Archive | October, 2008

Flames

Promethean: the Created RPG Review

Posted on October 23, 2008 by

Promethean is a ‘new’ property for White Wolf, rather than a rehash of an older proper as their other new World of Darkness titles have been. This, incidentally, means that they have now pretty much caught up, after over a decade, with Nightlife, another RPG that could really do with a reboot in my opinion.

Promethean, basically, covers the idea of ‘constructs’. The inspiration is most clearly from Frankenstein’s Monster but other ideas are mingled in with that inspiration from golems and homunculi to Egyptian myth, all held – loosely – together by a theme of alchemy and a hint of the old anti-technology vibe that the old World of Darkness often displayed, an underlying loathing of ‘the unnatural’.

Review by James ‘Grim’ Desborough

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Matt-M-McElroy

Halloween Horror: Lost Girl

Posted on October 22, 2008 by

My own contribution (with a little help from Brad McDevitt) to the Halloween Horror series is available today. I decided to take the “ghost story” and give it a little bit of an edge. There is more to this tale if folks are interested. You’ll have to let me know…

What are ghosts afraid of?

Lost Girl

Created by Matt M McElroy
With art by Brad McDevitt

“This one here, the blue folder…” the boss had said while pointing to the files on his desk.

I remember picking it up from the stack and flipping through it while the boss rambled on about how things used to be in the city, something about respect and a hard days’ work, I honestly don’t remember at this point.

What else do you remember from that day?

Well, um, I think there were a couple of witness statements and some scans of old newspaper articles. Nothing conclusive. I do remember looking up when the boss turned away from the window to tell me something else.

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TezMillerOz

The Chosen Sin Fiction Review

Posted on October 22, 2008 by

Vampires in space make for a bizarre but intriguing read in Anya Bast’s futuristic/paranormal/erotic romance mash-up.

Circa a thousand years from now, The Chosen Sin is mostly set on the desert planet, Darpong. Earth-born Daria Moran is an Allied Bureau of Investigation agent whose mission in life – both personal and professional – is to bring down Christopher Sante, who killed Daria’s best friend, and others, and may be guilty of other ghastly deeds.

But in order to infiltrate Sante’s vampire commune, Daria has to become Chosen – and Alejandro Martinez will Choose her.

Review by Tez Miller

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Flames

Halloween Horror: The Room

Posted on October 21, 2008 by

Today’s addition to the Halloween Horror series is not really a monster, but it is something of a nightmare and more than fitting for our collection. Brought to us by game designer and author, John Wick (Thirty, Necromonpoly), is a place of horror you don’t want to visit, Halloween or not.

How do you get in? How do you get out?

The Room

Created by John Wick

The Room remembers you. It keeps a little piece of you. Keeps it close to its heart.

The Room keeps little pieces of those who dream there. Steals it from you. Just a little piece. And in the Room, the pieces it keeps try to escape. They stow away in your coat. Hiding in your hat. Ditch between the cracks in your shaving mirror.

They try to escape, but the Room keeps them close. Very close. In the Room, you can smell her hair and taste his cigar. Feel the cut of the broken bottle as it ripped her skin. Everyone who ever dreamed here left a little something of themselves behind. Memories and dreams caught in its teeth.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Munchkin Bites 2: Pants Macabre Review

Posted on October 21, 2008 by

Plenty of new cards, bad jokes and all, are included in this expansion for the Munchkin Bites card game from Steve Jackson Games. The set we got did not have any additional rules for the game and we did not run into any problems with the new cards (after all the information on the cards usually explains everything you need to know).

Expanding on the jokes in the core box, Pants Macabre has plenty of puns from horror films and horror RPGs (and LARPing). Most of the jokes are fairly predictable, but worth a good laugh if the player manages to add a little style to the delivery.

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Flames

Halloween Horror: Corpse Bug

Posted on October 20, 2008 by

Freelance writer John D. Kennedy (Shadow Nations) and artist Jeff Preston have a new monster for the Halloween Horror series today.

When fighting the undead, be extra careful around the zombies making buzzing noises…

Corpse Bug

Created by John D. Kennedy
With art by Jeff Preston

“I seen a bug that’ll sting a man. Seen plenty that’ll eat one…first time I ever seen one live in a man though.” – Jerry Bowell, exterminator.

Resembling a cross between a centipede and a beetle, the Corpse Bug is a creature often found living at the edge of towns and cities. A dark brown color, the bug is between two to three inches in length and possesses two pincers on it’s body, one at the mouth with the other at the end of the thorax. These pincers aid in chewing through muscles and skin, while it’s eight legs end in small hooks to aid in climbing and gathering materials.

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Flames

Scion Companion (Celestial Bureaucracy) Review

Posted on October 20, 2008 by

The Celestial Bureaucracy is the third offering for the Scion companion and a new pantheon – of sorts – delving into Chinese mythology which, to quote the great sage Egg Shen:

“Of course the Chinese mix everything up, look at what we have to work with. There’s Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoist alchemy and sorcery. We take what we want and leave the rest… Just like your salad bar.”

