This is my last View article for a while. Pelgrane Press’s managing director Cat Tobin will be taking over this column, and I’ll be stepping back into an advisory role as I take a year-long sabbatical.

Cat asked me recently – what exactly is a pelgrane anyway? And I thought back to my own introduction to this quirky creature.

When I was twelve, my parents bought me the AD&D DMs Guide and Players Handbook in advance of my birthday. I’d played D&D at school once, which was frustrating but intriguing, and heard older kids from the local boy’s grammar school taking about “casting spells” in a game. I was an SF and fantasy fan, and this was electrifying.

My mother hid the books inadequately in a cupboard, and each night I read them under the covers in bed, absorbing Gary Gygax’s unique prose, and trying to imagine the game that would come out of it. I read every word, including the reading list in the DM”s Guide- some of which I had sampled – but not Jack Vance’s Eyes of the Overworld and the Dying Earth.

Alongside fire-and-forget magic, extravagant gourmandism and peculiar cultural practices were a menagerie of bizzare creatures unique to Vance – often fearsome, sometimes erudite and with a penchant for human flesh.  The one which fired my imagination was the pelgrane, a word both singular and plural, a creature with wings which sounded like rusty hinges, a hatchet beak and learing eyes. There original appearance in the Dying Earth was as an ever-present threat but distant threat, rather than a character, looming in the sky, discouraging travel which was inconvenient to the narrative. The Eyes of the Overworld introduced me to Cugel – the fox-faced vagabond whose presence upends delicately balance social structures – inevitably leading to his swift exit, pursued by a mob.

 It was in Cugel’s Saga that the pelgrane demonstrated the capacity for language and mordant humour. A wizard imprisons Cugel the Clever in a bedroom. Cugel escapes by applying ossip wax his bed to negate its gravity. On the bed he drifts high into the sky and, as night descends, falls into slumber.

“A black shadow fluttered across the sun; a heavy black object swooped down to alight at the foot of Cugel’s bed; a pelgrane of middle years, to judge by the silky gray hair of its globular abdomen. Its head, two feet long, was carved of black horn, like that of a stag-beetle and white fangs curled up past its snout. Perching on the bedstead it regarded Cugel with both avidity and amusement.”

“Today I shall breakfast in bed,” says the pelgrane. “Not often do I so indulge myself.”

Twenty years and hundreds of games later, I’ve acquired a license to publish a roleplaying game based on the Dying Earth and I am speaking to Jack Vance on the phone, hearing the same mordant humour, a child-like chuckle as he shared more of Cugel’s tales. We turned to the pelgrane. It was his suggestion which lead to us not pinning down in the text exactly what a pelgrane looks like, or how it behaves, and leaving much of it to the reader, or in our case, the GM and players. The pelgrane can be a source of horror, a threat, a swooping nuisance, a foil for the proud, or the name of a nascent RPG company.

The pelgrane featured widely in our Dying Earth series, illustrated by Hilary Wade, and developed a stronger personality. We imagined it nesting high in the mountains swooping on unwary freelancers, and even delivering parcels.

To some extent I was always the pelgrane, but “pelgranistas” gradually became the word for our inner circle of freelancers – we talked about people being “pelgrane-y” – an ineffable quality in people which Roald Dahl described as “spark” – we nurtured these people, always trying to expand our circle. They are talented, skilled, creative and fun to be with. And Cat Tobin, when she took over from Beth Lewis, fitted the pelgrane mold perfectly, but with the hint of steel needed to be a publisher and not just some fly-by-night freelancer. (Pelgranes fly night and day.)

Since co-owner Cat Tobin took over as managing director I’ve been trying to de-Simon-ify the company.  But while I am working for the company that’s pretty tough. I’ve been doing stuff, but I get credit where it’s not due – unavoidably. As an entrepreneur I’ve been adequate at most things, but not great at anything, expect perhaps finding good people. It’s tough to remove legacy processes for example, if there is no need. Cat is a pelgrane through and through, dedicated, through and more experienced at publishing than me. Cat has changed what a pelgrane is.

