by Steven Hammond

Lockdowns and quarantines are vitally important, and you want to keep your game going if for no other reason than to have something to do and stay sane. Remote gaming has been a thing for several years, but did you know The Black Book offers functionality tailored to run GUMSHOE games online?

Our GM tools are still in beta, but you can get access to them with a Player level subscription. During the beta test, GMs can invite both free and subscribing players to join their campaigns. Free players get full access to the live player tools while connected to a campaign.

Until further notice, the $14.95 Player level subscription has a 60-day free trial. That way, you can use it through the quarantine and lockdown period without being charged. We’ll even send you a reminder a few days before the trial period is up, so you can cancel if you don’t want to continue using the live play tools. No hassles from us, we’re happy you could use the tools to keep your game going. However, we’re betting that you’ll like the tools and want to keep on playing with them.

What do the Player Tools do?

Many people think of the Black Book as a character generation tool; we provide this service for free to the GUMSHOE community. But paid subscribers can use the Black Book as a digital character sheet during play. The following features are available for live play.

• Track spends and refreshes of individual Ability pools.
• Refresh all ability pools
• Track Health, Stability and Sanity
• Automatically roll dice with General Pools spends, if desired
• Works offline and syncs between devices

Here’s a short video that demonstrates the Player features.

What do the GM Tools do?

The best way to understand what the GM Tools do is to see them in action. The following 5 minute video provides an excellent overview of live play features.

The GM features include:

  • Live character matrix: see all of your PC’s Ability pools and ratings updated in real time
  • Highlight missing abilities: the tool highlights abilities that none of your characters have so you don’t ask for them in play
  • Spotlight Highlighting: the app also highlights the last 10 spends on the matrix so you can see which player has been getting spotlight time recently
  • Live die rolling: if your players use the automatic die roller, you can see the results as they roll them

Please take advantage of this offer to help keep your game going during the lockdown. Stay safe, healthy and be kind to each other!