Dice imageIf you are interested in playtesting any of these games, please email us with the adventure you wish to playtest in the subject line.

 

 

Title: Fearful Symmetries

System: Trail of Cthulhu

Author: Steve Dempsey

Deadline: 30th July 2017

Number of sessions: 6-8

Description:

Fearful Symmetries reveals the secret history of England between the World Wars, a magical reawakening and the people who fought in the shadows for the newly discovered power. It is the story of how Albion was split asunder and how clues in the poetry of William Blake lead groups of magicians to attempt to reunite it. And it is the story of the singular squamous truth buried in these hideous myths.

Dice imageIf you are interested any of these games, please email us with the adventure you wish to playtest in the subject line.

 

 

Title: One For the Money

System: GUMSHOE One-2-One

Author: Chris Spivey

Deadline: 30th April

Number of sessions: 1-2

Description:

Rhino Jones needs a solid. Has hell frozen over? Can Langston Wright get to the bottom of this before he and his new partner are devoured by what man was not meant to know? The clock is running and dozens of lives and sanity are at stake as America’s new superweapon is in the hands of its enemies.

 

Title: The Persephone Extraction

System: Night’s Black Agents

Author: See individual entries

Deadline: 30th April

Number of sessions: 2-4

Description:

THE PERSEPHONE EXTRACTION is a campaign for Night’s Black Agents. Each of the adventures below should take 2-4 sessions to play through, and is largely standalone. Please let us know which one you would like to playtest – once you  have submitted your playtest feedback, you can playtest a second adventure. THE PERSEPHONE EXTRACTION is the first adventure in the sequence and THE PEOPLE OF ASH is the last; the other three can be played in any order. The adventures are:

  • SLEEPING GIANTS (Will Plant): The trail leads through Moscow to a sealed city, where forbidden plagues slumber in a concrete tomb buried deep beneath the tundra. The Conspiracy are on their way here, to obtain more of the pathogen they need to implement their cryptic Pale Agenda. The Agents are all that stands between the vampires and the plague…
  • CLEAN-HEELED ACHILLES (Heather Albano): Mysterious disappearances and archaeological traces bring the Agents to Istanbul, where they must uncover the secrets of an ancient monastery – and descend into the Underworld to confront the living dead.
  • THE PALE AGENDA (Bill White): The Conspiracy intends to recruit an international drug smuggler as part of their plan to end the world – but that initiation gives the Agents a vitally needed entry vector into the vampires’ most cherished tool. Corporate intrigue meets occult rituals in Madrid…

Dice imageIf you are interested any of these games, please email us with the adventure you wish to playtest in the subject line.

 

 

Title: The Persephone Extraction

System: Night’s Black Agents

Author: See individual entries

Deadline: 31st March

Number of sessions: 2-4

Description:

THE PERSEPHONE EXTRACTION is a campaign for Night’s Black Agents. Each of the adventures below should take 2-4 sessions to play through, and is largely standalone. Please let us know which one you would like to playtest – once you  have submitted your playtest feedback, you can playtest a second adventure. THE PERSEPHONE EXTRACTION is the first adventure in the sequence and THE PEOPLE OF ASH is the last; the other three can be played in any order. The adventures are:

  • THE PERSEPHONE EXTRACTION (Emma Marlow): Someone’s framed the Agents for a murder that hasn’t happened – yet. Warring factions within the Conspiracy struggle for control of a biological weapon, and its designer holds the answers the Agents need. Can they find Morgane Le Corre before her pursuers track her down – and just who else is hunting her?
  • SLEEPING GIANTS (Will Plant): The trail leads through Moscow to a sealed city, where forbidden plagues slumber in a concrete tomb buried deep beneath the tundra. The Conspiracy are on their way here, to obtain more of the pathogen they need to implement their cryptic Pale Agenda. The Agents are all that stands between the vampires and the plague…
  • CLEAN-HEELED ACHILLES (Heather Albano): Mysterious disappearances and archaeological traces bring the Agents to Istanbul, where they must uncover the secrets of an ancient monastery – and descend into the Underworld to confront the living dead.
  • THE PALE AGENDA (Bill White): The Conspiracy intends to recruit an international drug smuggler as part of their plan to end the world – but that initiation gives the Agents a vitally needed entry vector into the vampires’ most cherished tool. Corporate intrigue meets occult rituals in Madrid…
  • THE PEOPLE OF ASH (Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan): The final assault on the Conspiracy takes the Agents to Greece. There, they must uncover the ancient lair of the vampire elders and destroy them, once and for all time. Their clandestine odyssey ends in darkness…

