Archive | October, 2008

Halloween Horror: Reflections

Posted on October 31, 2008 by

Today’s monster is brought to us by author and game designer Jess Hartley (Hunter: the Vigil, Reliquary) and artist Brad McDevitt (Blood!).

Vampires have always been a favorite monster here at Flames Rising.

Reflections

Created by Jess Hartley
With art by Brad McDevitt

No one knew the “real” him.

Everyone says that – that people just can’t see the “real” them – but they had no clue what it was really like. No idea what “different” really meant. The leather soles of his shoes sounded out a slow, steady heartbeat on the sidewalk as he approached the club. It was early, only a few hours after sundown, but a crowd had already gathered. Corralled behind red-velvet ropes, the has-beens and wanna-bes milled restlessly, preening and posing as they waited for an opportunity to make a break into the club itself under the bouncer’s watchful eye. He didn’t bother queuing up, but instead directly approached the mountain of a man who guarded entrance to the club.

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Flames

Horrors of the Shroud: The Death-Mother RPG Review

Posted on October 31, 2008 by

This PDF is described by its author as a “World Seed,” a small idea that has no home in ay particular world that you can pick up and drop into the fertile soil of your own game world. You can nurture it and watch it grow in to hours of adventures, exploration and heroism. This is an excellent idea, as most market research has shown that the majority of D&D games that are being played right now are not set in Eberron or The Forgotten Realms but rather in Steve’s World, Jimmy’s Land or some other Random Homebrew Campaign Name Here.

Review by Vincent R. Venturella

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Flames

Halloween Horror: The Deep-Seated Bogey

Posted on October 30, 2008 by

We have another addition to the Halloween Horror series today. This time author and game designer Will Hindmarch (Damnation City, Things We Think About Games) shows us a twisted little creature with a taste for words…and other horrible bits.

The Deep-Seated Bogey

Created by Will Hindmarch

Not everyone catches the attention of a deep-seated bogey, and if you’re lucky you never will. Once you have a deep-seated bogey, it has you, too. Supposedly the only way to get rid of a deep-seated bogey is to starve it out… but no one’s ever pulled it off.

Deep-seated bogeys are attracted to clutter and junk. They get into attics and closets, where they nest in boxes of worn-out action figures and forgotten stuffed animals. They page through old yearbooks and read the letters you keep. If it’s written in, it’s fair game.

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Matt-M-McElroy

David Wellington Interview

Posted on October 29, 2008 by

David Wellington is the author of several successful horror novels, short stories and web serials. The Monster Island zombie series and 13 Bullets vampire fiction are very popular with horror fans, who can’t wait to see what happens next.

Vampire Zero, the third book featuring Laura Caxton and Jameson Arkeley was recently released. I had the chance to talk to David a bit about the story and some of his other projects.

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Flames

Halloween Horror: The Meh-Teh

Posted on October 29, 2008 by

We’ve got a new monster by Jason L Blair (Little Fears, Emergence) for the Halloween Horror collection. Be sure to check out his other monster in the series, The Werewolf of Bedburg if you haven’t already.

Meh-Teh

Created by Jason L Blair

The Meh-Teh (or Man-Bear) is a cryptid commonly overlooked by enthusiasts of cryptozoology and paranatural studies. Often assumed to be the same as a Yeti, the Meh-Teh differs from its peak-dwelling cousin in a few ways.

The first way is the most obvious one and that is its hair color. While the Yeti tends to range from white to golden-blond, the Meh-Teh’s hair tends toward black or dark brown.

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Monica Valentinelli

Magnetic Monsters Review

Posted on October 29, 2008 by

What do a deep sea beast, a lizardman and a flying cat have in common? Well, if you say they are all monsters you’d be right!

Dubbed the “Monsters Magnetic Action Figures,” this set of over forty magnets and four background scenes is perfect for the monster lover in you. Illustrated by Justin Parpan, these Monsters magnets come in a decorated tin with two, reversible backgrounds. I really enjoy the artwork of these magnets because it’s a nice blend of traditional Halloween monsters with new, more imaginative beasties like the two-horned, one-eyed furry redhead. The technique used is pretty interesting because the Monsters body language is very cheery, but there’s just enough creepy to make it work without appearing overly “campy.”

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Flames

Dissonance: Music for Esoterrorists

Posted on October 28, 2008 by

James Semple, sound designer and musician offers you four new contemporary tracks for your Esoterrorists game, or any game of contemporary horror. The music here incorporates contemporary rhythms, electric guitars and sound design elements in addition to the expected orchestral and cinematic elements.

“You’ve outdone yourself with the Esoterrorists and SSF themes. My reaction to the latter was, “I want to see this movie!”
– Robin D Laws, creator of the Esoterrorists

Dissonance: Music for Esoterrorists is available at RPGNow.com.