Pelgrane Press is a collaborative effort, with Cat now the driving force, and its full-time leader. I’ve been overwhelmed with stuff in my personal life, and not been able to give the company the attention it deserves. I am stepping back into an advisory role, giving Cat the freedom to run the company as she sees fit, and offering my tuppence-worth to the Pelgrane slack channel. You may see me at conventions, looking relaxed, as others do actual work. I want Pelgrane Press to be pelgrane without pelgrane being me.

And you, if you are reading this and playing our games, are a pelgrane too.


We are in the all-too-narrow gap between Origins and Gen Con, and the Nest is a hive of frenzied activity (if you’d forgive the mixed metaphor). Some new releases will make Gen Con, others won’t.  Origins is a little like a relaxed dress rehearsal for Gen Con. It has shorter exhibition hours, and while it’s busy, the aisles never get blocked with throngs of people. I had the pleasure of meeting Colleen Riley, our Administrative Assistant, and we mingled as always with game designers and fellow publishers new and old. By contrast, Gen Con will be at maximum capacity – hotel booking has become even more fraught this year as they play Tetris with the Pelgrane Crew. We’ll be having a GUMSHOE workshop and annual summit pre-convention to ease us into the mayhem.

This month’s new releases and pre-orders include, for 13th AgeLoot Harder: A Book of Treasures and the Book of Ages. The Fall of DELTA GREEN is now on general sale.

The Fall of Delta Green

The Fall of DELTA GREEN is in stores, its launch coinciding with Free RPG Day. Kickstarter backers and pre-orderers were shipped their copies some time ago. For pre-orderers, the Free RPG Day release PDF is now available as a download on your bookshelf, and Kickstarter backers will also receive a grabcode. Geek and Sundry has written a detailed review of Fall – describing it as:

“… a game you need to try because it is one of the greatest settings of all-time, uses a system that perfectly matches the investigative genre, is produced by a team of publishers, designers, and artists all working at the height of their powers to produce what may prove to be an iconic product of this current golden age of role-playing.”

They also added Fall to their list of best Table Top Games this year to date. You could also check out this interview with Kenneth Hite on Geek Nation.

Cthulhu Confidential

If you bought a physical copy from Pelgrane, the Free RPG Day release is now available for download from your bookshelf.

Trail of Cthulhu

13th Age

Loot Harder: A Book of Treasures is now available for pre-order.

The Book of Ages layout is nearly complete, and includes in it tools for your to chronicle your own Ages, unique to your campaign. If you need an Age-ending cataclysm, try these:


Roll a d6.

1. Dimensional barriers failed, allowing demons, elementals and entities from other worlds to rampage across the Empire.

Reality collapsed and had to be rebuilt. The barriers fell because (roll a d6)

1. Magic stopped working

2. An evil cult completed a ritual

3. Fools opened an ancient ward

4. Invaders from the far side broke through

5. The stars were right

6. No-one knows, and it might happen again at any time.

2. Plague stalked the land, killing 5d20% of the population. Victims of the plague (roll a d6)

1. Rose as zombies

2. Exploded into flames

3. Became brain-slaves of the Overmind

4. Ascended bodily into the divine realms

5. Became hosts for the killer insects

6. Marched into the Midland Sea and drowned

3. A gigantic beast marauded across the land and destroyed the Empire. It was… (roll a d6)

1. The Red

2. A Koru Behemoth

3. A Living Dungeon

4. A monster from the Iron Sea

5. An extradimensional invader with lots of tentacles

6. An icon gone insane

4. Something fell from the sky. What was it? (roll a d6)

1. Giant flaming meteors of doom

2. Spears of ice

3. Monstrous alien eggs

4. Murderous insane angels

5. Face-eating jaguars

6. Chunks of the sky

5. Volcanoes erupted, vomiting gouts of hellfire and demonbile, and smoke darkened the sky creating a year without light. What horrors followed? (roll a d6)

