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January 31, 1997

Mayfair Games Closes Its Doors

The following announcement was posted on America Online this morning:

Subj:  Re:Mayfair
Date:  97-01-31 10:41:22 EST
From:  Lee at MG
Posted on:  America Online

Since it's been all but confirmed, I'll make it official.

As of today, Friday, January 31, 1997, Mayfair Games is basically closing up
shop.  All remaining employees except for Lou Rexing and an accounting staff
person are being laid off as of today.  Mayfair will continue to operate
taking and fulfilling orders for the time being, and all phone numbers, email
accounts, etc. will still be in use and valid.

Leaving Mayfair today are myself (buyer/production/Chill line developer) ,
Faith Price (corp. communications/PR), Jay Tummelson (production manager),
Danny Procell (sales) and Chris Vande Voort (art director.)

The good news (at least for us) is that all five of us being laid off  will
begin work with Wargames West Distribution in Albuquerque on or around
February 17th.

All active development on game lines is suspended (duh!) but I will be
continuing to support Chill on my own (with Jay helping) until a new home is
found for it.

Anyone interested in the company, any of its lines, or individual games can
contact Darwin Bromley at Mayfair Games.  And, to place orders, call Lou
Rexing at same.

---Lee Calamaio
---Mayfair Games (until 5:00pm...)

Other assorted news bits from SJ Games:

INWO fans, check out the auction . . . a complete Limited Edition set, and a batch of playtest cards, are now on the block.

And INWO is now a registered trademark!

GURPS (along with a few hundred other SF games and books) appears in the new Sci-Fi Channel Trivia Game CD-Rom, from Byron Preiss Multimedia.

NOVA, one of the oldest and proudest AADA groups, now has its own web page.

And we just got a copy of the French edition of GURPS Vampire: The Masquerade. Looks very nice!

We are actively trying to fill several staff positions and freelance slots. Visit our jobs page for more info.

January 30, 1997

Black Ops are Everywhere . . .

It turns out that Iron Crown Enterprises was also working on a book to be called Black Ops. Rather than fight about who thought of it first, we have agreed to share the trademark. So they'll do a book called Black Ops, and we'll do GURPS Black Ops. We've issued a joint press release with the details.
-- Steve Jackson

January 29, 1997

This Con Means War!

SJ Games Managing Editor Scott Haring (that's me) will be at WarCon '97 this weekend, Jan. 31 - Feb. 2. WarCon is in College Station, TX, on the campus of Texas A&M University. WarCon has a soft spot in my heart, as it was the very first game convention I ever attended, as a gaming geek freshman at A&M in 1976. Geez, I just realized that's 21 years ago -- there will be a lot of gamers at this con that weren't born yet when I was at my first con . . . I feel old.

Enough of that. I'll be running demos of In Nomine, plus an INWO tournament, Knightmare Chess and Dino Hunt. We'll be providing prizes, giveaways, goodies, first peeks at new books that aren't in the stores yet, and lots more. There will be lots of other games going on, too, of course.

So if you're in the neighborhood, please come by.
-- Scott Haring

January 28, 1997

Auction News & INWO stuff

The auction for copy #1 of In Nomine is over. Thanks to everyone who participated, and thanks especially to Edward B. O'Toole, who had the high bid of $500 for In Nomine #1!

Visit our auction page for some new auction offerings, including a complete mint set of the original INWO limited edition; some INWO playtest cards, and more diabolical goodies from the Warehouse.

And speaking of INWO, take a look at our new and improved INWO web pages! And if you just can't get enough, you might visit the #INWO channel on IRC (dalnet), hosted by our INWO rules net rep & goddess, Lynette Cowper.
-- Kira

January 27, 1997

In Nomine Ships Today!

Yea, verily. Between this and the other books going out at the same time (GURPS Warehouse 23, GURPS Autoduel, GURPS Illuminati, and the new issue of Pyramid), this is a big shipment. We are telling the distributors that they may not release In Nomine until February 5. If you see it in a store before then (actually, before the 6th) feel free to blow the whistle...
-- Steve Jackson

January 26, 1997

Ogre on the Web

Ogre line editor Richard Meaden ( has just completed a massive overhaul of our Ogre web site. Is this not beautiful? And there's new content too -- look at the Ogre Mecha crossovers in the Ogre Miniatures section.

