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Question for those of you in the alpha test of Dime Adventures:

Now that you've gone through character creation again, what are your opinions regarding the new list of traits? Which ones seem strangely implemented or overpowered to you? Which traits are either useless, lackluster or simply don't provide something you'd expect to see for a trait of that stat/cost? Is there anything obvious missing?
Some thoughts as I scroll through:

Rage and Powerhouse. Powerhouse seems to be *just better* in that it always functions (when holding a melee weapon), and doesn't have a drawback, plus gives an additional side benefit. Now, Rage functions when you're grappling (or throwing, or weilding a crossbow/bow), which I guess is alright, but this trait seems made for killing lieutenants or bosses, whom you can target lock on and just keep wailing on them. But, once you're at Critical Severity for Fixated, this power turns off. Now, stacking Rage and Powerhouse seems great, except that both are 7 cost and thus unlikely to be able to afford both in the long run. I'm not sure the edge cases when you could use Rage and couldn't use Powerhouse justify the downsides Rage has compared to the added benefit of Powerhouse.

Matt was right, Weapon Master is *awesome*.

Stunt Driver is great.

Dual-Weapon Fighting, should ambidexterity or lack there of play into this?

I like all the Speed Traits a lot. I like their interplay and will be curious to see them play out in practice.

Hardy seems… expensive but that might just be that we haven't seen a ton of disease or poisons around, but that seems like a very circumstantial bonus where, something like Iron Hide is going to come up multiple times a session.

Diehard and Unbreakable are both awesome, and pretty scary in conjunction. However, given they're both so expensive, someone who's going for both would have to do basically that and little else, so I think that's okay.

Second Wind, as it stands, seems overpriced to me. That's a good effect, don't get me wrong, but it takes an AP *and* a moxie, and heals you your Endurance, which even at an Endurance of 8, that's less than even the heart damage on a rifle shot. A moxie and an AP is a lot of cost, and for the top tier of endurance, it feels underwhelming.

Coordinator is awesome. Allowing PCs whose shtick it is to buff other people to buff them better is great. That said, if I'm being honest this feels a bit underpriced at 3? But maybe making other people awesome is awesome and people doing that is great.

Jack of All Trades is great.

Master Detective now requires the Investigate skill! Hooray!

Sieze the Initiative really really does not seem to be worth 7 exp, but that might just be my perspective.

Blind Warrior is awesome.

Master of Words is…. interesting? I guess the implication is If you're taking Master of Words, you're that build that just gives everyone a million consequences and Master of Words lets you switch those all around. I would be curious to hear how it plays, but I don't think any of us are going to take it.

Dedication seems… a bit weak. I think it would be more on par at a +4 because it's very conditional.

Wow Unfazeable is awesome :O

In short, everything feels pretty good with no giant outliers. A few nitpicking here and there, but that's it
Here are my quick responses to all the traits. Some of these may be wrong, but these are my gut reactions and first thoughts.


Challenging Bellow - The big guy with all the hit points probably should piss everyone off. I like this trait. I also think at Cost 3, it is a reasonable purchase.

The Direct Approach - Kicking down the door feels very pulp. I considered this trait for the flavor, though chose more generally applicable traits.

Power Haul - One of those standard traits that always shows up when a system has encumbrance. Not terribly exciting, but necessary.

Sunder - Cleaving a weapon in half is very pulp.

Dazing Strike/Knockdown - I like how strength has these traits. They make melee combat more interesting. Dazing Strike is only for strength-based melee, correct?

Wrestler - This provides a huge amount of options and advantage.
(Reread grapple rules)

Rage/Powerhouse - Are these intentionally the same? Powerhouse seems to be less restricted and has the additional bonus. Still they seems pretty potent.

Weapon Master - Looks pretty awesome. It seems worthy of a 9 which should be rare and special and powerful.


Ambidexterity - A cheap way to have a gun in one hand and a rapier in the other. Very pulp and very awesome. Could possibly be a 5 pointer.

Catfall - I have seen similar traits before. Given the pulp setting, fighting in high awkward places seems more likely, but still, it is only likely to be useful every few sessions.

