This month I have more 13th Age projects to announce, Cthulhu Apocalypse reaches its – well – apocalyptic conclusion, and we reach the final installment of the first Ken and Robin Writes About stuff.

Cthulhu Apolcalypse

Graham Walmsley’s epic and award-winning Cthulhu Apocalypse concludes in Slaves of the Mother, crafted with Gareth Hanrahan. It includes our ridiculously belated rewards for the Black Book character builder – so expect alternative endings, cities crushed an mysterious tomes.

Slaves_Cover_finalPraise for previous episodes:

“The text of {The Apocalypse Machine] deviates away from the neutral, descriptive voice that many RPG authors prefer and instead takes a direct and prescriptive tone. This results in a lively, readable book that shows Walmsley is both excited about the Cthulhu Apocalypse setting and is keen to describe how such games run, leaving little doubt for both players and keepers about what to expect and how to achieve it.”

“I think it is this degree of control that makes this supplement so unique and what appeals to me – that the apocalypse might be slow and insidious or has already occurred or happened in the distant past.”

“Everyone was very happy with [The Dead White World] at its end. It was bleak, very Lovecraftian, and will be remembered as a gaming highlight by myself for many years to come. A lot of the credit for the excellent series of sessions must rest on the author – Graham Walmsley – who has crafted a horrible situation for players to navigate that is not a familiar Mythos monster charging down upon you, or a cult needing foiling. For this original conceit, I must applaud the author. His many sidebars, ideas, and notes (including the Save Vs. Apocalypse sidebar on escaping Dover as it is destroyed) make the scenario an inspiring piece to run.”

13th Age

  • 13 True Ways, like 13th Age before it has turned out to be far more work than originally planned, but it’s much better than even my expectations. I will be very disappointed if it’s not off to Kickstarter backers by 1st August. The original Fire Opal team are working on this, so you can be assured it won’t be delayed by other 13th Age projects from
  • We’ve provided the laid-out version of the 13th Age Bestiary for download from your order page and it’s on target for a May release.
  • Gareth Hanrahan continues his work on Eyes of the Stone Thief,. He’s incorporating playtest feedback, hammering out art direction and working with 13th Age line developer Cal Moore to polish the manuscript.
  • Gareth has also began work on The Book Of Loot a collection of new magic items, including more potions and runes with 13th Age story focus you expect along side the crunch.
  • ASH LAW has taken Shards of the Broken Sky and is writing it under Rob Heinsoo’s guidance. I hope to have a first draft by April.
  • Cal Moore will be working on a collection of pre-designed encounters for each Icon which GMs can slot into their games. We don’t have a name for this yet – suggestions in the comments are welcome.

Ken Writes About Stuff

kwasKen’s subscription offering reaches the end of its first year this month with Lilith. Get a subscription now to download all twelve issues now. Next month, KWAS 2 begins. We are polling our subscribers to ask you what you’d like to see next year. Read what Paul Baldowski over at GeekNative says:

“I consider this series a wake-up call to the lacklustre, to remind them tales of the Mythos, using whatever system, should instil uneasiness, upset and fear. Grasp the potential of the unearthly and inhuman, and make sure next time the investigator’s meet a Shoggoth they have have a truly memorable encounter.”

This year featured Ken’s take on Lovecratian Hideous Creatures Deep Ones , Star Vampires, Ghouls, Shoggoth, Mi-Go, and Hounds of Tindalos; GUMSHOE settings and extras such as Moon Dust Men, Martial Arts, Mind Control, and Mumbai and the mysterious Nazi artifact, Die Glocke.

 GUMSHOE

Our main logjam is art direction and a shortage of artists, but we are working through it. Cat is working as hard as humanely possible.

This month sees a setback as the 13th Age layout is delayed when Chris Huth’s apartment burnt down, pats on the back as Pelgrane customers rallied round to help him in the fire sale, putting us back on track. We launch the KWAS subscription – Ken Writes About Stuff with its first component Hideous Creatures: Deep Ones. Deep Ones is available as a stand-alone if you prefer from the store.

Ken Writes About Stuff

DeepOnescoverEvery month, Ken will be writing a few thousand words on topics of note including Hideous Creatures – his take on Mythos entities and other topics of interest including new GUMSHOE settings and rules systems. Get the KWAS subscription, and you can receive this monthly knowledge, knowledge beyond our Ken, at a 30% discount from the price of each component. Ken gives you more information here.