We shouldn't say "completed," though, because Richard's going to continue developing new material, revealing more about the world of Ogre.

So stay tuned.
-- Steve Jackson

January 25, 1997

Congratulations, Jim!

Jim Robinson, our Computer Guy, just got married. He'll be on vacation for a week or so. So send good thoughts Jim's way, and pray that our network stays up while he's gone.

January 24, 1997

ATCon This Weekend!

The Gamers of Austin, TX (G.O.A.T.) are putting on ATCon this weekend at the Ramada Inn South at Ben White and Banister here in Austin, TX.

Yeah, yeah, it's a local con. So if you're reading this in, say, Finland, you're pretty much out of luck. But if you're here in Austin or thereabouts, come on by. Why? First off, game conventions are big fun, and gaming in Austin needs a successful local con. Second, I'll be there running the first ever official games of In Nomine, with the real printed rulebook and everything! I'll also have advance copies of GURPS Autoduel 2nd Edition, GURPS Warehouse 23 and Pyramid #23, previously unseen by human eyes. So you should definitely drop by and say hello.
-- Scott Haring

January 23, 1997

Welcome to Warehouse 23!

GURPS Warehouse 23 is at the printer. But if you want an advance look, you can open a random box in the Warehouse. Good luck. You can even contribute items. (Thank Webmaster Kira for a neat bit of programming here.) But if the Men in Black come by to talk about your submission, don't blame ME...
-- Steve Jackson

January 22, 1997

GURPS Black Ops Available for Playtest

The first draft of GURPS Black Ops is now available online (to IO members, that is) for download and playtest. The news group for discussion is, and the authors -- Jeff Koke and S.John Ross -- and the editor, Susan Pinsonneault, will all be available for comment and discussion.

Black Ops is sort of like, well, I guess The X-Files is where you'd start, but instead of sending a couple of sexy FBI agents to investigate, you send in the squad of space marines from Aliens to just blow the hell out of whatever it is. It's very cinematic, very high-point level, and very cool. If all goes well, we'll have it out this summer. Go check it out.
-- Scott Haring

January 21, 1997

Auction Update!

A bid of $500 for Copy #1 of In Nomine? Wow! Blown away by this incredible level of support, we have expressed the book to California so it can be signed by artist Dan Smith. We're also going to give the high bidder one of our glow-in-the-dark In Nomine T-shirts, just as an extra THANK YOU.

-- Steve Jackson

January 20, 1997

In Nomine Line Editor Named

We've got a new Line Editor for In Nomine, Mike Sullivan. Mike will help us chart the future of the game line, check manuscripts for rules and game world consistency and even answer the occasional rules question. Want to know more about Mike? He provides this bio:

"Mike Sullivan began playing role playing games while in the seminary in the mid 80's. He was brought into the great Steve Jackson Games cult when he discovered GURPS in CompuServe's Role Playing Games Forum, and from there, managed to become the company NetRep to CompuServe. Online, he is better known as 'Moriah'. Mike is one of the charter members and the '97 Coordinator of *Dreamsmiths*, a prestigious club of Game Masters which run various games and tournaments at GEN CON. Mike has been known to give lots of critical feedback to various Steve Jackson Games projects. He hounded us about In Nomine until we punished him by making him the line editor.

"Mike is a full time parish priest in the Roman Catholic Church. When asked if his hobby or In Nomine poses any conflicts for him, he replies that it's just a game."

-- Scott Haring

January 19, 1997

Toast - New World Side Order

You've eaten it for years, but what do you really know about the foodstuff we call toast? Here are a few web sites to expand your toast knowledge, including the bizarre cult surrounding the Shrine to Toast, the unusual Nuclear Toast, and, of course, the Toast Homepage, which will provide you with a variety of links to other toast pages.

And remember, the Center for Weird Studies takes its thermal bread very seriously. You should too.

- Matthew D. Grau
As always, not quite with it.

January 17, 1997

Web Ins and Outs

The auction page has been changed to reflect accurate current high bids; please note that bids to the auction must be in US Dollars (Doh!). Yes, the Secret Masters live in the US at the moment, so no bidding in Krugerrands or Zorkmids or other oddities. (though anyone who wants to send us large bags of unmarked Krugerrands is more than welcome to do so...)