Dualist - I'm glad this exists since I like there to be focus on the dueling system. That said, I might add a little more to it. Possible additions: bonus to perception-based skills to notice cheating in any duel or a bonus to the will-power resist in the face off part.

Stunt Driver - Very cool.

Dual-Weapon Fighting - Do they need to be the same type (pistols or melee) or against the same target? Might have balance issues with pistols or some other weapons.

Martial Arts - Looks reasonable. The fact that it does the same damage as a knife, a spear, a bayonet, a staff, or swordcane is a little weird. A knife might make sense, but some of those others may be low. Still the trait needs to be good to make unarmed combat archetypes useful. How does this interact with Dual-weapon?

Sneak Attack - I think stealth/trick based traits are always fun. Having the “not yet acted this combat” wording means this will actually be useful rather frequently.

Fencing - I like the defensive nature of this ability.

Riposte - Ability makes sense. Seems fine.

Twin Strike - Single flip seems interesting, since a good card in hand can hurt two opponents. I think this is a pretty good 9, though I'd probably need to try it a few combats to confirm.


Charge Attack - Inexpensive way to reward melee's need to move closer to the enemy.

Fleet of Foot - I really like this trait for melee characters that need to get close in a hurry. I had it last chapter and this. That said, given that it is a free AP for moving and stacks with charge attack, might want to consider making it a 5 point trait. That said, given how awesome guns are compared to melee, might be worth keeping a few perks for the guy who needs to run into trouble.

Leg Up - Seems useful enough, though not as universally useful as Fleet of Foot.

Sacrificial Dodge - I took it because it fits my character's motivations, and I do think it should require a trait otherwise tanks just soak hits all the time. I would possibly make it more mechanically attractive, like getting the AP back if the hit would have missed anyway, but as is, it is probably acceptible.

Deft Retreat - Any system that has ZOCA needs a way to slip around them for nimble characters, and it fits setting.

Quick Draw - I might make this a 3 if Fleet of Foot stays at 3, since drawing/reloading doesn't usually happen every round and is less frequent than the need for a free move. That said, if both were 5s, that would be reasonable.

Catlike Reflexes - I like the idea of this, but I have some mechanical concerns. If the other side in a combat pushes your action to the end of the round, does it carry over? If it doesn't, it could be rather useless and cost a lot. I might phrase it closer to fleet of foot or quick draw: She may take a free reaction action once per round.

Lucky Dodge - It could be useful. Not sure about the cost, though I go back and forth between 5 and 7 as reasonable for this.

Lightning Speed - Given the limit on card flips during one's turn, I'm not sure a single generic AP is that useful with other AP-like abilities. While extra ZOCAs are nice for a melee character, a lightning fast gunslinger really just gets to dodge more. Maybe the character gets half their speed in AP total, so a 9 with this trait gets 4(+1) total, but a 10 gets 5 (+2).


Acclimated - Given the pulp setting's frozen tundra and harsh deserts, this trait might get some use. I'm glad the bonus is actually decent. Since it fits my character, I may take this next chance I get.

Fast Healer - Always useful.

Iron Stomach - Iron Stomach is of those traits that I often see and have mixed feelings on. Given our current campaign, it would seem to make sense - starvation is part of such expeditions. Too often it is a trait that requires the GM to remember the player has it and give opportunities for it to come up: strange native foods, poisoning attempts, starvation and spoilage. Still, given the generous bonus here, I think it is fine unless something better is on the chopping block.

Staunch Fortitude - I like traits that reduce consequences and wouldn't mind seeing one for every consequence where it made sense.
(look up consequence list)

Hardy - A fairly common trait and probably should be there. Disease and poison in a pulp setting, but of course! I will admit that I would be unlikely to buy it at 5, unless I thought poison or disease were VERY likely in the campaign. This may be because such traits either tempt the GM or are forgotten about.

Iron Hide - +2 DR is very nice and almost like an extra 2 HP everytime a person is hit, EXCEPT against guns since all except the shotgun have 1-3 piercing. Still I really want to take this one.

Toughness - I'm glad this one was only 5 XP since certain builds need HP to survive. I think how Endurance factors in also makes sense and means that this trait just gets better for higher Endurance characters.

