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"Should Pulp Board Be Limited to the Pulp Era?" Topic


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Action Log

10 Jul 2015 5:42 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board
  • Crossposted to Pulp Media board

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2,384 hits since 11 Mar 2015
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian11 Mar 2015 9:26 p.m. PST

Do you think the Pulp board should be limited to the recognized Pulp era (including 1920s and 1930s), or should it cover all Pulp-style gaming?

Bashytubits11 Mar 2015 9:44 p.m. PST

Is there such a thing as a pulp era? I thought it embraced the width and breadth of our continuum. If you want to limit it to the silver screen then I suppose so, but I would vote to cover all pulp style gaming.

Cyrus the Great11 Mar 2015 9:46 p.m. PST

Getting the popcorn ready!

Toronto4811 Mar 2015 9:47 p.m. PST

No it is difficult to define exactly what is a "recognized Pulp Era" . If posters have their special areas excluded they will only request their own board and there are too many boards already Let's keep Pulp focused on one board

Personal logo x42brown Supporting Member of TMP11 Mar 2015 9:55 p.m. PST

I thought that the 20s 30s were only pulp era because that was when pulp style fiction was most popular not because the stories were set at that time. I therefore see it as a style of game rather than a period.

x42

Winston Smith11 Mar 2015 10:08 p.m. PST

TMP does not currently have a definition of "Pulp" and let's keep it that way.
I still have scars from the last go around with a rabid definer.

Winston Smith11 Mar 2015 10:12 p.m. PST

In movies, is "Singing in the Rain" Pulp? No? But it's set in the Era!!!
Is "Conan " Pulp? Of course it is, and it most definitely is NOT set in the Era.
Marlowe? The epitome of Pulp, yet not published in pulp magazines.
Roger Rabbit?

evilcartoonist11 Mar 2015 10:55 p.m. PST

The Pulp "era" (1920s-30s) I think represents the heyday of the pulp magazines, but I think the pulp "board" should include the subject of stories contained in those magazines (which covered past, contemporary and future stories.)

So yes, the pulp board should cover all pulp-style gaming.

blooddave11 Mar 2015 11:02 p.m. PST

I only post here for stuff I do with the Pulp Alley rules. I figure it's got "Pulp" in the name of the game, so I'm in the right place, whether I use those rules to play Sci-Fi, Fantasy, or my current Lebowski – Mars Attacks mashup.

On the other hand, I figure anything in a "B" movie is pulp to me.

Carrion Crow12 Mar 2015 5:58 a.m. PST

As far as I'm concerned, Pulp Gaming is all about square-jawed heroes, perilous situations, damsels in distress, cliffhangers and such-like. So, this covers Flash Gordon, Tarzan, John Carter, Doc Savage, the Shadow, etc. Most of H P Lovecraft's fiction falls into what is defined as the 'Pulp Era', but this is considered horror and rightly so. I feel that the Pulp Gaming board is as it should be, about games played in the pulp-style, rather than as a rigidly defined 'era'.

Certain people may argue otherwise, but an opinionated "expert" cannot prevent me from playing pulp-style games in whatever era I choose and posting an AARs regarding them on this board.

(Realises he has apparently climbed onto a soapbox during the post and climbs down, slightly ashamed…)

RavenscraftCybernetics12 Mar 2015 6:28 a.m. PST

Space opera and lost civs need to be included.

Umpapa12 Mar 2015 7:14 a.m. PST

No limits.

Sergeant Paper12 Mar 2015 7:20 a.m. PST

No limits – many pulp magazines included all eras, often in one magazine

Servo300012 Mar 2015 7:53 a.m. PST

NO. Nyet. Ne.
We're not writing the tax code here, we're playing with lead model soldiers.

The Shadow12 Mar 2015 8:10 a.m. PST

>>Do you think the Pulp board should be limited to the recognized Pulp era (including 1920s and 1930s) or should it cover all Pulp-style gaming?<<

"Pulp style" gaming"??!! What the heck is that??