13th Age

As you might already know, we received a setback in our 13th Age production when Chris Huth suffered an apartment fire which left him homeless. We ran a fire sale, and thanks to your generosity, Chris now has a computer and some way towards getting him back to the status ante incendium. Oh, and a subscription to a cloud back up service thanks to CrashPlan. Chris is giving us daily reports on his progress, and he’s using software to reverse compile the PDFs to extract a lot of the useful formatting data. In the mean time we’ve uploaded the final pre-fire versions to the order page, which includes the almost-finished character class chapters. My estimate for release is 1st July. The 13th Age Bestiary is coming on in leaps and bounds, with Cal Moore wrangling a group of exciteable writers under Ken’s supervision. Rich Longmore has sketched out the first monsters and is getting to work colouring them.

Esoterrorists 2.0

The art for Esoterrorists will be ready by the end of April. Here is Kyle Strahm’s take on a torture dog, and Tony Williams, a pre-orderer discusses the new version here, and how the new detailed breakdown of GUMSHOE in Eso 2.0 has helped him grokk the system better.TortureDog

Trail of Cthulhu

  • Hideous Creatures: Deep Ones is the first in a series of compact PDFs discussing seminal Mythos creatures. Ken discusses his approach here.
  • Vote in our poll to let us know which creatures you’d like to see
  • Mythos Expeditions is up for playtesting. Please apply here. Will has finished laying out Eternal Lies, sans art and we have some cover art from Jérome. It’s 379 pages in all, and now I am in a terrible pickle about how to release it. Currently I’m edging towards massive hardback with a limited edition with goodies. James Semple has finished the sound track with the Will Wheaton voice over ready for inclusion.
  • The Final Revelation, the collection of Graham Walmsley’s fine Purist adventures with a campaign frame by Scott Dorward, is very close to completion – it should be available for pre-order next month.
  • Soliders of Pen and Ink, a Trail adventure set in the Spanish civil war  and written by Adam Gauntlett is up for playtesting.
  • The final draft of Part 2 of Cthulhu Apocalypse: Slaves of the Green Man will be with us this week from Gareth.

Night’s Black Agents

Double Tap, the Night’s Black Agents expansion book is now in first draft, Dracula Dossier and the Unredacted Dracula are on their way and Ken supplies more information if you have the clearance here.

Ashen Stars

Ashen Stars is temporarily out of print, but we’ve just reprinted. and we will have new stock in June. Bill White’s Justice Trade is now in its final draft, so we’ll get this laid out over the next month and bundled with Tartarus, Stowaway and Terra Nova as a print product.

With Kenneth Hite working full time and as a result writing articles and a recent Page XX in the bag, this will be a short View from the Pelgrane’s Nest. Read the previous one for detailed production updates.

December Sale

For the festive season we offer 20% off PDFs in the Pelgrane Press store – use XMAS@20% in the voucher code box.

13th Age

This month we celebrate the Empire-wide Feast of Gold, and the last few copies of the Escalation Edition before we hit the 1000 mark. Read how others have celebrated and take part yourself. Layout continues apace, and Rob has submitted the super-secret internal guidelines for Pelgrane 13th Age developers.

Expansion Books

At our annual Dragonmeet shindig we decided that we wanted to support each of our settings with additional material. I’ve always been a bit cautious about this, as I know adventures sell best, but there are so many things we can do to improve and expand the choices for players and adventures – and actual play experience also informs these changes. The Esoterror Fact Book and the Keeper’s Resource Book serve as models for these books. Ken discusses Double Tap – the first such expansion book – here.

Owl Hoot Trail

We are playing Owl Hoot Trail in our home game and we are hopelessly outclassed and jinxed by poor die rolling. To the mocking laughter of the audience on a paddle steamer, a fugitive croupier took us down armed only with a hat pin. Later our Gunslinger rolled double 1s while shooting at orc brigands from the mine cart. In the end, Poughkeepsie Pete had to bring the water tank down on orcs and hostages alike. But them’s the breaks in the Wild West and the aces are still in the deck.

Rich Longmore is working on the art for this project, and will be moving onto layout next.

Stone Skin Press

The Lion and the Aardvark, our first mainstream fiction release, has been sent out to Kickstarter backers and is on sale in retailers in the UK. It’s exciting to think that our book is in Foyles on Charing Cross Road, Waterstones and Blackwells. It is, though I say so myself, a perfect gift book. The other books, when they have been shipped to backers, will be on sale early in the New Year

This month sees the release of a new album from James Semple for Ashen Stars, Sisters of Sorrow, an adventure for Trail of Cthulhu and the long-awaited ebook version of Night’s Black Agents. The Dying Earth Revivification Folio is available in print and the 13th Age  RPG PDF has been updated.

