In any other year, at this time we’d be rushing around the Pelgrane’s Nest prepping for Gen Con. Although cancelled in its physical format, it’s still going ahead as Gen Con Online. The Pelgrane team is running more than fifty events at it so far, but we’ve got plenty of space left for more games, so if you’d like to run games at Gen Con, please get in touch with us, either by filling in the form here (the list of adventures available is here), or pinging us on the Discord server.

Other News: The 2020 ENnie Awards

We are deeply honoured to have been nominated three times in the 2020 ENnies. Being nominated for an ENnie Award is an acknowledgement of the hard work that happens behind the scenes to create our books, and it means a lot to us to be recognised. Voting is open until 11:45 PM EST on July 12th we’d really appreciate if you’d consider voting for us in the following categories:

We’d be delighted to get a nod as Fan Favourite Publisher too, of course!

If you’d like to see previews of the ENnie-nominated products, you can download those here:

New to pre-order: Black Star Magic

This month sees the release of the pre-order of the very first Yellow King RPG supplement not included as part of the Kickstarter, Black Star Magic contains all you need to add player-facing Carcosan magic to your YKRPG campaign. Black Star Magic features thematic magic rules for all four YKRPG settings, as well as a gross number of starting spells, and a brand-new adventure for Paris (“Dancer at the Bone Cabaret”), The Wars (“A Casket at Le Thil”), Aftermath (“Memories of a Dream Clown”) and This is Normal Now (Love Wears No Mask). Written by YKRPG designer Robin D. Laws, alongside experts such as writer of The Doors to Heaven, Sarah Saltiel; Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, and Ruth Tillman.

New to order: Honey & Hot Wax

Jen McCleary’s layout for Honey & Hot Wax, our brand-new anthology of erotic art games, is a work of elegant, sensuous brilliance (as you can see in the example on the right, from Friend of the Pelgrane Alex Roberts’ game of balloon love, Pop!). The layout is finished and the PDF is now available to purchase and, for those who’ve already pre-ordered it, to download. We’ll be launching it on DriveThruRPG next week.

New to order: Mutant City Blues 2nd Edition

All pre-orders for Mutant City Blues 2nd Edition have now been shipped out, and this should be available in retail stores from the start of July.

Work in progress update: Swords of the Serpentine

Thanks to everyone who’s had a look at their pre-layout PDF, and spotted some typos in it! We’re collecting all of those using this form, so let us know if you spot a typo, or there’s anything that isn’t clear. Layout has been paused while we review the final file, but we’re still getting art in.

Work in progress update: Even Death Can Die

Christian is on holidays at the moment, unfortunately, which has put paid to my plan to have the PDF finalised and to pre-orderers at the end of June, unfortunately. I’m still waiting to hear back from him on his July availability, as he has a lot of family commitments over the coming weeks.

Works in progress update: 13th Age

I checked in with Rob Heinsoo to get an update on 13th Age production, and it’s steaming ahead! Book of the Underworld is on its way, and Rob, J-M and Trisha are hard at work on a total of four announced books (and one that we agreed wasn’t quite ready to be announced yet) at the moment. Here’s a short update on each, with sneak peeks at some art, too:

We’ve approved the final Book of the Underworld print proofs, and this is currently being printed. We’re hoping to start shipping this out to pre-orderers at the end of August.

Rob’s said that Elven Towers is through with design and development and art and about 75% through editing. It’s going to move into layout in the next couple weeks. He shared this illustration by Roena I. Rosenberger, showing the pit that leads down into the dark elves’ Tower of Dreams (actually a stalactite hanging in the underworld).

Drakkenhall: City of Monsters is our latest announced book. Rob’s mentioned that it’s about 75% written and is in the middle of development, and its art order is drafted, but not yet commissioned. This is the first in what Rob’s calling our “mosaic” 13th Age books, so-called because they’re constructed of a mosaic of complementary – and sometimes even contradictory! – perspectives on the subject matter, which allows GMs and players to pick and choose the bits that best describe the Dragon Empire as it exists at their own table.

Wade Rockett’s 1st level adventure, Crown of Axis, is more than 50% designed, Rob says. He has a cunning art plan, but nothing commissioned yet.

Icon Followers is what Rob’s currently spending most of his time on, and it’s about 33% designed. Unlike most of our books, Rob’s handling the art alongside design, to speed things up at the end. Here’s a Rich Longmore illustration of the war bell, a construct used for underground communication and magical thunder. You can see which icon it’s following by the etching!

Hey, Pelgranes. There’s a whole lot of change happening all at once, and it’s a stressful time. Here in my hometown, local businesses are closing down by the dozen due to the restrictions imposed in the wake of COVID-19. Around the world, people are out on the streets, protesting against institutional racism and police brutality. Meanwhile, climate change (remember that?!) continues to make our planet less inhabitable every day. Give yourselves a break, take care of yourselves, and stay safe out there.

Work in progress update: Swords of the Serpentine

Pre-orderers can now download the pre-layout PDF of Swords of the Serpentine, along with Jérôme Huguenin’s stunning Eversink map and a WIP of the world map. The book has been copyedited, but eagle-eyed readers over on the Facebook GUMSHOE RPG Community are spotting remaining typos in it – if you’ve found one, please let us know using this form. We’ll be sending the final files to Jen McCleary (The Fall of DELTA GREEN, Night’s Black Agents: Solo Ops) to start layout in the next week.

