Category Archives: Gumshoe

GUMSHOE general category

Pelgrane Video Dispatches Kick Off with Robin’s Favorite GUMSHOE Ability

With most of us stuck at home, either all day or after returning from a day’s work of essential service, we at Pelgrane figured it would be a good time to get plans for video content off the backburner. The contents of my own YouTube subscription list are looking pretty sparse these days, with mainstream […]

Gaming for Kids

I’ve been running impromptu games for my two boys since they were four or five (they’re now seven), and I’ve been thinking about a GUMSHOE Kids framework that I’m going to develop as a priority now. In the meantime, though, I’m aware that there are suddenly a lot of people working from home with kids […]

Murder by Checklist

One of the Things I Always Say is that a GUMSHOE investigative ability list is basically a list of questions the players can ask the GM – but it’s also a useful list of questions to ask yourself when writing an adventure. Certainly, when I initially conceive of an adventure, I’ll come up with three […]

Clues vs. Leads

The core concept of GUMSHOE can be simply stated (or shouted from the rooftops) as “it’s always more fun when the players get the clue”. One could argue, though, that it’s sometimes more accurate to say that the players always get the lead. A lead is a clue that leads in to another scene. Leads […]

The Stairs To The Bottom Of The Universe

A spooky child’s drawing depicts a cryptic staircase that goes “to the bottom of the universe”, a blood-drenched skeleton, and a shadowy monster. What might it signify (other than “these parents are so neglectful they not only produce children who make such drawings, but also exploit them when they’re in need of a quick Page […]

The Plain People of Gaming: Core Competencies

The number one critique of GUMSHOE among those who have little or no experience of the system is that the investigative rules turn the scenario into a railroad, where the players blindly follow a predetermined series of clues – which, being an erudite regular reader of Page XX, you know is not true. Hot on […]

Call of Chicago: The Phasmatological Society

They were a chance assembly of people who all happened to have some curious story current in their own family or neighbourhood which had puzzled them, and deserved (as they conceived) further investigation. Each had supposed that his own particular problem was a unique one, and was surprised when he found someone else with a […]

The Plain People of Gaming: Building an Investigative Ability list

When creating your own game with the GUMSHOE rules – or when hacking an existing game – one key early step is deciding which investigative abilities you’re going to include. Different games use radically different numbers and lists of abilities – compare the sprawling list of abilities in The Esoterrorists to the much more compact list […]

The No-BS Guide to a Key GUMSHOE Ability

GMs sometimes fear that certain RPG abilities give away too much to the players. In GUMSHOE the abilities that most trigger these fears are the ones that actually act as the GM’s best friend. Intuition in The Yellow King Roleplaying Game is one of these. We can get to that one later. The classic example […]

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.