Tag Archives: gm advice

See Page XX: Give a Clue – Giving Out Clues in GUMSHOE

The following article originally appeared on an earlier iteration of See Page XX in April 2008.  A column on roleplaying by Robin D. Laws Give a Clue The heart of the GUMSHOE system is its method of ensuring that players always gather the clues essential to the solution of a mystery and lots of other […]

Props as GM Tools

The following article originally appeared on an earlier iteration of See Page XX in February 2008.  Distractions are Your Friend Using Props and Toys in Your Game by Jamie Maclaren Role-playing is a very specific type of group interaction, but many of its features are not unique. There are many activities that involve sitting, talking, sharing […]

See Page XX: Sting, Sting, Sting – Ending Scenes with Music in GUMSHOE

The following article originally appeared on an earlier iteration of See Page XX in February 2008.  Find James Semple’s stings for Trail of Cthulhu here, and you can also find the soundtracks James composed for Trail of Cthulhu and Night’s Black Agents. A column on roleplaying by Robin D. Laws Sting, Sting, Sting A GUMSHOE issue […]

Steal My Freedom (Please)

The following article originally appeared on an earlier iteration of See Page XX in October 2007.  Or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Started Loving Losing Control by Fred Hicks When I sit down at the table, I’m looking to feel.  I want my character’s triumphs to exhilarate me, and when he makes a bad decision, I […]

Additional Reasons to Automatically Succeed

GUMSHOE divides abilities according to whether failure at that ability can drive narrative. Because it is never interesting to fail to get information, you never fail with your investigative abilities. General abilities, on the other hand, do offer the possibility of something interesting—if often horrible—happening when you fail a test. You can fail to run […]

See Page XX: Pardon Me, I Must Be Going

This post originally appeared on DyingEarth.com between 2004 and 2007, but could prove useful for the many subsequent GUMSHOE systems. A column about roleplaying by Robin D. Laws On a fundamental structural level, RPG sessions are their own beast, and are unlike movies, TV, and books. However, these related storytelling forms are always worth looking […]

Special Relationships Are Not Special Snowflakes (Or At Least, Not If You Do Them Right)

by Lisa Padol When I first started running the Dracula Dossier, setting up the 1894 group, one of my players wanted a special relationship with Dracula. They wanted to have had their character have met Dracula as a child and for Dracula to have taken a liking to them. After all, the player argued, just […]

Plain People of Gaming: The Bad Die

At our GenCon panel on horror, we got asked about the risk of breaking atmosphere in Trail of Cthulhu games by asking for Stability tests. You describe whatever horrific or disturbing sight the investigator encounters in ghastly detail – and then go “now, roll Stability”, dragging the player out of the story and soiling everything […]

A Taste of Something Different

This article about the Dying Earth RPG originally appeared on DyingEarth.com. The Dying Earth RPG as an alternative roleplaying game system by Lynne Hardy If you don’t know what a roleplaying game is, read this article about the Dying Earth RPG instead. Fantasy was the inspiration for the first roleplaying games, and amongst the inspirations for the […]

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