>>No it is difficult to define exactly what is a "recognized Pulp Era"<<

Not at all. It' the era when pulp magazines and related adventure and detective fiction in film, radio drama and in comic strips existed. Although pulp magazines were printed as early as the late 1800's, the most well known characters and writers were in flower from 1912 until the last pulp magazines were printed in the mid 1950's, when the last serials and radio dramas also ended. It has been argued that "fantasy", "western", "historical" and hard core "science fiction" were also published in pulp magazines, but those genres already have their own forums, including Victorian sci-fi, which would cover the late 19th century as well. So why duplicate them in the pulp era forum?

>>TMP does not currently have a definition of "Pulp" and let's keep it that way.<<

*NO* forum on TMP has a definition. The parameters are usually pretty obvious, as they are in the pulp era forum.

>>I still have scars from the last go around with a rabid definer.<<

Wow! Rabid?? I'd leave that guy alone if I were you. LOL

>>Marlowe? The epitome of Pulp, yet not published in pulp magazines.<<

You're *sort of* right. While it's true that the Philip Marlowe stories were published in novel form, many of the plot lines were lifted by the author from his own stories previously printed in "Black Mask" and "Dime Detective". Several of the "Adventures of Philip Marlowe" stories were not written by Chandler. They were original and developed specifically for the radio program. In any case, I believe that *all* detective and adventure fiction developed during the pulp era is fair game here, and not just those that were published in pulp magazines. It's the era and genre that we're talking about, not the specific medium.

>>Space opera and lost civs need to be included.<<

They are, via Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Doc savage, Tarzan, etc.

The Shadow12 Mar 2015 8:15 a.m. PST

>>As far as I'm concerned, Pulp Gaming is all about square-jawed heroes, perilous situations, damsels in distress, cliffhangers and such-like. So, this covers Flash Gordon, Tarzan, John Carter, Doc Savage, the Shadow, etc.<<

…and from the same post:

>>Certain people may argue otherwise, but an opinionated "expert" cannot prevent me from playing pulp-style games in whatever era I choose and posting an AARs regarding them on this board.<<

This post is confusing. I agree with the first part 100%, but since these situations and characters are right out of the pulp era I can't imagine which *other* era you would put them in.

The Shadow12 Mar 2015 8:18 a.m. PST

>>On the other hand, I figure anything in a "B" movie is pulp to me.<<

Another confusing statement. "B" movies began to be produced at the beginning of the pulp era and ended during the late 1950's. So why *wouldn't* they be included?

Weasel12 Mar 2015 8:51 a.m. PST

Pulp is one of those things that is as hard to define as "skirmish".

For me, pulp was always Indiana Jones and Conan but for a lot of people, it's Nazi Gorillas on the Moon.

MarescialloDiCampo12 Mar 2015 8:56 a.m. PST

there's also orange pulp after being removed from the juice…
or

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP12 Mar 2015 9:05 a.m. PST

No.

The Shadow12 Mar 2015 9:14 a.m. PST

>>Pulp is one of those things that is as hard to define as "skirmish".<<

Only if you *want* to make it difficult, as some people do.

>>For me, pulp was always Indiana Jones and Conan<<

Me too.

>>but for a lot of people, it's Nazi Gorillas on the Moon.<<

They have their own forum. It's called "Weird WW II".

Coelacanth Supporting Member of TMP12 Mar 2015 9:14 a.m. PST

Do you think the Pulp board should be limited to the recognized Pulp era (including 1920s and 1930s), or should it cover all Pulp-style gaming?

By time of original creation, or by time in which the story takes place? The former would exclude Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the latter would exclude Buck Rogers and most of the works of Robert E. Howard. Either definition would rule out the very pulpy Jonny Quest. My answer is "NO!" to a limited definition; the Pulp boards should be as fun and freewheeling as the media that gave them their name.

Ron

Roderick Robertson Fezian12 Mar 2015 9:29 a.m. PST

No.

The original Pulps didn't make that distinction, why should we?

For those that want a "Period" board there is "Interwar".