1. Crops failed and famine stalked the land.

2. Fire elementals everywhere.

3. The volcanoes became hellholes and demons reigned.

4. The survivors were forced to hide underground in caves and dungeons for a century.

5. The survivors evacuated to flying islands and could not return to the surface for many years.

6. Attempts by the Archmage to tame the volcanoes broke the foundations of magic.

6. The Empire was destroyed by civil war (roll a d6)

1. Between rival heirs to the throne

2. Between the various races of Elves, Dwarves and Humans

3. When the Emperor went mad and had to be overthrown

4. Because evil cults had taken over the Empress’s court and poisoned her mind against the people

5. Triggered by economic collapse

6. Between rival religions

Mutant City Blues

Mutant City Blues second edition is underway. Gareth has made a pass through updating the text, he’s added a Private Detective option for Luke Cage / Jessica Jones style action, and Robin is tweaking the rules to update the blast rules. It will have all new art, to reflect a more modern sensibility.

This month for me featured online games – a playtest of a Yellow King RPG adventure, new releases from virtual tabletop providers, and Steve Dempsey ran his 60th Fearful Symmetries session. It’s not quite the same as playing in person, but I find that aside from the convenience of online play, players spend more time actually playing than in the flesh. I am still too much of a fearful Luddite to run an online game myself, but that day will come. This month we are attending the Origins Game Fair, where will will be showcasing The Fall of DELTA GREEN to convention goers. I love Origins because of its more relaxed opening hours, and its more modest size allows us to connect with our fellow industry professionals and gamers much better. That, and Cthulhu Confidental has been nominated for an Origins Award for Roleplaying!

This month’s new releases and pre-orders include, for 13th Age, The Book of Ages, the 13th Age Dice Tray, Book of Demons and The Battle Scenes Complete Bundle. The Fall of DELTA GREEN has been landing with Kickstarter backers in the States, and will soon be shipped to the Rest of the World, so if you want to be included in the first wave of pre-orders, now is the time to order from the store.

The Fall of Delta Green

A few brave Kickstarter backers now have their copies of our blockbuster GUMSHOE release. I am unable to restrain myself from repeating what Delta Green co-creator John Scott Tynes emailed us. It’s unsolicited, I swear.

I received my copy of Fall of Delta Green today and it’s marvelous. Even setting aside its obvious utility as an improvised cudgel, it is an inspiring and engaging tome that meets and exceeds the standards we have always tried to achieve with Delta Green. Thank you for devoting such time and passion to exploring and expanding our shared world and for introducing a new generation of gamers to such a rich and turbulent historical period. Great work, all of you, and please accept my very best wishes for the project’s success.

Ken Hite has a copy in a his squamous hands, and he sent an image of his favourite spread:


13th Age on Fantasy Grounds and Roll20

The two major virtual tabletop platforms now feature 13th Age content, so you can play online with your friends. Aside from an online character sheet, Roll20 has three adventures available including the newly released Swords Against the Dead.

Fantasy Grounds has released the 13th Age ruleset and the 13th Age Bestiary allowing you to create and run your own adventures on that platform.

The GUMSHOE Bundles of Holding

Over on Bundle of Holding, they are running two GUMSHOE bundles – collections of our PDFs at a modest price. It’s an effective way to introduce yourself to our GUMSHOE lines or with the second,bundlem fill out your collections. We’ll add the PDFs to your bookshelf when the bundles are complete. Those of you with DriveThruRPG accounts can find them there, too.

The Yellow King RPG

The Yellow King RPG and its associated books are moving along nicely. I had the pleasure of being involved in a an online game in which Robin Laws ran the game he wrote for this year’s Gen Con GMs. Colleen and Cat were my co-students in Belle Epoque Paris, where we tracked down a copy of the forbidden play by following the destruction it left in the wake of its passage. The last time I experienced the game was in an early playtest Robin ran at Dragonmeet, and it was interesting to contrast this final, polished experience. The conflict resolution allows players to select their intended outcomes, and then each makes a test to meet a margin of difficulty. So, you can choose to flee, to restrain or to kill. With creatures from Carcosa, fleeing is a good option unless you are thoroughly prepared. The players in turn narrate the outcome of their roll, and the GM summarises the outcome. The level of detail in conflict narration was just right, and felt satisfying. The system (like Cthulhu Confidential) also uses pushes instead of spends – so instead of spending points from Investigative pools, you have a list of Investigative abilities, and a number of pushes you can use with any of those abilities. I don’t think it would be a great deal of work to convert any GUMSHOE game to using this approach, which I’ve found sits better with people used to Fate tokens and similar mechanics. It’s still possible to snag Yellow King kickstarter packages from the store.