As well as working on the maps, Jérôme’s also starting to work on some of the iconic heroes from the game – here’s a preview of what he’s working on:

Work in progress update: Mutant City Blues 2nd Edition

Mutant City Blues 2nd Edition has now arrived with our US fulfilment house, and we’ll start shipping US & Canadian pre-orders out this week. They still haven’t arrived in the UK, but the tracking details suggest they should be arriving in the next two weeks, so we’re hoping to start shipping all non-US & Canadian pre-orders before the end of the month. (ICYMI, last month I showed off some of the proofs of the physical book, which are looking great!)

Work in progress update: The Borellus Connection

We’ve finished the revisions to the final The Borellus Connection manuscript and it’s now been copyedited, and we’re handing this adventure collection for The Fall of DELTA GREEN over to the sensitivity reader this week. We’ll commence the art for this shortly, and hope to release it on pre-order later in the summer.

Work in progress update: Honey & Hot Wax

Jen’s finished a first draft of the final layout of Honey & Hot Wax, and this is with the editors, Sharang Biswas & Lucian Kahn, for review. We should be able to get the final PDF to pre-orderers by the end of June. If you’d like to hear more about the games in this erotic art games anthology, check out this video from last month).

Work in progress update: Black Star Magic

Robin, Sam, Ruth & Gareth have finished the final Black Star Magic manuscript now, and this Yellow King RPG magic supplement, including a brand-new adventure for each of the four core YKRPG settings, is currently being copyedited. Expect the pre-order in the next couple of months!

Work in progress update: Even Death Can Die

Even Death Can Die has been stalled for some time, largely due to juggling priorities on my part, but is being restarted now. We’re aiming to have the final PDF to pre-orderers by the end of June, and send it to print at the same time – this means it should start shipping out to pre-orderers in September.

Work in progress update: GUMSHOE Kids

Thanks to everyone who playtested this junior-friendly adaptation of our most popular system! I had a lot of fun running this for my eldest nephew and niece, and they took to roleplaying like it was in their blood. :D We’ve now sent through all of your playtest feedback to Gareth, who’s going through it at the moment for a subsequent edition.

Work in progress update: Elven Towers

Art and maps are flooding in for champion tier 13th Age adventure Elven Towers, by author Cal Moore (Shadows of Eldolan, Sharpe Initiatives: Earthgouger), and only a few pieces are outstanding. This image of the Elf Queen’s Hunt Master, by Roena I. Rosenberger, wonderfully evokes the otherworldly personalities populating the Elf Queen’s Court of Stars at Thronewood. Work on the final text is nearly finished, and this should move into layout in early July.

Convention updates: Origins Online/IRL, and Gen Con

You may have already heard by now that Origins Online, scheduled for this weekend, and Origins Game Fair, which had been rescheduled for October 2020, have now both been cancelled. We are disappointed to hear this, as we had a great variety of games and panels scheduled, but we believe it’s the right decision in both cases.

Gen Con has recently announced that they are postponing an in-person event until 2021, but their online event is running the same weekend as originally scheduled (July 30 – August 2, 2020). As it’s an online event, GMs from all around the world can be part of our GM team this year, so if you’re available to run games as part of Gen Con Online that weekend, please do get in touch with us, either by filling in the form here (the list of adventures available is here) or pinging us on the Discord server.

As we’re moving toward more video content, I decided to record my View From the Pelgrane’s Nest in video format this month.

Turns out, my rural Irish broadband does not like to upload videos.

And so, more than a week later than anticipated, the first ever Video View From the Pelgrane’s Nest:

or the individual videos:

 

 

 

March is a big month for birthdays here in the Pelgrane’s Nest, with Gareth, Noah, me, and Rob all celebrating this month. March also feels like spring is finally here; winter is past, and the world begins anew, tf.

***NEW*** The Book of the Underworld

This month’s latest release is the campaign setting Book of the Underworld for 13th Age, written by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, and lovingly hand-developed in the artisanal word-workshop of Rob Heinsoo, John-Matthew DeFoggi and Trisha DeFoggi.

I asked Rob previously what he thought the coolest things about Book of the Underworld were, and he replied “A short list would include the Four Kingdoms of the Mechanical Sun (underworld nation-states warring to keep an ancient dwarven solar artifact borne by golems circulating in their caverns instead of the oppositions), Gar’s bizarre takes on alternate drow, the two drow deities manifest in the deep underworld that complement/rival the Elf Queen, and the rival demon cults within Gorogan’s Maw.” So there you have it – the short version is that there’s a long list of cool stuff for DMs to play with in this setting book. Pre-order now and get the pre-layout PDF straight away.

***STILL NEW, but two important updates*** The Yellow King RPG

Those of you outside the USA and Canada may have noticed that we’ve sold out of The Yellow King RPG in our webstore. 😲 While in some ways, that’s a good problem to have – it’s always nice when there’s high demand for a new book – in other ways, it’s bad, as we’ll have to reprint it sooner than I expected, and if you followed the Kickstarter printing saga, you’ll have a sense of why that fills me with dread. In the meantime, Becky’s working furiously on finding a way to get some of the US copies over our UK warehouse, so we’re hoping to have it back in stock in a couple of weeks. If you’d like us to let you know when it’s back in stock, drop Becky an email at support@pelgranepress.com.

