Gaming at PulpFest 2016

Jun 24, 2016 by

Infinite CityPulpFest was founded on the premise that the pulps had a profound effect on American popular culture, reverberating through a wide variety of mediums — comic books, movies, paperbacks and genre fiction, television, men’s adventure magazines, radio drama, and even video and role-playing games. The summertime destination for fans and collectors of vintage popular fiction, art, and related materials, PulpFest seeks to honor the pulps by drawing attention to the many ways such magazines have inspired writers, artists, film directors, software developers, and other creators over the decades.

Science fiction has likewise played a strong role in the development of American popular culture. Introduced to pulp readers through the scientific romances found in the Munsey magazines and other general fiction pulps, science fiction became its own genre when Hugo Gernsback premiered AMAZING STORIES — the first continuing science fiction magazine — in the spring of 1926. AMAZING and the pulps that followed it — WONDER STORIES, ASTOUNDING STORIES, STARTLING STORIES, among others — served to inspire the worlds of STAR TREK, STAR WARS, BABYLON 5, Steampunk, and other expressions of contemporary popular culture including role-playing games and board games.

PulpFest introduced a gaming track to its programming schedule in 2015. Many of the themes found in the world of modern games resonate from the pulps and the stories published in those magazines. There are games based on Conan, the Cthulhu Mythos, space operas such as Doc Smith’s Lensman series, westerns, mysteries and, of course, pulp heroes.

This year, in honor of the ninetieth anniversary of the debut of AMAZING STORIES, PulpFest will have an array of role-playing games and board games set in the science fiction genre. Game players will be able to explore other worlds and adventure in outer space.

We will have two tables running Pathfinder RPG games. Although these games have a fantasy setting, the Pathfinder world that we’ll be exploring is one where the impact of science fiction is felt.  Expect aliens with blasters and dimensional gates, as well as orcs and dragons. The Columbus chapter of the Ohio Pathfinder Society will be managing our Pathfinder games.

Ohio’s Rogue Cthulhu group will be running Cthulhu Mythos adventures that are set in modern times and in the future.  Stride across alien worlds and face eldritch horrors, fly in star ships to battle alien races such as the Mi-Go, and stand against entities from other worlds using science. The mythos developed in the pulps by H. P. Lovecraft and other writers — Robert Bloch, Robert E. Howard, Henry Kuttner, and Frank Belknap Long, and so on — has inspired a wide range of both role-playing and board games. Rogue Cthulhu will be managing a variety of games to thrill and enjoy.

The Fellowship of the White Star will be running role-playing games at two tables.  The Fellowship adventures are set on the earth of the early twentieth century. Intrepid adventurers battle everything from mad scientists trying to conquer the world to invading aliens to creatures of darkness.  Join them as they strive to keep their families and countries safe from dark science.

PulpFest 2016 will also be featuring a number of board games.  One table will be running and teaching a number of games that can be played in an hour or two.  We’ll have ALIEN FRONTIERS, CHRONONAUTS, DESTINATION NEPTUNEINFINITE CITYMEGAMANIOLOGY, and others.  By popular demand, another table will be running ELDRITCH HORROR, a board game featuring a band of investigators battling entities from the Cthulhu Mythos.

Come out to PulpFest 2016 where you can explore our substantial dealers’ room and find exciting pulp fiction and books to read. Then stop by our game room where you can save Earth from aliens, explore new planets circling far-flung stars, or seek out ancient artifacts and knowledge.  You’ll learn how to play a variety of new games and “boldly go where no man has gone before.” As of June 21, the Hyatt Regency Columbus has a small number of rooms available for July 21 through July 23. Please see our post “There Are Rooms at the Hyatt!

At, you’ll find a list of area hotels courtesy of the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Alternately, you can search for a room at tripadvisor or a similar website to find a hotel near the convention. Thanks so much to everyone who has reserved a room at our host hotel. By staying at the Hyatt Regency, you’ve helped to ensure the convention’s success.

(The PulpFest 2016 gaming track will begin at 10 AM on Saturday, July 23, and last until 10 PM or thereabouts. All games will take place in the Clark Room, located on the second floor of the Hyatt Regency. Watch for the PulpFest PLAY banner outside the entrance to our game room. There will be eight tables set up where a variety of board games, card games, and role-playing games will be presented. PulpFest is also working with several gaming companies to provide prizes for our game-playing members.

The box art for INFINITE CITY — a board game designed by Brent Keith and published by Alderac Entertainment Group — is by Charles J. Urbach.)