Dice imageIf you are interested any of these games, please email us with the game you wish to playtest in the subject line.

 

 

Title: Fall of Delta Green – Operation ALADDIN’S CAVE

System: Trail of Cthulhu

Author: Kenneth Hite

Deadline: 31st March

Number of sessions: 2-3

Description:

A quagmire overseas chews up American forces.

Apocalyptic cults rise in the Middle East, riots paralyze Paris, and Russia moves aggressively into Europe.

The United States wages secret war around the globe while its social fabric shreds and its cities crackle with gunfire.

New technologies, new sciences, and new music revolutionize our lives.

The Earth’s ecology teeters at the brink of toxic ruin.

The stars are coming right.

It is 1968, and you are invited to a night at the opera.

 

Dice imageIf you are interested any of these games, please email us with the game you wish to playtest in the subject line.

 

 

Title: One For the Money

System: GUMSHOE One-2-One

Author: Chris Spivey

Deadline: 31st January

Number of sessions: 1-2

Description:

Rhino Jones needs a solid. Has hell frozen over? Can Langston Wright get to the bottom of this before he and his new partner are devoured by what man was not meant to know? The clock is running and dozens of lives and sanity are at stake as America’s new superweapon is in the hands of its enemies.

 

Title: The Howling Fog

System: GUMSHOE One-2-One

Author: Ruth Tillman

Deadline: 31st January

Number of sessions: 1-2

Description:

Vivian Sinclair investigates strange and apparently supernatural elements in a turf war between New York City’s Italian and Irish mobs. She moves through sleazy clip joints and the famous Cotton Club, brushing elbows with “hostesses,” chorus girls, and chanteuses, only to come face-to-face to with the terrifying secret of a dead Irish hitman, and how others use it to kill at a distance.

Dice imageIf you are interested any of these games, please email us with the game you wish to playtest in the subject line.

 

 

Title: Unquiet Waters

System: GUMSHOE One-2-One

Author: Ruth Tillman

Deadline for playtest feedback: 30th November

Number of sessions: 1-2

Description:

It started like an ordinary assignment–cover a confrontation between scabs and union workers. Yet as Viv uncovers details of the union’s work stoppage and the strange behavior of the scabs, she discovers something far more sinister lurking beneath the streets of Queens

 

Dice imageIf you are interested any of these games, please email us with the game you wish to playtest in the subject line.

 

Title: Along the Watchtower

System: Trail of Cthulhu

Author: Bill White

Deadline: 31st October

Number of sessions: 2-3

Description:

 

There is havoc in the streets of Chicago as disaffected youth protest war and injustice during the Democratic National Convention of 1968. But some darker purpose is at work, and an unlikely band of investigators that includes Gary Gygax, Hunter S. Thompson, Jimi Hendrix, and Hilary Rodham come together in a desperate hour to confront a nameless evil that threatens the very idea of America!

 

Dice imageIf you are interested any of these games, please email me with the game you wish to playtest in the subject line.

 

Title: The High House

System: GUMSHOE One-2-One

Author: Robin Laws

Deadline: 30th September

Number of sessions: 1-2

Description: The investigation of an odd automobile fatality plunges Dex Raymond into a case involving sorcerous members of L.A.’s business elite, a wave of rat attacks, and a child’s disappearance.

 

Title: High Voltage Kill

System: GUMSHOE One-2-One

Author: Robin Laws

Deadline: 30th September

Number of sessions: 1-2

Description: “High Voltage Kill” puts Dex Raymond on the case of missing and dangerous movie props, the laboratory set pieces from 1931’s Frankenstein.