Diehard - Not sure about this one. At 7 or above Endurance, dying is already less likely, and at that point, having 7 flips to stabilize or die might be a “win-more” situation. Lowering it to a 5 XP one might make sense, but it probably makes sense at a 7. It is crazy with Unbreakable, but also more likely to take damage that could push stabilizing rolls out of reach. I think I would possibly try that combination in a one-shot, but not sure I would in a campaign, since building a character that is only interesting when one's bad decisions have pushed far into negative HP isn't really my thing.

Unbreakable - Yeah, 7 makes sense for this one. I hate going unconscious since being out of combat can be boring, so I can appreciate why this trait exists. That said, it is less exciting than some of the other 7s.

Second Wind - I agree with Kat. Requiring a concentrate action makes this one less interesting. “I'm bleeding out from that guy shooting me, so I'll focus my mind to recover and heal enough to take half of the next shot he'll send my way.”


Language - Right cost and no limitations means the pulp hero can speak the local language if he or she wants to.

Common Sense - One of those traits that is really dependent on the GM and player, but which I think works well and is the right price.

Coordinator - If there is a character coordinating, this is a great ability. Given the bonuses it tosses around, this one could be increase to a cost 5, but keeping it at 3 makes a “mastermind” or “swami” archetype a reasonable choice.

Eidetic Memory - I like the idea of this trait, but not sure I like the implementation.

Intuition - As it is, it is a fine cost 3 trait. That said, what is considered a blind choices? Would this trait have helped with determining which gear to cross off last session? Would this trait have helped with deciding whether to keep the healing rod or not? How many actual blind choices there are determines whether this trait is a dud or not.

Amazing Tactician - Another trait that is useful for the mastermind. I approve.

Jack of All Trades - Makes high Int more useful. Could create some interesting builds.

Trickster - Good trait to make the trick action more useful.

Gadgeteer - I like this trait. It feels very pulp.

Linguist - Seems more reasonable at 7 than 9. For the price, I would possibly add written language, so that the linquist can eventually figure out some information from a random set of runes on a ruin wall. That seems very pulp to me.

Master Plan - If ever there was a trait that would encourage me to spend 9 XP, it is this one. Very cool.


Direction Sense - Directin Sense traits are pretty standard and fits the setting where being in unknown lands is likely.

Improvised Warrior - One of those traits that fits the setting. “You may have a sword, but I have this remarkably well -balanced candle holder!” At 3 points, it seems fine, though I would probably never take it unless it really fit the character's schtick.

Night Vision- Standard and useful.

Scrounge - I like this one a lot. I considered asking whether it could be used to aid survival rolls to find food or resources in the wild, but given its reasonable cost of 3 and already good utility, it is probably fine as written.

Danger Sense - I like how this trait works with the AP-loss from surprise.

Gunslinger - I like this trait. Priced right and encourages called shots.

Master Detective - Like this version better than the last one. I actually wish more skills had cool traits like this, though not sure which would work (Master Forager, Master Thief, etc.)

Seize the Initiative - It makes sense to have abilities that play with the initiative system. It seems useful at times to have powerful characters jump in and act. Cost 7 may be high since spending a moxie to do this limits it considerably.

Sniper - With the right build, this might be problematic, but given the cost, it should be good. I probably wouldn’t change it. Adding an AP limit to it would make it feel more like a Cost 5 trait.

Blind Warrior - This could be a very interesting trait. It requires a certain build, and it probably wouldn’t be my first choice of the Cost 9s.


Contact - Standard trait. Some systems require a complex contact system (Shadowrun), but I think a pulp game can get by with less.

Fashion Sense - I could see taking this, but I might make the bonus a +2 given the preparation requirement.

Network - While only Cost 3, requires a Charisma 6 or better to be useful. Given that it is the only way to increase starting wealth, I don’t like this trait as much as I first thought I did.

Status - Pretty standard trait. Like the fact it can be purchased multiple times which is flavorful. The noble lord who is a war hero, the famous doctor explorer, all very pulp.

Cool - Like the flavor of this ability. Priced well.

Cutting Remark - This seems more reasonably costed than before.

