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GUMSHOE is a RPG system by Robin D. Laws. Its first appearance was in the Esoterrorists game.

GUMSHOE is a simple, skill-based system which uses d6 dice. It was devised specifically for investigative games, because it sports an extended list of investigative abilities from laboratory forensics to questioning people. To gain a vital clue from a scene, players just need to activate one of their investigative abilities to get it. This does away with a traditional problem of investigative games - when players got stuck because of some bad rolls and didn't pick up on an important clue.

Since it has a System Reference Document, anybody can publish their own material for the game (with some minor restrictions).


GUMSHOE has a bunch of settings published for it. Many of them include additional rules to expand your options.

  • Ashen Stars: The sci-fi setting. Has rules for space combat, aliens, etc.
  • Cthulhu Confidential: Eldritch horror/noir. Includes rules for solo play.
  • Casting the Runes: ghost stories. Mainly inspired by M.R. James's works, therefore set in the Edwardian Era with vampires and creepy faeries.
  • The Esoterrorists: The first setting published for GUMSHOE about elite investigators combatting a terrorist organisation hellbent on exposing society to the supernatural. Received a second edition in 2013.
  • The Fall of Delta Green: A horrific black ops campaign in the 1960s.
  • Fear Itself: Personal horror game set in a similar world to The Esoterrorists. Adds psychic powers to the rules. Has a 2nd Edition out.
  • The Gaean Reach: Vancian science fiction setting.
  • Lorefinder: Adds GUMSHOE's investigation rules to Pathfinder.
  • Mutant City Blues: Cop Drama+Supers. Adds rules for super powers and the investigation thereof.
  • Night's Black Agents: Super spies vs Vampires! Features expanded rules for combat and action sequences, as well as plenty of bloodsucker types.
  • Swords of the Serpentine: The swords-and-sorcery setting. Bunch of new rules for the fantasy genre, particularly for magic & combat.
  • TimeWatch: Time travelling law enforcement! (With optional rules for settings such as time heists)
  • Trail of Cthulhu: Investigative role-playing in a Call of Cthulhu-esque setting.
  • The Yellow King: A multi-setting campaign of horror in which PCs in subsequent settings are mysteriously connected. New rules for player-facing combat and injury (mental as well as physical).
  • Bubblegumshoe: Published under the GUMSHOE OGL, emulates the teen detective genre with rules for social ties.