The second important update is that, due to popular demand, we’ve set up a post for people who didn’t back the Kickstarter, explaining how to pick up the Basic Shock & Injury decks from the YKRPG. While not essential for play, many gamers have told us they prefer the tactile experience of having printed cards. All the cards from all four books of the YKRPG are available as a digital download with all purchases of the YKRPG, whether from us or through your game store. With the Basic Shock & Injury decks, Robin has carefully curated two decks focused on the varieties of injury, fear and emotional disequilibrium most likely to afflict investigators into any reality-altering Carcosan mystery, helping GMs to run scenarios on-the-fly. If you’re in the USA or Canada, pick up your cards via DriveThru RPG’s Print on Demand service; if you’re outside the USA or Canada, pick them up directly from our webstore.

Work in progress update: Swords of the Serpentine

We’re steaming ahead through production of Swords of the Serpentine at the moment, which makes me happy, as Kevin and I would love to be able to show it to you all at Gen Con at the end of July. I’m hoping we’ll be able to release the pre-order in the next edition of See Page XX, too. I’m about to go through the copyedits, and our layout artist Jen is working on a draft layout design for it. Kevin’s writing up art notes, and Jerome has posted a little video of the amazing map he’s done for Eversink’s Temple Market – you can watch that here.

Work in progress update: The Borellus Connection

We’ve got the edits back from Arc Dream now, and Gareth’s made the necessary changes they asked for. Noah is working on the art notes, it’s just about to go into copyediting, and we’re hoping to release it on pre-order in the summer.

Work in progress update: Elven Towers

John-Matthew and Trisha DeFoggi are powering through 13th Age projects, vastly improving how quickly we’re able to release new titles. J-M’s finishing up development of Elven Towers, a champion tier adventure by Cal Moore, at the moment, and will then hand it over to Trisha for copyediting. Meanwhile, Rob’s liaising with the cartographers and artists, working on finishing off the artwork, so expect to see a pre-order for this in the next few months. Hot off the email press tonight is the lush and eminently regal final cover, by Lee Moyer (using sketches from Rich Longmore), which Rob’s kindly sent over for your sneak preview delectation.

<– Here it is. Isn’t it lovely?!

 

Work in progress update: Honey & Hot Wax

We’ve got in the final collection of games for Honey & Hot Wax, an Anthology of Erotic Art Games from editors Sharang Biswas and Lucian Kahn, who were able to win a grant from the Effing Foundation for Sex Positivity, and they really take what an RPG can be in a stimulating new direction! We’re working on the final layout of this at the moment, and we’re having fun collaborating with artist Jana Heidersdorf on the front cover. She’s come up with some really interesting concepts, including this honeycomb design which really captures what we’re going for with it:

–> That one’s over here!

Work in progress update: A Poison Tree

I playtested a couple of chapters of A Poison Tree, an epic Trail of Cthulhu campaign, and it’s creepy and twisted and wonderful. We’ve been fortunate that we’re working alongside some of the best Mythos RPG designers – Scott Dorward, Paul Fricker & Matthew Sanderson – on it. Unfortunately, that’s meant that we’ve been competing with loads of other companies for their bandwidth, which has slowed down development. We’re kicking this into high gear this year and hoping to get it playtested shortly. We’ve spoken to the authors about Kickstarting this, but nothing’s been set in stone on that front yet – watch this space for more developments as they happen.

Long-term readers will understand how I am equal parts excited and relieved to be able to FINALLY say this…

***NEW*** The Yellow King RPG!!

If you missed out on the multi-phased and many-pronged cursing of the Nest that was The Yellow King RPG printing and fulfillment, you can now corrupt your own existence with the four-book, slipcase & GM screen extravaganza that is Robin D. Laws’s The Yellow King RPG – if you dare.

In case you haven’t spent the last two years chasing printers on it and don’t know what it’s about…inspired by the reality-twisting The King in Yellow stories by Robert W. Chambers, the boxed set contains four different settings:

  • Belle Époque Paris, where a printed version of the dread play is first published. Players portray American art students in its absinthe-soaked world, navigating the Parisian demimonde and investigating mysteries involving gargoyles, vampires, and decadent alien royalty.
  • The Wars, an alternate reality in which the players take on the role of soldiers bogged down in the great European conflict of 1947. While trying to stay alive on an eerie, shifting battlefield, they investigate supernatural mysteries generated by the occult machinations of the Yellow King and his rebellious daughters.
  • Aftermath, set later in the same reality, in present day North America. A bloody insurrection has toppled a dictatorial regime loyal to Carcosa. Players become former partisans adjusting to ordinary life, trying to build a just society from the ashes of civil war. But not all of the monsters have been thoroughly banished—and like it or not, they’re the ones with the skills to hunt them and finish them off.
  • This is Normal Now. In the present day we know, albeit one subtly permeated by supernatural beings and maddening reality shifts, ordinary people band together, slowly realizing that they are the key to ending a menace spanning eras and realities.

