Home Forums Alternate History Pulp Pulp Wargaming – a quick overview

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  • #85861
    DavyJones
    Participant

    Pulp is one of my favorite settings in our hobby. To help beginners starting their adventures, I wrote a series of posts about the whole genre. The series will cover rule sets, sources of inspiration and miniatures for specific genres. The first post tries to explain what pulp is. Or more specific, my understanding of the term. I hope you like it and as always, any comments are appreciated!

    #85862
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Very cool.

    I consider my 15mm fantasy games to be quite pulpy.

     

    #85877
    Patrice
    Participant

    Interesting! I’ll follow this.

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    https://www.anargader.net/

    #85878
    Bill Bartlett
    Participant

    That’s a pretty good overview of Pulp. I think much the same as you. The genre can’t be horned into a narrow niche. It covers everything from Cthulhu to Bond to Indiana Jones to Conan the Barbarian to Buck Rogers to The Shadow or Fu Manchu. A good set of rules for Pulp will play all those different stories, one as well as another. I’ll be following along, thanks posting.

    regards, Bill

    #86556
    DavyJones
    Participant

    Thanks for the comments guys. That should keep me motivated. 

    #86597
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Yes, please do keep going. I’d love to see your list of rules/games and thoughts on them.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #86621
    OldBen1
    Participant

    Great overview.

    #86626
    JozisTinMan
    Participant

    I’ll chime in, keep it up! I will follow with interest

    http://jozistinman.blogspot.com/

    #97781
    DavyJones
    Participant

    It has been a while, but the second post of the series is online now! I hope you like it. And as always, I highly appreciated any comments.

     

     

    #97799
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Interesting. For me once you get into the realms of hit locations on a human body you have moved from wargaming into roleplaying.

    #97814
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    For me once you get into the realms of hit locations on a human body you have moved from wargaming into roleplaying.

    That’s part of the very premise of the Rattrap Productions series of games, to which .45 Adventure belongs. They’re very much hybrid games, but still not quite to the point of being 50-50.

    I was a big fan of those games when they were new, but I admit now that they have their flaws. One problem is that a head injury only affects the intelligence stat, not the character’s ability to fight, shoot, run or anything else. Similarly a leg injury doesn’t affect melee fighting ability, as if legwork has no bearing on combat.

    I’ve heard lots and lots of good things about Pulp Alley, and the father-daughter team that’s designed it are very cool people, so I’ve been wanting to try it for years. .45 Adventure was a popular game for a while but Pulp Alley blew it out of the water.

    #98187
    DavyJones
    Participant

    @Rhoderic: I can’t recommend Pulp Alley highly enough. It is for sure a great game!

     

    @Mike: I agree. For me, stuff like hitting certain body parts is a little bit too much. I prefer game mechanics that are slick and fast.

    #110129
    DavyJones
    Participant

    Wrote another post for my pulp wargaming series: http://glueanddice.com/top-10-pulp-movies-for-wargaming/

    Hope you like it!

    #110134
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Yes, I watched the Mummy the night before last, The Mummy Returns last night and the third one never!
    King Kong with Jack Black is also excellent!

    #110149
    Thomaston
    Participant

    Thanks for this, I have a better idea of what pulp gaming is and got the demo version of both Pulp Alley and .45 Adventures. Will read the rules but will probably see if I can incorporate them into the current frankenstein rule I’m using.

    Tired is enough.

    #110157
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    Wrote another post for my pulp wargaming series: http://glueanddice.com/top-10-pulp-movies-for-wargaming/ Hope you like it!

    I really did like the Tintin movie myself. Ignoring the overly cartoony bits, it really was an inspirational pulp genre romp. As for those cartoony bits. even they were enjoyable to me in and of themselves – just not useful as inspiration.

    Unlike many other Europeans I’m not very well versed in the whole Tintin franchise (I remember it from my childhood, but not in great detail, and although I’ve set out to re-immerse myself in it more recently, I’ve not gotten far), but one thing I find intriguing about it is the way it effortlessly carries the general theme of pulp adventure past the “golden age” of the interwar years into the 1950s and 60s. It feels counterintuitive, but it works.

    I draw the line at the end of the 60s, though. Been playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and although I like the theme of modern-day action heroes in the jungle, the merging of classic pulp elements (undiscovered ruins, isolated vestigial civilisations, crypto-hominids, etc) with a modern setting doesn’t work for me.

    But I digress. Sorry.

    #110170
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Cthulhu Pulp have adventures that could be used for other rules systems.