Forthcoming Releases

You can see almost all of our forthcoming products on this tag.

GDPR Compliance

On 25th May 2018 the European Union General Data Protection Regulations came into force. They are designed to ensure that companies respect the wishes of their customers and other contacts when it comes to privacy and communication, and express their policy in clear language. All of us have received a plethora of emails informing us of updated privacy policies, offers to re-opt in to mail lists, or statements that you will remain opted in unless you opt out. It’s been a bit of a headache for some companies, but my own view it’s quite healthy. It doesn’t just protect company’s contacts. it encourages good data hygiene by companies, and makes them consider why they need certain information.

Where companies have been compliant with GDPR rules before it was introduced, there was no need for them to contact their customers. We are in that fortunate position. There were a handful of members on our mail list who were not customers, but subscribers acquired over many years, and because we were doubtful of their provenance, we contacted them so they could opt back in if they want. I’ll unsubscribe those would didn’t respond.

We make use of what is called the “soft opt-in” which allows companies to contact their customers with information about their products, as long as they give a simple way of opting out.

You can control your marketing options from your bookshelf, or opt out of all emails in single click from any email we send, and our privacy settings are here.

Aside from our legal responsibilities, the best measure to me of whether we are bugging our customers too much are the unsubscribe rate, open rates and abuse reports. Abuse reports are close to zero, and unsubscribes less than 0.25% and about 40% of those we email open our Page XX emails on average. I am quite happy with that.


Here in London, it appears that an enthusiastic eight-year-old has taken over the weather control panel and is twiddling all the dials.

I often forget the weather when running games. When I do remember to highlight it, it really draws the players in, even if there is no mechanical effect. Picture a meeting between spy and handler with collars turned up in driving sleet, a high-speed pursuit through the streets of Lyon in the torrential rain, or a battle with a white dragon set in deep drifts with fat flakes of snow ambling down. You can mirror or exaggerate the real weather, or go for something very different. Huddled up in your basement in a cold snap, making the in-game weather balmy sun helps your group escape. Some settings feature the weather such as the threat of Fimbulwinter in the Albion’s Ransom campaign for The Esoterrorists.

This brings me like a mall security guard segue to the Book of Demons, this month’s new release in print.  It features six hellholes, which have ripped or crept through the gaps in reality to puncture the Dragon Empire. And there, unlike the London weather, it’s not subtle or restrained.

For example:

  • Flocks of flying teeth and burning fog face travellers on the High Heath of Unending Woe.
  • On Claw Peak, the raindrops are as sharp as spears—storms create a bloody mess of the unprepared.
  • Hellgout is afflicted with rains of fire, rocks tumbling from other realms and spontaneous magical storms.

The 13th Age Book of Demons is available now in print from the store.

The 13th Age Dice Tray

Envy of the dice tray produced by our excellent Korean licensees Dayspring Games was the inspiration for our own 13th Age Dice Tray. As well as its handy dice-constraining properties, it can also be used as a convenient protection against the rain, a mouse mat, and a fruit bowl. I look forward to your 101 uses for a 13th Age Dice Tray.

We’ve produced limited quantities, which are available from the store.


The Fall of DELTA GREEN is on the presses. Ken and Robin feature it in two episodes of their podcast; We Are Mutants reviews The Fall of DELTA GREEN and interviews FoDG designer Kenneth Kite, in-depth. It’s a great read. Ken will be outlining the adventure collection, and Gar will write it. They’ve collaborated on the The Zalozhniy Quartet and The Dracula Dossier, so it will be a sweet, sweet collection. Get The Fall of DELTA GREEN pre-order from the store.

GUMSHOE One-2-One – Cthulhu Confidential and Night’s Black Agents

With the launch of the Han Solo movie, we’ve given up on the excellent title SOLO for our Night’s Black Agents One-2-One game, but the manuscript is almost ready for playtesting.