"Pulp" transcends era. You can play Early California (Zorro), or Pirates (Rafael Sabatini), or Savage Primitives (Conan, Tarzan, et al. ), or Puritans (Solomon Kane) or outer space (Buck Rogers) in a "Pulp" manner.

Servo300012 Mar 2015 9:32 a.m. PST

Coelacanth, you said it perfectly: "…the Pulp boards should be as fun and freewheeling as the media that gave them their name."
I am very glad you're not extinct!

Coelacanth Supporting Member of TMP12 Mar 2015 9:53 a.m. PST

Presenting the Pulp Era Challenge! How many periods and subjects represented on TMP are not represented at all in pulp magazines printed during the pulp era? For the purposes of the challenge, a story must appear in a pulp magazine printed between 1896-1949. If I contend (for example) that there are no Ultramodern stories in pulp, then one must find at least one pulp story set between the years 2005-2015 in order to refute my claim. Who will take the challenge? As a great American once said, HAVE FUN.

Ron

P.S. I realize that my conditions are somewhat arbitrary.

P.P.S. I also realize that it is possible to conclude that "everything is Pulp", with which I do not agree; or that "anything can be Pulp", with which I generally do.

The Shadow12 Mar 2015 10:04 a.m. PST

>>Savage Primitives (Conan, Tarzan, et al. ), or Puritans (Solomon Kane) or outer space (Buck Rogers) in a "Pulp" manner.<<

of course. All were popular during the pulp era. Including the film "Mark of Zorro" and serial "Zorro's Fighting Legion". It's the era, not necessarily the genre. So what's your point? The only quibble that I have with including *all* genres that were produced in fiction during the pulp era is that some of them, like pirates", already have their own forums. Again, why duplicate?

The Shadow12 Mar 2015 10:26 a.m. PST

>>How many periods and subjects represented on TMP are not represented at all in pulp magazines printed during the pulp era?<<

Assuming that subjects involving *specific* games like Mordheim, Warhammer and Warhammer 40K are not in play?

Coelacanth Supporting Member of TMP12 Mar 2015 10:35 a.m. PST

Assuming that subjects involving *specific* games like Mordheim, Warhammer and Warhammer 40K are not in play?

picture

Exhibit for the defense. evil grin

Ron

Terrement12 Mar 2015 11:21 a.m. PST

DELETED

The Shadow12 Mar 2015 2:23 p.m. PST

Ron

Space Marines! Where the heck did you find that? LOL

Zargon12 Mar 2015 5:16 p.m. PST

It was a dark and stormy night, Professor Zargon pulled up the collar of he's trench coat, better to hide his bulging forehead that held an intellect so keen.

Personal logo Zeelow Supporting Member of TMP12 Mar 2015 5:37 p.m. PST

Keep as is.

Winston Smith12 Mar 2015 6:25 p.m. PST

Until and if the Editorial Staff should decide to remove or crosspost threads, the Board is dependent on the good faith of the OP. But so are all other Boards.

I would be foolish to post a review of Perry Prussian Hussars to Pulp, and likewise an AAR of the Wyoming Massacre.
It's kind of self policing so why get all hot and bothered?
As one of The Supremes said in a different but similar context, "I may not be able to define it but I know it when I see it."

Meiczyslaw12 Mar 2015 8:03 p.m. PST

I'm thinking "Pulp" is a catch-all term for pulpy subjects that don't have their own boards. Conan has fantasy, and Flash Gordon has SF, but the Shadow doesn't really belong on any of the other boards.

The Shadow12 Mar 2015 8:16 p.m. PST

>>It's kind of self policing so why get all hot and bothered?<<

Somebody's "hot and bothered"? I hadn't noticed that.

>>the Shadow doesn't really belong on any of the other boards<<

Correct-a-mundo!

Coelacanth Supporting Member of TMP12 Mar 2015 8:47 p.m. PST

Space Marines! Where the heck did you find that? LOL

I was trying to find the earliest use of the term after Games Workshop trademarked it across a broad range of media. I knew that GW weren't the first, but I was a bit surprised to find it attested in 1936. So, yes, Space Marines are fair for Pulp gaming by any standard (and now The Shadow knows). laugh

Ron

DS615112 Mar 2015 9:34 p.m. PST

There is no such thing as a "pulp era".
The question, even the idea of the question, is nonsense.