So as not to swamp other games and yet all space to highlight 13th Age now has its own news feature Through the Scrying Glass.

Hillfolk

The big news this month is the Hillfolk RPG Kickstarter. With Hillfolk and DramaSystem, Robin D Laws does for dramatic character interaction what GUMSHOE did for investigative gaming. It’s already reached 17 stretch goals, giving you a plethera of new settings for your game, play a Cthulhu cultist, bootlegger, minion of a failed supervillain or even an Aztec. Pelgrane gets 50% of all the margin on physical items; Robin gets everything else. See what rewards are available here, and get the PDF within a few hours. (After backing the project, see Update #4 for instructions for PDF access.)
Hillfolk: DramaSystem roleplaying by Robin D. Laws -- Kicktraq Mini

 

Night’s Black Agents

This gorgeous book is out now – all pre-orders shipped and both the physical and eBook version are available from the store, as well as from your FLGS. The Dracula Dossier, Agent’s Companion and Dracula Unredacted are underway.

Trail of Cthulhu

  • Sisters of Sorrow is Adam Gauntlett’s new Great War adventure for Trail of Cthulhu, set on the claustrophobic confines of a German minelaying submarine, and it’s out now. His follow up, A Better Hole, also set in the WWI is in playtest.
  • Gareth is writing the second part of the ENnie-award winning Cthulhu Apocalypse, Green Unpleasant Land to which you can read the introduction, here.
  • Will Hindmarch has promised us the final finished copy for Eternal Lies by Friday, Jerome has began producing art for this massive supplement.
  • Scott Dorward is producing a framing adventure to go around Graham Walmsley’s Purist adventures, which will then be produced in print.
  • Another print collection Out of Space will include Repairer of Reputations, Flying Coffins, Many Fires and Hell Fire, with addtional material by JasonMorningstar, Adam Gauntlett and Robin D Laws.
  • Work continues on Dreamhounds of Paris, and its companion volume Livre de Fourmis  – Book of Ant and Mythos Expeditions.

Ashen Stars

With the new Tartarus, Ashen Stars has seen a resurgeance of interest, and we’ve released some more amazing music from James Semple and his team – All We Have Forgotten – ten tracks and four stings. If you bought Tartarus – redownload your zip and you’ll be able to listen to an extra track free of charge.

Listen to the theme music:

Owl Hoot Trail

Kevin Kulp will have the finished draft to me next month, and Rich Longmore who produced this image, will be illustrating and laying out.

Esoterrorists 2nd Edition

Phil Reeves, who provided much of the art for Night’s Black Agents, is working on art for Esoterrorists 2e. Esoterrorists 2e, as well as incorporating years of advice based on actual play experience, creatures and additional background material also includes Station Duty –  a setting for small-town horror, where OV investigators work with the locals to face threats in community.

Gaean Reach

Chris Huth is illustrating and laying out this game of Vancean revenge in space. You can see a sample of text and layout here.

 

August is GenCon month, but due to Beth’s foresight we are able to release a just-in-time Page XX. GenCon became a hard target for three new print releases, and when we get back, all these pre-orders will be going out. 13th Age will be the only outstanding pre-order left. These new releases are Night’s Black Agents, The Zalozhniy Quartet and The Dying Earth Revivification Folio. I’ve separated the GenCon section

13th Age

The Escalation Die is up to three pips, and we’ve released an updated version of 13th Age – download it from the pre-order page. The main change is more monsters and monster damage, but there’s more here.

You can also read the exclusive interview on rpg.net which discusses what will and won’t be included in the final 13th Age, and a new Kickstarter-funded book which includes all four 13th Age creators.

Ashen Stars

Our new release this month is Tartarus, an Ashen Stars adventure featuring black goo. It has unactionable similarity to a certain film you may have seen. You are investigating the disappearance of a corporate sponsored expedition to a bad planet infested with Class K entities.  Perhaps you can do better than the useless team you follow?

At GenCon we will discuss future Ashen Stars releases, and you can make your suggestions on this forum thread.

Night’s Black Agents

Today, 9th August, is the last chance you’ll get to pre-order a signed copy of the Night’s Black Agent [REDACTED] edition. The pre-order also includes a beta Android app to improve your gaming experience. Take a peak at the lay out here. Order here.