The Cthulhu Confidential adventure collection Even Death Must Die is coming together with one adventure left to be written.


And the Rest

  • The manuscript for Emily Dresner and Kevin Kulp’s game of Swords of the Serpentine is halfway through the pre-playtest draft.
  • Fearful Symmetries is being rewritten to improve its structure. It features a group of magicians facing a terrible threat to England, rooted in folklore and the mythos. Writer Steve’s own campaign has run for more than 60 sessions.
  • The Poison Tree is an enormous history-spanning project, and requires many moving pieces working together. Currently, Scott, Paul, and Matthew are collaborating in Google Docs to produce the first of the adventures for internal Pelgrane playtesting.

Both Senior Pelgranes are freezing our pinions off here in these Pretanic Isles, as inclement weather descends on us. I can hear the mocking laughter of Toronto-based Robin and Chicago-based Ken as we complain that -4C is cold. At least we can all agree that Farenheit is a nonsense, eh? From London, it feels like we are in a live action version of the campaign Albion’s Ransom, in which and Esoterrorist weather control ritual has brought sudden blizzards and extreme temperatures to an unsuspecting England.

The Fall of Delta Green

But cold can’t knock the excitement of the announcement that The Fall of Delta Green is available for print pre-order, PDF now, with a release aimed for June after the Kickstarter backers have received theirs. It’s a beautiful book, to paraphrase an enthusiastic rpg.netter, but more importantly it’s the first GUMSHOE core book written by Kenneth Hite since Night’s Black Agents. Not only has he honed his GUMSHOE skills since Trail, he is a masterful Delta Green writer and frequent player. I don’t think there is another person alive who could have done a better job of it.

On Free RPG Day, we’ll be releasing an exclusive FoDG adventure, On a Bank by Mooonlight, with quick-start rules in a flip book with similar Cthulhu Confidential goodies, Be sure to snag it from your FLGS when it appears.

13th Age

I’ve been running Eyes of the Stone Thief for my Monday group, and I’ve taken full advantage of Battle Scenes to add city-based interludes between fomenting orc rebellions, drinking unspeakable beer, and fighting armoured trolls in a gladiatorial arena. The Book of Demons is at the printer after a long and complex development cycle, and my son has taken advantage of it to play a Slaughter Path Demonologist, dishing out hellish damage and summoning demons into his staggered foes.

The Book of Ages is the next book in the production schedule, and we’ve unknotted the Cartography Conundrum which has plagued Shards of the Broken Sky. I can’t make any promises for a release date as yet.

You know what the most popular book at my table is? The Book of Loot! And players can never get enough treasure, so we are following up with Loot Harder – hundreds of new magic items including campaign-changing artifacts.

We are having a 13th Age production meeting next week to hammer out the next two years’ releases but I have learned my lesson and won’t promise concrete news until I am sure what’s up.

Some Site Viewing Stats

We often look at site stats to get an idea of the relatively popularity of our games in actual play, and the Resources page seems like a good test. In the past year, Trail has been first, 13th Age next, with Night’s Black Agents following.

Just for fun, here are the top twelve posts for that period. It’s pleasing that so many people look at the GUMSHOE system reference docs and that there is a lot of excitement for The Yellow King RPG.

Free Downloads and Resources for Trail of Cthulhu
The Yellow King RPG
Cthulhu City
13th Age Core Book
The GUMSHOE System Reference Document
Free 13th Age Downloads and Resources
Night’s Black Agents
Free Night’s Black Agents Downloads and Resources
Lions & Tigers & Owlbears: The 13th Age Bestiary 2
See Page XX

What Else We Are Working On

This list is by no means comprehensive:

  • Gareth has finished the pre-playtest draft of GUMSHOE One-2-One Night’s Black Agents, code-named SOLO. Look out for the playtest soon.
  • Work continues on Fearful Symmetries, which has been called in for a brush and polish.
  • Kevin and Emily are making good progress on the Swords of the Serpentine, a fantasy game of city-based intrigue and corruption, code name GUMTHEWS, which we aim to have as a major release in 2019.


