confidential2
Cthulhu Confidential
, the flagship title for GUMSHOE One-2-One, is now available for pre-order! GUMSHOE One-2-One is designed for two players: a GM and a player who takes the role of a solo investigator, solving Mythos mysteries. In Cthulhu Confidential our PCs are hard-boiled shamus Dex Raymond, investigative journalist Vivian Sinclair, and private eye Langston Montgomery Wright.

We asked the Pelgranistas—as well as some friends of Pelgrane—which fictional characters they’d most like to have a GUMSHOE One-2-One mystery adventure with. This is Robin D. Laws’ choice (and apostrophe preference):

christmas-bogartSam Spade and/or Philip Marlowe

For my ideal One-2-One character, I’m going to cheat only slightly and say “any film noir detective played by Humphrey Bogart”. That enables me to encompass two of the canon’s great detective noirs, The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep. It gives me both Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade and Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, and I’ll brook no literal-minded rules interpretation from the likes of a mug like you. A true movie star, Bogart in any performance is always Bogie before he is anything else—sardonic, contained, restlessly intelligent. An outer toughness covering a brittle core. His Sam Spade is the Spade of the novel, yet also Bogie. Likewise with Marlowe. If I’m mentally casting Bogart as Cthulhu Confidential’s Dex Raymond, well you can hire any actor in your mind, can’t you? Whether my scenario invokes the international intrigue of Falcon or the dream logic of Big Sleep, he’ll bring it—especially if the grim coda requires a jab of pathos amid the stoicism. Plus he’d bring quality bourbon for the egg nog.

Preorder Cthulhu Confidential at the Pelgrane webstore, and get the PDF plus a preview of the first Dex Raymond adventure, straight away!

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GUMSHOE One-2-One retunes, rebuilds and re-envisions the acclaimed GUMSHOE investigative rules set for one player, and one GM. Together, the two of you create a story that evokes the classic solo protagonist mystery format of classic detective fiction. Can’t find a group who can play when you can? Want an intense head-to-head gaming experience? Play face to face with GUMSHOE One-2-One—or take advantage of its superb fit with virtual tabletops and play online. Purchase Cthulhu Confidential and future GUMSHOE One-2-One products in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.

confidential2Cthulhu Confidential, the flagship title for GUMSHOE One-2-One, is now available for pre-order! GUMSHOE One-2-One is designed for two players: a GM and a player who takes the role of a solo investigator, solving Mythos mysteries. In Cthulhu Confidential our PCs are hard-boiled shamus Dex Raymond, investigative journalist Vivian Sinclair, and private eye Langston Montgomery Wright.

We asked the Pelgranistas—as well as some friends of Pelgrane—which fictional characters they’d most like to have a GUMSHOE One-2-One mystery adventure with. This is Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan‘s choice:

Holistic Detective Dirk Gentlygar-and-dirk_400

 

Dirk’s holistic approach to deduction – that all things are fundamentally interconnected – would be a marvellous stress-test both for the GUMSHOE rules and for the unfortunate GM tasked with running a mystery for a character who is determined to investigate every case by pursuing seemingly unrelated clues on the grounds that they will turn out to be related on some level to the matter at hand. The most circuitous route to solving a mystery is, obviously, the most thorough and comprehensive, and if that route somehow involve repeated trips to a beach bar in Barbados, well, clearly that’s an argument for turning this into a live-action game and playing on location. Commitment to one’s art and all, you understand. Has to be done. Cheers!

Preorder Cthulhu Confidential at the Pelgrane webstore, and get the PDF plus a preview of the first Dex Raymond adventure, straight away!

———————————–

GUMSHOE One-2-One retunes, rebuilds and re-envisions the acclaimed GUMSHOE investigative rules set for one player, and one GM. Together, the two of you create a story that evokes the classic solo protagonist mystery format of classic detective fiction. Can’t find a group who can play when you can? Want an intense head-to-head gaming experience? Play face to face with GUMSHOE One-2-One—or take advantage of its superb fit with virtual tabletops and play online. Purchase Cthulhu Confidential and future GUMSHOE One-2-One products in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.

confidential2Cthulhu Confidential, the flagship title for GUMSHOE One-2-One, is now available for pre-order! GUMSHOE One-2-One is designed for two players: a GM and a player who takes the role of a solo investigator, solving Mythos mysteries. In Cthulhu Confidential our PCs are hard-boiled shamus Dex Raymond, investigative journalist Vivian Sinclair, and private eye Langston Montgomery Wright.

