January 2016: View from the Pelgrane’s Nest

There is so much GUMSHOE goodness coming up this year in this, our tenth anniversary, that I offer a short retrospective later. But January is a 13th Age month, and we kick off the year with a bunch of new 13th Age releases. Rakshashas & Reavers is the first issue of the new 13th Age Monthly subscription. It features unusually fearsome kobold assassins who work in teams. If you missed out on last year’s 13AM subscription, you can buy the first year’s collection here.

The beautiful and useful 13th Age Game Master’s Screen and Resource Book is shipping now, and the long-awaited High Magic and Low Cunning: Battle Scenes for Five Icons and its accompanying Map Folio are available on pre-order as a bundle.

Alchemy – the latest edition of Ken Writes About Stuff – gives you a historical magic system for GUMSHOE gaming, and next month is Bast – the serene, powerful and dangerous Egyptian cat god. Judging by the prevalence of cat pics, hieroglyphics were the Facebook of the ancient world, and Bast the lolcat supreme.

The Seven Wonders story games anthology is on pre-order for release in April. I’ve played or ran nearly every one of these games, and I thoroughly recommend this collection, particularly if you want to introduce people to roleplaying.

pack shot13th Age

High Magic and Low Cunning: Battle Scenes for Five Icons

I ran 13th Age for my old-school game group last year, and the first Battle Scenes book was my most useful prop. I was able to use the pre-configured encounters for fast and exciting combat, and tying them in to my setting was dead easy. The first adventure I ran was Rafting Razoredge Gorge – a low-level adventure featuring a journey through perilous waters to ambush an orcish camp. High Magic & Low Cunning: Battle Scenes for Five Icons an ideal starting point for any first-time GM.

You can download the introduction and the first of these encounters here (PDF). The next two installments will be featured on other sites. We’ll announce them on social media as they are released so you can run them all.

High Magic and Low Cunning: Map Folio

High Magic and Low Cunning is a monochrome book, but in mid-February you’ll be able to download the maps in full colour, in player and GM versions from your order page as the High Magic and Low Cunning Map Folio free with High Magic and Low Cunning.

We are also offering all the maps, loose, in the High Magic and Low Cunning Map Folio as a print product, which you can get as a print bundle with High Magic and Low Cunning.

The GUMSHOE 10th Anniversary

2016 is the tenth anniversary of our first GUMSHOE game – The Esoterrorists – so it’s a big year for us at Pelgrane Press. We created GUMSHOE to make investigative games easy to run and play, but that’s the premise, not the sum total of what GUMSHOE offers. From its simple beginnings, that core system has been customised and expanded for specific settings such as Trail of Cthulhu, Ashen Stars and Night’s Black Agents, and now it has its own license for commercial use.

Iterations of GUMSHOE system have influenced the design of other RPGs such as Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition and Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition. I hope to see Evil Hat release BUBBLEGUMSHOE this year, and Atlas Games develop their GUMSHOE version of Ars Magica (code name Magic Shoe.)

This year Pelgrane Press are releasing three major new core books for GUMSHOE, TimeWatch, GUMSHOE One-2-One and Fall of Delta Green, as well as new Trail adventures books, a Trail starter boxed set and more support for Dracula Dossier.


GUMSHOE One-2-One – our one player, one GM game system – is in playtest, and we’ve had more playtest submissions for that than for any game since 13th Age. Many playtesters are using the opportunity to introduce roleplaying to their partners. While GUMSHOE One-2-One benefits from an experienced GM, the player does not have to have any experience at all.

Cthulhu Confidential is the first GUMSHOE One-2-One release and features three characters, Dex Hunter, a hard-boiled LA private detective, Vivian Sinclair, a New York reporter, and Langston Wright, an African-American war veteran and scientist in world war two Washington DC. Watch out for further playtest opportunities.

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