  • This month’s Page XX features two Night’s Black Agents articles, GM Tips and Players and Plots. You can also catch up on my group’s play here
  • The Zalozhniy Quartet is laid out, and you can pre-order the print version and get the finished PDF now.
  • Kevin Kulp has written a Night’s Black Agents demo called Excess Baggage which will debut at GenCon – we’ll lay it out and have it up on the website for next month.
  • Ken and Gareth are in Chicago, conspiring to create the Dracula Dossier, and we’ll all be finalising the contents of Dracula, Unredacted at GenCon.
  •  Rob Wieland (author of Tradecraft) and others will be writing an Agent’s Companion, which will include achievements, giant list of guns, more tech and gear, investigative Abilities will get tips and vampire traces, and general abilities will get new cherries.

Trail of Cthulhu

  • Christopher Smith Edair is copyediting Eternal Lies, and Will is following up, finalising the text and art directing
  • Graham Walmsley has given the go-ahead to release his Purist adventures in a print volume with additional material on the Lake District.
  • Gareth and Graham are working on the next chapter of The Apocalypse Machine.
  • Robin is continuing to delve into the Dreamlands with his Dreamhounds of Paris, and is also working on a companion volume in the mold of The Occult Guide called the Livre de Fourmis  – Book of Ants.
  • The Book of the Smoke: Occult Guide is available on rpgnow.com

GenCon

Steve Dempsey, Kevin Kulp, Matthew Sanderson and Game on Demand will be running  be running GUMSHOE demos and full games – come to the stand and we’ll fix you up. Paula Dempsey, Kenneth Hite, Robin Laws will be there as will 13th Age stalwarts Rob Heinsoo, Jonathan Tweet and other Fire Opalites, as well as Stone Skin Press writers. All the designers will be offering  GM’ing advice. And Beth and I will be there, too of course. Stop by for a chat, and take advantage of our 4 for 3 convention offer, take advantage of GenCon exclusives and new releases.

Title Setting
New Release Night’s Black Agents Night’s Black Agents
New Release The Zalozhniy Quartet Night’s Black Agents
GenCon Exclusive Tartarus/Terra Nova Flip Book Ashen Stars
New Release Dying Earth Revivification Folio Dying Earth/Skulduggery
GenCon Exclusive 13th Age Poster Map 13th Age
GenCon Exclusive 13th Age Escalation Die 13th Age
GenCon Exclusive The New Hero Vol 1 Stone Skin Press
GenCon Exclusive The New Hero Vol 2 Stone Skin Press
GenCon Exclusive Shotguns v Cthulhu Stone Skin Press

Character Generator

For reasons beyond my personal control we have not delivered the final version of the Black Book character generator. That said, it is at least in part my responsibilty. The generator works fine for Trail and just about for Esoterrorists and Fear Itself, but doesn’t currently have the extras for Bookhounds and Apocalypse Machine we promised. What’s more than that, the rewards which depended on later installments of Cthulhu Apocalypse are not out because they were delayed. I can only apologise and make the following commitments:

John Clayton has stepped in and will finish the generator by 15th September.

All rewards which involve names, cities and so on in publications will be in playtest by November. If you are unhappy that you have not already been included, please contact me and we will work something out.

So, once again, sorry for this delay, and we’ll keep you informed.

This month we celebrate Page XX’s ENnie nomination for Best Website with a super-duper bumper edition. A plethora of other Pelgrane products have been nominated in six categories, and you can read the full roster here. Our first Night’s Black Agents adventure The Zalozhniy Quartet is on pre-order, and the Stone Skin Press Kickstarter is nearing its first stretch goal. The 13th Age Escalation Die is now set at 2 with an updated version from Rob. Keep on testing!

Stone Skin Press Kickstarter

We Kickstarted our fiction imprint Stone Skin Press, and it’s already – just short of the 150% we need to create a new anthology – Schemers. Every day we are posting an article on stories on the Stone Skin Press site. See the latest update.

Trail of Cthulhu fans should consider the Shotguns v. Cthulhu anthology, and you can get all four anthologies for only $25 and buy Beth a cupcake (to improve her productivity, you understand) for only $3. Why not consider our selection of rewards for backers?

Night’s Black Agents

Night’s Black Agents has gone to press, and should make GenCon. Print pre-orderers can download the laid-out PDF from their order page.

  • The Zalozhniy Quartet, a set of adventures by Gareth Hanrahan with Ken Hite is now on print pre-order – get the bare-bones PDF now and the full version by August.
  • The Night’s Black Agents Companion is now in planning stages, and it will include tips for agents and new cherries for all abilities, forensic information on vampire types, an extended tech and weapons summary with weapon special features, more thriller maneuvres and extra monsters, plus much more.
  • Ken and Gareth will be in Chicago later this month to put their heads together for the Dracula Dossier, which is the Armitage Files for Night’s Black Agents.