***NEW*** Absinthe in Carcosa

Accompanying your Yellow King RPG spiral into the distorted degeneracy of the Carcosans is Absinthe in Carcosa, an indispensable city guide to Belle Époque Paris. As an absinthe-drenched American art student explored Paris in search of the decadent influence of the King in Yellow, he created a scrapbook – a guide both for himself, and those who would follow. Yoked together from existing travelogues, newspapers, and the disquieting ephemera of the occult tradition, it laid out a skewed portrait of a haunted city. Dean Engelhardt (The Hawkins Papers, Hideous Creatures: A Bestiary of the Cthulhu Mythos) has worked his usual dazzling magic on this evocative full-colour handbook to Yellow Paris. Mine it for YKRPG adventure hooks, handouts, absinthe trips and period flavour – or just to show your players how far they have to fall…

***NEW*** The Missing and the Lost

In his creepy and unnerving short story collection New Tales of the Yellow Sign, Robin first explored the “spread through global culture, and history itself, like a virus” of the King in Yellow. And now, his own “contagion bears hideous fruit” in the Yellow King RPG, and the meta novelisation-of-a-novel that is The Missing and the Lost. Set in the “post-Carcosan” Aftermath setting of the Yellow King RPG, the protagonist Technician, responsible for repairing the suicide machines known as the Government Lethal Chambers, is determined to decommission those instruments of death, but instead he finds himself investigating a murder – all the while trying to restore democracy and order to a USA crippled by the Carcosan-supported for Castaigne former regime. While the Kickstarter backers have been waiting for their copies, I’ve been very good and not read it – now that it’s out, I’ve got it stacked up on my Kindle (the print book comes with the PDF, EPUB and MOBI files), and I can’t wait to dive into it as prep for Aftermath games.

Work in progress update: Black Star Magic

This month, we’re got the book of magic for The Yellow King RPG, Black Star Magic, available for playtesting. Featuring background material for Carcosan magic in all four YKRPG settings, and GM guidance showing you how to incorporate player-facing occult powers into your game, as well as a brand-new magical adventure for each of the four YKRPG settings. You’ll need the core YKRPG set to playtest this – if you’re interested, contact us in the usual way.

Other news – GUMSHOE SRD update

I don’t want this to be an all-YKRPG View, but there’s a lot happening with it. Thanks to the generosity of the YKRPG backers (have I mentioned that you’re great? You’re great!), Robin’s been able to update the existing GUMSHOE SRD to include the rules for both QuickShock GUMSHOE, and also GUMSHOE One-2-One. As always, we’d love to hear what you do with those, so do tag us on social media if you’ve got any GUMSHOE projects on the go!

Other other news – social media updates

We’ve been talking a lot internally about video content, and I’d really like to be able to demonstrate how awesome our games are to more video-native players. To that end, I’ve transferred over all our videos from our old Google+(sob!)-connected Google account to a new YouTube account, and also discovered there are some really fabulous Actual Plays and other Pelgrane-related videos out there. I’ve pulled them together into some playlists, focusing on game lines, interviews (how does Rob Heinsoo still look the exact same, 13 years later?!), and GMing advice. Did I miss anything you’d love to see? Let me know in the comments below!

It would be remiss of me not to mention that I’m braving the waters of Reddit on r/RPGdesign from 9th February. AMA about Pelgrane, publishing, or your favourite Pelgrane games!

And while we’re on the social media, a reminder of where you can get all the latest Pelgrane news:

Until next time…

^^ Cat

Happy new year, all, and I do hope you’re enjoying your dystopian cyberpunk future! I know I am. 😐

BUT, here in the Pelgrane’s Nest, things are looking up. As of today, we have joined another future – a more positive, and community-based future – with the launch of the GUMSHOE Community program on DriveThruRPG. If you haven’t yet come across the Community Content program, it’s a way for publishers to release some IP elements like text, art and layout assets to their communities to publish new works on DriveThruRPG within that setting, and even make money from them. So now’s your opportunity to revisit those Ashen Stars drafts in your Ideas folder, and get them up there for everyone to enjoy. You can find out more about the program here, and the full details are on the GUMSHOE Community page, here.

***NEW*** Eyes of the Stone Thief 5e Compatible PDF

You’re likely familiar with Eyes of the Stone Thief, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan’s massive campaign for 13th Age. But, did you know that the living dungeon known as the Stone Thief is so epic it cannot be confined to just one system?! With some help from Kieran Turley, Gareth’s turned the first two levels of his megadungeon masterpiece into a PDF that’s compatible with the 5th Edition of the world’s most popular roleplaying game. If you have friends who are interested in making the jump, but nervous about spending money to do so, as well as being available in our webstore, you can also pick it up in the DriveThruRPG store as a pay-what-you-want title.

