had one of my players' feedback last night, about the all-three scenarios. What he liked more is... alternating of subgenres (jungle adventures, weird science, horror). And it seems to be the case of my other players. So, for future sessions, I'll work on this track!

Just read Murder on the Footlights topics, thanks all for reviews and expansion advises!

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22 hours ago, Loïc said:

I remember of Daredevils, a fine one, and I've heard about Justice Inc., but never looked at it.

Daredevils was a good game. It used the same system as Bushido and is fine for pulp adventures.

Justice Inc uses the Hero system V3. It is correct, but a bit heavy. I think the system is better for supers than for pulps.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I ran Justice, Inc., borrowing scenarios eagerly from Daredevils (which had loads of good ones).  My group were Champions fans and we had no problem with the system.  Supplements Lands of Mystery and Trail of the Gold Spike had Cthulhu stats included and had a strong movie serial vibe.

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2 hours ago, seneschal said:

I ran Justice, Inc., borrowing scenarios eagerly from Daredevils (which had loads of good ones).  My group were Champions fans and we had no problem with the system.  Supplements Lands of Mystery and Trail of the Gold Spike had Cthulhu stats included and had a strong movie serial vibe.

Yes (Champ fan here also). Lands of Mystery was very good.

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3 hours ago, seneschal said:

I ran Justice, Inc., borrowing scenarios eagerly from Daredevils (which had loads of good ones).  My group were Champions fans and we had no problem with the system.  Supplements Lands of Mystery and Trail of the Gold Spike had Cthulhu stats included and had a strong movie serial vibe.

I would love to see these two adventures updated to 7th edition, and republished (by Chaosium?) for Pulp Cthulhu. 

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