13th Age

Rob has released an updated version of the Escalation Edition, with new feats, updated classes including the monk. Download it from your order page.

Rob is also working on the first adventure for the game Shards of the Broken Sky. He says:

This sandbox adventure for 13th Age centers on the crash of one of the Archmage’s flying realms. As threats multiply, the flying land turns out to have been the control point for magical wards neutralizing three ancient evils. With the cone of secrecy shattered, each of the thirteen icons offers rival opportunities for glory, plunder, or heroic sacrifice.  Plot, non-player character, and location options allow the gamemaster to tune each play-through of Shards of the Broken Sky to the icon relationships that campaign’s player characters care about most.

Also in the pipeline now are a 13th Age Bestiary, incorporating everything we’ve learnt from creating the Book of Unremitting Horror, the Dying Earth and the Compendium of Universal Knowledge. Monsters will not just be monsters, but mini-adventures, with statements from scholars, icons and adventurers on the nature and behavious of the denizens of this world, and a gazetteer of the Dragon Empire.

Trail of Cthulhu

  • Ken Hite has completed the new rules for Mythos Expeditions, and is working on the first chapter so that other writers can produce their expeditions.
  • Graham Walmsley has given the go-ahead to release his Purist adventures in a print volume with additional material on the Lake District.
  • Gareth and Graham are working on the next chapter of The Apocalypse Machine.
  • Robin is continuing to delve into the Dreamlands with his Dreamhounds of Paris, and is also working on a companion volume in the mold of The Occult Guide called the Livre de Fourmis  – Book of Ants.
  • For playtest we have Sisters of Sorrow by Adam Gauntlett set on a U-boat.

Gaean Reach

We are in need of playtester for a game of revenge set in the Gaean Reach – please apply here.

Ashen Stars

Robin’s article this month describes an Ashen Stars adventure, Tartarus, based very loosely on a recent blockbuster film. It will be out very soon.

 

 

The Pelgrane has flown the nest, leaving the fledglings in the capable pinions of the Mother of All Pelgranes to explore the verdant mountains and arroyos of Andalucía and feast on wild pigs and what I will describe as peasant food. So, expect little detail, but much excitement.  The Dying Earth Revivification Folio is on pre-order, The Book of the Smoke is available as a PDF and there has been a flurry of activity over at Stone Skin Press. The [REDACTED] Edition of Night’s Black Agents will be on sale for a couple more weeks before switching to the standard pre-order version. The 13th Age playtest is now closed, and the pre-order will open quite soon.

The Dying Earth

My first love is reborn! The Revivification Folio works both as a stand-alone game and as an adjunct to Skulduggery and the original Dying Earth. It features card-based super-quick character generation, three adventures and rapid play mechanics. It’s a hoot. You could also take this opportunity to pre-order the newly back-in-print XPS 4/5 and XPS 7/8 as well as Turjan’s Tome. Pre-order The Revivification Folio through our shop.

13th Age

We’ve had an amazing and gratifying response to 13th Age (I’m looking at you, somethingawful.com) and now the playtest is over.  Rob Heinsoo is ploughing through the large number of playtests to finalise the manuscript, and the game will be available on pre-order soon. Playtesters who submitted a response are now able to blog and discuss the game online, and Lee and Andrew have been beavering away on the artwork. Here is a sneak peek of the cover as it currently stands. The pre-order will include the perks you’ve grown to expect with Ashen Stars and Night’s Black Agents, though the lead time to release will be a lot shorter.

Night’s Black Agents

This month, we released the epub version of Night’s Black Agents, and we’ll soon be releasing the mobi version, too, as part of the [REDACTED] edition. The [REDACTED] Edition will be available for a couple more weeks, while the layout is underway.  Those of you who already have NIGHT level clearance or higher will receive a message next week.  And remember – KYBOI.

Trail of Cthulhu

Will Hindmarch has returned from Origins and will have the final ms of Eternal Lies in my hands very soon.

Out of Space – a follow-up print collection to Out of Time is now underway, and should be out in July.

Graham Walmsley says he will look at the character generator and Cthulhu Apocalypse later this month.

Robin D Laws has provided some tasty morsels of Dreamhounds of Paris – a list of surrealists that the players will use as PCs, and some (to me) distasteful dreamland cats.

Adam Gauntlett’s new adventure, Sisters of Sorrow, set on a U-boat in the North Atlantic is available for playtest.

We are starting the slow and painful process of collating information and feedback for a 2nd edition of the core book which might be released late in 2013, though I wouldn’t put money on it.