***NEW*** Hideous Creatures: A Bestiary of the Cthulhu Mythos PDF

New out this month is the PDF of the enormous Hideous Creatures: A Bestiary of the Cthulhu Mythos. While a staff writer, Ken wrote a number of stand-alone PDFs giving some mythos monsters the full Trail of Cthulhu treatment, writing up adventure seeds, variations, sample clues, mythic echoes throughout history, and stats. These PDFs were each carefully researched and information-dense, and packed with such useful ideas and scenario starters that we wanted to make them available to a wider audience. We collated the fifteen of those, added seven entirely new creatures, and rounded the collection out with another nine which had never appeared in a mythos RPG before. Hideous Creatures is the ultimate bestiary not only for Trail of Cthulhu, but for any mythos RPG.

A very rough sketch map of the city of Eversink

Work in progress update: Swords of the Serpentine

Kevin’s submitted the final manuscript (yay!), and it’s currently in editing. He’s now working with cartographer and Pelgrane artist Jérôme Huguenin on the maps of Eversink, although it’s early days still – you can see Jérôme’s first draft of the Sinking City over. We’re hoping to be able to release this in time for Gen Con, with pre-orders starting in March or April. Kevin’s also working on his own adventure, and the other writers’, for The Slithering God. Oh, oops…

Breaking! The Slithering God

This just in: we’re working on a five-adventure campaign for Swords of the Serpentine. Like The Zalozhniy Quartet and The Persephone Extraction, The Slithering God will feature five linked adventures, which can be run separately, or combined into one epic campaign. Serpentine authors Kevin Kulp and Emily Dresner will be writing one adventure each, and they’ll be joined by Dracula Dossier and Persephone author Heather Albano, along with Rachael Cruz and Black Star Magic writer Sarah Saltiel. Oh, I did it again? *le sigh*

Breaking! Black Star Magic

Also brand new to our Forthcoming list is a book of magic for The Yellow King RPG. Black Star Magic will feature background material for Carcosan magic in all four YKRPG settings, and GM guidance showing you how to incorporate player-facing occult powers into your game, as well as a brand-new magical adventure for each of the four YKRPG settings. Progress has been tearing along on this thanks to an all-star writing team of Robin Laws, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, Sarah Saltiel and Ruth Tillman, and we’re hoping to open playtesting on this in the next See Page XX.

Work in progress update: The Yellow King RPG

And while I’m on the topic, the last remaining backer copies of the Yellow King RPG are winging their way to our wonderful Kickstarter backers, who have waited so very patiently through what has been a fulfillment process of Carcosan-level nightmares.

I say often that we at Pelgrane are incredibly lucky to have the community we do, who understand that we work hard to produce high-quality games for them, and stay with us on that journey, no matter how arduous; but it does bear repeating. A big shout-out of gratitude to the YKRPG backers, for their humour and generosity of spirit, and crossing our fingers that, now that they’re in possession of the tomes, the YKRPG curse touches them but lightly.

For those of you who’ve been waiting patiently while they waited patiently, we’ll be releasing the Yellow King RPG in the next edition of See Page XX.

Work in progress update: Mutant City Blues 2nd Edition

The final PDF has been uploaded to pre-orderers’ bookshelves now, and this is with the printers. Chinese New Year will impact the delivery date, but we’re hoping to have the books in the US and UK in April.

Work in progress update: Born Robot

Unfortunately, Robin’s conflicting commitments have put this project on semi-permanent hiatus, at least for the next two years. We’ll revisit this once his bandwidth frees up again.

Pelgranes in the Wild, January – Warpcon, Ireland

The early gaming ground of a young me, and an even younger Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, we’ll be trialling a small booth at our home convention in Cork for the first time. This will impact our game running, game playing, and game drinking time (pp. 8-9), but it’ll be worth it to sing the epic song of the Pelgrane for our friends and neighbours.

Pelgranes in the Wild, January, cont – Contingency, UK

At the same time that Gareth and I are reminiscing, Becky will be braving the fens of East Anglia to try out a small booth at Contingency, in King’s Lynn, assisted by Pelgrane playtester Chris Romer. If you’re in the area, which seems quite central, to swing by and say hello.

Until next time…

^^ Cat

At this time of year, my immune system shuts down in protest at winter as a concept, so I’m recovering from a nasty headcold, and pretty much living in my favourite GUMSHOE hoodie at the moment. The illness may be due to travel; I’m just back from my first Big Bad Con in California, followed the next weekend by The Kraken in Germany, where Robin was one of the guests of honour. Their proximity to each other really highlighted how very different they are – BBC was (in large part thanks to the quite amazing Babble On Equity Project), a genuinely diverse crowd, concentrated in the story games/larp/itch.io design space, whereas The Kraken had a lot of familiar faces, and a focus on the Cthulhu & Runequest, more traditional RPG design space. Both were excellent, for entirely different reasons, and I’m still processing the discerning conversations I had at each. Unfortunately, not being able to speak meant I couldn’t run my scheduled events at Gauntlet Con 2019, so Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan fearlessly stepped up to do the What’s New With Pelgrane panel by himself. Thanks Gar! We’ll be posting the audio of this on our social media over the coming weeks, so keep an ear out.

NEW! The Best of Intentions PDF

New out this month is a stand-alone PDF adventure for the second GUMSHOE One-2-One game for one Director and one player, Night’s Black Agents: Solo Ops. Play burned MI6 agent Leyla Khan, dragged into a perilous web of occult horrors and organised crime when a scouting mission in Prague goes sour. Will this be Leyla’s chance for redemption – or will she be dragged back into the darkness of the vampiric control she thought she’d escaped?

