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Subject: A Great Pulp Sourcebook Regardless of Your System rss

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Charles Picard
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Overview

This is a classic Steve Long labor of love. It's big, it's stunningly well-researched, and it's thorough. And there's plenty in here that can be used in any Pulp game.

In Detail

I doubt if you're supposed to read through the 432 pages of Pulp Hero cover to cover like I did. I'm guessing the intention is for the reader to flip through, read a few sections, and then to pick and choose elements from the information smorgasbord to build a campaign.

But that's not how I roll.

When I decided that I was going to run a Pulp Noir game set in San Francisco, I put Pulp Hero at the top of the reading list and I'm glad I did. As I was making my way through, it occurred to me that much of the information would be of great use to Pulp gamers in any system. There are big sections devoted to information that's Pulp-specific, but "system free."

The first 222 pages are devoted to the following:
- an examination of the Pulp genre and its subgenres;
- a month-by-month timeline of the period from 1920 to 1939, with items arranged by subject for easy reference;
- a detailed continent by continent examination of the world in the Pulp era along with the most interesting cities, sites, and oddities for characters to visit.

There are also smaller sections that could be huge time savers in just about any Pulp game. Not up on the lingo? There's a ten page guide on Pulp Slang toward the end of the book. Can't remember when television was invented, or if a character should have a car radio? There's a brief section on Technology Availability. Yet another section helps you translate prices from the '20s into their modern day equivalents.

One of my favorite passages, and one indicative of the level of detail found in these pages, is a short section devoted to how to run rope bridges (a staple of any globetrotting game).

Of course if you are already playing in the Hero System then there are plenty of character write-ups and package deals, as well as ways to build Heroic Talents and how to use a new concept, Hero Action Points, to create some of the wilder moments found in Pulp fiction. HPAs are much like Savage Worlds' Bennies… players can use them to alter die rolls and tweak the action of a scene. The idea is to give the players room to try more outlandish, and yes, pulpy, actions since they know they have a safety net. And because I know someone will ask if I don't mention it, you'll also find write-ups for all of the guns, gear, & weird science you'll need to help drive the action.

Parting Thoughts

If your Pulp games have some historical flavor, or if you find yourself wondering how to achieve the proper feel of pulpiness, or if you want to explore the various Pulp genres and their conventions, then this is a title you should seriously consider.

If you actually want to play Pulp in the Hero System, then this is a no-brainer. (It's worth pointing out that this is a 5th Edition title. However, translating the information found here into 6th Edition terms should be light work.)

Availability

Since Hero Games have moved onto 6th Edition, they've done some across the board pricing cutting on their 5th Edition titles. You can still get the softcover of Pulp Hero from the Hero Games website (and probably other places) for a mere $17.50… or the PDF Version for only $12.50 here:

https://www.herogames.com/viewItem.htm?itemID=196055

Since I'll be running a game in March, I'm off to buy the PDF myself for easy portability…
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Charles Picard
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As a side note... Steve Long, author of Pulp Hero (and many other titles), and now a freelancer, is doing a Kickstarter for a very cool looking Hero System 6th Edition title called Mythic Hero.

This a big title covering just about every Mythology/Pantheon imaginable. Check out this link to see more:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2144376073/mythic-hero?r...

(The video and the breakdown of the Table of Contents are most informative.)

I am supporter, and I would really love to see this project funded. So, even if aren't necessarily interested, please send along the information to someone who is!





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I am the wasp / that burrows in! I am the shriek / of twilight din!
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This sounds like a good companion to Spirit of the Century.
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Charles Picard
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sbszine wrote:
This sounds like a good companion to Spirit of the Century.

Sure... especially if you want to add a little meat to the bones of Spirit, so to speak.
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Charles Picard
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Update: looks like the pdf is also available on RPGNow & RPGDriveThru.
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