This makes the Celestial Bureaucracy a great hook for Scion, it fits the mould of the game perfectly, kung fu, magic and a huge ‘pantheon’ of sorts with plenty of room for all manner of characters. Indeed, in my opinion, this would have been a far better fit in the original book than the Japanese pantheon would have been.

Review by James ‘Grim’ Desborough

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Flames

Halloween Horror: The Kragethogil and the Reapers

Posted on October 19, 2008 by

The latest addition to the Halloween Horror series is from game designer and author, Monte Cook (Worlds of Their Own, Ptolus). Monte took a short break from researching his latest project for this bit of horror.

There are things in the deep best left alone, things that are very hungry…

The Kragethogil and the Reapers

Created by Monte Cook

Sometimes, the most terrible thing is that which you never see. The kragethogil dwells deep underwater, a monstrously vast, ghastly abomination of spiny tendrils and sightless eyes. No one knows precisely what it looks like, because the creature never comes to the surface, and never confronts its prey.

That’s for the reapers to do.

Through a horrific psychic intrusion, the kragethogil spawns tiny extensions of itself within the minds of swimmers and fishermen straying into waters they should have avoided. After a brief and bloody gestation, the telepathically implanted larva takes control of the host and transforms it from within, assimilating its flesh into its own. The result is a reaper.

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Flames

Vampire Zero by David Wellington!

Posted on October 19, 2008 by

One man stood between them and us.

U.S. Marshal Jameson Arkeley—the country’s foremost authority on vampires—taught police investigator and vampire fighter Laura Caxton everything she knows about monsters. After a bloody war visited upon Gettysburg by an army of vampires, Arkeley gave up his own life to save others. Except he didn’t exactly die . . .

The author of 13 Bullets and 99 Coffins, David Wellington takes the Laura Caxton series to a whole new level in this action-packed third volume.

Vampire Zero: A Gruesome Vampire Tale is available at Amazon.com.

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Halloween Horror: Red Head

Posted on October 18, 2008 by

Next up in the Halloween Horror series is a little something from freelancer writer Filamena Young and artist J.R. Blackwell. Together they give us a new look at a bit of myth and legend.

Red Head

Created by Filamena Young
With Photographic Art by J.R. Blackwell

Eloise Renee Canton does not like the term ‘red cap’ and in fact if you mention it when speaking to her she will grow very cross. If you push her on that name, it’s implication or about her ancestry, she is very likely to grow violent and cause great bodily harm to any and all around.

She’s capable of it as well, though her mostly human face would say otherwise, her jaw can unhinge at the joint and her lips split in several places to allow her the rare ability to bite onto just about anything. Her preference is bone, but she does not widely advertise this fact.

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Flames

Halloween and Ghostories, plus something for free!

Posted on October 18, 2008 by

Precis Intermedia bids you a wicked Halloween with a free adventure for Ghostories, the quick, easy, and versatile roleplaying game of the Supernatural. Download the classic Exit Music adventure, now updated specifically for Ghostories. If you don’t already have Ghostories, order the three-book PDF bundle now for only $8.50.

The paranormal is real, or is it? Find out with Ghostories and Exit Music!

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Flames

Halloween Horror: Cheap Labor

Posted on October 17, 2008 by

A new twist on a classic horror favorite is today’s entry in the Halloween Horror series. Game designer Jared A. Sorensen (InSpectres, Requiem Chronicler’s Guide) brings us a story about the dead, although not in the way you might be expecting.

A new “working class” with only a few minor drawbacks…

Cheap Labor

Created by Jared A. Sorensen

There’s a stain on the floor and he’s scrubbing it like it’s blood and the police are on their way, lights flashing, tires squealing. Not fast but vigorous, relentless. We’re watching him. We’ve been watching him through the window for going on ten minutes and he hasn’t let up, hasn’t slowed down a beat. Constant, like a timepiece ticking away the seconds, minutes. Soon to be hours. Jim breaks the spell.

“Gus? Gus.”

The scrubbing stops. The man crouched over the coffee stain on the carpet stops and looks up. His face is old and gaunt, skin stretched tight over razor cheekbones. That vacant stare. Dead eyes.

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Flames

The Random Esoteric Creature Generator Review

Posted on October 17, 2008 by

Our author begins his book by informing us that table-top RPGs are at a crossroads. They are at a point in time where they must make a choice between a new system, something revolutionary and different, and the power of nostalgia, classic systems and tradition on the other. This is an easy assumption to make, casting your eyes about to the RPG market and seeing the 4E update and change in D&D in what seems, especially to outsiders, as very dramatic ways. It is from this premise our author builds his book. I would claim this is his thesis statement; the foundation of the argument for the book. Unfortunately, it couldn’t be more wrong.

Review by Vincent Venturella

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Flames

Halloween Horror: Quisivore

Posted on October 16, 2008 by

Our new addition to the Halloween Horror series is brought to use by game designer Eddy Webb (Mind’s Eye Theatre: The Awakening).