NEW! Shards of the Broken Sky PDF

It took us an epic six years to finish, but you can access the PDF of the sandbox 13th Age adventure right now! The flying realm of Vantage has crashed to earth, affording a rare glimpse into its mysteries – and secret. Will you rescue its survivors, and restore its magical wards, which were keeping a dozen ancient evils in check? Or are your players the type to loot everything that isn’t nailed down while trying to stay one step ahead of the apocalypse?

Work in progress update: Swords of the Serpentine

This was one of our biggest playtests to date, resulting in a small mountain of post-playtest feedback. Kevin Kulp’s been working hard on reviewing this, and has now incorporated most of the playtest comments, as well as the comments from Misha Bushyager’s sensitivity read, into the main manuscript, along with short designer sidebars to provide design intent, as requested in the playtest.

The manuscript is currently sitting at a solid and very respectable 180K words, meaning the core book will be somewhere in the 340+ page range.

The core book adventure, which got well playtested at Gen Con, has been revised and is now sold. Kevin’s currently finishing a simplification of the enemy stat block, and once that’s done and the rest of the playtest comments are incorporated, it’ll get a full read through for inconsistencies, and we’ll start commissioning the interior art, and being copyediting.

Work in progress update: Mutant City Blues 2nd Edition

Travel and illness have impacted the delivery time, but the index is nearly finished, and the first draft PDF is now on pre-orderers bookshelves. I’m hoping to be able to get the index finalised and the manuscript to the printers this week, so it’ll be with pre-orderers in early February.

Work in progress update: Book of the Underworld

Lee Moyer has taken Rich Longmore’s pencils and combined them into a really magical cover for Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan’s 13th Age Book of the Underworld. You can see the result in Rob Heinsoo’s cover reveal here. Meanwhile, work continues apace on the interior art direct and development.

Pelgranes in the Wild, part XX – Metatopia

I’m in New York at the moment on my way to Metatopia , the game design festival in New Jersey. If you’ve got a game to playtest, watch out for myself, Ken Hite and Kevin Kulp, as we’ll be around for the weekend playtesting and panelling.

Pelgranes in the Wild, winter edition – Dragonmeet 2019

Coming up at the start of December is the Pelgrane home convention of Dragonmeet. If you’ve seen the flyer, you may have been concerned at our absence, but never fear – we’ve been assured that our booth is booked in our usual corner, and Ken, Robin and Gareth have all booked their flights to come over, with Ken & Robin scheduled for their usual KARTAS Live session. For family reasons, we’re down Dragonmeet regular Rob Heinsoo, who’ll be sadly missed, although it does mean more ice wine and sticky toffee pudding for the rest of us!

Hopefully we’ll see you there, but if not, until next time…

^^ Cat

 

I’m just back from the wilds of London’s Alexandra Palace, where Becky and I, ably assisted by knowledgeable Pelgrane playtester CJ Romer, ran the Pelgrane booth at the second ever Tabletop Gaming Live. The venue itself is lovely, and the staff were really friendly and helpful. It was mostly boardgames-focused, with very few RPG companies – I didn’t do a full tour of the hall, but I only spotted our good friends over at the UK Indie RPG League, and our Cthulhoid masters at Chaosium, who were running demo games.

NEW! Night’s Black Agents: Solo Ops PDF

New out this month is the PDF for the second GUMSHOE One-2-One game, Night’s Black Agents: Solo Ops. All you need is one Director, and one player, to get your fix of high-octane NBA action. Play burned MI6 agent Leyla Khan, who – over the course of three full adventures – must escape from the vampiric conspiracy who’ve trapped her in their thrall, and track down and destroys her former masters before they recapture her.

NEW! Night’s Black Agents Director’s Screen and Resource Guide PDF

The Night’s Black Agents Director’s Screen is our first four-panel GM screen. The accompanying Resource Guide is stuffed full of useful advice and new features for your NBA game, like initiations (vignettes describing how an Agent got baptized into the secret world of vampires), new monsters, a dozen mid-ranking NPCs that can be dropped into any conspiracy, how to deal with complicated action sequences like fights and chases, story elements that show up in many Night’s Black Agents scenarios like trailing a suspect, meeting a source, or blowing things up, Mission Skeletons, which describe the nine basic Night’s Black Agents missions and explain how to build or improvise stories around each of them, and a selection of modern-day locations, complete with suggested clues or combat options.

Work in progress update: Book of the Underworld

Gareth’s finished the writing on Book of the Underworld, and has handed over the manuscript to developers Rob Heinsoo and J-M deFoggi, who have dived into it and are working hard to get it to the copyeditor as quickly as they can. Rich Longmore and Lee Moyer are working on the cover – Lee will be painting Rich’s linework. We should be able to show you that during the month. Rob and J-M are starting to commission the interior art later this week, too.

Work in progress update: The Borellus Connection

Gareth’s hacking work on The Borellus Connection is now finished, and we’ve handed it over to Arc Dream for approval. We’ll be posting all the bits cuts out as a series of See Page XX articles titled “FINEST EFFECTS” over the coming months. Be warned, though, that these will all be for the Handler’s Eyes Only! This month’s article is a useful timeline for the Handler.