Owl Hoot Trail

Kevin Kulp has taken over Owl Hoot Trail, knocked it into shape written a solid and fun adventure for it. It’s a great game to playtest – character generation is very fast, and it’s much more a Western with fantasy elements than the other way round. Please playtest it here.

Esoterrorists

The Enhanced Edition is awaiting art direction. It will probably be out in Russia before it is here.

Matt Sanderson’s great adventure The Love of Money is not quite getting the love it deserves. It’s an excellent convention game and a perfect example of how to integrate pre-gens with each other and with an adventure.

Stone Skin Press

See the Stone Skin Press round-up here, including a picture of delicious ARC copies of Shotguns vs Cthulhu. International Short Story Day will see the official launch of Stone Skin Press. If you are in London on June 20th and would like to attend, you can find all the information you need here.

Today marks the 75th anniversary of HP Lovecraft’s death. Perhaps it’s morbid to mark his death rather than his birth, a little grim to dwell on the unstoppable ravages of time, indifferent and uncaring. Morbid? Perhaps. Appropriate? Definitely. For contrast, we add to this cocktail of the grim and the deathly a healthy dose of opportunism, with a new Trail Core Bundle for new Keepers at a temporary 25% discount in the store, and set of Hidden Treasures – sadly over looked Pelgrane gems, also at 25% off.

13th Age

We are publishing a new fantasy game by Jonathan Tweet and Rob Heinsoo, 3rd and 4th Edition D&D designers. That’s all I’ll say for the moment, but if you want to play test, you can apply here.

Night’s Black Agents

We really could do with some more REDACTED edition sales to cover our printing costs, so please consider buying it from our store. We need to sell 100 more to break even on our print costs.

Thank you for all your feedback on Night’s Black Agents. Ken will have completed the final ms by the end of the month. Art is progressing well. I’ve been running Night’s Black Agents for my group, and it has a real cinematic feel. The rules at the micro level and the conspiracy structure at the macro level mesh to create a thrilling atmosphere. Every clue leads to danger. Preparedness means you don’t have to micromanage all your planning, and GUMSHOE’s resource management could have been tailor-made for the limited network, cover identities and equipment in a spy game.

If you have any tables or references you want added, or are willing to give us actual play feedback for the DVD notes, that would be great.

Trail of Cthulhu

Robin Laws and Steve Dempsey are outlining the concept and doing the research for a Dreamlands supplement based in Paris. This is Robin’s pitch:

Dreamhounds of Paris* is the Dreamlands book for people who hate the Dreamlands.  The players are prominent surrealists, their rivals, and occult adversaries, fighting to control the Dreamlands and thus alter human consciousness.  The fractious, iconoclastic surrealists were the premiere troublemakers of the intellectual scene of 1930s Paris. Andre Breton, their ideological enforcer, considered the movement not an art or avant garde pursuit, but an exercise in literally changing the human spirit.  The exploration of dreams was but one part of this quasi-mystical pursuit.  In Dreamhounds of Paris, top surrealists–but never the hyper-rational Breton himself–not only discover a way of breaking through to the Dreamlands by randomly walking the streets of the city.  They discover that their powerful imaginations allow them to reshape its oneric geography. Soon the Dreamlands look more like something envisioned by Lautreamont than Dunsany–then they’re overrun by melting watches, ants streaming from giant hands, and bowler-hatted men whose faces can never be seen.

*I haven’t yet decided whether this title is a joke, or brilliant marketing.

  • When Ken has finished Night’s Black Agents, he’ll be moving on to managing Mythos Expeditions and the a supplement set in China.
  • Adam Gauntlett’s Coffins is in illustration and will be out next month, and new adventure set in Civil War Spain will be in playtest shortly.
  • Note the Robin’s Repairer of Reputations, a hidden treasure, is available at a discount for a while.

Ashen Stars

  • Kevin Kulp, who created the Stowaway demo game for Ashen Stars is working on new adventures for Ashen Stars.
  • We are still considering what other supplements to release – it appeared that a massive campaign would be the most popular, but that is a huge undertaking and even if we sell through the first print run (which seems highly likely) it’s a relatively small market. That’s not to exclude the possibilty.
  • Terra Nova, Lenny’s excellent Ashen Stars adventure is now available on rpgnow.com.

Esoterrorists

  • Love of Money, Matthew Sanderson’s sombre and exciting adventure is now on sale at rpgnow.com. We are considering a print version, and we’ll offer a discount to PDF purchasers if we do this.
  • Eso 2.0 is being illustrated, other products are in editing.

