Last year I was a backer of the new GUMSHOE RPG, Night's Dark Agents, which combined the horror and espionage genres into one delightful package. I'm very keen to give this a go as a referee, but yes, this would involve getting my head around an entirely new game system. To this end, I've spent the Easter break re-reading Trail of Cthulhu, the forerunner to NDA, which also harnesses the GUMSHOE engine. I'd previously made a couple of attempts to read ToC and fully understand how GUMSHOE works, as well as dipping back into the original edition of Esoterrorists, but to no avail.
This time, however, an interesting and very sensible essay in the Pelgrane online fanzine, which you can read here, prompted me to tackle the topic again. A re-reading of ToC makes me think that, yes, I could run this. But I'd need to get a little more familiar with GUMSHOE before seeking to umpire NDA, just because NDA feels like a much more sophisticated beast for a GM than ToC - sort of like driving a Ferrari rather than a BMW.
Hence, I'm mulling over whether to run some ToC for my regular group. My plan as it stands is to potentially go through three gradations of scenario:
- Run a commercially published ToC scenario, probably something from the Shadows Over Filmland scenario anthology;
- Convert a BRP CoC scenario to ToC, to provide a better understanding of the mechanics;
- Finally, write a ToC scenario from scratch - here I'm thinking of something from the excellent new CoC supplement, Folklore, from Cubicle 7 which, while not an adventure anthology, does have some very intriguing British plot seeds.