Eddy brings us a tale of desperation and horror, just what is a Quisivore? Is it coming for you next?

The Quisivore

Created by Eddy Webb

Eyewitness Transcript: January 24. Cincinnati, Ohio.
“The name ‘quisivore’ is something I made up, just a name to give it. I’m not even sure if the creature has a proper name, or if he’s part of a species. The one I met called himself Claude.”

“Claude looks human enough on the surface. He’s got a long, diamond-shaped scar on his face, but since I saw him over the rim of a burning oil drum late at night, I couldn’t get a really good look at him. As we talked, I started to realize that the scar wasn’t the only unusual thing about him. Everything he said was a statement. Everything. He never once asked a question, not even a rhetorical one. He didn’t ask me my name. He said ‘I don’t know your name,’ and let me fill in the gaps.

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TezMillerOz

The Electric Church Fiction Review

Posted on October 16, 2008 by

Religion is electrified in the snappy first book of Jeff Somers’ cyber-noir series featuring Avery Cates.

John Lennon might have imagined a world without religion, but this futuristic tale features a church gone mad, where to convert means sacrificing your brain to a cyborg’s body. And if you don’t want to convert…well, the Electric Monks want to kill you. (I think. I read a lot of this in front of the TV, and thus didn’t pay as much attention as I should have.)

If your mission is to kill the head of a legalised-yet-suspicious religion, where might they live? In England, apparently, in Westminster Abbey – only what Avery Cates finds there is mind-blowing. But before that he has to build up a team to help him take down Dennis Squalor – which is nice, but I got tetchy waiting for the assassination to begin.

Review by Tez Miller

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Flames

Halloween Sale at the Flames Rising Shop!

Posted on October 15, 2008 by

FEAR THE NIGHT… BUT DO NOT FEAR THE SAVINGS!

In celebration of All Hallows Eve, the Flames Rising RPG Store is happy to guide you down the dark, dangerous path towards terrifying savings on the creepiest of products.

Save big on products from White Wolf Publishing, 12 to Midnight, Precis Intermedia, Postemortem Studios and more!

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Flames

Halloween Horror: Quinkana Prodigius

Posted on October 15, 2008 by

Horror author Scott Lette (Arkham Tales) brings us a tale of terror for the Halloween Horror collection. Scott gives us a glimpse of a man vs. nature story from Australia.

Have these creatures returned from someplace else, and if so, why?

Quinkana Prodigius

Created by Scott Lette

FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND TORN APART BY MONSTER CROC PLAGUE
Posted Sat. September 27, 2008 3.35pm AEST

The Queensland Premier has declared a state of emergency in Far-North Queensland as the number of unexplained attacks from “land crocodiles” continues to rise.

“I have been in consultation with the Emergency Services Minister,” the Premier said during a Press conference in Brisbane today.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Rose-Bride’s Plight RPG Review

Posted on October 15, 2008 by

The Rose-Bride’s Plight is a new adventure for Changeling: the Lost from White Wolf Publishing. Written by Jess Hartley and Developed by Eddy Webb.

This particular adventure can be run as a stand alone game or worked into an ongoing chronicle. There are tips and tricks provided for both types of games including suggestions for connecting existing characters to members of the local Courts and possible motivations for getting involved in local events.

This adventure contains some new materials that will be useful for Lost games beyond this particular story, including a new system element, Unwitting Pledges, as well as a new Goblin Fruit, The Myrsina.

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Flames

Hack/Slash vs. Halloween Man – Hackoween!!

Posted on October 14, 2008 by

Not a Secret Crisis! Not a Final Invasion! On October 15th, it’s Cassie Hack versus Solomon Hitch in the brawl to end it all! Get ready for Hackoween!

Tim Seeley’s Spike TV Scream Award nominated Hack/Slash is teaming up with the cult favourite web comic Halloween Man for a special Halloween crossover!

See! Cassie and Vlad’s rampage through Solar City!

Tremble! As alien sex gods rip the universe in half!

Buy! Into our shameless hyperbole!

And it’s all for free on www.halloweenman.com! The only cost will be your immortal soul!

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alanajoli

Halloween Horror: Hounds of the Morrigan

Posted on October 14, 2008 by

Author Alana Abbott (Chronicles of Ramlar, Serenity Adventures) and artist Jeff Preston bring another creature for our Halloween Horror collection.

Those who cheat death beware, can you hear the baying of the hounds?

Hounds of the Morrigan

Created by Alana Abbott
With Art by Jeff Preston

Like their mistresses, the hounds of the Morrigan are harbingers of death, choosing those who, in battle, will perish at the hands of their enemies. A vision of one of these great, black dogs is an omen of death: warriors who see the hounds know that their doom is near. It has been said that just the sight of the hounds is enough to cause a mortal to die of fear: their coat appears both as fur and as the black feathers of a crow, their eyes glow red at a distance and swirl like pools of blood up close, and their fangs are bronze and sharp as daggers. Few who have been in the presence of the hounds survive to tell their story.

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11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

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