This standard reference document provides the GUMSHOE rules made available via the terms of the Open Gaming and Creative Commons-By Attribution licenses. It is a reference for game designers, and is not tuned to teach the game, or provide a playable game experience. If you’re looking for a playable game, seek out such Pelgrane Press titles as TimeWatch, The Esoterrorists, Trail of Cthulhu, Ashen Stars, Night’s Black Agents, Mutant City Blues, or Fear Itself. Or watch for games the users of this license will build with it.
Notes appearing in italics within square brackets provide guidance for designers basing their own games on these rules. Avoid unsought hilarity (and violation of the OGL) by remembering to cut them from your finished manuscript.
This document provides text you can cut and paste into your games. It naturally assumes that you have acquired a fundamental understanding of GUMSHOE by reading and extensively playing at least one GUMSHOE game. When creating core rule books, you will want to interleave this text with examples of your own devising, which show new readers how the rules work, and, at the same time, convey the tone, spirit and entertainment value of your setting.
This open license document does not grant rights to use the settings of Pelgrane’s GUMSHOE games. You might however use it as the basis for generic scenarios GMs can adapt to their horror, space opera, time travel, or spy thriller GUMSHOE worlds of choice.