Come Learn With Us!

Below is a complete list of Pelgrane Press seminars that will be featured at Gen Con 2017. All will be located in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Pennsylvania Station B. Registration for these and all other events will open May 28th. See you there!

 

Thursday 11:00 AM – 13th Age Adventure Design Workshop

Join seasoned 13th Age designers to create a short adventure that takes full advantage of the system’s unique mechanics.

 

 Thursday 1:00 PM – Gaming Saves the World

How do we translate our experiences as gamers into productive expression, activism & persuasion? Join us as we look at the map, hash out the tactics, & min-max our way out of the darkest timeline.

 

Thursday 4:00 PM – One GM, One Player Masterclass

GMing for one player, or playing solo with the GM, poses a special set of challenges. The design team behind Cthulhu Confidential teaches the tricks & techniques of this intense, rewarding format.

 

Friday 11:00 AM – 13th Age Monster Design Workshop

Join seasoned 13th Age designers to build a brand-new monster that takes advantage of the game’s mechanics to deliver some nasty surprises at the table.

 

Friday 1:00 PM – Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff

Robin D. Laws & Kenneth Hite talk roleplaying, history, conspiracy, occultism, writing, food, movies & whatever you ask them about in this live edition of their award-winning podcast.

 

Friday 4:00 PM – Dramatic Interaction MasterClass

Robin D. Laws & guests teach structures & techniques to turn emotional confrontations between PCs from frustrating roadblocks into rich moments of human drama.

 

Saturday 2:00 PM – Swords, Spies & Shoggoths: The Pelgrane Press Panel

Join Simon Rogers, Cat Tobin & others from the Pelgrane team for a behind-the-scenes look at what the award-winning UK publisher’s been up to this year, & what they’ve planned for the coming year.

 

Saturday 4:00 PM – Investigative Roleplaying MasterClass

Mystery scenario masters Kenneth Hite, Robin D. Laws, & Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan train their magnifying glasses on clue-gathering adventures to reveal the unlikely suspects behind your tabletop woes.

 

Gaming

Though the deadline to be included in the printed schedule has passed, we are still accepting GMs to join our Gen Con crew! If you’re interested in running a game with us, get the details here.

 

File:Luna Park Melbourne scenic railway.jpgGen Con stretches across the publishing year like a huge rollercoaster. In the first half of the year there is the slow, ratcheted climb to the peak. You can do what the hell you want in your carriage, you might even forget you are committed, but nothing it stopping the ride.  As you get higher and higher, you realise there is no turning back, and then we hold on for dear life as we plunge into a six-day adrenalin rush of travel, setting up, waiting, drinking, not sleeping, snatching food, snatching conversations and selling books like tomorrows are in short supply. We greet gamers we see once a year, new gamers enthused by our GM teams and sceptical gamers drawn in by the evil of the 4 for 3 convention deal. Hands are rubbed together, pitches honed and polished, and book piles refreshed.

On Monday, while the North American contingent were facebooking pictures of barbecue, we Europeans were scrabbling to find another way to get to Indy when the madness of Orlando’s security and no guidance held us up for an hour and a half. Thanks to the lovely Sabrina from Delta we did get there at an unholy hour, greeted by writers with bourbon in hand. This year, we tried something different – an all day Tuesday pre-Gen Con summit for the core Pelgrane team, followed by delicious Eritrean food . We set out what we were creating this year, and into next. We discussed the benefits and pitfalls of crowd funding, how we can improve our marketing, be kinder to our artists and what we can do for our most loyal customers. We need to hone the agenda, but it’s certainly worth doing again next year. This was a very gentle bump in the Gen Con rollercoaster.

35_DismantlingWednesday is set up. This year, for the first time I can remember, everything we ordered arrived including Fear Itself 2nd Edition, TimeWatch and a new print run of Night’s Black Agents. It did make me wonder about an alternate timeline in which we didn’t get the TimeWatch books to the backers, but the thought was too horrid. We still haven’t quite got our booth act together – it’s just piles of books on tables, scaled up from the first 10′ x 10′ booth Robin Laws and I stood behind more than ten years ago, but it works.

Then it was our GM huddle. We used to do no official events but over the past three years, it’s grown from nothing to 150, and we now have official games which have moved from hotel wilderness to with a five-minute walk of the stand. The GMs waited very patiently while we assembled their GM packages, entertained by the game designers who created the games they were playing – Rob Heinsoo, Robin Laws, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan and Ken Hite, and by an impromptu quiz from Robin which featured pudding. I met many of our GMs, including the  Heavy Metal GM, Sean Clark. We gave out Pelgroats – $1 tokens for players and we later learned from our data, that the GMs were responsible for selling a whole bunch of core books. We are all about people playing the games we publish, so this made us very happy. Wednesday night is that Diana Jones awards, where pretty much the entire industry gathers to catch up and talk over the poor compère.