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mforbeck

Halloween Horror: Hollow Wee ’Un

Posted on October 28, 2008 by

Today’s new monster in the Halloween Horror series is brought to us by author and game designer Matt Forbeck (Mutant Chronicles, Ghost Stories). Matt knows a thing or two about little “trick-or-treaters” and adds a twist to a common Halloween night activity. Artist Aaron Acevedo adds a bit of gruesome horror to this entry in his own style.

Just what kind of horror is under the cute little costume?

The Hollow Wee ’Un

Created By Matt Forbeck

“Trick or treat!”

“Oh! Don’t you just look incredible! What a wonderful costume!”

“Trick or treat!”

“Hold a moment, honey. I don’t see your parents. Aren’t you a little young to be wandering around out here on your own?”

“Trick or treat!”

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Monica Valentinelli

Street Empathy Fiction Review

Posted on October 28, 2008 by

Cyberpunk. The word can conjure images of nihilism, drug abuse, post-apocalyptic societies and a world gone wrong because someone, somewhere took advantage of technology. It’s often a classic look at the “haves” versus the “have nots” which, in this case, typically are those who understand, own and manipulate technology better than the end user. A sub-genre of science fiction, cyberpunk usually delves into heady themes that involve morality, Machiavellian politics, addiction and a breakdown of the social structure.

Empathy is the first novel in the series Street, written by Ryan A. Span. First offered online, this is a book that falls neatly within the cyberpunk genre. You might not think so by the cover; a painting of a woman with a “third eye” graces the cover of the book. While the painting was done well (thanks to the talented Jan Popisil), it does nothing to allude that the book is cyberpunk, and it truly is.

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Flames

Halloween Secret Surprise [Updated]

Posted on October 27, 2008 by

Flames Rising got a sneak peak at an upcoming Halloween surprise release from one of our small press publisher fiends, but we’re not going to tell you what the game is…yet. We have uncovered a few teaser images from artist extraordinaire Jeff Preston hinting at this new, spooky RPG product just in time to scare your friends.

In the true spirit of trick-or-treating, this small press publisher has a copy of this brand new horror RPG sitting on their desk for one of you, our loyal fans and followers of Flames Rising to celebrate the product’s release.

Update! – Its seems she just couldn’t wait for Halloween, The Death-Mother has emerged from the Shroud to spread a little more evil into the world…

The Contest has ended and the winner has been sent a free copy of the Horrors of the Shroud: The Death-Mother from the folks at One Bad Egg.

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Flames

Halloween Horror: The Fogcrawler

Posted on October 27, 2008 by

Today’s addition to the Halloween Horror series comes from writer, reviewer and musician Jason Thorson.

Taking a bit of inspiration from his passion for music, Jason brings us a new monster.

The Fogcrawler’s Thrall

Created by Jason Thorson

When he was interviewed for the book, “Hunting Ghosts: A Skeptic’s Account of the Paranormal,” Randall Bailleaux spoke about the legend of the Fogcrawler with the same matter-of-fact drawl that he used daily to promote his swamp tour.

“Those fellas from the “Ghost Trackers” TV program might be full a’ crap, but they ain’t stupid, that’s for sure. I told ‘em they had free reign, but they wouldn’t budge. They would not come down here.”

Randall took one last drag from his smoldering cigarette, dropped it onto the dock and smashed it beneath his boot.

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Flames

Welcome to the Jungle (Dresden Files) Review

Posted on October 27, 2008 by

When reviewing this graphic novel, I have tried to be as impartial as I can be. But the problem is that I am just a Jim Butcher fan that it is very hard. I have read all of the books, I am play testing the RPG based on it. Yeah, I am a fan. But I did at least attempt to be as partial as I could.

It probably was not very successful.

Welcome to the Jungle was a 4 issue comic release revolving around Jim Butcher’s creation, Harry Dresden. For those of you familiar with the story, it takes place shortly after his first novel, Storm Front.

Review by Stacey Chancellor

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Flames

Horror Helper Halloween eBook Bundle!

Posted on October 26, 2008 by

Halloween is upon us. Are you ready?

We’ve got you covered for Halloween. Four respected names in RPG digital publishing have teamed up to offer the Horror Helper Bundle. This set of downloadable products includes everything you need to add a little spice to your horror gaming and make it easier to cook up Halloween adventures. It’s available only until the end of October, so muster the courage to try one now.

The Horror Helper Bundle is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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Billzilla

Halloween Horror: The Scarecrow

Posted on October 26, 2008 by

Freelance writer and reviewer Bill Bodden has taken a classic Halloween entity and given a new twisted presence in our Halloween Horror series. Artist Jeff Preston helped bring this creature to life with some of his darkest art.

Scarecrows are a staple image of Halloween, but when was the last time you found a scarecrow even slightly scary?