Just posted: a long collection of variant rules for Dino Hunt, including suggestions from gamers on the Net! Thanks to everyone who contributed to this page.

In other news, GURPS Compendium I is now out of print. We thought we had printed a year's supply - and ran out in about 7 months. We'll reprint it, but it will be gone from the stores for a couple of months; if you have been intending to buy it, grab one now or plan to wait a while. Congratulations to compiler Sean Punch for creating a reference book that our users really like!

-- The Golden Apple Corps

January 16, 1997

Own Copy #1 of In Nomine!

In Nomine is printed and on a truck, heading to SJ Games. It will be shipped out January 27, and will be in stores early in February.

But we got two advance copies, and the book is beautiful.

To kick off our auction-neat-stuff-to-pay-for-our-own-webserver program, we are auctioning off Copy #1 of In Nomine... in advance. We will close the bidding Jan. 27 and send it out that day. You'll have the book about a week before anybody else.

It will be autographed by Derek Pearcy, Steve Jackson, Scott Haring, and others who worked on it.

To bid, visit our brand new auction page, and help us test it by bidding. Updated bids (amount and name) will be posted there and on the In Nomine web page.

-- Steve Jackson

January 15, 1997

Home Page News, and The Storm of '97

We've modified our home page a bit, to make the counters work better, to give you more direct link buttons to the side of the page, and to give you your own personal message from the Illuminati whenever you log on. If you have comments on this or other pages, send them to Look for further improvements to the site in the coming weeks.

Our office was closed Monday and some of Tuesday due to bad weather. Weather a few degrees below freezing, and a quarter-inch of ice on the road, is no big deal in the North, but down here -- where there are lots of people who have never SEEN ice except in their drinks -- it can close the city down. And it did. But today is beautiful, sunny, no coats needed. Texas weather...

-- Steve Jackson

January 13, 1997

GURPS Fallout Progress Report

Interplay's GURPS Fallout computer game is rolling along - it's scheduled for an April release. Here's an article about it, and an interview with Tim Cain, the producer.

SJ Games has an alpha version in house for evaluation - we'll tell you more soon.

-- Steve Jackson

January 11, 1997

Vaya Con Queso, Derek

Derek Pearcy, a good friend and tremendous talent, has left Steve Jackson Games. To squelch the inevitable rumors, I'll say off the top that he was not fired, laid off or subjected to hot coals. He simply needed to get away from the daily grind of the office, and he did.

Derek leaves a tremendous legacy at SJ Games. Derek was the first editor of Pyramid magazine (he preferred the term, "Architect") and was also responsible for the graphic design that set it apart from the many other magazines that have come and gone in the nearly four years we've been publishing it. Derek also handled much of the graphic design and most of the painstaking production work on Illuminati: New World Order, the INWO Assassins supplement, Dino Hunt and Knightmare Chess.

And, of course, there's Derek's work on In Nomine. Derek has poured his heart and soul (how literally you want to take that is up to you) into this game for the past three years. And now that he has successfully midwifed the game to the printer, he's moving on.

Now, I don't want to make this sound like a eulogy or something, because Derek is neither dead nor gone. As a freelancer, he's working right now on sections of the first In Nomine supplement, Night Music, and will continue to write for In Nomine. He's still, so if you want to thank him yourself for all his hard work on SJ Games' behalf, you can drop him a line. See you around, Derek.

-- Scott Haring

January 10, 1997


I've been going to this convention in Missoula, Montana for - gee, I don't know how many years? Why? Because I like it, okay? It's a SF con with a lot of gaming, lots of fun people, beautiful scenery outside, parties . . .

I don't make it every year, but I went last year on my own dime. This year I'm a guest, which is even better (grin). I'll be running Darwinopoly. No, there's no web link for that. We oughta do one someday.

In the meantime, it's May 23-25. See you at Miscon. . . ?

- Steve Jackson

January 9, 1997

TSR Cancels Winter Fantasy Convention

TSR has cancelled the 1997 Winter Fantasy Convention, scheduled for February 7-9, 1997 in Milwaukee. Sources in Lake Geneva say the decision was prompted by very low pre-registration. According to TSR's official statement, the company will be "focusing its efforts on [the] GEN CON Game Fair in Milwaukee coming August 7-10, 1997."

