I'm currently running a pulp (Terra Incognita) campaign set in the 1930's (actually January of 1930 at the moment). The 20's to the 40's have always been my personal favorite period for pulp style adventure, but the late 1800's, especially a Steampunked version of the late 1800's, seems insanely popular these days. What are other people's preference and why?
I like the 20's to 40's because your still have a great sense of the world as still widely unexplored and yet travel to distance places is easier with early air planes and such. Of course, classic villains, such as Nazi's are also available during this period as well. You had such as great mix of discovery - King Tuts tomb - Machu Picchu - ans so many other amazing historical discoveries during this time period. Yet is was also a time period of fantastic scientific advancements - the earliest work on atomic energy, germ warfare, chemical warfare, modern medicine, rocketry, and so much more. The mix and contract of the two is what appeals to me most about this time period.
I'm more of a fan of the 20s-40s for my pulp action too. The "problem" with Terra Incognita is the fact that despite it being a pulp game, the text and the writing of the game makes it feel more Neo-Victorian than pulp. Some support for pulp era for the game would be really nice.
While there is a lot that I love about Terra Incognita (starting with the name and the cover art), I agree - the slightly over the top style of the 1890's NAGs is fun, but a prefer a more serious 1930's pulp flavor - more classic two-fisted action. What I have done is "reimagined" (using the latest Hollywood term for stealing and old idea and reworking it) NAGs as a more fractured group. My players started off working for a Patron with zero mention of or reference too NAGs. Just a short while ago in the campaign, they were finally told a bit about the society and it was implied they have been made members, but in a way where they are now uncertain which factions within NAGs are to be trusted. The society has been painted to them by multiple groups as either a very beneficial group supporting exploration and discovery or a nefarious group with unknown purposes. The people they have meet with connection to the society so far have been, rich or poor, presented as more down to earth, gritty, pulp characters. "Trust No One" has almost become a slogan for the players
Paul, the NAGS were one of my influences when I created the protagonists/antagonists of Battlefield Press' Pulp Fantastic: the Invisible College. They're an organization that has tasked itself with keeping things secret from the general populace of the world...until such a time as the world is ready. When the organization thinks the world is ready is up for debate.
Hopefully we'll see this setting converted to being Terra Incognita compatible, as we have permission from Ann to do so.
Dang! I got all excited by your post to go take a look at the Pulp Fantastic. I Googled to find the URL (http://battlefieldpress.com/node/24) and then... "Coming Soon". Well, I for one certainly look forward to it. Please do post the URL here or somewhere at this site when it is available!
Another reason I love the 20's and 30's for Pulp RPG is the period is right after the "Great War" and is the precursor to WW2. We have an event coming up in December - War Week (see the events section under the Fudge Community menu). In real life war is a terrible thing, but in fiction and RPGs it makes for some of the best drama ever done.
Although I have a special fondness for the 1930s, especially in pulp adventure, my campaign has NAGS set in the future (or the distant, distant past - no one is quite sure) and focuses on using operatives from the specific time and area as needed. Naturally, the 1930s seem to be one of the most pivotal eras...
*jeep! and God Bless!
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