View from the Pelgrane’s Nest

Last month, with GenCon, we didn’t get a chance to do a Page XX. You can read the GenCon wrap-up and boasts of our ENnie award success here. In August, we released the Out of Time print bundle for Trail and Dead Rock Seven for Ashen Stars. This month sees the release of The Apocalypse Machine and Many Fires for Trail of Cthulhu, as well as the PDF versions of Ashen Stars and Dead Rock 7. John Clayton joins us as an enthusiastic and capable webmaster. He’s already set is up with a new forum, which we hope you will join here. We’ve also got many new manuscripts to playtest, so please pop over here to see what takes your fancy.

Ashen Stars

Demo Game

Getting your players to try any new game is tough, and we want your players your shiny new GUMSHOE game. We aim to make it easier. Over the next few months, we’ll be releasing 20 minute demos with pre-generated characters. They are very easy to run an play. Try them at the beginning or end of a session when you have another game planned.

Our first is Stowaway by Kevin Kulp, a nail-biting short to save your ship while fighting a class-K intruder. I tried this at GenCon, and it’s perfect to introduce the game.

  • I wasn’t happy with the tokens which were to go out with the otherwise attractive Ashen Stars Limited Edition, so we’ve shipped them out without, and we’ll follow up with replacements. A few more limited editions (sans tokens) are available through Indie Press Revolution.
  • Dead Rock Seven has been released, in print and PDF.
  • Leonard Balsera, author of Profane Miracles has written Terra Nova, a new short adventure set on a dying luxury space liner is now ready for playtesting. It has an innovative new approach to mysteries in GUMSHOE. Apply here.

Trail of Cthulhu

The Black Book, the free character builder is now open to our contributors. Praise them here. We’ll open it up to everyone shortly. Graham will be adding new features including Eso and Fear Itself support over the coming months.

  • The Apocalypse Machine is out now. Graham Walmsley’s adaptation of Trail for his series of adventures Cthulhu Apocalypse allows you to create your own Mythos world ending.
  • Adam Guantlett, author of Not So Quiet, continues with his Great War theme with Coffins – allied aviators against an airborne threat beyond their wild imaginings. Now open for playtesting. Details here.
  • Hellfire Adam Guantlett’s Hellfire Club scenario is in layout and will be ready next month. The lamplighter artwork is by the fantastic Olli Hihnala who also did Graham Walmsley’s Stealing Cthulhu cover.
  • Work begins on Mythos Expeditions, a world-spanning collection of explorations to forbidden locales, with contributions from Ken Hite and Robin D Laws.


We are working on a second edition of Esoterrorists. Robin has written new chapters on the Esoterrorists, the OV and additional creatures of unremitting horror. These chapters, directed at the GM, complement The Esoterror Factbook . In addition, we are scouring other GUMSHOE core books, supplements and articles, and examining four years’ feedback and included additional rules, clarifications and advice. Finally, Robin has written an all-new introductory adventure Operation: Prophet Bunco; sign up here for the playtest. Albion’s Ransom, Part Two has been written and is available for playtesting. Apply here.

  • The Love of Money by Matthew Sanderson is being illustrated.
  • Gareth has written Station Duty (think Esoterrorists meets Burn Notice or Buffy), and a summoning Guide – ready for playtesting.


GUMSHOE is a hybrid system – the investigative parts are separate from everything else. It was a small step, then, for us to consider mashing up GUMSHOE with other systems. I asked Gareth Hanrahan to apply this to Pathfinder – keeping the solid d20-based combat, and adding GUMSHOE’s focus on investigation. The document (code name GUMFINDER or PATHSHOE) went back and forth a few times with Robin adding his tuppenceworth, then it went out to playtest. Chris Huth has illustrated it and laid it out, and it’s a compact 50 pages. For Pathfinder afficionados, it’s a breeze to integrate into an existing campaign. It will be out next month, probably in print.

Night’s Black Agents

Playtesting on Ken Hite’s Vampire Spy Thriller Night’s Black Agents is going even better than expected. Art is holding us up at the moment. We hope to have the book laid out in December – Fred Hicks of Evil Hat is doing the honours, and you can see a taste of his work here.

Ken Hite has written a new outline for the first supplement for Night’s Black Agents – The Zalozhniy Quartet, a collection of four linked operations in Europe and the Middle East.

The Dying Earth

Jim Webster has collated the articles for The Excellent Prismatic Spray 9, and we’ll be putting those together shortly, and the Dying Earth Revivification Folio is being illustrated by Jerome.

Everything Else

No news is good news on our other projects. Work continues apace on New World. Expect an announcement on Hillfolk / Drama System next month. Read more about Dramasystem in Robin’s latest See Page XX column. Razed is proceeding through an exciting part of the landscape right now. Here is what Will Hindmarch has said about the progress of Razed –

“Razed is proceeding through an exciting part of the landscape right now. I’ve just wrapped up my year-long at-home playtest campaign last week and am putting everything I learned from that into the manuscript. It’s changing the way I define and present the threats, antagonists, and aliens, that’s for sure. Likewise, I’m revisiting the text for all the core elements of GUMSHOE that are in this game, like Drives and Sources of Stability, to give them a distinctive focus and style for this game. “

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