Pelgrane Press’ GUMSHOE is an RPG system from the award-winning Pelgrane Press designed to assist with investigations and mystery-based games.
Had problems with players or PCs not spotting the clues? Mysteries stall, and progress grinds to a halt. Those problems GUMSHOE avoids, and the system has previously been used for Cthulhu-style investigations.
Inspired by the stories of Robert E. Howard but also Terry Pratchett and Fritz Leiber, Swords of the Serpentine takes GUMSHOE into fantasy. It’s a sword and sorcery game in which PCs become tangled in sly politics, forbidden secrets and daring heroism. There’s savagery and skullduggery.
When it’s summer, you smell her before you see her. As you come around the curve of the Serpentine river the scent of the open sea is replaced by the stench of low tide, of boat tar, of rare spices spilled from a smuggler’s ship; of cooking smoke and human waste. Bells ring out across the water and echo like the song of ghosts, loud enough to almost drown out the chanted prayers of your ship’s rowers.
You round the bend past the lower fort and there she is: the great city of Eversink, sprawled out on scores of islands across the sheltered water. Her jeweled and crystal turrets are reflected in a shimmering bay full of hundreds of brightly colored boats. Architecture from a dozen eras towers above a tangle of grand plazas and narrow canals. Temples to her goddess rise above the mansions and tenements, calling her people to prayer. She may be ancient and corrupt, slowly and inexorably swallowed by an endless bog; but she’s alive in a way most cities aren’t. She’s a melding of faith and stone and wood and water – and mud – that’s unique in all the world.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve come to kill a rival, earn a fortune, learn a secret, or hire an army. You’re home now, and the Sinking City will embrace you. All you need to do is survive.
The Swords of the Serpentine RPG offers:
- Inspired by Lankhmar and Ankh-Morpork
- Character-building tools
- Customised combat allows dramatic, epic fights
- Social combat attacks your enemy’s morale, enabling you beat some with wit, trickery, and threats.
- Sorcery that lets you tear down a skyscraper with a flick of the wrist—but at what cost to body and soul?
- Powerful allegiances that offer you influence in one or more factions across the city…
- You may mix and match talents from different professions to personalise your character.
- Gameplay and regulations that empower people to design their world
- Death curses, true names, alchemy, sorcery, ghostly possession, political manipulation, etc.
Written by Kevin Kulp (Kobold: Guide to Plots & Campaigns, Bubblegumshoe) and Emily Dresner (The Book of Changing Years, Dharma Book: Resplendent Cranes), Pelgrane released the RPG this month, and it’s PDF only for now at DriveThruRPG.
Swords of the Serpentine weighs in at an impressive 392-pages and costs $29.95 for the digital edition.
- Download Swords of the Serpentine
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