Posted on December 23, 2016 by Flames
We’re continuing our series of 2016 in Review guest blog posts with one of Flames Rising’s oldest friends in the RPG business, Pelgrane Press! This year was quite busy for Pelgrane and Cat Tobin is here to tell us all about it. Not only that, they are running a special sale on every title they released in 2016, for a limited time you can save 16% on PDFs at the Flames Rising Shop!
2016 has been a tumultuous year all around the globe, and these giant waves of change have even reached the dizzying heights of the Pelgrane’s Nest.
Early in the year, our focus was on 13th Age, with new releases including the popular GM’s Screen and Resource Guide, the first of our collection of Battle Scenes (High Magic and Low Cunning: Battle Scenes for Five Icons, and accompanying Map Folio in its full-colour glory) and the second volume of the 13th Age Monthly subscription product. We also released some adventures for Trail of Cthulhu (The Many Deaths of Edward Bigsby), and Night’s Black Agents (The Dubai Reckoning).
Posted on November 11, 2015 by Flames
Presenting an epic improvised campaign for Night’s Black Agents Roleplaying Game. Do your Agents have what it takes to face the Lord of the Undead himself?
The Dracula Dossier follows in the fully improvisational path of the award-winning The Armitage Files campaign. Players follow up leads in the margins of Dracula Unredacted, a rare edition of Bram Stoker’s masterpiece that reveals the terrifying truth behind the fiction. They’ll chase down the real characters from Stoker’s novel, their descendants in the present, and the British agents caught in the backblast.
Posted on April 25, 2014 by Steven Dawes
Every so often I get something to review that I have no idea what I’m getting myself into. Getting a copy of Eternal Lies campaign book for the Trail of Cthuhlu RPG (from Pelgrane Press) to review was one of those times. I’ve played Trail of Cthulhu once or twice at gaming cons, I’m familiar with several Cthulhu based games, and I love adventure/campaign sourcebooks in general so I thought this would be a quick and easy review. However, I was simply shocked when I opened up the PDF file for the first time to discover that Eternal Lies has a four hundred page count!
How could this be? As I understood it, Eternal Lies is a sourcebook for only one complete campaign. I’ve seen campaign books half this size with several adventures in it, but nothing this large before. How can this book be 400 pages? And all 400 pages for one campaign? The audacity! The immensity! The madness! The size, and there for the incredible scope that this adventure must be was suddenly daunting.
Posted on December 29, 2013 by Flames
With all the Conspiracies, the intrigue, the danger, it’s hard to know what exactly is and isn’t on your side. When every shadow from the back alleys of Bucharest to the back benches of the parliament could hide an inhuman enemy, it’s hard to tell what solid ground you can stand on. What can you depend on? Can you make a difference? Trust no one and nothing except the silver bullets in your Glock. To make a difference, aim true.
Even then, sometimes that first shot isn’t a killer. Sometimes you need a double tap.
Night’s Black Agents: Double Tap is available now in PDF format at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop!
Posted on May 31, 2013 by Flames
In this series, Kenneth Hite looks at the creatures, species, and monsters of the Cthulhu Mythos from every non-Euclidean angle. Alternate versions and new explanations provide the same jolt of mythic bisociation that the gods and titans receive in the TRAIL OF CTHULHU corebook. Hite traces these foul things through their legendary history, and provides further clues for any Investigator to follow. Horrific scenario seeds burst and bloom, story spines protrude and deform, in a blasphemous garden any Keeper can harvest.
Hounds of Tindalos is the third installment of the Ken Writes About Stuff subscription, or it’s available as a stand-alone product.
Hideous Creatures: Hounds of Tindalos is available now at DriveThruRPG.com!
Posted on April 16, 2013 by Flames
A huge GUMSHOE source book for The Esoterrorists and Fear Itself
Players in horror campaigns are a little too accustomed to the nightmares their characters face; even the most eldritch of tentacular horrors is less intimidating when you know exactly what it is, because your PC has faced it before. New times demand new nightmares. This, therefore, is a book of horrors, not a manual of monsters. The horrors are nightmarishly intimate, often created from human vice, or let loose by human greed. They show us the ugliness that underlies reality. They are the crawling things under the rock of the everyday, sane world. Consequently, we’ve detailed our creatures in depth.
Each one has its own agenda, its own reason for existence and its own legend. We’ve made these creatures unusual, frightening and bizarre, yet sufficiently comprehensible that they players realize they are up against something intelligent, if inhuman.
Posted on April 13, 2013 by Flames
Night’s Black Agents brings the GUMSHOE engine to the spy thriller genre, combining the propulsive paranoia of movies like Ronin and The Bourne Identity with supernatural horror straight out of Bram Stoker. Investigation is crucial, but it never slows down the action, which explodes with expanded options for bone-crunching combat, high-tech tradecraft, and adrenaline-fueled chases.