Mute Bystander13 Mar 2015 3:27 a.m. PST

And the benefit (other than Ego) of this change is…?

Nothing.

nazrat13 Mar 2015 7:37 a.m. PST

No limits!

The Shadow13 Mar 2015 7:38 a.m. PST

>>There is no such thing as a "pulp era".<<

Of course there is. It's the era when pulp magazines were being published.

PistolPete13 Mar 2015 10:33 a.m. PST

no limits for any board content. to echo winston – i've seen threads in completely unexpected places and i'm fine with it.
let's not get too hung up on the difference between "era" vs "gaming" – enjoy both, post both.

munchausen13 Mar 2015 11:26 p.m. PST

Magazines such as Argosy (1882) and Bluebook (1905) got their start somewhat earlier.

A young HP Lovecraft actually got his start in print in the letter pages of Argosy, arguing with the editors and other readers that a certain author's material did not belong in the pages of "his" pulp magazine, haha.

capncarp14 Mar 2015 5:08 a.m. PST

"I was trying to find the earliest use of the term after Games Workshop trademarked it across a broad range of media. I knew that GW weren't the first, but I was a bit surprised to find it attested in 1936. So, yes, Space Marines are fair for Pulp gaming by any standard (and now The Shadow knows). laugh---Ron"

I wonder if GW is paying A.Mark Ratner his share of royalties for having stol…err, used the term "Space Marines", the title of Mr. Ratner's copyrighted (FanTac Rules, Inc, IIRC) SF miniatures rules of the late 70s/early 80s (of which I have a real, live copy), which was later to be morphed into the FGU boxed set "Space Opera".

Oh, and Bill--Pulp is by definition "a soft shapeless mass of material". Trying to confine or rigidify it would make it Not-Pulp. And if Pulp and Not-Pulp come into contact, well, it could mean the End-of-all-life-as-we-know-it™.

The Shadow14 Mar 2015 7:00 a.m. PST

>>Magazines such as Argosy (1882) and Bluebook (1905) got their start somewhat earlier.<<

True, and being a pulp collector I am aware of that, but the most well known characters, like John Carter, Tarzan, The Shadow, Flash Gordon, Doc Savage, and "hard boiled" detective fiction first appeared in the first half of the 20th century. Gangsters, as are most usually depicted in 28mm for pulp era gaming, are from the "prohibition" era in the "roaring twenties", and Indiana Jones was created to emulate the film serial heroes of the 1930's.

Twoball Cane15 Mar 2015 3:39 a.m. PST

How bout anything included in prairie home companion…

I am for a liberal view on what is defined as pulp on this board post Victorian to pre 1939. I could be swayed to include Victorian era though.

pvi99th17 Mar 2015 5:41 p.m. PST

No. if you are going to get that technical in the posts then it should really only allow posts about games recreating actual stories from pulp magazines.

Only one or two people actually and constantly complain that people are posting the wrong things here. The minority shouldn't rule in this.

chironex18 Mar 2015 3:39 a.m. PST

The most pulpy things we are familiar with these days are really "Two-fisted Tales", which are modern, but styled after the pulps. People may see some disconnection with the pulps and will put just about anything here because the only things printed on that awful pulpy paper I see these days are certain science fiction magazines, and Cleveland Westerns. Then again, it seems to be a bit redundant putting Westerns here, even if most Western games are so similar to pulpy adventure and not real 19th-century frontier life. Pirates, too; but still, they could be listed here if they form part of such an adventure. What awaits our "heroes" even if they DO win the race to the fabled Mahogany Ship?
Similarly, since we all know where superheroes came from, and there is a separate board for superheroes, do we wish to be forced to squabble over whether a certain masked vigilante is a pulp hero or a superhero?

