Check Out The Cover of Swords of the Serpentine From Pelgrane
  • Check Out The Cover of Swords of the Serpentine From Pelgrane


    Swords of the Serpentine is an upcoming GUMSHOE-powered fantasy game by Kevin Kulp and Emily Dresner. Publisher Pelgrane Press has just shared the cover!




    "Swords of the Serpentine is a sword & sorcery game of investigation, heroism, sly politics and bloody savagery, set in a fantasy city rife with skullduggery and death. The rules adapt the GUMSHOE investigative roleplaying system to create a fantasy RPG with a focus on high-action roleplaying and investigation inspired by the stories of Fritz Leiber, Terry Pratchett, Robert E. Howard, and others.

    Your characters will discover leads that, if followed, propel them headlong into danger and forbidden knowledge. A lead might point the way to sunken treasure, jungle ruins, the missing key to a sorcerous trap, or the true identity of a notorious murderer. The GUMSHOE game mechanics ensure that youíll always notice leads if you look for them. Itís up to you to choose which one youíll follow into whatever perils lie ahead, in hopes of fortune, glory, justice, or just staying alive another day.

    If you want to track down foul sorcerers in a corrupt and decadent city, clamber through underground ruins to sneak into an enemyís home and rob them, or wage a secret war against a rival political faction, youíre in the right place."


    I'm not sure when the release date is, but the product page says "forthcoming".
    Comments 20 Comments
    1. Umbran's Avatar
      Umbran -
      I believe the release date has not been set, and I think there may be a playtest version available in the not-too-distant future.

      I have had a chance to play and run the game a little bit while Mr. Kulp has been working on it, and it is excellent!
    1. unnatural 20's Avatar
      unnatural 20 -
      I'm excited! It will be my first foray in the Gumshoe system, as well.
    1. Henry's Avatar
      Henry -
      Kev ran a fantasy GUMSHOE game at a previous NC Gameday (This year's, I think?) so I shouldn't be surprised. Given TimeWatch's quality, this should be a lot of fun.

      As for suitability, I've stolen GUMSHOE's core "proficiency gating" mechanic many times for other games, pathfinder and 5e included, to avoid the whole "well, you failed to find the incriminating stationary wedged behind the dresser, so adventure's over" thing.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Iíve played a session of Timewatch at a convention. Iím assuming this is a fantasy version of that? Same core ruleset?
    1. Seule's Avatar
      Seule -
      I've also played Timewatch at a convention and given that and the general solidity of the Gumshoe rules I expect this to be similarly fantastic.
    1. trancejeremy's Avatar
      trancejeremy -
      People climbing without gloves always bothers me, though not as much as people using ropes (especially sliding down them) without gloves.

      Also, very strange right hand. Looks like her thumb is on the right side of it
    1. Wrathamon -
      the amount of photobashing in art these days is appalling
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Wrathamon View Post
      the amount of photobashing in art these days is appalling
      What's appalling is the number of people dropping little nastygrams about the work of creators.
    1. Umbran's Avatar
      Umbran -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      Iíve played a session of Timewatch at a convention. Iím assuming this is a fantasy version of that? Same core ruleset?
      It is based on the same core ruleset. But Timewatch (like most Gumeshoe games) is at its heart an investigative game. Swords of the Serpentine has given it a lean towards the cinematic action adventure you'd expect from Conan or Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. In most Gumshoe games, you spend points of investigative skill pools to find things out. In SotS, you do more spending points to *do* things.
    1. unnatural 20's Avatar
      unnatural 20 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Henry View Post
      Kev ran a fantasy GUMSHOE game at a previous NC Gameday (This year's, I think?) so I shouldn't be surprised. Given TimeWatch's quality, this should be a lot of fun.

