Pelgrane Press Acquires Gameplaywright

We are thrilled to announce that Pelgrane Press are acquiring publishing company Gameplaywright. The sale will complete on 31 December 2023, and Gameplaywright products will be available from the Pelgrane Press webstore from 1 January 2024.

Gameplaywright, founded and run by Jeff Tidball and Will Hindmarch, are the publishers of thoughtful books about tabletop games. Pelgrane fans will likely be familiar with them through Robin D. Laws’ seminal books on story beats in RPGs, Hamlet’s Hit Points and Beating the Story. Other titles Gameplaywright have published include game design workshop in a box The White Box Essays, and required reading for anyone thinking of a career in gaming retail Friendly Local Game Store, by successful FLGS owner Gary Ray.

Speaking personally, I own a copy of almost everything Gameplaywright have published. I’ve long believed their brand of insightfully examining tabletop gaming occupies a vital, and sadly underserved, space in the industry, and both Simon and I jumped at the opportunity to include their top-rate books in the Pelgrane catalogue. I believe Pelgrane and Gameplaywright share similar aims and values, and I’m delighted Jeff and Will agreed with us that Pelgrane was a natural home for their efforts.

And for those fans of Gameplaywright wondering what this means for the future of the brand, rest assured that we intend to run it as an ongoing imprint. To that end, I have the pleasure of announcing a new Gameplaywright title, to be published by Pelgrane Press in 2024.

Robin D. Laws is currently working on a follow-up to Hamlet’s Hit Points and Beating the Story. Titled Hamlet’s GM Screen, Robin says about it, “This book will follow up on the number one request of Hamlet’s Hit Points readers, providing directly actionable advice for GMs by using beat analysis to look at common moments in roleplaying.”

3 thoughts on “Pelgrane Press Acquires Gameplaywright

  1. p.elroy says:

    Very excited to hear about Hamlet’s GM Screen being in the works. Eager to mine it for new ideas. I have Hamlet’s Hit Points on the shelf and apply it every week as a GM.

    After a session, I record Story Beats, their types and direction according to HHP. I also add ‘disqualifiers’ to filter for the specific qualities in a beat that I’m looking for as a GM. The tallied sum of such beats is a nice simple ‘High Score’ for my sessions. But I also use the beats as a whole to evaluate the session and prep for the next. are there any pipes or questions left open? Any beats that establish themes that I could bring back as Gratifications or Bringdowns later? Etc. I am very pleased with how HHP has made thee narrative of my games quantifiable and transparent.

    • p.elroy says:

      Sadly not! I record other things alongside the beats, so I have my own system where it all comes together. That does mean I’m missing out on Steve Hammond’s fantastic visualisation. Still, very happy with using this beat structure.

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