Scarecrows

Created by Bill Bodden

Scarecrows are merely discarded clothing stuffed with straw and stuck on a pole to simulate a human presence in farm fields to keep larger pests, like deer and crows, away from food crops. Ancient ritual demands that the scarecrows be ceremonially burned just after the harvest — around the time of Samhain, or Halloween – and added to celebratory bonfires as an offering to traditions we no longer remember. If the scarecrows aren’t burned, wandering spirits might decide to move into one, animating it and causing all sorts of mischief. Some spirits just like to play pranks, while others have a less well-developed sense of humor….

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Flames

Dying to Live: Life Sentence by Kim Paffenroth Now Available!

Posted on October 26, 2008 by

At the end of the world a handful of survivors banded together in a museum-turned-compound surrounded by the living dead. The community established rituals and rites of passage, customs to keep themselves sane, to help them integrate into their new existence. In a battle against a kingdom of savage prisoners, the survivors lost loved ones, they lost innocence, but still they coped and grew. They even found a strange peace with the undead.

Twelve years later the community has reclaimed more of the city and has settled into a fairly secure life in their compound.

Dying to Live: Life Sentence is available at Amazon.com.

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Flames

Halloween Horror: Bykovsky’s Letter

Posted on October 25, 2008 by

The latest addition to the Halloween Horror collection is brought to us by game designer Malcolm Craig (a|state, Hot War).

This creature has no known name, but it is feared by those who remember the old stories.

A Letter From The Archives

Created by Malcolm Craig

Fragmentary letter recovered from former Soviet archives.

My Dear Alexei Ivanovich,

You will doubtless be aware of our recent expedition into that most desolate part of the Urals. We entrained in Sevrdlovsk, bound for Ivdel where we would begin our trek. Under the orders of the Minister, our group was composed of [letter becomes water-stained and unclear at this point].

Academician Kotlov was, by this point, exhibiting increasing signs of stress and he began to make anti-revolutionary statements which Comrade Captain Takaishvili was obvious in noting. The avalanche of the previous day and the loss of Alekseev and Kramskoi had, understandably, placed him in a difficult position regarding his responsibility.

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Flames

Shadowrun: Ghost Cartels Now Available!

Posted on October 25, 2008 by

A Bad Beat Rocks the Street

The shadows are abuzz about the new drug in the sprawl: tempo. It takes the user on a unique trip, better than anything experienced before. Druggies can’t get enough of the stuff, and even beetleheads are giving it a shot. Tempo’s popularity shifts the balance of power between the syndicates and soon the blood and bullets are flowing.

Ghost Cartels is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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Halloween Horror: Skulkers-in-the-Piles

Posted on October 24, 2008 by

Freelance author David Hill and artist James Lannan bring us a new monster for the Halloween Horror collection today. These little creatures may seem harmless, but they can certainly become vicious from time-to-time.

Just be careful next time you go exploring in the junkyard…

Skulkers-in-the-Piles

Created by David Hill
With Art By James Lannan

Introduction
Skulkers-in-the-Piles, sometimes called “The Refuse,” are vaguely humanoid marsupials that live in and around human trash. They occupy areas where trash accumulates, particularly when finding solid waste in bulk. In recent years, experts suspect that Skulker populations have dwindled, but that is a difficult assertion, as the creatures are remarkably good at hiding in their junk pile empires.

Skulkers have fascinated humans for many years. They have appeared in the folklore and art of urban people, often mistaken for large reptiles or rodents. Children tell stories and draw these pictures, as the creatures have a mysterious way of veiling themselves from the minds and memories of adults.

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Billzilla

Little Nightmares – Reaper Miniatures

Posted on October 24, 2008 by

Greetings! In the coming months I’ll be giving Flames Rising readers a look at some of the miniatures out there for horror-conscious consumers. For now I’ll be covering one company at a time, giving an overview of what they have to offer that falls within the category.

Our first contestant, by virtue of being the quickest to respond, is Reaper Miniatures. Reaper has been a mainstay in the gaming community since the early 1990s, really taking off with the closing of Ral Partha Miniatures only a few years later.

The miniatures we’ll be looking at come from several different product lines: Warlord, which supports Reaper’s fantasy miniatures rules; Chronoscope, giving Reaper greater license to explore historical and alternate historical periods; Reaper’s newest experiment – pre-painted plastic miniatures, and the Dark Heaven line, representing the jewel in Reaper’s crown.

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Flames

Halloween Horror: The Killer

Posted on October 23, 2008 by

Another bit of fright from game designer Chuck Wendig (Hunter: the Vigil) is here for the Halloween Horror collection. This monster just might be one of us.

Reformed

Created by Chuck Wendig

I am reformed.

It’s been the same every ten years or so. Grave dirt in my mouth. Pillbugs nestled in my nose and eyes. My parts come back together. The skin reaches for skin; tendons tangle and braid and knit. I’m drawn back to myself and I struggle to the light and then I march out into the world.

I always find them. Don’t know how, I just do. It’s like I can smell their blood, like rich sap from a broken family tree. Teenagers, usually. Laughing and dancing and drinking and fucking. Ignorant to what’s coming. Ignorant to what’s come before.

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11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

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