-- Matthew D. Grau
Eye in the sky, Nose in the dirt

January 8, 1997

New from the spam files

Here's a new Science Fiction site: Spiff on Science Fiction & Fantasy has a collection of links to SF/F authors, books, fandom, games, and other stuff. If you're surfing at work, though, you might turn your speakers down - this site's been infiltrated with alien music files.

Speaking of alien infiltration, it's now apparent that someone has broken the weather satellites... either that, or all this ice and snow is our punishment for enjoying that springlike weather last week. Personally, I think the alien satellite-grabbers are just playing a nasty trick on us...

They've also made off with my list of Illuminated sites to watch, so if you know if any (Illuminated sites, not aliens) that are particularly noteworthy, please stop lurking and tell me about them. Misdirected alien reports will be forwarded on to the Secret Masters.

-- Kira

January 7, 1997

A New CFO for SJ Games

Kelly Singletary, who has been part of our business office for the past year and a half, has just received his BBA from Southwest Texas State University, and moves into the position of Chief Financial Officer.

Happily retiring as CFO is Joyce Jackson. Yes, I put my mother to work a few years ago :-) She's good . . . She'll be staying on our Board of Directors, watching over our income tax situation, and probably finding time to help IO through their new growth spurt.

-- Steve Jackson

January 6, 1997

Finally, a resolution!

Ladies and gentlemen, for those of you left hanging, hang no more! The Steve Jackson Games Retailer Contest has finally reached its conclusion! Winners have been picked, and they've all been notified.

We greatly appreciate all of the retailers you folks entered into the contest. But unfortunately, only 61 people could win prizes. And the biggest prize of all went to Ryan Beall of Mayville, WI! Congratulations, Ryan! He's going to have a lot of SJ Games stuff to read when he gets done.

Thanks again to all of you for making our contest such a success!

-- Matthew Grau

January 5, 1997


Got a couple of nice reviews in the gaming press this week: Issue #15 of Arcane(England's best game magazine, hands down -- you owe yourself a look at this one) had this to say about Dino Hunt:"Dino Hunt from Steve Jackson Games stands out from most dinosaur games, though, in that a real effort has been made to make the game not only fun, but scientifically accurate. . ." And, ". . . for anyone with children who love dinosaurs it would make a great gift, and one with a little more educational value than most games."

Issue #31 of Shadis had this to say about GURPS Dinosaurs: "The book is imaginative as well as informative; not only does (author Stephen) Dedman know his stuff, he has a good time imparting it too." And about GURPS Vehicles, 2nd Ed., they said: "One of the best things about the book is its staggering versatility. Role-playing covers such a wide variety of times, places, genres, it seems impossible that any one book could be useful for all of it. But this one is. Or at least, anything can be created with the material it provides, which is just as good. Few, if any other products in the history of gaming have had such a wide applicability."

Thanks, guys.

-- Scott Haring

January 3, 1997


We saw the advance printed copies of GURPS Autoduel, 2nd Ed. today, and it looks very nice indeed.

Now, since I co-wrote (with Aaron Allston) the original Autoduel, and since I edited this edition, you might think me biased when I say that this is an outstanding roleplaying product, worthy of space on any gamer's shelf. And you'd be right. But that doesn't mean it's not true. It's a pretty cool book, expanded from the 80-page original, with updates on the ten years of future history since the last edition, an expanded Road Atlas, and vehicle construction rules entirely compatible with the standard set in Vehicles, 2nd Ed. Plus it's got lots of new cool Dan Smith art. Check it out.

We got the advance copies today, which means the rest are on the truck and on the way; we'll ship them out to distributors later this month.

-- Scott Haring

January 2, 1997

Happy New Year

We're still here, which counts as a big win. 1996 was not a good year for game publishers, with big end-of-year layoffs and/or cutbacks reported from TSR, White Wolf, Mayfair and West End, plus Origin Systems on the computer side. Hopefully 1997 will be better...

Those of you with America Online accounts might want to drop by the Online Gaming Forum (Keyword: OGF) tonight at 10 pm Eastern (that's 9 pm Central, 7 pm Pacific) and participate in a live chat conference with Scott Haring, editor of Pyramid magazine and Managing Editor of SJ Games. We'll talk about In Nomine, the future of Pyramid magazine, the latest industry gossip, and tons more.

And hopefully soon we'll have some web-based conferences online too, for the anti-AOL crowd.

-- The Trilateral Commission

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