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Q&A: Sherlock Holmes RPG

Holmesian Musings and Ripping Yarns spoke with Kirby Young, the owner of Fearlight Games, and game designer Bryce Whitacre about their Sherlock Holmes-themed tabletop roleplaying game 'Baker Street.'.

Q: Your game Is set during the period between two Sherlock Holmes stories -- The Final Problem and The Empty House. Could you describe how the idea for this focus developed? It sounds reminiscent of the Solar Pons stories by August Derleth.

A: We knew the history behind Conan Doyle and his wanting to kill off Sherlock Holmes. Nobody trying to be Sherlock wants Sherlock directly involved (having a better NPC around always showing up the heroes) therefore it was the perfect place to put the investigators. This left it up to Masterminds if they want to keep Holmes dead or if they wanted him around to occasionally help investigators from the shadows. Even though we use this time frame as standard setting we do jump around a bit and explain that Sherlock isn’t around. Basically, it’s just a nice default way to say “Sherlock isn’t here.” Q: Could you describe the mechanics?

A: Baker Street runs on a modified d6 system. Players roll a number of d6s equal to their rank in a skill, but also add our Icon Die. The Icon Die modifies the outcome of the standard dice rolled. If the players meet or exceed the number of successes required for the difficulty level, they succeed in the test. Q: When did you establish your company?

A: Fearlight Games has been around since 2012. We wanted to put some of our ideas to paper and share them with other gamers that shared our interest. Q: Could you tell us about the new supplement involving Jack. the Ripper?

A: Sherlock by Gaslight adds some new Professions and Reprobates to the game, but more accurately is half London sorcebook/half Jack the Ripper campaign. Q: You have another game that uses a gaslight setting.

A: Would this be Gravesites and Gaslights? This is something that we've been working on for a while. It'll make it back to our product list at some point in time.

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