Jump to content

Pulp Heroes in Pulp Cthulhu


Recommended Posts

Just for fun, I decided to create a few iconic pulp characters using Pulp Cthulhu. Because I wanted them to be very competent (as it goes for some of these characters), I have created them with two occupations (with corresponding skill points) and 4 talents (yes, 4). I choose the archetypes liberally what the preferred characteristics and the set of skills that seemed to match best and I have done the same for occupations. For the characteristics, I just winged them.

I have added draft write-ups in the next few posts. Comments and contribution welcomed!

Edited by DreadDomain
  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here a first attempt. I have not yet tried to add traits, personality and background elements.

 

Indiana Jones

Archetype: Scholar

Profession One: Archeologist

Profession Two: Explorer

Characteristics

STR 50     CON 75     SIZ 60     DEX 75     INT 85     APP 70     POW 75     EDU 95

Move 8     Damage Modifier 0     Build 0     Hit Points 27

Talents

Heavy Hitter, Linguist, Quick Healer, Sharp Witted

Skills

Anthropology 50%, Archaeology 90%, Climb 55%, Credit Rating 60%, Dodge 40%, Drive Auto 40%, Fast Talk 45%, History 80%, Jump 65%, Language (Other) 30%, Language (Other)  30%, Language (Other) 30%, Library Use 70%, Natural World 50%, Navigate 50%, Ride 50%, Astronomy 20%, Cryptography 50%, Sleight of Hand 60%, Spot Hidden 65%, Survival 30%

Combat

Brawl 55%, Whip 75%, Handgun 60%

Edited by DreadDomain
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not yet tried to add traits, personality and background elements.

The Phantom

Archetype: Steadfast

Profession One: Tribe Member

Profession Two: Dilettante

Characteristics

STR 90     CON 95     SIZ 75     DEX 80     INT 80     APP 80     POW 80     EDU 80

Move 9     Damage Modifier 1d6     Build 2     Hit Points 34

Talents

Animal Companion (Hero and Satan), Rapid Fire, Rapid Attack, Tough Guy

Skills

Animal Handling 40%, Climb 65%, Credit Rating 60%, Dodge 60%, Drive Auto 50%, History 35%, Intimidate 60%, Jump 65%, Language (Other) 40%, Listen 55%, Natural World 40%, Occult 20%, Persuade 60%, Pilot 35%, Ride 70%, Spot Hidden 40%, Stealth 60%, Survival 55%, Swim 60%, Throw 50%, Track 50%

Combat

Brawl 90%, Handgun 85%

Edited by DreadDomain
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

 I have not yet tried to add traits, personality and background elements. It showed me that Pulp Cthulhu was very light in psychic powers.

 

The Shadow

Archetype: Mystic

Profession One: Criminal

Profession Two: Dilettante

Characteristics

STR 75     CON 80     SIZ 70     DEX 80     INT 85     APP 75     POW 95     EDU 85

Move 9     Damage Modifier 1d4     Build 1     Hit Points 30

Talents

Psychic Power (Telepathy), Rapid Fire, Scary, Shadow

Skills

Appraise 30%, Credit Rating 80%, Disguise 80%, Hypnosis 90%, Intimidate 90%, Language (Other) 40%, Occult 20%, Persuade 50%, Psychology 50%, Spot Hidden 50%, Stealth 95%

Combat

Brawl 80%, Handgun 90%

Psychic Ability

Telepathy 75%

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

 I have not yet tried to add traits, personality and background elements. It showed me that Pulp Cthulhu was very light in gadgets.

 

The Rocketeer

Archetype: Thrill-Seeker

Profession One: Aviator

Profession Two: Athlete

Characteristics

STR 65     CON 75     SIZ 60     DEX 95     INT 60     APP 75     POW 70     EDU 60

Move 9     Damage Modifier 0     Build 0     Hit Points 27

Talents

Beady Eye, Fleet Footed, Gadget (Jet Pack), Handy

Skills

Charm 65%, Climb 60%, Credit Rating 40%, Drive Auto 40%, Electrical Repair 60%, Jump 50%, Listen 60%, Mechanical Repair 60%, Navigate 70%, Persuade 50%, Pilot 95%, Spot Hidden 50%, Stealth 60%, Swim 50%, Throw 50%

Combat

Brawl 65%, Handgun 70%

Gadget

Jet Pack

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

 I have not yet tried to add traits, personality and background elements. It showed me that Pulp Cthulhu was very light in psychic powers.