Inspiring - Pro: it makes charisma-based characters have more to do and gives them options. Con: It makes high charisma characters a good second, no matter what other skills they have. In a pulp game, I don’t mind it, but I would hate this in more serious settings.

Born Leader - I like the flavor of this moxie-sharing trait.

Honeyed Tongue - I think this trait could be interesting and flavorful, but would the appeal of offering enemies bribes constantly get old?

Master of Words - I like the flavor. I like that it does weird substitution things. I don’t actually know if it is good. I have to think about that.


Dedication - Are there enough extended actions to make this valuable? I haven’t made that many so far, though that may be the character I’m playing. It’s cheap, so it is probably fine.

Fearless - Terrible pulp monsters require fearless pulp heroes.

Focused - I like how determination has a bunch of these reduce-consequence traits.

Single-Minded - See above.

Iron Will - I think traits that increase willpower defenses make sense.

Lucky - I like how there are two such traits in two different areas.

Undaunted - Mental dodge trait that mirrors the physical dodge trait. Looks good.

Grit - Determination bonus to HP seems like a good idea. I like how a lot of these traits help make determination more desireable.

Truly Scary - Reminds me of Rebel Yell in Deadlands. It feels pulp and makes intimidation interesting.

Unfazeable - Feels like a Cost 9 trait. Makes having 9 determination something I would possibly consider now.
Master of Words sounds really awesome. Being able to change a Dazed consequence on an ally into a Bolstered consequence sounds cool.

Sniper seems weak to me. Most map layouts don't have large zone ranges in them. I can think of very few times I havve felt the need to move to shoot, maybe once or twice. For 7 cost, it requires the GM to plan enough large scale combats for it to matter.

I do love the fact that I felt more of a desire to grab traits from various ability lists. It feels more well-rounded. Dex feels like it is mostly melee based. I didn't find much in there that I would want, even though I have an 8 Dex.

Wrestler: Yay! I like this much better than the old grappling specialty.

Rage and Powerhouse: I agree with everyone else that Powerhouse seems strictly better.


Stunt Driver: Obviously, both Oswald and I are big fans of the buff to this trait.

Dual-weapon Fighting: Wait…do both hits key off a single card? Does it use the highest attack bonus? Or does each get a separate card to determine its attack, damage, etc.? I think this might be the best damage buff in the game, head and shoulders above Powerhouse, which is a 7-pointer. Then again, it does cost an AP and (probably?) requires Ambidexterity to be as good as it can be, so perhaps not unreasonable.

Fencing and Riposte: These are both cool abilities and feel good at 7 points, but I am noticing a trend here wherein 7-pointers are good individually but awesome in the unlikely scenario that someone has both. Is that intentional?

Twin Strike: Can you Two Birds off of this to take out (potentially) four people?


Catlike Reflexes: What Micah said, pretty much.

Lightning Speed: I still think this is pretty boss and good as-is. Like, at the very least, you could look it as +2 on all attacks forever. Making it AP = half Speed feels less like a balancing factor and more like a powerful incentive to buy Speed 10 if you plan on taking this.


Hardy: I am a fan of situationally useful, flavor-appropriate traits. However, I think that if the situation where your trait is useful isn't under your control (like it is with martial arts, wrestler, sniper), it should either cost 3 or be really awesome. +4 is pretty darn good, but I wonder if total immunity wouldn't be unreasonable. Maybe as a 7-pointer. 5 points is a pretty big investment for a decent but not-a-sure-thing bonus for something that may or may not come up.

Second Wind: Joining the chorus. I like the idea but the benefit is too small for the investment of points, actions, and Moxie required.


Eidetic Memory: What Micah said. It's neat, I don't dislike it, but I question its utility. Maybe it can be used to remember blueprints and obviate the need for Prototype rolls or something?


Honestly, I think I really like all of these.


Master of Words: Oh, now I get why Rage is 7 points. That combo is frightening.


Dedication: Aw, this is cute and I like it a lot!

Everything else looks pretty good to me, I think.
This week I want to ask about equipment.