On Thursday the ride is really under way. The hall was way bigger this year, and it was laid out so that it’s no longer possible to walk it, and there 60,000 people. We’d been shifted by the growing Paizo purple checkerboard from booth 101 to 419 – still a great position – next to Chaosium and Goodman Games. Then there are meetings. We meet excited freelancers we’ve been working with all year, licensees who tell us how their gaming culture differs, distributor reps who are desperate to sell RPGs in a retail landscape which does not favour them, and a box manufacturer who made the best and most joyful pitch we’ve seen. Hands were shaken, deals done. I brought home a Chinese version of Trail of Cthulhu – to be honest, the way IP works in China, we were lucky someone was willing to pay.

Awards. Dare I mention we won some on Friday? Ten nominations, eleven ENnies. A smug Kevin Kulp, presenter of the ENnies and writer of TimeWatch,  knew exactly what was going on remained entirely poker-faced until he didn’t have to be. The Dracula Dossier team were up and down five times, 13th Age and Trail of Cthulhu got nods. But our proudest award by far was Fan Favorite Publisher. So many publishers are listed under that category, we’ve never even counted it is as a nomination, but there we are, winning a silver to Paizo’s gold. We were overwhelmed with happiness and amazement at the loyalty and commitment of our fans.

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Saturday and Sunday are a banked turn and a barrel roll on the rollercoaster ride. Some of our lines ran low, but we brought so much stock this year  we didn’t run out of books other than the new Swords vs Cthulhu. At the end of the each day we are allowed to run the numbers. Overall, sales were up 15% on last year. Only 2013 – the launch of 13th Age – has been better.

Then we broke down the stand, sang the company song, ate our traditional end-of-Gen Con meal,  collapsed and decompressed. Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan fell over and bashed his nose on the steps of our hotel, poor thing, but was able to travel, and we flew back again, avoiding the Delta Disaster, and we all slept, for once, on the plane. The rollercoaster rattles to a halt.

Now we are catching up on all the work we generated, and queuing up for next year’s ride.

The entire Pelgrane team will be at GenCon Indianpolis until 10th August – please be patient with any support requests during this busy time!

This is our biggest GenCon ever, featuring eight seminars, 144 games, five new releases and the ENnie Awards!

As usual we are sharing a booth (#419) with ProFantasy Software, next to Chaosium. Check this map for the location.

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Games

There are 144 Pelgrane games in the GenCon booking system – while most of them are booked out, there are still a couple of tickets available. If you missed out through the official system, some GMs mentioned they would be running games at Games on Demand – just show up and play.

Seminars

Join Pelgrane freelancers and staffers on this glittering array of seminars. Reserve free tickets here.

Thursday 11:00 AM – 13th Age Adventure Design Workshop

Join seasoned 13th Age designers to create a short adventure that takes full advantage of the system’s unique mechanics. With Lynne Hardy, Rob Heinsoo, Wade Rockett, and Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan.

Thursday 1:00 PM – Stealing from the Movies

Campaign ideas & awesome RPG action are as close as the multiplex. Kenneth Hite, Marissa Kelly, Robin Laws, and Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan help you adapt, adopt, & improve the plots & characters of Hollywood, Hong Kong, & Hammer Films.

Friday 11:00 AM – 13th Age GM Roundtable

Need advice on running 13th Age? A panel of experienced GMs, including Rob Heinsoo, Wade Rockett, Simon Rogers, and Aaron Roudabush share their insights & answer your questions.

Friday 1:00 PM – Ken & Robin Talk About Stuff

Robin D. Laws & Kenneth Hite talk roleplaying, history, conspiracy, occultism, writing, food, movies & whatever you ask them about in this live edition of their award-winning podcast.

Friday 4:00 PM – Dramatic Interaction MasterClass

Robin D. Laws, Emily Care-Boss and Rachel Kahn teach structures & techniques to turn emotional confrontations between PCs from frustrating roadblocks into rich moments of human drama.

Saturday 12:00 PM – 13th Age Monster Workshop

Join seasoned 13th Age designers to build a brand-new monster that takes advantage of the game’s mechanics to deliver some nasty surprises at the table. With Lynne Hardy, Rob Heinsoo, Wade Rockett, and Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan.

Saturday 1:00 PM – Swords, Spies & Shoggoths: The Pelgrane Press Panel

Join Simon Rogers, Cat Tobin & others from the Pelgrane team for a behind-the-scenes look at what the award-winning UK publisher’s been up to this year, & what they’ve planned for the coming year.

Saturday 4:00 PM – Investigative Roleplaying MasterClass

Mystery scenario masters Kenneth Hite, Robin Laws, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, Chris Spivey and Ruth Tillman train their magnifying glasses on clue-gathering adventures to reveal the unlikely suspects behind your tabletop woes.

 

 

 

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Sign up here to become a Pelgrane Press convention GM

Like 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 (http://www.13thage.org) 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!