View From the Pelgrane’s Nest – December 2023

First up, a shout-out to my Sources of Stability, our estimable Patreon backers! Thanks to Andy, Michael H, Samwise, Ranting John, Andreas, Michael B, Scott, Michael M, P. Troilus, Bryant, Michael K, Phil, Craig, Emma, Jim, Clark, Bryan, and Peter!

NEW RELEASE: Black Star Magic, Legions of Carcosa and Fifth Imperative PDFs

We’ve just had a giant restock arrive at our US warehouse (check out the post Becky’s written about that here), which included the main print run of Black Star Magic, Legions of Carcosa, and Fifth Imperative. We miscalculated the number of pre-orders for these, so we ended up with nowhere near enough copies in the US, so it’s a relief to be finally able to really shout about what great additions to the Yellow King RPG these new books are, and we’re doing that by releasing them in PDF format this month.

Black Star Magic brings player-facing magic to the YKRPG, thematically linked to each of the four settings. Like everything else touched by Carcosa, this is more a curse than a blessing to PCs, evidenced by the fact that each spell is represented by a Shock card. Use at your own peril, but if your players are keen to cast, Black Star Magic also includes a magical adventure for each of the four settings, written by YKRPG designer Robin D. Laws, and GUMSHOE regulars Sarah Saltiel, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan and Ruth Tillman. It’s a nice black and white hardback in 6″ x 9″ size, so will go well with the core set on your bookshelf.

Once throwing spells around becomes familiar to your players, you’ll need to shake them out of their comfort zone somehow, and that’s where the new Foes in Legions of Carcosa: The Yellow King RPG Bestiary come into their own. Robin and the Legion of writers have outdone themselves in creating horrifying new adversaries  each natively tied to one of the four YKRPG settings. (Don’t worry if you fancy a Wars one in your Paris game – each new Foe includes an adaptation for the other three settings). And each Foe is uncannily illustrated in full colour by our robot overlords at Stable Diffusion, with prompt writing by Robin himself, in this US letter-sized, full colour hardback.

Long time readers will know that I often recommend Robin’s novel The Missing and the Lost to get a feel for the Aftermath setting of the YKRPG. Robin’s now written…not so much a sequel as a new book featuring the same protagonist character, the Technician (he of the Lethal Government Chamber repairing), and set in the same post-Castaigne world. In Fifth Imperative, The Technician is reluctantly running for public office, but he quickly discovers the supernatural forces, which propped up the Castaigne government he helped to overthrow, still in play. Find out how it ends by grabbing it in trade paperback sized print format (“B”, 5 1⁄8 inches x 7 3⁄4 inches), or in digital format, which includes not only the PDF, but also the e-reader standard EPUB, and the MOBI and KDF files for Kindles.

PELGRANES IN THE WILD: Dragonmeet 2023

As I type here in my home office, my fellow Pelgranistas Kenneth Hite, Robin D. Laws, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, and Jay Godden are all tucking into a delicious home-cooked meal in Simon and his partner Elina’s London home. They’re over for the traditional Pelgrane outing to Dragonmeet, and will be ably staffing the Pelgrane booth (see map ->) in the Lower Hall all day tomorrow, Saturday December 2nd. If you’re in London, do pop along and say hi, either on the booth, or at one of the seminars we’re running: our Horror Roleplaying Masterclass is in the Muscadet room at 13:00, and Ken And Robin Talk About Stuff – Live From Dragonmeet is in the Bourg room at 17:00.

We Liked It So Much, We Bought the Company

I’ve already posted about how excited I am that Pelgrane will be acquiring Gameplaywright, the publishing company that brought you Robin’s fascinating and instructive books on story beats in RPGs, Hamlet’s Hit Points and Beating the Story. I won’t repeat myself here, so read that post if you want more details. I will say that I really admire the hard work and thoughtfulness Will Hindmarch and Jeff Tidball have put into building their company. We at Pelgrane will take very good care of their existing catalogue of books, and are looking forward to developing it as a continuing imprint with new releases planned for 2024 and beyond.

Until next time,


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