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Double GUMSHOE – May 2018

Double GUMSHOE – May 2018

by Tuesday 29 May 2018
In May 2018 we got out our magnifying glass and investigated two offers of mystery and detection roleplaying games that use the GUMSHOE System designed by Robin D. Laws and published by Pelgrane Press. First, we resurrected our September 2013 Bundle of GUMSHOE, a probing collection of RPGs (previously revived once already, in April 2015) including Night’s Black Agents, Ashen Stars, Mutant City Blues, and the new Second Edition of Fear Itself. And its brand-new companion, the GUMSHOE Bundle +2, presented clue-filled supplements and scenarios for all these games.

GUMSHOE games are designed for scenarios of detection and crime-solving. In a typical RPG, bad skill rolls may mean you miss a vital clue. Poof, the entire investigation goes off track. Not so in the GUMSHOE System, where the important thing isn’t finding the clue but figuring out what it means. Your players will find the clues and, if they’re clever, solve the mystery. Play a mystery scenario in a GUMSHOE game and you’ll never go back.

1. Bundle of GUMSHOE [from Sept 2013]

This revived September 2013 bundle showed off the GUMSHOE system’s many strengths, with mysterious investigations in a super-powered city, down the monster-haunted alleys of old Europe, and in outer space. If you’re new to GUMSHOE, start with these games.

There were eight titles in this offer’s Starter Collection as DRM-free, non-watermarked .PDF ebooks (total retail value $65):
  • Ashen Stars (retail price $25): Contractors on the lawless fringe of inhabited space, solving crimes and imposing justice job-by-job.
  • Mutant City Blues (retail $21): Police in the Heightened Crimes Investigative Unit protect a city filled with super-powered felons.
  • Ken Writes About Stuff installments 1-4 (retail $12): From the monthly Pelgrane Press series, four mini-supplements by Kenneth Hite about GUMSHOE martial arts, Deep Ones, the Hounds of Tindalos, and Die Glocke (Hitler’s bell-shaped wonder-weapon).
  • See Page XX – The First 24 Columns (retail $4): A wide-ranging selection of columns by Robin D. Laws from the Pelgrane Press site.
  • Moon Dust Men (retail $3): Ken Hite’s UFO-hunting campaign frame for any GUMSHOE game.
Those who paid more than this offer’s threshold (average) price also got all five titles in this offer’s Bonus Collection, worth an additional $79.50:
  • Night’s Black Agents (retail $25): Ken Hite’s vampiric-spy-thriller RPG of bloodsucking Bourne Identity-style espionage.
  • The Zalozhniy Quartet (retail $16): Four tense and horrific scenarios by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan for Night’s Black Agents.
  • Fear Itself Second Edition (retail $15): The 2016 Second Edition of the RPG of personal horror by Robin D. Laws about ordinary people confronting the Outer Black, an unearthly realm of alien menace and madness. (If you bought this Bundle of GUMSHOE during its two previous runs, which included the First Edition of Fear Itself, you get the new 2E version automatically on your Wizard’s Cabinet download page.)
  • Dead Rock Seven (retail $15): Gareth’s ENnie-nominated Ashen Stars scenario collection, presenting problems as diverse as murders on an old asteroid mine, missing executives on a pleasure planet, and threats to the security of an interstellar cooking contest.
  • Hard Helix (retail $8.50): Four Mutant City Blues scenarios by Robin D. Laws with new challenges for your Heightened Crimes squad.

2. GUMSHOE Bundle +2 [all-new]

This new GUMSHOE offer presented supplements and scenarios for all the games in the first offer. There were eight titles in this offer’s Starter Collection (retail value $38.50): This offer’s Bonus Collection hadeight more titles worth an additional $62.50: