Archive | February, 2005

Flames

Hunt | a|state Fiction

Posted on February 28, 2005 by

Aiken watched the gun. The muzzle was drifting to and fro, but always covering him, cutting down his options. He was trying hard to sober up. The little man was talking away in his fast, clipped voice, but Aiken was having difficulty concentrating on the words. Before the pair had arrived he had been busy drinking himself unconscious, but now that was a distant memory. The big one had come in first, the muscle, waving his vicious-looking sparklock languidly about, indicating to the clientele of this particular dive that they would be better off not getting involved.

A tale for the a/state setting from Contested Ground Studios, written by Greg Saunders.

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Monica Valentinelli

Triad, Part I: Presence | Obsidian the Age of Judgement Fiction Series

Posted on February 25, 2005 by

It couldn’t remember how it was borne. Was it male? Was it female? It had given itself a name, one that only it knew. Pool.

Pieces of memory gnawed at Pool’s mind. What was home? What did it used to be? Now it was nothing more than a land of yellowing bone and black rock. Fires burned throughout the landscape. It couldn’t have been that way always. Before Pool left its Circle with the others, they poured over books documenting the stories of how things came to be. Shapes of letters appeared before him, describing the velvety touch of a thing called a “flower.” There were no flowers in its Circle. Pool closed its eyes, remembering the smell of sulfur and the feel of spikes crushing beneath its razor-skinned feet.

Part One of a Three Part Fiction Series

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Flames

Interview with Wil Upchurch

Posted on February 24, 2005 by

In this interview Wil talks to us about working on the Midnight RPG from Fantasy Flight Games. He also tells us a little about Dawnforge and other projects he has been working on.

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Flames

Cursed Empire: Second Edition Overview

Posted on February 24, 2005 by

At first glance, Cursed Empire is a lot of information. I would even go so far as to say that this book holds more information and mechanics than a lot of the D20 products out there on the market. Steven Preston, a fan who’s played Cursed Empire writes, “The system is much more in depth than your standard d20 types. It is very realistic.” Realism is the core of this game. The mechanics, while not D20, are based on percentages. For someone who plays games that are not mechanics-intensive, Cursed Empire can appear intimidating. The rules system covers everything you can imagine, from the weight of your satchel to the effects of weather (p. 167). However, the percentage mechanics has an appeal to many D20 players. James Holden, another fan who’s played Cursed Empire writes, “As far as the percentile system goes it is superb. We had no probs as d20 gamers getting into this and have picked it up really easily.”

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Monica Valentinelli

A Hunger Like Fire Book Review

Posted on February 15, 2005 by

The first fiction novel for Vampire: The Requiem, a game line produced by White Wolf, A Hunger Like Fire sets the tone for some colorful characters and intriguing plot twists.

Written by Greg Stolze, the novel begins with a character narration by Bruce, a newly-changed vampire. New to being an undead, but not authorized by the Prince of Chicago, Prince Maxwell. After reading the first two pages, I felt compelled to read further. While first person narration can get tricky, Stolze handles it well by adding some interesting character quirks. For example, the undead Bruce Miner has an attachment to his dog, Peaches. Of course, he has to use his special vampiric ability to get close to animals, but nonetheless it’s a good tie-in between game mechanics and a fictional character.

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Monica Valentinelli

Sacrifice: Part I | Conspiracy of Shadows Fiction Series

Posted on February 15, 2005 by

Eyes that once spoke compassion and love glinted like twin blades in the smoke-filled night. They called her a demon. Priests, she knew and trusted from her time waddling in the lush fields of the khanate, threw stones at her. Magickal symbols drawn in fertile soil surrounded her. She wasn’t sure if they were to protect her, or to protect the mob from her. For what? The color of her hair? She tried to move her head. It was once the color of the black stones on the bottom of the riverbed. Now it resembled the embers glowing brightly in the fire her clansmen encouraged to consume her. She stood against the warmth, and felt as it reached out to her stiffened body tied taught against a dead tree. Her arms were pinned to her chest, her clansmen afraid she had the dark Gift. Part One of an Ongoing Series

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Flames

Bitten Review

Posted on February 10, 2005 by

I’ll be honest; this book snared me as an impulse buy for 2 reasons. First, I needed something to read on the bus ride home from the mall; second, well, I love werewolves and it’s so painfully rare to find a half-decent werewolf story. I’m not sure why it is, but nobody seems to be able to really nail the heart and soul of the werewolf story. The original Howling did it; An American Werewolf in London was a classic, despite its camp, and An American Werewolf in Paris to this reviewer’s mind was a very underrated werewolf film. But other than those three films, good werewolf stories seem to be slim pickin’s. I didn’t expect much better from Bitten, but I picked it up simply because I love werewolves.

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Flames

Gehenna: the Final Night Review

Posted on February 8, 2005 by

Vampire: Gehenna, the Final Night is the first act of the Time of Judgment, telling the story of a wide-ranging Armageddon among the supernatural entities of the World of Darkness.

The end of the line for Vampire: the Masquerade and the Kindred characters of that part of the World of Darkness. Several signature characters, such as Lucita and Theo Bell and make a final appearance in this book. As Ari Marmell’s first novel, this is quite an undertaking. How do you sum up all those years of books, characters and events in the plot of Vampire: the Masquerade? Quite simply, you can’t. There is simply too much. So many characters and plots have been introduced over the years that it would take volumes to cover them all. What Ari Marmell does with this book is tell a great story of a select few of the characters we’ve known over the years.

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Flames

Interview with artist and author Keith Senkowski

Posted on February 4, 2005 by

How did you get into gaming? Well my first experience was with a choose your own adventure type book which had a character sheet and everything. All I remember about it was that it had a crazy looking snake-man on the cover with a scimitar and a black cover. Then in high school I met […]

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Monica Valentinelli

On Reviewing Fiction

Posted on February 3, 2005 by

These days almost everyone with a home computer at some point or another wants to be a writer. As a consequence the fiction market has been flooded with new authors: some good, some bad. But what makes a piece of fiction “bad”? How does the average reader know what’s worthwhile to read and what isn’t?

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