This will be a short and snappy View. The Dragonmeet convention was a great success – we sold more books than ever before, and hosted a jam-packed investigative masterclass seminar. Gareth ran Fall of Delta Green for the entire Pelgrane crew. PAX Unplugged has the potential to grow to be a top-tier RPG convention, matching Origins – we really enjoyed being there. This month we release a host of PDF cards – download them from your Bookshelf.

Year Highlights

Here are a few highlights of 2017


Here are some random highlights for the coming year:

  • We’ve been slow getting 13th Age products out this year. Rob Heinsoo is on the case, and we intend to get five 13th Age books next year.
  • We’ve resolved to continue improving graphic design and art.
  • We are publishing Fall of Delta Green and an adventure supplement. We’ve levelled up in layout and art in this book.
  • We are releasing lots of support for Cthulhu Confidential and new GUMSHOE One-2-One based on Night’s Black Agents.

We wish all our customers, friends and fellow gamers a happy new year.











This month sees the release of the pre-order of #Feminism, available in both pre-order print and PDF format. We’re also releasing the signed limited edition of Cthulhu Apocalypse, and eagle-eyed observers will spot a new section in our webstore, where we’ve added all our limited editions, which will be available while stocks last in each shipping location. Cthulhu Confidential is printed, and was shipped to all UK & RoW pre-orderers on April 26th, and shipped to all US & Canadian customers on May 1st- check the FAQ page to see when it will arrive with you.

I’ve been working on 13th Age development, finalising TimeWatch printing ready to fulfil the final elements of the kickstarter, and the 13th Age Bestiary 2: Lions and Tigers and Owlbears. I’ve also had the pleasure of playtesting Gareth’s Night’s Black Agents One-2-One game.


Pelgrane Press is honoured to be publishing #Feminism – A Nanogame Anthology, a collection of bite-sized games, which range from the silly to serious, but what they all have in common is that they require minimal preparation and play in less than an hour. Originally crowdfunded, we are putting this beautifully designed and thought-provoking book out through hobby stores and mainstream books shops.

13th Age

Rob Heinsoo has delivered the Bestiary 2 manuscript and art. We are doing a copy editing pass, then it’s ready to go.  I’ve been using the creatures in my home game to great effect, and you can see a sample – an icon from a past age – just here.

Fire and Faith: Battle Scenes for Four Icons is being illustrated and cartographed (that is a thing), Rob has moved on to the Demonologist class from the The Book of Demons, and Gareth is working on converting a section of Eyes of the Stone Thief to 5th Edition, just to give 5e players a taste of it.

Night’s Black Agents GUMSHOE One-2-One

I playtested Gareth’s Night’s Black Agents One-2-One game over Google Hangouts this week. When you are washed ashore with clawmarks and the last thing you can remember is emptying your clip into a vampire’s head while the tide rises in a sea cave, well, count yourself lucky you don’t remember.

Some issues arose – for example – Night’s Black Agents is pretty fighty, and the agent needs to either win, be wounded but alive or be captured, and there are way, way more options when approaching someone from whom you want information, so it’s harder to structure. For a very first game, it went much better than I expected.

The Yellow King RPG Kickstarter

Artists are lined up, design is underway and we are designing a new Yellow Sign symbol based on Chamber’s vague description.


This month I’ve been playing a new weird fantasy game written by Steve Dempsey – Da’Zoon. It features a lite version of GUMSHOE, and distributes some elements of world creation to the players. So, you can spend investigative points to make stuff up as well of discover stuff. It’s fast, fun and slimline.

There is another big GUMSHOE project in the pipeline, which we’ll announce soon.



The TimeWatch and Dracula Dossier Kickstarters have reached new milestones. TimeWatch backers have received the PDF versions of the The TimeWatch GM Screen and Resource Guide and The Valkyrie Gambit, in advance of the pre-orderers for these. The Hawkins Papers are being assembled over the next week.

Today is new Pelgrane Alex Roberts’ first day! We welcome her to the nest. She has undergone the secret three-fold ritual, and learned the company song.

