themachineLike a burnt but still alarmingly competent spy with the whiff of vampire in her nostrils, convention season has crept up on us once more. Last year was our most successful yet, with Pelgrane games on the rise at a number of conventions around the world. More than forty Pelgrane GMs joined Simon and me at Pelgame HQ on the Wednesday night of Gen Con, to have Jonathan Tweet throw t-shirts at them, and get GMing advice from top Pelgrane writers Robin, Ken, Gareth, and Kevin.

2016 is very special for us. Our little GUMSHOE is all grown up, and celebrating its tenth anniversary. We’re planning to release three new core books this year – the second edition of Fear Itself; TimeWatch; and GUMSHOE One-2-One. These new launches will help make it a year to remember, but we need your help to celebrate!

You may have spotted Trail of Cthulhu right up near the top of Gen Con’s Highest Demand Games of 2015, and Night’s Black Agents also flying high. This means a lot of gamers wanted to play these at Gen Con, but there weren’t enough spaces (even though we had a record 745 spaces available in our games). Gen Con have asked us to increase the number of games we run this year, and we need you to GM them! Wade “Mission Control” Rockett has already flagged up our need for 13th Age GMs, and to celebrate the tenth anniversary, we’d love to get as many GUMSHOE games running at conventions around the world as we can.

So, sign up to be a Pelgrane convention GM, and get t-shirts, free stuff, store discounts, insider gossip, convention entry, personalised GMing advice from our top writers, and much, much more (warning: the much, much more may come flying at you from across a room). Fill in this Google form to become part of our esteemed and not very injured GM team!


Pelgrane games It’s our now-annual shout-out for Gen Con GMs! Last year, we ran more games than ever before, but this year we’re determined to beat that record. The  submission date for games is March 13th, 2015, so if you’re interested in running games at GenCon, email me for more information and to stay updated on our plans.

It’s not just GenCon, though – we’re always looking for GMs for other conventions. At the moment, conventions we’re attending and recruiting GMs for include UK Games Expo (Birmingham, UK – May 29th to May 31st) and Origins Game Fair (Columbus, OH – June 3rd to 7th), but we also need GMs for PAX East (Boston, MA – March 6th to 8th) and PAX Prime (Seattle, WA – August 28th to August 31st).

We’re also keen to support conventions that we can’t make it to, but you can! If you’d like to run Pelgrane games at your local games convention, email me and let me know – we can help out with demo game and full game scenarios for all our lines, and we might even be able to offer incentives and prizes for your Pelgrane Press games.

We recently signed up with the Envoy program to do more organised play, so you can also sign up there to become a Herald, and run Pelgrane Press games in your FLGS or local convention.

Gen Con is almost here, and we have some great seminars lined up. Pelgrane Press has also submitted a GUMSHOE panel as well as an overall Pelgrane Press panel, and we hope to see those go live soon.

13th Age Adventure Design
Date & Time: Thursday at 1:00 PM
Duration: 1 hours
Location: Crowne Plaza : Pennsylvania Stn C
The freeform story rules in 13th Age require a different approach to adventure design. Rob Heinsoo, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, Philippe-Antoine Ménard and ASH LAW will talk about how to design with icons, backgrounds, uniques and more, and answer your questions.

13th Age GM Roundtable
Date & Time: Friday at 3:00 PM
Duration: 1 hours
Location: Crowne Plaza: Grand Central D
Rob Heinsoo, Mike Shea, Ruth Tillman and Wade Rockett share their advice on how to run 13th Age, from handling icon rolls to collaborative world building and beyond. Got questions? Bring ‘em!

13th Age: Year One
Date & Time: Saturday at 3:00 PM
Duration: 1 hours
Location: Crowne Plaza: Victoria Stn A/B
13th Age debuted one year ago at Gen Con! Join Rob Heinsoo, Simon Rogers and Wade Rockett as they talk about where the game is now, share what’s coming next and answer your burning questions.

13th Age Monster Workshop
Date & Time: Sunday at 2:00 PM
Duration: 1 hours
Location: Crowne Plaza: Pennsylvania Stn C
Join Rob Heinsoo, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan and ASH LAW as they build a new monster that’ll take advantage of the game’s mechanics to deliver all sorts of nasty surprises at the table.

book_readerHello, my name is Kendall Jung and I’m one of the mods on the Pelgrane 13th Age forums, host of Vault of the 13th Age ( and I have also taken up the mantle of “Official GM Wrangler” for GenCon and Origins this year.  Together with Cat Tobin and Wade Rockett, we’re feverishly working towards making Pelgrane’s convention presence this year one to remember.

With that goal in mind, last month, we asked you to fill out a GenCon Survey – so we could get a feel as to who all was coming to GenCon, what games they would like to see, and so forth. The responses we got were pretty surprising – even if we did offer an incentive in the form of Pelgrane credit – but we’ll get to that in a bit.

First, I wanted to share some of the datum we gathered:

  • Total Responses: 138

  • Days Attending GenCon: 3.37 (average)

  • Volunteer GM’s: 43

That is a great response for our survey – and the fact that more than 25% of the people who responded wanted to run games for us at GenCon is even more amazing. Cat and I are in process now of contacting our GM’s and starting to schedule game slots over the Best 4 Days in Gaming, so keep an eye out for an email!

Some more points of data:

  • Top Games GM’s Volunteered For:

    • 13th Age

    • Trail of Cthulu

    • Night’s Black Agents

    • TimeWatch / Owl Hoot Trail (they tied)

While 13th Age had a very large following, all of Pelgrane’s titles made a good showing of requests. We’re looking at balancing out our GMs versus what games they want to run, and hope to accommodate everyone’s gaming desires and schedules.

When it comes to games you want to see, one of the things we asked people would be their interest in a 2-night tournament where you were scored against other tables / teams. Only 19 of our 139 respondents were interested in that – so that’s maybe an idea we’ll keep on the shelf for next year.

Overall the strongest desires for survey responses broke down into three categories:

  • Organized Play  Games

  • Standard, 4 Hour Games

  • 2 hour “Demo” Games

As a final note, before I announce the lucky random-winner of our survey, I wanted to also let you guys know that we are looking for volunteer GM’s for Origins as well. Please email cat@pelgranepress with the subject line “I want to be an Origins GM!” and we’ll add you to our list.  (Please include # of hours / game sessions you would like to run, and if you have any preferred scheduled times you would like to run.)

Again, we want to thank everyone for answering our survey. Each of you will receive a $5 Pelgrane Press voucher – good for products at the web store. However, one lucky survey-entree has won an ultra-shiny $50 credit voucher – and here is where we find out who it is.  (Note: I have failed as a gamer – as I don’t have a d138 in my dice bag – so I went online and generated a random number). Congratulations to Brent Killackey!

During his survey, Brent had this to say:

“This year will be my first GenCon and I’m looking forward to playing many games, but 13th Age has to be tops on my list.”

Congratulations! We have already reached out to Brent about the win and $50 Pelgrane voucher.

Thank you to all of our survey responders – this gives us a good feel as to what you all want, and we hope that you will be very happy at GenCon and Origins this year!