Owl Hoot Trail, New World, Gaean Reach, et all

  • Clinton has passed Owl Hoot Trail on to us for completion, and Kevin Kulp will be writing the playtest adventure for it.
  • New World is in playtest, and we could do with some more playtesters for it. You can hear about it, and listen to some actual play with Bill White on this podcast.
  • Robin has written most of the Gaean Reach, which mixes up GUMSHOE with Skulduggery, and where character’s primary motive is revenge.
  • Paula Dempsey has written the first draft of Salem, which is a story game based on Monsegur 1244, where you play folks involved in the witchcraft trials.
  • She is also working on her follow up to the Book of the Smoke, the Book of the New Jerusalem.

This month we release Terra Nova, Lenny Balsera’s Ashen Stars Lenny’s murder mystery set on a dying space liner and the PDF of Lorefinder, the GUMSHOE / Pathfinder mashup. New World and DramaSystem are ready for external playtest.

A Year in Pelgrane

2011 was an excellent year for Pelgrane. Much of this is the shear rate we released products – with Beth’s help, we were able to whizz through a backlog of manuscripts, releasing an amazing nineteen products, while maintaining our high standards, at least judging by the reviews.

This year, I expect we’ll have fewer releases, but they include Night’s Black Agents and the long-awaited Eternal Lies campaign for Trail of Cthulhu – blockbusters in scope, and we hope, in sales. There is another major non-GUMSHOE project in the pipeline which I hinted at last month – it will be announced next month.

Something very definitely changed last year in the GUMSHOE community – when a question is asked on the major forums, a knowledgeable person or two will step in with actual play experience to answer. As for widespread influence, stainless on the yog-sothoth forum pointed out that in Q&A session to the current D&D designers, Mike Mearls and the team said they were playing Trail of Cthulhu. I hope they take whatever they want from GUMSHOE to improve 5e.

Night’s Black Agents

The first episode of the The Zalozhniy Quartet, The Zalozhniy Sanction is now available as a free download with the Night’s Black Agents [REDACTED] edition. If you are an existing pre-orderer, just follow your order link to download it*. If not, get the [REDACTED] edition from the Store.

Beth has been working with artists Chris Huth and Alessandro Alaia to illustrate Night’s Black Agents.

* If you’ve mislaid your link to this or any other order, you can get it resent here.

Ashen Stars

Terra Nova, our first PDF supplement for Ashen Stars puts me in a quandary. In it Lenny Balsera introduces an excellent new core GUMSHOE technique which I can’t describe to you without spoiling the adventure. The technique will be divisive, in that 90% of people will love it, and 10% will hate it. (1% will insist they are not bothered either way. Estimates may be subject to rounding errors.) I suspect “buy it and find out” seems somewhat self-interested, but there we are.

We are considering our next release, but the speed and scope of it will depend on the take-up of Terra Nova.

Lorefinder

GUMSHOE is a modular system, and we’ve often suggested replacing the General system with whichever system you prefer. Lorefinder applies GUMSHOE techniques to Pathfinder – replacing the investigative side with GUMSHOE’s clue finding and special benefit system, while allowing you to stick with the d20-based conflict resolution you enjoy. Lorefinder is now available as a PDF from the store.

Download a PDF of the 2-page character sheet.

Hillfolk / DramaSystem

Next month, we’ll start the fundraiser for DramaSystem using IndieGoGo.

The internal playtest is now finished, and we are ready for external playtesting. This is a little different to the usual playtests, in that Robin does not need the system testing – he just wants to ensure that the game text results in the actual play he wants.

We also publish some playtesting which Ralf Schemmann, my ProFantasy colleague did recently.

I think DramaSystem has a good chance of doing a GUMSHOE – it does something apparently obvious which is in fact innovative, and involves a rethink on how you roleplay.

One player in Ralf’s group expressed concerns after the first session, saying that he had some reservations about the game becoming a “soap opera” without a “real” story.  A couple of sessions later, he said, “We had a absolutely great 2nd part of a Hillfolk playtest using the Drama System moderated by wicked gamemaster Ralf. It was in fact dramatic and there were fantastic lose-lose situations:) Guess we’re all keen on do it again.”

Esoterrorists 2.0

  • The playtest of the example adventure is finished, and Robin has updated the text. It’s ready for layout.
  • The Love of Money, our most recent Esoterrorists release is available from the store.

Trail of Cthulhu

  • The team are editing Eternal Lies in response to playtesting and Coffins is being redrafted post playtest.
  • Gareth Hanrahan takes over writing duties with Graham Walmsley doing story design for the next part of Cthulhu Apocalyspe.
  • Graham is aiming to finish the generator in the next couple of week. We’ve sent out Ken’s monster pictures to the $100 donors, and the various Esoterrorists Operations are being incorporated into the new edition of Esoterrorists. Trail characters,  towns and locations will be included in Cthulhu Apocalypse.