Is there any obvious equipment that should be in the list, but which is missing? Are any of the weapons and armor simply too good or too lackluster as written? How is the balance between ranged and melee options, in your mind?
Is there any obvious equipment that should be in the list, but which is missing?

Lock picks are mentioned in the equipment properties section, but not actually mentioned on the purchase list. It would make sense on the tools list. The thief's mask should also be mentioned.

I noticed the Makeup Toolkit mentioned for the Politician isn't actually mentioned in the equipment section. Possibly also add a further disguise toolkit.

I read the common sense items thing, but there are some things mentioned with backgrounds that weren't in equipment but should be: Chalk, Toolkit (Crafts) for Artists (probably should make painting or sculpting supplies), Medical Toolkit for Doctor and Combat Medic (probably should be surgery toolkit and added first aid kit), Liberal Arts Toolkit, Personal Grooming Kit, Spyglass, Forensic Toolkit, baton (under club?), Occult Toolkit, Survival Toolkit, and military rations.

Random other tool sets that crossed my mind: carpentry toolkit, mason toolkit, welding kit or torch (doesn't seem really covered by mechanical toolkit), chef's toolkit (pots, pans, other cookie supplies), brewing stuff, mining stuff, and sewing kit. I mostly went to a random link for tools necessary for work in 1900 (

Random other things: rentals of space or equipment (industrial places for big parts like plane wings), coal, diesel, oil and other energy sources, quality paper, and maybe Moonshine and other cheap liquor.

I'm assuming a weird occult stuff and weird invention stuff might be part of a supplement?

Are any of the weapons and armor simply too good or too lackluster as written?

I think I would probably tweak the damage of the knife a little since it really shouldn't be as good as bayonet, spear, staff, and sword cane, but I honestly think I would tweak up melee damage slightly.

I might tweak the staff to defensive 2 or give it the same damage as the club.

I would also tweak up bows and crossbows. Compare these:

Bow: +5, +2, 0, -3
Hands 2, Range 2, Reload 2, Shots 1

Browning Pistol: 10, 7, 5, 2
Conceal, Pierce 1, Range 2, Reload 2, Shots 8

Factoring the pierce, you need at least strength 6 to make the bow as good as the pistol, leaving aside the conceal, hands, and shots which are strictly better for the pistol. As they are now, bows are bad. Possible fixes: a damage boost, some new properties, or some interesting bow-specific traits like “trick shots.”

I love the flavor of the boomerrang, but it is an AP sink with poor damage. If the fast-draw trait could allow the boomerang to be caught, I think I would like it a little better.

How is the balance between ranged and melee options, in your mind?

In chapter one, melee really wasn't that good. I think it is a lot better than it was with the new traits, but it could still use a tweak or two.

Since the chance to hit is based off dex and damage is based off strength for melee, melee characters can't simply tank strength like ranged fighters. My pistol does the same damage as my spear and actually has more properties, and rather than moving closer to actually be able to use it, I can get a bonus to hit from aim.

In a realistic modern game, this is fine for verisimilitude, but in pulp, flair and dramatic melee are part of things.

As is:
Unarmed: +1, -1, -2, -4
Shield/Brass Knuckles/Blackjack: +3, +1, -1, -3
Knife: +5, +2, 0, -3
Spear/Sword Cane/Staff/Bayonet: +5, +2, 0, -3
Sword/Garrote/Club: +7, +4, +1, -2

Possible suggestion:
Unarmed: +1, -1, -2, -4
Shield/Brass Knuckles/Blackjack: +3, +1, -1, -3
Knife: +5, +2, 0, -3
Spear/Sword Cane/Staff/Bayonet: +6, +3, 1, -2
Sword/Garrote/Club: +8, +5, +2, -1
Polearm: +9, +6, +3, 0

While the polearm seems powerful at higher strengths, given the elephant gun is already 16/12/8/4 with Pierce 3, melee is losing the damage game and wasting AP moving around.

If you don't want to increase damage too much, a few more properties could be interesting. Staff could be Defense 2. Shield could be Defense 3 or have the option to use a move action to increase a character's Cover consequence.

Another less desirable option is to weaken Aim to a +1 per AP for all attacks or for only ranged.
This week I want to ask about initiative and a couple other things.