We asked the Pelgranistas—as well as some friends of Pelgrane—which fictional characters they’d most like to have a GUMSHOE One-2-One mystery adventure with. We’ll share their answers over the next 12 days, starting with Wade Rockett’s choice:

Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley

Running CTHULHU CONFIDENTIAL for RipleyWhen the starship Nostromo received what appeared to be a distress signal from a nearby planetoid, it set in motion a nightmarish series of deep space encounters between humans and a mysterious, predatory alien race. Through them all, Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley is a formidable investigator and fighter—whether she’s making life-and-death command decisions, interrogating a homicidal android, or lighting up aliens with a flamethrower.

In his essay arguing that Ellen Ripley is the best female character in SF film, author John Scalzi describes her as “pushy, aggressive, rude, injured, suffering from post-traumatic syndrome, not wearing makeup, tired, smart, maternal, angry, empathetic, and determined to save others, even at great cost to herself.”

Alien mixed noir and Lovecraftian themes remarkably well, so it’s not an stretch to imagine how great a PC Ripley would make in similar adventures: investigating alien artifacts on strange worlds, navigating sinister corporate machinations, and desperately fighting to survive in the dark between the stars.

Preorder Cthulhu Confidential at the Pelgrane webstore, and get the PDF plus a preview of the first Dex Raymond adventure, straight away!

———————————–

GUMSHOE One-2-One retunes, rebuilds and re-envisions the acclaimed GUMSHOE investigative rules set for one player, and one GM. Together, the two of you create a story that evokes the classic solo protagonist mystery format of classic detective fiction. Can’t find a group who can play when you can? Want an intense head-to-head gaming experience? Play face to face with GUMSHOE One-2-One—or take advantage of its superb fit with virtual tabletops and play online. Purchase Cthulhu Confidential and future GUMSHOE One-2-One products in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.

cthulhu-confidential-front-cover_350Articles

GUMSHOE One-2-One, Playtest Feedback, and Acceptable Enjoyment Parameters – Robin D. Laws on incorporating playtest feedback into One-2-One

What’s Changed in GUMSHOE One-2-One – Robin D. Laws on the differences between regular GUMSHOE and One-2-One

Downloads

Download “The Red Mist”, an adventure for Cthulhu Confidential, featuring bookhound Phyllis Oakely

Download the Cthulhu Confidential blank character card (PDF)

Download the Cthulhu Confidential form-fillable blank character card (PDF)

Download generic Edge cards

Download an Edge card template

Download generic Problem cards

Download a Problem card template

 

Actual Play Recordings

Watch an Actual Play of “The Fathomless Sleep”, a Dex Raymond adventure for Cthulhu Confidential, with Robin D. Laws and Marty Jopson

Watch a rules introduction and Actual Play of “The Fathomless Sleep” with Brian Ballsun-Stanton and guest GM Magician

Listen to “The Game, The GM, and The Private Eye,” featuring Kurt and Joe from Adventures From The Shed

Listen to “The Fathomless Sleep,” hosted by YouTube user Dr. Muñoz

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.

GUMSHOE One-2-One is a system for designing and playing investigative roleplaying games and adventures for one player and one Game Moderator (GM). Together, you create a story that evokes the classic solo protagonist mystery format.

In a GUMSHOE One-2-One game, the player character discovers something which triggers their investigation, and then the (GM) guides them through a number of scenes, during which they use their Investigative Abilities to gather the core clues they need to move the narrative forward. They must then put the clues together to uncover the secrets behind the mystery.

GUMSHOE One-2-One links and resources

GUMSHOE One-2-One Games

Any RPG which uses the GUMSHOE One-2-One system redefines it for that setting, and so there is no “GUMSHOE One-2-One book”. Each of the RPGs below contains the full GUMSHOE One-2-One rules for creating characters and playing in that world, as well as guidance on designing your own investigations for that particular setting.

Follow the links below to find out about our GUMSHOE One-2-One games:

 

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