For a limited time Pelgrane Press is offering Night’s Black Agents and The Zalozhniy Quartet, a thriller story arc of missions for 20% OFF at DriveThruRPG.com!
Get them before they get you!
Posted on December 10, 2012 by Megan
The Zalozhniy Quartet provides resources necessary to running a complete campaign utilising the Night’s Black Agents concept and ruleset to the full. It’s not, however, something you can flip through and then run, like the game itself it requires thorough preparation and planning by the Director (GM) in advance, but will repay that effort by inspiring an epic and memorable experience for all involved.
Involving the core concept of the game – a vampire-led conspiracy across post-Cold War Europe – the book presents a detailed Conspyramid (the mechanic used to map the conspiracy player-character agents are combating) that spreads its tentacles from central Europe clear across to Baghdad. Resources provided include allies as well as enemies, locations in several cities, complete city details, maps and an almost bewildering array of events that you can throw at your characters… even some pre-generated ones, of particular use should someone fall by the wayside as the adventures proceed.
Posted on November 5, 2012 by mazecontroller
Protagonists cut off from the real world. Men and women forced into violence to survive. Agents of powers that skulk in shadow. Are they spies or vampires? Both types of characters share a startling amount of similarities. The two genres seem tailor made for each other. Ken Hite brings them together in his newest RPG, Night’s Black Agents. But be aware, it’s not vampire spies. It’s spies vs. vampires.While playing vampires in RPGs has been extremely popular over the past 20 years or so, this one is about putting stakes in hearts and walking away while the bloodsucker burns in the sun.
The PDF is full color and laid out in a very modern style. The game includes several sidebar callouts explaining why certain rules work certain ways as well as giving examples of what happened during playtesting.
Posted on June 12, 2012 by Flames
Night’s Black Agents is available as a pre-pre-order to early adopters and patrons from the Pelgrane store.
A new GUMSHOE Game from Kenneth Hite, author of Trail of Cthulhu.
The Cold War is over. Bush’s War is winding down.
You were a shadowy soldier in those fights, trained to move through the secret world: deniable and deadly.
Then you got out, or you got shut out, or you got burned out. You didn’t come in from the cold. Instead, you found your own entrances into Europe’s clandestine networks of power and crime. You did a few ops, and you asked even fewer questions. Who gave you that job in Prague? Who paid for your silence in that Swiss account? You told yourself it didn’t matter.
It turned out to matter a lot. Because it turned out you were working for vampires.
Find links to early Night’s Black Agents reviews, news and pre-order the game at PelgranePress.com!
Posted on November 14, 2011 by spikexan
The Gumshoe mechanic gets tested on a new genre: sci-fi. In Ashen Stars, players enter the Bleed where they play Lasers, law enforcement of sorts. This heavy (305 pages) book is a stand-alone game that fully details Law’s sci-fi setting and delivers the Gumshoe rules. I have enjoyed the previous Gumshoe setting, particularly Mutant City Blues and Esoterrorists, so I was intrigued to see what the future held.
The layout and artwork of the book holds the same feel as Trail of Cthulhu and MCB. Bordering is neat, but doesn’t attract much attention. Sidebars are tight. The artwork has more hits than misses, though nothing really stands out as excellent. One thing I do like is the full color splurge on the book. It makes reading a volume of this size all the more pleasurable.
Posted on October 7, 2011 by Flames
Ashen Stars is the newest full-length, stand-alone GUMSHOE product from RPG legend, Robin D. Laws.
They call you lasers. Sometimes you’re called scrubbers, regulators, or shinestars. To the lawless denizens of the Bleed, whether they be pirates, gangsters or tyrants, you’re known in less flattering terms. According to official Combine terminology, the members of your hard-bitten starship crew are known as Licensed Autonomous Zone Effectuators. You’re the seasoned freelancers local leaders call when a situation proves too tough, too baffling, or simply too weird to handle on their own. In the abandoned fringe of inhabited planets known as the Bleed, you’re as close to a higher authority as they come.
Posted on August 25, 2011 by spikexan
Graham Walmsley’s The Rending Box is moderate-sized (30 pages with handouts) adventure for Trail of Cthulhu (though it could be modified for Call of Cthulhu with little hassle). While it isn’t an overly challenging adventure, it perhaps puts too much potence into the hands (literally) of the players. Characters will find that Pandora had it easy with her little box.
Huguenin’s artwork is appropriately gruesome for this chapter of the three-scenario Purist adventure. His cover piece is atmospheric while his interior works, such as the lovely Jakob Tulving removing his eyes so that he can see better looks like something from a 1950s pre-code horror comic book cover (that’s a compliment for those who don’t know me). I also love the detailed image of the box itself (a great handout to toss on the table before declaring “this is what will ruin your lives).