 

The Shadow

Archetype: Mystic

Profession One: Criminal

Profession Two: Dilettante

Characteristics

STR 75     CON 80     SIZ 70     DEX 80     INT 85     APP 75     POW 95     EDU 85

Move 9     Damage Modifier 1d4     Build 1     Hit Points 30

Talents

Psychic Power (Telepathy), Rapid Fire, Scary, Shadow

Skills

Appraise 30%, Credit Rating 80%, Disguise 80%, Hypnosis 90%, Intimidate 90%, Language (Other) 40%, Occult 20%, Persuade 50%, Psychology 50%, Spot Hidden 50%, Stealth 95%

Combat

Brawl 80%, Handgun 90%

Psychic Ability

Telepathy 75%

Excuse the dumb question but I don't have Pulp Cthulhu. Is the Shadow character above able to do all the mental things the Shadow is associated with or just read minds? How many mental disciplines are there with Cthulhu Pulp?

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, rsanford said:

Excuse the dumb question but I don't have Pulp Cthulhu. Is the Shadow character above able to do all the mental things the Shadow is associated with or just read minds? How many mental disciplines are there with Cthulhu Pulp?

 

Not dumb at all. Pulp Cthulhu is fairly limited in the psychic department. It has only 5 psychic abilities, clairvoyance, divination, medium, psychometry and telekinesis (not even telepathy). If I wanted to develop the Shadow more "faithfully" (well, depending on the source), I would certainly use BGB/Astounding Adventures.

That's is why he had high intimidate and Scary (which reduce the difficulty level or add a bonus die) and high Steath and Shadow (same mechanic).

The same can be said for gadgets. The jet pack in the book is more a jump pack. Pulp Cthulhu is very much low level pulp and the weird part of pulp is not very developped.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Loïc said:

And what about sidekicks? Henry Jones for Indiana, bandar tribesmen (and Guran!)/Heroe/Satan for The Phantom, and so forth?...

In Pulp Cthulhu, I do not believe there is a "sidekick" feature. I suppose they would be listed under Significant People/Contacts instead. For Hero and Satan, I should replace one talent with "Animal Companion". Theoratically, I would need it twice but I do not think it is unreasonable to take them both under one. Also, I need more skill in Animal Handling, only 25%!!

What do you guys think about skill levels. Pulp heroes are generally super competent and broad and their expertise, which is why I gave them but aside from a few signature skills, their skills are generally in the 40 to 60%. Good enough?

I also was fairly stingy in combat skills. The Phantom and the Shadow would probably need a bit more (knife, sword, etc..) 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I was looking for something like this a few weeks ago! I love stuff like this. 

I was disappointed in the psychic abilities in Pulp Cthulhu when I first looked it over. I really wanted more things like The Shadow's abilities, etc. It wouldn't be too hard to make them up I suppose. 

I would give Indy a bit more Strength. His punches really pack a wallop. Otherwise this looks pretty god. I'll do The Spider (and maybe Conan the Barbarian, Solomon Kane, and El Borak) this week if I get the time.

Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Grimmshade said:

I was looking for something like this a few weeks ago! I love stuff like this. 

I was disappointed in the psychic abilities in Pulp Cthulhu when I first looked it over. I really wanted more things like The Shadow's abilities, etc. It wouldn't be too hard to make them up I suppose. 

Totally agree. PC comes a bit short in that department.

24 minutes ago, Grimmshade said:

I would give Indy a bit more Strength. His punches really pack a wallop. Otherwise this looks pretty god.

I thought about it but Indy is not a big guy and to get +1d4 damage he would need STR 65 and it would give him Build 1. It did not feel right. Maybe a "Heavy Hitter" talent instead?

24 minutes ago, Grimmshade said:

I'll do The Spider (and maybe Conan the Barbarian, Solomon Kane, and El Borak) this week if I get the time.

That would be great!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Loïc said:

And what about sidekicks? Henry Jones for Indiana, bandar tribesmen (and Guran!)/Heroe/Satan for The Phantom, and so forth?...

