Meet Pulp Action LibraryPulp Action Library is a massive international corporation operating from the 87th floor of a skyscraper in Manhattan or two guys working out of their spare bedrooms three thousand miles apart - you’ll have to decide which!
Howard Whitehouse is a British game designer, novelist and historian based in New York’s Hudson Valley.
Roderick Robertson is an old hippy living among the oaks and pines of the Sierra Foothills of California, and a wargamer, role-player and rules mucker-outer.
Between them, they have more than half a century of designing games, and more than that reading them, playing them, and generally messing about with them. And they have come to a conclusion:
Games are supposed to be fun.
Back in the 70s a lot of games – boardgames and table-top wargames alike – claimed to be ‘simulations’, which really meant they were ultra detailed, complex, and slooowww. The first role-playing games appeared, and many of them were infected by this urge for complexity. Alas, most of these games weren’t as much fun as they could have been.
The teenage Howard was against that sort of tedious pretension. Roderick says he was, too.
In recent times published wargames have usually been simpler in terms of rules, but often created as commercial products designed to sell A) themselves, with frequent revisions and add-ons, and B) models linked closely to the games, in an exclusive use-no-substitute sort of way. Sometimes these are ‘collectible’, relying on an assumed value according to rarity. There’s a lot of gloss and hype in this world.
We aren’t big fans of that, either.
What Pulp Action Library offers is a series of games that are fun to play, easy to understand, and won’t take hours to play. We aren’t offering fancy production (we couldn’t afford to, anyway!). We have no marketing department, or accountants trying to maximize and monetize. It’s just him and me.
Most of our games operate in the world of Pulp – gangsters, dinosaurs & Nazis, the ‘Sword and Sorcery’ end of fantasy. “Battle-troll”, which is a Viking skirmish game based on the Icelandic sagas, one of the earliest forms of adventure semi-fiction. Indeed, we’ll be republishing the long-established “Astounding Tales!” series in the not-too-distant future. But we’ll also publish some ‘straight’ historical games (because we like them, and already have some of our own design).
So, pour a cup of really bad black coffee, chase it with some good Bourbon, and stick around!
The Pulp Action Library Gang
Howard WhitehouseI'm Howard Whitehouse. I've been a wargamer and toy soldierist since the dawn of time, or around 1970, when I was twelve. I've written quite a lot of wargame rules, some of which I am proud of, and some which --- well, I was twelve. I've written two books of actual history and published four novels for discerning young persons, which involve history in a fairly muddled fashion.
I've worked in and around what passes for the wargames industry (guffaw!) for twenty-five years, making things, writing things, painting things and selling things. My present role is twin grand poohbar at Pulp Action Library.
I have a regular Facebook page, where you can find me sharing pictures of cats and discussing harmonicas, just like everyone else.
Roderick RobertsonI've been hanging around the RPG side of the industry for the most part - I started playing RPGs in the 70's, writing for RPGs in 1990, and editing in '99. Since then I've edited, written or laid-out lots of products for lots of companies, and run two different product lines for two different companies.
I've always liked minis, since my Dad bought me somew Elastolin Romans 'way back for my 4th or 5th Christmas. I played with 25's, 28's, Heroic 28's, 40's, "Major Matt Mason" (remember him?), and GI Joe (the original 12" action figures, not the mid-70's 4"). I bought my first "real" minis ruleset (WRG 5th) back in '78 or '79. I currently work in 25-28mm, mostly Fantasy.
I've fiddled around with writing rules since some time in the '80's, and have written (and rejected) four or five different sets, learning from each as I went.
I am one of the owners of DunDraCon, California's longest-running games convention (www.dundracon.com).
I even have my own Facebook page, where I don't say much of anything, not really being "into" this Facebook nonsense.