Work in progress update: Born Robot

Kate Bullock has been making good progress on Born Robot, and now has three out of the five main book sections finished. This covers almost all of the robot world setting design, and she’s now jumping into the GM-focused chapter.

Until next time,

^^ Cat

 

Gen Con!

It seems like forever ago, and yet it’s only a month since it finished. We had a particularly good time at Gen Con last year – our sales were up on last year, we had new and enthusiastic booth staff, and we won the Gold ENnie for Best Setting for The Fall of DELTA GREEN. (Also, Ken and Robin won the Gold ENnie for Best Podcast, and we discovered that Ken and Robin will be hosting the ENnie Awards next year!). It continues to be an exhausting week, though, and it casts a long shadow over our productivity in the months preceding (and weeks succeeding, although in my case, I went off to run the RPG section at Dublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon, so it’s my own fault my August disappeared).

NEW! Trail of Cthulhu cluebook

I have a terrible memory, and so it’s vital that I take notes in games or I’ll have completely forgotten what’s happened by the next session. As a Keeper for Trail of Cthulhu, it’s even more important to have all the important details of your game available at your fingertips. This Art Deco-styled custom 5” x 7” cluebook helps Keepers hold their campaign in focus. It’s got custom pages for recording everything you need, from Investigators’ abilities, to key NPCs, and maps of significant locales along with the clues they contain.

The GUMSHOE Community Content program

We announced this in our Swords, Spies and Shoggoths panel at Gen Con (which you can listen to here, thanks to our friends at the Plot Points podcast), and here’s a bit more on the rollout plans. At the end of this month, we’ll be officially launching the GUMSHOE Community Content program, making Ashen Stars available to creators. If you’re not familiar with the Community Content concept, it means we’ll be making some elements of Ashen Stars (e.g. some IP elements, art, and layout assets) open for members of the community (that is, you!) to write and publish your own Ashen Stars content on DriveThruRPG.

We’re currently working with a number of people to have some interesting and varied content available for launch, so you can better visualise the creative possibilities. Confirmed content includes long-time Pelgrane GM Chris Sellers’s Rogues’ Gallery – a supplement to play Ashen Stars as a morally dubious crew; a new adventure from Ashen Stars fan Jakob Schmidt, and new ship schematics from cartographer extraordinare Ralf Schemmann. We’ll be releasing full details on how to take part later this month, so watch this space!

Work in progress update: Mutant City Blues 2nd Edition

I’ve dropped the ball on this in all the Gen Con and Worldcon kerfuffling. Jen McCleary’s been waiting patiently for me to get back to her with a review of her first draft layout, which is my #1 priority now that I’m back in the office. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get the layout finalised in the next month, and then it’s in the hands of The Printers.

Work in progress update: Even Death Can Die

Christian Knutsson has taken over the layout of this, and will be adding new art and graphical elements, as well as cleaning up the layout of the existing PDF products. We’re also hoping we can get the layout of this finalised in the next month so it can join MCB2 at the printers.

Work in progress update: The Borellus Connection

Once we’d pulled together all the adventures, and made all the post-playtest feedback edits, this turned out big. Too big, realistically. And so Gareth’s been hacking away at it for the last while, trying to wrangle it into a more manageable shape so it can move on through the Arc Dream approval process and on to production. You can see the result of his hacks in his Rung Sat Swamp article here.

Pelgranes in the Wild!! – Tabletop Gaming Live

Now that we’ve got UK-based Becky on board (and I hope you’ll join me in giving her a warm and positive welcome to our community!), we’ll hopefully be better resourced to attend more UK-based conventions, starting this month with Tabletop Gaming Live in the Alexandra Palace in London. Becky and I will be trying out a Pelgrane booth there for the first time, so please do come along and say hello, if you’re around!

Until next time,

^^ Cat

 

The Nest is aflurry this month with today’s news of the 2019 ENnie Award nominations. It is always an honour to be nominated by the hard-working judging team, and this year in particular we’re sharing the nomination field with an impressive breadth of games and industry colleagues. We’ve been nominated in four categories:

Beloved Pelgranistas Ken & Robin have also been nominated in the Best Podcast category, for Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff.

Voting for Fan Favourite Best Publisher is open now, and we’d be grateful if you would consider voting for us – click on this link to go to the voting page. Voting for the 2019 ENnies will open next Wednesday, July 10th.

NEW! Pelgrane Press merchandise

Over the years, a number of people have asked if they can get Pelgrane t-shirts and other merchandise, and it’s been in the works for a while. This month, we’re launching a pop-up merchandise store, with items from t-shirts, hoodies, and phone cases to mugs, wall art, and stickers. You can access the Pelgrane merchandise store here. It’s still in its infancy, and designer Will Hindmarch is individually hand-selecting what is available in each category. Our plan, if there’s sufficient demand, is to have a core range, with seasonal stock available for a few months at a time, so if there’s anything you’d love to see in there let us know in the comments!

