View from the Pelgrane’s Nest – December 2011

This month sees the release of Love of Money, a high octane adventure for Esoterrorists, and the Out of Time collection for Trail of Cthulhu as a PDF from the store. The epic Eternal Lies playtest draws to a close, and I give an overview of this year, and a teaser for next year.

An overview of 2011

It’s been an amazing year for Pelgrane. I’ll be looking at the figures in more detail in a column in January, but it’s not just about sales. We’ve had many more reviews,  and more awards. However, the most gratifying thing for me is the number of people actually playing our games. This is clear from the nature of online conversations, seminars and emails, which have moved on from the “What is GUMSHOE?” to “How do I do this with GUMSHOE” and the number of actual play reports. While we want the books to be fun to read and to insipre, the company exists to create games which can and will be played. It’s clear that Night’s Black Agents will also come into this category, with pre-release customers prepping and playing games – thank you guys for matching Ashen Stars.

Looking over the last year, we’ve released Bookhounds of London and the limited edition version, which included the sleeper hit The Book of the Smoke – it’s had two reprints already. Ashen Stars was a big risk – a huge full colour book which has broken even, mainly because of the support of Stellar Nursery customers – thank you so much. The rest of our releases have included multiple PDFs, noticeably Graham’s Cthulhu Apocalypse series and Gareth’s support work for Mutant City Blues (Brief Cases) and Fear Itself (Invasive Procedures).

We’ve also had out best GenCon and Dragonmeet. It’s going to be hard year to top. Much of this is down to Beth Lewis’s full time work on Pelgrane, and she’s really made herself an indepensible part of the Pelgrane team.


There’ll be more on 2012 in January, but the big releases will be Night’s Black Agents, DramaSystem and something else, not GUMSHOE, but fantasy, written by JT and RH. If you like Pathfinder, 4th Edition or 3e,with a touch of story game goodness, this will be of interest.

2012 will also be the year of Stone Skin Press, our new fiction imprint – we’ll have three book covers ready to go at the end of January. Jason Morningstar’s cover design for Shotguns vs Cthulhu features here.

Pelgrane Store

As we mentioned last month, we’ve moved our US shipping to DOJ, Inc. We’ve also moved our UK and European shipping over to Leisure Games, who have been shipping reliably now for a couple of weeks. We can concentrate on doing what we do best – publishing  – while leaving our very important mail order fulfilment in professional hands.

We love retailers, and we do everything we can to support them with the Bits and Mortar free PDF program and charging full retail, but every sale through the mail order store makes us six times as much as a retail sale, and doesn’t appear to affect retail sales that much.

Ashen Stars

We are still considering our next move for Ashen Stars – our poll revealed the suprising result that a large campaign would be the most popular major release. I’m considering some options, and we’ll decide in early 2012.

Terra Nova is out of playtesting and being illustrated. It should be out in January.

Night’s Black Agents

Gareth is putting the final touches on The Zalozhniy Quartet – a loosely connected set of four adventures. We are looking for playtesters.

We’ve added the character sheet and the appendix to the resources area of Night’s Black Agents.

Trail of Cthulhu

  • Eternal Lies has been a much bigger undertaking than originally expected, but the playtesting is nearly over, and editing will begin in January. The feedback has been gratifying, and I am pleased to announce an extended sound track with voice over work by someone we all follow.
  • The Out of Time compilation featuring the work of Bill White, Jason Morningstar and Adam Gauntlett is now available in PDF format.
  • Coffins continues playtesting,


Love of Money is out today. It’s a 112-page convention friendly game which features detailed

pre-gens with character dossiers. It’s available as a PDF from the store. Station Duty, The Esoterror Summoning Guide and Eso 2.0 will be out of playtest at the end of January.


Fear Itself

I’ve got an Ocean Game setting document from Dave Allsop I don’t know what to do with.

DramaSystem // HillFolk

The call out for playtesters will be in January, followed closely by a crowdfunding appeal.

 The Birds

The second volume of The Birds, featuring guest strips by John Kovalic will be out in February.





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