      As for suitability, I've stolen GUMSHOE's core "proficiency gating" mechanic many times for other games, pathfinder and 5e included, to avoid the whole "well, you failed to find the incriminating stationary wedged behind the dresser, so adventure's over" thing.
      Very cool! I might have to check out Gumshoe before this release.
    1. Rich August's Avatar
      Rich August -
      I'm looking forward to seeing how the GUMSHOE system handles heroic fantasy. I love the point spend mechanic, and am a huge fan of the tweaks in Night's Black Agents which lent the action a spy-movie feel. Intrigued to see where it goes in SoS. The time travel of Timewatch was cleverly woven into the game, so I'm sure this will be just as successful.
    1. Jer's Avatar
      Jer -
      Pelgrane has posted a page about the "guidelines" that Dresner & Kulp used when writing the game:

      http://site.pelgranepress.com/index....ne-guidelines/

      Sounds good to me - I'm very curious how the point spend system works with a "cinematic action" focus.
    1. innerdude's Avatar
      innerdude -
      Interest level significantly piqued ---- I bought Night's Black Agents a few years ago, and though I haven't run it (yet), GUMSHOE seemed very fun conceptually.

      This is definitely going on the "watch list".
    1. ToddBS's Avatar
      ToddBS -
      They seem to have no regard whatsoever for people who are deathly afraid of heights. My palms are sweating just looking at that cover

      Still, it looks like something I'll have to pick up. One can never have too much Howard + Leiber on the shelf, and Pelgrane makes a good product.
    1. jacleg05's Avatar
      jacleg05 -
      Cover reminds of the game 'Jaws of the Six Serpents' supplement Serpents Teeth. I do look forward to see how they use GUMSHOE for fantasy.
    1. Von Ether's Avatar
      Von Ether -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jer View Post
      Pelgrane has posted a page about the "guidelines" that Dresner & Kulp used when writing the game:

      http://site.pelgranepress.com/index....ne-guidelines/

      Sounds good to me - I'm very curious how the point spend system works with a "cinematic action" focus.
      The guidelines say the release is sometime next year with several upcoming months of previews planned.

      I got a kick out of the idea that not all of your adventures would be in chronological order, harkening back to the old days of pulp.
    1. Nebulous's Avatar
      Nebulous -
      I'm actually quite tired in DnD when the player walks into a room and says, I'll roll a Perception check, 17, what did I find? Or Investigate 20, so tell me I can find every hidden secret door. I'm more inclined for them to just describe what they're doing and where they are looking, and I'll tell them unless it is particularly well hidden or concealed. If a vital clue needs to be found, I'm inclined to just make it obvious.
    1. Nebulous's Avatar
      Nebulous -
      For example, if they search a desk, and they roll an 8 or an 18, it doesn't matter! They'll see the parchment they need, so rolling is not even necessary.
    1. Jer's Avatar
      Jer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nebulous View Post
      For example, if they search a desk, and they roll an 8 or an 18, it doesn't matter! They'll see the parchment they need, so rolling is not even necessary.
      That's how I run investigation in all games I run now for the most part. Both for "clue finding" rolls and knowledge checks - if they look in the right place or have the relevant skill they get the clue. What I've borrowed feom Gumshoe is that sometimes I still have them roll and get extra info if they roll well, but nothing that would stop the game if they didn't get it.
    1. Piratecat's Avatar
      Piratecat -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rich August View Post
      I'm looking forward to seeing how the GUMSHOE system handles heroic fantasy. I love the point spend mechanic, and am a huge fan of the tweaks in Night's Black Agents which lent the action a spy-movie feel. Intrigued to see where it goes in SoS. The time travel of Timewatch was cleverly woven into the game, so I'm sure this will be just as successful.
      I am just stupidly excited about this game. It plays to everything I love most about fantasy and gaming.

      From my perspective, the most important part of the design process was getting the combat system to feel right. Cinematic combat isn't traditionally GUMSHOE's strength, so I needed a solution that felt really Conan-y for combat. I think I've hit on the correct one. I ran a game at Gen Con where the heroes were facing down an ancient snake monstrosity, and everyone was on the edge of their seats. That's a good sign.

      - Kevin
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