Bob Murch Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Mar 2015 6:09 p.m. PST

I've stayed out of this one for a long time but , personally, I favour a fairly open and inclusive definition. Since my income depends upon this this field and as I resist any sort of attempt to restrict my work I have to say that a generalized 'pop culture' definition is what I prefer.

I love the original Pulps but I also love all sorts of film and television and pop literature.

I'm working on a new range that is inspired by films like The Wild Bunch. Is a film set in 1913 but made in the 1960s off limits? Not to me. It's the action and characters that make it Pulp as far as I'm concerned.

Viva la Pulp!

Aaron Malchow20 Mar 2015 9:37 p.m. PST

The meaning of "Pulp" and how it relates to "Pulp Era" changes over time. The connotation of what "Pulp" meant before Raiders of the Lost Ark and then after that movie certainly changed. A more inclusive definition would recognize this.

War of the Worlds is a Victorian Era novel, but it is also a Pulp Era radio show. Sherlock Holmes and Allan Quatermain stories were published in both time periods. Any definition of "Pulp Era" that would exclude Rondo Hatton's performance from the Sherlock Homes film The Peril of Death is not a definition that I would be comfortable with.

At one time, the late Dave Stevens wanted to do a Superman/Rocketeer story -- I wouldn't have given a second thought if it was "Pulp" or not, but I certainly would have enjoyed it.

In looking at the 2005 "Pulp" definition discussions that have resurfaced vs. the current ones, you can see a more relaxed, inclusive discussion in 2005. The contemporary "Pulp" definition discussions are somewhat more pointed, and can appear within other threads, often hijacking the initial discussion.

I think that such debates can hurt Pulp Gaming, by alienating potential new players and by discouraging discussion among existing gamers. When any post can be challenged as being off-topic because it does not meet an "official" restrictive definition, then there is no incentive for open discussion or for discovery of new ideas. And I might think that a couple of posts are off-topic on a rare occasion, but I learn as much about what "Pulp" is from them as I do from the "on-topic" posts, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sincerely,
Aaron Malchow

The Shadow21 Mar 2015 7:44 a.m. PST

>>I might think that a couple of posts are off-topic on a rare occasion, but I learn as much about what "Pulp" is from them as I do from the "on-topic" posts, and I wouldn't have it any other way.<<

You learned nothing about "pulp", because "pulp" doesn't exist, unless you're talking about the inside of an orange. Stop anybody on the street and ask them what the meaning of "pulp" is and I assure you that they will *not* refer to a genre of gaming. So we are fairly limited to a few gamers and what *they* think it is. Typical answers to "should the pulp board be limited to the pulp era" are "no limits" and variations of same, which means that "pulp" can be anything.

>>I think that such debates can hurt Pulp Gaming, by alienating potential new players and by discouraging discussion among existing gamers.<<

If I knew nothing about the pulp era and pulp gaming I would be totally confused by the posts here and I would be *really* confused by the answers to these questions. In fact, I would probably avoid this forum and look for one where the members had a better handle on what, exactly, it is that they are doing. "No limits" and "no definition" wouldn't tell me much.

>>War of the Worlds is a Victorian Era novel, but it is also a Pulp Era radio show. Sherlock Holmes and Allan Quatermain stories were published in both time periods. Any definition of "Pulp Era" that would exclude Rondo Hatton's performance from the Sherlock Homes film The Peril of Death is not a definition that I would be comfortable with.<<

If you think this is an argument against *my* definition of the "pulp era" you probably don't understand it. In short, what I said was that *any* fiction published in *any* media during the pulp era should be fair game to discuss, provided that it doesn't duplicate discussions in other forums. In short, by *my* definition, if you want to discuss "The hound of the Baskervilles" it should go in the Victorian forum. If you want to discuss "Sherlock Holmes in Washington", which takes place during WW II, it goes here, or in "pulp media" or both. At least that's what I *would* have said if my proposed idea that the "pulp era" should be what's represented in the pulp gaming forum. But it wasn't. Most want "no limits" or "no definition". So this forum represents nothing specific and anything that you want it to.

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