For the Phantom, I have removed Strong-Willed and added Animal Companion (for both Satan and Hero). I have shaved a few skills to improve Animal Handling to 40%

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

In Pulp Cthulhu, I do not believe there is a "sidekick" feature. I suppose they would be listed under Significant People/Contacts instead. For Hero and Satan, I should replace one talent with "Animal Companion". Theoratically, I would need it twice but I do not think it is unreasonable to take them both under one. Also, I need more skill in Animal Handling, only 25%!!

What do you guys think about skill levels. Pulp heroes are generally super competent and broad and their expertise, which is why I gave them but aside from a few signature skills, their skills are generally in the 40 to 60%. Good enough?

I also was fairly stingy in combat skills. The Phantom and the Shadow would probably need a bit more (knife, sword, etc..) 

Don't know much the Shadow (unfortunately never been published in France, we just know the movie), but for the Phantom (many french-translated comics...) I remember he mainly uses his two guns (maybe he shouldn't have any malus when using both of them at the same time? or allow him twice attacks/turn?). Can't remember seeing him with a sword, but frequently with "tribal" weapons (bow, spear...). And since he's been partly educated by the Bandars, I'm sure he knows something about poisons and darts...

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/11/2021 at 10:54 PM, Loïc said:

Don't know much the Shadow (unfortunately never been published in France, we just know the movie), but for the Phantom (many french-translated comics...) I remember he mainly uses his two guns (maybe he shouldn't have any malus when using both of them at the same time? or allow him twice attacks/turn?).

That's what Rapid Fire is for

Quote

Can't remember seeing him with a sword, but frequently with "tribal" weapons (bow, spear...). And since he's been partly educated by the Bandars, I'm sure he knows something about poisons and darts...

Potentially but then you run into the problem of going very specific with the skills. That's were as a group you need to agree on some ground rules and accept broad justification for some checks. As an example, the Phantom is trying to figure out a poison. Pointing at the  background section of their character sheet, the player pleads that he has partly educated by the Bandars and that he knows something about poisons. If the GM buys it he could rule that the Phantom can try an extreme INT roll. If it would have been the same poison used by the Bandars (very specific), a hard roll would have sufficed.

I think it is important that players can pull on their background to justify doing stuff not covered by their skills.

Edited by DreadDomain
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/10/2021 at 2:50 AM, DreadDomain said:

Just for fun, I decided to create a few iconic pulp characters using Pulp Cthulhu. Because I wanted them to be very competent (as it goes for some of these characters), I have created them with two occupations (with corresponding skill points) and 4 talents (yes, 4). I choose the archetypes liberally what the preferred characteristics and the set of skills that seemed to match best and I have done the same for occupations. For the characteristics, I just winged them.

I have added draft write-ups in the next few posts. Comments and contribution welcomed!

I would have given most Pulp characters stats from 12-15, and then to use Mythras parlance Paragon characters (Batman etc) would be from 15-20. But then again, for a Pulp game I am not so interested in stats and would just give a media example of the type of character being played and let the player have fun. We all want Indy to use the Ark of Covenant and blast Cthulhu in the face with it.

Honestly, for some pulp stuff for characters like the Phantom I would certainly look at Con-X Paranormal Sourcebook for various things like Telepathic illusion and that kind of thing - unless you are using telepathy as a catch-all type power to cover a gamut of abilities?

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, RogerDee said:

I would have given most Pulp characters stats from 12-15, and then to use Mythras parlance Paragon characters (Batman etc) would be from 15-20.

I was also thinking about using World United (Mythras) or Astounding Adventures (BRP) but the fun was in trying Pulp Cthulhu as is. I might try one or two character with WU or AA just for fun.

8 hours ago, RogerDee said:

Honestly, for some pulp stuff for characters like the Phantom I would certainly look at Con-X Paranormal Sourcebook for various things like Telepathic illusion and that kind of thing - unless you are using telepathy as a catch-all type power to cover a gamut of abilities?

I suppose you meant the Shadow, not the Phantom. There is no Telepathy power in Pulp Cthulhu, it's in A Cold Fire Within (which I do not have yet). I simply stole Telepathy from the BGB which covers a lot of ground when it come to clouding the mind of men (reading thoughts, digging into memories, implanting false memories, etc.).  Mental Illusion is not called out specifically but it seems to fit the spirit of the power and there is no alternative in the psychic power in the BGB. Not sure if Telepathy in A Cold Fire Within is more limited.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Man, I might have to buy Cold Fire Within now...