New World

After extensive design and redesign Bill White’s game New World is now ready for playtesting:

Create a mashed‐up historical or quasi‐historical setting and then people it with individual characters whom they role‐play in facing the perils and possibilities of a New World. Their actions have consequences for the ultimate fate of the New World as well as for their own individual destinies. As the game plays out, it works to create an imagined history of a New World that never was.

 

This month sees the release of Love of Money, a high octane adventure for Esoterrorists, and the Out of Time collection for Trail of Cthulhu as a PDF from the store. The epic Eternal Lies playtest draws to a close, and I give an overview of this year, and a teaser for next year.

An overview of 2011

It’s been an amazing year for Pelgrane. I’ll be looking at the figures in more detail in a column in January, but it’s not just about sales. We’ve had many more reviews,  and more awards. However, the most gratifying thing for me is the number of people actually playing our games. This is clear from the nature of online conversations, seminars and emails, which have moved on from the “What is GUMSHOE?” to “How do I do this with GUMSHOE” and the number of actual play reports. While we want the books to be fun to read and to insipre, the company exists to create games which can and will be played. It’s clear that Night’s Black Agents will also come into this category, with pre-release customers prepping and playing games – thank you guys for matching Ashen Stars.

Looking over the last year, we’ve released Bookhounds of London and the limited edition version, which included the sleeper hit The Book of the Smoke – it’s had two reprints already. Ashen Stars was a big risk – a huge full colour book which has broken even, mainly because of the support of Stellar Nursery customers – thank you so much. The rest of our releases have included multiple PDFs, noticeably Graham’s Cthulhu Apocalypse series and Gareth’s support work for Mutant City Blues (Brief Cases) and Fear Itself (Invasive Procedures).

We’ve also had out best GenCon and Dragonmeet. It’s going to be hard year to top. Much of this is down to Beth Lewis’s full time work on Pelgrane, and she’s really made herself an indepensible part of the Pelgrane team.

2012

There’ll be more on 2012 in January, but the big releases will be Night’s Black Agents, DramaSystem and something else, not GUMSHOE, but fantasy, written by JT and RH. If you like Pathfinder, 4th Edition or 3e,with a touch of story game goodness, this will be of interest.

2012 will also be the year of Stone Skin Press, our new fiction imprint – we’ll have three book covers ready to go at the end of January. Jason Morningstar’s cover design for Shotguns vs Cthulhu features here.

Pelgrane Store

As we mentioned last month, we’ve moved our US shipping to DOJ, Inc. We’ve also moved our UK and European shipping over to Leisure Games, who have been shipping reliably now for a couple of weeks. We can concentrate on doing what we do best – publishing  – while leaving our very important mail order fulfilment in professional hands.

We love retailers, and we do everything we can to support them with the Bits and Mortar free PDF program and charging full retail, but every sale through the mail order store makes us six times as much as a retail sale, and doesn’t appear to affect retail sales that much.

Ashen Stars

We are still considering our next move for Ashen Stars – our poll revealed the suprising result that a large campaign would be the most popular major release. I’m considering some options, and we’ll decide in early 2012.

Terra Nova is out of playtesting and being illustrated. It should be out in January.

Night’s Black Agents

Gareth is putting the final touches on The Zalozhniy Quartet – a loosely connected set of four adventures. We are looking for playtesters.

We’ve added the character sheet and the appendix to the resources area of Night’s Black Agents.

Trail of Cthulhu

  • Eternal Lies has been a much bigger undertaking than originally expected, but the playtesting is nearly over, and editing will begin in January. The feedback has been gratifying, and I am pleased to announce an extended sound track with voice over work by someone we all follow.
  • The Out of Time compilation featuring the work of Bill White, Jason Morningstar and Adam Gauntlett is now available in PDF format.
  • Coffins continues playtesting,

Esoterrorists

Love of Money is out today. It’s a 112-page convention friendly game which features detailed

pre-gens with character dossiers. It’s available as a PDF from the store. Station Duty, The Esoterror Summoning Guide and Eso 2.0 will be out of playtest at the end of January.

 

Fear Itself

I’ve got an Ocean Game setting document from Dave Allsop I don’t know what to do with.

DramaSystem // HillFolk

The call out for playtesters will be in January, followed closely by a crowdfunding appeal.

 The Birds

The second volume of The Birds, featuring guest strips by John Kovalic will be out in February.

 

 

 

 

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