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GUMSHOE GM Jam Special Episode #6

February 10th, 2015 | Posted by edige23 in Podcast Episode

Welcome to Play on Target and our fourth GM Jam taking aim at a particular rpg or setting. To explore these games we gather several GMs experienced with a system. This episode, we take a look at Robin Laws’ GUMSHOE engine. Created originally at Simon Rogers request, this system includes a special focus on “investigations” in rpgs. As you’ll hear from the discussion what an investigation means varies from game to game, setting to setting. GUMSHOE first appeared in Pelgrane Press’ The Esoterrorists (2006), and since has powered award winning games like Trail of Cthulhu and Night’s Black Agents. In this episode we talk about what constitutes GUMSHOE, what challenges it presents at the table, and where it clicks for our GMs. We also consider some of the concerns about the system that have held off some from playing.

Once again, we have an astounding group of GMs to talk about this:

Stephanie Bryant’s a professional writer, as well as prolific GM and GUMSHOE expert. She worked on TimeWatch: Book of Changing Years. She’s currently working on an adventure for The Dracula Dossier for Night’s Black Agents. As well she co-hosts the Tell Me Another podcast.

Yohann Delalande’s a gamemaster and translator. He has worked on French translations for The Zalozhniy Quartet, 13th Age, Hot War and First Contact: X-Corps, the English translation of the upcoming Polaris Core Rulebook, and is a regular contributor to the French RPG magazine, Casus Belli.

Steve Dempsey’s been around GUMSHOE since its inception. He is a designer and contributor to many Pelgrane products including Blood on the Snow, Bookhounds of London, Dreamhounds of Paris, and The Dying Earth RPG.

Ruth Tillman is a gamemaster and designer currently working on an adventure for the Dracula Dossier. She contributed to TimeWatch: Book of Changing Years. She co-hosts The Double Shadow, a Clark Ashton Smith Podcast and writes about Weird Gaming for The Illuminerdy as The Arkham Archivist. 


No Clues Without Consequence” The first of a series by Will Hindmarch on clues in GUMSHOE

Sword-Fighting on a Roller-Coaster: Railroading for the Best in RPG Play” Will Hindmarch considers the specter of the railroad at the table

Malandros RPG

Dungeon World


Pelgrane Press (includes demos and other resources)

Pelgrane Games on G+ and TimeWatch on G+

GUMSHOE: A System Guide for New Gamers



The Esoterrorists

Fear Itself

Trail of Cthulhu

Mutant City Blues

Ashen Stars

Night’s Black Agents

The Gaean Reach


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4 Responses

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  • Mel White says:

    I really enjoyed this podcast. I especially liked anecdotes from actual games, particularly the ones highlighting improvisation during play and letting in-game player comments shape the adventure. I’ll be running Night’s Black Agents at Dreamation (Feb 2015) and hearing about other experiences with Gumshoe is very useful to me.

  • Pingback: GUMSHOE GM Jam — The Arkham Archivist

  • Simon Rogers says:

    A great podcast, thank you!

    Are real cops investigating real murders railroaded? Knowing how something happened, and the waves it might have made in the setting is not a railroad. If you know what’s happened its way, way, easier to improvise and go where the players want to. When the players go somewhere or ask something, you can give better answers.
    That said, it’s no harder (at the very least) to improvise with any other system.

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