 

Title: Skin and Teeth

System: GUMSHOE One-2-One

Author: Robin Laws

Deadline: 30th September

Number of sessions: 1-2

Description: In this case, Dex tracks down the source of a gruesome find in a mobster-owned hotel.

Dice imageIf you are interested any of these games, please email me with the game you wish to playtest in the subject line.

 

Cthulhu City

System: Trail of Cthulhu

Author: Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan

Deadline: 15th August

Number of sessions: 1-2

Description:

You know – through certain unreliable and maddening accounts, and now through your own dreadful experience – there is a city on the eastern seaboard of the United States, in northern Massachusetts.

You do not recall seeing it on maps when you were growing up, and no-one of your acquaintance ever admitted coming from that place until you found yourself living within its eerie confines. It is a city of windowless cyclopean skyscrapers, of crumbling baroque buildings and ruins that must, impossibly, predate human habitation in this part of the world.

You know better than to go out at night, when the clouds roll in from the sea and shapes move in the sky. You know there are occasional, unpredictable streets that come and go according to some unearthly schedule, that strange black ships dock at Innsmouth to trade with the squat, ugly denizens of that neighbourhood. You know, too, that not all of your neighbours are sane – or human.

You know that this city is monstrous.

You know you cannot leave.

I’m currently incorporating playtest feedback from GUMSHOE One-2-One into the final manuscript. We’ve never had more respondents take part in a test for any GUMSHOE project, so having this much material to work with represents a huge luxury. The higher the number of reports, the easier it becomes to identify and address the most common needs players and GMs will face when taking one’s game for a spin.

The rules themselves require adjustment on only a couple of small points. I expected this, albeit with crossed fingers, given the smoothness of in-house testing before we sent the rules out into the wider world. It helps that the rules are either familiar (baseline GUMSHOE) or very simple (the new resolution mechanic for the one GM, one player dynamic.)

People responded very positively to the game overall, and that’s encouraging but not the main benefit of a thick sheaf of in-depth notes.

Especially in this case what I was really looking for was a sense of what additional guidance GMs and players would need to make One-2-One work for them. It’s only in the questions one gets back from respondents that the designer knows what play style advice has to go into the finished book.

Everyone reported a much more intense and focused experience than standard multiplayer. Without the byplay, off-topic kibitzing, discussion and decision-making between players, the solo player remains in focus the whole time, with the burden of investigation squarely on her shoulders. This can be simultaneously exhilarating and daunting, so I need to write more text both preparing gamers for that, and assuring them that this is the expected way of things.

Pretty much anyone experienced enough to take part in a playtest can work out what an RPG’s play style ought to be. Certainly testers, while questioning whether they did it right, invariably did do it right. Often play style advice is less about showing GMs how to do it as in assuring them that they were right to trust their instincts. These passages answer the question, “is the game meant to be this way?”, allowing players to relax into what they’re doing and get on with the fun.

Which is not to say that everyone who is doing it right and having fun is doing it the same way. A couple of testers wanted to know how much real-world time the scenario should take. Well, one duo played it for 9+ hours and loved it, while co-author Ruth Tillman, when I ran her through the same scenario, proudly blazed through it in less than 3. Who was doing it right? Both!

It seems simple when I say it like that, which is why the final text will have to do exactly that.

(By the way, if you just inherited a strange old house from an uncle you didn’t know about and need someone to find out what all the screaming from the furnace is all about, you might want to drop Ruth a line and see if she’s available to check it out.)

In One-2-One player characters rely on GMCs called Sources for the use of investigative abilities they don’t have themselves. Sources also provide low-intensity scenes of friendship and camaraderie to momentarily take the pressure off the player. One respondent wondered if it was all right that the player spent a lot of time with Sources. Again, the player wants to do it so it must serve a need for her. Here the text can provide specific tips for keeping these scenes fresh, but mostly the job of that passage will be to assure players that they’re operating within Acceptable Enjoyment Parameters whether they spend a lot of time with Sources, or just a little.

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