Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Gaming News

There is a lot of gaming news that gets passed around these days. However, most of it is on Facebook, which means you will see it once, think that you might get back to it later, and then never see it again as the feed churns relentless onward. Here are some things of note from the past few days.

First off, Baker Street: Roleplaying in the world of Sherlock Holmes is for sale on RPGNow. This is a nice game which works off the very inspired conceit that while Holmes was off on his European Holiday (and the world assumes that he had plunged to his death at Reichenbach Falls), Watson employed talented amateurs to fill the Great Detective's shoes. Those talented amateurs would be the player characters, who negotiate clues and get to the truth of matters great and small.

As part of a stretch goal for the product, Fearlight Games produced a Baker Street Casebook, which involves a handful of talented individuals such as Skip Williams, Bryce Whitacre, Steven S. Long, and yours truly. Naturally, given the chance, I wrote about the goings-on at a club on Pall Mall where the younger members pinch policemen's helmets. Because I could. Find out more about it here.

Secondly, speaking of Kickstarter, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the talented and lovely Rob Schwalb has a kickstarter going on for his new project, a dark fantasy RPG called Shadow of the Demon Lord. The game has already burst past its inital and is wracking up the stretch goals even as I write this. Go check it out here.

Third, I am planning to go to GenCon in Indianapolis for the first time in many years, despite the best efforts of the Indiana State Legislature to convince me otherwise. The state legislature has passed a bill, SB101, which pretty much says you can refuse service to anyone as long as you belong to a faith that says its all right to do so. It is pretty much aimed at the GLBTQ community, although under the law of unintentional consequences, things can get out of hand pretty damned quickly. Being Indiana, the bill was passed by the legislature and now only needs the governor's signature.

Now GenCon is currently hosted in Indy, but is run out of this part of the country, and a goodly chunk of it and many other game companies are part of, or friends and/or relatives and/or co-workers of, the very community that the bill is targeting. GenCon put together a very cogent, polite letter pointing out that the convention brings some 50 mill into downtown Indy and, if they and their friends aren't wanted, they will gladly take that business to people who are more willing to treat their convention-goers with respect. A lot of the click-bait online sites are calling it a threat, but it sounds pretty damned calm and reasonable. You can read the letter here.

It is a pity, after spending years trying to convince people that they should actually go to Indianapolis in the middle of August (And I have BEEN in Indiana in August), they are now determined to flush all that away.

Finally, on a very sad note, I must report the passing of Mike McArtor. I worked with Mike on the D&D 3.5 Spell Compendium, which was pretty much my last WotC D&D project. Mike would go to work on Magic: The Gathering and for Paizo, and he and his wife joined our gaming group of a while, playing Call of Cthulhu. Mike died in a car accident yesterday, and I will honest, has left me rattled. He was a pleasant, talented, thoughtful young man, and the industry is lessened by his passing. Rest in Peace, Mike.

More later,