Category Archives: Gumshoe

GUMSHOE general category

GUMSHOE

GUMSHOE is a system for designing and playing investigative roleplaying games and adventures, emulating stories where investigators uncover a series of clues, and interpret them to solve a mystery. In a GUMSHOE game, the player characters discover something which triggers their investigation, and then the Game Moderator (GM) narrates them through a number of scenes, […]

The Plain People of Gaming: Fruit of a Poison Tree

It’s been some time since the Poison Tree campaign was announced, even by the sometimes leisurely standards of Pelgrane. It’s currently on my desk undergoing development and additional writing. The core concept of the campaign is unchanged from those early articles – a series of connected adventures across the generations, from 1650 to the present […]

Core Vs. Alternate Scenes

In response to our scenario design workshop, we were asked to delve a bit further into the distinction between core and alternate scenes in a GUMSHOE adventure. TL;DR: Make sure there’s one path through a GUMSHOE scenario. Those are your core scenes. Add more paths. Those are your alternate scenes. A Core Scene provides one […]

Kenneth Hite’s Top Game Mastering Tip

For International GMs Day, Ken’s favorite GMing tip is very timely indeed. GUMSHOE is the groundbreaking investigative roleplaying system by Robin D. Laws that shifts the focus of play away from finding clues (or worse, not finding them), and toward interpreting clues, solving mysteries and moving the action forward. GUMSHOE powers many Pelgrane Press games, […]

Introducing GUMSHOE at a Virtual Convention

One of the most horrible aspects of this whole pandemic – at least, from where I’m sitting – is that roleplaying conventions will be one of the last events to return safely. Your typical convention is also ideal for spreading coronavirus: a bunch of people talking loudly at short range? In rooms that are famously […]

Community Content Spotlight: Game Reserve

In the Community Content Spotlight, each month I write up a short review of a GUMSHOE community content title, all of which are available on DriveThruRPG. See this page if you’re interested in creating something for our Community Program! ———————————— Michael Duxbury’s Game Reserve is a fresh supplement to Fear Itself 2nd Edition, providing “a […]

Ability Lists as an Improv Checklist

When running a most improvised scenario (either something as ambitious as the Dracula Dossier or just riffing off a paragraph or two of notes), One Useful Trick is to have a copy of the investigative ability list for your game to hand, and check off abilities as you call for them or the players use […]

See P. XX: How to Negotiate with the Game Master’s Characters

A column about roleplaying by Robin D. Laws You’ve found your way to Carcosa, and the bleak shores of Hali. A boatman, his visage concealed by a cloak, poles his way up to you. You ask for passage across the black lake. He leans forward, his caul falling partly away to reveal a mask-like visage. […]

See Page XX: Kitting Out GUMSHOE

This post originally appeared on DyingEarth.com between 2004 and 2007. A column on roleplaying by Robin D. Laws The GUMSHOE system seen in The Esoterrorists and upcoming follow-on games and supplements can be used for any mystery or procedural game. We’ll be presenting new settings in the future, but in the meantime, the game’s core […]

Dice Hacking in Gumshoe

by Joshua Kronengold and Catherine Ramen One of the most interesting features of GUMSHOE is that failure is frequently not an important part of the gameplay. Whether by finding a clue with an Investigative Ability, or spending enough points on a General Ability test to ensure success, GUMSHOE games focus more on the what (which […]

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