So far we've tried three versions of the initiative system. Which is your favorite and why? Do you have any other recommendations for initiative?

This chapter the rules for jokers and trumps allow you pick which stack to take, and it won't be a critical fail if you don't take the joker. How is that working out? Do you prefer the current rules or the old rules?

This chapter the rules for actions on your turn state that only one action can require a flip; it doesn't have to be your last action. How is this working out? Do you prefer this version of the rules or the old one, where an action requiring a flip was always your last action?
Initiative: I really like version 3 (you may tag whoever you want, but your AP refreshes on your turn). I find the initiate system most interesting when there's actual choice involved, as that's where a lot of the tactics come in.

Full feedback on each:
Version 1 (You may tag whoever you want and AP refreshes at the top of the round): This didn't bother me, and I generally enjoy it as a system. It felt like there was real choice, but I liked it less than 3 for reasons I'll get into in 3

Version 2 (You must tag the other team and AP refreshes at the top of the round): I liked this one least by a wide margin. I find it uninteresting and lacking what seems to make this system special and unique. There was a marginal amount of choice, but I didn't find the choice to be real or interesting. Most often it was “IDK, one of the bad guys”.

Version 3 (You may tag whoever you want, but AP refreshes on your action): I really really like this one. The choice I observe in Version 1 is preserved, whether to pass to the opponent or to a party member. How to spend your AP is a real and serious question. I enjoy that sometimes we spend everything we have, thinking that the enemy is out of dudes, and sometimes we're right and sometimes they have a sneak attack waiting and we get punished. I think the question of “Do you take a double set of turns and spend everything you have and hope you can drop them” is a real and dangerous question because sometimes we're right and sometimes we're wrong. And I like that risk and that question and making that guess. Because if we're wrong than *they* get a double turn and that's brutal.

Jokers and Trumps:
I don't have a strong opinion on this. I think Jokers come up on Single flips enough that they're still impactful (lol look at last game), but the ability to not dread Jokers on trumps is, I think, a positive. It also lets you protect rolls that are improtant to you.

Actions and flips:
I love this. A++
So far we've tried three versions of the initiative system. Which is your favorite and why? Do you have any other recommendations for initiative?

The back and forth one was probably the least interesting, mostly because of the “which of these three identical mooks should go next?” isn't usually tactically interesting. I also think it slows things down since there is a lot of “which enemy hasn't gone?” or “Are there any hidden enemies?”

I liked the other two variants, though the AP during your turn created some strange problems with planning when to to dodging and hidden characters. It made alpha strikes much more of a thing. “I'm going to go twice, so I will just drop all my AP this round to called shot/special move/aim.” The back-and-forth feels very pulp, and I do feel that combat is pretty interesting with the AP-refreshing at strange times.

I do think a few traits that play with whatever initiative system is chosen might be helpful. Examples:

-A perception trait where for a Moxie one can tell if there are hidden enemies.
-A speed rapid reflex trait where even if an enemy initiates combat, a player can force a speed challenge to see which side goes first.

This chapter the rules for jokers and trumps allow you pick which stack to take, and it won't be a critical fail if you don't take the joker. How is that working out? Do you prefer the current rules or the old rules?

I like this change since there are still a reasonable number of Joker flips, but low adder-trump are actually worth a little more as it makes playing an adder-trump less risky. Imagine a situation where you have an adder-trump King in one's hand. With the old system, there is a ~91% chance of not pulling a joker (5 cards in hand, fresh deck), but if one just draws the random top of the deck, it is a little higher, ~93-95%ish. It always seemed weird to me that playing a card was riskier than utter randomness. Given the setting, a few percent less chance of failure makes sense. In horror, you want people to dramatically fail and be eaten by monsters (Shadows over Sol), but Pulp, you want people to dramatically succeed and do cool stuff.

This chapter the rules for actions on your turn state that only one action can require a flip; it doesn't have to be your last action. How is this working out? Do you prefer this version of the rules or the old one, where an action requiring a flip was always your last action?

Being able to hit an enemy and then use AP or traits to move or do other non-flip things is great. I think this change helped melee a great deal.
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