Work in progress update: Night’s Black Agents: GM Screen & Resource Guide

These have been printed, and are on their way across the seas to our US & UK fulfilment centres. Our printers have told us it will arrive at both locations around July 15th, so we’ll be sending out an email to all pre-orderers in the next few weeks to confirm your shipping addresses, and check whether you’d like it shipped to you, or if you’d prefer to pick up your copy at Gen Con to save on shipping.

Work in progress update: Night’s Black Agents: Solo Ops

Layout of this is now finished, and the final PDF is available to all pre-orderers – download it now from your Pelgrane Press bookshelf. We’re currently trying to find a printer who would be able to print and ship these this month – if we can, we’ll be sending out an email to all pre-orderers in the next few weeks to confirm your shipping addresses, and check whether you’d like it shipped to you, or if you’d prefer to pick up your copy at Gen Con to save on shipping.

Work in progress update: Shards of the Broken Sky

This is also at the mercy of the printers, who are claiming it will be shipping to our mail order distribution warehouses on July 15th. We’ll be emailing pre-orderers in the next few weeks to confirm your shipping addresses. The final PDF is available to all pre-orderers – download it now from your Pelgrane Press bookshelf.

Work in progress update: Mutant City Blues 2nd Edition

Jen McCleary, layout artist extraordinaire, has had to redo the layout of this, as the first version was unusable. She’s sent through a second draft now, which is very close to completion; we’re hoping to get this to the printers in mid-July, and to start shipping out to pre-orderers towards the end of August. We should have the final PDF ready for pre-orderers by mid-July.

Work in progress update: The Yellow King RPG

We’ve just posted an update for Kickstarter backers, the TL;DR of which was that our print liaison left the company suddenly for mental health reasons, and so we’ve had to rescue our (printed) Yellow King RPG books from the dusty corner of the warehouse they were abandoned to on his departure. The books are all printed, and we’ve made contact with the slipcase printer; they’re starting work on the slipcases & GM screens now, and estimate they’ll have them finished within a month, and they will then be able to ship out the completed books-in-slipcases to our US & UK fulfilment houses. So at the moment, we’re hoping to be able to start shipping everything to backers in early August, with the pre-orderer books shipping as soon as they’re finished.

In the meantime, anyone who pre-ordered the print books has the following new files on their bookshelf:

  • All Shock, Injury, Goal, Hit and Chit cards, from each of the four YKRPG books, in PNG format. Ideal for sharing with players electronically, for your online games, or pop a couple into a Word document for easy printing before a game.
  • Blank templates for creating your own Shock, Injury, Goal Hit and Chit cards. In GIMP and PSD format.
  • The official YKRPG Shock and Injury decks in PDF format. Robin has chosen 76 Shock cards, and 76 Injury cards, to form the official decks.
  • The 2019 Free RPG Day book
  • The YKRPG Suite – Official music for the Yellow King RPG

Pelgranes in the Wild!! part 3 – Gen Con, booth #1417

We’re less than a month (aaaaaaargh!) from Gen Con, and preparations for our biggest show of the year are frantically underway in the Nest. I’ll be on the Pelgrane booth for the weekend along with Simon, Ken, Robin, Rob Heinsoo, Sadhbh and (hopefully!) our as-yet-unnamed Admin Assistant. You can also spot Pelgranes in the wild at the ENnie Awards ceremony on Friday night, and at our seminars:

  • Gaming with the King in Yellow Robin D. Laws, Sarah Saltiel & John Harness bring the reality-bending horror of Robert W Chambers to your table. Our mavens of terror are here to tear off their pallid masks and reveal the shattering secrets of the Hyades. Thursday 1st August 16:00 -17:00 Stadium : Meeting Rm 8
  • 13th Age Monster Workshop Join Rob Heinsoo and 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 2nd August 11:00 – 12:00 Stadium : Meeting Rm 12
  • 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 2nd August 13:00-14:00 Stadium : Meeting Rm 8
  • Investigative Roleplaying MasterClass Mystery scenario masters Kenneth Hite and Robin D. Laws train their magnifying glasses on clue-gathering adventures to reveal the unlikely suspects behind your tabletop woes. Friday 2nd August 17:00-18:00 Westin : Grand Bllrm IV
  • 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 3rd August 14:00-15:00 Crowne Plaza : Pennsylvania Stn A
  • Dramatic Interaction Masterclass Robin D. Laws, Kate Bullock, John Harness and Emily Reinhart teach structures & techniques to turn emotional confrontations between PCs frustrating roadblocks into rich moments of human drama. Saturday 3rd August 16:00-17:00 JW : 202

If you’re going (it’s on in the Indianapolis Convention Centre, from Thursday, August 1st to Sunday, August 5th), be sure to swing by booth #1417 and say hi. You might even be able to pick up a rare Pelgrane GM ribbon or button – if you volunteer to GM one of the games we’re still seeking GMs for (the list is here), you’re guaranteed one of each. Drop us an email at support@pelgranepress.com if you’re available!

Playtesting: The Borellus Connection, revised

We’ve had a number of dropouts for playtesting for the eight adventures in The Fall of DELTA GREEN adventure collection, The Borellus Connection, so we’re putting them back up for playtesting again this month. As a reminder, these adventures can serve as part of a connected campaign, or as stand-alone operations the Handler can drop into the course of an ongoing investigation. So if you’re interested, drop us an email.

 

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