Cthulhu Confidential

We will be closing pre-orders for Cthulhu Confidential on 21st March. Fight the Mythos alone, in this noir-flavoured GUMSHOE One-2-One game for one player and one GM. It’s our best selling game since 13th Age! Next month will see the release of the first of the PDF adventures, for  House Up in the Hill.


coverA set of three adventures for TimeWatch, The Valkyrie Gambit and The TimeWatch GM Screen and Resource Book are on pre-order this month. Backers have the PDFs; pre-orderers will get them in a week or so’s time. They will be printed and shipped to backers first.

13th Age

13th Age has suffered from a log jam. We have a host of amazing products lined up and in development, but we’ve had problems clearing them through. Gen Con ends up being our target for these books, so we’ve had to do a lot of juggling and hard thinking. This is the tentative release order as it stand for the next three books at least The Bestiary 2Battle Scenes 3, The Book of Demons then Shards of the Broken Sky.

I’ve been running a weekly game of 13th Age, and testing out the new Bestiary 2 creatures, including the Hellmarsh Cultists, Gibbering Mouther and Salamander, in part to deal with a character with a very, very high AC. It did the trick!

Trail of Cthulhu

Steve Dempsey has been on a mammoth writing spree and Fearful Symmetries – in which you play a group of magicians in 1930s England – now stands at 80,000 words. We expect the first draft by the end of March.

Yellow Sign

It’s one month until the Yellow King RPG Kickstarter. Here is Robin’ sneak preview of what you can expect in actual play.









The year nears its end, and it’s been a year, filled with non-Pelgrane-related turmoil, festooned with awards and topped off with Kickstarter fulfilment ! Now, with the Dragonmeet behind us, we move on to a belated See Page XX.

 After hundreds of playtests, the polishing and honing of the manuscript and a whole new look designed for this range, our first two-player game, Cthulhu Confidential, is available on pre-order as the Case Notes edition. The TimeWatch RPG and its supplements are available in PDF for, and in a bundle. We release the next issue of 13th Age Monthly.

UK Prices held until January

Our costs of production are in dollars, and our books have dollar retail prices.  The fluctuations in currency mean that, from January our non-US prices will be adjusted to match the new exchange rate – an increase of around 15% – 20%. Today’s new releases are at the correct exchange rate.

What this does mean is that until January, all our other books will still be at a lower price. So buy books from the store now to avoid the increase!

I’ve written a more detailed article on the economics of this here.

 Cthulhu Confidential – The Case Notes Edition

It’s easy to find one player to play with, and it’s easy to introduce a friend or loved one to roleplaying in a two-player game. That’s why we devised GUMSHOE One-2-One. It’s designed to be especially easy for players new to roleplaying to play.  We are proud and excited to present a beautiful and stylish book, with three very different protagonists.Cthulhu Confidential in on pre-order today as the Case Notes edition, and for a limited time, includes  a playable plain-text version of the first extra Dex Raymond adventure The House Up in the Hills.

At Dragonmeet, we discussed a number of ideas for new GUMSHOE One-2-One games – let us know what kinds of protagonists you’d like to see in the comments.

Chris Spivey and Ruth Tillman are working on new adventures for their protagonists, which are likely to be in playtest next month _ Robin has completed his three.


Dragonmeet is one-day convention based in London. The convention has been passed like a baton between UK-based roleplaying company owners and volunteers, from its refounding in 2000 by James Wallis and others, then to Pelgrane and ProFantasy, then on to Cubicle 7, and now Modiphius. It is a great deal of fun, and a chance to catch up with UK-based fans and those from farther afield (bonjour, Jean-Christophe!). It’s also the occasion aside from Gen Con when the Pelgrane clan gets to gather together to play a game, have chats and a strategic meeting.  Sadly Cat Tobin was not well on the day, but will soon be fully recovered. This year’s game was a playtest of the Yellow King, Robin D Laws new GUMSHOE based-game which we will be Kickstarted in April.  The new venue is spacious, with wide aisles and gamers were able to move freely. We entirely sold out of the Dragonmeet version of Cthulhu Confidential by half way through the day and the Pelgrane seminar and Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff live were packed. Our sales there were higher than they have ever been at Dragonmeet. The volunteers coped admirably with a rather complex delivery set up and kept their cool. I look forward to next year, this time with Cat at the helm!