    #110195
    Thomaston
    Participant

    Have to confess I’ve always steered clear of anything with the world pulp in it, orange juice with pulp, PulP Fiction, pulp novels. After reading your links, I’m still a little cloudy about what pulp really is but I have a better idea now. I might try out pulp novels and orange juice with pulp when I have the chance but still a hard no on Pulp Fiction.

    Really like the look of Pulp Alley rules, the health mechanic is what got me. Feels like it’ll give a real rick reward feel to actions and I think it represents injury pretty well.

    Thanks.

    Tired is enough.

    #110197
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    Have to confess I’ve always steered clear of anything with the world pulp in it, orange juice with pulp, PulP Fiction, pulp novels. After reading your links, I’m still a little cloudy about what pulp really is but I have a better idea now. I might try out pulp novels and orange juice with pulp when I have the chance but still a hard no on Pulp Fiction.

    Outside of the miniatures, roleplaying and adventure gaming communities, one sometimes hears the word pulp being used for any and all kinds of cheap fiction in primarily book form. Bodice rippers, whodunits, westerns, formulaic spy thrillers, third-rate fantasy novels, lurid horror stories, Bridget Jones’s Diary cash-ins, novelisations of blockbuster movies, all of it. You know, airport lit. I haven’t seen the movie Pulp Fiction either but I expect the title is in reference to that definition of pulp.

    In the gaming communities, one rarely comes across this broad definition of the word. To us it’s Indiana Jones and The Phantom battling Mekong River pirates. And maybe prohibition-era gangster stories, if they’re sensationalist and unrealistic enough (i.e. not Boardwalk Empire).

    #110198
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    Outside of the miniatures, roleplaying and adventure gaming communities, one sometimes hears the word pulp being used for any and all kinds of cheap fiction in primarily book form. Bodice rippers, whodunits, westerns, formulaic spy thrillers, third-rate fantasy novels,

    I would class my Burning Sands games as pulp.

    #110200
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    Outside of the miniatures, roleplaying and adventure gaming communities, one sometimes hears the word pulp being used for any and all kinds of cheap fiction in primarily book form. Bodice rippers, whodunits, westerns, formulaic spy thrillers, third-rate fantasy novels,

    I would class my Burning Sands games as pulp.

    Second-rate, then 

    Seriously though, what I mean by “third-rate fantasy” is the kind of fantasy novels that one seems to only ever come across in airport bookshops, next to the bodice rippers (which also seem to only exist in those places).

    I know that classic, REH-esque swords-and-sorcery is also “pulp fantasy” by another term, and Lovecraftian horror is “pulp horror”, but those are adjuncts of the narrower definition of pulp, largely because they stem from the same interwar tradition of fiction as Doc Savage and all that.

    #110216
    Thomaston
    Participant

    From the examples above I’m tempted to say pulp involves larger than life and cavalier characters, but that’s too broad. Maybe something with damsel in distress or does womanizing man of action protagonist fit better. Is Sharpe pulp?

    Burning Sand, definitely feels pulp. Is Conan pulp?

    Tired is enough.

    #110230
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    Is Sharpe pulp? […] Is Conan pulp?

    Personally, I would need the Sharpe stories to correspond more closely to early-mid 20th century conventions of “cheap thrills”-style swashbuckling adventure fiction, for me to comfortably call it pulp. Zorro is pulp. Rafael Sabatini’s stories (Captain Blood, Scaramouche, etc) are closer to the pulp ideal than Bernard Cornwell’s are, and I’d still hesitate to define Sabatini as a pulp writer, although there is some contact surface at least.

    Conan is pulp, pulp fantasy, whatever. At least as originally devised by REH.

    As another example, I think early Batman is pulp (keep in mind he’s all the way from 1939), but modern Batman isn’t, or at least he’s less so.

    #110242
    telzy amber
    Participant

    Early Batman, and most superhero comics, are pulp till the end of the 1960s.  Late sixties and comics begin to ‘evolve’

    The Tin Tin animated series are Pulp. Great stuff.

    Perhaps because I haven’t played Pulp Alley it doesn’t intrigue me.  Plot points randomly placed around the board and the various teams race about trying to scoop them up. Pulp needs a protagonist and a villain.  They need some backstory.

    #110264
    Thomaston
    Participant

    “Cheap Thrills” I like this description the most.

    Tired is enough.

    #111453
    DavyJones
    Participant

    Wow, some great comments here. Thanks.

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