I was just thinking that The Phantom's strength should maybe be lower. I can't remember how strong he was supposed to be, but room has to be left for people like Conan (assuming 100 is the highest human value.)

In my build for Conan it looks like he would probably have a 90 or 95 Strength. He's one of the strongest men on earth in his time. Baal-Pteor, one of the two strongest men Conan faces in the Howard stories probably rates 90 Strength (but a larger size than Conan, probably 90 or 95 to Conan's 85)

Still working on Conan, The Spider, Solomon Kane, and El Borak! (Maybe Bran Mak Morn too)

Edited by Grimmshade
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Grimmshade said:

Man, I might have to buy Cold Fire Within now...

I was just thinking that The Phantom's strength should maybe be lower. I can't remember how strong he was supposed to be, but room has to be left for people like Conan (assuming 100 is the highest human value.)

I thought about making him 85 but since he is often described as having the strength of 10 men (hyperbolic I am sure) I made him 90. Either/or I'd be comfortable with the Phantom at 85.

1 hour ago, Grimmshade said:

In my build for Conan it looks like he would probably have a 90 or 95 Strength. He's one of the strongest men on earth in his time. Baal-Pteor, one of the two strongest men Conan faces in the Howard stories probably rates 90 Strength (but a larger size than Conan, probably 90 or 95 to Conan's 85)

Conan would surely be 95 as it is his iconic feature. But again, would be comfortable with 90. In any case, he has to be stronger than Phantom.

1 hour ago, Grimmshade said:

Still working on Conan, The Spider, Solomon Kane, and El Borak! (Maybe Bran Mak Morn too)

Cool!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

I was also thinking about using World United (Mythras) or Astounding Adventures (BRP) but the fun was in trying Pulp Cthulhu as is. I might try one or two character with WU or AA just for fun.

I suppose you meant the Shadow, not the Phantom. There is no Telepathy power in Pulp Cthulhu, it's in A Cold Fire Within (which I do not have yet). I simply stole Telepathy from the BGB which covers a lot of ground when it come to clouding the mind of men (reading thoughts, digging into memories, implanting false memories, etc.).  Mental Illusion is not called out specifically but it seems to fit the spirit of the power and there is no alternative in the psychic power in the BGB. Not sure if Telepathy in A Cold Fire Within is more limited.

Cold Fire has only two powers, but it is a while since I read it - it being mainly an adventure.

Actually, know what, in hindsight I was being rather stupid - why not use Achtung Cthulhu - Elder Godlike, which incorporates super powers in Cthulhu? That may be the best way to showcase pulp stuff?

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Spider (Richard Wentworth)

Archetype: Adventurer

Profession: Dilettante 

Characteristics

STR 65     CON 75     SIZ 60     DEX 85     INT 80     APP 75     POW 75     EDU 80

Move 9     Damage Modifier 1d4     Build 1     Hit Points 27    Luck 70

Talents

Quick Healer, Strong Willed, Rapid Fire, Master of Disguise

Skills

Art/Craft (Acting) 75%, Climb 75%, Credit Rating 90%, Disguise 80%, Dodge 65%, Fighting (Brawl) 65%, Firearms (Handgun) 85%, Firearms (Rifle,Shotgun) 35%, Intimidate 80%, Language Other (Hindustani) 50%, Language Own (English) 80%, Listen 50%, Psychology 50%, Sleight of Hand 70%, Spot Hidden 65%, Stealth 70%, 

Equipment

2 x .45 automatic

Cigarette Lighter with concealed spider stamp

Thin silken line with tensile strength of several hundred pounds

Backstory

Traits: Won't shoot law enforcement.

Ideology: Death to the bringers of death! Vigilante justice.

Significant People: Fiancee Nita van Sloan

Scars: Scar on head that flares up at times of great stress

 

Notes: Mostly due to Credit Rating and Language skills, had to use more points than allowed in character creation.

 

Edited by Grimmshade
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/16/2021 at 2:44 PM, Grimmshade said:

The Spider (Richard Wentworth)

Very nice. To be honest, I do not know much about the Spider except that he may be a Shadow analogue without the psychic power. I did not even know that your avatar was the Spider!! ;)

I like the Backstory section. I'd happily put 2 to 4 traits and 2 to 4 significant people in that section. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...