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: eight questions for adventure design

It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these Page XX pieces. In the intervening months, I’ve been working on a whole host of different adventures, ranging from classic Cthulhu mythos to epic fantasy to political drama to different flavours of weirdness. As part of the process of adventure writing, there are ten questions […]

Paddling around with temporary pools

Some GUMSHOE scenarios give players the opportunity to pick up small temporary pools. In Trail, for example, reading the collected letters of a crazed physicist might give a 2-point temporary pool that can be spent on Occult, Physics or Astronomy. The players can use these points as they would regular points from their character sheets. […]

A Taxonomy of Investigations

GUMSHOE, as we always say, is the game system where you always find a clue. If you’ve got the right Investigative Ability, you get the information. When designing scenarios, however, it’s useful to divide those pieces of information into different categories. My usual mental breakdown (building on the Clue vs Lead division) Leads: A piece […]

Thirteen Foulnesses By Which Ye Shall Know Them

It’s not that he doesn’t blink; it’s that when he does, a shudder runs through him, as if he sees something wonderful or terrible when he closes his eyes, even for an instant. It’s hard to describe, but it’s like he’s fractionally too fast. He looks over at the telephone, and then it rings. He […]

I Know A Guy – Integrating Player-Generated Characters Into Adventures

Several GUMSHOE games offer the players the power to retroactively add contacts and allies into the story. Night’s Black Agents has the Network ability, there’s Correspondents in Trail of Cthulhu, and the GM might offer a contact for an Investigative spend or push. Some tips on using such characters: Start with the scenario If you’re […]

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