13th Age

Next year, Rob will become much more involved in the direct production of 13th Age, delivering final print-ready files.

Rob Heinsoo has been working away at the Bestiary 2, commissioning art and writing simultaneously to speed up the process. We are using this project as an opportunity to try out new writers and artists so supplement our stalwarts.

Shards of the Broken Sky has an intimidating amount of cartography to deal with, and we are still contemplating how that might be done.

Rob has been working on the Demonist character class which is the main barrier to getting the Book of Demons out.

Fall of Delta Green

Ken’s manuscript has hit 84000 words, and we’ve done an internal playtest. Next month should see a playtest release.

Logo No Go

It is with great sadness I announce the departure of our first logo.  She has served us well for many years, but freelancers have been sneering about her behind their hands for a long time, and Cat and I reluctantly decided to say farewell. Fly free, tiny Pelgrane!



This month we celebrated International Pelgrane Day and the tenth anniversary of GUMSHOE.  We’ve uploaded The Crown Commands, the next 13th Age Battle Scenes book to the printers, and created yet more Hawkins Papers. Work on the extra TimeWatch books continues – they are in art direction, and Cthulhu Confidential is in layout.

Also, available now for a limited time are two PDF Bundles of Holding – the original Trail of Cthulhu bundle and the Trail of Cthulhu +2 bundle – collections which include a swathe of our award-winning adventures, settings and supplements.

TimeWatch RPG

The TimeWatch RPG is on general release in stores, supported by Behind Enemy Times and The Book of Changing Years. Work continues on the two supplements,  The Valkyrie Gambit, a set of adventures which includes different TimeWatch settings, and the TimeWatch GM Screen and Resource Book, illustrated by Rich Longmore. Both have been through copy editing and are in art direction. These will be out later this year or early next.  The screen looks glorious – here is a little snippet.


International Pelgrane Day and Ten Years of GUMSHOE

Ten years of GUMSHOE! It’s all gone by so fast. My original brief to Robin addressed a particular issue – treating information like treasure to be randomly assigned. But GUMSHOE has grown and spread so much since then, that while it’s still an important feature, GUMSHOE does much more in so many guises, that it’s not the prime reason people get GUMSHOE books any more. From vampires, to personal horror, to mutant cops, to space investigators, along with a host of other settings in KWAS, GUMSHOE has much to offer, and there is more to come. The biggest change over the last few years in particular is how widely played and accepted GUMSHOE is – books to be played, not read. It’s a good job GUMSHOE does not depend on its central conceit – because subtly or not, most games since have incorporated it into their core.

To celebrate International Pelgrane Day, Cat and I, as well as Steve Dempsey and Steve Ellis ran games for the Hackney Area Tabletop Enthusiasts club; Robin Laws ran Cthulhu Confidential and Yellow King , Gareth playtested Cthulhu City and Kevin Kulp hosted a huge barbecue and ran TimeWatch. Players everywhere joined in – TimeWatch, Mutant City Blues and 13th Age Monster creation – read a round-up here.

Cthulhu Confidential

While Cat has been up to her eyeballs in tea and ink creating Hawkins Papers, she’s also working on Cthulhu Confidential with Christian Knutsson doing layout and art design. We intend to have Cthulhu Confidential on pre-order in December, with a softcover limited edition at the Dragonmeet convention. We are also working on the follow-up adventure collection featuring all three original writers.

13th Age

Shards of the Broken Sky is in art direction. The Book of Demons awaits a development pass of the Demonologist character class from Rob. The Bestiary 2 is underway – it’s a glossy hardback follow-up to the original Bestiary featuring our take on more archetypal creatures, and some entirely new creatures.

Out on roll20, we have the virtual tabletop version of Shadows of Eldolan – see all-star actual play here, and buy it in the roll20 store.

Other Mythos Games

As you might have guessed from Robin’s International Pelgrane Day preview game, his next big project is The Yellow King RPG – a mind-bending self-contained game and campaign which we’ll be kickstarting next year. Gareth is due to hand in his first draft Cthulhu City manuscript in early December.

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