Posted on May 6, 2011 by Flames
Pelgrane Week continues with a new design essay by The Big Hoodoo author by Bill White. Bill discusses writing an adventure in 1950s California and other details for Trail of Cthulhu.
I’ve written two adventures for Trail of Cthulhu, a game of Lovecraftian investigation written by Kenneth Hite using Robin Laws’ GUMSHOE system. Both are unusual in that they are set in the 1950s, rather than TOC’s usual 1930s setting (itself one of the features that distinguishes Trail of Cthulhu from its more venerable cousin, Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu, which takes the 1920s as its canonical milieu). The first, called Castle Bravo, is set aboard an aircraft carrier in the South Pacific during nuclear bomb testing at Bikini Atoll. Its appeal is, I think, straightforward: an atomic bomb goes off and the PCs, as the naval and scientific personnel involved, must deal with monstrous emergences in its aftermath.
Posted on May 6, 2011 by Flames
The long-awaited GUMSHOE-in-Space is finally here. Ashen Stars is the newest and biggest GUMSHOE game from RPG legend Robin D Laws. Being GUMSHOE, it is flexible, you can play it as hard sci-fi, space opera or cyberpunk or anything in between.
Available as a pre-pre-order now direct through the Pelgrane Press Online Store. Those who order get a simple PDF now, exclusive fiction, and your name in the credits, and then get the final PDF and a signed and numbered copy on release.
Posted on May 5, 2011 by Flames
Pelgrane Week continues here at Flames Rising with a new design essay by Matthew Sanderson. Matthew tells us about writing the forthcoming The Love of Money scenario for the Esoterrorists RPG.
Looking back now, I think that best describes how the creative process began for me with The Love of Money. It all started with the hunt for an initial concept, a small seed, which then germinated and continued to expand into the final work. That hunt began with me asking myself one question: what would make this an Esoterrorist game? I’ve been playing roleplaying games now for about eleven years and in this time I’ve played in a great many games where I’ve thought it could work really well in another game’s setting. However, when I set about writing an adventure myself, I generally ask myself the question “why this game?” I like to feel that the story has a meaning, that it’s not a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.
Posted on May 5, 2011 by Ray Frazee
The RPG Call of Cthulhu has always seemed, to me, to be a game that a lot of people have played, but few get right. It’s a great game with a rich background, but the few times I’ve played it felt as if gamers had issues trying to fit their character into the world of the early 20th Century, and the efforts often resulted in hilarious incidents, like one player I knew whose character used a 19 year-old female NPC for point-blank .45 target practice and subsequent bloody blow-through wall spraying.
The other thing that’s always felt difficult to bring into the world is the over-all veil of horror that was an intricate part of Lovecraft’s story. Let’s face it: horror is hard to bring to the table. It’s difficult to put into word in such a way that it doesn’t feel like an descriptive afterthought to a game scene.
Posted on May 4, 2011 by Flames
Pelgrane Week continues here at Flames Rising with a new design essay by Paula Dempsey. Paula tells us about writing the Occult London a supplement for the Trail of Cthulhu RPG.
The Origins of the Occult Guide
I can’t recall agreeing to write Augustus Darcy’s Guide to Occult London. The idea was mooted towards the end of 2009 by Simon Rogers of Pelgrane Press and the concept came from him. By then Ken Hite was already working on Bookhounds of London and Simon wanted a guide to occult London in the 1930s to accompany Bookhounds. The back story for the guide, we decided, was that an occultist-about-town, who knew all the personalities in London at that time, was compiling this guide for a mysterious someone amidst murmurings that something very bad was about to happen. Unfortunately, when the occultist, Augustus Darcy, got near the truth he died mysteriously and his writings remained hidden for eighty years until, I believe, a dusty tome was discovered in Simon Rogers’ attic.
Posted on May 3, 2011 by Billzilla
Set in one of the most remote places on Earth, the Black Drop is an adventure for Trail of Cthulhu. Investigators, for reasons of their own, are on hand to witness the dismantling of an unsuccessful colonizing effort in the bleak and largely inhospitable Kerguelen Islands in the southern Indian Ocean. There are rumors that the Kerguelens were once part of an ancient continent: a place of advanced learning and magic – Lemuria. Something ancient stirs beneath these islands – something unwholesome and hungry…
Posted on May 2, 2011 by Flames
Over the years, FlamesRising.com has provided several reviews from games and music produced by Pelgrane Press.
To kick off Pelgrane Press Week today, we dug into our archives. In this round up of our top ten Gumshoe RPG reviews, we highlight your favorite games, supplements and gaming aids.
Take a trip with us into the keep as we remember what we liked (and what we didn’t) about games like Trail of Cthulhu and Mutant City Blues.